The Trumping of Jesus

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump stands during the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in North Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Well, it is done.  Donald Trump is the Republican nominee.  The balloons have fallen, and now we prepare for Hillary.

Over the past few months, and especially the last few days, we have been overrun by coverage of The Donald.  Even if you don’t watch the news.  Even if all you were looking for was a cute cat video or an update on a friend’s pregnancy, you have been blasted with Trump.

But what have you seen?  Support of Trump, sure.  Mocking of Trump, yes.  Vitriol, fear, incredulity.  But I think the main thing you have seen is that like him or hate him, he is the focus of so many people.

In my opinion, we talk about him far too much.  But of even greater concern is how we talk about him.

Listen for just a few moments to either a supporter or detractor and you get the same feeling: Donald Trump has the power to change the world!  No one mentions that it is that pesky congress that makes laws (whether you like or hate “Obamacare” remember congress had to pass it first.)  Never mind that the power of the President is limited (I highly suggest listening to this Freakonomics podcast about presidential power).  Apparently Trump has the ability to either resurrect American greatness or flush us all irrevocably down the toilet.  He sounds like a Greek god.  The only question is his intent.

Really?  Is that what we think?

Don’t get me wrong.  I want good leaders.  Like good laws.  But…

Whoever the president is cannot make me love or hate my neighbor.  They cannot make me stop teaching recovering drug addicts ways to improve their closes relationships.  Trump can’t rob me of the joy my children bring me or the excitement I feel about a newborn.  Hillary won’t make church better or worse.  They can’t make me treat my wife with honor and respect, or stop me from doing so.  The president cannot control my morality, my ethics, my compassion.

The important things cannot be touched, because they don’t come from the president.

They come from Jesus.

Remember Him?

He’s the guy who constantly said “Fear not.”  The one who announce he was The Way, Truth, and Life.  The fellow who claimed that the kingdoms of this world can’t touch his.

I am not trying to disparage anyone who has political concerns.  Nor am I trying to convince you how to vote.  Rather, I am simply asking: Do you fear Donald Trump (or Hillary Clinton) more than you trust Jesus?  Does your anxiety about this election in any way line up with your beliefs about Jesus as savior?  Do we give the president too much power over our lives and Jesus not enough?

I do hear Christians asking who Jesus would vote for.  And more often I hear Christians proclaiming they know who Jesus would vote for.  I sometimes wonder, if Jesus were running, and His platform was radically different from the Republican or Democrat, would we vote for Him?  Have we so bought that the way to really change the world is through politics that we have forgotten the one who actually changes hearts.

Perhaps I am wrong, but it seems a lot of us Christians actually believe that the key to Christianity and the future of this world is who gets elected.  But I thought we already had a king?

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The God I Believe In…

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I don’t believe in a God who would _____.  I refuse to believe in a God who will _______.  The God I believe in would never ______.

On an almost daily basis I hear or read sentences like these.  And on the surface this type of language can sound like a beautiful sentiment.  They are typically said in an effort to distance God from some type of position that we think offends people.  In other words, “God isn’t like that.”  But just for a moment, imagine talking this way about anybody else.

Well, some say Bill hates bacon, but I refuse to believe in a Bill that hates bacon.  I mean, the Bill I believe in would never hate bacon.

We never talk like that.  Except about God.  It seems that we forget that God isn’t a thing, but a person.

Now, some of this comes from being unsure.  We don’t always know where God stands on certain issues.  The Bible can be confusing.  The church does not speak with one voice.  All that is true.

But.

How often does what God would never do just happen to match our moral leanings?  Isn’t it amazing that God would so often see things philosophically and politically just like me?  How fortunate that God seems to view the world much as I do!

Throughout time, people have consistently struggled with making God in our image.  And we do so today.

  • God is definitely a democrat because I am.
  • God is definitely for this political agenda which, oh my, just happens to match my political agenda.
  • God is obviously against this sin (yeah I think that’s a sin).
  • God does not care if we do that (whew, good thing God agrees with me, some of the Bible had me worried.)

As we constantly scramble to make God fit the image we want, we are forced to ignore the claims of millions of others who follow God.  We shuffle past parts of the Bible that don’t match our painting of the Lord.  We somehow always end up reading about “God so loving the world” but quickly move past talk of narrow paths or parables of banquets where guests are kicked out.  Or we do the exact opposite.

