1 in 1,000

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There was a buzz of excitement in the air that morning. Volunteers from N.E.S.T. (nework for endangered sea turtles) had discovered a nest of Loggerhead sea turtle eggs. And judging from the actions of the workers, this was a Superbowl moment for them.

N.E.S.T. volunteers patrol 50 miles of North Carolina’s Outer Banks beaches each morning from spring to early fall looking for the markings of where a female sea turtle would have come ashore a laid her eggs the previous night, before returning to the sea. Normally when nests are located, they are marked and monitored in order to prevent disruption from humans, predators, and weather until the baby turtles emerge and make a run for the water. A simple matter of people doing what they can to ensure that each egg has a fair chance of survival.

My daughters had told me of a repeat of this same scenario from just two days  before. N.E.S.T. volunteers were in a frenzy as they told everyone they encountered on the beach that a sea turtle nest had been reported near one of South Nags Head’s piers (about 1 mile south of our vacation rental). Instead of marking and monitoring this particular nest, it was being relocated due to a massive beach nourishment project that was slated for the coming weeks. Eggs were being carefully removed, one by one, and being transported to similar but safer environment.

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As the events were relayed to me, I thought it all sounded like pretty cool stuff. I didn’t know how many nests were cared for in a year’s time, but I have been seeing the ATV patrols early in the mornings for as long as I’ve been vacationing in the Outer Banks. I knew it had to be a huge deal for this team of volunteers. And it turns out that they care for only 10-20 nests per year.

So it was pretty surprising when another nest was discovered just two days later. Again, my daughters had run into excited volunteers early in the morning, excitedly relaying the news of their discovery to anyone and everyone they encountered on the beach and encouraging beachgoers to come watch the nest relocation process. Since this nest was only a couple hundred yards from our rental, I decided to walk down the beach to take a look.

I watched from a short distance. About eight volunteers, working with purpose. Some carefully digging and removing the eggs. Some brushing off the sand and delicately placing them in cartons and into a large cooler.  some talking to bystanders, encouraging us all to come closer, “Does anybody else want to come up closer to get pictures?”. And some just offering a little education, “Most nests will have around 100 eggs in them.”

This was pretty cool. I was glad I had walked down the beach to witness it. It was just neat to watch people working together with such a passion to preserve nature and a form of life, even if it wasn’t human life.

Human life. Yes, my thoughts went pretty quickly to the preservation of human life. And I couldn’t help wondering what would happen to me if I just pulled a Gerber multi-tool out of my pocket and approached the cooler and bashed in a couple of eggs? Well, that would be just be barbaric of course. But I did later learn the extent to which these eggs are protected by law:

  • All of these species are protected under the Endangered Species Act which makes it illegal to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, capture, or collect sea turtle eggs, hatchlings, adults, or any body parts. Violators can be prosecuted under Civil and Criminal laws and be assess heavy penalties (up to $25,000 fine and up to one year in jail.)

Yeah, if you bust up a sea turtle egg or destroy a nest, you’re in hot water. An that’s a good thing. But I couldn’t help thinking, “Why don’t we offer these same protections for unborn humans?” The same actions that would be barbaric and illegal for unborn sea turtles are legal and fiercely defended when it comes to unborn humans.

This simply can’t be justified, but still abortion remains legal.

Here’s the craziest part. Out of 1,000 Loggerhead sea turtle eggs, the number that will hatch and reach the age of reproductive maturity is………ONE. One out of a thousand. Do the math, 10 nests times 100 eggs equals a whole year of serious human effort and intervention in order to save one sea turtle.

And I’m not saying this is bad. I think it’s an admirable effort. But I am saying that American society is sick as long as we fail to go these same lengths to protect our unborn children who have no voice. 1 in a thousand. I can’t get past that.

We can pat ourselves on the back all we want for concerns about poverty, racism, gun control, refugees/immigrants and a variety of other issues. But until America becomes a nation that is willing to defend and protect human life to the same degree that it offers endangered species, we’re basically just full of crap in our efforts to make anything better. We’re just the sick getting sicker.

1 in 1,000. Geez.

 

Listenin To Some Metallica and Wagin the War On Women

I can’t get my mind around a world where killing unborn babies is considered women’s healthcare.  We who oppose abortion are said to fight “the war on women”.  Something so selfish and barbaric, explained away as a choice or a right.  But none of this is a news flash, so I won’t touch on the usual talking points.

This weekend, in a moment of strange parental flashback, my mind was opened to another side of abortion that I don’t often see discussed; how men change when they become dads.

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I spent about six hours Saturday using a weedeater.  Headphones on, iTunes library set to shuffle.  Usually a great time of reflection for a wandering mind.

Metallica’s “Hero of the Day” assaulted my ears, above the sound of my machinery.  And songs always remind me of events or periods of life.  My thoughts immediately went to my oldest daughter, who is away at college.

Just over 19 years ago, Metallica released Load, and it just happened to be the CD that was in the player of our Ford Explorer when my wife went into labor.  Kristy was cool with Metallica but I operated the radio with the assumption that she wasn’t in the mood for any headbanging stuff on the way to the hospital to give birth to our first child.

So the volume stayed low.  “Hero of the Day” was one track that could be considered a ballad, so it was the only song that got turned up loud enough to hear on that memorable trip of nervous excitement.

Over the years, I’ve thought of that night every time I’ve heard that song.  But on this day, after initially having thoughts of really just missing my daughter, my thoughts circled around to the kind of man I was on that last night

before I became a father.

Because I became a different man the first time I held that baby girl in my arms.  What I thought I knew about love changed instantly.  My view of the world changed the instant I became a father.

God’s love for me became more real than ever before.  I accepted Jesus as my savior shortly after.  Not saying that I’m a super Christian or even a good one, but I am saying without doubt that I am still being transformed every day, and that becoming a father is what started the transformation.

When men become fathers and embrace that role, change happens.  Selfish becomes selfless.  Unmotivated becomes motivated.  Harsh becomes gentle.  Irresponsible becomes responsible.  Apathy becomes compassion and determination.  Underachievers become overachievers.  The unloving love.  The short-sighted develop a vision for the future. Lousy men become decent men.  Good men become great men.

When men become fathers, they have great purpose in life.  They not only become valuable to their families, their potential for positive impact on the world around them increases dramatically.

Abortion robs them of this purpose.  I have no idea what the statistical factors are as to the presence of a father in abortion situations.  But I know that, in cases of abortion, the possibility of a man being amazingly transformed by bringing a child into the world, is exactly zero.

Going back in time for one or two generations, consider a small percentage of men transformed from lousy men to good men, from good men to great men.  What impact could they have had on growing children and society as a whole?  Should we be shocked by what we are seeing with the disappearance of traditional families, lack of respect for authority, and declining morals?

My main point is this:

There are 3 individuals that God has given life to in this equation.  There is mother.  There is a baby.  There is a dad.  To speak of rights and choice of only the mother is a convenient and selfish lie.

Women killing their unborn children and men missing out on the chance to be transformed by fatherhood (and men who make the horrible choice to not raise their own children).

Do we have to pretend like there are worse things going on in this country?  I don’t think there are.

I am a much different man, a better man, because my children were born.  The world is different place because my four children are here and I believe that eternity will certainly be different as well.  That is pro-life.  That is truth.