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By Andrew L. Pate, Jr.
I am radically pro-life, more so I think than are many present-day so-called Christian "evangelicals," who, essentially, in their passionate anti-abortion position, focus almost totally on their key issue..
Perhaps the most notable exclusion in the "evangelical" view concerns its silence on capital punishment. A valid biblical and constituional position here surely extends to the question of whether, if ever, it should be legally okay to end a life, before or after birth.
I personally am strongly against the death penalty except in extreme cases where the crime and the criminal have themselves been unmistakably so cruel and dehumanizing that the perpetrator has forfeited his or her life.
In a broader and more definitive way, my pro-life stance means to value life in its variety of forms, including for example, the life of the pregnant teen and any woman with child who has been raped as well as the lives of all the persons affected by the pregnancy. As best I can determine, a rationality similar to mine underlies the SCOTUS Roe vs. Wade decision of 1973, in which was struck down a Texas law banning abortions.
Anti-Roe vs. Wade advocates will quickly point out, no matter the decision's rationality, it remains the case that the unborn "embryo" is defenseless. Simply put: an abortion violates that embryo's right to be born. Concerning which I am compelled to press the point further: The right to pursue liberty, justice and happiness is the legal right of every citizen of the U.S., a right undeniably protected by the U.S. constitution and its amendments.
Withdrawal of the protections for the "born" not only is unconstitutional in my view, it runs contrary to the core teachings of Jesus about living fully and well in this life. "Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value than they?" (Matthew 6:26, ASV).
Who determines how to assure the protections of the born and the unborn ? "Evangelical" pro-lifers appear to insist on protecting "the unborn" but say all too little about protecting the living.
I have never killed another person, knowingly I should add. But I have supported wars I considered "just" and I have supported Roe vs. Wade for what I think are logical, Christian and constitutionally based reasons. But in my decision-making, there have always been the "unknowns," Have we been lied to? Why would there be a real need not to abort? And many more such questions.
I am not God.
Most radically on my Pro-Lifeline is its totally selfish nature. I love life! I love my wife. my children and grand-children! I love ministry and the church's great witnesses.. I love my home. I love the joy that comes when new life is born. And I love every reader and non-reader of my writings. In short, I love humanity and the God who created the earth, the moon and the stars, and every living creature.
Thank you, Jesus.