Monthly Archives: July 2015

Planned Parenthood: Just Flush the “PP” Already

Recently, abortion provider Planned Parenthood came under fire for comments made on video about cutting up unborn humans, in order to preserve the valuable body parts and sell them…

A few Americans are a little upset.

So, like any savvy, consumer-driven business, Planned Parenthood decided to hire a public relations firm, to help them control the damage.

SKDKnickerbocker is no newbie to working on Planned Parenthood issues…

“Planned Parenthood is a longtime client, and we are proud to help them push back against these extremist attacks from people who want to end reproductive health care for women in this country,” a SKDKnickerbocker spokesman said in a statement…

And suddenly, the hashtag #standwithPP popped up on Twitter.

Stand with PP.

That’s not exactly mind-blowing and creative, is it?

Certainly not worth the hundreds of thousands of dollars that get paid to firms like SKDKInckerBocker, in exchange for spraying the proverbial air-freshener when crooked businesses like Planned Parenthood take a crap on morality in the United States.

But then I started thinking:

What other slogan would make baby organ-harvesting sound better???

I mean, Planned Parenthood took a really big crap. Maybe SKD is the best PR firm on the planet–but there’s only so much they can do in this case…

What might that brain-storming session have sounded like?

——

PP Exec: As you may have seen, a couple of our Higher Ups were caught talking about dismembering human babies, while casually sipping wine, and we’re hoping you can make the public like us again.

SKD Damage Control:  Hmmm….yes….generally Americans want their babies dismembered quietly, off-camera. I can see why you need our help.

PP:  So what are your thoughts for flipping this in our favor?

SKD: Well–off the top of my head–I’m thinking–

PP:  STOP! Even before you continue, maybe we should be careful using phrases like “off the top of my head.”   Ya know…it creates images of heads. Head coming off. And…well, you know…

SKD:  Ah, yeah, I gotcha. You’re right. When it comes to public relations, you always have to consider the double meanings or unintended visuals.  Thanks for getting us in the zone.

PP:  No problem.

SKD: So, uh, right off the bat….

(*PP exec nods approvingly*)

SKD: Yes, right off the bat, I’m picturing billboards and fliers around major cities reminding everybody that Planned Parenthood caters to women.

PP: Okay.  Yeah, that’s a good place to start, probably…  But, we already know what those sticky Baby Lovers are going to say. “Half those fetuses are female” and “abortion hurts women.” Blah blah blah.

SKD: Sure. But with the right spin, we can make it work.  What about “Maybe she’s born with it; maybe it’s Planned Parenthood”?

PP:  (*short pause*)  Are you trying to be funny?

SKD: No, no. Sorry. I was just thinking Maybelline has successfully marketed to women for decades, and it jumped in my head.  I apologize. There are always a few clunkers before we hit a good one.

PP:  Well, just so we’re clear, it’s probably best to keep the word “born” out of our slogan.

SKD:  Definitely. Let’s go a different route altogether.  Maybe something to highlight your tireless work in the community?  Maybe,  “Planned Parenthood:  it keeps going and going and going and going”?

PP:  (*scratching chin*) Maybe, if people are picturing doctors making house calls in the middle of the night–which we don’t do. But, it may not be such a good visual for the people who know we perform an abortion every 30 seconds.   Going and going and going…

SKD:  Right, right. And it’s not quite short enough anyway.  (*pauses again*)   Hey, what if we just embraced your biggest service as your biggest asset? What about “Abortion: I’m Lovin’ It!”  ???

PP:   Yeah, no.  I reeeeeally don’t think that’s the way to go.  And I’m hoping the “clunkers” are just about out of your system.

SKD:  I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’ll admit, it isn’t easy making the public think positively about what you do. Your company is a little bit despicable.

PP:  Excuse me, but you’re supposed to be the best firm in the biz. Now PROVE it by finding a way to sell our brand.  Regardless of what WE are selling! Got it?

SKD:  (*sighs*) OKAY!  Just… Give me a minute.  Alright?

(*They sit in silence for a minute or two*)

SKD:  Well, Kodak uses “Share moments. Share life.”

PP:  Life?

SKD: AT&T used “Reach Out and Touch Someone”

PP:  Someone?

SKD:  Volkswagon uses “Think Small”

PP:  Like small babies?!

SKD: Ugh… (*desperate*) How about “Abortion: Betcha can’t have just one”?

PP: Nooooooooooo!

SKD:  (*throwing a notepad to the ground*) Yeah, I know, they all suck! But there’s just no way to “brand” what you guys are doing over there! (*frowns and taps fingers thoughtfully*) We’re going to have to be as vague and generic as possible.

