RE: the messenger service

There used to be tradition about handling messengers: the bearer of bad news was always killed on the spot, the bearer of good news was usually rewarded.  Bad news was regarded as a sort of pollution of disease.

Several people have told us lately that they find The Interim depressing to read.  Why don’t we, they ask, focus more on the positive and give pro-lifers more to be cheerful about.  Why do we write about issues which, on first reading, seem irrelevant to our central concern – abortion?  Peripheral issues, they say, confuse and depress, giving even staunch pro-lifers the feeling that there are too many battles to fight.

There are, of course, many “good news” items in every issue.  We report the marches and rallies, the postcard and signature campaigns.  We report the pickets, the sidewalk counseling services and the demonstrations.  We report the arrests and the court cases.  All these stores are good news in that they show that the anti-abortion movement is vibrant and strong and determined to keep the issue in the front of public consciousness.

Certainly, the end to governmental and social approval of abortion is our primary goal: a goal that will not be attained until attitudes change.  We must convince people that every human being has an intrinsic value and dignity that society has a duty to defend and protect.  Our concern for the individual extends to the unborn, the mentally or physically handicapped, the elderly, the woman whose pregnancy puts her in a difficult situation, the man whose rights and responsibilities are ignored or dismissed.  They are inextricably linked.

Paradoxically, attacks on individual dignity come from those intent on securing individual freedom.  Freedom, that is, to do whatever you want regardless of the often-hidden consequences to others.  As a society we worship individual rights and all too often ignore the attendant responsibilities.

This is why we report at such length on the attacks on the family and the erosion of traditional values: not to swamp our readers with bad news (so they feel there are simply too many battles to fight), but rather to give them the wider context of the war, so each local battle makes wider sense, and each of us can gauge its wider impact and import.

The problems will not go away if ignored.  Rather, the battleground will become larger.  It’s up to individuals to arm themselves and to choose their battle.  No one can fight on all fronts at once; we can, however, influence the outcome of many smaller skirmishes – as long as we clearly understand the basic issues.

So, please, don’t shoot the messenger: remember, forewarned is forearmed.