Why is it so hard to just take a stand?

This blog is a journal of sorts, random thoughts and updates about my life which as you may have noticed focuses a lot on my family and my role as a mother. You may also have noticed that my faith is not just a piece of my life neatly tucked away in a box to open on Sunday and then put on the shelf again as I resume life as usual. Rather my faith and relationship to my Creator, Savior and Lord is the thread that the tapestry of my life is made of. It can no more be separated from any area of my life than the thread can be pulled from the artistry of that tapestry. Therefore as I write this "journal" it will be a mix of all kinds of things that are on my heart and the events of my life...the joyful, the ugly, the silly , the mundane....everything that makes this Mosaic of my life .

With that said, there is something that I can not get off my mind. Maybe its all the recent politics and debates that have me thinking. I follow politics but I try not to become so emotionally involved in them that I cannot keep a bigger perspective on life and Gods ultimate sovereignty. I find though that God repeatedly brings me to my knees, literally, and allows me a glimpse of his heart for humanity and this world...I can't really explain it with words. This is not by any means said in arrogance or in claiming that I know the mind of God. Not even close. Who can know the mind of God and mystery of everything he is? As we become closer to him , in an actual relationship and we allow the spirit of God to fill every part of our lives, we start to see things through his eyes of His mercy, compassion, grace, love and holiness. Its not an easy way to go around looking at the world...trust me ..it would be SO much easier to live a self focused, my comfort and happiness is my ultimate priority, kind of life...oblivious to pain and suffering around me. To have your heart torn open on a regular basis and to have the veil of self preservation pulled back is an uncomfortable place to be, because it demands action. So often though I fall short before the actual action takes place. I like to think, ponder, read about...but am usually afraid to actually rock the boat or step out and put my own heart on the line. Its safer to play armchair referee and complain about all the crap in the world. When I said in my first blog that I am a closet activist, I wasn't joking...its a confession. I can joke about it , but in actuality I should be ashamed of it.

Throughout the written history of Gods relationship with humanity he is actively concerned about how we care for each other and treat each other. This is particularly evident through the books of the prophets (people God used to carry his message). His heart for the poor, the voiceless and the oppressed are expressed over and over again. The book of Amos (a Shepard sent to Israel with an unpleasant message from God) he writes

" They sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals.
They trample on the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed...."

" Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy and say to your husbands, "Bring us some drinks"! The time will surely come when you will be taken away with hooks, the last of you with fishhooks...." (he is not referring to actual cows here but to the fat , lazy, rich woman concerned only with themselves)

Over and over God appeals for the proud, rich and self righteous people of this nation to turn back to him ...but in their own pride they" do what is right in their own eyes" instead, living for the pleasure of the moment. God uses invading armies and poverty to remind them where their security lies..not in their perceived wealth or their own strength...but in the Rock of their salvation, God himself.

God's heart for the helpless, the voiceless, the oppressed ,the enslaved and the poor is a theme that runs throughout the Bible... secondary of course to his romancing a lost humanity to himself and his gift of redemption. How can we as a society and especially those of us who call ourselves Christians , not represent his heart while we go about wearing his name and seeking his blessing. God is a "Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows". Christ discusses on many occasions defending the orphans and widows, he's not only telling us to help exclusively the orphans and widows but those that are without a voice or anyway to rise above their situation with out help. In that age and culture a child or a woman without a husband was without money, means or defense and was easily exploited and trampled on. Translated into our culture I see our responsibility being to care for those who are suffering, those living in poverty not of their own choosing, the millions of orphans around the world, the single mom struggling to raise her kids alone, the immigrant, the child slaves, the children sold as "shrine prostitutes" or child soldiers, the voiceless and helpless millions of babies being murdered in the name of convenience ...the list is overwhelming at times.

I hate how we've divided so many of these Social Justice issues and made them political. Any of these things that break Gods heart should break ours also....and in doing so should call us to act on their behalf...even when unpopular to do so. Some of these issues are trendy right now, not that there are a lot of people actually sacrificially giving of themselves, but there are a lot of people who like to talk about them. On the other hand some of these issues are very taboo "extreme" and "scary" to those who have politicized them.

In my opinion you can't fight to protect the rights of only some of the voiceless, some of the oppressed or only those humans deserving of human rights. It makes no sense to me....how have we become so calloused? Unfortunately common sense is to often lost in political correctness , fear tactics and rhetoric. Protecting those who cannot protect themselves in not a "right wing" "left wing" issue , its a issue of humanity and compassion.

