Every year our church participates in the "Life Chain". The Life Chain is a peaceful and prayerful public witness of pro-life Americans standing for one hour along major roadways praying for our nations and for an end to abortion. It is a visual statement of solidarity by the Christian community that abortion kills children and that the Church supports the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception.
Today we stood holding signs and praying along 95th street in Overland Park between 1:30 and 2:30 pm. Many who passed by waved and honked in support. Most simply drove by. What amazes me every year are those few who react negatively. Today was no different. Several drivers passed us jeering, some yelling at us, and still others waving their middle finger at us. I made eye contact with a middle-aged woman driving a mini van who forcefully held both middle fingers at me as she read my "Jesus forgives and heals" sign. She was very angry with our being there and what we stood for.
Why the hate?
I stand for such events for one reason- I think human life begins at conception. I think the bible teaches this and biology affirms it. Even if I did not believe the bible and was ignorant of biology, common sense would convince me pregnancy, at any stage, means a new human being exists. By definition, abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus from the uterus, resulting in or caused by its death. In this light, I believe that abortion for any other reason than to save the life of the mother is murder (see comments for explanation of my position on this) . Why be so mad at me for this conviction? Honestly, can you say I am illogical for opposing abortion as I have described? Why the hatred for me?
I don't hate people who choose to have abortions. Don't get me wrong, it frustrates me on many levels. I grieve for such people. I am certain such a choice will hurt them personally. Very frankly, I think the hatred and anger shown toward those who oppose abortion is a fruit of guilt. In their heart, they know abortion is wrong. For me to hold a sign that in some way declares abortion to be wrong makes some people feel they are being judged thereby provoking them to anger. Guilt and anger go hand in hand.
I judge abortion to be wrong on the basis of Scripture, biology, and common sense, so it's not a personal angst toward those who support or promote abortion. I am a sinner and have no standing to personally judge anyone, but I can make a judgment about what sin is. I am confident on the basis of Scripture, biology, and common sense I can prove my case. Don't hate me for my conviction. Flipping me off when I'm standing there with my family says more about you than me.
I grieve over the state of our culture. How has it come to this? How has abortion become acceptable? I know the answer, and that makes me grieve more. Abortion primarily exists so we can live the way we want to live- as selfish, self-serving, self-centered, self-worshiping people. To some degree abortion allows men to act like untamed animals and treat women as sex objects. Abortion gives women the illusion of control or freedom over "their body" so they also can live and act the way they want. Abortion is the symptom, self-worship is the cause.
Over a year ago my wife and I applied with a local agency to adopt a baby. In part we wanted to promote a culture of adoption that might play a small part in reforming the low view of life in our society (a tell tale sign of a culture in decline, by the way). For a whole year we waited and no babies were available for us to adopt. I began meeting others who were trying to adopt domestically, they also waited for months and years with no babies apparently available. How could this be? I hear the term "unwanted pregnancy" enough, where are all these "unwanted" babies? I know plenty of people who want one, including us. Very simply, there are well over 1,000,000 abortions every year, that's why there are apparently so few babies to adopt in the U.S. I have become convinced there are plenty of adoptive parents waiting for children so that no woman has to have an abortion.
Obviously much more could be said on this volatile subject, but again I ask- why the hate? When I stand on the sidewalk as a reminder of something that goes on in relative secret but is a huge holocaust, why hate me for doing so? Why be so angry with me? I'm not telling any woman she has to deliver and keep the baby she is carrying. Shari and I will take him or her. I know plenty others who would do the same. Don't kill a person when you know it's wrong. Are you not ready to raise a child? Put him or her up for adoption. There is not only nothing wrong with such an action, it's the right and merciful thing to do in many cases. I won't judge you for your actions that brought you to this point- I really won't. But please don't kill the person inside of you.
The blight of abortion stems from all sorts of other root problems summed up in our drive to worship self. I just don't understand why such anger and malice is poured out on people who are genuinely concerned with a culture that is so flippant about human life. Maybe you're not convinced by biology or common sense that conception is the beginning of human life. Why give me the finger because I think it is? We could have a conversation that explains to each other why we hold our particular views, no need to hate me. Instead of jeering those who truly believe they are standing for the sanctity of human life, just drive on past and leave us in our ignorance.
Why the hate? It's because of the primacy of self-love, self-preservation, self-promotion, self-centeredness. If selfishness is the driving force that works in us, anything that threatens must be eliminated. In such a self-serving, self-promoting culture, what chance does a voiceless, seemingly non-existent person really have? Someone has to say and do something. No need to hate them for it.