Think about this controversy out of Fall River:
A banner recently erected on Plymouth Avenue containing a possible pro-life connotation caught the attention of some residents and was taken down shortly after the company in charge of the program and the administration began receiving protests.
The banners which started popping up around the city a few weeks ago are part of the city’s new initiative to promote the logo “Make It Here,” its designation as an All American City and local businesses.
Then one appeared on the light pole near the Flat Iron Building with the dark, bold lettering “Choose Life” under the “Make It Here” logo and “Welcome to Fall River.”
A list of the 118 organizations that have signed up for banners shows no other slogans, so this one appears to have been an exception to the general rule. Still, the idea that this slogan does create controversy indicates something unhealthy in our society. Yes, yes, “choose life” can be taken as a slogan supporting one side, politically, which government rightly strives to avoid for unifying projects like these banners, but that only amplifies questions about whether this matter should actually have sides. Are we to “choose death,” or be ambivalent about the choice between life and death? Would a “Be Happy” or “Help Others” banner have been removed because of controversy?
Some might rebut that “choose life” can be painful to women who feel that keeping a child alive really wasn’t a choice for them, but that applies to other hypothetical slogans, as well. People are out there right now feeling guilty that they weren’t able to help somebody else in some circumstance. And we know the admonition to “be happy” can grind salt in the wounds of somebody who just is not able to comply.
If our society is too on edge to accept a banner promoting life, we’re clearly overdue for an examination of our collective conscience.