The idea that faith and reason are mutually exclusive is a common misconception that abortion advocates have a vested interest in promoting, in the hopes of disqualifying the pro-life case on church-vs.-state grounds. It’s a massive fallacy (as well as beside the point, since secular science vindicates pro-lifers anyway), but there may be another reason why abortion advocates are so certain of it: because reason is nowhere to be found in the preaching of pro-aborts’ own “religious” leaders.
At the Daily Beast, pro-abortion activist and “Baptist minister” Susan Chorley writes that twelve years ago, she had an abortion “with help from my faith.” What follows is so painfully unmoored from anything resembling reason that, if I thought it depicted actual religion, I’d want religion kept as far away from politics as possible too. Of course, the truth is that Chorley’s problems stem from the fact that she isn’t following her faith, but merely using her faith as window dressing for the ideology she’s swapped it out for.
I didn’t want to bring a baby into the world that would feel it was a burden—and I prayed to God to help me make the best decision I could in a situation that seemed impossible.
Wow. What to even do with that? Perhaps a good place to start would be by pointing out that the Bible—kind of an important book in Chorley’s line of work—places particular emphasis on children as a blessing, calling on the faithful to see children as “a heritage from the Lord” a “reward from him,” and the “greatest in the kingdom of heaven,” with Jesus declaring that “whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”
So maybe, just maybe, a more compassionate and prayerful way to ensure your child didn’t “feel it was a burden” would have been to show him or her such love and compassion that he or she would grow up knowing he or she was the blessing the Bible speaks of…rather than preemptively deciding your child didn’t deserve a chance by taking away the life God gave him or her for a reason.
Instead, faith can help us open important conversations about the role of abortion in our lives, including the lives of religious women.
Yes it can. However, you’d think that for faith to productively contribute to a conversation, you’d have to actually, y’know, talk about that faith, right? So it should be a red flag that Chorley doesn’t. She speaks only in the broadest, most generic religious rhetoric possible. She doesn’t actually cite any Scriptural basis for accepting abortion… presumably because she knows that would require admitting she’s actually trying to package as “Christian” something Christianity teaches is an evil.
The truth is, the majority of women who have abortions are religious. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 17 percent of abortion patients in 2014 identified as mainline Protestant, 13 percent as evangelical Protestant and 24 percent as Catholic. Most are already mothers (59 percent have had a previous birth).
It is depressing how often pro-abortion sophists seem to confuse the percentage of abortion seekers who are religious with the percentage of the religious who seek abortions. The latter would tell us something about the state of religious practice in this country (though it wouldn’t define Christianity itself), but the former tells us nothing more than the obvious: that hypocrisy, rejection of one’s own beliefs, and failure to live up to one’s beliefs exist in any sufficiently-large group.
Faith is so much more than judging right from wrong. Faith is about how we make meaning in our lives, how we understand our God, and how we live our values. Decisions about whether and when to grow one’s family carry the deepest meaning, and religious women make this decision in conversation with God, just as we do every decision.
See what I meant about vague, meaningless rhetoric? The above paragraph could be said about any subject. This doesn’t even begin to explain how abortion can be compatible with faith. It does nothing to get around the Commandment of “thou shalt not murder,” Genesis 9:6’s exhortation that “whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind”; or Proverbs 6:16-17’s declaration that “hands that shed innocent blood” are “detestable to” the Lord.
Christian theologies, too, have evolved as new voices, new stories, and new experiences have come to light.
What follows is a quick overview of some fringe movements to redefine Christianity to suit contemporary ideological agendas (think “living Constitution” theory, but for the Bible). What does not follow is anything resembling an argument for Chorley’s thesis. Noticing a pattern here? These fresh, innovative theologians, we are told, “advocated for a theology that was based on listening to the real lives and stories of people who had previously been hidden and marginalized.”
Well, good for them. Where’s the part where they discovered the “abortion-is-fine” scriptures everybody else missed for over two thousand years, or the part where they figured out we’ve been misinterpreting “thou shalt not murder” all this time? Show your work, please.
I have started to share my own abortion story from the pulpit in Protestant churches across the country because I want communities of faith to be places that embrace each person’s full humanity.
Once more we see, in horrifying detail, that pro-abortion “theology” has neither the compassion of authentic faith nor the clarity of empirical reason. There’s only one word for such a wholesale rejection of both spiritual and secular truth: depravity.