by Karen Quiner

A few years ago, I was chilled to the bone while watching a documentary about the holocaust. It was done from a unique perspective, one I had never seen before.

The documentary featured pictures and footage of ordinary Germans, most of them family-oriented, church-going folks, who went about the business of living their ordinary lives while people were being gassed by the millions.  All of them saw their Jewish friends being stripped of their rights, and then disappearing from their homes. Many of them didn’t know they were being killed.  But they all knew something was terribly wrong.

Some of them actually did work in the camps and saw first hand what was happening, and at the end of the day, would go back to their homes and have dinner with their families, tuck their pretty little babies into bed, and take them to church on Sunday.

It was a horrifying documentary and haunted me for days. What haunted me was the concern that this could happen anywhere, and the questions in my mind of what would I have done if I had been in the shoes of one of those Germans.

Those of us who work for the cause of life know that this scene IS playing out across this country today. Millions of people are being killed every year and it is getting worse.

People we know and love, family and friends, people we go to church with, either choose to ignore it, or worse, do their part to expand abortion rights in this country. They do it in the name of “a woman’s right to choose,” or  “women’s reproductive health,” (there is nothing healthy about an abortion), or the name of  “love” for the woman experiencing an unwanted pregnancy.

This administration, this president, has an appalling pro-abortion, pro-death record. For a complete list go to: http://www.breakthroughbrochures.com/pro-abortion-record.cfm

So many of our friends and fellow Christians prayed hard for a change this election cycle because of this holocaust.  Many of them have been Democrats their entire lives and finally had their eyes opened to what is going on and realized that they had to do what they could to change it.

We had high hopes and were in mourning that evening and the next day. I felt sick, stunned, and near tears. The most discouraging thing was knowing that people I worship with had voted for this pro-abortion administration. Some of them just don’t know, too many of them do.

I went to work on Wednesday and prayed.

I prayed for our country, our president, our citizens, my church community, and for myself, that I would not succumb to despair and that God would use me.

And then my phone rang.

It was a client from the Los Angeles area who was calling on a business matter. But first, he brought up the election. I try to stay away from politics in business, so at first I was just going to listen and not say much.

He offered that he was a fiscal conservative, but that he supports gay marriage and was in favor of a woman’s right to choose. I said a quick prayer for guidance and felt led to engage him, something I would have previously never done with a customer.

I said to him,

“Bob, I am curious about something. Do you believe that the baby in the womb is a live person?”

In a nutshell, he said that yes he did, but he didn’t feel he could impose his beliefs on others.”

I said,

“Laws impose beliefs and values on others all the time in this county. We tell people that we don’t care what they believe, that they don’t have the right to beat their children. And in another time, that they didn’t have the right to own human beings as their slaves.”

And he said,

“But I believe a woman has a right to do what she wants with her body.”

And I asked,

“But does she have the right to kill the body of another human being?”

We talked for over 45 minutes going back and forth. In the end, he thanked me and said that for the first time in his life, he felt like he needed to rethink his position.

And this is the important part – he went on to say,

“My girlfriend is a pro-life Christian and I can’t even talk to her about this. She gets so emotional and has a shove-it-down-your-throat style when talking about abortion.”

That really caught my attention because I am so passionate about this issue and I know I have done the same thing on too many occasions. This conversation went so well only because I prayed first and the Holy Spirit, and Mary, were with me.

"Father forgive them, they know not what they do."

“Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”

When I got off the phone I was stunned about what had happened and thanked God profusely. It filled me with joy, dispelled my growing despair, and renewed my hope. It made me know in my gut that God is at work, that He is winning, and in fact He has already won. It made me feel like a soldier girded for battle, ready to stand firm and be used in any way He needs me.

And what I know now is that this battle is going to be won, only with love, and one heart at a time.

“Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”

13 Comments

  1. Theresa Dowd on November 8, 2012 at 10:20 am

    God used you, Karen, to try to open the eyes of this one man. Who knows how far-reaching that conversation might be? We can not be afraid to speak the truth. Just this morning, I had a conversation that I did not anticipate with a man who lives in our neighborhood whom I had never talked with before. He had seen our political signs in the yard this summer and fall. Our talk finally ended up with a discussion of abortion. It was civilized and he really seemed to be listening to me. I was saying quick prayers, asking for guidance to use the right words. These encounters can make a difference, I pray, in the hearts and minds of people who have been blind to the damage that abortion has done to our society. Here is a link to an article that is important to read.
    http://www.jamesrobison.net/?q=node/42
    God bless you for speaking up, Karen. God be with all of us who need to speak up.

