The other night a rare thing happened — a social topic got me very angry. Like, stupid angry.
In fact, the constant coverage of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s “disciplining” of his four-year-old son got me so disturbed, I couldn’t sleep.
I just rolled around in bed, thinking about that kid, who is the same age as my niece, taking a lashing from the 6-1 217-pound football player.
You probably know the story by now, the father said he was simple giving his child the old southern “switching” and honestly, that’s not the part that bothered me. Heck, if they started arresting people for giving kids a switch, my grandma might very well be on death row.
No, what bothered me wasn’t Peterson’s form of disciple, but that it was so over the top, it left cuts and bruises on the boy for at least a week, as evidenced by the photos.
What bothered me was that this child, not even old enough for public school, had no one there to help him, no one to stand in his defense.
I don’t normally like to be angry, but I felt this anger was justified. I think there’s no greater calling for us as humans than to come to the defense of those who can’t defend themselves, and gauging by social media, plenty of folks agree.
But then I noticed something else and it started to bother me and push me from very angry to furious.
I started to notice other posts on social media and other comments, not in defense of the innocent, but in what felt like support of their harm.
I started to pay attention to how many of the same people, either in the media or just on social media, were outraged by Peterson’s abuse, but yet were in favor of abortion.
It was a seemingly massive contradiction of which I just couldn’t make sense.
How could the same people who were screaming for the head of the man who just hindered his child’s life by abusing him be OK with, or even celebrating, other people completely halting the lives of their children?
I mean, Peterson’s son was 4, he had least at the ability to run away (granted he probably wouldn’t get real far from the running back), but this other group children doesn’t have even a slight chance of escaping those attempting to hold them back from life.
In a sense, they are the very most defenseless group of all, and yet we as humans are somehow divided over whether or not to give a crap about them.
It’s something I have a really hard time wrapping my mind around even though I constantly try to listen to and understand the arguments of those opposing this groups’ defense.
I’ve heard the argument that no person, much less a man, has the right to tell a lady what to do with her body, especially when it comes to such medical issues.
I’ll be honest, on the surface this always comes across as extremely selfish to me, but then the more I think about it, it just seems like a down right dumb argument.
Don’t all laws or rules or guidelines tell people what they can and can’t do with their bodies? I mean, I’m not allowed to use my hands to steal or harm people. I’m not allowed to use my foot to accelerate my car beyond a certain speed. And even when it comes to medical issues, there are medicines and medical procedures, which could very well help me, that I’m not allowed to have. Hence, athletes heading to Europe for surgeries these days.
No, this argument just doesn’t make sense to me considering how many other laws we have specifically preventing us from using our bodies in a negative manner against other humans.
Of course, then there’s the argument that a fetus is not actually a human and there for it, and whatever potential for life it contains, has no rights.
Listen, we could sit around all day and debate which point in this whole process life actually begins. Is it conception? Is it the first sign of a heartbeat? It is when the fingers so up?
Maybe you’re a doctor, but I’m not, and so honestly, I have no idea at which point to declare that a fertilize egg becomes a tiny person.
But I do know this, once conception happens, barring something tragic, life will result.
That is, unless someone steps in and prevents it.
Even if you don’t want to consider them humans and defend them as such, doesn’t life in general deserve to be defended?
I think so, and no matter what the exact situation is, I think that life deserves the opportunity to make the best of it. To purposefully step in and prevent that, to steal away that chance at life, just doesn’t seem just.
But perhaps this is simply me attempting to push my religious views and my sense of justice onto people who do not maintain similar thoughts.
I mean, I 100 percent believe everyone has the right, and the responsibility, to take on his or her own belief system and use it as a guide through life.
But is defending those who can’t defend themselves really a Christian issue? Is taking up for those who can’t help themselves really even a religious matter?
No, defending the defenseless shouldn’t be a matter of religion, race, country, or creed. It should simply be a matter of human beings protecting each other and protecting life.
Life is the most treasured commodity for all people groups and once it’s taken away, there’s nothing we can do to bring it back. It’s forever gone.
We take steps each day to preserve that commodity, to ensure our lives and the lives of others have the opportunity to see out their full potential.
Sometimes we do it out of love, but often we simply do it out of a responsibility to each other as fellow humans.
Yet somehow in this situation we’ve allowed ourselves to check out on this responsibility. Somehow we’ve let ourselves become OK with failing to defend the potential for life in those who can’t defend it for themselves.
While I watch the world get all up in arms, and rightly so, over an NFL player abusing the tiny life that’s been entrusted to him, the idea that at the same time we as a culture are causally standing by and watching other lives ended before they even see the light of day, is just something I can’t seem to comprehend.
Of course these are just my thoughts, and like everything, I’m not going to tell you what to think. Only you have to live with your conscience.
But for me, as long as one of my top priorities as a human being is defending the defenseless, nothing about ending an innocent child’s potential for life will ever cause anything but fury.