For too long I have sat back and been silent. I have avoided saying the things that need to be said because I have been afraid of offending people and afraid of what people would think of me. But, no more, I can no longer sit in the shadows hiding the truth for fear of rejection and criticism. There is no more time for walking on eggshells. Our country is headed for destruction because of choices we are making. I understand that not everyone in this country believes in God and I also understand the overwhelming importance of the separation of Church and state. But there are things that are happening in our country that, regardless of your belief in God or not, are just simply, morally wrong. I refuse to back away from standing with the morals and truths that God has established. And so as I say these things knowing that they might offend and even sting, good, that means they are searing your conscience, hopefully they bring change.
We as a nation were founded on Judeo-Christian principles, you can argue this with me all day long but all you have do is look at the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and inauguration of our Presidents based around the Bible and prayer. This does not mean that the country is or should be run by the Church, but it does mean that throughout our history we have been aware of the need to walk in step with the morality laid out by the God of the Bible. In Washington’s inaugural address (that would be the speech the 1st president of the U.S. gave when he was sworn into office) he said: “Since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.” What he is saying here is not that everyone has to follow the same religious belief system but that if we are to continue being blessed as a nation we must follow the moral code that God set in motion before time began.
I am not talking about everyone being forced to become a Christian or any other such ridiculous notion. I am however suggesting that we stand with the morals that have been a bedrock of our nation for centuries. As Washington said, how can we expect God to bless us if we are consistently rejecting Him, and not just Him but the natural order of things?
In our culture today truth has become relative, morality is in the eye of the beholder, not an idea that is mutually held across the minds of innumerable people. But how is this possible, truly? How can truth be relative, all we have to do is look at science and math and know that it is impossible to suggest that truth is relative to a persons’ perspective. Opinion can be relative, but truth has and always will be unchanging. It might make us feel better to think, well, if truth is relative than I and my opposition can both be right. And I am sure to some degree there is validity to that thought, there is at least a grain of truth in every opinion otherwise it wouldn’t be able to stand but how can we say that every opinion is truth? It is not possible. It might be the truth for that person but again we have circled back to that being an opinion. Truth is an unchanging mountain in the midst of the tempest of opinion.
The outlines of morality are a bit fuzzier than the outlines of truth, the edges have been softened by time and changing cultures. But nonetheless truth and morality are intimate bedfellows, morality is built on the foundation of truth. Without truth, morality would crumble as the house of the man who built on the sand instead of the firm rock. We can all agree to the truths that every person is made equal, that murder is wrong, adultery ruins families, and stealing and lying break trust and communities. How we apply these ideas is where we diverge, because what is morality if not a code of proper behavior that allows us to function and coexist in healthy and constructive ways. But, because it is a code of proper behavior it also suggests that there must be some consequences regarding the breaking of the code in order to deter people from the desire to break it. For instance when someone murders they go to jail, we can all agree that it is a good thing for that person to be punished for taking the life of another. An example of where we diverge on this would be abortion, some would say that it is murdering innocent babies, others would say it is a woman’s right to choose. But, if we look closer at those two statements, it sounds like we are having two different conversations.
One conversation about the life of the baby, saying that it is murder to kill an innocent baby in the womb. At 6 weeks after conception there is a heartbeat and brainwaves, those are the standard criteria for being considered “alive”. So in reality at 6 weeks old that “bunch of cells” is a living miniature human being. Last I checked there were no exceptions to murder based on your size and current location, it is still murder.
But the other conversation is equally as important, the woman’s body which is housing this miniature human being. She wasn’t ready or planning on getting pregnant, or maybe she was but the baby has a life threatening defect or could cause the death of the mother. Maybe this pregnancy was the result of rape, incest, or a one night stand with no good father or support system in sight. This woman might be all alone, potentially rejected from her family, or having to drop out of school in order to care for a child she wasn’t planning on. This is where the smooth edges of morality have been worn away, on hard questions, ones that break our hearts.
This woman is pregnant and regardless of support system is feeling very alone right now. Hard choices must be made, sacrifices must be made, but by who, how?
Well, let’s go back to our moral truths: all people are created equal, and murder is wrong. Let’s take a look at the former first, if all people are equal that means that regardless of age, development, social standing, and life goals, both the life of the baby and the life of the mother are equally important. They both have the right to thrive and follow their life’s passions. This means that neither the baby nor the mother are more or less valuable than the other.
Now that we have the first established let’s continue on to the latter moral truth which puts a major spotlight on the reality of abortion, and that is: murder is wrong. As said before, regardless of age, race, gender, size, and current location the purposeful taking of one life by another is murder. So by this moral truth we can safely say that every abortion committed (all 55 million+ of them in the U.S. alone since 1973) have in reality been murder. That is a genocide on the unborn of our nation! These are the ones in our communities: life changers, cancer-curers, inventors, leaders, and those with incalculable possibilities all blinked out of existence. That is a staggering thought.
But, we are still at a crossroads, the woman’s choice and the child’s life, can we really suggest that every woman must keep her baby regardless of the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy or the future of that woman? Again back to that fuzzy morality…But what if instead we choose to beat our weapons into plowshares?
Let me explain. What if we choose to transform businesses like Planned Parenthood and others that provide abortions into crisis pregnancy centers? We take those tax dollars and keep subsidizing them to do mammograms, and health checks but instead of weapons of murder they are armed with the weapons of love. Instead of taking the life of the baby to free the mother, they come alongside that pregnant mother and provide support and in the long run free both the baby and the mother. They can provide prenatal care for women and help them sort through their options for after the baby’s birth. For those mothers who don’t want to or can’t keep their babies these businesses can help get them in contact with adoption agencies and provide those babies with loving homes to people who might not be able to conceive children of their own. This is a brave and difficult choice, counseling should also be suggested and provided. For those mothers that want to keep their babies they should be provided with resources of support so they can make choices like continuing education or promotion in the business world. There also needs to be education about sex and encouragement to abstain, meeting the symptoms at their root source.
Don’t get me wrong these ideas suggest a major paradigm shift and support for these brave mothers is not the responsibility of a few individuals but rather of the community as a whole. Not only do abortion providers need to reorient themselves but communities and churches do too. We can’t simply stand against abortion and yet provide no real other viable options. We need to become babysitters, friends to offer support, advice givers, encouragers, and cheerleaders. We need to advocate for these women and help them, whatever that looks like. We need to stop condemning for things in the past that cannot be changed and instead encourage towards a healthy future.
We need to judge between right and wrong and understand truth. Taking what is morally “fuzzy” and placing it on the foundation of truth to give it substance. But in the end truth is unimportant if we forget to look with the eyes of Love, love for the unborn child as well as love for the mother. I think if we choose to look at the mountain of Truth through the eyes of Love we can find much more that we agree on than we realize.
All life is valuable.
My hope is that we can make fundamental changes to the way we look at these situations and come together to offer healthier, more sustainable solutions, that don’t compromise on moral truth or love. This needs to be a discussion not a fight, we can work together to make a better future for everyone.
*Note: I am sure it is obvious that I have not discussed pregnancies where the mother’s life is at risk, I believe this is a choice that is not up for others to decide, this is a very personal choice. In cases resulting from rape, incest or possibly where a child could be born with a defect I refer you to the moral truth that all life is valuable, two wrongs don’t make a right, we can take what is ugly and make it into something beautiful. But if there is a crime such as incest or rape the offender should be punished according to the law.