Here is another response to Wednesday's Midweek Morning Meditation from Alexis Callender that I thought to share with everyone:
Dear Fr. Steven,
As you well know, my stance on abortion is clear – I am opposed. As an Orthodox Christian, I can back my statement in four basic points:
1. God gave us life; therefore, life is sacred.
2. To state differently is anti-Orthodox and above all else, anti-Christ. (One simply cannot view it differently and still state emphatically or with wholeness of heart…”I believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and of all things visible and invisible…..”)
3. Scientific data has clearly shown time and again that at the time of conception, there is a life form.
4. Abortion terminates life; therefore, it is a murderous act.
This brings about another point in the abortion matter, the term “pro-choice”. I have to suppress an outburst of laughter and try very hard not to roll my eyes when I hear someone state that “while I would personally never choose to have an abortion nor encourage another to have one, I certainly would never infringe on a person’s right to choose that course of action.” The statement is as ridiculous as you or I saying “while I would never choose to intentionally cause or take the life of another or encourage another person to do so, I would certainly never infringe on a person’s right to choose that course of action.” To some this may be an “apples to oranges” comparison. However, if you consider the fact that abortion ends life and it is intentional - albeit coercion, disparity and distortion of the process and outcome may be factors in the decision - a life has been taken. Further, it is important to remember that choice, like life, is a gift given to us by God. We have free will to choose right and wrong. With every choice there is a consequence … for every action a reaction. In my humble opinion, “pro-choice” is just another term to soften view of an ugly reality … if you are “pro choice”, you believe that abortion is ok, maybe just not for you. All the legal terms, flowery pink pictures and kind gentle voices cannot cover up or sway the attention from the “500 Ton Gorilla” in the room. Unless, of course, you “choose” to ignore it. It is important to point out though that “choosing not to look” does not make it go away.
As Orthodox Christians, we are responsible to prayerfully and dutifully try to “right this wrong”. However, we have to be careful in our approach by first “putting on Christ” before responding. It is so easy to get caught up in our zeal that we may allow the trickery of the Evil One to “distort” our endeavors with the sins of judgment and pride. With this in mind, I have to remember that only God may judge and that I too am being judged in the way that I deal with these issues and respond. I have to remember to ask “for a door of enclosure about my lips” when anger sets in and (as stated above) to suppress a cynical burst of laughter and eye roll at my opposition. I must also remember that all is from God and that all can only be forgiven by God with true repentance. With Him, all things are possible… in His time, according to His Holy Will.
“That which is broken cannot be restored, but You can set aright those whose conscience has become decayed; You restore the soul to its former beauty in those who have lost it beyond all hope. With You there is nothing that cannot be put aright. You are Love. You are the Creator and Restorer. To You we sing praise: Alleluia.” ~ Kontakion 10 – Akathist of Thanksgiving, Glory to God for All Things by Archpriest Gregory Petroff (+1942).