Are you pro-life enough to let others know about your beliefs? Are you pro-life enough to put a bumper sticker on your car? The pro-life movement doesn't' just need to change a few laws, it is the mindset of the American people that we need to change. Any marketing expert will tell you that bumper marketing is a powerful tool that we should mobilize! If this past election is any indication, about half of us are pro-life, yet I see just a few cars a day with pro-life stickers.
I hear many excuses when I ask people about their absence of pro-life bumper stickers on their car. Often they will say, "It takes away from the resale value of my car", or "it is impossible to remove them once they are on there" or "I'm not a person that enjoys confrontations" or "I just don't like the way bumper stickers look on my car". I guess I must be a confrontational person, but please allow me to respond to each of these objections.
"It takes away from the re-sale value of my car". This is completely false. Ask any car dealer or ask any car auction and you will find that your bumper stickers or lack there of have nothing to do with your car's value. It is simply not something they take into consideration when bidding your car because they know that they will be removed when the car is detailed.
"It is impossible to remove them once they are on there". Again, this is false. All you need to do is add the amassing product called "Goo Gone" to your cleaning supplies closet. Goo Gone devolves the "goo" of what ever you are trying to clean up. Also, if you still don't want to hassle with this aspect of bumper sticker ownership, they are now available on magnets. "Victory Won" offer all of their bumper stickers on magnets so you can move them whenever you want to. They also have an assortment of static clings for windows.
"I'm not a person that enjoys confrontations". Again, I must be a confrontational person, but I just shake my head when I hear this. 30,769 of our brothers and sisters are brutally murdered every week, and all we are asking you to do is put a 3"X 12" strip of plastic on your car. I would think this is the very least we can do! It is those who oppose the pro-life view that fear confrontation; the truth is on our side! My only two confrontations came to me while I was waiting to pick up our 6-year-old from school at St. Elisabeth Ann Seaton Parish in St. Charles, MO.
The sticker in question plainly states, "You can't be both Catholic and pro-choice". A red faced "soccer mom" came up to my car last week and loudly asked me "Who are you to say I can't be Catholic and pro-choice". I paused, extended my hand, smiled and said, "Hi, I'm Joe Dalton. It's a pleasure to meet you." After she exploded and her head spun around a few times I flatly explained to her why she can't be both Catholic and pro-abortion. I quoted Scripture, Pope John Paul II, Canon law, the Ten Commandments and the US Constitution. Left speechless, she turned and stomped off. Did I change her mindset? I may never know, but what I do know is that I was a voice for those who cannot be heard.
"I just don't like the way bumper stickers look on my car". Yea, right. This is probably the same person who has a hideous green and yellow sticker on their car that announces to the world they have a kid who is an honor roll student. How self-serving is that?
I have yet to own a car that is so precious to me that I would worry about such a minor thing. I personally follow the lead of Jesus when he told us not to covet the things of the world. One of the greatest people I have ever known, my father, Deacon Michael Dalton, once said from the pulpit during a Homily "The only things that you can take with you to Heaven are the things you give away".
A bumper sticker may not seem like such a big deal to you, but it really has a tremendous impact. Anything we can do to stop the killing, we need to go ahead and do it! Our favorite source for bumper stickers is Victory Won www.victorywon.com. You can also call them at 1-800-767-7258.
They have a tremendous selection of pro-life materials (shirts, jewelry, signs, bumper stickers, etc) and they are a blessing to work with.
And if you're still so concerned about your precious car or don't want to get involved with bumper stickers, then maybe you might want to consider a pro-life license plate. More and more states are considering offering these and I think that's great. It's not only great that you won't have to muss your bumper, but your plate will show your commitment. It is commitment that God counts. All you need to do is make an effort and God will enable the rest.
Today's Gospel brings home the ridiculousness of trivial anxieties about what people will think or coveting things like protecting our precious cars. Why is it that so many are so concerned for these man-made machines, but totally ignore the plight of God-made machines in the flesh of a fetus? In Luke 9: 22-25 Christ clearly tells us what is more important. "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." If it is a cross to have a bumper sticker on your car, then so be it. Take it up. Remember, I said I might be confrontational. So was Jesus. He wouldn't have any of the politically correct nonsense of today. He said, "For he who would save his life will lose it; but he who loses his life for My sake will save it. For what does it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, but ruin or lose himself?"
Luke's 26th verse that follows is the kicker: "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory and that of the Father and of the holy angels."
So would that mean that those who are afraid to put a pro-life bumper sticker on their car are ashamed of Him? If so, think again how He must feel about you and resolve, especially during Lent, to offer it up and make a statement. Don't be afraid to shout to the world: "I'm a Pro-Life Catholic and proud of it!"