This isn’t a call for us to change our views or interpret scripture differently.  It is simply a call to honesty.  We should all admit that, perhaps, our image of God is faulty, incomplete and often self-centered.  We might be wrong about some things about God.  The “God I believe in” may not be an exact representation of the actual God of the universe.

And if we can be honest, then it makes us humble.  And if there is one thing the world could use right now, it is Christian’s willing to admit they don’t know everything.

So if you feel the need to take a position on God, here are a few options:

If you don’t believe God exists, then fine.  Don’t believe.

If you want to say “unless God does things a certain way, I refuse to follow God”, then fine.  That is a perfectly legitimate angle.  God is real, but I don’t like God so I refuse to take part.

Or claim to be a follower.  Try to live as a disciple.  And along the way admit that you can’t possibly discern every little thing about God.  No one can.

Those will all work.  But to claim that God should be followed, except when God seems to disagree with my preconceived notions, is goofy.  We don’t get to decide what God is like.  What God has to do.  How God has to treat people.  We are not God.  Again, humility.

Over and over in the Bible, people are surprised by what God does.  Their preconceived notions are consistently blown apart.  Ours should be too.  If they never are, then maybe we aren’t dealing with the real God but the god of our own creation.

Interestingly, we live in a time when so many claim that God accepts us just as we are.  Maybe it is time to offer God the same courtesy.

STOP

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I think the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back was a Facebook post I read two weeks ago.

It was a Sunday and I was putting something on the church Facebook page.  My eye was drawn to a post that was sharing some commentary about the death of Nancy Reagan.  It caught my attention.  I didn’t care about the commentary, I just didn’t know that the former first lady had died. (With seven kids, staying up on the news cycle has become a priority somewhere between writing the great American novel and trying out for the NBA.  Things I would like to do, but have no time for.)  I have no particular affection for Mrs. Reagan, it’s just that her husband was the president of my childhood.

The commentary on her passing was pretty harsh.  The writer was not a fan of Mrs. Reagan.  And then came the comments.  I know it is a mistake to read them, but since some of them were by people I know, I couldn’t help it.

They were brutal.

I know I shouldn’t be surprised by what people are willing to say online.  But a woman had just died.  A woman who actually never held office.  Yet, she was called despicable names.  Called a racist.  A homophobe.  And numerous words I choose not to write here because they are beyond offensive. Some of those posting a comment consider themselves Christians.  But they simply joined the chorus.

Again, let me make it clear.  I am not some kind of fanboy of the Reagans.  There were many policy thoughts shared in the commentary about which I know nothing.  What I am writing is not about politics.  It is not about Nancy Reagan.  This is about us.  About Christians.  About how we talk.  About how we talk online.  About how we talk about politics.

The apostle Paul says the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  He doesn’t say be kind, unless you disagree politically.  Be gentle unless you think the other person doesn’t share your political philosophy.  Be patient except with those who don’t think exactly like you.

I wonder if you took all that Christian’s post or write online about politics, would the word joy describe any of it?  We claim to want peace, but our words stir up divisiveness and animosity.  In the name of love (loving our country, loving the poor) we spew vitriol and hatred.

What are we doing?  I am truly flabbergasted.

The only thing I can think to say in response is simply this:

Stop.  Just stop.

STOP!

The hateful rhetoric with which we often talk politics is blatantly unchristian.  Yet we cannot seem to be close to civil when discussing the other party’s candidates, or remotely objective when discussing our party’s.  Much of what we claim about the goodness of Christ goes out the window once we start discussing welfare and social security, Obamacare and guns.  Our speech shows we care more about an earthly election than the kingdom of God.  And we need to stop!

Just because the other person’s politics doesn’t fit your view of social justice doesn’t give you the right to call them a racist.  STOP.

No more name calling.  STOP.

No more assuming the motives of someone with whom we disagree.  STOP.

No more calling people evil because they choose to vote differently.  STOP.

Liberals are not libtards.  STOP.

Conservatives aren’t fascists.  STOP.

And by the way, a rant on Facebook that your twenty friends read isn’t an act of social justice.  Just STOP.

In an effort to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit, perhaps the best thing for many of us to do is to not comment.  To resist the urge to immediately make our case.  To learn the art of shutting up.  To just STOP!  If love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness are not going to be a part of what we say, then we need to exercise some self-control.  Just don’t speak.

