I owe you – the readers and the staff of Live Action – an apology. I stopped writing for this blog abruptly and without explanation. It was unprofessional and unkind, and I have no excuse. I can only apologize, and hope you’ll have me back.
I decided, this time last year, to leave the pro-life movement. I had several reasons, but what it boiled down to was: pro-life activism wasn’t my calling; I wasn’t a joiner, a sign-holder, or a saint.
What I learned since I wrote that is: you don’t get to pick your calling. That’s why it’s called a “calling” and not a “deciding.”
The truth is I was disappointed with a lot of things about the pro-life movement, and if I’m being honest that hasn’t changed. There are still egos, tactics, and trends that I wish were not a part of this cause.
But they are. Because this is the world, and it’s full of humans, and humans can just be the worst. We all know that. Sad but true.
I also felt a lack of belonging, and – being honest again – I still feel it.
When I published on my personal blog my intention to return to pro-life work, I wrote:
There’s nothing in my last blog post [declaring my intention to leave the movement] that I would like to take back. I still feel very deeply like I don’t belong in the pro-life movement.
And that’s why I’m getting back into it.
It all started not long after I posted that last blog , when someone – and I’m sorry I don’t remember who you are – commented that she wished instead of leaving (in part) because I felt like I was having to censor myself, I would instead just stop censoring myself and let the movement adjust.
I kept thinking about that comment. I also kept meeting people who were focused on changing the movement in ways that were practical and special. They didn’t fit in, either, but that’s what was so great about them.
To name a few examples: New Wave Feminists are going to help end abortion by educating and empowering women. Sonograms On Site and Save the Storks are going to help end abortion by offering women tangible resources literally before they can even walk into the abortion clinic. Live Action is going to help end abortion by exposing the industry as criminal and negligent.
And there are many more organizations that take a new approach, one that is reasoned, practical, and worlds away from aggressive shouting, abrasive signs, and self-absorption.
Then, recently, I had an experience that led to a spiritual reawakening. It made me realize I had been careless and dismissive when I stopped defending life publicly. My role at Live Action was a gift, and like many gifts it had its challenges. But it was shortsighted to let it go so easily.
See, the pro-life movement does need me. And it needs you. It needs everyone.
Because abortion is absolutely, morally wrong, you don’t diminish your argument by tailoring it to the person. How you make the argument for life must change depending on to whom you are speaking.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to converting hearts. Sometimes it’s the Bible, sometimes it’s a hilarious meme featuring d-bags from “Jersey Shore.”
If Truth lives in every human heart, somewhere deep down – and I believe it does – there is a way to convince everyone. But only if we’re flexible. Only if we look at each person we approach as a human being with his or her own beliefs and ideas.
And in order to do that, we need all different kinds of people, from the pious to the profane to those of us who are a weird blend of both, representing the culture of life.
Do you remember Al Pacino in The Godfather III? The horrible final sequel with Sofia Coppola? “Just when I think I’m out they pull me back in,” Don Corleone said of the dadgummed dirty Mafia.
The pro-life movement is my Mafia, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. Just when I thought I was leaving it all behind, God sent this assault of people questioning my beliefs, forcing me to defend the pro-life position. And as I was doing so – over and over again, in a variety of different ways, in person and in writing – I realized this has to be a part of my life.
Not because I want it. I kind of don’t. Who actually enjoys thinking about the murder of the unborn all the time? But apparently God wants it.
So here’s the thing: I’m going to be involved. But I’m going to do it as me. God called me, not a watered-down, false version of me. And you should do this work as you, too.
Since humor is what I know and where I come from, I’m going to use it. I’ll offend some people, probably, and I’ll bum some people out because “oh lawdy look what the pro-life movement has becoooome!”
I guess what I’m trying to say is: I’m back. I’m sorry I left. And I humbly, happily hope you’ll have me again.