Preborn or Born? The “Hot Button” Issue of Compassion.
I have friends on both sides of the political fence – liberal and conservative. Democrat and republican. Some are to the extreme left or right, and some are in the middle, some don’t care. In the end all they do is argue! It reminds me of an old Johnny Cash song called the One on the Right:
There once was a musical troupe
A pickin’ singin’ folk group
They sang the mountain ballads
And the folk songs of our land
They were long on musical ability
Folks thought they would go far
But political incompatibility led to their downfall
Well, the one on the right was on the left
And the one in the middle was on the right
And the one on the left was in the middle
And the guy in the rear was a Methodist
After watching and listening to both sides of the Presidential Campaigns in the USA and listening to friends of mine tell me their views, I have come to a conclusion. Both sides are so inconsistent (for the most part.) I could talk on many topics but I want to specifically deal with compassion in view of political leaning. Compassion may not seem like a “hot button” issue, but it is for me.
Recently, while listening to a sermon, I heard the definition of compassion, and it really made me think. We all know it, but let’s take another look at it. Compassion can be broken down from the Latin to com = with and passion = suffering. So compassion literally means “With Suffering.” It could be translated as co-suffering. To be compassionate means to feel the suffering of those around you and to intervene in that suffering. Do you intervene in the suffering those around you? Both liberals and conservatives have compassion it seems, but for different groups of people. Showing compassion should not be inconsistent, but we can see that each side has “chosen” whom their compassion will lie with.
Take for instance the liberals who talk of compassion for the weak, the marginalized and oppressed; they speak of “harm reduction” for these groups in our society. Yet they support the destruction of the weakest most marginalized persons out there (the pre-born). Do their cries of harm reduction for the poor pregnant mother or the drug addicted mum make abortion less evil?
Then we have the conservatives. Of which I am one. Although some would place me more to the center of the political spectrum with my views on the poor and marginalized – but that is another blog post. We, as conservatives, speak of compassion for the preborn person, some of us even stand in choice chains, some write letters to our MP’s in an effort to define human being, to define when a being acquires the right to life, to legislate new laws protecting the rights of the preborn. All this is good, very good. Yet we conservatives tend to feel very little compassion for our born neighbors, the very ones the liberals are trying to protect. You know who I mean…the drug addict, the prostitute, the single mom, the poor those who have been marginalized by our society that says – get a job! QUIT THE CRACK! Clean up your act! All without any COMPASSION. Without even glancing at their suffering, we write them off for their choices. What is even worse is we neglect the great commission, writing these people off as lost causes as if the power of the gospel has no power at all… Why? Because we have no compassion. We do not suffer with them, or feel their need for the gospel or their need for our support. It really makes me sad. Do our cries to save the preborn children make our careless callousness toward the marginalized less evil? No.
Liberals justify their support for abortion in the name of freedom. “I am free to choose, I choose to end the life of this child so I can live freely.” We conservatives justify our indifference to the miseries of poverty and suffering also in the name of freedom. “You are free to choose, if you choose to have children and are poor and cannot support them that is not my problem.” Ironic isn’t it? It is quite revealing how selective we are in what freedoms we choose to protect. Both left and right. The liberal says to you, “Don’t touch my body.” While the conservative says to you, “Don’t touch my money.”
So while I watch with absolute
amusement disbelief at the pre-election campaigns which are happening to the south of me. I think both candidates are unsuited for what I would want in a leader. I wonder to myself, will there ever be a party leader who will rise to the fore and stand for the rights of all human peoples? Who will shed the “political spectrum?” Who will stand for the rights of preborn, and born? Poor and rich? Well I have a leader who will. And so do some of you! But if he tried to run for office he would just be crucified again – and not for our sins this time! His kingdom is not of this world and is not appreciated by this world. So his rule, his authority, his kingdom, while is so desperately needed, is so incredibly despised by this unbelieving world.
I cannot persuade the leaders of countries. I cannot even persuade you. Well, I can try with you. 🙂 I pray that we all will wake up to what we as Christians are called to…To love God and our neighbour. To have compassion for our neighbour. Who is our neighbour? Everyone. It is not easy, because compassion literally means” with suffering.” And we do not want to see suffering. We don’t want it near our kids, near our jobs, near our peaceful existences. Yet…we are called to suffer (Romans 5) We are called to suffer with the weak, the poor, the preborn and the born.
Consider on whom your compassion rests.
1 John 3:17
But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
1 Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble. 2 The LORD will protect him and preserve his life; he will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes. 3 The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness. 4 I said, “O LORD, have mercy on me; heal me, for I have sinned against you.” 5 My enemies say of me in malice, “When will he die and his name perish?” 6 Whenever one comes to see me, he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander; then he goes out and spreads it abroad. 7 All my enemies whisper together against me; they imagine the worst for me, saying, 8“A vile disease has beset him; he will never get up from the place where he lies.” 9 Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. 10 But you, O LORD, have mercy on me; raise me up, that I may repay them. 11 I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me. 12 In my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever. 13 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.