[August 5, 2022] Abortion is obviously wrong. I don’t believe any sane person would recommend someone they dearly love have an abortion. I don’t think we would give our little sister an abortion as a gift. There is little debate on that front.
The question we should ask is whether all wrong things should be illegal. Ultimately, our cultural debate over abortion, more often than not, involves the legality of abortion. That is a difficult question to answer. Everything that is wrong is not illegal. Furthermore, the impact of pregnancies affects women far greater than it does on men. And these are no trivial issues that we must come to terms with if we are to get anywhere in the fierce debate we are having over the legality of abortion.
“There is no decent place to stand in a massacre.” – Leonard Cohen, legendary musician
In this quote, Leonard Cohen meant that sometimes we are aware there is no good decision left. No matter what we do, all decisions are wrong. The follow-on question is, “How did you get here?” If you find yourself in a position where you are seeking an abortion, the question you should ask yourself is, “How did I get here?”
One of the problems in the debate over the legalization of abortion is that we have a lot to straighten out with the sexual relationships between men and women. The relationships are bent and warped, and twisted out of shape. There is a clear path in our churches, but folks are walking away from religion more today than at any time in history. Culturally, the solution is no longer clear.
We should see that the legality of abortion is nested inside the larger discussion of the morality of abortion. And the moral discussion is nested inside an even larger discussion of the proper place of sexuality in human behavior, religion, morality, and culture. This is the place where the problem of abortion needs to be addressed. Without this discussion, there can never be consensus on the way forward. We will remain tied into an eternal and destructive battle without end, which does not bode well for us as a culture.
The question remains, “What to do about it?” The old answer was “get married.” That’s a good answer, and it’s an answer that people should listen to. But, in the modern world, you just can’t say, “Don’t have sex until you’re married.” You will be ignored, and people will see you as a prude, a killjoy, a stuffed-shirt whacko.
The ultimate problem with the legality of abortion is that we are not mature enough as a culture to have a serious discussion about sexuality in our culture. We need to have an honest discussion, and we are simply not doing so. Sadly, we have no genuine desire to do so. Sides are chosen. The battleground is laid out before us. There is no incentive to talk. There is no desire to resolve it.
The eternal debate about the legalization of abortion, as horrible as it is, is only the surface of a much deeper problem that we refuse to deal with.
We are a cynical culture, and we are not wise enough to look at the institution of marriage and understand what it signifies. Marriage is a place where people can tie their lives together and make themselves stronger. It’s a place where people can tell the truth to one another. It’s a place where sex can be adequately integrated into life (and that is no easy task). And marriage is where children can be placed first and foremost to ensure their proper development.
The much broader discussion that has to happen before we can address the legality of abortion is not happening. It means we will not see any resolution. This is no joke. The damage is incredible, and yet our future depends upon it.
The lives of millions of human beings depend upon us resolving the sexuality issue. And it ain’t a happening; we’re not even trying.
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