Recently, I have heard many people ask, “How can someone call themselves a Christian and vote for Trump?”  Here is a better question:  How can someone talk about others the way we do and still claim we are following Jesus?

There are many concerned with Mr. Trump’s rhetoric.  They worry that his words will lead us into a rough place as a nation.  Perhaps.  But my take is that his words aren’t new.  His attitude is something I have read in the comments for years.  He is a reflection.  Not a reflection of a particular political philosophy.  But a reflection of a cultural attitude.  Attack.  Name call.  Show blatant disregard for those with whom you disagree.  This isn’t something new.  It is how many of us already act.  And we need to stop.

 

Confessions of a Pacifist Wannabe

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The recent outbreak of terrorist attacks has once again pushed me into a corner.  As a follower of Jesus, I long to respond appropriately.  I am sad for our world.  I want to help (though there appears to be little I can actually do).  To be honest I feel pretty inept.

Then, I read an article, or a blog post.  I sit in a conversation.  I hear people’s fears and hopes.  I witness a discussion about “how Jesus would respond.”

Jesus says things like “love your enemies” and “turn the other cheek.”  And I agree with him.  Not that I think like Jesus.  But over a lifetime of my blundering around I have become convinced that Jesus generally knows what he is talking about.  So I long to do those things.  I want to be like Jesus.  He is crucified, yet while dying asks God to forgive those perpetrating this horrible act.  That is my example.

So, I want to be a non-violence guy.  A pacifist.  I don’t want to fight or shoot anyone.  I want to be like Jesus.

But, it is way more complicated than don’t shoot or fight.  I wish it wasn’t, but for me it is.  And so I confess: I am a wannabe pacifist.  I desperately long to follow the path of Jesus.  But I lose faith.  Or get confused.  Or sometimes think we don’t truly understand Him.

Here are some of my struggles.

I believe in non-violence.  But should I demand that my government believe in that as well?  Or my neighbor?  My confidence in the way of Jesus, in his grace and love, is what allows me to even attempt to be a person who shuns violence.  What right have I to ask someone else who does not share that confidence to do the same?

I think it is wrong to shoot someone.  So if there is someone breaking into my house, should I call the police, who may arrive and shoot someone?  Or at least will meet violence with force.

Can a Christian be a police officer?  In the military?

How about voting.  If I believe a policy or candidate is good, even “Jesusy”, and vote for them, am I okay with how that policy is enforced?  Laws I think are good and righteous are inevitably enforced with violence.  Obey or we will come with guns and make you.  Is that the Jesus way?

Is it right to go on Facebook or Twitter and demand Christians “turn the other cheek” while living under the protection of the most well-equipped and trained Armed Forces in the world?

Can I say to the Jew in the concentration camp, “we are over here praying for our enemies” and do nothing to free them?  How about the women being raped by ISIS?

Am I cool with violence being committed that is “just”?  I’ll be honest, I feel pretty okay about the Paris police shooting guys who were mowing down people at a sidewalk café.  How else would they have stopped?  So am I okay with that as long as I don’t have to do it?  As long as Christians don’t?

Yes, I believe love is bigger than fear.  But if I go on the internet castigating those who are more scared than loving right now do I really understand love?

I can be a pacifist when someone attacks me (if that happens), that is the example of Jesus.  But can I be one when someone else is attacked?  Should I?

I hear cries from Christian’s for justice.  We want the poor to be helped, the suffering to be comforted, those discriminated against to be made equal.  Is violence or at least the threat of okay if it brings about those good and righteous ends?

So, I am confused.  I am trying.  I make lots of attempts to cultivate love in my life.  I haven’t hit anyone in a really long time.  I don’t spank my kids.  I am working to be a pacifist.  But I don’t have all the answers.  My non-violence is not airtight.  And because of that I refuse to go on Social Media and demand that everyone “love our enemies” without admitting both how difficult, and complicated that truly is.  We need to do more than quote the Bible (yes I said it).  We need to be willing to have the hard conversations, to admit our understanding isn’t complete, to be honest that it is far easier to demand love than to figure out how to pull it off.

Questions about Abortion and Life

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(This is the third in a series on abortion, planned parenthood, children and pregnancy.  You can read part 1 here or part 2 here.)

