The Power of Narrative

Our languishing culture is made up of individuals, not a collective mass audience. Most of them are blasé, complacent individuals. To simply confront them with holier-than-thou accusations or rah-rah chants is fruitless. Moral outrage doesn’t make sense to them anymore, and misplaced skepticism is profuse. How do you cure a patient who refuses to believe they are ill?

This is an age-old problem with an age-old solution. Do not merely inform them. Show them.

Imagine the thoughts that must have gone through the prophet’s mind as he walked to the residence of the King of Israel. Nathan was approaching David, the legendary musician and warrior who was – as God Himself said – a man after God’s own heart.

But David had just committed adultery with Bathsheba, and after learning she was pregnant by him he deliberately had her husband put on the front line of the fiercest battle so that he would be killed. After Bathsheba mourned her husband’s death, David took her as his wife. David had disgraced himself in front of YAHWEH, but he had grown so full of himself that he hadn’t even realized it.

How did the prophet break the news to the complacent king? With a parable.

Despite its subtlety, the story was powerful enough that David empathized with the story’s protagonist who was done wrong. He was so outraged by its heartless antagonist, in fact, that he said, “As the LORD lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die” (II Samuel 12:5).

Then Nathan exclaimed, “YOU are the man!”

The realization brought David to his knees. He felt conviction because he had witnessed his own actions analogized in a story he had never heard before – a story from which he was otherwise personally detached. He was thus caught vulnerable, with no witty excuse prepared in order to plead his innocence. David was truly guilty.

The American people need to be told stories about themselves that they haven’t heard before – stories that suddenly reveal that the sort of character we despised is what we ourselves have become.

That’s why Matthew Perdie and I (likely to be joined by my siblings and some friends) are planning a venture into narrative film. He’s doing all the groundwork in New York City while I’m doing the screenwriting out here in Ohatchee, Alabama. I experimented with screenwriting a few years ago, and as I have just three classes left before graduating from college, I look forward to trying my hand at it again. Historical drama and epic are my passion, but modern themes will likely be explored first.

Our goal will be to use narrative film to awaken people’s consciences to seek the truth.

Defunding Planned Parenthood: A cultural debate

Lila Rose on Glenn Beck

Lila Rose on Glenn Beck

Although people have the right and liberty to access it, Planned Parenthood is yet another item on the list that doesn’t need or deserve government funding – and has a whole lot of baggage.

Planned Parenthood, which currently receives more than $360 million from taxpayers each year, is targeted for defunding after an amendment introduced by Representative Mike Pence (R-IN) was passed in the House of Representatives.

The defunding attempt comes in the wake of more undercover reporting revelations from Live Action, a pro-life organization founded by Lila Rose when she was a student at UCLA. Over time, Planned Parenthood employees across the country have been caught covering up statutory rape and underage prostitution rings, giving out misleading medical and scientific information, and advising potential STD carriers to donate blood as a cheap way to get tested.

Furthermore, the intention of Pence et al is “to prohibit family planning grants from being awarded to any entity that performs abortions,” as H.R. 217 reads. The outrage to this might be summed up in the rhetorical question, aren’t abortions lawful?

There once was a lawful practice that some believed necessary to prevent their households from collapsing. It was a matter of money – a service the economy in some places had become dependent upon. It was a matter of privacy – a person was entitled to acquire it and not have their use of it infringed upon. It was a matter of culture – if you saw a problem with it, you didn’t have to buy into it, but to call it wrong exposed you to ridicule by advocates armed with popular science, financial woes, unemployment concerns and fashion.

Eventually the lawful practice was made unlawful, and a Constitutional amendment was made to help ensure that those harmed by it would never be taken advantage of again.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m referring to race-based slavery in the United States of America.

Ironically, the Fourteenth Amendment initiated to protect black citizens has since been cited in making lawful yet another practice that is perceived to be necessary on grounds including economy, privacy and culture.

Like race-based slavery, abortion is based upon the premise that one subject at stake is dependent upon that service to live life to the fullest, and the other subject at stake is not fully human. (Hauntingly, the issue of race appears even currently in the abortion debate, considering that nearly 60% of black babies in New York City were aborted in 2009.)

Our contemporary human rights issue has another twist. Besides the question of the nature of human life (something that historically and scientifically should not be a question), the womb wars spawn from an endless Querelle des Femmes, the feud to define the nature of woman…

Click here to continue reading at The Washington Times Communities.

READ RAISED TO THE 9th POWER

READ RAISED TO THE 9th POWER

Margaret Sanger once wrote that encouraging large families was the “most serious evil of our times”.

Christine Read

Christine Read

In case you were wondering, that’s our “crazy” mother. ;)