Saturday, January 23, 2010

March for Life day

I tend to check in on Inside Catholic a lot. It's a good site for seeing what's going on in Catholic circles. Some of the writers are interesting. Most of the males strike me as having once been kids who were picked on a lot and they are still bitter about it. This week there was post from Steve Skojec on why he doesn't attend the March for Life. He is an intriuging man and he has a talent for writing but I have never been able to figure him out. I read his post and my immediate thought was that it was a cop out.My next impression was that it was an unfair put down of the marchers. Apparently for him the March is mostly just a chance for Pro-Lifers to get together with friends once a year and feel good about themselves. (see footnote)

I've said before on this blog that the Pro-Life movement needs a reboot. We need clever, media savvy, articulate spokesmen with backgrounds that are above reproach. Some of the leaders are devoted and brave but they are lousy on camera and some-- Randall Terry for example, mean well but actually repulse fellow Catholics never mind anyone else. I admit that until last year when the Tea Party movement rocked DC I had my doubts about the usefulness of marches for any cause and no, I've never been to the March but knocking it entirely makes no sense at all to me.

Last night after work Rocky and I went out to dinner and the place was full of families who marched in DC that day. They were the nicest people, they charmed the waitresses, left good tips and when asked why they were in town they gave polite witness to the cause. Those good, cheerful people were impressive and I'll bet they planted a seed in the minds of the other patrons in the restaurant. Those marchers did more than Mr. Skojec, bah humbuging away at his keyboard.

*** Let's say for a moment, that the March is merely a venue for Pro-Lifers to pray together, renew courage and gain comfort from being the presence of like-minded souls. What's wrong with that? If you've ever stood in front of an abortion clinic with your sign protesting the evil within, while people hurl curses and sometimes objects at you then you know how lonely pro-life work can be. I met a woman who spends a couple of hours every week standing within 30 feet of my town's local abortion clinic. She's there in the snow, in the rain, in the heat. Some people sneer at her, others have enough conscience left to hurry past her with their heads held down in shame. I wish I had that plain, quiet little woman's guts. She deserves a pat on the back and a pint of beer raised in her honor.


Bonum, Verum, Pulchrum said...

I will raise one in her honour tonight, in fact I will go one better than that. I will offer a decade of tomorrow's rosary just for her. Thank God for courageous witnesses like her!

Steve said...

The column you are referring to is two years old. Have you read the followup?

Anita Moore said...

Your comment that the pro-life movement needs a kick-start puts me in mind of a couple of things. Years ago, I went to a parish where people could chime in with their intentions during the prayers of the faithful. There was one woman who, Sunday after Sunday, prayed for "the strength to go on fighting against abortion." I always thought that was the dumbest thing to pray for. Not because we don't need strength, but because -- well, why do we want to go on having to fight abortion? Why should we be okay with having the struggle continue indefinitely? Should we not pray for victory in the war against abortion?

Then today, before the March for Life in my city, there was Mass at the Cathedral, presided over by the bishop. Apart from the the rock band at the front of the church that totally profaned the liturgy, the Mass was notable for the fact that we did not pray for an end to abortion. I thought that was the intention for which the Mass was supposed to be offered, but we prayed for everything in the world but that.

Once again, I don't understand why we don't pray for victory against abortion. Do we not think God is omnipotent enough to grant such a prayer? It's true that God grants victory in His time, not ours; but we act as though we are okay with something other than winning. If we don't pray and strive for a final end of this evil, even if we don't hope to make one in our lifetime, then how serious are we?

R J said...

In what way does Randall Terry repulse Catholics as well as non-Catholics? I've only ever read Randall Terry's writing which seems perfectly valid.

Also is it possible that there's a social class element to regular authors' complaints about pro-life witnesses? I suspect there might be.

When I go on a pro-life march through my city (which isn't as often as I'd like, though it's approximately six times per year), most of my fellow marchers are extremely devout (approximately three women to every man), often retired, often of blue-collar background I'd say, and very often of Filipino or Chinese or some other non-Anglo-Celt heritage.

Meanwhile the city's upper-crust white Catholics with degrees from Louvain University and Fortune 500 accents and formal accreditation in plainchant and liturgical history are ostentatiously boycotting the march, because, I fear, it isn't being carried out by Their Sort of People. Just an observation.

Dymphna said...

Hello RJ, whenever Randall Terry's name comes up in the big time Catholic blogs they heap scorn on him. Some seem to dislike him because he's a convert, others seem to think he's vulgar, whatever that means.

Lola said...

I know of a woman like the one you mentioned. Every Saturday morning, the busiest business day for abortion here, saying her rosary before a clinic.

Years later the 40 days for life caught up with her. Dozens joined her.

She's a hero of mine.