Friday, July 15, 2016

A “Floating” Controversy: Part 2

Note: The background for this series of posts is found in Part 1. I would deeply value you reading this series, and I would value your prayerful thoughts and input. They reflect something I’ve been processing for a while now, and am still trying to work through.

I recognize the heart of one complaint against the float, that they (some of the people complaining) want to introduce to, and discuss with, their kids, on their time of choosing, the issue of the womb, etc. I understand that. One of the main reasons we homeschool is to obey God’s command to train up our children and so we can direct and monitor what our girls learn and when they learn it, and to make sure that they understand the Godly foundation of all subjects. I get the person’s complaint . . . but I have to ask, “So, are the discussions happening?” Are they talking about the ugly truth of abortion at any point?

Here is the comment I put on the web sites and Facebook pages of the two newspapers I am aware of that covered the float. It said:
I truly understand parents wanting to introduce subjects to their children on their time, and under their direction. It is a legitimate parental concern, and one of many reasons we homeschool. But the issue remains for those who believe that life begins at conception, and this is, “Then when is the right time?” We celebrate the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July, and it has almost at its very beginning the statement that the Creator has given unalienable rights to all men, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. For those who believe that 3,000 or more people a day are having those rights taken from them with out being given a choice in the matter (meaning 3,000 plus babies whose “choice” is not considered in the “pro-choice” position) how could anyone stand by and not try and change that? Not putting the issue before people isn’t working, obviously. Our nation continues on its course. So what is the time and the place, then? At what point would people stand up and confront an issue if it was legal rape or a legal concentration camp or something like that in our midst? I’d hope that this nation of people who love freedom would rise up and do something, and not celebrate the freedom as if nothing is wrong. Again, I do understand the concern of parents, and I can think of many potential floats that could have gone by portraying things I would find offensive or not want my children exposed to. I really get that. But then I wonder. If not then, then when is the time? Again, being silent isn’t changing anything. And for people who believe those are defenseless babies that are being killed, it is morally wrong to just stand by and do nothing.
Based on the responses to my comment and others' it quickly became apparent that while there were probably some people who agreed with the float’s stand but simply didn’t like the timing or their kids being exposed to the issue at that point, for the most part the core of people’s complaints was really the subject matter. As one lady replied to me, “The right time to shame people for making choices that effect their own body is NEVER. Mind your own uterus.” It wasn’t the float being in the Fourth of July parade (i.e., the timing). It was the float. Period! For most of them, the float would have never been OK!

And, so, what about the timing? Is it inappropriate to have a float like that (seemingly controversial, depressing, difficult topic, maybe or maybe not age appropriate, etc.) in the midst of a joyous, family time parade? Again, if have to ask, is the conversation happening elsewhere? Are the ugly and horrible facts being addressed? Would there ever be a “good” time in the eyes of those complaining? Would they have complained if it was a gay pride float, or if cross dressers were parading? Or is it only tolerance and love for the born but not the unborn?

I know I’d be angry if a float with gay people kissing or one showing sexually suggestive stuff went by a parade I took my girls to . . . so I understand the heart of the complaint (if the timing argument is the real heart and not just a way to push the issue aside). But, again, the float portrays a reality! If that reality didn’t exist there would be no reason for the float. I wonder, could we have a joyous, family parade celebrating the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness our Creator gave to “all men” a block or two away from a known concentration camp where innocent and helpless Jews were being starved and gassed? I’d hope not! Wouldn’t there be some hypocrisy in that? Rather, I’d hope we wouldn’t bury our head in the sand and pretend, like Voltaire’s Candide, “All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.” No, we, as Christians, know evil is real, and suffering is real, and that the devil preys on the weak and innocent. I’d hope we’d liberate the camp, set them free, and then celebrate together the freedom for everyone!

Three thousand plus abortions a day in America. So, when is the “right” time to discuss it? If people aren’t outlawing it, then what option is there besides making them aware of the stark and real horror and reality of it? And what are we, ourselves, doing about it? Do we throw a few dollars at a Crisis Pregnancy Center and feel better about ourselves? (There will be more about C.P.C.s and some different thoughts on the Pro Life and abolitionist's works and stand in a future post in this series.) Our family and our fellowship both support in different ways a local CPC, and I believe that many babies are saved and people brought to Christ through it, but I also know that there are times I’ve let myself off the hook from things more uncomfortable and said to myself, “Well, I give to ____ and they fight abortion.”

But what am I doing? Me? I am not saying that everyone is necessarily called to stand on a street corner against abortion. I do believe God calls His body to many different areas of activism for the hurting and defenseless and downtrodden (poor, addicted, widows, orphans, homeless, etc.). That is the idea of a body—many members, each doing its unique gift and calling. But . . . if I’m really honest . . . the magnitude of the abortion issue calls me to do a lot more simply by the horror and scope of what is happening. How can I, in good faith, ask God to bless a land that does what this land does to babies? How can God bless a church—a body of Christ—that lives in the midst of concentration camps and does nothing, or just throws a few dollars towards it?


  1. Sometimes I look around and wonder how many people are truly stepping out of their comfort zones and working for God's glory—myself included. It is so easy to, as you said, throw some money toward CPC and let it stop at that, but God has given us that calling to help the widows and orphans. These babies are no better than orphans when their parents choose to murder them. God has called us to take a stand for life. Thanks for your thoughts. :)

    1. It is scary when God calls us into places where we might not be popular, or that might be uncomfortable or costly. But I find, too often, that when I say "no" to those calls I am miserable in my spirit. May God grow you deeper and deeper into His heart and ways!


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