Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Abortion as Moral Good

There is a well known dictum that states that error first seeks only to be tolerated, then to be accepted and given equal footing with the truth, and then to dominate the truth and become the "new normal." Think about the rapid progress that homosexuality has made following this path. Abortion has been much slower but, make no mistake about it, is following the same path.

In case you doubt, there is a new book out, reviewed quite glowingly in the Washington Post this week, which contains the following quote from the book:
It is long past time, [the author] argues, for abortion to be cast as a social good. "We need to see abortion as an urgent practical decision that is just as moral as the decision to have a child - indeed, sometimes more moral," she writes. "Abortion is part of being a mother and of caring for children, because part of caring for children is knowing when it's not a good idea to bring them into the world." (Emphases mine)
Huh? So now the long held pro-choice mantra that we want abortion that is safe, legal, and rare is out the window. Now, abortion is good - in fact, it is sometimes more moral than having a child. Killing your baby is part of mothering and caring. Really? Someone tell the Oxford people because that definition of mothering is not in my dictionary!

So, the evil of abortion is now cast as good, and the good of life is now cast as evil. Does that sound familiar to any of you Lutherans out there? Luther talked this way when defining the theology of the cross versus the theology of glory, saying: A theology of glory calls good evil and evil good; the theology of the cross calls a thing what it is. The theology of glory is you trying to save yourself; you as decider of good and evil; you as your own god. And you'll always get it wrong; you'll think good is evil and evil is good. The theology of cross is to be saved by Christ crucified; He is the decider of good and evil; He is the only true God. And He always gets it right.

Now, having said all that, the author does bring up one good point:
If you really think abortion is murder, how can you carve out exceptions?
Yes! The default political escape clause: "I'm personally against abortion but don't want to impose my beliefs on others," or "I'm against abortion except in cases of rape and incest" are arguments that may sound good, but are correctly seen as weak and capitulating by those who support abortion as a right. If we really believe what we say, we need to stand firm.

Now, I have not read the book - only the review. But from the review, the arguments seem largely anecdotal, from "abortion is 4,000 years old and we didn't always condemn women who sought one" [who's "we"?], to the story of one woman who had to go to Sweden to kill her baby [how inconvenient], to the horror stories of botched abortions [those are sad but hardly justifications], to some religious organizations supporting abortion is some circumstances [sad again, capitulating to the culture], to abortion opponents as political hacks seeking to oppress women. Ah, this last one seems to ring true as the real purpose and agenda for the book.

I feel badly for women who have been deceived to think of abortion as an answer or as a moral good. I feel even worse for those who have had to endure hacks who botched their abortions or have been the victims of rape or incest. These things certainly should not be. But cut through all this clutter and the issue is quite clear: it is not good, moral, or mothering to kill your child, inside the womb or outside of it. Children are precious gifts and the longer we go on thinking they are ours to do with whatever we want, our world and society will continue to slouch toward greater and greater evil all the while whistling a joyful song thinking that we are becoming more and more advanced and great. This book is but the first salvo in that direction. I expect more will be forthcoming.

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