  2. Karen Quiner on November 8, 2012 at 10:26 am

    And God used you Theresa. Thank you for sharing that. These stories of how God is working bolsters us all up, especially in these post election days. Your story gives me joy.

    Does anyone else have any stories? Watch for the opportunities. They will come.

  3. Lisa Bourne on November 8, 2012 at 10:35 am

    This is beautiful Karen. I’m so glad you shared it on Quiner’s Diner. I sent your initial message about your conversation to some people that same day. So many people were and are really hurting and in despair, unable to reconcile how so many Americans could ignore the precipitous decent of our nation, and how so many self-identified Catholics could vote against the most basic of Church teaching of all, let alone so flagrantly. It has defied both logic and morals. No one who is informed or faithful thinks that Mitt Romney was going to be our savior, just as no one who is informed or faithful would think the president is our messiah. The informed and faithful must however contend with the fact that a startling and frightening number of our fellow citizens do believe the latter. That’s the battle before us. You should know that your experience, and your having the conviction to share it, brought a couple of the people I communicated with a few steps away from the brink of complete despair. We need to continue to pray for the intervention of the Holy Spirit, for the grace to be open to his presence, for the grace to act upon it, for the courage to share it when it happens, and we need to pray for the grace to have the strength to continue on.

    • Karen Quiner on November 8, 2012 at 10:43 am

      Thanks Lisa. We need to keep the faith and continue to bolster each other. You are doing good work in the kingdom. God Bless you.

  4. quinersdiner on November 8, 2012 at 10:57 am

    You’ve heard the old saying: “By the mile, life’s a trial; by the inch, it’s a cinch.” I like what Karen says about changing one heart at a time. It’s not always a cinch changing even one heart, but that’s not our responsibility. We simply need to expose hearts to the truth with kindness, civility, and I might suggest, persistence, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

  5. Bob Vance on November 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    The following gives a unique perspective to this topic. I am not here to recommend or condemn his theory, because honestly I haven’t decided myself. I do believe some valid points are made. Please judge for yourself and as always, I look forward to your comments.

    http://rapsheetblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/abortion-exceptions-and-consistent-philosophies/

    • Karen Quiner on November 8, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      In a nutshell, here are my responses to the points he makes.

      1. The writer says Romney’s position is inconsistent because he acknowledges that the child in the womb is a life but that he allow give exceptions in the case of rape or incest. This IS an inconsistent position and one I am against. It is an innocent life regardless of how it got in the womb.

      However, we got to the point of abortion on demand up until 9 months incrementally, and the only way we are going to go back is incrementally. You made this point to me very well in a previous response Bob when when you made the analogy of the burning building and said that perhaps it is better to save the children we can at this point than insist on totally eliminating abortion entirely and getting nothing. It isn’t politically practical and we have to use common sense.

      2. There is obviously a moral difference in being the one to set the fire, and being the one who refuses to go in and save the person in the burning building.

      3. Regarding the analogy of the state handing a woman a baby and insisting she care for it or be accused of murder, and comparing that to the situation a woman is in when a rape results in pregnancy: The child is STILL a human being and is STILL innocent. And no one has ever insisted the mother keep a child of rape. There are long lines of people waiting to adopt children. Of course she has to carry it for 9 months, and that isn’t fair, but an innocent life is an innocent life.

      4. In the instance of the pregnancy threatening the life of the mother, I am still against it, because I believe only God should have the power over who lives and dies. But I would not force that decision on others with a law. I would support allowing exceptions in this case because this is the ONE case that is based solely on religious belief.

      • Bob Vance on November 8, 2012 at 3:12 pm

        I agree with most everything you just wrote.

        Correct me if I am wrong, but where you and I disagree the most would be the use of contraceptives. To me, the best way to eliminate abortions is to eliminate unwanted pregnancies. Abstinence is good in theory, but seems to fall short in real world practice.

        I believe many (perhaps most) women base their decisions on getting an abortion on how they are going to afford having a baby on their own and more so the stigma of being an unmarried, pregnant woman.

