Baby-phobia Has Reached Epidemic Proportions


Imagine the crushing judicial power of a modern nation coming down upon you, trying you, sentencing you, and then planning your execution – all while the charges against you remain secret.  You might recall that as the plot of Franz Kafka’s paranoiac novel, The Trial, the protagonist of which is a 30-year-old bank clerk. Under the spell of Kafka’s masterful telling, the reader is left feeling almost as though the horror of the sentence pales in comparison to simply not knowing why.

I revisited the haunted feeling of that novel over the past week or so as the case of the 13-month-old baby, Joseph Maraachli, played out in the media. Just as it seemed a few years ago that the juggernaut of state power in the United States had inexplicably determined to crush the life out of Terri Schiavo, now the state power of Canada was turned against an ill infant. In Terri Schiavo’s case, however, there was a family member who was complicit, who had brought the state power to bear; but in the case of Baby Joseph, his parents wanted him to live, or at least to be properly treated until (if as doctors predicted) his degenerative illness carried him away. That is to say, they did not want him denied treatment just because he was only going to die anyway.

With Fr. Frank Pavone’s intervention (along with that of many others), Baby Joseph was transferred Sunday night from the Canadian hospital to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis.

No entity of government in the United States has fixed its malevolent eye on him. Yet.

I’ve just had to ponder this. What is it about a baby?  A baby! That creates such murderous rage in the hearts of people that they would collude in his destruction, that the worst news they could receive would be that he is alive and well?  Because make no mistake, for the Canadian hospital and their court system, the worst thing that could happen at this point would be that Baby Joseph survives.

We have a Pennsylvania abortionist going on trial for killing infants that survived his crude late-term abortion attempts. We have a president who, while in the Illinois legislature voted against protecting the lives of babies born alive during attempted abortions. In both cases the most unwelcome conclusion was that the babies live.  Why?  I can’t get that question out of my mind. Unlike Kafka’s hapless protagonist, these babies cannot ask “why” for themselves – they cannot protest, as an assertion of their human dignity, being killed “like a dog.”  But the question should haunt the rest of us.


Down through history uncomprehending infants have been killed.  Infant heirs of position or privilege have been killed by rivals – we all kind of get that. Offspring killed out of vengeance against their parent/s or family or tribe, etc. — that is sad but still makes a kind of sense. Even Herod’s murderous campaign is understandable as power seeking to maintain itself. But now, something is afoot that human reasons, even greed and venality, do not adequately explain.

I think it really comes down to rebellion against the Incarnation. Every baby’s cry echoes Bethlehem to the ears of the West once won to the Cross and now, having rejected it, the demonic hatred of life and Life cannot be disguised any more by a veneer of civilization. Nothing anymore is feared and loathed so much as a baby.

So we stand on the side of the angels to preserve the lives of babies unborn and born.  We stand against the power of states and the edicts of courts. And we point to the tiny toes and dimpled knees, the rosebud lips and eyes wide in innocent wonder, and we say, “Behold, a baby. This is what you are afraid of. Do you even know why?”

(© 2011 Mary Kochan)


About Author

Mary Kochan, former Senior Editor of CatholicExchange, is one of the founders and Editor-at-large of Raised as a third-generation Jehovah's Witness, Mary worked her way backwards through the Protestant Reformation to enter the Catholic Church on Trinity Sunday, 1996. Mary has spoken in many settings, to groups large and small, on the topic of destructive cultism and has been a guest on both local and national radio programs. To arrange for Mary to speak at your event, you may contact her at

  • Really interesting perspective. At my ultrasound, the tech had trouble finding the lips, because my little guy wouldn’t roll over. I told her about a friend whose son just went through the corrective surgeries for cleft palate. “Didn’t they have an ultrasound?” she asked me. Couldn’t believe she would talk about this baby boy this way.

  • Why? Because babies are innocent.

    The deeper we dig ourselves as a society into the hole that is sin, the more we loathe that which reminds us of what we have lost. That includes babies, Down’s children, the cognitively disabled, and even the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus.

    Look at some of the women we have in charge (and I’m picking on women not because men are blameless–hardly, they bear all the more guilt because they’re supposed to be the protectors–but because women have the principal vocation of child-bearing and -rearing).

