Two weeks ago, standing in line at a grocery store, I overheard the following conversation.
Male Cashier: Oh hey! Great to see you. Where are you working now?
Woman 1: Hi! I just started a new job at the Planned Parenthood down the street.
Male Cashier: Right on! I’ve heard it’s really nice over there.
Woman 1: It is. It’s great.
Male Cashier: Way to go, providing such a service.
Woman 1: I know, right?
Woman 2: Support!
Male Cashier: Well, great. And good to know someone there, if I should ever need, you know..
Woman 1: I’ll be there!
I admit, I am one of those people that Pro-Lifers think are the problem. I had to choke down my urge to yell “BABY KILLERS!” in the middle of Whole Foods and start throwing the contents of my basket at the smug bastards. (Now in all honesty, the bottle of sunscreen might have done some damage, but the wedge of brie would have probably made a ineffectual projectile.) I don’t want to reach out with love and compassion. I want to scream. And then scream some more.
But after I’m done screaming, I’d like to know how it is possible for people to be so stupid.
I want to ask that young woman if she knows who Margaret Sanger is. I want to know how she balances all of her politically correct views with the fact that she works for a company founded for the purpose of preventing “undesirable” (read: poor and non-white) populations from increasing and that was given accolades by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler? How, exactly, does one square that circle?
I want to ask the cashier why he is planning ahead for the abortion he cannot even bring himself to name? Does he dislike the women he has sex with so much that the normal biological result of that sex is too fearsome a possibility to comprehend? Has he considered the possibility that if he were a better man, a woman he impregnates might actually want NOT to murder their child?
How can people lie to themselves like this?
Which brings us to today. My Facebook has been like a broken record today, the same “shocking” video posted and reposted. A video in which a Planned Parenthood employee discusses the sale of fetal tissue. Yes, one human being talking about selling the parts of of another human being. Make no mistake, this is completely disgusting. But the only shock should be the depths of the depravity, not the depravity itself. If you are “shocked” that Planned Parenthood is evil, you have made the decision to lie to yourself.
Planned Parenthood has, for decades, made millions of dollars by killing children in the womb. That is not a secret. An abortion is to end the life of a child by human intervention. And Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the country. All the therapeutic euphemisms that men and women have come up with to avoid these facts are the little lies that help them swallow the bigger lies.
I am not a peaceful prayer of rosaries in front of abortion clinics. I should be, but I am not. I am not, because I feel no peace about it. I want to scream and throw cheese. I admire people who are gentle, who want to reach out to women and guide them to choosing life. I’m grateful that the world has people who minister to former abortion industry workers. I am humbled in the fact that God’s grace and forgiveness are available to all the repentant, me included. But my heart is not open in love on this issue, because my mind cannot find the answer to my fundamental question.
How can you lie to yourself this way?
One lie begets another. And the lie that seems to animate so many lives, that allows for lies like abortion to exist, is this: I will be unhappy unless I have sex.
This is a lie I have believed at various time in my life. It’s easy to fall prey to, because it is interwoven into every cultural expression in public life. During the Clinton administration, the surgeon general gave testimony in front of congress on the health benefits of masturbation. “Virgin” is a word to be whispered in shame by doe-eyed recluses dressed like they have just escaped an Amish POW camp. If your cable-network show doesn’t contain the proper nudity-to-run-time ratio, it’s unlikely you’ll be picked up for a second season. We are at the point where is it is no longer a proposition, it is an assumption: sex makes you happy, lack of sex makes you unhappy.
Questioning this assumption will make you look like a rube, or shrew. I don’t consider myself either. (No joke, I can be a stone-cold bitch sometimes, but really, that is only on occasion.) I don’t deny that sex is pleasurable. But I deny that it is the key to happiness. It just isn’t. It doesn’t have that much power. Sex only has that kind of power if you lie to yourself and believe that it does. Sex will function just like any other basket (money, power, internet-sensation status) in which you put all of your emotional and spiritual eggs: your life will become a problem with one solution and you will destroy anything that threatens that solution.
(3 Years, 9 Months, and 24 Days Sober)