Sunday, January 24, 2010

MFL 2010

This past week went by steadily, but looking back on it, it's a blur.

My dad came out for the MFL, which took forever to start. We started walking early through the crowds, as our legs were stiffening up as we waited for over an hour for things to get underway. We were at the foot of the ascent up to Capitol Hill when the March met up with us. We joined in just behind the front-line banner carriers as people shouted down Roe.

I think it was a really good experience for my dad to see this political action first hand, as he is a Knight of Columbus and the Knights are greatly responsible for assisting with March's organization and pro-life activities in general. For me, it was just another march. I surprised an old acquaintence by saying hello and fortuitously met up with the group from Holy Family, where I work. I kept an eye on my dad, let him wander as he chose and kept the trip on track flawlessly. Skill and the grace of God made everything go like clockwork and we were some of the first ones out after we did our due diligence in front of the Supreme Court.

A couple of observations. First, each year the march is more and more made up of young adults. The older pro-life leadership has failed to overturn Roe, but their persistence in action has effectively passed the torch to the next generation.

I worked for the pro-life movement for two-years in the area of education and inspiration. I have personally witnessed the great deal of in-fighting amongst pro-lifers, to my dismay but I suppose not to my surprise. Each organization says they are or represent the grassroots, that they have the answer or way to overturn Roe, but yet cannot unite except at the March. This is where each of them tries to make their presence felt in such a way as to show that the March is their enterprise and they are leading it, or are essential to it being 'the true march.' Not all groups act this way, the best do not, but the majority act as if it's their show.

So, as I waited and waited for the walk to ensue, I saw various representatives of said groups purposefully scutter to and fro in the vain attempt to seem important and have presence. But knowing a bit of each of their stories first-hand I remain unimpressed, not because of their intentions necessarily, but because of their weaknesses. Were they there for themselves or for the cause?

You see, in the off-season these .orgs have to raise money and seem important to stay afloat and do their 'work.' My experience has been that the 'work' is often the battle over territory, power, influence, and money amonst pro-lifers. They vie against each other for the pro-life pie--the pro-life donor--and yet somehow remain influential amongst their enemies.

Every organization has to survive, but in the world of pro-life non-profits there is little if any peaceful coexistence. To call it 'cut-throat' would not be an exagerration.

Anyway, so seeing these people, brought these grim recollections to mind. The fact is, the power of the pro-life movement is with education and with the youth, not any particular association, although I would certainly agree that each has their place. The fact that there is a march and one increasingly filled with young people is a testimony to the power of the message and the Holy Spirit, not to any one group.

For my own part, I was happy to stand to be counted but be the gray man. Change begins with the individual, not with a group. History is almost always made by the minority. While the March is a damn important event, it's even more important to be an agent for God on the homefront. I would financially and personally support a local CPC before most .orgs.

And with that I leave you with my reflections, for whatever they are worth. Change begins at home.

Peace Out,


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