Tom Hoopes is Vice President of College Relations and writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has written for the Register for more than 20 years and was its executive editor for 10. His writing has appeared in First Things’ First Thoughts, National Review Online, Crisis, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside Catholic and Columbia. He has served as press secretary for the Chairman of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. He and his wife, April, were editorial co-directors of Faith & Family magazine for 5 years. They have nine children.
I was going to call this “Random March Observations,” but the Top 10 tag makes it look more official.
10. DANGEROUS SIGN. One woman held a sign that said “Pro-Life Obama Voter.” I wanted to suggest to her that “Pro-Lifers for FOCA” made about as much sense. But I worried about her when I saw, coming up behind her in the crowd, the guy with the “Adolf Obama” sign …
9. REPHRASE THAT. There was a strong contingent of anti-Freedom of Choice Act people selling T-shirts and buttons that said: “WTF? What the FOCA?”
8. DIOCESAN WAR. An applause competition started when Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali started naming the bishops who had come. The winners: Delaware, Longest Sustained Applause. Connecticut: Most Enthusiastic — and not just because of the home-schooled girls I was with, who shrieked like Beatles fans in “A Hard Day’s Night” as soon as they heard “Archbishop Henry Mansell.” There were big, loud, Connecticut contingents unrelated to us.
7. CLEVEREST SIGN. “When Women Give Birth to Rocks, I’ll Be Pro-Choice.”
6. GOOD TIMING. My wife took four of our kids (plus another in utero) to New Haven’s pro-life march. As soon as she got home, she turned on NCRegister.com to watch EWTN’s D.C. coverage — at the exact moment her other three kids were walking by the EWTN camera.
5. NO COUNTER PROTEST. Whenever you see a news photo of the March for Life, you see a “Keep Abortion Legal” sign front and center. I saw no counter protesters. My daughter hasn’t seen one in 10 marches.
4. OUCH! I forget which speaker said it, but he suggested that if unborn children were suspected of terrorism, the new administration might help us prevent them from being tortured and killed.
3. BEST CHANT. “We love babies, yes we do; we love babies, how ’bout you?”
2. WORST CHANT. “Who are we? Youth. What are we? Alive. What do we stand for? Life.” The content is thorough, the logic is unassailable, but the rhythm, rhyme and punch leave much to be desired …
1. MOST POPULAR SIGN. Versions of “Obama, Your Mama Chose Life” were everywhere. Reminiscent of CatholicVote.org‘s ad.
— Tom Hoopes