The One About Personal Choice

I got into a facebook status argument today. Normally I try to stay out of those but it was impossible to do so this time because the status was about women’s health and the whole birth control debate that is STILL going on in this country. Anyway in the course of the conversation one person said that he should not have to pay for a woman to use birth control to prevent pregnancy because using BC for that type of issue is a personal choice. And he why should he have to pay for my personal choice. I know I know, take a deep breath cause I know that I had to.  I made a slightly sarcastic response back detailing all the ways taking the “personal choice” mantra come back to haunt you if it is taken to it’s logical conlusion never imagining that this person really thought the far ahead. I’m going to copy and paste what I said back to him.

“If we start deciding as a society to only pay for things that directly impact our “personal choices” than if I never use my public library, I shouldn’t have to pay taxes toward it. I never drive on certain highways in NJ, so I don’t want my taxes to go to maintain those roads. If people get in accidents that kill them on those roads because the potholes aren’t taken care of, it was there choice to drive on those roads. They should have chosen different roads like I did. If there is a natural disaster in Missouri, I don’t want ANY of my tax dollars going to FEMA’s recovery experts there because, hey those people made a choice to live in tornado alley. They should have chosen to live in NJ like me. If you have any insurance you are constantly paying for other people’s personal choices. The person who smoked and now has cancer. The person who didn’t eat well and now has high cholesterol that requires medication. Insurance covers those things. the law comes from a place that you cannot deny coverage for something based on sex because that is discrimination. You say, it’s unfair that people have to pay for things they don’t use or don’t want? Join the club! That’s part of being an American. My tax dollars went to the Iraq war for years and I had no choice in the matter.

I received a response from the other person that frankly shocked me. He agreed with what I thought were my outlandish suppositions. He truly was a pay only for what you use type of American. I had never come in contact with someone like that in real life before and it was sort of shocking. After some light facebook stalking (what!) I figured out that he was married, with a family, and claimed to be a Christian. I stopped the discussion soon after figuring out those were his beliefs because frankly, when dealing with someone whose ideas are so the opposite of my own, rational discussion was no longer possible. To me, his type of thinking goes against everything I have ever been taught about living in community with people, and the way Christ talked about community.

The real point of all this? It wasn’t until later today that I realized that according to Jesus, this man is a part of my community, and I need to love him the way Christ loves him. The human part of me wanted to write back something really scathing about how anti Jesus his political stance was. But my Spirit knew I needed to shut up. My sense of community says that all people deserve some form of help regardless of what they have done or who they are; that everyone is worth something. I have to apply that to this man as well. I disagree with everything he thinks politically, and socially but I’m ordered to love him anyway. Does thinking about it still make my blood boil? yes. But I’m trying to replace that type of thinking and trying to see him the way God sees him. As he child who is DEEPLY loved. And who am I to say it’s too hard to love him too?

Janelle

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