Do you remember the U.K. pop group “Wham!”? George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley fronted the group. I really enjoyed the video for their 1984 hit “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.” Maybe it was the light-hearted tone of the song or seeing everyone in the video wearing those huge t-shirts designed by English fashion designer Katherine Hamnett. The shirts were screen printed with the words “CHOOSE LIFE” and “GO GO” in large, black, block letters. I think there may still be one of those shirts in one of our dresser drawers.
In 1984, Hamnett’s “CHOOSE LIFE” design was directed as a statement against drug abuse and suicide but it was immediately embraced by Christians and the Pro-Life movement as a statement against abortion. This may be in part because of the Bible verse in Deuteronomy 30:19 stating “ This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”. There are currently over two dozen states offering “Choose Life” license plates with more states grappling with legal challenges over offering them in their states.
On this 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I’m still stunned by how contentious the whole “pro-life” / “pro-choice” debate has become. When a video gets posted on a social media site about someone saving the life of wounded puppy or someone blocking traffic so a mallard hen and her string of ducklings can get safely across the street without getting killed, the video instantly goes viral. People donate organs to save lives, give blood to save lives and run into burning buildings and fly helicopters through storms to save lives. We “Choose Life” countless times every day. Even when life “chooses us” – like a tiny kitten showing up on our porch; a kitten we will have to feed, care for and live with for 15 to 20 years – we accept the choice. I just don’t understand the disconnect which causes some to disrespect and reject the value and sanctity of the tiniest human lives.
Then on the other side of this issue are the lives of those who have consciously or unconsciously made the decision to end a life, be it the life of an unborn child, the life of a loved one, the life of an unsuspecting motorist or pedestrian or the life of an adversary. In all of these cases, there is a need for understanding, compassion, love and even forgiveness. The lives of those who have committed these acts have value and are sacred as well. Unfortunately, often, all that is offered to them is judgment and condemnation. Any chance for healing is lost and more lives are destroyed because of the imperfect righteousness of the self-righteous.
My hope is that we could all agree to “Choose Life”. By that, I mean valuing, protecting and pouring love into the lives of those we disagree with, the lives of those who have made decisions resulting in the loss of a life and the lives of those vulnerable individuals who are unable to speak or act in defense of their own lives, be they of any age. The Bible says “Above all, love each other deeply, for love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). I find this especially true of my own sins.
© 2014 Curt Savage Media