Q: Can you be a feminist and oppose abortion in all circumstances? Can you be a person of faith and support abortion in some circumstances?
People of faith are right about one thing, there are more things in Heaven and Earth than Richard Dawkins is capable of dreaming, but that does not mean they are right about everything. Likewise, all atheists are wrong about something by definition, victims of limited experiences and a simple minded ontology, but atheists don’t have to be wrong about everything.
Having faith is a useful first step to a good life, but it is not enough. There is something “more” in the cosmos than matter and energy, but that does not mean that all of it is worth worshipping. A man cavorting with spirits that happen to be devils may be a person of faith, but much more wicked than an atheist.
The atheist is wrong about devils, but at least isn’t worshipping them.
That a man has faith may be good, but it may also be worse than having no faith: it depends on how his faith was achieved and the object of his belief. Faith should be the result of wholesome imagination, reason, and reflection on life experiences. Faith that is mere opinion or a wish might accidentally hit on the truth, but be toxic to the soul of the faithful man.
Hitting on a single truth by a lucky guess or an extraordinary event may make a person overly confident about their guesses and overly reliant on the spectacular. Getting metaphysics partially right, there is a supernatural world, is just enough truth to be very dangerous.
Irrational experimentation with metaphysics is at least as likely to cause harm as irrational mucking about with physics.
Atheists agree that all religions are wrong, but disagree amongst themselves about what is true. People of faith agree that some religious claims are true, but disagree about which ones. There are, in practice, three kinds of religion: false religions, wicked religions, and true religions.
False religions make central claims that are wrong. At their heart, they embrace a false picture of the way things are. If a “faith” claims that the gods live on top of Olympus, it worships non-existent beings. If a “faith” claims that people can perfect themselves or create a utopia in this life, it is so wrong as to be positively, even if inadvertently, dangerous.
Worse are religions that don’t merely make mistakes, but embrace evil practices. Of course, all of us fall short of our ideals, I certainly have. I am the last one to throw stones at those who try to do right, but fail. Evil religions, however, actively promote evil practices . . . to be a “good” member of these faiths one has to do wicked actions.
If your religion, like that of Moloch, requires burning babies to an idol, then it is a wicked religion. It may be in touch with real spirituality, but it is a diabolical and not divine spirit.
In the same way, some people of faith sacrifice the life of the unborn child to lesser goods. They may have faith, but it is a wicked faith. These faithful may in practice be better than their religion (a follower of Moloch may not kill babies), but his faith is still rotten at the core. Followers of a wicked religion may also practice other virtues and in many ways be better citizens than followers of a true, good, and beautiful religion.
Wicked ideas don’t always produce wicked men nor good ideas always perfect, but that does not mean wicked ideas are not dangerous.
Tyrants have their virtues and sometimes love their dogs. The blood of the babies, however, cries out against them. The difference between a tyrant and a common place sinner like the rest of us is that we regret our sins while he glories in them.
When people of faith sacramentalize abortion, they have joined a false and wicked religion. There are people of faith who do this. Some of them are inconsistent members of the true faith and we pray forgiveness for their error as we beg forgiveness for our own blindness, but other “faithful” rejoice in their evil and are proud of it.
Their wicked faith is damning them and not saving them. It would be better if they were an atheist with respect for life, than a spiritual man who kills the innocent.
Sarah Palin has correctly seen that any good feminism must embrace a true faith. Part of that faith will be the very American idea there is a God given right to life. An aborted female baby is the victim of a false faith or of faithlessness to the truth. A feminism that rejects the rights of unborn woman is a false and wicked faith and discounts at least some women.
All of us are ignorant in some way, but this is no excuse to abandon reason. All of us fall short of our goals and moral aspirations. We all desperately need forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation, but this is only available when we can call our errors “wrong” and our sins “wicked.”
God help us all to find an authentic, life affirming, true faith. . . and then to practice it.