Diary

An Open Letter to the Million-Dollar Abortive Mother

Dear Million-Dollar Abortive Mother,

I hesitate to call you a mother, since what you’re currently doing by threatening to abort your child unless pro-lifers send you a million dollars falls more in the vein of slave-traders, hijackers, and the “Saw” movies than motherhood.  But whether you choose to acknowledge it or not – and whether I think the title is deserved or not – you are, in fact, a mother.

You’re a mother because you have a 7-week old child growing inside of you – a fact you acknowledged in your essay by using the terms “baby”, “child” and “he or she”.  You didn’t even bother trying to pitch any lines about “choice”, “fetus”, or “clump of tissue” – aged propaganda mechanisms so insipid that even the pro-aborts at Salon advocate ditching them in favor of outright pro-killing language.

No, you came right out and said it: I’m pregnant, I have a baby, and I’m going to kill that baby to make a political point.

Your ultimatum itself explicitly assumes that the life of a child is on the line. I mean, nobody would give a million dollars for a lab sample of your hair or skin or a suspect-looking mole you had removed.  But that’s not what you’re selling, is it? You’re not holding a clump of cells ransom, you’re holding a child. Your child.

I’m sure you’re seeing exactly the kind of reaction you expected from such a challenge.  I’m sure you’re seeing praise and admiration from liberals to whom sexual license is the only remaining virtue. I’m sure you’re seeing shock and outrage from conservatives who see your actions as disturbing and self-interested. I’m sure you’re seeing the media eat it up, as headline after headline draws viewers to your essay.

But more important than all that is what you’re not seeing, Mom.

Right now, at this very moment, unaware of the cultural drama his or her little life is spawning,  your baby is developing hands and feet, and eyelids to cover eyes that are already gaining their color. Those hands and feet are your hands and feet.  Those eyes are your eyes.  A few short months from now, when your baby breathes his or her first breath, every fiber of that little being will recognize you as mother. You will be home to that child – the most important, most precious, and most loved being in their entire existence.

I know this, despite being a loathsome uterus-less patriarchal miscreant, because a little over two months ago, my wife and I had our first child.  We were both excited from the moment we found out about the pregnancy, but we could not have imagined how much joy our son has brought to our lives.

I was by my wife’s side when he was delivered, and watched as he reacted with fear and confusion to all the lights and noises and doctors and nurses – heck, he didn’t even want to see me.  There was only one person in the world who he knew, trusted, and loved: Mommy.

He’s getting big already – growing so quickly. He recognizes my voice when I come home from work, and has just recently learned to smile back at me when I play with him.  He coos and squeals and tries to talk to me, painting my expressions on his little face in an attempt to communicate with the strange non-mom human who grows hair on his face.

But when he gets tired, or gets hurt, or has an upset tummy, he doesn’t want to be around dad anymore.  He wants mom.  See, he and mom have been together for much longer than the 10 weeks that I’ve had the privilege of knowing him.  When the world is scary and mean, dad just doesn’t cut it. He wants to fall asleep in his mother’s arms, hearing the same voice he’s been hearing since the second trimester, feeling the security of the same steady heartbeat that has given life and nourishment to him since conception, and resting secure in the knowledge that she would literally die to protect him.

That’s the relationship your baby has with you right now, whether you know it or not. At this very moment, that little developing brain is slowly getting wired with your intelligence, your wit, and your emotions.

Look, Million-Dollar Abortive Mother (is it okay if I just call you MDAM?), since you’ve decided to make your baby’s life a matter for public negotiation, you’re going to be immersed in the cultural ripples of such a decision whether you succeed in your stated goal of remaining anonymous or not. You’re going to hear a lot of opinions, some you agree with, some you don’t agree with, and some you hate people for even expressing.  This letter might be one of those.  And that’s cool.  Hate me all you want. Hate me and my ignorant restrictive pro-life family, desperately clinging to our backward religious notions of the sanctity of human life. Hate conservatives, hate Republicans, and hate the Tea Party.

