The other day, I made a comment on Facebook that I thought was fair in a very calm, and respectful political discussion. I remarked that I couldn’t vote for candidates that promote or accept abortion because they are either ignorant of science, spineless (okay, okay… I should’ve used the less offensive “easily influenced”) or ethically disordered. In the social media coliseum, I am very careful in choosing my words because I know how quickly the unseen mob can rush in to attack and flay you on any loose word. So I tread carefully but honestly and thought my comments were not nearly as inflammatory as they could’ve been.
Imagine my shock and the dismayed feeling of revulsion when a woman responded that she just made a donation to Planned Parenthood, in my honor. Screen shot receipt to prove it. Where did I go wrong?! I was horrified. But it made me think. In battle, there will be casualties. There will be sacrifices. Not only will we not win over everyone, but we may actually cause some people to dig in their heels and bear down with an even deeper aggression against the pro-life cause. And this should not surprise us.
To be a peacemaker does not mean to shrink away from disagreements or to avoid controversy. To be a peacemaker sometimes takes a supernatural amount of courage. The courage to say what needs to be said, with charity, and to do what needs to be done, with charity, to stop the violence against all human beings. We have to be willing to flip over a few money-changers’ tables now and then in order to defend the sacred. Because what is peace without justice? Nothing but a feigned blanket of niceties because the two go hand in hand. True peace is something that has to be worked at, sometimes with a long-enduring commitment. It’s the kind of commitment needed to enact social change, whether we are speaking of the oppression of the poor, the horror of war or the violence against the unborn. Peace requires a sword of conviction and a fortitude of character to withstand the insults, blows and opposition that are inevitable to come in fighting for what’s right.
I think we have to realize that in this war, have to be prepared for an imperfect fight. After all, some people will be turned off and enraged at the something as benign as the sight of praying protesters. (“Get your rosaries off my ovaries!”) Some hearts will be softened. Some will be hardened. So too, they’ll be turned off and enraged at the sight of what “choice” actually looks like. Some will be livid. Some might even run off and promote the abortion agenda with a more determined fervor. Should the mixed results sway us here? I vote no. Because a peacemaker’s job isn’t to change every single mind and heart on the earth. It’s important that we remember that and not try to keep ‘score.’ Only God can do that. But a peacemaker’s job also isn’t to make everybody feel a comfortable and contrived harmony. A peacemaker’s job is to fight with the sword of justice. To present the truth, however ugly it may be. To defend the innocent. We can never know how many seeds of change will be planted with our efforts and how many hearts will be awakened. A peacemaker has to have hope always…