Since the announcement of her death hit the internet yesterday there has been a great outpouring of praise and honor expressed for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. With it, there has been an immediate flood of news articles and opinion pieces (frequently indistinguishable from one another) on the obvious result of RBG’s death—an opening on the US Supreme Court.
Justice Ginsburg’s life story is compelling. I remember watching the feature film of her development and rise to the Supreme Court last year. I remember talking to Donna as we drove away from the theater, both of us thinking and feeling something powerful.
And both of us troubled.
You see, however great her story is and however inspiring to see how she tirelessly fought for women’s rights, changing the way many in the US see women (and I am referring to both males and females), there is, for many of us, a giant elephant in the room when talking about RBG.
In the course of her work for women’s rights, she—intentionally, based on her own writings—became the most powerful tool in the hands of the enemy for the killing of children.
Right about now, many of my left-leaning friends—many who consider themselves Christian—are reaching for their keyboards. They may seek to chasten me and point out that I can’t judge a person by one stance or opinion she holds with which I disagree. And they would be right.
That said, I am writing to clarify a debate that has been simmering under the surface of American politics, and which I believe should be front and center of those debates. No, let me correct that. Can we try NOT to debate, and instead have a meaningful discussion?
Debating is about winning, regardless of the truth. We need less debate, and more honest communication—more listening, more honest disclosure, more clarity.
So, let’s clarify this horrendously polarizing discussion. I am pro-life. Without qualification or apology. I am also pro women’s rights—also without qualification or apology. I believe that many—hopefully, most—pro-life people are.
How can this be? It is simple. The real discussion should not be about women’s rights to their own bodies. It should be about when a baby is not part of that body.
Those who accept a more secular approach believe that until the baby is born it isn’t human, but part of the woman’s body (though recent discussion by some pro-choice advocates has extended “pro-choice” to include a woman’s right not to raise a child who has already been born, bringing about the killing of babies outside of the womb).
I believe life begins at conception. That means that, while the baby is still connected to her mother—and dependent on her mother—it is nevertheless a baby. A different person. A person in need of protection. This is the belief that moves this discussion from a mere worldly political position to a spiritual mandate—to protect the innocent and helpless.
I know this short blog will not change anyone’s mind on this question. That isn’t its purpose. My hope is that it will change the discussion itself—bringing it back to what really matters. If this entity inside the womb is truly human (as I believe), no one—not even the mother carrying her—has a right to harm her, much less kill her. On the other hand, if this entity is not human, then what the mother does with it is not my concern—or any of my business.
So, let’s stop arguing about what we (hopefully) agree on. Most liberals do not agree with killing babies—we agree on this! Most conservatives do not agree with men telling women what they can do with their own bodies—we agree on this! If we want to stop dividing this country, starting with this discussion of what we agree on is a good first step. (Side note: right now, both “sides” will be thinking of illustrations—including candidates—of those who apparently do not agree with these fundamental truths. This is why I cannot support either of the major parties right now. They do not reflect the values of my King!).
Where do we go from here? We listen. We work together on those issues on which we can agree. We discuss those things we do not. And we treat each other with love.
Some of you will scoff at what I just said. But if you wear the name of Jesus you do not do that, because this is His command to us—to love, not mock, disparage, demonize, hate.
It is becoming more difficult, but for those of us who follow the King, the priority path is clear: Know Jesus and Be Faithful!