PP:  I’m still listening…

SKD:  I’m thinking very, very, very simple.  Maybe “Partner with Planned Parenthood.”

PP:  (*slowly*)  Well, that’s better. But still I’m not crazy about “PARTner.” Like, parts. Baby parts?

SKD: (*frustrated*)  Or, we can try “STAND with PP,” if you like that better.

PP:  Yeah. “Stand with PP” may just be unspecific enough.

SKD: Of course, there have been 50 million people since 1972 who never got the chance to “stand”–or even open their eyes–as a result of abortion.  But I’m afraid it’s the best we’re going to get.

PP:  Sold. It’s official. “Stand with PP” is the safest cover-up we can get.

—-

When you profit from ending lives, it’s hard to make that smell good…

When you profit from ending lives, then #StandwithPP is the best cover up you can afford.

Why keep buying air-freshener, rather than flushing Planned Parenthood’s crap-factory altogether?

(Come play with me on Twitter, using hashtag #RejectedPPslogans.)

Sexual Purity: Two Stories of Girls Who Don’t Brag About Themselves…

This photo has been shared 2500 times on Facebook.

It’s a young woman with her four children, and the caption reads:

I think it’s funny when people use the fact that I have 4 kids at 27-years-old as an insult, like it’s supposed to hurt my feelings or discredit me as a person.
Don’t they know they are actually complimenting me…
I mean heck yes…4 beautiful kids that are all mine and I’m only 27.
And to answer the questions I get on the
daily:
Nope I’m not married.
Yes I am divorced.
Yes I know what causes [pregnancy].
And nope they are not all from the same Dad.
Does that make me a bad person… ?
Nah, it’s called life happens..It’s being human…”

That’s beautiful, isn’t it?

There’s nothing like an I-Don’t-Care attitude to inspire me to tears.

But, don’t stop there! If you read through the comments, you can see hundreds more photos, with women announcing the number of children they had without husbands.

Some are even proud that their own children are following in their footsteps…   (“I was 15 when I had my baby. And she was 15 when she had hers.”)

Awesome!

You go, girls!

—-

But I don’t want to talk about those ladies right now.

I’d rather talk about a couple of beautiful women that I know.

They won’t post their own stories and toot their own horns on Facebook, and that’s part of what I love about them.

One is my 19-year-old sister.

She recently got engaged to her boyfriend of 3 years–and they’re planning their wedding for next spring so they don’t have to wait anymore.

You know what I’m talking about when I say “wait,” right?  😉

It’s tough to decide whether you want to save up for a huge, expensive celebration… or to have a quick, simple ceremony in order to stay sexually pure.

It’s tough listening to people exclaim, “You’re just babies! Why are you rushing?!”  when you know pretty much nobody would care if you just lived together and played house for a few years.

It’s tough when you log onto Facebook and see all the people praising girls who haven’t shown self-control–while you’re working hard to deny your sexual impulses, for the sake of the family and the babies you don’t even have yet.

But I want my sister to know that I think her self-control is beautiful. 

I see the sacrifices she has made, and I know it hasn’t been easy.

I know most people won’t even recognize how hard she has worked to invest in her own future instead of letting “life happen” to her. But I, for one, have noticed.

I’m proud that she never needed the Tough Big Sister to lecture her for stupid sexual choices.

And I’m also proud that–even if she made a mistake, and if that mistake resulted in an out-of-wedlock baby–she wouldn’t continue the same behavior while making excuses like “I’m just human.”

My sister’s integrity and humility are beautiful. And, though you’ll never hear her bragging about what a great job she’s doing at loving her children, that’s exactly what’s happening.

She’s loving her children already.

At 19.

And they haven’t even been born yet.

My sister loves her future children too much to sleep around.

—-

Another special lady I know is raising her son by herself.

EVERYTHING is different since he came into her life.  She traded her spontaneous, traveling spirit for a routine with homework, dinners, and baths. She went from quiet nights as a single, to arguing with a 7-year-old about bedtime.

She has to worry about feeding TWO people and paying the bills for TWO people now. Not to mention trying to bring glory to Jesus while she doubts herself (as all parents do) and struggles to shepherd this little boy’s heart.

But what’s particularly amazing about this lady’s sacrifice is that she didn’t give birth to her son.

She didn’t “make a mistake” one night with a boyfriend who forgot to wear a condom.

She took on the work load and brought this boy into her life when two other people irresponsibly had sex and created a baby they couldn’t handle.

I don’t think single mothers automatically are “heroes,” if they’re just trying to control the damage from their own bad choices.  But someone IS a hero when they offer to give up their own comfort for another person.

