Sanctity of life – not just for unborn babies anymore

I’m against abortion. I hate the idea. I understand that in some cases, abortion is necessary. I’m going to have to let you decide what those cases are. I’m not really sure that the government is the agent to make that choice either. To me, life-affirmation is more than what we do with the babies, unborn or born.

I don’t think that a baby is any more sanctified than me, or you, or even you. I do understand that babies are rather helpless and dependent on others for protection, but in terms of sanctity of life, I don’t see anywhere in any book that the latest baby born in Baptist hospital has any more sanctity than my nephew who may be going to Iraq or the guy out in the hall wielding a mop.

Which brings me to my larger point, or at least part of my larger point. When does wasteful spending and waste of life come into the equation? We’ve spent approximately $1.2 Trillion (TRILLION!) on the Iraq war.

Consider the cost of this war in an article by David Leonhardt in today’s NY Times.

The way to come to grips with $1.2 trillion is to forget about the number itself and think instead about what you could buy with the money. When you do that, a trillion stops sounding anything like millions or billions.

For starters, $1.2 trillion would pay for an unprecedented public health campaign — a doubling of cancer research funding, treatment for every American whose diabetes or heart disease is now going unmanaged and a global immunization campaign to save millions of children’s lives.

That’s a lotta lives that could be improved or saved. Broaden that focus a bit…

Randall Balmer a professor of American religious history at Barnard College, Columbia University, a visiting professor at Yale Divinity School, speaks about a different Christian perspective:

It’s one thing to construct a moral case against abortion (a case with which I generally sympathize), but if those scruples have no bearing on your attitudes toward war or capital punishment or torture, then it amounts to little more than, to use St. Paul’s phrase, “a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”

Finally, from Diane Butler Bass, a blogger on the Sojourner website,

Behind the stale rituals of abortion

On this January 22, I am reminded that the Christian community has, for the most part, failed regarding abortion. Certainly, there are isolated examples of Christian care for the least when it comes to abortion. For the most part, however, we have given in to slogans and untenable philosophies. We do not bear transformative witness of hospitality to the “least of these” or prophetically challenge the disordered “relations of power” that plague our lives, churches, and society. Until we live in hospitality and justice, the world will continue to ignore abortion – thinking instead that Christians are more concerned with the ethics of potlucks than with the oppressed and powerless.


We all know the ritualistic positions on the ‘life’ issue and how they are generally confined to prenatal issues. It’s time to move onward, upward and to a place where the belief in life is more than a political position about birthing, to a place where the spark inside each one of us is cherished and recognized, and yes, in some cases, worth fighting for…



Filed under sanctity of life

3 responses to “Sanctity of life – not just for unborn babies anymore

  1. I am in the presence of greatness.

    Best post I’ve read all day.

  2. This is great. Although I think you understate the amount of ministering to “the least of these” that Christians are currently undertaking. I’ve seen it; there is far more non-governmental “taking care of the poor” going on than most people know, probably because Jesus also commanded us not to brag about it. But, we of course are not doing enough.

    As for Iraq, it now matters not if the original reasons for the war were noble (I believe they were), they no longer matter because the situation on the ground has changed. We have to clean up the mess we made and get out. Doing the last without doing the first would be the height of immorality. AND we have to do it in a way that doesn’t allow that maniac in Iran control of his neighbor.

    It will take sober, grown up minds to solve this.

    Once again, great post!

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