Casting the Net is where I post various items I find interesting but about which I choose to limit my commentary—because otherwise my  backlog would be even more unendurable than it is, and you'd never see them.

Jennifer at Conversion Diary alerted me to the article she wrote for Inside Catholic, entitled Eight Responses to the Pro-Choice Mindset.   Some of her arguments simply won't fly with ardent supporters of the right to abortion, because they come down to recognizing the unborn baby as a person, which of course is the core issue.

Or is it?

I once said that I'd die to keep abortion legal and easily accessible, and I meant it. I was vehemently pro-choice, as were most of the women in my social circles. We believed abortion was a critical right for women and could not imagine how anyone could be pro-life. We were products of a culture in which human sexuality had been severed from its inherent connection to the creation of human life. Our generation had been taught in our public school sex-ed classes not that sex creates babies, but that unprotected sex creates babies. We were assured that the creation of new human life was tangential to sexual activity, something that was not only optional but completely controllable. In fact, babies were considered downright antithetical to sex.

"Sex is primarily for pleasure."  This deep misunderstanding about the nature of human sexuality is one of the key driving forces behind the modern abortion movement. When women accept the "truth" that sex only has as much meaning as they want it to, that it is not inherently a sacred and tremendously powerful act, they are set up for disaster. This is like saying that loaded guns can be used as toys so long as you put blanks in the chamber: To misunderstand such a significant act on such a fundamental level is a recipe for catastrophe.

As long as people believe that it is perfectly acceptable to engage in sexual activity even when they think a baby would ruin their lives, the temptation to dehumanize and disregard new life will win out. In order to foster a pro-life culture we must help women see that it is not the new life that traps them, but the lie that sex can be severed from its life-giving potential in the first place.

If our society is ever to respect the unborn, we must first respect and fully understand the nature of the act that creates those unborn lives in the first place. As long as the connection between sexual activity and its life-giving potential is severed, the temptation to devalue human life will win out.

Reading this brought to mind a seemingly unrelated post (hat tip to Jon):   Grace for Gays at Following Judah's Lion.  The author, a Baptist minister, meditates on the nature of a truly Christian response to homosexual people.

I completely admit that the Scriptures and the obvious physiological distinctions make it clear that God’s design was between a man and a woman. But what is not so clear to me is how we as the recipients and sharers of God’s grace should interact and reach out to those who cannot deny what they feel.

Have we no compassion, and can we show no sympathy for their situation or are our theological positions enough to insulate us from experiencing their pain? And exactly what requirements are necessary before one can believe on Christ for redemption? How many sins do we have to forsake before we can approach Him, and must we be aware of how God views the entire catalogue of our sins before we can become a legitimate believer?

[A]re grace, mercy, and love incongruent to our Biblical beliefs about sin? I do not mean just informing a gay person about his sin, but exhibiting those spiritual fruits to someone in spite of their lifestyle.

No one should practice sin as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. But I have come to this conclusion, only practicing sinners will enter eternity under the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My heart grieves to watch a 20 year old young man leap to his death because he has been rejected by almost everyone he loves and within that experience he has come to violently hate himself.

That surely cannot be New Testament Christianity.

I quote extensively from the article because I believe it is worthwhile, and I know a number of my readers lack time, inclination, or both to read the original.  But what triggered the connection with Jennifer's article was this paragraph:

I have no idea why [the homosexual] lifestyle seems to have become more prevalent in today’s world. Perhaps it is because most had to suppress it in former generations, or maybe it is because the continuing revelations of Adam’s sin are becoming more pronounced in these last days. I do not know, and neither does anyone else.

I do not know, either, but I have a strong suspicion that a major factor might be Jennifer's point about the change in our understanding of the nature and purposes of sexual behavior. coupled with the sex-saturated nature of modern culture and an increasing belief that we are entitled to pursue our pleasures without hindrance.  To renounce one good—be it sex, food, wine, television, or any other pleasant thing—for a greater good is difficult, a discipline rarely taught and almost never expected.

A bout of illness a few weeks ago taught me that I could go several days without eating—without suffering (except for missing out of some great Swiss food), and feeling all the better for the fast (except when I tried to run through the Frankfort airport and noticed the lack of fuel).  And yet at home I still find turning down the second (or third, or fourth) cookie exceedingly difficult.  Teaching this kind of discipline to our children, and providing for them opportunities to practice the skill, may be more important than we think.
Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at 7:00 am | Edit
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