Well, I hope so. Because I am! I feel committed to working to abolish abortion in the next decade. Why? Because I believe that abortion is like a silent holocaust that is being tolerated by most people, including Christians. In Nazi Germany, most of the churches were silent about the killing of the Jews. Now, many churches are silent about the killing of unborn babies.
There is something about silence that really bugs me. I remember clearly when I went to the first government meeting I ever attended. It was the year 2000, and I had been encouraged to attend a Fayetteville Planning Commission meeting. The topic: should Kohl’s Department Store be allowed to violate our brand new tree ordinance to accommodate their rigid requirements for the big box store?
About thirty-five people attended the meeting to voice their opposition to giving Kohl’s permission to break our law. It seemed pretty ridiculous. People like Fran Alexander had worked for years to finally get a law passed that would protect Fayetteville’s beautiful trees. College Avenue had already been de-canopied and was pretty barren. Other parts of Fayetteville also looked very sparse and tree-less.
When I walked out of the meeting where the commissioners said they weren’t going to vote now, I asked Fran, “What are they going to do next?” “They will just keep having meetings that people have a hard time finding out about, and then no one will come. Then they will quietly pass the approval for Kohl’s to violate the tree ordinance.”
I was shocked, and found myself saying, “I am not going to let that happen.” And I didn’t. I stayed on top of when every meeting was happening to decide the fate of Kohl’s, until 200 people attended a city council meeting to say “no” to Kohl’s cutting down trees that were protected by our ordinance.
I see abortion in a similar way. Like the planning commissioners who didn’t want to make their decision when a lot of people were present, abortion continues because most people don’t want to take a stand. The vast majority of people don’t want to talk about the subject because it can be controversial. Protestant churches are largely quiet about the topic. Some churches are actually officially pro-choice.
Yet 1.2 million babies a year in the U.S. alone are killed by abortion. In the case of the tree ordinance situation–it was clear as day that there was a law in place to protect the trees. In the abortion issue, we have clear evidence from science that a baby is born at conception. Yet only about 51% of the population, according to a Gallup Poll, identify as pro-life.
I have always been a “stand up for the underdog” type of person. An unborn baby seems to me to be the most vulnerable of all beings–the underdog of the underdogs. The trees seemed like underdogs to me back then as well.
Something clicked in me just a few weeks ago when I attended a Cast the Vision event for 40 Days for Life, an organization dedicated to abolishing abortion using prayer and fasting, community outreach, and peaceful vigil. The speaker said, “What if you knew that three year olds were going to a clinic in your town and being killed. Would you want to stand up and try to bring attention to that horrific action?” I felt my heart leap. Of course I would stand up. Unborn babies are just as important and human as a three year old. It is just a different state of development–starting at conception.
I used to be really proud of my legacy of leading the movement to uphold the tree ordinance and saving the trees. People like Fran Alexander have said that my contribution helped make a change in the government in Fayetteville. Now that has faded into the past. Trees are important. But human life is much more important. Now I want to leave a legacy of people remembering me as a person who helped abolish abortion, and made it possible for abortion to be seen as being as bad as slavery or the holocaust. I don’t expect to be another William Wilburforce, who is my hero, but I want to make a difference.
I hope that my children and friends will talk about me at my funeral describing me as a person who helped unified the pro-life organizations in such a way that we were unstoppable in our quest to shine light on a dark topic and help all people realize how evil abortion is–that it is truly killing a human being. I pray that my efforts to encourage and train pro-life people to have compassionate conversations with people who are pro-choice will build bridges between people who often agree on other issues.
I hope to contribute greatly using all my gifts and talents, partnering with a team of dynamic, compassionate, peaceful people in a loving community setting on our Wellspring Community land at Living Springs to help create a world where everyone can thrive, especially the unborn.
After the well-attended city council meeting, I instigated a tree sit where a middle aged grandmother who was really angry was willing to live on a platform high in a tree on the land where Kohl’s was going to be built. You see, the council members, with 35 people speaking against Kohl’s getting their way, voted to violate the tree ordinance. The tree sit resulted in 33 days of front page news which drew attention to the issue, and gave people motivation to put new representatives in place so that this blatant disregard for people’s voices would not happen again.
The only reason I was able to spearhead this movement to uphold the tree ordinance was because people were passionate about the issue. I think there is a critical mass of people who are passionate about saving unborn babies–including a larger number of young people than older folks–and our time has come to raise awareness to the degree that people will no longer tolerate abortion–just like they don’t tolerate slavery or Jim Crow laws.
I will be using my personal blog to promote these ideas and share my experiences. I hope to hear from you–whatever side you are on! I want to shine a light on the darkness, and give the voice-less a voice. Your comments are very welcome. Where do you stand?