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2012 Rally for Life draws 200, plus immature opposition
About two hundred people attended the 2012 Rally for Life on Sunday, about the same amount as has attended the last several years. It has been ten years since I got active in the annual event to oppose abortion, and this particular year was very encouraging due to the inclement weather and the previous day's ice storm.
Joseph Bayly (pastor of ClearNote Church in Indianapolis) opened with a quote about a great moral evil:
We must not call it wrong in politics because that is bringing morality into politics, and we must not call it wrong in the pulpit because that is bringing politics into religion... and there is no single place, according to you, where this wrong thing can properly be called wrong!
That was Abraham Lincoln speaking about slavery, but it could easily have been said by someone today about the even greater evil of abortion. Too many churches abandon God's commandment to defend the innocent from those who would oppress them because they don't want to get into politics. When Christians speak about the evil of murdering unborn children, we are told that you can't legislate one religion's beliefs.
Pastor Bayly saved his exhortation for the crowd, rather than our opponents in the fight over abortion. He spoke of a hypothetical pro-life Republican who practices in vitro fertilization, not understanding that the embryos discarded are made in the image of God. Christians do not speak nearly often enough against the "morning after pill" or stem cell research, and many Christians are willingly ignorant of the fact that the birth control pill can kill a newly created life by preventing implantation. We do not speak because we fear losing ground financially.
We have had counter-protesters before, but this year was different in that the immature pro-abortion activists tried to actively shout down the speakers. In this, they demonstrated their hatred for free speech by seeking to silence those advocating a viewpoint they disagree with. I do not respect these people for this reason and another reason.
If you want to be taken seriously, make a serious argument. By holding a sign that reads "fun ends at conception" or "free vasectomies for pro-lifers" you are proving that you do not take the argument seriously enough to make a coherent case for your position. If you do not behave in a way worthy of respect, then you should not expect to be treated with respect. Furthermore, chanting that abortion opponents "don't care when women die" is absurd on its face for an event that is more than half female.
Perhaps in the future, we can have a reasonable debate with counter-protesters at the Rally for Life, but when the only purpose is to mock, taunt and ridicule, reasonable and serious discussion is impossible.