Acting Pro-Life

 
There is an elderly man in our parish whose self-appointed mission during Mass is to angrily harass any parent who dares to linger in the apse of the church for a second after his or her child begins to fuss. It’s discouraging to see this sort of behavior in a parish with so many small children who are so unusually well-behaved. Ours is not a church where parents inconsiderately allow their children to lay under the pews, talk loudly, or throw cheerios. Any misbehavior is dealt with promptly and efficiently by conscientious mothers and fathers, and noisy children are quickly ushered out the back of the church.
 
One Sunday, when my wife and I were subjected to this tyrant’s scorn, another parent leaned in and whispered, "And he’s the head of our parish pro-life committee." If true, maybe no one ever informed him that the background noise of fussing babies, children pointing out in too-loud voices ("That’s Jesus mommy! That’s Mary!") and yes, even the Doppler effect provided by a screaming toddler being whisked away from the apse, is what an actually pro-life parish sounds like. Total silence is found only in the monastery or the tomb.
 
This raises an important question: What does being pro-life mean to us and how should it make us act? Is it simply a political philosophy or a cause for activism? Does it influence the way we live or is it just something to which we pay lip service?
 
I recently moved my family into a new house, much closer to the city. After we settled in, I began noticing on my daily commute that there were abortion protestors outside an office building just around the corner. I stopped by one day and when I asked the name of the facility, one of the group deadpanned (quite seriously): "Some call it the ‘Slaughterhouse.’ Some call it the ‘Whorehouse of Death’."
 
He then launched, unsolicited, into a story about how a clinic shut down in Cleveland had been filled with witchcraft paraphernalia, finishing with a supposition that they were "probably worshipping Satan or something."
 
I have great admiration and respect for those who give generously of their time to pray in front of abortion clinics or volunteer on pro-life committees, but is this the sort of impression we want the world to have of pro-lifers — that we’re so angry that we lack basic tact, charity, and common sense?
 
Americans have been stuck with legalized abortion for so long that I’m beginning to think we’ve lost our sense of direction. We recognize, on the one hand, that our nation is perpetuating an atrocity that makes the gulags of Stalin and the concentration camps of Hitler pale in comparison. On the other hand, we feel powerless to do anything about it, and so are compelled to go on with our daily lives as though everything is normal. This state of perpetual tension cannot be sustained; maybe it’s no surprise that it drives some of us to the brink of madness — or at least to the abandonment of good sense.
 
It is also perhaps the reason why we spend so much time and energy looking for political solutions to the crisis — because it makes us feel as though we’re accomplishing something. Of course, the unfortunate fact is that lasting political solutions will never be had until we begin winning victories in the culture war. In a country where the majority of citizens believe that abortion in some form should be legal, pinning all our hopes on a presidential election or Supreme Court nomination is an exercise in extreme wishful thinking. We need to win converts and forge friendships with those who disagree with us and must find ways to effectively persuade our opponents. Hoping to simply change the law skirts the issue — ending abortion will require winning the battle for hearts and minds long before we can expect to make true progress at the ballot box.
 
 
I had a conversation recently with a husband and father of five who has spent most of the past decade working in politics. He shared an insight which I found tremendously sensible:
 
The best way for me to be pro-life isn’t to be an activist, but to devote as much effort as I can to being the best father I can to my children. It’s when my wife takes the kids to the grocery store and faces down the nasty stares. If we’re going to have any hope, it’s going to be our children. They’re the ones who will have a chance to be the leaven. It’s our job to build the foundation.
 
We need activists and we need politics, but even more than that, we need strong families — families to serve as examples of the beauty of life and the goodness of God’s plan. We each have a role to play in fighting that battle. For some of us, that involves simply living out the marital, parental vocation.
 
The most effective warriors for life are those who haven’t lost sight of what being pro-life really means: loving and welcoming children into our families, even though it entails sacrifice; being supportive of others who have children, rather than wishing they’d go somewhere else for Mass; and speaking charitably to (and about) our enemies, and remembering to pray for them.
 
If we’re going to win this fight, we must be personal examples of the pro-life culture, even if we’ve never seen the sidewalk outside an abortion clinic.
 


Steve Skojec
is a columnist and blogger for InsideCatholic.com. He writes from Northern Virginia. Visit his blog at www.steveskojec.com.

By

Steve Skojec serves as the Director of Community Relations for a professional association. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he earned a BA in Communications and Theology. His passions include writing, photography, social media, and an avid appreciation of science fiction. Steve lives in Northern Virginia with his wife Jamie and their five children.

  • Todd

    Well said, Steve,

    “This raises an important question … Is it simply a political philosophy or a cause for activism?”

    For some people, it is.

    “Does it influence the way we live or is it just something to which we pay lip service?”

    Does a believer begin with some greater set of values? Because if it’s anti-abortion at all costs, then yes, the bad behavior you describe is well within the moral universe of some people.

  • Chris Korzen

    Thank you, Steve, for this breath of fresh air at a time in which our nation desperately needs to move beyond the bitter polarization which has come to characterize the abortion issue. I particularly appreciate this sentiment:

    “In a country where the majority of citizens believe that abortion in some form should be legal, pinning all our hopes on a presidential election or Supreme Court nomination is an exercise in extreme wishful thinking. We need to win converts and forge friendships with those who disagree with us and must find ways to effectively persuade our opponents. Hoping to simply change the law skirts the issue — ending abortion will require winning the battle for hearts and minds long before we can expect to make true progress at the ballot box.”

    I would only caution that we resist the temptation to buy into the false notion of a “culture war.” America is less a nation battling with itself than a mixture of varying backgrounds, opinions, and perspectives, and such differences are precisely what makes us strong. We’d be well-advised to spend less time fighting and more time talking – that’s the way to resolve conflict.

    Chris Korzen
    Executive Director
    Catholics United

  • Marjorie Campbell

    I entirely agree with your assertion Steve that we have to be “personal examples of the pro-life culture.” But there’s the grave danger here … openly asserted now by many “faithful” lay and clerical Catholics … that one’s “personal” opinion and lifestyle entail a morally complete statement of their “pro-life” position – even as other “personal examples of the pro-life culture”, like Todd and Sarah Palin and their family, are viciously, ruthlessly attacked … and abortion services brink on becoming a right fully funded by the state. Can watch this silently, as so many of our priests and lay leadership are doing, and feel satisfied that we are “personally” a pro-life people? As I said in my satirical letter to a Pro-Obama priest over at the Theocon Blog, “Frankly, I would really like not to feel badly about all these millions of dead babies and their moms who are going to grieve their whole lives and the dads who have just moved on to the next

  • John

    Mr. Korzen,

    You write about abortion as if it is not a tragic atrocity that continues to rot our culture. Are you as tolerant of “varying backgrounds, opinions, and perspectives” on slavery or child abuse or human trafficking? These differences do NOT make us strong! Diversity is not a value unto itself when it includes injustice and immorality. The law is a teacher and the laws need to be changed. Yes, we need to talk with those in disagreement – but conflict resolution is not the goal, changing minds and hearts is. The Holy Father has communicated time and again our need to acknowledge and conform to objective truths as they are discovered. The inherent evil of abortion happens to be one of them.

