Pro-Life Youth Inspirational; Media Laughable
January 24, 2012 § 2 Comments
Media Checklist for Coverage of the March For Life 2012:
1. Completely underestimate the amount of pro-life people there. In a feat of mathematical wizardry, turn “hundreds of thousands” into “thousands.”
2. Make it seem as if there were an equal amount of pro-abortion people there. (There were not. There were about 7.)
3. Do NOT take any wide-angle camera shots.
4. Rationalize away the incredibly strong presence of youth.
5. Make the March for Life into something that’s about “religious ideologies” rather than the basic fact of human life.
6. Again, don’t forget the “under”s: Under-report it. Underestimate it. Under-photograph it. Undermine it.
Well, the checklist is out in full force again this year, as I read the online news about the March For Life, the annual grassroots pro-life march that commemorates the tragic day when the Supreme Court legalized abortion. It took place yesterday in Washington, DC, and I was able to attend with my church youth group. I don’t know if I’ll be able to form all my thoughts into a coherent whole, but I wanted to at least jot my observations down before they faded. Here are my thoughts, as I remember having them:
12:00 PM: We arrive at the Mall where the annual pro-life rally is being held. My first thought: WOW. There is an INCREDIBLE amount of people here. And more than three-quarters of them are young adults. Second thought: Darn it, it’s way colder than I anticipated and the rain has already soaked my gloves! Fie. Also, I end up with a “Personhood: No Matter How Small” sign and a “Defend Life” sign. We are all standing in the muddy lawn of the Mall, listening to the speakers, but we’re a little too far away to hear them clearly. Kate Walters runs up to me at this point and I am overjoyed to see her! I am so impressed by the amount of people still filling up the area. The freezing rain doesn’t deter pro-life activists much! People are handing out Rick Santorum stickers, and I’ve seen a few Ron Paul signs as well. I don’t really like the idea of political candidates being touted here at the March, although I understand why it’s happening, since this is an election year. But being pro-life isn’t about Republicans or Democrats. It’s about the sanctity of human life, from conception to natural death. The absolute bedrock of our nation’s rights is that of life.
1:30: We begin to file into the street for the actual marching part of the day. There are so many banners from different schools and churches. St. Cecelia’s Parish. St. Gregory’s Academy. St. Anthony of Padua Church. The Sisters of Life. Benedictine College. Ave Maria University. Their names shine jewel-bright against the gunmetal sky. I see the Franciscan friars, recognizable in their long gray robes. There are people holding Papal flags right next to me. I get excited, because that’s the bumper sticker on the back of my car! There are a few Methodists for Life signs, and a bunch of Orthodox Jewish signs too. I see Lutherans for Life a few minutes later. My favorite sign said: “Mother and child. Love them both.”
2:15: Our group decides to say a Chaplet of Divine Mercy as we march. People join in as they walk with us. Some groups have their own prayers, others are chanting. A few are even singing. I hear drums and trumpets from a group ahead of us. Though all these sounds might clash, the sense of unity is overwhelming. We walk past the EWTN cameras. I wave in the hopes that my family will see me. No luck, it turns out.
2:45: My hands and feet are FREEZING. Enough to keep me from taking as many pictures as I wanted to. But we are still marching, moving in a massive line up Constitution Ave. Near the top of the hill, I turn around and see the March snaking its way behind us. I can’t see the end. People just keep coming around the corner of the block, far down the hill from us. It’s honestly insane how many people are here in the freezing rain and cold.
3:00: We are stopped in front of the Supreme Court building. For the first time, I spot some pro-abortion protestors. They have a little area right in front of the Court. There are about 7 of them. It is not a very comparable showing at all. We keep on walking.
3:45: The March is almost at an end. My Defend Life sign performed valiantly, but is finally giving up the ghost. The paper is soggy from the rain and there are muddy smears on the wood. Clumps of people wander past us as we pause in front of the Library of Congress. The March is slow to dissipate. It’s hard to let go of all that energy and emotion in an instant. I am always left with a feeling of wanting to do a little more. Take another extra block for the babies who’ve been aborted since Roe V. Wade was passed. Or pray another Rosary. Join my voice with the hundreds of thousands of other young adults who’ve spent the day in protest of the killing of our generation.
4:00: Shannon and I arrive back at the bus, ahead of everyone else because we’re awesome like that. I sink into my seat with an air of relief as my hands finally start to unthaw. Was it worth it though? Yes, it was.
A last reflection: The kids. The kids there! It was insane, inspiring, amazing, moving to tears, the amount of kids there who looked to be in the 14-21 age range. The pro-life movement is only growing younger, stronger, and bigger, folks. We aren’t going anywhere any time soon! 🙂