Sunday, January 23, 2005

Walk For Life

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Yesterday, I took part as a crowd monitor in the first annual West Coast Walk For Life, which took place in San Francisco. News story in the SF Chronicle here, nice pictures here.

The counter protestors were the usual bunch of howling leftists, whose chants and insults betrayed little more than a deep, deep ignorance. As you can see from the photos linked above, the marchers were just normal folks, mostly Catholic. It was almost eerie how quiet and gentle the crowd of 6,000 marchers was, a silence you could hear whenever the moonbats simmered down, which was pretty rarely. I'll bet some mighty harsh bong hits were assaulting some mighty raw leftist throats last night!

The San Francisco police did a masterful job protecting the flanks of the march. I was a bit surprised that the march route took us right down the main drag of Fisherman's Wharf. When we were most of the way through the Wharf district, about 40 counter protestors suddenly sat down in the street right in front of the march, impeding our progress. How brave! Just like the civil rights movement! Except for being on the equivalent of the "KKK side" and all. Pro-Choice, Pro-Child. Pro-Lynching, Pro-Black. You know, whatever.

The police quickly came up with a contingency plan, and after a 15 minute stand off, we simply did an about face and took a side route, leaving the folks sitting in the street to enjoy their "victory".

At one point as we walked by, someone was shouting "Where are the lions! We need lions!" Refreshing candor, for once.

It was quite obvious from many of the signs and chants that this was about a lot more than abortion to the left wingers. Here we were, the shock troops of Chimpler's Fascist Amerikka, and they were here to give us what for. What was amusing is that their din simply made the whole thing kind of festive and worthwhile. It just wouldn't have been the same without them...

Here's what one Free Republic commenter had to say:
hi San Francisco area Freepers! I was there today. First rally I've done of any kind since before the 2000 election. What an amazing experience.

The Walk for Life crowd was respectful, humble, quiet, civilized, law abiding (and fully dressed), prayerful, cheerful and friendly.

The people protesting the Walk for Life were everything CCC said- it is really hard to describe. The pics do it best. The comments hurled toward us were shocking, as were most of the signs they held.

The SF police were wonderful. I would not have wanted to be there without their friendly, watchful protection. I think I'll send them a thank you note for their work.

Many of the opposition side were telling us to go back to the valley; back to 'Modesto'. They told us that we were not welcome in their city. The hateful things they said were amazing. The only ones that really stick in my mind were the ones with the spiritual element; like how they hate God, and how they hate Christians. They were very open about it.

The walk was a happy success. The theme was a very positive , pro woman, pro family, 'Women deserve better'. It was a beautiful day and I made a few new friends and saw old friends, and it was very encouraging to see so many people from all over CA and even from other states, who love life and want to encourage America to choose life.

Update: Here's an account by a Stanford student who attended.

Update: The opposition now has a photo gallery.

Update: The opposition has made a video .WMV file available here. Enjoy the cacophany. Note that there is neither screaming nor obnoxious chants to be heard from the pro-lifers.

Update: Some opposition blog post narratives here and here. One contains the paragraph:

Mom and I reached Market Street, turned left and--God Bless America!--there were thousands of like-minded gals, guys and babes, toting signs, blowing whistles, banging drums, flying their ubiquitious green "Pro-Choice" balloons high in the air. (I appreciated that choice of green balloons, myself, that fertile, verdant, full of life color.)


Update: Over-the-top leftist raving here and here. Some prime stuff. Fight the Power, Man!

Update: Lying is the greatest tribute.

Update: Very good Coulter column here.

Update: Sowell takes notice.

Update: Margaret Sanger's grandson says it's time to drop the fig leaf and celebrate abortion.

Update: Some new and remarkably high-quality photos are here.

Update: Letter to the Chronicle from a pro-choice marcher who contrasts the rage of the pro-choice marchers with the peacefulness of the pro-life marchers (toward the bottom of the letters page).


