The Political Speech I Want To Hear

great-speakers

Great speeches sink into our souls and linger in our bones. The best writers and orators know how to move our emotions into actions. They convict, inspire, and drive us to move.

Most of the speeches I hear to day are mere rhetoric; empty shells of hollow words meant to anger our enemies, pacify our critics, and satisfy our friends. This is a low bar to reach and a boring one.

The political speech I want to hear invites (healthy) conflict and dialogue. The political speech I want to hear challenges me to think more deeply, to love more courageously, and to admit I don’t know. The political speech I want to hear goes something like this:

Not long ago, a motley band of misfits set out in hopes of creating a new life for themselves. They faced persecution and made the courageous decision to flee. We still see their faces around the world today.

They embraced uncertainty and risked their lives for their children’s children’s children. We are those children. We stand on the shoulders of unnamed giants lost to the anonymity of history. Though their names are forgotten, their bodies long decayed, their sacrifices live on in our blood.

These misfits disagreed on much, but they were united in their quest for something greater than themselves. They were united in their quest for something greater than the world had ever seen.

In the journey for survival, greatness was born. It was forged in battle and nurtured in heartache. Good men died fighting for dreams never realized. Families were torn apart in a war against ourselves and we were faced, once again, with the thought of “will we survive?”

In our darkest times, we forgot that all men are created equal. We denied the humanity of our people and we paid the price; a price we still pay today.

We will not be able to make amends this side of heaven, for what justice can their be for enslavement, rape and murder? Still, we remember and we will fight to right the wrongs we face today – imprisonment, education, rape, and murder.

When we think of the Hassan’s and the Abboud’s and fear rises in our bones, we remember when it was the O’Kelly’s and O’hare’s we feared. We will not confuse peace and harmony with safety and security. To be a refuge, we must accept the refugee.

We will fight; fight to protect our borders and the values dear to us. We remember those who have died to protect these values of freedom, speech, and religion. We will fight the lie that the danger is only outside of us.

We will fight the evil that harms women and children. We will fight the wicked who seek harm and not prosperity; those who use women and children as shields and objects of war. We will take the fight to them so they cannot bring it to us.

We will hold seemingly opposing ideas together and fight for unity, though the force of these oppositions will threaten to break us apart. We will love the refugee and hate the perpetrator who made them flee. We will love women, all women, and stand for their right for life; be they Syrian, elderly, or unborn.

We will disagree with our neighbors and defend their rights to believe it. We will fight to protect those who disagree with us because freedom is greater than homogeneity.

To the villains who use violence to threaten or intimidate others, your time is up – be it in nightclubs, churches, mosques, or abortion clinics; we will not rest until we see justice. We will uphold the values of justice and mercy even when the force of them together threatens to rip us apart.

We, the people, of the United States will stand united in the face of tyranny and oppression; whether they come from within or outside. We have hope because we find our courage runs deeper than our fear.

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Equal Play. Equal Pay.

I was 10 years old and riding in the car with my family; a Dodge Minivan, to be exact. The 1999 Women’s World Cup was fast approaching and I could not be more excited. My Dad starting singing the theme song from a popular commercial featuring Mia Hamm and Michael Jordan.

Anything you can do I can do better…

…I can do anything BETTER THAN YOU! was my loud reply

The women on the US Soccer Team were my heroes and idols. I wanted to be just like them. I could name every player and her number on command. My room was covered floor to ceiling in posters of women’s soccer players, swimmers, runners, and articles cut out from Sports Illustrated. I love sports. I love female sports. I love playing and watching sports.

I am part of the generation of girls who count the 1999 World Cup as a turning point in their life. I will forever remember Bob Gillespie’s article in The State newspaper decrying women’s sports and urging everyone to “wait for the hysteria to die back down.”

Well Bob, you were wrong and I’m glad. The popularity of women’s sports has only continued to rise and millions of girls around the world love and play sports.

Many of the players on the reigning World Cup Champion team were also influenced by the ’99ers. They too remember exactly where they were when Kristine Lilly saved a goal line shot with her head or when Brandi ripped off her shirt after beating China in PK’s.

The current generation of players are standing on the shoulders of these giants and they are reaching higher. They are demanding equal pay for equal play.

On the surface, this is a no-brainer; an easy decision for any non-female hating person. On the surface, I agree. Equal play, equal pay. Still, I think the issue is more complex than social media typically allows.

Let’s first acknowledge that women have been (and are still) paid less than their male counterparts for the same work across many (if not all) fields. This is not right. This should be challenged, called out, and changed.

