Ah, another post to rile my friends.
I'm pro-life. My friend is pro-choice. In fact, she used to work for the late Dr. Tiller in Wichita. She's an intelligent, reasonable woman, so for some time, I've wanted to have a conversation with her about our respective opinions on the matter -- because as she says, I often learn more from those I disagree with than from those I agree with. I finally initiated that conversation yesterday. I expect the conversation will continue, but it has already been enlightening to me.
For one thing, I find that we agree on more than I would have guessed. In fact, I think we would likely be tracking point for point except for my adherence to Biblical standards. And there's my trouble with the whole abortion debate. My opinions on abortion are based on the Bible. Duh. But not everyone in the country bases their opinions on the Bible. So I'm not convinced our laws should be based on the Bible.
I know I have Christian friends who have just lost a lot of respect for me with that proclamation, but I guess I'll deal with that. I would love if every American used the Bible as their guide for truth and right behavior, but they don't. And we can't legislate them into doing so. We can only persuade them to do so. And in fact, I'm not sure that persuading is even our job -- it's the Spirit's job. We make our case for the truth, live our lives in the light of the truth, and let the Spirit change hearts and minds. We certainly don't coerce them through the threat of legal action.
In the Old Testament, we have an example of the nation of Israel as a theocracy. The laws of their faith were the laws of the king as well. Even then, it didn't work well. In fact, God told them from the beginning they wouldn't want it that way. You don't want a king like all the other nations, he told them. But they insisted. I don't believe the account of the history of Israel is meant to be proscriptive for us today in terms of how we set up a government.
And so, I'm as uncomfortable with attempts to legally define the beginning of life at conception as I am with judges striking down anti-gay marriage laws. I will always vote based on my beliefs, because I think if the majority of people in a "state" believe the same way and want their laws based on those beliefs, that's how a democracy works. But I recognize that this will come back to bite me in the butt someday. Unfortunately, I'm not sure there's a better way. Living with other people is . . . messy.