That’s why my friend is a hero to me.

There was no reason for her to turn her world upside down and make room in her life for this boy, except that she loves him with a Christlike love.

And–most amazingly–you’ll never hear her brag about that decision.

Like my sister, she’s not going to talk about how awesome she is on social media.

I’m honored for the chance to speak for them.  (As the Bible says, “Let others praise you, and not your own lips.”)

These two ladies are AWESOME–because there’s nothing more inspiring than a humble, responsible, and self-denying woman…

—-

What bothers me about the Single Mother rant that I shared in the first paragraph is how much it takes away from the sexually pure women I’ve met.

I shared the stories of two of them. But I know dozens of other girls, who’ve also made deliberate choices not to be sexually active outside of marriage, knowing it would harm both themselves and their (not-yet-born) children.

I’ve also known men/women who have given in to temptation–and even had a baby out of wedlock.

…and then repented…

…as in, they STOPPED having unmarried sex (or, in some cases, got married immediately), in order to honor God with their bodies.

But the repentant attitude is completely different from the attitude of someone who shrugs and says, “life happens.”

Repentant hearts don’t use words like “proud.”

What are we saying to the people who do the hard work of waiting?

If it DOESN’T “discredit you”  or “make you a bad person” to get pregnant every couple of years, with whoever your boyfriend is, then why is my sister bothering to wait at all?

I’m afraid most single moms don’t really believe they’ve made mistakes.

If kids are blessings…

…and if having four of them as an unmarried 27-year-old is a “compliment”…

then what’s stopping ALL of us from having as many sexual partners as possible?

—-

Of course, I strongly believe that children with a mom and dad in a committed marriage have a huge advantage.

I made the intentional choice to be a virgin when I got married (and I continue to be faithful to my husband) because seeing their dad every other week is NOT “all that matters” to a child.

They also need parents with the maturity to practice self-control and commitment.

Picture a 16-year-old boy, sharing a photo of himself with four or five kids, with the caption, “Don’t judge me! I’m PROUD of my being a young parent! I’d be blessed to have 50-60 kids before I’m 30!”

Admit it: you’d judge.

You would feel bad for those kids, because their dad is obviously confused and self-absorbed.

So, if you wouldn’t praise HIM for sleeping around, then don’t praise his girlfriends either. Promiscuity hurts families.

It hurts them.

It’s not something to brag about on Facebook.

An Abortion Tale: Two Women and a Choice.

One of the most compelling arguments from the Pro-Choice camp is that–yes–unborn children are alive…but no human has the right to become a parasite on its mother’s body.

This perspective is often explained with the analogy of the “Famous Violinist”, which I’ve copied in part here:

You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist… He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers discovered that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist’s circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own.

The director of the hospital now tells you, “Look, we’re sorry the Society of Music Lovers did this to you–we would never have permitted it if we had known. But still, they did it, and the violinist is now plugged into you. To unplug you would kill him. But never mind, it’s only for nine months. By then he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you.”

Is it morally incumbent on you to accede to this situation? No doubt it would be very nice of you if you [allowed him to live]. A great kindness. But do you have to accede to it?

I have a problem with a couple of the details in this analogy.

Like the dependent person being a strange musician instead of your own flesh-and-blood. And I wonder why the central question is whether to “unplug the machine” rather than the more accurate question “should we interrupt the normal process of nature by using poison and scalpels on the violinist?”

But, mostly, I wonder why the author never finished the story?

She sets up the scene, but she doesn’t describe what that choice might look like. What if a kind organ-donor sacrificed her body for another person…while another exercised her right to “choose” autonomy?

Allow me to tell the story…

—-

You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious child.

Of course, you don’t know it’s a child, because you can’t see him. Only the doctors/nurses can allow you to peek, if they’re kind enough to hold up a mirror.  (One does so, briefly, and you can see the profile of what you’re told is a boy.  He is horrifically mangled and doesn’t look much like a person. But you notice a slight twitch in his hand.)

You think you’ve seen that nose before…

When the doctor comes around, he explains there has been a complicated accident.  The trauma may have caused you to forget–but you were in the driver’s seat when a violent stranger intentionally rammed into your family’s car.

The helpless child behind you (though you may not recognize him) is your son. And now, thanks to the machines beeping between you, he’s being kept alive by your body.

The director of the hospital now tells you:

“Look, we’re sorry that Child Protective Services hooked you up without your consent. We never would have permitted it. But, still, it has been done and the boy is plugged into you. To unplug you would kill him. But never mind, it’s only for nine months. By then he can safely be unplugged from you.”

