Human Dignity and Shady Characters

Jerry Novotny OMI – Simply defined, the term “politics” refers to the way that countries are governed, and “politicians” to those elected who make rules and laws to manage human society properly. Yet politics and politicians have never been seen as negatively as they are today.  Many people point to politicians as the ones responsible for all the problems in the world today. Because of these negative attitudes many people want nothing to do with politics. They avoid watching the news on TV or reading newspapers because the negativity is just too depressing. This is especially true of young people who are even cynical about voting. 

This is a sad situation, because justice and peace work best when people get involved at every level, whether it’s our society or our world community; otherwise nothing helpful gets done. Unless the people keep politicians accountable, special interest groups take over. 

And the fact is that politics has always been full of shady characters trying to take advantage of others. It was certainly true in Jesus’ day (Matt 22:15-21) and it is true in our present day. Both in the Roman Empire and among the religious leaders in Jerusalem the leaders were concerned about how popular Jesus was with the crowds. They saw Him as a threat to their authority and influence, and so they wanted to find a way to get rid of Him. Today we see the same taking place among politicians catering to women’s abortion interest groups by declaring war on unborn children who present a threat to their influence and reelection.

The most recent example took place on International Women’s Day 2024, when President Emmanuel Macron signed an amendment, that enshrined abortion rights in the French Constitution. He said the occasion was a reminder of “the fate of generations of women deprived of the most intimate of choices: whether or not to have a child”. Yet nothing was mentioned about the same intimate choices for the child in the womb. Two people are involved here. The sole purpose of a Constitution is to  guarantee the basic human rights of an entire population, not just one segment or one interest group.

Following the vote to enshrine abortion, the Eiffel Tower was lit up with the words “My body My choice.” Such words and actions reveal a striking disconnection from the lived experience of many women and men who suffer emotional, physical and spiritual pain after abortion.  

The people of France, traditionally a Catholic Country, have voted and legalized abortion, ie. the slaughter of unborn babies under the banner of “My Body, My Right to Decide”.

I agree with the statement. God has given us all a free will to choose and decide. The woman’s body is her body and she has the right to decide for herself what she want to do with it. The magic word is “MY“. “MY body, My right to decide“. The only problem with this magic word “MY” is the unborn baby does not fall under the category of this magic word. The child is NOT part of “MY“. Throughout the history, there has never been any scientific research stating that the baby in the womb is the body of the mother. Dependent – yes, Part -no.



As a nation, France has enshrined abortion into a Law, a man-made Right, giving women the freedom “to abort”. Wow! and yet the majority of French people consider themselves to be Christians. Isn’t a Christian someone whose behavior and heart reflects Jesus Christ. Why would Jesus want to abort his own creation? If Christian behavior and heart do not reflect Christ, who do they reflect? Is this an act grandparents would rejoice and brag to their friends saying, “this act of aborting our grandchild is something beautiful, something wonderful. We are so happy.”

Centuries have taught us that the body is an independent human being. To view the development of unborn babies who have Human Dignity and Human Rights, click the following: View images and animations by selecting a Carnegie Stage.

Regarding the Right to Life, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states in Art. 3 the following: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”, following this line, Art. 1 of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (1948), states that “Every human being has the right to life, liberty and security of person”.

It is evident that Human Rights are universal, and because of this, they must be applied to all persons. It is clear then that legal personality is a quality inherent to human beings, which grants them a series of rights, i.e., the legal quality must be granted to every member of the biological species homo sapiens, even to unborn conceived persons (Manjarrez & Yanez, 2019).

From this perspective, the unborn child, as a person, is subject to subjective rights derived from Natural Law. Consequently, given the condition of the unborn child, protection must be provided during all stages of gestation, since it is a holder of Rights, which must be guaranteed at least until it is able to exercise them. (Additional information can be found here

Sometimes people use Jesus’ words to argue that Christians should not be involved in politics. “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” They want to twist His words to keep people of faith from standing up for human rights and justice for the weakest members of society. They try to convince us that Jesus Himself wants us to be silent and to keep our faith to ourselves. 

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. As Christian believers, we have just as much right as non-believers to make our opinions known. We have as much right to speak up for the issues that matter to us. In fact, the commandment that we love our neighbor as ourselves requires that we stand up for the most vulnerable members of society, including the poor, the sick, and the unborn. This divided world needs people of faith to be involved in politics more than ever.

Each of us is made in the image and likeness of God. (Genesis 1:26-27) Our dignity does not come from how we look, how much we earn, how much pleasure we can give others, or how much we produce. Rather, our worth comes simply from the fact that we are human beings, loved by God, and destined to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. 

With the French people making the “killing of unborn innocent babies” a top priority and incorporating it into their constitution has send shock waves throughout the world.  

Yes, God gave us free choice. Why not have concern for God’s free choice and reject evil? The reason is we want to be “politically correct” so that we don’t hurt somebody’s feelings. But that somebody also includes God. I strongly believe that we have an obligation to tell the truth. Then people have the freedom to accept it or reject it. 

