February 7, 2012 (LiveAction.org) - Readers, I am on a mini-vacation. I have driven up to my dad and stepmother’s place in Oklahoma for the weekend. The area is semi-rural, and as one who works every day in the heart of Dallas, I can certainly use semi-rural every once in a while.
Tomorrow we will go shoot guns in a pasture, because — you might not know this if you’re not from the South — it is really fun. Nothing relieves stress like turning money into noise.
After that, everyone will watch the Super Bowl, and I will probably walk around the pasture while horses and dogs follow me hoping for food or attention. (I dislike most sporting events that don’t involve bullets.) I will look around at pasture and fields, get my shoes really muddy, avoid the mean donkey, and pointedly not think about abortion.
It’s necessary for me to decompress, because lately I have gotten a little frustrated and overwhelmed. I fully intended to keep this to myself, but as I drove up here this morning, I realized this could be an instructive moment. I realized I could share my troubles with all of you, and maybe we could all learn something.
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I write for a pretty large audience about what is arguably the most controversial subject ever. Ever. What this means is I basically reside in an opinion pressure cooker. The better I do my job, the higher the pressure gets. When I touch a nerve, it means I’m making people think, and challenging their beliefs and prejudices, and that’s what I’m supposed to do.
I have a love-hate relationship with controversy. First of all, I think it’s a bad idea to write anything just to get a rise out of people, just as I think it’s a bad idea to avoid the truth just to keep from getting a rise out of people. Controversy should be incidental, a side effect of honesty.
Controversy and contention can be a very good thing. When people are talking and the argument is a valid one, it can only help the pro-life cause. I know the truth is on our side, and the more people hear it, the more minds we will change, and the more lives will be saved.
So on the one hand, I love a good ideological uproar. On the other, it can start to wear on you after a while. It affects everyone differently, and everyone reacts differently. Some people are admitted marshmallows and avoid the fight when they can. Some get in the scuffle, but get their feelings hurt.
I tend to enjoy the row in general. I don’t like arguing, but I like winning. In other words: I don’t enjoy the process, but I enjoy the outcome. See, when it comes to abortion, I know I’m right, and I enjoy being right. Who doesn’t?
My problem is not so much hurt feelings or anger as it is frustration when I don’t have the time or energy to defend the cause and my own integrity from all attacks. I wish I could hire someone to perform menial tasks for me so I would have time to respond to every argument. I have created a form letter which I send in response to hate mail, so that saves me some time.
But there just aren’t enough hours in the day to take on every comer, and I have to be okay with that. That’s what I’ve been thinking about as I attempt to have a relatively Internet-free weekend in which I don’t argue about abortion at all.
So what’s the point of sharing all this with you? Because if you’re doing your job as a defender of the unborn and an active proponent of human rights from the moment of conception, you are going to have to argue a lot, and it’s not always going to be fun.
So here’s the big secret, the enlightened, wise advice you’ve been waiting for. Ready? Here goes:
Do it anyway.
There is no secret. There is no way to stop it from angering you, hurting you, or stressing you out. Unless you’re a Buddhist monk who knows how to detach from all things and align your ch’i with your third eye or whatever — give me a break here, I’m a Texan — you’re going to have a mental and emotional reaction to the dumb comments, the well-said but poorly reasoned comments, and the emails calling you the c-word.
When there’s a lot of other stuff going on in your life, it’s going to be harder. Arguing about abortion is not so tough when it’s all you have to do, but when you also have a full-time job, rent, a truck payment, a family, and so on, you can start to feel a little overwhelmed.
Don’t back down. It makes the enemy happy when you back down. Take care of your responsibilities, but make defending life a priority. Take a couple days off to de-stress — I suggest road trips, target shooting, and dogs, but your preferences may vary — and then come back with all the fire you can muster.
We are in the middle of a battle, and I mean that quite literally. It is not a battle of brawn and bullets, but one of ideas, opinions, science, and law. It is one we can only hope future generations will think back on and thank us for winning. I picture a day when we can look around us and know that no one is missing, that everyone who lives gets to be born.
We are gathering momentum. Thanks in large part to Live Action, Planned Parenthood, the world’s largest abortion provider, is on the defensive. More and more young people, growing up in a high-tech time of 4-D ultrasounds and realizing they are survivors of Roe, consider themselves pro-life.
Abortion advocates are fighting tooth and nail for an ideology that is doomed. As we educate more and more people of the simple scientific fact that human life begins at conception, and the sound ethical principle that human rights begin when human life begins, the tide of public opinion is destined to turn in our favor. The abortion industry is backed up against a wall, and they know it. One day, we will look back on these days and recognize the death throes of legal abortion in America.
You might feel angry, annoyed, frustrated, or even depressed at times as you struggle to change minds that, for many different reasons, don’t want to be changed. Do what you need to do — pray, scream, play touch football, watch “Friends” reruns, whatever — but don’t over-indulge in these negative emotions. We do not have the luxury of wallowing in self-pity. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, there are quite literally lives to be saved. So wrap it up and get back to work.
Keep fighting. We are winning. Don’t back down.
Reprinted with permission from LiveAction’s blog.