Many pro-life readers who subscribe to other pro-life news services will have heard of the tragic death of Andrew Moore, a young man who was walking with the Crossroads team in Indiana. He and another participant were walking along U.S. 40 on Friday July 20th at 5am when he was struck by a vehicle and died at the scene. Here is the press release from Crosswalk.
There are many calls for prayers for the repose of Mr. Moore's soul and the consolation of his family. I echo those calls and join those prayers. However, there are some aspects to this coverage - from pro-life corners - that are a cause for concern. It is alleged that he died a hero and even a martyr. Obviously he was dedicating many weeks for a noble endeavor (as were his Crossroads team-mates). However, I think it a bit of a stretch to use the words "hero" and "martyr" in conjunction with his death. I mean not to impugn his integrity, but to take exception on the part of some pro-life organizations to lionize this young man.
Let's look at the details of the accident. We don't know much. All indications (so far) state that the vehicle driver did nothing amiss. Those details are still under official investigation. Now why use the word "hero"? Usually one uses the word "hero" for someone who undertakes a specific action, knowing full well the risks to their own life, to achieve a commensurate goal. But this was an accident; the death was inadvertent.
Even more inappropriate is the use of the word "martyr". The Holy Father himself, recognizing that excessive usage of the word "martyr" could strip it of its specific significance, requested that the word "martyr" be applied only to one who was murdered out of express hatred for the Faith. Clearly Andrew Moore was not martyred.
I call upon the various pro-lifers who used such hyperbole to ask why they decided to do so - and to cease so doing. It doesn't serve truth. Thus it cannot serve the pro-life cause and does injustice to this young man's memory.
While the aforementioned misuse of language is troubling, there is yet another aspect to the pro-life coverage of this incident that is profoundly disturbing. While calls for prayer for Mr. Moore's repose and consolation of his family and friends abound, I have seen not one suggestion that prayers be offered for the driver of the vehicle that struck Mr. Moore. Why not?? Can anyone doubt that he must be undergoing massive angst for this accident (who may not be at fault, by the way)? He too is a human being who is just as deserving of our solicitude as are all the other people impacted by the accident.
I therefore will be the first (to my knowledge) to ask that all pray for God's peace and wisdom upon Terry King (aged 25), the driver of the vehicle. Andrew Moore, requiescat in pace.