NB: I wrote my real return address on the letters, but blurred it out for the internet.
I didn’t only use the heart stamps for my letters to the priests in my community who support protests which intimidate pregnant women because they’re the ones I have on-hand. A few weekends ago, I witnessed a dramatic contrast between the messages and methods of the pro-life protesters outside my clinic. One of the priests who only comes out to protest during Lent was giving a sermon to the other protesters, and was working his way through a passage on the importance of love. He said something to the effect that a pro-life movement which was not founded on love could not succeed.
Just as he was advocating for Christ-like love, a young woman and her friend walked into the circle. The young woman was sobbing and she couldn’t get through the protesters. They ringed around her, shouting at her.
I admit: I was so angry, my blood was rushing in my ears, and I couldn’t clearly hear what they were yelling at her. I could see she was terrified, she was nearly hysterical, and the protesters weren’t showing sympathy. In the past, I’ve heard them yell:
Don’t go in there–they kill women in there.
Don’t kill your baby.
Mama, mama, please don’t hurt me.
You will regret this for the rest of your life.
Abortion leads to drug abuse, depression, and suicide.
While I couldn’t hear what they said this time, I could see their faces: stuck, mean, hungry. No sympathy. No relenting in the face of her clear terror and grief. No love.
I wish the protesters could have seen in their faces just then what I saw. I wish their priests could see how cruel this form of protest truly is. I wish they would just leave women alone.
Hopefully my letters to 10 of the priests who support 40 Days for Life will help them see.
There is of course another path–the man working at a comics store near the clinic got so tired of one of the screamers he pulled out a big stereo and started blasting tv-comics theme songs. Here’s Thundercats:
“Some things are not forgiveable. Deliberate cruelty is not forgiveable. It is the most unforgiveable thing in my opinion, and the one thing in which I have never, ever been guilty.”–Tennessee Williams,