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Sigh. I have not felt the need to weigh in on the recent round of abortion debate, b/c I feel like the last thing the world needs is another white guy pontificating about abortion. But apparently anything I say about ANYTHING now will be met with "but whatabout" abortion?
So, I am sketching out my current thoughts about it for those critics. (Feel free to mute if you need to) I am not issuing edicts. I consider myself pro-life, insofar as my own theological convictions. I do not believe the only way to be pro-life is to criminalize abortion.
I tend to think the best way that the Church in general is to demonstrate a commitment to life, is by going to extreme measures to welcome life, & to take communal responsibility for children. The Church's radical care, it seems to me, should be the embodiment of her critique.
I am cynical of the current pro-life movement, b/c of the obvious ways in which it seems hijacked by partisan agendas. I do not understand how a commitment to life does not entail the things we know for fact reduce abortions--contraceptives, sex education, access to health care.
I am uncomfortable with some things I have heard on the left about late term abortion. But I also think the conversation around late term abortion has often been disingenuous in how it represents the circumstances which make this conversation necessary: theguardian.com/society/2017/a…
I find it noteworthy that when W. was President with a Republican majority in both the house & senate, abortions were not reduced. In general, it seems abortion has become a talking point by which people with no theological convictions at all willfully manipulate those that do.
The primary architects of public policy in the current administration the last 2 years have been Steve Bannon & Stephen Miller. Tell me: how concerned do you think these card-carrying white supremacists are about life? They aren't conservatives by any definition, but nihilists.
Abortion becomes a trojan horse through which a shockingly anti-life agenda can be pushed without recrimination: separating children from parents, putting children in cages, the Muslim ban, putting children in cages.
Trump himself was ambiguous well into the primaries about whether or not he would take a pro-life stance at all. People I know in the pro-life movement whom I love are not cynical at all. The people who pull their levers are deeply cynical.
I struggle with how pastors & leaders postured as "centrists" remain silent through two years of the most egregious assaults on basic civil & human rights in our era--see this as the ONE unambiguous moral issue? Really? It is incoherent, unintelligible.
It seems to me that the exclusive focus on criminalizing abortion becomes a way of avoiding the broader systemic realities that cause people to consider them. (note: as with drugs, the judicial system, etc.--is racial injustice not the larger conversation we are always avoiding?)
My more immediate concern this week is the many mothers that me & my friends have heard from this week who have found the current discourse, so reliant on shock, to be deeply traumatizing. I am so sorry. This is why I don't really feel comfortable waxing on at all.
For those who have received shame or stigma from any of the talk that you've heard, I hope you won't internalize any label anybody else has placed on you, but only the names Jesus the Christ has given you: He calls you, "Daughter of Abraham." He calls you, "My beloved."
An old friend of mine had an abortion when she was young, & had what she believed to be not a vision, but an actual, physical visitation from Jesus. She said she could still remember the way he his hand felt, holding hers. I find that credible, because I find her credible.
She said he just sat there with her...wordless. Neither condemning nor condoning. Years later, she struggled with deep regret about it, but said that vivid memory of Christ sitting with her, was what kept her sane. If you need to, I think you can rightly make this story yours.
I don't claim ultimate wisdom on any of this. I would say to those of you who are people of faith struggling with all of this--in this & every such conversation: discern the spirits. Not just what is being said, but what is beneath being said. The Spirit of the Lord is tender.
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