Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Women of Planks

This is one that's been rolling around in my head for quite some time now.

I've noticed that online, in print, and on social media outlets people have lost all decorum and sense of self-control. They no longer think about who they hurt with their words and instead just go all-out vigilante on whoever they think is doing wrong in the world at the moment.

The one that really got to me recently was a series of posts by a friend who is a pro-life activist in her area.

Now, before you start heading for the "x" button to get the heck out of this blog post ASAP... hear me out.

I'm pro-adoption, pro-babies, pro-mommies, pro-people.
I'm pro-making good choices and I'm pro-marriage. I'm pro-waiting. I'm pro-choosing what's best for another even if it hurts you personally. I'm pro-loving people who don't think like me. I'm pro-Jesus and I think he's anti-hate.

When I scrolled through some pictures from a church event at a pro-life rally recently I noticed SO much hate. So much looking-down-our-noses at those who would/are/did choose abortion. I saw fear and hate and guilt and disgust and pride and ickyness. I saw the clear absence of Jesus. I saw name-calling and condescending terminology. I saw Christians acting like Pharisees. I saw Godly women with plank-filled eyeballs calling out others' sins in disgust. I wanted to puke. Then sob in a corner.
Because, people... this is NOT what Jesus would do. I've yet to find one reference in scripture to Jesus blasting someone's sins with hate mail or wearing an outer-garment emblazoned with "babies>murder". I've yet to find him not reaching down to touch the hand of the broken, healing the wounded, and comforting the mourning soul. I've yet to find him preaching via sign-on-a-stick.

The pro-lifer's call it "going to march at the abortuary" or "murder office"... pro-choicer's call the pro-lifers "forced birthers" and say they "seethe with hatred and disgust while preaching about God's laws".

Am I saying don't be active with causes you feel strongly about? Absolutely not.
What I AM saying...

Choose life, yes. But choose LOVE in how you speak.
Choose to help, not to hurt.
Choose to support, not to shame.
Choose to love, not to hate.
Choose to empower, not to fear.
Speak kindness and love and compassion over those who are fearful.
Speak kindness and love and compassion over those who are ashamed.
Speak kindness and love and compassion over those who feel stuck.

And put down your freaking signs.
They are disgusting.

If you MUST carry a sign, carry a sign that simply says "Please, don't."
Carry a sign that says "I'll help."
Carry a sign that says "Signs hurt, Jesus heals."
And then carry plentiful hugs, smiles, compassion and tears.
Consider their sins no worse than your own.
Consider if this was your daughter, or sister, or neighbor or best friend.
Consider your greatest failures on display for all to see... then trying to hide from the fear and shame...
but instead you are doubly shamed by those who were commissioned to love you.

Shame on us for ever looking down on another in disgust.
Shame on us for using our "christianity" to bring condemnation on another.

Thank you sweet friends who are concerned about my stance on abortion. I'm pro-life, but pro-ALL-life. I think that with as much passion as we have for the unborn, we should love the already-born. I think pro-lifers should be pro-adoption. They should be pro-teen mothers and pro-incarcerated mothers and pro-homeless mothers. We should love others the way we've been loved. And if love is the ultimate way we can BE Jesus... we should love that way and I don't think that way includes being hateful. Yes, pray. Yes, discussions in love. Yes, march on Washington. NO hateful, shameful, angry signs written to the women visiting the clinic.
I hope that clears up my position. :)


  1. I am pro people and pro Jesus. And just like you, I think He would weep at the hate we shout in His name. I love this post!

    (from a pro choice, very liberal, found this from a friend of a friend on Facebook because the circles in the land of adoption are smaller than we know, stranger)

  2. You are brilliant as always. It makes me suspect you are channeling the Holy Spirit or something! Thanks :-)

  3. I wish others were as open with their views on this topic. It seems to be easier to pit onself against what you don't like or approve of. As a social worker I have seen it all. There are a lot of hurt people out there, and judging them attacking them and the people who do abortions is not helping anyone.

