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Hey, America: The March for Life just happened to you

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March for Life 2013. That’s me in the hat.

I hope there is never another March for Life. I hope this is the year we win the war against abortion. But just in case it’s not, if you’ve never been to the March, plan to go next year. Start saving now if you have to, but go.

This year was my first March. I suffered. Everyone suffers. You rush around, you freeze, you’re exhausted. You sort of hate it. But you also totally love it. And you leave there three times as inspired to end abortion as you were when you arrived.

When I say you sort of hate it, what I mean is: Washington, D.C. is incredibly cold. The “coat” I was wearing – what we call a coat in Texas and is almost always too warm for Mississippi – is more like a light jacket on the East Coast. My coat got owned. And I got owned with it.

My friend Destiny and I are from Texas. We think that because we can survive months of 100-plus-degree weather, we can survive the cold. We were barely right. After over five hours in 20-ish degrees – and snow – we were walking under the same mindless force that makes zombies walk, whatever that is. I felt like a reanimated corpse in cowboy boots. I was so cold, and my toes hurt so bad, that I was offering people money to set me on fire and cut my feet off. If someone had appeared with a wheelbarrow, I would have gotten in it without a hint of embarrassment.

It was 50 degrees a few days before the March, and the temperature is back up there again already. Interesting, isn’t it? I am a nutso Christian who thinks there is a such thing as the Devil, and I imagine him like Sauron blowing a blizzard at the Fellowship of the Ring as they were trying to take the Caradhras Pass. (Author’s note to editor: go back and put a NERD WARNING before this sentence.)

I know your pain, Gimli.
I know your pain, Gimli.

But now that I am dry and warm in Mississippi and didn’t die from hypothermia, I think maybe it’s a good thing that the March is difficult. Maybe it’s supposed to be difficult. When things are harder to do, they mean more, and this kind of means everything.

I came away from my first March convinced that it is incredibly important – but maybe not for the reason we think.

This past Thursday, morning, I was waiting for a shuttle to take me from my hotel to the Metro, so I could walk to the Live Action office and meet some of my peeps. As I stood in the lobby, CNN could not stop talking about a football player with an imaginary girlfriend. When I got in the shuttle, the driver had it on the radio.

Friday, after we survived the March and made it back to the hotel, we turned on the TV. We kept flipping from channel to channel. One by one, the networks mentioned the March. One by one, they talked about it for less than ten seconds, showed a tight video of a small portion of the crowd, and referred to the “thousands” marching on the Mall to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Roe.

There were between 400,000 and 650,000 people marching. That’s a lot of people. But it wouldn’t matter if there were two million people if the media didn’t report it. And they don’t report it.

Sunday, as I was coming home, I decided to do a little experiment. I asked my cab driver on the way to the airport if he knew about the March. “Something on the Mall?” he said. I said, “Yeah! Do you know what it was for?”

“No, what was it for?” he asked me.

“It was a pro-life demonstration.”

“Oh, okay.”

“About half a million people, maybe more.”

“Wow!” he said. “That’s a lot of people!”

This is a guy who drives a cab in the city. I asked him if the city was congested that week, and he said “Yes, ever since the Inauguration.” So I guess that was on the radio.

I repeated this conversation with three other people on airplanes between D.C. and Mississippi. None of them had heard of the March.

The purpose of the March is to demonstrate, to protest, to show our lawmakers and the public who we are and what we believe and that we are many and we aren’t going away. But an impressive media blackout enables them to at least pretend to ignore us.

But here’s why we should keep marching: because the March edifies pro-lifers. I know it does, because it did me. It is inspiring. It reminds you why you’re fighting. It puts you in touch with remarkable people who make you want to do more. It reminds you of the tragedy of abortion and the joy of saving lives.

Also: the crowd keeps getting bigger.

We keep growing, we keep not going away, and even though the media won’t do its job, and a lot of the public doesn’t know we exist, I promise you Planned Parenthood and their buddies on Capitol Hill are very aware of our numbers and the fact that we flood D.C. every year. I promise we make them nervous. If they’re smart, they’re nervous. And they’re smart.

