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There is a new organization in Oklahoma that is focusing on abortion abolition.  I think the idea of forming local abolitionist groups in the mold of the slavery abolition movement of the 18th and 19th centuries is exactly what we need.  The hypertext link will direct you to the Oklahoma Abolition Society.   I highly encourage you to look at this organization.

Abolish human abortion!

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I found myself defending pro-life policy on some online Canadian newspaper.  The pro-abort author was, shall we say, less than tactful.  My friend Rhology summed up the article well when he said, “You promised vulgarity and implied immaturity, and you didn’t disappoint!”  The real action, however, was in the comment box.  In my opinion, the conversation developed well.  Many pro-life arguments were advanced (e.g., definition of life and its beginning, analogy to slavery or genocide, time when the right to life is conferred to humans, etc.) and most were not challenged.  Few pro-abortion arguments were advanced and most of the conversation from their end revolved around ad hominem and bluster.  In this post, I want to capture a few of the arguments to save for personal use later on.

 The important questions in the context of abortion are as follows:

(1)    Does a right to life even exist for anyone?
(2)    If it does exist, how and when is the right to life conferred to an individual?
(3)    Are there instances where a person’s choice has more value than another person’s right to their own life?

I think the first is not controversial, so I will not go into that here.  The second and third questions are the central questions in the debate.  These are discussed in more detail below.

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I read my son Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss tonight, and I was struck by the over-arching theme of the book.  Anyone who is familiar with the book or movie will know that the entire plot of the story revolves around Horton the elephant saving a city, called Who-ville, that is full of people.  These people, however, live on a speck of dust, and only Horton is able to hear them.  The other jungle animals think Horton is mentally unstable for thinking there are people on the speck and attempt to discard and destroy the speck.

The parallels between the citizens of Who-ville and unborn children are striking.  I have no idea if Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) intended his book to mirror so closely the rights of the unborn, but the overlap is unmistakable to me.  In the book, we see Horton repeatedly trying to save the very small citizens of Who-ville from death.  These citizens have no voice of their own until the very end of the book.  Horton summarizes his motivation well with his signature line, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”  Isn’t this true with the unborn children today?  They have no voice, but they are still persons.  Who are we as a country to deny them the basic right to life?  May God use this simple story to impress into the minds of my children the crucial fact that all people are persons regardless of size or capability.

The Pew Research Center released a report on the religious preferences of Americans.  I thought two things are worth noting from the article.  First, the Millennial generation (defined as individuals born in 1981 or after) show a relatively high number of individuals who are unaffiliated with any religion (26%).  That generation is approximately 6% higher than people classified as Generation X and 13% higher than Baby Boomers.  Furthermore, Millennials attend religious services less often than their elders.  It is important that the Millennial generation shows higher rates than previous generations at the same point in their life cycle.  However, the article contrasts these observations by noting that the beliefs of Millennials are approximately the same as Generation Xers.  For example, the article states that “belief in God is lower among young adults than among older adults, [but] Millennials say they believe in God with absolute certainty at rates similar to those seen among Gen Xers a decade ago.”  The article also characterized Millennials as generally more accepting of homosexuality and evolutionary accounts of origins.  Certainly skeptics of all stripes will tout these figures with glee.  I don’t think these findings are particularly surprising.  Religious belief has been eroding in America for some time, and I think this is in part due to Christians pulling out of the public square.

The second observation is that the Millenial generation shows a higher tolerance toward civic engagement by religious organizations.  The report states that “Millennials are no less convinced than their elders that there are absolute standards of right and wrong.  And they are slightly more supportive than their elders of government efforts to protect morality, as well as somewhat more comfortable with involvement in politics by churches and other houses of worship.”  It is not clear how individuals who do not affiliate themselves with a religion ground their morality.  I realize that they attempt to base morality off a subjective foundation; however, I contend that those attempts are doomed to failure.  An objective standard is required for there to be any form of morality that is binding.  That is, objectivity is required to bridge the “is” to “ought” gap in morality.  Furthermore, the notion that Millenneials are more accepting of involvement of religious organizations in public policy debates is certainly encouraging.  Perhaps this generation will be more receptive to a Christian voice in public debates than previous ones?