On yesterday’s live VictoryNews broadcast, I made an observation that I think bears elaborating upon.
The rates of abortion (per capita) have been steadily falling for the last decade or two. This, in the absence of any additional restrictions. Why?
Also, the numbers of medical professionals willing to perform them has also been dropping rapidly. Why?
In their 1983 book, “Whatever Happened to the Human Race,” Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop predicted that abortion-on-demand would, in a couple of generations, make our society completely indifferent to human life. It didn’t. Why?
I believe the core reason is the astonishing advancements of imaging technology inside the womb.
My wife and I saved and treasure all of the crude, grainy sonogram images of our three daughters from roughly 3 decades ago. Among them is one of our third, Olivia. Even with the poor image quality, it’s clear that she has her hand is cupping the side of face…
After she was born we were astonished to see her favorite way to sleep was in THAT position. Throughout her time in our home growing up, she always fell asleep with her hand cupping her face.
Yes, as a sage and dear friend of mine rightly pointed out recently, the sharp, deeply entrenched differences in our society over abortion are rooted in differing presuppositions about the beginning of life.
The thing is, those assumptions increasingly don’t have to be rooted solely in the realms of theology and philosophy. Yes, our hearts and spirits are speaking but so is the science . . . at an increasing volume.
A large and growing body of dispassionate scientific research testifies that, from a remarkably early stage, developing humans feel pain, respond to the mother’s voices, and even dream.
As I’m constantly prattling on about on this site, we all are increasingly hostages to our cognitive biases. We’re blind or impervious to facts and data that cut against what we NEED to think is true.
In this thread, I highlighted some of the reasons this might be the case where abortion is concerned.
The reality is, moral arguments, facts, data, reason, and appeals to human decency have not been able to loosen the powerful hold of these biases. But pictures have done what reason could not.
It seems that the more clearly we see the life inside the womb, the less comfortable we become, as a society, in destroying it.
Finally, compassion compels me to write a few words about the other victims of this tragedy. The living ones. In my early 20s, (the early 80s) I was a committed Christian but ambivalent, at best, about abortion. What changed that?
I met a series of women who had experienced abortions. Some had freely chosen it. Some had been pressured into it. But all were profoundly wounded by it. Many could tell you how old her child would be at that moment, had he or she lived.
It is then that I came to understand that every abortion produces two victims. So, I’m keenly aware that, whenever this topic flares up, as it has now, it brings a lot of pain to the surface for a lot of women–including many daughters of God.
So it’s vital to remember that we are all in desperate need of the mercy, forgiveness, and freedom from shame that Jesus purchased for us on the cross. We all are hopelessly lost and broken. Yet Jesus died to make us all whole and His.
Indeed, it is my life’s calling and passion to make everyone aware of God’s goodness and kindness, and of the astonishing depth and breadth of the restoration Jesus made possible for us.
So, should we avoid advocating for the unborn because doing so causes its past victims pain? No. As with trafficking, sexual abuse, and other scourges of broken humanity, it makes no sense to be passive about future victimizations because of the pain of past victims.
But please, let us be equally assertive and bold in extending kindness, mercy, hope, and healing to all the living victims among us. Many already stagger under a crushing weight of shame and regret.
Here’s wonderful news.
We don’t have to choose. It possible to simultaneously try to rescue the perishing while freely sharing the cup of mercy we all cannot stand without. Meanwhile, the science continues to advance the case for life.
Here’s your periodic reminder that the easiest lie to fall for is the one you NEED to be true. What narrative are you so emotionally invested in that you’ll grasp at anything that seems to validate it?
Reagan is famous for quipping that it’s not that liberals are ignorant; it’s just that so much of what they “know” simply isn’t so. That’s true for all of us now . . .
Cognitive biases and tribal polarization have us all seizing and remembering online bits of info that validate what we wish to be true and instantly dismissing any that seem to contradict it . . .
The only way out of this “fun house mirror” maze we’re in is constant awareness of the presence of cognitive bias, resulting in a healthy distrust of our own logic and information processing . . .
If only there was a scripture that validated this approach . . . Oh, wait:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”Proverbs 3:5-6
A couple of weeks ago my bride and I had the privilege of spending some time with a wonderful congregation of believers in Menomonie, Wisconsin. Menomonie is a charming, small-college town wrapped around one end of a beautiful lake. Love Church is a special light to that community, skillfully led by Pastors Paul and Dana Carlson.
Here is the message I shared with this sweet gathering of believers:
From five years ago in this space . . .
In case you missed it . . . Wrote this four years ago this week. Hope you like it:
Just posted some fresh, half-baked thoughts over at the Cup & Table Co. blog: