punchy line

...and he (Simon Peter) saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth ... not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. - Jn 20: 6-7
-Jn 20: 6-7

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Before I was a Pro-lifer, I was a Judgmental Pro-Choicer

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I’m looking forward to upcoming the Lenten 40 days for life campaign.  Just saying so is really a miracle.  I was not always pro-life, you see, and it was not an easy, nor a pretty road that lead to eventually seeing the world with God’s merciful eyes. However it was worth every aching step and in many ways it has saved my life

My pro-choice stance actually stemmed from a disdain for women. My liberal upbringing was full of examples where women bullied other women.   Indeed, it was dog-eat-dog amongst gals who seemed to be in a perpetual competition with each other, all of them also professed liberals.  I hated it and I disliked other women for it, but I knew no other way.  I fooled myself that pro-lifers were the ones judging others, but really, it was me all along.

It might sound strange to say, but being pro-choice allowed me to adjudicate women from afar.  It meant that I never had to go out of my way to really sympathize with a woman’s situation or get to know her personally. If a she had an abortion, I could just decide that she was just making a benign choice that didn’t affect me.

Plus, to my mind, if I told myself she was too dumb to realize that sex equals a possible child, then I could congratulate myself on being her intellectual superior.

More sinisterly, my liberal beliefs lead me to believe that, practically speaking, the world was a better place because it didn’t have to contend with paying for her ‘mistake.’

Here’s the cold, cruel reality underlying the false compassion that typifies liberals, and especially pro-choicers: despite all their talk of women’s rights, deep down, they’re grateful that they don’t have to go outside their narcissistic comfort zone and actually deal with real problems faced by real people everyday.  They don’t have to bother with whether a woman has low-self esteem, was bullied into her “choice” or whether it’s a true injustice when innocent human life is ended.  Nope, pragmatically speaking, it’s just one less kid to spend our tax money on. 

I should know, I was such a liberal.

Then after I became pro life in college, my judgementalism evolved to condemning not only the act, but the people involved in the sin of abortion.

I didn’t do this consciously.  It’s completely natural to recoil in horror once one comes to understand what abortion actually is.  Nor is it difficult to make the emotional leap from applying the same reaction you have to an abhorrent situation to the people involved in it. 

Now, I was never one who felt like people deserved to be stoned to death, or anything, but I was someone who would cast a condescending eye upon others.

I had succumbed to the oldest tricks of the Devil, that of mentally drawing a line between “me” and “them” and how I would never do something as bad as what “they” did and may God have mercy on them (because I sure wasn’t.)

Really, I just didn’t understand God’s mercy and my unforgiving attitude was rooted, ironically enough, in exactly what I most shared in common with post abortive parents and abortion industry workers: my own brokenness and need to discover God’s inexhaustible love and forgiveness.

Long story short, it wasn’t until I sought healing for my own wounds and my own wretched sinfulness that I was able to feel love for my fellow man and, finally and most especially, women.

At long last, I could embrace them as my sisters in Christ and get to work trying to  spare them the pain of abortion as well as find them healing for those wounds they believed were beyond God’s healing power.

I could do this because the prolife movement forced me to personally encounter that:

Nothing is beyond His mercy, not even my hideous judgementalism. 

Becoming prolife and really practicing my faith made me get out and love people even more than I believed I could.  It made me seek my own healing for my anger and residue issues from childhood.  It saved my life, and, as result, other lives since.

How could I not bring this powerful message to the women I’ve prayed for at the sidewalk for years now?  It was the entire message of the gospel, and without the pro-life movement, I might have completely missed it for myself and others. 

This Lent, please remember to pray for judgmental people like me.   Don’t give up on us.  We can and do change.  We are broken inside on fundamental levels that we may not be even aware of.  Abortion is a horrible sin that requires love and mercy to heal, as does judgementalism.  Pray that more of us seek it in the prolife movement.  And may God protect us as we once again head to the sidewalk this Lent.

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