Friday, May 13, 2022

The First Domino

Perhaps one of the more bizarre arguments that has been presented, even as far as into the mainstream media through talking heads, in the wake of a leaked decision potentially overturning federal abortion law in this country, is the idea that this is just the "first domino." If we let these "Christians" overturn Roe v. Wade, they are saying, then we lose homosexual marriage, too. And maybe women in the workplace. And desegregation. The end game, they say, is that we're going to reinstate slavery. 

Yes, actual slavery. 

The narrative is that what we are trying to do is turn back the clock and reclaim all of our "beloved Conservative values," whatever that means. Whatever they can spin that to mean to make sure that you are scared that your very lifestyle is at stake because hey, if sex isn't free then nobody is free

That's the argument, anyway. 

On the surface, it seems silly. But if you start going down an ethical rabbit hole, it's not as far-fetched as it seems. If we are "radically pro-life" and if we actually live a pro-life ethic, then it rattles the foundations of homosexual marriage because homosexual relations are not biologically able to have life. If we are basing our pro-life stance, even in part, on a notion that sexual relations belong in the covenant of marriage, then it might make sense in some understandings to say that we must then safeguard the covenant of marriage anew, too, to preserve the kind of sexual relations that are had in it, as it is the place that life is conceived. 

One of the rationales for slavery, for a long time, was that certain classes of persons were "less" than human, less than fully human, somehow defective compared to the superior class of individuals. And it can be scary to think that if we start talking about only having life that is carried to full term, how easy it is to want to start determining which life is even worth conceiving. If we start doing that, then we start categorizing persons as worthy of reproducing or not and if we start doing that, then we end up with a class of undesirables that we not only are trying to control, but we must. 

It's interesting that these sorts of ideas spin so easily off of an ethic that begins at a place that says that all life is valuable, but we have seen how broken men (and women) act. We have seen how we treat one another. We know, sadly, what we're capable of. 

So it's not as simple as just dismissing this weird argument as totally offbeat; based on human history, it kind of makes sense...but only in the world's ethic. 

See, it's the world's ethic, not the Christian one, that worries about preserving a certain gene pool. It's the world's ethic that wants to determine which lives are worth living and which aren't. It's the world's ethic, which is right now trying to argue that a fetus should be allowed to be killed because it is undesirable by any measure anyone can come up with, that would then want to try to strap down and say that only certain lives are worth even conceiving, if they are forced to be carried to term. It's the world that would want to control that, not Christians. 

I have actually heard talking heads say that if a woman's "right" to an abortion is removed, then all of our other rights fall one by one. Equality is lost. Everything we've fought for for generations is just gone, just like that. But I don't think that has to be true. 

It could be, if the world pushes it that way, but it won't be Christians pushing it that way. We'll probably get blamed for it, but it's just not the Christian ethic. Not the real Christian ethic, anyway. Which is why it's so important, as we push deeper into this, for us to affirm a truly pro-life stance through and through - a stance that cares as much about the life of the living, and the dying, and even the undesirable (whatever that means), as the unborn. 

It's so strange that in a moment when we are standing up and pushing back against those who favor a free and unhindered access to abortion, to the killing of the unborn, that we are the ones who have to keep saying, "We are not trying to take your life away from you." 

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