David and Goliath

“Planned Parenthood has just committed $35 million to getting this amendment to change Ohio’s constitution to permit unregulated abortion passed," Kimberley Hahn told us. "This is a David-versus-Goliath battle, and we happen to be David. We want to let the stones fly!”

Welcome to article 5 of a weekly series on the formation journey of Br. Josh, MIC, a second-year seminarian at the Marian House of Studies in Steubenville, Ohio. It is the continuation of Br. Josh's previous column, "Novice Notes." Watch for a new column every Friday.

By Br. Josh, MIC 

I walked with two fellow Marian brothers along Belleview Street by our Marian House of Studies, took a couple small curves to the left, and arrived at Scott and Kimberley Hahn’s house in under 10 minutes. They were standing in an outdoor garden with dozens of guests; we Marians were also invited. The streets were lined with cars. Somewhere between one and two hundred people came that evening.

Dr. Scott and Kimberley are famous converts to Catholicism from Protestantism, known for many bestselling books about the Bible. Scott was a pastor before he became Catholic, and now he works as a professor at Franciscan University. I had never met them before, though I read a couple of their books.

The evening’s meeting was a political event focused on building an effective resistance against efforts to change Ohio’s constitution to permit unregulated abortion. 

After the brothers and I got some refreshments, we sat down. Kimberley Hahn led the pro-life meeting.

“Our first plan was to do a fundraiser, but we changed it to become a friend-raiser,” she told us. “We’re more interested in galvanizing as many people as possible to stand for life.

“Planned Parenthood has just committed $35 million to getting this amendment passed. This is a David-versus-Goliath battle, and we happen to be David. We want to let the stones fly!”

“Give life; your mother did!”
Kimberly introduced Sen. Frank Hoaglind to the crowd. He is a retired Navy SEAL with special tactics and rescue training. 

“Welcome, Senator!” Kimberly exclaimed, to answering applause.

Senator Hoaglind moved to the center of the meeting area and began to share with us. 

He said that he passed a sign on the street which said, “Give life; your mother did!”

“I truly believe if we stick together, I believe we can win on this,” he said. “I have to be honest with you, there’s going to be a lot of outside money coming in on this. We have to give life. There will be a lot of noise on the media; I call that white noise.”

Three things
The Senator said that he liked to focus on three things, to keep it simple. First, do we need to know this? Second, is it truthful? And third, does it have a positive impact?

About the truth about this proposed amendment, he said, “This is obvious; you have to understand it to make the right decisions.” On the question of truthfulness: “A lot of what’s on the media will be misinformation, outright lies in my opinion.” And on impact, it was clear what this would be.

After Sen. Hoaglind spoke a few words, Kimberly said, “I want to invite a friend up to sing a song for you. It’s called ‘Jenny’s song.’” 

“Jenny’s Song”
A young woman named Celia Morgan sings for us, accompanied by gentle guitar music. 

The song is about a young woman struggling in anguish while deciding whether or not to have an abortion. Her friend counsels her against the abortion:

“So you say this is the only choice you can make
Are you really sure? there’s more than just your plans at stake
And the tears keep on rollin’ down your face tonight
But are these the tears that come 
When you’ve known you’ve chosen right?”
The friend adds, “But listen to your heart
You’ve loved this baby all your life.”

The friend sings that she’ll love Jenny no matter what she does and she will always be there for her. 

The song was based on a true story. 

Witness talk
After Celia sang for us, a woman named Tina came up. She was in tears as she told us she’d had two abortions, the first forced on her, and the second accidentally, for she hadn’t know the medical procedure was abortive. 

The abortion she was pressured to undertake broke her heart; she woke up from the induced sleep in tears, knowing she’d killed her child.

“I was such a wreck for years because of the decisions I made,” she told us through fresh tears. She said these decisions devastate women’s lives.

One day, a child was saved while she and others were protesting abortion. That night, she heard Jesus say, “Save lives and save souls.” 

She left us with that same appeal, “Save lives and save souls.” 

Action plan
Kimberly Hahn explained how the proposed Hyde Amendment is deceptive, allowing abortion-on-demand throughout all 9 months of pregnancy for any reason, and stripping parents of any right to be involved in their child’s decision.

She said it also protects predators, for it protects “a person or entity that assists an individual exercising this right.” In Tina’s case, such a person coerced her, and pedophiles or sex traffickers also could make use of this legal protection to “assist” children to get abortion. 

In the next part of the meeting, plans were made to put up hundreds of pro-life signs; encourage others to vote early; support the life chain; share encouragements to vote and the pro-life website online; and organize rides to voting booths. Two websites recommended for sharing are “Diocese of Steubenville/Respect Life” and “Protect Women Ohio.” 

Strong message
Near the end of the meeting, Kimberly Hahn said, “Finally, pray, pray, pray! We are David facing Goliath, but Goliath can fall. We can speak for these babies and the babies in Heaven will pray with us and for us.”

As we closed in prayer, she prayed:

“Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of life . . . We do love the babies, Lord. We love the women, we love the men . . . May we encourage life in this State of Ohio. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

The meeting carried a strong message of love for life, and concrete actions were being taken to save lives. 

Close encounter
Before leaving, I got the chance to talk with Dr. Scott Hahn again. This was a short, personal conversation — a little more personal than I expected. 

I was putting away my laptop full of notes when he walked over and gently asked who I was. 

I found that he was good at asking questions and listening. He wanted to know where I was from, and whether I was with other religious orders before coming to the Marians. 

I shared a brief summary of my own conversion from Protestantism to Catholicism, and my experience in other religious orders, when he asked. To my surprise, he already knew some members of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, the institute I spent five years with. We spent some time talking about the Franciscans. Eventually, he had to leave in order to bid farewell to a city council member. 

The last I saw of him as I left for the night, he was taking out a trash bag. I offered to help but he declined. 

“I don’t need to be told twice!” I joked, as I took off with my Marian brothers.

I enjoyed meeting the Hahns very much, and it was wonderful to see Kimberly Hahn putting her lively faith into action, striving to save lives. 

Next entry: "An Athiest Argument."
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