Abortion and Government Intrusion

I’m going to deviate from my current format of discussing a few reasons why NVCC is different to discuss a current and quite polarizing issue, abortion, since this is the time of the year when attention is turned to the issue more than others, as we pass another anniversary of it’s legalization in America.

As part of our Sunday gathering last week I took a few minutes to address the subject (“God At the Outer Limits of Life”). On Monday, the day after, I received an email with a very thought provoking question related to abortion and the government of the country in which we live. At the consent of the questioner I want to bring you into the conversation we have to this point. After Reading it I invite your insight as well. If you would like to hear the entire message from the Sunday gathering (about 20 minutes long) you can copy and paste this address into your web browser address line and it will take you right to it. http://relaxedchurch.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=57

Hey Steve, I’ve been thinking today about your message and it’s made me ask quite a few questions of myself. From my point of view it seems as though the answers to my questions will be more based on the opinion of those answering than on scripture, though I’m hoping you can prove that wrong. Just to warn you, my questions involve politics….

If you haven’t closed the e-mail yet, you’re a brave man…

This general feeling applies to a lot of ideals in my life, but I’m going to use abortion just because to me it is the easiest to convey my thoughts on. First of all, from a moral and a religious standpoint, I am against abortion; He knew us before we were formed and so on (I’m not exactly an expert on the scripture). I firmly believe Christian doctrine in that God gives life and God alone holds the responsibility of deciding on the issue. However, from a political standpoint, I am pro-choice. To me, a government has no place in the personal lives of the citizens whom it protects. This is where I’m torn. I support a system of government that does not try and force its morality upon its citizens. Naturally I feel it’s necessary to push morality to a certain point to keep law and order, but in situations as personal as abortions I feel the government has no place. My question is is it wrong for me to oppose laws against abortion while holding to my convictions against it? Does it make me a hypocrite to say I don’t agree with something but I believe in a person’s right to be allowed to do it? As Voltaire said, “I disagree with what you have to say but will fight to the death to protect your right to say it.” America is a great country founded on the principals of freedom; am I wrong in wanting to perpetuate liberty at the cost of supporting a government that goes against what my religious beliefs dictate? I would love to get some scriptural responses and I appreciate your time.

My reply:

I have had a little time to give your question(s) some thought so let me bounce my ideas off of you.

I believe the bigger issue here is the point at which life begins. I believe science supports the proposition that life begins at conception and even though a nine month development process follows, everything needed to develop the fully formed child is there at conception. Therefore if that which is growing in a mother’s womb is a child why does it not deserve the same rights and privileges as a child outside the womb?

The irony of it all is that there are, I believe, 37 states that have made it a crime of double murder to intentionally kill a mother and child at the same time. Why is it murder for someone else to kill a mother and child when it is a “right to choose” for a mother to kill her baby within her if she so desires. What about the rights of a completely innocent child?

Here is how I see it. Our laws on murder and abortion are inconsistent and hypocritical at best. It is hypocrisy to declare it murder when intentionally killing the unborn baby of another person and then call it a woman’s privilege if it is your own baby. Killing is killing and murder is murder no matter who does it if an unborn child is really a child. And I feel that those who are convinced that life begins at birth should feel an obligation to support those who have the same convictions and will work to bring consistency to our legal system.

I also believe that it is dangerous to compartmentalize our convictions. By that I mean to believe that abortion is wrong but not believe that we want a government that will uphold those beliefs. Any belief worth holding should be a belief worth standing up for. If we are not willing to stand up for it is it that important to us? And if we do not speak out for the beliefs we hold dear you can be sure those who hold opposing beliefs will speak out for their beliefs and as a result dictate the direction of our country. People will not remain silent. Those with the strongest convictions and greatest sacrifice will determine laws and policies. To be silent is to allow opposing ideas to triumph.

One more comment and then I will invite your response. It kind of refers back to where I began. You said, “To me, a government has no place in the personal lives of the citizens whom it protects.” If it is the responsibility of government to protect us, why does that responsibility not include the unborn also? If the unborn is a child then why is that child not afforded the same privilege?

Please forgive me if I seem to be a little passionate in my comments. After all, this is a subject that has incited passion from all sides. And I am no exception. I would love to hear your further ideas.

Questioner:

I see your point in that any belief worth having is a belief worth standing up for, and if I believe that abortion is wrong then I should stand up for that both in my lifestyle and in how my vote is cast. I just still feel, to a point at least, that religion and moral convictions in general should be left out of law. By that I’m not specifically referring to abortion; I’m rather stating that I feel it’s wrong for our governing bodies to push interpret and push their own moral beliefs on us. I guess I feel that standing up and speaking my mind on my beliefs is an entirely different from the desire to have the government back my beliefs. As Christians it’s our responsibility to spread the news, not force it on people; I feel like putting morally and/or religiously charged issues into law is in a way forcing religion on the masses, and you know better than anyone that being forceful with religion does nothing but harm it’s cause. But, all that is an entirely different discussion.

As far as the abortion thing goes, I agree with you, life begins at conception and we have equal protection under the law, the unborn should be protected by the same laws. As far as legal hypocrisies go, I’d prefer to stay away from the subject; I don’t think either of us have enough time in our lives to dedicate to the subject.

So blog readers, what are your feeling on this issue of abortion and government intrusion?

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5 thoughts on “Abortion and Government Intrusion

  1. I would like to add to the subject that our country was founded on Christian principles and one can see the 10 Commandments everywhere-in our laws and criminal justice system, for example. I have noticed such a change over the years in society as a whole as we have become more tolerant and open-minded. I am one who believes what are my faith and values as a Christ-follower are what I stand strong in regardless of the government or those who oppose government interference in our decision-making as a people. I choose Christ and his Way as there are those in government who try to change policies and laws for the few. I refuse to be moved from my faith and values and embrace something I know is against God and his teachings. Therefore, I will continue to show how wonderful life is and how God is in the heart of His people and this country, regardless of those who hold government positions whose values, etc are in complete opposition to Biblical teachings. God created life and it is not another person’s decision whether to terminate another human being. I believe life begins at conception; I believe we need to stand strong as God’s people to make our voices be heard for the sake of these innocent victims that did not have a choice in the matter. A woman’s right?! No! because she could have prevented conception as well as the male! Why is it so difficult to remain sexually pure while single? There are laws on the books in VA that cite it is not legal for couples to cohabitate but it is not enforced because that is how society is now–it is a life style that is tolerated but it is contrary to the Word of God. If one could see the pain on the face of a “fetus” as it is suctioned out of the womb, opinions and hopefully laws would likely be changed regardless of how much we may feel the intrusiveness of the govenment into our lives. Let’s not lose our focus and the reason we are here, for how long as our Father has set for us. If You don’t know-look it up in His Book of Instructions….

  2. OK…if we believe that life begins at conception…then the abortion issue is equal to taking a life…murder. It then becomes like any crime…all laws enforced by government are based on morals. Murder, stealing, lying (perjury), etc. Your argument doesn’t hold water…otherwise it would be ok for me to steal your car…because you don’t believe the govt should enforce laws that are based on their morals…And I can beat you with a ball bat before I take your car…because assault is a moral issue…you can sleep well at night because we have laws enforced by govt based on morality.

    No, the issue is when does life begin…if we all agree on that, then there is no debate.

  3. This is not a religious issue.

    The heart of the matter is as stated above: does it become a child when it is conceived or when it is born. To argue somewhere in the middle is nonsensical, which surprise-surprise is the way that our laws are written on this topic.

    If you believe conceived, then a rational, logical, consistent set of laws which protect children (such as one with a Child Protective Services Department, one with required immunizations, one with required school attendance) would protect all children (including unborn).

    If you believe born, then even right before the baby is born you could abort it without breaking the law

    Laws MUST reflect our system of morality. At the end of the day, that is at the bottom of all of them. The moral concept of fairness is the real basis of the law. C.S. Lewis called it the Moral Law and contends that it is programmed into all of us.

    What a cool church that we go to that we can debate this issue! Hopefully others chime in too.

  4. The other part of this equation is the “government intrusiveness”. The whole point of government is intrusiveness. The whole point of the law is judgement. I spent an afternoon (once) lurking on a blog that was discussing the merits of our laws being replaced with anarchy. once was enough. Anarchy is each person deciding right and wrong for themselves, no boundaries. kind of like in Noah’s day. that’s all I’m sayin. luv ya

  5. Law is ultimately about right and wrong. Morality and law are inseparable.

    For a more complete discussion of this topic (and a fascinating story-like read), see Kingdoms in Conflict by Chuck Colson. You’ll have to order it from Amazon Used Books (or check it out from the library), because it is currently out of print. Or you can borrow it from me.

    As an interesting post-note, you might know that many of the founders of this nation struggled with their choice of careers: law or theology. They could not decide whether be preachers or lawyers. Interesting, huh? I can recommend a few books on this as well, starting with Christianity and the Constitution.

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