As I’ve related here before, my drive to work always takes me past the local abortion clinic (as religious wing-nuts are fond of calling it – it’s actually called a Woman’s Reproductive Heath Center. They do offer more than abortion as part of their services.) It’s unfortunate that I have to drive by every day, as it usually pisses me off to see the protesters encamped on the sidewalk (that’s as close as they are legally allowed to get). On the other hand, it does provide fodder for this blog, so maybe I should handle the assault on my psyche with a little more equanimity? What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? Here I am on my third post sparked by my drive to work, so I shouldn’t complain.
Today, there was a lone protester on the sidewalk. He was facing the clinic…er…health center, and he was on his knees. I think it was a “he”, though it’s possible he was of the opposite gender. He was wearing a hoodie, and he was not facing me, so I couldn’t really see his features. Anyway, he was kneeling, obviously praying, again, for his Lord and Master to stop the abominations occurring within. All very up and up, you know. The usual. What struck me was what he was kneeling on. I would have expected him to be kneeling on the sidewalk directly, but instead it was clear he was there for the long haul, because it looked like he was kneeling on a layered bunch of pads or pillows, at least a few inches thick. He made sure that his knees were cushioned.
OK. I found that incongruous, admittedly, and it’s that fact that got me pondering. Here he was, asking his god to stop abortions, a god he believed suffered and died for his sins, one who would do it again in a heartbeat if he thought it would bring salvation, and this guy couldn’t endure a little time on the hard, cold sidewalk. His god allowed himself to be beaten, humiliated, tortured and then hung on a wooden cross with spikes driven through his hands and feet, and he couldn’t endure a little discomfort to his bejeaned knees? Exactly how strong were his beliefs? Where’s the sacrifice?
Christians are always insisting that we must emulate Christ. Here this man had the opportunity to witness to others what his actual Christian beliefs were, and he opted to forgo it.
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;. — Romans 5:3
So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God… 2 Timothy 1:8
Maybe I’m cynical, but the abortion question seems to be very important to Christians, so important that they have been spending years – literally years – in front of this clinic, protesting and praying and sloganeering to stop abortion. So, to make their point, they put cushions on the sidewalk when they kneel? Sorry, but I don’t find their commitment to the cause to be anything other than superficial. If they can’t endure a little discomfort, why should I think their cause is just, especially when their hero was murdered and tortured for his cause, and they proclaim to all the world that it was an earth shaking act (literally) on behalf of humanity.
Perhaps our protester wasn’t a True Christian?