A PRO-LIFE MANIFESTO

Talk given by Thaddée Renault at Sussex Pro-Life Supper - April 28, 2013 There`s an old saying in French which goes like this, “Chassez le naturel et il revient au gallop,” - which translates, “Banish the natural and it comes galloping back.” People who know me often suggest I should adopt a more mellow tone in expressing myself. I always try, but nature consistently resurfaces.  As my wife can tell you, she`s about the only person I`m extra careful about voicing my opinions to, in an appropriate manner... So, you may get the idea tonight I`m challenging you as pro-lifers with a talk I`ve entitled “A Pro-Life Manifesto.” However when fighting the good fight, we pro-lifers need provocation at times to remain relevant and effective. With its 1969 decision to liberalize abortion, the Canadian government has put its official stamp of approval on mass murder. Since then, the battle lines have been drawn. We pro-lifers have become the bad guys, pro-choicers the good guys. We are engaged, willy nilly, in a life and death struggle against satanic agents. What I`ll offer tonight is a very broad overview of where the movement stands presently and the factors that decisively enhance or impede our relevance and effectiveness. First off, what must be the actual goal of the movement, aside from saving babies and protecting pregnant mothers? It is to expose the pro-choice movement and the radical feminists who micro-manage it. It is to reveal their dirty little secrets and shine the light of truth on their horrifying agenda and lay bare their demonic ideology that makes them want to kill innocent little babies with a passionate zeal. To do that we must boldly teach the truth in precise terms and even with harsh imagery. Imagine it. In Canada we kill over 110,000 babies every year. We even kill them a few weeks from birth and, in 491 cases from 2000 to 2009, babies immediate after birth who had survived an abortion. Abortion kills babies. Abortion maims and kills expectant mothers. In the face of such a horrific reality, we can`t afford to be wishy washy in our public statements. We have so much we can draw upon to help us effectively address the weapon of mass destruction that abortion is: i.e. crisis pregnancy centres, lifechains, conferences, educational displays, sidewalk counselling, political activism, letters to newspapers, emails or letters to politicians, interviews, and many other positive tactics. Politicians warrant our special attention. Our contacts with them have a profound impact on their actions. To a great extent they depend on us to help them determine the pulse of the community on moral issues. We can also draw upon an incredible wealth coming from women who have had abortions but are now repenting and wish to be silent no more. One of the most problematic structural challenges the pro‑life movement faces here in Canada is that we are effectively a movement of part‑time amateur volunteers who have pitted themselves against full-time paid staff professionals on the other side. And we feel we are being crushed by the other side because, for them, killing babies is an absolute obsession while for us saving babies may often take on the aspect of a hobby. WE MIGHT LOOK MARGINAL:- Worldly standards aside, the pro-life movement is anything but marginal today, just as the centre of the world 2,000 years ago wasn`t really Rome or Alexandria, but a little town in the backwater province of Judea. Like Jesus we are given the awesome responsibility to change society`s view on the sanctity of every human life. Sure, the public mindset on abortion at best allows us to exist, but we are often viewed as a fringe movement, heading to extinction. As pro-lifers, we take heart in the fact that it`s not our battle we`re fighting, but God`s. With that in mind, we`d rather fail in a cause which will ultimately triumph, than triumph in a cause which will ultimately fail. Always keep in mind that pro-lifers are not just working for victory; we are working from victory. Yes, the world will hate you, because it first hated Christ who told us to count this a blessing. VICTORY OUR STARTING POINT:- Yes, victory is our starting point. The outcome of the battle for life has already been decided. It only remains for us to be sure to do our part to proclaim, celebrate, and serve that victory, and fearlessly bring its transforming power to every segment of our society! DISCOURAGEMENT:- A crushing reality in our pro-life work is the lack of positive feedback. Many times we are just giving out information and praying that people will take it to heart. This often leads to discouragement and frustration at the outcome of the work and time we invest. And so, many people drop out because they feel they are not accomplishing anything. We really have to learn to trust God to be in charge of the results and know that our work is changing lives whether we see it that way or not. We may be few in number, but since when has God worked by way of a majority? Never worry about numbers. As Mother Teresa told us by words and example, if you can`t feed 100 people, then feed just one.  Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you. BE ENCOURAGED!