For the first time I went to a protest of Planned Parenthood this morning with about 20 people from Desert Hills. The announced crowd at the Glendale protest was 1,000 people. Throughout the day, I’ve had some opportunities to reflect on the protest.
The morning was more emotional than I expected. I knew it would be charged, especially with the videos that have been released and the large crowd that was anticipated. I typically only go through the emotions of these events after the fact, feeling a bit numb while I’m in the midst of them. But this morning my eyes welled up with tears a couple times. Standing so close to a building where babies are butchered was sobering, and seeing the passion of so many people to invest their time and money in bringing these atrocities to an end was moving. Seeing a woman hold up a sign that said “I will adopt your baby” caused me to reflect on all the lives that are senselessly slaughtered when people wait so long and desire so deeply to adopt. Rep. Trent Franks’ speech was not a typical political speech in tone. He was visibly shaken as he spoke about the horrors of Planned Parenthood. He did not mince words when he described Pres. Obama, calling him “the greatest enemy to the most helpless” in our society. I often say things like that, and the response is often that I need to be a little less extreme. It was encouraging to hear one of our elected officials be so bold. Recognizing the truth about the evil in the White House is not extreme. Cutting babies’ faces off with scissors so you can extract their brain is. It’s time we get that figured out.
I anticipated that the protest would be ecumenical. It was. There were many Roman Catholics present at the protest. I willingly stand with other human beings made in God’s image to protect the lives of the most helpless and vulnerable in our society. To do so does not affirm their religious beliefs, nor should we pretend we share the same Gospel just because we both value the lives of preborn babies. I think we can go to a protest and affirm the value of human life together while maintaining a distinction from those outside the Gospel, even if we are protesting abortion with them. It does become problematic, however, when a Roman Catholic Priest is chosen to pray, or the opportunity arises to break into small groups and pray but you’re not sure if the people who might be in your group are actually Christians. To resolve that dilemma, we went back to the church and prayed as a group there after the protest was over.
I also was disappointed by the lack of a Protestant presence at the protest. I did see two friends who are pastors at the protest, but I had hoped to see others. Perhaps they were just at different locations (I know of some who were). While I keenly understand the busy schedules pastors keep and the constant demands of the ministry, it seems that something like this should have been a greater priority for pastors and their churches. I was thankful Desert Hills had so many people turn out for the protest. Nevertheless, we who are doctrinally sound should be leading these efforts in our communities, not sitting on the sidelines or simply posting about it on social media.
This afternoon I was brought nearly to tears again watching my daughter play. Her demographic is the target of Planned Parenthood: an African-American baby, the result of an unplanned pregnancy with a birthfather who walked out and left her birthmother high and dry. Her birthmother could have chosen to murder my daughter. But she didn’t. She chose life. As my daughter hid from me in her tent in the family room, laughing and smiling, I had to fight back the tears. Then again, as she jumped unbelievably high on the trampoline, I fought them back again. That happy, jumping, sweet, fun, vivacious, wonderful little girl is mine because a woman didn’t kill her, because a woman loved enough to give birth and then place her for adoption, because a woman chose our family to be her birth-daughter’s parents, and because God had chosen to give us such a precious gift. I was overwhelmed with gratitude that her birthmother chose life, that Planned Parenthood and their genocidal hordes lost that battle, and that love and life won.
Children are a gift. All children. A precious gift of God. Planned Parenthood exists to murder God’s gifts. They must be stopped. It’s not time to pat ourselves on the back for attending a protest. It’s time to realize a holocaust is happening in our back yards, and we are letting it happen. It’s time to cry out to the Lord, “How long, O Lord?”
Defunding Planned Parenthood and ending legalized abortion is not the Gospel. It can’t supplant the Gospel focus of the Church. But if we love the Gospel, and if we love the Lord of life, we’ll stand for those who cannot stand for themselves. We’ll defend the orphan. We’ll seek justice for the oppressed. Pro-life is not the Gospel, but a gospel that does not invigorate us to stand for the lives of those mercilessly, brutally, and unjustly slaughtered, with no voice of their own, abandoned by their father and mother, is at best a defective gospel and, perhaps, no gospel at all.