  • Chris Korzen

    John, yes it’s true that I would rather live in a country that tolerates diversity of thought – even on crucial issues like abortion – than one that imposes homogeneity through coercion – like, let’s say, North Korea or Cuba or Taliban-era Afghanistan. This is NOT the same as saying that all perspectives are equally valid.

    This does not make me a bad Catholic. You may not see eye-to-eye with me on that point and that’s fine… I’m just glad we both have the right to disagree. We cannot undermine that right without undermining human dignity itself.

    – CK

  • Zoe

    Thanks for a terrific article, Steve. It speaks to what “pro-life” means as an orientation, as a worldview. Yes, it’s important – and necessary – to take action in all kinds of ways, to change laws and reach out to women in need and to expose the lack of choice women really have. But the ultimate goal here is to make abortion unthinkable. And the only way abortion will become unthinkable is when hearts and minds are changed.

  • Steve Skojec

    Mr. Korzen,

    I’m glad you enjoyed my article. Considering how strongly I disagree with your organization’s approach to the abortion issue, it’s evidence that those on different sides of this issue can find common ground.

    I’d like to point out a couple of things:

    I would only caution that we resist the temptation to buy into the false notion of a “culture war.” America is less a nation battling with itself than a mixture of varying backgrounds, opinions, and perspectives, and such differences are precisely what makes us strong.

    I find this a bit naive. There most certainly is a culture war going on. It’s going on between those who promote a culture of life and those who embrace a culture of death. It’s going on between the teachers in schools who promote an agenda of sexual experimentation and parents who want their children to be chaste. It’s taking place between those peddling smut to our children and those trying to keep our children chaste. It’s even being waged between those who think that socialized welfare programs will really strike at the root cause of abortion and those who know that the erosion of traditional marriage and family values, the growing culture of narcissism, the promotion of contraception, and the disproportionate saturation of messages from places like Planned Parenthood (rather than organizations like Birthright) in areas with high teen pregnancy rates are far more responsible than poverty in creating a demand for abortion.

    A young woman I met who had an abortion told me that if she had even known that there was another option, she would have looked into it. If she had known about crisis pregnancy centers, or that there were people willing to help, she could have had another choice. But she only heard about Planned Parenthood – in the bus stops, at school, among friends. It was the default option.

    She also told me that in many cases, it’s not about money – it’s about fear. It’s fear of a boyfriend finding out that his girlfriend cheated on him and got pregnant with another guy. It’s fear that parents were going to find out that their 17-year-old was having a baby. And in many cases, these young women have mothers who have also had abortions. Of course they come to think it’s OK.

    We’d be well-advised to spend less time fighting and more time talking – that’s the way to resolve conflict.

    And yet, in your literature, you say “being pro-life is 1 percent talk and 99 percent action.” While you use this to illustrate supposedly pro-life politicians doing little more than paying lip service to the cause, I’d argue that in many cases, talk is action. You can’t convince people, however, unless you have a convincing position.

  • Steve Skojec

    IJohn, yes it’s true that I would rather live in a country that tolerates diversity of thought – even on crucial issues like abortion – than one that imposes homogeneity through coercion – like, let’s say, North Korea or Cuba or Taliban-era Afghanistan. This is NOT the same as saying that all perspectives are equally valid.

    This does not make me a bad Catholic. You may not see eye-to-eye with me on that point and that’s fine… I’m just glad we both have the right to disagree. We cannot undermine that right without undermining human dignity itself.

    With respect, you’re creating a false dichotomy here – that the only options are oppressive totalitarian regimes or unfettered liberal democracy.

    I couldn’t care less about stamping out diversity of thought (if it were even possible) provided that we don’t attempt to allow the same diversity of action. If I lived in a country that had diverse legal allowances for pedophiles, rapists and murderers, it’s not a country I’d rather live in than any of those you mentioned. Do you honestly believe that such things can be allowed in the name of freedom?

  • nobody

    Let’s test your theory that we should live as examples…”be an example of our beliefs without being political about it” (forcing others with our opinion)

    Let liberals practice their “social justice” issues amongst themselfs without being political about it and use their own money for welfare programs. And when we are shamed into following their example because of such great progess of your welfare programs everyone else will join!!

    What’s that you say? It’s not fair?

    Awwwwhh![smiley=shock]

  • nobody
  • Ann

    I like this line…

    We need activists and we need politics, but even more than that, we need strong families — families to serve as examples of the beauty of life and the goodness of God’s plan. We each have a role to play in fighting that battle. For some of us, that involves simply living out the marital, parental vocation.

    To the bolded part….For some of us, if that is all we can do right now, it is more than enough.

    Phooey on the guy who goes crazy over a crying baby!

  • nobody

    The foregone conclusion of an Obama presidency has his followers already planning the subjugation of Orthodox Christians into some kind of Pact of Umar type segregation.

    What

  • Guillermo Bustamante
  • John Jakubczyk

    Steve,
    I think it was Chesterton who commented about the sour and dour Christians that other complained of by observing that it was better that they be in church than not there at all. In my 33 years of pro-life involvement, I have met all types and to be sure I have probably upset more than few folks with my passionate pleas for a sense of urgency as we deal with this daily holocaust that Mr. Korzan blithely refers to as cultural diversity.

    but here is a thought. As you are aware of the shortcomings of such fellow human beings, add them to your prayer list or offer a short prayer and ask God to touch their lives with some joy. For I have found that the hardness and bitterness that fills many of our brothers is rooted in a despair – and that means a lack of hope. And hope is what we find in Christ.

    I even pray for fellows like Korzan, that they will come to understand the foolishness of their positions, that they will no longer be pawns in the hands of those espousing anti-Catholic principles, and that they will use their talents to actually advance the cause. I believe that they mean well – well some I will that to – others are as sinister as they appear. some may think this condescending. It is not. I have made more than my share of mistakes over the years to appreciate the frailty of our nature.

    But this one thing I will not countenance: that a Catholic should confuse the truth of the Gospel message on the subject of protecting innocent human life, that a Catholic should avoid standing up for the truth because it is inconvenient, that a Catholic should be made to apologize for being passionately pro-life.