Just please don’t hate your baby. Please don’t hold this gun to the head of your beautiful son or daughter, who has a lifetime of hugs and giggles and accomplishments and joy and hurts and love to share with you.

I know this might sound crazy to you in an age where love is pretty much synonymous with sex, and where hashtags like #LoveWins get applied to movements that foster bigotry and discrimination against people of faith, but my wife and I love your baby. Not the concept of your baby, not the idea of winning an argument or proving a point.

We really, actually, love your baby.

Sight unseen, not knowing if he or she will survive the next few weeks, we love your baby.  We will be on our knees praying that you reconsider your decision to end your child’s life. We will rejoice if you choose to keep your baby, and we will mourn if you end that precious little life – as we do for each of the 58 million children who have been sacrificed on the altar of convenience in America since Roe v Wade.

But that’s not all we will do.

You see, as Christians, we are commanded to love not only in word, but in deed. For those who look to Christ as the ultimate example of love, it’s not enough to feel empathy or spin up warm feelings for the occasional act of kindness. I may love imperfectly, but I do have an idea what love is – something I think you might agree that our culture has largely lost sight of.

Do you consider yourself a loving person, Mom?  Have you asked yourself if this ultimatum is the loving thing to do, let alone the right thing?

The Bible talks a lot about love, but it never encourages following your heart, or doing what feels right.  In fact, it places a lot less emphasis on loving feelings than on loving actions.

I’m sure you’ve been to enough weddings in your life to have heard some version of I Corinthians 13 – which I’m pretty sure has been dubbed the official wedding chapter of the Bible.  It says a lot of important things about love, that I humbly ask you to consider with relation to your child.

It says love is patient and kind. Love is selfless – doesn’t seek its own interest. Love doesn’t rejoice in iniquity (doing whatever it wants), but rejoices in truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Lastly, love never fails.

Ever.

Love, in fact, always wins. It must always win, for when it stops winning, this world won’t be a place any of us care to live in any longer.

The challenge you have issued strikes right at the heart of what it means to be a Christian, what it means to be human, and what it means to love. This isn’t about scoring political points or making a statement anymore. This is about life and death, love and hate, truth and falsehood.

I know I’ve written a lot, but bear with me. I’m coming to the point.

The wisest man who ever lived once judged between two mothers fighting over a child they both claimed as their own. Not knowing who the real mother was (DNA tests weren’t quite as accessible 3,000 years ago), he commanded that the child be cut in half and one half given to each woman. One of the women smugly accepted the judgment, content that neither would get the child.  But the true mother cried out to spare the child’s life, even if it meant losing him to the pretender.

The moral of the story is simply this: life is precious.  It’s more precious than comfort or pleasure or convenience, and it’s more important than proving yourself right.

As a rule, I don’t negotiate with terrorists.  And make no mistake – that’s what you’re acting as when you threaten a child with dismemberment and death for the sake of money and politics.

The only difference between the statement you will make by aborting your child, and the statement that the Islamic State makes by beheading people, is that their actions garner universal condemnation, while yours will likely enjoy praise from your pro-choice friends and liberals nationwide.  They will celebrate, they will adore, and they will rally around you to tell you how courageous you are for choosing to have that life, that future, snuffed out in order to tell off your conservative foes. If you decide to come forward with your identity, your name will be everywhere.  You’ll make the talk shows, and you’ll be an icon in the pro-abortion movement, for a while.

And when the lights die down and the praise fades and your fifteen minutes are up, and the nation moves on to the next controversy, none of those friends, none of that fame, and none of those fans will be able to fill the hole of “what if” in your heart.  The day will come when you wake up from a dream about a beautiful little girl with your smile, only to realize that dream died the day you walked into the clinic. I pray that you don’t have to live with that. I pray that you will get to hold your baby in your arms, to feel that trust and that love, and to know within yourself that no other choice could ever be so powerful as the choice to protect life.

