But not in the way you might expect. . .
Bear with me for a bit of uncomfortable (for some) critical thinking here (NOT Critical Thinking Theory!).
Religion News Service has an eye-opening piece on the latest Pew Research survey on American attitudes toward abortion. As the title states:
“A number of polls in recent days have shown that a majority of Americans think abortion should be legal”
“61% of respondents said abortion should be legal in most or all cases.”
“The only religious group that overwhelmingly opposes abortion is white evangelicals, 73% of whom say abortion should be illegal.”
-56% of Catholics say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
-75% of American Jews and 56% of American Muslims believe abortion should remain legal.
This is no surprise to those of us who are Religiously Literate and have worked in Interfaith circles (and in my case, taught Religion courses).
Without “giving birth” to more controversy, I have two concerns:
Firstly: It seems clearer than ever that White Evangelical Christians (primarily the male variety in leadership) are truly in a campaign for President Jesus. Some of us have seen this coming for years. I certainly have, since I once was a campaign staffer for the Jesus Party.
Secondly (now, here there may be just a tad bit of controversy): The “life begins at conception” believers (and this IS a matter of belief, not Science) have made
Six Fundamental Mistakes:
- Not everyone believes that life begins at conception (this is an extreme belief held by a vocal minority)
- History is not necessarily on your side
- Even basic Sex Education teaches there is life before conception and a human “baby” comes much later in the natural process
- IF you sincerely wanted to stop abortions, you should be the first to advocate and distribute contraception
- IF you sincerely wanted to protect children, you should be the first to advocate, support and fund universal childcare, healthcare and good public education
- And, a big mistake if you’re a follower of Jesus: you have once again missed an important teaching of your White Evangelical Savior Friend
Here’s what I mean:
Does anyone recall that Lecture on the Mountainside (aka The Sermon on the Mount)? How about the part on Adultery? Do I have your attention? “Ego de lego,” Jesus says, “But I say to you. . .everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her” (Matthew 5:27-28).
Given this principle, everyone who even thinks of having sex with another person has already had sex with them. Anyone who even thinks of ending a pregnancy has already done it.
But here’s the most important truth, as I see it.
Each month a woman of “child-bearing age” bleeds life-giving eggs. Life is killed each month in that natural process. Then, guys, you know where I’m going with this, don’t you? Sperm is life too, and each time you “spill your seed” (as the old sex manual says), you have killed life. This is a double sin as far as Jesus’ teaching goes, since you thought of having sex with someone AND you killed the life in millions of sperm cells!
Maybe the truth is: Life begins in the mind
As anti-choice believers like to quote from Jeremiah:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. . .”
(which, in context, is the God of Israel speaking to one man in the ancient Near East, the Prophet Jeremiah–He never says he forms every single human being. No one quotes the last part of the verse: “I appointed you a prophet”–is every person a prophet?)
And they love to quote from Psalm 139:
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb. . .”
(neglecting to read on to “when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.” And, btw, if God “knits” every bit of flesh in the womb of every woman on earth, his knitting skills must be poor, given all the birth defects and stillbirths)
So, sorry to say to all the White Evangelicals who want to legislate their beliefs and put Jesus in the Oval Office, imagining he will ban all lustful thoughts and abortions–you’re already screwed.
But take heart. Like all the rest of us. . .you have a Choice.