Thursday, January 23, 2014
We Cannot Be Silent
And yesterday, as I watched them roll in through my news feed, I noticed a sort of trend in some of the prolife posts. Since I saw the first post that began ambling down this particular route yesterday morning I've rolled the idea around over and over again in my mind, mostly because so many people were vehemently agreeing with the sentiment expressed in the comment sections.
Basically the train of thought that I couldn't shake (and that you may have seen floating around the blogosphere if we read the same blogs) said that almost anything that we say to pro-choicers and especially women who've had an abortion, is going to be hurtful and that even at our most compassionate our carefully worded posts would likely sound insensitive and cruel to a woman who's had or who has maybe even considered an abortion.
I can't say that I've ever gone in to have an abortion, or that I've even thought about having one. Even when I was solidly pro-abortion and was spending hours each week in side a Planned Parenthood as a volunteer it was something that I just couldn't quite wrap my mind around doing myself.
So I can't say that I've been there or have walked a mile in the shoes of anyone who has found themselves going down that particular path.
But there was a time when I did find myself in a dark, empty place, seemingly devoid of grace.
I wouldn't have described it that way at the time. Life was "fun." I might have said that I was happy if you'd caught me on the right day. But it was also empty and dry and fragile.
I'm not sure I can put into words how much I would like to take my wild, reckless 22 year old self by the shoulders and give her a good hard shake, but she needed it. I needed it.
The thing is, I needed to feel badly about the things that I had done wrong. I needed someone to tell me that I needed to stop making excuses and take a good hard look at the choices that I was making. And I needed someone to convince me that there were truths that were absolute and that right and wrong were far more than abstract debatable points in some poli science classroom.
Realizing that the way I was living my life was wrong and beginning to utter those first half hearted prayers that I whispered before I fell asleep at night were the first stumbling steps that I took towards being forgiven and towards ultimately forgiving myself.
But first someone had to tell me (and convince me) that I was wrong. I needed voices that showed me that there was more to life than having fun and doing what I wanted to do.
We should be compassionate. We should be kind. But 41 years ago our country cemented into law the legal slaughter of the unborn. Since that time 55 million lives ended that had only just begun.
So you see, there is one thing that we cannot be. We cannot be silent. We cannot ignore the murder of millions.
Have compassion and empathy and love for those who have gone through the painful experience of having had an abortion, but also speak out against this injustice that the Supreme Court gave such a foothold in their decision in Roe vs. Wade.
If my conversion has taught me anything it's that realizing that I was living in a way that was really wrong is painful. But it was also necessary. I had to know that I was wrong before I could seek forgiveness.
Staying silent while the slaughter continues unchecked because someone, somewhere might be hurt by the fact that killing an unborn child is wrong, isn't doing anyone any favors. Pray. Speak the truth with love. And then go back and pray more. Pray that the words you've spoken might be used by God to reach into the darkness and show someone the tiny flicker of hope that accepting his grace will ignite.
Staying silent will never set the world on fire with His love and His love and grace are the only things that can end the violence of a culture who believe that the right to an imagined freedom is greater than the right a child has to his own life.
I love comments and I read every single comment that comes in (and I try to respond when the little ones aren't distracting me to the point that it's impossible!). Please show kindness to each other and our family in the comment box. After all, we're all real people on the other side of the screen!
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I agree with you. I sometimes get into debates with pro-choicers in the comments sections on public media articles. When my friends ask me why I bother, since my arguments aren't going to change the pro-choicers' minds, I say, because someone may be reading the comments, and they may not know the truth, and maybe God can use my words to let someone know not everyone thinks the pro-choice way is right. I make sure never to use ad hominem attacks, yet I try to clear and unrelenting in what I say. Like you, especially in my youth, I often depended on others to explain the truth when I was not sure what to think. Our Lord often had to say things that would disturb others, that might cause them to recoil, but such is the nature of the human heart.ReplyDelete
I liked this post. I get what you mean.
God Bless ~ Bonnie
How do you reach people who are confused in their priorities, their understandings. You make a telling statement, I think, when you say that you felt something was wrong with your life. I, and others, assume that this is a largely true statement for all who are confused.ReplyDelete
I support a very small pro life group called Guadalupe Partners, who for years have stood each Saturday morning outside an abortion clinic, not judging or chastising those entering, but just asking one question: "What can I do so that you don't enter there?" They assume that the women they are speaking to KNOW that this isn't a good choice, but don't know what to do about it. So they ask them: Can I help? And in explaining how they came to choose this thing they don't want, very often the Guadalupe Partners CAN help, and do --- whatever it takes. And God provides. They help during pregnancy, after, and even after those who have had an abortion.
I think these people exhibit love in the best manner, for those who can't see the love being offered by the world. And many lives have been changed, one at a time.
I agree with you. I was an agnostic/deist pro-choicer for a long time until I stumbled onto Catholic radio. I always thought that pro-lifers were just religious crazies who wanted to intrude on other people's liberty, but as I listened to the cohesive arguments presented by Catholic Radio and the pro-life arguments started to make a whole lot more sense! Now I'm a Catholic pro-lifer myself.ReplyDelete
I really like how the guests speak to pro-choice callers on Catholic Answers Live. Trent Horn and Stephanie Gray don't hurl any accusations, but ask questions which lead the callers to see the inconsistency of their worldview. It's all very civil, calm, polite and loving. I don't think I'm a very good speaker myself, but I'd really like to learn to engage people like they do on Catholic Answers Live pro-choice open forum shows. We can't be silent, but I can't help but think there's a right way and a wrong way to enter into dialog.
Do Not Be Anxious--this is slightly OT, but I hope Cam won't mind. Wow, what a great idea for a group! Now I'm kind of wondering if I could get something similar started locally.ReplyDelete
Cam--on the original topic...yep, have to agree with you here. very wise person said to do all things with love, and that includes speaking the truth rather than let it be silenced. Sometimes this takes great tact; sometimes, it means not speaking at a certain time; but it does *not* mean standing by silently while innocent children are slaughtered.
I already left my comment on FB so you know how I'm thinking. Just dropped in here to give another thumbs up. God bless!ReplyDelete
Two thumbs up! We get nowhere by being silent and standing by.ReplyDelete
We have to use whatever means are at our disposal (I love that my TV newsman husband always includes stories about the local Catholic H.S. sending busloads to the March for Life, and tweets newsworthy pro-life info; sometimes you have to use stealth.) Today he tweeted about the New York Times public editor siding with those who complained that the NYT gave the March for Life short shrift, as usual!!! Given, we're in an area where more folks are pro-life than not, but you have to let your voice be heard.
Lovely post! Thank you for speaking with compassion and love on the topic.ReplyDelete
I know exactly what you mean and I completely agree with you. After reading certain posts I thoughtI was the only one who felt this way but you're right, we can't stay silent or things will never change.ReplyDelete