And I mean not just the annual March today in Washington, D.C., but the struggle, the battle, for the dignity of human life, which we are waging against the Culture of Death in which we are immersed.
Where are we, 31 years after Roe v. Wade?
I hate to say it, but it seems to me, as far as the nation as a whole goes, not much progress has been made. The organs of the dominant culture are just as implacably anti-life as they were 10-20 years ago. Catholics themselves, according to the surveys, are just as likely to support Abortion-On-Demand, and even have abortions, as the rest of society. If we can't get our own people "on board", how can we hope to change the broader culture?
And in the political sphere, I am beginning to think that Pro-lifers have been led down the garden path. I have labelled the Democratic Party the "Party of Death", and I still think that's the case: Their one and only real commitment is to the Slaughter of Innocents. But the Republicans can hardly be called the "Party of Life". The Republicans have managed to fob off pro-lifers with promises and platitudes for years now, while delivering next to nothing. And Republican commitment to the Pro-life cause is shaky as it has never been before. For the first 2 years after George W. Bush was elected, I thought that he was waiting to "solidify" his base before taking substantive pro-life action. But I don't think so anymore. I don't think he's going to deliver anything else. His behavior today tells the story. Pro-lifers should take cold comfort in his phone call to the March today: He could not have signalled his intent to keep pro-lifers at arms length any more clearly. He wasn't even physically in Washington today. And I don't believe for a moment that was an accident. It's not like the date of the March wasn't known well in advance.
So where, if at all, are signs of hope to be found? Well, it seems to me, that there is hope in our youth. I watched a little bit of the Mass for Life in Washington on EWTN last night, and I was struck by how many of the faces in the crowd were under 30. My own experience leads me to have hope: The Gen-X'ers and younger people are beginning to catch on to the fact that their generation has been savaged by abortion. Victor Lams put it bluntly last week:
... [T]he Boomer generation was the first generation to really selfishly turn on the next generation (my generation) and try to wipe it out through the holocaust of abortion and contraception. The boomers looked/do-look at the very existence of the Gen Xers as a threat to their youth ("Who are these youngsters? I'm the kid! I get the sex and the toys!")...
When young people get wind of what has been perpetrated on them, they're horrified and angry. I find that the following exercise brings the point home, especially with 12-14 year olds: When I talk to them about abortion, I'll have them sit so that every third or fourth chair amongst them is empty, but in it is either a name tag with the name left blank, or a cutout drawing of a face, with no features drawn on it. Then I tell them about what happened in 1973, and how, since then, we've been killing 1 out of 4 unborn children by abortion. I then point at those empty chairs, and blank nametags, and tell them: Those chairs are empty because the people who would have been there never had the chance to live. And those kids, the kids who died before they were born, would have been your classmates, your friends, your cousins, maybe even your brothers or sisters. That gets the message across. And it's a message that sticks. It's a sobering thought to realize that you exist only on the sufferance of society.
If enough of those kids get the message, then one day abortion will be ended, because they won't be party to murdering another generation.