Herodian Politics, Alive and Still Unwell 


At the time of Jesus’ birth, King Herod ordered the death of all boys under the age of two in and around Bethlehem, obviously hoping to avoid the problem of this “newborn king.” He had his reasons. He made his choice.

One can hardly imagine the soldiers carrying out the order. Still, we know that they did, like Hermann Goring, the Nazi who famously said, “I have no conscience; Adolf Hitler is my conscience.”

And the neighbors. Could it be that family and friends were directing and perhaps even accompanying the soldiers to the homes of these wholly innocent children?

Were still others defending Herod’s right to sanction the murders, saying that while they personally regretted his decision nevertheless, “No one should be able to tell him what he can and can’t do?”

Is it possible that Herod’s policies have resurfaced today? It is possible.

In 1973, abortion was legalized in the U.S. by the same State that swears to protect the rights of its children. Like Herod, some lawmkers today fear losing the admiration of the public. And that fear costs our children their lives.

People who defend abortion say they do so in the name of freedom. Really?

There was no freedom in Herod who felt he had no other choice but to kill, no freedom in the soldiers who felt they had no other choice but to obey the orders, and no freedom in the neighbors who felt they had no choice but to support the law.


The hymn, Coventry Carol: Written in the 14th century, it was originally sung in memory of the Holy Innocents and the departure of the Christ Child for Egypt in the Coventry Pageant of Tailors and Shearman. It is offered now for the unborn.

Lully, lulla, thou little tiny child / By by, lully, lullay.

O sisters too, how may we do / for to preserve this day / this poor youngling, for whom we do sing / By by, lully, lullay?

Herod the king, in his raging / charged he hath this day / his men of might, in his own sight / all young children to slay

That woe is me, poor child for thee / and ever mourn and day / for thy parting, neither say nor sing / By by, lully lullay!

Lully, lulla, thou little tiny child / By by, lully, lullay.

To purchase the CD with this version, visit benedictinesofmary.org, or listen on iTunes.