Monday, June 1, 2009

certain tragedy often causes us to fight.

In light of the tragic murder of Dr. Tiller in Kansas, I am re-posting just read the whole thing, from October, 2008.  This post provoked interesting comments the first time around, also quite a lot of email (some pleasant, some not actually pleasant).  Be advised that I will delete nasty troll-ish comments faster than you can flip me off.

****************************

Abortion.

Are you making the cringe face now? Because truth be told? I am. The word itself makes me terribly uncomfortable. The procedure? I can't even think about what that is like. Mostly because I don't know. And also, because I don't want to know.

This isn't the post where I defend abortion. I will not defend abortion. This? This is the post where I say abortion isn't the problem.

Abortion is one symptom of a culture that has ceased to care. A culture so self-centered and wanting and lacking in kindness that people are without hope. And without support. And without a soft place to fall.

Think I've missed the mark? Look around. Bigger, better, more, more, moremoremoremoremore. 90-hour work weeks, unbelieveable amounts of debt both personal and national, predatory advertising geared toward children. People do not have the time to rest. There is no time! Not enough! Not a minute for real, tangible relationships, just a quick comment here, an IM there, txtmsgs. It's a race. A race for everything.

A race where the winner drops dead of exhaustion and the losers walk away alone, and with nothing.

This is the society in which we live. A society that makes it too easy to drop off the radar. A society that can't seem to find the answers to the problems that appear when person after person becomes lost and alone.

It's sad.

Abortion makes me sad. The procedure itself breaks my heart. I was born a just after Roe v. Wade made abortion a right. I was born to a 16 year old child whose only contact with the birth father was at the time of conception. That's a lot to think about, no? If there was anyone in the mid-to-late 1970's who was a 'good candidate' to have an abortion, it was my birth mother. Lucky for me, it seems she chose to hide her pregnancy instead of ending it.

Overturning Roe v. Wade will not make abortion to go away. It will make a bad situation worse. It will alienate, stigmatize, and cause suffering of the worst kind: Suffering alone and in silence.

Abortion is one end result of a flawed system.

  • Sex education. Teaching children ALL the ways not to get pregnant. Let's be real: aside from the power-motivated sex crime, people really like having sex, and they are going to have sex. This includes children. Providing contraceptives will not cause children who aren't having sex to have sex. It will protect the ones that are.
  • The media should chill the hell out with all the sex they are selling to children. It's enough, already. And parents?
  • Parents need to get a grip. What are your children watching on television? What sort of trashy dolls are your daughters playing with? What sort of conversation goes on inside your home? Be the parent. Not the friend. People don't have babies to increase their social circle. They get hobbies and join clubs. You aren't going to be more credible in your child's eyes if you try to be a pal. You are going to be credible by being a hard-ass with open and loving arms. It will suck for a while, but you'll survive.
  • Organizations who are opposed to abortion should put their fingers away, roll up their sleeves, and get to work supporting pregnant women. All pregnant women. There is so much intimidation and condemnation from the Right-To-Life crowd, but there's not much said about the Right-to-Lifers trying to change anything but legislation.

And the people who intimidate and condemn in the name of Jesus? Grieve me to the core of my being. Because the Jesus I know and serve was not about that. The Jesus I know hung out with the people who were pointed at. He spent time with the people who were alone and needy. He loved. He cared.

Those WWJD bracelets/bumper stickers/random paraphernalia have infiltrated our society, yet the asking of the question, "What WOULD Jesus Do?" doesn't seem to happen often enough to make me believe that asking the question is the point. I don't know exactly what Jesus would do, except maybe cry for all the broken people living in our world. But I do know this:

In His last moments, as he hung on the cross dying, the criminal hanging next to Him realized Jesus was God, and asked to be forgiven for the things he had done wrong in his life. He was forgiven. And, if you believe what the scripture has to say, he was welcomed into Heaven. There was no finger pointing, no inquisition, no judgement. Despite all he had done, he was loved.

There is a serious lack of love going on in this nation. There are too many people looking to advance agendas, and there is too little consideration for others. Maybe, just maybe, if we put our fingers away, and got down to the business of protecting and educating and setting people up for success and learning how to care about each other, our nation would be as great as we know it can be.

33 comments:

  1. I truly believe the only solution for the problems that face the people of our country is the Lord. Life and government and this great land of ours will never be free from sin, sadness, depravity, alone-ness, questions, confusions etc.