    If Catholics would vote the teachings of the Church in the public square, if Catholics would live the teachings of the Church in their homes and places of employment, if Catholics would reflect the teachings of the Church in their daily life, what a transformation we could effect.

    It starts with each one of us.
    It starts today.

  • Guillermo Bustamante

    The demands for truth in the public square (i.e. Comedy Central Global Edition TV), shouldn’t be sour-dour-bitter, but full of ridiculizing humor.

  • Mark Shea

    at Skojec’s sensible calls for charity and his zealous advocacy for war crimes in the comboxes for my articles, “nobody” really is staking out ground for himself as a sort of Nietzschean Machiavellian dissenter from the moral teaching of the Church. He appears to hold a theory that we are to imminentize the eschaton by whatever means necessary. Happily, he seems to be entirely alone in this good old Leninist project.

  • nobody

    Mr. Shea your commentary is mightily flippant when it’s more than possible more than 35 years of pro-life legislation could be wiped clean by a unholy trinity of three branches of government controlled by the very group of people (liberal democrats)who gave us the Supreme Court decision in the first place.

    Why should we accept this defeatist attitude when we are one Supreme Court nominee away from ruling on the upcoming state of Dakota abortion ban?

  • Donato Infante III

    of course, the unfortunate fact is that lasting political solutions will never be had until we begin winning victories in the culture war. In a country where the majority of citizens believe that abortion in some form should be legal, pinning all our hopes on a presidential election or Supreme Court nomination is an exercise in extreme wishful thinking

    Steve, slavery was outlawed before the people were ready. This isn’t an either/or method that we need but a both/and: change hearts and laws.

  • charlemagne

    For the sake of argument let’s substitute slavery or,egad!, racism, for abortion. Civil folk can have a diverse opinion of abortion-the slaughter of innocents-but God forbid people condone slavery or racism in our midst. That’s where civil discourse becomes criminal intent.
    Come on, how a people care for the most innocent amongst them dictates their civility. If we don’t currently have a culture war, God knows we need one!

  • Mark Shea

    … if it actually bore some relation to reality. But since Steve is not cheering for the destruction of the pro-life movement, it doesn’t. Saying “Let’s walk our talk” is “capitulation to the Left” only in the minds of fevered lunatics.

  • Steve Skojec

    Marjorie – the problem as I see it is the equation of prayer, sacrifice and living one’s vocation with passivity. Do you think we can win this fight without God’s help? Do you think that hardened hearts and minds will be converted because of our eloquence or our activism?

    Sometimes I wonder if we need fewer protests and more monasteries.

    At the same time, I absolutely recognize our need to act on the issue, but that can take different forms depending on our state in life, our particular talents, etc. As roles go, parents of small children know all too well that living the pro-life vocation has a profound emphasis on “active”.

    Donato – I don’t think it’s either/or – it’s certainly both and. But if you don’t change the culture, the democratic process will continue to skew back in the direction of the people’s opinion. I don’t know enough about the history of slavery (and emancipation) to be able to make a critical analysis of your comparison, but I can only imagine that our contemporary circumstances are sufficiently different (and our statistical conviction that abortion is a necessity in at least exceptional cases is sufficiently larger as a nation) that the analogy falls short.

    Also, considering the fact that the country had just suffered through a brutal Civil War, the state of mind of the people (who recognized slavery as one of the issues, not the defining issue, of that conflict) was probably quite different than our own.

    For my part, I don’t think abortion is an issue on which reasonable people can disagree. There is nothing reasonable about abortion. Unfortunately, these are not reasonable times, and we have to expect that going into these discussions. As medical technology becomes more advanced and feminists like Naomi Wolfe and Camille Paglia become more prominent in their view that yes, abortion is murder and yes, it should be a choice, we have to recognize that we’re no longer operating in anything resembling Western Civilization as we know it. This is barbarity, but the barbarians are silver-tongued and ivy-league educated. It will take miracles of unprecedented proportions for a true pro-life victory in America.

    Either that, or demographic victory (we’re having kids; they’re not) if our nation survives that long.

  • JC

    Steve, wonderful article! Forget being “pro-life”; what about being *Christian*.

    To me, this whole “silence the kids at Mass” thing is the #1 failure of the Catholic Church throughout the centuries. The Gospel is very clear.

    The Apostles rebuked the women for bringing the children to Jesus, because the children were being noisy and distracting. Jesus rebuked the Apostles and said that, unless you learn to be like a child, you can’t get into Heaven. It’s as simple as that.

    There is no greater reflection on the Gospel than a child calling out, “Look, Mommy, there’s Jesus!”

    I’m not sure what the problem was with the guy saying that the people at the “clinic” worship Satan; that’s what they do.

    As for whether there is a Culture War, Dubya may have co-opted the term “Culture of Death,” but JPII coined it in _Evangelium Vitae_. Someone once posted the comment on Mark Shea’s blog that the culture war is actually three ways: the Cross versus the Condom versus the Crescent.

    As I tell my students, “I don’t care what you believe as long as you believe *something*. Most cultures throughout history have believed in some kind of higher power. And all cultures have believed that there is a Natural Law, a moral code binding on all people, regardless of religion.”

    C. S. Lewis said that Christian evangelization needed to adjust from taking the Natural Law for granted to dealing with people who believed that there was no natural law. Now, we have the opposite: they’ve inverted the natural law. Now, if you believe in traditional marriage, you’re a “pervert.” Suicide is “dignity.” Abortion is a “fundamental human right.”

    Finally, if there’s anyone at risk of suppressing freedom of thought in this country, it’s the Left.

  • Marjorie Campbell

    Marjorie – Sometimes I wonder if we need fewer protests and more monasteries.

    Steve, Will you take my husband and kids and apostolate commitments and I’ll go to the monastery and pray for you? – and, BTW, send money because we can’t pay the monastery mortgate without your help. … Sorry … satire again .. only to illustrate that, in my opinion, it is dangerous – dare I say “not Catholic” – to define “living faith” and “evangelism” as what I personally believe and do each day without risking and raising my voice to proclaim why – running from the well of my daily routine proclaiming the Messiah.

    Forgive me … but I get tired. I know many people working in Culture of Adult Desire like San Francisco, who simply get tired, and wish with the whole heart for life in the monastery, life in Ave Maria or … a life witnessed alone by personal lifestyle. Maybe that’s what we will all conclude in the end – that our spiritual energy is better expended in like-minded communities of prayer and faith. The rest of the world can draw from us, or not.

    Where can I sign up for the Family Monastery?

  • Marjorie Campbell

    Marjorie – Do you think we can win this fight without God’s help? Do you think that hardened hearts and minds will be converted because of our eloquence or our activism?

