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The Tip of the Spear

November 8, AD 2012 7 Comments

I work in business resiliency, and IT disaster recovery.  My children and relatives still don’t understand exactly what I do, so I’ve given up describing my livelihood to them and mostly everyone else for that matter.  To enhance my employment, I am enrolled for a Masters of Arts in Homeland Security.  Ah, now I’m grounding to something more tangible.  But as I hope we all understand, homeland security is not just one function, but a plethora of necessary functions.  The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is directly, and indirectly, responsible for many agencies.

It is comprised of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), coordination of national intelligence through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), those people at the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) who have a thankless job of patting us down before we board a flight, and also Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Coast Guard (Coasties) and the Secret Service.

DHS is comprised of twenty two agencies in all.  Each agency has a job to do in this multifaceted objective of preserving the safety of our homeland.  Many different people, with many different skills and abilities, contribute to this vital mission.  Our states, local and tribal governments also contribute, as well as private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  Everyone has a role in homeland security.

One small agency, in particular, stands out for the service it performs.  The Federal Air Marshall Service (FAMS) are the undercover agents trained and equipped (with specialized firearms and bullets) to take down a terrorist in mid-flight on the aircraft.  FAMS refers to itself as the “tip of the spear”.  If would be terrorists were to get past the no fly list, and through TSA security and board an airplane, FAMS is our last line of defense.  In an attempt to hijack an aircraft, the undercover marshals have the necessary task to take down the terrorist.  Yes, kill them to preserve and defend countless of other lives.  Failure is not an option.

Homeland Life

In our “Homeland Life” (so to speak) mission, saving one life absolutely depends upon countless avenues of contributors to the cause.  The Life mission is large, very large and one that rivals the DHS in the enormity and complexity of the support and vigilance.  We could not function without high risk obstetric centers, post-abortive healing, pregnancy resource centers that provide medical services, clothing, food and subsidy to struggling families, housing services and adoptive resources.  I try to distribute a brochure to abortion intent mothers that list fifteen private supportive resources, as well as government resources.  I deeply thank all these unseen people in their work.  There are also those that work on the political, electoral, judicial and legal front.  You are a vital part of this too.

I say “avenues of contributors” because there are levels of primary, secondary and tertiary support.  The local faith based, non-Catholic, pregnancy crisis center could not achieve the level of service and comfort it provides without the Gospel Mission Church that does an annual disposable diaper drive.  Just as the mission of Homeland Security is larger than just the Federal government, the “Homeland Life” mission is larger than any denomination.  We need everyone.

Yet, terrorists do continue to find ways to board airplanes, and medical transport vans, taxis and cars drop off women for the final 10 yard walk into the abortion mill.  The collection of pray-ers and sidewalk counselors are the last physical and spiritual words of hope the mother, father, parent and the child, will hear before a life ends.  It is today’s Way of the Cross.  Prayer makes this place holy in its criticality.  The Friars of the Renewal led us in prayer and held Stations of the Cross at the abortion clinic on Good Friday.  On that day, when the Blessed Sacrament is not in repose in church, the streets before these clinics are the holiest of sites on earth.

I can’t claim to encompass all of Pro-life, but I can claim to be a part of abortion rescue.  I am like the FAMS.  I am the tip of the spear.   All of you who contribute to pro-life are the shaft of the spear.  It’s all necessary.  Our spear tips would lay discarded on the cabin floor without you.  We get 10 or 20 seconds to make a final plea.  We are always conscious of those lives lost that day.  We talk and we share, but we try to stay focused on prayer and on the mission.  It just doesn’t see right to talk about frivolity.  Like the FAMS, we in Abortion Rescue need to stay alert for our duty.

The Plea

Abortion rescuers are always pleading.  We need more spear tips.  We need hundreds more people present at each abortion clinic.  Just imagine how an army of prayers and Rosaries would dissuade more women not to make this choice?    Abortion mills are about a death business, and they have a better count of our success that we do, through no-shows for the appointments.  We only need to reduce their volume 10% or 20% in order to shut their doors.  They cannot afford to operate on a handful of abortions per day.

