She was caught up in drugs, criminal activities, and sexual activities that led her to abortion clinic after abortion clinic.
It wasn’t until the fourth time Star Parker went into one of the “safe, legal” clinics that she felt deep in her gut that abortion couldn’t be right, that “there must be something wrong with killing your offspring.”
But within a short period of time, because she said she was reckless sexually, she became pregnant again – this time, though, Parker decided to keep the child, which began seven years of welfare dependency and what she termed “living off the system.”
“It’s just fascinating that we actually leave people to choose and then you have folks growing up thinking that it’s OK to choose and then that’s how I ended up on welfare … and stayed there for awhile,” Parker said to 290 people at Country Springs Hotel in Pewaukee, who attended the fifth annual banquet for the Women’s Support Center of Milwaukee Inc., May 1.
Parker was lost then; but she’s not anymore.
Black conservative promotes solutions to poverty
Today the national black conservative speaker and pro-life advocate from Los Angeles is a syndicated columnist and author who gives talks across the country, and is founder and president of The Center for Urban Renewal and Education, which promotes solutions to poverty.
She said followers who may not have heard her whole story are sometimes surprised by just how lost she was, which she describes in her first book, “Pimps, Whores and Welfare Brats: From Welfare to Cheat to Conservative Messenger,” published in 1998.
But Parker said getting lost is easy.
“This is why this work is so critical and so wonderful. We’re talking about a lot of lost people,” Parker said of organizations like Women’s Support Center – a charitable, educational organization that helps women and men in the Milwaukee metropolitan area by providing support, counseling and education in life issues, particularly regarding abortion and contraceptives.
Pro-life work takes priority
For Parker, pro-life work is the most important work.
“This is the most important work in the country, if not in the world, and that’s why I must always take time to come out and just meet the decent people that are in quiet communities doing the most amazing work for God,” she said.
This is not the first time in U.S. history when there has been a “big, moral question on the table, a crime against humanity,” Parker said, pointing to slavery which, while legal, wasn’t lawful in God’s eyes.
Just as there are heroes fighting for life today, heroes fought for slaves during that time, she said, mentioning abolitionists like Harriet Tubman, her favorite, who was born a slave and became known for leading hundreds of slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad.
“That’s who you remind me of because while we are in Washington and many all across this country are doing absolutely everything they can to keep declaring that … abortion may be legal but it’s not lawful in God’s eyes – we’re going to do everything we can to overturn Roe v. Wade, and I’m just so convinced that we are going to see that happen now in our lifetime,” she said.
Parker said she believed the lie of the left – that her problems were somebody else’s fault – and didn’t leave her own cycle of poverty and welfare abuse until someone challenged her way of life.
God laid out rules in the Bible, telling people what to do with their sexuality and defining marriage in Genesis, but people knew better, Parker said.
“In fact, in those great ‘60s, we allowed the left to declare three wars on society,” she said. “A war on religion, scrubbing our schools of God; a war on marriage, through this feminist notion that you can have it all, anytime, and at no cost; and then a war on poverty that says there are no natural consequences to your decisions because we have safety nets, and people get lost.”
But every discipline – engineering, mathematics, even fashion – has rules.
“There are rules to every discipline, but when it comes to life all of a sudden we made a decision as a society that people can just figure it out on own,” she said. “Well, what do they need a Bible for? What do they need the structure of family anymore for? ‘We will take care of every decision that you need to make that you don’t know what to do,’ said the government.”
Hope of Lord fixes broken lives
Parker said instead of following God’s rules, people look to see what everyone else is doing, and they see pop culture, moral relativism and secular humanism.
“And that’s why there’s such a great need for this work, because when people come in there, they’re very, very broken, and what they’re going to find when they come into our center is the hope of the Lord, and see, I know firsthand the hope of the Lord.”
When she was trying to figure life out on her own, looking for extra income to subsidize her welfare check, she came to a place in central Los Angeles where she met men who told her they were legitimate businessmen and wouldn’t pay under the table because they wanted her to leave welfare. She scoffed at them, and challenged them. But they challenged her right back, telling Parker her lifestyle was unacceptable.
