VER AT BEGGAR’S ALL, there is a stupefyingly idiotic post by Mr. Alan “Rhology” Maricle (the strong ARM of Calvinism), who uses the occasion of pro-life activity at an abortion mill to take a few shots at the “blasphemous” content of prayers recited by some Catholics who were at the scene.
Mr. Rho (Gr., Ρρ) begins:
While out at the abortion clinic, I’ve noticed that a few older Roman Catholic gentlemen come out as well for ~30 minutes, set out some pro-life signs, and pray what I was pretty sure was the Rosary.
LUKE CHAPTER 1 BAFFLES MR. Ρρ OF NORMAN
OF COURSE, CATHOLICS have been praying the Rosary in front of abortion mills (and Planned Parenthood facilities) for some time now, but to listen to Mr. Ρρ tell it you’d think that the Catholic Church (or perhaps just its “older gentlemen”) has just discovered pro-life. I pray the Rosary outside these facilities, and I regularly see large groups of Catholics of every age group—men, women, children. To my knowledge, we’ve never been joined by a Protestant; though every Catholic I know would welcome their presence—and the presence of anyone else, for that matter, who’d like to join us. I’d be happy to have Mr. Ρρ stand next to me; he could pray any prayer he liked—the Lord’s prayer, spontaneous prayer, one of the Psalms; I wouldn’t look at him funny.
Maybe Catholics are a curiosity in Norman, Oklahoma; I’m surprised by Mr. Ρρ’s seeming innocence whether they were praying the Rosary. Mr. Ρρ is actively involved in apologetics contra the Catholic Church, so his being unable to positively identify the Rosary seems strange. It’s easily identified by the quotations from Luke 1:28 and Luke 1:42–43. Usually, Catholics are holding those funny little beads when they say it, making it the more recognizable. But Mr. Ρρ is all innocent about such things.
LUKE CHAPTER 1 TICKLES OLD SCRATCH
MR. Ρρ PROCEEDS IN HIS NEXT PARAGRAPH to speculate that the Rosary has no effect whatsoever on abortion, but that it does “mak[e] demons laugh uproariously.” There’s no mention of whether demons laugh at abortion itself, or the continual re-election of Nancy Pelosi. Mr. Ρρ is certain, however, that they are in stitches at the recitation of Luke 1:28 and Luke 1:42–43.
Before Mr. Ρρ left the abortion mill, one of the “older” Catholic gentlemen (the Catholic Church in Mr. Ρρ’s neck of the woods is only populated by geezers who long for the glory days of Trent) handed him a pamphlet containing some of the prayers they recite while outside the House of Death. Mr. Ρρ “flip[s] through” to discover “verses of sheer awesomeness”—phraselogy that makes me perplexed that someone so actively engaged in apologetics is seemingly innocent about the existence of The Prayer to St. Michael and the Salve Regina. He’s just discovering them for the first time, it seems, and is shocked.
“If you can pray these,” Mr. Ρρ intones, “without wanting to throw up, you need to repent, and quickly.” There is no mention about the murderers inside the abortion mill needing to repent; there is no mention about the vomit-worthy characteristic of pictures of aborted babies. No; Mr. Ρρ engages in pro-life work at an abortion clinic, and returns to his blog exercised about the content of Catholic prayer.
SHAME! SHAME! ROMANIST MARY-WORSHIP EXPOSED!
I AM SAD TO REPORT that this attitude is very common among a certain class of anti-Catholic. Not all Protestants are thus. But I do very clearly remember—I was still a Protestant then—learning about the existence of 40 Days for Life and wanting to get involved. But when I discovered that there would be an almost-exclusively Catholic presence at the abortion mills, I decided not to go: There was no way I was going to stand next to someone praying the Rosary.
I regret ever having felt that way. More than that, I regret that someone like Mr. Ρρ feels that pro-life work is an appropriate context in which to dispute the content of Catholic prayer. Doesn’t the monstrous evil of abortion trump those theological differences? If you don’t think it does, then I have no words to describe my shock at the lack of proportion.
I have profound differences with Mormons—for example, with respect to their view of the Trinity and the person of Christ—and it may be all well and good to have a discussion about that, or the content of their prayers, in a different context. But if I encounter Mormons praying at an abortion clinic, my only thought at the moment would be: Good for them for taking a stand against this hideous scourge. I’m certainly not going to go rushing home to my blog to cry, “Shame, shame!” If he had been equally willing (and for the record, I don’t know what his opinion about abortion was), I would have stood next to Christopher Hitchens in front of an abortion mill and welcomed him as a brother in the fight against that hideous monstrosity. And he and I would have had fierce discussions, I’m sure, about the existence of God in a different setting.
Catholics and Reformed Protestants have serious differences, and they merit discussion and debate. But in the context of our shared outrage at the murder of the unborn: Mr. Ρρ, let it go.
You may also like: Mr. Ρρ’s Ontological Error About Mary