Monday, January 25, 2010
Gotta Luv the 1st Ammendment
And, they all made about as much sense as this sign.
In fact, of all the placards I saw on the web, this one is most iconic of my experience of the logic of the Right Wing Nuts who protest against choice.
Let me put this into perspective. The New Jersey Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (NJRCRC) met on Sunday afternoon at 4 PM at St. Paul's, Chatham.
NJRCRC works on a variety of issues related to Reproductive Rights. You can get a sense of this from our website, but I've been most active in lobbying congressmen and senators around efforts concerning abstinence-only education, providing training sessions to prepare "Partners in Peace" (escorts who protect patients entering Women's Clinics from the harassment of Anti-Abortion Demonstrators), and working to provide pastoral counseling sessions for clergy who are either helping people make choices or dealing with grief issues after the loss of a pregnancy due to either miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion, birth defect or inability to conceive.
After that thought, their minds snap shut. They are unable to listen to or hear logic or reason. They certainly don't want any more information. Their minds are made up.
When you do talk with any of them, they make as much sense as the sign in the picture above: "Everyone who supported slavery was free. Everyone who supports abortion was born."
If someone can translate that and tell us what it means, I'd be grateful.
On Sunday morning, in an overcast and cold-drizzly winter rain, about 30 minutes before the principal Eucharist was to begin, a parishioner alerted me to the fact that there were protesters on the sidewalk in front of the church.
"She was screaming at me," she said. "Something about 'baby killers'," she added, her face frowning, "These are really nasty people."
One of my parishioners had also had an encounter with the same woman. He's a lovely older gentleman of a certain vintage who doesn't even know how to be rude, especially to a woman.
She was holding a sign that said, "Episcopals Kill Babies."
"Umm . . ., " he said, "Actually, that should be, "Episcopalians."
"What?" she asked.
"It's 'Episcopalians' not 'Episcopals'," he said.
"Oh," said she, "should I change it?"
"Well, only if you want to be grammatically correct," he said.
"Okay, so it should say, 'Episcopalians Kill Babies', right?", she asked.
"Yes, that's right. Well, it's wrong, but it's grammatically correct."
The woman looked confused but seemed pleased with her corrected sign.
Sort of gives new meaning to the term, "civil disobedience," right?
At any rate, the Anti-Abortion folks didn't come back for the four o'clock meeting. The wisdom of some of the NJRCRC folks is that they were trying to intimidate the good people of St. Paul's into rescinding our invitation to host the NJRCRC event.
We held it any way and had a great discussion.
I see a new placard in the making "The Episcopal Church - Changing the Way People Protest. One Placard At A Time."