A thought about activism & elections

Knowing that many of this blog’s readers are pro-life activists – whether within the family, the culture, or the political sphere – I leave you with this on Election Day. It’s a call to the long view, by Thomas Merton from Letter to a Young Activist During Troubled Times. I posted it earlier this week on one of my other blogs, and I found the quote in a post by Frank Weathers at Patheos.

Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on, essentially an apostolic work, you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. And there too a great deal has to be gone through as gradually you struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. The range tends to narrow down, but it gets much more real. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationships that saves everything….

The great thing after all is to live, not to pour out your life in the service of a myth: and we turn the best things into myths. If you can get free from the domination of causes and just serve Christ’s truth, you will be able to do more and will be less crushed by the inevitable disappointments. Because I see nothing whatever in sight but much disappointment, frustration and confusion.

The real hope, then, is not in something we think we can do but in God who is making something good out of it in some way we cannot see. If we can do God’s will, we will be helping in this process. But we will not necessarily know all about it before hand.


He Said It: Eric Metaxas on religion in public life

Excerpts from convocation address by Eric Metaxas to students at University of the South, 2/10/15:

Eric Metaxas (photo: Ellen Kolb)
Eric Metaxas (photo: Ellen Kolb)

“…we must remember that the voices of faith in history have sometimes been the only voices on the right side of an issue — when everyone was saying shut up and move along. Remember that Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks and Jackie Robinson were motivated by their faith in Jesus of Nazareth….So the story of faith is and must always be the story of faith in public life. We are not to hide our light under a bushel. And if shining our light comes with a price, so be it. We must pay that price and should be glad to pay it, even if, as in the case of Bonhoeffer, that price is our lives. Sometimes the price is facing a cocked gun, and sometimes it is the threat of a cocked eyebrow.”


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He said it: Pastor Bob Mears on the pro-life movement

Before his death in 2002, Pastor Bob Mears of Laconia was a fixture at New Hampshire’s annual March for Life. He usually spoke at the memorial service held the morning of each march, marking the site where the remains of aborted children were once found dumped in the trash. A committed Christian, powerfully pro-life, the pastors’s words from 1996 are as timely as ever.
Pastor Robert Mears, 1996. (New Hampshire Right to Life photo)
Pastor Robert Mears, 1996. (New Hampshire Right to Life photo)

The real pro-life movement is nonviolent. It doesn’t depend on guns, whether they are wielded by vigilantes or police. Jesus has called us to take up our cross, not a sword or a gun. The only weapons Jesus has given us are the weapons He Himself used, the truth and love of God.  

Scripture tells us not to return evil for evil, but to love our enemies, bless those who curse us, pray for those who injure and insult us. We can suffer for the truth, and many in the pro-life movement have. Some of us will have to die for the truth. But we cannot kill for the truth.

This is the pro-life movement. It is a witnessing community, a caring community, a nonviolent community. It is the movement within which those of us who were too young for the civil rights movement learned some of the principles of nonviolent direct action.

It is speaking the truth to women who are facing threatening pregnancies. It is telling the Gospel of the forgiveness of sins to those who have had an abortion and can’t handle the guilt. It is speaking the truth to those in authority, whether they want to hear it or not. It is exposing falsehood, speaking up on behalf of those who can’t speak for themselves, and sacrificing to help people in need, whether big or little, young or old.