There is an artist I admire named Charlie French. Charlie is an abstract expressionist and 29-year-old man with Down syndrome. Like all abstract artists, his paintings offer a different and moving perspective on familiar scenes. Initially, all you might see are layers of color, textures and forms that don’t make sense. But upon further study, those forms and colors begin to evoke the ocean, a snowy hillside or the Eiffel tower at sunset.
In a sense, our current circumstances can seem like your first glance at one of Charlie’s paintings. It’s hard to make sense out of the personal, cultural and political division we are experiencing. Add the continuing impact of the global COVID pandemic, and it’s tempting to turn away from the mess! But if you do, you might miss how the forms and colors reveal the perspective needed to continue effectively advocating for the vulnerable.
The pro-life community in Oregon is resilient and persistent. We are people of hope who act with love toward our neighbor. The political and legal fortunes of our efforts may ebb and flow with election results and court decisions. However, our responsibility and ability to advocate on behalf of our neighbors in crisis do not.
We must focus on what can be done rather than regret what cannot be. We instead look to family, church and community for new opportunities to build a life-affirming culture. You may even find inspiration among the stories and information in this issue of Life in Oregon!
Throughout 2021, Oregon Right to Life will continue to offer numerous opportunities for advocacy. I would love to feature your ideas in action. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t forget to include a picture! Let’s encourage and help each other see everyday happenings, news events and culture from a different perspective. Perhaps then our “life art” advocacy might resemble the deeper layers and meanings of Charlie’s work. Keep creating, friends!
You said something about a new initiative. What is that about? Or are you referring to the perseverance we must exercise under the current political circumstances? I’ve been in the prolife movement since Roe v. Wade and have lived in Oregon since before I was old enough to choose.
Oregon has had ballot initiatives twice to stop state funding of abortion, and at least one for parental notification. Each time we have been clobbered at the polls. A time or two when we mustered enough support to pass a bill in the legislature (parental notification, as I recall) we were clobbered by a proabortion governor. (We have not had a prolife governor for decades.) And I don’t understand lawmakers (state or federal) who vote against medical care for infants who survive an abortion attempt, and who vote against outlawing abortion on pain capable babies. It’s disgusting.
Fighting for pro-life values in a pro-abortion society can be exhausting. It’s important that we continue to speak for those who can’t. Thank you for your decades of advocacy!