I’m not a big political person. My faith is the prime motivator of my life’s works. But sometimes, the two converge and I can’t just burrow my head in the sand.
As well, I want to be a conscientious, informed citizen, and I’ve done my best to do so on the upcoming election, which is almost upon us. On Nov. 4, we’re going to be asked here in North Dakota to make a big decision. It’s one that other states are watching with a careful eye. What we do here could affect the rest of the country.
So if you’re not from North Dakota, don’t think it won’t affect you. It will. Measure 1 especially has huge consequences for everyone in this nation who cares about the sanctity of life.
Yesterday afternoon, I joined the Lutherans for Life people at their annual dessert banquet and heard a little more about Measure 1. The keynote was Janne Myrdal, chairwoman for ND Choose Life, which has been at the forefront of working to pass Measure 1.
I’ve heard Janne’s story before, about how her parents had made brave choices living in Norway during the Nazi invasion; how they’d “done the right thing” even when it put them in harm’s way.
This is part of Janne’s legacy — doing the right thing in the face of oppression and opposition, and she carries the torch for her family and others who cannot. “We have been asked to stand for life in an incredibly and relatively easy society,” she said. “Unlike those before us, we’re not likely to suffer bodily harm for standing up for the unborn.”
So can we be even a smidgeon as brave as Myrdal’s mother the day she was walking home from high school and a friend working for the Opposition approached her, demanding to see her brother? Can we say, “No” to what’s wrong, and “Yes” to what’s right even if it makes us uncomfortable or causes us to lose friends?
|Lutherans for Life participants watching a video on Measure 1|
A lot of people have become conflicted and confused about Measure 1. Some don’t understand that we’re at this juncture in the first place not because the pro-life people wanted to stoke the fires, but because the Supreme Court said to the states, “We’re giving some of this back to you. We’re going to let you restrict abortion according to the will of the people in your state.”
So North Dakota acted, putting in effect common-sense laws regarding abortion, including the requirement of full disclosure to women seeking abortion about the procedure; requirement of an ultrasound; a ban on partial-birth abortion, gender selection abortion and aborting Down Syndrome children at will; as well as the requirement that any doctor performing abortions must have hospital admitting privileges here, for the protection of the woman.
These seemed like no-brainer type provisions to our legislators (from both parties) and those they represent, but because of the implications, the big guns from out of state came in to try to bully us. Planned Parenthood has funneled millions of dollars into this campaign, despite the fact that North Dakota has not one Planned Parenthood Clinic on its land, east to west. In addition, their cunning marketing folks have found ways to make it about something it isn’t and put fear in the ordinary citizen to intimidate them into voting against the measure.
One way I know I’m on the right side? One side leads to death, and one to life. That’s always the deciding factor to me.
Deuteronomy 30:19 is one of my favorites for this cause. “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”
Myrdal said that though many people of faith are on board with Measure 1, it’s not an issue for the faithful alone, and one of the biggest proponents of the measure up for vote is an atheist. “Even the unbelieving know what life is,” she said.
Using a quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Myrdal said that if Measure 1 passes, it will be as if we’re “driving a spoke into the wheel of injustice itself,” adding, “Planned Parenthood should not get to buy our elections in North Dakota.”
It’s an all-out war right now, but those of us on the side of life have much behind us — a grass-roots effort of common sense, life itself, and a hoard of young people who get it, because they know that they could easily have been one more of the abortion statistics.
Speaking of the kids, not long after I had a delicious piece of homemade apple pie at the Lutherans for Life event, I ran home to pull together another dinner for my oldest daughter. It was her baptism anniversary last night, so we did our customary special dinner and pie of choice, along with the lighting of her baptismal candle.
“It’s easy to be pro-abortion if you’ve already been born,” Ronald Reagan once quipped, as relayed by Myrdal. It’s so true. Let’s stay on the right side; the side of light and life.
Unequivocally, I choose life, now and as long as I have life to live.
Q4U: Have you even been bold in the face of opposition?