Choice Chain

On my Sunday lunch hour I decided to go check out the Life Chain on Rangeline.

If you missed it, it’s where a bunch of anti-choice protesters wave signs on the side of the road. My original plan was to see the festivities, and maybe take a picture, on the way to lunch. On the way I realized I couldn’t drive past without expressing how I felt. I wanted to articulate how transparent their cause was; how obvious it was that they didn’t care about life as much as they wanted to control the sexuality of other people, especially women. However, it’s difficult to convey this from a moving vehicle, so I boiled these sentiments down to a hand gesture. Hopefully they got the drift.

Near the end of my opening and closing arguments, I glimpsed a sign the said “War Kills Babies Too.” I looked closer and realized that four of my friends from the Joplin Freethinkers were staging a counter protest. To heck with lunch! I inherited the War Kills Babies sign and spent my lunch hour smiling and waving at traffic. *

Here are my thoughts on the event:

  • Of course, some of the Life Chain members recruited their kids for sign toting. Three bucks says these same people complained about “indoctrination” when Obama gave his work-hard stay-in-school speech.
  • What surprised me the most was all the positive response we got. I imagined most people would ignore both us and the Life Chain folks, and that most of the response we’d get would be negative. I only counted three visible signs of disapproval from the motorists. The vast majority of the response, however, was positive. I lost count of how many thumbs, peace signs, “yeahs!” and smiles we got. I didn’t hear any such accolades for the Life Chain. Then again, we were only close to a few of them.

I like to think that this means that most people disagree with the Life Chain; they just have better things to do, like eating lunch, working, or organizing their Hawaiian Milk Cap collection. They may even be afraid of speaking up against what they perceive to be the status quo around here. Whatever the reason, the overwhelmingly positive response to our chain of five delights me to no end.

  • About those three negatives. One was a polite but firm head shake; another hurled my original argument back at me. When my back was turned, one of my friends was called a “wh*re” by the third motorist. I imagine if I had been the one in her place, I probably would have been called a “d*ke”. In the eyes of the patriarchy you are either sexless, and thus worthless, or a trollop, and thus worthless. You can’t win.

“Just look at their faces,” said my friend, pointing out the faces saturated with prim disapproval. “I’d much rather be a ‘wh*re’ than be so miserable all the time.”

That’s what the whole things about, isn’t it? Other people being happy when what they should be is miserable. That’s why the same people who cheer an “Abortion Kills Babies” sign will flip off a “War Kills Babies” sign. It’s not about life and it never was. It’s about control, and making yourself feel better by spreading misery around.


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