And suddenly, the reality of your situation begins to crush you.

I’m stuck.

I’m trapped here. 

When I went to sleep, I was in control and making my own decisions. But now I’m strapped to a bed, with little memory and no sense of Motherhood. And I’m having the life sucked out of me by some kid I don’t think I know!

The fear continues to rise, but you’re snapped from your thoughts when the voice of another woman rings out:

“There’s going to be Hell to pay when I get a hold of my lawyer. Get these wires off me NOW!”

A nurse tries to calm the woman by gently reminding her of the situation.  “Yes, but he’ll die if we do that, Ma’am.”

“I know what’s at stake here–I’ve done this before! And the bottom line is, no one has the right to use my body!”

Wait, done this before? You’re not sure what she means. So, when the nurse hurries down the hall, you decide to ask the angry woman for more information. (Her machine is hooked to a small body you can’t see–hidden behind a white sheet.)

“Yes, I’ve gotten stuck in this situation before.” she replies. “It happens all the time. Hundreds of times a day, actually! It’s ridiculous the way people assume women will be fine serving as live organ-donors, just any old time they’re needed… My sister unhooked one of her kids a few years ago. And my mom did it back in the 70’s. You and I will both feel better, once they get in here and cut this mess of cords!”

You’re stunned at first. And the woman’s frankness makes you a little uncomfortable. But you’re desperate to interact with someone who knows what you’re going through. So you ask the one thing that concerns you the most:

“Do you feel bad at all? Knowing the child will die when it’s unhooked?” 

The woman pauses for a moment but doesn’t look offended.

She simply glances into your eyes for a second, before finding something more interesting on the other side of the room…

“Your boy isn’t going to remember any of this, Sweetie,” she says finally. “You’ve already suffered more than he will… It’s wrong to force a woman into this situation without her consent. Don’t you feel how wrong it is?”

You nod, halfheartedly, and wait for her to continue.

“I bet you feel the wrongness of being trapped here more than you feel enchantment for that bedmate of yours… Do you even know him–let alone love him? So, then, what kind of life will the two of you live after this is over, if you’re not a fully-committed and excited mother?”

You had been so worried about being stuck in the hospital, you hadn’t even had time to consider how you’d ever take home this stranger and raise him! Your entire nervous system is on high alert again. The nurse better get back soon, with something to ease your racing heart.

“It’s him or you, Darling. Simple as that. Just don’t make it too complicated.”

The nurse returns with a doctor, and they begin flipping switches on the other woman’s machine.

“…meanwhile, I dare anyone who’s never been forcefully imprisoned to judge me and my choices,” she declares as she crosses her arms.

Then the doctor pulls out his forceps and gets to work.

The nurse turns on some upbeat music, which almost covers the sound of snipping. But it does nothing to dampen the long, flat drone of the child’s heart monitor.

After a minute or two, another hospital staff member comes in to wheel the sheet-covered lump from the room. He’s careful not to let the woman see what remains under the sheet.

And, finally, the woman grabs her purse and allows the door to slam as she leaves.

—–

When the medical personnel finishes cleaning and exits, they take all the noise with them.

The stillness that remains allows you to notice yet another, smaller-framed woman lying prone in the bed furthest from you.  She is reading a book, but she looks across when she feels your stare…

…and you can see the sheet-covered lump over her shoulder.

“Excuse me?” you ask. “But are you trapped here, too?”

The woman smiles weakly before responding.

“Well, I never would have chosen this, if that’s what you’re asking. But I suppose I’m getting settled for the long-haul now.”

“So, you’re actually going to lie in that bed for three-quarters of a year?!” you ask in surprise.

“I just don’t know what kind of mother I’d be if I didn’t.”

You cringe at the word “mother,” knowing that’s what you’re supposed to be yet it’s not at all how you feel.

It baffles you how someone can accept forced medical care like this and pretend that it’s not unfair.

As you try to think of something else to say, the woman goes back to her book.  But, after a few seconds, she speaks again, as if talking to herself…

 “I don’t know the little person hooked up back there. But that doesn’t have to stop me from loving her.”

She pauses for a second and then looks at you for a reaction. But, when you only stare back, she continues.

“I’m afraid too many people think love is a feeling, when it’s really a word to describe how you act. It’s valuing others more highly than yourself. Whether you feel like it or not. Whether they appreciate it or not…

If love is treating others the way I want to be treated, then my choice is pretty obvious. I’d want someone to make the sacrifice for me.”

And with that, your eyes fill with tears.

Before you can stop yourself, you blurt, “But I don’t want to be here!”

…which causes your new friend to cry, too.

