Patti Armstrong is an award-winning author and was the managing editor and co-author of Ascension Press’ bestselling Amazing Grace series. Her latest books are: Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories From Everyday Families and Dear God, You Can’t Be Serious. She has a B.A. in social work and an M.A. in public administration and worked in both those fields before staying home to work as a freelance writer. Patti and her husband live in North Dakota, where they are still raising the tail end of their 10 children.
You would think that Christians are deranged ax murders, the way society treats us these days. Following our faith is causing us to look like the bad guys. And a recent government report, “Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties,” has just added fuel to the fire. It likens religious freedoms to hypocrisy and claims “religion is being used as both a weapon and a shield by those seeking to deny others equality.”
Holding onto our religious beliefs now makes us look difficult at best and dangerously hateful at worst. We can’t escape it regardless of how ordinary our life is. For instance, I never dreamed the day would come that a little girl ringing my doorbell could “out” me as one of society’s undesirables. If she’s wearing a Girl Scout uniform and carrying a cookie-order sheet, I shudder. I can pretend I’m not home, or speak up.
I smile nicely and say “no thanks.” Then I tell her parent that I don’t buy cookies anymore because Girl Scouts is linked to Planned Parenthood, the #1 abortion provider . If the parent says that their troop is not involved with Planned Parenthood, I explain that only 15% of the cookie price stays here while the national office makes millions off the cookies each year. It would be a lot easier to just buy a box of Thin Mints.
Then there was a recent store cashier ambush: “Would you like to add $1 to your total for the March of Dimes?” A cashier and the people behind me in line waited for my reply.
“No thanks,” I said, then explained March of Dimes prevents disabilities by nudging mothers toward abortion when genetic testing shows abnormalities. I stopped there but could have added: And remember the undercover video that revealed Planned Parenthoods sells the parts of aborted babies? March of Dimes buys them. They also promote eugenics, make contributions to Planned Parenthood, and fund embryonic stem-cell research.
Conversations are often awkward and get heated when it comes to same-sex marriages and gender issues. There are also few businesses I won’t support anymore, such as Target after they began allowing men to use women's restrooms and dressing rooms. In June a man was arrested for videoing a woman in a Target women's dressing room in my area. Since bathroom stalls and dressing rooms are enclosed and going into a space of the opposite gender draws attention, there’s no logical reason for allowing this.
Aiding and Abetting Abortion
Then there is United Way to make me look like a problem. Recently, when a son was assigned to United Way on a school community service day, I called the principal and asked for another assignment. It was his first year in school after homeschooling, so I could imagine what she was thinking when she asked, “Oh, what is the problem?”
“They contribute to Planned Parenthood, the #1 abortion provider in this country,” I explained.
“We don’t even have an abortion clinic in Bismarck,” she said, but readily agreed to make a reassignment. I tried not to come off as a fanatic but an exposé released this past summer revealed that United Way affiliates have given almost $3 million to the abortion giant. It turns out that North Dakota is not one of those and yet, the United Way network supports the world’s largest abortion provider. They should be accountable for abetting the support of an organization that aborts over 300,000 babies a year.
The pressure is only going to get worse, so we must brace ourselves. It has already been horrible for some people. I just finished reading Faith Under Fire: Stories of Christian Courage by Matt Archbold. The book relates stories of eighteen dramatic stories of Christian men, women, and children who did what was right regardless of the price—and some paid with their lives or livelihood. It’s a compelling read and puts my occasional social discomfort into perspective. I highly recommend this book as inspiration for the times we live in.
Jesus Christ was considered a dangerous person in the time he lived. And so it is for us now. We must stay strong and follow him.
“But whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:33).