We’ve all heard the line before “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” but is it true?
For myself when it comes to fighting the injustice of abortion it is absolutely true. I may not be supportive of atheists beliefs but if they will stand by my side on the front lines of the abortion fight than I will stand by theirs. But I’m finding that I’m once again the exception and not the rule and that’s upsetting.
I want to preface this with saying I have no issues with those who hold opposing views on politics and religion. What you believe is your business. But I will be honest about how I see the prolife movement being effected by certain groups being a certain way. And I’m doing so in hopes of uniting us all into one solid team to stand against abortion.
The Prolife community is a very large and diverse group of people. There are prolife republicans, libertarians, and democrats. There are prolife Christians, Catholics, Athiests, and Jews. There are prolifers in high school and prolifers in nursing homes. There should be no demographic excluded from saving lives but that’s exactly what’s happening.
I went to a prolife event a few weeks ago, it was a lovely event and I appreciate being included but I was so incredibly uncomfortable I could hardly focus on why we were there. And sadly, I think many other attendees lost sight of why we were there too. In my mind a prolife protest means focusing on the issue of abortion, the providers, the clinics, the women and babies being hurt by the industry. To me a prolife protest means holding signs, being seen by passers by and actually making a statement loud enough to reach those who are not yet prolife. But this prolife protest seemed more like an afternoon mass that just happened to be on the street near an abortion clinic.
I understand many prolifers are religious, I consider myself very religious, but I also know that the fight against abortion can’t just be about religion. I as a non denominational Christian felt so out of place standing there with this group of Catholics reciting some prayer I’ve never heard, all chanting together while myself and the few other non Catholics stood there like “okay apparently our attendance means nothing to you people”. I watched people walk away from this “prolife” event feeling almost tricked as if they were mislead into attending some Catholic Church event when in fact it should have been about abortion not about pushing a certain religion.
From start to finish it was all about the Catholics. Not about the giant Planned Parenthood we stood outside of. People were sitting in the shade of canopies listening to priests and catholic testimony instead of standing in the sun with their signs actually protesting abortion.
And I see it all the time.
Sure we can include our religion and prayer into our events, I include God in all that I do, but I do it in a way that I don’t cut out all of the other prolifers who are trying to help end abortion. When I plan and promote events I do so in a non denominational way. Do we say a prayer? Yes usually we do, but we do so in a way that all denominations can join. We pray to God not to Mary, because not all religions believe in praying to Mary. We also don’t spend our entire event forcing attendees to listen to sermons and testimony from religious perspectives. We have a speech or two and then we go out into the world and protest abortion. Because that’s what’s suppose to happen at a protest.
This way people from all religions feel included and welcome and in turn we have double, even triple the amount of people standing together for life.
If we open up our prolife events to include all people and not just the intensely religious or overly conservative we could be getting the message of life to reach even farther than we can imagine. If we stop promoting the prolife community as the catholic community or the republican community we could grow to double our size almost instantly. I do not need to accept atheism as truth but I’m smart enough to know that it doesn’t take a like minded Christian to know the truth about abortion. We say it’s scientific, but we cut out the scientists. We assume democrats support abortion but not all democrats believe the same things. We say it is a moral and ethical issue but we keep promoting it as a religious or political issue. We in the prolife movement are cutting our numbers in half by only accepting help from like minded prolifers.
Take AHA for instance, the Abolish Human Abortion group is a very specific group of people who practically refuse to stand next to anyone who doesn’t agree with every twisted religious detail in their prolife views. I was told by an AHA chapter director that I was going to go to hell for consorting with Jews and non believers at the protest I planned. Obviously that is ridiculous. I am not going to hell and if I did it wouldn’t be for doing all I can to end abortion.
What good would it do for me to shun the non believers or the different believers? Would I save more babies that way? Would I save the non believers themselves that way? No. I’d only put a wedge between us and them and I’d only delay the progress we as a group can make together. Where as if I open up my prolife events to all people from all backgrounds and beliefs not only do I increase the prolife reach we make but I also have an opportunity to minister to those who I’m standing next to. We don’t have to shove religion down anyone’s throat, we can gently include our faith in our actions while staying focused on the main concern of the prolife movement which is ending abortion. I want to focus on ending abortion not on promoting my own faith. My everyday actions should show the world my faith, I don’t need to use a prolife event to prove my Christianity.
I follow some amazing prolife pages on Facebook like “secular prolife” and “libertarians for life” even “feminists for life”
Do I live by any of those ideologies? No. But I do live prolife and so do they. We don’t have to go into every deep dark corner of our beliefs to stand side by side in the fight to end abortion and every time we insist that fellow prolifers need to be prolife for the same reasons and in the same way as we are we cut down our own community.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
I don’t care if you’re an atheist, a catholic, or an orange gorilla, if you will stand by me outside of the clinic protesting abortion, I will stand by you. Because this isn’t just a religious fight, this isn’t a political fight, this is a moral and ethical fight, and you don’t have to be a Christian to have morals and ethics. So I gladly fight along side any fellow prolifers who have the same goal as me, and that goal is not to increase my congregation, it’s ending the slaughter of unborn children.
I pray for the prolife movement to unite. I hope to see the day when it’s not assumed that just because you mention prolife work or God that you are a devout catholic. I hope to see the day when it doesn’t matter why we believe abortion is wrong but it only matters that we see abortion is wrong. I hope to see the day when we can stand side by side with fellow prolifers with out concerning ourselves with everything else we believe or don’t believe. I hope to see the day when we all stand together as prolifers and nothing more or less. I want everyone to feel like they have a place in the prolife community. We need every single person we can get to join the fight against abortion so I openly invite people from all walks of life to join me in ending abortion as prolifers, not as religious people or political people but just as people who refuse to accept abortion. Abortion is the enemy here, not other prolifers.
If abortion is your enemy, regardless of your faith or political association, if abortion is your enemy than you are welcome to be my friend.