2013 Dubuque County Right to Life Walk for Life
This year we had one of the mildest days I can remember for the walk. The last 2 years we had to hold the program in the KC Hall after the walk rather than before it starts. Last year we had a snowfall of 6-1/2 inches the day before. The temperature was, to put it mildly, frigid. The year before was not much better.
Regardless of the weather we have always drawn at least 100 people. This year was no exception. When I stopped counting there were about 100 there & more still arriving. The TH estimates that over 125 were there.
Next up Kate Mantyh, Chair of Loras College Right to Life gave a short speech.
She was followed by the current chair of DCRTL, Liz Cushman.
Liz spoke about how some people think we are chasing fairy tales if we think we can put an end to abortion. She reminded us of a quote that G.K. Chesterton had to say about fairy tales, "they tell us that dragons can be beaten."
The final speaker was Fr. Michael Podhajsky. He is the pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Key West & Holy Family Catholic Church, New Melleray.
He spoke on the effect of 40 years of legalized abortion since Roe v Wade. (Note: I am able to go into more detail about what he said since he gave me a copy of his notes. The advantage of being a good friend with the speaker.)
He started out by talking about the Biblical significance of the number 40, 40 day flood (Noah), the 40 years Israel wandered in the desert, Elijah's 40 day journey & Jesus' 40 days in the desert fasting & praying.
He went on to ask "What does 40 years mean?" It signifies a generation. In this case that a generation has grown up in our country under the regime of legalized abortion. He went on to say that we know the harm done to babies, women & men. There have been an estimated 54.5 million abortions since Roe v Wade.* But we must also remember the harm abortion has done to society.
He then talked about the prior experiences in this country in the fight for justice, slavery, segregation, women's right & the temperance movement were all lead by Christians.
January 22, 1973 was a dramatic turn in the direction for our country. Things became relative. Father then went on to share what Blessed Pope John Paul II said about this in his encyclical, Evangelium Vitae. "If the promotion of the self is understood in terms of absolute autonomy, people inevitably reach the point of rejecting one another. Everyone else is considered an enemy from whom one has to defend oneself. . . . In this way, any reference to common values and to a truth absolutely binding on everyone is lost, and social life ventures on to the shifting sands of complete relativism. At that point, everything is negotiable." (Section 20)
We have seen the results of the shifting sands of complete relativism that the Pope talked about. 1st it was called killing a blob of tissue - that was okay. But when since showed it was more, then killing a baby before birth was OK. Then partial birth abortion was okay. Now some are advocating infanticide. We are also seeing euthanasia & gay marriage being promoted as Okay. We have had one generation raised thinking "I'm okay, your okay." Whatever you do is okay. He ended by saying "We're here to say it's not okay." We walk to let this generation know it isn't.
After another prayer & song, the actual walk began. The walkers left the park lead by several 4th Degree Knights of Columbus.
They headed East on W 6th St. As they walked many of them joined in in praying a Rosary.
When they reached Central Ave. they headed North to the DBQ Co. Courthouse.
They peacefully walked past the courthouse, turned West on to W 9th St.
It was here that I joined the crowd after taking pictures of those marching.
When we reached Locust St we heading South to KC Council 150 Hall where those who wanted to could spend a time of fellowship & enjoy a chili luncheon. Members of American Heritage Girls Troop ILL8510 helped serve those in attendance.
God willing, we will soon no longer have to have these walks. Instead we will be able to rejoice in the fact that all life is valued by society, whether it be the 1st moment of fertilization/conception to the elderly & everyone in between.
*This depends on the estimate. I have seen once recent estimate that puts it at 55.7 million. The problem is that not all states report the number of abortions to the CDC, so estimates based on CDC reports & those by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute are used to make an estimate. The odds are the number is much higher.