Friday, May 1, 2009

I Protest the Protest!

Let me make this point abundantly clear right off the bat....I am pro-life. I would not have always said that....in high school and as a young Christian, I would firmly tell you that a woman's body is her own and no one can tell her what to do with it! Later it became, well it's not a decision I would choose, but if it works for you....I assume that it is with age, learning, and prayer that is apparent (to me) that abortion is NOT God's will for any woman at any time under any circumstance. (We can talk more about it if you want) Throughout scripture, verse after verse point to the truth that God creates every person.

Psalm 100
Psalm 139
Col 1:16
1 Ti 4:4
Dt 32:6
Feel free to add more to the list....

So, anyhow....Thursday morning I'm driving home from church and as I approach a very large and busy intersection, I notice some people holding signs. I thought to myself "Oooooh, I wonder if Walgreen's is having a sale? I wonder what the specia.....what the? What is that? Is that a? OH *%&#! Look away! Quick! Oh crap, it's too late! For crying out loud they're everywhere!" I realized too late that the people were protesters of Planned Parenthood and were holding huge (and by huge I mean 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide) posters of aborted babies (it pains me to even type those words!) and the words "Abortion is Murder!"! Admittedly I have never seen pictures like this. It was gruesome and disgusting. There were about 4 people on every corner of a 16 million way intersection and I'm stuck at the longest red light in the history of traffic! I wanted to roll down my window and yell "Hey! I'm pro-Life! Can you put your hurling accusations and underlying contempt for women down just until I get through the light? Please and thank you." When I got home, I was telling Jay about it, when all of a sudden I burst into tears. This is not typical behavior for me, to say the least. I could probably count for you on one hand the times I have burst in to tears and still have a couple of fingers left over.

I am heartbroken for those tiny babies who didn't get a chance at life. I am heart broken for the woman who already feels guilty about the abortion she had and now has to have it shoved in her face. I am heartbroken for the woman who feels like there is nowhere to turn to. I'm angry that I had to have these pictures seared into my brain! I'm angry that the people (mostly men I might add) are just standing there almost expressionless as if it's no big deal to be standing on the warring side of a thrown gauntlet.

Jay did a great job comforting me. (even if he said "No" when I asked him to go ask the people to put their signs down) He then pointed out that point of the signs was... "If it saves even one baby, isn't it worth your being upset now?" (Which is an unfair question to begin with. The question should be: How do we best love/serve/reach out to women in the name of Christ?) I immediately said "NO!".....but of course...IF it is an effective strategy. And so that is my question. Does this method of "in your face" protesting really work? I want numbers, people! Do clinics and hospitals see a decline in appointments for the procedure after protesters descend on a neighborhood? Do doctor's offices see an increase in pre-natal appointments? How many doctors have had this conversation? "Well Doctor, I was really contemplating an abortion since this wasn't a planned pregnancy, I'm single, don't have any insurance, not a whole lotta money, not really sure if I can handle the burden financially, emotionally, or spiritually...even if I decided to give the baby up for adoption. But then, some strangers standing on a corner were yelling at me and accusing me of being a criminal...so that totally changed my mind." Seriously?

We agreed that there had to be so many better ways to get the point across. How about building relationships with the woman around us? How about earning the right to be heard about sensitive topics like this? How about reaching out to girls and young women before they get to this decision point? How about teaching them how valuable they are to God? How about teaching responsibility and that sometimes the quick and easy solutions are not so quick or easy?

I think any of these choices would speak volumes to the hearts of both Christian and non Christian woman. Anybody else?

I just don't think protesting in such a way is an effective way to get people to change their hearts or minds. So, thank you for the nightmares, anti-Planned Parenthood protesters! Now go love somebody!

4 comments:

Melissa823 said...

That bugs me so much on so many levels!

You worded things perfectly!

How about exploiting the body of an aborted baby????

How about LOVING people???

How about being the ONE to give these women another option. I wish I couldn't have been there to ask those people - "Excuse me, would you be willing to participate in an open adoption to save child's life who will otherwise be aborted.." "DURRR No, I'd rather hold this here sign!"

I could just go on and on...it's infuriating because these people would rather hold an offensive sign than be part of the solution, because it would involve too much sacrifice - just what they're judging women for!

Crafty P said...

interesting point made. I have a much different perspective on this... so, I'll think about it and get back to you.

Rebecca said...

I agree that those signs sound over the top and I admire how you take into consideration the feelings of those who've been affected by abortion...I'm sure I wouldn't want all my sins advertised for the world to see so why should anyone else have theirs is my take.

And while I agree that protesters have certain rights to protest what they want because freedom of speech and blah, blah, blah...there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it.

Or should I say, an effective and not effective way.

Certainly they don't sound like they were being truly effective. The shock and scare factor doesn't seem to me like the best route to go.

I would be offended too at young children seeing those pictures...

Crafty P said...

okay, better late than never?

I posted this question to a group of Christian women and here are the responses I got. I was intrigued and wanted to see what others had to say. http://www.faithandfamilylive.com/blog/share_a_thought_ask_a_question/

As for my perspective... I think that although it is very disturbing to see these images, they are necessary. They are the truth and sometimes that is very hard to take. If I know where and when they are going to be on display (I realize you didn't), I would take a different route so as to protect the young eyes in my car from this. I will handle delicate issues like this when they are ready for it.
As for it's effectiveness, I agree with you by saying this may not be the most relational way to take it and there is a BIG place in this world for relational ministry in this area. However, just as we are all given different gifts, God calls some of us to different ministries. I think this is one aspect of the pro-life movement. While these people are standing there, they are not hurling insults at the women headed into PP, I don't think they are yelling at anyone. They have a message that speaks LOUD and clear about the atrocity of abortion. It is murder. There is no way to sugarcoat that. So, I think their prayerful witness while holding those signs is amazing. Not something I could do. I can go and stand at an abortion mill and pray quietly and offer words of support to a mother going in to possibly end her child's life, though. I can volunteer my time for something like BirthRight to help a mother who feels there is no where to turn. Maybe that is a place God is leading me to one day.

thanks for the thoughtful post. It is good to think and talk about hard subjects like this together.

-diz