Something else you should know about the March for Life: amidst all the cold, and the being exhausted, and the rushing and the airplanes and the living off energy bars, you also have a lot of fun.

At times you feel guilty having fun. I mean, you’re there because millions of children have died. You’re there because a tragedy is destroying the country. Are you supposed to be, like, partying?

This is maybe the world's first pro-life dance party, and yes, that is me in the middle. Sober, believe it or not.
This is may be the world’s first pro-life dance party, and yes, that is me in the middle. Sober, believe it or not.

Well, I think of the alternative, in which we all sit around in shrouds, weeping and lamenting. Would that be better for the movement? Would it attract people to our cause? “Hi, join us, we cry a lot!” We are pro-lifers, not anti-deathers. We want to preserve life because it is great. We celebrate life even as we mourn its loss.

I am back at the keyboard galvanized to do more this year. I hope you are, too, whether you were at the March or not. And in the tragic event that we have to march again next year, I hope I see you there.

  • Hannah Mallery

    It comes down to numbers: if you’re pro-life, you won’t abort your children. You’ll raise said children to be pro-life, repeat over several generations, and *presto!* A force to be reckoned with. Of course, it isn’t really that simple, I think it bears mentioning. I’m proud to be counted among the young, pro-life women of this nation.

    • Mary Veldhouse

      God bless you, Hannah. The pro-life movement needs intelligent, courageous women like you!

    • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Astraspider

      “Of course, it isn’t really that simple …”

      Of course. Mostly because the majority of abortions are sought by women who *already* have children.

      • Hannah Mallery

        What I meant is that parenthood isn’t a presto type of endeavor. It takes years of work, but the results are worth it. Sadly, a large demographic of America doesn’t think so anymore.

    • http://www.facebook.com/miles.eggimann.5 Miles Eggimann

      Yes, this is TOTALLY what it’s about, and as the inevitable comes to pass over time, we shall have yet another demonstration of how the Devil is destined to lose every time he goes up against Almighty God. Now, the trick up their sleeve is to force two parents into the work force and have their kids raised by the State School System…we’ve got to work against that. If we can just raise at least the majority of one generation of pro-life, God-fearing kids, we may yet turn this big ugly bus around…

  • http://www.facebook.com/paige.deaner Paige Deaner

    The man who is going to be my baby’s Godfather goes out in front of the Planned Parenthood in my town and… dances. He dances for hours, holding a sign that says “Life is Beautiful!” I think you should have fun! It proves why we all want to be here in the first place and why we want everyone else with us!!

  • md

    Love it! Wish I were there. Next year.

  • amanda

    Your stock just went up a TON in my book. I am a Catholic, prolife nerd wife and mother of 5, and our oldest three are proud Tolkein addicts with us (the youngest are under 6; not there yet, but close)….and you can pull a LOTR reference anytime you like. That man understood life, and the Bible, and why this glorious, messy existence on earth matters. You keep marching and dancing…I hope to join you in the years to come. B/c you are dead right (pun intended)….we WILL keep marching, making PP and their cronies nervous, and we will NOT go away. You were buoyed and warmed (I hope) by the prayers and fasting from many of us who weren’t there physically, but spiritually. Although if I were you, I would definitely keep an eye out for a “real” coat and actual snow boots to stash away for next year as the sales start soon where you are. *grin*

  • James E.

    About the Devil and Sauron and Caradhras: I was totally thinking the same thing the whole time.

  • http://twitter.com/ARounseville Anna Rounseville

    I’m glad your feet are ok. Amanda is right, get that Coat. Remember layers is usually a good way to go.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kateingle742 Katie Ingle

    Very well said. I wish I could have been there but I started saving on January 1st and made it my New Year’s resolution to join the March next year. Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration. Even though the media won’t do it’s job, it is people like you that tell the story of and for the precious unborn and for that you are a hero to all of the aborted, past, present and future. I also hope that we don’t need anymore marches, but I will be there if we do!! God bless and thanks for your strength!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/twiggyluvsyou Lisa Twigg

    Dude! I’m so stoked you out that pic in there. We are side with hope and awesome dance moves.