    BTW, no, I don’t think that a single solitary thing will occur without God’s will. I have only the choice to “be his hands and voice” or to say “I can’t. I won’t. I am too tired.” But I have no doubt whatsoever that if I refuse to witness for God, no matter how unpleasant and personally distressing to myself, that I am choosing to yield God’s truth to a force determined to claim man for its own purposes. Isn’t it, Steve, the only difference between us and every other animal of God’s creation -we get to choose sides? Having survived by God’s grace years of living radical feminism, I can tell you that lone, loud voices of light like Elizabeth Fox-Genovese (have you any idea the ridicule that convert endured?) can make brave difference in the world. She put her “witness” “out there” available … to the sorry likes of me … against the rising clamor of Naomi Wolf’s and the Camilia Paglia’s. I am eternally grateful to her … but I stray. We are an Easter People – and I know that it was my own loud and clear and vocal people who rescued me – by God’s will and the prayers and, very importantly, by the choice many committed people made to witness for God … whatever the personal discomforts to them. If we refuse to be “eloquent”, if we refuse to be “activists”, we refuse to witness, Steve, in my opinion … as one brought home because others reached for me.

  • nobody

    Mr. Shea, readers of this thread could use your analogy of the Encyclical Veritatis Splendor; moral demands in the areas of human sexuality, the family, and social, economic and political life. And this is NOT an order of importance or application.

  • nobody

    Falsely accusing someone of:
    Sneering, zealous advocacy for war crimes, Nietzschean Machiavellian dissenter (whatever that means, is this Church terminology?), imminentize the eschaton (whatever that means, is this Church terminology?), a Leninist, having no relation to reality, and a fevered lunatic.

    Besides not displaying the level of communication you are capable of, your tracking me to this thread while harboring dissent from another borders on cyber-stalking; it lacks good will, charity, good intentions; and amounts to a personal attack and is disruptive.

    This makes you an insidecatholic.com rule breaker!

  • Chris Korzen

    Steve, I think E.J. Dionne described the culture war quite well back in 2006 in his piece “Why the Culture War is Wrong”:

    It is waged between the 15 to 20 percent of the country that is both profoundly religious and staunchly conservative and the 15 to 20 percent that is both profoundly secular and staunchly liberal. One can quibble about the exact numbers at each end; religious conservatives probably outnumber secular liberals, though the secular group is growing. But there is no doubt that these two groups exist, have very strong feelings, and on the whole can’t stand each other. They regularly toss epithets across their divide. The godly attack the ungodly. The tolerant attack the intolerant. The cosmopolitan attack the parochial. The rooted attack the rootless. Moralists attack the permissive.

    (see http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200601/culture-war)

    The thing is, the other 60-70 of America quite simply is worried about other things, like how to put food on their tables, how to send their kids to college, how to put gas in the tank, how to afford health care, how (maybe) to retire someday. Of course “culture” is important – in large part it’s wayward values of greed and materialism that got us into the current financial mess, and this must be changed. But I don’t buy the “war” part and neither do most Americans. The “us against them” mentality is toxic to society because it fosters acrimony and division and prevents us from finding actual solutions to the challenges we face. We’re much better off when we realize that we’re all in this together.

    It seems like you suggest in your original piece that it’s time to lay down the battleaxes and seek more delicate means of achieving the sort of change we need. Or am I wrong?

  • Piddiddle

    “If we’re going to win this fight, we must be personal examples of the pro-life culture, even if we’ve never seen the sidewalk outside an abortion clinic.”

    Steve,

    I’m mystified that this piece would come from you. Personal example of a pro-life culture would be to peer into the heart of that man and see his personal pain which he wears on his sleeve begging for kindness and mercy – not painting yet another group of faithful Catholics as curmudgeons.

    I realize it’s tempting to harden your heart and use the exchange as public fodder to crucify but is this an example of a pro-life culture or a reactionary kick in his fanny?

    I know many people who pray outside of abortion clinics. Not a single one of them are as you paint them to be.

    More mercy, less Wormwood.

  • B.S.

    of course, the unfortunate fact is that lasting political solutions will never be had until we begin winning victories in the culture war. In a country where the majority of citizens believe that abortion in some form should be legal, pinning all our hopes on a presidential election or Supreme Court nomination is an exercise in extreme wishful thinking

    Steve, slavery was outlawed before the people were ready. This isn’t an either/or method that we need but a both/and: change hearts and laws.

    Yes, slavery was outlawed before the people were ready and half the nation seceded from the Union and we endured a 4 year long civil war. The repercussions of which are still felt in some places in the South today. As a nation do we really want that again and more importantly could we recover from something like that again?

    The fact of the matter is prior to Roe, abortion was a social concern/problem. If, neigh, when Roe gets overturned, abortion will still be a social concern/problem. Getting zealously angry, espousing hatred, participating in borderline violent protesting (threats and cursing) is not how we help these women. As Mr. Skojec spoke about the young woman he knows who simply didn’t know she had a choice, we need to provide all the information to people and not just through our church bulletins but in the larger community. We do this with prayer protests, providing informational documentation and as Mr. Skojec says, through examples with our own families. And we need to do it above all with charity and love in our hearts, not hatred for those who perform abortions. Hatred has never accomplished anything for God in the long run and wrong as they are, they feel they are doing the right thing. Speaking with them, understanding why they believe what they believe which will allow us to counter and inform them on the truth (always with love); and most important is praying for them so that they may realize what the right thing is.

    Continuing to get Roe overturned is a necessity to be sure, but it is only a part of the means to an end. The end of abortion.

  • Steve Skojec

    Marjorie,

    I’m sorry but I don’t see what our argument is. I don’t disavow being active in the pro-life movement, I only think that sometimes we put so much emphasis on it that we lose sight of who we are supposed to be. When we grapple with an evil like this for so long and with so little progress, we can easily become bitter and ineffective. We begin to judge others based on their level of involvement in the sorts of things we personally find to be effective, instead of recognizing that much of the work that needs to be done won’t happen on a sidewalk, but rather in the home, in the workplace, among friends, and yes, even on the internet. It’s about living it, and in living it, we have the credibility with which to talk to others about it and hopefully change them. But again, for parents, our first calling when it comes to being pro-life is being good parents to our children and teaching them according to the duty of our vocation.

    I didn’t say we need family monasteries – we need monasteries, period. Monasticism is a relic of its former self. We don’t have many people willing to disengage from society and offer up their seclusion and their prayers for its conversion. We are a people now who confuses activity with achievement, failing to recognize that victory in this battle will be the product of grace, not the work of our hands.

