This morning I sat with my open-minded and open-hearted friends discussing politics (among other topics) over a delicious breakfast. As I tried to articulate my thoughts on several issues, specifically on abortion, it occurred to me…I don’t like the options I have that the world accepts to describe what I believe. I don’t like that in order to know what each of us thinks or feels on any topic, that we have to sum it up in trite catch-phrases and heavy-laden political terminology.
I don’t like it because the world is just not that black and white. This is a world full of gray shadows and shades (and I’m not just saying that because I live in Seattle!).
For instance the language of the abortion debate (because why not pick a nice calmly debated topic as an example right?) is so polarizing. When really the discussion itself is very nuanced. I don’t want to have to pick if I’m pro-life or pro-choice because in reality I’m:
Pro Birth Control
Pro Education for Woman of All Socio-economic Groups
Pro Literacy (yes…there is a connection)
Pro Ease-of-Adoption Laws with Financial Support
Pro Sacredness of Life (born and unborn)
Pro Sterile Surgical Environment (versus dangerous back alley setups)
Pro Having More Options
Pro Church and Non-Profit Involvement & Assistance
Pro Honest Discussion About Consequences and Trauma
Pro Wanted Children
Pro Informed Decision
I recognize that this makes me too wishy-washy for some…too much of a fence-rider for others. But heck…I’m a registered independent which is think is the definition of wishy-washy fence-rider to both Democrats and Republicans.
The bottom line for me is that I think we are so busy trying to mandate what happens in the uteri (Dictionary.com said that was the plural of uterus by the way) of women that we don’t take the time to look those same women in the eyes and hear their stories. Both sides have done damage by assigning evil intention to the other side of this debate. Meeting in the middle is not an option for many because either way you have to give up some ground. For so many giving up ground of any kind…on any debatable topic…makes us fearful. And fear is a huge motivator for all sorts of misbehavior and controlling tendencies.
If nothing else, let’s be honest about one thing. This conversation is HARD. Sharing were you stand on a topic as polarizing as abortion creates a huge space of vulnerability. And God forbid we say “I just don’t know!” Any sign of weakness is an opportunity for the pack to take out one of the “weaker” dogs.
I respect those who realize how complex and difficult this conversation is on so many levels. I deeply admire anyone who has been in community and relationship with another human dealing with these sorts of decisions and their consequences (and not just abortion…but homelessness, lack of healthcare, need for financial assistance, gay marriage, immigration, etc.) .
And I appreciate those who have dedicated their lives to being the hands of feet of the Jesus (even if they do it in another name) and serve by showing up…not only for the poor, young, uncertain, etc…but for the innocent, the victimized, the unwanted.
I can’t get over the fact that humanity…the very people who’s lives hang in the balance of our political arguments…are God’s-So-Loved. And God has never gotten over them either. Rich, poor, black, white, brown, female, male, mother, childless woman, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddist, etc, etc, etc….WE are God’s-So-Loved.
Speak as the So-Loved.
Act as the So-Loved.
Love as the So-Loved.
And remember…you ARE So-Loved…and So-Loved is the other person too.