    And all the folk of this world (including Christians) will disappoint us, not meet our expectations or fulfill all of our needs.

    The only one. The only hope. Is God.

    The state of the world is a result of the state of man's heart--woefully dark without His help. It will never be perfect or totally peachy here--it's the condition of a fallen world.

    Can it be better? Sure thing. Will it be? Doubtful. Praise the Lord for a new start to everyday in which we can try to encourage, build up and serve the people around us.

    Lamentations 3:21-26 This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. {22} Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. {23} They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. {24} "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!" {25} The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. {26} It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the LORD.

    Thus ends my mini-sermon =)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nicely said. I do however believe there is a backlash afoot in our generation. We could afford a bigger house, but we chose not to. We can take out a loan for a new car, but ours drive just fine. We could, but we don't. Instead we save our money to pay for time to spend with the family.

    I think we're realizing the value of less. Of fewer. Of quality over quantity.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You're right about Jesus. He totally hung out with the "rejects" of the time. Prostitutes, tax collectors, murderers, what have you. He showed them his love first, accepted them as his own, and then revealed their sin to them. Jesus doesn't want us to fix people before He saves them, that's His job. We need to be like Him, but we can't ever be Him.

    Good post.

    <3, Adrienne

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm not a religious person, but your message rings true nevertheless.

    Why don't you run for President? At least VP? You could show Sarah Palin what real moms are like!

    ReplyDelete
  5. So, in order, yes; thank you; thank you; I agree, I think many of us were making the effort to curb ourselves and think of others before this whole economic kerfuffle hit; thanks; and RUN FOR PRESIDENT? WHA? HUH? The Mister would fire me.

    And if I were President, I doubt I'd be able to sit in the bathroom with my Making Poor Choices Child for as long as I did yesterday. I'd have to sit on naughty dictators, and some of them seem a bit to lascivious for my taste.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's an ugly word. An ugly procedure. But I agree with you whole-heartedly. I'm an adoptive mom (you know that obviously) and my views on abortion always seem to startle and suprise people. I don't believe in the fundamentals of abortion, but I firmly believe in a woman's right to choose. If you outlaw abortion, it will still happen. It will be in seedy, dirty clinics and it will cause more harm. Education, tolerance, openess is the key. Marking abortion illegal is like cutting off the the tail of a snake, not the head. It creats a big mess. I know it's odd, but I'm glad that my birth moms were able to choose. One of them almost didn't choose life. We've even talked about it at length. She felt ashamed for telling me. I told her that I didn't judge her at all. It was something she had to decide and journey through for herself.

    I know as an adoptive mom, people expect me to fall into one category over the other. But my gut just tells me that I can't inflict my beliefs on someone else. I don't want the government to do that to me or to anyone else either. Education. Education. I can't say it enough. Birth control, talking about it in schools, but more importantly IN YOUR HOME. Thanks for being brave and writing this. :) I heart you and your dirty (clean) soap nuts even more.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have no words... because you took them ALL right out of my mouth (fingers?). Great post.

    And my mother's doctor actually offered to abort me.. since my mom wasn't real excited to be pregnant with a 6wk old baby at home.

    'You don't HAVE to be pregnant, you know..'

    she was disgusted.

    ReplyDelete
  8. agreed. completely.

    good timing on this, my mom recently asked what your views on the matter were after i told her you were an obama supporter. i just sent this to her.

    ReplyDelete
  9. @the beth: I hope she comments. I'd like to hear her opinion, too.
    So the beth's mom? Let 'er rip!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Whoa. What an honest, insightful, and incredibly well written post. No one likes abortion or celebrates the abortion procedure. But I would not want my reproductive rights or my daughter's reproductive rights managed or controlled by any government.

