One of the claims often made by the most hard core of Conservative Christians is: liberals are for abortion, and want to see a lot of abortions happen. Despite the fact that it makes for a great sound-bite, it's simply not true.
Sure there may be Neo-Libs here and there, which feel this way. (Just like the occasional Neo-con who really is interested in having openly gay Americans thrown in jail) But the fact is, most liberals understand the desire to limit death as much as possible. They just don't want to hurt mothers and potential children to accomplish that. (This is also why liberals support sex-ed, BTW.)
In this essay, I will list five steps that if enough Christians take them will reduce the number of abortions here, far more than any law or prohibition could. It should also be noted that countries with the lightest abortion restrictions are the countries with the fewest abortions.
So the claim that liberals are baby killers is one of their ways of claiming that voting for a democrat will damn your soul to perdition. They know that make such a claim outright would lose them more support than edging around the subject. So they've learned to be sly.
Barack Obama once said "We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country." So it's not true that liberals are in favor of abortion but then it's not true that all Christians believe abortion is necessarily murder and they get away with that too.
I have previously pointed out:
- We read rules like "don't murder" in the Bible, and conservative hardliners claim that means we should shun a young lady whose had an abortion and hold her beneath our contempt. So the liberal hardliners react to the opposite extreme in defense of women. Now most Christians don't believe that abortion is necessarily murder, but they certainly don't believe in unrestricted abortion up to birth. Thus we have our line in the sand.
- Other times we'll read things in the bible like Bishops shouldn't be given to alcohol. Again the conservative hardliners will conclude that alcohol itself is a sin. Again the liberal hardliners take the opposite extreme and again most Christians don't support drunkenness so Christians again line up.
- The one that really gets it is, all the scriptures that point to adultery and promiscuity as frowned upon, the conservative hard liners shout at the top of our lungs that people whom we label as homosexual should be treated as second class citizens. As with the last two examples most Christians don't believe that one sin is should be attacked above another, but again they don't want someone else's sexuality flaunted in their face.
- All of this continues to get out of hand till we have extremists in our churches claiming if you vote for the candidate they oppose you will go to hell. Most Christians are moderate but don't speak up because they see those who do speak up attacked, black listed, and other wise treated in an unchristian like manner. In just my short lifetime I've already heard many complain. So trust me when I say, you're not alone. Jesus with you too. He would not only disapprove of such a statement, he reamed the pharisees for that kind of legalism.
When you're so abrasive you only build opposition to your position.
I don't have a problem with conservatives who simply disagree with my position on abortion. I do have a problem with the ones who work to force their religious views by law, while doing nothing to ease the suffering of those whom their laws hurt. I also have a problem with Republican-Christians that call people names like "Baby-murderer" for nothing more than a difference of opinion.
You see, they drag the name of Christ through the mud, and don't really care about the baby (or potential baby) that they wish to force into the world. If you don't believe me that the religious right hurt us then consider the following comments that have cropped up on my blog over the years:
- "Please continue to point to yourself instead of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I know the Lord. Jesus clearly stated that "He who knows me knows the Father." I know Christ personally and know that others reflect according to Christ's pleasure through the transformational power of the Holy Spirit."
- "You're a liar and accuser like [Satan] your father. Like your father you twist the scriptures. However, like your father, you will destroy yourself in the process. Socialists like you rely upon greed and envy. You all worship mammon even more than greedy Republicans, although you pretend not to."
- "I hope the lord rebukes you."
- "Your bloodthirstiness on the abortion issue reminds me of dogs that like to lick menstrual blood. Ugh! Gross! Either repent of your hard-heartedness or quit pretending you're a Christian."
Do the above comments sound to you like they came from the holy ghost?
As I said it's with liberal principals and the power of love not hate that we can win this. One conservative reader once shocked me when she said it actually wasn't her goal to end abortion. As a self proclaimed liberal it is my goal. And in the right way. Here are the ideas that I put forth:
- Get involved: I personally teach martial arts. It gives me a position of influence with my students who's confidence I've earned. Our biggest problem is the negative view that Christianity has taken on in people's minds. People see jerks like Fred Phelps and Ted Haggard making their ruckus, and then think that's what Christianity is. That is because you/we are not getting out there and proving to people they are not. Carrying picket signs in front of abortion clinics is not involvement, and calling people who disagree with you is not a positive image. For the specific subject of abortion: That means helping out in homeless shelters, providing for unwed mothers you know within you're own influence! (Oy socialism!!!)
- Befriend people: It's been said that "No one cares what you know till they know that you care." I mentioned a moment ago getting out and getting involved. If you give people a positive example of Christ, and Christianity they will then be more open and excepting of your beliefs, and more receptive to what you have to teach them. More importantly your teaching will follow the model Jesus set. Chuck Norris is fond of saying that the way you change the world is one person at a time. I agree with that. For the specific subject of abortion: That means being nice to these darned liberal that you think want to kill all these babies.
- Change minds: The commenter I pointed out above is a perfect example of what not to do. You simply cannot change minds or win hearts with debate. Debate is a type of fighting and only serves to prove you're bigger and meaner than your opponent. People watching a debate are like people watching a fight. They're rarely interested in who's right, they only want to see some blood, like they did back in the schoolyard. First look for what we all agree on and then start there. Where we agree is much stronger than where we disagree. For the specific subject of abortion: that means looking for the common ground that you may not realize is there. (Yes with liberals as well) There are subjects, we all love God, we all love Jesus, and we all want what's best for these unwed mothers.
- Raise your children: Growing up I knew several girls who got pregnant before marriage. The reason was usually because they had uninvolved parents. Even with the girls who went wild despite the fact they had strict parents. Those parents were still otherwise uninvolved. It is a mistake to think strictness is a replacement for involvement. Further it's a dangerous combination, three of the friends I mention died from their running wild. The people who claim parenting is about spare the rod spoil the child miss the point. And for those parents that don't get it, befriend them too. You'll influence them to be better and by extension you'll influence their kids. Will be covering in a later essay going beyond just you radar. Which brings back my comment from the first suggestion. Helping the mothers raise the children too. Not just helping till you get your way and the baby is born. Help them to be stable and keep coming back.
- Support someone who's doing it: Not all of us have the same gifts. If you know someone who is... (But don't let that be an excuse for not getting involved yourself.) I mentioned before my martial arts instruction. My longest standing family has become my greatest asset. They are at every function and volunteer to help me. That has crossed over to my bible studies and now but I've influenced them, the wife is interested in doing the same kind of spiritual work I do.
Now if you read through this list saying: "but why should any of this be my problem?" Then that's exactly why it shouldn't be you to make decisions about the potential babies that the women face. They at least have some stake in the fetus the must decide over. Further if it's not your problem, then why complain about abortion at all?
"What you can do to end abortion" is the third part of a six part essay series. If you would like to read the first two parts "Why is the church not doing it's job" and "What should the church be doing" click the provided links. Jim Monnin is the writer of "Contact at Jory" You can contact hi through firstname.lastname@example.org
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