Abortion and God
Abortion as a practice and an issue within western civilization today more clearly reflects the divide between humanistic and Christian thought than any other. Humanistic thought implies the western cultural drift toward deprecation and dismissal of a Christian God as an object of faith, belief and the formation of moral and spiritual perspectives in an individual’s heart and mind. Christian thought, as I am intending it in this essay implies a serious and sincere, spiritually derived, faith based perspective rooted in some take on the bible. These two perspectives, Humanistic and Christian are admittedly difficult to characterize and generalize. However, I believe it is reasonable to suggest that most opinions in Western civilization specifically regarding abortion are formed based upon how seriously an individual pursues and then considers God’s perspective on the question of abortion. What is that question? Abortion is a morally conflicted practice. From the demythologized, godless, aka secular humanistic perspective, abortion makes complete and inescapable practical sense. From the God based Christian perspective it is a horror, a grave sin and a tragedy of spiritually epic proportions.
Let’s review the debate beginning with the humanistic perspective. First, there is the woman’s right to choose, a peculiar point of emphasis in the era of Western feminism. Men do not share the risk or burden of pregnancy. Men can and often do evade bearing responsibility for children they sire. In fact, some men pursue sexual conquest of women and sire children like it was a sport, a primordial competition to assert their manhood. The cultural and political climate has propelled western society to see men and women as entirely equal. So in modern practice sexual promiscuity between men and woman, men take no more from a woman than a woman takes from a man in casual sex. Again, before the law they are equal. Equal yes, but it is still only women who get pregnant so isn’t it reasonable that only women should have choice to mitigate this biological disadvantage via abortion? Therefore, from a modern western woman’s perspective men should have no right to an opinion on the subject of abortion, much less a right to legislate and or enforce a legal limit on the alternatives of women. Furthermore, if there is the assertion of law that abortion is illegal, there is the argument that when abortion is illegal only people with money will be able to get safe medical abortions under the guise of some other procedure. So the abortion issue bleeds into the divide over class and wealth. Perhaps someone responding to this blog could add content for the humanistic perspective. Poor women may choose to have an abortion because it is deemed better for the child than to bring a child into the world who will then live out their wretched childhood in want and desperate poverty. So abortion can be construed as positive and merciful under such circumstances. Christian conservatives who are antiabortion, typically also do not want the burden of support of such children born into poverty to impact their bank accounts. Admittedly, there are many practical arguments in favor of abortion.
Now let’s review the debate from the Christian perspective. I, as a Christian, cannot think of a single argument against abortion from a practical standpoint. Humanism owns all the practical positions on this question. Apart from practicality we might consider the rights of the fetus. Is the life of a fetus defensible under laws against murder? Once conceived is the fetus a person or does the word “fetus” demote the unborn child to status of subhuman or non-human? It is practical to demote the fetus to subhuman so abortion becomes legally defensible so let us put, “the fetus is subhuman” in the practical humanistic realm of thought. The Christian does not think the fetus is subhuman. Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit. As a fetus, can a being conceived of God in this way be considered subhuman? When Marry who was to become the mother of Jesus went to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was then six months pregnant with a child who was to become John the Baptist the Spirit of God entered the child within her and the child leapt for joy within her. If a six month old fetus can be filled with the Spirit, can it still be considered subhuman? These considerations, these perspectives on abortion require a belief in the biblical God and the veracity of biblical scripture. Christians who study the Old Testament, who read through the history are generally horrified by the accounts of the Jews engaging in idolatry and sacrificing infant children to a false god called Moloch, burning them alive. Biblically studious Christians equate abortion to the sacrifice of infants to Moloch because those who die of abortion are in a sense being sacrificed idolatrously for the sins and or the convenience of the adults who conceived them. The conclusion of the matter from my perspective is that every argument against abortion a Christian may put forward is terrestrially impractical, rooted in the primary consideration of what God may think over and above what man may think.
If there is no God, if Judeo Christian religion is nothing more than an enormous mass cultural and historical delusion then praise Carl Sagan and Bill Maher. Life ends in the big dirt nap. We can all do as we please and rest easy that there is no afterlife, no judgment, no God to whom we must answer. We can also rest in that there is no absolute basis for human morality. Without a divine authority all morality is based upon human philosophy and all human philosophy, no matter how well contrived and argued, is ultimately arbitrary. This being the case the fetus is subhuman if we deem it so. We can kill unborn children with callous disregard to the life of the child. We can kill babies for the lifestyle convenience of those who brought about their conception. In fact, we could legislate that parents have the right to kill their children up to age 5 years or 10 years of 15 years, call it retroactive abortion, if their development is not going well or the children are defective or become too much of a burden. If there is no God, all morality is just a question of philosophical debate and human will.
So I must conclude that the debate pro-abortion, anti-abortion, pro-choice, pro-death, pro-life, all reflect that division of modern western society between those who believe in the biblical Judeo Christian God and those who doubt and dismiss God and Christian religion as anachronistic, passé, culturally irrelevant. As I write this blog post on abortion I am mindful of my own secular heathen youth. There was a time in my life before I came to faith and recalibrated my thinking through immersion in biblical study when I fornicated with young women. Had I made a girl pregnant at that time I would have paid for an abortion myself with little thought or reflection about the destruction of a what, a child or a fetus, my unborn child? I remember what is was like to think, pre-faith culturally in such a way that God’s opinions are not considered, where God is a vague and distant concept who only burdens and complicates human life with an impractical and unsustainable religious moral emphasis beyond which modern western civilization has evolved. Is abortion the quintessential post-modern concept and practice in the western world? By that I am suggesting that post-modern equal’s post-God. My opinion, rooted in biblical scripture, the fetus is an eternal human being. Abortion is therefore, in the eyes of God murder. The practice of abortion is as egregious in the eyes of God as the sacrifice of infant children in fire, burned to death for the false god Moloch by idolatrous Israel as is recorded in the Old Testament. I might suggest that if the child must die as the causal factor burdening the life of the mother, then the man who sired the child should die as well, reasoning that the father is as much a causal factor and more culpable to the burdening of the mother than the child.
What do you think?