    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I see your heart behind your words. It is a good heart. I cannot say however, that abortion is a reproductive right. Or that making it legal makes it better. Abortion is not a good choice. I refuse to choose. Between women and children. I believe it is wrong to force women to choose between sacrificing her education of career plans and sacrificing her child. Women deserve better. Abortion is one more way for men to exploit women. "FREE SEX! NO BABIES! NO WORRIES!" For whom? For him. Because it is not free for her. Abortions are invasive- physically, emotionally, and psychologically. For whom? For the woman. Keeping abortion legal keeps it easy for the culture to keep telling women that their primary value is sexual.
    And keeping it legal is confusing- we say, "It's wrong and awful, but we need to keep it as a right for the people it hurts the most (Almost the most, I think it hurts the baby more, but stay with me here). And finally, there are such things as absolutes- and killing little people is absolutely wrong. And keeping it legal keeps it looking like it must be the only choice and keeps women thinking that giving up their bodies and their children is the only thing of value that they have to give. And it makes them kill their babies. And that is not good for anyone's heart. Indiviually, and as a nation. Abortion is bad for our hearts.
    XOXO
    Joce

    ReplyDelete
  12. PS, Check out Feminists for Life: http://www.feministsforlife.org

    ReplyDelete
  13. Just want to clarify: I didn't say abortion was any sort of right, because I don't know how to even think about that.

    Also, I didn't say that making it legal makes it better. I do believe that the legality causes the medical portion to be safer.

    Carry on.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Pamela, thank you. Such complicated and often conflicting emotions need to be expressed in exactly the eloquent way you expressed them.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hey, Pamela,

    This whole discussion grieves me to the core of my heart!

    Psalm 139:13-16
    "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

    I'm glad you don't support abortion. Neither do I. And there was a lot in your blog post that I totally agree with.

    But like Joce, I can't agree with your statement "Overturning Roe v. Wade will not make abortion to go away. It will make a bad situation worse."

    How can upholding God's word and law (Deuteronomy 5:17) make a bad situation worse? Conversely, how can allowing murder in the name of a woman's "right to choose" be a godly position for those of us who claim to follow Christ? Yes, Jesus was compassionate, full of mercy, and forgiving of those who sinned. But he also cared for sinners while upholding the greatest of God's moral standards.

    Maybe abortion is the end result of a flawed system. But just because a system is flawed doesn't mean you throw in the towel and say, well, you're going to do it anyways, so we'll allow it and make it easier for you. What if we applied that argument to all murder? Murder happens and sometimes people get killed other than the people that the killer really wanted to kill (sorry for this huge run-on sentence!). So in order to make murder "safer", we'll make it legal. We'll set up some murder "clinics" and so we'll reduce the killing of innocent bystanders. Yay! (please note my sarcasm)

    It's totally absurd, isn't it??

    And as far as the comment about imposing views on others - isn't that what our legal system does every day?? Murder is illegal. Is someone going to argue that because that goes back to the ten commandments in the Bible, that we should do away with this law? Again, it's just absurd.

    So, sorry, I feel like I've gotten carried away. This is just such an important topic. As your first commenter said,

    thus ends my (more than mini-)sermon.

    Blessings,
    Stephanie

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh, please don't think my position is 'throwing in the towel'. I'm not a throwing in the towel kind of girl.

    There are a lot of people who desperately want to change the law regarding abortion. I don't believe that a change in the law will change anything except flip-flop the people who are pleased and irate, and cause women to go back to dirty back-alley uterus ripping joints.

    What kind of job can we do protecting the unborn when, as a nation, we are doing such a terrible job protecting those who are born?

    Hundreds of thousands of children are suffering in the foster care system in this country. Countless are abused, whether they are in their 'natural' homes or not. Where is the indignance? Where are the people lining the sidewalk with signs condemning abuse and hunger and lack of care?

    Each was a fetus at one time. People spoke up for them then.

    What does it say when there is an entire movement dedicated to saving the unborn, political candidates will recieve votes--or not--depending solely on this position, doctors are murdered? And not even a nationally-recognized slogan for the unloved children who are here.

    The pro-life argument might be a little more compelling if there was a plan for the 'life' part.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Well, I guess I'm just hung up on "killing people" part of abortion. You, know that part about killing babies. I just can't get past it.
    And to say that allowing kids to be born into a sucky environment is WORSE than killing them before they're born is- (tap tap tap, how do I say this?) -let's just say I think it moves one's focus away from the real issue. The world has sucky parts about it, but it doesn't really come to bear on the issue of killing little people.

