Saturday, July 21, 2012

Questionable Coverage Regarding Andrew Moore's Tragic Death

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.


  1. I knew Andrew Moore and you have no right to say that. Its not a matter of who is a mayter or not. You can't just post something like that days after his death.

    1. Sarah, it's clear that you admired Andrew a bit and rightly so, it seems. But it's also clear that you did not read my post carefully. I made quite plain my acknowledgement of the nobility of his endeavors. What I dispute is the manner in which his death is being handled by certain pro-life people. The word "martyr" is being bandied about in indiscriminate and inappropriate manners. Be his life ever so good (and who are any of us to judge), his death did not meet the definition of "martyr" as reiterated by Pope Benedict XVI. The same can be said for a great many of the saints. Our Lady did not die a martyr's death. Neither did St. Joseph, John the Evangelist, most of the sainted founders of religious orders, I could go on. For me to remind all that Andrew did not die a martyr's death is NOT a detraction.

      Now what do YOU mean by telling me "you have no right to say that"? Perhaps I don't so much have the "right" as I have the duty to say some things. Truth is we all do - you too! There are quite a few unanswered questions surrounding the circumstances of Andrew's death, questions that should be answered if only to help prevent future accidents. Please read and note comment #24. If those were indeed the circumstances, the accident was preventable.

    2. The fact that you find this accident preventable simply shows you lack faith that God has a plan. It does not matter why Andrew died. In fact, Andrew not been struck by a car that morning then he would have died another way. This is because it was Andrew's time to go. As you did not know him I would not expect you to call him a hero or martyr, but that means you have misunderstood the definition of the word martyr ( which is defined as a witness) and about white martyrdom, which is giving of yourself everyday to God. This is what Andrew did. He did not simply spend three months walking for this cause, he lived it. His family houses unwed pregnant women in need of help. He prayed, alone, outside his local abortion clinic everyday and spen all of his free time in prayer or doing charity work.You also assume that Andrew did not know the risks he was taking. As a member of
      his walk I can assure you that we all did. Not only was there the fear of
      walking on the highway, but there was the moment when we would have to walk
      through a sketchy part of town. Or even a liberal one while wearing our blatant
      Pro-Life t-shirts. You act like you have a right to say the things you do, which
      is all fine until you skew the facts. You are not the first person to pray for
      Terry King. In fact the crossroads team led a prayer for him at the scene of the
      accident and many times after. Even Andrew's mother has tried to contact him to
      let him know that he should feel no blame and that he has everyone's

    3. Anonymous, I'm not sure what causes you to pontificate the things you do. I can chalk that up to 1) the arrogance of youth and/or 2) emotions out of control. Example: "In fact, Andrew not been struck by a car that morning then he would have died another way. This is because it was Andrew's time to go." My friend, you don't know that; no one does. And you also don't read what I wrote very carefully. I was objecting (and still do) the use of the words "hero" and "martyr" IN CONJUNCTION WITH HIS DEATH. Per the Holy Father's clarification of the word "martyrdon", he did not die a martyr's death; that's not a detraction, as many saints did not die violently for the faith. That includes Our Lady herself, who is known as "Queen of Martyrs". I've no doubt that he lived his life most admirably; but that doesn't mean he died a martyr as did John the Baptist, Andrew Kim and many others. By the way, did you read Ms. Erez's comments below? I think they offer much common sense.

      You write that "You are not the first person to pray for Terry King. In fact the crossroads team led a prayer for him at the scene of the accident and many times after." I'm very happy to hear that - three months later. But take a look at the press releases that I cited in my original post. Mr. King was not even named and there was no mention of prayer for him at the time. I don't understand that oversight. I didn't "skew any facts" about that, as none were given.

      Was the accident preventable? That's not only a fair question but one that must be asked by those assuming positions of responsibility. I don't know what the results were of the accident's investigation - do you have knowledge of it? The details that I gleaned were that 1) he was struck from behind, indicating they were walking with, not against traffic. Had they been walking against, they would have seen the approaching car's headlights. 2) other drivers on the road reported that they had near misses with the two young men; just where were they walking? I asked about the details because you mentioned "forgiveness for Mr. King". You don't talk about "forgiveness" unless there's real wrong-doing to forgive. What's the deal with that?

      One young man is dead and I offer sympathies and prayers for the Moore family and the whole Crosswalk team. I do sense that some questions need to be answered in advance of the next venture.

  2. Thank you for your clarity in this post. Having known Andrew since he was five years old, I know that the words "martyr" and "hero" do not fit. He was a person filled with the love and pain of the physical experience of life and he felt everything very deeply. The description of his passing fits what I personally know of Andrew quite perfectly. He would spend hours walking around looking down and praying. I'm sure he was completely unaware that he was stepping off the curb to his death. The good news is he was fully present in his love of God in that moment. It is all perfect in the end.

    Sarah, we are all grieving very deeply for the loss of Andrew. Let me know if you would like to get together for some support.


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