CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

Recently, I was driving to work when I passed an older model Chevy puffing along covered in progressive bumper stickers. Most were political in nature, but a few were related to issues that concern social conservatives and Christian conservatives. One older bumper sticker read: "Don't like Abortion? Don't have one." Obviously, the person supports the idea that this entire abortion controvery would go away if those of us who opposed abortion would simply recognize that its a matter of personal choice and that we should simply not have an abortion if we don't like the practice.

*sigh*

With all due respect to the owner of this Chevy who I am certain has an IQ higher than a toaster's, I really don't know how anyone can hold a view so incredibly shallow and vapid. Come on, sir. Given that the debate revolves around the question of the humaness of the person being aborted, does it really strike you that this is somehow a solution to the issue?

In his article, Obama's Abortion Extremism, Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, pointed out exactly why this type of thinking is so unconvincing to many people by drawing an analogy to the slavery issue that was brewing at the time of the writing of the United States Constitution.

Many people at the time of the American founding would have preferred a world without slavery but nonetheless opposed abolition. Such people - Thomas Jefferson was one - reasoned that, given the world as it was, with slavery woven into the fabric of society just as it had often been throughout history, the economic consequences of abolition for society as a whole and for owners of plantations and other businesses that relied on slave labor would be dire. Many people who argued in this way were not monsters but honest and sincere, albeit profoundly mistaken. Some (though not Jefferson) showed their personal opposition to slavery by declining to own slaves themselves or freeing slaves whom they had purchased or inherited. They certainly didn't think anyone should be forced to own slaves. Still, they maintained that slavery should remain a legally permitted option and be given constitutional protection.

"Would we describe such people, not as pro-slavery, but as "pro-choice"? Of course we would not. It wouldn't matter to us that they were "personally opposed" to slavery, or that they wished that slavery were "unnecessary," or that they wouldn't dream of forcing anyone to own slaves. We would hoot at the faux sophistication of a placard that said "Against slavery? Don't own one." We would observe that the fundamental divide is between people who believe that law and public power should permit slavery, and those who think that owning slaves is an unjust choice that should be prohibited." (Emphasis added.)

If the baby that is being aborted is alive and is human as those of us in the pro-life community affirm, then simply saying that people who don't like abortion shouldn't have one fails to be an acceptable alternative.

18 comments:

I can never quite tell if bumper stickers are meant more to rally a cause or just annoy those who disagree. Maybe both.

"If the baby that is being aborted is alive and is human as those of us in the pro-life community affirm, then simply saying that people who don't like abortion shouldn't have one fails to be an acceptable alternative."

That "if" is precisely why abortion must remain legal. You can't criminalize actions involving an "if".

I have opened a thread on my boards to continue the discussion in the previous post here about Christians determining their vote based upon this issue:

http://www.doxa.ws/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=268

One good indication of how unserious the leadership of the republicans are about abortion, why don't they just push RU486? That solves the whole issue because it doesn't take life, just keeps it from hooking up to the cell wall.

It's "abortion" by effect, not by actually doing an abortion.

But I agree with BK that saying "don't have one" is a cheat if abortion is wrong (which I think it is). It's like saying "if you don't believe in murder don't murder anyone." Then not having laws on the books about it.

But Neither do I see abortion as murder per se. The law does make provisions for different levels of killing. I think it should be somewhere below manslaughter.

Lifeguard,

If we are putting bumper stickers on our cars merely to torque people with whom we disagree then its no wonder that the level of discourse has reached its lowest level.

Be that as it may, I suspect that there is some truth to that.

Joe,

The problem with RU486 is that it that most pro-life people believe a new, individual life begins at the point of conception. The attachment to the cell wall is meaningless in terms of when life begins. Hence, RU486 is still the killing of an innocent human being and therefore wrong. RU486 does not solve the problem, it just removes the abortion clinic as the place of the killing.

And I agree that abortion shouldn't be punished like murder. In fact, I think that it simply should be made illegal in this country with the punishment being that both the parents and the person who performs the abortion gets a fine. If we remove the financial incentive and cost people money to do abortion, it will all but disappear.

BK:

That's my point-- as far as I'm concerned, the level of discourse HAS reached it's lowest level.

That kind of bumper sticker, however, is as pointless as one that says "choose life." Well, pro-choice folks don't think life starts at conception, so the argument never gets off the ground.

The problem is people use bumper stickers, not to really convince anyone of anything, but to publically advertise themselves as a member of an interest group or movement. It doesn't call for dialogue, debate, or argument. That's why they can come off so provocative.

Abortion is a very tough issue. Not just because people have such passionate feelings about it, but because I really think our inability to resolve it in some way threatens our democracy.

My bumper stickers have sparked some great conversations. The other night my fiance and I came out of Best Buy to find a gentleman taking a photo of my back window and we had a nice conversation about issues and the election.

They may not call for dialogue on the road, at least not between drivers, but they may spark discussion in the cars that view them.

Lifeguard,

I think that we are in agreement. I don't put bumper stickers on my car at all because I generally find them pointless (sorry, Mike aka MonolithTMA).

Mike,

I want conversation and regularly engage in conversations with those with whom I disagree (within the limits of time). I am, however, not a fan of bumper stickers. I do think that if bumper stickers are used to provoke they are more harmful then helpful. To that end, I really object to the bumper stickers that are empty of depth.

I should say that "Don't like Abortion? Don't have one." is a really stupid bumper sticker. I agree that bumper stickers that are displayed only to provoke can be harmful.

Some of them are at least entertaining.

Mike,

Yes, some are. The best ones are the non-political and non-religious ones. I really like the one that says something like, "What if the Hokey-Pokey is really what its all about?"

The problem with RU486 is that it that most pro-life people believe a new, individual life begins at the point of conception. The attachment to the cell wall is meaningless in terms of when life begins. Hence, RU486 is still the killing of an innocent human being and therefore wrong. RU486 does not solve the problem, it just removes the abortion clinic as the place of the killing.


but it's irrational to say life egins at conception, when obviously it can't grow of form a life until it hooks up.

the real issue is sex. Once they have sex you have to declair that it's life because otherwise you wouldn't' have the onus abstaining.

I saw a study back in seminary that proved that for most Protestants the motive is to punish women for having sex. For most Catholics the motive is saving life. I know that's true for you Bill, but I said "most."

when I was in college debate all those stickers that says "divers do it deeper" and stuff were just coming out. Someone on the debate squad wanted us to make bumper stickers that said "Debaters do it orally." But we never had the guts.

Joe, a seperate biological life begins at conception. There is simply no question about that. Whether it continues to develop into full babyhood or not will depend on whether it attaches to the wall. So, that is an important step, but it is not THE important step when determining at what point life begins for purposes of protecting that life.

I hear you when you say "most." I simply don't believe it. I have read enough about studies in my life to know that they are like statistics -- you can make them say anything. Every person I know who opposes abortion does it because they want to save the baby.

Joe, a seperate biological life begins at conception. There is simply no question about that. Whether it continues to develop into full babyhood or not will depend on whether it attaches to the wall. So, that is an important step, but it is not THE important step when determining at what point life begins for purposes of protecting that life.

I've talked to Christian doctors about this. There is no clear cut medical reason to define conception as the beginning of life. for a human being. In the sense that your hair folaclas are life. or your skin cells are life so you destory life when you wash your hair. But when does it become a human person?

It's totally arbitrary to draw the line at sex. I still feel it's about punishing women for having sex.

there are absurd places to draw the line like a week after birth. Or when you can see a clear finger print. But there are many places to draw it.

"What if the Hokey-Pokey is really what its all about?"

That's awesome!

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