The Crimson White

Embrace greatness, not comfort

Claire Chretien

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I graduated from high school a staunch abortion supporter, unaware of how radically my life would change thanks to a simple willingness to consider new ideas and information.

Confronted with the reality of the science of embryology and what it reveals about the child in the womb – that she is fully human and fully a member of the human family – my worldview dramatically shifted. My first few months of college were confusing as I grappled with this realization.

Moments of weakness and confusion are also moments of curiosity, seeking and hope. The painful admission that I had been wrong about abortion and other significant matters prompted me to re-evaluate my worldview.

One of Pope Benedict XVI’s most famous sayings is, roughly translated, “The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” Society offers us countless empty promises for fulfillment, many of which bring temporary pleasure or false happiness but all of which leave us heartbroken and yearning for something better.

Most people don’t like confrontation and conflict, but the history of social reform has proven they’re necessary for change. Many students prefer to go about their lives unaware of or apathetic to the horrible injustice of abortion. Spending much of my time at The University of Alabama challenging the status quo and bringing to light the gruesome reality of abortion alongside other pro-life students wasn’t comfortable, but comfort isn’t important. The truth is.

The world doesn’t need any more spineless cowards. It doesn’t need any more advocates for political correctness and sham social justice causes. It needs militant, ferocious defenders of our weakest, most vulnerable and innocent brothers and sisters.

People sometimes say to me, “I think it’s great that you stand up for what you believe in.” This bothers me. We must first discern whether what we believe is logical and just; only then can we take a stand. There’s nothing good about the fact that I used to stand up for my beliefs when I supported abortion; I was denying science and promoting murder.

Embracing the greatness to which each individual is called means recognizing how disordered the world’s promises are and saying yes to true joy. Society tells so many lies, like that shallow physical relationships are gratifying, using others as a means to an end is somehow “love,” and that there is no objective right or wrong.

The “comfort” against which Pope Benedict XVI cautioned is rooted in a lack of love. Love, which is willing good for another, called Bama Students for Life to bring Genocide Awareness Project to campus in order to show our peers the inhumanity of abortion and the humanity of abortion’s millions and millions of victims.

It may seem strange to call showing images of abortion victims “loving.” But if we truly love someone, we cannot lie or hide the truth from him or her. People need to know what abortion is and what abortion does. Only then can we have a real conversation about abortion that causes cultural change.

Recognizing in love the inherent dignity and value of every human has consequences: opposition from unexpected places, chilled or lost friendships, censorship from the University. I don’t care.

There’s beauty in being liberated from the mind-numbing, noisy distractions in which the world engulfs us. There’s beauty in the mercy that pro-life people showed to me when I joined the revolution. There’s beauty in re-examining our beliefs with minds open to new information. There’s beauty in the blazing glory of the truth, when we finally find it.

Claire Chretien was the President of Bama Students for Life.


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Embrace greatness, not comfort