Roe, Casey & real, raw conversation

Welcome. Sit down if you aren’t sitting already. Whether reading on your phone, computer, iPad, etc., try to rest a little. Take a deep breath. We’re glad to talk about all issues here — indeed we will. Respectfully. Always. So if you’re looking for a place to fight or seeking any sense of an echo chamber that only amens what you already believe, with all due respect, this prob isn’t the place for you. Friends, even in the areas I claim to know exceptionally well — whether it be the poetry of Alfred Tennyson, the history of baseball, or the wisdom embedded in the love chapter of 1st Corinthians — without a doubt, I still have much to learn.

That’s kind of our country’s quagmire. We’re passionate and diverse. We feel things strongly. So just like that we demonize and damn. It’s easy to do. Especially outside the confines of relationship.

One of the veiled consequences of the hours we each spend isolated in our screen-lit worlds is that we have come to equate texts with talking, comments with conversation, and social media with an arena rich in transparency and truth. Since talking, conversation, transparency and truth are each keynotes of relationship, we have been lured into believing we are experiencing real relationship. When we aren’t. We think we’ve found “my people.” When we haven’t. This isn’t relationship; this is something lesser.

The challenge then is that it’s easy to denigrate outside of relationship. It’s easy to conclude that Nancy Pelosi or Samuel Alito or whoever else is evil or awful or a despicable human being because you have no relationship with them. It’s easy to say all white people or all black people or all persons of color, men or women, young, old, gay, straight, etc. because those are demographic groups — not persons with whom we have authentic, actual relationship.

How would it change the way you demonize or damn if the person who held a perspective seemingly opposite of you — but equally, fiercely passionate — was your daughter? … your son? … your sister, brother, mom, dad or BFF? Someone with whom you actually have an authentic relationship?

Let’s acknowledge the obvious, friends; it’s easy to omit understanding, compassion, empathy, mercy and/or grace when we don’t share the depth of real relationship. It’s easy to fall prey to the idea that there really aren’t any good, wise people on a side opposite of “me.” Hear that; it’s easy.

When the Supreme Court’s ruling was announced, sending regulation of abortion back to the states, I grieved. I didn’t grieve in opposition nor advocacy. I grieved because of our country’s increasing inability to handle disagreement well, especially because we haven’t realized the depth of relationship we have sacrificed.

In relationship — with my daughter, son, sister, brother, mom, dad, BFF, even neighbor or stranger in the room — here is what would be wise to process together…

So what now? First, it’s wise to read the ruling; some of the immediate reactions (on all sides) demonstrate a lack of awareness of what the decision actually says. The ruling does not prohibit abortion; it sends any abortion legislation decision to the states. Some will keep as is; some will restrict it more. So honest, reasonable question: is there something wrong if the people in California want the procedure to be totally legal and the people of Kentucky totally don’t? A person could then choose to live where they wish.

Next, I believe it to be wise to understand public sentiment. The high court’s ruling overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The majority of the public supports Roe. But the majority of the public does not support Casey. Roe made abortion legal up until the 2nd trimester. Casey made abortion legal up until birth. What do we learn from that? Public opinion — which isn’t necessarily a proven determiner of prudence — suggests that the majority of the public wants legal access to abortion but does not want abortion on demand nor so late in the pregnancy.

Also, what could we learn within the confines of relationship in regard to how we express our oft passionate agreement or disagreement? Is shaming ok? Is it wise? Who looks better afterwards? And what about protesting? Does it need to be peaceful? I’m thinking each of us would be wise to at least privately examine when we make excuses for the wrongdoing and destruction by protestors. Sometimes we’re ok with it; sometimes we’re not. My desire is for us to be both consistent and wise.

And lastly, allow me a hard, but sincere, final acknowledgment that I wish we could actually talk about. Many of us have been on all sides of this issue. We’ve been in different places in different seasons of life. So let me be a little more personal… There are people I love, respect and trust deeply on all sides of this issue. That includes people who have chosen to abort and chosen not to — for reasons of heartache, bad timing, bad relationship and more… One, in fact, made their choice because the baby had Down syndrome. I’ll be honest; that last one was especially hard for me. 

But my reality is that in each of the those relationships — with each of the choices — none of the above changed our mutual love, respect and trust. That’s because we experience and are committed to authentic relationship. In relationship, even and especially when we passionately disagree, we don’t demonize or damn; we don’t change our thinking to consider the other now despicable. In fact, if anything, we work harder… we lean in… sit down, take a deep breath… and intentionally ensure we are extra generous in our offering of understanding, compassion, empathy, mercy and grace.

That’s the depth of real relationship. That’s what it takes to work through the hard.



4 Replies to “Roe, Casey & real, raw conversation”

  1. May I simply point out, that a choice to live where you want is a choice of privilege. The average cost of a home in California is $708,000, Kentucky $178,000. For some, it is not as easy as moving where you like.

    Respectfully, Courtney

    1. There are other States with equivalent cost of living to that of Kentucky, if you are that passionate about the right of abortion make the necessary sacrifice to relocate.

      1. Relocation costs money too, for some people it’s not easy to just up and move, especially in the current economy.

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