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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Ramifications of Abortion as Birth Control

Under what circumstances do you find it most difficult to talk about your faith? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1353).

I would like to distinguish between talk about what might be called the dogma of my faith and the ethical ramifications of my faith. It seems to me that it is inappropriate to talk about the dogma of my faith to a captive audience—say among coworkers at a place  of employment. If they were to show an interests in both of us sharing our faith privately together that is one thing, but to hold forth about religious dogma under captive conditions seems to me to be unethical and un-American as we believe in freedom of religion—I should not be subject to religious indoctrination against my will. What do I mean by this? Well, for example, I should not be asking a co-worker if Jesus is their Savior. Now this is quite unlike the ethical ramifications of my faith. For example, as my blog yesterday quoted Daniel telling Nebuchadnezzar “Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed.” That is, Daniel is discussing public policy as it relates to the poor and those of low social status. In my opinion, this is not a matter of the religious indoctrination of  Nebuchadnezzar, but Daniel following through on the ethical ramifications of his faith. Therefore, at work I would feel constrained and withhold from saying that Jesus teaches that we are to love one another and be servants to one another. However I would feel totally justified in arguing against a company policy I think conflicts with those principles—say, if I perceive that our customer service policy has elements of arrogance in it.  Unlike Daniel, however, I would probably not say that it is a sin, but rather couch it in terms of being action contrary to our greater and long-term interests and stated mission.

It seems to me that this distinction is necessary; for freedom of religion is meaningless if we cannot live our faith as opposed to proselytizing it. That is why the abortion issue is so problematic for Americans. To be honest, I don’t know if the Bible specifically condemns abortion, but certainly the thrust of Scripture does not celebrate it as a form of birth control for the thrust of Scripture elevates the worth of individuals. Abortion as birth control allies with the saying “You make um, we scrape um.” It is essentially callously destroying an individual with low social status and power. It is difficult to meld this attitude with the thrust of my religion. Therefore, on this issue I disagree with my political party. It is not a matter of religious dogma and some petty quotation of some Scripture verse or other, but a matter of the ethical implications of the broad sweep and meaning of my religion.

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