I love those times that I am sitting at the computer and BAMM! – A new idea for an article or image edit hits me like a ton of bricks (but in a good way). There are just times you know that what you are about to create is going to be special, something that will touch someone or silence the forked tongue.
Occasionally, when a moment like that strikes, I drift off temporarily and wonder if maybe, just maybe, I could actually do this for a living. You know, actually support my family and reach our financial goals by writing, creating, and speaking on some of these issues I am passionate about. Then I think about that issue I am most concerned about, abortion, and I am forced to look at the reality of what full-time paid activism, if focused on one issue alone, would mean in the long term scheme of life- If I am truly successful, if I accomplish all that I set out to do, I would then be out of a job, and left hoping that my skills would be requested elsewhere. Now I know there are people who do it, and this is the part where I have to qualify everything I just said or else be accused of insinuating all full-time pro-Life activists are corrupt, so take a deep breath and read on.
For me personally, I do not have the resources necessary to be fully vested in a type of employment where the goal is to become unemployed and obsolete as soon as possible. It would be like trying to make a living selling Bumper Stickers that say “Ban Bumpers”. Unless you are doing so as an attorney, knowing that you can always practice law in a different forum, or possess the financial resources for that day that winning the battle means having no job, I don’t know how people do it, and I will go so far as to say- I don’t think everyone that does it does so with the purest intentions. Even still, I know there are likely some that simply look to the Lord as their source of provision, as they should, and really fight the good fight with a pure heart. However, with so many pro-Life organizations, whose sole stated purpose is to end abortion, whose very livelihood comes from donations and bumper stickers and t-shirts designed to end abortion, it begs the question- are there some that only take it so far, who refuse to join forces with other like-minded efforts, because doing so successfully will mean there is nothing left to do? I know that’s sounds a little cynical, but think about it. How many stories have you heard about an important cancer drug study being scrapped and a new project started so that grant money would keep flowing? If we give any credence to those allegations, knowing that there are several types of cancer that must be individually cured, and considering that the act of intentionally aborting a child is viewed as one act that could one day be wiped out completely, and knowing that human nature is flawed and subject to temptations of greed, am I really far off in my skepticism?
There are some great people I know who live a very modest existence, and within their arsenal of advocacy is the abolishment of abortion. I know they are fighting on so many battlefronts that if abortion ended tomorrow, they would still have plenty of fighting left to do. My friend and mentor Tom Hoefling is an example of that type of diverse advocacy.
There are still others, like all those who call themselves Abortion Abolitionists A//A, which I very much consider myself a part of, who have regular jobs, but make abolition a part of their daily lives.
And still there are undoubtedly others that fight full time with the sincere hope of winning the fight and losing their job.
But I think it is time for the paid segment of “the industry” as a whole to come together and take a long hard look at their goals, their progress, and their motives, and start considering the possibility that maybe pushing for incremental legislation that protects some and codifies the deaths of others is just a form of self-preservation. Maybe there are a few among us that don’t really want to stop selling bumper stickers just yet. I agree that we cannot become so fragmented and divided that we lose our voice, but I also know that I don’t want to unite with or associate with anyone who is not completely committed to doing everything possible to end abortion immediately.
The thought of one day getting paid to do what I do, which is inclusive of but not limited to fighting to end abortion, admittedly that is appealing. But don’t ever offer me a job that amounts to getting paid to fight against just one evil, unless you have a new business in mind or one heck of a retirement plan, because I’m fighting to win.