For us pro-life online junkies, it is easy to get caught up in the rhetoric the pro-choice movement spews on blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. From choices to rights and from rosaries on ovaries to cries of biological autonomy, pro-choice rants can quickly turn into a broken record for pro-life veterans.
Hearing the same old pro-choice slogans can lead us to forget…forget what is really at stake and what it is we are fighting for: an end to the ideology that advocates for the killing of unborn human beings.
If you want an effective, although possibly frustrating, way to re-dedicate yourself to the pro-life movement, go to a pro-choice event. Experience the pro-choice masses firsthand, specifically at a rally. Observe. Listen. Learn.
That is exactly where I was this past weekend: the Unite Against the War on Women Rally at the Texas Capitol.
The Unite Against the War on Women Rally was organized as a national effort to help rally pro-choice troops in opposition to the numerous pro-life gains made in the last year. The Texas Unite Against the War on Women Rally honed in on repealing the sonogram law signed by Governor Perry requiring a woman to have sonogram offered to her 24 hours before aborting her baby, and restoring the $34 million funding to Planned Parenthood that was removed during Texas’ last legislative session in the spring of 2011.
With the rally starting at 4pm, a handful of pro-lifers and I decided to arrive an hour early to start praying, and then to remain at the rally until the end , praying the entire time. For Christians in this pro-life fight, we see this as a real spiritual battle – not fighting people, but instead fighting sin and fighting an idea of evil (Ephesians 6:11-12). For us, prayer has to be at the foundation of any response to the evil of ending the life of a human being in the womb.
For the first hour, we stood at the south gate of the Texas Capitol, holding our signs and simply praying. Smiling, too, of course. A handful of people stopped and genuinely wanted to engage in a dialogue with us about our signs and why we refuse to validate a woman’s right to choose. But the majority of responses came in the form of eye-rolls, profanity, and anger.
Thanks to the blaring Lady Gaga music from their sound system, we knew the rally was beginning. When the rally started, we moved up to the south steps of the entrance of the capitol so we could hear the speakers and to be closer to those whose conversions we were praying for.
This is where it gets good.
Texas legislators, Planned Parenthood representatives, and other pro-choice advocates spoke from the podium about the effects of recent pro-life legislation being tantamount to a war on women. (What they fail to realize is that the real war is on women in the womb, with millions upon millions of baby girls being denied the chance to live a full life because they were aborted. But I digress.)
Our presence was not incendiary. Our side of the conversations was not loud or inflammatory. As soon as pro-choice rally attendees noticed our presence, they were not content with us standing by silently. They started blocking our signs, ironically denying us our freedom of speech. I should not be surprised, because according to the pro-choice ideology, one’s rights extend well past another’s. The crowd started chanting (while there were speakers at the podium), “Take down pro-life bigots.”
More and more pro-choicers were escalating their conversations with us to the point of yelling, screaming profanities at us, and not easily backing down. Of course, none of that was mirrored on our side. Many of us knelt down, prayed, stayed silent, and simply smiled as we let them empty their anger on us.
One of my friends, Alexa, was holding a sign that read “We Stand with the Bishops” (regarding their stance against the Obama HHS mandate requiring everyone, despite religious conviction, to pay for abortion, abortion-causing drugs, and sterilizations). One elderly man approached her, and the veins popped out of his head and neck as he barely stammered at her, “You stand with the Catholic bishops? That is f***ed up. Just f***ed up.” Alexa handled it beautifully and showed this man not the same bile that he was throwing in her face, but instead a kind and loving smile as he stormed off.
The signs people were waving about and even waving in our faces were some of the crudest, most vulgar, most profane, and most disrespectful signs I have ever seen. “Let’s be sluts together.” “I can’t believe I’m still protesting this s**t.” “Go probe yourself.” “Don’t f*** with me.” “Keep your laws off my vagina a*****e.” “Gays for Vajays.” “I want my vag to have the same rights as your penis.” “If I wanted the government in my body I would f*** a senator.” “Hey Perry, it’s my va-jayjay not yours.” “Pro-Life is to Christianity what Al-Qaeda is to Islam.” “Hey Rick Perry, if you’re concerned about my vagina why don’t you just f*** me.” Check out their photos on their Facebook page if you don’t believe me.
I was appalled. Shocked.
The one that has gone viral, “Abort Perry,” flies in the face of the obvious that wishing for the killing of any human being is downright despicable.
At one point, the pro-choice crowd created what resembled a drum-circle of pounding and chants around the pro-lifers. We did nothing to provoke them. We stood there peacefully with our signs, engaging some people in dialogue. But their anger was so visceral that it needed an outlet, and that outlet came in the form of a 20-minute long screaming tirade in our faces.
Go to the national March for Life in D.C. or the West Coast Walk for Life in San Francisco in January each year. You’ll find positive, prayerful, friendly people…most of them young, too. Therein lies the difference between the pro-life masses and the pro-choice masses. (I specify masses because there are extreme fringe elements in both camps.) Pro-choice events disrespect human life entirely, from the life of the human in the womb to the life of a governor they disagree with. Pro-choice events are generally angry and not loving. Pro-choice events are patently vulgar and crude; pro-life events are anything but.
I am reminded of what Gandhi said about the stages of a winning strategy of nonviolent activism: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Check out their photos on their facebook page here.