A few days ago, I attended the gala for the Pregnancy Counseling Center of Mission Hills at the Ronald Reagan Library. I felt so countercultural and I felt humbled to be in the presence of so many men and women who give so much of themselves for the most vulnerable.
The people who volunteer their time here are men and women who have only two primary missions in the work they do: love mothers who are pregnant and standing on the precipice of contemplating abortion and love mothers who fell or were pushed off the crag and had an abortion.
The operative word is love — if only the “mainstream” culture could experience the real deal, and not rely on caricature versions of what a pro-life person is like through popular television and motion pictures.
There was a lot of passion in this room, and not a few tears as well, with some heartfelt testimonies that serve the cause of letting us all know why we’re there in the first place. I know these kinds of events can look like a gathering of the “usual suspects,” and that there is a lot of preaching to the already converted choir members, but it is good to be among your own “tribe” at times.
The gala at the Reagan Library also included a tour of the library exhibits, featuring its recently opened visiting exhibit of ancient Egyptian artifacts. How fitting.
It’s called “Egypt’s Lost Cities,” and if you think it was trying to conjure images of Harrison Ford swinging from the rafters from stone-carved idol to idol by the handle of his whip, you’re right. It is an amazing exhibit and worth the time. The Egyptians certainly liked their gods. They made a god out of almost everything, not just a river.
It was certainly a high-level civilization, all things being equal. And although it is always treacherous to compare the ancient world to the so-called modern world, there was something about the intricacies and nuances of this ancient culture that got me thinking and running to the internet for reliable sources regarding other aspects of ancient Egyptian life.
I was at the Reagan Library first and foremost to support the efforts of the Pregnancy Counseling Center, so the next day I thought I’d search two things online: ancient Egypt and abortion. I found a website that had reliable information regarding ancient Egypt and its medical practices, and I searched away.
Guess what? Just like in our very modern world, the ancient Egyptians had abortion techniques. Obviously, their medical professionals relied on more herbal and natural chemicals and didn’t have the technology to use medical instruments to remove unwanted Egyptians, though they did apparently perform brain surgery. Go figure.
It was no surprise that the ancient Egyptians, or the ancient Greeks, or the ancient Romans, all had medical means to dispose of unwanted children. Even as the Amazon synod continues, there are instances still in the more remote regions of this part of the world where infanticide is practiced when a child is deemed unworthy of life.
As I read about how similar ancient Egypt was to today, my thoughts returned to the gala from the night before. Maybe it is progress, as there seems to be no evidence of organized resistance to ancient abortion practices and no storefronts on the bank of the Nile where a desperate young woman who thinks she has no other options could find loving souls who wanted to help her and her baby.
And I thought, there I was at this beautiful gala supporting a place that does mighty work toward loving women in crisis and helping them and their babies, while just a few walls away were examples of a mighty civilization that thought nothing of snuffing out a pre-born human life.
The most disturbing thing about the website where I found the information regarding Egyptian abortion practices was discovering its target audience. The site was called “Facts about Ancient Egypt: History of Ancient Egypt for Kids in Simple Language.”
When I saw “simple language” that even a kid could understand, I knew the site was the site for me. But when I got to the abortion part my blood ran a little cold. Yes, the language was simple, yes it was readily understandable — even to me, but so was its intent: “Abortion is as old as pregnancy. …These methods were most of the time harmful for the woman. ...”
It didn’t say anything about how harmful these “extreme” methods were to the baby, and the language was as bloodless as any “reproductive rights” tract you’d find on the end table at Planned Parenthood.
The site was preparing kids to be part of the mainstream culture, but the message for us is clear: It doesn’t matter how big your pyramids are or how sacred your river might be, the only truly countercultural act any human being can perform is done from his knees, in a relationship with the Lord of Hosts.