Pre-Marital Hiatus

As I posted a couple of months ago, I am getting married! Because we're crazy (in love) we have set our wedding date as November 23, 2013. That being said, I am now left without much free time and one thing that must necessarily be cut -- to make room for tasting cakes, meeting with DJs, and general planning -- is blogging.

For this reason, I am putting Biblical Conservatism on break until after my nuptials. I hope to return sometime in December or January, but until then I will be taking a break from blogging.

If you are wondering, the Biblical Conservatism Facebook Page will remain active as best I can manage, so please feel free to interact with me there!

Should anything of particularly pressing need come up, I'll come back with a post. Otherwise, I'll see you in six months or so!

Guest Post - How Being Anti-Abortion Is Like Being Anti-Slavery: An appeal to the Pro-Life movement

As I mentioned Tuesday, I was going to be the day I announced a hiatus from blogging to give more time to preparing for my upcoming wedding...then my good friend and fellow blogger The JC_Freak posted two great articles for his blog on the subject of abortion.  Today I am happy to feature the second.

As a strongly pro-life individual, I am always pleased to pass along a simple, well articulated statement of how to properly debate with a Pro-Choicer.

I am not the kind of person who is frustrated when my opponent makes a point that I am not prepared for. My reaction is usually, "Huh. I should research that." But what really grinds my gears is when an ally makes a really bad point.

I'm sure as fellow pro-lifers you can empathize with that. Here we are, trying to stop people from killing babies, and somehow we are treated as horrible people. With a vast majority of the media on one side, all they have to do is quote any pro-life advocate that misspeaks, or when a stupid person who happens to be pro-life... well speaks. This is why it is incredibly important for us to really focus on messaging, because there are millions of lives that count on us communicating our message well.

So I propose a two piece plan. First of all, we need to associate ourselves with a historical movement which was not only successful, but recognized as a good thing by the general public, as well as one that we have a legitimate association with. And lo and behold this isn't that difficult: slavery.

So similarities between Pro-Life and Abolitionism:
  • Both have to do with human rights. At the end of the day, that is all that we are fighting for: that the rights of a particular group of humans is recognized and respected. And not just the right to speak or anything like that, but the right to be treated as human beings.

  • Both have to confront dehumanization. I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not think that being Pro-Choice is anything like being Pro-Slavery. Abortion and slavery are very different institutions, and thus the defences for them are very different. That said, since both abolition and Pro-life are based on recognizing a group's humanity, opposition to us must include why that group isn't fully human. This means that we can look to how such dehumanization was combated in the 19th century, and see if any of it is translatable. And of course maintain the campaign of showing people how these children really are children through pictures and other such means.
  • Both are religiously motivated. I am not ashamed of this, but it is important to point out how religion plays a role in this debate. It is because the issue which really divides the two sides is whether or not an unborn child is human, and defining what a human is outside of religious circles is difficult. Indeed, the very notion of human rights was founded by religious circles, and it is questionable whether the concept can really survive when societies shift to secularism. But philosophy aside, when we are accused about being overly religious, we can look back and point out how important religion was to the abolitionists.

  • Both are driven by an uncompromising ethic. It is as difficult to compromise on the killing of children as it is to compromise on men, women, and children living in chains. Which means that we should be the first who are appalled by sex-trafficking, bigotry, and all denials of humanity that exist around the world. Don't let the liberals own those issues. Those should be our issues.

  • Both are movements championed by the Republican Party. Just saying. 
Right now the Pro-Choice movement gets a lot of distance by connecting itself to the feminist movement. We really should be using the same kind of rhetoric since we are really grounded in the same tradition as the abolitionists. So let us celebrate that heritage and proclaim it. 
The second piece of the plan is to stay on message. We are about human rights. The unborn child has rights. That's it. Any objection, and I mean "any", can and should be answered from that basic viewpoint. 
PC: What about in the case of rape?
PL: Does that justify killing the offspring?
PC: What if the mother's life were in danger?
PL: Yes, she also has the right to life. We don't ignore the women, and therefore there is not simple answer, but such a question should recognize that both lives are equally precious.
PC: It is the woman's body?
PL: There are two person's bodies in question here. Both should be respected
Just this simple rule would prevent us from saying anything dumb. Nothing more needs to be said. The argument stands for itself. If the conversation shifts to why is the child human, than that is exactly where we want it to go! Focus all of our energy on that one point. The Pro-Life movement stands or falls on that point. Therefore let it!

Thank you.

The JC_Freak's blog can be read at each week.

Guest Post - Abortion Is Not About Equality: An appeal to the Pro-Choice movement

Today was going to be the day I announced a hiatus from blogging to give more time to preparing for my upcoming wedding...then my good friend and fellow blogger The JC_Freak posted two great articles for his blog on the subject of abortion.  Today I am happy to feature the first.

As a strongly pro-life individual, I am always pleased to pass along a simple, well articulated statement of what the Pro-Life movement really believes.

OK, a couple of caveats. I don't want to be deceitful, so I'll come right out and say that I am Pro-Life and I am sure that affects how I view Pro-Choice rhetoric. But, to any Pro-Choice person out there, please don't reject my point here until I have actually stated it, because I may not be saying what you think I will be saying.

First of all, I completely acknowledge that it is proper to understand the Pro-Choice movement as defending rights, specifically women's rights. What I reject is the idea that just because we are dealing with women's rights that we are therefore dealing with equality. In reality, we are dealing with a moral issue that happens to only directly affect women.

Here is where I think you (that is pro-choice people) have a point. In most contexts, a person has the right to decide what medial procedures will and will not be done to them. The government should not have the right to say that a smoker who develops lung cancer should just deal with the cancer because it is the natural consequences of their choices. In fact, I think we pro-lifers actually undercut our message when our arguments seem to ignore this.

However, there are other notable exceptions to this: suicide and drugs for instance. I would also include prostitution here, though it isn't a medical procedure. But it is still true that there are exceptions to the idea that we are allowed to do whatever we want with our own bodies. It is also important to note that the above activities are illegal for both men and for women. It is not gender specific.

And, quite frankly, neither is the illegality of abortion. The fact that it only influences woman is a consequence of biology, not patriarchy. Any Pro-Life person would equally abhor a man killing a fetus if he were pregnant; it just only happens in movies. The morality of the thing falls on our belief that the fetus is a human being and thus should have human rights. I want the full rights and privileges of the mother to be maintained in tension with the full rights and privileges of the child.

But here is the Pro-Life position, and I'll wrap it up really tight so that there is no confusion: fetuses are children. To me, the distinction between a fetus and a newborn is no different than a newborn and a toddler. Morally they are equivalent. So in a nutshell, we want human rights for fetuses. That is it. Period.

I regret that making abortion illegal will force a long term medical situation on the mother, and that is not shallow regret. I really regret it. It is a horrible thing to force on someone, especially since pregnancy shouldn't be something horrible. It is the most beautiful thing in the world, and I hate the fact that it can become something ugly in a woman's life because it was forced on her. That is appalling to me. But so is killing children.

And that is what we are against: killing children whether by men or women. This particular means is only biologically available to women, so naturally restricting it would only affect women. Thus, it is legitimately a matter of women's rights: how should the mother's rights and the child's rights be resolved when they are in direct conflict? That is a very difficult question, but it has nothing to do with mean at all, and thus has nothing to do with equality or inequality. I believe that equality is a very important thing, and tying abortion into the category of equality both waters down the word, and can hinder legislation that is truly about equality under the law between men and women. This issue is a separate issue, and should be kept separate.

Thank you for your consideration.

The JC_Freak's blog can be read at each week.