By: Mark Crutcher
President, Life Dynamics
As we all know, in the past a lot of valuable pro-life initiatives have been defeated by infighting within the pro-life movement. And most of the time, these internal conflicts are driven by nothing more than inflated egos and petty turf battles. The good news is, this problem has diminished significantly in recent years. At some point, we apparently figured out that the only thing we get from sabotaging our own efforts is more dead babies.
But unfortunately, I think we are at the beginning of a new internal conflict that could quickly become more destructive than any of those that have come before.
It involves the current presidential campaign. Now whether we like it or not, it is clear that Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee. It is also clear that he is a very polarizing individual who generates enormous passions both for him and against him. The problem is, that dynamic is showing up in very unhealthy ways inside the pro-life movement.
Right now, it appears that some of our people think that Trump is the last great hope for the pro-life movement, while others seem equally convinced that he is the anti-Christ. I can assure you, he is neither of those and I think every one of us knows that.
The problem is, egos are getting involved and this conflict is becoming more vicious by the day. Pro-lifers are not merely disagreeing with each other about Trump, and neither side is really trying to persuade the other, what they are doing is sinking their teeth into each other’s throats.
Right now, things are being said and done within the pro-life community that cannot be unsaid and undone once the election is over.
But here is the reality we cannot afford to ignore. After this election, the pro-life movement’s work will still be here. That was true when we elected pro-life presidents like Ronald Reagan, and it was true when we elected pro-abortion presidents like Barack Obama. And that’s exactly what’s going to happen this time. But if we allow our feelings about Donald Trump to build walls between us, that work will not get done.
What you and I need to understand is that we control how much carnage this pro-Trump / anti-Trump confrontation is going to inflict on the pro-life movement.
The question is: are we mature enough to disagree with our brothers and sisters without making them our enemies? Or is our need to be right, more important to us than the lives we are trying to save?
Look, the passions surrounding this presidential campaign are completely understandable. We all realize what’s at stake here and recent Supreme Court decisions have reinforced just how important this race is. But this assault on pro-lifers by other pro-lifers has to stop and it has to stop now.
If we allow this tension to continue, it will build until it takes on a life of its own. And that would set the pro-life movement back decades.
Before this goes any further, each of us must take some personal responsibility for addressing this situation. What that means is, no matter what you believe about Donald Trump, or how strongly you believe it, do not demonize those pro-lifers who sincerely disagree with you – and don’t take their disagreement as a personal attack on you.