The following is a commentary submission from Ray Thombs, a small businessman from Union. He is a member of Speak Up for Life.
I’m Hooked on It, You?
I love to have my fishing lure suddenly snatched off the surface of the water and the subsequent zing of the fishing reel dishing out my line as the big lunker takes off with my lure. It’s exhilarating to reel-it in to find a trophy-sized fish on the end of it. In that moment, a surge of adrenaline kicks in and creates a craving to come back and do this again!
That same feeling came over me again on May 1st, 2023, while I was participating in the Public Hearing for LD1619 at State House in Augusta. It wasn’t just a few dozen nibbles from a half dozen or more testifiers. It was a flurry of hundreds and hundreds of lures (testimonies) being cast out onto the surface of the Judiciary Committee. This derby took nearly 20 hours to complete.
It started early in the morning, with hundreds waiting in line. The line to get into the Capital extended out to Capital Drive and oh by the way, it was raining. It had been raining so much that flash floods were being reported all over our state with record high volumes of water. I found it a bit intriguing that the flooding of the waters and the flooding of the State House with citizens on the very same day, was more than just coincidence. My understanding is that there were just under 2500 people tucked into every nook and cranny of the State House and the Cross Building on that day.
The State House staff were very amiable and a couple of them commented to me about how they had not seen anything like this since they were first employed. There was a buzz happening throughout this whole derby. Some jeers. Some cheers. Some Pizza. Some fruit and some vegetables along with bucket-loads of coffee. The masses had plenty and then some. I imagine this was a modern day “feeding of the five thousand” we hear about in the Scriptures. There was even childcare provided. During the evening hours guitars were wielded and spontaneous singing began to echo throughout the 4th floor Rotunda and on the second floor House chamber hallways. It was a compelling atmosphere. I know I was drawn into it. I even watched a retired military citizen with his beautiful brindle colored dog roaming the halls intently listening and watching these happy creatures waiting their turn to speak their testimony.
At approximately 7:30 a.m. Tuesday May 2nd the Public Hearing ended, but the casting of voices will not cease. This derby will continue. There are now thousands of Maine citizens that have established a craving to return to cast their voice out onto the waters that the lawmakers swim in. These citizens will return. How do I know this? As my logistics team and I took care of the details behind the scenes we heard them say so. As they rode in our shuttles back and forth to remote parking lots you could overhear them planning on what they should do next. They were supercharged. One of these people said to me, “That was easier than I thought!” Well, if he can withstand 20 hours overnight and call it ‘easy’ then I would say he has a new craving to cast his voice out again. He will return along with thousands of his fellow citizens.
My desire is to speak up for life, especially for all the endangered beings that are alive inside the womb. I’m hoping this point of view will evoke you to do the same.
I’m hooked on it. You?