“To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” – G.K. Chesterton
In the last few weeks I have come to realize I am a little miffed at the Christian community. Even I, found myself in this parade of drones. Once I really sat back and analyzed the responses of people who, ultimately, felt unloved, I came to terms with my mistakes.
As we all saw last week, Senate Republicans introduced a bill to avert a government shutdown by defunding Planned Parenthood. This spurred celebration among Christians as well as moral fundamentalists. For me, I thought the day would never come where I would even see something like this happen. I found myself in this Christian hivemind, mainly because of the element of surprise. Planned Parenthood is infamous for being an institution that facilitates abortions. Christians and moral fundamentalists see this institution as one that should not exist. There are many other reasons we could discuss about this but this is not what I am aiming for. So be rest assured, politics will be left out.
Abortion is such a buzz topic today as it has been since it was rubber stamped decades ago following the Roe VS Wade decision on abortion in 1973. We see myriads of people surrounding us, as well as the bigger players in politics and the media, constantly expressing their opinions on this subject. Obviously, they are all conflicting. Here are a few as an example:
“In 1985, I was living with my sister in Virginia, and since I was still in high school, I worked at McDonald’s to save money to get an abortion. It sounds really terrible, but it was the best decision I ever made. It was the first time I took responsibility for my actions. I messed up, had sex without contraception, and got pregnant at 15.”– Kathleen Hanna, from Bikini Kill
“We’re always going to argue about abortion. It’s a hard choice and it’s controversial, and that’s why I’m pro-choice, because I want people to make their own choices.”– Hillary Clinton
“The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing between.”– Mother Teresa
“Too many people use abortion as a form of birth control. And that’s very wrong. I could never, ever have an abortion.”– Brooke Shields
As we just read, there are many many views on this issue; too many to count. Everyone I have ever encountered: Christian, moral, religious, atheist, liberal – all have had some specific view unique to all sorts of unique situations.
This brings me to the backlash response following the announcement of the defunding of Planned Parenthood. But the backlash response is more or less a giant ball of phlegm hocked in the face of those who oppose abortion. In fact, this backlash response started as a campaign and now seems to be morphing into a movement. The movement is called #shoutyourabortion. For those of you not familiar with social media, it is called “Shout Your Abortion.”
I would say, and many others would agree, from the get go, this really is a terrible campaign. It really is. It is distasteful and disgusting. But to my surprise, as I go through Twitter’s trending topic, 140 characters tell me so much about the person. I can not help but stay silent as I read their stories. And so, now I have come to love this distasteful campaign because I have come to love these brave people. On the flipside, the Christian and moral fundamentalists are screaming in anger. Not just a simple, “How dare you!!” but more like lynch mob. You know, with pitch forks (like the devil), and torches (fire is in hell), and rope and anything else lynch related. They would hunt down this abortion/social media Frankenstein they created if they could. It would be a lie if I did not say I am similarly disgusted with the Christian responses to this campaign.
Over the years, I have known many people who have had abortions and have had one for all kinds of reasons. But to really sum up the most common, there are four types of situations that did not include rape or life threatening problems:
When we see these common situations, the rationale seems legitimate. As a man, I cannot know the millions of thoughts going through a woman’s head when she is faced with this, at most times, alone. As we can all agree, the final decision, 97% of the time is made by the woman. No one is dragging them into an abortion clinic. They usually go on their own accord. Take a look at some of the #shoutyourabortion tweets from woman who have had abortions:
— TugboatAnnie (@sacarlin48)September 21, 2015
I had to make the choice at 45 yrs after a number of miscarriages. V. Difficult #shoutyourabortion
— msmanet (@msmanet)September 21, 2015
my abortion gave me my life back..started my healing from rape. no regrets ,not one. #ShoutYourAbortion
— Credible Phillips (@Jomegsallan)September 21, 2015
No traumatic backstory: Didn’t want kids. Couldn’t afford kids. Contraceptive failure with casual bf. Not one regret. #ShoutYourAbortion
These sound almost valid. In fact, many people with any world view would agree on the validity of these 3 people having abortions. Moreover, in the article I pulled these tweets from, the author from the Guardian would also agree these reasons are valid. Whether or not they are, the issue is not that. Instead we see three brave people voicing an extremely private and personal situation to the world because they feel the need to justify what they did. Why? They do not feel loved. They have probably had to sit with people at lunch talking about how abortion is murder and how any woman who gets an abortion is a murderer. Imagine how they felt. Really, just put yourself in their shoes for a minute; if you don’t think you’re too good enough. The worst part of this, no one has sat and talked with these women to find out why. Why did they do it? It matters. Now they are making sure we know it matters by telling their story through hashtags!
