Laying the foundation.

I haven’t slept well in weeks.  My back hurts.  I get nauseated and physically sick to my stomach throughout the day.  Remember how I said that stress has physical effects on my body?  I’m feeling it right now.

And it has nothing to do with selling the house, raising support, moving to Costa Rica, or life with my 17-month-old twins.

It’s because I am watching Christians advocate for the right to end human life in cases where that life proves to be an inconvenience.

That may sound harsh. And it is. But it’s the truth.  They might not word it quite like that, and it might be covered in “pro-choice” and “I have the right to my own body” lingo, but if you dig away all of the layers, that’s what it comes down to.

For my friends who don’t live in Mississippi, I’ll give you a bit of background.  This coming Tuesday, Mississippi is getting the opportunity to vote on an amendment to the Mississippi Constitution.  The initiative states:

“Initiative #26 would amend the Mississippi Constitution to define the word ‘person’ or ‘persons’, as those terms are used in Article III of the state constitution, to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof.”

Instead of spending alot of time talking about the arguments, I’m going to direct you to my friend Emily’s blog.  She is a godly woman and lays out an amazing defense for why Christians SHOULD VOTE YES on this initiative.  Please read it if you haven’t already. 

In addition to what she has to say, I’d like to offer a few points of my own.  And yes, there are other issues surrounding this, and you can come make a counter-argument bringing in a million other factors.  But all of them are secondary to this.  You must lay your  foundation first, and this is where mine stands.

First of all, there is just no way you can say, “I believe life begins at fertilization, BUT….”     You do, or you don’t.  If you do believe that life begins at the moment when God speaks a person into being, then there is no instance when it is right or defensible for you to end that life.  Even if it is in embryo form.   You can’t choose to honor the life of an embryo in most instances, but not in the cases of rape or incest.  You can’t choose to honor that life when it’s a baby you longed for, but not when they are “leftover” embryos from an IVF treatment.    It’s a life, or it’s not.  Period.

And the thing is that we don’t get to choose if it’s a life or not.  It already is one,  and if you are a Christian who reads the Bible and believes it to be the inerrant Word of a holy God, then you already know that.  Because God speaks consistently throughout his Word that life begins when he creates it.  And he makes no distinction between the life of a fetus and that of a grown man.  Read your Bible.  It’s there. (Click here if you want to see some references.)

Ultimately, this initiative is not about whether or not the government is getting “too involved” in your rights.  This is about stepping in to protect innocent lives that cannot speak for themselves.   Do I want the government telling you how to parent your children? No. That’s your job as a parent.  But do I want them to come in and protect your children if I find out you’re abusing them?  You better believe it.   Because it is good and right to defend those who cannot defend themselves.  

Yes, you have rights.  Yes, you should be able to make choices regarding your healthcare, method of birth control, reproductive options, and so forth.  But like any right that you have, your freedom and rights only go so far as they do not hinder the rights of others.

An embryo is an “other.”  It’s a person.  It’s a life because God created it to be a life, and he says so in his Word.   Do you take God at his Word?

I will vote Yes on Tuesday.

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7 thoughts on “Laying the foundation.

  1. Nikki, A baby is a baby is a baby, now matter how old! Did you know that Tennessee cut state funding to Planned Parenthood this year? I’m hoping that the number of Christians who bought and display daily the choose life car plates had some part in this decision being made. But, please work at keeping this issue from causing you physical problems – your precious children, your husband and your mission for the Lord need for you to be in the best physical, emotional and spiritual condition that you can manage. Love you all, Marilyn

  2. Nikki, when I said Tennessee cut funding I really meant to say they cut it completely!

    Marilyn

  3. Nikki, Thank you so much for writing this post! I hope many people will read this post and understand that the “buts” don’t matter. The Maker of life is the only one with the right to define it. Our opinions, our rationalizations and our “buts” don’t matter. We will each answer to God for our vote (or lack of it). God won’t take any “buts” for an answer.

  4. Nikki,

    I think that many people who are torn on whether or not to vote for the amendment feel its vague. I still dont know how i am voting and have been very very hurt by a lot of christians sending me articles arguing why abortion is wrong — I want to scream at them that I believe abortion is wrong, I know it is wrong, you dont have to convince me its wrong– so many Christians just assume that those struggling with this decision are struggling with whether or not its wrong. I think abortion is wrong in cases of rape, incest, etc. I just wish this bill was clearer. As an attorney, I have to say it is a poorly written amendment. My only two concerns are birth control and ectopic pregnancies. I’m reading up to know how this will affect those two situations. It may be that it doesn’t affect it all, but a little more clarity would be nice.

    If I vote yes, I will be voting yes to a bill that I agree to the premise of, but believe is written very poorly….and I take the risks of some unknown consequences.

    Give me a better written bill, and I vote YES in a heartbeat. no questions ask. no heartache and tears over what to do (I’ve literally cried over this because I am so unsure). If I knew that all this proposition got rid of was abortion, It would be a clear choice. As I said, I believe in the premise of this bill…I just disagree with its vagueness. It saddens me that this is the best conservatives could put out there….so many intelligent Christian conservatives, so why did they not put forth a better proposition?

    I also, as a lawyer, know how this works– these “questions” we have will be answered by the courts and legislature. I wish the people were actually voting on things like birth control, not the legislature.

