Should Christians leave their Faith at the door

Question:

When Christians talk about prolife issues, it would be easier if they left their faith at the door – it has no place in secular debates.  What do you think?

Answer:

The sentiment that we should “leave our faith at the door” is not an uncommon one.  My problem is this – if we are Christians, is it possible to do so?  Isn’t our faith so integrated into who we are that the way we speak, the way we form our opinions and the way we present, are all founded in our faith?  As a Christian, I embrace a Christian worldview which influences the way I think about abortion, euthanasia, surrogacy, sex slavery, exploitation… the list is endless.

Famous philosopher Peter Singer certainly draws on his particular atheistic worldview when debating prolife issues.  He draws a distinction between pre-personal and personal human life, claiming that the pre-personal “foetus” is not worthy of protection.  In fact, Singer goes even further, advocating infanticide of “defective” infants who are not morally equivalent to being a person.  When he debates abortion, infanticide and euthanasia he draws unashamedly on his worldview.

Karl Marx called for the abolition of the family.  It makes sense then that the socialist worldview which is so heavily embraced by our left-leaning MPs, is based on the abolition of the nuclear family in favour of giving child-rearing responsibility to the state.  Abortion fits well into this larger strategy.  Furthermore, this worldview posits that abortion frees women from domestic and economic pressures of children, lifting them from exploitation.  The value of motherhood is not recognised or even comprehended within this worldview.  

I would suggest that it is actually impossible to ‘leave your faith at the door’ if your faith is an integral part of who you are.  This does not mean that we need to use faith-filled language in our arguments.  Socialist debaters don’t usually quote Marx or acknowledge that they want to abolish the family - they shroud their arguments with words like “choice” or “women’s rights”.  Debaters of the Singer persuasion may use medical arguments to justify infanticide, or allude to the lives of people near the end of life as having “lives not worth living”.  In a similar way, we (ie, people with a Christian worldview) attribute “personhood” to babies in the womb, we use arguments of an infant’s heart beat and the ability to feel pain as ways to demonstrate the valued life of a preborn, and we defend and value the rights of people with disability to live meaningful lives.

As someone with a PhD in social sciences I will often draw on academic arguments in prolife debates.  I also draw on my two decades in welfare working with people with disability and talk about lives worth living, about quality of life being subjective, and about the importance of giving mothers who conceive a baby with a disability information on the positives including the supports available.  As a woman who has experienced miscarriages (plural) I may also talk about the profound physical and psychological effects of losing a child and the impact this has had on me.  I can draw on my academic, professional and personal experiences to argue on prolife issues.  I have found this very successful many times. 

BUT – I will never deny my Christian worldview.  It is an integral part of who I am. 

My Christian worldview has as much weight in so-called secular debates as Singer’s atheistic worldview or the Social Left’s worldview.  

If you are motivated by faith, don’t be inconsistent when forming your views on prolife issues.  Don’t deny your faith which values life.  Be motivated by it.  Draw strength from it.  Live it.

 


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  • Russell Gray
    commented 2019-03-01 18:51:27 +1100
    The advantage of being a Christian is that you gain biblical understanding about what is happening around the world but more importantly within Australia. The Federal elections are a test of our understanding of the political parties’ policies. I have a clearer understanding of the following policies from a Christian perspective than if I wasn’t; Freedom of Religion, Same Sex Attracted People Conversion Therapy, “Safe Schools” and liberalising of abortion.