Friday was a day of contrasts.
Earlier that day, I streamed the live broadcast of President Obama addressing Planned Parenthood’s annual gathering in Washington D.C. This smaller, low-profile event in front of a modest gathering of 1000 Planned Parenthood volunteers and supporters, was Obama’s proxy speech given in lieu of the gala’s keynote speech he stepped down from just two days earlier.
While not as prominent, Obama’s early morning remarks were full of the tired euphemisms we’ve come to expect from this, “the most pro-abortion president ever to hold the office.” There was the president’s faux amazement at the crowd’s enthusiastic reception… the promise of continued unwavering support from the White House… the predictable aspersions cast on the prolife community.
What was conspicuously missing from this speech however, was one simple, yet notable word: Abortion.
Despite the fact that last year Planned Parenthood performed a record number 333,964 abortions, generating more than $150 million to this “non-profit” government-subsidized organization, Obama never once mentions it.
Instead he skirts around the weighty issue with gentler nomenclatures like “women’s healthcare” and “reproductive rights.” Obama even throws around the term “pro-choice,” clearly not having received the Planned Parenthood memo from February which announced this word was no longer a part of their lexicon. But hey, for a president who has steadily increased Planned Parenthood’s government funding to record levels of $542 million in 2012, I think America’s largest abortion provider will let his gaffe slide.
It’s hard to imagine a more defiant, arrogant, in-your-face speech than the one Obama gave on Friday morning.
That’s why, when I attended a crisis pregnancy center’s fundraising gala in Dallas that same evening, I was abruptly taken aback by the stark contrast to the earlier day’s event.
Tim Tebow, the celebrated pro-life NFL player, was the featured keynote speaker. Unlike the president, who seemed most comfortable when focusing on the opposition and the embroiled battle for women’s rights, Tebow spoke of ideas like passion, sacrifice and love, life as a gift from God and children as a blessing from His hand.
He challenged the crowd of nearly 1,000 (ironically the same number of attendees that were at Obama’s speech), to give of themselves sacrificially to rescue children from abortion – yes, the same abortion that Obama celebrated just 12 hours earlier at the Planned Parenthood breakfast.
As Tebow shared the familiar story of how his mother refused to abort him, even when the physicians warned her that giving birth would most likely kill her, I was further struck by this irony: Obama was born to an unwed mother, during a time when single motherhood was a scarlet letter. His mother had neither the means nor the family support to ease the burden of raising a baby.
But she defied the cultural sway and chose life. And fifty years later, that same son, President of the United States, rails against Americans who work to rescue babies in the womb, babies facing grim circumstances…just like he once did.
Tim Tebow understands the gift of life he’s been given; he knows that his life could have been terminated. And he uses his platform to draw attention to the plight of the unborn…those just like he once was.
Obama comes from a position of entitlement, where life and success are reserved for the select few, within the boundaries of convenience. He doesn’t speak of passion, or love, or sacrifice. Because in his worldview, these ideas hold no individual power.
Instead he gives credence to rights, choices and battles. These are the weapons in an ideologue’s arsenal.
Yes, last Friday was a day in contrasts. On one side was the unwavering commitment to a future full of more death, more exploited women and more defiance all neatly wrapped in a women’s healthcare package.
On the other side, resides almost a sublime wonderment for life, the intrinsic power of love, and the clarion call to sacrificially help broken women, rescue unborn children, and support scared moms-to-be.
The side America chooses will reveal the heart of our nation.