Pro-Life / Pro-Death

24 06 2008

Pro Life

I read this article yesterday.  It’s an interesting write-up on the “young” evangelical voting group and their Shane Claiborne - The Irresistable Revolutionpotential impact on the upcoming election.  (I place the word “young” in quotations because the article ranges this group between 18-29, but I still consider myself in the young christian crowd at 31:)).  The article is interesting to me for a variety of reasons.  One reason is that it references Shane Claiborne – author of an outstanding book I read a few months ago called The Irresistable Revolution – Living as an Ordinary Radical.  (If you haven’t read this book, please buy it and read it).

But there was something else in the article that really caught my attention that I want to focus on for this post.  Speaking about this “young” evangelical group of voters, the author of the article said:

“Most favor stricter laws to protect the environment, for example, an issue not typically associated with Republican platforms, yet remain conservative on issues like opposition to abortion and support for the death penalty.”

OK, does this bother anyone else?  This is something that has perplexed me for quite a long time.  How can anyone be an opponent of abortion and a proponent of capital punishment at the same time?  How can you call yourself pro-life and yet support something called the death penalty?  These two hot-button issues seem to be completely at odds with each other.  But, it always amazes me the number of people I know who are pro-life and pro-death at the same time.

Of course, I do understand there is a fundamental difference between the life of an innocent unborn baby and that of a death-row convict.  But, is there really a difference in the value of their lives?  Does God love one more than the other?  I personally don’t think so.  I think God loves each human being the same and the value of our lives stems from that love.  So, in my pro-life way of thinking, I can’t make a distinction between the killing of unborn babies and the killing of rapists and murderers.  To me, killing is wrong no matter the target.


Boys bedtime

29 05 2008

On the nights I put my boys to bed, I pray this prayer with them:

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank you for this day.  Thank you so much for all your many many blessings.  Thank you so much for little (4yrold) and little (2yrold) and little (babydueinaugust).  We love our kids soooo much…help them to know how much we love them, Lord.  Help them to know how much you love them, Lord.  Help them to grow and meet their milestones, Lord, on time.  I pray that they would remain happy, healthy, and strong.  And, Lord, above everything else, I pray that they would learn to love you and follow you and know you as their personal Lord and Savior.  And help them to show others around them your love.  Lord, I pray that they would have a good night’s sleep tonight.  Help us to all get the rest that our bodies need.  Help our boys to know that they are safe in their beds tonight.  Amen

At some point during the prayer my 4 yr old always reminds me to pray for his uncle and for whoever else may be on his mind that day and I do that or I pause while he does it himself.  And, my 2 year old usually bows his head and prays “Jesus….food….Amen”.

When I tuck my 4 yr old in bed, I always ask him the following three questions:

Do you know I love you?

Are you going to sleep tight tonight?

Are you going to have sweet dreams?

When I tuck my 2 yr old in, I always say, “You know you got a daddy who loves you?….and, I mean, I love you biiiig time, dude”.

I don’t know why this has become our routine.  But, it has, and I think we all like it.  I know I do.

Birthing Center

3 05 2008

Everytime my wife has been pregnant (she is pregnant for the third time now), she has insisted that she is going to have the baby naturally.  And, everytime, I have supported her in her endeavor.  That is, until the moment of truth when someone at the hospital mentions drugs and my wife waivers just a bit in her steadfastness.  At that moment, when I should be her rock, her encourager, instead, I am all about the drugs…bring em on and bring em fast!

Well, this time, my wife has decided she needs more than just my support to be successful.  So, she has decided to have our next child at a birthing center using a midwife.  Her thinking is that if she has the full support of staff and facility that she will be able to battle through successfully.  In other words, no one will be there trying to sell her on something she doesn’t really want.  And, truly, what they are actually doing is trying to make the process easier for themselves and, more importantly, trying to add unnecessary items to the final bill of sale.

I have been asking her a lot lately why it is that she wants to have a natural birth so badly.  I mean, in my way of thinking, why put yourself through an extreme amount of pain and agony when there is really no reason to.  She hasn’t waivered in her responses.  First, there can be negative side-effects to the drugs up to and including death.  And secondly, as a strong woman, she knows she can do this and she wants to prove it to herself and to others.  Third, women have done it the natural way for thousands of years and if they can do it, so can she.  Plus, this is the way God intended it.

I try to argue that women have had headaches for thousands of years too, but she still takes an aspirin once in a while to remedy hers.  But for some reason, this argument never holds water – something that still doesn’t make sense to me.

Regardless, I really do want her to know that I am her closest and strongest supporter.  And, I AM committed to doing whatever is best for her and our kids – No matter what.  But, we still carry on the debate.  She has even asked me talk to some friends of ours at church that had their last child at a birthing center.  So, I did talk to them.  And, I tried to ask them the right questions to get them to explain to me why this method is so much better.  And, honestly, I don’t feel that I got any closer to understanding.

This is all on my mind now because she and I just came from a class at the local Birthing Center where we plan to have our third child in August.  It was just a simple class to go over logistics and ask questions, etc.  But, I did sort of leave feeling a little better about things.

I am still scared to death about doing it this way, but I can certainly acknowledge a few positives.  I certainly agree that with our first two babies, the hospitals and doctors really did nothing to show that they cared about our wishes.  I think they were just interested in shuffling us in and out as quickly as possible and at the highest possible price point.  Additionally, I understand that this is something that is truly important to my wife.  And, if it makes her feel stronger and somehow validates her as a strong woman, then I can support that.  And, lastly, I can see how the recovery time for her and the baby could possibly be easier.

So, this should be an interesting journey.  I am excited to have a third baby and, yet, petrified not to have the safety net of the trained medical staff and facilities in close proximity.  But, I know my wife is a strong person.  I just have to be strong too.