Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pro-choice Christians

The term "Pro-choice" is misleading and silly. It does not describe an actual position but is designed to divert attention away from what the person who bares the title actually stands for. The title would only make sense if it were used in opposition to another group that was opposed to making any kind of choice. When asked, "Should we go to war?" The anti-choice group would reply, "There is no way as feeble human beings that we could ever make that kind of decision." The same answer would apply to less interesting questions like "Paper or plastic?" and even "Cream or sugar?" No anti-abortion protester is holding a sign lamenting the evil of making choices. Many "pro-choicers" argue that they are not "pro-abortion" since they do not support forced abortion. But this is ridiculous. Just because someone doesn't support the death penalty for speeding tickets and they think that the death penalty should be one among many sentencing options for even the most horrible crimes doesn't mean that they would be wrongly categorized as pro-death penalty. Otherwise we have to start calling people who support the death penalty "pro-choice" as well. It's equally ambiguous and does just as much to encourage serious and well-thought out debate as a pro-abortionist calling himself pro-choice. Given the fact that the big money and the big organizations such as International Planned Parenthood do in fact support forced abortions makes the "pro=choice" label even more ridiculous.

"Pro-choice" certainly sounds nicer but it's like calling someone who is in favor of decapitating those with headaches as "Anti-headache." Opponents aren't going to carry protest signs talking about how great headaches are or refer to themselves as the "pro-headache" movement. With the right equipment the "Anti-headache" movement would even be 100% effective unlike many abortion mills. People wouldn't be as concerned with the fact that the headache was removed but wouldn't appreciate that the head was removed along with it.

Anyhow, the real issue is the personhood and/or rights of the baby in the womb. If the baby in the womb is a person then they should be protected and given certain rights. If the baby in the womb is not a person then abortion is perfectly fine and we shouldn't even be trying to make it rare. But there is little concern within the "Pro-choice" movement to even discuss this. I searched through the website for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and discussions about personhood are only tacked on at the end of some articles. Everything is about the woman's right to choose. My five year old is completely dependent upon me for food and shelter and he can be quite a pain in the butt sometimes but I'm sure that if I killed him and started talking about my rights and how he was going to put me in an early grave and was making my hair go white people would realize that I was insane. "But it's just between me and my god, you have no right to judge me!" The visibility of the person being killed makes it difficult to consider my right to kill my son a legitimate right.

The RCRC has an article written by Roman Catholic who apparently is utterly confused and thinks that the Roman Catholic Church allows abortion as a "reproductive health option." Referring to abortion as a "reproductive health option" is a bit like referring to the Atomic Bomb as a city building device. There is an article written by a Protestant at the very same site. The Protestant knows his Catholic Catechism a bit better than the Roman Catholic does and realizes that the Roman Catholic Church does not allow abortion as a "reproductive health option" but argues that Protestants are less legalistic and should favor the rights of the woman above the rights of the fetus.

The Protestant article does have several articles listed underneath it that do in fact deal with the issue of the personhood of the fetus. The fact that they are buried so deep within the website leads me to believe that the issue of the personhood of the fetus really isn't an important issue to these "pro-choice" religious folks but at least there is something. The idea presented in these articles that perhaps early Christians practiced abortions is absolutely ridiculous because we have plenty of early Christians writings that specifically condemn abortion and none that promote it. The Biblical arguments contained in these documents are weak and answered in several places on the Internet so I won't bother repeating them here. One of the articles does define personhood as beginning when the baby breathes outside of the womb which is earlier than Obama and his czars define it. If "pro-abortion" is unacceptable then perhaps at least a description of when the baby does have rights associated with personhood would be more helpful. "Personhood at time of first breath Christian" or "Personhood at 30 weeks Christian" or "Personhood once a person has attained an IQ of 70."

The Scriptures are pretty clearly anti-abortion but maybe even more importantly orthodox Christian Christology is very anti-abortion. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A group of cells that had the potential of becoming the person that we know as Jesus was not implanted in the Virgin Mary but the person of Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary so that she is rightly called the Mother of God--the Theotokos.

There is also the issue of defining yourself as a "Pro-choice Christian." Christ did not come into this world to make choices that would make His life easier. If He did we would all be destroyed. The Lamb came to lay down His life for us as an act of self-sacrifice. Demanding our rights at the expense of another is one of the most anti-Christian things a person can do. We are called to lay down our life for our neighbor daily. In this case the baby is our neighbor.

In the interest of fairness I would also like to say that the term "Pro-life" can also be misleading and might be better called "Anti-Abortion." There are many within the "Pro-Life" bucket that frown upon large families or families that they don't think make enough money to have so many kids. There are plenty who don't regard a miscarriages as the death of human beings. "Pro-life" is also ambiguous and could mean a great number of things. I suppose in our culture of the power of positive thinking it's more popular to be "Pro" something than "Anti" something but some things are worth getting Anti about.

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