Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Verbage is Everything
It's interesting to me how language, particularly culture's buzz words, can be used to demonize. I find this to be especially true, and especially insightful, regarding rather controversial topics.
Case in point: I was grabbing a stir stick in a local coffee shop several months ago (my mocha needed embellishing), and I happened to glance at the colorful array of ads and flyers on the bulletin board above me. One flyer in particular grabbed my attention: "Walk for Choice", it proclaimed boldly. "Let's walk for our right to choose."
For this particular walk (and this is, I imagine, obvious to the reader) the championed "choice" was abortion. I couldn't have arrived at this crusading walk favoring that option, for I find it to be a particularly brutal and degrading practice against woman and child. However, the flyer didn't overtly state what "choice" was being championed. "Could I," I thought to myself, "show up at this Walk for Choice supporting the alternative -- life?" It would be, after all, a legitimate choice. The very word "choice" implies that more than one option is legitimate. I support the termination of abortion.
Perhaps regrettably, I didn't show up. But I thought long and hard about the verbage of that flyer. If it was brutally honest (and I favor brutal honesty regarding this issue), the flyer would have read "Walk for Abortion: Let's walk for the right to abort our babies." And if abortion is, as I hear from those in favor of it, nothing to be ashamed of -- if it really isn't the murder of the most helpless among us -- then shouldn't the author of that flyer have used the word "abortion"? What is there, after all, to be afraid of?
Interestingly, though, that word was nowhere to be found.
More recently, Planned Parenthood has issued statements against those favoring "Personhood" initiatives in certain states, which would define human life as beginning at conception (something anyone with a modicum of familiarity with human biology should understand). There is much vitriol coming from this taxpayer-funded, multimillion dollar organization against those in favor of such initiatives, calling them -- gasp! -- "anti-choice."
Again, I find the wording insightful. The implication is that anyone who thinks human life begins at conception (which includes atheistic, intellectually honest doctors, to their credit) is a marauding barbarian ready to pillage any group standing in his or her way. Not so. The truth is that there are some choices that are simply not up for debate, and a conscience-seared society needs the basic facts drawn up in black and white in order to be reminded.
So now it's my turn to be brutally honest. Am I one of those nasty "anti-choice" people? It's a fair question. Here's my answer:
Yes, I am anti-choice, regarding certain issues. Regarding whether a man should have the right to beat his wife to a pulp, yes, I am anti-choice. Regarding whether a CEO should have the right to abscond funds from the company he should be leading honestly, yes, I am anti-choice. Regarding whether anyone should have the right to walk into a local establishment and blow the brains out of ten or fifteen people, yes, I am anti-choice.
And regarding whether any woman (including myself) should have the right to have her very own child ripped from limb to limb within her womb, yes, I am anti-choice.
About twenty feet away, there is a sleeping eighteen-month old. Her name is Lilia, whose teenage birth mom found herself alone, frightened, and overwhelmed by her pregnancy. I thank God she was also one of those nasty, anti-choice people.
We need more of them.
** I would like to say that this blog entry is in no way intended to condemn any woman who has had an abortion. On the contrary, my heart goes out to her, for I believe her to have been grievously exploited, misguided, and deceived. There is forgiveness for all of us, whatever our past choices, in the blood of Christ. He knows our secret sins. He loves us still.