When making the case that abortion is murder, many faithful believers know all the appropriate verses to quote from the Scriptures. They correctly quote Psalm 127:3 “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Yet, in day-to-day life, they are less likely to practically embrace the fifth verse of the psalm, “Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them…” You see, part of a full quiver is young “arrows” that are noisy, smelly, and often a handful. Not all “pro-lifers” are as “pro” the life of children when a sermon, a plane ride, or a wait in a bank line involve little ones who show in public that they are fallen sinners.
This was made very clear recently as I discussed with fellow Christians a news headline. The mother of a two year old was escorted off a flight from Texas to San Jose, CA because the child was “unruly” and “wouldn’t calm down.” My fellow Christians immediately told me about “the flights from hell” that they had been on and if the child referenced in the story was anything like the one on their flight, he should have been ejected.
Well, I have a story from the other end of the nightmare, as a mom who was travelling with a 16-month-old daughter who did not understand why she was not allowed to walk up and down the aisles of a plane flying from California to New York. I am sure many on my flight were annoyed at the constant, high-pitched scream that resounded through most of the flight. I am sure many had their derisive impressions of that mother who could not control her child. No one but my husband and seven-year-old son (who found another seat on the other side of the plane) knew that I had gone to our pediatrician and requested a prescription that would make my daughter calm on the flight. You see, I did prepare for what I thought was likely to happen. The problem was that the medicine didn’t work–not one little bit.
I remember all too vividly how the flight attendant screamed across the big 747, “Please, do something with that child.” I am certain that more people opted for the in-flight movie that day just to silence the noise. I did get a respite during the movie when she fell asleep for about fifty minutes. Unfortunately, it came just when they delivered my food and I couldn’t reach it because I was afraid moving might wake her up! By the time we got to New York, I felt like I needed the Red Cross!
If I had been in a position to administer corporal punishment, the situation would have been somewhat relieved, but even back then (1986) parents had to be on guard when spanking a child. The very people who are philosophically against spanking are the same who find children annoying and bothersome. To many, I suppose I was “guilty” of one of three things: travelling with a child, failing to keep her from disturbing them, or having had her in the first place! I am sorry to report that since my experience, our culture has only gotten more intolerant of children.
The woman in the news report was categorized as “a stay-at-home mom.” I am not sure why that was an important detail, except to indicate that this child might be better off in daycare, or, possibly, to prove the feminist point that a woman without a “career” is incompetent and stupid. In any case, my gripe is with fellow believers who are ready and eager to proclaim the sanctity of life while embracing much of the world’s negative views about young children.
How quickly we forget. We all started out as children!