What does it mean to be “pro-life”? I asked some 10th grade students this question and I received a very interesting answer from one young man. He said that when he thinks of a person who is pro-life, he imagines one of those extreme animal-rights activists…on steroids. This is a harsh description. However, most of the other students in the class knew exactly what he was talking about. Unfortunately, so did I. Is this the image pro-life individuals are giving the general population? Do people really think that pro-lifers are angry mobs of people who hold extreme views and use inflammatory tactics to promote their agenda?
Not all pro-lifers are extreme and angry, but there are also other ways the public has a negative image of the movement. There are some people who misuse prayer, they somehow use God as a weapon. They shout words of scorn and condemnation rather than incorporating the virtues of empathy and mercy into their approach. It is important that we reach out to women from a place of love especially when she is contemplating taking the life of her child. Nothing could be worse than to leave a woman feeling as if God rejects her in her darkest hour. We can’t expect a woman to make a loving decision if she is not experiencing the love of God. It is important to ask ourselves how Jesus prays for these women and their unborn children.
There are also individuals who recognize the immorality of issues such as abortion and euthanasia yet take an extremely passive approach to the topic. So passive, in some instances, that even their closest friends don’t know where they stand on these issues. Oftentimes they take this approach because they don’t know how to make an argument for life. They haven’t been equipped with the “tools” to do it. There are many arguments in favor of abortion and euthanasia, however most of them are merely a distraction from the fundamental fact that the killing of an innocent human being is morally wrong. Not being able to see through these distractions can leave people with a feeling that life issues are unimportant or that pro-lifers don’t have the authority to speak in God’s name for the sake of the vulnerable.
I hope that we can find the right balance in our approach to life issues. Temperance is a virtue that needs to be at the core of our work. Every effort must be made to promote a consistent life ethic, living every moment of our lives with a deep respect for all people. The word respect comes from the Latin word respectus which means “to look again.” It would be a great benefit to the pro-life movement if we would “look again” at how we are approaching these sensitive topics. Are we welcoming and loving or are we inflaming and harsh? Are we embracing life on every level or are we focusing on just the big issues? Are we acting with integrity?
In an effort to “look again”, I invite all of the supporters of Carolyn’s Place to participate in our education programs. Every first and third Tuesday evening of each month, we offer educational videos and discussion on life issues varying from contraception to dating to STDs to pornography and more. These videos are free and all are welcome to watch and listen. There is so much to learn. Additionally, I offer talks on life issues to groups. If you have a women’s group, men’s group, church group, etc… I will gladly come to you and discuss the issues that are on your mind. There is no fee for this service.
It is important that we don’t forget about our young people. I have been working on a very special project for them. Our Future Life Advocate program is designed for young adults and high school students. This program is a 12-session program that looks to raise a generation that understands what it means to have a consistent life ethic and become a leader on life affirming issues. Participants in this program can earn service hours while they learn about character development, sexual responsibility, cultural influences, and life issues. Topics that will be covered include: responsibility, role modeling, peer-to-peer mentoring, courage, empathy, mercy, respect, integrity, healthy relationships, dating, chastity, abstinence, STDs, STIs, contraception dangers, media influence, peer pressure, attitude, importance of family, human development (from conception to birth), abortion, euthanasia, embryonic research, and more. If you are interested in this free program or know someone who is, contact me for an application and to discuss meeting times. It is time that we give this young generation the tools they need to share the love of God in the world while promoting a culture of life.