    I once saw a patient a woman who was homeless and a sevre addict, So lost in her addiction it was just then, at 6 months pregnant, that she finally had figured out that she was pregnant. She wanted an abortion, but of course that was not an option. I have seen children born into horrible situations and terribly abused. Was it better these kids were born? I don't have an answer and these kind of things haunt me. I do know that love has the power to heal, and that, that is what is needed most for all involved in this complex conditon we all face by being human and having failings.
    Thank you for your post and your willingness to share

  4. I am pro choice, and not a Christian, and I love this post. I absolutely feel that the only appropriate sign in a situation such as those people were demonstrating in is one saying "I'll help".Just that thought moved me very much.

    1. I often say that being pro-life goes beyond the bumper sticker. "I'll help" works really well, too. --Elaine

  5. Sammie,
    I wanted to share that I was raised by pimp and prostitute parents that were drug addicted criminals. I grew up in fostercare, group homes, and stayed with many friends. My childhood was far from pleasant, I spent many years suicidal and wishing I was never born. I am now a spirit filled born again radical lover of Jesus. Our family makes a difference in the lives of many. The amount of pain someone will have in life is no reason to abort. I am one of the strongest, kingdom minded people I know. Our family makes an impact on many. Personally I feel everyone who will abort needs to see what will take place, they should view an abortion and see what the remains of child looks like. If you can still go through with it, then at least you will have made an informed decision.

  6. Chrissy, Have you ever been to a vigil @ a clinic or prolife rally personally? It's not the stuff of Lifetime movies in the 90's. ;-) We pray silently, often times we try to hand out literature to women. We help those coerced into abortion to get help. Often the abortuary employees are vile, use profanity, threaten to call cops, (what we do is legal) flip us off. I went to a prayer vigil w/ my family/children and pro aborts were yelling comments to me assuming that if I was prolife and a minority I must be on welfare. Very Margaret Sanger like, how fitting! They made comments such as "we don't associate with THOSE type of people" they meant children, my children. They screamed, hollered, berated us with a fog horn. It was demonic. We silently peacefully pray holding signs, smiling, friendly, handing out liturature to those who would accept, we were and always are salt and light to lost individuals. The signs are sometimes shocking, but abortion is ALWAYS shocking. Dismembering a human being is well, shocking and horrific. In an attempt of self preservation, babies always try to get away from the needle, scissors, whatever tools are used. Whatever will wake people up to what is being done is necessary. I speak as one who had an abortion as a yong teen and was told it was a blog of tissue. Know what breaks my heart, and the hearts of many women who were duped into believing likewise? Learning LATER ON, after the fact, just how fully human the child you were carrying really was. I WISH someone would have showed me just what would take place and how fully developed a baby is at 10-12 weeks, prayed w/ me or spoke to me. Most people I know who had abortions say they prayed for a sign, a person to talk to them. Wish more stood in the gap. I'll meet my baby or babies (twins run in my family) one day. Until then, I'll always wonder if my son or daughter had my dimples or her daddies eyes, and if they bear any resemblance to the beautiful children I'm raising now. I recently read about a Dr. who delivered at least 10 babies lived and then severed their spines w/ scissors. He bragged that one baby was so big it could have walked to the bus stop. People were disgusted. Why? It's no different than the infants he's dismembered in the womb. He at least acknowledged that. I like how one groups slogan is " Would it bother us more if we used guns?" Bless you ladies.

  7. Abortionist Joked: 'This Baby Is Big Enough to Walk Around With Me or Walk Me to the Bus Stop' Here is the article about the Dr.

  8. Thank you! Last year at one of our holiday parades, the pro-life people in the parade were the most in-your-face, bold, loud, obnoxious people there. It rubbed me the wrong way completely. What if all that effort, money, passion went to helping people in Haiti or Africa or in US communities where people are just trying to survive on a daily basis? I know that isn't their point, but I think that would bring a lot more life than the finger-pointing, hateful message we are hit with over and over and over.

