Saturday 03 Dec 2016

Down a Nice Street
Jennifer Flaten

Down a nice street in a nice neighborhood is a nice little house. This nice little house has a not so nice sign in the front window. Against a stark white background in eight inch, bold blue letters are the words "Abortion Kills Children>

If this sign was in any other location, I might be able to shrug the sign off, but this house is in my neighborhood. Consequently, I pass this house everyday with my children on the way to and from school and various activities.

Everyday that we pass this sign I hold my breath because, as it just so happens, my children have mastered basic reading. They are constantly testing out their newfound skills by reading everything they see.

Sometimes this leads to uncomfortable questions. Like the one, I am sure to hear soon when they ask me "mommy what is abortion". Better yet, when they ask me what exactly it is that kills children.

Now I am not going to debate with your whether abortion is right or wrong. I am going to debate with you whether these people have the right to expose my children to something I am not ready to discuss with them.

I think I am a diligent parent; I monitor what they read, what they watch and with whom they interact. I don't allow cable TV, with exception of Disney and then no Hannah Montana, and we don't play video games, yet. I really try to keep them sweet and innocent.

Yes, I know it is inevitable that they will grow up and they won't be so sweet or innocent.

Still, isn't it my choice when to discuss something like abortion with them? It is bad enough the things they hear at school, some stories they have come home with make you wonder about "other" peoples kids.

They have already asked me some interesting questions about whether or not you need to be married to have a baby or if you have to have a baby or not. Sure, that question skates really close to the abortion issue, but it still can be successful dodged. How do you dodge a flat out question about a specific word?

I mean how much information is too much information for a seven year old.

Why do the people who insist that they have God on their side feel they have the right to push their views into my face?

Even if you agree with the philosophy they are pushing, how are you not offend by its method?

A perfect example, over the summer a local citizen who is pro life wrote an essay for our local paper describing how she had to alter her weekend plans in order to avoid a pro-life demonstration. The demonstration was by a group that uses bloody dolls and very graphic almost violent posters.

She didn't want to expose her small child to that on a beautiful summer Saturday, when they were out running errands or going for ice cream. Luckily, a concerned friend alerted her to the demonstration, so she could go a different route to avoid the protest. Yes, this was a minor inconvenience to be sure, but a really annoying one.

My situation is a little different; this isn't a limited time rally, these people do not intend to take the poster down, considering it has been up for several weeks now.

The sign isn't bloody but it sure is graphic. Every day I wrestle with a dilemma, should I have to alter my route because I don't want my children to see the sign?

A better question is does this sign do any good? Do these people really think that someone driving by will read that statement, clap their hand to their forehead and exclaim, "Why I never thought of that!!" Of course, not, this is completely unrealistic, yet it seems to be what these people expect to happen.

So, what exactly is the point? These people profess to love children; well wouldn't it make more sense to put a more child friendly sign in your yard?

You could still make your point with a sign that says something along the lines of all life is precious or some such, and you could be a nice house down a nice street with a nice message.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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