    Does God use us as instruments? Absolutely – and we must be willing to be used as He wills. But we have to remember that it’s the wielder and not the tool that does the work.

  • Steve Skojec

    Out of 919 words, Mr. Skojec used all but three,

  • Piddiddle

    Thanks for a terrific article, Steve. It speaks to what “pro-life” means as an orientation, as a worldview. Yes, it’s important – and necessary – to take action in all kinds of ways, to change laws and reach out to women in need and to expose the lack of choice women really have. But the ultimate goal here is to make abortion unthinkable. And the only way abortion will become unthinkable is when hearts and minds are changed.

    Zoe,

    I’m confused about your convictions about the main cause of abortion.

    “lack of choice”?

    In all of my 50 years of living, I have never seen a pregnant woman abandoned by her community and I have lived everywhere from the ghetto to wealthy suburbia – across the entire spectrum. This has nothing to do with a “lack of choice” but everything to do with a “culture of humiliation”.

    Abortion is caused by a woman’s humiliation of a rising belly which she will have to bear as a Scarlet Letter because she has slept with an irresponsible man and she knows it. The tools for her socioeconomic have always and always will be there. We surround and flood mothers who get pregnant in less than stellar circumstances. Like every other curve ball that comes into each and everyone of our lives, the family rises or succumbs. We in Christendom are our brother’s keeper. We keep watch and come to the aid of the families who are sinking.

    There will always be those who choose the path of booze, pills, depression, abortion, self-pity, etc. Our intercessions are not always effective.

    A liberal president like Obama who has articulated that an unplanned pregnancy is nothing but a manifestation of a large genital wart is not going to foster a culture that decreases abortions. Tied to the increase in the culture of promiscuity & humiliation, abortions rise.

  • Steve Skojec

    It seems like you suggest in your original piece that it’s time to lay down the battleaxes and seek more delicate means of achieving the sort of change we need. Or am I wrong?

    Yes, of course I am advocating diplomacy. It’s the only chance we have at winning converts from the other side. But I never said that there isn’t a culture war on and that we don’t have to fight it.

    And the reason we have a culture war on our hands is because of concupiscence. Vice, sinfulness, and particularly self-indulgent acts are to the soul what gravity is to the body – if you don’t work against it, it will get the better of you every time.

    You speak of marginal fringes fighting at the outside while the rest of the populace stays essentially neutral at the middle. This is a flawed understanding of man after the fall. There is no middle ground. There is no room for fence sitting. Christ makes this very clear:

    “He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth.” – Mt. 12:30

    “But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth. ” – Rev 3:16

    The general populace, once the moral fabric of society reaches a state of decay wherein sinfulness is not only no longer taboo, but is promoted as an apparent good, will not resist the temptations of sin. They are ill-equipped to do so, and are thus far more susceptible to the attacks of the fringe which is “staunchly liberal” than the fringe which is “staunchly conservative.”

    Put more simply, as a man, if you walk down the street and see a billboard depicting a naked woman, is it easier to look at the image, or to look away?

    Without something undergirding us, we will fall into moral depravity. The point of the culture war from the Catholic perspective is to fight the tendency (usually associated with security and prosperity) to abandon God and morals in the pursuit of self. It is that pursuit of self that has led to the abortion holocaust – the entitlement to sex without consequences popularized by the “staunchly liberal” segment in the 1960s. We can’t just throw money at it – we need to fight the ideology that fuels it.

  • nobody

    WAR

    2 a: a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism b: a struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end

    http://www.merriam-webster.com

  • nobody
  • nobody
  • nobody

    Mr. Skojec,

    Protesting at an abortion clinic serves at least two purposes.

    Sure, there should be sidewalk counselor to offer aid to anyone willing to listen.

    We pray for our own conversion and for the conversion of the mothers, the fathers, the abortionists, and the general public. It

  • nobody

    Mr. Skojec

  • nobody

    so I may see it through the flames!

  • L.B.

    With a key stroke you have emboldened the abortion(death) apologists and have belittled the Pro-Life movement. Apparently it needs saying that being pro-life also means treating the elderly with dignity, charity, compassion and mercy even if they’re grumpy old men. They too are family. Would a pretty young girl behaving in the same manner garner the same article?

    The polls are showing that a majority of Catholics are supporting Obama. Some believe our Bishops give us a loophole to vote pro-abortion, do they give us a loophole to vote pro-infanticide and pro-euthanasia? The message is not getting out about Obama’s stance! McCain has a strong pro-life voting record and lives the pro-life message, it’s not been enough. To paraphrase St. Francis: go out and spread the message and if needed use words. This issue DEMANDS ACTIONS AND WORDS even if coming from grumpy old men.

    An Obama victory is a victory for the Culture of Death, the war on abortion will be silenced and the Culture of Death is already moving to its next victims: the disposal of our elderly (grumpy old men), disabled and mentally ill.

    We can pray, fast, vote, teach and preach; but even Jesus cannot open the eyes of those who refuse to see.

    Matthew 7
    21″Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

  • Zoe

    Zoe,

    I’m confused about your convictions about the main cause of abortion.

    “lack of choice”?

    In all of my 50 years of living, I have never seen a pregnant woman abandoned by her community and I have lived everywhere from the ghetto to wealthy suburbia – across the entire spectrum. This has nothing to do with a “lack of choice” but everything to do with a “culture of humiliation”.

    Abortion is caused by a woman’s humiliation of a rising belly which she will have to bear as a Scarlet Letter because she has slept with an irresponsible man and she knows it…

    Thanks for your comments.

    I don’t agree that a “culture of humiliation” drives women to abortion. It is far more acceptable now to have a child out of wedlock than it’s ever been. This is not the 1950s. And the majority of abortions are performed on women over 18 anyway — when most women have left their parents’ homes.

    When I say “lack of choice,” I’m referring to the fact that abortion is often the most accessible, affordable option for a woman in a crisis pregnancy. But options that help her choose life, such as affordable health care, ways to stay in school or work as a single parent, or loved ones who commit to supporting her for the long haul — are often hard to come by.

    Many abortions are performed on college-aged women. On the majority of college campuses abortion services are readily accessible and advertised, but not affordable childcare, housing for pregnant and parenting students, or prenatal health care. What kind of choice is that?

    I’m glad to hear that you’ve never seen a pregnant woman abandoned by her community. That’s pretty remarkable. I, too, have lived in many different places and I’ve worked with and counseled pregnant women, and I can’t say the same. A woman’s first and primary community is her own family, her husband/ partner/boyfriend and closest friends. When these people pressure her for abortion, and the prospects for life as she planned it look bleak, it’s no wonder she succumbs to the option that appears the most “helpful.”

  • Steve Skojec

    Would a pretty young girl behaving in the same manner garner the same article?

