Are We Fighting the Wrong War?(40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade)
This is probably one of those posts that might make some people angry. I will apologize for that in advance. That’s not my intent.
I approach this subject delicately as I would advise any man to do when he is going to talk about abortion. Men can certainly have opionions on any subject, but I think we should have a little alarm that goes off (ouuuuuuga! ouuuuuuga!) when we approach a subject like abortion. While we may have loved ones who have first hand experience with the decision of abortion, no man will ever face it in the same way a woman does. To a certain extent, we can give only second hand reactions at best.
I’m really not here to even debate whether or not abortion should be legal. If it ever shows up on my ballot box, I’ll do my civic duty and cast a vote, but I’ve never liked reducing candidates down to single issues.
Fighting the Wrong War?
I wonder if Roe v Wade wasn’t the start of some of the issues we have now trying to communicate the Christian story. Before Roe, terms like Evangelical or Christian really weren’t part of the cultural conversation. At that time, if you were a Christian, you were identified more by your denomination. We referred to people as Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, Pentecostals, etc. Now that is all lumped together under Evangelical or simply Christian. I think the reason for that was mainly political. When people saw Roe survive the Supreme Court battle, they took the issue to the ballot box. At the ballot box you need majorities. It’s much easier to build a majority when you lump together the Baptists, the Catholics, etc into your little crusade.
There are two issues the Church seems to have communicated very well to the greater culture. How it feels about homosexuality and how it feels about abortion. We have done a much poorer job communicating grace, and love, and acceptance.
Is this a battle we even need to be involved in at a political level? Are we trying to win a worldly (political) battle using the worlds tools (ballot box). Christians were never called to that. We are called to an eternal battle for an eternal spoil (the eternal souls of men and women) which must, must, must be fought only with eternal weapons (relationships, The Word of God).
As I study the life of Jesus Christ (ya know, the guy who is supposed to be the role model for the Christian life), I don’t see a guy who is very much concerned with the politics of his day. He seems much more concerned with addressing how people evaluate their relationship with God. Just about every argument he had was with the ‘religious’ people of his day. Historians estimate the infant mortality rate in Palestine during the 1st century (when Jesus lived on Earth) was about 70%. As far as I can tell, he did absolutely nothing to address that.
Its like we’ve got it all backwards. We want lifestyle behavior change first, even to the point of enforcing those lifestyle changes with the power of the LAW. We give love and acceptance only after that (if ever). Jesus never really got on somebody’s case about lifestyle changes until AFTER they made the decision to follow him. Once they did that, he wanted them all in. But before? His critics called him ‘a friend of sinners’. That just wasn’t done if you were a pious individual in Jesus time. He turned that all on its ear.
What Would I Do?
If I had a friend who was pregnant and not sure what to do, I would hope she would seek my advice. It would only be at that point that I would offer any opinion If they didn’t feel our relationship was at that point, and they didn’t ask for my opinion, I wouldn’t offer it. But if they did ask, I would tell them it would be better to have the baby than abort it. I would offer them what resources (food, babysitting, transportation, etc) I could.
If after that they chose to go through with the abortion, it wouldn’t change the friendship (at least on my end). I would be there for them to provide whatever moral support I could. I would be ready to help them through some of the woefully under-reported, emotional, traumatic side effects of abortion.
If you made this far, thanks for reading. I appreciate it. I wonder if we could diffuse some of the angst and anger directed towards Christianity if we returned to the model of making private matters private between believers and those they had built up relationship capital with.
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