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Showing posts from June 19, 2022

Further Thoughts About Life

 One of the interesting things about the regime of legalized abortion under Roe is that we have pretended that “When does life begin?” is an intriguing question for which we do not have an answer. It’s not only that the decision imposed an answer, though it certainly did, but that the answer was wrong. Any other answer besides “at conception” creates huge ethical problems that our most intelligent people can’t solve. Think about what happens when we say the unborn is “potential life”: that means at any time up to birth,—and after—we could argue that there is some achievement of independence or consciousness that the person has yet to reach. Before that, it’s said that there is no problem in killing the product of conception. You’ll have to forgive me; we have to deal frankly with the implications of arguments. We see that “potential life” essentially talks about the living being in terms of its ability to defend itself, or to be defended by someone else. In contrast, the “conception” a

I’m Not Ambivalent About Today

 I’ve heard some left-of-center Christians say something like this, and I confess, I don’t understand it. I was never bruised by the “culture war,” and I am not ashamed of it, except perhaps to say that if total culture war is opposed to living in community, then and only then do I oppose it. Because the fact remains that I have been on the “wrong” or losing side the whole time. To oppose the fight itself would be to say that those who fought had illegitimate concerns. I can’t say that. Truthfully, something is only a “wedge issue” to those who disagree, and lack the courage of their own conviction. I believe this is true for other things as well, but abortion is front and center today. If I have disagreements with the “Christian Right,” it’s over tactics, partisanship, and exaggerated apocalypticism. Moreover, people could simply say, “I value other things more highly,” and move on. Yet it seems that bad faith and posturing is more valued than frank honesty. The people know that popul

Roe and Casey Down

 You don’t need the breaking news; let me get right to the point: “Liberal” Christian, you are more than free to say that some group of politicians doesn’t have a complete view of the world, or even doesn’t actually care about truth or justice, but the only way this decision “has nothing to do with truth or justice” is by excluding the act of aborting a young human from the consideration of what counts as “truth and justice.” In fact, now we can get back to arguing in justice about what human dignity deserves and requires, especially with respect to an elected government, because the emotional blackmail of poisoning the well in service to child murder has been (largely) removed. And understand that the pro-life cause as a political movement has sought exactly this, because laws forbid and create barriers to something undesirable. The hardships faced by women seeking abortion in the process of seeking one are part of the point: a merely symbolic law doesn’t function as a law. That’s why