Pro-Choice to Pro-Life

Q: You mentioned in an email that you used to be staunchly pro-choice, but that after you had Sunni you became pro-life. Tell us about that process.

So dedicated to the pro-choice cause, that as a Senior in high school and freshman in college, I and a friend vandalized a “Choose Life” bill board out on the interstate that had been sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. We attacked the thing three times, as they kept putting it back up.

This attitude continued for years, despite growing more conservative politically. I was active in the local Republican Party and spoke out against the “abortion litmus test.” Angie was liberal enough to have voted for Al Gore in 2000. Since that time, she has become much more conservative and active in local politics. The best way I can explain it is this: Our dear little girl is probably one of the best arguments for abortion available. She is completely dependent, with a low quality of life that represents a tremendous burden to her parents and society in general. We were fortunate to have received a small revelation of sorts. It became clear that she was a powerful witness to the beauty of life, and certainly didn’t deserve to die. If she should not be aborted, then to argue for killing a beautiful, healthy child is a monstrosity.

When asked how he created such stunning works of art, a famous sculptor once said that he instills in his mind a clear image of the form and then removes everything that is not a part of it. In a way, God has shorn from Sunni nearly all of the adornments that would be considered part of a basic human life. She cannot act on her own, communicate, or possibly understand even simple concepts. She is left as a nearly pure example of human life without anything to distract us from its elegant beauty.

My wife and I both ended up converting to Catholicism. We could no longer stay in the Lutheran church, because they did not stand out against abortion. When you make the decision to leave the mainline Protestant churches behind, you are left with the two major, pro-life groups: Roman Catholic and Protestant Evangelical. I had been part of an Evangelical church (Assembly of God) in my youth, with the laying of hands, speaking of tongues, gifts of the Spirit, etc. It has become clear to us that the “born again” churches can offer no guarantee that they will not drift in the same direction as the mainline Protestants. I honestly don’t know what they will believe in another 20-30 years. There is no authority or hierarchy that is empowered to conserve the truth.

Another thing that attracted me to the Catholic Church was the rigor of its thinking. Writers like G.K. Chesterton and Fr. John Neuhaus really helped me along the road. Catholics aren’t simply submitting themselves to an all powerful, out of touch Pope with a list of antiquated rules. There are not only highly developed reasons for everything they believe, but they fit together into this seamless garment. I’ll have to admit that my view of Catholics wasn’t very high to begin with. …(Read the entire remarkable interview here.)

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