Monday, June 1, 2009

Advice from Father Frank Pavone to Pro-Lifers

Father Frank Pavone gives clear advice to pro-life people in the wake of George Tiller's murder. I have transcribed the entire text here so that you can copy and paste Father Frank's statements into your own correspondence. This man should be quoted liberally when facing the questions that we are going to face as pro-lifers.

I have been asked a number of times, "what do I think is the biggest danger of this event to the pro life movement; what is the greatest harm that will be done to our movement? Will it tar the movement's reputation?"
Certainly it does that.
"Will it cause the government to overreach in its efforts to stop the violence and clamp down on legitimate First Amendment activity - freedom of speech and freedom of assembly?"
Yes, it does do that too and it will but those aren't the biggest dangers.

The biggest danger right now to our movement, in the light of the killing of Dr. Tiller, is the enemy within. I'm talking about the fear, the self-doubt, the little voice inside of us that makes us feel guilty now for saying that abortion is murder, that might make some people feel guilty for being too aggressive in the effort to stop the killing of children, maybe make them afraid of going out in front of the abortion facilities to intervene peacefully for the lives of those children. The enemy within that would make some people believe what the other side is trying to say, that somehow we in the pro-life movement are responsible for this violence because of our violent rhetoric and because of our decades of efforts to expose the reality of what abortion is.

But the fact of the matter is, as the Gospel of Life written by Pope John Paul the Second says, that we have to look evil in the eye and call it by its proper name. Abortion is a holocaust, it is the killing of children, it is murder and it's happening on a massive scale precisely because so many of our fellow citizens are blind to it.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote the letter from the Birmingham jail in response to a group of clergy who told him that his tactics were too extreme, and that, in fact, he and his colleagues were responsible for fomenting violence. And he said that's a ridiculous argument; it's like saying the fact that someone possesses money is inciting the robber to commit an act of robbery; or that Jesus preaching that He was God is what provoked the crucifixion, that He is somehow responsible for that.

Brothers and sisters, we are not responsible for the violence that is done. We are a movement of non-violence and as Dr. King and, as Gandhi before him, taught and as we teach: non-violence is neither passivity nor obscurity. It does not sit back in the face of evil and it doesn't try to cover up the face of evil. Non-violence is a force that confronts violence in whatever form it takes. And it does so courageously and boldly and unapologetically.

So let the outcry continue to arise over the murder of George Tiller and let the outcry continue to arise against the murders that he committed and that other abortionists continue to commit. This is our pledge of non-violence and this is why our movement to protect life and to end violence in all its forms will succeed.


Rebecca said...

Someone made a comment on prowomanprolife the other day to the effect that "when muslims blow up buildings, the media is (quite rightly) quick to say not to attribute that behaviour to all muslims, but when a pro-lifer shoots someone they are all too eager to make them the poster person for the entire pro-life community." so, so true.

Julie Culshaw said...

Yes, unfortunately, the pro life movement is being tarred by this. And Janet Napolitano may follow through on her categorization of pro-lifers as "terrorists". Yet, as Jill Stanek says, no other movement has had such a long history of non-violence as the pro-life movement.