To say that talking about abortion is like opening a can of worms may be the greatest understatement of all time. There is so much emotion and ideology attached that once the word abortion is uttered the lines of defense are instantly drawn, the trenches dug, and everyone settles in for war. To try to ask people to see things from other points of view, or even acknowledge the other side may have a decent point or two, is to stand in no-man’s land with machine gun fire coming from both sides.

Yet, that is what I want to do.

Now, I definitely have a stance. I have really strong beliefs. But I do try to see and hear others.

So what I pose here are just some thoughts and questions. I am not pretending that some of them aren’t slanted. They are. I am not saying that I have all the answers. I don’t. But I wish that instead of blindly defending what we think, we would at least allow a question or two to seep in.

Please use this to simply think. If reading one of these questions or thoughts makes you want to instantly stop reading, or convinces you that I am in some other camp that you want no part with then slow down. Think. Why did that push your buttons? Too often we claim to be willing to listen, to be open-minded, to legitimately look at things from other perspectives, but when push comes to shove we quickly dismiss even a thought-provoking question if it differs with our own views. Just take it in. Think.

And please don’t assume that you know my answer to all of these questions. Some of them I don’t even know what my answer is.

 

If the reason for allowing abortion is that “it is a woman’s body, and she has the right to do with it as she wills”, then shouldn’t prostitution be legal? What about me selling my kidney to someone who needs a transplant?

We have a huge movement in our country to do things naturally. Eat organic, be at one with nature. Yet, many women who wouldn’t dare darken the doors of McDonald’s take birth control pills that dramatically alter what their body naturally does. Why is one okay but the other is not? And then how “natural” is abortion?

Can we please find better language for all this stuff? I read a blog post (written by a woman) that I felt was pretty even-handed in its approach to the Planned Parenthood videos. Yet, the comments were brutal, mean, and one even claimed that the writer was part of a war on women. Seriously? Just because someone is pro-baby doesn’t make them anti-woman does it? Do we have to paint each other into a corner because we are afraid if we actually listened to one another we might learn something or maybe even have to change? If all you can do is chant for your side (whichever that is), and paint the other side as evil, then maybe that is a huge part of the problem?

Let me ask a question to those who are pro-life: What are you doing besides voting and complaining to be a part of the life-giving solution? Are you adopting kids? Fighting for justice? Seeking ways to help the poor and suffering? Trying to stop wars and violence?

Let me ask a question to those who are pro-choice: If someone truly believes that a murder is being committed, what do you expect them to do? I mean, if I knew that someone was going to murder your mother, wouldn’t you want me to do everything in my power and then some to stop it? If someone believes abortion is murder, would you think much of them if they just did nothing?

I hear some people make the point that if the “conservative ” camp cares so much about life, then why aren’t they doing more to stop wars, domestic violence, the death penalty, etc…? You know what; I think that is a pretty good point.

I hear some people make the point that if the “liberal” camp cares so much about stopping something like the death penalty, why don’t they care more about abortion since for every 1 person executed in the United States there are around 25,000 abortions? You know what; I think that is a pretty good point.

I am pro-life. Let me explain. I am for senseless killing to stop, whether it is done with a gun, a grenade, an electric chair, or a scalpel. There is far too much people killing people in this world.

I am pro-choice. Let me explain. I believe that one of the first things God gives people is freedom. They get to choose to even do stupid stuff. We can choose to do things that hurt us or our relationships, or we can choose to do things that bring joy and peace. But we all have the right to choose. However, my personal belief is that rather than defining abortion as the moment of choice, it would be more honest to look at all the choices we make that lead up to that moment.

Finally let me say, I follow Jesus. He is the Lord of Life. Therefore, I stand for life and dignity anywhere I can. But that does not mean that I hate or disparage someone who has an abortion. No, I treat them with love and dignity as well. I just hope that we can all move beyond the idea that we have to hate the other side, as well as come to a place where someone can think what we are doing is completely wrong, but we don’t interpret that as hate. It is the only way this discussion can ever move forward.

The Language of Children

IMG_0895(This is the second in a series of posts about parenting, children, birth control and abortion.  To read part one click here.)

Let me explain what an accident is. If I am driving down the road, and hit a patch of oil, and careen out of control into another car, that is an accident. I certainly hope that no one gets hurt. I didn’t mean for it to happen. I didn’t drive recklessly or over the speed limit. It was an accident.