I realize that abortion rescue counseling is not for everyone.  I answered God’s call to this.  The call to prayer though is universal.  Prayer at the abortion clinic is vital.  If you have never been praying at a clinic, then please come.  It is not about protesting, shouting or blocking access.  But be prepared for some humility.  Prayer at an abortion clinic is counter cultural, and your friends and neighbors, the people in this world you esteem, will be in dismay.  You will be safe.  Pray-ers can stand far enough away and have no interactions so that they can never risk charges of harassment that I risk.  Sometimes passersby will give you the thumbs up.  Sometimes they will give you another finger.

The agents of fear, sin and death do cower at the spear tip of prayer.  This is the battleground, and St. Michael the Archangel, Prince of the Heavenly Hosts is leading us, by the power of God in this cosmic battle between the sons of light and the sons of darkness.  Through God’s good graces, there are some turnarounds.  Our feeling is indescribable.  It is more than just a good feeling; it’s a moment of holy joy.  You can see success in the faces.  With every turnaround your backbone straightens from the power of prayer!  You get a rush when you team up with the angels and defeat a demon.

For those Catholics that are called by God to serve in social justice, I plea that they make contact with us.  We are not in conflicting Gospel missions; we are on the same side.  Yet, like government agencies prior to 9/11, we have not “connected the dots”.  We need to connect the pastoral missions with the abortion rescue and support missions.  Saving life is big, really big, and we have to connect.  Come to a prayer line, and join us for a few hours.  Tell us of your service, and be extra careful in your pastoral ministry to care for young mothers and fathers that we send to you.  They are in that critical stage of confusion about the choice the world tells them they must make.  Don’t throw them in with the hoards of people you already serve.  Treat them special, because they are special.  I have a story of how a soup kitchen saved the life of a baby and the soul of her mother and father, but I’ll save that for another time.

The first miracle for conversion of Jesus Triumphant on the Cross was through the tip of a spear.  The centurion pierced his side, and blood and water flowed.  “In truth this man was son of God (Mark 15:39)”.  We revere Saint Longinus today, and see a massive statue of this soldier oversee papal Masses in Saint Peter’s Basilica.  Prayer and social action, through abortion rescue, protects lives and it protects souls.

Filed in: Bioethics • Tags:

About the Author:

Daniel is a father of two school age boys, graduated from Columbia and knew Father Ford (who baptized Tom Merton). He has an MBA, helps companies prepare and recover from disaster (a very lucrative field), and is now enrolled for in a MA in Homeland Security. He regularly compares grades with the boys, which tick them off to no end. Family patrons include St Thomas Becket, St. Thomas More, St. James the Less and St. Patrick.

  • Thank you for writing this post. The most impactful way we can work against the culture of death is to meet it at its lair, that is prayer and witness at abortion clinics. We have countless stories of abortion clinics being shut down as a result of the 40 days for life campaigns and similar efforts. If more people get involved, more clinics will shut down.

  • Maddi

    Let me start with saying I am not trolling. If you dismiss me as a troll you do me an injustice, and confirm my fear that all expressing differing opinions from your own are easier ignored than entered into discussion with.

    I am a liberal Catholic, from the UK where we are much less obsessed with abortion than appears to be the case in the US. My question is very simple, but I have yet to get a satisfactory answer to it:

    Who do you believe benefits from your anti-abortion crusade?

    It is clearly not the unfortunate woman trapped in an unwanted pregnancy, for whatever reason, who in your version of reality would be forced to gestate and birth a child she has no commitment to.

    It can’t be the potential child, because statistically unwanted and unloved children fare very badly in our society.

    Equally it is not society who will benefit, as (see above) unwanted children tend to grow into the sort of adults who cost us taxpayers more money then they contribute.

    Before you hit me with the whole “adoption” argument I can only speak on a personal level, which is to say… if i had any choice in the matter I would NOT put my body through 9 months of pregnancy and who-knows-how-many hours of labour to birth a child for someone else to raise. Few women with genuine choices would opt for that.

    So to end where I started… What are you getting out of this? Who benefits? My faith is about making the world a better place, not punishing those women who made mistakes, or their children… ?

  • Nic Davidson


    Howdy! I don’t speak for Daniel, and he may have complete different and more educated answers, but I thought I’d toss some content out there as well.

