Recently, I wrote about the March for Life 2016 on Parliament Hill as an exercise in futility. For good reason.
A number of people have since written to complain, and their response shocked me. They were angry when I complained about the endless, boring parade of old white men on the platform. But, they protested, those guys need their minutes in the limelight.
Fine, guys, you got your minutes in the limelight. On the eve of euthanasia (“we are all the fetus now”), you got your minutes in the limelight.
Other people wrote to protest, informing me that the crowd was much more diverse than the platform was.
Yes, I had noticed that too. Gay people for Life? Sikhs for Life?
So why were those people not represented on the platform? Do they have no story to tell?
Speaking from experience, I think that almost everyone on the platform should be someone who could naturally get pregnant. And someone for whom pregnancy might present a problem.
I was in pro life since the very early 1970s. I remember when it was diverse on the platform as well as off. The Jewish doctors and lawyers. The agnostic philosophers. The Christian socialists. The Buddhists. The Hare Krishna.
I remember the teen pro life leader who died at 19 of leukemia. The teen pro life leader who knew her mother would have killed her if she had known that the girl had a genetic disease (but she didn’t!) The girls who dodged the police, handing out leaflets. The rescuers of American girls who could get U.S. health care coverage for abortions but not deliveries. The fired nurses. The families who adopted abandoned babies with Down syndrome.
I even remember the atheist medical residents who exchanged shocked looks when a professor of medicine told the public that viable babies had not been aborted on his watch. Their memories differed.
And so many others. Pro life belonged, and still belongs, to all of us.
But the hard, established group of Platform People I saw at the March took over decades ago, and have made it all about themselves. Recognition of their frail egos.
I have only one response: How dare you?
How in God’s name dare you appropriate to yourself what belongs to all humanity? How dare you make it about Christianity, when the right to live belongs to all?
You dare because you can get away with it. You can get away with it because, over the years, you have made pro life so trivial and useless. A sore hangnail on orthodox Christianity.
Something one wants to avoid because it is associated only with you. One does not even know how to bring up the subject elsewhere.
Reality check: I wonder how long the Platform People will be allowed to bring Catholic high school students to an event that will gradually come to seem like “hate” to the vast numbers who have ended their own children’s lives in abortions or helped end the lives of born family members or friends, action that are approved by all but our small and ever diminishing group?
Little was said about euthanasia at the rally, but it’s a safe bet that strictures against refusing to participate and/or denouncing it will likely be swifter and severer than with abortion.
I only hope that the Platform Party’s irrelevance is in some way meaningful to them. Surely some good must come of everything.
See also: March for Life 2016 as an exercise in futility