The issue comes with how we define “equal.” I think most of us agree, equal does not mean the same. A butter knife and a steak knife are equally knives, but they are not the same. A chimpanzee and a rabbit are equally mammals, but they are not the same. With this in mind, I would argue men and women are equal, but not the same, especially in sports.

I work out regularly with guys and while there are somethings I am better at, across the board, even the weaker guys are bigger, faster, and stronger than me. I work hard, sometimes I’m more skilled, but all things (weights) being the same, I cannot keep up most of the time. This principal holds true across the majority of the male-female spectrum with regard to physical pursuits.

Drawing this out to sports, the work effort, hours of practice, and technical skills required are equal, but the results are different. The best female players in the world, the US national team, are on par with a talented U16-U18 boys team. Though the work is equal, in comparison, the result is not the same.

This being said, the women have achieved what their male counterparts have not – multiple world cup titles, olympic medals, and higher world rankings. All things being equal the women are competing at a higher level than the men and succeeding.

Admittedly, there are more factors than just the play on the field. Marketability, media coverage, sponsors, all factor into an athlete’s value to a company. I do not know the exact dollars, but I would imagine the marketability of the female players as reigning world cup champions is equal to, if not greater than the men. The players leading the charge for equal play, equal pay are some of the most highly marketable athletes in the world, particularly when marketing to women, though more than a few Sports Illustrated magazines have been sold as a result of the work of these women as well.

My concern for the movement, and the reason I desire clarity, is because I see a trend in sports (and Western culture in general) towards declaring men and women the same, and not merely equal. I fear a day when women’s and men’s sports will be combined and women will be excluded not because they’re women per se, but because after around age 13 they simply cannot compete on the same level as their male counterparts.

Women and men are different, but equal and those differences need to be celebrated. Women and men are much more similar than they are different, but much like a painting by Monet, the beauty is in the detail.

I still say equal play, equal pay, but let’s not confuse equality with sameness. Women and men bring different strengths and people to the game and that should be celebrated, valued, and rewarded, not minimized.

Why President Obama Should Nominate the Next Supreme Court Justice (and Why I’m not voting for Donald Trump)

1200324_1280x720Over the next week, South Carolina will become the third state to cast its vote on the way to nominating the next candidates for President of the United States.

Personally, I’m on the AnyonebutTrump bandwagon so if that disqualifies me in your mind, feel free to stop reading now.

If choosing a President isn’t enough, we are also fighting for the nomination of the next Supreme Court Justice. If there was ever a time to be interested in politics this is it. In what I think is one of the greatest strokes of beauty in our system of government, multiple bodies hold tremendous power over the decisions made for the nation and yet, none of them is independent from the other.

The death of Justice Scalia has only ramped up the fervor and spit-fire that has already accompanied this election cycle. Blinded by passion, many people have abandoned their principles for the convenient (and self-serving) position.

It is the role of the President to appoint Supreme Court Justices and the role of Congress to approve or block the nomination. Period. There is no clause that states except in an election year. Principles, laws, and rules exist to maintain order, longevity of government, and as close to fairness as we will get in this world. You don’t get to pick and choose when you want the system to work for you. Principles are meant to guide us in the difficult times, not merely support our argument when it’s convenient. If you espouse the virtues of democracy (ahem, republic) then you must accept them when you disagree – THAT is the beauty and power of the system; individuals with conflicting ideas coexisting and even thriving among tension while working for the betterment of all.

It is not always convenient to have a conversation with someone you disagree with. Sometimes, our beliefs lead us down a path we would rather not go. Justice Scalia was famous for and skilled at following and argument to its logical end.

The decisions made by the next President, like many before, will have grand implications for the future of our country. This is one of the main reasons (among many) I wholeheartedly cannot support Donald Trump for President. His pandering to voters is a thin mask concealing his love of self (and only himself). A man who does not ask for forgiveness is a man who values himself above all others. Power and selfishness together have destroyed many more people, families, and nations than any flawed government program.

As you prepare to vote I challenge you to think critically about your own beliefs – what are the far-reaching conclusions that result when you follow out your line of thinking? What about the views of your candidate? You may not always like where they lead (I know I don’t), but at least you will be honest about what you (and they) do or do not believe.

What to do about Refugees?

refugeesRecent events have once again thrust the values of compassion, life, safety, and responsibility into the forefront of our conversations. After the most recent events in France, the issue of immigration and refugees is at the center of conversation.

