Angela Chininin Buele
I have a confession to make: In general, open letters annoy me. I haven’t read more than a few of them, but the ones I have read have been passive-aggressive and more like gossip-fodder than a genuine transfer of honest communication. Again, this is a general assessment of a limited sampling of what is a new (to me) phenomenon.
So, seeking to be a true activist, I will have to step past frustration and into transformation. Instead of insults and snarky accusations, this letter will need to be compassionate and personal. If that turns some away, I won’t be offended. But I do hope you will read on and take a moment to hear a cool and fresh perspective on the familiar, sizzling topic.
An Open Letter to Abortion-Rights Advocates
Have you ever felt tired of fighting? I have. But then, did the idea of “the other side” winning – or even “gaining ground”- get you charged up to get in a few more punches? Yeah, me, too. There have been days when I have actually believed that people on the other side of the fence were intent on seeing people suffer. But I’ve been thinking that probably isn’t the case.
I think there are quite a few pro-choicers who simply want to see women happy and healthy, and they might get aggravated, or even angry, when someone stands in the way of a woman and the thing she believes will make her happy and healthy. If that describes you, I’m really glad you are taking a few minutes to read this letter. I think your determination to persevere through resistance for the sake of another person is an admirable quality. I also would like to say that the passion we each have for our side of this issue is more alike than it is different. There is someone out there that needs help, and we have each thrown all of our respective efforts behind one response to the crisis.
You are a person – unique, ambitious, and hopeful. Those qualities describe me as well. You are my neighbor, not my rival, not my archenemy, and not the thorn in my side. You are loved by a lot of people you already know about and by some you may not have ever met – like me. I don’t want to see you hurt or defeated. I want you to be blessed, not just today or in this life, but blessed for all of time (Luke 6:28, Romans 12:14, 1 Peter 3:9).
Based on our common vision for the well-being of other people, drive to see our visions realized, and willingness to plead our cases, we would probably be good friends – if it weren’t for the tension. Am I wrong when I say that this is probably the breakdown point of communication and interaction between our two camps? This tension, once discovered, can burn bridges and build walls, can’t it? Maybe you once assumed that the reason you got along so well with someone was because they held the same position, but then you found out you were completely wrong. It might have felt like a betrayal or at least a shock. It likely changed your opinion of and/or your interactions with the other person. I’ve been there, too.
Can we agree that hating each other is not a productive solution? May I challenge you to see that tolerance alone isn’t the answer either? Really. When we tolerate something or someone, we do not celebrate it. Instead, we allow, we survive, and we surrender to something unpleasant. So, no, my desire is not to simply tolerate your different passion, but I earnestly want to love you as I love myself, as I love my dearest friends and family, and as I love the tiny unnamed babies that are killed by abortion. And love, just to be clear, is not blind affirmation, but the investment of one soul in another to see the beauty of a full life developed through growth in good times and trials. The love of which I speak would hopefully make you feel good, but it is in no way driven by whether or not you feel good. Its beginning, middle, and end are the pure and perfect will of God for your life – that you would be amazed by no one and no thing other than the Savior, Jesus Christ. There is no greater joy. There is no greater love.
There you have it. I have betrayed my complete motive. You can now choose to check out and nestle down into your own homogeneously-tailored newsfeed, or you can tag along with me for the next 40 days while I pray for you and all pro-abortion rights advocates. Whatever your choice, please remember that I do not hate you, and I do not wish to simply tolerate you. I want to fully love you, and I would like to call you my friend.