How easily our society can take a grave and abhorrent wrong and , because of popular opinion...or because of the opinion of a few that yell the loudest.... it is made into a "right" or even called a "choice". It has happened throughout history. I think the biggest civil rights tragedy of our 'modern' world is the "right to choose" to end a unique, individual human life. Tragic and horrific beyond words. I think some day humans in the future will look a back at our culture and shake their heads in disgust....similar to the way we look back in horror and disgust at the tragedy of slavery, the holocaust, child sacrifice or the gladiator games. Which by the way were all considered "right" and legal at different points in history.

We need to have a standard to follow a compass to guide us ....our own depraved minds and hearts will always lead us toward destruction of those easiest to destroy, whether its tormenting the geeky kid in our class, taking advantage of the children working in sweat shops by buying those products, using more than our share of the worlds food and resources in North America , or ending the life of a human who is looked at as an inconvenience. We are either on the side of defending and bringing change...or we are on the side of "to each his own....do what is right in your own eyes....we can't legislate morality". That last part gets me a little riled up.

What if all the people who fought to bring an end to the horrific slave trade just shrugged their shoulders, and in fear of rocking the boat just said

" I don't necessarily agree with slavery, I think its wrong myself but I don't believe in preventing those who want to buy slaves from doing so....its between them and God....its a matter of freedom of choice...I'm not pro-slavery, I'm pro-choice." Can we get anymore wishywashy?

We legislate "morality" all the time, last time I checked its illegal to rape and murder someone, its illegal to steal someones car, its illegal to drive too fast or intoxicated because it might hurt someone. We have become so blinded by those who would have us turn and look the other way while atrocities are being committed under our noses. We have our ears filled with those screaming lobbyists protecting "roe vs. wade"and those poor "rape and incest victims"...and of course what about a mothers "health". We have closed our eyes to the facts of the grim reality of what we are allowing...and the blood that will be on our hands by allowing it. By the way, the total number of abortions that happen because of rape, incest or a mothers "health" are far less than one percent combined. Why does the exception dictate the rule? Well over 99 percent of abortions happen in the name of convenience and as an afterthought birth control....why can we not protect those millions being murdered with no reason other than inconvenience ?(and dare I suggest even the lives of those who had no choice in the manner of their conception or paternity...ooohh..thats walking on glass even suggesting such a thing) We stop thinking critically about the facts and let the tide of rhetoric pull us along. What if, instead of acting like lemmings following the lies, the half truths, the political rhetoric and fear tactics ....lets start asking some intelligent questions like .
"How can it be my right to take another persons life?"

"If the mothers life is actually at stake in the last trimester of pregnancy why does this need to result in a late term abortion?" Why can't an effort be made to safely deliver the baby ,even prematurely, and save both lives?...

Why is my tax money going to pay for another womens after- thought birth control? ...the gov't doesn't pay for any other elective surgeries.

Why when a baby is gestationally old enough to be viable is it ripped from the womb and murdered in the birth canal instead of just being delivered and given to a waiting family?

Why is a baby who survives an abortion left to die...isn't that infanticide?

hmmm...I think there are people who don't want us asking these questions and will silence us with their screams of worn out cliches and lies.

Why are woman exploited and encouraged to have abortions when they are at their most vulnerable and desperate...why aren't they loved, encouraged and given real options?

Why when a mother is given the devastating news that her child will not be the child she had dreamed he would be...rather he has down syndrome, or some other survivable condition deemed imperfect by societies standards....is she strongly encouraged to abort and given all the worst case scenarios of life with this special child. Why is she not encouraged to connect with other families and prepare for his arrival armed with knowledge and joyful expectation? I just don't get it.

I am not speaking from ignorance on this topic or naive idealism, I have faced and experienced changed plans, dashed dreams and choices I never thought I would be faced with. I have cared for a special needs foster child and realize the challenges. Life is messy, life is hard, life is full of the unexpected.... but that doesn't absolve me of my responsibilities as a human and as a Christian...and it certainly doesn't give me permission to take another life or stand by and allow others to do so.

I am in no way judging the victims of abortion.... woman are true victims of these lies that we are fed and have been exploited in the name of "womans rights", bearing the physical and emotional scars for a lifetime.

On the contrary lets start asking questions, looking at facts and get off that fence we are so comfortable straddling. Lets stop villanizing politicians ( who seem to be professional fence sitters) , whining and blaming and start effecting changes in our own hearts and attitudes. Lets uphold the rights of and demand justice for the oppressed, the marginalized, the suffering and the voiceless in our world.

What about opening our own wallets , using our own voices or going with our own feet instead of being armchair referees? It starts with us reassessing our priorities and looking beyond ourselves.


" He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it"
Martin Luther King jr.


" Never forget everything Hitler did in Germany was legal" Martin Luther King jr.

Comments

Grandpa Steve said…
whew, lots to ponder and contemplate.

