Patti (whipartist) wrote,
Patti
whipartist

Abortion and religion

As I was driving to work today, I heard part of Talk of the Nation on NPR. The guest was Garry Wills, and he was discussing his recent LA Times op ed piece titled Abortion isn't a religious issue. Although the editorial is a bit scattered, when he was on the air he did a reasonably good job of defending his point of view that the bible does not condemn abortion. Several people called in and said, "but what about where it says X?" He'd then quote chapter and verse of X, explain the context, and show why the caller's perception was wrong.

While I rather enjoyed listening to him calmly defend himself against all comers, I found myself wanting him to be wrong. I want abortion to be a religious issue.

While there are a few exceptions, religious folk generally do not expect nonmembers to follow the rules of their religion. I'm not obligated by law or social expectation to pray five times a day, circumcise my son on the eighth day after his birth, fast on certain holidays, avoid eating meat on Fridays during lent, or follow the rules of any religion that I'm not a member of. I don't have to follow the biblical injunctions against wearing mixed fibers or eating shellfish.

If abortion is truly a religious issue, and not one of natural law, then the debate should reasonably come to an end. I am not obligated to follow the laws of your religion, and the laws of your religion should absolutely not be codified into civil law. If abortion is a religious issue, then I should be allowed to follow my religious laws just as you follow yours.
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