Monday, January 24, 2011

The March For Life

Today is the date of the March For Life in Washington, D.C. I've only been able to participate a few times, but I always find it a rewarding experience. I don't like going so much to "show my support" for the pro-life cause, as to be spiritually refreshed by it (a selfish motivation, perhaps). It's so easy to get depressed when everyone you meet and everything you see in the news or Hollywood is just more reinforcement for the beliefs of the Culture of Death. At the March for Life, I'm always reminded that there are still many people fighting the good fight, and promoting Truth. That I'm not, afterall, alone.

There was no way I could attend this year. Even though I don't have the usual obligations of school or work, I have my little man to take care of. I used to think it would be really awesome to bring children on the March. And maybe it will be - one day. But there are so many difficulties involved in bringing him this year. We'd have to ride together on a charter bus with one of the local church groups. Would I bring his car seat? Hold him during the 4-hour ride? What if he cried the whole time? Then for the March, would he ride in a stroller (another thing I'd have to take on the bus), or would I carry him in the Baby Bjorn (talk about being sore afterwards!)? Then there's the freezing weather to contend with - really don't want to have my baby outside for hours. And, maybe the biggest deterrent, what happens when he gets hungry? I can't just nurse him during the March! Yeah, so it just wasn't going to work. Maybe next year.

Recently, I've come across some powerful posts/articles about abortion. Like this and this.

With these things in mind, it spurred me to start a conversation with a particular person about abortion. This person is a devout Catholic, and I remarked that they did not seem to get that "fired up" about about the issue, which surprised me. They* responded with: "Yeah, of course abortion is wrong and terrible, but - I hate to say it - what can you do about it? People are still going to get abortions. You have to face it that the culture is heading down a path of corruption. It's going to keep getting worse, and there's nothing you can do. It would be like trying to stop a freight train. I think at this point, we basically are just waiting for the Second Coming."

Whoa, now. My response was this: "It may be true. Maybe things ARE just getting worse and worse. But I have to believe that the very thing Satan hopes for us to do is say, 'well, there's nothing I can do to change things. So I'm just going to do nothing.'"

It takes a certain kind of person to be able to change culture in a big or sweeping way - to influence many, and help change hearts. And I think very few are called by God to do that. But that doesn't mean that the rest of us don't have a responsibility as well. I continued my response by saying, "If what we're doing is waiting for the Second Coming, then we need to be as prepared as possible, and help others to be prepared. No, I'm probably not going to be able to effect much change to the culture, but I can do my very best to raise my children to know and love God. And I can share Truth with other people in my life, in hopes that it will maybe help them in some small way to get closer to God."

The person went on to say that abortion wasn't as black and white as people make it seem. That most people who get abortions truly don't believe that it's a person, so for them, it might not represent as grave an offense.

My thoughts on that comment....Well, first of all, it is a person, and whether or not someone accepts that fact, abortion still constitutes a serious EVIL, and it needs to be stopped. Even if someone could receive an abortion free from all culpability (They were mentally unstable, and unaware of their actions, let's say) - even though they may not be actually committing a sin themselves (and let's say their method of abortion was self-induced - by taking some sort of drug - so as to remove the abortionist from this equation), it is still WRONG. Always.

Also, I really don't believe that most people truly think an unborn child is not a person. This is so maddenly obvious when you just hear the language that people use when referring to that child, dependent solely on whether or not it is WANTED. Those who have an unplanned, unexpected, and unwanted pregnancy refer to the baby as a "clump of cells," "pregnancy tissue," "embryo" or "fetus." They talk about not being ready to be a parent and how it would be unfair to carry "it" to term (this one really gets to me. What would be unfair is not giving your child a chance at life in the first place). They talk only about the woman's life and how it will be forever changed - in a negative way - if she has a baby.

But as soon as someone finds themself pregnant intentionally [and this is usually how it works these days. It's all very carefully planned out. After years of using birth control, partying and "having fun," getting to know yourself, getting to know your spouse (which really, you should have done before you married him or her), accumulating the little luxuries and the money you think you need, taking expensive vacations.... Then it's thought, "Now it's time for me to have a kid. I DESERVE to have a child. This is my RIGHT, and I will use whatever means possible to GET one."], the language used is different. Now they are pregnant with a baby, and expect congratulations for getting that way. They are "expecting." They start thinking of themselves as a mom, a dad. It would, of course, be weird and impersonal, to call it now a fetus. They change to a language of personhood, because - as soon as a child is wanted - most people DO truly think of it as a person. It kills me that our legal system can sentence criminals for double homicides when they kill a pregnant woman (okay, so the baby WAS a person. "homo" = man, "cide" = to kill), and then allow abortions simultaneously (so wait....Killing people is okay...if it's the mom who chooses to do it?'s aren't actually people, like you just said? Huh?).

We can't give up the fight. Even when it seems hopeless.
When the world around us is going to crap.
We need to remember that we already know Who will win in the end.

And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.” (Gn 4:10)

*Please excuse my knowingly erroneous use of "they" to represent a gender-unspecified individual


  1. Great post, Christine. And even if we can't change society as a whole ... if we change the heart of just ONE person, then the angels in heaven are all rejoicing ...

    I think a lot of people have layers of culpability ... they've managed to make themselves really believe that they're not ending a life with abortion, but they had a lot of self-deception going on to get there. They've warped their own consciences and made it easy not to have to look at the truth straight on (and hard for them to do so). So while they may not be AS responsible as if they had full knowledge of what they're doing, they're responsible for the (often willful) ignorance that lets them commit the act.

  2. When you are dealing with indifference from an individual who believes that abortion is wrong, and like your friend, they believe there is nothing they can do about it, you need to explain to them that their indifference has the same moral consequence as if they were an abortionist.
    If I like snickers bars and my friend likes Milkyway bars and they are both in a bowl, when my friend reaches for a Milkyway I will not stop them, because it is their personal opinion and preference. But now if I have the knowledge that the Milkyways are poisoned, I have a moral obligation to stop them from eating them because if I sit there and do nothing, I am murdering them by allowing them to commit unintentional suicide.