Can a person be both a Christian and Pro-choice?

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Can a person be both a Christian and Pro-choice?

Postby ArcticFox » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:50 pm

I was listening to the Matt Walsh podcast this morning, and he was making the point that one cannot be both conservative politically and pro abortion. Essentially his reasoning is that abortion is an absolute issue... either it's okay or it isn't. If the fetus is, in fact, a human being then it is wrong to kill them. On the other hand if it's just a parasitic lump of cells then it's no more morally problematic than getting a haircut.

To what extent is he right? And how does that interact with the Gospel?

Can one be both a follower of Christ and support abortion?
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Re: Can a person be both a Christian and Pro-choice?

Postby J.K. Riki » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:42 am

My wife is a Christian (and a deep one at that) and is Pro Choice. I have tried to have conversations with her about this, but I must admit I am just too confrontational about the subject to make much headway. I see it as wholly and completely wrong, and I believe science backs that up as well. It does, however, remind me to be empathetic and patient with people who disagree. I have not found a single person who can defend their position of killing a human child without resorting to the argument that it is not a child until it comes out of the womb. And there's very little I can do to convince someone otherwise in that case, because they do not see it as a "human being." So, as you say, it is no worse than getting a haircut in their view. A matter of convenience ("long hair would get in my way, I don't want it and that's my choice").

I will continue to share my view on this with her, but at some point it will be between her and God. Perhaps I am wrong, so I will continue to hear arguments for the other side. I have simply not found any that are justified.

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Re: Can a person be both a Christian and Pro-choice?

Postby ccgr » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:42 am

Granted most abortions are for contraceptive reasons and I am against that. I do think it should be allowed in the rare cases where the mother's life is in danger (tubular pregnancy) or in the event of incest or rape (though it would be more honorable to let the baby live).

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Re: Can a person be both a Christian and Pro-choice?

Postby J.K. Riki » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:07 pm

I do think it should be allowed in the rare cases where the mother's life is in danger (tubular pregnancy) or in the event of incest or rape (though it would be more honorable to let the baby live).
I think if the mother's life is in direct danger you do your best to save both the baby and the mother, yeah? Just as if the baby was far along. My friends just recently had a baby born like 20 weeks early (the baby was not getting the nutrients it needed and was going to die otherwise), and it was a hard, hard thing but now she is home and they adore her. Modern medicine is such that we have a better chance than ever at saving both lives. Believe me, if my wife was pregnant and in danger I would be the first to want everything possible to keep her healthy. I don't think these days that means exclusively killing the child anymore. Maybe in super rare cases? I don't know, not a doctor. Perhaps will go research it some more, those are just initial thoughts. It seems most arguing for pro-choice are not in a position of danger, so much as desire. And frankly it would not be difficult to write a law that explicitly states abortion is acceptable as a last resort by professional doctors, yeah? Generally we're talking/arguing about abortion as a contraceptive effort. That's what the marches and things are about, not danger. "Danger to the mother" is the last ditch effort folks will argue if backed into a corner by being shown the hard science that a human begins at fertilization.

As far as rape goes, rape is horrific. An absolutely atrocious expose of humanity at our worst, and the evil inside us. I feel like adding abortion on top is leaning towards a "two wrongs make a right" situation, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. You've already had this horrible, horrible thing occur, and adding another horrible thing like murder on top seems strange to me to accept as a good plan. Especially given the number of people I've talked to or read about that are so blessed by their previously-unwanted child but decided against an abortion. I would say it is the one that I'd be most easily convinced to allow, but I still don't know if that would be the right decision.

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Re: Can a person be both a Christian and Pro-choice?

Postby ArcticFox » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:26 pm

I think most people are understanding of abortion when the mom's life is in danger. It's rare, though not unheard of, to oppose it even then and I think that's mostly a traditional Catholic viewpoint.

I find it very, very difficult to imagine being comfortable with abortion as a simple contraceptive move while espousing a Christian belief, but I can't be the judge there. I guess I would be interested in hearing someone from that side share their view, and how they reconcile it.

Scripture tells us that by their fruits ye shall know them, and this one is tough for me.
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Re: Can a person be both a Christian and Pro-choice?

Postby Bruce_Campbell » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:53 pm

Of course. I know more than a few Christians who are pro-choice. Whether or not they fit in with your particular brand of Christianity might be up for debate. But there are thousands of different brands, from LGBT affirming liberal brands to the folks who think it’s a sin for women to wear blue jeans.

Now, if you’re asking if they can be “saved” (to use a more evangelical term), I guess that depends on your church too. The way I see it, the only real unifying belief that Christians have is they all worship Jesus.
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Re: Can a person be both a Christian and Pro-choice?

Postby ArcticFox » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:37 pm

Of course. I know more than a few Christians who are pro-choice. Whether or not they fit in with your particular brand of Christianity might be up for debate. But there are thousands of different brands, from LGBT affirming liberal brands to the folks who think it’s a sin for women to wear blue jeans.

Now, if you’re asking if they can be “saved” (to use a more evangelical term), I guess that depends on your church too. The way I see it, the only real unifying belief that Christians have is they all worship Jesus.
Yeah, like so many things Christianity comes in a huge variety of favors and prettymuch any viewpoint you can imagine is sure to be found somewhere. So in that sense, yeah I agree that the one thing they all have in common is a discipleship of Jesus.

That said, they can't all be equally right, and so there's a line somewhere. That's what I wonder about.
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Re: Can a person be both a Christian and Pro-choice?

Postby selderane » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:47 pm

One of the core doctrines of the faith (both Christianity and Judaism) is the affirmation of life. You are permitted to violate other aspects of the faith if it is in pursuit of the preservation of life (like working on the Sabbath to save someone's life).

The question isn't so much can a person be a Christina and pro-choice. It's, can you be a Christian and permit active sin in your life? We all do this. We all have the little sins we like and overlook.

I'm reminded of two different things. Dennis Prager summarized the distinction between how he and Alan Dershowitz approach Torah: When Alan disagrees with something in Torah, Alan is right and Torah is wrong. When Dennis disagrees with something in Torah, Torah is right and Dennis is wrong.

There is simply no defending the pro-choice position from a Biblical stance - except for only the life of the mother. In that single instance is it permitted to terminate a pregnancy. So, the question becomes, where is the Christian finding their justification? It's not Scripture they're pulling from.

This brings me to my second thought. I've been reading "The Righteous Mind" by Jonathan Haidt and I think the best approach is to probe your wife's emotion on the matter. Don't approach it as an issue of rationality, but of emotion. We're hardly as rational as we'd like to believe and we make the majority of our moral decisions on a gut level, then develop the rationalization post hoc to defend it.

Haidt likens this to an elephant and its rider. The elephant is our emotional and intuitive heart, and the rider is our rational mind. The elephant drives and the rider tries to make sure the path forward is safe for the elephant - though it can sometimes redirect the elephant.

Your wife's pro-choice instinct is certainly emotional and her rider has erected post hoc rationalizations to defend the instincts of the elephant.

Stop trying to talk to the rider. Talk to the elephant. Ask her why she feels the way she does. Get her to talk to you about it. Don't put her on the defensive but really care to understand where she's coming from.

This is why political/religious debate on the internet never works. It's rider vs. rider and no one is talking to the elephant calling 99.99% of the shots.
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