Focus On This!

Sometimes, you know, my mind takes me to another place.  That ever happen to you?  Take this, for instance…

The other day in the New York Times I come across an article about this advertisement no one has seen but everyone has an opinion about.  I’m talking about the one where this fellow Tebow says he’s happy his Mom let him get born.

Thirty seconds the ad is supposed to take.  Thirty seconds squeezed in between all the beer ads with pretty girls and the car ads with pretty girls and the insurance ads and all the other ads with pretty girls, and the half time lollapalooza with pretty girls and ancient guitar players singing about how great it is to be us.  Thirty seconds that cost the group that made the ad, Focus on the Family, about two and a half million bucks.

Now, Focus on the Family is one of those groups that says kids should be allowed to be born.  I happen to think this is a good idea.  They say some other stuff, too, that I happen to agree is a good idea.  They say and do some stuff that I don’t happen to agree is so good an idea at all.  But, that’s not what I’m on about, here.

There are folks, and we have all heard them, who do not agree with either Focus on the Family…or me…on this matter of allowing kids to be born.  Well, no matter.  The article in the New York Times said that the Tebow ad was a very clever thing that the FoF group did, because they will get a lot of people to go, “What’s wrong with that?  Tebow’s Mom let him get born even after the Docs said he was gonna be a freak, or something.  You see?  That’s all the pro-life folks are saying.  No doubt about it, the guy doesn’t get born and he don’t win the Heisman.”  I got the feeling from the way the story was written that the reporter thought the ad, well it wasn’t subtle enough, sophisticated enough and nuanced enough for,  for all of the sophistications, nuances and subtleties involved in the issue of getting, or not getting born, nowadays.

It’s a good ad for a football game I could imagine the reporter thinking; especially one with a hundred million member audience I guess, whose only interest in subtlety and nuance revolves around wide-outs and zone defenses. An audience whose understanding of sophistication is concentrated in the intricacies of smash-mouth ball.  It’s a “Red State” ad I could hear the reporter thinking, and it will fall on deaf ears in the high rises along Lake Michigan’s sparkling shores, along Manhattan’s Upper East Side and Upper West Side and in Bean Town’s Back Bay or the shaded hills of Brookline and Newton, and Fairfiled and Goshen.  Maybe.  I ain’t a reporter, and don’t get paid to know this stuff.

The reporter, who refers to folks who want to allow kids to be born as “anti-abortionists”, talks to a few people who think that their side, which is the other side, is missing a golden opportunity, here.  Two of them are mentioned by name, Kate Michaelman and Frances Kissling.  I read what they say and a thought occurs to my mind, “They have a point, here.”

The girls say that they should be doing the same thing.  They should find a few ladies who are happy they made some choices that turned out, well, like the choices that this young kid Tebow’s Mom’s choice turned out.  Some of the ladies in their ad would say that they went ahead and got a degree, or chose to look for a career before settling down with a husband and having kids; or not.  Big deal, sort of.   Some would say that they did the same thing Tebow’s Mom did, and went ahead and had their child even after they got the news that things wouldn’t be all right; or they had the child and let someone adopt their baby.

Nothing wrong with that, is there?  I’m in that parade, holding all of those posters.  But I step out of line as I read the last “choice” Kate and Frances want to put in their ad; the one where the lady says she chose not to let her child be born.

When I read this, though I still I think it would be a good thing for the ad to be made, and if Kate and Frances don’t make it I think the FoF people ought to make it, or someone.  I’m thinking that we ought to focus on all of the choices, and shine a little light on that special choice that isn’t a choice for someone.  Because alongside all of the others it looks like a camel next to a flock of swans.

Then, this morning, another thought occurs to my mind that almost knocks me out of my chair.  Here’s the thought:  The Tebow ad costs 2.5 million.  I figure the Kate and Frances people will spend about the same for theirs…or more.  How many ladies are out there who are thinking, “I’m gonna make a choice for this baby that it ain’t gonna like, but then…?”  How many of them could do a little better if they had some of that 5 million to help them make it through the night, sort of?  And how many kids would get born that wouldn’t have if that money didn’t go for ad guys and network time?

My mind is out of the gate by now and thinks this other thought for me.  Every year around this time a few hundred thousand close friends gather in DC.  It’s gotta cost each one of them at least a hundred bucks for the trip; meals, bus fare, hotels, a day off.  Maybe it’s more than a hundred.  Maybe it’s five hundred.  You do the math.  That’s a lot of money.  What if…?

