Lagniappe - Today, I am outraged and upset by what in my mind is the psychological terrorism inflicted on children by anti-abortion zealots. I experienced this personally - or rather, I should say, my whole family, including my impressionable four-year-old daughter, experienced this terrorism. What started out as a wonderful family outing to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, ended up a nightmare for my little daughter. My family left the New Orleans Fairgrounds after listening to a wonderful performance by Keb Mo and after having some great food and drink and snowballs, etc. On our way to our parked car, anti-abortion terrorists were out on the streets exercising their constitutional rights to free speech by holding up larger than life-size graphic pictures of aborted fetuses - blood and guts and deformed faces and limbs and everything. There was no direction we could go in without being subject to this display of "free speech." My daughter was traumatized and, though she'll probably get over this, she is currently unable to sleep in her bed tonight because of the pictures these "so-called" Christian defenders of children thrust into her face. The hypocrisy of it is astounding to me. The New Orleans Jazz Fest is a family affair. I can't tell you how many small children attend this event. It is in the hundreds, if not thousands. And these anti-abortion zealots, who profess to be Christian and concerned for the well-being of children, think it appropriate to show these pictures in a place where children are sure to see them. My wife and I confronted one of these "Christian ministers" and his response was - "Sorry, people need to see these pictures and we'll pray for your daughter so that she won't be traumatized. And you can go home and tell her what this is all about in a way that she won't be scared." So, scarring the minds of the "born" to protect the lives of the "unborn" is just fine and dandy. And I guess I can send him my daughter's therapy bills, too??? These people don't care for children. These people don't respect the values of parenthood - they certainly didn't respect my role as a parent. These people are not pro-life. They are harbingers of death and hate. And their moral self-righteousness is nothing more than a lie. How can they sleep at night knowing that they are traumatizing children in the name of God? I am reading to my daughter every night from C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia. We have read through each of the seven volumes in the series once, and we are re-reading them again because my daughter enjoys them so much. And I am reminded of Emeth's story of his meeting with Aslan, the Christ figure, in Book 7, The Last Battle. Emeth, a Tarkaan who had worshipped Tash, Aslan's evil opposite, all of his life, tells of his encounter with Aslan:
But I said [to Aslan], Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. ... I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. [emphasis added]Since these hypocritical, anti-child zealots have given me no choice but to explain to my daughter what she saw and experienced because of them and their misguided and uncaring Christian zealotry, I think I will tell my daughter that these are people who say the name of Aslan, but their cruelty and insensitivity by frightening her really make them servants of Tash. Far be it from me to judge these people, but that's what I believe them to be: nothing more than pretender servants of Christ who are really doing the devil's work in this instance.