Frances said...

Yeah, the opposition. I just went to the link you posted. Thanks, btw. and I read their "About Us" section. Uh, before I share that, I must say, I had a laugh. Here it is:

...Indymedia participants shall not act in a manner that endangers, intimidates, or physically harms any member of the group, including by sexual harassment or acts of violence. Indymedia members shall strive to act in a respectful manner to other members of the collective as well as the public.

As well as the public? Hmmmmm, by the way they hit children in our crowd, roared at us to leave 'their' city (tho' maybe half of us are from SF) and used threatening language and behavior against little children and seniors, I'd guess this mission statement really is a joke and that is why I laughed so hard.

Nice one, guys! Thanks for the laugh.

Chadster said...

I honestly don't understand the pro-life point of view. I was raised Fundamentalist Baptist Christian and as soon as I was old enough, fled. It's all about oppression, in my opinion. Everyone is "pro-life", otherwise we all would have committed suicide a long time ago. I would really like to know, in your heart, why you identified with the others who took part? I identify with the left because of it's emphasis on freedom (of course absolute freedom is not a good thing), and thinking sanely about matters to curtail that freedom, as opposed to putting "faith" in some ethereal being. It feels great to let go into a higher being and not be responsible for your actions, but is that the right way to be? No one WANTS to have an abortion, circumstances put them there, but the option MUST be offered, or we are living in a fascist country. Walk for Adoption, Walk for Condoms, but Walk for Life makes no sense to me.

Matteo said...


Thanks for being so gracious with your post. You've asked an honest question, and honestly and kindly stated your position. As you may have noticed in my profile text at the top of the page, I am not unfamiliar with the left, so I do understand what attracts you to it. 10 years ago, before I became Catholic, I held a strong pro-choice position.

The conversion to the Catholic faith came first, the turning to the pro-life position was a result of that.

My embracing of Catholicism is not based on an ethereal and vague "faith", in other words, something mysterious that you either feel or don't. It is the opinion of this Electrical Engineer and Software Engineer (and former technical manager, as well as author of 5 technology patents; I state all this not to boast, but simply to indicate that I'm not some sort of simpleton driven by illogic), that the Catholic faith rests on a sound and demonstrable logical, factual, and historical basis. More demonstrable than scientific atheism, more demonstrable than an "everyone is his own God" New Age pantheism, more demonstrable than Buddhism, more demonstrable than hedonistic leftism, and more demonstrable than Fundamentalist Baptist Christianity. Mathematically demonstrable? No. Court-of-law demonstrable? Yes. Is it possible that I am wrong? Maybe. But with less probability than for the other world views I listed.

Of course, I can't lay out the case in a simple blog comment. There are many excellent books out there that make the case. It's somewhat rare that someone who hates the whole idea of the Christian God or the Catholic Church would bother to read them. It takes a strenuous act of open-mindedness, and it's not a particularly comfortable process. It wasn't for me. The truth can hurt at first. Are you certain that you have heard the best arguments in favor of what you are rejecting? Have you really listened to the case for the Defense, and not just the case for the Prosecution? Really? Honestly?

It is part of my belief (for which there are solid reasons) that the Catholic Church has been empowered by The Almighty with the ability to teach infallibly on faith and morals. When I came to see this, without knowing much about the specific anti-abortion arguments, I switched my position. Then I was willing to read the arguments against abortion (and somewhat more specifically, the refutation of every pro-abortion argument out there). And these arguments are not based on "because the Church says so".

Are you open minded enough to read "Politically Correct Death by Francis Beckwith and "Pro Life Answers to Pro Choice Arguments" by Randy Alcorn? There's nothing vague or sentimental about any of what they say. Just sharp, shiny-as-surgical-steel, logical arguments.

