Build a culture of life. Be a martyr if necessary.

“If we’re uncomfortable being Christians in a public debate, then we’ve already lost the war.”

Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput said that recently, speaking to a gathering in Fargo, North Dakota.

The aim of the pro-life movement, the archbishop stressed, is nothing less than ending abortion.  “If we really believe that abortion is an intimate act of violence, then we can’t aim at anything less than ending abortion.  It doesn’t matter that some abortions have always occurred, or that some abortions will always occur.  If we really believe that abortion kills a developing, unborn human life, then we can never be satisfied with mere ‘reductions’ in the body count.”

In order to succeed in the goal, pro-lifers must be willing to become martyrs, he said.  “In the America of our lifetimes, we may never be asked to shed our blood in witnessing for our faith. But we do see character assassinations, mud-slinging and lies used against good people every day in the public media. And we should be ready to pay the same price.  Nothing, not even our good name, should stop us from doing what we know to be right,” emphasized Chaput.

And don’t worry about how much money the pro-life movement doesn’t have, he said. Use whatever you’ve got to renew the culture.

“Culture is everything. Culture is our ‘human ecology.’ Getting political influence has obvious and important short-term value.  But it’s not what pro-lifers are finally about.”…

“Your character, your faith and your dedication to the sanctity of the human person matter. Your commitment to human life matters eternally.”

He assembled a list of “do’s and don’ts”, and delivered it with strong encouragement to get out there and stay busy.

It reminds me of a remark Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George made to pro-life citizens about this very thing, and he urged them to encourage members of elected government. “Pray for them, and tell them you’ve got their back.” Struck me as a good reminder for people on the frontlines of a very big battle.


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