We ‘lost’ Sunday May 17th. The Notre Dame graduation went off pretty much as planned. It had much more press than it would have otherwise. No “Catholic” message was presented in a convincing way through the media. Prolife supporters made no case and had no message. No leader led so the news shows went to Randall Terry and “moderate” priest talking-heads to fill the vacuum.
Everyone of us needs to rebut the error around us conversationally, in our local newspapers, with our elected officials and sometime sadly with other Catholics.
I think counter protests don’t work. They attract little positive media. To convince and change this culture, Catholics need to be at the ‘main event’ – whether it be at the graduation, the town meeting, the watercooler or the bleachers at your child’s sports event – and be PREPARED to convince. The technique will vary, you may choose to agitate, excoriate, berate, educate, humiliate or charm but those are the extremes. Mostly you simply want to reply when anti-life comments get tossed out like truisms. In general something like ‘Well I’m Catholic and so I know a bit about ____. What you just said is not what the Church teaches at all and not what most Catholics understand. What you just said misses the excellent point the Church knows about____.”
other person: “I worry of course but kids these days are going to experiment and you can’t stop them.”
You: “oh I know; I worry too but I’m working hard to make sure my child knows that ‘safe sex’ isn’t and knows the truth about how ineffective condoms are against STDs. Abstinence works if you help them understand it as worth it not as a prohibition.”
other person: “You’re pregnant again? So do you guys not know how that happens? Who’s going to get ‘snippped’ after this one?”
You: “We planned this baby and our older ones. Joe knows my cycle; we knew I was fertile and had a mini honeymoon to conceive each one. We love children and God has blessed us with each one.”
These are only tools. The end is to CONVINCE.
On Sunday I heard false data on Fox presented as truth:
1. “Abortion rates rose during the Bush administration.” This is a pseudo-lie told as a hypothesis by a democrat who couldn’t comprehend abstinence programs were working. Then Hillary repeated it as a ‘fact’ so now it is.
2. “FOCA codifies the restrictions of Roe v Wade.” It does much much worse and no one disputed them.
If an apologist had been available for rebuttal or to give the truth then the newscasters could have done a better job for us.
We need to be joyful. Remember our side – the Church’s side, God’s ‘side’ – wins. Leave the premillenial and postmillenial tribulation scenarios to the end-times theologians. If that scary stuff is coming to pass in our lifetimes then we can worry about real troubles.
Note I’m not disagreeing with Fr. Pavone’s “alternate commencement.” As protest perhaps it wasn’t much but as catechesis and prayer support it was perfect for graduates deciding against the Obama-enlightened progressive mutual admiration meeting. Also note I’m not opposed to any prayer vigil, conversion prayer campaign, etc. Keep doing that excellent work!
Finally don’t indulge in alarmism that encourages extremism. A violent act is a Pro-choice act; where someone decides another’s life is not worthy of protection and respect. God will punish or forgive as necessary. We MUST not.