  • Bubbalouwee

    EWTN had excellent coverage on the March for Life. If you avoid the communist controlled mainstream media and know where to go to get accurate information, you can find it. Thank you Mother Angelica and EWTN!

  • Timmehh

    When natural disasters hit our country, some Christians say it’s God’s wrath against sinners. When cold weather and snow hit the March for Life, those same Christians say it’s because of the devil. I say, it’s all a bunch of hogwash.

    • http://www.facebook.com/bonnie.b.parsons Bonnie Baer Parsons

      I’m pretty sure they were joking. What’s not hogwash is the conviction in the people’s hearts to fight for the helpless, even if that fight means making a sacrifice. What’s not hogwash is the brutal murders that take place every minute in this country…legally. You don’t have to be a Christian to know that’s wrong or to have a deep respect in people willing to take a stand against it. But, if you are, you know that sometimes God and the Devil do in fact have an interest in what’s going on here. I don’t know which weather conditions have been caused by either of them, but I don’t need to in order to know how they both stand on this issue. :)

    • First Citizen

      No it was only cold to people from the South. I was fine. I became a little chilled after being out there for a fourth hour but it was not bad. It was normal weather for DC.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ella.warnock.7 Ella Warnock

      I thought it was Bush, Cheney, and Rove and their weather machine.

      Oh no, wait, it’s teh gayz!

      Yeah, hogwash.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=7011573 Beth Lott

    I totally sympathize with the cold problem. I was in DC for Bush Jr’s second inaugural parade marching in one of the bands, and marching shoes don’t cut it on a snow-covered Mall. My toes nearly fell off. And the wind will cut straight through a band uniform, the sweatshirt you have under it, the tee-shirt under *that*, and right down to your bone marrow. I was SO cold.

    But I agree that the pro-life movement is paradoxically upbeat. It sometimes feels odd, but I’ve decided to roll with it. Not the least because it is a shockingly good way to combat depression. It’s hard to stay in a funk when you’re part of a movement that is constantly telling you that your life is valuable and important.

    When I make it to the March (because I will, sooner or later), I hope y’all will still let people march with the NWF. I’d be proud to stand with you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pkharp Paula Harp

    We are going to try to make it next year. I will be saving!

  • debbie

    Thank you Kristen I always love reading your comments and views.

  • First Citizen

    It was also my first time at the March. It was amazing….although being from Michigan I did not really think it was all that cold. I would strongly encourage anyone to go next year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1330991804 Joan Maille McClure

    It was very disappointing not to see any coverage of the march by mainstream media.

  • Babylover

    I know what you mean. The media never covers the March for Life and it annoys me so much. This year, they spent more time covering the march for gun control (the day after the March for Life) than they did the March for Life.

  • Christie

    The March is about Hope as much as the sadness of the 50 million+ lives lost. And Hope should make us joyful so no one should feel guilty about feeling joy. Being with 500,000 other like minded people is empowering, exciting…and fun! My 5th year this year….I intend to keep going back (until we no longer have to!) because I feel rejuvenated in my battle against abortion after having marched in D.C. Now, as for the weather…. ;) I came from 5 degree temps! So not only did 28 degrees feel just fine, you need to know how to dress! For those coming from warmer climates, don’t feel afraid to attend! This was by far the coldest it had been in my 5 years. You need to dress in layers and buy good socks for your feet. Hand/feet warmers are wonderful too! :)

  • mcvickerski

    If anyone wants a prolife poem to pass along, please request one at mcvickerski@yahoo.com and I will send it to you with permission to copy or pass along, intact with my name. It’s is entitled The End. And speaks of children being there at your death, because you were there at their birth. Please pass this along far and wide. Thank you.
    Kristen, great article! Loved your attitude. :) Be blessed.