Monday, April 14, 2008

Not that anyone had any doubts . . .

The two Democratic rivals for their party's presidential nomination have both affirmed their support for abortion rights.

At an event this past weekend, the two Democratic candidates shared about their expressed faith in Jesus Christ, and then they both went on to espouse deep religious ideas that deny that human life begins at conception:

The two were asked if they thought life began at conception.

"I believe that the potential for life begins at conception," said Mrs Clinton.

"But for me, it is not only about the potential life, but the other lives involved."

She said the individual must be entrusted to make "this profound decision" about whether to terminate a pregnancy and that abortion should remain legal and safe, if seldom practised.

'Bitter' controversy

Mr Obama said he did not know whether life begins with conception.

"This is something that I have not, I think, come to a firm resolution on... I don't presume to know the answer to that question," he said.

"What I know... is that there is something extraordinarily powerful about potential life and that that has a moral weight to it that we take into consideration when we're having these debates."

What are we supposed to do with this type of rhetoric?

I know some feel this passage of Scripture is overplayed, but how can it be denied by so many who call themselves Christians?

Psalm 139:

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.


kstrout said...

I wish people would stop using the misinformed labels of “Pro-Life” or “Pro-Abortion” or “Anti” anything because it is a misnomer. First of all, a person who is “Pro-Choice” is not automatically “Pro-Abortion”. I, for one am Pro-Choice meaning that I have no place in deciding what the best choice for someone else. I have none of the facts or background to make such a profoundly personal and private choice for someone else and certainly the government has no right to do so. I do not necessarily believe abortion is the best choice, and I am not even going to go into the whole “life begins at conception” argument. The legal point is the government has no right to tell a women, or anyone else, what to do with his or her own body. If you allow the government that much liberty to decide issues concerning a person’s corporal and most personal self then what it next? Where do you draw the line (and don’t even get me started on the “right to die with dignity” issues). How do you police it? How much energy and resources are you going to expend trying to run down “violators” of the “law”? You can argue the moral issue all you want but what you are asking for is legislative backing of a belief system and the two should not be combined.

I do not presume to “play God” or to tell someone else that “thou doest not know as well as I” or that I or the government should step in and decide what is right for you. There are two separate arguments involved in this situation. They are not and should never be one and the same. One argument is solely ethical, moral and emotionally based, the other involves civil liberties and the role of the government. Inserting personal morality or religious beliefs into government and legislation has disastrous effects. This is precisely why our founding fathers had the good sense to separate church and state.

The even more profound point that opponents of abortion rights never seem to get is that outlawing abortion does not prevent it from occurring. If you need a good example from history, look at Prohibition – an actual amendment to the Constitution. It was driven by Temperists, who not surprisingly were religious groups. Did it prevent people from drinking, manufacturing or selling alcohol? No! It only drove it underground into the black market and bootlegging, huge crime rings and violence. It lead to huge expenditures of resources and law enforcement to track it down. It was an enormous problem and had to be repealed. Abortions have occurred since human beings have existed. If abortion is outlawed, that will drive the practice back underground, into dark alleys, and back rooms to be practiced by people who are not doctors, using unsterile equipment. This is not speculation – it happened! Then you risk losing the lives of both the mother and the child. That’s two lives, possibly more had the woman lived to give birth to others This is what we had before and what we would go back to if abortion were not legal. If abortion is kept legal then there are state-regulated clinics and doctors performing sterile operations where the mother’s life can be saved and she can possibly have children later. In addition, the mothers receive extensive counseling and education beforehand, where all options are presented and they may choose a different course of action. Women do not just go in and have it done that day. They are given mental health screenings and they must receive counseling. A panic stricken pregnant woman who goes underground to a backstreet clinic will not be treated with as much sensitivity nor given information on other resources available to her.

When people say they are “Pro-Life” my question is “whose life”? The mother’s or the child’s? How can you choose one over the other? Obviously many of you consider that the women’s life as far less valuable than the child’s. Some say adoption is the answer. It might be for some. But there are plenty of children who were kept by their birth mother, or even adopted out that become victims of poverty, abuse and neglect. It isn’t always sunshine and roses.

The problem with profoundly religious people is that they seem incapable of logical or practical reasoning. They want “authority” behind their beliefs. They want a “law” to back them up. They also quote Bible verses instead of studying the individual circumstances of each case or knowing anything about the “big picture” affects of a reduction in civil liberties on our society as a whole or the effects on resources and availability of medical intervention and general health if procedures are outlawed. Education is the answer, not legal intervention.

shanevanderhart said...

I laid out a biblical framework for a pro-life stance on my blog. You can find all the posts here

Anonymous said...

Though some "profoundly religious" perhaps do not offer logical arguments for their beliefs, it does not mean that they do not exist. For example, my uncle is a libertarian political activist. I don't think he would call himself "religious" per se, though he does attend church at a mainline Christian denomination. What he says about abortion has always stuck with me. Mothers have all the civil liberties of any other person. Right to bear arms, right to free speech, even the "right" to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The issue with abortion is that it says an unborn child not only has no civil liberties, it also has no right to live. Who are we to deny others life, even if we happen to be the mother of the child? The legality of abortion right now is what is infringing on civil liberties, not a ban on abortion. If Obama and other democratic leaders are serious about wanting to encourage a so-called "culture of life", then I think they must protect ALL life, whether it happens to be in or out of the womb.