I’m not much of a Twitter person, but a happenstance check on the site today revealed a uniquely befitting paradox: the words “Hail Satan” were trending, because pro-lifers were using them often – to describe, of course, what pro-abortion activists were saying in Texas. Apparently, someone had caught a video of pro-abortionists chanting the phrase in response to pro-lifers singing “Amazing Grace” at the capital building in Texas. The news went viral across the conservative side of the web, and surprised tweeters everywhere wondered how Beelzebub had gotten global fame.
We should remember that when a situation like the above usually plays out on our side, pro-lifers as well as Catholics in general become alienated by the mainstream Media and we find that the smallest stupid quips are used against us with terrifying force, ignorance and alienation.
We all remember when some pro-life Senator made the idiot suggestion that a “legitimate rape” may avoid pregnancy, and how we all still get heat from that experience. Overnight, my beliefs as a pro-lifer made me, automatically and in the eyes of many, a misogynist who wanted to see women raped everywhere. This assertion is silly enough when you realize that all pro-life men have mothers, wives or girlfriends, and the rest of pro-lifers are women themselves. Still, we were falsely labeled and ignored as we apparently waged some “War on Women.”
We have suffered much from the blinding cliches thrown upon our beliefs: our ability to spread the gospel is hampered, since our neighbor chooses to not even listen to our love.
And so, a pro-lifer then turns around and proudly declares that all pro-abortion activists are satanic worshipers because “Look at that! A couple of them were caught on video saying so!” I think, if we let the “Hail Satan” remarks govern our thinking of all pro-abortion activists, there is no way we could ever convince ourselves to make a radical step of reaching out, with as much charity as truth, to a pro-abortion activist who may actually be closer to changing their views than we realize. I mean, if worshiping Satan were a required view of the movement, we should be, as Bill Donohue said, performing a mass exorcism. Yet he even admits that not all pro-abortion activists feel this way, and I say that it is those very dissenters who most need, and most easily could accept, our evangelization efforts.
Many of my pro-abortion friends have softened dramatically in their views simply because I have tried to treat them more so as Christ did when dining with sinners and tax collectors. Are they still wrong? Of course. Yet, when I treat them as my friends, they see someone who doesn’t label them as a satanist, and actually cares for who they are as a person who can be just as confused and sinful as I.
Today, most pro-lifers will point to the pro-abortion activists’ cry of “Hail Satan” as a way of understanding all pro-abortionists. One tweet in the midst of the trending put it best:
We should be praying for those in TX who chanted “Hail Satan” instead of talking crap. Because then we too chant “Hail Satan” in our own way
Lindsey Meyers (lindseylovesGod) 12:21 PM – 3 Jul 13
So let’s be mindful about the way we speak about the extremists of other groups. The chant of “Hail Satan” does reveal the depravity of a few angry people in Texas. Yet we alienate them just as they did many times to Catholics if we let ourselves label all pro-abortion activists with such a phrase: instead of alienating themselves, we shall alienate them from the Church and her teaching, and encourage them to continue such a depraved chant.
P.S. The Anchoress has fantastic commentary on the subject, talking about the power of “Amazing Grace” in the situation, and that we shouldn’t be very surprised at the pro-abortion reaction.