As a Christian, I do and will for ever believe abortion is wrong. I believe, no matter what the situation is (unless it is life threatening to the child or the mother), there is always an alternative. But, just because I think it is wrong, this does not give me the power or the privilege to snarl at and condemn people who do not think it is wrong or have had abortions. Just look around yourself. Look at the media, what we are taught in the public school system, Hillary Clinton (a female icon); they all agree abortion is not a bad alternative for birth control.
Is it wrong to be mad? No, it is not. But ask yourself who you are mad at and why you are mad. For me, I am angry at our country’s leaders for allowing this to happen. I am angry at the voiceless Christian community in 1973 that stood by and watched the Supreme Court approve this. I am even more mad at them now because they keep crying about it. I am angry that Planned Parenthood is teaching its patrons that abortion is a means of birth control. I am angry that there are even government funded and privately funded resources that give people this alternative. But, I cannot, and you cannot, blame the women of this country for making a decision that only Christians and moral fundamentalists think is wrong. That is not how love works. As a Christian, even I find myself tangled in this web of what the Bible says and not loving someone regardless of their choices in life. It is what I am taught – what we (Christians) are taught; and I have come to realize that the Christians in this country go to their clinic (church) where love is aborted and they do it every Sunday. This may sound harsh, but it is true. Christians, we all need to take our Bibles out of the back seats of our cars and open them up! We need to see what Jesus says about love and loving others.
Believe me when I say, “I am right there with you.” I really am, and only in recent weeks have I really come to grasp the importance of being a servant and loving people the right way. Will I act it out? Probably not, because I have spent too long being groomed to be the opposite. These ideologies that have been spurred from the four walls of church have eaten my life away. Gnawed at my heart. My heart could be likened to a plastic toy annihilated by the family dog; just totally unrecognizable. I cannot even think for myself because I have been reared in this love abortion clinic.
Now, before everyone starts judging me, I am not saying abortion is good and all Christians are terrible for being morally objective. Let’s make sure we clear the air here. I am saying simply to love these people. What does holding your crucifix up at these people like they are vampires do for anyone? It does nothing but create more problems, create movements like #shoutyourabortion, create hostility, but worst of all, it makes Christians look like terrible unloving people. Was Jesus Christ a terrible unloving person? No? I bet He would say the Christians of today are. He definitely would say I am.
I, we, need to start loving better – MORE. Whether or not people become Christians from it, that is up to God. But we need to represent Christ in everything the world puts in our path. We are here, representing him and we only have a short time to do it. We are not called to label sinners. We are sinners. We are not better than the person who has an abortion or the homosexual who married his partner or the man who cheated on his wife through Ashley Madison. We are all the same because we will all die for the same reason, from the same disease: sin. There are many women that have many secrets, abortion being one of them. They hold this in and let it eat them from the inside out because they are afraid to tell anyone. How could we pray for them if they don’t trust us enough to tell us what they are dealing with? That is not fair, Christians. Shame on you! Shame on all of us!
I want to conclude this message to Christians, with a message to the people who are not Christians who have had abortions – and to Christians who have had abortions also:
My friend, I want you to know that I love you. I do not judge your decision to have an abortion. I do not think you are anything worse than myself. To those friends thinking about having an abortion, I want you to know that I love you. If you have any second thoughts, turn the other way. Don’t give yourself time to think about it. Run from the decision. I urge all people who feel trapped and forced into an abortion to seek love, to try and say a prayer, maybe even open up a Bible, to surround yourself with people who have the biggest hearts. You are not alone. Love is everywhere. Seek it out from genuine people. Whatever it is you need to do to not feel trapped and alone, do it.
I will close with this scripture verse, and let it be your anthem in the church and everywhere you are my Christian friends.
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV)