Have you ever wondered why abortion remains the most controversial issue in America today? It’s been over three decades since Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal in all 50 states, for any reason, through all nine months of a woman’s pregnancy, yet it remains unsettled. Why else would this issue now be the “litmus test” for appointments to our highest court?
Abortion is both a political issue and a moral issue. However, many politicians want it treated only as a religious issue and many religious leaders won’t touch it because it is political. It has become a Catch-22, a highly controversial, highly visible stepchild.
Despite what some may argue, the United States still is a Christian nation. Churches dot our landscape and, on any given Sunday, church attendance is the No. 1 activity.
Abortion is an issue fought by the religious right and championed by the religious left. Who are these people and where do most people of faith fit in? Most remain mired in the mushy middle. This is a dangerous place to be because it is moral quicksand.
When it comes to the issue of abortion, Christians can be divided into two categories: those who have carefully examined the issue, biblically and scientifically, and those who have not.
Those who have not fall into these five sub-categories:
- Those who maintain the Bible is silent on this issue
- Those who accept only certain portions of the Bible as true
- Those who choose to believe that a pregnancy is nothing more than a glob of tissue – a collection of cells – which can be swept away at will
- Those who maintain that, because it is a political issue, the church can’t touch it – therefore, there is no need to spend valuable time looking into it
- Those who find it simply too painful to examine because they already have participated in a decision to end a life
Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973, before ultrasound imagining and fiber optics gave us a window to the womb. It was based on a “world is flat” theory. This is why the left is so nervous about this issue and willing to go to extremes to have only political ideologues pledged to defend Roe – not the Constitution – appointed to the Supreme Court.
James Madison, the primary author of our Constitution, said:
We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.
The Sixth Commandment is “You shall not murder.” The broad definition of murder is the intentional killing of an innocent human being.
It now is an accepted scientific fact that a “fetus” is alive, human and unique. Most atheists have no problem dealing with the truth of abortion because, in their economy, life, or at least some life, really isn’t worth much. It’s survival of the fittest.
In 1985, a mere 12 years after Roe, Newsweek magazine devoted much of its Jan. 14 issue to a special report, “America’s Abortion Dilemma.” It states, “It is one thing for the born to recognize the unborn as human; however, and quite another for society to vest them with moral or legal rights as persons.”
Virginia Abernethy of Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine said, “I don’t think abortion is ever wrong. As long as an individual is completely dependent upon the mother, it’s not a person.”
Newsweek pointed out that this view is shared by other pro-choice theorists, who believe that an individual becomes a person only when he or she becomes a responsible moral agent – around three or four in Abernethy’s judgment. Until then, Abernethy thinks infants – like fetuses – are nonpersons. She believes that defective children, such as those with Down’s syndrome, may never become persons. “The claim they have on persons,” Abernethy says, “is compassion, not a moral right to life.”
The left isn’t anxious to publicly defend this extreme position because it is politically untenable. That is why the issue is framed as one of “privacy” or “civil rights.”
Today in America, 85 percent of us self-identify as Christians. However, it is the 9 percent of self-professed atheists who rule this issue. Why? Atheists aren’t afraid to look at the facts, while the vast majority of the people in churches simply refuse to look.