“I know! It’s terrifying! And, I’ll be honest, it seems to get more painful every day… No one should have to live with this much fear! Sometimes, when I think about how much longer I have before I’m finished, I think the whole thing might kill me…”

She pauses while both of you wipe your tears and collect your thoughts and listen to the clock on the wall. And suddenly, that gentle voice speaks again–with confidence despite shaking just a moment ago:

“But then, I’d rather die giving life to another than to live in a world without love.”

Yes.

Even in all the confusion, you know that much is still true.

It’s better to sacrifice for the sake of another than to live in a world without love.

—-

Proud Member of the Morality Police, at Your Service

If you love your children properly–they WILL claim you hate them, at some point.

Maybe they’ll scream “You’re so mean!” or “You don’t love me,” when they’re barely out of diapers.

If you’re lucky, by the time they’re teenagers, you’ll hear, “You’re the worst parent in the entire world!!!!”

What would happen if good, loving parents started taking these statements seriously?

What if good, loving parents started measuring whether they were, in fact, good and loving…by keeping track of how often their kids approved?

Well, they would stop enforcing rules. And they wouldn’t tell children anything they don’t want to hear.

And, ultimately, it would be anarchy.

Mark my words: if parents stopped loving their children the way they need to be loved and instead started “loving” them like they want to be loved, there wouldn’t be any good, loving parents anymore.

—-

I’m afraid far too many Christians are being convinced to stop loving lost people–because the lost people don’t like it very much.

That’s my only explanation for the popularity of articles like this one: Christians Shouldn’t Be Culture’s Morality Police.

“Church, the world is watching us. They see the articles we float around the Internet, they read our billboards and bumper stickers, and for many outside of the Body, they feel one thing with crushing weight: judgment.”

Lost people feel judged.

Therefore, Christians are doing their job wrong.

Period.

No other possible explanation.

But it continues…

“If the world will know we are His disciples by our love, but Christians are instead characterized by judgment, we will not be known as disciples of Christ but as hypocrites…”

So the world thinks we are judgmental AND hypocritical.

Period.

End of discussion.

…Except not really, because I have some things I’d like to clarify for the (several thousand) brothers and sisters who enjoyed the above article…

#1. I agree wholeheartedly that we’re not called to “police” the culture.

As Christians, our job is to live predominantly by example. And we shouldn’t be surprised when non-Christians act godless.

As the “We Shouldn’t Be Moral Police” article puts it:

“We were never commissioned to demand that secular culture reflect biblical principles. We were commissioned to reflect biblical principles, in the middle of secular culture, pointing to God’s redemptive story.”

I want to make it plain that I don’t have a problem with that statement at all.

Buuuuuuuut…

#2. According to the most recent polls, a whopping 83% of Americans claim they are Christians.

That means somebody needs to explain how we’ve ended up with such a “secular culture” in the first place!

Again, I agree that we shouldn’t expect biblical morality out of the 17% of our people who admit they are unbelievers. But the VAST MAJORITY of us don’t fall in that category.

Supposedly, the VAST MAJORITY of people in the culture belong to the Body and have agreed to the responsibility (and accountability) that comes with that. Christians absolutely are called to watch and correct fellow brothers and sisters. (Gal. 6:1, Matt 18, James 5:19,20)

With freaking 83% of us claiming the name of Christ–how in God’s Name did homosexuality and abortion become hot button issues in American culture???

#3. The reason we live in a Pagan Culture is because Christians have been too cowardly to “police” for too long…

For awhile, the Church tried to pull off a Good Cop/Bad Cop routine when someone sinned within the congregation–with people like me playing the bad cop, and the non-confrontational folks just waiting quietly for the uncomfortable stuff to be handled so they could go back to planning showers and pitch-ins.

But now, we’re to the point where the “good cop” Christians don’t want the “bad cops” to have a role at all.

In fact, now the former good-cops are sharing articles about why the police force should stop “policing” altogether.

…and the nonbelievers keep shrieking, “Why can’t you other Christians be more like these nice ones???”

It’s exactly what happens when the “fun” parent throws the rule-enforcer under the bus.

Thanks for worrying about my reputation, “Good, Loving” Christians…But you and I are supposed to be on a team. You’re causing the anarchy I described in the first paragraph–because you’d rather do away with tough love and avoid rocking the boat.

You’re worried about upsetting children, so you’re letting them take over…

#4. They will know we are Christians by our love FOR EACH OTHER.

Maybe we won’t get so bogged down with “being known by our love” if we realize that Jesus was talking to the disciples–about fellow disciples. “…if you have love for one another.”

Jesus said the nonbelievers will watch as Christians interact with brothers and sisters, and they will know there’s something different about us.

