Pro-Life Olympics, Part I
This might just be the most pro-life Olympic games, ever.
These meme has been floating around the internet lately, and it made me laugh – funny because it is true. Doing this work, I sometimes feel like I am changing the world. Other times, I feel useless – as useless as a lifeguard at an Olympic swim meet.
But as backstory after backstory comes out about the Olympics, I realize just how important it is. This Thanks Mom commercial from P&G has become one of my favorite things about the Olympics every year. What the commercial fails to say is "Thanks, Mom, for choosing Life."
A month ago, I had never heard of Simone Biles, but as story after story about this young woman comes out, I am in awe. She is 19 years old and is being called the best gymnast in the world, and possibly the best gymnast in history. This vault of hers was nearly perfect. It was arguably as close to perfect as is possible for humans. She trains six days a week, but on the 7th she rests and goes to church. She talks about finding time to attend Mass even at the Olympics. She is accomplished, energetic, and lovely.
I was drawn in a bit more when I heard about her childhood. It was far from perfect. Apparently, she was born right here in Columbus, Ohio, and at least her father was raised in the housing projects of Cleveland.
Her birth parents were troubled, to put it nicely. Stories refer to instability, alcoholism, and substance abuse. She was placed in foster care for a few years before finally being adopted by her biological grandparents. Her Mom’s tweets have been called the “best parent” to follow on twitter, and they are incredibly sweet. There has been some media fumbling in the process of explaining that her parents are adoptive parents but also happen to be her biological grandparents, particularly when talking about her very early years with her biological mother. It is a good reminder that while adoption is a wonderful option, it can often be a complicated one! The woman who gave birth to her seems to still live here in Columbus. We hope that she is thriving.
Oh, Simone. America is so proud of you. Columbus is so proud of you, even though you have not made this your home for many years. You are so special and amazing. You have been given such a talent and you have worked hard to make the very best of it. You go girl.
But you have also reminded me of why we are not like the lifeguards at the Olympic swim meets. We make a difference, even when we do not see it. Here is why.
I do not know if Simone has ever spoken out against abortion. I don’t know if her mother ever contemplated abortion. I do know that so many in this death-infused culture that we live in would look at the prospects of a girl, and a black girl at that, born into poverty with parents who struggle with substance abuse and see a child who was destined to be placed into the foster care system. Most likely, they would also an "ideal" circumstance to promote abortion as the more loving and compassionate option. We see that story play over and over again, every day that we are at the abortion clinic. Women who are hungry for hope are instead offered an abortion, and many take it in their desperation. This is something that so many do not see about the pro-life voice. We are not there for judgment or condemnation, but because we believe that abortion is wrong. It is evil. It feeds upon the hopelessness of our generation and starves the soul and the conscious.
The world talks about abortion like it is just another choice, a preference. If you are considering desert, do you want strawberry or chocolate ice cream? When you get dressed, do you put on khakis or blue jeans? If you are pregnant, do you get an abortion or give birth?
The prolife movement, the volunteers at GCRTL know that this is not a choice, it is a child. It is a wonderful and precious child, a person whose spirit and accomplishments will never, ever, ever again be repeated in the whole history of the world. Again and again, stories that cover Simone emphasize that she doesn’t think about herself in terms of her life circumstances, her gender, or her ethnicity, but in doing what she loves to do – gymnastics.
Dear mother who is contemplating abortion, please know that no matter how bad your circumstances are, there is always hope for you and for your child. He or she might grow up to be the next Olympic athlete, or the doctor who cures cancer, or an elected official who brings about world peace. Most likely, he or she will be ordinary, but in a way that we are reminded that the ordinary is itself extraordinary. It will most certainly be hard, but there will be great joy, too.
Today, an average of eleven or twelve children will die of abortion right here in Columbus. Each and every one of them is precious. Each and every one of them has the ability to overcome the circumstances to which they were born. Each and every one of them has the ability to become the next Simone Bales. Each and every one of them deserves the right to life. We are going to keep fighting for them. Today, as the USA women’s gymnastics team competes, we will be with so many others cheering them on. Tomorrow, however, we will get back to the work that we have been called to do. I hope you will join us. You can pray with us by signing up at www.gcrtl.org/pray. If you can’t pray with us, please consider making a donation today to help us with our work.
God Bless America. Go team Life and Team USA.