It is particularly frustrating because we are so consistently anti-war and anti-death penalty. As we (basically) should be. No one likes war, and although I don't believe pacifism to be a viable national security strategy, I do think that a very thorough moral analysis regarding use of force in international relations is called for. Neither do I believe that the death penalty is inherently immoral and that it should be automatically classified as "cruel and unusual punishment." However, I personally have come to oppose the death penalty, as a Christian, because I believe it denies that Christ has the ability to redeem anything and anyone.
(Those of you who wish to yell at me about mixing the "two kingdoms" can keep it to yourself right now.)
Given all that (and that our "expressions," particularly the national one, pride themselves on being antiwar and anti-death penalty), I don't see what's so hard about abortion. Is the thing here that we have simply abdicated all substantive teaching authority? Or that we don't believe in authority at all? I heard an ELCA pastor say today that, "We as a church have decided that how you feel about abortion doesn't matter."
Well damn it, it should matter.
Heartlander points out in this post that
William Wilberforce was only able to get the slave trade abolished in England when he started showing people the insides of the actual slave ships.An excellent point. Desperate times call for desperate measures. So I give you the picture that she posted, one that is not overly graphic, but is in fact accurate. This is what abortion is:
Ok, yes, this is what a 2nd or 3rd trimester abortion looks like. A first trimester abortion is much different.
It looks like this:
But if those are a little difficult to process, perhaps the tried and true "saline method" is more palatable to the faint of heart:
I feel like I'm starting to turn into one of those "crunchy cons" who makes lots of arguments about certain things being "natural," but here's the deal: None of these procedures are in any "natural." When a woman becomes pregnant, her body goes into full-on Mommy Mode, and does everything it can to protect and nourish the baby. In addition to the creation of amniotic fluid (see above), the cervix positively hangs up a "do not enter" sign:
According to Dr. Nardone, the cervix is the structure that is intended to protect the fetus during its development. It is designed to remain firmly closed and provide resistance to pressure from the growing structures above it (e.g., the fetus and uterus).The first two procedures detailed above literally involve taking big long sticks and inserting them into the cervix to force it open in order to force baby out. I can barely handle going to the doctor's office once a year - letting someone forcibly rip my cervix open does not sound safe, healthy, or pleasant. Abortion is supposed to be pro-woman? Are you kidding me?
I still cannot believe that this is even a serious question among supposedly serious Christians. For all of you pro-choice pastors who have been charged with the shepherding of your flock: can you look at any of those pictures above and honestly tell me that recommending - or even remaining "respectfully neutral" towards - any of them actually fulfills that charge?
What I Am Not Saying: I am not attempting, in any way, to argue that anyone who has had an abortion is disqualified from being a Christian. I not attempting, in any way, to question the faith or salvation of Christians who are pro-abortion. I am not attempting, in any way, to suggest that unplanned or otherwise difficult pregnancies are not really tough cases that require a ridiculous amount of pastoral care, support, and sensitivity.
What I Am Saying: As Christian leaders, teachers, pastors, and lay people, we have to be better than this. We need to so unequivocally love Jesus, moms, dads, and babies, that we can't but help witness to the fact that each and every human being is created in the image and likeness of God, and is loved and valued by Him, and by us. Period.