Love a Good Story. I Love a Good Story. Don’t you just Love a Good Story? Well, here is another good story.
First, I want to say that when I began blogging and I promised myself that I would not be political in what I said. I just wanted to talk about experiences and events, and express insights. This time, I am breaking my promise. Don’t worry, I will punish myself with a big bowl of ice cream after I send this blog off.
The other day, I got a phone call from someone who asked me to support Trump. While she went through her spiel of why I would want to support him, I realized that she didn’t speak about the one major reason Christians would support him. I bet you can guess and if you thought of the abortion issue, you are correct. After the call, I sat down to think about abortion, to see both sides.
Abortion is not an issue for me. Abortion is also not an issue for a single man. His stand should not matter, and he should not support a law that upholds one side. This is a female issue, and a female should have the power and say-so. To begin, a woman, married or not, finds herself in a decision-making position. If the woman is married, then she may decide to please her husband. If the woman is not married, or single, and because she believes she is protected, she decides to engage with her male friend. In both cases, the woman makes the decision. That’s the important part.
In today’s world, more and more women are working, attending college, finding a job they want, moving up the ladder toward success, or working on another degree so that they can climb the ladder of success. They establish goals and objectives and want more for themselves than the job of a stay-at-home-mom. They don’t want to be the only adult responsible for the children that she and her husband created together in love. These women have a future, and they want to participate as professionals. They want more and are not ready for a family with children before they are accomplished. Society recognizes women and women’s abilities to hold high positions and even own their own businesses. But a woman’s travel to the top entails a much longer journey, as she must always prove herself, and she encounters many more obstacles that make her journey a longer one. Nevertheless, this is what some women want. This is what makes some women happy; that they can accomplish something. This makes women feel whole. Reaching the top not only makes women happy, reaching the top also gives women life or fulfillment and offers them the liberty they need to make their own choices.
Men don’t have these problems. Their conditions are different. Unfortunately, men can’t get pregnant. Men are not expected to raise children, especially if the pregnancy is unexpected. That job belongs to the woman. Men also climb the ladder of success, but their climb is much faster than a woman’s climb. But that’s another topic.
Because men don’t experience what women experience, nor in the same way they do, it is difficult for a man to voice an opinion about abortion. After all, he will never have to experience having an abortion, unfortunately. However, a husband should support his wife’s decision, and after carefully reviewing their individual goals, the husband and wife may make the decision together. Aside from this, no one other than the woman who made the initial decision should decide what to do in the event she needs an abortion. Her reasons are her own personal reasons and should not be dragged through the news or courts. Thus, abortion is an individual decision made by the woman, or only when the man is consulted, a family decision. Access to abortion should be granted for women who need to have an abortion.
There are two issues. First, is the reason that is omitted. The Bible says that a man and woman must procreate. They must start a family, and that family must continue the line, the next generation must continue the line, and on and on. The Bible presents long lists of families and who came after who. The Bible identifies the men and sometimes women, who continued their line. Today, we must see it the same as much as possible and in doing so, we must see that decisions about one’s body, or whether to procreate are decisions that only individual people or families have the right to make. It is ridiculous to take abortion to court.
Christians who voted for Trump because he does not support abortion rights, obviously haven’t listened to the confusion he caused in what he thinks of as a “speech.” First, Trump did not run because of abortion rights. He ran for other personal reasons. These reasons will not be discussed.
Christians have no Biblical or Christian right to tell someone else, Christian or not, what they should do about their lives. As Christians, we are not to judge others. We have no right to do that. Jesus has asked us not to judge. We are to leave that to Him. When we make a decision about abortion rights, we are also deciding about someone else, thereby casting judgement on that person. Take a minute to think about what you say to yourself about someone who wants an abortion. Do you think the words “She shouldn’t have ” or “What was she thinking? ” or anything like that? Can you see you are casting judgement? Only the woman who finds herself needing an abortion can make that decision.
When we make sweeping judgements such as the abortion issue, we make these judgements without knowledge of the lives of those needing an abortion, their circumstances, lifestyle, physical condition, and health of the woman and of the fetus, of a woman’s mental health, living conditions, even their age. It is difficult to judge what another person’s life is like. Not to mention the fact that taking a stand against abortion (making a judgement about another) is a sin. As Christians, we are called to love one another and take care of each other. You can’t care for a person when you impose your thinking on them. Even if they are wrong, your sin does not make it right. We are not called to judge. We only have one Judge. That is His responsibility and His alone. We are not to make decisions for God. That is a sin, also. When we make a decision for God, we can misrepresent Him by adding ourselves. Misrepresenting God is a huge sin. When you add up everything, whose sins are greater? Yours? Or a woman who wants an abortion? So, Christians do not judge or tell others what they should or should not do. The word “should” implies that it is your opinion, and unsupported with facts. Instead, Christians are asked to follow the examples Jesus provided for us when he walked this earth.
If a woman and her husband, or a single woman and her friend, or a single woman makes a wrong decision, then that is her sin. They are responsible for the sin they commit. Others are not.
Let’s look at this issue another way. The Constitution of the United States says: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.”
I know you have read this many times in your history classes that you took both in high school and college or have read it and reread it on your own. So, I will not review the meaning of the entire passage. Instead, let’s begin with “inalienable rights.” What does “inalienable” mean? What is an “Inalienable right?” According to the Longman Advanced American Dictionary, inalienable means “a right that cannot be taken away from you.” According to the Synonym Finder, synonyms for inalienable are: “forfeitable, untransferable, not to be conveyed, consignable, unsalable, unnegotiable, positive, absolute, inherent, unchallengeable, and in the Law, indefeasible, not to be annulled, not to be made void, permanent.”