But if I intentionally drive over that middle line and ram my car into oncoming traffic? That is not an accident. Now, I may have made sure that I and everyone in my car was wearing a seat belt. But if someone is hurt I don’t get to claim “I didn’t mean for you to get bumps and bruises.” No. If you drive head on into oncoming traffic that is not an accident.

If you have sex, a pregnancy is not an accident. That child is not an accident. And we need to stop calling them such.

The way we talk about children often borders on shameful. They are accidents. They are expensive. They are burdens.

And sometime our more subtle ways of talking about kids is even worse. We post on Facebook about how tired we are because of these little ones. We describe with utter joy any moment when they are not with us.

In fact, from the way many people talk about their children, I want to ask them why. Why do you have them? If they are this much burden, this much of a drag, if they keep you from doing almost everything you want to do, why have them? And certainly, why have more?

Now, maybe these parents don’t meant it. They are simply venting frustrations. Actually, they are very glad to have those kiddos in their life. That could be the case. I’m sure that for some it is. But if they really want and love and find joy in those kids, then, why all the complaining?

I think we complain and gripe because that is what the culture is teaching us. A parent should be tired and whiney. They should be jealous of all those with less responsibility. Having children is this giant burden that robs you of your identity, friends and money. And that is how we describe it. And after describing it that way for long enough, we come to believe that’s the truth.

Admittedly, parenting is hard. It is difficult. It is tiring. Parenting is often a struggle. Sometimes exhausting. Occasionally heartbreaking. And to top it off it is probably the most important job in the world. So there is also lots of pressure. Which is why it matters so much how we talk about our children or children in general. Parenting is hard enough without a constant reminder that we didn’t plan for this guy, or really want another, or wish they would just hurry up and grow up.

You see I am not just concerned about the way we talk about children affects them (although I can’t imagine what constantly overhearing that you are an accident does for your self-esteem). I am interested in how our language affects us.

Constant negativity in any arena will push us to see the difficulties much more than the joys.

A society that consistently complains about the burden and work of children can’t help but teach us that our goal should be to limit or avoid these hardships. Through birth control or even through abortion.

Here is my crazy idea: What if Christians, and especially Christian parents, determined to only say positive things about children? Imagine if every word that came out of our mouths regarding little ones was seasoned with joy, thoughtfulness, gratitude and appreciation. Wouldn’t it be great if the world around us said, “Boy those church people sure do like children.”

Now, some may argue that is unrealistic. That everything isn’t always great. True. It just seems to me that our culture has swung so far the other way, that we are so bombarded with the negative about parenting and children, that us speaking about joys and gratitude might start pulling us back more toward the middle.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them.” Is that how we feel? Is that what we say? Do we want them with us? Are they a burden or a blessing?

Planned? Parenthood

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(This is the first in a series of posts about children, parenting, and abortion.)

With so much in the news about Planned Parenthood, I wanted to speak to something that rarely gets talked about. I do this not as a pastor or citizen, but rather as a father. And what I want to talk about is not federal dollars or hidden cameras or even abortion. No, I want to talk about slogans.

Planned Parenthood’s slogan for years was “Every Child A Wanted Child”. Which sounds great. Who thinks it wouldn’t be a better world if every child that was born was greeted with joy and expectation? I love to hear someone get so excited over the little one they are about to bring into the world. And I know how important it is, what a difference it makes, for a child to be loved by people who are ready and capable.

Where I differ with Planned Parenthood, and to be honest with many people including other Christians, is how to get there.

We have become convinced that a baby should come when we say so. We use pills and condoms and iuds and shots to wait for (in our opinion) the perfect moment. When we finally have it all together. When we have just the right partner, the right job, the right financial situation. And yet…that is not how it works.

I have yet to meet a single person who claims that when they had their first child, no matter when, they were truly ready.

How do you actually prepare for the late nights with a colicky baby? Yes, we may mature as we get older (some people definitely do not!). But, while we can promote growth and self-discipline, that is not what people mean when they say they are ready for a child (or for another child).

No, what we mean is typically this: I have a feeling that says I am now ready for a baby.

Many things may or may not play into that feeling. Financial situation, marital status, age, employment and a myriad of factors that are impossible to quantify. Yet, people with no money in the bank will want a baby, and those with millions may say they are not ready. There is no factor that is magic. Because we are talking about a feeling.

