“Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”
Yesterday I took my daughter to a protest, it was the first one I had ever attended and it was her first one as well. I really never wanted to attend a protest, I was of the opinion that they were a waste of time in general and I was too busy. Yesterday, after a week that was busier than normal I made the decision to sacrifice some of my much needed time and I went to a protest against Planned Parenthood (a very curious name for an organization that essentially ends parenthood).
I was very nervous about attending the protest because I didn't want to be part of a group of people who would disparage people by yelling at them and saying mean spirited things. To be honest, I didn't want to participate in chants or anything of the sort. However, I did want to do my part to support organizations that were pro-life and support those who want to put an end to government funding of Planned Parenthood and end abortion in general.
I had decided before we arrived that if any of the things that I was concerned about was happening, we would immediately leave. What I experienced was, for the most part, exactly the kind of protest I could be proud to be a part of. There were some people talking to women who were going into the clinic to get abortions, but they never said anything disparaging in any way. Most of the time they simple asked the women to come talk to them. There was nothing mean spirited in any way. The vast majority of the signs I read were positive in nature and communicated important truths. One sign said, "the body inside your body is not your body." There were many signs that said, "defund PP" and a variety of others. Some signs had pictures of aborted babies or babies at various stages of development. The ones that depicted abortion were tough to look at, but they were accurate and I believe they communicated an important message. There were a few signs I thought were done in poor taste, but they were the exception. In spite of some media reports, I never saw any intimidation tactics of any kind. Perhaps to some simply the presence of a protest is intimidating, but based on my observations, no one was trying to intimidate anyone.
This was not only a peaceful protest, but a prayerful one. Many people prayed Catholic priests were very prevalent in the protest by leading prayers. I was very disappointed that there were not more evangelicals involved in the programming and in attendance.
People were being kind, generous, and generally well behaved. I would not only attend protests like this willingly, I would be willing to be part of the programming because of how well this was done...maybe there will be a next time.
John Byrne is a pastor who has been spouting off his opinions his entire life (just ask his mom). This little blog is his venue for continuing in this tradition.