Pro-Life versus Education
I read a lot of different blogs and I am continually amazed at what I find. Take Dr. Mohler’s recent blog on the abortion rates in New York City. In short, he bemoans the fact the abortion rate is 40% in New York City. It’s 22% nation wide, but even that is “chilling” to him. He claims that “We are a murderous people, and the blood of the innocent cries out for justice.”
What I find interesting is that Dr. Mohler doesn’t actually say anything much of worth here. He’s disgusted by the statistics but offers absolutely nothing in return as a remedy. Elsewhere he claims that abortion rights are “a thunderous affirmation of the ideal of personal autonomy,” but he does so with an air of distain and disgust. In yet another article, Dr. Mohler claims “‘progressive’ cultural authorities have been teaching our young people that sex is there for the enjoyment, abstinence before marriage is unrealistic, abortion is always available as an option, and human life is of no intrinsic value.” He believes this is a problem in our society. But is this really the case of so-called progressive cultural authorities?
I find Dr. Mohler’s comments to be disingenuous, to say the least. While I would agree that there is a great disconnect between what we teach our children and what we foster in our culture as the norms, I think Dr. Mohler misses the point.
Slate published an incredible side-by-side comparison of the U.S. versus European approaches to teen sexuality and education. The numbers are astonishing, to say the least. I’ve seen these numbers at various times over the last decade and they stay pretty much the same across the board. European attitudes towards sex, responsibility, and education are vastly superior to those in the U.S. Why? Because they aren’t afraid of it.
Rather than hide behind religious sanctimony, the European approach suggests that teens (and others, of course) take a more responsible approach to sex. They promote safe sex. They promote safe experimentation. They promote responsibility. Look at these statistics on abortion.
What do you see here? Ignoring Russia for the moment, the U.S. has an exponentially greater number of abortions than any other country in Europe (or around the world, for that matter, Russia excepted). Any thoughts as to why?
The Slate article provides many reasons. Shame, lack of education, intolerance, a culture of guilt.
Of course, I’m not advocating a pro-choice stance here. Aside from being an adopted child myself, I never advocate a pro-choice stance for simple reasons: abortion, outside of a specific medical emergency, is reprehensible. But here’s the real kicker for those, like Dr. Mohler, who believe that our subculture of post-Christian morality doesn’t provide for such issues.
Thelema takes the stance that education is important. Thelema takes the stance that family is important. Thelema takes the stance that children are important. Thelema takes the stance that abortion is not a birth control option.
The Prophet wrote, “The preoccupation of the minds of the public with sexual questions will no longer breed moral disease and insanity, when the sex-appetite is treated as simply as hunger. Frankness of speech and writing on sexual questions will dispel the ignorance which entraps so many unfortunate people; proper precautions against actual dangers will replace unnecessary and absurd precautions against imaginary or artificial dangers; and the quacks who trade on fear will be put out of business.” It’s a shame that quacks like Dr. Mohler aren’t put out of business more. Their approach to matters of sexuality are barbaric and backward. Such an approach is more the cause of abortion on demand than any so-called liberation of women under Roe vs. Wade. All the latter legal decision created was the legal ability to receive an abortion. It didn’t make it any less of a moral crime.
Of course, there too is where I find amusement. Crowley also wrote that when sexuality was approached with honesty and education that the “crime of abortion will lose its motive in all but the most exceptional cases” (emphasis mine). Imagine that! Dr. Mohler, the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Aleister Crowley, the alleged wickedest man in the world, would have gotten along famously in discussing the immorality of abortion.
But it is the irony, to me, that Crowley attributed all of this to the liberty of women themselves. “All this must follow as the Light the night as soon as Woman, true to Herself, finds that She can no longer be false to any man. She must hold Herself and Her Will in honour; and She must compel the world to accord it.” Women’s Lib, so to speak, rather than being the exaltation of females into the roles of men, is actually the exaltation of females to their own place, equal to a man inherently, but still different in function and role, superior in many ways due to their roles.
Unlike much of the backwater approach of Christians to keep women barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen, the Law of Thelema frees individuals to certainty and truth. It is through knowledge and wisdom that one is redeemed. Our children will only appreciate the beauty and danger of sex once they have understood it. This is not through some sanctimonious approach to sex, but only through proper and educated experience. This isn’t to say that sex is anything less than a sacrament and should be treated lightly. But sex has become, in our society, a rod of guilt to beat our sons and daughters over the head and tell them it’s sacred without explaining why.
I think the record speaks for itself. Dr. Mohler would do well to listen carefully to truth rather than some dangerous approach to human sexuality that merely feeds his need for a doctrine of control.