They will see the way we live righteous lives within our Christians communities, and they will know we belong to God.

NOT– “They will have the power to decide whether we’re good Christian–based on whether or not they like the conviction and repentance that love demands.”

Let’s not get confused.

—-

In closing, we need to ask ourselves whether we really believe that we hold the secret to eternal life.

Do we really believe we know something that blind/sleeping people don’t?

And if so, why do we keep asking for their opinion?

Why do we keep checking with people who don’t have a compass, to make sure we’re heading in the right direction?

Yes, I realize they can read blog posts like this, and I realize they will be offended by it. Yes, I realize being compared with children or blind people doesn’t seem very loving to them.

Maybe I’m “the worst Christian in the entire world!!!”  🙂

But I’m prepared to say things people don’t want to hear.

I’m speaking the Truth to a culture of which–theoretically–83% should already agree.

As for those “Good Cops” who agree with me in spirit, but continue to share articles like “We’re Not the Morality Police,” please just consider the points I made above. I agree we’re not called to condemn the nonbelievers.  But ask yourself:  why is a majority-Christian culture still “secular” in the first place?

Maybe it’s because the so-called good, loving parents have been too cowardly to show Real Love for far too long…

People Don’t Care Enough to Hate Me! But I Kind of Wish They Did…

I came up with this quote today:

Most people are too busy loving themselves to really hate you…

The people with a “victim complex” need to understand this the most.

The majority of the world isn’t interested in persecuting you, because they’re too busy thinking about what they’re going to eat and what they’re going to wear and how they’re going to unwind when they get home…

At the end of the day, you’re just not that big a deal to others…

But that’s kind of what bothers us, isn’t it?

—-

We want people to think about us as much as we think about ourselves.

We like hanging around folks who seem concerned about our lives–because we happen to be our own favorite topic.

On the other hand, nobody likes dealing with those self-absorbed time-suckers who go on and on about themselves.

Why?

Well, because we’d rather spend time talking about our interests, of course!

Understand, I’m talking about myself as much as anyone else. I’d much rather share my ideas for my next blog post than listen to my husband’s adventures at work… let alone some stranger at church with a sick kitten. I–along with everyone else–like talking about me.

So, that’s why I question anyone who claims to be “hated.”  

I wonder if we even know what “hate” means anymore.

Hatred takes work that most of us are too lazy to put in.

I think “hate” is just the word we use, when others don’t care about our struggles as much as we think they should…

Loving Ourselves

—–

This article by John Metta is supposed to cover the topic of racism. But, as I read through it (multiple times) I realized the author isn’t really angered by color lines and prejudices.

In fact, he’s guilty of making wide-brush generalizations about racial groups himself:

I don’t talk about race with White people because I have so often seen it go nowhere…

White people have the privilege to interact with the social and political structures of our society as individuals…”

Got that? White people get to be individuals. (Except when a liberal talks about racism and lectures White People about how collectively ignorant they are.)

But I digress.

If John Metta doesn’t mind categorizing people by skin color and then making assumptions, then how can he claim a problem with “racism?”

Well, because…

Racism is not slavery… it’s not avoiding the use of the word Nigger. Racism is not white water fountains and the back of the bus. Martin Luther King did not end racism…

Racism is even more subtle than that. It’s more nuanced…

Once you let yourself see it, it’s there all the time.

…The system was made for White people, so White people don’t have to think about living in it.

Did you catch that?  Why is Metta upset?

Because White People don’t think about the same things he thinks about.

As he said in the very beginning of the article, “[racism] is a topic I think about every, single day.”

And when you spend every day meditating on how hard your life is, then you start to get annoyed that others don’t…

Today’s definition of “Racism” is that White People, as a group, don’t think enough about blackness. (Which, ironically, is basically the opposite of the definition from the Civil Rights Era.)

—-

But I’d argue–that’s not racism. Being wrapped up in your own life is selfishness.

And I’ll totally own up to that!

I’m totally consumed with my own day-to-day concerns and ideas. The entire theme of my old blog was how selfishness has roots in all of society’s problems…

I’m selfish, and I admit it.

What I don’t understand is why John Metta doesn’t recognize the same selfishness in himself?

“This is why I don’t like the story of the Good Samaritan. Everyone likes to think of themselves as the person who sees someone beaten and bloodied and helps him out… [But] If I could re-write that story, I’d write it from the perspective of Black America… What if [the needy stranger] were systematically challenged in a thousand small ways that actually made it easier for you [the Samaritan] to succeed in life? “

Yes, he’s actually, unashamedly painting himself as the victim in that scenario.