    So, I understand how people are struggling with what to vote. Because I am struggling with how to vote. I have literally been in prayer and reading up to know how to vote. I think a lot of pro-life people will vote no because of the uncertainties….as I said, this saddens me, because a better written proposition could have prevented those NO votes. (sidenote: you’re friend emily made a point about legislating morality and I totally agree, I have no problem legislating democracy thats what democracy is about- making laws that WE think are good and right)

    I know you aren’t saying hurtful things, but some Christians have been attacking other Christians simply because they have struggled through this decision. I am no less a Christian or no less pro-life because I have wrestled through this. It’s unfortunately not just eliminating abortion, or maybe it is, but I don’t know.

    The not knowing what I am voting for is what bothers me. I will certainly be in prayer for all those voting, including myself. I don’t know what the right decision is- vote for this amendment or hold out for a better, more specific, one to be written…one that has a better chance of actually surviving the courts. I don’t know, but in the end I think a lot of good godly people who believe a fetus is a life will vote both ways. And if I vote yes, I will still think this is a horrible amendment with a great premise. The premise might just win me over.

    sorry, thats long. i probably should’ve just written my own post ha. I appreciate your take on this issue.

  5. Katy,
    Thanks so much for posting this, because it shows me that there are one or two things i’d like to clear up. And I am thankful for the opportunity to respond to your thoughts on the amendment. But first, let me please say that I don’t doubt your sincerity on the issue. I know you, and I have no doubt that you are struggling and wrestling with this in a godly and Biblical way. I wish ALL Christians cared enough about this issue to shed tears over it. And that is my primary concern, really, that so many Christians are not viewing this issue through the lens of Scripture, but instead are more concerned with how this affects their decision to end a life at their discretion. THAT is my concern. I know that those are not the issues you are struggling with. You already believe in the sanctity of life, like you stated, and I have no doubt that if you and I sat down and lined up our beliefs on this, they would probably all match up. So please don’t think I was attacking you. I love you!

    And speaking of attacking in general, I want to say that this was not an attack. I have seen alot of Christians doing some nasty things and getting into some pretty heated, judgmental debates over this (particularly on facebook), and I don’t want to be a part of those. Instead of addressing anyone that I disagree with publicly and inciting an argument with them through a facebook comment thread, I felt it was wisest to just lay my thoughts out there in my own space (this blog), where people could read it if they want, without pressure. I have tried to handle any of my activity on fb the same way…on my own wall where it (hopefully) won’t be considered an attack on anyone. And I sincerely apologize if that is how you (or anyone else) felt with this post. But I do think it is important to say that the issue of the sanctity of life has to be grounded in Scripture, and before you get to any of the practical outworkings of this initiative, you have to first lay the foundation of what is true. And as a believer, Scripture has to be at the basis of that conversation. That’s all I’m trying to do here, because I think it needs to be said. Unfortunately there are alot of people that I know who are willing to put Scripture aside while they make their decision, and that is what I disagree with. You are not one of those people!

    Anyway, considering the “vague” wording of the amendment — my thoughts are that it’s not vague, it’s just doing what it was intended to do. It is defining what/who a person is in the context of the constitution. Before this, the concept of personhood wasn’t defined in the constitution and therefor open to interpretation…and it shouldn’t be. I would say that this is moving us away from vagueness and in the direction of specificity!

    As for the fact that future implications and concerns that might arise out of this are somewhat vague, I would agree…they are unknown. But the fact that there are unknowns out there does not change my belief that the foundational premise should be stood up for. There are possible extreme implications such as birth control that will need to be worked out. But instead of voting against possible extreme implications, I’m voting for this amendment because of certain and unavoidable implications if it is NOT passed…which statistically speaking, is the equivalent of dozens of babies aborted in some form or another in our state every single day. We aren’t sure how some things will be interpreted in the courts if it is passed. But I DO know that the courts will continue to interpret human life as expendable if it is NOT passed.

    Alot of people are saying that maybe they should just wait for a “better written” amendment. The problem with this is that that’s exactly what most people are going to do — sit back and wait instead of actively advocating for it. And from what I have read, there are time constraints as well – if something gets voted down on the ballot, a certain amount of time must pass before the issue is allowed to be placed back on the ballot. Who knows how long it will be before a “better” amendment shows up that meets everyone’s requirements for specificity? I don’t know, and I’m not willing to wait, because lives are at stake. Christians have prayed for an opportunity to affect this on a legislative level, and now it’s here.

    Sorry this is long, but hey, so was yours! (: And I’m more than happy to keep talking about some of it if you want! Love you, friend!

  6. Thanks for your response Nikki, I didnt mean to imply you were attacking at all, Ive just seen a lot of it, and it BREAKS my heart….Christians should be talking about this openly and not in a hurtful manner thats why I appreciate your clarifications.

    You have given me tons to think about. At this moment, I am leaning more yes…but largely because of something my roomate said to me: “I would rather regret voting for this than regret voting against it.” It is poorly written in my opinion and no matter what I vote, I am ashamed that conservatives couldn’t put forth a better effort. Everything we do — writing propositions or raising babies or teaching school – should be done to the best of our abilities to glorify the Lord…in my opinion, this proposition isn’t the best we can do. And that angers me. But it is the best we have now. And I know God can use our faulty attempts to bring about change.

    you are right that the consequences from not passing this are known and certain. That is probably the best argument I have heard from anyone. What we fear is not trivial, but what we know already is grave.

    Thanks for your thoughts, I wish I weren’t going out of town this weekend because I would love to discuss and pray through this with you.

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