“Babies are Gifts from God”

That’s what the signs say along the highway. And I don’t even live in the Bible belt.

So, why are these signs posted along the roadway as I drive to work in the morning? Really, why?

Well, “Babies are gifts from God” seems to be trying to explain something, make sense of something. Presumably the question is, “why do unintended pregnancies happen?” or “should I have an abortion?”

The answer is, according to these signs, that babies are gifts from God. It’s intended to be a reasonable—even a lovely—explanation for the age-old phenomenon of unplanned pregnancy.

And I have to admit, a lot of babies are cute, mysterious, wonderful little creatures. Even people who generally don’t like children (like myself) think the children in their own lives—nieces and nephews, for instance, or children of co-workers—are pretty cute when they’re not screaming, spitting up, or pooping their diapers.

So far, I “get” the billboard. I don’t have to be pro-life or pro-choice to get it. Babies are a gift from God. It may be a slight leap from one belief to another, and it’s not a very philosophically sophisticated answer, but I understand it. Where I get confused, is here:

If babies are a gift from God, why did God send John Edwards’ latest gift?

If He sent the baby to punish John Edwards, then that’s not a very forgiving God.

If He sent the baby to make us all melt and realize the bounty of His creation, it seems superfluous, if not pointless, since there are 133,000,000 other human births each year, worldwide. (Yeah. 133 MILLION. That’s 247 births per minute.)

If God sent the baby to answer Rielle Hunter’s prayers, it sure seems God may have been somewhat insensitive to Elizabeth Edwards’ feelings in granting Rielle’s prayers, doesn’t it? That’s not a very loving God.

If God sent the baby to prevent John Edwards from becoming President of the US, and if God is all powerful, it seems like God could have prevented a presidency some other way without creating so much fuss. (Not to mention, God would have wanted to time the affair earlier in John Edwards’ career.)

If He sent the baby to replace the Edwards’ son Wade, who tragically died in a car accident in 1996, then God must not really believe that each of us is unique, since no one person can just replace another.

I could go on and on. But assuming “Babies are gifts from God” is a reasonable answer to WHY there are inconvenient babies born, there must necessarily follow a reasonable explanation for WHY God would send John Edwards and Rielle Hunter a baby.

I suppose you could argue that one day, little baby Hunter/Edwards will develop the cure for cancer or be a great humanitarian or philanthropist. But it seems an unsatisfying explanation NOW, when “Babies are Gifts from God” is staring me right in the face. I’m supposed tp believe that babies are gifts from God, but not be able to explain it?

Let’s be real for just a moment. Babies are the result of a sperm and an egg making friends. This most commonly occurs when two people have unprotected sex—accidentally, on purpose, or with any intentions (or lack thereof) ranging between “accidentally” and “on purpose.”

If God makes (and gives us, as gifts) healthy babies, then using that very same reasoning, we can also deduce that he also makes sick, diseased babies and gives them to us as gifts.

Making something sick and diseased is not a loving action. Therefore God is not all-loving. This is sad, but no sadder than what Elizabeth Edwards is probably going through right now. Terminal cancer and the love of her life cheating on her. Nice, John.

When you really sit down with it, it appears that God is looking on sort of disinterestedly. But if that’s true, then babies are not gifts from God.

On a personal level—my own level—it doesn’t really matter much anyway. I probably wouldn’t have had an abortion when I was fertile, but my tubes are tied now, so I’m not anticipating an unplanned pregnancy. (Aside:  having one’s tubes tied is a safe, effective way to prevent pregnancy, and most insurance companies pay for the surgery—paying for one surgery is A LOT cheaper than insuring childbirth expenses and a whole new human being once it’s born. It’s also outpatient surgery.) 

I would never judge a woman for having an abortion or for choosing to go through with an unwanted pregnancy. I’m sure I’m not capable of making such a choice for someone else. To think otherwise would be the ultimate arrogance.

Bottom line, Rielle Hunter decided to have this baby, and John Edwards has another mouth to feed.

I’d love to see billboards on the side of the road stating, simply, “Abortion is Legal” or “Tubal Ligation is Outpatient Surgery.” Or a billboard with an accurate accounting of the healthcare debate. Or a Happy Birthday wish on someone’s 100th. Or numerous public service announcements. Or advertisements, trying to get my money. (Forgive me, Lady Bird Johnson.)

I just don’t want some stranger sticking his or her moralistic finger in my womb as I’m driving to work in the morning.

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