Fri 21st Nov 2014 | Last updated: Thu 20th Nov 2014 at 22:52pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo

Comment & Blogs

Why I proudly display a pro-life car sticker

I have received surprisingly positive responses since displaying the sticker

By on Friday, 5 September 2014

A woman poses with 'Choose Life' licene plate in America (CNS)

A woman poses with 'Choose Life' licene plate in America (CNS)

Yesterday we had our monthly pro-life prayer vigil in the slip road outside our local NHS hospital. We were joined by a visiting Indian priest. Usually we are a small group of lay people so it was good to have a priestly presence among us, and to be blessed by him at the end. On this occasion a young man came up to us and asked politely if he could take a photograph of the group, with our pro-life posters, to put on his Facebook page. We all agreed it would be a good thing – especially as the usual reaction is either hostile or puzzled looks from those going past in their cars.

What good does our small group do? It’s impossible to say. The point is simply to be a regular and visible presence outside the hospital in order to remind people about what is permitted behind its doors and perhaps do a bit of “consciousness raising” on the subject. There are other ways of doing this, of course, and not everyone feels able to actually stand on a street corner holding a placard, but it still feels important to be there.

I note in a recent article from Alateia that in Washington DC pro-lifers have thought of a novel way to try to spread the pro-life message: since last year they have been allowed to sell “choose life” speciality license plates, which show a cartoon drawing of two smiling children with the caption “choose life” under them. Washington has now joined 29 other states that sell or permit these license plates, which cost only $25 a year. Since the idea began in 2000, 900,000 license plates have been sold or renewed and nearly $20 million has been raised for different pro-life causes.

Larry Cirignano of the Children First Foundation, which oversees the sale and renewal of these license plates in Washington DC commented that “no-one has been pulled over while driving for being pro-life; no cars have been scratched or keyed; and no incidents of road rage have been reported.” He added the interesting fact that “many drivers are adopted themselves or are adoptive parents who are proud to talk about the importance of being open to adoption.” His aim is to have 1,000 license plates on the road and thinks that achieving 200 will be “the tipping point” when they will start to generate themselves.

I was particularly interested in this initiative because for the last 7 or 8 years I have displayed a car boot sticker on my car with the caption “Have Mercy on the Unborn”, accompanied by a large red heart. Again, I have never been challenged about this and nor has my car been damaged. Yet when other Catholics remark on the sticker and I tell them I have a supply so can give them one too, they almost always decline, on the grounds that it might cause trouble of some sort. Even when I tell them that in my own experience it does nothing of the kind, they still say excuse themselves. Perhaps it’s too in-your face, too demonstrative, too political?

More rarely (but it does happen) people have spontaneously asked me how they can get hold of a similar sticker for their own car. This once even happened in the Tesco car park. And once a woman followed me home in her car to ask if I had any more that I could give her. It turned out she was a member of a pro-life organisation.

So I carry on. The caption is a gentle appeal to other drivers – a non-aggressive, subliminal message. Just imagine the effect if if thousands of cars on our roads adopted them.

COMMENT POLICY

The Catholic Herald comment guidelines
At The Catholic Herald we want our articles to provoke spirited and lively debate. We also want to ensure the discussions hosted on our website are carried out in civil terms.

All commenters are therefore politely asked to ensure that their posts respond directly to points raised in the particular article or by fellow contributors, and that all responses are respectful.

We implement a strict moderation policy and reserve the right to delete comments that we believe contravene our guidelines. Here are a few key things to bear in mind when com
menting…

Do not make personal attacks on writers or fellow commenters – respond only to their arguments.
Comments that are deemed offensive, aggressive or off topic will be deleted.
Unsubstantiated claims and accusations about individuals or organisations will be deleted.
Keep comments concise. Comments of great length may be deleted.
We try to vet every comment, however if you would like to alert us to a particular posting please use the ‘Report’ button.

Thank you for your co-operation,
The Catholic Herald editorial team

  • osseocarnisan

    You need straw people to argue against?

  • osseocarnisan

    Better they should experience such distress while they still have the chance to avoid the worse and permanent distress that may follow later.

  • relatively_speaking

    I have another disappeared reply. It was polite, but took a different line. How can opinions be shared if only those who agree have their views included? Blocking opposing voices is the tactic of those who fear the truth, rather than hold it.

  • relatively_speaking

    My perfectly polite and reasonable reply disappeared into thin air. Free speech does not exist at the CH! Take a slightly different line and the moderators take exception.

    “Human development begins”. This is the key to unlocking your error. Whilst every developmental stage is human, they are not yet all human beings. They have begun the journey to becoming one, but have not yet arrived.

    Until you grasp the significance of this vital difference you are destined to continue the error.

  • osseocarnisan

    Blinding us with science, eh?

  • osseocarnisan

    … or see Steptoe and Edwards (pioneers of in vitro fertilisation, “… a microscopic human being – one in its very earliest stages of development”. (A Matter of Life, 1983)

  • kentgeordie

    The only reason people want to define a tiny conceptus as not a person is so they can destroy it with a ‘clear’ conscience.

  • bluesuede

    “….eventual production of a human being or human person.”

    So then, any person, individually, will decide when it does become human? And you all have a different time for when a fetus becomes a human being (a person as you like to say) because you all have your own pet idea when that should be. 24 weeks, at birth, or when the child is 2 years old.

    “People in general and almost all nations around the world do not accept that the claim is a valid one.”

    Maybe not, but medical science does.

  • bluesuede

    True. They need to watch an abortion.

  • bluesuede

    Except those at the earliest stage of human development.

  • bluesuede

    Hi r_s. You’re back.

    As ever, I disagree with that erroneous view.
    Just because you play with the words; human person, human being, human on a journey. It doesn’t change the medically accepted fact that a fertilized egg is a human being(person).

  • bluesuede

    DNA yes, you are.

  • bluesuede

    That’s what I was thinking. We’re likely to get a couple of deep scratches or worse.
    When there is a presidential election, I’ve noticed that always, the conservative candidate’s signs get vandalized or disappear.
    I respect the people who put the pro-life sticker on their cars.

  • bluesuede

    It’s a public affirmation with a positive belief in pro-life.
    It is very powerful.
    Many pro-life people have been attacked in public for peacefully showing signs of pro-life. Physically attacked. Their signs ripped up. If there’s a billboard that defends life, it receives a lot of political pressure to be removed. This is a war, and just like hearing the Word of God brings faith, hearing or seeing pro-life and anti-abortion signs and marches and peaceful gatherings or bumper stickers can cause someone to rethink. It’s going to bring out the beast in the lovers of abortion.

  • bluesuede

    Good point.

  • bluesuede

    Wrong. That argument is dead in the water.

    When is an innocent unborn life or the life of a vulnerable old or disabled person the same as going to fight in a just war against an aggressor, or self-defense from a murderous enemy?

    We are not Quakers who don’t go to even just wars. Do you think that the Christians being murdered in Iraq shouldn’t take up arms and protect themselves? I do, and high time.

    Pope JPll advised that the death penalty is not just. However, you’ll find people all over the world (not just Christians) who have the death penalty as a part of their law since the beginning of mankind.

  • bluesuede

    Try Priests for Life or google pro-life bumper stickers in your country.

  • bluesuede

    If they saw an abortion, it would put them off getting one.

  • bluesuede

    Wrong again. The level of sex-ed in schools has driven up the level of promiscuity among the young. The level it is at now is partly because recreational sex is promoted as harmless through sex-ed how-to books showing porn to students.

    Planned Parenthood has bragged that the more sexually promiscuous the kids are, the more abortions they will see.

  • bluesuede

    So true. Pro-aborts never discuss the life-long after effects of guilt and mental and physical problems that having even one abortion does.

  • newguy40

    You have not provided me any scientific data that supports your assertion. The science is settled in this case. From the submicorscopic level DNA to the macro zygote and fetus, this is a human being and person. And, fully deserving all the rights associated with that appelation.

    The debate about “personhood” is really the debate about who will be included in the human community, who will be respected, and who will receive legal protection. This debate goes back over the centuries, throughout which various classes of human beings were excluded from the human family.

    Your method of determining is the method of Sanger, Hitler, Pol pot. And, that is poor company to be in.

  • relatively_speaking

    Yes the science is settled. No dispute. The DNA is human. You are though misappropriating the science. There is nothing whatsoever in the science which speaks about the zygote or fetus being either a being or a person. Indeed how could it? Science doesn’t address such issues.

    The constant attempts to brand those who disagree with you as being associates of such as Hitler or Pol Pot says so much more about them than ever it does about those whom they accuse.

    It would be very easy to construct a case whereby the same associations could be made against them. However, I have more dignity.

  • relatively_speaking

    It doesn’t change it because it was not right in the first place. There is no such “medically accepted fact”. It is accepted that a fertilised egg is a human fertilised egg. That is all. Nothing is, or can be, said by science on the issue of personhood. It is beyond the scope of science, or medicine to pronounce on such things.

