Yesterday our pro-life Rosary group was approached by a young woman who came to ask us why we always prayed in front of the Planned Parenthood clinic. She was indignant, but she wanted to give us a fair chance to defend ourselves. She tried to convince us that we should be doing almost anything else — caring for foster children, for example. If we felt we had to pray publicly for life, we should do it somewhere else.
This sort of thing happens from time to time — someone who has passed us by for years will finally pluck up the courage to tell us how wrong we are. I am sure it takes conviction to start talking to a group of 10 or 12 people that make you mad, especially when you only see them through the caricatured lenses of today’s a-Christian culture. They scold us for forcing our views on women making a difficult decision, for making them feel bad. They inform us that we even make those who are just going to get contraceptives feel bad.
Listening to the tenets of the dictatorship of relativism pouring from these people of conviction can be frustrating, even infuriating, especially as you realize the power of the cultural machine. Friday’s young woman impressed me with her native intelligence. She had learned much information (she informed us that she was a pre-med student), but she had a hard time looking past confused cultural mantras (“when a fetus becomes a human should be a choice between a woman and her doctor”), continually shifting lines of attack when she was not comfortable with our responses.
Still I am deeply grateful for such people. Praying in front of the Ventura Planned Parenthood every week can be a difficult thing to do. Abusive things shouted by people zooming past in cars along Ralston Ave. are upsetting. But that is more than made up for by the positive honks and waves. The most difficult thing is that 90% or more of those who walk or drive by don’t react at all. Those who confront us confirm that ignoring is not the same as not noticing. They tell us how often they have seen us, until their indignation finally forced them to stop and say something. I am sure there are many, many more whom we annoy, even anger, but who are too timid or too busy to say anything.
40 Days for Life starts Wednesday, September 24th. I had told my wife that I was too busy to sign up this year. Thanks to that young woman yesterday, I have decided to find the time. We cannot stop women from having abortions, but without us those who pass by will never know that lives are being lost.