Tag Archives: abortion

Inconvenient Insights, part 2

The American and European public squares are replete with extremism, polarizing language, and moral cowardice. Yes, that is correct: moral cowardice. Political correctness and an unwillingness to confront facts are deceiving millions into buying into false historical narratives and feeling paralyzed about making any absolute statements. Here are some paradoxical realities that deserve critical thinking and deep reflection, not platitudes and soundbites.

Islamic jihadists do not believe in fostering a pluralistic society, with liberty of conscience/religion, free speech and diverse worldviews learning civility and common good unity. While the vast majority of Muslims live peaceably with neighbors of all faiths or none, the agitators are proposing either a gradual or abrupt takeover of the West (and the rest) in the name of their faith. Extremists defend the subjugation and even extermination of all opponents of Islam and in chilling Orwellian fashion, declare that true “freedom” is only found in submission to their version of Islam.

What makes the above particularly nefarious is the cozy relationship between the pagan-secular Left and radical Islam. The political Left will persecute artists and bakers for refusing to endorse same sex weddings but turn a blind eye to the jihadist’s oppression of women, anti-Semitism, and blatant denunciations of gender and sexual liberty! This is moral cowardice where hatred of Jewish and Christian morality triumphs over history and reason.

Abortion kills babies. While a tragic necessity in rare cases of the mother’s survival or baby’s unviability, “pro-choice” advocates are now celebrating the termination of life at all stages, from early gestation to infanticide. And anyone who disagrees is depriving women of reproductive rights. The missing part of this “pro-choice” extremism is the choices men and women make that lead to conception and the irresponsibility of fathers in particular to care for the fruit of their intimacy. While incest and rape may be presented as exceptions, the vast majority (97%+) of abortions are elective due to economic or emotional issues. This is moral cowardice.

The refusal of many conservative Christians to face the realities of emotional and sexual abuse, racism, and sexism within their histories and current structures is also moral cowardice. In a convoluted desire not to bring shame to the church or the gospel, leaders that cover serious transgressions or make excuses for a lack of justice actually do greater harm to Christian witness. Regardless of ecclesial traditions, no person should feel disempowered or marginalized by any church. Becoming intentional about lamenting our tragic history of racism and sexism can lead to new friendships and true reconciliation. Victims of abuse must be heard and helped, and perpetrators brought to justice.

Moral cowardice can be overcome with humility and love, intentional repentance and resolution, and fostering new friendships across the barriers we create, and Jesus died to destroy and transform.

Observations: Thinking More Deeply

Life is often a prism, with color and light refracted so many ways. When we hear each other’s stories, we see more of the beauty and brokenness, wit and wisdom in our world. Ask a friend to share their experience – and you will be better for listening.

Beauty, goodness, justice, and love are four “echoes of a Voice” (N.T. Wright) that point toward a Creator and the best attributes of being human. 

While I enjoy watching Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors rise to the occasion in a game…I want to thank every faithful husband and wife, mom and dad, woman and man who show they are champions every day. Your love, diligence, loyalty, and hard work make our world better.

When I was 12, my dad wrote in the Harvard Alumni Journal that “Charles is a fiery humanist and a repressed basketball star (too short).” I had heart, but not the gifts needed to go beyond early high school. But we can all discover and fulfill our place in God’s world, growing in character, charisma and capacity.

Deeply sad. A young, privileged politician harasses, tried to dox and calls on others to make life miserable for a 77-yr-old woman praying for mercy and protesting abortion. Passionate disagreement is fine, but this kind of inversion where a kind woman is accused of all manner of hatred is inexcusable. Friends on all sides of all issues – can we please debate without intimidation?

Awakened today with all the personal and social tensions of our world on my mind. Feeling hopeful and wounded, envisioned and saddened at the same time. What can I do? 
Pray. Steward today well. Refuse entrapments. Bless the very ones angry with my worldview. Live in the opposite spirit of our polarized world. 
Friends of all political and religious persuasions: You are loved and respected and together we can improve our world one act at a time.

Do we Really Desire the Truth?

“The truth shall set you free.” This quote from the Gospel of John, chapter 8 verse 32 is often quoted and rarely understood in context. Jesus is speaking about the differences between his real followers and those that profess religious adherence while avoiding obedience to love and truth.

Just before this verse, Jesus shares that his true followers obey his commands…and THEN, the fullness of liberating truth comes into view. In other words, knowledge alone does not liberate; a relationship with God is what matters most.  And, consistent with all of St. John’s writings, proof of life with God is that God’s people love one another and all around them, willingly serving those that cannot return the favor.

When God-infused, unselfish love is the foundation of our lives, we can face the truth of any matter head-on, because we know we are loved by God and care more for his glory and the good of others that our selfish wants. We can face the truth about ourselves and our need for continual transformation. We can face facts about the economic, moral and social issues of our day, knowing that our neighbors are both divine image-bearers and in need of redemption.

Knowing the truth is liberating and here are some applications to everyday issues:

  • Abortion kills a human being. In an extremely small number of cases, preserving a mother’s life may require a tragic moral choice; however, technology allows us to see a real human developing inside the womb!
  • Our southern border needs regulation with hospitality, security with compassion. Ignoring it only exacerbates human suffering and political and economic agendas of elites that have no contact with the people involved.
  • Our soaring deficits are inexcusable, with tax revenues the highest in history. Smart people can balance our federal budget in a few hours, while cowardly congressional leaders kick the can down the road of future oppression.
  • Affordable housing is a local and national crisis. Neither socialism or hyper-libertarianism can lead us to the private-public partnerships and common good solutions we need. 

If we love God and our neighbor, we will seek solutions for these and other apparently intractable problems. We can face both human misery and divine opportunity with hopeful realism. It is time for thoughtful folks to say, “Enough!” to posturing politicians and pundits and work for justice neighborhood by neighborhood.