Decisions and responses | Mark’s Remarks


We are living in some unbelievable times.

I really never thought I’d see the day for a lot of things I’ve now seen, and I  certainly did not expect the day to come in which Roe v. Wade would be overturned.  I never thought I’d see a decision like the one involving a coach and prayer be made.  

Most of the time, I shy away from topics that are too political or controversial. I don’t feel smart enough to debate, and I sometimes revert to my old self in which I want to fit in and be accepted. So, I bite my lip and say nothing.

I’m going to go ahead and tell you how I feel about the decision. I feel something had to be done to protect the lives of these innocent babies. It is not their fault if they were the product of bad decisions on the part of their parents, whether it was one parent or both. It’s not the baby’s fault that the circumstances aren’t ideal. None of these babies asked for any of this.  

They deserve the right to live.

Women’s rights are enormously important and I’ll say more about that in a bit. But please tell me why no one ever talks about the rights of that living, breathing baby.

I urge anyone to Google Abby Johnson, a former worker for Planned Parenthood who watched an ultrasound one day and saw a needle injected into a fetus. She stood there and watched the fetus kick violently and then grow suddenly still. She immediately walked out of the clinic that day.  Google her and read her story from start to finish. She does not leave out any details; just warning you.

When pro-choice people hear about her and her story, they grow silent and have little response.  “Medical experts” want to contradict her. People want to talk about her intentions.  All expected for anyone, especially a Christian, who wants to take a stand.

I can give you statistics I’ve looked at regarding incest, rape and dangerous pregnancies. I can tell you countless stories of people who have decided just to trust God and have had completely healthy babies that were supposed to be handicapped. We could spend hours arguing points, but I’m not going to do that.  

Much of what I say to you won’t change your mind, nor will you change mine.

I also, as I’ve said before, believe the Bible cover to cover. I say that and I can tell you I don’t live it all the time. I also will tell you that many people in our country who proclaim to know the Bible don’t live it either and have misconstrued the truth.  

More than anything else, we who have professed to be Christians have a hard time loving people correctly. All people.

So that’s where I’ll start.  Some of my Christian folk may disagree with some of the stuff I want to say, but this is me sharing my heart.  This is me and what I believe.

On the day of the decision, I saw some Christian folks acting like buffoons.  I saw them dressing up, holding hateful signs, and I saw Christian folks yelling and getting in the face of pro-choice folks. Some of them seemed to be saying “In your face, pro-choice people!’  

It was disturbing to me.

I saw pro-choice folks doing the exact thing, though. With wild looks in their eyes, I saw absolute hatred and dangerous anger. These folks were chanting and carrying on with the same demeanor mentioned above.

Again, disturbing.

I also saw people celebrating, demonstrating peacefully and quietly thanking God for something they believe in to the depths of their soul.

In turn, there were people who were devastated, because what they have always believed in had ended.  So many fears, so many worries came to light.  

Christians, we can’t forget this. We have seen things go south for Christians for many years. We are portrayed as wide-eyed, buck-toothed airheads by the media. People scoff at us and roll their eyes. People look at a few Christians who aren’t acting right and label the whole bunch of us as hypocrites. Christians have been and continue to be persecuted and ridiculed, constantly.

But we as Christians, regardless of what we believe and hold dear, must remember there are people who disagree and who have beliefs that they have held their entire lives. We can’t respond with the “in your face” attitude. We’ve got to be grown up and level-headed about the way we respond to people.

Also, we have to practice what we preach. We have to “go quietly on,” as one great lady once said.  We can’t continue to participate in these battles that have seemed to have been going on since the 2016 election and  Trump administration.  

Nobody is allowed to be respected for their opinion anymore. People “unfriend” you because of what you believe. People are ready to fight you for any little thing you say that is in opposition to what they believe.

We’ve got to stop this!

On an equally important side note, I think this should be a call to all men to step up. I read some great comments by people talking about how women have taken the brunt of a lot of heavy things, unfairly being mistreated because they are women. It’s time we put a stop to this.

Regardless of women’s rights and the fact we’ve done an awful job taking care of women, I will say this:  instead of us focusing on the “down with men” movement and the “we don’t need men” argument, how about we remind men of their place? How about we talk about how most women still want a man to take care of them the way they are supposed to be taken care of? How about instead of only focusing on men and women being completely equal, let’s put some major energy into holding men to higher standards?

Look guys, if you decide you are going to have sex, you are immediately responsible for whatever happens. You have as much to do with this decision as the lady, and you are to shoulder the exact same burdens women have been expected to bear, often alone. 

Not fair. Yes, we need laws that hold men responsible. Let’s move forward with that.

Men, shape up. Be real men. I’ll say it again: the baby is as much your deal as the woman who is carrying it. In many cases, you need to take even more responsibility than the woman.  

On a side note and complete change of subject, let’s talk about prayer. The coach who got his job taken away from him should have his religion respected and protected as much as any of our other friends of any other religion. We’ve still gotta love and respect one another, regardless of our beliefs. Hate and ugly talk, heated arguments and lack of couth are not options.

But, I will say I hope this coach is doing the right thing for the right reasons.  If he is indeed thanking God for a good game, praying for his team, asking for protection for his players and school, then I’m all for it. If he’s doing it at a certain location on the field in order to be showy and political, I’m disgusted. 

If any player is indeed treated differently because he or she chooses not to participate in a team prayer, I’m equally disgusted. As I said in my “Christian bullies” column a while back, I’ve seen folks use their Christianity for the wrong reasons – many times using it to set themselves apart in an almost snobbish way.  I’ve seen people conducting public prayer who were obviously doing it for public spectacle.

But how are we to know for sure? Should we speculate about this coach’s intentions and spout off and spew misinformation? No.  

Just like anything else, we might just want to assume he’s being authentic and genuine about his beliefs and not shoving things down anyone’s throat. Until we hear something different, let’s assume the best for a change.

Sure, there may be all sorts of things happening in our schools now. After school Satan worshipping clubs and all sorts of things.   Let’s not speculate and throw a fit about it until we see how it plays out.

We don’t pray enough, in my opinion. We don’t give everything over to God like we are supposed to, basically because we are selfish and think we can do it all alone. Nobody wants to admit we need a savior who is also a lord.

Prayer makes miracles happen. I will never not believe prayer healed my baby daughter from brain cancer. God healed her.  Even her doctors said so.  You will never convince me prayer isn’t important, regardless of how uncomfortable it makes someone else feel. 

Let’s consider other things that are at stake here besides our own rights. I’m not diminishing our rights as citizens. I’m saying there are lots of other things to consider in both these cases. As impossible as it seems, could we actually try to look at all sides of issues?

In these times of enormous changes (and more will come; some we like and some we don’t), let’s  be better to each other.  

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