Using the images of Don Quixote and the Biblical David, O’Brien observed that those who embark on an heroic mission - such as the mission of the pro-life movement - under their own powers only will inevitably end up like Don Quixote at the end of Cervantes’ novel – broken-hearted and disillusioned.
Rather than Don Quixote, said O’Brien, pro-life activists should fight with the spirit of David, a mere boy who was able to defeat the giant Goliath. The author emphasized that the reason for David’s victory was that he put everything in God’s hands, saying of the result of his fight with Goliath, “The battle belongs to the Lord.” This, he said, should be the constant refrain of the pro-life movement.
Rather than fighting the culture of death with mere ingenuity or intelligence, which inevitably fail and leave us disappointed, said the author, pro-life activists should engage in the battle for life in what he termed a “prophetic spirit” that is unafraid to embrace the cross and to serve as a “sign of contradiction” to the world.
This seems to be a recurring theme. Should pro-lifers include religion in their strategy, or not? Shouldn't we be smarter, more tech-savvy, less 'oogedy- boogedy'? Why hasn't the pro-life movement been able to convince the public of the direness of society's degradation and decline, due in large part to a disregard for the value of life? Are 'religious' people scaring away those who would be otherwise open to Life arguments?
ProWomanProLife keeps returning to this discussion . In a recent thread it was debated whether there was a category of secular (social) conservatives, or whether the so-cons were basically all religious folks. At the same time as PWPL is establishing themselves as a reasonable pro-life voice in the blogosphere and beyond, they have a diversity among themselves. Some of the writers are religious, some have 'left' religion. (There is a problem with consistent definitions of religious/non-religious here that would help the discussion.)
I myself have had discussions with self-proclaimed atheists who express sympathy for pro-life advocacy, and strain to establish a 'morality' without a God. They say 'I am a good person, because I have decided that these things are good.' The problem that I see, is that without a higher purpose to that belief, how do they convince others? How is their 'belief' useful to the pro-life movement?
Michael O'Brien is right. If we try to organize ourselves into success, and be politically correct by eliminating outward signs that we believe God will act for us, we CANNOT succeed. The pro-life movement absolutely depends on the Rosary brigade, the Masses offered, the sacrifices of faithful people, to deluge Heaven with prayers. We have to keep begging for mercy. Only through the mercy of God, will the tide of cruel indifference to life be stemmed.
It serves no purpose to be embarrassed by our more prayerful activists. We rely on them to make up our own deficit.
As for the place of secular non-religious in the pro-life movement, I believe each person is individually part of God's plan to redeem the world. We aren't all on the same 'schedule', but I consider myself to be on the road to His purpose, and anyone who works to save Life is surely on that road too.
God will work out those details.