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Jewish law commands us to choose life when contemplating abortion. That is, choose the life of the mother.

STEPH BLACK

I grew up in a Christian faith tradition, one rooted in many of the old testament scriptures. One of the first lessons I learned as a young child coming up was that the God of our understanding gave us choices in this human existence. I learned that, though this God could, (S)he would never force us as creation to do anything. It was the basis on which my faith was built. I had to choose who and how I would follow, because God doesn’t want forced compliance, but willing devotion. It is what makes our confessions of faith so powerful.

If the creator trusts us to make choices based on our conscience and faith convictions without dictate, then how are those who claim to follow that lead attempting to deny us the right (S)he has given. The three largest religions in the world have their roots in Judaism. This faith tradition from which two others sprang states that life begins at first breath. If that is the case, then should not the rest follow suit? In the book of Genesis, we witness the story of creation unfold. Before the breath of God is breathed, the body of the first person is but a clay formation—a statue devoid of consciousness and movement. It is only after breath is breathed that he is declared a living soul. Whatever the potential of the being, whatever they may or may not accomplish, none of it was of consequence until the breath of life.

So, as people of faith, if we believe in a creator that values our willing participation, a God that endows us with free will to conscientiously make choices toward collective and individual good, and one who declares life only after breath, then why would we deny to our fellow man that which God has freely given? The prophet Micah of the sacred text I grew up reading tells us that to do justly, to love mercifully, and to walk humbly with God is what required of us as people of faith. Allowing our fellow humans the bodily autonomy, the freedom of choice, and the respect of reproductive dignity is the humble, merciful, and just thing to do.

I believe that my faith tradition supports the idea that God is pro-choice. Choice is encouraged throughout its sacred text. It is foundational to how I operate within my faith. Because of this, I feel it my duty to use my voice and understanding to push us toward the just and merciful world that Micah calls us to while showing the love that Christ commands. I will always work in the direction of a more equitable existence as my reasonable service to God and humanity. An existence where all have the choice over their own bodies and lives. I truly believe that the God of my understanding is pro-choice. And if God is pro-choice, then so am I.

Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Submitted by Rev. Kenyetta Chinwe

Categories: GIPC Blog

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