Friday, November 30, 2007

Speaking of Christian Fundamentalism...

Some interesting conversations going on at the moment... check out armybarmy blog for more on the 'fundamentalists' description... on another note in that same vein the issue of abortion has come up a lot lately. I say in the 'same vein' because often those of us in support of pro-life are also labelled 'narrow-minded fundamentalists' so I figure while we are on the subject I'd share just how narrow-minded I can be too!
This is an interesting subject really... I guess mostly because I've been extremely passionate about LIFE - and am deeply pro-life (president of the club in one town I lived). Now, I'm in the social justice field AND abortion isn't on the list of issues... someone asked me why. Good question. Not only that, but another person from another territory asked how we can keep 'social justice' from being highjacked by moral issues like abortion - while I understand what they meant this also set me thinking. Add to this an SA periodical (pipeline issue November 07 pg 14)where the General is quoted, "there are situations in which abortion is the lesser evil". Wow. I'm assuming he means in situations of medical emergencies - like when it's a life versus a life decision. I wouldn't call that an 'abortion' by the way. But still, another reminder of what a critical issue pro-life really is. Here are some things I'm thinking about:

1. Either we (meaning the SA) are pro-life or we are not. I'm a little tired of the ambiguity of the SA on this issue. If we believe in the sacredness of life we must believe in basic human rights for all people - including the unborn. Surely this means even when in utero?!

2. The same principles of pro-life apply to every social justice issue:
-basic human rights (the right to live is a key one)
-individual focus verses community responsibility (this is a great driver of a consumer driven mentality of western cultures - our own 'convenience' is more important than the rights of another)
-voiceless people (those who cannot stand up for themselves... surely the poor, marginalized, and the unborn fit this category).
-the sacredness of life (regardless of colour, race, and age!?)

3. Does an issue have to be 'popular' for us to be 'for it'? The Catholics are a great example of this - they have been fiercely pro-life the last 50 years even in the face of great public displeasure... John Paul II had some amazing thoughts on the subject (and is largely responsible for many of my leanings in that respect). And I wondered when people stopped talking about the Jews in public during the pre-war Germany, Nazi regime rise (I know this will label me 'extreme' in my comparisons but really, when thousands of people started to just 'disappear' and bringing it up became unbearable uncomfortable because of popular opinion - who brought it up?).

4. Why is bringing it up so hard? And why is bringing it up labelled as 'off' or 'extreme'?

I've got a hunch that the enemy is happy about killing 50% of the next generation off before they even drew a breath. And I've got a suspicion he's thrilled that the church is scared to bring it up - I suppose more scared of popular opinion than of God. I want to say I'm not - but the truth of the matter is that it's a costly issue to stand up for. It's costly with the organization - because of a need to be compassionate and palpable. It's costly with the public - because of a need to present Jesus as 'for you' and 'not against you' - WHICH HE IS!!! And, I'm not sure how we get so confused as to think that giving permission is like giving love... it's pretty clear that boundaries for children are a loving thing not a condemning thing... It's costly to your social life - try bringing it up at a party! and it's costly to your spirit... to not speak up for those who have no voice. And it's costly to our social justice voice - if we can only find it about issues that are popular or 'sexy'!

So, those are some thoughts.


james said...

Great post danielle!

Throughout the election I heard somewhere that the new government wants to make abortion even more legal. Im not sure if I heard wrong or if it was just propoganda, either way it probably wont come about for a little while, but Im sure this topic will pop up in a big way in the future.

It would be great if TSA like you say could hurry up and have a firm belief so when the day of evil comes we will be able to stand our ground.

Anonymous said...

How can we help people see the preborn are children in every sense of the word?
Imagine this...
scene opens with family being ushered into a doctors office, Mum and Dad with three children between them, Mum stands with her hands on the shoulders of a boy about 4. he is in front of her, his shoulders are about her hip height,
DOCTOR: What can I do for you today?
MUM: (looks across at Dad nervously then speaks) Well.. you see.. we really cant afford all of them now.. Not with the morgage payments going up and the price of petrol and everything
Doctor nods sympathetically
MUM: (Putting hands over boys ears with heel of hand at top of head and fingers curled under chin and almost whispering) so we've decided to terminate this one
DOCTOR (looking at Dad who nods) Well if you are both sure... (picks up hyperdermic)

camera zooms in on boys head still held in mothers hands and scene freezes

Voice over with caption

No one would do this

(hands cradling head become hands around a "baby bump" belly)

How can they consider this?

(image fades to a stylished babe in womb)
There are always options,
Thank God the Salvos are here to help..
(Womb image fades to Red Sheild)

Grace Regina

Anonymous said...

It would be good for us to define Justice free from the fashionable issues - as it is we must admit our current interest in the subject of justice suspiciously follows its worldly popularity.

Tracy said...

Not sure how 'well-in' you are with this issue in other places, but in the UK there's been a lot of discussion recently, including a trial in early abortions in doctors' surgeries, and removing the current need for 2 doctors to authorise an abortion.

I was speaking to a friend, whose cousin had found out their child would be born with a life-threatening disease (can't remember what, I think it was related to the heart), and my friend was amazed they weren't having an abortion! And this was at 20 weeks, I think.

So, anyway, just to say it's definitely an current issue in the UK too. Any ideas how I can get involved in speaking out against it?


armybarmy said...

I'd look into groups within the UK (and other countries for those reading in) that are working in the area of advocacy for pro-life but also deeper root issues (like unwanted pregnancies and adoption etc...).
Help a single mom?
stuff like that.
Also, reading up on your stuff is key - I could recommend a book by Bernard Nathanson (it's his life story - abortion doctor extraordinaire turned pro-life activist) - incredible read.