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I’m so glad Easter is over. I’ve never been 100% okay with the major holidays, but that’s a subject for another time. The reason I’m glad Easter is over is because I live down the street from Planned Parenthood.

For those who might not know, Planned Parenthood is in my opinion one of the most amazingly poor names one could have given any company ever. It makes more sense to call it Unplanned Parenthood, or maybe even Planning Parenthood - Just Not Right Now. But it makes no sense to call a place that performs abortions Planned Parenthood.

That said, this isn’t really about abortion at all. Well, wait, before we get to the reason for the post in the first place, let me make one little point. If I walk into a hospital and ask very nicely for a surgeon to cut off my left arm, they will ask me very nicely to leave. Unless I’m not very lucky, then they’ll ask me to stay in a comfortably padded room in a comfortably padded jacket.

But if a woman walks into an abortion clinic, and asks for their particular brand of surgery, it’s considered her “choice”. Frankly I’m kinda sick of all of it. It’s not about “choice”; women don’t go to have an abortion because they’ve weighed all the options and it sounds like a slightly better deal than the other ones. Most go because they feel they don’t have any other “choice”. And it’s not about “life”, no one particularly cares about whether there’s life. No one has a relationship with these unborn children. Sure some of the more radical pro-lifers take it on themselves to name all of them, but really, this constitutes a relationship? If that’s the case, there is some serious bonding between me and my roomba.

So if it’s not about “choice” and it’s not about “life”, what is it about? It’s about “curing” a “disease”. You go to the surgeon to have something that’s wrong made right. You go because cancer is eating away at your organs or you need a new liver. You don’t go because you made a choice. You go because you’re out of choices and someone is offering a cure for your disease.

So that’s all I want. I want everyone to just admit that pregnancy is a disease so that we can feel better about abortion. Or I want everyone to admit that pregnancy isn’t a disease so we can stop trying to cure it.

That said, the thing that really really really makes me mad isn’t the abortions. How horrible is that? I have to drive by Planned Parenthood every day and the thing that makes me mad isn’t the abortions.

For the second time in a year, protesters have been standing out in front of Planned Parenthood in what they call “40 days of prayer”. If you’ve been anywhere near a Planned Parenthood during Lent, about the past month or so, you’ve probably seen them. Most of the time they’re standing there, heads down, looking terribly sad at the atrocities taking place inside. Sometimes they’re waving signs that say things like “Honk if you hate abortion” or have statistics on the number of babies murdered in some span of time.

I have no problem with protest. I have no problem with activism. I have a huge problem with someone saying that holding a sign that says “Honk if you hate abortion” and calling it prayer. What god are you praying to that requires cue-cards? What god do you pray to that has to respond with honks to indicate whether he does or does not approve of something? If it’s really about 40 days of prayer, and you really believe that God listens to you, why are you standing in front of Planned Parenthood. Is that the only place he’ll hear you? Are you just trying to make sure he’s really clear about what sort of abortion you’re talking about?

Abortion is a human rights issue. Either you have the right to claim pregnancy is a disease and therefore demand access to a cure, or you have a right to claim that pregnancy is one of those rare miracles that humanity has the privilege of participating in and therefore those babies have a right to demand access to life. It is not a religious issue. It is not a faith issue. It’s a fundamental assessment of sanity.

But speaking of sanity, when you pray for the troops in Iraq, do you pack a bag, buy a ticket and get a little sand between your toes? When you pray for the government, do you have to stand on the steps of the capitol? When you pray for people whose lives are consumed by drugs, do you go kneel in the front yard of a meth lab?

Look, all I’m trying to say here is if you want to protest Planned Parenthood, then fine. If you want to be an activist for the pro-life movement, then fine. But if you want to mask your protest and activism as though it were “prayer”… Seriously, I don’t even know how to react to that with anything other than anger. You’re lying about what you’re doing and you’re trying to use God as a justification for it. Go read the beginning of John 8. If that’s not enough how about this one…

5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6: 5, 6

So if you do care about these women who are hurting, who have no choice, pray for them, love them, forgive them. Holding up signs that accuse them of murder does nothing if it’s not followed with the good news that Jesus’s sacrifice paves the way to be reunited with a God who knows exactly what it’s like to not have any other option than to kill a child.

Posted with : The Way