Now just to be candid, it’s hard to trust someone who puts up an anonymous online threat accompanied by a “donate” button, so forgive me if I – and likely many other passionate pro-lifers – are hesitant about dumping our money into a nameless website with no proof of the situation whatsoever. It’s a bit like me putting up a website saying that I’ve kidnapped the Sultan of Agrabah and will kill him if all American muslims do not pool their resources to buy me a magic carpet.

I also suspect your motives may be worse than a simple con job – by limiting the time you will receive these “donations” and setting the bar at an amount that few presidential candidates can even raise in 72 hours, it seems pretty obvious that you didn’t want to take any chances with being proven wrong by generous people of faith.  It’s a lot easier to just take the publicity, make your statement, kill the baby, and go on living your life with a chip on your shoulder, knowing that you proved all pro-lifers to be both gullible rubes and selfish hypocrites.

But here’s the thing, Mom: I really do love your baby, and I want your baby to live.  I want that more than I want to upgrade my beat-up old car.  I want it more than I want the Xbox One I’ve had my eye on for a while.  I want it more than I want convenience and comfort for my own family – whom I love desperately and would die for in an instant.

I can’t speak for the rest of the pro-life world. I can’t speak for all Christians. And I can’t give you a million dollars to stop you from murdering your baby.

But I can give what I have – all I have.  Get in touch with me – email me, message me, heck even tweet at me – and if you can prove you are serious, then my wife and I will empty our bank accounts tomorrow, with no hesitation and no regret. If you are sincere, and you can show the truth of your claim and the reality of your intent, then get in touch with me, and I will give every last dime I have to see that your child has a future.

We will stand, alone if necessary, to show that the love of Christ still moves people.  We will give, to show that life is more valuable than possessions. We will love our enemies and care for those we have never met, because that is what we were called to do, by a man who sacrificed himself for us when we hated him.

And whether you respond to my challenge or not, whether you go through with your intended course of action or not, whether or not you are even sincere in your situation, you will never be able to say that no one answered the call. You will never be able to say that those standing for life did not put their belief into action, or that they placed convenience over conscience.

Finally, Abortive Mom, I want to thank you.  Not thank you for something great you’ve done or are doing, of course – while I care about you and your child and hope that you are able to joyfully walk through life together, I find your actions and your challenge to be appalling, cowardly, and despicable.

I literally don’t think it gets any lower than holding your own child for ransom, and threatening to extinguish an innocent life just to make someone else look bad.  That’s the kind of malice that could probably get you elected leader of Boko Haram.

No, I have to thank you, not for the calloused and evil thing you are trying to do, but for what I believe God is going to do through you, and through others who have lately thrown down the gauntlet to people of faith.

Because of this challenge, my wife and I sat in our living room tonight and discussed exactly what a life is worth to us.  We recognized that sometimes issues are decided in wars of words and political landslides, but sometimes they must be decided by a handful of principled people who are willing to bleed for what is right.  We found that we could not live with the prospect of being Oskar Schindler’s character at the end of the movie “Schindler’s List” (a film you should definitely check out).  We refuse to look back at this period of atrocity in our nation’s history and wonder if we could have done more to end it.

I’m thankful because I believe that your challenge may end up doing more for the pro-life cause than a million dollars’ worth of ad buys could have done. I think your essay – whether real or a hoax, mind you – exposed the true nature of the pro-abortion crowd: you admit that you’re ending a child’s life, and you don’t care.  As long as it makes the other side look bad, no action is too base, no threat too demeaning.

And finally, I’m thankful for your challenge, because it reminds me that no matter how dark and twisted this world gets, in the end, love always wins. It doesn’t win because of the immediate results, but because of the eternal ones. It wins because it is unmoving, unchangeable, and unquenchable.  It wins because it is not bound by time or space or relationship or finances or political affiliation.  And ultimately history ends up on the right side of it, because history just isn’t strong enough to bend it.

The pro-life movement isn’t dying in America, MDAM.  We’re fighting, we’re winning, and the youth of America (who, by the way, are increasingly pro-life) will one day look back and thank God that we finally ended the hideous and barbaric practice of abortion in America.

And I hope and pray, with all of my heart and all of my finances, that your child is among them.