Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tragedy... and hypocrisy

So the first news story that caught my attention this morning was about Dr Tiller, known abortion doctor, getting shot in his church in Kansas this morning. When I got on Facebook today, several people made some sort of reference to the story, expressing sentiments from "violence is never the answer" to "that's karma." Interesting. There's a bumper sticker that I've always liked that says something along the lines of, "Why do we kill people to show that killing people is wrong?" It's speaking about capital punishment, but let's face it - the actions this person took this morning were an act of renegade capital punishment. There are people cheering those actions, saying that the Dr deserved what he got for what he did to all those unborn babies/fetuses (pick the term you prefer - there's a debate about which is correct and most inflammatory).

It may surprise several of you to know that I myself am pro-life. As much as I get the feminist argument for abortion and the right to choose, I can't quite get there. I've always believed that taking a life is wrong - any life. And I understand the debate about defining when life actually begins - when does a cluster of cells become another human life? I don't know. I don't think any of us can make that call, no matter how much science tries to give us a definition. Let's face it - the creation of life is a miracle that science hasn't quite been able to replicate. I'm an intelligent person and I value science highly, but it can't answer all of the questions and it's still up to us to decide what to do with the knowledge we get from it. I don't think I have the right or ability to say when life begins and I prefer to err on the safe side. However, I also think that abortion should be legal and regulated in this country because I recognize that this is a moral decision that I can't make for everyone else. I don't want to see women dying from illegal procedures or feeling shame for something that society makes undiscussable.

I don't think that the work this dr did was necessarily good or right, but I also don't think the work a lot of lawyers do is good or right. I don't think anyone has the right to determine when life begins - OR WHEN IT ENDS. While I'm a contradiction to most people - a self proclaimed progressive, feminist and lesbian who's prolife - I feel like I'm at least consistent. I'm against killing anyone of any age. A murderer on death row is following the "eye for an eye" mantra, the very thing Jesus flipped on its ear. We're supposed to love and forgive even those who do the unthinkable. Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you. Granted, this is not at all the way our entire legal and justice system work but it should be how the church works - not having people in the church saying that someone killed got what they deserved. Did Jesus get what he deserved too? When will we stop being hypocrites and start being Christians?

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