Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What is 'pro-life'?

Evangelical blogger Julie Neidlinger asks the question in a thought-provoking post on her recent mission trip, "Thank you for this life":

[W]hat is pro-life? Is preventing a life, even if it saves a child from an existence in misery and poverty, pro-life?

It seems to be a larger concept than just an interpretation of abortion or of controlling the number of lives brought into a world in which I, a Westerner with a limited understanding of the storehouses and blessings and plans of God, deem a nuisance at best and irresponsible at worst.

I suppose at some point, if this were a discussion with live people in real time in which I didn't have the floor like I do here in this post, the talk might cut me off before I could get to the end and could veer off onto tangents of unwed mothers, women having children to trap men, families with children with different fathers, families already stretched to their limits and not able to support more mouths to feed, the need for education on reproduction and responsibility and all the things we call our obsessive need to control the size of our own families for convenience sake -- it could easily go that way. That, however, is exactly that: tangential.

This is not that discussion.

This is, instead, about trying to understand what it is to truly be pro-life, to be in support and love and understanding of the value of all life free of judgment and logic. It is about seeing value in life beyond the limits of financial feasibility, beyond the limits of productiveness, beyond the limits of my definition of what is a "good" life, and what kind of life should be allowed to grow dim and die or to never even start out of "compassion's" sake.
Read the whole thing.