    Last thought:
    "The plan for the life part" is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. We all have to do our part to make the sucky parts of our world less sucky. That's what Jesus said. And that's what he did. And that's what I try to do. And that is what you try to do, too. I know that because I know you and your various volunteer activities.
    And, okay this is my last thought: I can't vote for someone who thinks its okay to kill babies on purpose under any circumstance. So, that's why it sways my vote.
    (And, for the books: pro-life people are way NOT cool with people who kill doctors. Life is life, born or unborn, abortionist or not.)
    I thank you for the opportunity to state my thoughts on this issue that is obviously close to my heart.
    XOXO
    Joce

    ReplyDelete
  18. Misquoted.

    "And to say that allowing kids to be born into a sucky environment is WORSE than killing them before they're born..."

    I didn't say that it was worse. I said, What kind of job can we do protecting the unborn when, as a nation, we are doing such a terrible job protecting those who are born?

    ReplyDelete
  19. I pray that teen MOPS is one manifestation in our community of protecting those who are born as well as those who chose to give birth.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Listen, first of all - you wrote this soooo well, and I agree with ALL of it.

    Nowhere in my bible does God tell us to change laws! He says - dont' involve yourselves with bad stuff! If you disagree with abortion - DON'T HAVE ONE! Your movement is NOT WORKING. Your Republican president is NOT WORKING! 8 yrs and a steadily increasing abortion statistic! The reason? Presidents don't decide that issue..they only get to decide on one- maybe two judges during a term..and those judges may or may not vote on that particular issue. Maybe if all this time and effort and passion could be shifted to taking care of 'born' babies, unwed teen mothers, and educating teens on how NOT to get pregnant and how to RESIST temptation y'all might actually get somewhere with this fight. You are fighting in VAIN with this. I know your intentions are good, but your actions are fruitless and you know what the bible says about that? look it up.

    And also, quit attacking other Christians who have a different take on things - there's room for all of us huh?

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm so sorry... I certainly didn't intend to attack anyone.

    Pamela, do you feel attacked??

    I do have to make an additional comment, though.

    The bible does say that although we are not of the world, we are in it. And it does say that we need to submit to our government. However, the implication of Jesus' life of compassion, mercy, and uncompromising holiness is that we as Christians are also to be so.

    Jesus says in Matthew 5:13
    "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men."

    Salt is a preservative. I think the implication is that where we can lovingly and mercifully stand for the principles upheld in God's word, then we should do so. Including doing just that as we exercise our right to vote and thus influence our own government.

    Stephanie

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm not religious or political but that post made nothing but perfect sense to me.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wandered over here from Ree's place. I must say Bravo. Yes Abortion is horrible, however, someone else brought up that God did not call us to change the laws but to uphold His laws and do what He tells us to do and by our actions, guide others. So before we can demand the end of Roe vs. Wade we need programs in place to care for the pregnant ones who aren't in a spot to be pregnant. We need to educate teens on the fact that babies are cute for a few hours but then they become work and a responsibility. We,as a nation, are failing and you have hit the nail on the head and I thank you for your post and I will be linking back to it just as Ree did.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Well said. A good goal would be to stop the hate and polarizing and get to work FIXING things. You nailed a lot of the key problems behind this.

    And I agree 100%. The Jesus I read about in the NT was a man of great compassion and love for those who were least loveable. What a goal to strive to.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I came here via Ree's blog and I'm glad I did. You have written an excellent post. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I am here too courtesy of Ree.

    Good on you for what you say. You say it so well.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Excellent post! I was worried when I saw this was a post on abortion. I thought I'd have to get all angry and cranky, and have to come up with some wordy rebuttal.....but no! You expressed my sentiments exactly. Very well done! Thank you for posting this.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wow. Love this! Found you because you started following me on Twitter.

    I have long felt that the Old Testament can be summed up by The Golden Rule (Do unto others... not "he who has the gold..."), that the New Testament can be summed up by "God is Love" and that if we could manage to live by those -- all of us, every moment -- this would be Heaven on Earth.

    I also agree that though I know I could never have an abortion, I don't want it to be illegal. I feel much as you do that efforts should be placed on loving those children (and their pregnant mothers who are someone's child too). If every child was truly seen by our society as a gift from God then I don't think abortion would be chosen by many as a way to fix a problem -- because being pregnant would be seen as an honor, not a problem.

    You wrote this really well!

    ReplyDelete
  29. ...and quite a contrast from the post I just read but just as entertaining from a totally different angle. Great point of view - IMHO

    ReplyDelete

talk to me, people. because you know i get all giddy when you do.