I didn't know too much about Eastern Orthodoxy before preparing to move to Romania. While I still have much to learn, I have spent the last year picking up pieces of information, talking with individuals who identify as Orthodox and making my own observations. There are many aspects of Orthodoxy which stand out - aspects of theology, worship, traditions, etc. But perhaps the first and most apparent aspect which will stand out to any onlooker is the Orthodox church buildings. Orthodox buildings are far more ornate and opulent than Catholic and Protestant churches. They catch the eye with the glimmer of gold you can see from miles away. Learning about Orthodoxy has lead me to believe that one of their major emphases is on the beauty and experience of God. Their architecture is meant to accost your senses and the sensual experience only grows from the outside in, as your entrance into the church greets you with many colors and the smell of incense.
The topic of abortion is fraught with emotional pitfalls on all sides, and understandably so. My goal is to broach this topic intellectually and make a case for the pro-life position without undermining reverence and respect for the humanity and value of those who have chosen abortion. My hope is that this case can help those on all sides to clearly see the crux of the issue and the tremendous implications it has for establishing and maintaining human rights.
1. The Foundational Question: What is killed in abortion?
2. How to Determine Value and Rights: What quality and types of qualities confer rights and value to an individual?
3. Justified Reasons for Taking Human Life: What justifies the taking of human life?
4. Unjustified Reasons for Taking Life: What reasons fail to justify the taking of human life?
5. Bad Christian Arguments and Witness: Common pro-life/Christian arguments and actions which can undermine the pro-life position.
6. Counterrebuttals: A response to significant objections to the pro-life arguments.
Many pro-choice proponents point to ectopic pregnancies (where the embryo doesn't implant in the uterus, but in other areas, sometimes the fallopian tube or ovary) as an example of pro-life hypocrisy. Many pro-lifers argue that it is never right to seek the death of the unborn, yet the majority of pro-lifers recognize the legitimacy of aborting a fetus involved in an ectopic pregnancy. While I have come to the conclusion that this is an inconsistency of many pro-lifers, I think this area is a bit grayer than all the other areas due to our culture being steeped in pragmatic ethics. If we believe that allowing an ectopic pregnancy to continue will result in both the mother's life and the child's life being taken, pragmatic ethics makes it seem as though we have the right to take one life to save another. It is a lesser evil. So before I present my case against abortion in ectopic pregnancies, I'll provide the Christian case for abortive ectopic pregnancies. Please be reminded that here, just as in all other sections, I am not making a case for the purpose of condemning. If there is grace for me, there is grace available for everyone else as well.