Abortion


I’ll talk about this video in a second, but first.

Last night on the daily show, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee was on doing yet another interview. Here’s the link for that clip. This time he was given the opportunity to choose the topic and he went with something slightly less controversial.

Abortion.

Now his timing is pretty apt. Once more this has taken center stage in our country, as just last week, George Tiller, one of the nation’s only late term abortion doctors was shot dead while attending his church.

Now, I know this won’t be popular with my democrat friends, but I like Mike Huckabee. I always have, and not just because his stance on abortion. He’s always been able to disagree and talk about complex issues while being civil. A fact that I think is proved by his willingness to go on the Daily Show repeatedly. I also appreciated Jon Stewart’s side of this discussion. At the end he admitted being dead-certain about the rightness of most left-wing ideas, but as a father who’s seen his own kids ultra-sounds, this one bothers him too.

If you know me you know that I am pretty a-political. But I think this discussion is deeper than politics. It’s indicative of our collective sense of morality, and how humans look at life in general. And as anyone who lived before Roe vs. Wade can attest, abortion (while on a much smaller basis) was going on long before it was legalized.

I remember my mom when I was a kid, going to abortion clinics and “pretending” to be a woman needing an abortion, while really putting pro-life material in their magazines. And while I hope that saved some babies, I kind of doubt it did. But my parents were also foster parents for more kids than I can count, I also have an adopted sister, and one of the things I have noticed is that the foster kids they kept were not going out and getting abortions later in life.

That is to say that they saw that even with life not being ideal, it was still okay. There were still people out there who loved and fought for them. And it made all the difference.

This is just one more example of the unique mission of the church. We can cut past the political rhetoric of the day. We don’t wait on laws to be passed. Though I would love for abortion to be illegal (not because I think politics are the way to change things, but because I think that would be more in line with the collective conscience that dignifies everyone).

Mr. Huckabee brought out a point that I think is not talked about much in our culture. He mentioned that while he was a minister he dealt with dozens of cases of ladies who had an abortion early in life and then went through life with unresolved guilt because of it. Freud might say that’s religiously imposed guilt, but I have had conversations with several girls without a religious bone in their body, who still suffer from this.

I would argue that part of the problem with viewing life through the modern scientific reductionist lens is that we fail to pick up on the truth that everything is connected. Sure, you could call this a fetus or a embryonic termination but what if it’s more than that?

Now I know that this is a topic that is incredibly complex. I know that there are vicious cycles of poverty that some would argue are the reason that abortion is necessary. And I hope you hear me saying that those must be dealt with as well.

I know that talking about this is extremely touchy, but that’s mainly because the left and the right love to use issues to remain in or gain power. But this is not an issue, it’s about an ethic of life.

And I hope I’m not talking to people who are primarily Democrat’s or Republicans. I hope I’m talking to the church.

This wouldn’t be the first time that God used the church to stop a social wrong by helping to raise the social conscience. From infanticide to gladiator games, to slavery to civil rights, we have a history of speaking a word into a culture that can place pragmatism over hope.

The church, when she’s at her best, gently, creatively and sacrificially speaks a word of life into the world. And I think that this commercial done by Catholics earlier in the year is a great example of what it looks like for the church to call the culture that surrounds her to re-imagine this whole topic.

So Maybe it’s time to adopt some kids.

Maybe it’s time to take in a pregnant teenager.

Because Life really does have so much potential.

About jonathanstorment

My family and I love reading, traveling, daddy/daughter dates, playing hide and seek, good music, and long meals with friends. We still miss LOST, and all four of us have Superman uniforms. We are passionate about bringing Heaven to Earth and want to follow Jesus while repainting discipleship for those around us. We are followers of Jesus and I preach at the Highland Church of Christ. We participate in something called A Restoration Movement, and we've come to realize that might be larger than we thought.

9 thoughts on “Abortion

  1. What a challenging word, Storment. Before we speak up & ask our government to do something about abortion, perhaps we should earn the right to speak: offer a helping hand to an unwed mother, or adopt a child, before you begin to open your mouth in protest.

    What a challenging ethic to apply. Before I lift my voice about poverty, perhaps I should earn the right to speak by getting involved in fighting it & offering relief to those trapped by it. Before I lift my voice about military action, perhaps I should earn the right to speak by taking up arms & doing my duty.

    And in the end, perhaps we’d all speak less & do more, and maybe even be better off because of it.

    Don’t let the news talk shows hear us talking about this, though: might put them out of business. 🙂

  2. I think you hit the nail on the head yet again. As soon as you stat putting a name and a face to this ‘issue’ it no longer becomes an issue. These are human lives we are talking about. How we treat the most vulnerable of our species says a lot about who we are. I’m thinking it’s time for us to stop playing God by deciding who lives and dies, and we start playing God by loving His creation. All of it.

  3. For all the Obama-like success stories, how many more cases of increased human misery are there? How many in Obama’s neighborhood grew up not to be president, but drug-dealers and gang members? Potential is ambivalent: sure we can find success stories, but let’s not ignore the equal or greater prevalence of human suffering involved in this issue.

    Let’s also remember that it is not solely the infant who is vulnerable. Young women whose entire lives lay ahead of them are also vulnerable. The choices they face are not simple ones. Those who attempt to ignore the grey until only black and white remain, proves that they care far more for their morals than for either the infant or the mother. We have to conjecture what Jesus’ opinion on abortion would be, but his opinion on Pharisaic morals is crystal clear. We should live accordingly.

