Rape, Abortion, and the Moral High Ground
Recently, a long term friend and I got into a discussion about abortion over a few glasses of scotch. The debate devolved quickly into an outright fight. I held firm in the position that abortion was either a form of murder, and was therefore wrong in all instances where the physical life of the mother wasn’t threatened, or it wasn’t. The friend insisted that there must be exceptions in instances of rape or incest.
What really angered me in this exchange was the faultiness of his logic and his insistence that I was in error because I was allowing my faith to dictate my political opinion on the matter. First, the logic he employed in his defense was that I could never understand the circumstances of a woman impregnated due to rape. I reject this flat out because it assumes that I am incapable of being empathetic to the situation unless I allow for the premeditated murder of an innocent. His counter to my claim the child was innocent was to claim the child is, by nature of the act in which it was conceived, a “bad seed”, a claim I find highly ironic coming from someone who rejects the moral arguments against abortion.
I attempted to demonstrate the faultiness of his argument by arguing that he, as a white man, could never understand the plight of a black man, or an illegal alien, and therefore he should never argue against reparations or amnesty. Of course it would be absurd, and harmful to society in the whole, to pair down what issues one may opine on based on gender, race, or ethnicity, yet when it comes to abortion many have no problem cozying up to this illogical and balkanizing form of argumentation.
Even though I know that these are direct parallels to his logic, he refused to acknowledge the fact and attempted to paint me as being nothing but a Jesus zombie, simply parroting dogma rather than having struggled with the legal and logical aspects of abortion in America.
When he realized that I would not relent, he went into a long diatribe about how I had changed since I started attending church regularly again, something I have been doing for all but two years of the time he has known me. The end of the evening came when I finally said to him that if he is so offended by my faith, maybe we should cease being friends.
I am sharing this experience in light of the recent gaffe by Rep. Akin because I believe his gaffe is a byproduct of an environment in politics that encourages us to be offended by, if not outright hostile to, positions based on Judeo-Christian morality.
Social Conservatives are often encouraged to soften their tones, to refer to objective science when arguing issues of morality, as a way to skirt past the objections of those who get an icky feeling in there stomach when God enters the discussion. Many Christians are familiar with that icky feeling, typically we refer to it as the Holy Spirit convicting us, but I digress.
As a movement, we do ourselves a disservice when we reach for quasi-scientific arguments in favor of our moral positions. The honest truth is that we fail because we are scared to stand on the principle itself and open ourselves to attacks and gaffes as Akin did.
We allow people like President Obama to capture the moral high ground when he says “Rape is rape.”
“Rape is rape, and the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing up what types of rape we’re talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people, and certainly doesn’t make sense to me.”
I appreciate the clarity that Obama provides here, and I say that only half mockingly. You see, I also believe murder is murder, and parsing and qualifying and slicing up what types of murder we are talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people, and certainly doesn’t make sense to me. The left and President Obama parse, qualify, and slice up what types of abortions are murder and which ones are legitimate ways of relieving a “burden” with nary a peep coming from the media.
And they get away with this largely because we are told not to stand up for our own moral principles. We are condemned by our opponents and friends alike when we mention that there are areas that are strictly black and white, allowing for no grey.
This shouldn’t be taken as an excuse to act like a cold hearted hardliner either. Many times there is an opportunity to make an emotional connection while making a logical argument. The case of abortions due to rape is an example where the emotional connection would prove fruitful.
To that end, I will go back to the story I shared at the beginning of this post.
A few days after the argument with my friend I went to talk to my mother about the entire incident. My mother is politically active and also has a lifetime of experience as a nurse. Unbeknownst to me, in my almost 36 years of existence, my mother was the product of a rape.
My mother has been responsible for saving countless number of lives in her 30 year career as a nurse. She worked mid shifts in the Maricopa County Hospital Emergency Room. She worked in the NICU in the same hospital. She worked as a crew member nurse on a flight for life helicopter at various points in her career. Today she works as a hospice nurse comforting those waiting on the inevitable.
This woman, my mother, has dedicated her entire adult life to saving others. To my friend, she was a “bad seed” whose life should have been snuffed out before even beginning, all because her father was incapable of controlling the lust that lived within him.
I am sure my friend never even considered the possible lives that would be lost if my mother had been aborted. In fact, he couldn’t have because he didn’t know my mother was the product of a rape.
God has a funny way of reaffirming our faith. In my case he used a friend accusing me of being controlled by my faith to show me how I have grown in my faith and further caused information to be revealed to me that reaffirmed why I am pro-life.
The bottom line is this: If Barack Obama, Claire McCaskill, and the majority of the Democratic Party had their druthers, my mother would have been killed in the womb. The people my mother saved would have missed out on the care she provided. If exceptions for rape would have been in place in 1955, I may have never existed.
Never the less, President Obama will be praised for wanting my mother dead, all because we have created an environment where morality isn’t in itself worthy of being defended. Not to mention life.