Tuesday, September 13

"Getting Away With" Abortion and What's Wrong With That Thinking

In the September issue of Christianity Today is an article about Dallas Willard and the genesis of what has become the spiritual formation movement. I was looking forward to reading that article but was sidetracked by this article title:

Go ahead and feel whatever you want and need to feel. Note what I've circled. I'll get back to that.

I will say this about my position on choice, life, and abortion. I am pro-choice and by that I mean that it is none of my business what another woman chooses to do with her body. 

I am also pro-life and by that I mean that I believe we have an obligation to try to take care of one another. Use The Golden Rule or Bible verses or any other texts. It's a fairly universal sensibility that it takes a village. And it takes a village from birth to death. So if we insist on taking care of the unborn, we have to take care of the born. Period. But if you need Bible verses: John 13:34-35; 1 John 3:17-18, 1 Timothy 5:8; Galatians 6:9-10; Matthew 25:40; James 1:27; James 2:14-17; Deuteronomy 15:11; Romans 15:1-2; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Romans 12:10; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Galatians 5:14. There are more, but you get the idea.

I am anti-abortion in that I would prefer women not have to get an abortion, but I also recognize it is a medical procedure in some cases and that there can be other extenuating circumstances that are none of my business if the womb isn't mine.

While I identify as a Christian, not everyone does and I have no business trying to legislate my beliefs to force anyone to live as I do. That is hardly a good witness, in my opinion. Screaming at someone and calling them a murderer seems unbiblical and certainly not particularly charitable nor even pro-life. James 3.

So I was angry when I read the title and really struggled to read the article because of my fury. But the paragraph that tipped me right over the edge--and keep the article title in mind--was this one:
I'm sorry, what? Use pictures to show the humanity of unborn children? (I may have been screaming at my monitor at this point.)

And so I wrote an email. And sent it angry. And then sent a follow-up email about two weeks later because I was still angry. The content of the first email follows and remember what I circled in the title about changing cultural attitudes.

Got away with? My oh my. That title was designed to raise some ire. Oh my goodness yes. Got away with. Sure, that's easy for Marvin to say because he's probably never been raped and he's probably not been sexually abused and ended up pregnant by a father or brother or uncle. I bet he's never had a miscarriage either. Or suffered an ectopic pregnancy. He's probably never carried a dead fetus in his womb and had to carry that until his body expels it, which is now considered an abortion in some states. So, yea, let's not let any women get away with that one.

Let's take away the capability of any girl or woman to protect herself against unwanted pregnancy by self-righteously refusing to allow the woman to take birth control pills. Or let's refuse those birth control pills as a form of abortion because, you know, it's better to be righteously right than know why that female is taking those birth control pills that might be for something that actually protects the female's life.

You want to change cultural attitudes? Then make sure that rapists don't get away with rapes. Make sure that women aren't accused of "asking for it" or dressing inappropriately if they get raped. Make sure that young men learn they have a responsibility, too, because a female cannot get pregnant by herself. Talk to the incel men who think women somehow owe them and can get violent if a woman doesn't put out. Talk to the men who think it's cool and fun to drug women before having sex with them while they're passed out.

You want to change cultural attitudes? Then make it easier for sexual predators to be identified and brought to justice without shaming the female, regardless of her age. Yes, SBC, I'm looking at you and your 205-PAGE list of names of sexual abusers. Yes, I'm looking at the Indiana pastor who resigned after confessing adultery with a 16-year-old and how the congregation prayed for him even after she made it clear the relationship was much different than he claimed. I'm sure that pastor would have been delighted to pay child support and take care of that baby if that 16-year-old MINOR had gotten pregnant.

So let's talk more about how men get away with being predators and sexual abusers. 

So let's talk more about how men get to use their power to use young girls and women in their congregations or in their businesses or in their offices or in their homes.

So let's talk more about how schools and churches shame young women but are more than willing to let "boys be boys."

Sure, let's talk about cultural changes but let's be clear the changes aren't all the responsibility of the women and girls. And let's be clear that not all abortions are about pro-choice, but often about medical conditions. And let's also be clear that Judaism and Islam have different beliefs about abortion and that self-righteous Christians who want to use pictures "to show the humanity of unborn children" when they might, at the very same time, fail to show any compassion or humanity to the individual facing this terrible decision.

The follow-up email was about an incident about which I had no direct knowledge, so my on-going outrage was based on someone else's account of an incident. I trusted and trust the speaker and believe that the incident actually happened, but my information is hearsay. That a high school boy convinced a middle school girl, both of whom attended the same Christian school, to have sex with him and recorded it, then shared the video with his buddies. As you can well imagine, she and her family bore the brunt of the shame. 

The boy? Nothing. Nothing happened. 

So let's just hope that middle school girl didn't get pregnant because, you know, we don't want her to get away with anything she shouldn't.

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