Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stairway to Eternity

I listened to the webcast I talked about two days ago which was an audio broadcast composed of many right to life leaders gathered in the capitol to fight the healthcare plan from funding abortion. I listened intently and was very interested in what strategy they were using to fight for the unborn in the Senate and the House of Representatives, because it must pass both before the healthcare plan as is can be signed into law. I thought Mike Johanns, a senator from Nebraska, was especially impressive in what he had to say. He said there were 9 pro life democrats in the House who voted for the Stupak amendment denying abortion funding but in the Senate he said he knew there were not enough pro life democrats to pass the Nelson-Hatch amendment denying abortion funding in the Senate. But he said that even if Harry Reid, the Senator from Nevada, is able to martial the 60 votes he needs to pass the bill in the Senate--the count is now at 59-- it will have to go back to the House of Representatives, and if those 9 pro life democrats stand firm, they can still vote it down.

I was thinking as I listened that many people seem to think that religion controls the stairway to eternity, when it actually has to be like life, freely given to all. So the churches have some of their doctrine to thank for causing a lot of confusion as well as resistence to the idea of eternal life. People may in fact be resisting some aspect of a religion they were born into when they rebell against the teachings. They may have had good reason. But then they may get just as locked into their rebellion as the religous are locked into their version of reality.
I feel that abortion gained converts among the rebellious because they felt they had been unfairly treated by those who claimed to know the only path to eternal life. And supporting abortion was felt to be a way to get back at them. A tangible here and now way to defy the religious. We have a lot of people rebelling against the rigidity of some religious beliefs, which is why I think abortion became a lightning rod to punish the religious who were seen as too powerful to fight.
And so abortion has proved to be a powerful weapon the rebels could come together to support in a concentrated effort to 'get back at them.'
In this battle the religious have been forced to discard thinking that does not work. If they antagonize people they will not win. Victory is gained only with reasoned strength.
Which was why I was excited by some aspects of the ideas I heard tonight on this audiocast. And the calm with which the poeople spoke, and the attempt not to bring 'religion' into the battle when it might not help the cause. I thought the most effective thinkers were like Mike Johanns, calm, reasoning, and unemotional. They were all attempting to erase from their voices and language too 'religious' a tone. They seem to be aware that religion did not serve them well if it antagonized a possible supporter.
Religious leaders down through history have claimed that only they know the secrets to gain eternal life, but false claims by the religious seeking power and converts can do harm.
A true glimpse at the stairway to eternity is harder to come by. I think most people know deep in their hearts that abortion will not further anyone's ability to gain eternal life, it will in fact make heaven recede further from sight. Our deeds do indeed seem to make a difference in our grasp of eternal verities. We suffer a kind of hell when we commit acts of violence that hurt others. So by trial and error man has learned what heaven is all about. It is gained through our deeds, complex in many ways, but doing good to others in some way. Kind humanitarian behavior is within everyone's grasp. It's a simple lesson, learned by trial and error. If you hurt people you do not feel good. If you do good to others, peace comes to live in your heart.
Killing a child however young, even in the womb, causes a recoiling, reflexes indicating what looks like pain and fear. If we do not want to risk hurting this child we protect it. We commit to taking care of it.
The idea that abortion is all right is false doctrine, it simply ignores the fact that taking life requires violence and bloodshed which alone should tell us this is not a good deed.
Yes, if we take the time to develop a society that protects the life in the womb it might be more expensive, but think of the rewards, peace in the heart, a feeling that heaven may someday be in our grasp. If we commit an act that kills, we feel depression, heaven receding into the dim. Through our good deeds, we gain a sense of eternal life. We have hope. We feel joy.
To me, those feelings of peace in the heart are the rewards for fighting against abortion and other acts of violence. And the fact that I think we actually make progress through our good deeds in perceiving what eternal life can be. We aren't going to feel that joy and come by that knowledge if we don't do the good deeds.

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