    In answer to your question, “Who do you believe benefits from your anti-abortion crusade?”, I would say “everyone you mention, including yourself.” That is, if it’s done right.

    “…the unfortunate woman trapped in an unwanted pregnancy, for whatever reason, who in your version of reality would be forced to gestate and birth a child she has no commitment to.” First of all, I was an unwanted pregnancy, who’s biological father was an abusive alcoholic who needed a restraining order to keep him away, and I’m really grateful that my mum gestated me. IF human life has an inherent dignity that is untouched by whether or not that life is desired or chosen by the mother, then respecting that inherent good is ultimately in the best interest of every human, including the “unfortunate woman”. IF she can be prevented from utterly ignoring the intrinsic value of every human life, then she will be better off for not having acted completely contrary to what is objectively good. Now, I’m aware that you, or others, may argue that an objective good does not exist. At that point, we might as well argue in gibberish.

    “It can’t be the potential child, because statistically unwanted and unloved children fare very badly in our society.” Whether or not they fare badly is, first of all, NOT predetermined, so one would be wise to avoid killing someone simply because they “might” end up in any given undesirable state. Secondly, IF human life has an inherent dignity that is untouched by whether or not that life is lived in comfort or pain, nurture or abuse, then allowing that life to…well…live is always in the best interest of that person. Oh, and incidentally, if there’s a pregnancy, it is NOT a “potential child”; it is a child.

    “…it is not society who will benefit, as (see above) unwanted children tend to grow into the sort of adults who cost us taxpayers more money then they contribute.” Good gracious. If I understand you correctly, you’re saying that society might suffer in the pocketbook because of these pesky delinquents from tough homes, so why on earth give them the chance to become such a burden on society, right? Not to be a scratched CD, but IF human life has an inherent dignity that is untouched by whether or not that life is is a productive member of society or lived out in a jail cell due to criminal activity, then you cannot possibly come to the conclusion that it is in the best interest of a society to begin killing them off in the womb before they can use up our taxes on their crime sprees. In fact, IF life is intrinsically valuable, then we deal wretched and possibly fatal blow to our society by encouraging it to act in such a way.

    “Before you hit me with the whole “adoption” argument…I would NOT put my body through 9 months of pregnancy and who-knows-how-many hours of labour to birth a child for someone else to raise…” Well, that might just serve to point out your feelings on the sacredness and dignity of human life. It is a supreme act of love, truth, beauty, and goodness for a women who finds herself pregnant to respect the dignity of the life she helped create in her own body and choose to nurture, carry, and deliver that life into the world and give that child up to a family who can give it the love it needs from then on. IF, on the other hand, that parasite inside of you is only a “potential child”, then you’re right, you shouldn’t let it waste one more minute of your and the potential adoptive parents’ time.

    You say, “My faith is about making the world a better place, not punishing those women who made mistakes, or their children… ?” Your faith isn’t about punishing their children, but your stance is to kill them? IF human life has an inherent dignity that is untouched by ANYTHING external, then how can your faith make the world a better place by ending it before it’s had a chance? I was NOT a punishment to my mother while I was in her womb, nor during her 18 hours of labor, nor when I depleted her resources by needing three meals a day, nor when I rebelled against her and the way I was brought up.

    I hope you can tell, Maddi, from what I’ve said that I know firsthand the trials and strains that an un-planned pregnancy can bring. I saw my mother worried, scared, frazzled, out of answers, and empty, emotionally. I saw her marriage go bad and I heard the years of arguing before the divorce. We were very poor often. I am not outright negating your points of view, but I have lived some of what your talking about and I can tell you, as can my mum, that none of it is as cold, cynical, and, ultimately, hopeless as you’ve painted it. Not IF…

  • Daniel Mikulsky

    Most of the time in this work I have to learn to keep my mouth shut. Nic, I could never be as genuine or eloquent as you, as you relate your story and your life. Our world needs these stories, and these perspectives. Ain’t no statistics in the Gospels. The four books of the evangelists tell the story of Jesus’ life; and Jesus tells us stories through parables. Put a name, a face and a success story to each “right choice” and we see the plan of God. Individual people always defy statistics.

