September 13, 2007

Keeping the Faith?

Religion has no place in the public square. Questions of law should be decided independent of religious voices lest we shove religious views down people's throats. Secularism has the ability to speak for everyone.

These are just a few of the rationales used to sanitize the public square of the religiously influential. My response to them has been and always will be this: simply, the public square cannot be cleansed of religion or worldviews because everyone is driven by them. There is no pure secularism; there is no neutrality.

So, much to my surprise and amusement, I read in today's Chicago SunTimes the religious - even "biblical" - arguments in support of a new Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Aurora Illinois. Dubbed as "pro-choice clerics," they have declared a day of prayer for this Sunday in support of this soon-to-open facility in Aurora.

"The religious right believes that they have heard the voice of God, and they try to impose their hearing of it on the rest of us by law......But there are many women of faith who have heard a different voice of God when they've prayed." These are the words of the Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons of Oak Park, Illinois. It's clear from her words that the problem isn't that religious views are informing public policy, it's that certain religious views she disagrees with are informing public policy.

Rev. Larry Greenfield of the American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago inserted a "biblical" argument into the controversy. "To deny somebody choice is contrary to what I believe to be the teachings of Jesus as a Christian." A great deal needs to be said about drop-kicking Scripture into this debate, but I most certainly enjoy the fact that it came from the side who embraces the killing of the unborn. Talking about Scripture in an authoritative fashion as Greenfield has done offers an opportunity to deal with the much debated topic of absolute truth and religious pluralism and the ethical implications tied to both, especially as it pertains to social justice. To be clear, abortion is an issue of social justice, but not because of the "choice" or lack thereof, but because of who it hurts - the unborn child and the mother.

I'm thankful the door has been opened, this is a matter to which Scripture does speak.

No comments: