Covington 1 -- My accounting
The Covington case has sparked several thoughts from me. I will start what I hope everyone who helped fan the flames of this incident will do, and consider my own actions and their motivations.
I found out about this from a series of tweets from other conservative commentators. The first ones I saw mentioned the MAGA hats, but not the pro-life march. Knowing the pro-life march had just happened, I looked into it, hoping the boys involved were not from the pro-life march, but suspecting they were.
The tweet that I retweeted was of Prof. Robert George retweeting Fr. James Martin condemning the incident, and that it is not what the March For Life is about. For those not in the know, Prof. George and Fr. Martin are both pro-life Catholics, but agree on little else. If they agreed on this incident, that was good enough for me. I hoped the criticism would center on the MAGA hats rather than the pro-life aspect. I avoided social media for most of the rest of the weekend, correctly suspecting it would get ugly.
Why did I feel compelled to join in? I understand that the right answer is that I was horrified by the incident itself, but to be honest, it is likely because I sensitive to the criticism that pro-life people do not care about any other issue and are motivated by hatred. I felt the need to distance myself, and the pro-life movement in general, from this.
Why did I believe it? Well, I was once a teenager bused into Washington for the March for Life, and I am aware that those doing so are not necessarily motivated by an abiding seamless garment respect for life in all its stages, or even opposition to abortion. It was a day off school and a trip to Washington with my friends. I also have two teenage daughters and teach Confirmation class to teenagers. They're good kids, but would not be my choice of spokespersons for the cause (more to come on the prudence of this strategy).
Either Fr. Martin or Prof. George deleted the tweet I retweeted, making it unnecessary for me to do so. I also tweeted questioning the prudence of busing teenagers in for the March For Life, which I am even more convinced is something we need to reconsider.
So, for me, I think my mistake was hypersensitivity to the "you pro-lifers only care about people until they're born" criticism.