By Kortney Blythe
While perusing a flea market booth where old photos, news clippings and other vintage paraphernalia were for sale, I came upon a pre-Roe Planned Parenthood bumper sticker and promptly purchased it. Evidently, before PP ditched any effort to connect sex with love, it came out with this gem of a marketing scheme: “Love Carefully.”
Allow me to describe this bumper sticker. On a bright pink background, a cave woman, holding a club, is deviously dragging an unconscious cave man with a flower in his mouth. Then in big letters, it says, “LOVE CAREFULLY! Planned Parenthood.”
Um, what? Not only is the picture perpetuating the now-pervasive theme of de-masculinized and feeble men, but it begs this question: What does an androgynous-looking woman wielding a weapon and pulling along a lifeless man have to do with love or being careful? Should women hit men with clubs to avoid the “dangers” of sex? Is rendering another human unconscious an act of love? Okay, maybe I’m reading too much into a bumper sticker.
The barbarian theme, though, is strikingly appropriate. That’s what Planned Parenthood wants – a bunch of zombie-like, pleasure-seeking, responsibility-shirking Neanderthals mindlessly engaging in sexual acts. But, they expect these same hormone-crazed people, who can’t control their natural impulses, to take certain “precautions.” I’ve always wondered how, on the one hand, PP thinks that humans are too weak, animalistic or overwhelmed by hormones to practice chastity and, on the other, expects those same humans to be thoughtful, controlled and mature enough to take a pill at the same time every day, or stop “in the heat of the moment” and use a condom?
Pick a side – do you believe we are just highly evolved animals who should give in to our every desire? (This has far-reaching, frightful implications.) Or are we moral agents, made in the image of God, who can and should say “no” to “ungodliness and worldly desires,” and “live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12)?
Apparently, when this sticker was created, PP recognized that most people associate sex with love (a connection that they’ve now successfully severed). “Love carefully” was an early rendition of the now ubiquitous phrase “safe sex.” And I’ve written plenty on the true meaning of that phrase.
If you truly want to know what it means to “love carefully,” read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Kortney Blythe is the chapter and street team coordinator for American Life League’s Rock for Life project, which brings the human personhood message to youth through music, education and human rights activism. This commentary first appeared in the September 11, 2009 issue of the RFL e-newsletter. You can view it here in the RFL blog.