Pro-Choice Epiphany Pt 2

I just found a fabulous article in the Washington Post by sports columnist Sally Jenkins. I’m so excited to see that I’m not the only woman in the world who recognizes the difference between pro-choice and pro-death. This is a woman who is truly pro-choice. She is the perfect illustration of the point I was making in my “Pro-Choice Epiphany.” I do not agree with her in terms of being pro-choice, but I’m thrilled to see her article. Check it out for yourself here.

Celebrate Family. Celebrate Life.

Andy and Jack. Summer 2009

Andy and Jack. Summer 2009

I spent a lot of time yesterday discussing the Tebow Superbowl Ad. Maybe it was the hormones. Maybe it was because Josh was working OT again. Maybe it was because I had a long day and didn’t have the energy to do much else besides sit with the computer. Maybe someone will benefit from what I had to say. Whatever the reason, I stand behind what I said. The thing that bothers me is I spent too much time reacting in frustration instead of talking about what’s really important. I spent too much time feeding into the drama and not enough time elaborating on the intended theme of the ad, Celebrate family. Celebrate life.

Both children and family are huge blessings and most definitely huge reason for celebration. Ask any woman who is desperately trying to conceive a child. Children are not burdens and I don’t know when they became such in the eyes of our society. Children are a gift. Children may mean you take one less vacation or you make decisions regarding your career or you closet that you wouldn’t have made before having them, but since when are we afraid to sacrifice for something worthwhile? Unlike what Ms. Gettelman said, this is not “losing your future.”

Children bless and enhance your life in the way that no career, vacation or shopping spree ever could. Having a family is the most fulfilling decision you can ever make. Yes, you will have hard days…a lot of them. There used to be a time when we understood that anything worth having was worth fighting for. What happened to us? Now, we want everything handed to us in the most convenient fashion as quickly as possible. I don’t know who set us up to expect that, but they did us a great disservice. As Dacia Wiegandt often says,

“The reason most people fail instead of succeed is that they trade what they want most for what they want at the moment.”

What do you want most in life? If children and family is on your list, I highly recommend you stop putting it off until you reach a certain point in your career, until your bank account reaches a certain balance, or until whatever else you’re waiting for. First of all, even when you reach those goals, something new will pop up. Like Joanne Bertalan always reminds me, “there’s a new devil at every level.” Looking into the future, you can’t truly comprehend or predict what your life will be like when you reach goal x, y or z. Secondly, once you have a child, your priorities will probably shift anyway. Why waste so much time building a life that you may or may not want once you are fortunate enough to have a family of your own? Again, this is not “loosing your future.” This is maturing and seeing the world from a whole new perspective.

I speak from experience when I tell you that when you openly and lovingly accept a child or children, you will be provided for. It may not be in the fashion you initially expect, but you and your family will have every need met. See what we are told in Matthew 6: 25-34:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat (or drink), or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?

Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.”

Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?

Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin.

But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.

If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?

So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’

All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.

Andy's Birth Day. December 2005.

Andy’s Birth Day. December 2005.

I can tell you, God is faithful to His word. One could say I found myself in a “crisis pregnancy.” At the very least it was unexpected, unplanned and inconvenient. And believe me, more than one person suggested I “terminate” it. I am so grateful that I was raised to know better and received enough emotional support from those around me to keep from feeling forced into that decision. Let me note, when I say support, I don’t mean the people around me were thrilled or even happy. I lost a lot of “friends” over the decision to carry my child to term and raise him myself. But let me tell you, neither he nor I wanted for anything during that pregnancy or even now. God provided us with everything we needed.

People I’ve never met sent me hand-me-downs. My grandmother bought us a stroller. Some friends threw me a shower. A woman at church made me this awesome basket of stuff she knew I would have never thought to buy in advance like a thermometer, diaper rash cream and gas drops. Josh was offered a new job, albeit not the job we “wanted” nor one he liked, but the one that provided us with enough income to support our little family. I had everything I needed to take care of that baby because I trusted in the Lord. Actually, that is a huge overstatement. At that point in my life the best I could do was say “Ok, I’m having this baby. Please help us.” My definition of trusting in the Lord has definitely matured since then, but God provided for us anyway.

