Archive for September, 2012

A Pro Choice Christian: an modern-day oxymoron explained.

September 24, 2012 4 comments

The Pro Choice or Pro Life debate has been one of the most discussed topics in recent history, especially since it has been the highlight of many conversations between the liberal and conservative political party that polarizes America. As a person who cannot vote in this coming election, my taking sides between the arguments presented by the Democrats or the Republicans will not have any practical value. But to those who are conflicted, like me, between calling themselves Christians and a feminist in one statement, then maybe the concept is worth exploring.

Can a person be a Christian and still be Pro Choice? My answer to that is, “Well, I am”. I acknowledge the sanctity of the God of Abraham, his only son Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the bible. I try my best, though I often fail, to live by the principles our Lord Jesus thought us through his disciples and the millions of Christians in the world today that manifest His love to us. In this same personhood, I believe in the equality of all men in the eyes of God. That as Christians we are ambassadors of our faith and not judges of fellow men because judgments are not with us, but of the Lord’s.

Feminism exists because of the reality that women are not provided with the same rights and opportunities as men. If a government legislates against the freedom of women to make decisions related to their reproductive health while men have the freedom to decide when or when not to engage in reproduction – then inequality, hence feminism, exist.

I can say with full conviction that I will never choose to have an abortion. But that is a decision and a promise that I’ve made for myself in front of God – not a legal commitment between me and my state.

I am Pro Choice for a variety of reasons, but most of all, I say I am because I believe that America, under the Constitution that it is mandated to uphold, must allow man to make their own decisions with respect to the law. Christian law is not equal to state law in this country, nor will it ever be, as long as the separation between Church and State exists. Hence, the laws dictated by the God of Abraham should never be used to argue over the legality of Pro Life arguments, as long as this separation is in place.

One may argue that abortion is parallel to violence against man; how different is it from first-degree murder? This is usually how the debate about “when does life begin?” starts, and this is an argument that I will not have a ready answer for. To me, biology clearly dictates that life begins at conception. The human life begins as a zygote that rapidly replicates and differentiates to form the spinal cord, the brain, and the heart – all of which are functioning by week 8 of gestation. Sociology however, usually coined “softer science” due to the lack of undisputable empirical data, will beg to differ. It says that life begins with value and meaning of an individual to the society at large; which, depending on your personal experience, may be before or after the birth of an infant – thus thickening the plot on the “when does life begin” argument. So who is more right, Biology or Sociology?

If only natural science was the only thing we needed to make our world go around, then human life may have been simpler and more predictable. Boring, but easily argued and very (very) predictable. But to be human is to be philosophical, and to be philosophical is to be complex with a lot of why’s and what if’s.  In my humble opinion, the reality is, as the ‘softer science’ has put it, life begins with meaning and value – an idea that could never be legislated because the IDEA of LIFE varies from person to person. This is why to me, legislating about abortion is a legal issue about women’s health, not about ending life.

Now as a Christian, am I following God’s law, which I have decided to subject myself to, if I say that I am Pro Choice? I can never know for sure, because my faith predisposes me to this position of uncertainty that I, as a man who is not God, will never fully understand God. My faith decrees that I was made to worship and honor him to the best of the abilities that He has given me. My Christian faith says that in order to please God, I should personally follow his laws which clearly states “you shall not kill”. Me – I should not kill. And I won’t. Can others do it then? To this I answer, ‘that’s a decision that they should make before God’. And like me, they should accept the consequence of their decisions.

If I was face to face with a pregnant woman now contemplating abortion, what will I say to her? First of all, I will ask her how she is, how she is feeling right now. I will provide her any assistance that I have the capacity to give. If she asks me whether she should continue with her abortion, I will tell her it is a tough decision to make and that she has to make that decision for herself. If she wants me to think with her, then I will. In short, I will offer myself to her – to the best of my abilities, refraining from judgment, and with all the compassion and kindness that I can muster just as our Lord Jesus has extended to everyone despite of who or what we are.

As I end this essay I am reminded of an anecdote I read a few years back. There was a woman waiting in train station. The platform was almost empty, except for a middle-aged dad sitting quietly on a bench with 3 kids who were playing and running around the platform as if they were on a playground with, what most will consider, as a reckless disregard to the peace and quiet often associated to an almost empty platform. After a few minutes of being bothered by the noise the kids were making, the woman decided to approach the dad and tell him to watch his kids because they were being disruptive. The dad looked at her, stood up, bowed and said “Oh, I am very sorry. I will tell them to calm down and behave properly. It’s just that … their mom died a few hours ago – it was an aneurysm. I guess I am still in shock. I was thinking of the best way to tell them.”

I am not saying I am right, or that you should follow my thought pattern. But there is one thing I am certain of. This debate between Pro Life and Pro Choice has been full of hatred, rudeness, and strife that a kind and loving God frowns upon.

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