It is a question of what is real and true about the universe: are we all, in reality, creatures made by God and then redeemed on the cross–even before we were born?
Apologetics ministries tend to focus on issues such as God’s existence or the fact of the resurrection or the Bible’s reliability. These are all very important. Indeed, they bear directly on the issues at hand- for if there is no God, it obviously follows that we cannot be made by him in his image. Further, Jesus suffering, death, and resurrection on behalf of a fallen human race is an emphatic testament to how much God himself values each human life. Dispense with these, and there are ripples down the line.
There, however, is where I wish to make the point: there are ripples down the line.
Somewhere I read once that in the 1700s they went after God. In the 1800s, they went after Jesus. In the 1900s, they went after Man. The sequence is logical, rational, and predictable. One would like to think that they can dispense with God without there being practical effect, but the 1900s have shown otherwise.
Tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. CST I will be presenting on this topic:
Just Politics? Religion and Abortion and Apologetics: Examining the idea that supporting abortion is merely a political view but opposing it is a religious view and the role of world view in the question.
Summary: Pro-choicers often frame their argument by casting their position as a civil rights issue and the pro-life position as a religious issue- and people should not impose their religion on others. Common sense would suggest that as two sides of the exact same coin, if one position is a religious issue so too is the other. Lying beneath the issue is this question: “Is there any belief that is merely political? What separates a ‘religious’ ‘belief’ from any other?” This leads into a conversation about apologetics, and whether or not the Christian faith is grounded in reality- and the consequences whether one answers in the affirmative or the negative.
The above quote is not actually what annoyed me. Instead, it was his classification of people who keep their children instead of aborting them when they have been diagnosed with ‘devastating’ diseases (again, as defined by whom?) as being akin to one who believes in a flat earth. Here is the extended quote:
If one reads about reproductive issues in the conservative media-which I often do-one is bombarded with tales of mothers who have sacrificed personal and professional opportunities to bring fetuses to term. The implication is that while bearing a child when one is ready is a blessing, bearing a child when one is not prepared garners one extra moral credit in the cosmos. Similarly, while having a healthy baby is a cause for joy, some opponents of abortion profess that having a baby with a devastating or even fatal birth defect is proof of the mother’s fortitude and character. If one believes that human life begins at conception, this is logically the case. However, if one believes that life begins after conception-as do a wide majority of Americans, if polls on such issues as embryonic stem cell research are to believed-then the suffering caused by transforming an unwanted embryo into a living baby, who will either endure debilitating disease or will enter a deeply inhospitable home environment, is not at all a cause for pride. It more is akin to deciding that the world is flat and then boasting of not falling off the edge.
As readers of this blog know, my wife and I are examples of what he is talking about here
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. 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.
Atheists and secular humanists quite obviously argue that we humans are all alone and that humans themselves determine their worth, their value, their ‘intrinsic’ dignity. The problems with this ought to be self-evident but atheists are crafty folks. History reveals clearly that humans can change their minds about the ‘worth,’ ‘value,’ and ‘rights’ of humans (usually other humans). For example, the Nazis depersonalized the Jews with consequences I need not expand on. Atheistic communist regimes depersonalized dissidents and capitalists with consequences I need not expand on. The atheistic apologetic on the point is that actually this goes to show the dangers of ‘religion.’ For, you see, anyone who ever does anything nasty, no matter what their ideology, is, by definition, acting religiously. In this way, atheists can always keep their hands clean.
However, it misses the point. The fundamental point has to do with our basis for decrying what the Nazis and communists did. If humans themselves are the sole and final arbiters for determining and dictating human value then no one can complain about what humans decide. Oh sure, the do complain. But in doing so they betray the inconsistency of their position.
What would have been their fate had they not been implanted? I suppose eventually they would have been destroyed. This doesn’t seem like a good solution to me. After the embryos have been created, I find myself happy that they have been given a chance at life.
While in the main the woman strikes me as a pretty loopy in the net analysis I’m glad she did what she did, at least insofar as the embryo implantation goes.
My main point of resistance is not with the implantation but with the creation of the embryos in the first place. In my mind, it is here where the ethical questions should have been played out by the doctors and by society at large. Do we really want to be generating thousands upon thousands of embryos that will be stored indefinitely and then, at the last, destroyed? I am all for helping parents conceive and have children and receiving medical help if necessary, but I am not for creating embryos that one does not plan to implant.
We chose life.
Our daughter is almost two years old now and I can testify that the joy she brings completely overwhelms the troubles associated with her condition. (Like Heaven triumphs over Hell, ala Lewis’s The Great Divorce) And really, how different is this from any other non-disabled child? All children bring troubles- but we have them anyway. A disabled child might have more troubles- or they might not, rather, the troubles are of a different sort. But the joys outweigh the troubles out of proportion. More troubles equals more joys. See the parable of the Prodigal Son.
With this experience in mind and wishing that I could do something to persuade others to make the same choice that my wife and I did, I have written a book, and it is now available for purchase.
Of course, if humans, individually and collectively, are the final reference point then one may in fact say any of the things above and get away with it. In other words, despite there being clear concern about what happens if the reasoning is taken to its conclusion, some basis needs to be provided for why one shouldn’t adopt the reasoning at all. That is why in the end, the issue of the Divine Morality becomes so critical from a practical stand point.
Which is why it is so ironic that we find a black president who claims to believe in God essentially giving into arguments for abortion on demand. What can explain that?
While it is understandable why so many black Americans are cheering the election of Barack Obama it is tragic that they were willing to abandon the very principles that brought them their own freedom, overlooking the fact that there exists in this country, and in the man they elected, the view that that there is another ‘subset’ of humanity that does not warrant personhood status. Their success, therefore, is no success at all. They elected ‘one of their own’ and didn’t care if it meant something worse than slavery for millions of people. And many of these believe they are doing the ‘Christian’ thing. It will only be a genuine success after it is achieved in such a way to respect the rights of all individuals- not just those with your skin color or stage in human development.