Ok, hot topic…abortion.
In the past week NSW government passed a bill to decriminalize abortion, allowing full term abortions for any reason, as long as two doctors are willing to sign off on it.
What was also striking was the way in which the bill was introduced to Parliament, without the usual protocols and procedures that allow time for proper consideration, community consultation and debate. Many of us were taken by surprise at the lighting speed from the time of announcing the bill to its debate and passing.
Some said that the Premier must have swung a deal with the Independent who introduced it so she could stay in government. Hmmm, one wonders, why the rush?
What I felt was once again the temperature is rising.
Erosion of Christian values is gathering speed
Both the content and manner in the way this bill was handled to me demonstrates that the wind is changing, people in our society are quite happy to see the back of Christians.
They want the baby and the bath water out. Literally.
What can we do about it? Should we keep quiet? Should we push Christian values on a secular society? Doesn't a woman have a right to sovereignty over her own body? Let her be?
We saw it in the recent Freedom of Speech, aka 'Folau' fallout.
We saw it in the same sex marriage plebiscite.
We are now seeing it with abortion.
Next stop euthenasia
‘Don’t let the Christians have time to muster…’
And so we were urged (thank you!) to write to our MP’s, meet and ring members of Parliament with an urgency not seen before.
The fact is though, Christians are not active enough in social issues, proactively engaging on a broad scale, anticipating the change of winds and registering the changing contours. Well, not enough of us anyway. Me included.
We get lazy. We get complacent. We forget that freedom sometimes costs you...you’re liberty.
‘Just keep preaching the good news…that’s our business’
The shifts in the abortion law is quite dramatic.
Full term abortions…for a strict limited number of reasons…no. They don’t even have the ‘extreme cases’, it seems it could be for any ‘social’ reason….like if you don’t want a boy, but a girl?!
The second doctor does not even have to see the patient or look at her file. Further there is no penalty if the two-doctor rule is not passed.
Despite what proponents say about reducing late term abortions, evidence from Victoria shows that late term abortions have risen almost 40% since 2008. (cited in 'We’re removing one crime for another-abortion on demand’ August 10-11, SMH, Debbie Garratt).
Before 22 weeks abortion under this new bill can be made for any reason.
So shouldn’t women have complete sovereignty over their bodies and do what they want with their unwanted pregnancies?
Human rights vs natural right...and does it matter?
Human rights were designed to prevent the repeat of genocides like Nazi Germany committed in WWII. These days in our increasingly secular societies of the West, they have been co-opted into supporting a highly individualistic mandate for happiness.
Once human rights meant protecting life, stopping genocide in its worst case.
Now human rights can mean protecting my individual happiness at all costs, justifying infanticide.
Anchored in human rights rather than natural right, our basis for morality shifts like sand banks in the surf. We’ll always have some form of morality, but they’ll shift and be shaped by the trends of the society and the changes in values of that society. So what undergirds the values may not always be beneficial or in the best interests of society, just trendy or an expression of rebellion against perceived morality monopolies.
Human rights are a worthy notion but are basically headless. While inspired by Judeo-Christian worldviews, they exist without basis, the moral order chopped off the source, namely God and the world he made. When we appeal to human rights, we appeal to a moral basis that takes everyone as self-evidently equal rather than equal because they are ‘made in the image of God, equal’. Consequently, when new claims are made on that equality, there is no basis to refuse as this would breach such ill-defined equality. If ‘x’ makes me happy, then why should I be denied that happiness since I have just as much right to happiness as the next person. Or to put into the abortion debate terms, this is my body, then why shouldn’t I be absolutely free to sovereignty over it?
But destroying a life to secure one’s happiness, is a bit like standing opposite someone with a gun and saying, ‘we can’t both be happy, so one of us has to go…and I happen to have the gun’.
Wow, that’s hectic and heavy I know.
OK, I know abortion is complicated, heated issue and I’m just another male potentially seen as slanging off women when I’ve got no idea what it’s like, yadayada. I also suspect there may even be some rare exceptions where abortion may even be necessary. But that would be a super small number and a good law is not made on the basis of extremely rare exceptions.
Natural right keeps morality anchored. All are made in the image of God. Rights are not about my demand for happiness. Rather they are about ‘everything being called according to its name’ and ‘everything flourishing according to its kind’. That name and that kind or purpose to flourish is given by God. God gives man the place to call it by name (as he did Adam), but the ‘thing’ or life still only has purpose within God’s creation. So, man’s sovereignty is always under God’s and in keeping with God’s purpose for life to ‘be blessed and multiply’.
Sovereign individuality is just flying blind.
We are not to be ‘gods’ setting our own destiny irrespective of others, but sitting under the maker with love that is ‘as I would wish to be treated’. The woman has another human being in her womb, sovereign individuality now has corporate responsibility to deal with.
The woman’s sovereignty over her body should be a positive right, calling the thing in her belly ‘child’, ‘son’ or ‘daughter’ and allowing that human being every chance to flourish, be fruitful and multiply. Only she has that right, a man or husband can’t have it; so to discard that right is a tragedy; you’ve just signed away your human purpose and potential as something to be disdained.
I don’t believe in God or your damn book so get lost Christian….
But what if we don’t accept there is God or that we have any responsibility to him to that order he made? What if the society we live in wants us out and literally wants to throw out the baby and the bath water?
We don’t keep mum.
We speak up. The voice of the Christian is a prophetic gift for the good of all, not just the believer.
We keep child by speaking up and gently prod society to see the alternatives to abortion.
We need alternatives to parenting being offered instead of abortion, like adoption for unwanted births being offered to those who for some reason cannot face the responsibility of their own child.
We need to share stories of parents who’ve been encouraged to abort because their child was likely to be born ‘damaged’ in some way…only to have a perfectly healthy baby delivered, contrary to advice.
We need to share stories of parents who’ve gone ahead with pregnancies and had very sick or ‘damaged’ kids delivered, but given the immense joy of having those kids in their lives despite the difficulties.
We need the stories of kids who are thankful for the years they’ve had, not the silence of us never knowing who they might have been.
We need to look at the horrific damage done to societies that encourage the birth of one particular sex over another.
We need the statistics that show full term abortions have risen whenever it has been legalized. Naievety needs to be pointed out, in full glory.
We need the parents who are considering abortion to look at the ultrasound of a 20-week child and ask themselves if they cannot see a proper human being inside.
In short, we have science on our side, science and social statistics.
So what if they don’t love the good book or its author. The stats show He’s right.
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