I can assure you no other “accomplishment” in this life compares with being handed your child for the first time in the delivery room. No other “success” compares with watching your child achieve a new skill or make a good decision on his own. No other “recognition” feels as good as little arms around your neck and a little voice telling you “Mama, I love you so much!” Children are a great gift, the most rewarding “job” that has ever existed. It’s so sad to see the way our country throws them away and devalues them to nothing more than a burden.

My Pro-Choice Epiphany

lightbulbAs I sat here wasting entirely too much time reading blogs and other online articles about the Tim Tebow Superbowl Ad, I had an epiphany. The Pro-choice Movement is made up of two camps, one who is honestly pro-choice and one who is actually pro-death.

The pro-choicers advocate a woman’s right to choose. Period. She can choose yes. She can choose no. It doesn’t matter. What matters to them is the fact that she made the choice. For the most part, these people seem unbothered by the Tim Tebow ad. Those who are bothered seem most disturbed that a serious issue is being mentioned for 30 seconds during their football game.

My favorite quote regarding the ad not being suitable for the Superbowl was given by Jehmu Greene, president of the Women’s Media Center. She’s upset because CBS is “inserting an exceedingly controversial issue into a place where we all hope Americans will be united, not divided, in terms of watching America’s most-watched sporting event.” All Americans united? Come on lady, it’s the Superbowl.

Speaking as a member of a “house divided,” football, or any sport for that matter, is not the place for breeding unity. Sure the fans are united in that they are fans of the sport and enjoy watching it. But have you ever seen what happens when a graduate from Ohio State has a get-together and his buddy from work shows up in a Michigan shirt? Haha…not pretty! And it doesn’t even have to be football season! Or how about visiting Yankee Stadium when the Red Sox are in town? I’d advise you didn’t walk into the stadium, or perhaps even the state, wearing a Boston ball cap…whether or not the Red Sox are in town. Sports fans are true to their teams and therefore their rivalries. They hold them as sacred as their religious affiliation and their political beliefs. On Sunday February 7, more than a few drunken buffoons will end up in fist fights during or immediately after the Superbowl. Clearly, Ms. Greene is not a sports fan to propose National unity is the underlying goal of sporting events.

Back to the topic at hand…

The pro-death camp actually doesn’t care anything about women having a choice. In fact, it seems they want anyone who chooses life to be silenced. It’s as if they want abortion to be the only outcome of any pregnancy. This is the group who is outraged by the Tebow Commercial. Take this viewpoint for example:

“You cannot tell a woman that she might give birth to the next superstar, the next president, the next great thing…. What you won’t hear in this commercial is that a woman might die giving birth, or go broke after she has the child, or lose her own future and compromise her kid’s….[W]omen and their partners in this situation are left with difficult, horrible choices no one wants to be beset with.” ~ Elizabeth Gettelman, Mother Jones regarding the Tim Tebow commercial.

By all means, Ms. Gettelman, lets just stop reproducing all together because life doesn’t turn into a fairy tale after you conceive and bear a child. I didn’t realize children were only worth having in the most ideal of circumstances. Do you, my dear reader, actually know anyone who has conceived and bore a child under ideal circumstances? We don’t live in a movie. Life is hard and full of challenges. But what I don’t understand is what that has to do with children. The fact that one could loose their job and “go broke” is supposed to be sufficient reason to use abortion as birth control? (I’m glad I don’t make all of my decisions on unlikely what-ifs.) And when did children become a burden rather than a blessing?

But here’s my favorite part of my whole epiphany. In general, children adopt their parents viewpoints on politics, religion and other important issues. The best predictor of the way an 18-year-old will vote in an election is the way his/her parents vote. So, using that same logic, the pro-death camp that refuses to reproduce or support others in their decision to reproduce (a decision which should be made before having sex, not upon pregnancy as they seem to advocate) will likely cause the extinction of their own movement. If they aren’t reproducing, they don’t have anyone to pass these views on to.

That’s why they’re so mad. The future of the pro-death movement isn’t a legacy they can pass on to their own offspring because they won’t have any. They’re forced to spread their message and recruit others to their cause, which is where the logic quoted above comes from. Their only hope is to convince other women that having a baby will ruin her life, her career, her figure and anything else they can come up with to terrify her. They need to scare others into agreeing with them. (Laughably, that sounds a lot like the “fire and brimstone” sermons they are so vehemently opposed to.) That’s why this ad is dangerous to them.

