The attack on abortion makes me reflect on my Christian past

As a former Christian who once believed that abortions were evil and who is now convinced of the opposite, I have found heartbreaking, as so many have, the arguments about the Texas anti-abortion law. It’s less that it’s destructive once again to have our fundamental reproductive rights to debate in the Supreme Court – even if it’s completely like that – and it’s more that people are willing to overthrow Roe v. Wade to clearly think of the girl I used to be.

That girl was a deep, happy Christian. I grew up Catholic in the beginning; in middle school, I began to turn to more ecstatic, charismatic forms of Protestantism. In high school, I thought I was burning for the Lord: My idea of ​​a troubled Friday night was a particularly lively youth meeting. I got Bible verses printed in block letters on the covers of my school books so I could quietly proselytize as I walked around, like a billboard for one girl for Christ. I intended to become a priest: I thought I would give my life to the Lord. I also thought, like almost everyone I knew, that life-limiting abortions had to be terribly sinful, a violence that, while legal, could not be real.

It is possible that if I had remained in the faith, I would have stuck to that faith in adulthood. But instead, against my will, for a variety of reasons — including the difficulty, and then the impossibility, of believing that those who did not worship as I did should burn in hell — I lost my faith in God when I was 17, a catastrophic loss whose enormity I still have a hard time conveying. It is a loss that still happens and that daily transforms my life and mind around his persistent absence. That’s always what I write about, maybe because, as long as I write about the Lord I lost, I can still be with Him in a way.

And I miss Christ. I miss him so much. I would like to be aware of that. The Christ I loved, the one who uplifted and valued the needy, the suffering, the poor, the sick, and the outcast: That Christ, He did not love us for our strength, not for temporal success, wealth, power, or even virtue, but just because we all were children of God. Simply by existing, we deserved an endless love. Is there a more spacious promise? I did not think so until I left; years later, I still do not think I have found a better promise.

But by losing God, I did not just lose a deity and faith. Since my morality, my ethics, had been deeply shaped by the logic of faith as I understood it, I also lost, and had to rebuild, much of my previous understanding of what was right. I questioned beliefs I had long held; as a result, I ended up examining the origins of aspects of Christianity that the text, the Word, did not necessarily support.

For example, I learned that very recently, American politicians began to focus on abortion rights, on reproductive rights. It was not until the 1970s that abortions began to become a central voting issue for many people: that voting issues for many. In 1976, presidential candidate Gerald Ford and his strategists added “right to life” language to the Republican platform in hopes of tempting Catholics away from the Democratic Party. Until then, Republicans belonged to the elected party. It was political maneuvering, in other words, harassment that made use of Christians the electoral gain of an American political party. In which case, what did I do and endorse an opinion established by the political agents of the 1970s?

If I was really still interested in appreciating human life – and it was and I am deeply – then it was the more ethically consistent, Christ-like attitude, or I gradually discovered it, to fight and advocate for far better health care (Romans. 15: 15). 1). A canceled death sentence (Romans 12:19). Stricter gun laws (Matthew 5:39). Universal childcare and paid parental leave to help all of God’s children thrive, not just those whose parents can pay for full-time nannies (Mark 10:14). Borders opened for the migrants who need welcome to the United States – which is still, so that we do not forget, even almost two years into a catastrophic pandemic, the richest country in the history of the world (Luke 6:30).

The Christ I knew and loved – and still loves, truly, as grief can be a cover of love, love that has lost its object – cared, even more than he cared for everyone else, for the most vulnerable among us . I can see how that could be interpreted to mean that he particularly cares about fetuses in the first trimester, but he does not really say anything about fetuses in the bible I used to memorize. What he said a lot about what he was repeatedly explicit about was his love for the hungry, the poor, for living children and for other fellow human beings in need, insofar as we have done to the least of his brothers, we has done against him (Matthew 25:40).

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