To be clear, America has not always been kind to the immigrant or refugee, be it Mexican, Irish, Jewish, Catholic or Sudanese. We are not unique in our circumstances – fear, compassion, and safety have forced many generations to face their ideology. As a nation, we have an ideology that touts compassion, but when faced with the reality of perceived safety vs. ideology we, the people, often choose perceived safety.

I see many posts and statuses (thanks social media) saying some version of a few ideas like:

“If we can’t take care of (homeless vets, children in poverty, mentally ill, etc) in our own country then we should not take more refugees” or “It is shameful that we care more about refugees than our own people.”

and my favorite…

“If I had a bowl of 10,000 m&m’s and I0 were poisoned, how many people would be willing to eat a handful?”

First, let’s make sure we understand m&m’s are not people and they do not bear the image of God and they are not escaping war and terror.

Second, does our compassion for one group of people negate our compassion for another group? One person cannot do all, but all can do some. My question for those in the “care about our own people first” camp is this: In what ways are you already caring for these populations (homeless, orphaned, impoverished)?

My experience has shown me that the people who are actually working with at-risk populations are the same people advocating to bring the refugees into our community.

Now, let’s be clear. I am not saying we should abandon our due diligence in screening those who want to immigrate. I am not saying we should have open borders. I am not saying our actions are without risk. I am not saying we should not seek justice for the perpetrators of terror.

It should be remembered that without welcoming refugees fleeing terror, the United States would have never known Albert Einstein, Madeleine Albright, or Sigmund Freud. Also, if you are of Anglo-Saxon descent then at least one of your ancestors was likely fleeing religious persecution in some form.

Immigration, war, and refugees are complicated issues that deserve complex and diligent thought. We cannot afford to be either bleeding heart liberals or closed-minded conservatives.

Most of us are not in a position to directly influence public policy (we are a republic, not a democracy, after all) so I will not address the issue of public policy. What I do know is that there are already immigrants and refugees in almost every community in our nation and there will likely be more. Isolation, poverty, and lack of opportunity are 3 main drivers of radicalism in any culture (neo-Nazi, IRA, radical Islam, to name a few). Perhaps the way we combat extremism is not through isolation and fear, but through community and relationships.

If you are a believer in Christ, then you must examine his word and let his authority determine your actions. We have been sent as sheep in the midst of wolves, to be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves. We are immigrants in a foreign land, longing for home. Our actions and beliefs should reflect an ideology greater than personal safety and deeper than political dogma. We should seek both justice and mercy, safety and sacrifice, wisdom and compassion.

When we think about an issue let’s think deeply, slowly, and be willing to say “I don’t know.”

If You Say You Are Pro-Life

Throughout history there are a few moments that truly changed the course of the world. The invention of the wheel, Pax Romana, and the declaration of the Magna Carta are a few such events.

In 1215, for the first time in history, a governed people demanded and assumed certain rights given to them by God, not the king.

562 years later, following this same logic, the founders of the United States of American declared independence and began a revolution that changed the understanding of government and human rights forever.

Life. Liberty. Pursuit of Happiness. To the founders, these ideals were unalienable – unable to be taken away or removed from the possessor. Most of us would say we support these ideals. We want healthy kids, social mobility, freedom of religion, choice, guns, and speech. Yet far too often, we want freedom when it works for us. We want liberty for us. We want life for us and those we care about.

If we say we are pro-life then we have to care for unborn lives. We cannot take away the life of a child because it is inconvenient for another person.

If we say we are pro-life then we have to care for the teen mothers,  mothers addicted to crack,  fathers dealing drugs and their children. We have to act on behalf of kids in foster care. We have to be willing to get messy, dirty, and hurt. Being pro-life means caring for all lives-including the ones we would rather not.

If we say we are pro-life then we have to care about the 14-year-old girl with an unwanted pregnancy. Should she abort the baby? Should she place her in foster care with a waiting list of over 200 needed families in one county in SC alone? Should she try to raise him herself? Should she go on welfare? What would you do?

If we say we are pro-life then we have to care for the immigrant and refugee. We have to welcome the refugees with open arms into our abundance. We have to be willing to lose so others will gain. Our fear cannot overpower our faith.

If we say we are pro-life then we have to care about black men incarcerated at a rate of 6x greater than white men. We have to fight against a penal system that seeks not justice, but punishment and often assumes guilt, not innocence.

