Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Not "Pro-life" enough?

*Note: This is NOT a political post, not about the election.

Ugh...I find comments, memes (like the one at right), & articles like, "White, Conservative, Christian Friends — I Wish You Really Were Pro-Life" annoying...
Why??? Especially the one on the right, it's not like she's saying anything wrong. I mean, she's a nun, she's Catholic, I'm Catholic, we share the same beliefs. So why does it bug me?  Well, for a few reasons...

1) I've seen several pro-choice people use it to deflect the real issue at hand - That abortion is the real, brutal ending of an innocent human life. Many pro-choicers know this and would rather not have to defend it, so why not just attack the pro-lifers? As the saying goes, "The best defense is a good offense." They can go ahead and attempt to cloud the issue, attack the credibility of your opponent, in an attempt make them more "right" or "moral."  

2) I've seen it used in this way, "What about all the suffering children out there? Pro-life people obviously don't care about them."  Soooooooo, they're better off dead?  It's better to offer them no chance at all? I don't follow this logic. 

3) Many of the comments, memes, & articles wrongly assume that the pro-life movement is only pro-birth. They pretend this type of pro-life person (one that cares for the mother & child) doesn't exist. They're obviously not looking too hard...  Where are these so-called pro-lifers that support birth, but not the life of the child? In my 35 years of life, I have yet to meet one. I have, however, met amazing pro-life people who:
- adopt children here in the US and abroad of all races, ethnicities, ages, and abilities (even children with significant "special needs" such as HIV & down syndrome)
- foster children of all races, ethnicities, ages, & abilities
- sponsor children all over the world
- educate, both in the classroom and in non-traditional settings
- donate time, talent, and treasure
- volunteer with children (such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters), within the community (such as Live United, at church organizations, & more)
- work at pregnancy centers showing love, patience, & compassion to women in crisis pregnancies and offering healing & support to women who have been hurt by abortion.
The truth is pro-life people are working around the world to support those in need. I have the slight suspicion that these imaginary solely pro-birth people are just a projection of some pro-choice... Perhaps, some pro-choicers aren't as selfless/philanthropic as they'd like to proclaim? Perhaps some see all the good pro-lifers are doing and have some guilty consciences floating around???  What better way to sooth their guilt than to throw mud at the pro-lifers?

4) In the particular article referenced above, author John Pavlovitz makes a lot of incorrect assumptions about "White, Conservative, Christians." Apparently, we are all..
a. Anti-LGBTQ
b. Anti-Black (RACIST?!?!)
c. Pro-death penalty
d. Anti-public schools
e. Anti-poor & welfare
f. Anti-health care
g. Anti-access to healthy food
h. Pro-rape & sexual assault
i. Cold-hearted & non-compassionate towards our deployed soldiers
j. Anti-immigrants 

Just take a second to read that list again.. Am I the only one who sees the ridiculousness of it?!?! Please introduce me to the pro-rape, pro-life person that he's writing about. I seriously think that most of his article is just a figment of his imagination to defend his made-up argument. I could go through these one-by-one, but I'll spare you. There is a major (& tired) problem with his logic here: Just because you do not agree with a person's decisions, does NOT MEAN YOU DON'T SUPPORT THEIR LIFE.  It does not mean you are anti- whatever.  Being pro-life does not mean you need to celebrate everyone's life choices/decisions.  For example, I absolutely support my children's lives, but when they scribble all over the wall or don't study for a test & bomb it, I definitely don't support those life choices. ;)  Loving someone does not mean you have to love & celebrate every decision he/she makes. In addition, sometimes we can love and support people/causes in different ways. We may have different ideas about education, health care, or immigration, but that doesn't mean one of us cares more about them than the other. Just because my way is different than yours doesn't mean either is wrong or anti-whatever. 

And now I will get personal...
I'm white, conservative, & Christian...
- I also worked in public education for 10 years, but according to writers like Pavlovitz I'm against fully-funded public education.
- At one point in my life, I was poor. For a time period, I was on welfare & free health care and will forever be grateful for that, but apparently I'm against all of that.
- I have awesome friends who are gay, but apparently I'm homophobic & anti-LGBTQ.
- I've had loved ones deployed, but apparently I don't care about them.
- I've written a letter in support of a student who's parent was in danger of being deported, but according to Pavlovitz, I'm anti-immigrants.
- I've experienced small steps of the immigration process: filling out an I800 & I600 (Petition to Classify an Immigrant as a Relative), having my biometrics checked by the Department of Homeland Security's US Citizen & Immigration Services (USCIS), standing in the long lines of the US Consulate in a foreign country to wait for my child's VISA. But, again, apparently I'm against immigration.
- And the one that hurt the most...the accusation of RACISM...
According to Pavlovitz, only "Caucasian embryos" matter to me and I "don't give a damn" about "diverse babies."
Two of my children were not Caucasian embryos, and I'll be honest, the momma bear inside me is now ROARING. How DARE you say that because I am white, conservative, & Christian, I don't give a damn about my Asian & black sons?!?! The love and devotion I feel for all of my children is equal. Not one of them is more worthy of life because of his/her race or ethnicity and to suggest that I must feel this way because of my demographics & pro-life convictions is offensive & ignorant.

Step inside the world of adoption, Mr. Pavlovitz, and your eyes will be opened. Whether domestic or international, you will see that many of your assumptions about white, conservative, Christian, pro-life people are wrong. I am not unique in my feelings or beliefs. There are many of us out there, but you are choosing not to see us just to further your pro-choice rhetoric. 

You write as if being pro-choice makes you morally superior. I've had the opportunity to know many wonderful people, some who happen to be pro-choice. I have pro-choice friends who volunteer & work within their community to improve the lives of the less fortunate. Do I demonize them for their beliefs? Of course not, I still love them and believe their lives have just as much value as mine...and I pray for their conversion. I've also known women who have chosen abortion. Do I hate them? Shame them? Wish them harm? Again, of course not. My heart breaks for them. I so wish they could have had the happy ending that I had. I will always be here as a shoulder to lean on when needed.  And that's part of what being pro-life is all about. Showing love and compassion. Offering support and help. Not hate. Not pointing fingers. Not writing articles filled with false generalizations. Being pro-life is about supporting humans from womb to tomb. I'm sorry you haven't met these type of people, but I'd be glad to introduce you to some! ;)

To being pro-life even in a messy world & standing by our convictions even when they're not "popular," 

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