    Absolutely. I’m very egalitarian when it comes to addressing unbecoming behavior.

  • Piddiddle

    Zoe,

    It’s not at all remarkable in my neck of the woods!

    I too have worked with and assisted young women in a less than stellar environment for her pregnancy. I’m shocked to hear you say that it is your experience that you are unable to stop them from being removed from their schools. We lobbied in our multistate area to put the kibosh on this draconian exercise over a decade ago – on the high school and college level.

    I believe you are underestimating the personal humiliation these young women suffer. Any way you slice it, boyfriend, husband or whomever she has slept with is not taking responsibility for the pregnancy – hence, he is irresponsible. It comes as a blow to the intimacy she gave so lovingly and freely.

    The only way to “stop the pressure” from her community is to build the culture of life within it – from the priest to the laity. If a long-lived reputation is out there as a refuge of merciful and effective tool – families will outreach to it – and you’d be amazed at how the community will respond monetarily, physically and spiritually for the family – including outreach to the young man to help transition him to responsibility and unexpected vocation as a father – and the grandparents to their unexpected sacrificing which we all know pays off a thousand fold.

    Unfortunately our priests stay away from the subject matter like the plague – which of course makes everything else an uphill battle.

  • Zoe

    I’m shocked to hear you say that it is your experience that you are unable to stop them from being removed from their schools. We lobbied in our multistate area to put the kibosh on this draconian exercise over a decade ago – on the high school and college level.

    I’m not talking about getting kicked out of or removed from school. I’m talking about college campuses that make the option of abortion accessible and affordable, but not the options that make it easier to have a child and be a mother.

    I believe you are underestimating the personal humiliation these young women suffer.

    I don’t mean to underestimate the humiliation. I know it’s there and I’ve seen it myself. My point was to disagree that it’s simply a “culture of humiliation” that causes abortion.

    The only way to “stop the pressure” from her community is to build the culture of life within it – from the priest to the laity.

    I agree with you there.

  • Piddiddle

    Zoe,

    I envy your ability to cut and paste quotes!

    Your point is well taken about the colleges and unfortunately high schools which hijack the word choice to offer only one. On the high school level, it seems more fixable but we face exasperation on the college level – which is why I believe those doing it in front of the abortion clinic are so vital – as well as working to encourage our priests to embrace the apostolate as a whole. Any other ideas you could pass along to readers?

  • Zoe

    I envy your ability to cut and paste quotes!

    Piddiddle, Here’s how to cut and paste quotes:

    Cut and paste the comment you want to use right into your comment box. Then highlight it again and hit the most right round gray button above (the one with the quotations). Then, where it says “someone” at the beginning of your newly highlighted quote, write the name of the person who said it.
    When you hit the submit button, voila!, the quote will appear in a shaded box, attributed the person who said it.

    Any other ideas you could pass along to readers?

    One piece of advice that comes to mind is to encourage your members of congress to pass the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act of 2007. It was re-introduced in the Senate by Senators Elizabeth Dole and Ben Nelson in 2007. (A House version of the bill was introduced by Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Sue Myrick.)

    This bill would establish a pilot program to provide grants to universities and colleges to establish a pregnant and parenting student services. This is an effort that people from both parties and all views can get behind.

  • Piddiddle

    Piddiddle, Here’s how to cut and paste quotes:

    Cut and paste the comment you want to use right into your comment box. Then highlight it again and hit the most right round gray button above (the one with the quotations). Then, where it says “someone” at the beginning of your newly highlighted quote, write the name of the person who said it.
    When you hit the submit button, voila!, the quote will appear in a shaded box, attributed the person who said it.

    I don’t seem to have any round gray button after highlighting but I’ll keep working on my skills – thanks.

    Any other ideas you could pass along to readers?

    One piece of advice that comes to mind is to encourage your members of congress to pass the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act of 2007. It was re-introduced in the Senate by Senators Elizabeth Dole and Ben Nelson in 2007. (A House version of the bill was introduced by Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Sue Myrick.)

    This bill would establish a pilot program to provide grants to universities and colleges to establish a pregnant and parenting student services. This is an effort that people from both parties and all views can get behind.

    Excellent idea. I also think lobbying our priests to overcome their fears about the prolife movement and work on building a refuge wihtin our communities is crucial for the simple reason that the years spent speaking the truth – young women will seldom if ever be hijacked into abortion on the college campus level. The years building the foundation are well worth it.

  • Adriana

    It makes more sense to get the American people to rally to support pregnant women and new mothers than to browbeat them for not outlawing abortion. And once the support is there, once the new baby is seen as a “blessed event” deserving of support, then abortion will be seen as the horror it is.

    It would not hurt to take a look at politicians and stop measuring them by the blunt insturment of their being “pro-life”. There are different degrees of being “pro-life” or “pro-choice”, and it has to do with their priorities. Yes, they may be pro-life, but rarely that is their main priority. Same with the rest of us. The reverse occurs with most “pro-choice” people. Quite often other concerns trump this one – which mean that they turn their efforts and concern to it when they have some free time.

    That’s why I distrust the labels “pro-life” and “pro-choice” for McCain and Obama. That is not their main concern, which means that Obama is quite willing to go with the flow as long as he can get his other plans implemented, and that McCain is quite willing to send the question to the States, so as not to bothered by it leaving him free to get his other plans implemented.

    I think that the one who spoke most bluntly about it was former Governor Schaeffer of Maryland, when asked about the question said that if it had to do with roads, or taxes, or sanitation, or something that he knew a lot about he would have a ready answer, but on abortion, he would have to think a bit.

    This is an isolated envirnoment where the pro-life stance takes first priority. The rest of the world, even when it sympathizes with it, does not share the priority, and in this election may take badly that we risk damaging what they see as their first priorities in an attempt to uphold ours.

  • Piddiddle

    adrianna,

    You’ve hijacked what I said.

    Your same hypothesis applied to Hitler would find you hung in the public square.

    The Human Rights Violations of killing other people darn well MUST BE browbeaten in the public square until the tyranny is crumpled. We’ll continue to do so all the louder should we suffer the mortification of the treacherous regime of Barack Obama and his terrorist friends.

    You’ve also been misinformed about McCain’s promise to fill vacated seats on the Court with strict constitutionalists, where Obama will not be lobbied to perform, McCain’s long record of bipartisan initiatives – as opposed to Obama’s goose egg.

    Least we not forget, Obama voted against extending benefits to poor pregnant women.

  • Brian

    35 years and close to 50 million abortions. Everyday we wait to convert more people’s hearts is more babies killed. Steve, your pragmatic approach is fine, but you also need judicial and political activism. MLK Jr. was not content to wait–nor should we.