- Clearly, it is galling to Canadian abortion defenders that after 44 years of virtually unlimited abortion, and 44 years of owning the title 'constitutional right,' and after 44 years of abortion support from the most elite segments of society - we in the pro-life movement will not call a wrong a right. They are finally realizing the sheer power of conscience formed in truth. Be encouraged! It`s fine to be upset about the outcome of elections that perpetuate anti-life measures. But we can never walk away from the cause. Together we will work, we will protest, we will defend, we will intervene, we will educate, and we will win this struggle for the lives of our unborn brothers and sisters. It is up to me — aided by you; it is up to you — aided by me, to spread this message. Adverse comments toward the pro-life movement should not bother pro-lifers one bit. We are after all products of a secular society. And what we can see very clearly is that the underpinning premise of that society is that God doesn`t matter. Our culture flows from that thinking, which explains how human rights can be taken away, not just for the unborn but also the elderly. Pro-lifers should remember how the abolitionists felt in the mid-19th century when their vehement opposition to slavery was for a very long time met with discouraging public indifference or scorn. As Gandhi told his Indian countrymen fighting against colonialism: “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.” Think of persecution not necessarily as a sign of ineffectiveness. On the contrary, it may well be a sign of effectiveness. Discouragement over an apparent lack of results leads us to think our commitment won`t have any effect. If that`s the case, it is because too many keep saying the same thing. As the maxim goes, “Light your own candle or you can continue to curse the stupid darkness.” Never underestimate what you do as a pro-lifer. Our actions touch other lives and move other hearts in ways we can never fully understand in this world. Why will we win in the end? In the words of the Holocaust historian Elie Wiesel: “[We] remember the killers, [we] remember the victims…. There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” And that’s why pro-lifers like us will win in the end. We can`t ever give up or give in. TOTAL DEDICATION REQUIRED:- Why would so many Canadians opt to be pro-choice. The reason is simple; it is that people find it so much easier to be pro-choice, because they think they`re running with the tide. Pro-lifers cannot work under the misconstrued concept that to be successful, they must be popular. If we truly care about life, we must make a lifetime commitment to the millions of additional babies that we want born. The pro-life movement will only succeed to the degree that pro-lifers are willing to inconvenience themselves. Doing pro-life work is not a hobby or extra-curricular activity. It flows from our very humanity. It’s everyone`s responsibility to work for life. How we do it can differ, but no one should feel indifferent about it. COURAGE OF YOUR CONVICTION:- The most important element in pro-life work is to have the courage of our convictions. Pro-lifers should know their convictions and why they have them. We all have a choice to make in our own lives: either to be silent and not be criticized by others, or be convinced enough to be pro-life in every aspect of our lives, even when it`s inconvenient - especially when it`s inconvenient - and risk temporary criticism or persecution. If you do act, if you get involved, then and only then, can you proudly say ‘I’m a pro-lifer.’ Do not be afraid. Our fear of being different, of being isolated, of losing friends, is one of the greatest weapons abortion supporters wield. Take it out of their hands by being forthright in your support of human life. In this struggle to defend innocent human life, those on the front lines need convictions, not just opinions, and they have to be willing to pay the price for those convictions - not just in term of moral support but, for those with the means, in terms of meaningful financial contributions. One of the realities which the pro-life movement must never lose sight of is the absolutely necessity that it not be seen as the preserve of only some Catholic or Fundamentalist elite.  It needs many people of every persuasion to work effectively. Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable; sticks alone can be broken by a child. Having diligently listened to me during these past minutes, I pray that what I`ve said will inspire those among you, who might feel they have been too passive pro-life supporters, to take your first step as active pro-lifers fighting for the right of the unborn to take their first steps. REALISTIC VIEW OF WHERE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT IS TODAY:- The realistic view of where the pro-life movement finds itself today is that it maintains a somewhat precarious position. It seems to many that the forces of evil have the upper hand for the forseeable future. And it very well will if society`s prevailing attitude of apathy and moral indifference continues to imprison society`s will to fight for what is right. Pro-lifers are the only ones who stand in the way of this happening. May God pour His blessings on the pro-life movement and provide abundantly for the spiritual and financial needs of the special person who keeps it alive in our province. Thank you and God bless.  

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