Last Friday, as my regular column was popping up on this site, I got a call from Jennifer Minor, my colleague at Heartbeat International who serves in our communications department and with Pregnancy Help News.
Jennifer was checking in to let me know of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage. She wanted to know my opinion on whether to run a story. Did the opinion apply directly to Pregnancy Help Organizations (PHOs)? She saw a story there, and she was right.
Tweet this: One of @PHC_News' responsibilities is informing you of how all news connects to the work of PHOs.
One of Pregnancy Help News’ responsibilities is informing you of how all news connects to the work of PHOs. In this case, United States PHOs need to be aware that while last week’s ruling did not have an immediate impact on our work, in some special-interest groups the wheels are already turning to see that organizations which do not support and encourage same-sex marriage could have to deal with tax-exemption issues.
Then this week, we ran across a story from Reuters, which, couched in questionable “research,” directly attacks the information many PHOs provide on their web sites. Since this is an opinion column instead of the story we posted yesterday, I can be direct: this story, and the study cited in the story, is bunk.
The “researchers” in the study, full of an anti-abstinence agenda that instead sees condoms as the answer to any teenage question on sexual health (okay, maybe not every question, but most), threw out a hack job of a paper premised in the idea that anyone promoting abstinence outside of marriage is not providing solid information on sexual health.
Forgive me for being naïve here, but I was under the apparently false—at least according to this study—impression that abstinence before marriage and fidelity in marriage is a darned good idea, and a healthy one, too.
On top of that, some of these PHO sites apparently have a somewhat negative view on the efficacy of condoms. The horror of it all. Do you mean to tell me that a device that fails nearly 20% of the time (or much more with teen usage) isn’t reliable?
By golly, if I ever hop on a plane and someone tells me air travel has a one in five (or maybe 1 in 4, but why quibble over numbers?) yearly crash rate for the average traveler, I’m not going to worry at all. Because that’s reliable, right?
I guess it all depends on one’s definition of “reliable.”
After a week of considering the possible ramifications of the SCOTUS decision, and dealing with yet another hit job on PHOs, I’m reminded of who we are and why we do what we do.
You know what we do? We change a culture. We don’t simply pray, “Thy kingdom come,” we actually represent and advance that kingdom in our time here on this planet.
Tweet this: You know what we do? We change a culture. @KirkWalden
The coming kingdom is one where joy and hope replace anger and despair. It is a kingdom where those who pursue the things of God will find rest, affirmation and contentment. And do you know why the kingdom will be this way? Because God’s perspective will reign in all who inhabit this kingdom. I can’t give you the particulars on the kingdom Jesus talked about so often, but I know it’s going to be a great place to be.
At PHOs, we need to remember this. Every time we reach out to a young woman in fear, we offer the hope we will see when the kingdom comes. Every time we touch a dad’s life and we see a strong family formed, we present to the world a picture of the coming kingdom.
There will be those who mock us and our views as "outdated," "puritanical," or whatever words denote "dinosaur thinking." Fine. We’re not to be distracted by these things.
Instead, our job is to get up every morning and advance a counter-cultural message. Our calling is to reach that young woman or couple, to encourage that dad, and to offer those we see an opportunity to embrace a life of abundance, of “life to the full,” and we do this every single day of the week.
We present a positive, powerful alternative lifestyle that flies in the face of today’s societal norms.
Yes, we will face opposition. We must be prepared to carefully and wisely answer that opposition. Then we must set aside the latest distraction and get back to fulfilling our calling.
Our culture may not realize it, but it desperately needs those who will turn the world upside down with a new message. It’s our time. Let’s continue to advance.