— Posted by Eric Scheidler (April 26, 2006 at 1:05 pm)
Take a look at the picture at right. It’s from a protest on April 7, 2004 at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and it says a lot about the mythsâ€”and realitiesâ€”about who pro-lifers really are. That’s a topic I want to take up in some detail over the coming weeks.
In this photo you see a pro-abortion counter-protestor holding a sign that reads, Racist, Sexist, Anti-gay, Born again BIGOTS GO AWAY, a favorite slogan among of the pro-abortion activists. To his left stands Joe Scheidler, my father and the founder of the Pro-Life Action League, who has just been hit in the face with a blast of black dye. He required medical attention and his left eye troubles him to this day. His pro-abortion attacker was never apprehended.
The irony, of course, is that it is we pro-lifers who are so often accused of violence. But, as Brian Clowes of Human Life International has amply documented, pro-lifers are far more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators. On the same day this photograph was taken, two women were assaulted by an pro-abort activist, who is now under a court-imposed restraining order. Last year’s Face the Truth Tour was marked by several acts of pro-abortion violence, which led to convictions in court.
Racist, Sexist, Anti-Gay, Born-Again Bigots?
Let’s return to that protest sign. We are being called racist and sexist. Yet on that day our group actually exhibited greater racial diversity than the pro-abortion group, and while a great majority of their group was male, among the pro-lifers women were in a slight majority. One member of our group, a black woman named Lydia, found it particulalry comical to be called racists and sexist!
We are also being called born again bigots. Let’s dispose of “bigots” first. A bigot is “one who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ” (dictionary.com). I’ve already mentioned just a few of the acts of intolerance we were exposed to during the April 7 protest. And I think we’ve seen pretty amply in the comments of this blog which direction the intolerance really goes.
Now, as to “born again.” The vast majority of pro-life activists are Catholic. There are plenty of exceptions of course, but at this particular protest, all but one of two of the pro-lifers were Catholics, not “Born Again Christians”â€”at least not as this term is usually understood. As Catholics, we believe that we are born again through Baptism, but I doubt that protestor in this photo had that in mind. I suppose “born again bigots,” with the alliteration on the “B” has more punch than “Catholic bigots.” (At other times the pro-abortion protestors seem to think, contrarily, that we are all Catholics, when they chant, “Keep your Rosaries off my ovaries”â€”prefering the rhyme over the reality.)
The only statement even remotely accurate on this sign is anti-gayâ€”and even that’s pretty remote. Yes, we belive homosexual acts are immoral, and we oppose so-called gay marriage, as well as that propaganda and indoctrination attempting to normalize homosexual relations. But we aren’t “against” homosexualsâ€”I don’t even know what it would mean to be “anti” a group of people.
Series Will Reveal the Truth about Pro-Lifers
If these and other myths about pro-lifers were restricted just to the most radical elements of the pro-abortion movement, like those we encountered back on April 7, 2004, it wouldn’t be worthwhile to debunk any of those myths. The less the pro-abortsâ€”and by that term I refer specifically to the pro-abortion activistsâ€”really understand us, their opponents, the better; their ignorance renders them feckless.
But many of these myths about pro-lifers and the pro-life movement are held by the less radicalized supporters of legal abortion and even by many who oppose abortion. Over the coming weeks I plan to address some of the most common myths about pro-lifers one-by-one. These myths include:
- Pro-lifers are filled with hate. (We’ve seen that claim on this blog haven’t we?)
- Pro-lifers care only about fetuses, not “born people.”
- Pro-lifers base all their arguments on religion.
- Pro-lifers are trying to impose their beliefs on others.
- Pro-lifers are mostly men, so abortion doesn’t affect them.
- Pro-lifers have no idea what women with unplanned pregnancies go through.
- If Pro-lifers really wanted to stop abortion, they’d do X.
A final comment on that silly sign from the April 7, 2004 protest. The most misguided words of all on that sign are GO AWAY. That we will never do. We’re here to stay. I invite you to tune into this series of articles on the myths about pro-lifers and learn who we really are.