It’s terribly hard to convince someone to buy into your twisted logic especially if there are tv ads, celebrities, and every day people illustrating the opposite. No wonder they get so mad when someone chooses life. More people choosing life and talking about it means the inevitable end of the pro-death movement. Their radical opinions are going to take care of themselves in a survival of the fittest type fashion. I find that to be very amusing.

Superbowl Uproar Part 2

Despite the fact that I just wrote a novel on the topic, I have one more thing to say. Reading an online article about the controversy I found the following quote:

Terry O’Neill, the president of the National Organization for Women, said she had respect for the private choices made by women such as Pam Tebow but condemned the planned ad as “extraordinarily offensive and demeaning.”

What?? Explain to me what is offensive and demeaning about “Celebrate family. Celebrate life.” Seriously. Other than the previously mentioned matter of conscience, what can you possibly find offensive about that message.

Based on her comments, I suppose I’m somehow “demeaning” myself by carrying the little boy that currently that resides in my womb. Heck, it’s probably extremely “offensive and demeaning” that I choose to sacrifice a career and expendable income to be at home raising my family. I’m just so disgusted at the messages we are passing on to the girls of this country. I know it’s the work of the devil, but I can’t help but feel disgusted.

The fact that 1 in 3 women have had a child ripped from their womb is neither demeaning nor offensive, but 30 seconds of air time dedicated to the dignity of life and family are? What’s demeaning and offensive are the millions of women suffering in silence because of the shame and guilt of a misguided decision they once made. What’s demeaning and offensive are girls/women who are afraid to carry a baby to term because of social repercussions.

If you want to head up an organization for women, do work that truly benefits women. Work to end abortion. Work to genuinely and lovingly support girls and women in “unplanned” pregnancies. Work to end domestic violence. Work to support women who are suffering physically or emotionally for any reason. Work for increased research on the numerous mental health issues that women are more prone to suffering. Work for more research on cancers that affect women. Work to end prostitution and pornography. Work to end the marketing of everything from beer to dish soap with the objectification of women. Work for equal wages. Heck, work for women to receive unequal, higher wages so they can afford the nanny and a housekeeper so they don’t go home to another full time job. Work to promote a healthy self-image among women and girls. Work to teach girls that they do not have to have sex or dress like sluts to be popular, have a boyfriend or advance in the world. There are plenty of demeaning and offensive women’s issues to tackle but a respect for life and family IS NOT among them.

Women should be fighting together for dignity and respect. They should be building each other up, not tearing each other down. To hear comments like the one mentioned above is disturbing. As a fellow blogger pointed out,

“When women’s advocacy groups are opposed to women THINKING about their choices, then it’s time to take a long, hard look at the movement.

I am an advocate for women’s rights.  But if you have to trample on the rights of others to be an advocate for your cause, then you need to rethink your priorities.”

I, for one, will be praying for Terry O’Neill and all the women over whom she has influence. It’s issues like this that make me so grateful I only have boys up to this point.

Tim Tebow Superbowl Uproar

I’ve been really surprised over the controversy being caused by Tim Tebow’s Superbowl ad. If you haven’t heard, Focus on the Family spent $2 million (raised specifically for this cause, not taken from their general budget) on a commercial featuring Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam, to be aired during the Superbowl. The theme? “Celebrate family. Celebrate Life.” Why? Because Pam’s doctors advised her to abort Tim due to medical complications and look at the man he his today. I can’t begin to understand why people are so angry about a 30 second ad delivering the message “Celebrate family. Celebrate life.” aired during the Superbowl. Here are some of the unconvincing arguments I’ve heard from those opposed.

1. “I only want to see fun ads about beer and junk food.”

Without your life you would be unable to enjoy things like ridiculous commercials, beer and junk food. Without life no other issues, whether serious or pleasurable, exist. Why can’t they mix? You’re alive, you’re enjoying yourself and if you have a family they’re likely watching the game with you, so what’s so offensive about the message “Celebrate family. Celebrate life.”? That’s what you’re going to be doing as the commercial airs. Plus, it seems a little degrading to your own intelligence to say, “I only want to watch half-naked women sell me beer, reptiles sell me insurance and whatever other craziness airs, but most definitely not anything serious.” What if the commercial were one of those St. Jude “thanks and giving” ads? Would you be complaining then?

2. “I don’t think Jesus would want them to “waste” $2 million on a commercial.”

Jesus tells us (Luke 12:48) that to whom much is given, much is expected. The donors who paid for this ad have clearly been given very much.  I think Jesus would prefer these people spend their money on a positive, uplifting ad celebrating the dignity of family and life, aired during an event watched by an estimated 93.2 million people in the US alone, rather than spend it on a few new yachts or exotic vacations or whatever else people with $2 million have the capacity to buy. But, while we’re talking about what Jesus would or wouldn’t do, I doubt he supports the companies spending their $2 million on the sex-soaked commercials that you prefer to watch.

3. “Can you imagine the uproar if Planned Parenthood (privately funded) ran a commercial during the superbowl?? People would lose their sh*t. Free speech is all fine and good if treated equally.” Money talks” isn’t free speech. I don’t think divisive politics belong in the land of superbowl commercials.” (I copied this directly from my girlfriend’s facebook page. These are her words, not mine. I deeply respect this individual, but take serious issue with this statement.)

Oh my gosh, where to begin?! I was stunned when I read this! First of all, Planned Parenthood IS NOT privately funded! (Focus on the family, however, is.) In 2008 Planned Parenthood received $320 million from taxpayers. I couldn’t find a statistic on the total they’ve received to date, but from 1973-2005 PP received $3.9 BILLION in tax dollars. As you can infer from looking at these numbers, they get more and more dough each year. (It’s possible the above author was suggesting a privately funded commercial on the behalf of PP could be aired, and if that’s the case I’ll address that momentarily).

As far as free speech being treated equally, PP is absolutely not the victim. They are always in the media spewing their propaganda about “protection” and “education” when in reality their primary goal is to sell abortions. Don’t believe me? Go to your local PP (heck, go to several just to help me prove my point) and tell them you’re pregnant and confused. See what “choices” they offer you. I dare you. I think its disgusting that my tax dollars support an organization that manipulates scared girls/women into killing their children while misrepresenting the facts about the procedure. Don’t believe that either? Make sure to ask them some fact based questions about the procedure and about the baby, then do a little research on your own. It’s all bologna! Everything they say is bologna. They’re trained to sell abortions. Period. What’s worse is it’s not necessarily the volunteers/employees fault. They’re fed the same propaganda as they feed the women who walk through their doors. Shame on them for not checking the facts, but if I were told a “fact” by someone I deemed reputable, I suppose I’d probably believe it too. Anyway, PP isn’t the one on the chopping block here, Focus on the family and Tim Tebow are. But since they were brought into the discussion, I wasn’t going to let them come of looking like a hero. They’re disgusting.

Back to the matter of free speech being treated equally, I don’t hear people protesting PP constantly being in the media, but I do hear people upset about this Focus ad. It seems to me that the pot is calling the kettle black. And it’s so common these days. That was exactly the point of my previous entry on tolerance. Tolerance is not one directional. If you’re an advocate of free speech, you should be thrilled about this ad, whether you agree with it’s content or not. You should be thrilled that CBS made a decision in FAVOR of free speech. Focus paid their $2 million, just like Budweiser and Geico and Doritos. Therefore they get a commercial spot. If CBS had taken the stance NBC took last year when banning a pro-life ad with the theme, “Life. Imagine the possibilities.” then free speech advocates should be angry. The network shouldn’t judge commercials on content other than deeming them appropriate for the viewing audience in terms of those little viewer rating things. For example, if the Superbowl has a Y7 rating, the commercials should too. Other than that, free speech supports the right for this or any other commercial to air. Don’t hop on the free speech bandwagon if you don’t really mean it. Free speech extends to those you agree with and those you do not. It’s not a matter of “money talking.” Anyone who wants to spend the $2 million on 30 seconds of air time can and should, regardless of the message. (Again, assuming it is of the same “rating” as the show. It would be totally inappropriate to have a “mature” ad come on during a family broadcast.  Ads should be “rated” the same as the tv shows for the children’s sake.)

