One of the biggest annual entertainment events in America is the Super Bowl. Each year, the nation’s top two football teams battle it out for the entertainment of millions of viewers. It is unquestionably one of the largest and most predominant entertainment venues in existence. So much so, that advertisers pay millions of dollars for air time during the spectacle. With so many people watching television, this is a premium opportunity for companies to hock their wares. And the advertisers learned early on, the more entertaining the commercial, the more likely people will not walk away for more chicken wings or bean dip during breaks in the game. Wild and outlandish commercials have become synonymous with the Super Bowl itself, with many people willing to tune in just to see what the companies came up with this year.
Enter the Doritos tortilla chip company. They created what was likely considered one of the funniest commercials this year. A pregnant woman is getting her ultrasound examination. Her less than engaged husband busily munches on the said chips, much to the irritation of his bride. While she is complaining to the doctor about her callous husband’s behavior, the viewer notices that the ultrasound image of the baby is reacting to the father holding the chip. As he moves the chip, the baby moves in the womb as if trying to grab it. This grabs the father’s attention, who then begins to tease the baby like a cat owner with a laser light. Now thoroughly frustrated, the soon to be mother grabs the chip and throws it across the room. At which point, the ultrasound image shows us the child pushing off the womb wall, heading for the only available exit by which he (or she) can obtain the coveted snack. A chorus of yelling tells us that the unexpected delivery comes as quite a shock to all parties, and leaves the viewers laughing hysterically.
The message of the commercial is clear, Doritos’ chips are so tasty that even babies en utero cannot wait to be born just to have one. That’s it, nothing more. No underlying message is present. Just a comedic moment involving pregnancy and nacho cheese to sell a snack item. And most of the Super Bowl viewing nation understood that. Most. Enter NARAL, the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws. As their name implies, NARAL is a pro-abortion activist group. They want to see the continuation of the wanton murder of children in the womb, on demand and without apology. When Doritos aired its commercial, where the rest of America saw hilarity, NARAL saw a direct assault on the abortion industry. They took to the internet to Tweet to this obviously egregious assault by posting this: “#NotBuyingIt – that @Doritos ad using #antichoice tactic of humanizing fetuses & sexist tropes of dads as clueless & moms as uptight. #SB50”
— NARAL (@NARAL) February 8, 2016
What was the assault upon the abortion industry? What was egregious assault that caused NARAL to go on the offensive? It was the imagery of an obviously human child en utero acting like a human being. In other words, Doritos’ horrible crime was to portray a child in the womb for what it actually was, human. In the minds of those at NARAL, the narrative that an unborn child is nothing but a lump of cells until birth (when it mysteriously and magically becomes a human being) must be maintained at all costs. If people are led to believe what science actually teaches us, that babies in the womb are actually living human beings, then they may actually realize what abortion is – murder. And if people rightly conclude abortion is murder, then they will begin to demand it be made illegal. This is something NARAL cannot and will not tolerate.
The real surprise is not what NARAL said, it is the boldness with which they spoke. It comes as no surprise that NARAL would see a commercial making an unborn baby human a direct threat to abortion. Their stated goal is the removal of any and all laws which obstruct, even in the slightest, access to abortion. What is surprising is that they would openly attack a humorous commercial involving an unborn child simply because it showed an unborn child as being alive. This open assault demonstrates a dramatic shift in tactics for the pro-death community. Previously, access to abortion was something to be considered as private, for the needs of the mother, and not for the public to be involved in. Now, abortion must be not only public, but celebrated. And anything that could possibly prevent that must be derided without remorse.
Many news outlets and public figures have openly addressed the reaction from NARAL. I won’t pretend to speak more authoritatively than they have. However, consider this: how could such a statement from NARAL even be intelligently considered as being acceptable to post? There is no question that Doritos had no intention of making a pro-life statement. There is not one shred of evidence they set out to do so. Therefore, NARAL’s statement is unprovoked, unwarranted, baseless and outlandish. And they know it. The intent of making such an unprovable allegation is to plant the seeds of doubt in those who see it. It is like asking a man if he has stopped beating his wife yet. There is no evidence that he had ever done so to begin with; but, the question alone implies to its hearers that he has been doing so continuously. In a culture where emotional rhetoric trumps logic and reason, all one must do is make the claim and let speculation do the rest.
NARAL is able to accomplish such a heinous act because of one thing that most secular talking heads will never consider: sin. The heart of man is desperately wicked, it is evil from the moment of conception (see Jeremiah 17:9). When Adam fell in the garden and ate of the forbidden fruit, when he consciously and willingly rebelled against God, he brought sin into the world (see Romans 5:12). Man forevermore was tainted by the stain of sin and was placed into bondage by it. From the day we are born until we die, every man, woman, and child sins against the Creator of the universe because the condition of our heart is nothing but sinful.
Because of that darkened heart, mankind is forever in pursuit of that which will satisfy its lustful longings. We are endowed with a conscience by God, we have His law written on our hearts (see Hebrews 10:16), but we are without any ability to be obedient to His commands. Sin shackles us and we forever seek to feed that which can never fulfill us. Our minds are trapped in a revolving door which leads into temptation after temptation, promising an easing of our lusts if only we will submit to the sin one more time. We may be consciously aware that what we are doing is wrong, but the more we submit to our sin, the more that conscience is seared. Our hearts become harder and we begin to deny that the law of God has bearing in our lives. As a result, we become so wicked, we look at His commands as being evil and the embracing of sin as virtue (see Romans 1). Such has our nation become.
