Links to Think

Links to Think: 14.02.24

February 24, 2014


Why miscarriage matters when you’re pro-life 

“To be perfectly honest, before my losses, I didn’t quite understand that the way we pro-lifers treat miscarriage is important.

And yet after we lost Olivia, it didn’t take long for me to realize that in this Christian microcosm of ours, somehow an aborted baby had so much more to offer the world than a miscarried one.

Both babies may have died at the same gestation — one by choice, the other by chance. But the value attached to each child completely depended on how that child died.

Here are some of the mixed messages I received — sometimes just hinted at, other times outright:

An aborted baby deserves to be grieved. A miscarried one deserves to be gotten over. And quickly. 

An aborted baby could have been the next Einstein or Bach or Mother Theresa. A miscarried baby was probably damaged goods.

An aborted baby was killed against God’s design. A miscarried baby fulfilled God’s plans.

An aborted baby was a real person, and should have the rights as such. A miscarried baby was not a real child — naming them really is kinda weird. Speaking of weird . . . counting them in the line-up of your children? THAT’S weird!

An aborted baby should always be missed in this world. God had created them for a purpose, no matter what health issues they may have had. A miscarried baby was meant for heaven — and we moms should just be so thankful we have a baby in heaven, and should not grieve the loss of their place on earth. After all, they never TRULY had a place on earth, did they?

An aborted baby is a tragedy. A miscarried baby is slight bump on the road of life. 

An aborted baby could never be replaced. A miscarried baby can always be replaced — “Oh, don’t worry, hon — your time will come again. You’ll have more. Just relax and trust God. You’ll see.”

An aborted baby’s mom should know exactly what she’s missing out on if she has living children. A miscarried baby’s mom should not grieve that loss, but instead, should just be thankful for the lives of her living children.

This isn’t a debate about abortion. Really, it’s not.

It’s a call to those of you who say you are pro-life. It’s a call to be consistent.

Do you really believe life — personhood — begins at conception? If so, standing up against abortion is understandable. But so is treating a miscarriage as a real death of a real person.”

The Problem With Little White Girls (and Boys) (Why I Stopped Being A Voluntourist)  – The concerns expressed here could be cross-pollinated to a number of settings and circumstances. I think there is still room in the world for volunteering (and short-term missions trips). But…we need to be very, very careful. Primarily, I think it’s the third paragraph (of the excerpts here) that gets at the heart of the issue.

“White people aren’t told that the color of their skin is a problem very often. We sail through police check points, don’t garner sideways glances in affluent neighborhoods, and are generally understood to be predispositioned for success based on a physical characteristic (the color of our skin) we have little control over beyond sunscreen and tanning oil.

After six years of working in and traveling through a number of different countries where white people are in the numerical minority, I’ve come to realize that there is one place being white is not only a hindrance, but negative — most of the developing world.”

“I don’t want a little girl in Ghana, or Sri Lanka, or Indonesia to think of me when she wakes up each morning. I don’t want her to thank me for her education or medical care or new clothes. Even if I am providing the funds to get the ball rolling, I want her to think about her teacher, community leader, or mother. I want her to have a hero who she can relate to — who looks like her, is part of her culture, speaks her language, and who she might bump into on the way to school one morning.”

“Before you sign up for a volunteer trip anywhere in the world this summer, consider whether you possess the skill set necessary for that trip to be successful. If yes, awesome. If not, it might be a good idea to reconsider your trip. Sadly, taking part in international aid where you aren’t particularly helpful is not benign. It’s detrimental. It slows down positive growth and perpetuates the “white savior” complex that, for hundreds of years, has haunted both the countries we are trying to ‘save’ and our (more recently) own psyches. Be smart about traveling and strive to be informed and culturally aware. It’s only through an understanding of the problems communities are facing, and the continued development of skills within that community, that long-term solutions will be created.”

What is “Fair” for Siblings? – I think there may be some weaknesses in this article, but it also gives some thought provoking ideas to how we tend to normally react to such parenting issues.

“Many parents believe that being fair means that everything should be equal. That is, if we treat siblings the same, they’ll stop arguing about who got more, who gets to go first, or who’s the favorite. But they won’t—probably not even when they get to be adults.

Fairness doesn’t mean equal or the same. Trying to treat children “equally” is a little like trying to get out of quicksand: the harder you try, the deeper you sink. What parents need to do is treat their children “uniquely.”

Your kids don’t really want to be treated the same, no matter how much they clamor for it. Treating children identically tends to backfire, because you end up depriving them of what they really want — which is to be valued for who they are. Kids need to be celebrated for their achievements. Their efforts need to be noticed and rewarded.”

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