The devil likes to communicate with us by telling lies contrary to God’s laws. When we want to be “politically correct”, we turn to man’s way of thinking. We seek his support and encouragement. In reality, we should turn to God’s way first.. Why? Jesus tells us, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” The possession of this truth confers knowledge and liberation from sin. (Jn 8:19)

Sister Angelica wrote to many politicians asking them about their views on abortion. A majority of replies said the same thing: “I abhor abortion, “but”, (a word which prevents you from telling the truth), I have a lot of people under me and a number of them believe something different.” Yet politicians have an obligation to tell the truth. But it appears today that the truth is not important anymore. What is important is to do what is “politically correct”, not what is right.


Our involvement in the politics should be driven by this uncompromising belief that no one is worthless and that truth is paramount. For this reason, we, as Christians, defend the Right of the unborn to live. It is also the reason why we stand against suicide and euthanasia. We do not have a right to kill people because they are near death and need our help. Our witness to the dignity of human life also requires that we speak up against unjust wars, (eg. Ukraine, Gaza), for migrants who are fleeing violence (eg. Somalia, Kenya) and other hardships in their native countries (eg. North Korea, Afghanistan, ). These people have dignity no matter what language they speak and no matter what religion they practice. The same is true for prisoners. No matter what crimes they have committed, their lives still matter and they still deserve to be treated with respect. As Christians, we must give voice to all those people whom the world says are worthless.


Vatican has recently published a new document “Dignitas Infinita” (Infinite Dignity) on Human Dignity and applies it to the last decade: from war to poverty, from violence against migrants to violence against women, from abortion to surrogate motherhood to euthanasia, from gender theory to digital violence. It is a masterpiece and I strongly recommend you read it and meditate on “some grave violations of human dignity”. 


In this recent document, the condemnation of abortion is very strong. [47]: Quote: The Church consistently reminds us that “the dignity of every human being has an intrinsic character and is valid from the moment of conception until natural death. It is precisely the affirmation of such dignity that is the inalienable prerequisite for the protection of a personal and social existence, and also the necessary condition for fraternity and social friendship to be realized among all the peoples of the earth.”[88]

…. On account of the intangible value of human life, the Church’s magisterium has always spoken out against abortion. In this regard, Pope St. John Paul II writes: “Among all the crimes which can be committed against life, procured abortion has characteristics making it particularly serious and deplorable. […]

…. But today, in many people’s consciences, the perception of its gravity has become progressively obscured. The acceptance of abortion in the popular mind, in behavior, and even in law itself is a telling sign of an extremely dangerous crisis of the moral sense, which is becoming more and more incapable of distinguishing between good and evil, even when the fundamental right to life is at stake.

…. Given such a grave situation, we need now more than ever to have the courage to look the truth in the eye and to call things by their proper name, without yielding to convenient compromises or to the temptation of self-deception. In this regard, the reproach of the Prophet is extremely straightforward: ‘Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness’ (Is. 5:20).

…. Especially in the case of abortion, there is a widespread use of ambiguous terminology, such as ‘interruption of pregnancy,’ which tends to hide abortion’s true nature and to attenuate its seriousness in public opinion. Perhaps this linguistic phenomenon is itself a symptom of an uneasiness of conscience. But no word has the power to change the reality of things: procured abortion is the deliberate and direct killing, by whatever means it is carried out, of a human being in the initial phase of his or her existence, extending from conception to birth.”[89]

…. Unborn children are, thus, “the most defenseless and innocent among us. Nowadays, efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this.”[90]

…. It must, therefore, be stated with all force and clarity, even in our time, that “this defense of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems. Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defense of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be. Reason alone is sufficient to recognize the inviolable value of each single human life, but if we also look at the issue from the standpoint of faith, ‘every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offense against the Creator of the individual.’”[91]

…. In this context, it is worth recalling St. Teresa of Calcutta’s generous and courageous commitment to the defense of every person conceived.


As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to be good citizens of our individual countries and good citizens of the world community. We should love both and work to make both a better place. 

As Christians, we have a vision of the human person given to us by Jesus that we must share with the world. The world needs our witness more than ever. So let us not be afraid to speak up for those who are so often forgotten and overlooked in our society and in our world community. Let us not give in to cynicism and despair. Instead, let us get involved in all areas of life, bringing to bear the good news that all of us are loved by God and are endowed with a dignity that no one can take away from us, not even from the unborn child.


  God Bless
    Jerry Novotny, OMI






“Human dignity is independent of national borders. We must always defend the interests of the poor and the persecuted in other countries.” – Kjell Magne Bondevik


“To destroy the fetus ‘is something worse than murder.’ The one who does this ‘does not take away life that has already been born, but prevents it from being born.’” – Saint John Chrysostom




(English) – Pro Life Website

(English) Fighting for the Culture of Life – Fr. Jerry’s Blog

(English) Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate – Japan and Korea

(Japanese)  – Pro Life Website

(Japanese) Human Rights: The Road to a Happy Life – Fr. Jerry’s Blog

(Japanese) Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate – Japan and Korea

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