January 23, 2006 7:55 PM
Pictures from the March for Life
As most of you know, I spent the late 60's and early 70's demonstrating in Washington, DC on the Mall, at the Capitol, the bridges, and the Pentagon against the Viet Nam War - then at George Mason University crusading for abortion rights. Left all that behind to explore the more recreational side of the counterculture in San Francisco.
During the 30 years I lived in San Francisco and then Marin County, I hit many bottoms as a welfare mother, drug addict, and "fag hag" (the affectionate term for a woman who hangs out with - and in my case lives with - gay men).
In 1980 I began a 12 step program and from there developed a yearning to know God. I never would have looked for answers in Christianity, precisely because of all the suffocating judgmentalism and pomposity you find so often in the blogosphere. So I got involved in Eastern religion, met my soul mate, married and kept working toward nirvana. While we were very successful using New Age techniques to build material success, it was the difficulties in our marriage (well, can you imagine when two people each think they're the center of the universe?) which drove us to a marriage conference where we both ended up accepting Jesus at the same time. (Longer version here.)
That was 1987. Flash forward to 2006. I am published writer with 12 kids (2 married with almost 10 grandchildren) and we have all moved from the Left Coast back to Virginia. I've been blogging for a year as a way to establish more relationship with my readers. Will I go to a Blogs4Life Conference and the Right to Life March? You bet I will!
With me was my 12 year old daughter Maddy - unfortunately on one crutch because she had a biopsy on her foot the other day and it still hurts. But she said she was good to go. We took the Metro (what a user-unfriendly transit system that is compared to New York or San Francisco!) and arrived at the Family Research Council.
After Blogs4Life, we joined the throngs headed for the Mall - the expanse between the Washington Monument and the Capitol. Roads were blocked and buses were unloading everywhere with people streaming like tributaries toward the main river of marchers. Groups were identified by different color hats or scarves or the signs they carried. I was fascinated by it all.
No, that's an understatement - coming from the background I come from and being surrounded by so much goodness, health, and life I was filled with gratitude for all the good people who've kept marching for life for 33 years. To those evangelicals who find it necessary to put down Catholics, I will say that Catholicism has been the most visible and consistent pro-life voice of all - not just anti-abortion, but truly pro-life in terms of regarding children as blessings/gifts from God. I'd say more than half the people marching today were Catholics.
This is the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property. Their banner says, "The acceptance of abortion not only changes a person's morals, but transforms their Christian worldview into neopagan secularism."
These are members of the order Missionaries of Charity founded by Mother Teresa.
Poster with lyrics from Third Day:
There is hope for the helpless, mercy and healing,.
and love for the broken-hearted.
Cry out to Jesus
These are students from Pinecrest Academy in Georgia. They told me they come every year.
This sweatshirt is emblematic, I believe, of the hope in this generation. The number of teenagers at the March - at least 50% of the crowd - was absolutely amazing!! But not when you realize that they are the ones who will be changing our culture toward pro-life. Pro-choice people just aren't leaving the legacy numbers-wise.
Michigan loves our President. So do many pro-life people. Bush sent a taped address, as he does each year, affirming his commitment to the pro-life cause. All those conservatives who kvetch about the other things they don't like about him, could at least concede how right he's gotten this. I mean, I'm sure the March never heard boo from Clinton.
Princeton for Life. Who knew? I mean, I think of Peter Singer, who advocates a 28 day period in which parents can terminate the life of a "defective" new born. He's the chair of Princeton's Ethics Department, you know. These students have their work cut out for them.
Oh, the stage. Couldn't see anything happening there, but could hear through the loudspeakers. Note the sea of green hats in front of me. By this time it was starting to rain. Maddy's foot was throbbing. She's having her tonsils out Wednesday (this just hasn't been her month) and since I need to deliver her to the hospital in some sort of healthy state, I decided we needed to leave. The crowd was still growing as we turned away and headed to the Metro station. It was a tough call, but if I'm pro-life, I've got to do what's right by my own children.
