Monday, August 30, 2010

If All You're Going To Do To Oppose Abortion Is Pray, Then Don't Bother

I often see them on the bumpers of cars in the parish parking lot. There are several variations, but they boil down to the same thing: "Pray to End Abortion"

Frankly, these get on my nerves.

I fear that too many people sporting these stickers think that between their prayers, and their "public witness for life" -- that is, putting the bumper sticker on their car -- they're doing their part.

I believe that if God wanted to end abortion, He would do so without my prayers of encouragement.

I mean really, if God wanted to end abortion, He could very easily arrange a PowerBall jackpot to be awarded to someone like Joe Scheidler -- or me! -- and that would go a long a way towards getting the job done.

So if you're praying your daily or weekly rosary for life and that's all you're doing, I can't see that you're making any difference. I'm sorry if that offends you, but that's my perspective.

There's more you can do.

63 days from today, there are going to be elections held all over the U.S. Over 30 U.S. Senators, 435 Congressmen, a dozen or so governors and other state-wide offices, literally thousands of state legislators, and countless other local officials will all be chosen on November 2nd.

What are you doing to help a pro-life candidate? You don't need to tell me, but you do need to have an answer to this question. Because you know what? Abortion isn't going to end while it's still legal. And there will never be legal protections for the unborn until and unless we elect pro-life men and women to offices high and low.

The pro-aborts know this, and they are busily electing their own to library boards, town councils, park district boards, and every elective office from the lowest to the highest.

With so little time before the election, it's time and past time for pro-lifers to make their presence in the world felt. Somewhere near you, there is an under-funded pro-life candidate struggling to make a difference. Write him a check. Somewhere nearby, you will find a pro-life candidate struggling to get the word out about his candidacy. Volunteer to make phone calls or knock on doors for him.

Yes, yes, I know you're too busy. You've got work, and school, and kids and a family and house and sports and whatever else. If you're really pro-life, you'll find a way to make time, even if it's only two hours a week, or only two hours total, between now and election day.

This is why I haven't been blogging. I've been spending the last year in the trenches fighting abortion, first as a candidate for office myself, and (since losing my primary) working with other candidates and organizations. Right now I'm focused on the campaign of my friend Dan Sugrue, a hardworking Catholic family man who's trying to unseat a pro-abort Democrat. If you're in the area, you could make Dan a donation or volunteer to help. If you're not in the area, you could still make a donation (many of you donated to my campaign), or find a candidate local to you to volunteer with.

But I'm begging you, it's time to set aside the rosary, and pick up the phone. Time's running out.

(Cross-posted from Thoughts of a Regular Guy.)


Al said...

As I am want to say, unless you begin, end & undergird with prayer all you do to fight abortion then it is useless. Ultimately this IS a spiritual battle.

Obviously, some people really can't do anything except pray, like the homebound, elderly in nursing homes etc. Those people WILL be used powerfully by God.

On the other hand, if you can act & use prayer as an excuse to not act, then I would question your sincerity in praying

Lake County Right to Life said...

Abortion is a spiritual battle, but absolutely must be fought in the public arena. The Apostle Paul said faith without works is dead.

I believe that one of the reasons that people do not become actively involved in the life battle is because it is a life committment. Once you know people are being killed, you have no choice, but a lot of excuses pop up.

Baron Korf said...

It is foolishness to think that politics can do something that prayer cannot. Abortion, much like the holocaust and other horrors in history, is the symptom of a deeper spiritual rot that has taken hold. Praying, and truly trusting that that prayer will make a difference, is more powerful than you may imagine. Where else do we get the strength to face such reckless hatred as we find in the culture of death.

Next time you have the moral fortitude to stand up and do what is right in this fight, thank God for the person with the rosary bumper sticker. It is from their intercession that God gives you the strength you need.

Unless you think that you yourself are the source of that strength?

Lake County Right to Life said...

Faith without works is dead. We must act as well as pray. If someone's life is in danger, would you simply offer them a prayer, or would you call 911, or give any other necessary assistence? Babies lives are in danger! Each person must use the "talents" they are given by God to fight the good fight, as well as pray. Prayer is the underpinning of all.

Baron Korf said...

Prayer and sacrifice are works. That aside, the actions of the Church are that of a body. The arm should not chastise the stomach for not helping lift the burden, nor should activists complain about people who 'only' pray. That attitude is not only ungrateful, but foolish.

Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

Baron, you're continuing to misunderstand my point. I'm not chastising anyone, I'm calling for all hands on deck!

On D-Day, should we have held a division in reserve solely to pray? Or was prayer left to those who could do nothing else?

Baron Korf said...

"Frankly, these get on my nerves."
"So if you're praying your daily or weekly rosary for life and that's all you're doing, I can't see that you're making any difference."
"But I'm begging you, it's time to set aside the rosary, and pick up the phone."

That isn't chastising anyone? That is not denying that prayer is efficacious? How am I misreading that?

Even as you say "those who could do nothing else", you show that prayer is a last resort because it really doesn't do much. I guess you figure the cloister is a joke and those nuns are wasting their talents since they just pray and aren't "making any difference."

Lake County Right to Life said...

Think we could walk a precint in the time we are debating about prayer. No one thinks prayer is not first and formost,it is the crux of all our actions.

Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

I give up, Baron, you win.

I'll alert all my fellow activists, work is not necessary. We needn't support candidates for office at any level, or hold demonstrations, we should cancel the march for life in Washington, and close all our pro-life organizations, offices, and apostolates.

These things all take away from prayer, and Baron Korf assures us that nothing else than prayer is needful. (Although, if you really need to do something else to support life, you could always go on-line and criticize pro-life bloggers.)

I'm sure Our Lady will pray that her Son will reward you richly.

Baron Korf said...

@Lake Country Right to Life
"So if you're praying your daily or weekly rosary for life and that's all you're doing, I can't see that you're making any difference."
That seems to contradict your assertion, does it not?

Grow up. I never once said that activists aren't useful or that they should be praying instead. I'm not such an absolutist. What I have objected to and still object to is your accusation that those who pray instead of being political activists are doing nothing.

If that isn't what you meant, then why did you write it? Either man up to the words you yourself wrote or retract them. It is an insult to all of those who pray so fervently for the end to abortion.

Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

No, what I'm saying -- and I've restated this and restated this for you both here and on my own blog -- is that those who can also be activists should also be activists.

There was never a time when they were so badly needed, nor ever a time when they might have such effect.

And when I say, "...I can't see that you're making any difference," that's what it means: that I CANNOT SEE WHAT IMPACT PRAYERS HAVE.

Not that prayer is useless, as you've repeatedly and wrongly claimed, but that I can't see the effect.

Can you?

Baron Korf said...

How can you not? Every volunteer who selflessly gives of their time, every donor who gives the money they could use for their own enjoyment, every sidewalk counselor that braves the attacks of the culture of death, all draw their strength from the three theological virtues: faith, hope, and love. By definition these come from God alone. Now unless you are asserting that God gives all of this by Himself and ignores all of the prayers besieging heaven for the same goal, I'd have to say you are blind to the effect of prayer and cannot, indeed, see the effect.

If you don't think that prayer is useless why did you title your post "If All You're Going To Do To Oppose Abortion Is Pray, Then Don't Bother".

I know that the ground work is important, but where are you going to get the volunteers if not from the grace of God given on behalf of those who pray. Telling people to stop praying and start working as you do in your final sentence is biting the hand that feeds you.

Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

Now unless you are asserting that God gives all of this by Himself and ignores all of the prayers besieging heaven for the same goal, I'd have to say you are blind to the effect of prayer and cannot, indeed, see the effect.

I'm willing to plead guilty to your charge of blindness on my part. That's because lately, I've been having a lot more success rounding up volunteers for pro-life candidates from groups that are not explicitly or primarily pro-life. We just had a volunteer training event for which we put out a plea for volunteers to thousands of prolife email addresses and got a total of two respondents. A previous plea got only 8.

Which leads to the reason for my title: frustration. In my frustration, I am trying to get people's attention, because the usual polite means aren't working, and there's a very great deal at stake.

Baron Korf said...

I can understand your frustration. I do a large amount of volunteer work myself and I know how painful the apparent indifference of others can be. However, you should not let your frustration lead you to blaspheme against prayer.

Those 10 you got are 10 more than you had, and to say that you got this without the aid of all those rosaries and devotions is no way to show gratitude to God or your fellow Christians.

Lake County Right to Life said...

Cease& desist Both seem to play God I do not know about either of you but God hasn"t spoken to me out loud today. He speaks thru His workers. We are His mouth,feet,hands and whitness.

The problem with pro lifers is we spend more time with our friends in arguements than facing our foes.