Monday, November 7, 2016

Thoughts on abortion this election

I've been pretty concerned with how many Christians appear to select candidates solely based on whether he/she is anti-abortion.  With my following ramblings, I hope to convince those Christians to perhaps see the value of voting for or against a candidate based on other qualities.

First of all, I'm going to talk about the ideological argument that we should ban abortion because it's murder.  FYI, I love kids.  I have them, and I can't even bear to hear news about kids getting hurt (That part happened after I had kids).  As much as we can all agree that no one wants to see babies die, the fact is that not everyone agrees when babies become babies.  

This is not only true between Christians and non-Christians, but even amongst Christians.  Some people may think contraception is a form of abortion.  On the other hand, it may be difficult to convince a non-Christian that at the point of fertilization, the cell is a baby. We can point to all the Bible verses that refers to anything in the womb as a person, but I doubt it'll be very convincing.  Of course if the U.S. government were a theocracy, that would be a different story!  I'm hoping no one would seriously suggest that the U.S. be a theocracy...  So how do we legislate this sticky matter?  I have no idea.  So let's just admit it's a grey area, not as black and white as we really, really want it to be.  Reality has demonstrated that many republican presidents later, we still have abortion.  I'm not saying to give up the fight, but since this issue may only finally be resolved when the entire U.S. become Christians, maybe this warrants Christians to look at other issues besides abortion? 

Fine, let's say that I throw that previous argument out the window and agree that everyone in their right minds, with a conscience, should believe that abortion equals murder.  Ban abortion, and prolem solved.  Simple, right?  Not really.  Let's look at this pragmatically.  Is murder banned?  Yes.  Do we still have murder?  Yes.  Is the battle over?  No.  So, to lower murder rates, we try all sorts of things like community policing, gun contol measures, stop and frisk...etc (not saying which actually works).   We put money and research into finding solutions to this murder problem.

So, how do we prevent abortions? (because trust me, banning them won't get rid of them).  Examples may include providing child care options that are affordable, sex education, making contraception affordable, etc.  There are of course many other reasons why people get abortions, some of them very unique and gut wrenching.  I don't assume these interventions can help address those situations. 

Do us Christians really talk about abortion prevention besides selecting the right president who's going to ban abortion (and picketing Planned Parenthood clinics)?  Some do, but a vast majority don't.  Actually, some pro-choice candidates are thinking about these problems more than pro-life candidates (they may not think of it as abortion-prevention, but the results may end up that way).  

Another reason Christians shouldn't base their candidate selection based on abortion is that there are OTHER life and death situations out there, and yes, potentially involving babies.  I find it bothersome that us Christians seem to particularly care about unborn children, not already born people.  For example, there are babies dying in refugee ships.  But we are completely willing to ignore that fact, and not care which candidate can ACTUALLY make an impact in that situation (plus many, many other situations).  It's easier to pick a candidate based on abortion, and which judges they'll pick to finally reverse Roe v. Wade, year after year.

I feel that this election is unlike any other.  For once, I would actually be concerned for racism to affect the lives of my children (if they live outside of California of course). If this fear and hatred that's being incited by Trump grows, I worry for the hard won, and fragile, advancements we've made in civil rights.  I can foresee that his inability to control his mouth can get America into real trouble, not just within U.S. borders, but with other countries as well.  If somehow, us Christians can plug our ears to this danger, and tell ourselves that Trump is an acceptable alternative because of abortion, I worry.  

Alright, think I've said WAY too much.  Thanks for reading if you managed to get this far.  Hope it made some sense.  

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