“Everyone likes to think of themselves as the Good Samaritan.” Except him.  He assumes the role of the innocent guy who deserves help. 

How very introspective.

I honestly can’t figure out how he misses his own glaring self-obsession. 

John Metta has no idea what it’s like to be white.  Whenever he tries to put himself in the shoes of a white neighbor, he concludes that–yes–the White Guys have it better!

He believes the grass really is lush and green in Whitesville, and he is so very convinced that being White is easier, he resents being questioned about it at all. (When White People try to share their own experience with racism, that’s called “self-protection.”)

Metta hasn’t ever had a job or scholarship given to someone less qualified–in order to meet a quota. He hasn’t ever sacrificed to instill character in his children, only to be told their success is due to White Privilege and not thanks to consistent, dedicated parenting.

John Metta has never sat in a “church” audience and listened to an academic snob curse at him for something Fate caused.

When Metta sees someone bloody on the side of the road, he looks at their skin color to figure out how they got there.  If it’s a black victim, he was shoved down and beaten by an invisible and complex System.

Not only that, but the beaten black man “could have been his father” or brother, so Metta will take that beating personally.

But if the struggling stranger is a white person, then he/she had to squander a whole bunch of Privilege before being left there.

Yuck, Mr. Metta.  You don’t look any better wearing a selfish worldview than your “favorite White aunt” does. 

—-

Wrapping up: if subtle, systemic “racism” means a person cares more about her own life than she cares about her neighbor’s, then I’m guilty.

I need the story of the Good Samaritan to remind me to stop thinking of myself for two seconds and consider the plight of others.

But that’s the unifying failure of all of humanity–not just those selfish, “racist” white people who aren’t interested in hearing (again) the Black American Tale of Woe.

It’s off-putting when people of all shades talk incessantly about how tough their lives are. And I’m particularly disgusted by educated Americans, with food in their bellies, internet access, and temperature-controlled living rooms, with the audacity to be “angry” when the rest of society doesn’t focus enough on their micro-grievances.

Just shut up already.

If you want my help combating selfishness, then consider me a White Ally.

But if you want me to become a “Feminist” or a Social Justice Warrior or someone who laments vaguely about “The System” like a mindless drone, then I really don’t know how to help you…

The longer you spend in your own head, marinating in the juices of your First World Problems, the worse it’s going to get. That’s the nature of selfishness.

I agree that empathy is an important virtue.

I agree that everybody benefits from a change of perspective.

But I literally can’t help you, if you’re lying on the side of the road, suffering from self-pity. 

You’re not mad that I beat you and put you there. So stop calling it “hate.”

You’re mad that–until you start moaning and whining and inventing problems you can pin on me indirectly–I don’t really think about you at all.

At the end of the day, that makes me and John Metta more similar than either of us would think… I understand completely what it’s like to feel sorry for yourself and look for others to blame.

And I agree: the world would be better if we fought that “system.”

“Gay Isn’t Contagious,” but I’m Still Nervous

I appreciate the calm voices in the middle of this Gay Marriage cacophony.

But if you’re trying to make me feel better by assuring me, “Gay isn’t contagious,” I’m afraid you’re misunderstanding my problem.

First of all, the idea that “Homosexuality won’t affect you” just isn’t true.  But, more to the point, you need to understand I’m not scared of catching gayness or having to wear a mask and gloves to protect myself.

A friend’s recent Facebook post was meant to encourage, but it sort of did the opposite:

“For those afraid for our country, it’s going to be FINE. Gay marriage doesn’t have to hurt you. It’s not a disease. It’s not contagious. Even IF God disapproves (which I just don’t know either way and I’m ok not knowing), He’s big enough to handle it. Our children aren’t going to suffer. Teach them what you believe and, just like everything else, they’ll make their own decisions when they grow up. Maybe those decisions will hurt because they aren’t what you want for them, but it will still be ok. Just love them. Stick up for what you believe, sure, but love those who disagree. Yes, the world is going to look different, but that’s ok. Even if you disagree with the change, you don’t need to be afraid. Just love God and love people. Love wins.”

Again, I appreciate those who want to settle things down.

But it’s hard to comfort someone when you don’t know what they’re afraid of.

So I’d like to explain why the “It’s-FINE” speech actually makes me feel worse.

(I hope my points will be taken in the spirit of digging deeper together, and not like Holier Than Thou preaching…)

These are the reasons I’m afraid for the direction things are going in this country.

—-

#1. I’m afraid we’re only really skeptical of the Bible–but we accept MANY OTHER THINGS without question.

