Monday, October 02, 2006

Mommy, will there be abortion in Heaven?

I read and remember a lot of things, but every now and then something comes along that I know I won’t forget. It seems to say, “Pay attention to this, and remember it – it will tell you something important about the world you’re living in.” Sometimes it’s a big story, like the seizure and forced repatriation of Elian Gonzalez, or the forced starvation death of Terri Schiavo. And sometimes it’s just a little casual comment that unwittingly exposes an entire philosophy and worldview.

I was silently lurking on the blog Father Jake Stops the World – silently, because I know that conservative voices are simply deleted on liberal Episcopalian blogs like this one, and I can’t be bothered writing and posting things that will never be read. And lurking because I like to see what the other side is up to, though I find such far-out leftist sites weirdly addictive – Episcoporn, I call it. Anyway, as I was reading the comments for this entry I came across this exchange:
In my experience, progressives tend to be have fundamental issues and positions and to be uncomfortable with any challenge to these positions.

My brillant, lovely and delightful wife was politically liberal and very pro choice. (Was because she died, I am sure she would still be liberal and very pro choice today as she was as stubborn...I mean steadfast as I am.) She found it impossible to even consider the possibility that the pro choice position was incorrect. I, as I suppose everyone reading this would accept certain fundamental truths, such as all humans have extrinsic value and rights which other humans can not (should not, anyway) violate. I can not conceive of an argument or fact or situation in which I would surrender that belief, which is dervied from faith based on my understanding of scripture.

If fundamentalim is an inability to consider that your beliefs can be wrong or an unwillingness to surrender certain beliefs then there are a lot of fundamentalists.

Kevin | 09.27.06 - 11:10 am | #
My brillant, lovely and delightful wife was politically liberal and very pro choice. (Was because she died, I am sure she would still be liberal and very pro choice today

***IS*** Kevin: Heaven is a very pro-choice, liberal place! (JCF faith-claim)

Still: my sympathies to you on your loss. I'm glad, however, we have your "brillant, lovely and delightful" wife among that "cloud of witnesses"! May light perpetual shine upon her... 0:-D
J.C. Fisher | 09.27.06 - 12:02 pm | #

I quoted the entirety of both passages, because I wanted it to be clear that I was not taking anything out of context. The part that interested me was J.C. Fisher’s response (highlighted in the original). It doesn’t surprise me that a liberal would think that Heaven is a liberal place; conservatives also think that Heaven will be the place where what is imperfectly good in this world is found in perfection. What DOES shock me, though, is to hear anyone happily declare that Heaven is “pro-choice”.

There was no hint that this statement was a joke; indeed, there was only one follow-up remark, which read:
God bless you, and your wife. In heaven, she has been persuaded from the error of her "pro-choice" beliefs. lol….

Grace | 09.27.06 - 3:25 pm | #
The only ‘joke” was the idea that such an idea could be in error. And there was no further comment on this subject. Evidently, the idea that God loves abortion is so self-evident on the Left that it simply passes unremarked.

I know I’m old-fashioned; I thought that Bill Clinton’s statement that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare” was still current. Most people think it is. Conservatives still spend time debunking it, while the average liberal is mystified at how anyone could oppose something so moderate and self-evidently reasonable. But we are all behind the times. The far left has pushed on into the region of “abortion chic”.

I don’t get the feeling that people who say things like this are thinking that abortion can be the best of a bunch of bad options available. That’s an argument that a Catholic is bound to argue with, but it’s at least a fair assessment of how Life sometimes deals you a bad hand. That, in fact, IS the Clinton position – abortion is inherently a BAD THING, which is why it should be “rare”. The new approach is defiantly to elevate abortion to the status of a Good. And not just something good because of expediency, like penicillin, but good in its very nature, and thus worthy of the favour of the Ultimate Good, which is God.

The reason this disturbs me is because it is an example of something C.S. Lewis described in “The Great Divorce”: “the desire [of some] to extend Hell, to bring it bodily if they could, into Heaven...” It is not enough to be reassured that the imperfections and mistakes of life on earth will be forgiven and healed in Heaven; no, we must be able to import our lusts, our hatreds, our cobbled-together excuses into Heaven with us. Instead of hope for a future life where the shuffling compromises of our earthly life will be done away, we will find that we were right all along. We don’t need God to “wipe away every tear from their eye” because what we concocted for ourselves on Earth is fit for Heaven, and we have no need to repent.

This is the sin of Pride at its most diabolical. If it’s good enough for us, it’s good enough for God. I think that Milton was very prescient when he made Satan say, “Evil, be thou my good,” – not just because it shows the inversion and perversion that is innate to Evil. But it also shows the self-centered attitude of the damned – “be thou MY good”. I will be the one who decides what is good, not God. This is our daily language today: MY good, MY truth, as if we were gods ourselves.


Blogger Peter said...

You can talk at Jakes place- within certain limitations. I'm often the conservative pain-in-the-neck there.

However, never touch one of the hot button issues - that'll get you removed before you can say whoaaa.

Also, the rules say people can be rude to you, but you may not be rude to them. I can cope with that though :-)

12:32 am  
Blogger Ellie M said...

I must say I'm a little surprised at these comments because, in my experience, liberal types seldom believe in Heaven. Episcopal Pooh-bah-to-be Katherine Jefferts Schori doesn't: when she was asked in a recent interview if she believed in the Afterlife, she mumbled something about the things we're passionate about in life outliving us. (In other words, No.)

Maybe the baby boomers will change their minds about this as they enter their declining years, but most progressive "Christians" seem to regard Heaven as one of those terribly gauche and unsophisticated things that only a fundie could believe in. They're very much into the eat, drink and be merry mindset.

3:22 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Hmm, maybe you're right, Ellie. Maybe THAT was the whole joke right there, and I didn't get it: that anybody could imagine that there really is a "Heaven" where you meet God and learn what is true and what isn't.

7:52 pm  
Blogger Mark Windsor said...

I've often wondered if heaven to a dedicated liberal isn't just like Hell in The Great Divorce. The grey city, where our "lusts, our hatreds, our cobbled-together excuses" are all available to us for all eternity. That might seem like Heaven to an atheistic liberal. This makes Jefferts-Schori's comment about our passions outliving us make a certain degree of sense. She does believe in something like Heaven...only we'd call it Hell.

11:19 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Well, don't forget, in one of C.S. Lewis's essays, when he was dealing with facetious questions about Heaven such as "Where would you put the mosquitoes?" he said that a Heaven for mosquitoes and a Hell for humans could be very economically combined!

1:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My grandfather always said, “Don’t watch your money; watch your health.” So one day while I was watching my health, someone stole my money. It was my grandfather.funny jewish joke

8:15 pm  

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