Monday, January 16, 2012

Civility-Week 3:January 16, 2012

“I don’t believe in confrontation. That seems to me outside civil discourse and we all have to find way to be civil to one another.” - Condoleezza Rice, NPR interview, March 4, 2009

Week 3 and we're still going...
I was talking to my mom the other night. She had been talking with her older sister who is in her eighties. My Aunt Tecky and her husband have been faithful Catholics all their lives, raised 10 children. They live in Arizona  in a town with an abortion clinic.  My aunt and uncle pray every day for those young women going to and from the clinic. They sit peacefully on a sidewalk across the street praying. They are not confrontational, they are not jeering, or judgemental. They sit there and pray, my uncle in a wheelchair and my aunt on a lawn chair holding one sign between them that asks women to consider life.
Last week a young man was passing by the clinic and saw my aunt and uncle sitting across the street from the clinic praying. I guess it made him mad.  Why? I have no idea. Maybe he didn't like the sign asking women to reconsider giving their children life.  But, according to my aunt and the police report, he came across the street. He first grabbed the sign out of my aunt's hands and tried to hit her with it. A huge gust of wind yanked it out of his hands before it hit her. But then he turned and slammed his fists into my 85 year old uncle knocking him out of his wheelchair. 
At first I was shocked. Then very, very angry.
All thoughts of civility went out of my head.
I don't know the rest of the story except that the police did show up. I don't know what happened to the man. I know my aunt and uncle are still recovering from the assault.
I know it was not my first thought to pray for this man. And it is still hard to consider praying for him although I know that's the only thing I can do at this point. I wasn't there to defend my aunt and uncle and their right to free speech. Their right to defend life. All I can do is pray.
This blatant act of NON-civility is becoming more and more accepted.
Please join me in praying for our country to be one of civility - toward all people - unborn, aged, young, middle age, no matter our color, class or creed, immigrant, whoever.
This violence toward any kind of life must stop.
And it all begins with civility.

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