The abortion question is divisive, and I approach it with a certain level of fear and trembling. It is not a simple matter at all. I have friends who are pro-choice. They focus on the mother, her plight, and wish to protect women from procedures that are illegal and perhaps a threat to their lives. I do believe that abortion is not something that will ever go away. However, there are deep moral implications when it comes to this subject.
I do know that the demographics on those who get abortions are across the board when it comes to religious affiliation. So that needs to be understood.
2006: The Center for Reason: Responding to a claim by some conservative Christian leaders that abortion is an evil perpetrated by non-Christians, the Center -- a private research group -- decided to conduct a study to determine whether Christians have fewer abortions per capita than do non-Christians. They determined that Christians have as many abortions per capita than do non-Christians. They analyzed state-by-state data -- perhaps from the CDC -- and found that the rate of abortion is the same in the most Christian segments of the population as it is in the least-Christian. However, the most highly Catholic segments of the nation showed significantly higher abortion rates.
I do believe, and being a Catholic, and this will not surprise anyone that life needs to be protected from the moment of conception to natural death. Just because I believe that does not mean others do, and it does nothing to stop abortion. For abortion to stop, the changes in our cultural needed to accomplish that, would transform everything, both in how we treat each other, do business, and how we actually care for the elderly and the very young. The trends at this time seem to be going in the other direction. It would be like the ‘Ten Commandments’ would actually have to be taken seriously and lived out in a mindful and thoughtful manner in order to reverse the trend.
I do know that yelling at others or condemning them (which we are commanded not to do) only makes matters worse. The issue is complicated and the fruit that is produced is often bitter and not life-affirming at all.
Many women come to our retreat house and talk about having an abortion. Many of these poor women have to go through the reminder of how old their child would be if allowed to reach birth. It is heartbreaking. Yet, at the time of their abortion, many were alone, abandoned by their boyfriends, and even families. Some came from families, who were practicing members of a church, who pressured them so much that they got the abortion. Not all abortions are made freely but actually bullied into it……by Christians. I am not saying this to point fingers, but bring to light the deep changes that need to be made by Christian on this issue.
I have also met men who mourn over abortion, because even though they wanted the child and to taking care of it, the abortion was still performed. Some marriages ended over this issue.
We have problems in every area of our society. This goes for the Church’s, our government, and in our families. It is not just about sexual abuse, which seems to be rampant, but about seeking the dignity present in every human being, which from the way we treat one another, seems to be lacking. I do not believe things will get better in this country, but only worse, until, hopefully, we will come to a point where we will all wake up, and that includes people like me. I do have blind spots like everyone else, some of them serious ones. We are all called to conversion, which is not a onetime event, but an ongoing process that continues until we die.
I live in hope, my faith leads me to that. However, that does not mean that we are not moving towards a future that will be become more tumultuous as time moves forward. So, for Christians, and all people who seek God, we need to on a more conscious level, live out our faith, and love others, not hate, or scream. But speak gently and with love. We believers can be our own worst enemy when it comes to how we present ourselves to others.
Some problems are impossible to solve,
like the Gordian Knot,
so turned in on itself that it can’t be untied,
so I am powerless to change anyone,
or any situation that affects so many,
yet I can still not hate, or judge, or shower with contempt
those who disagree with me
about what I believe, or my faith,
even if they do so with hatred and contempt.
Each life is seen only by God to the very depth of soul,
I see the surface, so I am told to not judge,
to judge is to be blinded by a false light.
Judgment, which is absolute truth
comes only from God,
perhaps we will all be surprised by what that implies
and will silence all the clamorous interaction. —Br.MD