|Little Cub at the Symposium|
As I sat listening to the talks given by some of the most active and dynamic pro-life people in the country this past weekend, I was struck by incredible unity of purpose among those gathered... I was also profoundly struck by the division. Everyone involved in pro-life work knows that if so much of the opposition wasn't so downright evil, that we'd be our own worst enemies. Love is at the heart of the work, and in that great love, we want it done the right way. It drives our successes... and digs chasms.
In the afternoon on Friday, I heard a dynamic young woman shout: We are winning!
On Saturday afternoon, a more level and seasoned presenter stated: We are losing.
So which is it? And can both be true? Yes, both can be true. Ultimately, the truth is that we do win... because the God of all creation has the victory. Our hope is in Him. We faithfully wait upon our final Easter. The truth is also that we may lose any earthly victory. He doesn't promise that we will have those specific successes but he does say that we will be persecuted for His sake. The fact remains that the final victory does belong to Him and we can rejoice in that now and always.
For our own part, there is no Scriptural passage or Church teaching that says we can give up the fight when all is against us. There is no revealed truth that says we may throw in the towel when the culture is lost to darkness. It is not there. We take up our crosses, not to throw them away and "win" by losing our burden... but by carrying them to the end.
If pro-life were just about an "issue," I would say that talk of winning and losing might be more appropriate terms. But pro-life is fundamentally about radical conversion to love. Even if we must be crucified with Christ, there is no turning away from the call to love. Even if we know we are going to lose the earthly battle, we are called to stand with the saints of history and offer our very selves for that love.
When the young lady gave hopeful statistics and talked about this generation being more pro-life than the generation of 1973, I applauded and knew she spoke the truth. Because the young people today do know more than their parents that the unborn child is a human person. When the more experienced and graver gentleman announced that we are losing and cited the very obvious evidence of a rapidly declining moral culture, I nodded vigorously in agreement. Because in spite of the young people being educated enough to know that "blob of tissue" is a lie... they are less affected by the knowledge. The "I know it's a baby and I don't care" generation.
I agree with both presenters. But whether I do or don't is somewhat irrelevant. The call to love life and fight for justice is not dependent on the final outcome. We will disagree. Even the apostles strongly disagreed and they had some distinct advantages in their education in love! Our disagreements don't have to keep us from final victory, I just pray that they won't keep us from uniting in love. My wonderful experience at the conference showed me that people will come together, even when they disagree with those present, if it means a step toward a higher goal.
For myself, I fervently pray that God will protect me from my own ego. Just show me how to love these wounded people. And if the people won't be loved... then just show me how to rescue their innocent children.