        [BTW – The biological father seems to get away with no stigma. He may even be praised by his buddies. Maybe we should legalize shotgun weddings?]

        Just think of the women who could have been helped out financially throughout the pregnancy by the money Bob Vanderplatt spent in his campaign to oust judges. Just saying…

    • Karen Quiner on November 8, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      Regarding contraceptives, I against it on religious grounds but I do not, nor does anyone I know, suggest we outlaw them. That is a religious decision.

      I am, however, against forcing Catholic institutions to cover them in their insurance policies. It is a clear violation of religious freedom. If a woman wants to contracept, she can go to any planned parenthood or county run clinic and get them for free, or she can pay for them herself.

      My mother said last night how confusing the world is today. She said in her day, no one expected anyone to pay for anything. Today, we expect everything to be paid for, and we expect that there should not be any consequences to any of our actions. We want everything to be free. The problem is that nothing is truly free and someone eventually has to pay and there are always consequences, whether we want them or not.

      The fact is that the increased use of contraceptives has not reduced unwanted pregnancies, they are on the rise. (As a side note, oral contraceptives are a powerful carcinogen, so taking them has nothing to do with women’s health, but that is off the point.)

      You say most women have an abortion because they don’t know how they are going to pay for it. I don’t believe that is always or even usually, the case. I think there are a multitude of reasons, some of which include:

      – it doesn’t fit into her plans and she simply doesn’t want it
      – she might be young and afraid and doesn’t know her options
      – she might be poor and doesn’t realize she has options. Adoption being one of them
      – she might be in an abusive relationship and doesn’t know she has options.

      I am sure there are other reasons, but there are an awful lot of abortions taking place because the baby is simply inconvenient.

      I have a difficult time not judging a woman for the first reason, but I don’t ever judge a woman for any of the other reasons listed above. But that doesn’t mean we should legalize it. It is still a human being, an innocent human being, who has the right to life and protection.

      It is our job in the pro-life movement to do what we can to educate women on their options and do do what we can to support these women and children in need. And it is our job to do what we can to change hearts on this issue.

  6. Bob Vance on November 8, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Not that it is a big issue to me either way, but my thoughts on Catholic businesses providing contraceptives is as follows:

    They are not asking that contraceptives be handed out by the church. If employees are involved (which I doubt there are many who work directly within the church except for the priests and the nuns), then those employees should be given the same benefits as any other company.

    If this is truly an issue for Catholics, how can the Catholic Church justify any members of the church working for a company that does provide contraceptives. It seems like a contradiction to me, but as I said, it is not a big issue with me.

    • Karen Quiner on November 8, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      They are requiring Catholic Institutions, (hospitals etc) to provide, and pay for, insurance coverage for something that our church teaches is immoral. That IS a violation of our religious freedom.

      Your last point doesn’t make that much sense to me. Catholic institutions don’t want to provide, and pay for, something that is against church teaching. The church is not going to tell us that we can’t work for someone who does cover it, they just tell us not to use them ourselves.

      The fact that everyone else is getting them for free doesn’t hold water for me or make your point in my mind. If an employee wants coverage for it, they can go work for an employer who does cover it, or they can go to planned parenthood or a county clinic and get it.

      Again, we all want everything for free, with no consequences to our actions.

      It is for reasons such as this that insurance coverage is going through the roof.

      • Bob Vance on November 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm

        I guess I would question your definition of free. Employees get insurance as a benefit in lieu of getting more in their pay check. There is nothing “free” here. Essentially, you are asking people who work for Catholic-ran businesses to forfeit part of their pay. Would you be ok with the Catholic business paying the difference via extra cash in their paycheck?

        As for insurance companies providing it, I was told by a BCBS employee (unofficially) that it is cheaper to provide birth control than to pay for a pregnancy, especially if there are complications or if the child has issues.

      • Karen Quiner on November 8, 2012 at 7:54 pm

        I don’t follow your logic at all Bob. The Catholic institutions are providing insurance but have been told that they have to now cover something they previously didn’t cover, contraceptives and abortifacients. No one is suggesting that employees forfeit part of their pay.
        It doesn’t matter to the Catholics that covering a pregnancy is more expensive. That is absolutely not the point.
        But I honestly think we should close this conversation. We are not only not on the same page, we aren’t even in the same library.
        Take care and good night. Signing off.

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