Regarding “divisive politics” and their place among Superbowl ads…man, what a sad statement. It is so sad to be reminded that the thousands of women who are hurt and babies who are killed daily are reduced to nothing more than a statistic, a talking point and something we don’t want to think about when we’re trying to have fun at a Superbowl party. These are real people, real women and real babies. This is not about pro-choice or pro-life. This is about real people who are manipulated or poorly educated before making a life-altering decision. These are real women who suffer for the rest of their lives. Women who are 6 times more likely to take their own life in the year after having an abortion. Women who are 138% more likely to suffer major clinical depression 8 years later as compared with women who carry unexpected pregnancies to term. Women who are 4 times more likely to develop a substance abuse problem despite the fact that they have never had one prior to the abortion. Nevermind the 1 in 100 women who have severe complications (like uterine perforations, lacerations, blood loss, infections, blood clots, and other complications) from their abortion and 1 in 116,00 that die. Abortion is an ugly beast that we allow to kill children and destroy women, yet we can devalue its presence to mere “politics” to avoid feeling a little uncomfortable about what we allow or even outwardly support.

I think that discomfort is what this all boils down to. Although I obviously haven’t seen the commercial yet, there’s nothing offensive about it. A 30 second story about the “fetus” that wasn’t supposed to make it but did should be heart-warming. Why isn’t it in this case? Because of that discomfort. If Tim Tebow wasn’t supposed to make it and did, how many more stories could there be just like that? How many women listened to their doctors and terminated a pregnancy potentially for no reason? That makes us feel uncomfortable. Especially since a favorite argument of the politically correct pro-choice individuals is “what about cases of medical necessity, incest or rape?” Well, you can put your mind at ease. Those cases only account for 1% of all abortions. So, yes, there are other women who were in Pam Tebow’s situation and may have made the wrong choice. However, the vast majority of women who abort do so for selfish reasons, not medical or horrific ones. Oh…wait. That makes us even more uncomfortable. Hmm…why could that be? Because abortion is wrong. Things that are right don’t need to be justified or rationalized. That discomfort you feel is your conscience. You may have gagged it and stuffed it in a box deep down inside you, but it’s still there. It’s still doing its job, ever so quietly, trying to get you to see the gross error in your logic.

All of this uproar has nothing to do with free speech, what Jesus would want, money, the Superbowl or anything else. The uproar is because something is happening that gives your conscience a little louder voice and you can’t stand it. You can’t stand how ill-at-ease you feel reading this, watching that commercial or being faced with a pro-life perspective of any kind. Instead of taking a long hard look at the way you feel and why you feel that way, at the things you believe and why you believe them, you just get mad. Since that anger has to have an outlet, you direct it at Christians or Focus on the Family or Tim Tebow, or whoever the closest target is at the time.

In reality, none of these people or organizations are responsible for your anger or can even do anything about it. If you wholeheartedly believed in abortion, if you honestly believed it’s something that every woman has the right to chose to do, you wouldn’t be so angry right now. You may feel sorry for those pro-life people or laugh at their opinion or be grateful that you’re more sophisticated than to believe in the sanctity of human life, but you wouldn’t be angry. You wouldn’t be so threatened by a 30 second ad that promotes life. You wouldn’t be discussing in on facebook, on radio call in shows and over lunch in the manner you’re doing. You wouldn’t care about it if it didn’t strike a chord with you. You’d just laugh at those silly, uneducated people that wasted $2 million on outdated ideas and be done with it. You’d spend the time you just spent arguing with me to save a tree or a dolphin or whatever else you value more than the right to life. This wouldn’t be such a controversial topic if you weren’t trying so hard to make sure everyone around you understands your justification and rationalization of this sick and disturbing practice.

You don’t have to fight for “the right to have an abortion”, women have that “choice” in this country. If you know you’re right, quit defending yourself. The Tim Tebow ad doesn’t even address a woman’s “right to choose,” it simply promotes the dignity of life and family. Life and family are both good things. This is a happy ad about a family with a happy ending. That’s not anything to be angry about.

Sources:

http://zenit.org/article-28180?l=english

http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/

http://spectator.org/archives/2007/05/23/the-real-planned-parenthood

http://www.prolife.com/

http://www.afterabortion.org/

http://www.eadshome.com/AbortionUgly.htm

http://www.abortionno.org/Resources/fastfacts.html