It is too-common, although understandable, that many pro-lifers are suffering from abortion or same-sex “marriage” fatigue. Informed social conservatives and people of faith have been barraged by news, debates and other information about redefining marriage to include homosexual couples over the past few years. Many pro-lifers have been reading not only The Interim, but our daily online service, LifeSiteNews.com, and other pro-life publications for years. Unfortunately, some grassroots supporters – even some activist leaders – are drowning in information, getting tired of the issue or beginning to feel hopeless.
The reason for this is not because the news is always bad. Indeed, there have been many positive developments. Several pro-life groups have recently begun new initiatives that will only help the cause of respecting the sanctity of human life. Polls are showing that youth are increasingly pro-life and are rejecting the loose values of the their parents’ generation. More religious leaders are beginning to speak out on the issues.
The actual reason for the fatigue is that people are not using this information. They are reading up on the issues, and becoming exceptionally well-informed, but are no longer activists. They become near-experts on the state of our culture, but do not put that information to good use.
It is important to be knowledgable, but that is not enough. Recently, Campaign Life Coalition national president Jim Hughes has been giving a speech that outlines a course of action, of which becoming informed is just one part of a four-pronged plan of activism: pray, become knowledgable about the issues, become active and donate.
Most people who are pro-life, pro-family and traditional in their values are people of faith. Hughes reminds audiences that the battle to restore the culture is not our fight, but God’s. We must pray for the conversion of society, for the restoration of moral laws, for the success of pro-life and pro-family organizations battling in both the political and cultural arenas, for politicians that share our values. We can also pray that we recognize opportunities that we can use to witness for the cause.
Just as faith without reason has its own problems, activism without knowledge will certainly be enfeebled. We must recognize and understand the dangers that certain trends present to our society, so we can know where the battles are. We must be well-versed in the arguments for and against them so we can talk intelligently within our circle of family and friends about the issues, and we must know what is happening in politics at all levels of government, so we can make informed choices come election day.
But knowing is not the same as doing and for too long many “activists” thought that becoming informed was enough. We need to put knowledge into action. We need to contact our elected officials, write a letter to the editor or call a talk radio program, hold a sign during LifeChain, raise moral issues with family and friends, take part in a walkathon, raise awareness in our churches, convince others to join with us in attending a pro-life event, put a pro-life bumper sticker on our cars or a sign in our yards. There is no shortage of things pro-lifers can do. It is just a matter of doing them.
For both special and annual events, as well as for day-to-day business, pro-life, pro-family and religious organizations need money. None of them enjoy raising money or asking their supporters to give, but without the generosity of the grassroots, many would have to shut their doors and opportunities for activism would be diminished or disappear completely. It costs money to host events, book halls, bring in speakers, print signs and newsletters and erect billboards. Some of the more fortunate groups have part-time and sometimes, even full-time staff. They need money to carry on with their life-saving missions.
The Interim has the daunting task of keeping the pro-life, pro-family movement informed and of providing context and analysis for what is happening in our country and around the world. But it is not enough to simply know – we are called to do. It is a point that Jim Hughes is making to pro-lifers across the country and a point that Rev. Tristan Emmanuel made in a commentary that we reprint in this issue. We must translate knowledge into action if our culture is to be restored.