When doing pro-life activism on the streets we often hear interesting results from the Christians that cross our path. Some appreciate what we are doing. Some have concerns, and some of those concerns are interesting ones. After only three months of doing this work full-time I have the feeling that I've heard it all. I haven't, of course, there are always interesting new angles to look at. As a CCBR intern, I have been taught how to reply to nearly every pro-choice argument in the book, but when it comes to people who bring up the Bible there are endless questions that are brought to our attention and many that we need to think through on the spot. However, one question that is definitely a recurring theme is, "Why do you think that God needs images? Don't you think that He has the power to change minds through His Word?"
One of the questions pro-life activists are asked often is, "Why don't you use Christian arguments to make the case against abortion? Isn't the case against abortion inseparably rooted in the fact that human beings are created in God's image?"
Well, yes. And also, no. Let me explain.
First of all, the example we would usually give is that of a firefighter. A firefighter wouldn't cease in his task of saving lives, of pulling endangered human beings from a burning building, to talk about God with people inside the burning building. The immediacy of the circumstances demands that he work first to rescue those being "drawn unto death." However, we would point out that a firefighter honors God by fighting against imminent and dire circumstances to preserve God's gift of life. The firefighter's actions illustrate the underlying truth behind them: That life is precious. Parallel examples (resistance workers pulling Jews off death camp trains, humanitarian workers hiding fleeing refugees from genocidal forces) could also be used to illustrate this point. Just as the actions of these human rights defenders honor God by fighting for those created in His image, so too does the actions of those seeking to defend the lives of those in imminent danger of abortion.
Every day, at the crack of dawn, our sons Jonah and Elliot climb into our bed to snuggle together and sleep for a little longer. Today was different. While the house was quiet and the sun still hid behind the horizon, I laid awake thinking about last night's debate. It became clear that my opponent, Dr. Fraser Fellows, had no coherent argument for abortion, nor did he rebut the pro-life case against abortion—more about this in a post on CCBR's blog later. But an event like this also warrants personal reflection.
Every once in a while, I read something that surprises me with its impact. On Tuesday, I stumbled across an article posted on the "Gender Focus" website just a few minutes before—the opening sentence was: "This afternoon I had an abortion."
The word "abortion" doesn't lose its power when you see what it looks like every day, and when the focus of your week is exposing the public to literature depicting what the Toronto Star called "bloodied, tiny bodies" a few days ago. It's a word that hides, not reveals. It represents the passing of a human being, forced from this life by our barbarism, our selfishness, and our apathy.
In today's world, it is proving to be more and more difficult for people, especially teenagers, to dare to explore their full potential and use this to influence others and make a difference in the world around them. It is so tempting to take the safe road through life, to sit back comfortably and go about the same repetitive tasks of eating, sleeping, and socializing. It has become normal, when you hear of an issue, to absorb and accept the information the media and people in our lives feed to us without giving it a second thought. Putting thought into something is seen by most teenagers as an unnecessary and difficult task to be avoided by all costs. Asking questions and inquiring about the "facts" to see if they are completely accurate is almost unheard of, and acting contrary to this results in being labelled as "nerd." It is uncool to have a stance of your own in political or ethical issues because of the degrading ideology that sweeps like wildfire through countless minds every day.