Well, it’s Election Day and I really need a door #3. While I’m unsettled by the lack of honesty, compassion and selflessness I’ve seen in the last several months, it’s not entirely about the candidates. My dilemma is actually much bigger than that. My problem lies in the hypocrisy and inconsistency both parties exhibit when it comes to the issue of life.
You see, I am for life. I am for life from conception all the way to the grave and every moment in between. The truth is, that even with all our knowledge and ability, life is still the one thing we cannot create. We can prolong life. We can improve life. We can clone life. We can take life. But we cannot create it. We cannot, where there is no life, call it into being. We cannot take something inanimate and breathe life into it, giving it growth and verve. From the beginning, this has been a job solely for the author of life. With that truth in mind, what right do any of us have to take it? It feels irresponsible, callous and careless to take something that we have no way of replacing. If I steal a car, I can replace that car. If I burn down a house, with time and effort, I can rebuild that house. But if I take a life, there is no repairing that. There is no way to correct that theft.
I am against abortion. At any stage. Of course there are exceptions and at this point in the game, no one argues that. However, I am sickened by the all the efforts of policy makers to justify snuffing out life before it ever has a chance to take hold. As a woman, I find it insulting that our choice has been reduced to this. I find it angering and sad that this is the choice we have rallied behind. Somehow, we have spent all our energy and money protecting a woman’s right to choose abortion while we have conveniently ignored all the other options women have. What if the money that’s been poured into the pro-choice movement was reallocated to support other choices? What if our money went to improved sex education and accessible birth control? What if we took our resources and devoted them to reducing all the crippling red tape in the foster and adoption system? What if we valued life and found ways to ease the weight of pregnancy rather than remove it?
I also can’t support the death penalty. I know the prison system is flawed and overwhelmed. I’ve read about heinous crimes and I wonder sometimes if those crimes don’t deserve death. But at the end of the day, if I value life, I have to value it without condition. I am not the judge and certainly don’t want the role of executioner. Life is life.
Furthermore, my conviction also causes me to call into question a variety of things that threaten life. For instance, how can I hold life above all else and support unchecked gun ownership? It seems awfully duplicitous to say one values life while lobbying for the very mechanism responsible for so much death. Regardless of the arguments on either side, there is no getting around the fact that guns were designed and created to threaten life. Whether in aggression or self-defense, their purpose is singular.
So I am stuck solidly and immovably between a rock and hard place. Sadly, there is no “Life Party”. The democrats shout for curbed gun rights out of one side of their mouth while spewing pro-choice rhetoric out of the other. Meanwhile, the republicans wave their flag supporting the unborn with one hand and use the other hand to wave their unrestricted guns.
So what now? I don’t know honestly. I am left sleepless trying to weigh my choices. It seems whatever I choose I am compromising my convictions and that’s not something I’m comfortable with. For me, at the end of the day, it comes down to Romans 14:12
“So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.”
Ultimately, I have to do what my God has put on my heart to do. I have to be obedient to His Spirit in me. I am accountable to Him. While I love my country, I love my God more. I am a proud American, but I am an even prouder child of the Creator. For me, this is the greatest right and privilege I have. Elections will come and go. Presidential candidates and parties will blow through like chaff in the wind. But the spinner of stars and weaver of life is eternal.
Life is sacred. It is powerful but fragile. It is resilient but vulnerable. It is beyond my understanding and beyond my ability to create. But it is not beyond my ability to value and protect. I am for life.