A recent entry on my discussion forum illustrates with crystal clarity the arguments I confronted in my book We Chose Life: Why You Should Too. If you happen to get a hold of my book and you’re wondering if there are real people who hold those views, that example will do.
That’s not what I want to talk about. The ‘person’ in question (I use the term ‘person’ here loosely, as definitions can change over time 😉 ) is an atheist and secular humanist. His position on abortion follows naturally from his atheism. I’m not saying it follows logically, as in my book an atheist who subscribes unconditionally to Darwinism would recognize that abortion flies in the face of most evolutionary principles. After all, if our biological purpose is essentially to reproduce, hundreds of millions of humans thwarting that purpose by the droves would seem to be quite contrary to our evolved nature. So, not logically, but naturally.
Why naturally? Because if you take God out of the equation and you believe that morality is an evolving thing as well and that there isn’t any objective right and wrong, it follows logically that Man himself, and each individual man and woman, becomes the sole arbiter of what is right and wrong and the sole arbiter of how one defines ‘person.’ On these terms, an atheist can believe whatever he wants about anything he wants. In short, the atheist acknowledges a final regress: himself.
It is no surprise that the majority of pro-lifers are religious people and that the majority of pro-choice ‘persons’ are not. This list of every country and its percentage of pregnancies terminated in legal abortion reveals some pretty straight forward trends. Is it a surprise to anyone that the former bastion of institutionalized atheism, Russia, aborts more than 50% of its children while the thoroughly Roman Catholic Panama comes in at .02% ?
The pattern doesn’t hold perfectly, but it is definitely there.
These types of considerations drive me to paint a different picture of the current situation in America on the subject of abortion than normally presented. What if aiming at passage of pro-life legislation is only a small component of the solution? What if aiming to persuade people to a pro-life position is aiming too low? What if in fact we Christians should be focusing on creating more Christians and retaining the ones we’ve got?
A Christian does not believe, like the atheist, that he is god. A Christian understands that he is the product of a Creator and that Creator has the right and privilege of defining right and wrong and defining ‘personhood.’ A Christian knows that he cannot dispense with another person because it is inconvenient to someone or to a nation, and simply arbitrarily defining someone as a non-person doesn’t affect what they actually are. All this comes in automatically once one adopts the Christian worldview. Even Christians who vote pro-choice don’t generally approve of abortion, generally, and would like it reduced.
I made a similar argument in this Worldnetdaily article suggesting that apologetics– ie, bringing people to faith and retaining the ones you’ve got- is a key answer to the abortion crisis.
There is no real hope of persuading atheists to a pro-life position because most of them are secular humanists who have an entirely different concept of the world. In their eyes, we are the sculptors of our own reality and if we want ‘peace and harmony’ we just need to get people to rely on ‘science’ to secure our ‘peace and safety’ and get all the experts together in one room (in the United Nations) to chart the way to a utopian future. I am aware of no corrective to such thinking except to point out that such thinking has already been tried and shown to be bloodily wanting.
No other corrective save one: skip the attempt to convince them to a pro-life position and instead persuade them to meet the Living Savior.
And in the meantime, stem the flow of young people leaving the Christian faith and throw ourselves into discipling them (and other Christians) and robust evangelism.