The Rocket

A Perspective on The March

Robert Prokopchak, Senior Mid Level Science Education Major

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Life begins at conception and ends at natural death. If one chooses to terminate a person’s life at any point in between, it is murder. As an Orthodox Christian, I believe in preserving the life and dignity of all people. I recognize that my beliefs and values may not align with those of the university or with all of my fellow students. Also, I am not here to argue about when “life” really begins, or what constitutes dignity. I hope you’ll develop your own opinions on all this. I’m concerned with the destruction of viable, valuable individuals. In the words of author Dr. Seuss’s character, Horton, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Simply put, in the process of conception, genetic material from the mother and father are joined together, and the end result is the formation of a new and unique person. This newly created cluster of cells should not be considered as part of the mother’s body, but rather it is the body of her baby forming inside her. Therefore, we should not stand idly by and allow the murder of these small people to continue to be legal. We ought to speak out against such a thing.  We should work to support the parents by supporting the various means that are available to help them in their new quest to ensure the health and survival of their child. I spoke out this year by joining in the annual March For Life in Washington, DC. I disembarked a tour bus near the Smithsonian and headed to the March rally point on the grassy fields known as the National Mall. There, they had a stage set up where musicians were performing, and then various pro-life speakers addressed the crowd. I was attending The March as an Orthodox Christian and as a university student. I was glad to carry the sign stating “I am the Pro-Life Generation,” handed out by studentsforlife.org, while sporting my SRU “Rocky” hoodie. My focus, though, was to join my fellow Orthodox Christians as they rallied before The March. Through the crowd, I located and joined an entourage of Orthodox clergy and hierarchs. We met up with the main Orthodox group, which included a group from St. Tikhon’s Seminary and made our way to the corner of Madison and 14th.  In spite of the noise from many groups using megaphones, heavy traffic, and people honking horns as they drove by, Metropolitan Tikhon of the Orthodox Church in America led us all in prayer. During the prayer service, we prayed for an end to the practice of abortion and sang prayers for the departed in memory of all the innocent lives which have been lost through abortion. Then, when our turn came, we joined in The March. Together we marched alongside many groups of Christians from all over. I encountered an anti-abortion atheist group who were making a bold statement about The March. In addition to their gladness to march alongside people of various faiths, their megaphone operator made comments that hit home for me. He said that it is sad and shameful that we gather together every year to march against abortion because we as Americans have failed every year to stop abortion. It was his hope, and mine as well, that someday we will succeed and have no need to march. As we continued to march, we sang many different hymns. As we approached the Capital building, we sang hymns that are traditionally sung when we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection. It was a reminder of the hope that we have that we too will join Christ in His Resurrection when the last days of this world pass. After another brief rally and prayer, we dispersed along with the rest of the crowd at the end of The March.

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A Perspective on The March