When hecklers heckle, the proper way to respond is not to

I went to confession and Mass yesterday as part of First Friday—Sacred Heart devotions. Afterward I went to lunch—and remembered to eat a fish sandwich! Yay! (I try to abstain from meat on Fridays, even outside of Lent. Sadly, I’ve been known to forget. Like last night at supper time. Sigh.) I still haven’t signed up for specific prayer times at 40 Days for Life, but I have been praying at home and before, during, and after Mass for the cause. I also belong to a weekly pro-life prayer group, but yesterday I felt the need to do more. So I got in the car and drove to the only two remaining abortion clinics in town to look for the prayer vigil.

I found the 40 Days for Life folks praying on the sidewalk in front of the smaller of the two clinics.* No one heckled us directly while I was there, but before I got there, there was some interaction. Seems that some of the pro-life folks had brought their children with them and one of them had written on the sidewalk with some chalk. One of the staff came out and made quite the show of washing it off, I’m told. I guess they’re not happy with snuffing out lives, they’ve got to eradicate any sign that children were even anywhere near the place. Oy.

And get this. 40 Days for Life had signs up and a banner tied between two trees, off the clinic’s property where they can’t control such things. But the director parked her van in front of the banner. You could still see it so I’m not sure what she accomplished. We also can’t touch their brick wall while we’re praying. Nope, can’t lean against it when your feet or legs or back start hurting. Can’t do it. They will sprint out there and tell you so. I saw them peeking through the blinds at us several times. I guess they were afraid we were leaning again, but we weren’t. I reminded everyone who got anywhere near it not to lean.

Zer shall be no leaning on ze vall! Ve haf vays of makingk you not lean, you know! Good grief.

But there were no other incidences that I heard of. And nothing while I was there. Unfortunately, the same isn’t true for those in some other towns. Take a look at this brief video and you’ll see what I mean. Off camera there are people chanting Hey, Ho, 40 Days has got to go! and it doesn’t bother them one bit that they’re being obnoxious while other people, including sisters in their habits, are praying the Rosary. Nope, doesn’t bother ’em at all.

Like master, like follower, I suppose. Satan always tries very hard to drown out the voice of the One he hates with every fiber of his being.

And that’s why, during one of these prayer vigils, we who follow a very different Lord must respond in a very different manner. By responding with love and prayer, and not with words of argument or acts of retaliation at all.

Watch the video on the 40 Days for Life blog.

*The large one has a bubble around it, a radius within which we are not allowed. I’ve prayed across the street from that one before, I’m not sure why no one was there this time. There used to be two others at the same intersection. Both of those are gone now. May the Good Lord triumph over this one too and soon!

9 thoughts on “When hecklers heckle, the proper way to respond is not to

  1. Catherine

    Karen, if you’re still following this thread:

    First, 40 Days for Life folks don’t heckle. They pray. There may be some people “freelancing” with their First Amendment rights, but 40DFL does not endorse heckling.

    Second, murder is everyone’s business, all the time. Especially the murder of innocents. According to your logic, we should all just walk on by if we see a woman being beaten by her boyfriend or a child being abducted, because it’s none of our business — it’s between the offender and whatever “higher power” he chooses to believe in. I believe I am my brother’s keeper. I believe it takes a village to raise a child, but first it takes a village to save a child.

    Dear Karen (and I say that with genuine affection), you are obviously a compassionate and thinking person, but please think these things through to their logical conclusion.


    1. Hi, Catherine :)

      I don’t know if Karen is still following this thread, but someone else may read it and your thoughtful comment too. Thank you very much for writing that. 40DFL has been a powerful experience for me and I’ve seen a lot of people wake up to the importance of the pro-life cause and the need to speak out for those who have no voice. I pray daily that more people will experience conversion of heart and mind and have true compassion for all people. Thank you for being pro-life and for speaking out.

      Peace be with you.


  2. Pingback: Pro-abortion heckler heckles me for daring to write about pro-abortion hecklers « Catholic Heart and Mind

  3. First, fish is meat. Ask any vegetarian.

    Second, stop heckling women for the choices they make. That’s between her and whatever higher power she chooses to believe in (or not believe in). And it’s frankly none of your business.


      1. I realized after I signed off that you didn’t actually say that you are a vegetarian, Karen. So I apologize for accusing you of showing respect and mercy to the fish instead of the baby, since it’s possible that you don’t show mercy and respect to the fish either.


    1. I am so glad to hear that you’re taking part too, J. W. *Thumbs up* And I think of it as 365 days too. And also think about it 365 days! The difference with the 40 Days vigil is that it has that public vigil witness aspect, combined with prayer and fasting, and it’s a united effort, all over the country at the same time.

      May the Lord richly bless you for your witness on behalf of His beloved and defenseless children. Peace be with you, J. W.


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