Daily Archives: March 17, 2007

A Matter of Perspective

This is not a political blog, and the following post is not a political one. It is a personal observation based on my current situation and emotional state. Neither are good foundations for rational debate. If you would like to engage me on debate regarding this topic, please feel free to e-mail me from my profile page, and I would be pleased to discuss your thoughts in a more appropriate setting.

I just had a stunning realization.

Since the last ultra sound, Jonathan and I have begun referring to little Pomegranate as “she”, and our friends inquire after her as Pomegranate (except one friend who calls her Pocahontas Doereen), just as they would inquire after the health and welfare of a child that had already been born. We think of her as a little person with a future and a plan for her life. When we pray together as a family we pray for her, and we are already praying for the man that God has prepared for her to marry.

So it just about dropped me when I realized all of a sudden, that according to law, I would be allowed to abort her. I am most certainly not considering it, but I have also never been able to quantify the term “pre-viable pregnancy.” Until now. I have seen her little heart pumping blood. I’ve seen her arms and legs move, and watched her bounce around. I can feel her when she moves, and I can’t help but think of her as her. But I know that if she was born now she couldn’t survive. In the legal and medical community, that makes her “non-viable”, and thereby legally subject to abortion.

All of the years I struggled with infertility the abortion debate left me feeling like someone who had been punched in the stomach. I felt left out of that discussion like so many others, because I was proof that a lot of women really have no reproductive choices. Because I am a libertarian politically, people would often challenge me on abortion, and my response was always the same: “I differ with the libertarian position on abortion because I believe that abortion is murder, and all murder should be illegal.” I believed it, I still do, and I would be prepared to defend it. But now I think I really understand it.

I am not saying that men, and women who have never been pregnant, are incapable of understanding pre-born life. I’m saying that I personally had a mental assent but I am now emotionally engaged. I can personally quantify some of the terms involved, and it has stiffened, rather than shaken my conviction.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Well, it’s not popular for Protestants to respect Catholic saints, and maybe that discussion is for another time. But today I want to point out who the man now known as St. Patrick was, because his story is not a Catholic/Protestant one, it is about God’s grace at work in a man’s life.

I’ve always found it funny that St. Patrick’s day is a celebration of all things Irish, because he wasn’t. Patrick was born in Roman Briton, and was stolen by Irish raiders when he was 16. He served as a slave in Ireland until he was 22 when he was able to escape his slavery and return to his family. But God had spoken to Patrick in this time, and rather than spend his life close to home, enjoying the life of freedom, he entered the church, and requested to be sent as a missionary to the people who had held him in slavery for 6 years of his life.

The true facts of Patrick’s ministry in Ireland is obscured by folk lore and myth, but what we know for sure is this: when Patrick was a slave in Ireland, it was a pagan nation, untouched by Christianity, because it had been untouched by Roman influence. When Patrick died, the Christian church in Ireland was strongly rooted in the culture. In fact, until just before the Protestant Reformation, it avoided some of the excesses and apostasies that infected the rest of Roman Catholicism.

The real story of Patrick’s life is lost in myths of him casting the snakes out of Ireland, and in the contemporary celebrations of excess that bear his name. But I think that if he had his choice, he would be remembered as a man who forgave his captors, and loved them enough to bring them the gospel that had transformed his life. And isn’t that what the gospel is really all about?