March for Life

I couple weeks ago, on my commute home, I found it was crazy busy at the train station. Union Station (Washington, D.C.) was packed with people heading to the March for Life.

There were a great deal of college kids, several groups from Catholic Churches, lots of people holding signs, and crowds of people everywhere as commuters tried to make their way through the station.

When I see these people, I am torn on how to feel about them. Here’s why:

I hate the fact that babies are being killed in large numbers in our country. Hate it. I have three children, one of which will be born in about 6 months. I can’t imagine any of my kids being killed before or after birth. Life is an amazing miracle. Seeing your own child born brings this home in a way I can’t begin to explain to anyone who hasn’t experienced it.

However, I believe that making abortion illegal is a horrible way to approach this issue.  If you ask me to choose whether I want a child killed before birth, or I want a child to be born into a household that doesn’t want that child, I can’t. Neither of those options is acceptable. A mistreated, neglected or abused child doesn’t make me happy.

Saying that adoption is a better choice is a nice line. But with the number of orphans and kids in foster care already in this country alone, let alone the world, you can’t convince me that the addition of another million+ kids a year into that system won’t overwhelm it and cause more difficult conditions.

I worry that people who go to such rallies believe that making a big noise about being pro-life and advocating for legislative changes is a fulfillment of our responsibility. I’m sure most people there would agree that it doesn’t stop at attending a rally, but I would also bet most don’t actually do anything beyond attending a rally.

What good is it for us to be mad at the end result (abortion) if we aren’t working to fix the process that creates them?

How useful would it be to yell at a chicken farm to stop selling eggs, but not to help it acquire goats or cows or some other form of subsistence?

Rather than just getting mad at the result, maybe we need to get to work on the conditions that produce the results.

Once an unwanted child has been conceived, all we have left are imperfect solutions. We need to be at work in the causes of these pregnancies. Why are teenage girls using their body to gain the affections of teenage boys? Why are teenage boys seeking their own pleasure at the expense of any consideration for the girls they get involved with?

Large swaths of the youthful generations today believe their actions are normal and that the choices they make are the best of what’s available.

Isn’t it our job to tell them about the better options? To help them discover the abundant life Jesus offers? I don’t see how yelling about their terrible actions helps that.

Shame doesn’t fix anything.

Scorn doesn’t lead to acceptance.

As David Kinnaman says in unChristian, “We [Christians] have become more famous for what we oppose rather than who we are for.”

Jesus was a champion of the downtrodden, of the ‘dirty sinner’. People say that they are speaking up for the babies who can’t speak for themselves. How about giving love to those who have never known it? Undeserved, unearned love for those that find themselves being chewed up by the hardships of life.

If you want to go to a rally, fine. But please, see if your church can reach out to the people who need the love of God at a crisis pregnancy center. Instead of taking an option away from people who are in desperate places, maybe we can give them a new one: being loved by a community who will do anything they need.