Picket Signs and Painted Lines
The black paint glistened on the tip of the paint brush as it carefully approached the pristine poster board. Every downstroke was made with a purpose. Great passion turned the usually steady hand unsteady. The message had to be clear. Didn't they know how wrong they were? Didn't they realize that something - this thing - needed to stop, to change? Surely this protest sign would change one person's mind, right?
The black paint dried and the concise message was now a permanent fixture on the posterboard.
"A Child's life matters. Abortion is murder."
This protest is an acceptable protest to many of my friends and family. It does not really matter how the protest is conducted, because the message is worth getting out. If you need to block access to a clinic, assault an abortion-preforming doctor, or blowing up a building, you have been absolved because of the message you are trying to get out.
There are two main issues that people have with legalized abortion.
- It is legalized murder - the ending of a human life
- It is the oppression of a group of people who have no voice to stand against what is being done to them.
A pre-born child cannot speak out concerning the injustices committed against them. They cannot collectively gather and tell their side of the story. They cannot paint signs to educate people of how they feel. They have no voice and they rely on those with a voice, a platform, to speak for those who cannot be heard.
You can hold a sign and speak up for the children with no ability and be a noble messenger of truth.
Or you can kneel at a football game to speak up for those what have no voice and be labeled un-American and disgusting.
The white paint had already dried on the canvas of green grass. The stitching on the red, white, and blue fabric was tight and neat. The instruments were tuned and the vocalist had adequately warmed up. The crowd stood, some of them on their cell phones or drinking their beer. Many had their hats on and still, others were sitting in their chairs because their legs were hurting.
But many eyes, and camera phones weren't looking at the flag when the anthem started. They were looking at one person who decided not to stand. And they collectively had one question, "Why?"
And when they found out he was speaking out for those who had no voice, for those who were being oppressed, they ridiculed him and demeaned him. They told him to get out of their country. This was America after all! The country which was a result of the great protest against taxation and tyranny. How dare he protest!
I have heard more outrage from my pro-life friends about kneeling during an anthem than I ever did about someone blew up a building and murdered another human being.
That sentence is worth re-reading. There is a lot of ironies embedded.
And this disturbs me. Why?
Because this protest of kneeling or sitting out of the National Anthem is the best form of protest one could hope for! No one is getting hurt or killed. There are no insults being hurled, property being destroyed, or lives being threatened.
A few months ago White America screamed at the protests in Baltimore that centered around destruction and chaos. But now, a man of color chooses to peaceably stand up for what he believes and gives a voice to the voiceless and he is somehow un-American?
What more do you want!?!
If you were really truthful you might confess that you want black people to just shut up and live the white way. Maybe that is harsh, but I'm having a hard time trying to understand what exactly it is that you are mad about. You are angry that there are looting and chaos. You get unkempty when someone kneels peaceably.
It is ok to protest abortion clinics in any way possible, but when it comes to the lives of a segment of the population suddenly no means protest is alright?
I think we can be better than this. I think we need to listen to understand instead of listening to react because our reaction are not consistent and it makes us look cowardice, racist, and angry.
A place for exploring the Church in the American context. Issues may get political, cultural, and philosophical — but it’s always personal.