1. The focus on Christianity. How many atheist or agnostic pro-lifers didn't attend, or left early, because they didn't feel welcome? That isn't to say that there shouldn't be a religious presence - there absolutely SHOULD - but I don't think there should have been a mass after the March, on Parliament Hill. The masses should occur in the churches, and be specifically for the Christian pro-lifers. If we want other people to attend the March, we shouldn't force church on them! There was also too many speakers who said they were against abortion because God is. This does not help our cause. It just makes us sound like crazy religious people.
Well, maybe the problem is not that we sound like "crazy religious people." Maybe the problem is they think we're crazy religious people.
Religious people can't be secular in secular people's stead. Our opposition to abortion is inspired and nourished by our faith. You can't get 20 000+ Christians on the Hill and then ask them to pretend Jesus is irrelevant.
God will be the one who will win this victory for us. He is what has gotten us this far. If it weren't for faith, there is no way the pro-life movement would exist today.
That being said, if seculars want to have a secular-only rally, more power to them. It would show that being pro-life is for everyone.
3. The lack of homemade signs. Homemade signs show you care about the cause, they show that you are willing to put time into spreading your beliefs! I hope more people are inspired to make their own signs next year.
I'd like to suggest that maybe one reason-- among many-- pro-lifers don't get the media coverage that we so crave is that our rallies are visually boring. The most interesting thing-- visually-- at the March for Life were the Pro-Life Avengers.Our rallies consist mostly of people just walking with identical signs everywhere.
If we want media coverage, we got to give the media the visuals to make it worth their while to publish our stories.
I've always wished we could do a little bit of street theatre.
I realize that it's a bit tough to lug homemade signs when you're on a bus with 30 other people for six hours.
But maybe the youth could have a sign-making party before the March? Maybe a paper maché workshop for those street theatre puppets?
Just a thought.
4. The fact that so many people left right away. It gives the impression that you really don't care that much about the pro-life cause. Though there was still a very sizable crowd several hours after the March (much larger, I am sure, than any other crowd that comes to Parliament), if the attendance could have stayed as high as it had been during the March, that would have made a wonderful witness!
There are many reasons for this.
I left early because it was hot as hell and I was dehydrated and I just couldn`t take it anymore.
Some people leave because they have a bus to catch.
Some people leave because they want to shower before the Rose Dinner.
Some people leave because they have to go pick up their kids from school.
Usually a political rally is about 1-2 hours long. A three-hour rally (and more!) is very extraordinary. It's hard to keep up the stamina.