Speaking of Christian Fundamentalism...
Some interesting conversations going on at the moment... check out armybarmy blog for more on the 'fundamentalists' description... on another note in that same vein the issue of abortion has come up a lot lately. I say in the 'same vein' because often those of us in support of pro-life are also labelled 'narrow-minded fundamentalists' so I figure while we are on the subject I'd share just how narrow-minded I can be too!
This is an interesting subject really... I guess mostly because I've been extremely passionate about LIFE - and am deeply pro-life (president of the club in one town I lived). Now, I'm in the social justice field AND abortion isn't on the list of issues... someone asked me why. Good question. Not only that, but another person from another territory asked how we can keep 'social justice' from being highjacked by moral issues like abortion - while I understand what they meant this also set me thinking. Add to this an SA periodical (pipeline issue November 07 pg 14)where the General is quoted, "there are situations in which abortion is the lesser evil". Wow. I'm assuming he means in situations of medical emergencies - like when it's a life versus a life decision. I wouldn't call that an 'abortion' by the way. But still, another reminder of what a critical issue pro-life really is. Here are some things I'm thinking about:
1. Either we (meaning the SA) are pro-life or we are not. I'm a little tired of the ambiguity of the SA on this issue. If we believe in the sacredness of life we must believe in basic human rights for all people - including the unborn. Surely this means even when in utero?!
2. The same principles of pro-life apply to every social justice issue:
-basic human rights (the right to live is a key one)
-individual focus verses community responsibility (this is a great driver of a consumer driven mentality of western cultures - our own 'convenience' is more important than the rights of another)
-voiceless people (those who cannot stand up for themselves... surely the poor, marginalized, and the unborn fit this category).
-the sacredness of life (regardless of colour, race, and age!?)
3. Does an issue have to be 'popular' for us to be 'for it'? The Catholics are a great example of this - they have been fiercely pro-life the last 50 years even in the face of great public displeasure... John Paul II had some amazing thoughts on the subject (and is largely responsible for many of my leanings in that respect). And I wondered when people stopped talking about the Jews in public during the pre-war Germany, Nazi regime rise (I know this will label me 'extreme' in my comparisons but really, when thousands of people started to just 'disappear' and bringing it up became unbearable uncomfortable because of popular opinion - who brought it up?).
4. Why is bringing it up so hard? And why is bringing it up labelled as 'off' or 'extreme'?
I've got a hunch that the enemy is happy about killing 50% of the next generation off before they even drew a breath. And I've got a suspicion he's thrilled that the church is scared to bring it up - I suppose more scared of popular opinion than of God. I want to say I'm not - but the truth of the matter is that it's a costly issue to stand up for. It's costly with the organization - because of a need to be compassionate and palpable. It's costly with the public - because of a need to present Jesus as 'for you' and 'not against you' - WHICH HE IS!!! And, I'm not sure how we get so confused as to think that giving permission is like giving love... it's pretty clear that boundaries for children are a loving thing not a condemning thing... It's costly to your social life - try bringing it up at a party! and it's costly to your spirit... to not speak up for those who have no voice. And it's costly to our social justice voice - if we can only find it about issues that are popular or 'sexy'!
So, those are some thoughts.