    I like 90% of Pro-Choice people would rather not live in a world where abortion happened, but it does. Legislating against it would only result in the problem being outsourced to other countries, or performed on a black-market level. I fail to see how this would accomplish anything at all, accept an increased death rate among women undergoing the procedure. But maybe that’s what “Pro-life” legislation would prefer…

    I think if we really wanted to do something about it, we might start working toward a more egalitarian world where women’s rights were enforced rather than spoken of as a mere ideal. By this I mean, until we create a world where pregnant women (especially of the unwed variety) are not stigmatized or socially and economically limited, then I will continue to oppose the Pro-life movement for being a means of oppression.

  4. Jonathan, I enjoyed your sermon yesterday at Golf Course Road Church of Christ very much. It reminded me of the John Mayer song “Waiting on the world to change’. And in regards to the abortion issue I am going to e-mail you some information to see how much you really want to get involved in changing the world. I would consider myself a-political like you, but there comes a time when we have to decide how to make things happen and if takes some politics, then maybe that’s what Jesus wants us to do.

    God bless, Jim Cooke

  5. Wes, glad you liked it brother.

    Aaron, thanks brother.

    Philip, Have you read the book UnChristian? It has an entire chapter dedicated to this. Christians are seen by people outside and distant and aloof. The writers actually refer to this as anti-incarnational. We talk about the issues without getting involved.

    DJ, good to hear from you man. I think the rub comes with that last sentence about this is human lives we are talking about. I have had this conversation with several people who disagree and it’s not that they are pro-murder, but they see it a lesser of two evils.

    Joe, Well said, and I see where you are coming from. I recognize the danger of legislating this. Just because certain things aren’t legal don’t mean they don’t happen, they would happen less, but the instances where they did happen would be more dangerous for the mothers involved. It seems to me that the hard part of having this conversation is that both sides are attempting to take the moral high ground and then writing off the other one as either ignorant or evil. That’s why, while I disagree with Obama’s stance on this, I do appreciate the tone that he is approaching it with. My blog is more about how the church can approach the societal structures that make abortion the most attractive option. And here’s one thing that I think does make a difference…we may disagree on this, but I believe it’s true. If that 14 year old girl gets pregnant and faces a choice of abortion or having a baby then her life will already be dramatically different no matter which one she chooses. From what I have read and heard in pastoral settings, girls who have abortions are affected deeply by it. My contention is that adoption is a more healthy choice for all parties involved.

    Jim, thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate your thoughts, and have thought similar things before. However, I have such hope for the church to be the church in a way that is so different than political power that we have seen in the past 50 years. I have several friends that are in politics and don’t think less of them, but my dream is to watch the church actively engage fighting evil in a more bottom-up approach. I met John DeFloor yesterday, and hearing his story I found myself thinking…Now that’s church! Thanks again for the encouragement! It was good to be with y’all yesterday.

  6. I usually bill myself as a liberal and a Democrat. I also typically give a couple of disclaimers. I break with my party on the issue of abortion. Disclaimer number two: I don’t join the Republican Party on this issue.

    The far left, not to be continued with left of center or left-leaning, sicken me with their lack of regard for the unborn child. The far right also sickens me with their hypocrisy.

    I admire the bleeding heart far left for wanting to help all people everywhere despite age, race, creed, religion, status. That sounds a lot like Jesus to me, but what about the child robbed of his/her life?

    Hypocrisy.

    The right, typically shout about state’s rights until it’s an issue that they want to impose on others. Also, there is more than one way to address the issue. The right wants just to make it illegal and be done with it. When the left wants healthcare, including prenatal healthcare for all, who’s the first to object? When the left pushes for policies that are known to eliminate poverty (thus decreasing the number of abortions), who’s the first to oppose it?

    The same people who shout pro-life, vote against improving the lives of the poorest among us.

    To be clear, abortion sickens me. It’s hard to believe that as a people, we’ve come to a place where this can be tolerated. However, while many on the left are blind or apathetic to the atrocity of it, many of the right keep spending millions and blindly voting Republicans into office who often do little more than offer some clever pro-life rhetoric then commense to rape the environment and make life sweet for the rich.

    The church, those really wanting to follow Jesus have got to forsake thinking that politics can adequately address this issue.

    Sorry didn’t mean to hijack your blog. Thanks for the outlet.

  7. Jonathan, I respect your opinion on this; much as I can respect Huckabee’s. I also agree that adoption would more often than not, be the best route taken (in other words I too saw Juno). My problem is that you still managed to say you would “love for abortion to be illegal”, which as I said previously would result in unnecessary deaths, and the criminilization of doctors acting out of good conscience.

    I also struggle with the fact that, as I’ve seen first hand, there is no worse place for a unwed pregnant woman to go than church. I feel strongly that before any church should worry over the legalities of abortion, they might do well to overcome their anxiety about sex outside of marriage. It seems to me that much of the tension over one thing is really a manifestation of repressed feelings about the other.

    Lastly, you mention a pregnant 14 year old, while I had in mind an unwed 20-something minority living far below the poverty line. We may agree that adoption is better, but her employer may not. Being part-time she doesn’t qualify for illustrious benefits such as maternity leave. The last politician we elected to office voted against her rights to an abortion, but voted for her employers right to terminate her for having the kid. She might regret it later, but working 80+ hours a week (multiple jobs) prevents her from feeling much of anything, including regret.

    I like what you say in this blog. Every time you post on an issue like this I get some glimmer of hope that the church could make a difference. But, I’ve heard far too many real, first-hand accounts like the one I just made up. Meanwhile, all the Christians I see are busy pushing abstinence and gossiping about “that girl from their singles group who got knocked up at a party.” I would love to see the whole topic re-imagined as well, but I’m afraid the roots are much deeper and too few care for digging.

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