Skip to main content

Pro (some) Life

With the recent American presidential debate thrusting the abortion discussion into the centre stage, many people have taken refuge in their respective ethical camps. No two camps could be further divided. The battle between who holds the higher right, a mother or her unborn child, is understandably a passionate debate. My personal conviction regarding the ethics of abortion are extremely clear - an unborn child is a human, and no reasonable argument has ever been given to deny personhood to those who are self-evidently human. All "non-personhood" propositions are ad hoc arguments meant to justify the act of abortion. The environmental location of an unborn child or his/her relationship to the mother are moot points; what matters is whether an unborn child is a person. If an unborn child is a person, then it is vulnerable, without the capacity to choose and worthy of every protection by the state. I believe they are persons, and it is not a pleasant reality to live in a world where human persons are terminated with my tax dollars. Please do not flippantly ignore the emotions of people who fight for the rights of the unborn - for us, we are living through the single greatest tragedy in the history of mankind.

However, as strongly as I feel about the ethics of abortion, I also feel as though the pro-life community needs to take a good long look at what North American society needs beyond repealing Roe v. Wade or R v. Morgentaler. For far too long many in the pro-life community (myself included) have been narrowly focusing on the legal aspect of abortion. If we stop for a moment and listen to the pro-choice "camp", we get a more total picture of the horror of abortion. While some make the choice to abort out of a cold, selfish or depraved heart, many others make the choice because they believe death is a better choice than bringing life into their world. That should cause every one of us to stop and ask: "What is wrong with the world where this choice exists?"

As followers of Christ we are tuned to the sinful world, but know that God can redeem even the darkest of hearts; however, God's redemption doesn't end there. Often our view of salvation is too narrow; we reduce the story of salvation as a story about my salvation when it is in fact a story of God saving all. Included in that all is society as well. Is our society willing to take care of mothers who struggle to care for themselves let alone a child? Does our society have safety nets for mothers in danger of economic hardship due to the birth of a child? Being pro-life encompasses more than fighting against abortion, it is a philosophy that values the dignity and worth of all human life. Any philosophy which refuses to take responsibility for all life, and take responsibility to see that all life flourishes is incompatible with what it means to be pro-life.

While many pro-lifers are religious, the belief of human dignity and flourishing transcends religion; it is something every individual and society should strive for. So, when Christians in North America promote a philosophy of individualism, personal responsibility, laissez faire economy and just war, they reveal a severe disconnect with what it means to be pro-life. Per the Christian worldview, human beings are "created in the image of God" and are collectively apart of the same family. We are called to form community and to meet each other's needs. We also believe that we live in a world of sin and that our actions have a causal effect; a person can suffer simply because of the choices of others, and not because of anything he/she has done. We also believe in the preferential treatment of the poor - that the natural action of humanity when it achieves power is exploitation, and that those who don't have a voice need empowerment and advocation. We also believe that our enemies will never be conquered by force, whether through military campaign or culture "war", but by sacrificial love.

The seeds of the end of abortion will be sowed when the Church abandons earthly solutions and serves both the ethically and economically poor. We should be shaping our society in such a way that no one with an able mind would think of ending the life of the unborn, but how can we expect our world to listen to us when we don't also care for the born?

Comments

Popular Posts

Let's Talk

I went to go check out a childhood friends facebook page in the winter of 2010. I hadn't talked to him since I was a teenager. I soon found out that I would never talk to him again,

I did a quick google search and found out that he had been apart of an online gaming community. I tracked him down to some forums where I suddenly became away that something tragic had befallen him.

The last time I had talked to him was shortly after I moved back to southwestern Ontario. I don't remember much of the conversation, except that he told me he was feeling depressed. I was 13 at the time and depression was just a word that I thought meant "sad". We caught up, talked about the trivial things that 13 year old boys talk about, but something wasn't right. We never talked again. 
Now 15 years later I was reading these words about a person who was once a close friend of mine. "What a f***ing coward." or "I can't believe someone could be that selfish.". It …

How are you feeling?

Response 1:

"I'm not sleeping again. It turns out my body might be reacting to antidepressants. The annoying symptom? Night sweats. We thought it might be lymphoma. It wasn't. That was a fun couple of weeks. I'm terrified. I'm terrified that this won't be the end of it, that the next medicine will fail too, and those absolutely terrifying impulses to harm myself and the thoughts of failure that I tell myself I am over and over and over and over and over and over again will one day be too much. Will these thoughts that only seem to stop in short intervals darken into complete mental breakdown? My biggest fear isn't snakes or falling, it's that I will end up on the street and lose my intellect and sanity, being mocked by people who don't know what mental illness is like. I'm afraid that the loneliness I seem to NEVER break from free from will enslave me into a life of dependence on others. I was doing so well but maybe wellness is just an illusio…

Did God Command Genocide?

If you've ever taken any interest in the debate between Christianity and Atheism, you've more than likely come across the following critique of the Bible: "The Old Testament God is hardly one to be worshipped. He's a vindictive, angry, jealous God who commands genocide!"

This line of attack is hardly unjustified. How are we to respond when we come across verses like these?  However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them - the Hitties, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusties - as the Lord your God has commanded you. (Deut 20:16-17) Go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys. (1 Sam 15:3) For some, the solution is easy. Simply pretend like these verses don't belong in the Bible. Problem solved. But this creat…