Leftism is supposed to be about protecting the weak and the defenseless, and those who are "different", against the strong who would abuse them for reasons of convenience, vanity, or what have you. Slaughtering the unborn who "get in the way" is an egregious violation of this principle. I'd argue that modern leftism is merely a hollow shell because it has embraced this contradiction, and that a great deal of activist fury (Save the Whales, Save the Trees, No Fur, PETA, Save Mother Earth, Don't Eat Meat, Bush is Hitler, No WAR!, etc, etc) is a desperate attempt to compensate for the total abandonment of this principle where it counts the most.

If you think that believing in God somehow lets you take less responsibility for things, then I don't think you understand faith at all. I didn't know what responsibility WAS until I became Catholic. The Civil Rights movement in this country in the 50's and 60's was not driven by atheists and hedonists, was it? Wasn't MLK a Christian?

You say that no one WANTS to have an abortion. Why not? Is there something wrong with it? If abortion is murder, then I can't see that the option MUST be offered and that it is a component of freedom. Are we living in a fascist country because a mother MUST NOT kill her inconvenient toddler? Is this a missing freedom?

Do you have a convincing proof that abortion isn't murder? Do you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that it isn't? That's the central issue. Everything else ("You guys don't care about anybody after they're born!" (like most of you would know; I mean don't you avoid churches and religious people like the plague? How would you _know_ what we do?) "It's my body!" (Yeah, and your baby's is your baby's) "You have no right to force your religious views on me!" (like the person saying this and pushing for laws that favor HIS point of view doesn't have some major rock-bottom assumptions about the nature of God, Man, the universe, moral repsonsibility; hence a religious viewpoint)), everything else is a red herring.

PROVE to me that abortion is not murder and I'll be a pro-choicer. I don't have to PROVE that it is (although a probable case from many converging directions can be made). If it merely might be, then prudence and responsibility says we shouldn't allow it. You wouldn't do target practice at a barn door using a high-powered rifle if you weren't DARNED sure that kids weren't playing in there, would you?

I have a motto, that, while in the form of a jest is actually quite serious:

"I am personally in favor of abortion, but I would never dream of imposing MY values on unborn babies".

Chadster, I thank you for asking the question and I hope this makes things a little clearer...

Chadster said...

Wow- thanks for the reasoned discourse. I don't know what I expected when I commented on your post, but your time spent in replying is appreciated. :)
I don't know however, if there is a middle ground for this issue. Murder is bad, we all know that. In my mind, that's not the basis for this argument. The basis is whether it should be legal or not. Should we base our state laws on faith? Faith being the arbitrary decision that the definition of murder begins at conception. Abortion is never entered lightly, it's a tough decision for all involved, and brings forth obviously extreme emotional elements. But who is to say whether the life of a child brought forth by a 14 year old girl in the trailer park will be of much less quality than the life of that same child if the girl had an abortion, went to college, bought a nice house, could afford groceries and then had the child. The word "convenience" in this case is taking lightly the situation of human well-being. It's not convenience when you cannot afford to feed your child. According to the Bible, we are the stewards of the earth. We have the intelligence and freedom to take things and make them better (or worse as the case may be). We can make choices, and be held accountable for those choices by the circumstances that arise from them.
Now, playing devil's advocate, one could say that the child brought forth from that 14 year old girl needed to learn certain lessons that being well-off would have precluded- that God wanted that child to be born, that we cannot understand God's ways. Again, should that be something that the state decides for us?
A woman does not get an abortion just because she can, it's because it seems to be the best option at the time. "So let's offer other alternatives." Great, but I really wish there was as much energy, or any energy, on the conservative side, for expanded sex education, and condom distribution in schools.

Matteo said...

Chadster, thanks for the second response.

Aren't all laws based on faith? As I said before, no one has a "neutral view" when it comes to their idea of the rock-bottom nature of reality, the nature of God, what a human being is, what morality calls for, etc. To say that we shouldn't legislate on faith is really only to say, "your faith is wrong, mine is right".

