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.
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.