If you are looking for my blog titled, The Contemplative Catholic Convert, you are at the right spot.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Circumcision and Abortion

Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (Matthew 25:44-46).

I had a disturbing internet exchange with some strangers yesterday. A Facebook friend posted an article about the proposed San Francisco ban on circumcision that will make its way to the ballot.

I responded that I find it curious that so many people are concerned about cutting off a boy’s foreskin and yet at the same time be so nonchalant about slicing apart little boys and girls bodies in the womb during an abortion.

That started a minor firestorm. One woman responded, “I'll keep my scalpels off your body, you keep your filthy religion off mine. Sound good?”

I am not sure what caused her to knee-jerk into the accusation of religious-mongering (I hadn’t brought God into the discussion). But there it was. The gauntlet was down.

I tried to redirect the discussion and responded, “It doesn't require faith in God to know that what is in the womb is a human being. That is science. And cutting it apart is cruel and inhuman punishment. That is truth.”

A moment later a guy entered the fray with something equally argumentative about sperm and DNA and how the fetus is not actually alive  To which I suggested the two search the internet for key words such as “fetal development” (such as here and here).

The woman shot back (clearly without bothering to read anything about fetal development) that the fetus doesn’t feel pain until late in the pregnancy, and that the fetus is not conscious. I responded if that is the criteria we use to assess life, then we are in great danger as a people.

Within minutes, I was accused of being insensitive to the “plight of millions of women and their families around the world,” and I was “too (expletive) stupid”  and that I am “wasting air someone else could be using.”

In other words, society would be better off if I were dead.

I bowed out of the discussion that was clearly going nowhere.

But I thought a while about the virulence hurled at me by strangers when I asked how anyone can be concerned about circumcision, and not recognize hypocrisy in their pro-abortion position.

I know nothing of the religious faith of the people who called me stupid and wished me dead. I assume they do not consider themselves Christians. But that is not necessarily a valid assumption. I have met far too many people who call themselves “Christian” and “Catholic” and “Protestant” who not only support abortion, but vote for candidates who are unabashedly pro-abortion.

If Scripture is true, and Church teaching has any influence on how we live our Christian faith, then a pro-abortion sympathy is an eternally deadly position for a Christian to hold. If we feed the poor and visit those in prison, as Jesus said in the passage above, but we do nothing to protect the unborn – indeed, if we (God forbid!) actively or passively promote abortion – will we avoid the eternal punishment Jesus warned about in that passage?   

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven,” Jesus warned, “But only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?' Then I will declare to them solemnly, 'I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers’ (Matthew 7:21-23).

I expect people who deny Jesus as Lord to rationalize away the idea that abortion is nothing less than wickedness and worthy of eternal punishment. But those who claim Jesus to be their Lord ought to pay very close attention to His warnings.

As St. Paul put it: Do not be deceived. God is not mocked. (Galatians 6:7)


Damon said...

Clearly the people you corresponded with need our prayers, may God release them from their ignorance.

Gail said...

Way to go!!~~ God is smiling for sure!

Richard Maffeo said...

Quite the contrary. I think God is weeping over what we are doing. And the Church shares a tremendous amount of that responsibility for continuing to let it happen.

Richard Maffeo said...

Damon, yes. Amen . . . for those in the pews and out.

Anonymous said...

As my brother,the doctor, says of when does life begin -- when did it end?

Applying the logic of the one who said it was okay to tear apart a child in the womb because he/she was unconscious could just as easily tear apart a patient in a hospital who is sedated.

The foreskin is tissue, removed as a token sacrifice in a religious ceremony for boys in the Jewish and islamic traditions. It's a useful removal to help prevent HPV transmission fm husband to wife. It's a useful hygiene removal. The boy can live without the foreskin.

Abortion is not the removal of tissue. It is the willful act of killing another person before he/she gets all the way here. That embryonic human has his/her own DNA fm the outset. All he/she does is share nutrition w/mom before being capable of doing it for himself.

As a Protestant, I have no theological problem with the prevention of pregnancy, but I have a HUGE theological issue with ending one before the baby arrives.

Rich, had you endured more useless abuse, you would likely have found that the same who are so willing to take a life in the womb are the same folks who refuse capital punishment and insist that truly wicked in prison be eligible for organ transplants, too.

You are right to quote, "God is not mocked." He is patiently waiting the the last repentant soul to come aboard. Then -- stand by for 20-foot breakers across the bow!

Helen S

Richard Maffeo said...

As I commented to an earlier, uh, comment -- I think God weeps over what we have done and continue to do.