The 39th annual March for Life took place in Washington, DC last Friday. CNAV was on the scene.
Biggest March for Life turnout
The Washington Timessaid that “hundreds of thousands” of people took part in the March for Life. Representative Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ-4) told a crowd of well-wishers afterward that this year’s March for Life had more people than ever taking part.
CNAV traveled to Washington with a group of activists, some 71 strong, from northern New Jersey. Andrew L. Schlafly, attorney and founder of the alternative Wiki site Conservapedia, organized this trip. He has organized March for Life trips for four years now, beginning in 2010.
Andrew L. Schlafly takes questions in front of the Wilbur Wright Building (part of the FAA headquarters complex) in Washington, DC, as he prepares to take part in the 213 March for Life. Photo: CNAV
Schlafly took note of one thing that should have dampened turnout, but didn’t: the weather.
It was cold and snowy, and participation required a significant sacrifice by all of us. Excuses are easy to find, yet nearly every single person showed up and went on our trip. A few extras even joined us!
Schlafly had a point. Temperatures, both in Chester, New Jersey (the jumping-off point) and in Washington, varied between the twenties and the teens. Snow began to fall in Washington at 2:00 p.m. Batteries for cellphones and cameras often died early. Your correspondent started with a cellphone and a video camera, each with a battery carrying a full charge. I kept each in running order with only minutes to spare.
But that did not stop people from coming to Washington, nor from taking part in the March for Life. Nor did it provoke anyone to leave the city early.
A shivering counter-demonstration
A small knot of counter-demonstrators faces off against the vanguard of the 2013 March for Life before the US Supreme Court. Photo: CNAV
The small knot of counter-demonstrators who tried to guard the Supreme Court steps against the March for Life tried to use the cold as an issue. The Times (see link above) counted about 100 counter-demonstrators, but CNAV counted not more than fifteen. And as the March for Life marchers approached, one of them shouted,
Where’s the rest of you? We’ve got a whole parade coming!
Schlafly and some of his fellow activists said such counter-demonstrators show up every year, but this year were far fewer. They offered three reasons:
They represent a far smaller population of pro-abortion thinkers and voters in America today.
They felt complacent knowing that “their” (de facto) President sat in the White House.
They made the excuses that Schlafly’s people did not make.
One of those excuses was, without doubt, the cold weather. The counter-demonstrators carried the usual mass-printed signs carrying messages like:
Abortion On Demand and Without Apology
Keep Abortion Legal
Some of them carried signs they lettered by hand. The choice of words on some of those signs was as crude as the lettering. But one sign in particular stands out for its supreme irony:
Your God hates you; it’s cold as…
Let us close the curtain of charity on the last word, as Samuel L. Clemens would no doubt say.
That sign is ironic for three reasons:
Using crude, even vile language in front of children persuades no one. (And many children did take part in the March for Life.)
The cold surely affected March for Life marcher and counter-demonstrator alike.
The March for Life saw its largest-ever turnout, despite the cold, while the counter-demonstrators saw their smallest.
This last point is most telling. Many of the heroes of the Bible often achieved very difficult mission objectives in the face of great hazard. Any serious student of the Bible soon learns that God tests the character of His followers by just this kind of hazard. The world can judge who met the test, and who failed.