Friday, January 18, 2013

Student comes up to me after class, inquiring about a possible research paper topic. She was wondering if she could oppose the defunding of Planned Parenthood by the state of Texas.

"Uh, sure, I guess," I said (frankly not having heard of the matter, since I spend too much time in my cave). Apparently (I've now discovered from CBS), "Texas legislators cut Planned Parenthood out of the state's women's health program by banning participation of groups that support abortion rights." One judge said Texas couldn't do it, but then another judge on a federal appeals court said it could.

"Why is defunding Planned Parenthood a problem?"

Because, she said, of all the health services they provide to women which they won't be able to get anymore.

Well, I said, isn't Planned Parenthood's main money-maker abortion referral? That's probably what Texas objects to. Could be, she said. She wasn't sure. So the abortion angle doesn't bother you? I asked. Oh no, I'm pro-choice.

Young, bright, energetic, hard-working, participates well in class. Smiles a lot. Seems a very nice person. Could be your daughter. And to all appearances possessed of an imagination unmoved by the vision of tiny humans being cut to pieces.

I've heard it before, of course, a thousand times. But the last occasion of it is as depressing as the first. In fact, it gets worse with time. This being the last exchange of the day, I drove home feeling somewhat deadened, as if for company some dark angel of despair were riding shotgun. This seems a disproportionate reaction, but there it is and, as I get older, more frequent in occurrence. It's a thing I haven't learned to steel myself against.


Beth Impson said...

Bill, some of us are "friends" on FB with former students. Keep in mind this is a conservative Christian college. And lately we've been so depressed by an increasing number who have bought into so many "liberal" arguments -- about the environment, about the economy, about womanhood, on and on. Increasing numbers insist that homosexuality is normal and no big deal. Most still claim to be pro-life, but increasingly insist that one can only be truly pro-life if one is against the death penalty, a complete pacifist, wanting to save the rain forest, wanting to see all guns confiscated from law-abiding citizens, etc., etc., and these things begin to take precedence over being against abortion, which slowly becomes a matter of, guess what, choice. We tried to teach them to think logically and Christianly and yet they seem unable to keep it up when they are around the world at all . . . and most are from fairly conservative Christian homes, too. Some days I want to just give up; I know exactly that feeling of the dead weight of despair. (And the ones that defend the same values I do but so unkindly and angrily depress me just as much. We are to win people, not destroy them. We are to speak the truth in love, out of love for God, neighbor, the world He created . . .)

Then one day one of them speaks and acts in a way that is truly godly, that shows he or she has taken the gospel seriously and submitted to the Holy Spirit's guidance . . . and hope is reborn. I pray you will see some fruit to give you hope.

Lydia McGrew said...

Bill, I believe Obie's administration has stepped up to the plate to give PP the funding it lost from Texas's defunding. So your student needn't "worry." But maybe you shouldn't tell her that...

Beth, my Eldest Daughter has been telling me a lot about that generation of young evangelicals. She encounters them on-line. I can't help wondering who is messing them up. (And the icing on the cake is that the measures they support _won't_ help the poor, the environmentalism is based on poor science, etc. So it ain't even good nonsense.) Is it their pastors in their "emergent" churches, is it somewhere or somewheres they are congregating on-line? When one knows it wasn't their parents or their colleges, their becoming more left-wing becomes a mystery, almost like some kind of virus in the air.

Lydia McGrew said...

Beth, your comments combined with some other recent thoughts prompted this post. Bill, I hope you will like it as well.

William Luse said...

almost like some kind of virus in the air.

Yes, it's the bug that causes one to gain the world and lose his soul. Actually being Christian requires a good deal of self-abnegation, both physical and mental. It's hard work. It's more fun to be liked, and to think new things that liberate you from the drudgery, especially when you're young.

I liked your post.

Beth Impson said...

Good post, Lydia. Bill, all too true. We have raised a feel-good generation, and as long as they can find ways to feel good without actually being or doing good, why should they face the onerous and unpleasant realities of day by day living? God help us.