When a friend around here says, “It’s Texas week,” we all know what that means. It is time for the Red River Rivalry, the annual football game between the universities of Oklahoma and Texas. There is a lot of smack talk during that week from fans, and you may have noticed the collective ownership. The pronoun is always “we,” never “they.” Each fan speaks as if he were on the roster:
- We will roll right over them.
- We will put them away.
- We will stomp all over them.
- We will beat the hooey out of them.
- We will blow them away.
In a dominate year, some hard-core fans might even take their metaphor all the way with, “We will absolutely murder them.”
Texas week usually comes in October, but with the temporary cessation of surgical abortions south of the Red River, Texas Week took on a whole new meaning in April as Oklahomans began to literally murder preborn Texans.
On Monday morning I was the first sidewalk counselor to arrive at the OKC abortion death camp. I was shocked to see eight cars occupied by escorts already in the parking lot. Every tag was from Texas. Over the next three hours, more than ten more couples arrived to murder preborn children, all from Texas. No one came over for an extended conversation that day, although one man did accuse me of having arrived about forty-five years too late.
On Tuesday morning the Texans came streaming in once again. With escorts waiting in their cars, I cranked up the PA system and said, “Welcome to the Sooner State, Texan. Shame on us for promoting this wicked interstate commerce.” Immediately, a hard-looking young man with sharp tattoos, black cap, and black eyes jumped out of his nice ride and marched over to me outside the gate.
“Why you pickin’ on me ‘cause I’m from Texas?” he asked.
“Actually, you all are. Look at the plates,” I said.
“Oh, I thought you was calling me out, so I wanted to come talk about this here. I spent four years in prison and had a lot of time to study the bible. Where does it say you can’t get no abortion?”
“Are you familiar with ‘You shall not murder?’”
“Well, yeah, but…well, I dunno.”
“You know this is wrong, don’t you? Don’t you know that you’ll have to give an answer to God for this?”
“But God will forgive this, right?”
“I know that he can, but I also know that you cannot presume upon God’s grace. It doesn’t work that way. It’s about being in a right relationship with God, about being humble and obedient before your father. You can’t just arrogantly commit mortal sins assuming God will overlook your attitude. That’s like flipping God the bird. That’s the very opposite of the humility that puts you in a position to be right with God, who, like a loving father, wants to forgive his child, but will not be mocked.”
“Yeah, well, I just wanted to see what you thought.”
He claimed to be just an Uber driver, but people claim a lot of things out there.
Back on the microphone, I spoke again to the men in the cars. I let them know they, too, would feel the guilt of this day for the rest of their lives. I challenged them, asserting that they were not acting like real men. The next driver who came over was certainly feeling guilty.
“I just wanted to come over and straighten you out, because this doesn’t have anything to do with me. I’m just being a friend and driving her here. It’s her choice, not mine. I’m just supporting her.”
He was defensive in front of other witnesses, so we walked to the corner store and talked privately while he purchased a cigarillo. There he calmed down enough to listen as I explained that a real friend would do everything in his power to stop someone from committing murder, and would certainly not participate. He again offered excuses, arguing that her father was paying for everything, and that all he was doing was driving. He kept saying, “It’s not on me.”
Finally, I explained one more time that by driving and offering “support” he was affirming her choice to murder and assisting her to do it. The only way he would be able to sleep with a clean conscience in the future was if he immediately did all he could to change the girl’s mind and save the innocent child. He finally let the message penetrate. He urgently got his phone and rushed back into the compound. He said he would call me, but it had already been several hours. Probably too late, and I have not heard back from him.
A twenty-three-year-old Asian man stopped at the gate as he was returning to pick up. It would be too late for him, as well. But as he talked, he did confess that his participation was sin and that he wanted to repent. Was he truly broken hearted, or like the ex-convict was he arrogantly presuming? Only God knows, but we pray that some of these hearts are truly broken and will be drawn to God for real reconciliation.
It is easy to see that these escorts were self-deluded and selectively blind, but are we similarly blind to our responsibilities? We go out of our way to claim ownership of certain athletic and political victories, but we never lay claim to any defeats or wicked policies.
When a team loses the Red River Rivalry, the greatest responsibility lies with the coaches and players. It is hard to blame fans. But when it comes to abortion, if the coaches and players are our religious and government officials, and fans are parishioners and citizens, then we are all collectively responsible for the loss since we empower those leaders. We cannot escape the shared responsibility for their failures.
The leaders of the State House and Senate are not loving their preborn neighbors when they keep abortion legal. Governor Stitt is not loving his preborn neighbors when he allows their blood to continue flowing day after day. We may not personally choose for babies to be murdered on Oklahoma soil, but are we loving our preborn neighbors when we elect, support, and defend these officials who keep calling and running the wrong plays and losing the game, when we take no effective action to get in the game ourselves?
While so many religious and political “leaders” with titles wring their hands and offer only ineffective platitudes and symbolic actions, a few Christians are trying to truly love their preborn neighbors. They personally get in the game by supporting political candidates who have the right playbook to abolish abortion. They personally speak up for those who have no voice, and they take their stand at the death camps knowing that their physical presence will eventually rescue some.
On Wednesday morning, as four Christians gathered in prayer at the Oklahoma City death camp, something different happened. A woman from Fort Worth came out at the gate.
“Hi. I’m Tatiana. I decided to keep my baby because the Lord told me to.”
She said it felt like the Holy Spirit was convicting her while she was sitting inside. She felt compelled to come out and share this with the team that had been praying for her. Tatiana has since been connected with Christians in Fort Worth who can encourage her and provide material support.
When it comes to football, the collective mentality is acceptable. A win for the home team is a win for us all. But we need to collectively own our defeats as well, especially when it comes to abortion. If we assigned proper responsibility all around for our murdered preborn neighbors, from our leaders at the top to the people who put them there, we would fight harder to abolish the vile and seemingly endless political football game of abortion.