Incoherently Pro-Choice (Part 2)Jordan Mabe | May 3, 2019
In the first part of this article I explained some of the logical inconsistencies with the statement “I am politically pro-choice but religiously pro-life”. Now I want to shift attention to some of the theological problems with this statement from a Christian perspective.
Theology of the Soul.
Tune goes on to explain, “As a man I am pro-choice because I find it difficult for me to explain why I should have the right to tell a woman what to do with her body”. But is this rational in Christian thought? Of course we shouldn’t be enforcing rules on what people can and cannot do with their body. I could talk about how incredibly ridiculous the claim that men cannot speak on women’s issues is, but I’ll save that for another time.
So let’s break this down. As a Christian you believe (or should believe) certain irrefutable truths about humanity as a whole. For example, humanity is made in the Image of God (Genesis 1:27). This means that every person on planet earth, no matter gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation is an Image Bearer of the almighty God. That they are inherently worthy of respect, dignity and love. And that absolutely nothing can abolish these rights.
You also should believe that God knits together every person in their mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13) and that He knows us before we are conceived (Jeremiah 1:5). This means that even in the womb, we are image bearers of God, fully worthy of love and rights. Stating that abortion is okay is stating that wholly unique image bearers whom God designed before conception are sometimes not worthy of life. That it is sometimes permissible to kill a fully living person with a unique soul. This, for obvious reasons, it heavily problematic as a Christian. We would either have to come to terms with our own inconsistency or deny certain fundamental theology laid out in scripture. To permit abortion, we would have to say that not everyone is made in the image of God, not everyone deserves love and respect, that we can discriminate and discriminate heavily based on traits out of our control. That is not ground I am willing to give up.
Pro-Life Extends Beyond Abortion.
The largest bulk of this article explains that we need to think about being pro-life differently. Tune states, “So what does it mean to be a pro-life advocate in our communities? The answer requires a broader definition of what it means to be pro-life. It means that we go beyond simply advocating for the right of a child to be born but once the child takes his or her first breath we continue to advocate for that child to have the right to a better life”. And I agree heavily with this statement. We should be advocating for and caring for life after birth.
The problem with this statement is that it is a Red Herring logical fallacy. A Red Herring is defined as: “a fallacy of distraction, and is committed when a listener attempts to divert an arguer from his argument by introducing another topic”. And anytime you hear someone say something to the degree of “what about helping babies after they’re born” you can be sure it is a Red Herring.
I don’t mean to say that the topic isn’t an important one, quite the opposite. I think helping children and improving our systems is just as important as the abortion issue. But notice that those are two separate topics of discussion. When we are talking about the morality of abortion is makes no sense to talk about the status of children post-birth because that doesn’t have to do with whether or not abortion is ending a human life.
But to put Reverend Tune’s mind at ease. America has more crisis pregnancy centers than Planned Parenthood clinics. Centers that provide care, counseling, college scholarships and long term financial assistance to mothers. Compare that with how 92% of patients who come to Planned Parenthood end up getting an abortion. Couple that with the fact that religious, conservative Americans blow everyone else out of the water when it comes to donating more to charities, volunteering more of their time, and providing more assistance than their non-religious, liberal counterparts. I would say that we are more than pulling our weight in that regard.
Do I think people like this who are “Politically pro-choice but religiously pro-life” aren’t Christian? Of course not. I think the pro-choice movement has a lot of well-meaning people who are simply uniformed or lied to about a lot of the information surrounding abortion. We need to stop perpetuating this misinformation. We need to do a better job at communicating our reasons. It is incoherent to be a pro-choice Christian, it just does not make sense.