Of course I had to get a picture of this - my favorite banner of the day. Psalm 127:3.
Would you have pegged these kids as pro-life? Remember that next time you're tempted to judge a book by its cover! I think they're kind of cute.
At any age, pro-lifers just seem a little happier than pro-choicers!
Now here's one way to get your message across - sure beats blogging!
As we made our way out, the rain was still pouring down and the crowds still pouring in. I only wish I could have stayed longer and brought you more images.
Next year, I promise.
That is awesome. I wanted to go really bad but I couldn't. I am just so glad that the March had a higher visibility this year. I feel the tide turning in this country and I am praying that it continues to turn.
Posted by: Top | January 23, 2006 11:39 PM
Excellent coverage of the March! BTW, nice meeting you earlier today.
Posted by: tim | January 24, 2006 2:24 AM
Thank you for those pictures! We realized too late that the March was on my husband's day off, or we would have been on a bus to D.C. with our two precious little boys in tow, of course.
My sister did go, and I'm so proud of her!
Posted by: Margaret | January 24, 2006 6:12 AM
Wow. Absolutely awesome. Thanks for being there.
Posted by: Carol | January 24, 2006 7:00 AM
Thanks for the coverage and pictures--very inspiring.
Posted by: KatieButler | January 24, 2006 7:56 AM
Thank you Barbara. Those were great!!! Wish I could have been there!!!!
We had our own local March here.
Posted by: Holly | January 24, 2006 9:22 AM
What great pictures... so interesting and good to see! Thanks -
Posted by: Allie | January 24, 2006 3:23 PM
i'm just so partial to the dapper gentleman with the most un-dapper bullhorn.
Posted by: floorplan | January 24, 2006 3:25 PM
got any pictures of other students because my classmates were there
Posted by: dION | January 24, 2006 5:17 PM
Thanks for posting these pictures they are great!
If I ever don't have a nursing child this time one year I would love to fly out for this.
Posted by: paigeu | January 24, 2006 5:27 PM
You sure did clear out before the crowds got there! And those non-traditional kids sure are cute! God bless them!
I saw the Missionaries of Charity as they were heading to Mass at the MCI center. It picked me up just to see them. "Good morning, sisters!" I called cheerily, and they smiled and returned my greeting and I just walked a little lighter.
Posted by: Christina | January 24, 2006 5:56 PM
Great photos, Barbara. Thank you! Blessings in Christ ~ Patricia
Posted by: Patricia | January 24, 2006 8:16 PM
Thank you for your kind words about Catholics.
I am a Catholic who attended the March.
But I went with the people from my son's Orthodox church, and marched behind the banner of Orthodox Christians for Life. The Orthodox you know are also strongly prolife. Does anyone have a picture of that banner?
I took one with my cell phone but it isn't very clear.
Actually I didn't see many banners from non Catholic churches. There was the NOEL (formerly National Organization of Episcopalians for Life but now affiliated with the Anglican communion, not ECUSA) and a "Charismatic Episcopal" Church, but I didn't see banners from other Protestant groups. Did they just march as individuals? I just wondered because it made it hard for me to evaluate the strength of the Evangelical presence there.
Posted by: Susan Peterson | February 7, 2006 12:17 PM
I was looking for your address. I hope this is the right Barbara Curtis. There can only be one with this incredible story. I have moved to Idaho. My mom is interested in talking to you about publishing her story. She will try to reach you this summer.
How are all the kids? I often think of Jasmine. Is she still in Vallejo. I would love to email her. Please give her my address.
Posted by: MIA PORTUE | May 22, 2006 4:33 PM
I am from lighthouse Baptist church in Ashtabula Ohio and i was in the Pro Life March in Washington D.C. and it was the most amazing thing i have ever been apart of in my life. i will go every year and i pray that one day they illegalize abortion forever!!!!God Bless who ever started this cause for life!
Posted by: Jaliah White | May 19, 2008 12:00 PM