The “Mission Impossible” theme ought to have been playing: Mr. Moore, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a column about what pro-life, pro-family people have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.”

In a year that saw: passage of Bill C-33, U.S. President the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ cash donation to the anti-life National Action Committee on the Status of Women, more gutless legal dithering as assisted suicides continued in Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s seemingly unstoppable “death van,” the killing of another 1.5 million to 2 million unborn North American babies, and too many other setbacks to review exhaustively here, thankfulness doesn’t readily spring to mind.

However, upon further reflection, it occurred that the very existence of a vigorous pro-family movement in the post-modern, post-Christian, overwhelming secular-humanist society like ours is in itself something to be profoundly thankful for. One is reminded of Edmund Burke’s epigram, “All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” First and foremost we should be thankful for the unsung, courageous, and largely anonymous volunteers who faithfully show up to pray and picket in front of abortuaries, and the generous should who financially support organizations like Campaign Life, Human Life International, Focus on the Family, et al.  If not for these good men and women, evil would prevail unopposed.

Individuals ‘role

We can be thankful for the individuals who volunteer many hours to administering pro-life, pro-family organizations like the above –mentioned, who write and print newsletters, stuff and mail envelopes, request donations, etc. We can be thankful for people like Gwen Landolt, Cecilia Forsyth, and Judy Anderson of REAL Women, who tenaciously advocate family values, and the writers like William Gairdner, the Byfields, and Michael Corren, who advocate pro-family principles in the public square.

We should be thankful for pro-life, pro-family Members of Parliament, for Liberals like Tom Wappel, Roseanne Skoke, and Dan McTeague, who courageously weather derision and contempt from their caucus colleagues for opposing the government’s anti-family agenda; for the 50 or so Reformers who voted against C-33, and especially Dr. Grant Hill and David Chatters, who took a lot of heat for boldly speaking the truth; for Elsie Wayne, who voted against C-33 despite her party leader’s enthusiastic endorsement of gay rights; for newly-Independent Dennis Mills, whose conscience led him out of the Liberal Party.

We can be thankful that despite their seemingly endless string of successes on the legal and legislative fronts, an awareness appears to be dawning on some anti-life advocates that the project they champion is a sordid and ugly one.  Maclean’s magazine recently published a multi-article feature cautiously examining the ethics of abortion and fatal rights.  Liberal-leftist writer Christopher Hitchens conceded in a Nation article that “in order to terminate a pregnancy, you have to still a heartbeat..”

Writing in the New Republic last fall, prominent feminist Naomi Wolf mused about the danger abortion poses to women’s souls, and didn’t shirk from referring to the unborn child as “a baby” not a fetus.  Wolf criticized “Yuppie parents to be, who buy nice holistic birthing books, with pretty color pictures of unborn babies, (but still) are ready to co-sign the unwanted unborn to the trash bag.”

That sort of plain speaking is historically novel in the notoriously euphemistic pro-choice camp, and this unexpected honestly from someone like Naomi Wolf is refreshing and sometimes and something we can be thankful for.

Finally, let us be truly thankful for the children’s’ lives that have been saved through pro-life efforts, which have surely persuaded countless mothers not to abort their babies.  That sort of success can’t be quantified with statistics but we can be confident that it isn’t insignificant.

And if you’re still discouraged by the relentless blows pro-lifers have been dealt recently by governments and judges, remember no on who truly understands the sort of battle between good and evil we’re engaged in could ever imagine victory is assured.