Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Progressive Pro-Lifers? Rock for Life's New Faces

A Rock for Life Sign / Sticker, (c) Rock for Life

Cornerstone Festival this year had some highs and lows for me emotionally--both being God-caused. Along with Sarah Sullivan's heart-breaking story of rape and rape's aftermath, which she presented at the Gender Revolution Tent, the Rock for Life folks' presentation of a real abortion on video was one of those God-sent "low points" that readjusts one's heart and mind.

My wife, Carol Elaine, asked to stop at the booth when she noticed a sign offering video of an actual abortion. One had to step behind their counter to see the video, which was a good idea due to small children walking around inside the larger Cornerstone Exhibition Hall where the RforL booth was. I believe there were three different abortions filmed, the first being a fairly early one, the second being late term, and the third (I think) being a partial-birth.

I warned my dearling this was not likely going to be a good idea for her emotional well-being, as she weeps both while worshipping God and over the nightly news horrors from Iraq, Lebanon, and Israel (a heart so tender to Christ and so to those who suffer!). And sure enough, we got only about 10 to 20 seconds into the first abortion, where a preborn child's limbs were torn off and pulled from its mothers' womb before our eyes, when Carol burst into tears and clung to me saying "I can't take any more!" I was sure glad, because frankly I felt the same way!

This led to an animated discussion with the young man at the booth about the videos (they are online, and if I find them [or someone else who knows where they are can comment in the link] I'll publish it --but they are GRAPHIC and REAL recordings of murder, so be forewarned.) I think where they would do the most good is with someone not convinced that abortion is the taking of a real human being but rather only "fetal tissue." If they didn't get it before seeing this, they hopefully would afterward!

Rock for Life sponsors a stage at Cornerstone Festival and also offers seminars (here's one list I noted of the bands that played this year.)

In the past, I confess that though I've always been pro-life, Rock for Life's seeming political allegiance to the hard right was a turn-off. Unlike groups such as Feminists for Life, RforL seemed a bit dense in regard to abortion's linkage with other issues such as women's rights, poverty, housing, and other threads of the social fabric. As with many pro-lifers, it seemed their issue was the only issue--and they voted, acted, and lived by the one issue alone. As important an issue as I think abortion is, I've increasingly been unable to vote for allegedly "pro-life" candidates who seem pro-death in so much of the policy they create and enact.

This year, that rightist slant seemed far less the case regarding Rock for Life. The young man, noting my "liberal" comments on a form I filled out supporting South Dakotans for Life, explained that Rock for Life was undergoing a metamorphosis on progressive issues. (I'm sorry to report I lost the piece of paper I'd scrawled his name on.) It turned out he was not a fan of the current administration, the War in Iraq, Capital Punishment, the subordination of women, and various other causes normally (though illogically in my opinion) linked to the pro-life community. And according to him, he is not alone in this paradigm shift among Rock for Life folk.

But perhaps the seeds for progress were there in part due to who sponsors Rock for Life, namely, the Catholic organization American Life League. The idea of the seamless garment, while embraced by some evangelicals, was originally (or at least most articulately) postulated by Catholics. So kudos to those bishops.

And kudos to Rock for Life, whose work I believe will be greatly enhanced as and if they continue in a more progressive, wholistic direction linking abortion to other evils against humankind.

A friend, after discovering my post here, mentioned his concern that Rock for Life (as does Roman Catholicism) seems to intermix abortion and birth control. This is a valid concern for me as well; like most Protestants, I don't see non-abortive forms of birth control as being immoral within the marital context. In fact, I've posted some pretty forthright stuff on this elsewhere. That said, my Catholic sisters and brothers are like me trying to walk in the Lord's will, and I would only hope they could differentiate between birth control and abortion even while themselves holding the opinion that birth control is wrong.

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