Mayor Pete Can Explain about Pro-Abortion Jesus
Democrat Pete Buttigieg's recent defense of unrestricted abortion, suggesting that "a lot" of the scriptures says "life begins with breath," came in for some well deserved ridicule from people who actually own Bibles. Mayor Pete was willing to admit that others may interpret these verses differently, because his real argument was that the only person's opinion that matters "is the woman making the decision."
This idea that "the woman" alone (or, more accurately, the mother alone) gets to decide her baby's life or death is the atheist Left's default position: because there's no God to decree what's good or evil, there's no appeal outside the individual's arbitrary will. (And because an unborn baby is too small to assert his will, who cares about him?)
Liberal Christians, compromised by their higher loyalty to the progressive cause, have been stuck for decades improvising biblical rationalizations as best they can for the Left's morally indefensible positions. When they see they can't make the case, as Buttigieg can never make his, their fallback position is that the scriptures are ambiguous and the mind of God unknowable.
A favorite species of this argument is that Jesus never mentioned the subject in question. A lapsed Catholic writing at the New York Times recently tweaked Catholic teaching on homosexuality as wrong, because there are no "words from Christ condemning homosexuality...none." This past spring, CNN's Kirsten Powers wrote admiringly of Pete Buttigieg's "insightful formulation" about conservative Christians "saying so much about what Christ said so little about, and so little about what he said so much about." Powers takes this as "the religious right's treatment of abortion as a litmus test for Christian faith, when in fact Jesus never mentioned the issue."
There are logical problems inferring Christ's opinion on a subject He never mentioned. It also doesn't help when the people making the inferences have only casual acquaintance with the Gospels, as revealed by the trite summaries they offer, such as Mayor Pete's, that "[e]very other word that comes out of the mouth of Christ is about things like helping those in need." Even if this were the case (it isn't), Buttigieg has still missed his own point. Who could be more in need of help than an unborn child whose own mother is determined to stop him from being born?
Thanks to the Democrats' strenuous insistence that abortion is health care, why can't we examine abortion in light of Jesus's response to human illnesses and disabilities — i.e., that He cured them all? We can see Him cure the blind, the deaf, the dumb, the lame, the leprous, the hemorrhagic, the feverish, and the paralyzed and even restore the dead to life. Jesus performed many of these healings unconcerned that He was risking ritual uncleanness, or violating social and religious prohibitions, such as those against touching dead bodies, curing someone on the Sabbath, or touching a woman suffering from a flow of blood. Clearly, He was no prisoner of His times, hemmed in by His culture's religious and social limitations. His liberty to act is notably displayed in His revolutionary treatment of women as equal in dignity to men, in diametrical contradiction of the universally low status of women in ancient societies. Yet with all this, the Gospels never record that the Great Physician ever cured a problem pregnancy by miraculously emptying a mother's womb.
It's not as if He never encountered women with difficult, or inconvenient, pregnancies (look at His own mother's situation). Abortion and infanticide were practiced with abandon in the Roman world. But the Jews believed that killing children, born or unborn, was a grave sin, a belief the Romans despised as one of the "revolting" observances Jews had kept from antiquity, along with their "eagerness to have children." Jesus's teaching against the killing of the unborn would have been unnecessary with His Jewish listeners, for whom it was a given. On those occasions Jesus did challenge prevailing religious views, He did it boldly and with absolute clarity.
Still, there's no suggestion He ever challenged the proscription against abortion. Nor did the first generations of His disciples deviate from the Jewish view, following the same prohibition from the earliest years.
Homosexuality was also widely practiced in the Roman world, including calling homosexual relationships "marriages." The Jews similarly rejected these practices as contrary to the Law, the same Law that Jesus declared He came not to abolish, but to fulfill. Where Jesus never mentioned homosexuality, He certainly mentioned marriage, quite specifically re-establishing it according to His Father's original intention, "who made them from the beginning male and female, and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.'" Jesus unambiguously defined what the modern world now insists on calling the "traditional" view that marriage is heterosexual and monogamous.
Just so, the argument that Christ never explicitly condemned homosexuality is painfully ironic. In the current climate, no one has to explicitly criticize homosexuality to be charged with doing it by the Left's permanently enraged moral tribunal. Because the LGBT community made the choice to equate the mere belief that marriage is heterosexual and monogamous with hate, bigotry, and an affirmative effort to harm homosexuals, anyone caught agreeing with Jesus's view of marriage is prima facie guilty of trying to erase gay people. To put it simply, if the Prince of Peace returned to His earthly ministry today and said these things, He'd be reviled as a transphobe and a hater.
Liberal Christians are trapped, unable to get off the runaway progressive train that's carrying them farther and farther from every standard enabling them to distinguish right from wrong. Progressive logic requires that all lines, boundaries, and rules be got rid of if enlightened humanity is ever going to achieve absolute freedom and autonomy. The practical result always moves us closer to absolute chaos.
The practical results of progressive theology have been mainline denominations ordaining transgenders and atheists, discarding scriptural morality in favor of fashionable vices, and calling down God's blessings on abortion mills, so that the killers "may ... always know that all that they do is for Thy glory." At the 2012 annual convention of Pete Buttigieg's own Episcopal denomination, Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop, "preached her brand of post-Christian religion," ridiculing the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation, and telling her audience, "We all need the 'act of crossing boundaries' to become God after which our hands become a 'sacrament of mission.'"
Some years back, Leonard Cohen sang about this insane progressive rush toward "absolute control" and "the breaking of the ancient Western code," and his haunted vision of the future it must bring:
Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
Pete Buttigieg's rudderless approach to Christian ethics proves the point. At the CNN climate town hall, he sermonized on how God sees "a kind of sin" in mankind poisoning "the air of His creation and [how] people are being harmed by it." He asked, "What do you suppose God thinks of that? I bet He thinks it's messed up, and you don't have to be religious to see the moral dimensions of this." But somehow the very religious Buttegieg can't make out any moral problem with aborting an unborn baby up to the moment of birth, despite how it harms God's creation and harms people — in fact, it destroys people created by God in His own image. The Federalist's Ericka Andersen spotted Mayor Pete's hypocrisy, agonizing over air quality and sea levels but "convinced that's God's creation inside the womb is unworthy of that same care and protection."
Interviewing Buttigieg, Kirsten Powers asked him for his favorite verse, which she paraphrased this way: "Whatever you did for one of the least of these ... you did for me." But Powers actually misquoted this most abused verse of the pandering Left. What the Lord really says in Matthew 25 is, "as you did it to one of the least of these ... you did to me."
And so Leonard Cohen's prophecy is coming to pass:
Destroy another fetus now
We don't like children anyhow
I've seen the future, baby:
It is murder.
T.R. Clancy looks at the world from Dearborn, Michigan. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.