Good for you to openly express yourself and not needing to have all the answers before posting.

We will never understand the heart of God, but many of our experiences do give us a glimpse.
Valen said…
When is the book coming out??
Erica said…
Hello! Thank you for stopping by my blog. I look forward to keeping up with you and your family as you venture back to Mexico. How exciting. Silas isn't a super common name, how cool that you have a babe with that name too.
debbie said…
Ok, I'll take the bait...
While it is true that some laws follow the code of moral conduct set out by our society, a law in itself does not always imply morality. There are many laws that are not moral, ie) our country legally requires us to drive on the right hand side of the road but another may have the law requiring driving on the left hand side. Neither choice was morally charged. Also, as you have pointed out, there have been many laws in history that are immoral ie) slavery. My point being that law is not about morals, and furthermore, society’s morals are far different in many cases than Christian morals. Religious morals are strictly externally directed by an authority, in Christianity it is the Bible. Societal morals are usually determined through determining for ourselves why we ought to obey a moral, and the general consensus of a community becomes the moral. Canadians then, much like in an election, have determined in an almost democratic way that a person has a right to choices over their own physical, mental, and emotional bodies (I say this because the majority of Canadians have backed this right through how we vote). Human beings are the only species with the ability to reason and rationalize and that is what differentiates us from the deer’s your husband shoots or the cow on your plate. The right of a rational being to have freedom of choice is essential to all our morals, even to Christians who choose to believe. To take away one persons freedom of choice for our own moral beliefs would mean we could do so for everyone’s personal freedom. If we can legislated that a pregnant woman, upon becoming pregnant, no longer has the legal right to decide what happens to her body, then we have opened up the door to taking freedoms away from any person for any reason. That to me is morally wrong.
I would say more, but I have already procrastinated on studying for a midterm on Monday…
Kenzie said…
Carla-

Thank you so much for commenting and also for your profound post! You have brought up so many legitimate questions and all I can say at this point in our nations history is that each will have to reconcile his/her decisions to our Lord on they day they seem Him face to face. We have all sinned, but I TOTALLY agree with you... standing by and not taking a stance actually can be viewed as condoning it. As you stated, such a SMALL percentage of abortions are done because of a risk to the mother or due to rape/incest/violence. I have many friends that would LOVE to be able to adopt a baby but would be waiting for years to adopt one here in the US because so few are available... how sad when there are TONS of families waiting that might not ever get the chance because these women do buy into the lie that an abortion is "easier."

Anyways, thank you for your clarity and for taking a stand!

Blessings... little Silas is adorable!
Kenzie
Madison from California said…
Slavery is wrong but, taking away a woman's right to choose is not? That makes no sense, AT ALL! But, I have found most conservative Christians to be very judging of people who have any view different from theirs. HYPOCRITICAL, is one word that comes to mind.

I mean seriously, why are you celebrating Halloween if you are so religious? A true Christian would not celebrate the devil's holiday. I am assuming here, but, Santa is celebrated in your home. Now that is just 100% wrong.

Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, not a holiday where a fat man jumps down your chimmeny leaving a plethera of presents for little ones.

Being a Christian does not mean you get to pick and choose what parts you want to follow. Remember that, the next time you are "not" ha ha ha ~ judging other people.
Carla Burlando said…
Madison, I'm sorry you feel so hostile toward someone who views and values life differently than you do. I will not debate the topic with you. That is not what this blog is about. However I would like to address the accusation of hypocrosy.

A Hypocrite is someone who sais one thing or claims to value something but who's heart is far from it.
Jesus called it a "white washed tomb" keeping up an appearance on the outside but rotting on the inside. I am the first to admit I am fully human in my weakness and struggles...and I have never claimed to not make mistakes on a regular basis. However I desire make my life a beautiful offering to my Lord...outside and in.

For example I don't care about orphans to look "good" or righteous...I do it because of a God given love that can't be contained. The same goes for everything else I "stand for". The changed heart comes first ..then the outpouring. Anything less would be hypocrosy.

I don't consider our family highly "religious" as you put it...as far as legalistic rituals and rules...it goes much deeper than that. Our faith is an intimate relationship with our Creator and Savior. It is like choosing to open my ears to the beautiful orchestra that has been playing around us since the beginning of time ,and being invited to grab my cardboard tamborine and join in....flaws and all. It is only Him that turns my effort into something beautiful. It is like being asked to dance the dance of my life in His arms.

In regards to Christmas...yes you are assuming...A LOT. I'm sure there will be posts closer to Christmas expressing my heart for this sacred celebration.

May God Bless you and reveal himself to you in a way that makes you feel loved and beautiful too.

Sincerely , Carla

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