Friday, July 31, 2015

On Not Leaving Jesus Out of the Pro-Life Movement

I'm an enthusiastic supporter of Pro-Life Allies, a coalition of nontraditional and traditional pro-lifers united in an effort to save babies regardless of ideological disagreements on virtually every other issue. Having help from the nonreligious community, the LGBTQ community, the non-Christian community, the non-white community, the non-old-white-Republican-male community, is an essential element of the contemporary pro-life movement as it faces a world drifting away from religious dogmatism and cultural conservatism. Whether this drifting is a good thing or a bad thing is most certainly up for debate, but the proud position of Pro-Life Allies is that abortion -- and ultimately, the entire culture of death -- cannot be taken down without help from all angles.

And while I am an enthusiastic supporter of Pro-Life Allies, and wish in no way, shape, or form to take away from their abundantly awesome message and methods, I do want to make something VERY clear (eesh, that reminds me of Cecile Richards. I promise the next thing I say isn't going to be a lie):

As believers in Christ who make up His Church on earth, we will do the world, and the entire pro-life movement, a major disservice if we do not take ourselves to prayer.

The release of the videos showing Planned Parenthood for who they really are behind closed doors has had me reeling; I can barely sleep, let alone think about much else. Watching the remains of little baby Emmett being sifted through and callously regarded as nothing more than profit in a petri dish left me feeling helpless and completely useless. What the hell can I possibly do? How can I help? What can be done?

And a steady, constant force welling up from deep within my spirit prompts me: pray.

Don't try to kid yourself: this is a battle of good against evil, and of God against Satan and the works of darkness. Nothing short of Satan could possibly be behind this evil. These children, created in the image of God, are being ripped from their mothers' wombs and all signs indicate that their body parts are being sold. This is disgusting.

We can -- and should -- acknowledge that this evil is profoundly contrary to the standards of care the medical community should be held to, to the ideals feminism are founded on, to humanitarianism and pacifism, to life in a civilized society. But we would be foolish to neglect this simple reality: these acts offend God, and there is no use going to war with the devil if we aren't equipped with the authority, power, and mercy of Jesus Christ to be our swords and shields.

I am thankful that Pro-Life Allies has not at all insisted that we steer the pro-life movement away from religion (they have, rightly so, rather insisted that the pro-life movement need not only belong to the religious).

But let me emphatically state, in the words of Jesus Christ: "You can do nothing apart from me." (John 15:5)

And again, from Paul: "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)

This world needs God. And we, the Church, need to be lending His mercy and aid to all things we participate in. Prayer is where we draw our strength. Prayer is where we align our will to God's. Prayer is the well from which all graces for our ordinary, day-to-day life flow. The Catechism urges us:
Christian petition is centered on the desire and search for the Kingdom to come, in keeping with the teaching of Christ. There is a hierarchy in these petitions: we pray first for the Kingdom, then for what is necessary to welcome it and cooperate with its coming. This collaboration with the mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit, which is now that of the Church, is the object of the prayer of the apostolic community. It is the prayer of Paul, the apostle par excellence, which reveals to us how the divine solicitude for all the churches ought to inspire Christian prayer. By prayer every baptized person works for the coming of the Kingdom.

As believers, we owe it to the pro-life movement to pray. As believers, we owe it to the world to unite ourselves to God, who is perfect though we are not. As believers, we owe it to women and their children to concern ourselves with the concerns of the One who cares for the oppressed, the marginalized, the helpless, the hopeless, the needy, and the dying.

And so, I am begging you: please pray for the pro-life movement. Please pray for an end to the devastation Planned Parenthood is inflicting on the world. Pray pray pray and pray some more. I really can't say it enough.

We need prayer. The pro-life movement needs prayer. Maybe we could make abortion illegal without prayer, but I don't want to try. And here's one thing I do know: the culture we live in will not change without the help of our redeeming God. We need Him. Don't forget.

1 comment: