Homosexuality. Abortion. These two unrelated "buzzwords," "hot topics," "controversial issues" evoke strong reactions and emotions whenever and wherever mentioned. It is my belief the day is coming when they will be connected in ways we never thought possible. I have been on both sides of each of these issues.
I am an Evangelical Christian mother of a gay daughter. She didn't tell me she was gay (and I hadn't a clue) until she was thirty-seven. Prior to that life-changing telephone call from her, I had followed the party line in believing that homosexuality was a sin; an abomination; that someone is somehow "turned" along the way. Still, nothing was going to change my mind--until God stepped in. I now embrace Cholene for the wonderful person she is, not the one I thought she should be.
As for abortion, I was studying to be a dental hygienist and in my last year of college when I became pregnant. I had a 19-month-old son and a rocky marriage. I needed that education desperately. It was not possible to drop out and continue the course later, so I asked a friend about an abortion. This was before Roe vs. Wade and she recommended a coat hanger or jumping off a high place, like a dresser. I opted for the leap. It didn't work, and after a couple of tries I felt like an idiot, so I accepted whatever the future held for me and my baby. That baby graduated from the United States Air Force Academy, was the second woman to fly the U-2 Spy Plane, was a captain for a commercial airline, and to date has been an embedded reporter in the Iraq war and just recently received her M.D. degree. I was sick with guilt over coming so close to denying her life.
The night she told me on the phone that she was gay I was desperate to find the "why." Foremost on my mind was my attempt at aborting her--that she felt rejected while still in my womb. I had to tell her what I had done . . . afterward there was nothing but silence. I panicked. Then she started laughing, and I thought she must be hysterical. "I'm sorry, Mom, but now I understand why I am most comfortable flying at seventy thousand feet." This wonderful child of mine exonerated me from years of guilt in one sentence.
Now to the paradox: During a conversation with a gay man I met at a conference, he told me something I have continually thought about since. His best friend while growing up was the son of a preacher. Although this friend knew he was gay, it made no difference to him. Years later the two reconnected, but now his friend is a pastor in the same denomination of his father and things had changed--drastically--to the point of his having a man preach at his church who was advocating killing homosexuals in Africa.
I imagine this man who advocates death to homosexuals also pleads for the lives of unborn babies. One can't have it both ways. A person is either pro-life (all life) or he is not.
I believe the connecting factor of these two issues is this--as scientific research continues to seek the "cause" of homosexuality, there is the real possibility that amniocentesis will ascertain not only the gender of the unborn child, but also its sexuality. What then? Will it then be "acceptable" for these un-Christ-like "Christians" to abort these "abominable" babies?
Shari Johnson, author of Above All Things: The Journey of an Evangelical Mother and Her Gay Daughter