14 May 2007

The Abortion Debate: Truth in Labeling

A few months ago I wrote this note in response to a Myspace blog on why this person considered them self to be "Pro-Life". Unfortunately this person would not allow the responses to appear on his blog while many others who actually opposed his view (my does not really) have. Out of respect for his decision I have edited my response to remove information that may point to who the person is. Here it is:


You most likely don't know me but I attended _________ for about __ years and I am sure you know a lot of the people there that I do. Anyway I wanted to encourage you in standing up for what you believe and challenge you a bit as well. Standing up for life certainly is a biblical mandate and I applaud that. But I believe part of the problem is the polarizing way that we as Christians speak of the issue and even what we call the sides.

Now I am not saying that we shouldn't stand up for what you or I might believe but we need to be careful not to use dishonest and/or short sighted labels as well as turn a blind eye to proposed solutions that may not be "Bible based" but still are practical. Example one: the terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice" or as many "pro-lifers" like to say "pro-abortion". Being for life shouldn't just be relegated to abortion issues it should affect all aspects of life. The "pro-life" movement has made a huge case for making legislation against abortion while (as part of the greater US church) largely ignoring genocide around the globe (Rwanda, Sudan, countless other African countries, Iraq pre-1990s, other US supported dictators), ignoring the environmental crisis that threatens the life of all that God created (even us), and has SUPPORTED war. How can one say that Jesus told us to love our neighbor but then we are supposed to kill him/her because our governments don't see eye to eye or even that we don't agree with them personally? This certainly is not a "pro-life" stand. Jesus mandated that we love all. We can't love someone by killing them and thereby removing them from the possibility of participating in the work of God's kingdom here on earth.

So unless you want to make a claim that you are FOR life in all cases: anti-war, anti-abortion, anti-killing 100% of the time including death penalty; I implore you stop using the term "pro-life" and instead use "anti-abortion" because that is what you are. You are against abortion in any case. This is the honest way to portray it. Jesus calls us to live a life of truth not of manipulation through sensationalist labeling. Mind you, I am not blaming you for these terms just trying to help you and us all.

"Pro-choice" is likely the best term in regards to a person with that label's view on abortion. While "pro-abortion" would indicate that the person was for abortion in all cases which would be just ridiculous. That person would be a psychopath. But that is the impression some of the anti-abortion establishment wants you to have so that dialog is prevented and a strict line is held against them. All of us have work to do on our opinions and awareness of the problems facing the world and so it is not helpful to close ourselves of to hearing new points of view even if only to empathize with "the other" while not changing our own opinions much. Though you may find that the answers aren't always as black and white as we think they are from a distance.

Furthermore, if we are serious about stopping abortions we need to stop the unwanted pregnancies. Which unless everyone moves to the common Christian stance on sex before marriage, someone needs to provide birth control and education to them. It's the only practical means even if it doesn't always work. And of course, we could slow down in making our own babies and reform adoption while participating in it.

All I have written here is just my present understanding and I realize I have left much out and still have much to learn. I just wanted to share as your brother as we both work out our walk.

______, I bless you in your quest for truth and encourage you to shift to looking at the world through the lens of Christ and the kingdom he preached about rather than the flawed fallen view of what we have created in Christendom.

Peace of Christ to you,
Chris Flinchbaugh"

Here is this persons original post:

"Why I'm Pro-Life

I believe that the unborn child is human.

I believe life begins at conception.

I believe that abortion is not safe.

I believe that abortion is a war on the unborn.

I believe that a constitutional amendment should be passed that gives equal protection to all living humans, including the unborn.

I believe that the violence inside and outside abortion clinics is morally wrong.

I believe that rape and incest are horrible crimes and should be punished, but I don't believe that a child conceived from either should be killed.

I do not believe that the government should fund abortions.

I do not believe that the government should fund Planned Parenthood - the largest national supplier of abortions.

Being a man of faith, I believe that the Bible backs up my views on abortion.

18 days after conception, a baby has a heartbeat.

Approximately 46 million abortions are performed every year, worldwide.

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