You remember the old commercial for Life cereal, don't you? People still use the old tag line: "Give it to Mikey. He'll eat anything." The thing is, though, we've gotten that line twisted around over the years. Originally, Mikey wouldn't eat anything. He hated everything. That is exactly the reason it was so surprising to the kids at the table, when Mikey gobbled up the Life cereal. It was as though Mikey's tastes had changed, his behavior was completely out of character.
But these days "Mikey" really does eat everything. Unlike the old Mikey, the "grown-up" Mikey does not discriminate. It is easy to understand his change in tastes, really. We know about foods that are an acquired taste. You don't like them at first, but after getting used to them you come to appreciate the distictive flavors and textures.
That's what happens here at the Cultural Diner. Initially, we may not have a taste for anything on the menu. But the Diner seems the only game in town; it's what we have to eat, if we are going to eat. And the first few times we may have to choke it down, but eventually we kind of start to...like it. Or, at least we don't complain anymore if our fellow patrons order it. So now that is what is happening to Christians when they come to the Cultural Diner.
Last night I had a disturbing dream. If you are anything like me, it is infrequent that you awake and remember your dreams, and even more infrequent that the dreams are vivid and have something of a storyline. When they do, I try to pay attention.
In my dream a mother had left her young infant propped up in a standing position (thought the infant itself was too young to stand independently) on, of all things, a church pew. She then walked away. Standing several yards from the baby, I was not quick enough to catch the baby before it tumbled to the floor, hitting hard. I looked around for the mother. She was nowhere to be found.
As I picked up the baby, I don't remember it crying, but I do remember it bleeding, profusely from the back of it's head. As I looked down to see the blood pooling on the ground, I was hysterical. And I couldn't find the mother anywhere.
Then, somehow, as dreams go, I was suddenly in the hospital with the baby, frantically searching up and down the hallways for a doctor or a nurse to help. Doctors and nurses loitered and moved about the hospital, completely unmoved by my frantic requests for help. Though I would speak loudly and, with tears thrust the child right in front of them, they would stare with blank and glassy eyes or simply go about their business. No one helped. The infant continued to bleed in my arms. And I knew the child would soon bleed to death.
Obviously, I awoke from the dream quite disturbed. Somehow, on the day of the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I can't help but think that the dream is symbolic of the public malaise on the issue of abortion. As I frantically searched for help and saw a helpless infant bleeding to death before my eyes, the real eeriness of the dream was in the absolute non-responsiveness of the crowd, the normalcy with which they continued to carry on their business.
Undoubtedly many of the great evils of our times have been committed because the cries of the victims were not heard--not heard by those who sat by, comfortably ignorant of the horrors around them.
Today, there are victims whose cries of agony our ears will never hear. These are the unborn victims of abortion.
These things are uncomfortable to hear and to speak about. That is precisely the point. We should not be comfortable in a society where such crimes exist and where we would have the power to influence change, were our tastebuds not desensitized.
Were the owners of the Cultural Diner required to post labels and nutritional information on "choices" like abortion, as restaurants are legislated to do, perhaps the knowledge would shake us from the complacence of our booths.
Maybe we would at least fill out the comment cards.
The sign should read, "Millions and millions served."
Your Friendly, Neighborhood Food Critic,
P.S. The patron who first ordered this dish, Norma Jane McCorvey, aka Jane Roe, has since become Roman Catholic and is a strong opponent of abortion. Pray with me that she receives God's mercy and still feels His love.