This morning, I received a mass email sent out by President Obama’s campaign manager. As I read it, I found myself wishing that I could get excited about a second Obama term. The president seems like a good husband and father and a decent human being. On a personal level, I like him. I want him to do well and I want good things to happen to him.
As I continued reading the email, I saw a phrase that has been frequently used by the Obama campaign that filled me with sadness and reminded me why I could never support his candidacy. The email warned that Obama’s opponent had a horrible record when it came to “women’s issues.” In this election cycle, that phrase has come to be synonymous with abortion. It meant that this president remains committed to—in the name of choice—supporting some of the most aggressively pro-abortion policies this nation has ever seen.
The idea that being pro-life is synonymous with being anti-woman is bizarre. And yet, in this strange world we live in, many take it as fact.
As I read the email, I was reminded of a scene from The Silver Chair. It is toward the end of the book and the children and their guide named Puddleglum have traveled deep beneath the earth. The wicked Queen of Underland has captured them. Lighting an enchanted fire, she attempts to convince the children that there is no world above them and no Narnia.
What she say seems right. Denying reality and embracing a lie seems so enticing. But just as it seems the children will fall for her fiction, Puddleglum bravely stamps out the fire with his own foot. Then gives the following speech:
“One word, Ma’am,” he said, coming back from the fire; limping because of the pain. “One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said, even so. Suppose we only dreamed, or made up, all those things – trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world that makes you real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for the Overland.
It can be discouraging to live in a world where up is down, right is left and black is…aqua blue. Puddleglum reminds us in our darkest moments—when real seems fiction and fiction seems so plausible—that we must continue to hold fast to the things of which we've become convinced.