“I said, ‘What? That’s a hate crime. You can’t use that word in today’s society. Unacceptable to who?’ And they said, ‘God.’ And I got out of there. …” Parker said, noting it made her think about all of the things she had done – breaking and entering, armed robbery, all of the men she had been with and other illegal things.
“When they said ‘God,’ I got chills. I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. I knew nothing of God, but all of a sudden, it was like it resonated. You’ve experienced that, people come in and you get them in the room and you start talking to them and he (God) has to move in their lives,” she said.
She left, but the men didn’t leave her alone – they kept calling her and asking her to go to church.
“So, I finally wore down and I went to church with them, and I heard the Gospel. I heard that God was in Christ. I heard that he was reconciling the world to himself. I heard that he wasn’t counting my sin against me. I heard that he loved me,” she said. “I heard that he died for me. I heard that he wanted me to be free. So that’s good news, that’s the news that they hear in our support center.”
Preacher offers choice: God or government
She remembers her reaction when the preacher asked the people in church that day what they were doing living on welfare.
“I was like, ‘What? How does that man know I’m living on welfare?’ she said, adding that maybe he knew because of the time the church returned the food stamps she tried giving them.
When the preacher told them they must choose God or government, Parker said she felt government aid was her “entitlement” based on what her ancestors went through. But then she read Philippians 4:19 with the preacher and the congregation, “My God will supply your need according to his riches and glory by Christ Jesus.”
She realized she didn’t need to know all of the answers to issues in her life; she just needed to trust God.
“We don’t have to answer the questions,” she said. “We have to be there for them when they’re broken and then help walk them through life. That’s one of our responsibilities. That’s why we’re here.”
She trusted God and didn’t send in her CA7, the required paperwork to receive welfare in California. “I had to trust the Lord, and there’s a lot of trusting the Lord in this, and that’s why this work is so important…. Folks are lost for a variety of reasons, but we have to be there for them. God was there for me,” Parker said.
Degree helps her turn life around
After getting a job, and overcoming some of the lies she had once believed, like white people wouldn’t hire black people, her life turned around.
She went to Woodbury University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and international business, eventually launching an urban Christian magazine.
Even after the magazine was destroyed in the 1992 riots in LA, where four white LAPD officers were acquitted in the beating of black motorist Rodney King, Parker didn’t want to go back on welfare.
“Because I can remember depositing more money in a week than welfare had sent me in a year,” she said. “God is a good God. God will continue to work in these folks’ lives. Our job is just to be there for them in their need. He’ll keep going with them.”
Some people think that “making” women have children, rather than allowing them to abort them is part of the welfare problem.
“Well, we are not going to ‘make’ them have those children,” Parker said. “If you are pregnant, you are now a mother, and God will take care of this.”
She said the Lord knows that welfare is inconsistent with the founding of the country – a country of freedom and personal responsibility – and is inconsistent with Scripture.
“The Lord knows that, but he’s not looking at the whole system at this moment; he’s looking at that one life and that life that needs to be saved, and when it comes time, he’ll save them from welfare, too. …” she said, explaining it took awhile to answer the welfare question in her life, because other issues needed to be resolved first. “We have to save the baby, so we can save the mother, so we can save the grandmother. He’ll take care of those other questions in their lives, and one day when he feels it’s time.”
Speaker believes God will end abortion
Abortion is hurting society, but it hurts God the most, and he’s going to end it, she said.
People have decided to control birth by manipulating the biological clock, and the whole society has lost track of time, she said, noting only 18 percent of American households are comprised of a husband, wife and children, compared to 43 percent in 1970, and that 48 percent of children last year were born to a never married mother, compared to 7 percent in 1970.
Parker, 58, the mother of two children, one who died at age 14 and another who gave her two grandchildren, said her children are why she’s so passionate about this work.
“That’s why I’m so grateful to be here, because he (God) was so gracious to me after all I had done to destroy my life and myself. …” she said.
“You want to be able to look them in the eye and say, ‘I did everything I could to stop (abortion).’” Parker said. “We have to do everything we can to stop it. Be the Harriet Tubman. One by one, we will run the pro-aborts out of business, overturn Roe v. Wade, do what the Apostle Paul told us to do, ‘Be steadfast, unmovable, abound in the work of the Lord, not in vain’ … and in the end, we win.”