  • M.T.

    I don’t understand the overall lack of outrage over the murder of over 49 million unborn human beings. Is the word “murder” over dramatic? Isn’t that the correct word for the intentional killing of a human being? Is it the widespread rejection of the Church’s teaching on contraception which has desensitized us and the hierarchy at the monumental evil which has taken place since 1973? Can someone explain to me what I perceive as countless rationalizations and moral equivocations about the grotesque evil of abortion, and why the Church is not more united and mobilized against this holocaust?
    M.T.

  • Roseanne Podlinsek

    This is an excellent article, Steve. The questions you raise, are so important, especially in the context of the present electoral madness. If a culture of life existed in the U.S., Obama would obviously not be leading in the polls, even amongst Catholics. Much has been written about how the pro-abortion mentality is tightly wound up with hedonism and materialism, but I haven’t heard anyone discuss how the pro-life message (or for that matter, any message) does not resonate with many Americans because in the present dichotomy, it comes from the lips of a man who is elderly and unhandsome. It is interesting to wonder how the same message would be accepted by the populace, coming from the lips of a younger, more attractive and charismatic candidate such as Obama. In McCain’s case, having Sarah Palen on the ticket is not enough to offset the culturally perceived negatives (appearance, un-cool mannerisms, etc.)exhibited by himself in contrast with Obama. I would be interested in reading what you and your readers might say about this.

    I wish you could have incorporated respect for the opposite end of life in your discussion. I wonder if to do so is difficult for younger people like yourself, because there seem to be so few “elders” to sincerely admire these days, and it is hard to view them, even somewhat, in the same way we view innocent children, until they reach the point of being physically helpless and dependent.

  • Zoe

    Much has been written about how the pro-abortion mentality is tightly wound up with hedonism and materialism, but I haven’t heard anyone discuss how the pro-life message (or for that matter, any message) does not resonate with many Americans because in the present dichotomy, it comes from the lips of a man who is elderly and unhandsome. It is interesting to wonder how the same message would be accepted by the populace, coming from the lips of a younger, more attractive and charismatic candidate such as Obama. In McCain’s case, having Sarah Palen on the ticket is not enough to offset the culturally perceived negatives (appearance, un-cool mannerisms, etc.)exhibited by himself in contrast with Obama. I would be interested in reading what you and your readers might say about this.

    Roseanne, Your comment brings to mind Marshal McLuhan’s phrase: “The medium is the message.” In our image-based, marketing-saturated culture, the message-bearer is as important as the message. When the pro-life view is coming out an older, awkward, tempermental man, it’s not all that effective at changing the hearts and minds of people fed on mainstream culture — especially the young. If this were the age of the radio, it might be a different story. And like you say, it’s not simply a matter of looks, it’s about poise, charisma, relatability, and the perception of authenticity.

    This is part of the reason Feminists for Life has been so effective. It appeals to people who would otherwise never be attracted to the pro-life movement. The staff and speakers do not fit the mold of the “conservative, religious” type. It is a place where a woman aligned with the left on many issues can find a home if she finds herself finally realizing that abortion is not the answer.

    Someone like Palin is not enough because she falls under the conservative Christian banner and does not appeal to the liberal (and conservative) elite who expect their messengers to be well-spoken and polished.

    So if we want to make real inroads on the abortion issue, we need messengers who are appealing, attractive and articulate. And not just men, but women – and lots of them.

  • Telia Mary Anderson

    I mostly like the article, the parts about acting pro-life in church. I was dismayed when I saw an usher try to move a woman who had a baby stroller on a side aisle, so it wouldn’t be inconvenient to others. That struck me as inapt for Catholics–we like babies, and we don’t mind being inconvenienced by their paraphrenalia.

    At the same time, I think you strike a dangerous and inapt tone in your article. Is it uncharitable to surmise that people are engaging in some form of witchcraft if witchcraft paraphrenalia is found where they work?? Why? Is it uncharitable to surmise that people are doing drugs if drug paraphrenalia is found where they work?

    What should we call places that do abortions? What do you think that they do there? They do slaughter innocent unborn human beings. Do you think we should adopt the euphemisms of the pro-abortion lobby? “They terminate unwanted pregnancies there.” Does that make you feel better? But the result is the same. They are dead.

    I don’t think it swayed a single person to feel differently about the Nazi regime to euphemize about what they were doing–“ethnic cleansing,” instead of the holocaust of Jews.

  • lwestin

    a) I have found that people who seem curmudgeonly usually have something else ‘going on’, and a kind word often helps. Especially with elders.

    b) People who have been sacrificing a good deal of their time and energy in one facet of pro-life activism, often mistakenly assume that everyone is on the same page – do what you are ABLE to end abortion and other ‘culture of death’ atrocities. We aren’t. Some pro-lifers are a bit, um, sensitive, about what is acceptable and what isn’t. They don’t support others who don’t meet their standard of civility and participation in the fight. I disagree with this approach. Some write articles, some baby-sit, some protest. In the end, the result will be God’s.

    I am thankful that my parents were vocal and persistent in their support for pro-life activities while I was growing up(and still). I am thankful that we have been vocal and active with our children. I am thankful that my children are capable and willing to be vocal and active against abortion. I am thankful for all the prayers and Masses and sacrifices that have sustained us all, especially when we only had the energy to be kind to those on the front line and tend to our families. We have to keep thinking about working, not winning. Winning is for God.

    c)There is a culture war. It involves the 60-70 % of those oblivious to what’s going on. Those 60-70% living out their lives are the ‘indifferent’ whom Jesus does not excuse. They are accepting the lies of the culture of death, and unless we make everyone aware of the danger, the battle will continue to be uphill. God will accomplish what we must work hard to do.

  • mark

    http://www.newswithviews.com/b…win465.htm

    JOHN McCAIN PRO LIFE? WHAT A JOKE

    By Chuck Baldwin
    August 22, 2008
    NewsWithViews.com

    Once again,

  • Richard Saling

    As Americans, our core traditions and beliefs include the sacred protection of the innocent. Tell me, who is more innocent than an unborn child? This is even more sacred for the Catholic Church and faithful Catholics need to search their conscience on this issue. You can not follow some doctrine and discard other parts. Life is an integral teaching of the Catholic Church and if you do not follow the pro life doctrine then you are not a Catholic.

    I expanded on this at
    rsaling.wordpress.com the article is titled marketing the right side of the right to life

    Don

  • Beth

    What does it mean to be pro-life? The questions challenges me to have a bigger understanding of this call. I often wonder if we who are pro-life really lived it to the fullness we would really stretch ourselves and do things like adopt orphans and the 1000’s of kids lost in foster care. We have to go beyond just being against abortion. I think the picture is much bigger than that and the opportunities are there.

