I admit it, I am pro-life. Life is good and I like it. If only I could stop there, the Catholic Church and the rest of the religious right would welcome me with open arms, forgiving me for being a misguided non-believer. However, I cannot stop there and this is where I always get in trouble. It also doesn't help that I do not have any interest in the acceptance of the Catholic Church or the religious right.

To me, being pro-life means that I respect and cherish all life. There are times when the sacrifice of life is necessary in order for another life to survive and that is how nature works. Problems arise when I try to respect and cherish two conflicting lives - the life of a pregnant woman and the potential life she carries. That is where I have to take a step back and support the existing life and the choice she makes over a possibility of life. I have been fortunate enough never to have been forced to make a decision like that regarding my own body but who is to say when circumstances will change? How can I willfully brush aside her intelligence, her experience, and her knowledge of what is best for her situation and force my rosy circumstance on her? Given how my body works, I could have produced at least a dozen healthy babies. Does that mean someone should force me to continue getting pregnant since I seem to be biologically capable of producing healthy life? No, that does not seem right either. So, I cannot in good conscience support forcing another woman to give birth if she is not ready or willing.

I do, however, support all reasonable avenues to reducing the abortion rate here in the U.S. and world-wide. Eliminating it is impossible but improved education and resources have proven to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies while keeping needed medical care for women.

I face the same conundrum when viewing the death penalty or war. On one hand I want a safe society and peace. On the other hand it makes me ill to think that one of the methods used to achieve these ends requires the sacrifice of lives. Again, I feel strongly that education and improved resources will benefit both areas while reducing the number of lives lost.

So, I guess I am a pro-life, pro-choice, pro-education atheist. Oddly enough this particular centrist view often makes me stand out in a crowd - my family and close friends lean toward the right and I am viewed as the liberal left-wing nut and to most others I am viewed as the conservative, uptight right- wing nut. I suppose it is easier to categorize someone than take the time to understand their views. We hear a phrase, jump to a conclusion and pigeon-hole someone before they can get away. It is a shame that I am not a pigeon.


"Interesting article : I'm not the same position, but I share many of the same viewpoints."

No comments: