Catholics pondering abortion
...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 9:05 AM [+]
Article HERE. Well, I'm not sure I like the title because without details there is NOTHING to ponder. It's wrong, obviously. But the devil is in the details...so here, an Orthodox borderline libertarian ponders the legality of abortion. Specific enough?
While, I am largely evolving into a libertarian in my old age, I find the issue of abortion one that I cannot grant liberty to because of a lack of consensus on whose pay is within the scale that affords them the intellectual, philosophical, religious faculty to decide when humans are gifted with rights of life and liberty.
One of the few things I readily cede to the power of the state is the protection of life and liberty. As such, acting on my belief that life truly does begin at conception, I believe the state has an obligation to protect that life and its liberty. It's simple, because I'm not trying to change the world's mind or evangelize the world - at least not through legislation. I am responding logically and reasonably to my perception of the issue and the role and authority we have long and rightly given to the state.
On many other issues I find a great deal of room for political grayness despite a religious and personal black and white...but not with abortion. From my perspective, it is ONE of a very few places where clear Christian teaching and an obvious mandate and role given to government (philosophically and legally per the Constitution) come to together in harmony. All complicating factors aside (not to belittle them, it's just that the life and liberty of the powerless victim of abortion trump them.)
I once derided a pro-life activist who told me back when I was far more neutral on the subject that I'd feel differently about the issue if I saw millions of children being shot and disposed of every year. So if I really believed a fetus is a human being I should not feel any differently about abortion and mass executions. I thought it absurd and will admit to still wrestling with the analogy...clearly it is different because abortion is not done in the public and has all the appearances of a clinical procedure. That is unless you've seen the remains.
Long time readers here will know I have. Back in 90's while I was doing a lab internship, I had a stint in a pathology lab and while there, I numerous times held in the palm of my hand the shredded remains of a "fetus"...7-8 weeks is usually what was documented as the age, but none-the-less it was clearly a tiny dead human; hands, feet, fingers...face. It was more than a little eye opening and in describing it I've been outright called a liar. People are largely ignorant of the matter (by which I mean human tissue matter), preferring to envision a blob of a few cells.
I understand the difficulties surrounding the issue such as the socio-economic problems that a poor unmarried woman may face. At the same time I also understand that pregnancy is a completely preventable "disorder" by which I mean to say - as a borderline, part-time libertarian - that there is at least a modicum of personal responsibility at play here. Yes, you know us borderline, part-time libertarians and our old fashioned appeal to personal responsibility and such. I think we can work with all of these factors (via education, private crisis pregnancies centers, etc) and still do the right thing and offer governmental protection of life and liberty to those who are decidedly the "least of these."
Will it ever happen? I don't know...I may even doubt it. But that's no reason not to stand up for life in this culture. Far stranger, and even more frightening life related issues arise everyday on the political scene, I think we are obliged to be a vocal witness against some of the insanity.
Additionally, I'm not saying people should necessarily vote on one issue alone, but I will argue that THIS is one issue we should all agree on - even if other matters may sway us to vote for a candidate less convinced about it or less willing to do anything about it. I'm not suggesting anything beyond the fact that my support of a ban on abortion is not an attempt at legislating my religious beliefs. Again, it is a logical and necessary conclusion to the philosophical, religious, and political persuasions I hold to be true. To do otherwise would be demonstrative of a serious inconsistency in every major aspect of my world view.