Third Place Winner: Elizabeth Benz
Spiritus Sanctus Academy
At the very beginning of life—at the moment of conception—a soul is created, a unique and unrepeatable soul that makes the beginnings of that life a human with dignity and with every right that every full-grown human has. God has gifted parents with life—a very simple form of it at the beginning—but a life nonetheless. That gift is something that is out of the control of the humans around it; it is a transcendent gift that cannot be taken away, except by the person who gave it. A human is by definition a body-soul. Those features are what distinguish a human from an angel or an animal. So, when both of those features are present, so is a human. And humans, by their nature, deserve the rights of life and liberty (in the sense of pursuing what is true, good, and beautiful). So at the very first moment of conception you have a human. Though not fully developed, these tiny babies still deserve the chance that every born human does.
A pro-choice individual would probably say that life does not begin until after birth or until after the first heartbeat, but science has proven otherwise. Jacob Stevens, a student from the University of Chicago, conducted a poll asking biologists when they thought human life began, and 95 percent of them answered with “at fertilization” (PJ Media, 95 Percent of Biologists Say Life Begins at Conception, by Tyler O’Neil). Life begins at fertilization/conception; there is no proving it otherwise. From a Christian point of view, this is when God gives the first forms of life a soul, thus creating an individual person. Knowing this, we must protect this life with all of our power because life is one of the basic rights of the human person, and it is morally wrong and very evil to consciously kill a human person.
People see value in the ability to “do”—in what they can perform and in how they benefit those around them—but that is not value. God has given us value; we can do nothing to lose and nothing to gain or earn it. That value is His love, and that love comes with our very existence, for we only exist because of His love. Every life is valuable in itself because of that love. Babies and children before the age of reason are the most deserving of that love. They are without personal sin, which means that they themselves have not defied the will of God, and though they have Original Sin, they are the worthiest of that love because they have not personally disobeyed God, though no one but God is truly worthy of His love.
Knowing that each and every person is a person with dignity and value because God has given everyone life and love, each and every person needs to defend that life and protect it from the moment of conception to natural death. Especially in America, where our country was founded on the basis that every person deserves the rights to “life and liberty,” it is so important to care for each and every child who is gifted with life, for each and every one is beautiful and unique. And the only just response to life is to accept and defend it. There is such a simple beauty in the innocence and defenselessness of life in a baby’s first stages. We see complete beauty in something so simple and yet so meaningful. There are many stories of mothers witnessing that their child is the greatest gift that they have ever been given and that children give them joy beyond any other experience. In each human at the moment of conception, there is a simple beauty, the tiny and defenselessness of those first stages of life, with so much potential, just ready to experience what they were created for.
Every preborn baby is like a pearl, without sin and completely pure, and those pearls need to be prized and protected from those who want to steal them from us. Just as a robber wishes to take the pearl from the owner, so the evil one wishes to take our children from us, but he is cunning and sneaky and disgusting, so he has convinced us of the worthlessness of the pearl and told us to throw it away ourselves. I can see Satan laughing at our stupidity, killing our own children and being proud of it. This is one of his greatest works in all of his gross schemes because he has convinced us to do all of the dirty work. We must protect these pearls and stand for the truth that has been embodied so beautifully on the cross—that every life, no matter how sinful, has value.