***WARNING, this post contains disturbing subject matter***
Dear Christian, Pro-Life Activist,
My family and I were having such an enjoyable day. We had driven down to Philadelphia to visit Independence Hall and had just finished a wonderful lunch of some authentic Philly cheese steak sandwiches. We were walking towards the line for the Liberty Bell when I heard you off in the distance. You were talking about being washed in the blood of Christ and how truth can be found in the scriptures. I smiled to myself, thinking how nice it is that we still lived in a country where religion can be preached loudly in a public square (at least in some places).
As we approached the Liberty Bell line I caught a glimpse of a few of the signs you had put up. “What is that?” I thought, squinting to see the image on the poster. Imagine my horror when I realized that you had displayed a dozen 4×6 foot long posters of aborted babies up on the grass, all facing the unsuspecting people standing in line to see a small piece of our nation’s history.
My children immediately pointed and asked me what all of those tiny body parts were and what happened to the tiny little babies. I told them to turn and look into the building that we were waiting in line to enter. “We can’t look at the building either, Mom,” my eight year old daughter said, “the pictures are reflected in the windows”.
So my children stared at their shoes, at each other, and the cement blocks of the building’s walls, all the while asking me about the images they can never erase from their minds. Thanks to you, I had to explain the evils of abortion to my six year old son and listen to him ask me if we would ever do that to his baby brother.
You stood up on a podium, yelling scripture quotes into the microphone while forcing my children to look at tiny bloody arms and mutilated faces. So I have to ask, what was your point? What were you trying to prove? What had the potential to be a wonderful message of love and forgiveness was completely ruined by your anger, hate, and the desire to shock.
Do you not realize that your approach is counter productive? Do you honestly think you converted a single person? Do you really think that condemnation can change someone’s heart for good? Don’t you remember your mother telling you that you catch more flies with honey? Instead of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ you preached fear. Instead of furthering the cause of the unborn millions you gave the vast majority of pro-life activists a bad name (including myself). Chances are much more likely that you pushed anyone on the fence directly in to the opposition’s camp.
Now, just so we’re clear, I am on YOUR side! I am just as pro-life as you are! I am the kind of person who reads books and articles about the current state of abortion in the country and prays for the overturn of Roe V. Wade. My heart breaks for the millions of babies ripped from their mother’s wombs every year and for the poor, uninformed, terrified teenage mothers who feel like abortion is their only option. My gut wrenches when I think about the thousands of selfish women who use abortion as a “convenient” form of birth control over and over again only to be surprised when they have fertility problems later in life. I am disgusted when I think of the “doctors”, who have sworn to do no harm, willingly ripping babies apart and proudly putting their body parts on display. I am disgusted by the politicians who cry foul whenever we try and limit the senseless slaughter of the innocent, and indeed work their hardest to make it even more accessible. I am astounded at the hypocrisy of lawmakers who pass a “protection of the unborn child act” and yet use our tax dollars to fund abortion mills. I feel just as strongly as you do about the sanctity of life and the potential of the human soul. I am pro-life for religous reasons AND logical reasons. I have researched the subject in depth and have written articles, debated with people, and even reposted memes on Facebook. I once had a shouting match with a relative with tears streaming down my face at the thought that anyone would think the person growing and moving inside of me at the time was just a bundle of tissue. I am disgusted when political pundits get on TV and state that a baby isn’t really a person unless it is wanted. I believe that babies are ALWAYS wanted, if not always wanted by their biological parents. I will be right there with you protesting at the Capitol holding an appropriate sign aloft but I would never do what you did to my family this weekend.
You see, (silly me) I feel that the conversation about sex, rape, incest, and abortion should be left to the discretion of the parent. In case you didn’t know, “where babies come from” is kind of an important conversation to have and is usually sparked by the addition of a sibling or something similar. Those types of delicate discussions should be handled in the privacy of your own home with tact, love, and tenderness. They should not be foisted upon you during an innocent family outing with pictures of babies who have been thrown away. With this as your method of choice how are you any different from those who stage same-sex kiss-in’s at the local chicken place? What sets you apart from the disgusting women who protest in vagina costumes or walk around topless claiming “woman’s rights”? YOU are the person that the media will use as the poster child for all pro-life activists and YOU are the reason people think we are extremists!
Might I give you a piece of advice? Next time you want to help the pro-life cause, try testifying to the virtues of motherhood. Motherhood is a blessing, and children add exponentially to your quality of life. Or how about what a blessing adoption is for those who can’t have children on their own? If you must focus on the negative you can talk about how dangerous abortions are and mental and physical health problems often accompany those who have abortions. With that kind of truth on your side why on earth do you have to resort to shock and fear?
On the same note, Next time you try to convert someone to Christianity, try talking about the pure love of Christ or how He died so that we might live again! The gospel is GOOD NEWS and all you were peddling was fear. Not to put a damper on what I’m sure you thought was a productive day, but the “fire and brimstone” approach hasn’t worked since the middle ages.
I have to admit, I was really angry at you when I saw and heard you. Your posters were offensive, not because of the content, but because of your absolute lack of tact and decency. If you were so worried about the children, then perhaps you would have thought about the heartbreak a five or six year old would feel when they learn for the first time that some women choose their own lives and comfort over that of their unborn children. I was really angry because that is a conversation that belongs at home and shouldn’t be had in the middle of a national park while surrounded by strangers. My children should be able to look around without fear of seeing beheaded babies. I’m on your side on this issue but you were offensive and on Saturday you made me very angry. Today I just feel sorry for you. If you really believe what you were preaching then you must lead a very sad and lonely life.
I don’t want to silence you. Unlike many of the statist senators who say that the first amendment is a “privilege”, I actually believe that you have the right to stand up there and spew religious nonsense. I truly wish that you had more decency and forethought, but it is your right to do what you did. Just as it is my right (and indeed my responsibility) to stand on my podium and call you out on your insanity. No, I don’t want to force you from the public square, but I will do what I can to perform as much damage control as possible. I hope the families standing near us overheard our conversations and those reading this today know that not all Christians or pro-life activists are like you.
Our Father in Heaven isn’t meant to be feared and His message isn’t meant to be screamed with anger. We are His children and He loves us. He doesn’t want us cowering in the corner. His plan is one of happiness and love. I believe in moral absolutes just like you do, but I believe those absolutes are for our own good and are part of the plan of happiness. Commandments are not a leash or collar to keep us in line. They are a pathway for us to live with Him again. I’m so sorry for you. And, I wish I had felt something other than anger at you at the time because just maybe I could have seen your need and shared that plan of happiness with you.
If anyone has any questions for me about my religious, political, or pro-life beliefs please feel free to comment or email me. I will be happy to answer any honest questions you may have.