What We Stand For: A Brief Reflection on The Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood Shooting

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I’m sure by now you have heard of the Planned Parenthod shooting that took place in Colorado Springs yesterday.  However, just for emphasis, I will summarize it:
At 11:38 local time, 57-year old Robert Lewis Dear burst into the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs and opened fire. The staff and patients took cover in closets and bathrooms.
Police were engaged in a standoff with Robert Lewis Dear that some sources say lasted five hours while other sources state lasted for six hours. Officers continued to encounter gunfire as they evacuated the people who had taken cover.
The standoff ended when Robert Lewis Dear surrendered.

Since yesterday I have been taking to Facebook and joining the flood of pro-life groups and advocates who have been condemning Robert Lewis Dear’s act of violence against Planned Parenthood.  However, that hasn’t stop detractors from using this tragedy to blame pro-life activists and smear our cause.  For me, the biggest blow came when Buzzfeed posted an article entitled, “Some Abortion Foes Cheered the Planned Parenthood Shooting.”  http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelzarrell/some-pro-life-supporters-cheered-planned-parenthood-shooting?utm_term=.uoAz1YPPe#.ggM0eMww9

After that, I just logged off and took some time to take a breath.  My heart was already heavy from what happened in Colorado Springs, and to see a cause I care for being slandered was even worse.
I went to our living room and sat in front of the Christmas tree, staring at the ornaments and lights.  “Why should I even bother?” I asked myself. Why should I even bother to keep posting about how pro-life groups have condemned what happened in Colorado Springs if people will continue to paint us as violent extremists anyway?
I looked at our pictures of Jesus and Mary that hang side by side on our wall. I bore my eyes into Jesus’ image, concentrating at his upward gaze, his purposeful expression.

Then, somehow, I came to a distressing thought: ‘Why did Jesus even bother to die on the Cross?’

I had to sit down.  Jesus died for our sins, but we still sin anyway, so why would He bother?
The answer: Because Jesus’ mission was to save us.

This conclusion lifted me from my drained state.  Why should I bother to be vocal about defending the pro-life cause?
Because defending every life is our mission.

What others say about us doesn’t matter.  How society paints us is irrelevant.  Pro-life does not exist to please others.  Pro-life exists to protect the dignity of every single life.

Pro-life means defending the humanity of the unborn baby.
Pro-life means reaching out to the single mother.
Pro-life means offering hope to the pregnant teenager.
Pro-life means supporting the rape victim.
Pro-life means showing mercy to abortion clinic workers.
Pro-life means feeding and clothing the homeless.
Pro-life means welcoming the refugee.
Pro-life means standing up for the death row inmate.
Pro-life means giving shelter to abandoned animals.
Pro-life means every beating heart matters.
I will say this as many times as I need to: Pro-life does not stand for violence or extremism.  We do not stand for shaming women or abortion workers.  You cannot call yourself pro-life if you do not condemn violence against clinics or the people who work there.  Oppose abortion, but do no harm to those who support it.

Pro-life is pro-peace.
Period.

 

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