I remember the joy I felt when I first heard that the Susan G. Komen Foundation was cutting ties with Planned Parenthood. I hoped this would lead to more organizations pulling funds from the abortion giant. Sadly, my excitement was short-lived. When news broke of the split, Planned Parenthood played the victim, and their devoted fans quickly jumped to their defense.
It was the pink signs vs. the pink ribbons. To summarize the chaos using well-known wrestling terms, Komen got the “smack down.” Facebook and Twitter pages filled up with vicious tweets and statuses against the breast cancer organization. People took their donations from Komen and gave them to Planned Parenthood. Komen caved under the pressure, promising to return funding after just four days. Planned Parenthood raised more money in a week than Komen gave them in the previous year. It kind of made you wonder if it was all secretly staged to boost funds.
I was enraged as I witnessed the fiasco play out in the media. It caused me to wonder: what message is this communicating to businesses and corporations in our nation? I believe that it implies this – if you disagree with a billion-dollar organization with government funding and influential friends, beware. That organization may just try to crush you.
The frenzied rage over Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy’s support of traditional marriage is another example of mob mentality in America. When the Chick-fil-A news broke, mayors from Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco made it perfectly clear there was no room for the tasty sandwiches in their districts. The internet was again filled with thousands of angry comments and spiteful accusations against the restaurant. The message from those mayors and many American’s is, “If you don’t share our beliefs, we’ll destroy you.”
Most disturbing is the tragic news that Chick-fil-A’s public relations VP, Don Perry, died from a sudden heart attack (I wonder what could have stressed him out?) in the midst of the controversy. I assumed that the death of their PR VP would help the company get a break. To my horror, instead of compassionate responses, I read tweets and statuses that showed no mercy. Some people even declared that Perry’s death was “karma,” or that he was punished by a God who doesn’t like bigotry.
It reminds me of the death of my friend and pro-life congressman Bobby Franklin. Rep. Franklin was a vocal opponent of abortion in the Georgia House of Representatives. He was also a man who loved to pray. Many Saturday mornings he joined me and others to pray outside the Georgia State Capitol for the ending of abortion. Bobby was always pushing pro-life legislation. He even proposed a measure to prohibit all abortions in Georgia.
When the news reported Bobby’s sudden death from heart disease, liberal pro-choice voices emerged to dance on his grave. There were thankfully some who disagreed with his beliefs but still offered condolences. Others had no sympathy for a man they considered “evil.” Bobby was a gentleman but a hated man because of his beliefs. I was proud to know him.
We are blessed to have freedom of speech and religion in this nation. I’m aware that there are countless people who think differently from how I do. While I may debate them in discussion and pray for them in private, I refuse to hate them. I agree with the words of Jesus in Matthew, chapter 5, verse 44: to “love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” If I don’t like a business that funds pro-choice organizations, I won’t give them my money. I don’t buy Starbucks coffee for that very reason. Although I don’t buy their drinks, I wouldn’t protest outside their shops because of whom they donate their proceeds to.
It’s really hard to be hated by the masses. I personally believe that that is one of the main reasons why Komen returned funds to Planned Parenthood. In a moment, one of the most beloved organizations was despised. I think they folded under the pressure. Although none of us likes being hated, we have to realize that it will come. We must be willing to unwaveringly stand for truth, regardless of the outcome. Instead of wishing for people to “play fair,” we need to prepare ourselves to endure persecution.
If, like Rep. Franklin, we are mocked even after death, then so be it. Bobby’s passing helped me see the real cost I may pay for being pro-life. The intensity will continue, the heat will increase, and we may be thrown in the furnace. Like the Jewish boys Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, I’d rather be thrown in the flames than bow to decrees from a wicked government. The anti-slavery abolitionists lost homes, finances, and even their very lives for standing against a great evil. Whether we back down like Komen or stand our ground over our beliefs like the president of Chick-fil-A, the choice is ours to make.