I remember standing in my kitchen fighting with my mom over the issue of abortion. She was pro-life. While a nurse in New York City, she once served a doctor who performed an abortion. She promptly quit after seeing an abortion take place on a young teenage girl. It was clearly murder in her eyes.
I, on the other hand, was pro-choice. Abortion allowed for equality for women. A man doesn’t have to carry around a child during an unplanned pregnancy. Why should a woman? What about her career? What about her future? This was the coming age of feminism and pro-life, religious radicals stood in the way.
After I came to know Christ when I was 16, everything in my life changed, including how I understood the sanctity of life and the role of the family. All human beings are knitted together by God for his glory. We are image bears of God, and we exist within a family for a reason.
This coming week, thousands of mostly young people will head to Washington, D.C., to participate in the March for Life – the world’s largest human rights rally. The March has been taking place since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. This is a historic year. The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case gives the best challenge to Roe v. Wade in a generation. It is probable that the precedent of Roe v. Wade will be overturned, and decisions regarding pre-viability abortion law will return to the states.
What’s really taking place in America is conflicting worldviews when it comes to sexuality, freedom, and family. On the one hand, the rejection of traditional family morals has led to a false notion of freedom. Without a child, I’m free to explore the heights of my career. I can travel the world. I can have multiple sexual partners. No strings, no responsibility, all freedom. It’s an empty freedom.
Religious conservatives look at life differently. Sex exists for pleasure, but it’s so much more than that. Within the confines of marriage, it is the consummation of a lifelong commitment together. It creates life, and that life builds something greater than what existed before. The family is a vehicle for love, joy, celebration, sacrifice, and responsibility. It is designed to make everyone involved in the family better. Family is not just 1+1+1=3. It’s 1+1+1= a lifetime of commitment, dedication, growth, and perseverance. Building a family is one of the greatest legacies you can create with your life.
As a young man, I spent a lot of time around Roman Catholics in Washington, D.C. I worked for Catholic U.S. Senator Rick Santorum. I promoted the film Bella, written, produced, and starred in by prominent Catholics. I also worked for Mormon Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and staffed all of his children when they campaigned in Colorado for him. I came to appreciate the Catholic and Mormon worldviews about family.
At first, it’s hard to miss the size of their families. They love children – the more the merrier, it seems. I still get a Christmas card from the Romney family, the same Christmas card that Keith Olbermann mocked. Olbermann felt the Romneys had too many children. Hang around these big families, and you quickly see they are full of life, love, and joy. Why would you want to limit that?
We also live next door to Mormon neighbors. Another big family. Any holiday celebration and their driveway is full of cars. If we ever need anything, they are happy to help us out. That’s the second thing I notice about big families, they are marked by hearts of service.
I saw a sad statistic recently that 4 in 10 young people are hesitant to have children because of climate change—another example of a worldview where children are a burden.
This is the America we live in today. Children are either a burden until we choose they aren’t, or children are a vehicle to building something greater than we are alone. In one America, children interrupt our lives and threaten the planet. In another America, children enhance our lives and make the world a better place.
On display this week at the March for Life will be a worldview celebrating life, children, service, and family. Our country will be better off the more people embrace this worldview. My mom was right.