February 27, 2012
Ronnie D. Rubit
A new Catholic wonders how to be pro-life.
As a Christian only recently received into the Catholic Church, I am frequently invited by other parishioners to take part in pro-life activities. I have been asked to participate in pro-life rallies, organized protests in front of local Planned Parenthood clinics and processions through the city in “marches for life.” Before I even completed the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, I was pressured to lend my signature to pro-life petitions and solicited to join the Respect Life committee. Often during discussion forums with other Catholics, the topic turned to abortion, a subject that superseded dialogue on all other important issues. The constant barrage of invitations to such ambitious activism was overwhelming—a little too much too soon. At that time in my Catholic journey, I wanted to focus exclusively on personal piety and devotion to fundamental church teaching, history and Christology. There would be time for social action later. My pre-Catholic religious life was deeply influenced in adolescence by Southern Baptist theology and conservative Bible teaching. While in college, I became a member of the Churches of Christ, a loving and rewarding affiliation. The Churches of Christ is an extremely conservative denomination, however, so much so that mechanical instruments are not allowed in the worship services, and women have few outlets for expression and service. The religious instruction included staunch opposition to abortion from the lectern. I was affiliated with the Churches of Christ for almost 20 years. During these decades, I took part in evangelical and neoconservative politics in opposition to perceived “liberal” threats to Christian culture, like that embodied in Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision. In defense against purported threats to our Judeo-Christian way of life, I was an enthusiastic soldier in the “culture wars.” In short,...