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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Why I Am Pro-Life

And I mean really, really pro-life... pro-life from conception to natural death, a pacifist (or at least really close to it), and anti capital punishment.  There.  I've said it.  Is everybody sufficiently offended? 

Psalm 49:7-8, "No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them - the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough" (NIV).

Life is costly.  Life is precious.  Life is an enormous risk.  Always.

I get it that there are unspeakable tragedies that occur which cause people from every side of every situation to question whether life is the best choice, perhaps even whether life is the most compassionate choice.  We could get into all kinds of greater good arguments.  The biggest problem with greater good arguments is that we will always come to a point where we are choosing which lives matter most.  We don't get to choose that, and it's not because of some cliché that leads to God choosing which lives matter most.  All lives matter most.  All of them.  All of us.  Together.  As a community.  We have been created imago Dei (in the image of God).  Any "greater good" that results in the loss of life is not greater.  I mean, seriously, greater than what?  The loss of more life?  The loss of more important lives?  No.  We have to stop thinking like this.

But what do we do about lives that have been devalued?

Even as I wrote the paragraph above, I started to worry, will people think I am self identifying with the "all lives matter" hashtag people?  You know, the people who were offended by the "black lives matter" hashtag?  Because I do not identify with bigots.  Just sayin'.  In thinking about this, though, it seems that we have pushed the envelope of bigotry so far that the concept of all life being important has become, in itself, a sarcastic way to look as if we care about all life while actually screaming that our own lives are most important. 

How about the lives of the elderly?  I have recently seen many posts regarding how unethical it is to continue to resuscitate the dying and to keep them breathing, artificially, in a vegetative state, because we can't let go.  Is that really pro-life, is it really pro-all-life, or is it us, screaming, that our own comfort is most important?

What about the nineteen year old girl who is raped and pregnant and kicked out of her home and terrified.  When we shame her and declare that she deserves to live on the street, with nothing, are we creating a pro-life environment?  Do we actually care about the life of the unborn child?  What about the life of the already born child who cannot meet her own basic needs let alone the needs of another person?  When we have no empathy and shout words from across the street (or halfway across the world), are we not screaming that our own privileged lives are more important?

When we're willing to kill people because of their religious beliefs or because they happen to live down the street from someone whose religious beliefs are different than our own, making them an unfortunate, accidental casualty; when we do this and cover it by calling it our responsibility, are we not screaming that our Christian, American lives are more important?

Even when people seemingly bring death on themselves by committing atrocious acts against others, do we somehow think that killing them will right the wrong, bring justice, heal the wounds?  It won't, but are we not screaming that our need for blood is more important than their need for redemption?  That our more righteous lives, and our vengeance, are more important?

Oh friends...  We need to stop screaming and start loving... start looking beyond... start letting go... start giving... start listening...

How did we ever get to the point where the "Christian" answer is hate and death?  God, forgive us.  Help us fix this.


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