Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ottawa Sun: Abortion Fight Won By Choice

In yesterday’s Ottawa Sun, journalist Jordan Michael Smith took on the “dead issue” of abortion in Canada. After reading it, I confess that I wanted to shout loudly and protest: "No way! Abortion is not a closed issue. This guy’s wrong!"

But then I gave more consideration to his comments and realized that for all practical purposes—and due credit being given to the dedicated pro-life movement in Canada—he was right.

After an attention getting introduction, Smith gets to his point:
…abortion is a closed issue in this country. The real story is that there is no story: Abortion went off Canadians’ radar, and it isn’t coming back anytime soon.
He was wise enough to note,
This isn’t to say that pro-lifers have given up their struggle. They haven’t, and perhaps they never will.
But then went on to point out that
a June 2006 Angus Reid survey found that just one third of Canadians felt abortion was immoral, numbering behind blasphemy, pornography, and alcohol abuse.
Smith actually put his finger on a very tender spot on the Body of Christ as we know it today. He asked,
How did we reach something approaching a national consensus on abortion?
and then offers three possible explanations. The foremost is “the decline of organized religion,” and the other two causes cited by Smith were the anti-authoritarian attitudes and the sexual revolution spawning the women’s movement. However, I believe the second and third were simply ‘logical’ (in the fleshly sense) consequences of the first.

Smith’s conclusion brings us back to today
The intellectual debate may never end, and individuals will always wrestle with their consciences. But as a political movement, as something that can move the masses out into the streets, abortion is done. And choice won.
Writing a 300 word letter to the editor forced me to work through what was important to say in responding to Smith’s opinion. Some pro-lifers may wish I had taken a more contrary position but in all honesty, I said what I believe. Readers' comments are of course welcome.

Here is the letter I sent today on behalf of Vote Life, Canada!

Dear Editor,

For a young journalist in his twenties, Jordan Smith makes some astute observations in his column of Monday, April 9, 2007 entitled “Abortion fight won by choice.” His piece concludes by noting, ‘But as a political movement, as something that can move the masses out into the streets, abortion is done. And choice won.’

As an ardent Christian and pro-lifer, I’d like to be able to disagree with Smith’s analysis, but except in one important respect, he may be very close to the truth.

After asking how our nation reached ‘something approaching a national consensus on abortion,’ he answers “the decline of organized religion has to be [the] foremost” explanation.

When the ‘salt and light’ of Christian Canada dissipated appreciably around the time of the sexual revolution, society went off the rails into a multitude of errors and excesses. Not surprisingly then, opposition to abortion, except for relatively few committed pro-lifers, failed because lax and apathetic Christians were failing.

In some respects the issue is a dead one. Certainly three million unborn Canadian children are dead, so it truly has been the silent holocaust of the unborn, Smith’s jesting aside. But I wouldn’t bet my last dime that Christians can’t be aroused from their indifference and awakened to the reality of abortion—not simply a word that has lost all its meaning—but the horror of killing innocent, unborn, fellow human beings created in the image of God. Perhaps such an awakening will be coincident with a much awaited and prayed for “revival of religion.”

When that happens—and I’m betting that it will—a great slumbering army will be mobilized and all that stands between legal personhood for the unborn and where we currently abide is simply the glory of the voting booth, a unique phenomenon of Western Christian civilization.


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