The reason NARAL can make such a patently ludicrous claim about the Doritos commercial is that it sees life in the womb, not as a blessing, but a curse. The protection of life is not valuable; it is evil because it prevents women from pursuing sinful passions unobstructed. The hearts of those in the employ of NARAL have exchanged the truth for a lie. In order to successfully promote that lie as the new truth, they must further darken the hearts of society at large. They cannot actually allow for choice, as they claim. Having a choice means someone may actually believe life in the womb is precious, as having been made in the image and likeness of God. And if God has deemed that life as having worth (and He has deemed all life as having worth when He commands that murder is a sin – Exodus 20:13), then the choice to preserve life speaks to the truth that abortion is evil and heinous.
The sad truth is that NARAL didn’t make an outlandish and poorly thought out statement; they made a calculated, tactical move. They jumped five steps forward so that they may only take three back. They put out their message in a garish, horrific form so that the entire country would have it on their collective minds. Yes, many will dismiss the claim as harsh, unnecessary and baseless. But many more will begin to look at commercials and television programs differently. They will see hidden “pro-life” messages where they do not exist. They will slowly begin to demand that language be changed to keep from bringing shame, intended or otherwise, against the abortion industry and those who kill their children by it. NARAL knows what it set out to do, and it has a far-reaching game plan.
Knowing this then, what is the Christian to do? Certainly, we should always continue to lobby for pro-life laws and the abolition of abortion. We should not sit idly by and do nothing to stop such an evil atrocity. However, laws cannot change the evil and wicked heart of man. The passing of laws can curb evil, but it cannot eradicate it. Laws in this country once prohibited the evil of abortion, but that was changed by men and women whose hearts were not compelled by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Politicians have made promises for decades to end this scourge, but waffle when pressed for true action on the matter. They often compromise because their hearts are controlled by the need to gain and maintain power. They are not governed by the power of Jesus Christ. Protests have often opened the eyes of people to what abortion is, but they weaken when their beloved daughter comes home with the news that a night’s indiscretion will jeopardize her future. Their hearts are commanded by their emotions, not the Kings of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Christians cannot end abortion separate from the supernatural intervention of Jesus Christ. Abortion is a sin issue. It is the wanton destruction of a human being for no other reason than to avoid the consequences of an unintended pregnancy. Even the evils of rape and incest are not sufficient reason for the act of murder. There is no justifiable reason to end the lives of children simply because of how they were conceived. Thus, abortion is a sin issue because it is the hatred of a human life for no other reason than it exists apart from the desire of the woman carrying the child in her womb. And those who promote this act of murder at any cost demonstrate a commitment to the idolatry of self above God in the highest order. Laws alone cannot and will not change such wicked hearts. Only Christ can.
Christians must remember that they are bought by the precious blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19). That, apart from repentance and faith (Acts 20:21) in His completed work at the cross, we are just as evil as the most committed abortion activist. We are just as wicked as the NARAL employee who Tweeted that reprehensible post on game day. It is not because there is anything good about ourselves that caused God to save us. It is because He alone is good and loving that He extended His mercy to us in the form of Jesus Christ. It is because Jesus is perfect in His obedience that the great exchange could even occur. Our wretchedness placed on Him at the cross, His righteousness applied to us when we bow the knee in faith to Him (1 John 2:2; Romans 5:12-21). That is the message that changes hearts, because it is the only message that is empowered by the Holy Spirit to change hardened, sin-filled hearts into obedient, love-filled hearts for the Savior (2 Corinthians 5:17).
For the scourge of abortion to end, sinners must be changed. As I said before, laws can curb behavior, but they cannot change sinners. But the amazing gospel of grace can, and does! Therefore, as passionate as we may be about legislation and elections, Christians must be even more driven to see souls changed and saved by the grace filled work of Jesus Christ. Only when hearts are miraculously transformed by the power of the gospel can sinners cease looking at children in the womb as a curse and see them as lives given worth by God. Imagine a nation brought to revival by God because faithful Christians obeyed his command to share the gospel (Matthew 28:19). As hearts are made new by the power of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God, affections are changed. That which is evil would no longer celebrated as new creations repent so that they might honor Him who bought them at great cost. Women, and even men, who are broken and shamed by the heinous crime of murdering their children can be healed and redeemed. Their hearts seared by the evil they wrought can be made new and fresh, redeemed through the power of the gospel. This is how the worldview of death promoted by NARAL is overcome, by the power of life which is found solely in Christ.
Christians, as we look at the evil of NARAL and other such organizations we should be outraged by what they are doing. Their promotion of murder needs to receive the strongest condemnation, pointing directly to the Word of God as our authority. But let us not stop there; let us also preach Christ crucified, that there is forgiveness of sins, even the sin of abortion. Let us call them to repentance, not solely to end the wanton murder of children; but that God may be glorified when he saves one who once put children to death in the womb. The gospel is the answer to abortion, and Christians have been given our marching orders. Let us go out and make disciples everywhere, winning them to Christ for the glory of God alone. And if we do that, children will be saved.