I have had time to think about my last post and opportunities to discuss it with other people who have, with brotherly love, poked holes in it. There have also been new developments in Donald Trump’s platform that have caused me to feel the need for some qualifications. Vague enough? Well let me lean into it then.
I wrote in my last post about how distraught I was over my seeming agreement with the sense of Donald Trump’s statement about punishments for abortion. To me, it made sense according to formal logic: If abortion is made illegal on the grounds of murder, and the doers of illegal things should be punished, then those who pursue an abortion should be punished [end syllogism]. I will concede that I was a little blinded by the logic of it, perhaps senselessly shocked by its source. However, as those dear to me pointed out, this kind of policy assumes that all who pursue abortions are scaly, taloned, fire-breathing harpies who just want to kill their babies in full knowledge that that is what they are doing.
There are many who go in for abortions who do not realize the fullness of what they are doing and are not told by those licensed to practice the abortion. There is even room for those physicians licensed to perform abortions not to be fully aware that what they are dispatching is a life because their training and education was delivered wholly from the perspective that a developing human is a “specimen” or nonbeing.
This blind spot should have been clear to me, but, it clearly wasn’t. My response reminded me of a metaphor I heard Doug Wilson use about the need to be like Christ because the law of God is like bare bone–straight forward, structural, but also makes for a dandy club. Whereas, a loving nature is like flesh–inviting, nurturing, but also only as supportive as bean-bag chair when without the structural support of the law. Christ is therefore the goal since he was the perfection of the law wrapped in the love of God. So as much as the phrase irks me, I should aim to be “Jesus with skin on” and I was not in my previous position. I would therefore like to qualify my statements and belief about the treatment of abortion.
First, I still believe that, when performed intentionally, it’s murder. I even believe that when procured in ignorance or under deceit of what is actually being done that the practice is murder. But, in the case that the person procuring the abortion is not a scaly, taloned, fire-breathing harpy (and perhaps even in the case of a deceived physician, for I am still pondering the possibility myself), there is a place for legal and Biblical mercy toward the offender.
Secondly, I want to make clear that the stance Trump took is not predominately a pro-life position. It was a position in favor of life rather than abortion, but it was not a position widely held by those who associate themselves with the pro-life position. Trump’s proposal has more of a scorched-earth flavor when compared to pro-life positions like the one in my first point, which recognize the complexities provided the situation in which the perpetrators may be ignorant of the true consequences of their actions. Those close to me pointed out to me the greater likelihood that Trump was firing from the hip at a topic he was unprepared for and gave an answer he thoughtlessly assumed was a pro-life position that would qualify as a right answer among the conservative camp. It became even more clear to me that Trump was not pursuing the best representation of the conservative position when last week he commented on the N.C.’s HB2 bathroom law : that people should use “whatever bathroom they feel is appropriate” and that everything should be “left the way it is” because “they’re paying a big price” through “the strife and the economic punishment that they’re taking.” In a situation in which the precedent for something as fundamental as bathroom use is being decided between those who use the tried and true method of biological identification and those backing the malleable, undefinable, and unregulatable system of personal feeling, Trump makes his decision based on the utility of which choice incurs the least hassle. His moral position is improvised and crumbles when opposed with consequences that threaten “deals” that effect him. I understand that better now and will make all further inferences with such context.
Lastly, I do not want this to perceived as though I am backing down in the slightest in regard to how much of a sillyhead I think Chris Matthews was in the inquisition that was the subject of my last post. I think that his positions regarding the second amendment compared to his positions on abortion are contradictory. I believe his argument that abortion should be provided as a human right on the grounds that it will otherwise be pursued through life-endangering means is inane because it rests all of its weight on the very disputable opinion that abortion isn’t murder, which, if proven false, makes the argument an advocation of well-facilitated murder. Also, I think that his hijacking of a religious position that, if followed through in context, arrives at conclusion that obliterates the point his is trying to make is absolutely hysterical. Though, I also realize that he was only able to get away with such a thing because Trump’s grasp of Biblical teaching is equally as weak.
I don’t know if these qualifications did anything to correct the opinion garnered of me by my last post, but I did feel the need to give them. So, here you are. As always, the topic is open for comment.