“What if what?”  You’re saying.  What if, instead of dueling ads and lawyers, and committees, and lobbyists, and marches eating up all that dough, we figured out a way to help the ladies who really have no choice but the one I can’t bring my mind to calling a choice; help them so they don’t have to make it.  Help them so that the baby who won’t get born does get born.  And, plus, we keep on so that the choices this new person makes will be the right ones, and the good ones and the just ones for the rest of their lives.  You think Kate and Frances would go along?

Call me crazy, but I think it’s something to focus on.

About these ads

11 responses to “Focus On This!

  1. james f. mullan

    dear author:HASN’T YOUR MIND FOCUSED ON AN IDEA THAT IS CLOSE TO [GASP!] SOCIALISM,THAT DIRTY WORD ,WORSE TO SOME THAN THE F-BOMB?I’M FOR IT ,BTW,BUT MY NEIGHBORS DON’T COTTON MUCH TO IT.FINANCIALLY HELP PRO-BIRTH FOLKS WITH SOME OF MY OWN HARD-EARNED BUCKS WHETHER FOR ADS OR BIRTHING EXPENSES OR ADOPTION COSTS ?SHUDDER!PERISH THE THOUGHT!LET THE BRATS CROAK OR BE CROAKED BEFORE THAT.HOW IN SWEET GOD’S NAME DID WE GET TO A POINT WHERE SUCH A CHOICE IS EVEN ENTERTAINED FOR A MINUTE?MY FOCUS WILL BE ON CONTRIBUTING A FEW QUID TO F ON F OR ORGANIZATIONS LIKE IT—AND ROOT FOR TIM TEBOW AND THE NFL TEAM WHICH DRAFTS HIM,AND ROOT EVEN HARDER FOR HIS MOTHER.JFM

    • Dear Commentor,

      Have you ever contributed to one of those Walks? You know where a fellow or girl promises to walk a million miles for homeless starlings and asks you to pledge a nickel a mile, or something, so they all get nests. You get to wear a ribbon, or slap one on your car, and feel good, and admire the walkers who are, well are doing nothing, really, but feeling good about walking for something nice. I’ve often thought that I’d rather give the walker a nickel for every empty can they took out of the park, or pile of leaves they raked from poor Mrs. Bumble’s back yard, the lady with diabetes and one leg; or a meal they cooked for her.

      I think the principle is the same. I’m no mid-wife, and I suspect that the number of midwives marching in the january cold isn’t very great either. My strange thought was to wonder what might happen if the hundreds of thousands down there stayed home and gave the money the “would” have spent to some place, say a Pregnancy Care center in the middle of a “bad” neighborhood, or private and parochial schools that weren’t obligated to teach little kids about how to explore the joys of sex, and avoid the consequences. Next year, if 400,000 people didn’t show up and every one of them gave a mere 50 bucks that would be, lemme take off my socks to count, that would be 20 million bucks for those kind of things. Serious change.

      And, if 10 thousand walkers spent one hour a week holding the hand of someone who’s having a tough time, as I like to say, “making it through the night”, what might happen.

      I don’t like the word socialism. I think the very idea stinks. I do like the word Christian, and another word, charity, the virtue, not the title.

      Charitable regards, Peadar

      PS: Check out FoF completely before you send your quid their way. It might be better spent on Project Rachel.

      PPS: I kind of think we got here by entertaining ideas like socialism and deciding that all of my neighbors were across the wide wide sea, and everything was the government’s responsibility to fix…or some nice agency with a nice name.

