So we’re bumping down off of five days of mostly abortion talk most of the time. And it’s been an interesting ride.
I’d like to wrap it all up now as tidily as possible when dealing with this kind of issue. First, I’d like to state again that I am personally pro-life, but politically pro-choice. My personal beliefs stem directly from my religion- and absent from that religion I would not have any reason to have the opinion I do. Respecting that fact, I will make no attempt to force my beliefs on someone who does not have the religious convictions I do. Because I could not expect a girl who was raped to carry that child to term without God to hold up her head. I could not expect a mother of four or five who is facing having another child with no money to support it and no way to pull herself up to have that child without God and a community of believers to support her. I do believe in what is best and what is holy- I believe in the honor one brings on oneself by choosing life. But that honor is there because it is a choice.
I believe that we all need to under stand the ethical and “natural” arguments used to counter our religious beliefs if we want to have meaningful conversations about the issue. We need to understand what the world at large believes and why. We cannot hope to inform the decisions of others if we do not understand the logic and thought that precedes those decisions. To put it flatly, it’s an issue of respect. We cannot expect someone to respect the value of our religiously informed decisions if we discount the value of their ethically informed ones. If you show courtesy and respect, if you seek knowledge and understanding, people will respond in kind. If you simply say, “my way is better” without even understanding the concept of any other way, people will view you as arrogant and ignorant. And rightly so. I am sure my way is better because I understand all the other options- and Christ and God’s love is what I have returned to. When I debate those who have secular beliefs or religious beliefs that stem from other traditions, I debate them understanding the value and logic of their own thinking- and they respect me, because they know that my faith doesn’t come from ignorance but from knowledge.
I pray that all Christians can seek knowledge without fear, trusting that if the God they love is the true one, they will return to him always.
And as the last lap of this rather circuitous road, let’s talk about our responsibility. I believe that as Christians we have a moral obligation to share God’s love and mercy with all whom we meet. I believe that we fail to do so at our own peril. I believe that when we put ourselves in God’s place and judge others we are judged in kind- and all of these beliefs stem not from my own heart but the Bible. I believe that the way in which Christians approach and handle the issue of abortion does far, far more harm than good. We cry out God’s love for the unborn, but in doing so we distance ourselves from the born. We seek to save the baby and we fail, and in that failure we lose any hope we may have had of caring for the mother.
We do so at our own peril.
I will say this once. And I will say this with all sincerity and conviction. If you choose to condemn a woman that has gotten an abortion, and your condemnation causes her to harden her heart towards God, and she dies and receives the punishment for her hard heart- her blood is on your hands.
I reject the basic premise that we are called to convict others of their sins and their hard hearts are not our responsibility. No. We are called to soften their hearts so that God himself can bring the conviction. We are going about it the wrong way.
I’ve heard the stories of women raped by relatives, raped by male friends, torn and bleeding and broken they go to get an abortion because they are suicidal and fear that if they attempt to bring the child to term they will end both their lives. I’ve heard the stories of these same girls being screamed at from the sidelines, called sluts and murderers.
It’s no wonder that these girls cannot accept the fact that God loves them. How could God love them if his family brings down such hatred in his name?
This is the cost of our stance on abortion. We do not save the child, because it is legal to end it’s life. No, all we do is throw away the mother like so many scraps, the collateral damage in our war on a legal and societally accepted procedure.
Shame on us.