If we say we are pro-life then we have to care about the child being bullied because he is gay. We must teach our children that to differ in opinion is not an excuse for violence, hatred, or separation. We are to defend those who cannot defend themselves; even when we disagree.

If we say we are pro-life then we must care about the men and women on death row. We cannot decry the killing of a life in one scenario and then celebrate it in another.

If we say we are pro-life then we must care for the weak, the poor, the immigrant, and the orphan. To do so means we will lose. We will lose strength supporting those weaker than us. We will lose money to provide for those poorer than us. We will lose resources to welcome an immigrant with merely the clothes on their back. We will lose sleep caring for children not our own.

If we say we are pro-life then our own lives should reflect our beliefs. In a world of political black and white, we must embrace the gray. Caring for life is never easy. It is most often inconvenient, disruptive, and difficult. There is little tangible reward, great pain and many unknown answers.

Caring for 6 month old twins in foster care is not easy, but it is good.
Bringing a teenage mother into your home is not convenient, but it is right.
Welcoming a refugee into your community is not glamorous, but it is merciful.

If we say we are pro-life then we can’t just yell and protest with friends. We can’t just vote for the guy who promises to make America great again or promises to bring us back to the good ol’ days (spoiler alert: taxes were a lot higher then). We must act in the unseen places; bedrooms at 2am to nurse a hungry child not our own, recovery centers where no instagram filter will make reality look better,  the housing projects alongside rats where the most recent immigrants are eking out life. It won’t be pretty, but it will be right.

 

Love Wins.

In writing this piece, I know I will disappoint, frustrate and anger many people. Still, I hope you find compassion and love here. I am not writing for those who agree with me, I already know your thoughts, but for those who disagree. You’re probably busy celebrating right now – a sensible response, but maybe you’ll take the time to reflect with me.

Today marks a historic day for the United States of America. Today, our Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, voted to forbid states from banning same-sex marriage. It is a rare treat to be a part of memorable history. We know our children’s children will learn this date in school. The implications of our actions will be felt long after we are gone. Today, we belong to something greater than ourselves.

We know the Court’s function is to uphold and represent the original intentions of the Constitution. But how can you uphold an intent that was never conceived? The justices have the unenviable task of wading these waters on a regular basis, and not just with regard to same-sex marriage. Like everyone, they are subject to their cultural, historical, educational, familial and other biases. The decision today is, in my opinion, more a reflection of modern culture than an attempt to uphold historical intentions. Popular opinion is a fickle mistress and today she and I disagree.

In reviewing several articles already circulating in the news, one line has struck me again and again. Justice Kennedy, in his majority opinion, stated: “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family,” he wrote. “In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”

I agree wholeheartedly with his statement. No union is more profound than marriage. Marriage is the embodiment of the highest ideals. In marital union, two people become something greater than once they were – they become one. Justice Kennedy, we agree.

My question is, however, why? What is so fundamental in marriage, what is the essence, that makes marriage so unique? Why is marriage different than dating?

I cannot fully answer this question myself with a checklist or simple solution. Marriage is a mystery. It is a mysterious reflection of a greater union between Christ and His Bride, the Church. Just like a statue is a reflection of the great man (or woman) who once lived, so marriage is unique because it represents something greater than itself. We don’t remember the statue, we remember who the statue represents.

Marriage is given to us by our Creator and as such, is defined by Him alone. Despite the appearance otherwise, no individual, court, or state can define marriage. In restricting marriage to one man and one woman we represent greater diversity. In marriage we see the full reflection of God – male and female – created in His image.

By limiting marriage to Biblical standards, we are not trying to limit fundamental rights or attempt to crush anyone’s identity. I know that sounds like foolishness, but bear with me. Yes, to those who desire to marry a member of the same sex, I would restrict your freedom. However, all of us operate under some level of restrictions. No parent would argue it is beneficial to place no limits on your child’s desires – even genuine heartfelt desires. However, by maintaining the Biblical view of marriage we continue to affirm the dignity of all, male and female. We affirm each of us is necessary to reflect the full image of God. We teach ourselves that we are not defined solely by our sexual identity. Or any other identity, for that matter. We have an identity that is supreme above all – we are image bearers of God. This identity is not dependent upon our actions, the courts, our desires, or ourselves. It is given to us by virtue of our Creator without any merit on our part.

When we find ourselves frustrated by the limitations on us as created beings, we remember the God who limited his ultimate freedom and restricted himself to become a son of man, a human in all our limitations, to rescue us from our greatest need. We were condemned to death and we have been given a chance for new life through his death on the cross to pay for our sins and his resurrection and defeat of death.

