I hope its no secret to anyone that I am completely, radically, and unassailably pro-life. Bonkers pro-life. The only person more pro-life than me is Jesus. And Mary, and some other people, I guess, but most of them look at me and are like, “How are you capable of being so flippin’ p to the ro v. wade has got to go to the l-i-f-e pro pro PRO pro-life, dawg?” And I say, “please don’t call me ‘dawg’. It’s dehumanizing, and probably not pro-life.” And then they’re like, “Oh, sorry, daw–I mean: Dan. And thanks for being so pro-life and all.”
Having said all that, there are some pro-life people who I have trouble…understanding. We are technically on the same team, and yet they make me feel uncomfortable in a way that I normally only feel when I’m around adult bed-wetters.
For instance, I received the following email earlier today:
“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.” Matthew 11:12If foolishly not yet PRO-LIFE, please either repent or unsubscribe; otherwise, please Forward to and Reply with all known of PRO-LIFE eMail contact address
So, let’s examine this a little. First, there’s zeal. That’s a plus! I love zeal! Zeal is important to have when you are defending innocent babies and their anxious mothers. I suppose, though, that what we have here is more a flaw in tactics than anything else.
For instance, there’s no greeting. No introduction. Just a stark biblical passage (and not even my favorite translation). And then: you’re a fool! At least, you are if you’re not pro-life. And if you’re not pro-life, Stupid Person Who I’ve Never Met Before In My Life and Could Be the Pope For All I Know: REPENT! Or unsubscribe. One or the other. Take a second to weigh that choice: Repent? Unsubscribe? Repent? Unsubscribe?
On the other hand, if you’re not a fool, then you are hereby commanded to forward this to lots of other people I don’t know, but who you know. That’s right: I want you to let me boorishly harangue all of your friends and associates, because the fact that I’m pro-life gives me that unquestionable right! And notice who, specifically, this person wants to reach: “all known of PRO-LIFE eMail contact addresses.” That’s an awkward phrase that quickly brings to mind the “all your base are belong to us” meme, but, more importantly, it’s utterly pointless: as if this one-person pro-life embassy is going to end abortion singlehandedly by sending emails to other pro-life people and telling them that ABORTION IS WRONG, fools!
At the bottom of the email the sender then gives us some handy links to his own websites [I'm not revealing them, out of what's left of my barely intact sense of civility and a basic sense of respect for this person]. Suffice it to say: only one of the websites has to do with being pro-life. The others are merely propaganda for his various professional aspirations, including (naturally) his LinkedIn profile!!
Sometimes I think: this is what’s wrong with the Pro-Life movement in America. It’s not that there isn’t enough support (because there is), it’s not because their aren’t enough prayers going up or enough interest in seeing something so evil be eliminated from a nation that is founded upon a respect for life (because there are and there is). The problem might be tactics. Some things are only cast out “by prayer and fasting” as it says in the New Testament, and abortion in our country is probably one of those things. So we should fast, and we should pray, and we should conduct all reasonable, peaceful resistance efforts. But let’s not simultaneously subvert those efforts by misguided, vainglorious salvos of overemotional emails and proverbially beating our breasts on the street corner–because that convinces a sum total of nobody.