Seems that LIFE has been in the news lately, a lot, and that the ongoing clash of worldviews in the arena of Pro-Life versus the idol of Personal Autonomy has never been louder. Planned Parenthood has been in the news, its infamously influential leader stepping sideways (the very leader discredited a few years back on video eagerly promising adaptive forms of abortion so as to provide for sale to the black-market intact baby parts for “research”.) We can be glad she’s gone, this “personal autonomy” aka “women’s reproductive health” advocate whose reign oversaw the deaths of an estimated 3.5 million babies at the hands of Planned Parenthood. The fact that she is considered a national hero by many and a mass murderer by just as many—tells you a little something about the morally schizophrenic nation we have become. On a similar note, as the year has begun marches for life and marches for women’s rights have been held in major cities, one declaring the absolute worth of unborn children, one clamoring for the absolute right to ultimately kill “for any reason or no reason” the unborn life within their own bodies, half of whom, had they lived, would have grown up to be…women. With 30 million killed in the U.S. since 1973, It would seem that unborn women have no rights at all.
This past week a bill to protect babies from abortion after reaching 20 weeks of gestation (when many scientists now feel sure a fetus can feel the pain of being dismembered in the womb), failed to pass the US Senate, about 9 votes short of the 60 needed. Oh, there is argument over the science, and the “facts”—but how absolutely certain do you have to be about the exact moment of “pain capability” to listen to a conscience and innate sense of morality that would tell you there is something evil about not really caring whether unborn babies can feel pain or not? While the failure of our highest leaders to pass the PCUCPA (pain capable unborn child protection act) should sadden those who value life, it should also sicken those of us who love America, faults and all, political parties notwithstanding—as the legal abortion of 20 week old unborn babies is only recognized, promoted, and protected in 6 other nations, including China and North Korea. Good company. Shame on us! Although it failed, it was important to try, and we should take comfort in the remembrance that it took 15 years for the US Senate to pass the Partial Birth Abortion Act, ending a particularly heinous method of killing America’s children. So the battle rages on, and the womb of American mothers, designed to be a safe place, is still statistically one of the most dangerous places you can find on the planet.
Also in the news, the infamous “Roe –vs-Wade” decision by the SCOTUS in 1973 turned 45 years old on January 22rd. Most of the people then involved, including the Associate Justice writing the legal opinion at the time, believed that the court’s legalization of abortion would once and for all put an end to the debate, and people would stop talking about it. It did not, and they have not. In fact, a few years ago one loud voice in the pro-abortion movement noted, “We won a great victory with Roe –vs-Wade, but we’ve been losing the battle ever since.” It seems that the legalization of abortion woke up a sleeping giant–mostly evangelical believers whose belief in divine revelation shows us a God who values life—and the Pro-Life movement was energized to the point that now a significant majority of Americans stand largely together on these issues of life. We should be thankful for that, and hope that the Church will not be apathetic or ambivalent in its response at present to courts and a culture seemingly eager to set fire to the moral ship that has kept our nation afloat from its beginnings.
Why am I blogging about this? Well, obviously I feel strongly about it and want the believers I serve as a leader and pastor to know that if we believe God’s word to be divinely inspired and transmitted to us through scripture—we are compelled then to agree with Him that all of life is sacred and matters. The Church should be unapologetically, unashamedly, unabashedly pro-life, clarion voices of truth yet with hearts and hands of grace. The issues of life are complicated, decidedly so. In fact, if they truly were inconsequential and under our jurisdiction—to do with as we please at our whim—there would be no debate, no argument, and no need for either. But the very fact that there is such a battle around these issues should, if nothing else, tell us there is something very important at the heart of the battle and at stake in it. And the facts of our nation’s—and yes, even our nation’s churches—deep division, that we have, as one commentator suggests, “a troubled conscience and an unsettled mind”—should also tell us a great deal, if in fact we are paying attention.
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” –Psalm 139:14