Skip to comments.Pro-Life
Posted on 11/15/2007 12:42:48 PM PST by Semper
I am pro-life (contrary to what many might perceive). I believe pro-life also means pro-God. I also think it is very important to be consistent in this position. And there is also the matter of understanding the total nature of Life and God which is beyond our capacity in this human condition. So, those of you who believe you have the absolute truth regarding this matter, please dont waste your time responding to this, just continue on healing the masses and ascending to heaven.
I know pro-life is mostly associated with anti-abortion or also, restricting the choice of a pregnant woman to continue with that condition or not. Now there is an important distinction here. I do not support abortion especially to avoid the consequences of ones actions. But, I do support a womans right and responsibility to determine what is best for herself, her family and her potential offspring. That position will be branded as not pro-life by some (many of whom are influenced by someone elses religious interpretation). That is fine. As I have expressed, we do not have sufficient knowledge to know for sure what is Gods will. But to use our God-given reasoning powers, how can we initiate and support war, with it attendant death - of those already living in this world and call ourselves pro-life unless we understand one of the most important elements of life to be FREEDOM (Give me liberty or give me death). Freedom means the ability to make wrong decisions. It also means that we have the right to try to influence (not require) that correct decisions be made where there is not direct negative impact on others operating in this world.
I wrote an essay for another thread (entitled Abortion) which resulted in several very impressive responses. There is much to be said regarding the elimination of abortion which will probably happen but not soon. There is also much to be said for the freedom and responsibility of choice. One of the questions I posed to a woman who chose to give birth at the risk of depriving her family of a wife and mother (a most impressive adherence to principle) was: If you would be consistent, how can you not work with all you have to stop war. If there are not exceptions to stopping a life not yet manifested in this world, how can you have an exception for an activity which kills those who are already living in this world?
It seems consistent that all absolute pro-life adherents should band together and demand an end to our waging of war no matter what the consequences. But we seem always to allow almost anything for preservation of our freedom unless it applies to a pregnant woman. Someone please tell me how a potential human in early development, not yet manifested in this world is more important than a human being, with a history, a family, a promising future who is killed in war.
It is not pro-life to ALLOW someone to murder you. That is anti-life.
Therefore, it is pro-life to protect your OWN life from murderers.
Therefore, it is pro-life to wage a war on terror against those who killed 3000 on 9/11.
He saves us from our sins, not from our “ordinary human consciousness”. We are separated from Him by our sins, not our consciousness.
And abortion is sinful. It is direct and willful killing.
“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; He has come to his people and set them free” Luke 1:68
So do I. But I do not presume to understand it completely. And I do not believe that anyone has sufficient understanding to force others to conform to ALL their moral conclusions - some are easy and some are not. The question of who makes abortion decisions is not easy - there is too much disagreement to conclude that.
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
I believe that sin is a result of current human consciousness. Therefore, when we learn and practice the lessons Jesus taught, our consciousness changes and our sins diminish. It certainly seems as though those who are trying to follow the teachings of Jesus sin less than those who don't.
That is what many of the early Christians did - check history.
Therefore, it is pro-life to wage a war on terror against those who killed 3000 on 9/11.
That could be true regarding our military assistance activity in Afghanistan against the Taliban. It is not true regarding our invasion of Iraq. The leaders and citizens of Iraq were virtually uninvolved in the attacks of 9/11. There are several other countries that were much more involved but we did not invade them. There are many other countries in the world with evil dictators but we did not invade them. It is not pro-life to arbitrarily initiate violence and wage war on a country we don't like. This also involved a violation of our constitution - which I explained in an earlier post.
Good advice. Complete understanding of the Bible and wisdom may not be the same thing. I hope it was wisdom that led me to acknowledge my limited understanding. Now I see in part, as through a glass, darkly.
I can see that you are not “persuaded”, as you originally proposed that you could be. So I’m not going to be engaging in this thread or any more like it after this post.
Just as a closing thought: I don’t believe that sin is the result of “current human consciousness”. I do believe that sin visits itself on our conscience, in one form or another, whether it be by repentance, by denial of guilt, or some manifestation of mental unrest. But it is our conscience, and not our consciousness, that produces the inevitable response to the effects of our sins.
