Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith, media & culture: 08/17/22 Whatever happened to good old American skepticism? During her concession speech following the GOP Wyoming congressional primary (after she seemed to compare herself to Abraham Lincoln), Liz Cheney denounced (with, seemingly, intentional echoes of the Holocaust) 2020 election “deniers.” As the government/corporate power […]
Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith, media & culture: 06/24/22
I interrupt my blogging break (I’ll be back Monday, July 25) for this comment on today’s historic Supreme Court abortion decision. For what it’s worth, I think it’s the right decision. The question now is where do we go from here. Below is an extended excerpt from my post from last May 13th where in I review and interview the director of the Fathom Events documentary The Matter of Life. In the post I suggested that, while science and a generally accepted sense of right and wrong (beyond religion) tells us that a fetus is a human life worthy of protection, it’s important that we lean into compassion and education rather than punishment in dealing with the issue.
IMHO: The Matter of Life is must-see viewing for anyone interested in being literate regarding the scientific facts and moral issues of abortion. Forget about religion. As this film shows, the issues raised by abortion have little if anything to do with sectarian religious rules. It’s not about fasting, rituals, contraception, premarital sex, gay marriage, eating pork or any other sort of philosophical issue that can be neatly filed under private matters. General morality (apart from religion) tells us that the taking of an innocent human life is something to be avoided. The question then becomes is a fetus a human life scientifically speaking. This film takes a sober look at the question.
Honestly speaking, life beginning at the moment of conception may reasonably be viewed as a religious or philosophical issue but, personally, I don’t know how anyone can take in the factual evidence and not come to the conclusion that very early on in the pregnancy you are clearly dealing with a human person who has human rights.
The Matter of Life includes many heartfelt stories and expert opinions from various different pro-life perspectives, as well as gruesome images (which the audience is warned of before they are shown). As gruesome as those images are they do need to be seen. Preventing the public from seeing them (as the media aggressively does) is, in my view, like trying to cover up disturbing images regarding any of America’s past and (unfortunately) present civil rights abuses. People sometimes need to actually see the horror before taking the necessary actions to change things.
The Matter of Life is certainly leans toward life but that doesn’t mean it’s dismissive of the very tough situations that unplanned pregnancies can present. The challenge for us as a society is to muster a response that focuses more on compassion for all involved than punishment. BTW, if someone decides to make a documentary called A Matter of Choice then check that out too. Let the arguments on both sides stand side by side. Maybe by actually listening to each other we’ll find balance.
As for The Matter of Life, it methodically lays out its case – and it’s a strong and convincing one. Abortion has some complicated issues attached to it but, when you get right down to it, it is the taking of a human life.
Bottom Line: The Matter of Life is a powerful piece of filmmaking that anyone interested in forming an educated opinion about abortion should see. Highly Recommended.
Talking with The Matter of Life Director Tracy Robinson
JWK: First of all, what are you thoughts on the leaking of the Supreme Court draft decision?
JWK: In the aftermath of the leak has come the protests in front of the home of some of the Justices and the attack on a Wisconsin pro-life office. Nobody was hurt in the attack, fortunately, but what are thoughts on all this?
TR: It indicates to me that people probably don’t understand what overturning Roe v. Wade means. I think people are interpreting it as abortion is going away or something…Abortion is not going away. The laws are going back to the states’ discretion.In California, for instance, you see that abortion is gonna be even more accessible and more protected. It’s on track to becoming a sanctuary state for abortions where women in neighboring trigger states are flown over for free, then get put up for free and they get a free abortion on the taxpayer dollar. So, abortion is not going away in this country. There’s still a fight to be had.
JWK: Assuming Roe v. Wade is overturned, what then? I mean I know it goes back to the states but there is a bit of a problem. What do you do with a woman who has an abortion? Do you really want to put her in jail?
TR: I absolutely think it should be the abortion clinic that is prosecuted (and) dissolved – and, yes, abortion performers should absolutely go to jail. I think that there should be penalties for them. When you talk about penalizing and prosecuting the mother I mean morally, yes, it makes sense. It’s a murder committed against her own child – but that’s very tricky because what you find most of the time are women who are being told misinformation about what’s going on in their body. So, they’ve been deceived. They’ve been pressured. I don’t really think it’s best practice to prosecute the mother (at least) not yet…because there’s so much misunderstanding of what’s right and wrong but an abortion doctor knows exactly what he’s doing. So, I believe those are the people that need to be prosecuted first.
JWK: As you say, a lot of the problem is that people simply aren’t informed about what actually is going on during an abortion. Do we need to educate people more, particularly young people? Should what’s going on in a woman’s womb be taught more explicitly in schools, making it clear what exactly is being disrupted when a baby is aborted?
Should we also be teaching that for the past three decades nearly four times as many black babies have been aborted as white babies. I’m not one to be throwing the “R” word around but, if anything has racial or even racist implications, it’s that.
Those are the three issues to me – education, the racial component and helping people who find themselves in such a situation.
TR: That’s why this movie is so important because it is a plug and play experience where they get to see the whole truth of what abortion really is and really think about the humanity of a developing fetus in the womb. So, it does start with education in large part. You can’t unsee this film.Some of the biggest advocates for this movie have been women with abortion in their past…because they know if people see this film, hear the information and see the reality that that changes their mindset, their worldview and their choices forever. It even influences how they see the media and how they see news. We have to be on the frontlines as people of faith, as parents, as people in schools or on the school board. We need to be on the offense and give young people the truth because it’s gonna prevent a lot of pain, hurt and regret.
JWK: I really believe in education. I liked, for instance, that in Florida Governor DeSantis signed a bill to empower young people by requiring high school students to take a financial literacy course to receive a standard high school diploma. This week he also signed a bill mandating that students be taught about the victims of communism because so often the media presents a romanticized view of it. Would you like to see a similar law that would include abortion education in the curriculum? So many people, particularly young people, know only what the media tells them about abortion and, honestly, have no idea about the reality of it.
TR: Absolutely! I would love for it to be in the curriculum. I have a friend who went to a private Christian school when she was a child. They did talk about it. They did show fetal imagery. They instilled into these young people’s minds “Look, abortion is happening, it’s occurring in our society but here’s why it’s wrong. Look at the truth.” And so they grow up and they go into their adulthood just knowing. There’s no confusion there. There (are) choices but their choices are informed.
The problem is abortion is a very profitable business, especially for these blue state politicians. There are so many people lobbying for abortion. They know that their target customers are young people (and) young adults. (Getting) them at an early age is important to keep the business going.
JWK: Also, I don’t like to stir the racial pot but, as I mentioned, given that nearly four times as many black babies are being aborted as white babies. shouldn’t that be talked about more? I don’t think people understand that so many more black babies are killed than white babies.
TR: Absolutely…We say black lives matter but we never mention that unborn babies matter. It’s the number-one killer in the black community. It’s a topic that needs to be addressed. African-American women make up a very small percentage of the population but they have the highest percentage of abortions…The abortion industry knows that. I don’t think they’re conniving and trying to eliminate the black population. I don’t think Planned Parenthood workers are aware or that necessarily – or acknowledging that – but they definitely know where abortion is most rampant.
JWK: Anything else you’d like to say?
TR: I just think it’s important for people to take action. When it comes to speaking up for the voiceless we need people to do more than just like a post. We need people to take action – and see the film. Seeing the film is really important. Showing up to the theaters is really important to tell the world…that this is a priority issue. This is an urgent, urgent issue to focus on.
Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11