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______________________ LIFE, FAITH, ETCETERA

Are You Pro-Life, Or Just Anti-Abortion? November 16, 2016

I know that a great many people voted for Trump based predominately on the fact that Hillary Clinton “supports abortion.”
But,  I’ve heard Ms. Clinton clearly state that she is personally against abortion, but remains pro-choice.  Actually, that’s how most of the pro-choice people I know view themselves.
That’s how I view myself.
If you believe that being pro-choice is the same as being pro-abortion, you are gravely mistaken.

Also, if you have true concern for lowering the abortion rates, there are a couple of articles at the bottom of this post with information you should seriously consider.
You want to reduce abortions?  Well, for one thing, get over your supposed moral objection to sex-education and contraceptives.  Abstinence?  Fine.  Teach that, too.  But I’ve seen time and time again, in churches I’ve attended, children who were raised with “abstinence only” education ending up pregnant. They likely would not have if someone had taught them to use contraceptives.  No, that’s not condoning premarital sex.  It’s just preparing them for life.

Many I know who are anti-abortion, show through the other issues they support that they are clearly not pro-life.  Just like being pro-choice doesn’t mean you’re pro-abortion, being anti-abortion in no way means you are pro-life.  I, too, used to have this single-issue mentality, and it completely blinded me to the bigger picture of reality.  The more I looked at the issues, the more I realized that just making sure babies are born isn’t necessarily the most moral choice. You can’t just overlook a slew of major moral issues, ignore racism, misogyny, incited violence, homophobia, xenophobia and more in a candidate,  vote because they oppose abortion, and then say you’ve made the best moral choice.  Well, not and be consistent with your professed “faith.”

Side Rant:
I really find it odd that old friends and family explain their fundamentalist positions like I’ve never heard them.  Folks, I understand those arguments.  I taught those ideas.  I’ve been through the Jesus movement which for the most part transitioned to the Religious Right.  I’ve been a Sunday school teacher.  An elder.  A lay-counselor. A worship leader.  A co-pastor.  “Ordained” a few times.  Sure, I can learn from you, but with these issues I already know just about any point you wish to make.  I held those beliefs for most of my life.  I ate, drank, slept and lived that.  I also know that we were trained well in apologetics.  We never really considered that some of our beliefs were wrong.  And the only understanding of other beliefs we had were superficial.  We wanted to know  about “them” only to the degree we could shut them down, and “prove” how wrong they were.  There was sadly very little desire to truly listen and learn.  We knew that maybe we could have some non-Christian friends, but those few weren’t so much friends as they were projects.  People targeted for conversion.
Look back.  If you’re honest, you know for the most part that’s how it was.  So yes, I already understand your position.  Do you truly understand those you disagree with?  Have you actually, really considered their views, or just tried to find ways to prove them wrong?

OK.  Back to “Choice.”
I know women who have had an abortion. I’ve know women who’ve, after standing against abortion, seriously considered having one during an unwanted pregnancy.  Some go through with that procedure.  Some I know, after much thought and soul-searching, chose to not have an abortion.  But, for those who were in turmoil, and eventually chose to have a baby, the key remains the same:  They Chose!
They didn’t have some government mandate telling them they had to remain pregnant.  They didn’t have a bunch of old white guys deciding they would be legally punished (as Trump has stated they should be) if they chose to end the pregnancy!

Making that decision should always, always be the woman’s choice.  You may think it’s an awful choice.  Fine.  You have every right to think that.  You don’t have any right to impose that on a woman who’s going through that.  ESPECIALLY if you claim to be a follower of Christ.  (Quadrupedal if you’re a male!)
Imagine, for a moment, if you  had no choice; if the law required you to have an abortion even if you didn’t want one!
No choice.
That’s the law.
Well, that’s exactly what you are doing to others.
And no, as one dear friend suggested, this isn’t like a law requiring you to wear a seat-belt.  It’s just not.


———

Oh, here are those articles I mentioned:


The Republican and Religious Right’s focus on criminalization and overturning Roe may makes proponents feel good, but it does not help the unborn.

The states where public opinion is pro-life are already the states with lower abortion rates.
those conscientiously concerned about reducing abortion should not view support or opposition of Roe v. Wade as the only — or even the best — measure of one’s concern on life issues.
————–


Another side note:
I know you think you’re standing up for the unborn.  But (and you’ll hate this) the Bible doesn’t teach that life begins in the womb.  I already know the verses you’ll piece together, but they just don’t teach that.  I’ll come back later and post a link discussing that.  Even if that were true, that does NOT negate anything said here.

