a generous paradoxy: an inconsistent truth

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Saturday, September 13th, 2008

a generous paradoxy: an inconsistent truth

this is the third of a series of 3 blogs titled, a generous paradoxy. if you missed the first 2 posts, you can catch up here and here.

let me begin by unequivocally stating something: i am passionately opposed to abortion.
i value life—born and unborn. i believe that life begins at conception (i could actually argue that it begins long before that, but that’s another conversation altogether) and that an unborn child has the same right to life as me and you. i believe that abortion is one of the great epidemics in our country and a cursory look at the number of abortions since 1973 further support this claim (the numbers i’ve seen are somewhere around 46 to 48 million). to me, it’s truly heartbreaking.
now, before i go any further, let me state a few things. while i passionately oppose abortion, i do not passionately oppose the people who choose to have abortions. i do not condemn those who make that choice. if anything, i have more compassion and love for these people because they are most likely in a place in their life of desperation or loneliness or financial uncertainty or something that pushed them to the place of choosing to have an abortion. i oppose those who choose to self righteously use people’s time of hurt to make political and religious points and i oppose those who demonize women who make the choice to abort their child.
in my opposition, i stand with millions of christians (and others, for that matter) across the united states. there is a great paradox, though, when it comes to a consistent ethic of life.
let me, again, unequivocally state something: i am equally passionately opposed to both the death penalty and war. i am opposed to anything that takes the life of another—especially when it’s state-sanctioned.
in regards to the issue of inconsistency when it comes to an ethic of valuing life, i am simply amazed, to say the very least. i am puzzled as to why people can be so enraged and attackful about taking the life of an unborn child, but can be so adamantly in favor—to the point of invoking the name of god—of taking the lives of others via the death penalty and war. christians, particularly, are probably the most inconsistent when it comes to an ethic of life of any other group of people.
why do we pick and choose what kind of killing is okay? killing an unborn child is an atrocious thing.
and so is killing an iraqi.
so is killing someone convicted of murder.
so is killing a terrorist.
so is killing someone who couldn’t afford adequate legal representation.
so is killing someone involved in the 9/11 attacks.
so is killing someone who has killed your family member. or your spouse. or your child.
god is a god who honors all people because he created them in his own image.
it’s time the church come together and proclaim the truth of scriptures that says that when we take someone’s life, we have taken a part of god’s creation. it’s time to lay aside the great paradoxical ethic of life that says that some lives are valued and some are not.
it only seems fitting to end this 3-part series with another derek webb song. in this case, appropriately, it’s his song called a consistent ethic of human life. a simple outro for this experiment called a generous paradoxy.

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