Sunday, March 04, 2007

tough question of the week

So there seems to be a bit of a conversation going on over at Conversation at the Edge about abortion, growing out of a recent Time magazine article. In that conversation, Jennifer shared the link to her story on In Jennifer's story, a priest was trying to convince Jennifer not to have the abortion, and Jennifer asked him

If God kills babies why can’t I?

I think that's a reasonable question for all the christian pro lifers out there.


sam said...

gosh. that sounds like pretty risky ground to me. i certainly wouldn't want the responsibility of playing god to rest on my shoulders. equally, i wouldn't want anyone else playing god - especially not evangelical christians as you're suggesting here!!

Justin said...

Hi Bens, why is this damn reasonable question? I get why it might be reasonable. I really do. But why damn reasonable?

That is -- there seems to be no power in the question at all. None at all. Not for pro-lifers wanting to defend God, not pro-choicers 'following' God's example by 'killing babies'. (I hesitate to even type these words, but I'm just using the language of the question).

Its reasonable to ask, and the answer surely simple.

Benjamin Ady said...


I was using "damn" to mean "extremely"

However, I was in a certain mood last night. And I see that it's not really *that* reasonable. so I corrected the original post. Thankyou.

I disagree with your assessment of the power of the question. In the context within which it was asked, it strikes me a relatively powerful question. And by that I mean a priest was pretty much in-invitedly trying to foist his choice upon Jen, and she was no doubt feeling a bit scared, a bit alone, and a bit defensive, and the question was a way for her to get some power back within their interaction by in a way saying "who are you to say I'm wrong?"

By the way, in case you didn't read the actual story, the priest responded with "That's an awful question". Which IMHHO is an awful answer.

My answer, I think would be another question--perhaps "so do you believe that if you have an abortion, it will constitute killing a baby?"

What would your (simple) answer be?

Benjamin Ady said...


does it amount to 'playing god' when one human being has sex with another human being, knowing that a baby could result? If so, then

well, then what? then people play god every day, and we can't really get out of the responsibility.

or to put it another way "You are the light/salt/god of the world" that is, all the light/salt/god some people will ever see? what responsibility does this lay upon those who choose to say and act upon "I am a follower of Christ? Is this responsibility bigger or smaller than the responsibility of the the choice to terminate a pregnancy?

Justin said...

Hey Bens -- I'm sorry. I didn't read the context, which is probably not a good thing on such a significant and sobering issue. I was just responding to your post. I still haven't read it. I'm not sure if I should proceed.

But I have just a few quick thoughts in response only to your post and comment:

1. I guessed that’s what you meant by Damn. I thought it was reasonable to ask that question. Just not ‘Knock-down’. (I wasn't worried about the word damn, in case you think that. I'm an Aussie!)

2. Not that you or I would have said it on the post. But your response is obviously a better one that the 'priest' could have said. Or "Even if God did that, why would you want to 'kill babies'? Aren't you opposed to God doing that? Why not be more moral than God, rather than less moral?". (I find it hard to type that emotionally. And I hope no one takes me the wrong way. I'm just trying to think about how one might make a response to the question.)

3. My answer simply is this: God is the Author and Creator of life, and he alone can it away (And he can. And he does. Everyday. To every person eventually. That ever lived. And at every age.) And also this: God alone is judge and he alone can determine what is right and wrong (And he does determine it, and decide it. Everyday.)

God can and does take life. If I don't believe that, I may as well enroll in the Jefferson school of Deism. Which I'm not prepared to do, since its implications are far more globally damaging in my mind than the Judeo-Christian alternative.

JadeEJF said...

You know... my answer to this is somewhat fluid, in the fact that I think my opinion on the topic is in the middle of a seismic shift. I think I mostly agree with Sam, that the answer to that question is "Who made you God?"

However, a little background for you on where I'm coming from :) I've got two non-religious reasons not to have an abortion personally (1. I'm adopted, 2. I have fertility problems). I think I still consider myself pro-choice politically (or maybe no-choice politically, since this is certainly not the issue that remotely affects how I vote for a candidate). But, in general, my answer to the abortion question has generally been that while I would never have one personally, I don't want to take that choice away from others.

But I'm also of the opinion that God gives life and God takes it away. That's why I'm against capital punishment.

However, things being as they are these days, I'm more and more likely to try to talk someone into having that child. I, personally, would take care of that child that the female in question doesn't want, and I, personally, would give anything to be in a position to make that choice (of course, that choice would be pretty darn easy for me!).

So... like I say- my thinking on the topic is somewhat muddied by all these factors. I'm not able to think through it logically anymore, really. So, that's the long and the short of it. And really, the long ;)

Benjamin Ady said...


I'm really sorry to hear about your difficulty getting pregnant. I can't even imagine how hard that must be.

Again, in context, I think Jen was using the question to throw the very question you respond with back at the priest who was pressuring her not to have an abortion--to rephrase a question Jesus asked--"Who made you a judge over me?" or "Who made you God?"

You and I agree on some things, I see. Their position on abortion wouldn't remotely affect my vote for a candidate either. I'm also against capital punishment (as is an ever increasing majority of the rest of the world)

Today I saw a bumper sticker that said "If men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament". I don't really think so. I'm thinking if men got pregnant, and ... I got pregnant, there's no way in hell I'd ever choose an abortion. But like you, I wouldn't want to force that choice on others. I would love the world to be a place where such a choice wasn't appealing.

JadeEJF said...

Yep :) I'm all about helping the world be someplace where there are lots more appealing choices :) I helped out at home with a crisis nursery, and would love to get back around to doing that. Do you guys know of any in the area?