Moral Contradictions

Friday, May 06, 2005

Another history lesson

Dr. Bruce Prescott over at Mainstream Baptist posted last week an interesting quote about the abortion fight before Roe v. Wade was handed down.
If the pro-life people in the late 1960's and the early 1970's had been willing to compromise with the pro-choice people, we could have had an abortion law that provided for abortion only for the life of the mother, incest, rape, and defective child; that would have cut the abortions down to three percent of what they are today. But they had an all-or-nothing mentality. They wanted it all and they got nothing. (Quote Source)

He then explains that this occured at the time the Fundamentalists began their drive to take over the Southern Baptist Convention with the infamous "all-or-nothing" mentality. I have to quote him because he worded the resulting conclusion quite well.
The truth is, even if the Fundamentalists were correct about all abortions being murder, then Fundamentalist intransigence is responsible for 97% of the murders and compromising moderates are guilty of 3%. None of us will come out of this guiltless, but one percentage requires a lot less grace.

Wow. I've maintained all along that Christians need to possess a strong offense and come up with their own initiatives for pro-family options. Their continued focus on disagreeable agendas and their dogged defense is hurting Christianity's true message. I'm not saying that what they are doing is wrong per se, but at the same time (to prevent "moral contradictions"), work on advancing better solutions or (*gasp!) compromises and let those results be seen as what Christianity really means.

Politics have become incredibly polarized over Christianity's role, and I believe it's a zero-sum game. One way or the other, Christianity is going to lose with the current tactics and lack of an original agenda.


  • That might be the most unsubstantiated claim that I have ever read. Dr. Koop, Rev. Prescott, and by proxy you are implying that if states had begun allowing life of the mother, rape, and incest exceptions, that at least three of the seven Supreme Court justices in Roe would have changed their mind? By what reasoning?

    I'll even give you the names. Of Blackmun, Burger, Douglas, Brennan, Stewart, Marshall, and Powell, which three would have voted the other way in Roe if religious conservatives had been willing to compromise in the 1960s?

    Moreover, the Texas statute in Roe v. Wade, DID account for life of the mother exceptions, and was still struck down. The Georgia statute in Doe v. Bolton (the companion case decided the same day) had life of mother exceptions AND rape exceptions. This is precisely the compromise that Dr. Koop and Rev. Prescott seem to prescribe, and it was STILL struck down by the court.

    Historically revisionism, and conscience soothing, but nothing more.

    By Blogger Chris Porter, at Friday, May 06, 2005 11:57:00 AM  

  • Thanks for the counterpoint. I'll be honest and say that I don't know the exact circumstances leading up to the decision. I wasn't alive then and haven't done much research and just threw that out there.

    However, I contend there is still a lot of research I personally need to do to see what the politics were leading up to that day. Though one day and that one decision changed the history of our nation, there's years of politics before that I don't know about.

    Perhaps he was referencing possible laws that states tried to pass with those exemptions before the court case? If religious conservatives compromised in the 1960s, would the justices you named have even seen the case? Would Roe v. Wade have been filed if that law was on the books? I don't know and don't want to pretend to know. So thanks for inspiring me to dig deeper.

    I will disagree with the historical revisionism remark. There's a difference between historical revisionism and willful historical ignorance. I believe we are both guilty of the latter.

    By Blogger Nathan, at Friday, May 06, 2005 12:32:00 PM  

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