Values

April 21, 2014

Spoiler alert… some of you will be offended by this.

When I was a kid… maybe the same is true for you… I had a number of short term friends come in and out of my life. When I was 7, “Dickie” moved into my neighborhood. He was in 4th grade and swore like a sailor. That was at a time when I was sure that kids who swore were destined for hell. But Dickie held a certain attraction for me because of his rebellious nature. I do recall going home once and saying a few choice words to my mom that Dickie had taught me. How shall I say… it didn’t go over well. And then around 6th grade I met Rickie. I know, I know but I’m not making this up. Rickie was also a rebellious sort. He didn’t have a father and his mother was a wild, leather jacket wearing, race car driving woman from the 50’s. There weren’t’ many of those around back then. Rickie was the kind of kid who would have gotten me into serious trouble if we had been friends for too long. He lived near the railroad tracks and I went with him on a few occasions to shoot at new automobiles with his BB gun as they passed on the train. Honestly, it never occurred to me at that time that we were doing something really… I don’t know… malicious, damaging and expensive! I KNOW!!! How could that be? How could I be so… um… naive? How could malevolent destruction not have crossed my mind? When I told Ellen this story she shook her head and said something like, “How could you not have known?!” Well, surely not to make excuses but… I was a kid. Sometimes kids don’t think past the “fun” they are having. Actually “fun” sort of trumps “destruction.” I try to remind myself of that when I deal with kids today.

Truth be told, I have had similar things happen as an adult. I have alleged certain things or taken on “clear” values only to look at them later in a different light and ask myself the question: How could I have believed that?! What was I thinking?!

Back in mid to late 1970’s I would have fallen under the category of “Pro Choice.” I mean it made sense to me that unwanted children shouldn’t be brought into the world. After all we were concerned back then about the population explosion on the planet and whether we would be able to feed everyone … not to mention the abuse that some unwanted children suffer. And of course I believed all the propaganda about Zygotes and fetuses not really being viable human beings. And do I need to even explain all the women’s organizations putting forth their doctrines regarding “women’s rights”?? Somehow in the midst of it all of I missed the very real fact that we were slaughtering babies. Read that again… we endorse the slaughter of babies in our country. The Denomination that I am a part of endorses the slaughter of babies… How could I have missed that? I guess the same way I missed the destruction of cars on a train… I don’t know… I just didn’t see it.

I for sure can’t speak for those who fall into the category of “Pro Choice” but I wonder how many of them back in the early 70’s when abortion became the law of the land… how many of them signed up for the destruction of 60 million babies (That’s where we are now).  I’m guessing that most of us weren’t thinking that far ahead. I mean the notion of helping women in crisis pregnancies was surely admirable, and still is, but I really don’t think the number 60 million came to anyone’s conscience.

Please don’t dismiss this by thinking that I am insensitive and just don’t care about people or women in VERY difficult circumstances. If you want to put me in that category you don’t know me at all.

I had a man come to me at a Presbytery meeting once who was very angry. We had just completed a heated “discussion” on the floor of the meeting and I had been one of those who took the Pro Life side. His irate comment to me was something about the insensitivity of bringing unwanted babies into the world. I did not choose at that time to have an awful confrontation with him. But my thought was this, “So we kill them instead?!” Do you hear that? We in the United States of America who pride ourselves in being one of the most civilized nations in history; “We kill them instead!!!!!”

Please do not misunderstand me. I know the answer to this issue is not easy… and I know there are horribly complicated circumstances… but… killing them?

I do not expect this rumination to change anyone’s mind about this issue. Most of us as adults have our minds made up about most of the things we believe and we don’t like being confused by facts. I think there’s something about admitting we might have been wrong about an issue for a long time that bothers us. Anyway, I would say this…. If you are going to comment on this rumination, or if you are going to even think about this note… you need to begin with this declaration: “I support the slaughter/sacrifice of 60 million babies because…” Or “I am opposed to the slaughter/sacrifice of 60 million babies because…” I think we have come to a point where we can no long ignore that number… nor can we ignore the little lives that go along with it.

Matthew 18

6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!

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