Monday, December 06, 2004

Not "those" Christians...

Maybe you think that abortion isn’t a decision for a woman and her doctor to make, because your faith tells you it’s wrong. Maybe you don’t think doctors ought to prescribe contraceptives, because your faith says all sex should be procreative.

The argument is that life is precious, and we ought to do everything in our power to preserve, protect, and promote life, even from its very beginning.

Well, what about
Christian Science? One of the tenants of that faith is that you ought to rely on prayer in lieu of treatment from a doctor in the first place. And many members of that church want the right to withhold medical treatment from their children as well. In the 80s and 90s, a handful of high-profile deaths of the children of Christian Science practitioners led to the publicity of dozens and dozens of faith-based exemptions to public policies designed to protect children from preventable diseases and death.

Regardless off what you think about that faith personally, I bet most of you would like to protect your personal right to seek medical care for yourselves and your families. Imagine a world in which the president and a majority in congress were Christian Scientists who wanted to outlaw medical care outright because their faith told them it was wrong…

Seems crazy, right? It’s not those Christians you think should be setting the moral agenda for this country!

Well, that’s how crazy it seems to half of this country that Christians want to outlaw reproductive rights because of what their faith tells them. People are going to fight just as hard for that right as you would fight for the right to obtain any other medical care to which you felt entitled. And we Christians are viewed as the folks that want to deny women reproductive rights and not as the folks who’ve heard the Good News about Christ’s love!

Similar to what I have said before, if you believe that the Bible says abortion and contraception are wrong, it is better (and likely more effective) to have these conversations with fellow believers who disagree with you than it is to use those issues as the starting point to share the Good News with non-believers. When you begin the conversation with issues that are ancillary, you are only going to alienate the very people you’re trying to reach.