Last night my wife and I went to see the Unplanned movie (the story of Bryan, Texas Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson’s leaving the organization).
It wasn’t as disappointing as I expected it to be. But…
- The women coming in to murder their babies are portrayed in a sympathetic light, sorrowing or being pressured by others, but never hard-faced.
- The bad guys are the Planned Parenthood execs… and the misguided buffoons holding those graphic signs and yelling incoherently or chauvinistically. Planned Parenthood workers are “like us”.
- One of the central messages of the movie was how prayer combined with being reasonable and not condemning wickedness, is the way to go. It’s how the 40 Days for Life people interact with Abby all through the movie, and it works for Abby herself at the end - she convinces a girl to leave the abortuary.
My wife was distressed that Abby’s husband (apparently a Christian), knowing her occupation, not only goes ahead and marries her but allows her to continue her murderous work for years until she decides on her own to quit. The movie does not portray this horrendous failure of leadership as sin, weakness, or a problem of any kind on the husband’s part.
The movie’s view is faithful to what I’ve read from Abby Johnson. I don’t think Mrs. Johnson’s soft touch approach (and that of 40 Days for Life, featured prominently in the film) is wrong; but condemning the biblical prophetic denunciation of wickedness is. In this Mrs. Johnson acts like a woman who is untaught and uncorrected by her authorities (husband, pastor) and who has fallen into equating feminine godliness with godliness - though even the feminine godliness portrayed in the movie lacks the motherly element of calling out at the abortuary for a girl not to do violence to her baby; it’s clear that reasonableness is the cardinal virtue.
I’m glad that Mrs. Johnson repented of participation in the murder of children, and I’m glad for her ongoing work helping abortuary workers get out of the business. Now who will teach her a vision of masculine godliness so that she will stop tearing down that faithful work of condemning evil that faithful preachers since the days of Enoch have always done, at risk of their bodies, in the fear of God and in love of neighbor?