 

The Myth Of A Christian Nation July 15, 2010

Gregory A. Boyd:
“If Jesus wasn’t concerned about ‘taking Israel back for God’ by political means, why would any who align themselves with his kingdom aspire to ‘take back America for God’ by these means?”
“Did Jesus ever suggest by word or example that we should aspire to acquire, let alone take over, the power of Caesar?  Did Jesus spend any time and energy trying to improve, let alone dominate, the reigning government of his day?  Did he ever work to pass laws against the sinners he hung out with and ministered to?  Did he worry at all about ensuring that his rights and the religious rights of his followers were protected?  Does any author in the New Testament remotely hint that engaging in this sort of activity has anything to do with the kingdom of God?
The answer to all these questions is, of course, no.”
“However we, as American citizens, might personally decide to weigh in on these issues politically, we should not attach the label Christian to this activity.”
“Of course our political views will be influenced by our Christian faith.  But we must also recognize that people who have diametrically opposing views may believe they too are advancing the kingdom.”  [Again, this hit home with me through Philip Yancey’s statement that Hillary Clinton was pro-choice, not in opposition to Christianity, but rather because of her Christian faith.- df]

————————–
There are a couple or so ideas in this book that I most definitely do not agree with.
They are beliefs, however, I also held at one time.  I don’t wish, though, to
focus on what I don’t agree with, since most of this book expounds upon what may very well
be one of the most crucial messages of our time.  It would be very difficult to over-emphasize
the importance of this book.

The body of Christ needs a wake-up call to shake it from its
thirst for violence, hatred and bloodshed.  What many evangelicals call
a “Christian Worldview” is nothing but a religious version of the political, power-
hungry kingdom of the world.  More than one prominent televangelist has, in reference to our enemies, said things  like “Blow them away to the Glory of God.”
Rest assured that this rhetoric, whether spoken by Christians, Muslims, or any other socio-religious political group, is NOT the way of Jesus…OR of His followers.
— df
——–
Some quotes follow, which may be periodically updated.

Buy the book. Click HERE.
—————————————

“Evangelical Christians who align themselves too closely with political
causes or declare that they want to bring America ‘back to God’ are
actually doing harm—both to the body of Christ and society in general.”

From the Back Cover:
The church was established to serve the world with Christ-like love, not to rule the world. It is called to look like a corporate Jesus, dying on the cross for those who crucified him, not a religious version of Caesar. It is called to manifest the kingdom of the cross in contrast to the kingdom of the sword. Whenever the church has succeeded in gaining what most American evangelicals are now trying to get — political power — it has been disastrous both for the church and the culture. Whenever the church picks up the sword, it lays down the cross.

Buy the book. Click HERE.

“It’s difficult to overemphasize the change that occurred when, in AD312, the emperor Constantine was converted.  This was the first time anyone ever associated the Christian faith with violence, but its success stained the church from then on.  [Constantine made] it a crime not to be a Christian.  The kingdom of God, manifested in the crucified Nazarene, had become the empire of Christendom.  What followed was a long and terrible history of people using the sword “in Jesus’ name for the glory of God.”
(That demonic perversion continues in much of American Christianity today. – df)

Participants in the kingdom of the world trust the power of the sword to control behavior; participants of the kingdom of God trust the power of self-sacrificial love to transform hearts.”

“We believe in our nation over and against their nation, our religion over and against their religion, our culture over and against their culture, our political ideology over and against their political ideology, and so on.”

Buy the book. Click HERE.

“By God’s design, people are not to be won over primarily by our clever arguments, scary religious tracts, impressive programs, or our sheer insistence that they are going to hell unless they share out theological opinions.  No, they are to be won over by the way in which we replicate Calvary to them.  That are to see and experience the reality of the coming kingdom in us.”

“The best way to get people to lay down the cross is to hand them the sword!”

On ‘God and Country’:
“We have allowed out allegiance to the kingdom of God to be compromised by allegiance to our nation, and allowed the flag to smother the cross.  The time to turn completely from this Constantinian Idolatry is long overdue.”

Buy the book. Click HERE.

“Perhaps it would be a benefit if the word GOD wasn’t so trivially sprinkled on our coins, our Pledge of Allegiance, our civic functions, and elsewhere. We end up wasting precious time and  resources defending and tweaking the civil religion – as though doing  so had some kingdom value.”

“What if the energy and resources used to preserve and tweak the civil religion was rather spent feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, befriending the drug addict, and visiting the prisoner?  What if instead of trying to legally make life more difficult for gays, we worried only about how we could affirm their unsurpassable worth in service to them?  What if instead of trying  to defend our religious rights, Christians concerned themselves with siding with others whose rights are routinely trampled?”

Buy the book. Click HERE.

“Believing Jesus will soon “rapture” Christians out of the world, they have little concern with the church being a witness on issues of social justice, global peace, the environment, and so on.  Whatever else one thinks  about the New Testament’s eschatology, it certainly does not encourage this sort of escapism.”

“We must refrain from doing what Jesus never did: Namely, positioning ourselves as wiser, morally superior guardians and “fixers” of others.  Moral guardianship is what the Pharisees did — not Jesus.”
“Like Jesus, no part of Paul’s kingdom ministry involved trying to tweak the morality of the culture at large.”

“We kill and die for our freedom and the freedom of others.  But why should a kingdom person think killing for this reason is a legitimate exception to the New Testament’s command to love an bless enemies?”

Buy the book. Click HERE.

 

Pro-Life? March 28, 2010

Being anti-abortion does not automatically make one pro-life.
When you are pro-war, pro-torture, and pro-death penalty, calling
yourself pro-life is nothing but a sick joke.

One must also realize there are those who are anti-abortion,
but who remain pro-choice.

 

 
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