Only two days after Jesus' birth in the liturgical calendar, the feast of the Holy Innocents hits home with the stark reminder that the world is not necessarily a safe place for innocent human life.
We find brutality to children and the massacre of the innocents offensive in art, but perhaps are not so attuned to its presence right under our noses. Would a representation of the Massacre of the Innocents find its place in any of our churches today? They are abundant in history.
Yet, the brutality of violence to the unborn in abortion is "too graphic" for us to see, but not for us to permit, even perhaps, to fund with tax dollars.
There is a famous work of art by Peter Breughel called the "Massacre of the Innocents" set in a village in the Netherlands. Art historians differ on whether the painting represents a modern interpretation of Herod's slaughter, or it depicts the brutality of King Philip of Spain in crushing the Protestant revolt in the middle of the sixteenth century, or both.
The owner of the painting asked that the children in the violent scene be overpainted, and they were. Children became packages or animals to erase the offending brutality. Out of sight, out of mind.
Here are two versions. Can you find the differences?
Wouldn't it be great if violence against the unborn and children could be eliminated from our world as easily? What can we do today to make the world a safer place for children?