Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Link Dump: Pope Francis and Pope Francis and ProLife Cheesiness

Rabbit, Punched. Father Lemieux has some wise advice:

And when you read some foolishness about the Pope, you have two possible courses of action, it seems to me. You could go read what the man actually said (the two links above took me exactly 20 seconds to find, by the way - it's not like it's hard to track down the straight story). And think about it. And put it in the context of, oh I don't know, EVERYTHING ELSE THE MAN HAS EVER SAID IN HIS LONG LIFE. All of which has been totally and utterly Catholic. That's one thing you can do.

Pope praises big families after breeding 'like rabbits' remark made headlines

Seriously, what did you expect? That he doesn't like big families? The meltdown orthodox Catholics have every time the pope says something is annoying. The Pope is Catholic. End of story.

It’s all about the presentation… Ottawa Against Abortion raises a salient point:

Why, then, does so much pro-life media seem full of cheese? 
I’m thinking of something more along the lines of this talking-fetus song from a right-wing pop band. What about that sappy letter from the point of view of a preborn child? In online comments and videos like this, he describes the first few weeks of his development to his mom before his life is taken by a medical professional who claims that his death is the antidote to her fears. (Somehow, he documents that, too.)
I know nobody believes that preborn children really have the ability to think just as an adult does (or an adult putting her words into a child’s mouth…*shudder*). Nor do I know anyone who honestly believes pro-life people think this way. Still, why has there been a lack of understanding in regards to what our culture values and pays attention to?

I’ll grant that appeals to God and sheer cuteness may work for some. It may be hard – frustrating, even – for us to be patient with people who do not seem to value every human person the way we do. I can understand the temptation to take shortcuts, of which there are many. Yet I wonder why some pro-life advocates rely on reasoning that many outside our community find incomprehensible or just plain weird. Why do we risk alienating potential supporters and making rash assumptions about the beliefs we share (or don’t)?

I'm going to offer a partial answer to that.

It's because it worked for them. The plastic fetus doll did it for me! So why not?

I proposed on my facebook status that every pro-life sign over 5 years old should be destroyed, and new ones made with new images, slogans and material.

It got quite a few "likes".

I think many pro-lifers unconsciously understand the importance.

One of the weaknesses of the pro-life movement is that we rely on old material, old tactics, old-- everything. This is one of our "shortcuts". People still quote pro-life pamphlets from 1971 on the risk of rape and conception (as if newer research has spoken on the matter).  But these memes get transmitted decade after decade without anyone bothering to update the issue.

We quote Jennifer O'Neil and Patricia Heaton as pro-life celebs, except that I can't remember the last time Jennifer O'Neil was in anything and I don't know if Patricia Heaton has been in anything since Everybody Loves Raymond.

If pro-lifers want to be relevant, they have to be a bit more up-to-date and culturally in-tune. I'm probably the worst one to advise being culturally in-tune (physician, heal thyself!) At least don't try to pass off B-listers from the 1980s as pro-life celebs. If we look irrelevant, we'll be treated as such.