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.
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.
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.