To come back to the initial question, why is marriage unique? What is its essence? Marriage is unique because God made it unique. In unfathomable love, God created a way for traitors, haters, murderers, liars, and bigots to be made right. In doing so, He gave nothing less than Himself. His commitment is demonstrated in part through the mysterious union of a man and a woman coming together in a unique way through which they become greater than themselves.

The essence of marriage is the unwavering, unfaltering, unending commitment of God to his people reflected in the unwavering, unfaltering, unending commitment of one man and one woman to each other through marriage.

Today, our nation disagrees. The beauty of being an American is we can disagree. Those of us who are disappointed must remember our hope lies not in the American court system or with any human power, be they just or unjust, but in the God who will one day make all things right – love will win.

Modern Day Abolition

SONY DSCNot long ago, men and women fought to end slavery in the United States and British Empire. Heroes like William Wilburforce, Angelina Grimke, Harriet Tubman, William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglas fought tirelessly against an unwitting society. Their efforts ended what we know as the trans-atlantic slave trade and improved the lives of millions of individuals.

Unfortunately, like many evils, slavery has manifest itself into another form. Be it sex slavery, labor trafficking, or white privilege, the devaluing of others still exists today and in many ways. There are more slaves today than there were during the trans-Atlantic slave trade and oftentimes slavery and trafficking go unnoticed. Hotels and internet chat rooms are the new auction blocks. Side streets and main street are the new cotton fields. Organizations like Slavery Footprint help you estimate the number of slaves working for you. For the record, mine was 43 – and that’s a conservative estimate.

Tonight, I am joining alongside 6 other women to fight child-slavery in our community. We will be discussing ways to raise awareness, educate children, and fight systemic injustice – all from my kitchen table, but we are fighting alongside thousands of other abolitionists through Love146. Love146 is an organization dedicated to abolishing child-slavery worldwide. They work alongside other incredible organizations like IJM to rescue, protect, and provide survivor care for girls and boys victimized by traffickers.

We are fighting to end child trafficking in our community and in the world. Will you join us?

Voting, Vitamins, and Suffrage

Suffragists_Parade_Down_Fifth_Avenue,_1917Today, for the first time, I voted in an election in-person. Previously, I’ve voted absentee so this was a bit of an exciting day. Truth be told, I was also a bit nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. As a Political Science major, I’m pretty sure we are required to vote or we lose our diploma. Or something like that.

Hands down, it was an incredibly easy process and I am thankful for the opportunity to express my opinion, even in a small way. So many times, especially in South Carolina politics, I hear the excuse “my vote doesn’t matter.” To this I say, please visit any country without free elections and then come back and talk to me.

A quick Google search reveals voter turnout to be around 50% nationwide for the last 3 decades in presidential elections. Contrast this with recent elections in Iraq where 90% of the voting age population turned out – while some were also under threat of violence.

Call me an activist, an idealist; I am probably a little of both, but I hear an increasing frustration with the current political system (see Congress’ approval records) and yet, the answer is not to retreat, but to engage! The bunker strategy is not effective in war, in religion, or in politics. Just as an army does not fire cannons at random into unknown lands, so we must not fire cannons into political issues at random without first making ourselves informed.

Still, our responsibility to speak up, to fight, and to engage the culture, particularly on issues concerning the vulnerable, is not limited to one day, but should be ongoing. To vote and do nothing the other days of the year is tantamount to taking a vitamin on January 1 every year and expecting to see results.

As a member of the generation least likely to vote, I realize I am indicting many friends. My words are not meant so much as a stab, but a call to action. We stand on the shoulders of giants – some protested, some fought, and some died for this right. May we not forget their sacrifice.


And lest this post pass without too much humor, reasons men shouldn’t vote. And for good measure, let’s end women’s suffrage. (please note the sarcasm in both)

Keep Out! Christianity in the Public Square

Keep OutRecently I’ve noticed a lot of attention given to the claim “Christians are being forced out of the public square.” Whether it is an evaluation of Tony Dungy’s remarks, opinions on the Israel/Gaza conflict, gay marriage, Hobby Lobby, or any other issue; the claim is loud and widespread, and so it seems, Christians are not welcome here.

I think this is absolutely true. However, my concern is we as Christians will see this more as a threat to be afraid of than an opportunity. Yes, Christianity is not as ubiquitous as it once was. Yes, overt Christianity is not as prevalent as it used to be. Yes, there are people who want to shut down the voice of anyone who disagrees with them all in the name of “tolerance.” At the same time, I don’t think this is either all bad or all true.

