By James A. Wilson
Nothing much has changed. In 2011 I was invited to testify before the California Commission on the Status of Women. Citing the trauma most women endure post-abortion, I said if the state wanted to address suffering women they could stop funding thirty thousand abortions yearly.
I remember the audible gasp from the audience, and the hissed, “This time he’s gone too far.” I remember with equal clarity the chairperson’s effort to encourage dialogue over diatribe; she asked if I was willing to hear views other than my own. I answered I had been listening to such views for more than thirty years and was happy to keep listening, so long as I received – for a change – a chance to be heard as well. The Planned Parenthood representative agreed to dialogue with me, yet when I approached her on a break to seek an appointment she huffed, “I’ve got better things to do than talk to you,” and stalked out of the room. It is not about exchange of ideas; it is about who is entitled to speak and who is not.
More recently presidential candidate Senator Kristin Gillibrand excoriated a Texas city council for banning abortions in their city. Her perspective was clear – men have no business making decisions concerning a woman’s body. Her rivals for her party’s nomination agree with her and are – frankly – just as aggressive over whether women may legitimately weigh in on what they consider not open to discussion. The common agenda is not to win an argument but to be abusive enough to stifle speech they find disagreeable.
I’ve got some news for Kristin and her friends.
I was an unwanted child. Had my mother had the option in the 1940s to cancel my life I most certainly would not have gotten past the abortionist’s knife. I am glad I was born and grew to manhood. I say the issue of disposing of unwanted children by abortion is very much my business. I am still willing to listen, but I will not be inhibited by those who – because they have no argument – resort to bullying others into silence. I exercise my right to speak as an American, a citizen of God’s Kingdom, and a survivor of my mother’s revulsion at my presence in her womb.
By the way, it is not all about abortion and infanticide, this effort to stifle speech. Tim Cook, the openly gay CEO of Apple, made a very fine address to the graduates of Stanford University about accepting responsibility for unintended consequences if they would accept credit for unforeseeable successes. He exhorted them to see themselves as part of a story they would not get to finish, not unlike the author of the Letter to the Hebrews commending the prophets and martyrs who anticipated the coming of Christ and paved the road for Him, knowing they would not see Him in this life and choosing to believe their sacrifice gave them abundance where it counts. He had me – despite my disagreement with his political agenda – until his deeper agenda came out.
The unintended consequences are all about enabling what he calls hate speech and fake news. Coming from a gay activist this is obvious code for what spells out later. He does not want to win a debate over the LGBTQ program; he wants to stop conversation in its tracks. Freedom of speech and (Christian) faith are just too dangerous in his world to be tolerated.
The suppression does not end with gender and sexuality.
Actor John Cusack has joined with congressional members Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Tlaib to make blatantly anti-Semitic/anti-Israeli statements. Cusack re-tweeted a drawing of a Star-of-David decorated sleeve from which descends a hand busy crushing a crowd with the caption, “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”
The laugh is Cusack hoisted himself on his own petard. Although he has received criticism for his blatant anti-Semitism, it is open season on Jews all over the world from UN condemnation of Israel after Palestinians bombard Israeli civilians with seven hundred rockets in one day to the still unaddressed hatred of Jews emanating from Democratic members of Congress such as Ilhan Omar. By Cusack’s twisted logic the indisputable conclusion is Jews rule nobody, since everybody feels free to condemn them.
The abortion lobby, on the other hand, is beyond criticism for most pundits and kingmakers; departures from this faux orthodoxy are punished with labels from anti-choice to anti-women. The alternative sexuality lobby is equally protected; top Australian footballer Israel Folau is vilified all over his country for quoting a Bible verse that includes gays as sinners among many others – Go Fund Me even took down the page supporting his legal defense and withheld donations given for it – and singer Taylor Swift is in trouble not for criticizing same-sex-attracted but for supporting them with too-little-too-late.
Good news is suppression is not working.
Israel enjoys a resurgence of popular support in the Trump era. Comfort with the gay agenda has slipped to minority status even amongst millennials and Folau has received two million dollars for his defense from other sources; even the Australian Prime Minister has spoken against the persecution he endures. Sixty per cent of Americans now want to ban all or most abortions. The bullies have overplayed their hand.
Of course the reality is criticism – in isolation – achieves nothing, much less condemnation. What is needed is behavior expressing accountability plus blessing. That of course requires repentance from all of us, but it’s worth it. The last time the world saw this phenomenon the Iron Curtain fell.
But it begins with this: Life is everybody’s business.
James A. Wilson is the author of Living As Ambassadors of Relationships, The Holy Spirit and the End Times, Kingdom in Pursuit, and his first novel, Generation – available at Bounty Books, or at firstname.lastname@example.org