Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why Conservative Protestantism is the biggest threat to the Pro-Life cause.

I have become convinced that the central threat to the Pro-Life movement is none other than Protestantism itself. This is because what Protestantism considers "Pro-Life" is not what the term actually means. So when Protestants and Catholics "join forces" for Pro-Life causes, the Pro-Life cause is undermined from the very start. Let me explain.

As everyone knows, within Protestantism there is no official position on abortion. Indeed, there's no way for them to even say whether it's an essential or non-essential Christian doctrine, much less what the parameters are. A large percentage of major Protestant denominations allow divorce. While it is true that these pro-abortion Protestants don't engage in Pro-Life causes, the mere fact they operate under a "Christian" banner is a huge blow to the Pro-Life cause. But that's only half the picture.

The other half of the picture consists of the anti-abortion (Conservative) Protestant denominations who allow "exceptions" to the rule. For example, allowing abortion in the case of rape, incest, health of the mother, and birth defects. The great majority of Conservative Protestants embrace some form of the "except for" clause, and these are the ones often joining forces with Catholicism. But if murder is allowed for certain "exceptions," then one is not really opposing murder (itself) at all, but rather something else. At that point, it's virtually impossible to push for a coherent anti-abortion legislation, since it would amount to saying it is permissible to kill innocent life in one case but not another. So why do Conservative Protestants allow for "exceptions"? The reason is because Conservative Protestants are more focused on "taking responsibility" rather than a firmly established notion of "sanctity of life." They view the abortion problem as anyone who engages in sexual relations should "know the risks" and "take responsibility" if new life is conceived. On the other hand, this means that if a woman is raped or has mental/physical health risks she should "not have to take responsibility." This is why they use language in their statements such as forbidding abortion for matters of "personal convenience." That said, I don't believe this is due to any malice on the part of Conservative Protestants, but rather I believe it is because they lack the intellectual abilities that Catholicism is granted by the Holy Spirit in virtue of being the one true Church. That's not a boast, it's a humble statement of reality: such confusion on what it means to be Pro-Life is impossible when the Holy Spirit is guiding.