Friday, February 4, 2011

A message to the Church (and myself), first and foremost, concerning the recently released Planned Parenthood videos

Have you seen (or heard about) the 2 recent undercover videos of PP employees agreeing to help a pimp get STD testing and abortions for underage (14-15 year old) prostitutes? Probably.

There's a lot of chatter on this subject from the right and the left. Let me surprise you.

First off, the videos are produced as persuasion pieces, no denying that. However, you can access the full recordings of both videos from and the videos themselves. IF the videos smack of 'Loose-Change' or 'Zeitgeist' to you, by all means watch the originals.

Second, what is offered by PP on these videos is inscrutable. Whether its a set up or not, and whether that sort of deception is ethical in football or polemics or war, does not change the rules under which PP self-consciously submits from being wantonly discarded.

Third, that taxpayer $ goes to fund these clinics escalates the issue to a point of concern for the general populace. This is not simply a 'shut up and don't buy it if you don't like it' situation. We're all buying it.

Now on to my surprise.

First, I am glad that groups are working to expose injustices at PP clinics and elsewhere. However, most of what PP does is lawful according to the jurisprudence of state and federal law. Should it be? That's a different question than the one I'm asking here.

Second, I really do believe that most underpaid employees at PP (and elsewhere) are trying to help curtail a societal problem of mass proportion. Are they doing it the 'right' way? Perhaps not, but any critique of their actions should be carful to not impune motives of explicit malevolence.

This leads me to my third and final point: the Church, and its members, watch videos such as these with appall. We cry for the unborn, break for the men and women driven to such desperate measures, and project our justified anger on to the likes of PP and others. Then, we pick up our coffee and go back to FB or blogging or conjecturing about the superbowl. We pick up our stones, throw them, and drop a few extra boulders into our pockets for the next time around. On the contrary, we SHOULD be finding creative ways, at the sacrifice of our own time, money, and talent, to mercifully minister to these people. Instead, we stand over 'sinners' with indignant condemnation. I am not being self righteous here. I fail at this worse than you...and I even work at a church. My point is simply this, to paraphrase Zach Nielsen, Planned Parenthoods exist because the church has failed to love, care for, adopt, minister to, and meet the needs of the people represented in these videos. The darkness swallows where the light is too weak. Whenever a pro-choice friend rallies the cry of 'what would you do, then, with all this poverty, with all the kids born into such abject circumstances, etc?' I feel the sting. Indeed, what do I do? I don't often do what Jesus did. He walked up to the PPs of his day and invited himself over for dinner. The religious people were pissed. Would he not decry the slaughter of the unborn? Sure, but no less would he put his feet and hands to action loving the weak, the needy, the ones in the hardest-lowest-poorest places. God help me to get to that business today. I dream of a day where the Church's strongest argument against abortion and for hurting men/women is that we're actually doing something constructive about it. Raising awareness and exposure-videos have their place. Yet is strong words/images fall on eager ears only to be greeted by limp legs and apathetic hands little has been accomplished.

Ps: here's the video if you're interested. For those of us who consider the sanctity of all life as a core value in our worldviews, may it drive us to mercy, love, and action.

1 comment:

  1. What I want to know is why no one is talking about the 14-15 year old girls who are being exploited? There are girls in every country in the world, including countries like our own where slavery is illegal, who are being used as receptacles of perversion. The saddest part is that people often condemn these girls for what is done to them, as if a 14 year old has a choice in being raped repeatedly. Is not that life just as precious as the life of an unborn child?

    I do agree, the church, myself included in this, needs to get serious about being the body of Christ.