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Thursday, February 07, 2008
Tonight I wrote the following email to a friend of mine who generally supports Democrats. The email I've posted below is in response to her reply to my original question asking how she reconciles the Democratic Party's pro-abortion platform with her Christian faith. I asked this in as gracious of a tone as I could, and she gave an honest reply. In a nutshell, she said that while she thinks abortion is not necessarily right, she didn't feel it was the government's business to limit personal freedom, since it could lead to the loss of other freedoms, some of which we Christians hold dear. I've X'ed out her name, but would like any feedback you have as to other things I could say to her (or other Christian Democrats) to help convince her of the evil of abortion. And if I haven't been gracious somewhere in this response, please point it out.
Thanks for the candid response, XXX. I understand what you're saying, but would like to play the devil's advocate, if I may. :)
I agree that government should limit itself with regard to infringement on personal freedom. I just don't think murder is a "freedom." But if we assume for the sake of the argument that abortion is a human right, what makes it a right and where should government draw the line, if it should at all? For example, why is it legally okay to kill a child/baby/fetus in the womb yet not okay to kill it right after it is born? After all, the only difference between the two is location. Why can't mothers be allowed to kill their children if they become a hardship later in life or the mother changes her mind about wanting them? Why isn't that a "personal freedom?"

Now, obviously, we have to draw the line somewhere. So let's start with viability/survivability of the baby. A baby as early as 23 weeks (less than 6 months along) has survived premature birth. And as science and technology improve, smaller and smaller babies will be able to survive premature births. So making viability the "line" seems pretty arbitrary and subject to the whims and advances of science. So perhaps the ability to feel pain should be the line. However, we don't really know when that particular sense shows up in a fetus. Testing has shown that it is likely that babies can feel pain very early on in a pregnancy. So that's also probably not a good determining factor for when abortion is right.

So it would seem that we need a "line" that is not going to change as science improves and informs us that we were wrong before. That line is conception. If that isn't the line, then post-birth infanticide should be legal as well.

Now you mentioned that you think that abortion (even in the case of rape) is wrong (or at least you are not sure that it is right). I agree. But, as I understand you, you don't believe the government should be in the business of limiting freedoms because it's a slippery slope that could lead to other freedoms being lost. Besides my opinion that this isn't a slippery slope, I guess I am wondering which freedoms are so important to us that 49 million babies had to die to keep them. I could definitely put up with some persecution if that meant that over a million babies each year were allowed to live.

Furthermore, government limits freedoms all the time, and they aren't all slippery slopes to religious persecution. Government limits our freedom to shoplift. It limits our freedom to drive wherever we want to. It also limits our freedom to kill whomever we want. Yet I think you and I both agree that those are good limitations on our freedom. If those limits didn't exist, we would have chaos. So why can't it limit our freedom to kill the most precious and innocent members of our society? Because they can't speak up for themselves?

You are right when you perceive a slippery slope with this issue, but it's slanted in the other direction. The ability to kill those who can't defend themselves has led to cases like Terri Schaivo, where a husband (and a complicit government) was able to kill a woman based solely on his word, nothing even in writing from Terri saying that it was her will to die. We can't even open up a bank account without a signature, but we can kill an unwanted woman with hearsay???? Wait, I take that back, she WAS wanted. Her parents offered to take care of her and the expenses. That is the slippery slope that Roe v Wade has wrought.

Ok, sorry about the length, but as you can probably tell, I'm pretty passionate about this issue. I'm not judging you in the least, but merely hoping I can help change your mind. We can use all the help we can get in the battle for the lives of the unborn!

4 comments:

Joe K said...

Maybe you can come in from a different angle. The best comparison to this subject that I can think of is public nudity! There are some out there that think it is their freedom of speech/expression to be under-dressed. But we actually have laws(in most places) that penalize this, because the Whole of society at once believed and probably still believes that it is degrading to our society to allow this. Now this is nothing compared to killing an unborn child. Why would it be ok to ban public nudity but not abortion if we're so worried about our freedoms being taken away? yeah..probably a bad example!

You're arguments are pretty persuasive. There looks like there may be hope for your friend, as long as she isn't too embedded into the rest of the parties ideas.

Darius said...

Unfortunately, I think she's pretty embedded in the rest of the Dem's ideas... but probably because she hasn't ever had someone explain the rationale behind conservatism on those issues. Abortion is likely just an issue that she had to rationalize away. Hopefully not.

Joe K said...

That's kind of why I'm hoping this stretch of McCain disdain lasts for a while. It brings up the ideology of Conservatism at its roots. Mainstream media picks up on this disdain, and you can only hope the few moderates and leftists will tune in and really wonder why, then dig in to figure out what conservatism is all about.

Darius said...

:) I think you give liberals and the media too much intellectual credit. They mostly blame the McCain Disdain on McCain's "moderate" immigration stance and "moderate" Gang of 14 alliance.

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The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables


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