  2. james f. mullan

    dear author:HASN’T YOUR MIND FOCUSED ON AN IDEA THAT IS CLOSE TO [GASP!] SOCIALISM,THAT DIRTY WORD ,WORSE TO SOME THAN THE F-BOMB?I’M FOR IT ,BTW,BUT MY NEIGHBORS DON’T COTTON MUCH TO IT.FINANCIALLY HELPING PRO-BIRTH FOLKS WITH SOME OF MY OWN HARD-EARNED BUCKS WHETHER FOR ADS OR BIRTHING EXPENSES OR ADOPTION COSTS ?SHUDDER!PERISH THE THOUGHT!LET THE BRATS CROAK OR BE CROAKED BEFORE THAT.HOW IN SWEET GOD’S NAME DID WE GET TO A POINT WHERE SUCH A CHOICE IS EVEN ENTERTAINED FOR A MINUTE?MY FOCUS WILL BE ON CONTRIBUTING A FEW QUID TO F ON F OR ORGANIZATIONS LIKE IT—AND ROOT FOR TIM TEBOW AND THE NFL TEAM WHICH DRAFTS HIM,AND ROOT EVEN HARDER FOR HIS MOTHER.JFM

  3. Pingback: JBlogger: Jasper “Peadar Ban” [MC????MP????] blogs powerfully on Tebow « Jasper Jottings —————————————- The achievement journal of my fellow alums

  4. Well said, good sir, well said. But then, I’m just an injineer who had a low index. Seems obvious that: (1) potential human beibgs are getting killed; (2) a lot of people, without their tuckus on the line, have a lot of opinions about how others should live; and (3) getting the gooferment involved in a tough moral, ethical, and economic problem is like bringing that proverbial bull to help select china. Nice writing to bring light, not heat, to a tough subject. Glad I’m a man and will never have to make such a tough decision. I pray for all those that do. They’re better folks than I. Who knows what I’d do? Math is easier.

  5. I like this Peter. It makes a lot of sense to me. Though I admit I’m of a mind to find beds for homeless starlings, I tend to prefer a regular contribution shelters for injured wild life. Similarly, getting some young women to the point when they can actually tell their parents – or to a place where they can get some actual mothering and fathering is a time consuming (and expensive) thing to do. But that in itself says something about society. You know, we can no longer afford essential services, we can’t afford to pay nurses, paramedics, firemen, mothers, caregivers … so we don’t pay them. Then we squeal when they go on strike cause they have to live. How the heck so we slow down enough to begin a real conversation with someone, with real enough listening to be able to offer real enough choices?

    Oh mutter. You do have this way of starting me off Peadar. Where ever did I leave the ‘off’ switch?

    • Yes, I know it is expensive..and time consuming. Sigh. And, we are all busy, or tired, or hurting…or there is that TV program we just need to watch tonight, can not the other things wait?

      I am flogging myself, too, you know while I talk about what I think I ought to be doing.

      Sr. Teresa, our friend, worked for a year in a home for un-wed mothers in New Jersey. It was no day at the beach.

      And if that was draining…though life was the result, I cannot begin to imagine the drain on the ones who work in a place where the “helping” always results in death. If for nothing else than to rescue them from the darkness, we ought to think of other ways.

      I apologize, Dear One, for “getting you started”.

  6. Pingback: INSPIRATIONAL: A lot of opinions with no tuckus in the problem « Reinke Faces Life

  7. I read your reply on Rofters.
    I disagree with you as to the emphasis of our response to RvW.
    I believe the emphasis should be on prayer, spec. the Rosary, and fasting.
    Most importantly, praying the Rosary during Exposition, for an end to abortion.
    I don’t know how the bureacracy works in dioceses…but my parish has a monthly ProLife Holy Hour.
    It seems that if this were instituted by the Bishop, or even from the Pope…we would make great strides.
    I also believe that praying outside Planned Parenthood is effective…and that priests should take part in this.
    Most importantly, the bishops and priests should exhort the laity to get back to the basics–return to the traditions of the church…eucharist, confession, prayer, studying scripture.
    I believe that people are hungry for true religion.

  8. Pingback: JASPER JOTTINGS Week 06 – 2010 February 06 « Jasper Jottings Weekly … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

  9. You see, legalized abortion is not an isolated problem. So, when I think of it, I think of all the children engaged in sexual relations, and it sickens me. I’m reminded that the majority of Catholics do not attend mass. I think of the soft porn on TV. And, it’s overwhelming, and I admit, I have to fight against feelings of hopelessness. So much is needed…in fact, we need to change almost everything…we need to go back to 1950, or something like that.
    When I contemplate your point about the need for money to help girls have their babies, the logistics/cost seem pretty challenging. As far as this is concerned, I’m not sure that teenage moms should ‘exist’, that is, they should give their babies up for adoption, but I don’t feel comfortable forcing anyone to do that.
    Abortion is a symptom of the larger problem of the world rejecting God.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s