Years ago I was asked to fill an open slot at a prayer vigil in front of a Planned Parenthood. I accepted the request and signed up for a slot that was mid-morning on March 19. The Planned Parenthood is located downtown and to get there I needed to take two trains. Due to the train transfer, I left home early to make the 9:00 a.m. train. By 9:30 I was on the platform waiting for the second train. The train arrived on time. As, the train doors opened, I was accosted by a thick alcohol polluted air. The smell nearly knocked me over. This was the kind of pollution that can only be created by the sweat of people drinking heavily for hours. It was at that moment that I remembered it was St. Patrick’s Day.
The train car wasn’t completely filled, but most of the passengers were dressed for the celebration. They were dressed in Irish flags, green clothes, green beads, orange wigs and blinking shamrock bling. Well, and not to forget the perfume of booze sweat. It looked and felt like an Irish Mardi Gras. Perhaps I was overly sensitive to the smell due to the fact it was morning and all I had for breakfast was a cup of coffee but I felt as green as their costumes. Although, there were seats available, I decided to stand by the exit. I figured I could breathe when the doors opened at the different stops. At one point people started to crowd around me. At first I thought they were all getting off the train at the next stop, but then I realized they were all trying to get away from one young man. This young man was showing the first stage of the brown bottle flu and at any moment, he was going to display his stomach contents all over the train car. Lucky for me my stop came before this occurred and I missed the show.
Once I climbed the stairs to street level, I was met with many more staggering, hammered, young adults. There was some sort of block party a block from the abortion clinic. The party was coming to an end and the party guests were leaving for their next excursion. I started to get very nervous. Pro-abortion activists can get violent when they are sober. I thought, what will happen when they are hammered? I prayed that everyone would stay safe; the unborn, their mothers, the people praying and the party goers. I made it to the abortion clinic and joined the others praying for the end of abortion and the protection of the unborn.
Many people passed by us. We would smile at them and continue praying. At one point, I could hear a man shouting the kind of things that drunken obnoxious people say to get attention or a laugh. He was walking towards us. I thought, oh boy here we go. He was a slim and very tall man with red, curly, shoulder length hair that looked like it hadn’t been combed in days. He was also wearing shamrock boxer shorts on the outside of his pants. By himself he didn’t seem like a threat but he was with five other young men that were as drunk as he was. As they walked by us, they got very quiet. It seemed as if they tried to stagger less and they all gave us a nod. I nodded back and watched as they walked towards the grocery store. About twenty minutes later the young men returned. They had stolen a shopping cart from the grocery store. The cart contained cases of beer and the curly red hair, boxer short wearing tall guy. To this day, I can’t imagine how he got into that cart without hurting himself. One young man was pushing the cart and the rest followed behind marching single file. All the men were pumping their fists in the air shouting “NOT TILL YOU’RE MARRIED” over and over again. We all busted out laughing and clapped to their chant.
As it turned out, my fears were a waste of energy. If anyone walking by was against us praying, they didn’t say anything. Many young women did approach us but it was to thank us for our work. Many women wanted to know how they could get more involved in the Prolife Movement. I love how the younger generation gets it. By “it” I mean life and that every life has value. Perhaps they understand this better since a third of their generation is gone due to abortion. I don’t know for sure but I do know that I will never forget that day. And, I will never forget watching my first and only, St. Patty’s Day, all male, drunken, chastity parade.