"No. It's plastic," I responded.
It was at that moment that I realized I wasn't going to get any information from these men. But perhaps I could delve deeper into the rhetoric that exists surrounding the Pro-choice Religious Right. I noticed that the man who had produced the tiny plastic thing from his pocket had a button on his jacket that read "U Can't B Christian and Pro-choice." Apparently you can't be Christian and a good speller either.
"Why?" I asked. "I'm a Christian and I'm Pro-choice."
"You're not a true Christian then," the other man responded.
I was learning a lot about myself. They man went on to tell me I was a Christian in name only and that I did not truly believe the Gospels and their message. But I didn't remember God mentioning abortion. Silly me, apparently he did!
"Jesus," the man said, "spoke often of marriage and family. Can't have families without babies."
"One man one woman!" the other man interjected jubilantly. "That's Jesus' teachings."
No. It's not. It's really not. I respect the differences in everyone's personal religious beliefs but you can't tell me that Jesus' focus was marriage and family. As a sort of born again college student -- that is, I started my college career as a Journalism major and shifted my focus to religious studies -- I can safely say that nowhere in the Gospels or even in the Apocrypha did Jesus mention marriage being between one man and one woman.
As we continued to discuss social issues, I realized I was running late for my lunch date and that I had to go. I decided that I wasn't going to change any minds, especially when we started going around in circles. But, that exchange did get me thinking. What if a significant portion of the area believed what these men believed? That Jesus was some sort of suited Republican and that women coming out of an abortion clinic deserve to be harassed. You have to remember, one of his closest friends was a prostitute.
Nobody likes abortion, however it's going to always exist. Sure this argument is a double-edged sword, but it is true. There are grey areas in this debate, and that's something that people hate. Grey. Grey requires thought and discussion and personal ideas. We like being told what to think and do. These men were from a church, they even gave me a pamphlet and a card. For everyone reading this that goes to church, do you really believe that everyone seated in that church staring forward believes the same things that you do? Exactly as the preacher thinks? Who knows, the person sitting next to you could be Pro-choice.
Abortion isn't black and white, and neither are most issues. It's a complicated issue that requires a lot of thought and contemplation. A stance can't be decided on simple rhetoric like that delivered by the men outside of the abortion clinic that I spoke with. When approaching issues like abortion, it's important not to be weighed down by those around you. Make the decision for yourself, not because someone tells you that it's wrong or that you can't be a Christian if you believe this or that.
It takes a lot of courage to think for yourself, especially now. And I can safely say that two men with a plastic fetus taught me to appreciate the importance of personal opinions.
Anna Nicole on Page One?
To the editor:
I was astounded to see the photograph and article about Anna Nicole Smith plastered in the center of The Morning Herald (2/9/07) when I opened it today. When did the Herald become a tabloid paper? Why is it that you don't find the Iraq war or other critical national issues important enough to appear on the front page, yet you feature Ms. Smith there.