“They’re concerned about pro-life and other conservative causes.”  A simple statement which many of us might pass over in reading an article.  It is an idea which I’ve seen in the secular media and in some pro-life publications.  But, it is a phrase which is well worth pausing over.  As long as we do not see the fundamental fallacy in that statement, we will not succeed and cannot succeed.  The pro-life movement is many things, but it is not a conservative movement.

Abortion is not some strange quirk which suddenly appeared in our society.  It is not an aberration which has been imposed upon our society by outside sinister forces.  No, abortion is deeply rooted in the fabric of contemporary Western society and is the natural outcome of many of the attitudes and forces which shape and control our society.  When we fight abortion, we are seeking to change the current foundations of our society.

Abortion fits lifestyle

Consumerism is also the basis on which we pass judgment on entire societies.  Political parties, social systems, government leaders and countries are judged on the basis of the size and growth of their Gross National Product, which is simply a measure of all the goods which a country produces.

You cannot watch television for more than 20 minutes without understanding why we have abortion on demand.  Virtually every moment of television is spent reinforcing the message that the good life is one of wealth, power and sexual satisfaction.  The availability of abortion is an intricate and necessary part of any life built upon these values.

Pro-life people are quick to acknowledge the role of the media.  Unfortunately some make the mistake of believing that the media only reflects the values of a small Hollywood set.  That’s true as far as it goes.  But it ignores a much more basic reality.  Every media outlet in our society in this country is a big business.  Most of them are parts of multi-billion dollar enterprises.  The media does not merely reflect the values of big business – it is big business.

It is naïve to think that the media has been hijacked by some Hollywood set promoting a message which business does not support.  Big business is not in the habit of running enterprises which damage their goals or undermine their interests.  The media sends out the message it does, because big business wants such messages sent out.  The corporate agenda is that life should be understood as a consumerist splurge.

For this reason, the task of the pro-life movement is anything but conservative.  Big business is the established power in Western society.  It dominates elected governments, often controlling their agendas and playing a crucial role in the selection of leaders.  Indeed a review of recent Canadian federal politics establishes that no individual comes to hold significant power without establishing oneself as a supporter of the corporate agenda.

The task of establishing respect and protection for the unborn is enormous.  What we must not do is copy the American experience, where in recent years pro-lifers sought common cause with the Republican Party.  That experience has proved to be a disaster.    After twelve years of pro-life supported Republican rule in the United States, the economic and military conservatives got everything they asked for.  Meanwhile, pro-lifers got virtually nothing – not even a Supreme Court which would restore the power of the government to deal with the issue of abortion.

In Canada we have instead put our energy into electing outspoken pro-life spokespersons, regardless of their political party.  MPs like Tom Wappel have spoken out forcibly on behalf of the unborn – disturbing the established powers including their own parties’ leadership.  It is such prophetic activity which will lead us to a pro-life society.

By taking a pro-life stand, any candidate puts himself or herself at odds with some of the most powerful forces in our society.  Such candidates prove that they are anything but conservative, whatever their party label.  They issue a fundamental challenge to our society and they all pay a price for being true to their principles.  Our obligation as voters is to ensure that these courageous individuals receive our whole-hearted support in this election.