First, through “persecution” and suffering we are refined (for the record, I do not think Christians in America are experiencing persecution and to claim so, I think, is a slap in the face to our brothers who are being persecuted). Our true beliefs, our true faith is revealed when our idols are exposed. For many years, what was claimed to be Christianity was a version of the prosperity gospel mingled with Christian ideas. To become disillusioned from these falsities – even if it means exposing a deeper lack of faith is a good process; without a clear understanding of where we as a society are we will not be able to see the contrast between Truth and falsehood.

Second, church growth is often spurred in trials. Early Christians faced death for converting and yet we see numerous examples of thousands of people committing their lives to Christ in one day. In a fully depraved society, the light and hope of the Gospel shines that much brighter in contrast. Believers must be equipped, prepared, and courageous to speak the truth in a winsome way to anyone who questions. Then we can rest knowing it is the Holy Spirit who moves people, not our eloquent words.

Third, much of the hostility towards Christians is a result of an inability to communicate clearly and truthfully the “why” behind our beliefs. Why do we, as a society, have laws against murder? Because we believe murder is wrong–>Why is murder wrong? Because it harms another person–>Why do we protect against harming another person–>1. It is good for society, 2. People have value. Why is it good for society? Because God established us to live in community – we thrive together. Why do people have value? Because we are created in the image of God an derive our worth from Him.

As Christians, we must be prepared to reason and articulate our beliefs – by finding common ground “Murder is bad” we can begin a dialogue about ideas of significance: not “are corporations people?”, but instead, (why) do we believe people have value?

Fourth, when faced with hostility we must respond in recognition of our status as aliens and sojourners. Our hope is not in this world. Our eyes are set on a future when all wrongs will be righted and all injustice will be made true. As representatives of Christ, we can expect the same treatment Jesus faced as he walked this Earth; including mockery, hostility, betrayal, and death while learning from his response speaking the truth, righteous anger, self-sacrifice. In the midst of great agony, Jesus displays greater compassion both through empathy with his torturers, “Forgive them Father, they know not what they do.” and ultimately through his willing death for rebels, murderers, betrayers, and liars. Like me.

Lastly, though our freedoms may come to an end, though we may be forced out of the public square, though we may experience persecution one day our hope is not in our voice, our freedom, or our our likeability, but in God who created our voice, who gives ultimate freedom from sin and death in Him, and who sees us both as we truly are and as we will be fully redeemed and loves us through it all.

Madonna, Abortion, and Capitalism

Living in a material world
And I am a material girl
You know that we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl

I don’t think Madonna knew just how accurate her words were when she sang Material Girl. Unfortunately, we are living in a material world and we are all quickly becoming material girls. In a market dominated culture, we are quickly commodifying all aspects of life.

The value of human life has been called into question in thousands of subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Pornography. Child prostitution. Sex slavery. Abortion. Euthanasia. Genocide. Beauty pageants.

The commodification of human life is a startling dark side of our materialist world. We are constantly grasping for the next great pleasure or satisfaction. We will stop at nothing, including the inconvenience of another’s life, to reach our dreams.

In a chilling article for Salon.com Mary Elizabeth Williams states:

Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.

She argues that the lifestyle of the mother trumps the baby. Every time. I will grant that she is among the more radical voice of the pro-choice side, but opinions like this are becoming more commonplace.

Once we enter the debate around which life has more value, we are finished as a civilized society. Subjective value is no value at all. If our value does not exist outside of ourselves, with the One Who Creates, then we are just cells or stardust, if you prefer. We are just another commodity to be traded; sex is just one tool of many, beauty is great because it gives you an advantage, children are just weaker parts of the society destined to be used, the elderly have nothing to give and have lost their worth.

We poke fun at the pc world we live in-every child needs to get an “A” so that they don’t get their feelings hurt, we only know how to have virtual relationships because we don’t talk face to face anymore. Yet, anti-depressants are the number 1 prescribed medicine in the United States to people between the ages of 18-44. Children as young as 12 are committing suicide. We chase after value that fades, value that can be achieved. We exist on a never ending cycle of achievement that is hollow and exhausting.

We have forgotten “I am.” (Exodus 3) The one who gives rest to the weary (Matthew 11:28). The one who declares his pleasure with us, that we are very good (Genesis 1: 31). We forget that we were worth dying for (Romans 5).