“Moral rescuers were people who, when asked why they risked their lives to save Jews often answered, “How else should one react when a human life is endangered?” Their concept of right and wrong was so much a part of who they were and are, that it was as if I had asked them why they breathed.”
~ Eva Fogelman, The Rescuer Self
A pro-life friend recently shared her commendation of one of our peers, who had spoken up about his pro-life views despite it going against the grain of his graduate class. “That was really brave of you” she said. “I don’t have the guts to say anything. It’s just too uncomfortable for me.” The second pro-lifer admitted that while he’s likely to display a pro-life license plate or attend a pro-life march, even he draws lines: “I’ve learned over time that it’s ok to have different levels and types of pro-life enthusiasm. I will go to a pro-life march and have a pro-life license tag, but I won’t put pro-life stuff on my Facebook.” He’s had others tell him likewise that they were personally pro-life but “did not want to rock the boat.”
My dear pro-life friends: prenatal children are being dismembered every day by the thousands, and most people are either complicit or complacent about it. Do you not think the boat could stand to be rocked a little? How easy it is for those of us who have secured spots in the boat, to treat pro-life involvement like a hobby about which we can be enthused to varying degrees. Were we the ones in jeopardy of being thrown out of the boat and dismembered by the sharks of abortion, my suspicion is that the situation might take on a bit more urgency for us! Do compassion and empathy not demand that we do all we can – even to the point of making everyone sea sick – until enough people favour a change in our social course?
Speaking out against the social grain is uncomfortable. No one likes being the odd-one out, especially when that comes with ridicule and even hate. But when people tell me they’re too uncomfortable to speak publicly on behalf of the voiceless, I like to gently remind them that it’s probably not too comfortable for an unborn child to be dismembered and to lose his or her life either. If we really believe the unborn are human beings, are we really justified in treating their plight and imminent deaths so casually?
When I look at youth like the five members of the White Rose, German university students who risked their lives and were executed for speaking out against the practices of the Nazis, I wonder why we can’t seem to muster up half their courage – even though our lives aren’t at risk for speaking up on behalf of the unborn. When I look at those in the segregated south who knowingly faced the same beatings and death threats as their black neighbours, I wonder why they were so willing to risk everything to Freedom Ride with the oppressed – and yet so many of us are unwilling to risk a few Facebook friends or the verbal wrath of a professor.
Do we really believe our unborn neighbours are as human as Holocaust and Civil Rights heroes believed their neighbours to be? Does the fact that we can’t see the unborn being victimized and can’t hear their pleas for life somehow dull our consciences a little? We live in a society in which we have freedom of speech and where it costs us relatively little to speak up often and loudly and tirelessly on behalf of our unborn neighbours, and still so many of us think a march and a bumper sticker is exactly how we should be reacting when a human life is in danger.
It costs us relatively little to speak up. Our pro-life silence costs many unborn children their lives – children who could be saved if more of us took abortion as seriously as we should if we truly believe abortion is taking human lives.
The time for polite silence is long past. It’s time for more of us to stand and shout and rock the boat with a lively dance upon injustice!
“Like a boil that can never be cured as long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its pus-flowing ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must likewise be exposed, with all of the tension its exposing creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr