I recently wrote a piece for The Institute on Religion & Democracy’s Juicy Ecumenism about those who are pro-choice and claim to be religious. I do think it is worth bringing up this topic for a site and readership that may not be distinctly religious. After all, it was through Live Action News where I first made the claim that you can’t be Christian without being pro-life. And, in mentioning God and abortion in other articles, I have gotten some interesting responses.
For “A Catholic’s viewpoint on Pope Francis and abortion,” one who goes by the username “Marauder” got me thinking:
I do think that Christians should be pro-life, because if you’re a pro-choice Christian, what you’re basically saying is, “I think Jesus would be okay with tiny humans being dismembered in the womb,” and I think Jesus made it pretty dang clear that He was NOT someone who would approve of any human beings being dismembered anywhere. The guy knew about suffering and death. I can’t imagine Him going through death by crucifixion and then saying, “Yeah, having gone through a horrible bloody death myself, this is something I recommend people should force other people to do.”
Indeed. Now, we may have just celebrated the birth of Jesus, but it is worthwhile to examine his death here, and the power Christians believe it holds. Jesus certainly would not advocate for killing the least of us. Marauder and I are both Catholic, though. And I think it is equally important, if not more so, to look into those who are pro-life but claim no religious affiliation. As “johno” put it in response to “Does God hear prayers for abortion?”:
What about people who are secular pro-life and atheist? I’d be real interested in their opinion about those who are “god” fearing but believe in abortion.
I’m “real interested in their opinion” as well. I am almost disappointed in such people “who are ‘god’ fearing but believe in abortion.” For these people do not follow the same God that I do, and for those who claim to be Christians, they do not follow the same Jesus that I do.
Sadly, there are not only those who are religious who believe in abortion, but religious leaders as well. The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice is one such group, which even has a page for “faith leaders.” While these faith leaders are dedicated to following God, and some even His son, Jesus Christ, they are certainly not advocating for what God would.
What is even more embarrassing is that there are not only faith-based groups, but also individual faith leaders, such as Rabbi Aaron Alexander, who wrote for The Huffington Post in July regarding abortion as a religious issue. Secular Pro-Life took on the rabbi with a piece for their blog, Secular Pro-Life Perspectives. This piece, “Don’t Impose Your Science on Me!,” was their number-two story on “The Year’s Top Stories” for the blog.
It is embarrassing to see individuals like Rabbi Aaron Alexander claim, with original emphasis, that “[y]our definition of when life begins is not based on scientific fact. It is your religiously held belief. But it isn’t mine.” It’s good that the rabbi realizes the importance of religion, and thus we have that in common, but he should know better than to mix up science and religion when one doesn’t depend on the other. Whether one is pro-life for religious reasons, or she is part of the 1 in 6 million campaign of non-religious pro-lifers, she is pro-life because she knows that life actually does begin at conception. Thus, “when life begins” is based on scientific fact, and it’s not merely your or my definition. And to say that it is a “religiously held belief,” I imagine, would be insulting for those who know that being pro-life involves so much more than religion, especially for those who are not religious at all.
So I must say that I am rather curious. I am speaking from a Catholic perspective. But for those who are Jewish, part of other Christian denominations, or any other, or no other religion, what do they think about those who are religious, who claim to follow a loving God who cares about all His creatures, and yet support abortion? Do you think it makes them look like hypocrites, and gives their faith a bad name? Because I certainly do.