I hate the “pro-life” Sundays. There’s two or three of them a year, now – though one is “respect life” and another occassions Roe v. Wade. It’s not because of my personal opinion on the issue. It’s not even because of the priest who compared doctors to Nazis. But he was the one who opened my eyes to what those ceremonies – especially “life chains” – actually are. Take this “Right-to-Life Chain” from this weekend:
Hundreds of abortion opponents took to the street Sunday afternoon, Oct. 5, to participate in the annual Life Chain event, organized locally by the Dayton Right to Life organization.
Most participants stood silently holding signs with such messages as: “Abortion Kills Children,” “Abortion Hurts Women,” “Lord, Forgive Us and Our Nation.”
Attending the event was an expression of faith for Randi Hom, 25, of Centerville. The youth minister at St. Luke the Evangelist Church in Beavercreek, Hom said she couldn’t imagine being anywhere else Sunday afternoon.
“It’s a powerful experience when you pray with Christians in a cause where you can make a difference,” she said.
This isn’t an action of change. This is a time for a bunch of people to stand around, and feel good about how they’re morally superior to others (though they have apparently not paid attention to Matthew 6:5)
Because, of course, those hundreds of people couldn’t do something to help single mothers during a Sunday afternoon. They couldn’t be agitating to ensure that all women get complete access to complete healthcare, that all families are paid a living wage so they can support their children, and other causes of real social justice.
Elder sister Emma, 15, said that for her, the pro-life cause is a “social justice” issue.
Please. Standing on a sidewalk is not working for social justice. Helping families in poverty is social justice. When poverty levels in Ohio (my state) are the highest they’ve been since 1960, and single mothers and their children are the largest group of that population, standing in a line for a couple hours is the best way you could spend your time to “make a difference”?
And again, it’s not because I necessarily disagree. “We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country.” But actions like these are more about feeling self-important, about feeling superior to us sinners, not changing anything. It doesn’t reduce the number of abortions, it doesn’t reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, and it sure doesn’t help any poor people who chose to not have an abortion.
Perhaps the last thing on that list – the real people never mentioned in these debates and protests and speeches – should be first. Then we might be making real progress towards being truly pro-life.