  • bluesuede

    Is it beyond the scope of science to say a chicken egg is a chicken or does it have to wait until it completes its growth cycle, of walks, chirps and grows feathers? It’s still a chicken and a human person is still a human person at all stages of development. I like all animals, but human persons have a soul and are far more valuable than a chicken.

  • relatively_speaking

    You illustrate and confirm the point I am making beautifully. Thanks for that.

    A chicken egg is chicken in exactly the same way a human fetus is human.

    A chicken egg though is obviously not a chicken. You cannot feed it, pluck it or turn it into nuggets. It is a chicken egg. No more, no less.

    In exactly the same way neither is a human fetus a human being.

  • bluesuede

    To your mind set, but not in reality. A chicken is still a chicken as an egg at the breakfast table and human being is still a human being in the womb. I guess it doesn’t matter what embryo I mention, you will still not recognize that we are human no matter at what stage of development we are at. No relativism is going to change that, only that you make it up in your own mind. But that would be lying to yourself. If the law said a human in the womb is a person and made abortion illegal again, would you accept that and change your erroneous assumption?

  • Pingback: When Catholic Leaders Abandon the Faithful - BigPulpit.com

  • http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/ The Catholic Herald

    Please email editorial@catholicherald.co.uk for information on where to buy the stickers

  • sandygrounder

    “What good does our small group do?” It is indeed impossible to say but perhaps one person (or more than one person) will see your witness and decide not to have an abortion which is an infinite good. I admire your courage and commitment.

  • relatively_speaking

    Yet another disappeared reply!!! Nothing rude or controversial, just disagreement. Great eh? Free speech is not permitted at the CH.

    Erroneous assumption? Not at all. Just a different way of looking at things. To me you are attempting to deny the self evident and no additional proof is needed.

    Eggs cannot peck or cluck. They are chicken, but not chickens. Exactly the same applies to embryos. They are human, but not human beings.

    In the very unlikely event that the law on this matter changed I would, of course, respect it. All that would prove though is that people like you held a majority. I don’t need to be concerned about that. It isn’t going to happen.

  • Nesbyth

    “little or no sex education” you say. Where have you been for the last twenty years? And especially the last ten years!
    Sex education is everywhere and especially in schools; hopefully less rampant in Catholic schools but it’s all there nonetheless. No-one could possibly be excused getting pregnant on the grounds of ignorance ever again.

  • bluesuede

    It is curious to me r_s, that what you’re saying is, that when it was
    illegal, you believed an unborn person had personhood? Or you never
    questioned it. Or did you come to your opinion only after abortion
    became legal and questions about life in the womb were challenged
    because medical science says life begins at conception and abortionists
    just can’t accept that, so they had to invent a new vocabulary that
    tries to tinker with the meaning of the word person?

  • bluesuede

    My comment in reply was marked spam. I didn’t say anything offensive.

  • relatively_speaking

    Once again my reply disappeared. This reminds me of General Pinochet! Eliminate any opposition voices if you hold the power to do so. And some here compare people like me to Nazis!

    That isn’t what I am saying at all. Whether it was illegal, or not, makes no difference at all. Whilst it is true that the concept of personhood itself is fairly recent, that is because we now understand these things better. We have given substance and terminology to an old idea.

    Everyone accepts, including those who see the need for abortion in some circumstances, that life begins at conception. To suggest otherwise is simply wrong. That isn’t the point. The point is that there is a big difference between life at conception and at all the stages between that and birth.

  • bluesuede

    “..there is a big difference between life at conception and at all the stages between that and birth.”

    Because of this world view, “some circumstances” allow abortion, it will make it justifiable to take away life at all stages after birth.

    The reason why you agree with the notion that a fetus at “all stages” of life is not a person, is because if you, or the law, admitted that an unborn baby is a person in the womb, it follows that that life must be protected because it has rights as a person. Denying that personhood to the unborn in the womb makes it legally safe to continue to kill that baby at all stages of development.

  • relatively_speaking

    You are just making unsubstantiated assertions.

    You cannot admit that which isn’t true. Catholics of all people ought to realise that. A fertilised human egg, or a fetus without a nervous system, is so clearly not a person, in any meaningful sense, as to prohibit any more discussion. A fully grown person walks and talks. A little person wriggles and cries. An egg or a fetus cannot do such things.

    We don’t choose to deny personhood for any ulterior motives. The personhood just doesn’t exist, and the consequences flow from that.

  • relatively_speaking

    This is really getting tedious. Another perfectly respectable reply just disappeared, without any possible justification. Is this happening to others?

  • bluesuede

    It’s happened to me, and I didn’t say anything to break the rules—most of the time.