I have heard someone say “if your opinion is right than why do you feel the urge to get upset about someone else’s?” But as good as this sounds, I was disturbed about the example he had used: abortion.
I have to say, I was with him until then. But I can’t condone that because it is something to get upset about. In fact, anything you perceive as very wrong is okay to get upset about. That is the healthy reaction. It is not that I am in favor of knee-jerk reactions. (I’m not and I’ve thought this article out.) There are plenty of subjects this guy’s advice applies to–but never abortion. You cannot talk lightly about such an evil. Yes, I called it an evil. I don’t do that lightly. I have a reason for making abortion exempt from his advice and this is it: If this guy had said to be calm about the issue of domestic violence, homicide, or even arson, (any of the clinically insane, or wicked crimes,) there would have been no debate about whether it (the crime) was the wise choice, or the best one. No one would claim those things should be made legal, unpunishable, or considered harmless. Or helpful to society. Even the most tolerant of political persons would not say that. (Publicly anyway.) They would not advocate homicide.
How has abortion been reduced to an issue even in the minds of Christians? Just introducing it as a political issue has effectively got everyone’s minds off whether it is an evil or not, and onto simply what their individual rights are…How dare we? Since when is it okay to justify any other crime by the person’s individual rights to commit whatever felony they wish? How can you have a right to do wrong? In their heart of hearts, I believe everyone knows it’s not right; whatever they may think to the contrary. But that is beside the point.
Even so, the pro-life campaign often lacks gusto, or is far too angry. (Not always.) I am sick at heart when I listen to other Christians or conservatives speak so “logically” and “rationally” about it. It is not that we shouldn’t be rational. It is that we are so used to the idea. What has happened to us? One word: desensitized.
I have a personal example: A couple of years back I took it upon myself to do something pro-life. To be a good Christian. And to my dismay; my first wall I had to crash through was the apathy and indifference I myself felt. Sadly, my passion had more to do with a teenager’s desire to be up and doing, and to shake things up, than because I had any real sense of the value of life. I realized I didn’t have much. Only the barest hint that I ought to. And a disgust with the whole abortion process. Anyone can have that.
It is to my shame that I admit this, and that even today I am no expert on how valuable life is. But back then I did what I do ultimately with every problem, I took it to God and asked Him to change my heart. Whether everyone would agree that it is Him who did so, I don’t know. But it is true that I have learned some things about valuing life
The first one was this: Our lack of value for these babies’ lives actually reflects a lack of value for our own lives. Do you really think it’s coincidental that suicide rate has sky-rocketed right along with abortion rates? Not to mention the aforementioned homicide, and less obvious things like self-induced health problems, cutting, and depression have increased also. It can all be traced to an undervalue of our own lives and bodies. If you will not care properly for yourself, how can you care for someone else? As a pre-teen, I spent a lot of time wondering what I was even alive for because I was so miserable. Over a period of a few years God began to show me that I had value simply because I was loved by Him. (What else gives anything true value?) And that my life was a gift from Him; both to me and to the world. God loves every baby and every person. And He gives each of us His gift of life.
“The Thief comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy; I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
Secondly. Faith of our Fathers. I like to read about the American Revolution and the prelude to it. And in reading the writings of our founding fathers, and about their actions, it was quite clear to me that they put a high value on human life. In fact, at that time, it was generally accepted that human life had immense worth. They respected their own lives and each others more than our most celebrated people of today respect theirs. Why?
It was their belief in God. I delivered a speech a couple years ago about abortion. At the end of it I concluded. “Life is what we would call ‘sacred’ something that is important to God.” Holy. King David actually prayed that God would deliver him “because I am holy.” That is such an unusual thing for someone to say in the Bible that it caught my attention. What was David onto that we are not? In the Bible it says God began human life and made Man according to His own likeness. It also refers to God’s commands as the path of life. Finally Jesus himself declared. “I am…the life.” God takes life very seriously. In Proverbs it warns of seven things God calls an abomination. One of them is this: “Hands that shed innocent blood.” Note the word innocent. Innocent means the person has done nothing wrong. Existing is not a crime but a privilege. (A friend of mine says “there are no illegitimate children, just illegitimate parents.”) Thomas Jefferson so famously called it “a right.” Unalienable. That means you cannot negate it. You cannot take it out of context. There are no loopholes. No exceptions. The race or age or upbringing of the person does not matter. When Jefferson said all men are created equal he was referring to our three rights. Folks, there is no inequality of life. Either you are alive, or you are dead. End of discussion.
Before I give my third thing I want to share a story.
Once a long time ago, there was a girl named Mary. There was nothing notably special about her, save that she had immense faith. One day Mary was going about her business, never dreaming there was anything unusual afoot. And then out of nowhere an angel appeared to her. Greeting her as the favored of God. To her amazement, he proceeded to tell her she would become pregnant with the Son of God. Mary of course was astounded. And asked how this would happen since she was a virgin. I’m sure she was probably thinking “Not to mention I’m engaged!” The angel told her the spirit of God would come upon her. Okay–weird. Being pregnant out of wedlock would get a woman stoned in those days, not a fun way to die. But Mary said “Let it be with me as you say.”
Imagine if Mary had lived nowadays. What would her friends have encouraged her to do? Quite possibly to have an abortion. Can’t you just see it? “Oh Mary, yeah, you screwed up, but hey, no one has to know. Having a baby will ruin your life right now. Think of what your man will say? Your parents will kill you. Literally.” And so on. Am I the only one the idea of aborting the Son of God is freaky to? It’s absolutely horrible to think of doing that. But every life is God given. That horridness is just as poignant with every other human child.
Thirdly. Life is beautiful. Books and nature mostly are what helped me to realize this. Reading The Enchanted April or The Secret Garden reawakened my imagination to what a fine thing it is to be living. Living things are beautiful and human life is beautiful. The things we experience, the obstacles we overcome, the joy we spread in each others lives. Life is not a convenience. It is the second most valuable thing we have. (The first being the love of God which gave us life.)
My reason for writing this is to inspire people to discover life’s value for themselves, and then to protect it. And fight for it–everywhere. We need those who will speak up and stop treating abortion like a mere issue. It is not. It is literally a matter of life and death. If you are a Christian, I implore you to take a few moments to pray about this, asking God to open your heart. Lastly, be thankful for this most precious of gifts–life.