I don't know if you expressed yourself the way you meant to, or if there is something revealing in this, or whether it's just metaphysical confusion, but you said, "But who is to say whether the life of a child brought forth by a 14 year old girl in the trailer park will be of much less quality than the life of that same child if the girl had an abortion, went to college, bought a nice house, could afford groceries and then had the child." You know, the child she had later is not the same child she aborted, so there is no better life in store for it. It's dead. Right?

You speak about convenience and affordability. Now, unless you are willing to say that abortions should only happen if the mother is poor, then why bring it up? Most abortions are undergone by women who are far, far, from destitute. Are you saying that the children of poor women have less rights than those of rich? Or that the rights of rich and poor women should be different? If you instead are saying that there should be no restrictions whatsoever, then what does poor or rich have to do with the basic right?

As far as expanded sex education and condom distribution, I don't see how it helps. The frequency of abortion, out of wedlock births, and pregnancies of 14 year old girls have all gone up with the explosion of sex education since the 60's. Speaking for myself, I know that exposure to sex ed as a kid in the 70's definitely made me want to go out and have sex. There was no abstinence message whatsoever in the sex ed I got. The leftists who are so enamored of pushing sex-ed HATE the abstinence message. You know, that's the message of the joy-hating FASCISTS. So it's not like sex ed as practiced today is free of "religious faith", it just happens to be the religious faith of the leftists, whose anthropology of Man says that we are little different than animals (Peter Singer), we've got urges we can't control, "they're going to do it anyway", and that it is mentally unhealthy not to be gettin' it on.

So is there a middle ground on this issue? Probably not. What compromises has the Democratic Party and the liberal judiciary been willing to make? None. Partial Birth Abortion Ban? Struck down. Parental Notification? Struck down. Limiting abortion to the first trimester? Nope. It is legal up to the point of full term as long as the head is still in there ("My body"). Letting the Legislative Branch be the one to make the, you know, laws concerning abortion? No. The liberal Judiciary shall write these laws.

It's reached the point where Democratic Senators have effectively said, "no serious Catholic can serve on the federal bench", despite the ban on religious tests for office clearly stated in the Constitution.

If anybody needs to be doing the compromising here, it's not my side.

Now, would I want abortion to be banned as an imposition from a minority, by way of the courts? No.
32 years ago, Roe v Wade did just that. If the last 32 years have taught anything it is that nothing but discord and bitterness will result from such methods. If abortion is so important and necessary to so many people, then surely it would not harm anything to put the question back into the state legislatures where it belongs? BTW, this could include a Constitutional Amendment banning abortion. That's got to get past the state legislatures also, so it's not more unfair in any way.

The Democratic Party has been suffering greatly at the ballot box for many reasons, one of which is certainly their rigid adherence to no-holds-barred abortion "rights". You are basically asking, "Who are you to impose your moral views on other people?" The answer to that is simple. I am a voter in a democracy. I am *supposed* to be the arbiter of such moral questions. I am a member of The People (In Greek: The Demos). Democracy is instituted for the very purpose of upholding the Good. That's why we have it, instead of Monarchy. The whole point is that you are far more likely to find morality and wisdom amidst the mass of common men, than you are in some royal family or oligarchy or hereditary aristocracy, or chamber of Nine Robed Masters. So, in that sense, it is my very DUTY to do what I can to impose my morality on others. As it is yours. But let's not fool ourselves that there is somebody out there who is morally neutral.

Now as far as other options for the destitute 14 year old girl, are you aware that NARAL, Planned Parenthood, etc, are doing everything they can to prevent women from knowing what these other options are? Want to pass out information at an abortion clinic? RICO laws will let them bankrupt you. Want to pass a law instituting a waiting period or requiring abortionists to provide information about fetal development, an opportunity to have an ultrasound done, and information about alternatives? In other words a simple, informed CHOICE? Uproar! FASCISTS!

