Here is the list of things anyone who call themselves pro-life must care about.
1. Abortion: I do believe this is an important issue. I would love to see no more abortions happen in the world. The problem is that just passing laws or overturning cases from the 70s isn't going to solve the problem. Did you know that at least 200,000 abortions occur in the U.S. every year because the women have no financial options that they know of? If they had childcare options, medical benefits, a living wage, etc., there would be 200,000 new lives walking among us each year. If you care about abortion, you better start caring about women's financial situations.
2. War: For the first 400 years of Christianity, violence and force were completely forbidden... even in cases of defense of others and self. This changed when the Church and Rome became partners. Some argue that it had to. That's fine. But taking a life is still taking a life and is always wrong... it just might (and I use "might" very loosely) not be as wrong in some situations as others. Did you know that even during the Crusades, one of the bloodiest legacies of Western Christianity, when a soldier killed an "infidel" (better known as a Muslim today) they were still required to do penance? Even the thing for which they received an indulgence for was considered wrong... just not AS wrong as letting the Holy Land go. While I disagree with the priorities, it should still be noted that the taking of a life is always considered wrong and should only be done in the rarest of cases (if at all!). War should never be entered into by a Christian in my opinion. I know there is theology out there that disagrees with me. I also know that my belief has more biblical support. Either way, even if war is permitted in certain circumstances, Christians must carefully look at the situation. We tend not to. It is interesting to me that many of those who supported the Iraq War in the beginning were also vehemently pro-life. Yet, despite every major Christian denomination (except for Southern Baptists) saying it did not meet just war requirements, they turned a deaf ear and showed they aren't as concerned with some lives as others. Incidentally, since I started this blog we have spent over $3 billion on the War in Iraq.
3. Death Penalty: It is completely unnecessary in most of the world today. We can keep some one in prison without parole for the rest of their lives if they are truly a threat to society. Those who seem to favor the death penalty say that those people are guilty. Aren't we all? Don't we all deserve the "wages of sin"? These are human lives and we are just willing to take them if a jury finds them guilty. Look up how many innocent people that have been executed and later shown to be innocent. The number will make you sick to your stomach.
4. Stem-Cell Research: This is a somewhat difficult one for me. I want to value these human lives. But what if they are already dead? Should they be allowed to be used for possible life saving research? Would that open the door to the manufacturing and killing of these lives? I would hope not. It is such a slippery slope. I would consider myself against the harvesting of living cells from a living being that will die because of it. I would not be opposed to taking cells from a being who had already died. But as I think abortions should end (and combatting poverty and the other root causes will be much more effective that criminalization), this issue becomes increasingly difficult because it would lead to manufacturing these embryos and then destroying them. We should also care about finding cures to disease. How do we balance the two? This one requires deep reflection.
5. Euthanasia: Does some one have the right to decide when their own life should end? Does some one else have the right to help them in their decision? Legally... I have to say yes. Morally, I trust God and His timing. Of course, I am not in a position of experiencing excruciating pain on a daily basis. I think one way of lessening the need for euthanasia is for the younger generations to start caring for their elders again instead of dumping them in nursing homes. Even through pain, if family were present everyday and caring for them, pain is easier to manage. I think euthanasia has a root cause in loneliness and fear of being a burden (this is why most of Dr. Kevorkian's patients have been women... they fear being a burden far more than men do according to most studies). If the family can eliminate the burden fear and the loneliness, euthanasia will decline dramatically as a desired procedure.
6. Health Care: If we really care about life, we would be willing to sacrifice time and convenience to protect it. Free-market solutions to the staggering health care problem are NOT the answer. All they do is say "you are on your own" to millions of Americans. We fear having to depend on each other. It is the "American" in us. We are fiercely independent creatures and it is wrong. We must ensure that ALL people (beginning here at home and moving outward) have the same access to medical care as the wealthiest currently do. It is simply anti-life to be anti-health care for all people.
I know I have sounded harsh, but the time for change is now. I am sick and tired of being lumped in with anti-abortion zealots who want to arrest women in poverty for exercising the only choice they think they have while the same people cheer as we drop bombs on Iraq and scream foul when the government wants to intervene on behalf of its own citizens' rights to Life by universalizing health care.