If We’re On the Same Team, Why Are You Yelling At Me?

29 Nov

It’s not just a magazine

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 11:12
If 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.


9 Responses to “If We’re On the Same Team, Why Are You Yelling At Me?”

  1. Sophia November 29, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    Thanks Dan! Very good!
    I’ve always felt very strongly that to be pro-life means to respect the value and dignity of each and every human being from conception to natural death…which, in most cases hopefully, includes a very long period of time after conception and the nine months in the womb. Sometimes I get the feeling that the difference between being pro-life and anti-abortion is that some people think and behave as if human life is only worthy of love and respect before birth and that somehow once we are born it’s OK to treat people like dirt, call them names, and worst of all harange and abandon with contempt those who are most in need of love…which is really all of us.

    • Evita November 29, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

      Love this post!!

    • Dan Lord November 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

      Thanks, Sophia!

  2. Mary November 29, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    Yes! I would like to add over emotional facebook posts that leave no room for rational discussion (guilty as charged)! It all comes down to spreading the Gospel of life with gentleness, peace, & love. And prayer (especially the Rosary!) will help one to stay on that path…

    It can get SO difficult when ALL around me (best friends & close family) there is misunderstanding about the true teachings of our 2000 year old Church. It is very hard trying to tactfully & gently explain to them why and how supporting & endorsing people who have a no restriction view on abortion is actually allowing intrinsic evil to flourish! So many are at the stage that when they hear or see “save babies” they think “crazy” because of all the propoganda and lies they have been fed for so long.

    More than anything it will be the living out the truth in our daily lives, along with prayer, that will turn the tide. I am reading your book right now (i am on pg 29) & it reminds me of pg 26 & 27,
    “Jesus’ joy-a vastly fuller, purer joy than any we could cook up onn our own- comes as a result of keeping his commandments. It is by doing the Lord’s will that we will experience joy- doing, and not just saying.”

    I ties in with what you wrote about emotion….we may feel angry, or resentful, or bitter, or whatever…but we always have the choice of not expressing those passions in a harmful or non productive way! Keep up the good work! Few can express the truth with such creativity, good humor & clarity as you! I hope you are writing another book!
    God bless!

    • Dan Lord November 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

      I appreciate you writing all of this, Mary. I was a little worried that the post would sound too curmudgeonly, so I’m glad you liked it.

  3. ladyofquality November 29, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    :’D Oh. Crying. What is that game? My boys would love it.

    I love that there is, somewhere in this blogoworld, a Catholic father with (almost!) 6 kids who employs Ebonics limericks and bad Japanese video game references. Yeah, Catholics rock like that.

    Oh, and a resounding ‘Amen’ to what you said. Ditto. People like that make us look all cah-raaazy, d-to-the-a-n dawg.

  4. ladyofquality November 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    Insert Gilda Radner’s voice here: Never mind! Didn’t see the youtube guy at the top. 😉

    • Dan Lord November 29, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

      I inserted Gilda’s voice as instructed–now I can’t get it out of my head.

  5. John son of John November 30, 2012 at 1:20 am #

    Human dignity.


    God bless

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