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“Common ground”, continued

May 24, 2009
The relationship between principle and practicality is certainly complex; something I’ve been wrestling with a lot lately. In response to my last note on slavery, a friend sent me a message that I thought did a great job of clarifying a proper balance. I realized that my previous note could be interpreted as advocating an “all or nothing” approach, which I did not intend, so I wanted to share it with you:

“One of the issues I have with this mindset when it comes to abortion is the “all of nothing” approach. While I also want to completely end abortion, I am happy in the meantime to pass measures like making partial birth abortion illegal, forcing abortionist to show the woman an ultrasound with a 36 hour wait, etc. Passage of the born alive act, etc. None of those actually end abortion.

I once had a Christian young women tell me that she opposed limitations on partial birth abortion, because it still allowed earlier abortions. Frankly I think she is a naive idiot. I will continue to work to stop abortion, but until that happens I will make every effort to make abortion as difficult or as limited as possible. I want to harass the abortion machine as much as possible while I strive to kill it.

I take this stand because I have been on the receiving end of it. My right to keep and bear arms has been under constant attack. Now we fight just to maintain the status quo, without much regard for regaining the ground we have lost. I want the abortionists to constantly lose ground, and to be fighting new battles as we constantly advance on their position. Did underground railroads end slavery? Certainly not. But they were an important tool of both harassment to the establishment of slavery, and a great PR tool to educate the general unaware populace of the evil of slavery.

We heavily support (with money) the Crisis Pregnancy Centers. They will never stop abortion. However, they do prevent quite a number of abortions, and they provide a valuable PR tool to educate the unaware. I support (in spirit) those who go after the abortion mills and get them closed down for medical violations or other violations of public health. Does this end abortion? No. But it does harass the abortion providers and it also educates the unaware of the dangers of abortion.

I guess I do not see this as a “black and white,” “either/or” proposition. I see this as a battle being fought on many fronts, and I would not pull back on any attack just because it might restrict abortions to be a little less heinous. As long as any baby is being murdered (i.e. tortured to death) in the womb, the practice will remain offensive enough if we are skilled at all in our presentation.

I do believe abortion is on the decline. But only because we have pressed the battle in many (often ineffectual) ways. But that doesn’t mean those of us who fight battles that the “all or nothing” crowd see as an incomplete solution are having no effect because abortion still exists. We are having an effect. Every girl who visits a Crisis Pregnancy Center and decides to keep her baby (or every slave who escaped through the underground railroad) is one less casualty in this war against Satan.

We certainly need to keep pressuring Congress to end abortion. And we need to elect a leader such as Alan Keyes who understands the underlying spiritual implications of many of today’s issues in order to help further that fight. But I would argue that we also need to harass and limit abortion in every small way that we can while we pursue the larger goal.”

Thanks Todd!

We are sinful beings in a fallen world, fighting an imperfect battle by the grace of God. I think we can agree that while we ought not compromise our ultimate goal, we must also gratefully take hold of every (incomplete) victory along the way.

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