Monday, October 26, 2015

Are Pro-Lifers Hypocrites?

An abortion routine from Reginald Hunter, a comedian, has been making the rounds lately on social media. He's asking a relevant question: are pro-lifers hypocrites if they think it is sometimes okay to take human life? However, his flawed argument fails to do justice to the issue.

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"Fundamentalist conservative Christians believe that an embryo in a woman’s body is sacred, and no one should harm it."

“Fundamentalist, conservative Christian” usually drags up mental images of uneducated, angry, bigoted hypocrites. Rhetorically, it’s a great way to get people on your side. Logically, it’s both irrelevant and inaccurate. There are secular pro-lifers as well as pro-life supporters from many other religions. 

I assume “sacred” was chosen to make it seem like solely a religious issue. It's not. Yes, religious people believe there is a religious perspective on the question of abortion, but it's only one of several components that make up a unified, cumulative case argument for why abortion ends the life of a human being.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Six Flawed Claims in Buzzfeed's "I’m Christian But I’m Not…”

Plenty has been written about Buzzfeed's viral video featuring a number of people who address all the ways they believe Christians have been unfairly stereotyped. As much as I appreciate the spirit behind their attempt, I'm not thrilled with the attempt itself.  First, the fact that Christ is not mentioned in a discussion is a significant oversight. Second, though there are  some decent observations (you can read the whole text here), there are also a number of claims that reveal a fair amount of confusion about what it means to be a follower of the person and teaching of Jesus.

"I’m Christian but I’m not close-minded."

Let’s not kid ourselves: everyone is close-minded about something. I am close-minded about torturing babies or driving drunk. I have friends who are close-minded about global warming, eating meat, and whether or not Christianity is a good idea. On the other hand, I am open-minded, if by that you mean I listen to competing voices on religion, politics, and current events, try to weigh them fairly, and seek to be honest about whether or not what I believe to be true actually is true.

It’s a virtue to keep an open mind – until it’s time to close it. Being close-minded isn’t automatically a bad thing – though it can be. It’s not always easy to identify when that moment arrives, but we all do it. In this case, I would hope that identifying as a Christian means someone has made an informed decision between the claims of Jesus and the claims of other world religions. Choosing to follow Jesus on biblical terms requires an agreement that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one has access to God except through Jesus (John 14:6). Even if followers of Christ entertain questions and doubts (as I suspect we all do in some fashion), if we claim to follow, obey and worship Jesus and not other gods, we have closed our minds around something.