Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What Do You Believe?

In our culture today, so many times the question is asked about what we believe, especially in politics and religion.  Do believe in Jesus as your personal lord and savior?  Do you believe that a woman has the right to control her own body?  Do you believe in the death penalty?  Do you believe the earth is 6000 years old?  Do you believe in fiscal responsibility?

It doesn't matter what you believe, it matters what you're going to do about it.

That's my stand.  In the bible, James said:  "Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works."  "Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?"  So I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter what you believe because what you say you believe makes you a liar unless what you do backs it up.  If James calls it useless, than it is useless.  Apart from the Bible, I still say if you can't back up what you believe by what you do, then it truly is useless!

The American Christian (you know what I think about these people) culture today is one in which you are defined by what you believe, or at least what you say you believe.  Are you against abortion?  Are you against gay marriage?  Are you against taxes?  Are you a fiscal conservative?  Yes?  Well then by Jove, you're okay in my book!  But like I said, so?  What I want to know is what are you going to do about it?

Conservatives have been against abortion for forty years.  They have used it for forty years to gain votes, but in the end, what have they done about it?  Little more than nothing.  Well, they won elections, so I guess that counts.  I have recently been encountering atheists who are now approaching the ability to discuss moral issues in a playing field which for so long has been dominated by people of faith.  Jen Roth is a so-called pro-life atheist and she has such a powerful case against abortion that usually argumentative commentators can't but sit and listen to her lay it out.  I'm currently reading a new book by atheist Sam Harris called "The Moral Landscape."  And it's hard to fathom, but atheists are now, at least in my view, making better cases for moral issues than the staid Christian apologists. 

If this plays out, American Christianity is in some sh!t!

P.S.  I really hope it's deep!

But how could I say these things?  I'm a follower of Jesus after all, I believe all the stuff I'm supposed to believe right?  The difference is what I am going to do about it.

Jen Roth with her "Pro Peace" makes the best case, and I'm gonna mix hers and my stuff here for a minute to make an aggregate case for thought, action, and nuance.  Okay, so we all, on all sides can agree that abortion is not a good thing.  Even pro-choice people can usually agree that having less abortions is better.  There's something about the psycho-physical interaction that is a woman that says that the loss of a child is a damaging event.  But pro-choice people still want the option to be there just in case, and typical pro-life people think the benefit of life to the being is more important than the emotional or other state of the woman. 

Okay, so we want less abortions, now what?  The belief is out of the way, so what should we do about it because it's the doing that is the important part is it not?  That's what I said up there, so that's what it is.

What are our options?  Some say overturn Roe vs. Wade.  Truth be told, this is not a viable option.  It's a decision that gives federal rights to people, a whole bunch of people aren't gonna let that happen.  There will be riots and if it does succeed, it will be driven by the American Church and the Church will lose the American people for generations, and probably forever.  In short, it isn't going to happen.  It's just not.  It's not a viable option, it's not a peaceful option.  Likewise, making abortions on demand and free is not going to make their numbers go down like we all want.

Now if we come to the table to form a solution in the spirit of cooperation and reason, you know, being reasonable, both sides need to make some concessions.  This is how cooperation and negotiation works.  This is how it is done.  You can take power by force and alienate your opponents, or you can meet in the middle and step by step, progress can be made.  By the way, that is my definition of progress, moving forward, getting things done piece by piece, thing by thing.  That's why I can be against the health bill because it doesn't do what we need, but for it because it takes several steps in the right direction.

First of all, we just have to abandon abstinence only education.  It doesn't work.  It simply doesn't work.  Teens are gonna have sex.  The good parents can have a good lifelong effect on that, but the schools are gonna have a really rough time getting that to be effective.

People gotta stop trashing Planned Parenthood simply for fun.  Where I grew up, Planned Parenthood handed out condoms on demand.  That was a good thing.  Who knows how many pregnancies were avoided because of that.

The rights of women to not get pregnant if they choose such must be held high.  There are a lot of women who are coerced into getting pregnant.  This creates a lot of strife and is not a peaceful option for the world.  Also, a great many women are coerced into having an abortion by their boyfriends or their families.  That's unacceptable. 

What I mean to say with all this is very important.  We're not going to get abortion illegalized, at least not in my lifetime and not peacefully.  So let us put our beliefs into action to realistically reduce the number of abortions.  Let us change militant attitudes and single issue voter status quos to affect real change.

Because it doesn't matter what you believe, it matters what you're going to do about it.


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