    Maddi, I appreciate honest dialogue. I have to say that from watching the process up close, and seeing fifty women on average per day walk in, I see things with fresh eyes. I just ask that you stand near an abortion clinic for an hour, preferable over the course of a few days, to watch the drama unfold. Grab a rosary and join the prayers. No one “clocks in. You don’t even need to socialize with anyone else. Pray, stand still, and watch and listen. Please stay a liberal Catholic, and please take the Gospels in your heart as you see for yourself. Are any of those unborn children nestled within the women you see NOT worthy of the love of Christ?

  • Maddi

    Well thank you for your answers, both of you, and believe that I appreciate your restraint as I can imagine you both feel strongly about these issues and yet you took the time to answer my question in a way that I can relate to. I expected to be either deleted or shouted out as a “troll” and I will re-read and sincerely think about what you have said.

    • Nic Davidson

      And, Maddi, I thank you very much for your response. Let me know if you want to dialogue a bit more at all! Have a great day, too!

  • Guy McClung

    If you think Obama and his Admn are going to let people continue to peacefully pray, which cuts severely into the profits of the Planned Parenthood business, you are sadly mistaken. Look for new “hate crimes” definitions via imperial executive orders. What follows will soon NOT be fantasy:

    Psalms 9:17 – “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and also all the nations that forget God”.

    “Creator” and “Divine Providence”: Bullies
    In response to two recent gang assaults on innocent children and complaints by their mothers, the Obama Administration, bypassing the gridlocked House and Senate, has, by Executive Order 1,666, enacted new Federal Hate Crimes rules banning the publication by any means (orally, in print, or via the Internet) of the sentences of the Declaration Of Independence that referred to a so-called “Creator” or so-called “Divine Providence.” In one instance involving Patrice Jones, middle school student in inner city Philadelphia, the child’s mother, Lois Smith, reported to authorities that a group of home-schooled children taunted Patrice to the point of bullying by saying over and over: “We are all, even you, endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.” The bullies went on to say that as “any fool can see, this is self-evident.” “My baby was in tears when she got away from them and ran home,” said the mother.
    In the other situation, an aggressive protester, under the cover of alleged “peaceful prayer” at a Planned Parenthood business location in South Central Los Angeles quoted the so-called “Creator” phrase from the Declaration to a 14 year old pregnant teenager, Guadalupe Diego, being escorted by her pastor; and then the assailant proceeded to add the words “that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” inferring that the girl’s cell mass had life. The young girl was rendered so distraught that she refused to go in for her scheduled abortion. At press time, the pastor assured everyone that the killing of the cell mass had been rescheduled for next week.
    Under the new Federal Regulations – which the Administration has said is not a law but simply an exercise of executive power under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause – these words of the Declaration will be covered over with a bar of opaque archival polymer from now on whenever the Declaration is publicly displayed:
    . . . the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them . . . .We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
    ….appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions
    ….with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence
    The Government Printing Office has been directed to expunge these words from all further printed government documents which cite the Declaration. Copies of the full Declaration as promulgated in 1776 will be made available only for research once a researcher has established the scope and purpose of the research to the satisfaction of the Social Sciences Subcommittee of the National Endowment For the Humanities.
    In addition, for a first offense of public recitation or display of these words, a fine of $1000 will be imposed and the offenders will undergo a program of sensitivity training. For a second or subsequent offense, there will be the possibility of prison time.
    With his AB (anti-bullying) Czar, Gloria Allgreen, at his side, President Obama, still basking in the glow of election to an unprecedented third term in office under the recently-amended Constitution, proclaimed “Now we can truly say that, with hope in all our good people, we have begun the move forward to erase the last vestiges of bullying based on hate-based religion from our society. Those who cling to their religion will no longer be free to hurt citizens with faith-based assaults.”
    In a related story, experts at the Smithsonian Institution have discovered that since 1781 the Constitution has mistakenly been misinterpreted to end with the phrase “year of Our Lord,” clearly a reference to the savior, Jesus Christ; when what the phrase really says is “year of Our Word,” referring to the momentous words written by the Founding Parents. Unfortunately, due to an acid spill during scheduled periodic review of the document for deterioration, these words were permanently deleted from the Constitution and the National Archives cannot predict when it will again go on public display.