Thursday, March 13, 2014

Religion and Abortion

Lately there has been a lot of attacks being thrown at Representative Tyler for some comments made over an bill that would deny abortions based on sex-selection or to prevent the birth of a child with down syndrome.  People have sunk to the lows of calling her a liar and I am sure other nasty names.  In her heartfelt and emotional response to the debate of the bill, the Representative made several valid points.  One of which never really gets answered: the law is unenforceable.  There is no way to really determine the reasoning why a woman would have the abortion because she could provide any reason for it.  This is a feel-good piece of legislation that will have zero impact on the number of abortions performed in this state.  ZERO.

They also ignore the fact that Representative Tyler never voted on the bill since it was denied by several Right to Life proponents.  As Tyler posted in Madville Times:
I did not vote on the bill--it never made it to the House floor. It was voted down by the RTF life members of the committee. In fact RTL did not testify--they were told to leave this bill alone. And, as I have said may times, if anyone wants to know why I voted any way...just ask!
One other comment made by Representative Tyler is that her priest discussed with her why he believed that Jesus would have been pro-choice.  Apparently, this has people all over the country wanting to attack Representative Tyler.  The Dakota War College reports that a "national" right to life organization has picked up on the story.  In the story, they asked Representative Tyler's priest if he said that abortion was okay, (by the way Representative Tyler in no way said abortion was okay and specifically said, "I got after that — we have free will — and there is no way I would ever urge anyone to have an abortion.")  In response to the question of support for abortion, the Father stated:
Please understand that I am NOT in anyway supportive of any type of abortion. My conversation with Representative Tyler was in reference to free will. God gave us the choice to choose life or death — with the consequences of our choices.
To me that is exactly what Representative Tyler was talking about: free-will to make choices.  The religious views of abortion and the politics of abortion are mixed up and they shouldn't be.  The focus of legislating against free-will is one of the most ineffective methods of trying to prevent something.  Jesus gave us a clear model for us to follow: Don't condemn, don't belittle, don't cast the first stone, but instead learn to walk with the person.  If our focus were to begin to walk side by side with others instead of rule over them, then we would have a real impact on ending the "sin."  Jesus talks much more about loving and caring for another instead of the need for laws to restrict free-will.  I think one of the strongest verses on this subject is from Romans 14: 1-23:
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.
I wonder how many of the people passing this legislation have really walked with women that are considering abortions.  I wonder how many have spent real time getting to now their stories.  I wonder how many of them have offered support and kindness without bringing in their judgement for these women.  If they had, maybe there would be less need for abortions in this world.  If they had legislated like Jesus, maybe there would be fewer women considering and agonizing over the idea of needing an abortion in the first place.


  1. Thank you for did a superb job of reporting the reality of the situation, not the hype. It is much appreciated.

  2. Thank you and you are welcome. I appreciate when anyone is willing to step up for beliefs and can support them with logic. My wife and I discussed this a lot when she was in seminary.