Monday, January 21, 2008

Sanctity of Life... or Not

So, it's officially "Sanctity of Human Life Week" and people are naturally talking, ranting, raving, and trying to get people to become Pro-Choice: Choose Life.

Now, to make sure that everyone reading knows where I come from: I am Pro-Life, against abortion, and am convinced that abortion is murder. However, to argue against abortion from the standpoint of the "sanctity of life" is absurd.

The following is the argumentation for the sanctity of life presented by Charles Swindoll and his book Sanctity of Life: The Inescapable Issue. Since Chuck is a well respected speaker/thinker of modern Christianity (and I respect him and his work a lot), I'm pretty sure he's got it worked out as well as anyone.
  • First: God sets apart human life as unique and valuable since it bears His image.
  • Second: Because this is true, God commands that all human life be preserved and protected.
  • Third: Human life begins within the womb, where God personally and sovereignly superintends the development and maturation of the fetus before birth.
  • Fourth: Therefore, since it is God's will that every child's life be protected after birth, it is certainly His will that such protection apply to the child in his or her prenatal state.

  • All of those statements are good and true. This is certainly solid examples of the importance and precious nature of human life. This is also a very solid argument against abortion for anyone who believes the Bible to be at least a good standard for morality.

    However, this is not argument enough for me to believe that there is a sanctity to life that makes life to the most important thing. There are far too many examples in Scripture where God tells people to kill (totally annihilate; read: genocide) other peoples, or merely knocks off someone Himself, to hold to a view that "God thinks human life is so sacred that is must not be killed". Does this mean that murder is okay? Clearly not. Does this mean that I think it is good to kill off people? Absolutely not! But there is reason for rejecting murder that is much better than claiming life is too holy to kill because God, the expert on holiness, doesn't even buy that.

    So what is the argument that should stand?


    We are called to love people, even our enemies, and killing them would go against that. This is oddly appropriate for the subject of abortion since the stats I see say that roughly 93% of abortions are due to reasons that the baby is "unwanted or inconvenient". Guess what? Even if your baby is an "enemy" to your lifestyle, tough. You're supposed to love this child enough to get over that.

    But what's interesting about that statistic site is that 18% of all abortions are performed on women who identify themselves as "Born-again/Evangelical". Why is that? My guess: A lack of love.

    I can easily see how "Good Christian girls" who get pregnant will not feel the support they need to carry the baby to term. Perhaps they get strong vibes against their pregnancy and their baby. Perhaps they are just too ashamed to show that they sinful. Perhaps they are scared that the Christians around them will judge them, or worse (a very likely scenario).

    So, what does this world need now? "Love, sweet love." If Christians were more loving, we would likely see a substantial number of abortions from our community drop off. Our love would also get into the rest of our communities which would inspire expecting mothers to love their yet to be born children as well.

    So, let's stop talking non-sense and trying to use some kind of "moral highway" or "principle" to sway people to choose life. Instead, let us love one another, call others to such a way of life as well. Because, without love (or law) it will be impossible to convince people that life is sacred.

    ~Luke Holzmann

    Ps. It may be argued that since "sanctity" could be defined as "set apart for God" that He could do what He wants with life, but we must not touch it. This is a decent etymological argument, but not enough to convince me of the sanctity of life.

    Pps. What of those wondering how a loving God could kill people? That is an issue that is too big to deal with at this moment, so I leave it to your study and perhaps a later post.


    Morgan said...

    Having myself been faced with an unexpected pregnancy (my 5th. pregnancy in 5 years, 4th. baby in 4 years), and having dealt with the lack of enthusiasm and even "concern" from family and friends, I can see how even Christian girls can end up with an abortion.

    If people would treat all pregnancies with love and a bit of excitement, then maybe there would be less abortion. Instead of looking down on a pregnant teen, how about offering her a box of diapers or clothes for the upcoming baby?

    The overall attitude of children seems to be negative in the U.S., though. They become an "inconvenience" when they come at times we weren't planning, or when we end up with more than we wanted.

    If/when people would see children as a gift from God, a blessing, not a burden, then things would change.

    Luke said...

    Morgan, I'm with you. Absolutely. May we rejoice in the gifts from God, even if they come out of wrong. ...isn't that what redemption is all about?