    We have our illustrious Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. During the 2008 campaign, my uncle wryly remarked that he hoped Hillary would win, so that he could watch the Bible “sizzle” when she placed her hand on it to take the Oath. The woman is evil, you can see it in her eyes.

    Then there is our former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, the supposed “Catholic Grandmother.” The fact that she calls herself Catholic while habitually promoting an agenda that is completely at odds with the teaching of our Bishops places her, at least, in the category of apostate.

    Then there is another nominal Catholic, Kathy Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services. As governor of Kansas she feted late-term abortionist George Tiller at official government functions. I’m not sure what the word is for this sort of complicity of evil, but it ought to be inconceivable.

    Those are just the three I happened to think of off the top of my head. Of course it is unfair to blame the evils of society on three women, and I’m not doing that. I’m saying that they are both reflections of the culture and drivers of it, through their high government positions. They set the agenda. It’s time for the Church to turn the tables.

    • kaylancor

      Wow, that is great insight about attacking those who are innocent (or innocence lost). Indeed, it reminds me of child abuse as well. Sick men (and sometimes women) preying on little innocent children so they can fulfill their disgusting, lustful desires. Studying the issue of abuse in the world is shocking when you see just how many girls are affected by that great sin. Almost 1 in 4 have been s..xually abused! Goes to show you how sick many, many people are in this world and have forsaken the practice of morality.

  • @PrairieHawk-Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said that a society can be measured by its women, so you are right on target wtih this one.

    @Mary- Thought provoking and insightful. I am so glad that Priests for Life was able to find a place for baby Joseph and that Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital was willing to care for him! There is video up that shows how much that baby is loved by his parents.

  • goral

    It is as you say, PrairieHawk. Look also at our top Catholic men from Biden on down. I think that many of our bishops are now getting ready to organize a union.

    ….but back to – why be afraid of a baby? I have several thoughts on this one. One reason is that a baby is real worth, a priceless treasure. Ours is a world where we look at all successful men and women in terms of what they’ve garnered in material wealth.

    Contrast that with a naked, helpless baby with immediate needs. Only the mother’s love sees everything there. Outside of that love this bundle is not so precious, in fact nothing but trouble.
    Our culture lacks love – parental love, community love and societal love.
    The love we have is selfish and the baby, like God, calls us out on that.

    • kaylancor

      Wow, this was very insightful, especially the part about the “helpless baby with immediate needs.” I have heard the remarks. Today a baby is a burden. People will cite the costs and how much of your life is “gone” due to the baby. It is a selfish outlook. Many in the world only consider what they will have to give up or lose if they have a baby. But this follows from the evil of birth control. People don’t accept a child as a gift of God anymore. They see a baby as something they can decide to have (or not), on their own terms. Same with marriage. People will say they are waiting to get married after they finish college or after they make more money (so they can buy a house). There is no such thing as “God’s will” to many people anymore.

  • Yes. The powers that be are afraid of two things: crosses and babies. Their ideal world is world without a Cross and without babies. Both signify innocence. It is the innocence of Christ in the Cross that saves us. It is also the hope in the saving power of life what makes us wonder what will this baby will become one day when we see one. Innocence is the opposite of sin. Our world has become lawless through the glorification of sin and the deprecation of innocence.

    When I was young I used to listen to the Carpenters and was criticized by my mates because their music was so “square”. Everyone was busy trying to be a transgressor of the rules of music (and beauty) and that early flower is now coming to full fruition: death.

    Forget the radiation in Japan. That kind of evil radiation emanating from the “Summer of Love” will eventually take us to a “Winter of Death”. Good thing that God is there watching from a distance and letting us taste (only for a while) the bitterness of our folly.

    Mankind is about to be prosecuted for crimes against innocence. Baby Joseph is a witness for the prosecution.

  • blackjack III

    The article just made me realize why Sarah Palin is so HATED by the left wing, especially the women! If she had only aborted her baby boy,she would be held up for all kinds of accolades by the rodents. That plus the fact she is a BEAUTIFUL woman who has been married ONE TIME to the same man.Those baby killers are the spawn of the Devil and will receive their just deserts.

    • kaylancor

      Good points about Palin. The entire liberal media hate her and it is so obvious why!

  • Pingback: Daily Dive-19 March 11 | adeliemanchot()

  • Pingback: Ruth Institute Blog » Baby-phobia Has Reached Epidemic Proportions()