By now, most people frequenting Catholic websites will have heard of Fr. Robert Barron, the evangelist and current rector of Mundelein Seminary. His Catholicism DVD series has turned him into a household name. Personally, I was anticipating that series years in advance. A friend, my sponsor when I entered the Church in 2008, introduced me to Fr. Barron’s work that same year.
Fr. Barron has taught me countless lessons, but the one that has stuck with me the most is the proper understanding of what it means to “turn the other cheek.” Contrary to popular belief, turning the other cheek (TTOC) does not mean simply acquiescing to violence. (A fuller treatment will be published next week). Rather, TTOC is a non-violent protest that mirrors back the aggressors violence; it sharpens the contrast so as to help the aggressor see his violence for what it is. To understand how this is so, it may help to recall the Proverb: “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.”
To illustrate this, Fr. Barron has shared one of Desmond Tutu’s stories of growing up under apartheid: Tutu and a white man approached opposite ends of a narrow sidewalk. The white man called out, “I don’t move aside for gorillas.” To which Tutu graciously replied, “I do,” as he stepped aside.
Tutu neither acquiesced nor did he return blow for blow. His reply was very much an echo, but his action was strikingly different. It was a bit like saying, “More than my skin likens me to an animal, your treatment of black men makes you like a beast. Even still, I will treat you with respect.” Of course, “I do,” packed a much bigger punch.
Safe For Whom
So, I would like to suggest a TTOC approach to the pro-life movement, especially for those who picket outside of Planned Parenthood or other abortion mill locations: mock the abortionists! That’s largely what TTOC is about.
Every message is received according to the mode of the recipient, and we must admit that the recipients in this case don’t care about God. Rather than us pro-lifers repeating our position with slogans like “Life is God’s Choice,” we should hold up the mirror to the abortionists. Once you get a hang of it, it’s not too difficult…
“Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare,” becomes something like…
Murder should be safe for the murderer.
For heaven’s sake, make murder safe!™
What would people think as they drove past those signs? I would bet that they get noticed far more than the boilerplate that we’ve been holding up for decades. Want more ideas? How about…
Homicide isn’t homicide in a uterus!
Women’s Health means having the right to kill anybody inside you.
No rosaries, just Forceps for my ovaries!
Leave my vagina alone, the doctor needs to vacuum out a corpse.
I’m not suggesting that these statements are pleasant. No, to be effective, they ought to be disgusting–that is, these mock slogans ought to be reflective of the atrocity that is abortion. People ought to be cringing, because this is a truthful presentation of the pro-abort position. This approach is both intellectual and visceral. Quite simply, we want people to be uncomfortable with the very idea of abortion; we want “pro-choice” people to feel disgusting and foolish for supporting infanticide.
So, let’s make these signs and get them seen. And if you have any other good mock-slogans, share them in the comments. If I see any that I really like, I’ll put them…
The opinions expressed by the DPS blog authors and those providing comments are theirs alone; they are not necessarily the expressions or beliefs of either the Dead Philosophers Society or Holy Apostles College & Seminary.