“You just changed the world, you just changed the world,” was the response in excitement and joy of Gabrielle Union, one of the four judges of “America’s Got Talent” after watching the blind and autistic 22-year-old Kodi Lee’s wonderful singing of Ray Charles’ “ A Song For You” and playing the piano on May 28, 2019. As of the beginning of July his viewership has skyrocketed over 51 million on YouTube.

So impressed, Union used her one and only chance in this season to press the golden buzzer sending Kodi to a live performance in Hollywood. It was indeed a unique and ecstatic moment for the millions watching the program around the globe, including the three other judges who were with Union.

For all the amazing success of Kodi the person behind the scene is his mother, Tina Lee.

Responding to a question of Union, Tina shared the following about her son: “Kodi is blind and autistic. We found out that he loved music really early on. He listened and his eyes just went huge and he started singing, and that’s just when I was in tears because that’s when I realized ‘Oh my gosh, he’s an entertainer.’ Through music and performing, he was able to withstand living in this world because when you’re autistic, it’s really hard to do what everybody else does. It actually has saved his life, playing music.”

Is Kodi a problem or a solution? This is the most important question we need to ask and respond with a sane mind. In a time when instant gratification is the cult of the popular culture, the instant answer to the question of the life of the baby in the womb, who in the eyes of the medical professional is “imperfect,” is termination of the pregnancy. In the case of a child in the womb, the selection of the fittest is the mantra of our time.

It was exactly the same that had happened in Nazi Germany. The world hates the German dictator, Adolf Hitler, for he had committed exactly the same crime with his military might, killing the so-called imperfect due to the race of their origin. His goal was to eliminate all those who were not of Aryan descent and to promote and protect a superior race known as the Aryan Race. Hitler believed people such as Jews to be impure and he killed millions of them in his quest for the utopia. In the guise of the desire for the “perfect” child the so-called “imperfect” are cruelly and mercilessly eliminated in the abortion clinics across our nation.

I remember the frantic call of my nephew some five years ago who lives in New Jersey. Emotionally upset, he communicated to me what the doctor told him and his wife after examining her in the first trimester of her pregnancy. The doctor told them there were developmental issues for the child in the womb and it was going to be complicated. The best option would be to terminate the pregnancy. Sobbing but with determination he said to me: “Tessy and I have decided to keep the child, no matter what complication might be there.”

Then he added: “It’s God who gave this new life to us and we will keep our child and take care of the child.” Today, that child, Annmarie, is waiting for her first day of school when the school opens after the summer. Just like any other child in any family, Annmarie is living her beautiful life as the favorite of her parents and two brothers.

If my nephew and niece-in-law were heeding to the advice of the doctor, Annmarie wouldn’t be there in the world today. More than the doctor’s advice what guided them was their unwavering faith in God who is revealed in Jesus and in his teachings.

Tina, Kodi’s mom, was always there for her child and she poured unconditional love into her son who is “imperfect” in the eyes of the world. With his so-called imperfection, today Kodi is a world-famous musician bringing inspiration and hope to many in the world.

A few weeks ago what happened in United Kingdom was beyond the comprehension of any sane human being who loves humanity. Justice Nathalie Lieven of the Court of Protection in that country, against the will of a 22-weeks pregnant young woman, who according to media reports has the mental growth of someone between the age of 6 and 9, ordered her to have an abortion on the grounds of “best interest” of the client.

According to CRUX, an online portal, the Court of Protection was established by the Mental Capacity Act of 2005. Under the act, a person who lacks the capacity to make a decision must have the decision made in their best interests. The same act requires the person’s views and beliefs, and religious convictions, to be taken into account when making decisions on their behalf. The act says such a person’s family members and social workers are also to be consulted prior to making decisions.

Justice Lieven, in this case, reportedly went against the expressed desire of the pregnant woman and her mother, who assured the court of her willingness to take care of the baby.

Thanks to the widespread condemnation of the general populace of Judge Lieven’s ruling, the British Court of Appeals overruled the judgement of the Court of Protection and ruled that the mentally incapacitated woman should not be forced to have an abortion.

When people with utilitarian mentality and outlook fill offices like that of Lieven, no doubt, the humanity will be at risk and in ruin. If Kodi’s mother Tina had ignored her son because of his disability, the world wouldn’t have gotten such a differently abled, talented musician to bring the powerful message of hope and inspiration to millions around the world.

The world doesn’t need anymore Hitlers and Lievens. But the world needs Kodis, Tinas and the mother of the pregnant British woman and the like. No doubt, then the world would be a better place to live in.

The Rev. Jose M. Kochuparampil ministers at St. Mary, Mother of God Catholic Church in Jackson.

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