If the 14 year old in the trailer park were allowed by the pro-abortion absolutists to be told what her options and sources of help were, maybe she'd see something like this (quoted from an SF IndyMedia comment):

Those people who walked on the Walk for Life are indeed the very ones helping women. Whether as adopting parent, as foster parents, nurses, open homes, pregnancy support, medical support, I can promise you, these people you hate, are the very ones who put their words into action. Need help? See just a partial list below. These people were there! And thousands more who have been there helping. Much must be done to protect women. That we agree. Women deserve better!

Post-Abortion Counseling Services:
First Resort, San Francisco 415-409-8255

Oakland 510-891-9998

Redwood City 650-261-9115
Project Rachel 415-717-6428
Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats 925-680-8510
After Abortion National Help Line 866-482-LIFE
Rachel’s Vineyard 877-467-3463

Men’s Page:
National Office of Post-Abortion
Reconciliation and Healing 800-593-2273
Victims of Choice 888-267-3998
Healing Hearts Ministries 888-792-8282
Heartbeat International/

CareNet PregnancyCenters 800-395-HELP
Feminists for Life
Safe Haven Ministries
Elliot Institute
Ramah International
Silent No More
Open Arms 314-449-7672
Priests for Life 888-PFL-3448 479-855-0072
Project Rachel
SaveOne ( 866-329-3571
Lumina 877-LUMINA1
Project Grace 616-393-9001
Imago Dei Foundation National Memorial

for the Unborn 800-505-5565
Life Issues
American Victims of Abortion 202-626-8800 x132
Abortion Recovery Counseling 949-378-5149
A Choice to Heal 860-267-6393
Fathers and Brothers Ministry 303-543-0148

Alpha Pregnancy Center, San Francisco 415-584-6800
Bethany Christian Services Hotline 800-238-4269
Birthright of San Francisco 415-664-9909
Birthright of Marin 415-456-4500
Birthright of Menlo Park 650-322-4784
Pregnancy Resource Center of Marin 415-892-0558
Pregnancy Resource Center of Marin 415-892-0558
Pregnancy Choices Clinic 510-487-4357
Pregnancy Care Clinic 925-827-0100
Catholic Charities of San Francisco
Pregnancy Counseling Hotline: 800-CARE-002
Catholic Charities of Marin County 415-499-1470
First Resort,San Francisco 415-409-8255
First Resort, Oakand 510-891-9998
First Resort, Redwood City 650-261-9115
Gabriel Project 415-565-3672
Heartbeat International Hotline 800-395-HELP
Jelani House, San Francisco 415-822-5977
Juan Diego Society Pregnancy Center 408-251-0900
Life Abortion Alternative Ministries 707-642-5001
Mary’s House 510-236-0383
Mt. St. Joseph/St. Elizabeth, SF 415-567-8370
Pregnancy Resource Center of Marin 415-892-0558
Queen of Peace Women’s Shelter, SF 415-586-3449

Nurturing Network Hotline 800-866-4MOM
Several Sources Foundation 201-825-7277
International Life Services 213-382-2156
Bethany Christian Services 800-BETHANY
CareNet 703-237-2100
Catholic Charities 800-CARE-002
Heartbeat International 614-239-9433
Heartlines 719-531-3460
Living Alternatives 713-367-1518
Open Arms 314-449-7672
Pro-Life Action Ministries 612-771-1500
Silent Voices 619-422-0757
White Rose Institute 216-459-4383
Unwed Parents Anonymous 602-952-1463

Good Counsel Maternity Homes 201-795-0637
His Nesting Place 310-422-2137
Mom’s House, Inc. 412-531-6667
CareNet 800-395-HELP
National Life Center 800-848-LOVE

Chadster said...

Thanks Matteo- I still don't agree with your viewpoint, but the discourse is appreciated :)

Leilani said...

Simply inspiring. Chadster, thanks for asking the questions you did. I hope you will open your heart to consider all angles of this important issue. Women need love and support--not abortion.