  • Cheryl Ringuette Ciamarra M.C.D.

    Pro-life means coming to value all human life because it is made in the image and likeness of God. Realizing He is the Author and creator of all human life and that there is NONE created He did not create. Recognizing that spark of the Holy Spirit in all living persons.

    Pro-life is a journey of the heart , whatever drew you into the contact with his Holy Spirit will continue to take you by the heart and hand if you let him draw you ever closer to His sacred heart thru volunteering to those in need.

    The people who are pro-life are creating a new “culture of life”, by living it in thier words and deeds. They are affirming all life, from conception to natural death, including the handicapped, elderly, infirm, disabled. It is a sad fact that a majority of disabled are not in churches. The people of life must learn to reach out to all our brothers and sisters. When we do, it will be a powerful witness to the culture of death.

  • I am not Spartacus

    Maybe that’s what we will all conclude in the end – that our spiritual energy is better expended in like-minded communities of prayer and faith. The rest of the world can draw from us, or not.

    St. Benedict became the Father of Europe doing just that.

  • Itstheorientation

    Go forth into all the world and PREACH the gospel message of Jesus Christ. It’s too bad Jesus didn’t take your advice, CK, like all the Germans did when Hitler was in power. Or the white people did when slavery was legal. Jews? JEWS? Slaves? SLAVES? I was raising my family to be lovable Christians.

  • Christine

    Sorry that I am free associating today…

    This article got me thinking about a conversation I had with a Mexican American Activist. He had a tattoo of the Aztec calendar on his arm and he asked me if I knew what it was. I told him that I had been to the Museum of Archaeology where a large one of these is on display and I recommended he go to the museum if he ever has the opportunity.

    I told him about the temples that are partially excavated and how the obsidian knives that were used by the priests to carve out the still beating hearts of their victims were found within small caches underneath the sacrificial altar of the temple they have on display.

    We discussed this and other things and I asked him why most Mexicans are very mixed-looking and have very Southern European features whereas Pilipino generally have very few European features, even though the Spaniards ruled that country several hundred years longer than they ruled Mexico.

    I told him that the reason why the racial makeup was different was because of Human Sacrifice. He disagreed with me, citing the several politically correct history of Europeans being the aggressors and I asked him to think of the Conquest in modern times…

    Picture it: A crew of unemployed adventurers, petty thieves and merchant marines hopping on a ship going who knows where because of the bitter life in Extremadura, Spain. This group of mercenaries makes it to land after an extremely hard trip and make it to the most technologically advanced metropolis they have ever seen. The inhabitants of this great city enjoyed riches and luxuries they had never imagined. They are welcomed as guests.

    Upon settling in, they find out that the inhabitants believe that their riches, power and even their very existence relies on the sacrifice of others. These liberal mercenaries, who would have rather swindled their gold and headed for the door, were disgusted by the evil of this great society – this city on the hill. It would be their duty to dispel this horrific paganism that is even more insidious than the oppressive former rule of the Islamic Moors that left their ancestors in dhimmitude and poverty for so long.

    Being that they were sinful men, they profited very much from the bloodshed and disease that followed. God had unleashed the bubonic plague and influenza upon the masses and most of the indigenous people died. The temple of sacrifice was covered by the Cathedral and then our Blessed Lady came to them. She came as a pregnant Aztec woman

  • Ann

    One way we can be more pro-life is supporting families in our parishes, especially once our own children are grown.

    For some of us, this can mean being an active grandparent and not jetting off to Florida or the Sunbelt away from your grandchildren ASAP.

    It could even mean volunteering to help out and work with children in our parishes. Wouldn’t it be nice if those of us with more time in our lives volunteered to run events and be catechists etc. and give parents who are thick in the middle of raising their families a breather from the endless calls for volunteers? There seems to be an attitude among the AARP crowd, like I am done with that part of my life so I am not going near it with a ten-foot pole.

  • Lisa

    Christine, that was an incredible story. Thank you for sharing.

    How much longer do you think God will not act?
    If Obama is re-elected the inauguration will most likely be held on January 22, 2013 – due to the 20th being a Sunday and Monday being a Federal holiday. January 22, 2013 will be the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. Like Moses we’ve been in the desert for 40 years… for who do we decide? Is our choice Obama who has the spirit of an antiChrist or do we choose a leader who will turn our country back on the path towards God.

  • Pammie

    Wonderful post Christina ! I’m not very conversant with the histories of the Meso-American peoples. Thanks for putting some valid Catholic perspective on them and modern American people.

  • georgie-ann

    “I’m not sure what the problem was with the guy saying that the people at the “clinic” worship Satan; that’s what they do.”-JC

    the practice of active and intentionally organized satan worship can be found existing behind the facades of “socially acceptable” organizations,…and an abortion clinic could lend itself to that kind of situation,…but abortion–with or without active satanists involved–is of the spirit of satan, not God, in any case,…

    “Does God use us as instruments? Absolutely – and we must be willing to be used as He wills. But we have to remember that it’s the wielder and not the tool that does the work.”-Steve Skojec

    the work is accomplished by the power of the Truth of God’s Word and the witness of God’s Holy Spirit to this effect, and by God’s Eternal Love and Mercy and forgiveness for the repentant sinner,…which first we receive and then model with gratitude and thanksgiving,…and much prayer,…

  • Micha Elyi

    Frankly, I would really like not to feel badly about all these millions of dead babies and their moms who are going to grieve their whole lives and the dads who have just moved on to the next

  • Lisa Graas

    I don’t have any problem calling an abortion clinic a slaughterhouse. That’s what it is. At the same time, I agree that our families come first and that individuals, particularly in Catholic parishes, should offer a welcoming environment for children.

  • Catherine

    Is there a difference between being and acting? I have to ask, because I know people who act holy and who act perfect all the while proclaiming that which is in opposition to the truth. I also know there are people who strive to be holy and to be perfect – this is much more difficult. I belong to a parish where there are plenty of cheerios, books, toys, children and adults whispering during Mass. Things are not always as I would like them to be, and, yes, children say things out of turn. I recall my great nephew who had just watched the Cubs game with my dad the night before, cry out with great excitement during the Alleluia, “Grandpa Bob! We’re singing Whooo-yaah!” (Actually I thought that was kind of insightful). Despite how anyone “acts” during mass, I go and I am so grateful to be there even when all those around me, including myself, posit an obstacle to fully being there. Being Catholic, I go to Mass.

    Did the old man change your pro-life views or your own faith that abortion must end? Being pro-life, believing in the sanctity of life, we work towards the goal, that abortion must end.

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