Sunday, February 8, 2009
Better to Suffer Evil than Inflict It.
That's it. That's my new favorite quote of the day, month, who knows, maybe year. I picked it up yesterday at the Arizona Right to Life Seminar: Abortion, Inside the Choice. It was a 6 hour seminar that put the tools and arguments behind the right to life movement at our disposal. We were given the chance to role play and totally disseminate the trainers with our best Pro-Abortion lines we could muster. (I wasn't always Pro-Life). Let me tell you - they held their own! Our trainers were young folks in their early 20s who had been in the "Circus Maximus" of their college campuses and held the line on the Pro-Life defense. I am proud of them for reaching out and conducting the Pro-Life Leadership Training Seminars in parishes across the valley. What I am noticing about the changing face of the Pro-life movement is this: we seem to be saying one message in two totally different ways. Let me explain. The older generation Pro-Lifer in many resepcts comes from a time where shoulds and shouldn'ts were taken seriously; where obedience was valued far more than equality; where there was value and dignity in honest work and serving one's country and where the words "family values" are not snickered at but embraced and respected. The Neo Pro-Lifers come from a dramatically different situation in most cases. They have learned the language of "tolerance"; that there are many options to married life (and that usually being last on the list), of very short attention spans due to the myriad of distractions and devices that vie for their attention; and they seem to have a "theraputic" way of addressing problems and finding solutions. I am not making a value judgment here, I am point out, however that a difference exists and that there needs to be a way to speak the same language to the men & women who are in a bad place and who seem to think that abortion is their best option.
A very good issue was raised about why there seemed to be an admonishment towards Pro-lifers to discourage us from being strong-spirited and "in your face". "They do it to us, why can't we do it to them", is the retort. The answer is plain. We must speak the truth in love. The only thing we accomplish by being "in the face of" our brother or sister, is to cause them to distrust us and our values. We must be honest, professional, rational and loving, even in the face of distorion and vile hatred of what we represent. The men and women seeking abortion as the answer to their problems have more problems than meet the eye. They lash out in offensive ways because they are scared and because they have not faced up to the reality of a God who loves them and loves them so much not to leave them that way. Pro-Lifers need to carry a message of hope and love - Christ's abundant love - to those in darkness. We've defended our position in fits and starts for almost a generation while we have watched millions of babies die in the name of "rights". The game has changed. It is time to be offensive but offensive only in the football sense! We have to get past the line of scrimmage and we have to do it in love.
"There is no fear in love; perfect love casts out fear..."