If inalienable is something, or a right, that belongs to me and me only and I cannot give that specific right away or have that right taken from me, then an inalienable right is a right that belongs to me and me only and I cannot have that right taken away from me.
The Constitution says, “Inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” The words “among these” implies that we have other right, and among all those other rights we have are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Keep in mind as we go along that these rights cannot be given away or taken away from us.
Next, we need to define life. What is life to you? If you were to ask a homeless person what life is, would they say “Oh, homelessness is the way to go.” Do you think a homeless person has life? What about someone in prison of any kind? Is that life? If someone restricts you from something you want or need and keeps you there, is that life? If a person is bedridden, is that life? If a person spends their days inside for whatever reason, is that life? Does life have to do with quality? If that’s so, then couldn’t life be the use and experience of your talents and gifts? Isn’t that why we are given life; to use are gifts and talents to grow ourselves and help others grow? Stop and think about the work you and others do. Is there a job where a person does NOT offer something that some facet of the public can use? A homeless person does not get to grow because he has no life. Society has stopped that for him. A prisoner gets a small chance for limited growth and may help others, but neither can really use their talents or gifts. What is growing? Isn’t growing developing and expanding our talents? Someone may be good with computers. That person will learn about computers by taking classes, by using the computer and by showing others. Then, after mastering those skills, the person may take more advanced classes and master more skills. Would a woman who has an unwanted pregnancy be able to grow? Would she be able to use her talents and gifts?
The next inalienable right (a right that cannot be given away or taken away from us) is liberty. Liberty means freedom. Not only are we given life, the ability to grow ourselves, as a right, but we also have liberty or freedom as an inalienable right as well. We are free to run our lives the way we see fit and we are free to grow ourselves in the manner we would like. Look at one more thing. These are individual rights. They are not group rights. A group has no say so over your individual rights, YOU get to run your own life. You are not bound by a group who gives you these rights and tells you how and when to use them. Remember inalienable. This is why it is difficult for me to understand why so many people feel they have the “right” to tell you what to do with YOUR inalienable rights. Even a judge thinks he has the right to override the Constitution and put his opinion into law. This is abuse of power. Getting back on track, Liberty, the freedom to use our talents and gifts in the way we like. Again, this freedom is granted to us individually, and not granted by others, but by the Constitution of the United States.
Then we come to pursuit of happiness. The following is what Brent Strawn, editor of The Bible and the Pursuit of Happiness: What the Old and New Testament Teach us about the Good Life, published in 2012 has to say about Happiness.
“Arthur Schlesinger should be credited with pointing out in a nice little essay in 1964 that at the time of the Declaration’s composition, “the pursuit of happiness” did not mean chasing or seeking it, but practicing happiness, the experience of happiness — not just chasing it but actually catching it, you might say. Seeking happiness is one thing but actually obtaining it and experiencing it —practicing happiness! — is an entirely different matter. It’s the difference between dreaming and reality. Remember that the pursuit of happiness, in the Declaration, is not a quest or a pastime, but “an unalienable right.” Everyone has the right to actually be happy, not just try to be happy. To use a metaphor: You don’t just get the chance to make the baseball team, you are guaranteed a spot. That’s a very different understanding. So, now, in 2018, I continue to think that the thickest and best definition of “the pursuit of happiness” means we must think about facilitating the achievement of others’ happiness, and not be inordinately or exclusively self-obsessed with our own.
Happiness, then, is something we are and that we not only think about ourselves as being happy, but we must enable others to be happy, as well.”
Isn’t that a comprehensive way of thinking about the pursuit of happiness. If we reason this out using critical thinking skills, then we must find that we have the freedom to make decisions for ourselves that bring us a fulfilling life where we are able to use our talents and skills that fill us with happiness. Each woman and the woman only, has the right to decide what she will do with her body. She is given the freedom to make those decisions. If we do anything as a group, we must see to the happiness of others not ourselves. It may be difficult for some of the “I,” “All about me” people to see that. But this is the right thing to do. Let those people who are involved make their own decision. You maybe taking a “right,” such as the freedom to make their own choice, away from your daughter, granddaughter, niece, sister, best friend her daughters, and on and on. We are given these inalienable rights, and no one is given a right to take these inalienable rights away from anyone. Should a woman and her husband or woman and her boyfriend make a decision that is not in their best interest, then they will have to pay for that decision, and others will not have to pay for judging.
In my novel, The Attractiveness of Wisdom, HolliAnne, Hamilton’s wife, does not want children. She fears she will become a parent who neglects her children the way her parents neglected her. She also suffered from postpartum depression. But they have three children. Read what happened and see how that came about in The Attractiveness of Wisdom.
I thank you for reading this. Leave a message, share your thoughts with me on this matter.
While you are here, purchase The Attractiveness of Wisdom and Blessings and Curses.
The Attractiveness of Wisdom, Winner, The Independent Press Award, 2022, and The NY Big Book Award, 2022.
Blessings and Curses, Finalist in the Readers Favorite Award, 2020, also awarded Top Ten Most Popular Books in the Frankfurt, Sharjah, and Guadalajara International Book Fairs, 2018.