I’ve never been to the March for Life. It’s on my bucket list. I love looking at the pictures, because it inspires me to see all those well-bundled people, cold but smiling, feeling good despite the grimness of the occasion they have gathered to commemorate. They ought to feel good. They stand as representatives of one of the most remarkable political and social movements of the last century.
That is the first lesson we can learn from the pro-life movement as we turn our attention towards the much-younger fight for marriage. It’s never over until one side decides to give up. The second lesson is that fighting the good fight isn’t necessarily futile even if the objective is achieved incompletely or not at all. Social movements have the power to change and shape whole societies. There’s a reason why they tend to be remembered long after the economic squabbles have been forgotten. They change the way we see the world. They alter us on the level of character. Social movements have the power to shine a bright light on our greatest social failings, helping to grow the conscience of a nation.