Pro-life success story: Dad realizes – just in time – the true meaning of heroism.


One for our side!

ATLANTA – A nationally-recognized pro-life organization posted video footage on Monday of a man who went inside an abortion facility in Georgia to save the life of his unborn baby at the urging of a Christian sidewalk counselor.

Text and video

Thanks to my parents and family … I know man and I know God. I know love, and I know wrath. I know justice, and I know peace … and I know that I have nothing to fear from any of them.

by Doug Lawrence

I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, in a (fairly) conventional family consisting of dad, mom, two brothers and a sister.

Dad took the car to work each day. Mom stayed home and took care of the house and kids. No surprises there.

We all went to Catholic school … but that’s not the point. The point is how mom ran the household … and particularly … the way she personally maintained family standards.

Even though we rarely had any serious discussions, there was no doubt that we were unconditionally loved and cared for … mainly because that’s pretty much all that mom did … 24/7 and 365. Of course, dad’s job (and his personal commitment to the family) made possible that extraordinary level of “intensive care”.

The house was always spotless. Meals were prepared on time and with abundance. Our clothing, grooming, and personal behavior were always closely and very effectively monitored … sometimes through “mysterious” means. Family outings were modest affairs, but frequent. Holidays were indeed feasts, with Christmas and Easter being number one and number two (but not necessarily in that order). Sundays were reserved for Mass and for family.

That’s just the way things were. We never questioned why.

Nothing went unnoticed, and anything important to mom could never be considered (by us) as irrelevant or insignificant, since we knew with certainty that a fate worse than death awaited all those who might transgress.

The means of our execution was the dreaded “whipstrap”!

Reputed to be a family heirloom of indeterminate age, the whip strap had been fashioned from a stout piece of leather, roughly three inches wide and twenty-four inches long. The first part served as a handle. The last was cut into a classic “cat o’ nine tails” … and it was truly awesome to behold!

The “instrument” typically need not even be displayed, since the mere mention of it was usually sufficient to restore order. But when partial measures were unsuccessful … deploying the strap … and applying a stroke or two, usually did the trick.

Mom was in pretty good physical shape (probably from all that walking … since she didn’t drive … and there was no outrunning her. She was even known to leap fences (and reportedly, tall buildings) in s single bound. And should we have been fortunate enough to discover a hiding place that was (as yet) unknown or inaccessible to her, dad would always be home, by six.

There was no escape!

The carnage of the strap was immense … and the suffering impossible to imagine … at least for a moment or two … in our young minds. Yet we all survived … and thrived … mainly because we were able to develop a good, clear sense of what was right and what was wrong. We also learned that actions brought sure and certain consequences … and sometimes, those consequences could be unpleasant.

The “whipstrap” effectively symbolized all of that potential unpleasantness. In this, a vision of Hell itself could not have been any more effective.

Years later … studying the Old Testament of the Bible … I suddenly realized that all the carnage and strife recorded therein really wasn’t much different than what went on back home … albeit on a much grander scale.

God lovingly cared for his children. God had particular standards and preferences, and when the “kids” got out of hand, God did what was necessary … for their own good … to reign them in.

Evil, in the person of Satan, made the problems in the Bible much more intractable, and the consequences much more severe, but the “model” still works, since God remains the master of life and death, and he is most certainly able to transcend any and all human sufferings and failings … either in this world … or the next.

Back home, should there have ever been any doubt about the fairness of our punishment, a hug from mom or dad was typically all that was necessary to fix things. No harm. No foul. Life went on.

My Catholic faith informs me that a “hug” from the Almighty would undoubtedly have the same effect.

So, you see … thanks to my parents and my family … I know man and I know God. I know love, and I know wrath. I know justice, and I know peace … and I know that I have nothing to fear from any of them.

My mom and dad told me so and my God confirmed it … in his Word … and through his one, holy, apostolic and Catholic Church.

It doesn’t get much simpler than that!