Monday, November 01, 2004

Re: The Economics of Abortion

Good post Jonny. I think, to Wright's defense, he would agree with most of your disdain for identifying the greatest moral issue of our times. He was writing in response to someone who was saying, directly, that abortion was the moral issue of our times, much like some are claiming homosexuality is now. His point was that the starting point for any of these issues was the economic disparity displayed on a global scale, focusing primarily on the disparity within the church universal.

To the article you are referring, I like what you said about overcoming abortion being more than simply overturning Roe v. Wade. The fact of the matter is that there have always been abortions and there always will be. Making them illegal again in this country will only drive people underground to do it, or resort to age old homemade methods of exposure and abandonment. The article identifies three main reasons given for abortion, all of which should be the focused response of the church. They are: 1. too poor to have a child 2. lack of a partner in the process and 3. inadequate funding for expensive healthcare. I see the proper response of the church to be in these areas, mostly economical (however not entirely) as a better starting point then petitioning for judges that will overturn R v. W. A church that supports the community, provides support and male leadership for single moms, and finally offers its own health care services is the best answer to these issues.

The answer has to be the church because no facet of American politics on the horizon will address and redeem these situations. This is a general fact of the matter that must be accepted by Christians on both sides of the issues. Neither Bush nor Kerry are going to eradicate the economic distress that most Americans are in. Neither party is focused on relieving the burden on the poor. Kerry's health care reforms provide a step in that direction but will still leave a remarkable number of Americans uninsured. Raising the minimum wage 2 dollars will not make it more affordable to raise a child when the expense of living raises with it.

To your point, then, I agree that within the very nature of the free market system there is no scriptural basis and (I think) no hope for relief for the poor and oppressed. This, then, will require not just the religious right, as you suggest, but the church as a whole in western culture to accept that the answer is not the free market system. At this point, and only here, will the church take seriously the need to offer a third way to the two versions of free market American politics and offer financial relief, family support, and finally a health care of its own. This, to me, brings the whole issue back to the church, what it is doing, and where its priorities lie. The paradigm shift, within the church, must be away from the goals of a market system (acquisition of power and wealth) and to the goals of the cross (identification with the dead and dying) before the global issues of abortion and poverty will be relieved. This is beyond a government offering more token financial support or education for the oppressed. All this will do is reframe and off set the oppression somewhere else.


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