THE SERVANT GENERAL
BEING NICE - 2
March 17, 2015
What has this article on abortion have to do with the October
Synod of Bishops? Remember that the culture of death is one
package -- contraception, abortion, divorce, same-sex marriage,
euthanasia. The contentious issues for our prelates at the
synod are in the areas of cohabitation, divorce and remarriage,
and same-sex unions.
Now the liberals want an approach that is nice, accommodating,
non-judgmental, not offensive, affirming, welcoming, not divisive,
etc. Sin is not even to be spoken of, because the sinners
might be offended (oops, there I go calling them sinners).
This is their definition of mercy and compassion. This of
course is false mercy, as it leaves sinners in their sin.
What has plagued the Church in the West, especially in places
like the USA, is that many Church workers, priests and lay
alike, have not clearly spoken out about sin. They just want
to be welcoming. The result? Catholics are more favorable
to contraception, divorce and abortion than the general population
of the nation. And the Church has been critically weakened.
How can we extend true mercy and compassion? It is by speaking
the truth. That includes pointing out sin. Mercy is an invitation
to repentance and restoration to God. It is not intended to
make someone comfortable in his sin.
Priests, and especially bishops, do a great injustice to the
faithful when they do not speak clearly about what God expects
of us, that is, a life of righteousness and holiness. The
world and the evil one do a great job of promoting sexual
licentiousness. Our Church leaders must not unwittingly affirm
photo isn't "nice." It makes me intensely uncomfortable.
As it should. And that's why it helped contribute to the
end of slavery.
greatest social reformers weren’t ‘nice.’
Pro-lifers shouldn’t be either.
If there’s any word I’ve grown to hate during
my years of pro-life work, it’s the word “nice.”
We must be “nice,” people urge us. If we are not
“nice,” our activism and our outreach will fail.
If we are not “nice,” then no one will change
their minds on abortion or listen to us. If we are not “nice,”
we will never achieve a pro-life consensus.
This is, quite bluntly, not true. We
must be compassionate, absolutely. We must be charitable,
without doubt. We must be truthful this is essential.
If that is what we mean when we use the word “nice,”
then I agree completely. But that is not what the critics
of pro-life activism actually mean.
They mean we are being controversial.
And indeed, how can we not be? The majority of Canadians,
for example, are pro-choice. And further, a majority of Canadians
do not want to discuss the abortion issue at all, for obvious
reasons. Abortion is a very uncomfortable topic. The gruesome
reality of abortionthat it results in the physical destruction
of a developing human beingis shocking and disturbing.
People do not like being shocked and disturbed, and thus they
prefer the discussion that conjures up such feelings to go
away. The debate be “closed,” abortion advocates
like to prematurely announce.
And they also mean we are being
confrontational. But again, how can
we not be? We live in a nation that has been more or less
at peace, with the exception of a dedicated minority, with
the fact that we have ended the lives of more than three million
tiny humans, shredded in the womb and discarded like so much
garbage. Indeed, for the most part, we are even at peace with
the fact that the Canadian government garnishes our wages
to fund this barbarism. Even the words seem shockingthese
are not very “nice” things to say. And yet, they
are true and must be spoken. Lives literally depend on it.
But Canadians don’t respond well to such controversial
tactics as exposing the reality of abortion through powerful
imagery, we are told. This, of course, simply isn’t
truethousands of face-to-face conversations with Canadians
about abortion have shown us that while
they may not want to have the discussion, many of them change
their minds on this issue when that discussion takes place.
I have photos of babies that were, once upon a time, scheduled
to be aborted by “nice” Canadian doctors as proof
In the context of abortion, the much-vaunted Canadian politeness
is invoked as a reason to avoid confrontation. I’d like
to think that Canadians are not so polite that they would
avoid waking up their neighbor to inform him that his house
is burning down. Shouts of warning may disturb his slumber,
yes, but sometimes our comfort can prove lethal.
It is important to remember that when we bring up a disturbing
topic like abortion, violent reaction is often inevitable.
That is not a by-product of using abortion imagery, it is
a by-product of the violence abortion culture brings with
it. One of my friends was punched in the face for sidewalk-chalking
friendly pro-life messages. A woman at Life Chain in Toronto
was assaulted by a man furious that someone was exposing the
truth about abortion. And as any pro-life activist engaging
the public in any way can attest, the subject alone is the
source of tension that we know must exist. It is, after all,
why we’re doing outreach in the first place.
As the philosopher Arthur Schopenauer once said, “All
truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as
self-evident.” Unfortunately, many people
want to skip from being ridiculed to being vindicated, without
accepting the inevitable persecution that will occur first.
We seem to have forgotten the history of social reform movements,
and the hardships and backlash that activists had to endure
in the past. Because Martin Luther King Jr., and William Wilberforce,
and Lewis Hine, are all considered heroes now, we forget that
in their day, they were often widely despised and hated. King
and the Civil Rights activists endured a level of physical
violence that pro-lifers can scarcely imagine. Wilberforce’s
abolitionists were regularly threatened, and his right-hand
man Thomas Clarkson was once nearly thrown off the docks in
Liverpool by angry slave traders. Lewis Hine, the photographer
who displayed pictures of child laborers, was opposed by the
forces of American industry who despised him for his exposure
of their brutal practices. And I could list so many more.
None of these men, none of these
activists, none of these movements were considered “nice.”
Using shocking imagery and disturbing evidence, they forced
a cultural discussion that nobody wanted to have. They confronted
their societies with truths no one wanted to hear.
They suffered much ridicule, hatred, and even violence as
the result of that. All of them were warned that their tactics
would not succeed because they were controversial, or divisive,
or “not nice.” But they recognized that without
confronting the culture, they would never change the culture.
When pro-life activists engage in campaigns like our #No2Trudeau
Campaign, where we plan to distribute a million pieces of
literature highlighting the legal destruction of human life
in Canada, make thousands of phone calls to Canadians on this
issue, and work to rebuild a pro-life consensus in this country,
we realize that the politicians will be uncomfortable. We
realize that many people will not want to discuss this most
important of issues. And we realize that abortion activists
and the media will do everything in their power to discredit
what we are doing and to downplay any results.
pro-lifers have to realize that controversy is inevitable,
that confrontation is necessary, and that backlash is inevitable.
Millions of Canadians have no idea what abortion is. Abortion
culture has flourished in darkness. And when you turn the
light on in a room that has been dark for a very long time,
often it hurts the eyes.
That may not be nice. But it is the truth.