It is sin which is in need of redemption, not consciousness.
“...our consciousness changes and our sins diminish”
As our conscience convicts us of our transgressions, our sins cry out for redemption, and through the saving grace of the Cross, we are set free and our tendency to sin—one hopes—grows less and less powerful.
You appear to have remained unpersuaded about a number of things that you brought up for discussion. So I am disengaging from it all.
You asked how a "pro-life" position can oppose abortion and support war. The question has been answered... in detail with supporting Scripture. If you have any other questions regarding this matter, feel free to ask me, however, don't expect me to change my mind just as you don't appear to be able to be "persuaded".
And many Christians were also in the Roman Army. They fought against enemies of the state and against criminals. Paul affirms such behavior in Romans 13.
Christians gave their lives in defense of their faith because it is contrary to the Lord's will to advance Christianity through military force & coercion.
You don't draw the correct distinction between faith, on the one hand, and community security, on the other.
So far as 9/11 is concerned, Iraq was up to its eyeballs in international terrorism and terrorists. It was up to its eyeballs in WMD R&D and maintenance of small amounts deliverable by terrorist agents.
The Sep 18, 2001 authorization by Congress allowed the President to go after anyone in his estimation who aided, comforted, supported, in any way was connected to the 9/11 terrorist network.
That would include Iraq.
My ideas on the life of the unborn vs the life of those already born speaks to your first statement of how we really don’t understand the will of God, no matter how hard we try. We are not God, and therefore we are incapable of understanding his perspective on the matter.
The difference doesn’t need to apply to only the victims of war, but all those who die. Their deaths are sad, because they are our friends, family or aquaintances. Their death leaves an absence or a void in the lives of many, and in our worldly perspective, that life seems to have more value than that of an unborn child.
However, scripture tells us that God creates all of us in his likeness. He knows each of us intimately, down to the number of hairs on our heads. Thus, from conception on....this unborn child is known to God, and therefore is as important to him as those of us that have been born. As a follower of God, we are called to love and care for all of God’s children, including those that we may not know yet, but that God has created.
I try to see how limited my perspective must be, in comparison to God’s. I feel that all lives, including those at risk in war zones, or those who are poor, or that may practice other faiths, or those who have made poor choices in their lives are equally valuable to God, and should always be protected and cared for. He has created us all, and loves us all. He offers us all salvation through his son, whether we are criminals or priests, child molesters and terrorists included.
Abortion and war are two separate issues and it is possible to oppose abortion while supporting a war and vice versa. Abortion is always wrong because it is always wrong to deliberately take an innocent human life. An unborn child is an innocent, defenseless human being, and nothing can justify killing such an innocent.
However, wars can either be just or unjust; and it is perfectly moral to support a just war. Many of those who are killed in wars are not innocent. You may be of the opinion that the war in Iraq is unjust and that, therefore, you must oppose it, but someone who believes that it is just may in good conscience support it and still be considered pro-life.
My beliefs have come from over 50 years of experience and study. To become unpersuaded during the course of one or two discussions would be unreasonable - I would not expect that from you. Because you disagree with someones beliefs and because you can't change those beliefs easily is not a good reason to run away from the challenge.
The value of these discussions is mainly in the help they might give to better understand difficult and important issues. Concepts communicated by organized religion are a good foundation and examining these concepts with independent thinking is also valuable in our progress towards a better life.
I’m not running away from the challenge.
I’m walking away from the “discussion”.
I am not surprised that you see it as a “challenge”. I felt it was that way from the beginning—that it was presented more as a challenge than a discussion. If I’m wrong about that, you can correct me.
You received many well-reasoned posts to provide another view of this subject of the value of life from conception to death. When I saw that you remained unpersuaded, I knew that what I could say had been said and that I should move on. I can spend only a limited amount of time on the computer with people I don’t really know and can’t engage face to face.
