"Sanctuary! Sanctuary!" This familiar quote comes from "The Hunchback of Notre Dame". While I have never actually seen this movie or read the story, it's one of those famous lines many people quote and it refers a person seeking protection or asylum.
Are you needing sanctuary? Maybe you haven't experienced the onslaught of reactions yet. You are new to pro-life and maybe you haven't discussed your beliefs with family, friends and acquaintances. It's not a subject that comes up and it will be discouraged at all costs by those on the pro-abortion side. Maybe you haven't faced this at all---fearful of the results of such a discussion. Fear not!
There's a quote by Father Frank Pavone that pretty much sums up the discussion of abortion. “We are always told of reasons why we can’t speak up against abortion. If we speak in Church, we’re told it’s too political; if we speak in the political arena, we’re told it’s too religious. If we speak in the media we’re told it’s too disturbing; in the educational realm, it’s too disruptive. On the public streets, it’s too distressing for children; in the business world it’s too controversial, in the family it’s too divisive, and in social settings it’s just impolite. So if abortion is wrong, where do we go to say so?”
Much of the reactions range from disgust, ridicule, personal attacks on your own character, or when logic is used, overreaction and/or disengaging from the conversation. Much of the time you may ignored....(a popular thing that family usually uses) kind of like Aunt Hattie with the plaid pantsuit decorated with doilies who also sports a tricorn hat....yeah, we don't talk about HER. Ahem. Yeah, I am the crazy aunt they would rather hide in the closet. Pretty used to that now. :)
I remember when I first got into the ministry of pro-life laycounseling. While initially there was nervousness in what I would face with the clients, the real persecution took place in a religious establishment. It really had not occurred to me just how guarded I had been until I got to the crisis pregnancy center. Conversations there at the cpc were so bold! Yet they weren't really. I was just used to being silenced so much by pro-abortion surroundings. I told my husband what a little sanctuary this place was....it was night and day. The little pro-life sanctuary was protection and rest from the pro-abortion factions. Fortunately, my husband joined me and found it a wonderful blessing too. It was great to be with pro-lifers and to be fed by Christians and to be able to spiritually feed others. There was a time when we had NO church....the cpc became our church....it became our sanctuary. [Just an aside: Yes, we found a church that didn't view people as property or support pro-abortion groups. They do exist]
I'll be frank. I have not been in the pro-life activist world. Not the real, raw scenes with pro-life warriors praying while people are hitting them, peeing on them, fondling them suggestively, brandishing weapons at them, facing the threat of being sprayed with sewage, or getting run over by vehicles. I have not had people spitting on me and cussing in my face with sheer rage and anger. My life has not been threatened and I have not ever dealt with the police. The pro-life pioneers who have been there from the beginning have seen it all and I admire them for the way they persevere. My experiences at abortion mills have been very quiet and sad times.
Those attacks you can see coming though. It's very blatant and when this kind of enemy attacks, you can at least brace yourself to a point to know that this kind of arena is replete with foul clashes. The people who participate in these places know the power of prayer in preparation and in the endurance of the time spent there. It is also important to pray after for the jarring moments that just took place. Sometimes there are just episodes that shock the sensibilities.
Most of the attacks I have faced have been the mild disgust, the occasional conniption and dripping condescension....you can see it coming and you just love on them, plant seeds and move onward.
There's also the attack of the chameleons. You'll see this when you get active in something like sidewalk counseling, volunteering at a cpc or other pro-life events. Some will be happy for you initially but deep down they aren't pro-life. They claim to be pro-life in your presence but they distrust all information and get hostile when you share anything newsworthy. They aren't very firm or into sound science or doctrine. They get upset by simple questions and are easily swayed. They are of a different mindset in other groups. There will always be two-faced people. They aren't intellectually honest, they play little mindgames and have snit fits. They tell you they are pro-life but the reality is they are pro-abortion with a few exceptions. Once you recognize the chameleons you can move on there too.
If you have taken any time to visit the websites below, you'll notice much of this information has never made it to the mainstream news. While it seems the public is now better at getting their information from places other than the pro-abortion monopoly called the nightly news.....there's still an amazing amount of people who are shocked that these things are taking place at all.
It wasn't very long ago that my daughter found out for the first time that abortion facilities are by-and-large not regulated at all. I still run into a great many individuals who never knew that Planned Parenthood is the number 1 provider of abortions. Total shock and of course, many are not very well-informed of what an abortion actually does to a baby. So it's hard when this news is something you want to let others know, yet, no surprise.....people do not want to be educated. Maybe you are now realizing there is a rather large group of residents of Farmville, Oprahville, Jersey Girlsville and Epicureanville. They want their fun, their isolationist bubbles and you are not to upset their psyches. How dare you?
It's not to say that you don't try. With some people, they really do have questions and are sincere in learning. Sometimes there are just wonderful moments where there's no drama, no overreaction and there's real discussion. Honestly, people just haven't throught this through. They just are uninformed and they are completely unaware of the big world of abortionists and their dirty practices. They genuinely have never given one thought to the abortion procedure and to prenatal development. Some are honest and they really care. I love the people who are straightforward when I have asked them "What is your opinion about abortion" and their answer is "I don't know". That's honest and if they are intellectually honest, a great amount of progress can be made.
To sum up....you will be attacked for your pro-life views....just like many Christians are attacked for their beliefs. As I was reminded by a some very lovely pro-lifers recently.....Jesus was killed for His truthtelling. You will be accused of advancing an agenda and yes, you are. It's a truth agenda. It's an agenda of protecting ALL life. It's the same agenda that told the truth that people are not property to be used, abused and destroyed. It's the truth agenda that says each and every individual is unique and made in His image. This will upset many people just like it did back when the Dred Scott was labeled "property". It will upset many people just like it did when Jews were labeled "useless eaters" by the eugenicists.
1) Recognize that when you start to speak your mind, you will be facing attack and will need a sanctuary.
2) Find your daily/weekly sanctuary. Maybe that will be at a crisis pregnancy center or start a pro-life group of your own...like-minded souls to pray for those spiritual attacks (but don't hide out there and isolate yourself).
3) Identify your potential attacks. Will they be blatant? Chameleons?
4) Stay grounded in prayer and the Word always.
Pray! Do you need sanctuary? There's always sanctuary available. Here and now in your Loving Father's arms. He is always faithful, wise and understanding of what you are facing. Pray for those people who attack you no matter what the issue is. Pray for the foul ones, the nasty ones, the sneaky ones, the betraying ones. Don't walk on eggshells...don't let Satan get the victory by staying silent. When people try to silence you, diminish you, ridicule you and discourage you....lean on Him and stay in His perfect and infallible Word (God Himself says it's perfect and incorruptible). Rest in the knowledge that His truth is on your side.
There are babies who have no way to fight back, escape or scream out. Do it for them...pick up your shield, your sword....your words may save a life, physically and spiritually.