Love says thou shalt not yell

If I had to chose the hardest part about being an active member of the pro-life movement, it would be the people who aren’t really pro-life. But others think they are.

Let me elaborate.

If you’ve been outside an abortion clinic, you’ve probably seen it: the people who stand there and yell crazy thing at people going in. Try to talk to them and they just start going off about how we’re heretics who worship Mary and or we’re not true Christians or something along those lines. Women who are already in crisis mode blast their ipods and huddle close to the boyfriend or mother who is bringing them in as they walk through the barrage of comments. “You’re going to hell!” the people on the sidewalk yell. And the women walk past. Right into the inviting arms of the clinic.

When the women are inside, the men stand there using a traffic cone as a megaphone and yell how the clients are violating each commandment. Oh, and the clinic workers? They let ’em have it too.

One time in the last few months we were outside praying when a boyfriend/husband/partner of a client inside came out for a smoke. The sidewalk is close enough to this particular clinic that you can talk to anyone and everyone outside. However, the man with his cone took the opportunity to condemn the father and elaborate how much of a sinner he was. And by golly, hell was most definitely in his future.

Encouraging, right?

NOT.

I wanted so badly to go and talk to the father. Just ask him how he was. He was so obviously hurting. You could see it in his eyes. Who knows what circumstances led him and the mother of his child there? I could see that he was almost in tears while being verbally abused by this man with the cone. I wanted to intervene, but didn’t. It was so loud and the people who yell don’t listen to what we have to say. But to this day I feel so bad for the man who was out there smoking and pray he has found some peace.

Last time we were outside the clinic, the people who yell were in the middle of a conference (meaning they brought tons of people) and they filmed this video. Be warned, there is some language and graphic signs.

You know what strikes me?

There are people across the country who do this and they always claim to be bringing the gospel to people. But I don’t see that. Jesus ate dinner with sinners, healed, and forgave them. He met them where they were. These people who call themselves abortion abolitionists condemn people. They yell hateful things. There is no love visible to the world. Oh, AND last time we were there some of them were chatting and taking dance breaks outside the clinic.

Now I can’t judge what their motivation is. I know they want to end abortion. But I can’t help but recognize how their movement is centered around a righteous mentality of telling other people what to do.

Sure, stand there with a sign. Yell at people. That’s easy, folks.

You know what’s not easy?

Opening your heart to the clients going in. Putting your comfort on hold to stand in the snow and pray for people who are victims of abortion (the children, women who are coerced, and fathers who weren’t given a say). Getting up at o-dark-thirty on a Saturday morning to offer resources and alternatives to people going inside these clinics. Just being there and starting conversations is hard when you have people yelling nasty things around you.

But it’s important because parents need to know they have options. They need to be empowered with knowledge to be able to make an informed decision. They need to know they are people worthy of love, and that they can make a better life for themselves.

And you know what? Yelling doesn’t do that.

Yelling says “What you are doing is wrong and you are a sinner. You are a murderer. You are a terrible person. How can you do such a horrendous thing?”

But love says “I don’t know why you are here, but I know that you are hurting and need a shoulder to lean on. Let me love you by putting your needs first and taking the time out of my day to be with you and empower you to be the person you can be.”

Now you tell me. If you were a young mother or father facing a crisis moment and in total survival mode – which approach would you be more receptive to hearing?

Duck Dynasty and the Hypocrisy of Tolerance

You’ve probably heard by now: the patriarch of Duck Dynasty’s Robertson family, Phil, made some comments about homosexual people and was suspended from the show because of it.

Here’s the original article. Below are the parts including Phil’s statements about homosexual people/behavior.

On immoral behavior in America:

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

On loving people:

“We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

Now let’s look at what Phil did not say:

1. I hate gay people.

2. Gay people suck.

3. Gay people are sinners.

4. Ew, gay people.

5. Oh yeah. Did I forget to mention that gay people are terrible, horrible, no-good, and very bad?

Despite the fact that Phil did not communicate any of these statements, these are exactly the sentiments that most articles about this issue are conveying. Why? Because if you’re not a gay-rights activist, you’re a gay-hating bigot. Obviously.

You know what? People need to get over that fact that not everyone thinks the same way and has the same opinions.

Especially in the media we’re bombarded with all the things we’re supposed to be tolerant of, with gay marriage/behavior/etc. being one of them. But I think it’s kind of funny how many things the media themselves are not tolerant of:

1. Catholics, Christians, and pretty much any type of religious person

2. People who subscribe to a set of moral standards

3. People who think differently than what society tells you is right

If the media were truly tolerant, a reporter might have said something like “Oh, that’s interesting.” when Phil made him comments. You report it and move on. But that’s not what happened. If A&E were truly tolerant, it wouldn’t even be a possibility in their minds to suspend the head of their most popular show just because he said something they disagree with. But that’s not what happened. If society were truly tolerant, people who don’t believe in gay marriage would not be called bigots and haters. But that’s not what happens.

In a society where we’re constantly told to be tolerant, I find it interesting that A&E responded to this in such an intolerant way. It goes both ways, folks.

 

 

What do you think about the matter? Was Phil rude with what he said? Was A&E justified in their decision? Where do you see Duck Dynasty’s future?

Agreeing to Disagree

Ever participated in a discussion which ended with the other person saying “Well, I guess we agree to disagree”? I have. Many times. And it really bugs me.

The conversations were all the same: I posted something (article, graphic, status), the person commented on it, we talked, they couldn’t refute what I said, then they ended the conversation by saying “I guess we agree to disagree.”

Funny thing? I never agreed to disagree. I simply stated my opinion on something. By commenting and starting a discussion, people invite me to explain my point of view and listen to theirs. When things get a little more intense, however, people tend to shy away and just shut the conversation down when they don’t know what to say. Why? I think people do this because there’s nothing else to do. If you don’t have statistics and facts backing your point of view up, it’s pretty hard to support your argument for long. You can only repeat rhetoric the media tells you for so long.

When you get to that point in a conversation where you realize things are getting intense, a decision has to be made: Will you continue to support your opinion which has been proven to be flawed? Will you take your new-found information and re-evaluate your position? Or will you shut logic and facts out of your mind and cut off the conversation? To me, shutting down the conversation is a sure sign of weakness in your argument. If you can’t support your position, either you don’t know enough about what you’re saying, or what you’re saying is wrong.

If you get into a conversation and it looks like you might not be right, have the character to admit you might be wrong. However, when you get into a discussion about something you have a strong opinion about (abortion or gay marriage for example) and do have facts and logic to back you up, don’t falter. Show the truth.

“Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all you do be done in love.” ~ 1 Corinthians 16:13 – 14

Have you ever gotten into a conversation like this? Tell me about it!