Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Is It Possible To Be Fair-Minded About Abortion?

President Obama gave the graduation commencement speech last weekend at Notre Dame. The bitter irony is that Notre Dame professes to be a Catholic university and the Catholic faith is staunchly opposed to abortion - a procedure to which our President is clearly not opposed. While there were many protests over him being allowed to speak and to receive an honorary degree from the institution, the university officials decided to proceed with the address.

The president made a remarkable statement during his speech regarding the abortion issue. He encouraged both sides of the issue to have a “fair-minded” discussion about the issue. He wants them to “work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions”. I must ask this question – has the president heeded his own words? Has he done anything but work to increase the availability and public funding of abortions? Tragically, with heart breaking and tears flowing, I must say that he has not (see “Weep With Me” for specifics).

How does one go about being fair-minded about abortion? For people like me, abortion is as evil and reprehensible as is murder or rape (I believe it is murder). So what would happen if I substituted these equivalent words into his statement? “Let’s work together to reduce the number of parents committing murder”, or “Let’s work together to reduce the number of women being raped. Let’s have everyone be fair-minded about the issue and not resort to caricature.” Such words would be offensive to nearly everyone. And as such, when the president uses these same words in an attempt to straddle the proverbial abortion issue fence, I am deeply offended. I cannot help how strongly I feel about a procedure which destroys life made by God and which further promotes the removal of God’s blessing from our nation. The president has the power within his hands to do the right thing…and he has wasted it.

It’s not a politically correct thing to be so intently one-sided on an issue. Influences from all around, and even from friends and family, can make us soft on a topic which has enormous importance to God. Several years ago, I participated in a pro-life rally and was given a sign reading “Abortion Kills”. I was instructed to hold it high and wave it at passing cars on the street. I admit that I felt guilty waving the sign, because part of me didn’t want to offend, part of me didn’t want to be the one to remind women driving down the street of their role in a past abortion, and part of me wanted to find a way to be more “fair-minded” about the issue. I’m still not convinced that holding a sign up on the street corner is the correct or best way to make my statement. But I know that Jesus Christ would not shun the chance to boldly proclaim God’s truth when necessary. Neither would other great men of faith – Noah, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, and Paul. There may be a more ethical and caring way to get out the message – but the fact remains that I need to work to ensure that God’s side of the story is fearlessly preached. This is a hard thing sometimes.

John Piper (, author of countless books about the joyous relationship with God and a bold preacher of God’s truth, has recently posted a chilling and inspirational video of words he preached on the topic of abortion. The name of the sermon was “The Baby in My Womb Leaped for Joy”. Mitch Majeski, who I am proud to call a good friend and who is a bold preacher of God’s Word as well, tipped me to this this video on his blog recently. After watching it, I was moved beyond anything I have ever felt about the abortion issue – and am motivated more by this video clip than any other I have ever viewed. These words are powerful. Piper leads up to a crescendo of reason and truth, and then humbly vows to…pray for our president. It’s a remarkable conclusion for such a powerful three minutes of build-up. It has inspired me to spend time each week praying specifically for all those families considering an abortion, and for all the doctors who will pick up the knife tomorrow to perform the procedure. Please watch….and join me in praying for God’s divine will to be done.

1 comment:

Darren Duvall said...

With regard to the video I must say, "Ouch".

The call for strategic rhetoric reduction is, well, nice. I long ago stopped ascribing evil motives to people who disagree with me, though as a conservative if I dare speak up it is taken for granted by most on the left that I am not just wrong, I am in fact evil, and work from a position of either assumed moral superiority or self-gain. I find it so interesting that tolerance is preached so vigorously as a chief tenet of liberal orthodoxy and yet discarded so quickly in the face of any disagreement with liberal orthodoxy.

I think people who support abortion on demand truly believe it makes the world a better place, and to be honest, it's the first part I disagree with, not the second. I want the world to be a better place as well.

I look at myself and I think, "So, you're opposed to abortion. You think children have a right to life. So why aren't you at least a foster parent? How many kids are available for adoption and are not at your house?" Abortion is a somewhat nebulous political debate for me, but for others it's anything but. I am against it, but there needs to be a committment on the pro-life side, backed by evidence and financial support, that if abortion were ever to be declared illegal that those of us who believe all children deserve a chance at life will do what it takes to give them that chance.

It's much more difficult for us, because performing abortions pays, and raising children costs...a lot. In a lot of ways. But I'm less interested in changing the minds of pro-abortion people than I am in squaring my worldview with my actions. As it is, other than writing checks I have to admit that my own three kids are about as much as I can handle, and given my work schedule the burden of another child or three would fall primarily on my wife. I'm not blaming her, the weakness is mine for creating a home situation where the burden does fall much more heavily on her. My job provides ample funds to make additional child rearing in our family possible, but not the time, and the time is more important for that job.

The President's words are pretty hollow for me, I never called anyone a baby killer or hooted at women outside an abortion clinic, so calming my rhetoric isn't really necessary. I agree, Alan, that discussing the issue in a calm and rational manner doesn't change the fact that it's still murder as far as I'm concerned, and rational discussion becomes more than difficult at that point. The same people who will ban firearms because they kill would not consider limitations on suction trochars and hypertonic saline solutions.

I do feel at least on-par with pro-abortion people who sacrifice lives for their own convenience. It is a similar choice that I make when I don't adopt, or don't foster-parent kids: convenience over the life (or at least life-needs) of another. I guess that's why I am more than a little conflicted on the subject. Of course, it costs pro-abortion people little to nothing to support their position, but then, when did God ever say that following him wouldn't come without a cost?