As for your 50 years experience—I have more than that. I have a large group of direct descendents—children, grandchildren and great grandchildren—numbering 43 at this time with many more due on the horizon. It’s my duty as the oldest of the “clan” to provide answers to a deeply troubling issue—abortion. And I will do that. In this matter, length of experience is fine, but even the young can formulate reasonable and logical and above all, truthful, answers to the pressing moral issues of our times. If they come to know the truth, their youth will be an advantage, because they will have time and truth to work with.
Time and truth could trump experience.
“If you will do the truth, you will come to the light”.
There are circumstances when giving birth will take the life of the mother and may also produce a dead baby. Granted those cases are rare but they happen. If that possibility exists, who has the responsibility and right to make the decision? Is it you, or the state, or anyone not directly involved with that decision and not subject to the direct consequences of that decision? I don't believe so.
Do we have the right and responsibility to try to influence those who would choose an abortion which is not absolutely necessary? Of course. ...wars can either be just or unjust; and it is perfectly moral to support a just war.
Who and what determines a "just war"? That is usually the winner. North Vietnam won their war against South Vietnam and the U.S. so from their perspective it was a just war. That war produced a larger and stronger communist country. Was that a moral outcome? Many of the soldiers who fought and died in Vietnam were drafted; it was not their choice to go thousands of miles from their home and engage in war - could they not be called innocent also? However you look at that, there were thousands of innocent civilians killed. Of course war and abortion are different but there are similarities and it is very important who chooses either of those activities and why.
I see the discussion as a challenge. Any discussion of critically important issues is a challenge. No one has complete understanding of the truth in this life. I believe the Bible contains the truth and I believe we make the best progress toward understanding that truth by constantly and critically examining our own beliefs as well as those of others.
In this day and age, life threatening pregnancies are so rare that they are hardly an issue. However, it is not morally permissible for a woman to deliberately take the life of her unborn child even if pregnancy or childbirth poses a threat to her life or health. However, it is permissible to treat the underlying condition or illness even if such treatment poses a risk to the life of the fetus. But as you yourself have admitted, these cases are pretty rare and even if one admits that abortion is permissible in those cases—which I do not—this kind of situation certainly does not justify the 96% of abortions that are performed for reasons of convenience, birth control, etc.
There are similarities between war and abortion in that both involve the destruction of innocent human life but in abortion only innocent lives are lost.
Here are the criteria which the Catechism of the Catholic Church sets out for a just war:
“—the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or the community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
—all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
—there must be serious prospect of success;
—the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.
These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the ‘just war’ doctrine.
The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.”
I believe it is a matter of grace—this business of truth-seeking— and not just an intellectual exercise.
I believe it will profit me very little or nothing to depend on my own critical analysis of every proposed view.
Such a position tends to be Gnostic. (back to New Age philosphy).
The two faculties of the soul are the will and the intellect. They are intended to work together in unison. But it is the will that acts in response to the intellect and that is why St. John tells us in his Gospel that “if we DO the truth, we will come to the light”. In other words if we act in the Scriptural truths revealed to us by God, we will come to the light of understanding those truths.
Neither of us is going to change our position, so-—
You asked how a "pro-life" position can oppose abortion and support war. The question has been answered... in detail with supporting Scripture.
Maybe to your satisfaction but not yet to mine. Scripture alone can be used to justify many beliefs which are in conflict. I believe that reason is very necessary to get to the truth. Reason does not yet persuade me that it is best to deal with the abortion issue by taking away the freedom and responsibility for that decision from those directly involved. Also, reason (along with experience) does not convince me that the our invasion of Iraq was wise or justified or properly decided.
Many here seem greatly focused upon properly deciding the abortion issue for someone else but seem much less discerning about the decision to go to war. Our constitution states that Congress shall declare war. That does not mean that Congress can properly resolve to let the president have that responsibility and choice. Congress did not declare war and we invaded a country which did not attack us. We used other people's money to do this (our future generations and foreign debt - much from China). We caused upheaval and alienated many of our allies. And, as in all war, many innocent people had their lives torn apart and ended. That choice was obviously an extremely important one - it can impact almost the whole world. I believe it was the wrong choice and I have trouble allowing those who made and support it, to decide a question that involves the health and freedom of individual women and their families.
You are speaking for yourself on that one. In the post following yours, I acknowledged that I may be wrong on the abortion vs freedom question.
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