Friday, May 16, 2008

Colorado Personhood Amendment

This week the Colorado Personhood Amendment submitted more than 130,000 petition signatures in order to put the proposed amendment on the ballot in 2008. This is huge, and I am very excited. The campaign is only beginning, with a battle coming in the next several months to get the word out.

Abort73.com, about which I wrote several months ago, has a collection of embryology textbook quotes and government on-the-record conclusions about when life begins. You can read it and other related information here. So far I haven't found any specific resources describing the implications of the proposed amendment. To be honest I have not looked too hard. A reporter for Townhall, Michael Foust, wrote an article summarizing the history of the amendment very well.

There have been some objections to this amendment from reasonable people. Some people at my church thought that petitions and anything government-related did not belong at church. I took my petition to church, and collected about ten signatures there. My opinion waffled. I offered it to my Sunday school class. It was in the bulletin and I stood in the foyer with it. Only a few times, with people I thought I knew well enough, did I ask if certain friends had signed it. I'm naturally a non-agressive person. There were other people taking the agressive position with their petitions at my church. That reassured me, actually, that the audience for my petition was covered, just not by me. I don't disagree with the other petition circulators.

One problem many people have begun to recognize and address at church is that we don't connect our education or our spiritual experiences with obedience and action. There are no laws against circulating petitions at church, and the amendment is definitely not associated with any political party. Church is a community gathering, a great place to talk about what really matters. What better place to invite people to sign a petition that is, rather than bringing politics to church, bringing truth into politics.

Another objection is that, while a Christian and a scientist and any thinking or moral person may realize that life begins at conception, the government should stay out of it. There is flawed logic here, but I think the problem is in the view of government. What is a government's role? What does the Bible say about it? Abort73.com says, "God established government to be His legal representative on earth (Romans 13:1,2). God established government to keep sinful people from doing evil against each other (Romans 13:3). While it is true that individuals are called to "turn the other cheek" (Matthew 5:39), the government is not (Romans 13:4). The government is called to execute judgement upon those who do wickedly. Arguing that the government must not restrict an individual's free moral agency, is nothing more than an argument for anarchy."

Finally, alot of people are worried that the personhood amendment is a sneaky way of outlawing birth control and contraception. Roe v. Wade pointed out the lack of concensus and official definition of person - the definitions by which the constitutional protections and due process would become relevant. The amendment closes the loophole, and gives legislators and judges a platform on which to act and enforce. But the question should not be, "Are religious people trying to tell me what to do and change the way I am used to living my life?" but, "If life begins at conception, what must I do to respect that life?" Ultimately, the fact that this amendment is out there, being discussed and advocated, is going to make people face the question: am I harming or killing a human life?

To God be all glory.

2 comments:

Kelly Jean said...

So nice to know that I inspired a post. :) There are so many elements to this discussion. So many elements to birth control, ramifications, laws, etc... Law never mean what they say they mean and they are always altered through the course of time. That is where the fear in the medical community is coming from. If only we trusted our government and our judicial system to interpret the laws!

Lisa of Longbourn said...

Oh, not just you, you know. But you help me put thoughts together. Too bad about laws; judges seem to be pretty important. I think consitutions should be simple, and this amendment is very simple.

I wish our society and common practices didn't have to change so much, but we've let the world get so messed up that living morally is very alien to a lot of the country.

The points you made at church on Sunday were pretty valid, too. I want to do something besides just petitions.

Thanks for commenting.
To God be all glory,
Lisa