  9. This post says it well. I was always "pro-life". Then I discovered what it's like to have my choice over what happens to my body get illegally taken away while giving birth to a baby I dearly love. And it has forever changed my life. Physically, I will never be whole or without the effects of the choices that were forced on me. It made me realize that I can't tell some other woman what she cannot do with her body if I'm fighting so hard to have my right to informed consent honored. And so I asked a friend who also loves Jesus and happens to love women's rights how she balances those two things. She said that helping women by resourcing them with the support they need - not just an adoption brochure or even a carseat or diapers - but really helping them is where it's at.

    In my work in the birth trauma world, I'm one of the few people who claim to love and follow Jesus. It has been eye-opening. A man I met in that world told me that he longs for the day when religions are finally known to be myth and no one believes them. He speaks out of a heart that sees hurt come from people of faith, hurt that is done in the name of their faith. I haven't known how to answer him. But I have decided that signs aren't the answer. And I've just tried to figure out what loving looks like.

    So do I grieve the babies that are lost every day to abortion? Yes. But I grieve also for the woman who was in a circumstance that made her feel like this was her best choice. And I want to figure out how to really help. I know most of my Christian friends are disappointed in me, not knowing what to do with someone who professes to love Jesus while at the same time advocating for women's rights over their own bodies. I haven't known what to do with me either. =) So beginning with love and grace seems like a good option.

    Thanks for this post. It helps to know that I'm not alone.

  10. Inkling, May I gently ask you to prayerfully consider that the baby has a body separate from the mother and may not wish to be traumatized? I agree with you that mothers in this predicament frequently have difficult predicaments. But the problem is that abortion is always a trauma for the baby, and will be for the mother when she realizes what she has done. Killing another is not the right answer. Screaming and name calling are not either. Women need the truth so they can make good decisions that will help themselves and their baby. I am 17 weeks pregnant, and had an ultrasound today. It was a joy to watch the baby swim and kick. This little person depends on me now, but is wholly an individual worth preserving. To be pro life is to love the baby AND the mother. And that will mean we have to encounter situations (extreme poverty,drug addiction, etc...) that are uncomfortable for us. But that is what Jesus modeled for us. He loved people where they were and showed them the way out which is only through Him. Incidentally, I have a son that is 3 years old. We adopted him from foster care. His mother did meth and cocaine every day. He was born addicted, but has no signs of this today other than a slight speech delay. God can shield these little ones, and I am so thankful for the testimonies of the previous posters. We serve a mighty God! Abortion is the wrong answer unless the mother cannot be saved any other way. We need to stop looking at quick way outs as the way to go. Unplanned pregnancy is a true problem, but God can make a way through it that the mother can later be truly happy about. I recently read that Christians need to be open to adoption more. If abortion were illegal tomorrow, would there be enough homes to take in all of the children? A truly sobering question.

    This post was thought provoking! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Dear Chrissy,

    Thank you for your post. One sentence that I really loved in your post was "I think that with as much passion as we have for the unborn, we should love the already-born." I'm a conflicted Protestant who's neither decidedly pro-choice nor pro-life, though I tend to lean on the side of pro-choice.

    I've read some blogs by wonderful pro-life Christians, including yours, who've adopted children because they believe that if you oppose abortion, you need to also take care of the children that would have otherwise been aborted. At the same time, I know plenty of Christians (including ones at my church), who are actively opposed to abortion -- and yet they've never fostered, or provided respite care, or adopted. I don't have much patience anymore for pro-lifers who don't actively support adoption, fostering, etc. Certainly, not everyone can adopt, but anyone can support foster kids and adoptive families through volunteering, donating, etc. Of course, now that I'm out of college and have free time, that's something that I should organize at my own church.



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