A blurb from an article I was just commenting on:
Today, I see that nothing about my religious anti-choice views did anything to prevent abortion. They did a lot to shame myself and my friends, but nothing to prevent abortion. Today, I hear anti-choicers talk about the babies and the unborn and the American genocide, but what I really hear beneath all that is slut-shaming and fear of female sexuality. I hear that language clearly because I spoke it once, myself. It is a familiar language to me.
Andrea, unfortunately, the truth is that you didn’t really learn the language. It’s a language of love. True, authentic, self-sacrificial love — even at the expense of comfort, lifestyle, pride, or independence. It is not a language that creates shame, guilt, or hopelessness. It recognizes its presence, definitely! But it talks about overcoming that, not wallowing in or succumbing to it.
I am really sorry that you had such a shallow and uninformed experience in the Christian and Republican groups you mentioned. At least somewhere in there, someone should have been a living example to you that the core of the Christian teaching is that our bodies are a reflection of God’s love for us. Someone should have clarified that “proper Christian women” use their physicality to glorify God and treasure the intimacy of sexuality.
Somehow, the doctrine and the dogma you were fed missed out on the essence of what it means to be Christian, even to live in the light of God. And it makes me SO sad, because they failed to help you see that it’s not about “hang-ups,” “slut-shaming,” or “fear of female sexuality.” It’s aboutlove. About gratitude for what God has given us, and about living with an appreciation and respect for those gifts.
Coming to the defense of the unborn is an appreciation of the gift of life. Coming to the defense of women everywhere is an appreciation for what our bodies can create and what our sexuality means — we should empower one another to be women that have the strength to get through difficult situations like unexpected pregnancies, not convince one another that we are too poor, too young, too weak, too heartbroken, too busy, or too unaccomplished to give birth.
And so often, we (Christians and prolife) are coming to the defense and fighting semantic battles with people who don’t speak a language of love. It makes things extremely difficult. I cannot convince anyone to love God or love their neighbor — it takes a change of heart, not debate — but I can expect that everyone I meet is at a different point in their search and journey towards that. Sometimes, it’s about looking out for their entire well-being when they can’t see how. It’s about loving others when they can’t fully love themselves.
The whole article is really a sad read. The blogger says that she fell in love, so her whole perspective changed. She was taught that sex was taboo — not that sex is a reflection of God’s infinite plan for creation and our relationship with Him. She was told that women who get abortions had no self-control or morals — not that they are real women who are struggling and need compassion.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. I just want a place to record what I’m saying in all these ridiculous places… so I can keep learning how to speak patiently, lovingly, and deliberately.
So sad. In a state where so many GREAT things are happening to fight for life (Norma McCorvey in Dallas, and Abby Johnson in the Bryan/College Station area, for example), it’s sad to see this Dallas reporter speak so brazenly about something she obviously never understood.