'40 Days for Life' draws support, and one protester
Source: Echo Press
David Bereit, national director of "40 Days for Life," stopped in Alexandria Wednesday to meet with participants in a vigil to end abortion.
"This has been amazing," he said at his Alexandria stop along Broadway near the Planned Parenthood office. "The turnout has been great and the people have been passionately supporting this campaign through their prayers and fasting."
A lone protester across the street from the "40 Days for Life" group repeatedly shouted into a bullhorn, saying it was wrong to try to "legislate morality." He also criticized the group for supporting Republican candidates who were "against the poor."
His loud protests drew a brief visit from a police officer but there were no ugly confrontations and the rally went on as scheduled.
"We can't let one guy scare us off," said Nevin Smith of Alexandria, a member of the pro-life group. "And there is free speech in America - although it would be nicer of him to talk to us instead of yelling."
The campaign is being conducted from September 28 through November 6 in 301 locations around the world.
"40 Days for Life" is a grassroots effort that invites local people to pray and fast for an end to abortion; hold constant, peaceful vigils outside abortion facilities and Planned Parenthood offices; and participate in community outreach.
"I am thrilled that people of faith and conscience across Minnesota are enthusiastically responding to this call to join the largest pro-life outreach effort in history," said Bereit in a news release, "and I very much look forward to speaking - and praying - with people launching local 40 Days for Life campaigns across the state."
In addition to Alexandria, Bereit stopped in Rochester, Mankato, Duluth, Walker, St. Cloud and St. Paul this week.
Two recent experiences have chilled me enough to warn fellow pro-lifers: In my town
(which is a large one) I was wearing my pro-life t-shirt in a large store. A young couple(man and a woman) noticed my shirt and their reaction was negative. They
looked a few times at the message on my shirt, then would stare at me enough to where I felt uncomfortable. At the time this was going on I was looking at a low rack of
merchandise and couldn't help noticing this. There was a lot of other customers around. They walked away and I headed in another direction and didn't see them for about five minutes, then they came down an aisle, saw me again, and started in on staring at me again. Thank the Lord they didn't say anything or follow me out into the parking lot but I definitely felt a "chill" from them.
Two weeks later I was again wearing my pro-life t-shirt in another large store. I got in
line to pay for the merchandise I had picked up. Two young women in line ahead of me who looked to be in their thirties noticed my shirt and from the look on their faces they didn't like the
pro-life message. I felt a noticeable hostility as I can read other people very well.
They looked at me like I had just shot them. They paid for their items and I lost
sight of them for a few minutes. As I was walking down the parking lot to get to my
car they were close behind me. I became vigilant as to the distance they were from me. Their car was about twenty ft. away from mine and they kept staring at me as I got into my car. Fortunately, in both situations, I wasn't verbally or physically assaulted but I definitely felt negativity and hostility. A word of warning
to fellow pro-lifers, if you want to wear your pro-life t-shirt out in public make sure you're not alone, definitely have others with you. I also place pro-life
business card sized cards in post offices, stores , etc. which can also attract some attention. Being pro-life is more important than ever.