This post is more serious than most of my Wednesday memories, but it’s one that I want to share just as a reminder of the pitfalls there are when you’re growing up in a confusing world.
It happened when I was about 10 or 12 years old, just a few years after Roe vs. Wade, and there was still a lot of discussion in the media about abortion. At that time, however, I don’t remember ever seeing bumper stickers and billboards with pictures of fetuses and messages that “abortion stops a beating heart.”
One afternoon, after reading the newspaper, my mother muttered something about how she couldn’t believe they had made abortion legal. I innocently inquired, “Why? It’s the woman’s own body, isn’t it?”
I’ll never forget the horrified look in Mom’s eyes. After sputtering for a bit, she proceeded to explain to me exactly what abortion was and why she considered it horrible. I was stunned. I had never even considered it from that angle.
It’s weird to look back now and realize how thoroughly indoctrinated I had been, and I have no idea how I got that way. I don’t remember any teacher ever talking about it, it wasn’t a topic for discussion among my friends at that age. and I’d never been interested enough to read up on it. Yet I had spouted forth an opinion, fully formed, without any thought of my own behind it whatsoever. I had bought into it without ever checking it out or even thinking about it. I suppose maybe I had heard a radio talk show or overheard people talking, and without ever exploring the idea, stowed it away in my brain.
It’s a scary thing. Propaganda is a powerful tool. It’s hard to dissect every single thing that we hear and evaluate it. When you consider the hundreds of different messages that are pumped into our brains every day, through books, newspapers, billboards, radio, TV, songs, and just talking to our friends, it is sobering to think what an effect it can have.
It’s also a reminder that we need to TALK to our children. A LOT. I suppose my mother had never discussed it with me because I was young, and she never dreamed that I was picking up ideas from other sources. Kids in this world will hear about all sorts of things, some horribly inappropriate, no matter how hard we try to shield them. Sometimes it’s hard, but we need to be talking to them and making sure they know our values, that they see what God’s Word has to say about the issues. It’s a vital part of training up a child, and I am so thankful that my mother told me the truth that day.