Living With the Far Right

I asked my son to take this photo out the car window thinking that it exemplified the down side of living in the rural area where we live. The car was wallpapered with pro-life Christian bumper stickers. And as if to further demonstrate the singleminded determination of the owner of the vehicle, the car looked as though the driver might frequently literally push other viewpoints right off the road. 
Once I was past the ripe age of about 12, I stopped wanting to wear my beliefs on my sleeve. I have stuck a few bumper stickers on the backs of cars I drove over the years, but they mostly asked more questions than they answered. I have found that most issues that people argue about cannot be fairly represented by anything that fits on a bumper sticker. Also, I have always been one to understand that the other person may come from a different belief system, so a simplified sentiment on a bumper sticker doesn’t allow for their entire orientation.  
It is a real challenge for me to think about the owner of this vehicle with sympathy and compassion. They just seem ridiculous, like a cartoon character. On the other hand, I am regularly exposed through my teaching job at the community college to students and others with similar Christian viewpoints who I do have respect for. They feel that life begins at conception, and that it is therefore wrong to end the life of an unborn baby.  I can allow that they have a point if you believe that life begins at conception. If you don’t believe that, you could feel differently. As long as anti-abortionists are actively assisting young poor mothers with childcare, financial assistance and emotional support, I can’t argue with their beliefs. If they are simply ramming other viewpoints off the road, well, that is another story.

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