When is Murder Rational?
First off let me set my world view in the proper context. I am a follower of Jesus Christ and everything I see is filtered through scripture for correctness and adherence to His word. I don’t view myself as “right wing conservative” or “left wing liberal”. I don’t view myself as a democrat or a republican. I have no desire to fight for a political party or to picket against those who do not share my views as I possess little evidence that such an action ever changed someone’s soul or called them to intimacy with their creator. What I believe does not involve governmental law, although I obey it as directed through God’s Word (in that it does not contradict my faith beliefs). What I believe does not involve political parties or advancement therein. What I believe is based on the Word of God (The Bible) birthed out of the love of God through Jesus Christ. So when reading this blog you’ve got to understand where I am coming from. Sure, some will call my faith a “crutch” or claim that I have an “imaginary friend (i.e. Jesus)” or that I have succumbed to the blatant disregard of what is and embraced a dogma that is man-made.
I could argue that a crutch is used to help not hurt (recent knee surgery has allowed such a revelation). I could argue that if ever someone possessed an imaginary friend that inspired them to love others, be selfless, connect people with purpose, assist the sick, defend the orphan, protect the widow, as well as lead people to emotional, physical, and spiritual restoration in connection with God… well, I’d say keep that imaginary friend as close as possible. After all, many of us keep imaginary connections that are much more destructive than this. I could also argue that if I were going to make up a dogma, I surely wouldn’t have come up with what the Bible holds me to. I would come up with something that better assists my human nature. Love your neighbor as yourself? Love your enemy? Become a servant of all? None of these items strike me as man-made. Man-made dogma declares, “Do what’s right in YOUR eyes”, “Look out for yourself first (except during the holidays)”, “Destroy your enemies”, and by all means retain your right to do what you want, when you want, with no regard towards the societal ramifications or eternality of our decisions.
I COULD argue these things, but that’s not the point of this blog. I just needed you to know where I’m coming from.
That being said, there is a great deal of discussion about the rationality of abortion and mixed within is the hatred from the aforementioned groups toward each other is the underlying river of the feelings of injustice, inadequacy, and the trouncing of personal freedom and gender equality. Top that off with political ramifications and we have encountered the perfect moral storm.
I read recently about the Plan B initiative and the recent allowance for such a drug to be easily purchased by girls of any age to reduce the risk of pregnancy within 72 hours. I haven’t read the health risks so I’m ignorant in being able to argue the scientific methodology or validity of such a thing. But it is a hot topic and hot topics don’t need to be avoided and CAN actually be discussed civilly.
I also am not going to talk about abortion in great depth, as much as one side of the aforementioned groups would insist I do seeing as I am a follower of Jesus Christ. The best I can do is keep asking logical questions until I get to the root of the problem. And shouldn’t that be the goal of all aspirations for societal, spiritual, and personal improvement? Doesn’t the weed continue to grow unless the root is destroyed?
So, with that being said, when speaking about abortion and planned parenthood there are a series of questions that flood my mind. It would be quite easy to serve up the Christian cliche on a silver platter and walk away from logic, but let’s face it, Christians are not always logical.
My first thought is this. While we can draw extremely accurate scientific inferences based on societal understanding and cultural response, we cannot always predict cause and effect.
The first statement I hear is that abortion is murder. I agree, as ending a pregnancy is not equal discarding an unwanted toy after it has been played with. Whether we like it or not, apples and oranges are vastly different. A child is a child, an adult is an adult, and the law still defines murder as the killing of a human being by a sane person, with intent, malice aforethought (prior intention to kill the particular victim or anyone who gets in the way) and with no legal excuse or authority.
The only way around this is if you argue whether or not an unborn baby is a human being. But what else would it be? If I plant the seed of an oak tree, I don’t expect corn to emerge. I know by uprooting that oak tree when it is small or destroying it as a seedling doesn’t change the fact that what I indeed planted, and what would eventually emerge, is an oak tree.
