Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thoughts on Roe vs. Wade

35 years have passed since the crucial case of Roe vs. Wade was decided by Supreme Court. I listened to the radio news report of the many groups of Pro-Life advocates that marched in D.C. against legalized abortion. It made me stop and think about that decision and how I do or should react to it. I realized my brain tried so hard to make the issue black and white in the same way the most ardent proponents on both sides of the issue try to make it black and white. I think as Christians we especially polarize the issue as if to say it is the lynch pin to our salvation. It is something I think about a lot and I have my conclusions, but those conclusions don't gel with generally accepted conclusions.

I am Pro-Life and so is my wife. We will not have an abortion. I know the arguments against and the ramifications of that statement. It is something I've prayed about, it is something I have faith about, and if we don't share that faith, I may not be able to explain it to you to your satisfaction. That is just the way it is. The sticking point is where my belief intersects with the rest of the world.

I don't feel comfortable imposing my choice in the matter on every other person on the planet. I don't see this as an issue that the court should have ever decided one way or the other. I feel that if abortions were made illegal, it won't stop them from happening. I realize it will slow down the rate at which they will happen. I realize it will cause a lot of women to think twice about what they are doing. I also realize that many more women will be harmed because the choose to have the abortion anyway in an unsafe environment. I think that Planned Parenthood and other Pro-Choice organizations are bending the truth when they argue for the woman's right to abort, especially when they reportedly won't allow an eleventh hour change of heart. I think that many Christian organizations are over-the-top in their zeal to stop abortion and condemn those who perform or have abortions.

I find the dark irony that many Pro-Life advocates want to save the baby, but have no problem ending the life of the criminal. I find the sad irony that so much energy, money, and time is spent trying to save the unborn at the expense of those who are already born and are starving in third world countries. It is my belief that the Church, while certainly working under good intentions, has dropped the ball in so many ways.

I think that for every Pro-Choice counseling center there should be a Pro-Life counseling center to offer an alternative. I feel that if a woman changes her mind at the last minute, she should be allowed to walk away and have the baby. I feel like a woman's choice isn't limited to the time period after sex has happened and a baby can just as easily be avoided by abstaining or at least using birth control. I get tired of hearing about the medical cases and the rape victims, not because I don't believe they exist, but because they form such a small percentage of the argument. Most of all I get tired of hearing about the woman's right to choose when eight times out of ten that right is clearly reflective of our selfish society.

I think that as the Church we need to have more faith in God to change the heart of people. I think we need to quit using the government as a mechanism to enforce our morality on everyone else. It doesn't work. Its our job to go out and love the world. It is our job to care for the sick, the poor, and the hurting. When we depend on the government to do that job, we get lazy.

We need to look at our motivations and ask ourselves if this is truly furthering the kingdom of God.