Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Does the pro-life movement need a reboot?

Before anyone gets mad let me tell a little story.

Once upon a time when America was a very different place a black girl got tired of having to sit in the back of the bus and got tired of having to give her seat in the back to any white person who wanted it. One day she refused to give up her seat and was arrested. I am not talking about Rosa Parks. This young woman who took her stand before Rosa is largely unknown today because the civil rights movement leaders looked into her background and saw that she had a child out of wedlock and was pregnant again. She had guts but her home life was a mess and she wouldn't look good on TV and interviews were out of the question. A few months later Rosa Parks, a quiet, dignified and yes, articulate married woman decided to refuse to put up with the unjust bus situation. Rosa was an excellent spokesman for the movement. Middle class America saw her on TV wearing her Sunday hat and gloves and many felt shame. For the first time ordinary Americans began saying that hey, making black people move around on the bus at the whim of any white person was cruel and unAmerican.

Frederick Douglas was a cultured, elegant man who spoke better English than most of his listeners. Jackie Robinson's courageous and calm manner did more to desegregate this country than anybody else before MLK. Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige were both great baseball players but neither one would've been able to handle the abuse Jackie had to put up with. Gibson's mental problems would've made him crumble and Paige's temper would've made him beat somebody senseless.

I think that maybe the leaders of the pro-life movement need to think about presentation. First, everyone who speaks for the movement, every figure head must have a personal life that is above reproach. I mean your taxes must be paid, your teenagers must be well behaved in public and in private. You'd better not be having an affair or have been divorced and remarried and even the most rigourous investigator should'nt be able to find out anything bad about you that can be exploited. You also have to be able to speak well. If you can not present the pro-life case in an articulate fashion please don't get in front of a camera.

8 comments:

Milehimama said...

I think the prolife movement needs an "Uncle Tom's Cabin" - a work of fiction that brings forth the truth of the undeniable humanity of a "not-person".

R J said...

Mrs. Dymphna, do you have in mind any particular pro-life spokesmen or spokeswomen whom you believe to be inept or hypocritical? If so, who are they?

patrice said...

The pro-life movement is a place where never is heard an encouraging word. So much of it is "You're bad if you have an abortion. You are a murderer. You will go straight to hell." There is not enough of "You will never regret the choice of having a child. You won't drop the baby, and you will learn the language of newborns. Of course you can go to school. Of course you can have a career? Who told you that you would be a bad parent?"

The pro-life movement is focused on the political--laws, protests, demonstrations. It is not focused on help or encouragement. It has forgotten that abortion is about motherhood or fatherhood (and by extension, grandparenthood.) I don't see the movement helping fractured families, but I do see it judging them.

Pregnant girls are thrown out of their parents' houses. There are no prayer vigils for that. The girls are hanging onto life by a thread, and the boys are ignored. (Well, except for the powerful slogan: "Fatherhood: The toughest job you'll ever love.")

The pro-life movement shouldn't start with laws. It should start with families.

Dymphna said...

Randall Terry. I admire his guts but his family life is free potshot for the enemies of the movement and he turns off a lot of pro lifers.

Smiley said...

I have to say this, one of the main reasons i believe that the pro-life movement is not going anywhere is because it is not based on true fasting and prayer.
Before becoming a prolifer it is needed to fast a lot and pray a lot all our prolife actions need to be rooted in prayer and then and only then will we see results.
We cant call our selves prolife on one hand and watch football games which promote antilife images etc.
Honestly one well said rosary for the prolife movement is better than all the rallies in the world.

Lola said...

I thought, Alan Keyes.

Why not?

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"I think that maybe the leaders of the pro-life movement need to think about presentation."

When it comes to leaders, sure.

However, not a criterium for all and every writer (if it became one, I could probably manage).

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

// There is not enough of "You will never regret the choice of having a child. You won't drop the baby, and you will learn the language of newborns. Of course you can go to school. Of course you can have a career? Who told you that you would be a bad parent?" //

Hear, hear!

Precisely why I insist teen mothers can be good mothers.

Precisely why I insist that laws inciting to saying things "you are too young to be a mother" should be abolished (and those laws are laws either banning the pregnant girl from marrying, or allowing her to do so JUST because she is pregnant or requiring her to stay in school).

The FLDS had a point.