But what does that argument really solve? Nothing. We’ve just given a definition to the act. So what. Whether or not we identify the act as murder doesn’t change the fact that the child is unwanted. The feelings of an unwanted pregnancy are what drive the action to abort.
So let’s say that it’s illegal to commit abortion. What does this solve? Will there still exist unwanted pregnancies? Yes. So then what are we to do with the millions of babies that are now born into a family that doesn’t want them, will not show them love, and puts them at a great risk of neglect and dysfunction? Put them in a foster system? There are over 400,000 in the foster care system already and that system is struggling mightily. If we are to add a few million to that system, what would happen then? I’m playing the devils advocate of course (as if he needs an advocate), but what is the Christians response to the birth of unwanted children? Will we care for them as the church? Will we step forward as parents and adopt a child that did not come from our flesh? The response is just not that simple.
So if we should abort (kill) the child before it’s birth, and we aren’t equipped socially, spiritually, or religiously to take care of unwanted children by the millions, then what is the solution? It should be preventative, right? It obviously can’t be and shouldn’t be reactive.
I got it. Let’s use contraceptives. Let’s prevent the pregnancy from ever happening. It’s a great concept, but a concept is all that it is. If a young man and woman really want to have sex, they will, even if no contraceptive is present. And of course, add that the fact that no contraceptive is 100% effective. The only way to prevent pregnancy is to not have sex, right?
But what about pregnancy that occurs via rape? Have the baby and throw it into the aforementioned foster care system and hope for the best? That doesn’t appear very Christian when we are trusting the unwanted child to the very system that supports it to be aborted.
So, abstinence is the only way to control both sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy. So what’s the problem?
You see, today, murder is only rational if it’s convenient and we define it to be legal. It’s still murder. I can call a doughnut an apple but as much as I wish it were the case, I can’t change the substance. I can even make a doughnut in the form of an apple, paint it red, and add a pretend stem, but its substance will still be that of a doughnut, not an apple.
Murder becomes rational, abortion becomes legal, foster care becomes inept, unwanted children become neglected, and the cycle continues. It doesn’t continue because government is doing something wrong. After all, they’re simply attempting to kill the weed by clipping it at its base as the root lives on. The death of unwanted, unborn children hurts my heart as much as the death of any other child, teenager, young adult, adult, or elderly person would.
But even deeper, the unwanted pregnancy also hurts my heart because we have ultimately placed a greater value on our wants over someone else’s needs. It doesn’t stop at abortion but extends through world hunger, sex slavery, and the neglect of the poor.
However, “just don’t have sex” doesn’t deal with the problem either, does it? There are thousands of children each year that are born in the context of marriage but are neglected, unwanted, and uncared for. Sure, they’re married, but the result is the same. A child born, unwanted, uncared for.
Well, it turns out the root of the problem is actually not just our rebellion towards God’s command of sex within marriage, but our rejection towards the commands of God as a whole. As I preached a few weeks ago, where there is envy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and every evil practice (James 3:16 – remember, I approach from a Biblical World View).
The Bible cannot be accepted in some areas (sex within marriage) and yet be ignored in others (loving your wife as God loved the church / children are a heritage of the Lord). The totality of adhering to God’s commands would eliminate so many of the social unrests we face, especially when it comes to children who tend to be the frequent recipients of our selfishness. Abortion, unwanted pregnancy, and neglected children become a problem when we ignore God’s Word and value our WANTS over their NEEDS. Yeah, I do think it’s that simple. But then again, sin has always been that simple. My wants over the needs of others. My wants, over God’s commands.
Now before anyone throws a fit, I know there is no way I could have touched on everything that impacts society (i.e. welfare, medicaid, governmental support, etc.). That was never the intent. I just needed to get these thoughts out of my head, and since it’s my blog, I have the uninhibited right do so. That’s what God did when He gave us His Word and He’s been mocked and chastised for centuries. I am certainly not God, but I imagine re-telling His Words through this blog will yield no less of a response.
I’ll love you anyway.