I love inquisitive people. But when was the last time you heard someone ask “WHY don’t we (humanely) kill the people in third world countries who are starving to death anyway?”

Or…how about, “WHY do we assume a Creator would be loving and fair? WHY can’t he be cruel?”

These questions are just as important as “Why is homosexuality wrong?”–but I’m afraid we live in a culture that prefers saving all the toughest questions strictly for the biblical worldview.

For some reason, we never say, “The kids who work in sweat shops will be just FINE! Relax.”

We’d never say, “Stop obsessing about the fact that genital mutilation is legal in certain cultures, because God is big…”

You’d never say, “Sure, extramarital affairs can hurt individual families. But affairs aren’t contagious. So there’s no reason to be afraid.”

…the only reason my peers say things like “don’t fear” and “It will be fine” about gay marriage is because we’re not convinced homosexuality is wrong.

Which brings me to Fear #2:

#2. I’m afraid our distrust of Scripture is causing us to accept crazier and crazier things.

The real issue for this generation is a basic distrust of the Bible. We’re not convinced it’s true–or we don’t trust our own understanding of it–so (for all practical purposes) we don’t use it. And, since we’ve never put anything concrete at the cornerstone where the Bible once stood, we don’t have a foundation at all.

If you don’t think homosexuality is wrong, then it’s probably because you don’t trust the Bible, for one reason or another…

Unfortunately,  everything we think we know about right/wrong becomes shaky, when the foundation is gone.

I know this is a controversial statement, but it becomes clearer if you try to answer this question, “When I’m not sure about something, I know I can trust __________.”

If the answer isn’t “I can trust God’s unchanging Word,” then what can you put in that blank?

#3. I’m afraid our mouths say “I just don’t know what God thinks of homosexuality,” but our actions speak differently.

There’s nothing wrong with not knowing things.  But the types of things you “don’t know” are just as important as your hard-and-fast beliefs. Whether you get very loud and passionate about a topic, or you shrug your shoulders and go silent, both say a lot about your values.

Thus, you can’t really live out the “I Don’t Know” philosophy. Your decisions and your comments are going to err on one side or another, whether you realize it’s happening or not.

Consider my examples about sweat shops and genital mutilation again. Even if you think you’re being unbiased and unsure about a controversial issue–it’s pretty obvious how you really feel when you tell those who are concerned to calm down…

Furthermore, your “maybes” are just as important as your “yes/no” when it comes to influencing your children, as well.

Thus, point #4.

#4.  I’m afraid future generations will take sexual liberation even further, and there won’t be anything to stop them.

It’s hugely significant when today’s parents say things like, “Meh, our kids are going to believe whatever they’re going to believe, and all they need is love!”

A parent’s unanswered “Why?” question quickly becomes a child’s “Well, why NOT?!?!?” 

So what are we going to say, when our babies honestly start to wonder “Why CAN’T a man fall in love with four women at once?”

Or “Why CAN’T a person have a fulfilling sexual relationship with an intelligent animal?”

I understand bestiality is taken for granted as “obviously wrong” in this generation. But it’s considered wrong by the same people who argue we should lighten up and let our kids make their own decisions about moral issues…

If there’s no concrete, trustworthy standard, then maybe the only problem with bestiality is society’s negative stigma of it?

How do we know, with 100% certainty, that gay sex can be healthy/satisfying but animal sex never can be?

Those are things our children and grandchildren will be debating. And I’ve yet to hear a parent in my generation offer a satisfying answer to those questions–apart from the foundation of the Bible.

The scary thing about accepting homosexuality isn’t whether it’s “contagious.” The problem is, we’re proving we are a generation of humans who don’t have a foundation and can be convinced to agree or disagree based on feelings alone.

Our basic defense of what’s “right” and what’s “wrong” boils down to what seems good to the biggest group.

On top of that, we’re not even motivated to teach our own children that certain urges always need to be controlled, because we’re just not sure of anything ourselves…

Thus, I’m afraid this Culture War over homosexuality is a muuuuuch bigger problem than simply getting used to a “slightly different world” that’s going to be just FINE.

It’s the destruction of foundations and the endless moral rabbit hole that leave me feeling helpless and concerned for the future my children will have.

Yes, I know God is big.

No, I’m not worried about catching cooties from my gay neighbors.

And of course I won’t stop loving my kids, even if they choose something very different than I want for them–and they get tangled in abominable, animal-related sexual activities.

I’ll still love them.

But none of those things speak to the point.

My fears run much deeper than whether my kids will want tax benefits from the government for their same-sex unions.

I’m afraid because a huge number of people think everything is “fine” since “gay isn’t contagious”–but they’re virtually blind about what’s really at stake.