So, on the one hand we seem to be waiting for a very specific feeling that says “I am ready”. But there is another side as well.

There is a logic that says that giving people access to birth control actually reduces abortion. And it makes sense. Without the birth control Planned Parenthood helps provide, some of those women would probably get an abortion.

But we have to think deeper. What if our reliance on birth control has led us to the false belief that whatever I do sexually, there shouldn’t be consequences? What if the fact that we feel like we can control when we get pregnant, leads us to believe we should completely control that whole process? Therefore, of course abortion is an option, because our mentality is that we shouldn’t have to deal with a pregnancy we don’t want. I don’t have that feeling that I am ready for a child, so…

Maybe we have more abortions, because our sexual behavior requires no maturing. What if our reliance on avoiding pregnancy while still having the pleasure of sex, is part of what keeps us immature? Think about it. The birth control industry teaches us that we should enjoy this intimate act, but we shouldn’t have to deal with a single consequence. I should be able to have sex whenever and with whomever I want without cost. We think we can make sex “safe”, but we are fooling ourselves. There is nothing “safe” about it. But, one of the things we have put to great risk by believing sex can be without consequence is our own spiritual and emotional growth.

So, the way we have sex does not require or foster maturing. And since we are not maturing, we simply wait for a feeling that tells me the time is now.

What if there is another way, a different path?

A Road Less Travelled

I must really love kids. At least that is how some people see it. They assume that having a large family means that was the goal. Others think we are crazy, or that we belong to some type of cult that worships pregnancy (I actually laughed out loud writing that.)

But the truth is much stranger.

You see, I don’t have seven children because seven times my wife and I determined that we were ready. Sure, we talked about that. Living in a society where people constantly talk about ready or not ready, or how they are “trying”, or that their youngest was an “accident”, you can’t help but think that way. But that has not been our determining factor. No, the reason we have seven kids is because…

See, you really want to know.   I find this all the time. People will talk with me who are obviously flabbergasted. They can’t even imagine a reason. It is so far removed from our cultural expectations. Because we have all bought in. We may frown upon abortion, but we do believe that we know best when it comes to the exact right number and timing of children.

And that is what my wife and I have given up. We have determined that actually, we may not know best. That our “feeling” shouldn’t be the all-determining factor. That our selfishness is too great. That for every child to be wanted requires us to want whatever child comes our way.  And that wanting any child is a spiritual discipline.

That doesn’t mean I look down on someone who doesn’t have children or doesn’t want children or uses birth control. I don’t. But I do believe that most people I know have never thought outside that box. Birth control is assumed. What would happen if we no longer assumed?

It certainly doesn’t mean I look with disdain on a teenage mom, or a college student who has an abortion. No. In fact, they have my utmost sympathy. They are being dragged through a culture that has taught them only one way to think: Have sex when you want-get pregnant when you want. For millennia sex and pregnancy were intimately connected. You can’t suddenly unplug them and not expect something to happen.

As a kid, my family would often go and eat Mexican food. After filling up on chips, salsa, nachos, refried beans, enchiladas and everything else, we would be very slowly making our way out of the restaurant when my father would say, “ooh, I am not ever doing that again.” And yet, a few days later, there we were once again filling up on chimichangas and tamales. If we could have taken a pill that would undue or shield us from the consequences of that meal, we probably would have. After all, we would have eaten Tex-Mex every day if we had the money and the stomach for it. Luckily, no such pill exists. Otherwise, I would never eat a vegetable or a salad. Tex-Mex all the time for me. Which would be horrible for me.

Anytime we divorce the normal consequences of an action from that action we are incentivizing behavior. That is what we are doing with birth control. It incentivizes sex on the front end, and may create a culture where abortion seems reasonable on the back-end.

So, in response to the outrage and counter-outrage about the Planned Parenthood videos, I am not calling for people who are having abortions to stop. I am calling for us to consider something much bigger. What if we changed our entire outlook on children? What if we decided to want every child? What if we looked at the tight bonds that exist between marriage, sex, pregnancy and family and held them up not simply as nice ideals but as real possibilities?  What if we fostered the idea that “every child a wanted child” isn’t just a slogan, it can be a reality?

Are we at least willing to consider that there might be another way?

(Next Week: The way we talk about children and how it influences our choices)