Dear Friend: I must begin by admitting that I have never attended the March for Life due to numerous family and job commitments and responsibilities some of which I may have been able to circumvent. I hope to someday soon attend because I am sure it must be a wonderful and moving experience. However, I have written many pro-Life articles over the years so I have tried to add my small contributions to this most important cause. I understand that you have attended probably many times or at least more than once and for that, I respect and honor you. However, I recently read something you wrote which disturbed me enough to result in this letter.
In brief, you wrote on social media that you wished the marchers well but could not attend out of conscience given the present Administration and the POTUS who you later called a jerk, a jackass, a liar, nowhere near a true Christian and certainly not one that the Pro-Life movement should be looking for as the face of the movement. You pointed out the whole border wall mess, the suffering of immigrants, the image of disrespecting women, and others as further justifications for your dislike of this president, whom you practically consider an albatross that will destroy the Pro-life movement if they continue to in any way associated with him.
We have spoken at length about the culture wars and you clearly believe that the Pro-life movement has a public relations problem wherein it often projects the image that it only cares about people before birth. You often speak about how many Pro-lifers speak harshly to the opposition and only make things worse. You speak of using diplomacy and tact to promote the Pro-life agenda including disarming opponents with charity and kindness. I recall you adding that treating opponents harshly only adds fuel to the fire and even gives ammunition to the opposition.
I do not discount many of your claims about using tact and compassion, but I disagree with some key parts of your argument.
First, regardless of what you think of Trump, the fact remains that his predecessor was an outspoken and very public enemy of the Pro-life movement and basically a nightmare for anyone seeking to defend the unborn and just born. .https://www.lifenews.com/2016/01/13/president-barack-obamas-shameful-legacy-on-abortion/ You never spoke out against that president’s stand on abortion and often give the impression that you consider him a far better president than Trump will ever be. You clearly believe in the notorious “seamless garment” view which has confused https://www.crisismagazine.com/1988/a-cardinal-error-does-the-seamless-garment-make-sense many Catholics into seeing abortion as merely one of a continuum of social issues implying that it is of no greater evil than poverty, hunger, and the like. Under this view, a politician who defends abortion but fights against poverty, hunger, homelessness, and discrimination could claim an 83% record in defending life issues!
Second, your concerns that Trump is the worst thing that ever happened to the Pro-Life movement mirror the mainstream media’s gleeful portrayal of that very point. This media loves painting Trump as the face and leader of the movement because such a portrayal allows it to bring down both targets in one fell swoop. However, anyone who still buys most of what this media is selling is a fool. For all of his faults and glaring vulnerabilities, Trump has in some way galvanized a cause often victimized by inconsistency and political sabotage via counterproductive moralizing tones. In short, moral arguments have already provided us with the sides to this endless battle. No politician will miraculously change someone’s moral view of abortion with some wonderful speech. Those in favor or against have already chosen their sides. The battle is on for the undecided middle crowd of this argument, for whom practical and political aspects will play a role. Trump is no saint, but he has somehow managed to address that practical and political side while obviously being incapable of falling into the moralizing trap given his vulnerabilities. Abortion defenders and their pet media realize this and see the danger of Trump, hence they fervently seek to tie Trump and the Pro-Life movement together in what they hope will be a political and eventually social death spiral toward oblivion. Anyone who parrots this oversimplified distortion is merely playing a useful idiot to the opposition’s agenda.
The Leadership of the Pro-Life Movement and March
Third, Trump is not and will never be either the face or the leadership of the Pro-Life agenda. One wonders if the prevailing social and political powers and their media will ever allow a truly Pro-Life leader to be elected. No, the movement’s present association with Trump is simply that Trump does not openly and regularly bash and trivialize the Pro-Life cause as his predecessor and election opponent routinely did. Those who laughingly argue that Trump is worse for the Pro-Life movement than Hillary would have failed to realize the evil of abortion is far greater than any one person, party, or agenda. Given this reality, the fight against abortion is far greater than any person, party, or agenda as well. The abortion debate is not simply a political poker game or dinner party where we must use cunning and practicality to win or impress the guests. We cannot be followers of Christ and simply believe that this battle will be won or lost via the media, public relations, or people skills. Yes, we must have compassion, forgiveness, charity, and kindness. However, what we need the most to win this battle is conviction and dedication far deeper than petty and dramatic stands for conscience which will only help opponents gleefully offering a knowing smirk of our struggle to defend innocent human life.
Fighting for the Voiceless
Fourth, and most importantly, then, we are fighting a struggle for innocent, voiceless, vulnerable, human unborn life. Boycotting the March for Life to stand by immigrant children, or against a wall, or against a leader no more defective and hypocritical than his predecessor is playing right into the hands of an opposition and their pet media who likewise boycott this march and this cause every year from their narrative of what matters or even exists in this country’s bucket list. Waiting for some spotless and pure leader to rally around a cause with eternal implications makes Don Quixote look sane in comparison.
You state that you sometimes feel alone in your protest and struggle, and well you should. You see, you are sadly mistaken about both the face and the leadership of the Pro-life movement. Donald Trump is neither the face nor the leader. The face is that of an innocent, unborn child and the leader is none other than Our Lord. I hope and pray that you literally do not throw out the baby with the political bathwater in the future.
2019 Gabriel Garnica