A Godly Life
This past weekend was the annual March for Life in Washington, DC. Tens of thousands gathered to protest and pray; protest against legalized abortion and pray for those who have died and the mothers who killed them. News coverage varied based upon the political leanings of the reporter. Several Orthodox Christian Hierarchs attended, prayed and spoke.
When it comes to abortion, you will find nobody more steadfast against it, than I am. Abortion is a selfish and violent act that has a long-lasting effect on mothers and the father who fund it. I have heard confession years later by women who live with extreme guilt. I have also heard abortion defended by friends and colleagues as a right which must be protected. I will not speak in favor of it, nor will I accept any defense that supports widespread abortion. I most definitely will not be persuaded by politics on the matter of the sanctity of life.
How can we Orthodox Christians make a difference in the lives of millions of women, and their future children, when the political atmosphere is so divisive? We begin with the willingness to have an honest conversation. For example, many will argue that abortion must remain legal and accessible for those women who have been abused, or if their life is in danger. The problem is, this is statistically so small, it should not bear on the larger picture. Allow me to explain.
If open and free accesses to abortion were no longer legal, that does not necessarily mean a woman would be left to die on an operating table during a life-threatening pregnancy. Laws can be clarified to protect such life-saving events, but again we’re referencing a small fraction of abortions performed in America today. But, as we have seen for so many decades, this argument creates anger and mistrust, so let’s look for another conversation.
Human life is not just that which we find in the womb. Human life is found in prisons and on the streets of our society. It is found in schools, and nursing homes. It is found in hospitals and….you get the picture. How can we speak about the sanctity of life without these lives? The sanctity of life doesn’t end with death. As Orthodox Christians, we believe that God has blessed humanity with His Holy Spirit. When God entered into creation, all life was made holy. Even in death we need to respect the sanctity of the human body.
It is because our society compartmentalizes issues that we get lost in the political argument. We cannot speak about abortion without first speaking about God’s blessing of creation. We cannot speak about creation without also speaking about our role as stewards of His Creation. That means not only human life, but all life.
If we want to make a difference in the abortion debate, we have to stop limiting our conversation to abortion, and start discussing the fullness of God’s blessings. If you don’t believe me, consider who the current political parties treat the subject of life. One party defends the killing of life in the womb, while another party defends the killing of life in prison, and both parties ignore the lives of those suffering everyday on the streets of our society.
Let’s talk about life. Let’s talk about holiness of life. Let’s talk about a Godly life.