Pastor Boyd has again been kind enough to respond to my second e-mail to him regarding his position on abortion. The first e-mail I sent him, his reply, and my reply to him can be found here.
Serge at Imago Dei (a daily must read) has been kind enough to post a strong response to the thinking in Pastor Boyd's position paper. For some reason, blood red is Serge's color of choice for Boyd's writing.
Pastor Boyd's second response to me follows in italic. My future third e-mail to him will be in red.
"Thanks for the feedback David. My concern POLITICALLY is that the polis
is divided with no clear way to move ahead. It seems the polis is stuck
in polarized factions, not really talking or negiotiating with each
other -- and such "stuck" gridlocks a) aren't good for the common good;
b) result in abortions happening that the majority on BOTH sides wish
didn't happen; and c) could result in further violence. I'm afriad if
pro-life folks who are not pacificist get consistent with some of their
rhetoric (e.g. this is a "holocaust"), it could result in more violence
if not war. I believe if compromise is possible, building on present
agreements, it is preferrable."
First, note how Pastor Boyd has completely ignored my question as to why he abhors abortion. My guess is he knows why he abhors abortion. He knows abortion takes the life of innocent human being created in the image of God, yet can't bring himself to admit it. Maybe he knows his position in untenable or maybe he really hasn't yet thought thru why he abhors abortion and its logical implications.
Thank you for your response, Pastor Boyd. I appreciate your time. I'm still wondering why you abhor abortion? That question remains unanswered.
The polis might be divided but that doesn't mean there isn't any clear way to move ahead. Approximately 150 years ago, the country was divided over slavery. Does that mean that there wasn't a clear way to move ahead? Approximately 50 years ago, our country was divided over segregation. Does that mean that there wasn't a clear way to move ahead?
Compromise is only preferable if the compromise is a good one. If prolife groups compromise and agree that first trimester abortions (abortions you abhor) should remain legal, how is that a good thing? About 90% of all abortions are performed in the first trimester. Human beings created in the image of God would still be killed by the thousands everyday. Plus, pro-choice groups will never agree that abortions in the second and third trimester should be made illegal. My guess is most prolifers would like second and third trimester abortions to be banned as long as they could continue to work on making first trimester abortions illegal as well.
More violence? Do you mean the approximately 3,500 unborn children who are killed each day or the sporadic violent actions of a few who aren't associated with mainstream prolife groups? Abortion is either the greatest holocaust in the history of man or it is a routine surgical procedure with the same relevance as an appendectomy. It comes down to the question "What are the unborn?" If the unborn aren't human beings, then pro-choicers are right and abortion should be legal. However, doesn't it make sense to legally protect the unborn if they are living human beings?
"If reversing the END of "legal person" to constitute the beginning of
"legal personhood" (however this reversal be construed) isn't a starting
point for moving ahead, what might be? I for one am ALL EARS. If there
IS NO point where we can begin to build, and both sides remained locked
in their absolutist nonnegiotiating position, then there is no hope
until SoMEONE WINS. And that usually means WAR.
If you want to reverse the criteria for brain death to see if the unborn are living human beings, then you'd be in favor of giving legal rights to the unborn from the moment of conception. For more information on this, I suggest a piece by neurobiologist Maureen Condic which can be found at this website - http://print.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0305/articles/condic.html
Plus, your position seems to assume that the position of both sides (pro-choice, prolife) is somehow equal. About 150 years ago, I could have used the same argument to try to stay "neutral" or "compromise" with regards to whether slavery should have been legal or not. As people who abhor abortion, we need to work not only to make abortion illegal but also to help women in unplanned pregnancies. We can do both. This is not an either/or situation.
I'm not certain what you mean by "WAR?" If you mean a physical battle involving tanks and guns, I don't see how that is possible. If you mean a battle for the hearts and minds of society where one side is diametrically opposed to the other, that battle has been going on for the last 30+ plus years. It will continue. Which side will you be on? The one that hopes to save unborn children and offers real choices to women in unplanned pregnancy or the side that sees nothing wrong with abortion, which calls human beings created in the image of God things like "uterine contents?"
"Politics is all about compromise. So how might both sides compromise,
at this present time, to move ahead? That's my concern. (And as I said,
in my view, the kingdom approach doesn't have to wait for ANY of this to
be resolved to do what it is called to do)."
Sometimes politics is about compromise. Other times it is not. Sometimes it is about one side being right and the other side being wrong. In this debate, one side thinks that it should be legal to intentionally kill an innocent human being. That's not something I will compromise on. Why are you? In the past few years, prolife organizations have worked to pass legislation that would limit abortion/protect women/help the unborn and pro-choice groups and pro-choice legislators like John Kerry have been strongly opposed to common sense legislation like the ban on partial birth abortion, Laci and Conner's Law, parental consent measures, informed consent measures which include 24 hour waiting periods, stopping tax dollars from paying for abortion. The list goes on and on and on. They aren't compromising in the slightest.
Thanks again for your response. I would still like to know why you abhor abortion.