Heyhey Village! Happy June! Since we've been talking so much about evangelization lately in the Village, I thought I'd share the following short article with you. It's a response I wrote to an acquaintance and facebook friend who is an atheist. He had some wrong ideas about religion in our country and the pro-life movement, which he revealed in a note on facebook (those of you who are on facebook might have seen it already!). It was a terrific opportunity to confront someone with different beliefs from mine with the truth, and I'm glad God gave me the courage to go ahead and speak up instead of doing my usual and keeping quiet! Hope it's edifying, I'll keep you posted on what happened next!
On secular vs. tolerant, and pro-life vs. pro-right-to-life
I stumbled across this statement in a note by chance, and felt compelled to respond.
“Those major politicians that are pro-life and spend millions campaigning against abortion instead of donating the money to save real lives are actually NOT PRO-LIFE. THEY ARE PRO-GOD. In a secular nation, this is simply unacceptable and despicable.”
First of all, I must protest that this is not a secular nation. According to the Constitution of the United States of America, Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion nor prohibiting the free practice thereof. Neither establishing nor prohibiting. Thus this is not a secular nation, which says that all religion is taboo and ought not to intrude upon the realm of public discussion and opinion. Rather, this is a tolerant nation, which means that no religion shall be established to the diminution and persecution of other religions or lack of religion. The establishment of secularism, as a silence for those demonstrating a Christianity-based social conscience, is not a valid interpretation, but rather a complete contradiction of this ideal of the Founding Fathers. Rather, all religions are to be given respect and all people are permitted to worship as they please and to act politically based on their convictions, religious or not.
Second of all, I hope to clarify what the pro-life movement is, which more accurately would be phrased the Right to Life movement. The focus of this movement is on the unborn, because they are a group of people whose nation has declared that they do not have a right to be born if their parents don’t want them. Whereas in Africa, in the tragic case of the children who are dying there, the world knows and accepts that these are people who should be kept alive, and that the lack of food and clean water for them is a need that we as citizens of the world should be meeting. To help the children in Africa is to save lives that are in peril, even if it means sacrifice to ourselves as individuals and societies. To advocate for the unborn is to uphold the principle that it is wrong to deny an unborn child his or her life because we as individuals and societies don’t want to make sacrifices to support them. I hope you see the distinction and agree that that’s a reasonable point, and I’m sorry the “God-warrior” you met did not possess the articulation or perhaps understanding to explain it.
Finally, I want to address the point that scientifically, philosophically, psychologically, and legally, there are many reasons why abortion should not exist in our society. Abortion can be argued as wrong from many different angles, but why does the religious angle dominate? Maybe because it is only through the belief in a God of forgiveness that we can face the horror of what abortion is. Maybe as a secular society, we cannot face our sin without condemning someone, so we have to deny that it is sin. But with God, we can say yes, this is wrong, but there is mercy if we repent and turn away from sin. The way of a secular society leads to death. But the ways of God lead to life, and to hope.