I was once invited to be a guest on a National Public Radio program in San Francisco. But before going on the air, the producer first wanted to know my stance on abortion. The accepted view, he commented, is that abortion is acceptable “until the fetus becomes a person.”
“That phrase carries enormous philosophical baggage,” I explained. “personhood theory assumes a fragmented view of human nature, which treats the body as expendable.” By contrast, “those who oppose abortion hold a holistic view of human nature as an integrated unity. They insist that the body has intrinsic, value and worth.”
The producer seemed surprised by this argument. I went on: “The pro-choice position is exclusive. It says that some people don’t measure up, don’t make the cut. They don’t qualify for the rights of personhood.” By contrast, “the pro-life position is inclusive. If you are a member of the human race, you’re ‘in.’ You have the dignity and status of a full member of the moral community.”
A few days later the producer contacted me to say the program had been canceled. It can be difficult for liberals to accept the dehumanizing implications of their views. I had used some of the most venerated liberal buzzwords (inclusive, holistic) to demonstrate that a biblical worldview actually fulfills the highest ideals of liberalism far better than any secular worldview.
Related recent posts found elsewhere:
- Jesus Loves the Little Children (Kevin DeYoung)
Christians have always opposed killing children, whether infants outside the womb or infants inside the womb. The two were one and the same crime. “You shall not abort a child or commit infanticide,” commanded The Didache, a late first century church constitution of sorts. Despite the muddled arguments of denominational study groups (whose obfuscation with language is positively Orwellian), opposition to abortion and infanticide is not simply one position for Christians, it is the Christian position.
- What About the Twins? The Deadly Logic of Abortion (Albert Mohler)
The Christian revulsion over abortion and the destruction of human life is based in the knowledge that God is the Author of all life and of every life, without exception. Abortion is the business of death, and it is the great wound that runs through the nation’s conscience. These shocking accounts [the Australian couple who aborted twin boys just because they wanted a baby girl, and the Pennsylvania doctor charged with murdering seven babies who were born alive] may sear their way into the nation’s collective conscience, but unless the basic logic of abortion rights is overturned, such accounts will erupt again and again.
- Update: Clarity Not Gadgetry: Pro-Life Apologetics for the Next Generation (Scott Klusendorf at The Gospel Coalition Blog)
Pro-life advocates contend that elective abortion unjustly takes the life of a defenseless human being. This simplifies the abortion controversy by focusing public attention on just one question: Is the unborn one of us? If so, killing him or her to benefit others is a serious moral wrong. Conversely, if the unborn are not human, elective abortion requires no more justification than having a tooth pulled.
- The $5 Friday specials from Ligonier Ministries include an eBook download of R. C. Sproul’s Abortion, and an audio and video download of his teaching series on abortion.