Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Abortions and Free Gun Access

My lovely wife made an observation the other day that I thought was very profound, and the more I consider it, the more profound it becomes:  the same arguments that Christians are using to defend free access to guns are the exact arguments used by abortionists to defend free access to abortions.

For example:

These are literally the same arguments. 

So if you want to be consistent, then you must either (a) not use ANY of these arguments, (b) support BOTH causes, or (c) support NEITHER cause.

I choose C.

Christians, if you are going to argue for free access, be careful that you aren't justifying the exact same arguments used to justify abortions.


  1. If Christians say that Jesus is the way to Heaven and Muslims say that Allah is the way to Heaven, do you A) not use either argument, B) accept both as accurate, or C) accept neither as accurate?

    Or do you D) suggest that one argument is correct while the other is wrong? Just because both sides use the same arguments does not mean that both arguments are equally valid. For instance, I can make the claim that the constitution says i can I can take things that don't belong to me. That's the same argument as the first one you listed, and yet no one would agree with that statement and neither the pro-abortionist nor the pro-gun advocate would say that because they don't agree
    with it, they must then give up their own version of the "the constitution says i can" argument.

    The anti-gun/pro-abortionist would tell you that one of those columns is right and the other is wrong, just as the pro-gun/anti-abortionist will tell you the same, they just disagree on which column is right and which is wrong.

    1. Anonymous,

      Respectfully you are comparing apples and oranges here--or maybe it's more accurate to say you are comparing apples and orchards.

      The comparisons I am making are saying that the logic and arguments are identical in the detailed levels: the Constitution gives me a right to protect my life, this allows me to take any and all means necessary even if it costs someone else theirs.

      The Christ-and-Allah comparison you are making is bogus in that the two religions make nothing at all similar to the same claims; you must paint them in the broadest possible terms (non-specific) to gain any similarity. Muslims claim that you can live in a way that is acceptable to God and that (the living) is a path to heaven, while Christians claim living acceptably to God is impossible so God had to become human and do it for us, providing a pathway based not at all upon living but upon faith. Those bear no more similarity to each other than Buddhism and Native American Animism.

      If I had argued simply, "Abortionists say they are protecting themselves and free-gun-rights-advocates say they are protecting themselves" then your complaint would be correct. But as shown above, these arguments are fundamentally and at a detailed level in more detail. We aren't simply both appealing to the constitution, we are both citing Supreme Court approved interpretations which are themselves based upon the same logic.

    2. First, the Christ/Allah comparison was mostly an attention grabber, so I apologize for that.

      Second, i may not be the best at analogies, but i think the point stands. You can make the same argument 13 times about 2 different subjects and say the logic works for one, but not the other because they are two different subjects that don't start at the same place and therefore can't use the same logic.

      In the pro-gun/anti-abortion pov, one would say that the constitution clearly says "the right of the people to keep and bare arms shall not be infringed" even if "total access" to guns for everyone is up for debate. There's at least a starting point, but the constitution does not say anything about abortion. Those who say it does, supreme court justices included, have to read that into the constitution through an implied right to privacy (which covers abortion, but not other types of murder or even other types of behavior such as prostitution or the use of drugs or gambling or not wearing a seat belt or any other activity that might be considered private that there are laws against) and they then have to say that this implied right to privacy outweighs the constitutions directly stated right to life. The pro-gun/anti-abortionist would say that since the two subjects do not start at the same place, the same logic does not work for both subjects.

      The pro-abortion/anti-gun pov would say the same thing. That is, "my arguments and logic are right and yours are wrong."

      Personally i agree with your overall conclusion. I tend to want to side with the pro-gun camp, but i'm conflicted about that for many of the reasons you've mentioned. So i should choose C even if that is not always what i end up doing.

      Finally, I really enjoy your blog (even if the anti-gun stuff stings a bit) and wish there were more discussions on the topics you post about. I have a growing interest in apologetics and would love to discuss these topics with others, but the opportunity rarely arises for me outside of the internet.

    3. I do get it and to be honest...I'm purposefully being provocative in this case, and most conservative Christians probably wouldn't agree with me. Just a few years back, I wouldn't even have agreed with me!

      I feel as though part of my responsibility (as someone who has felt called to teach the Bible) is to challenge believers to question the cultural mandates which they have accepted. So in cases like that, I purposefully provoke the opposite opinion because I want people to contend with the Scriptures and the Spirit and come to a conclusion that is Jesus-shaped...and if it is different than mine, I'm honestly okay with that.

      But in those few situations I want people to be stung a bit, I want people to analyze their lives and ensure that their decisions in life are based upon intentional followership of Jesus rather than simply an inherited viewpoint from their culture or political situation.

      I've done this for years on the worldview of naturalism in science, as well as abortion and excessive patriotism. And recently I've started to add gun control as well, because my read is that many people (Christians) have grown up treating guns a bit as an idol and also (subconsciously) feel as though the right to gun access is a Biblical-given right, rather than a state right.

      I appreciate your readership and hope that I didn't over-provoke!

    4. No over-provoking has occurred. It's your website, i'm just sharing what i think about it.
      Again, i think you are doing a great job of provoking thought and challenging your readers to look at these topics from a new direction. I love to see the world from different perspectives and trying to determine which ones i agree with and why. That's why i wish there were more comments on these posts, to see what other people think and how they react to what you have to say. And it's why i decided to comment as well. Shoot, you get me to comment enough and i might actually set up a google account or something and stop posting as "Anonymous".

  2. I think there are a couple of missing arguments against abortion here though. I don't really use these arguments.

    My argument against total access to abortion is that studies clearly show the vast majority of abortions are for economic or convenience reasons. Therefore, the justification for taking a human life simply isn't there. I'm not sure the justification is there is the mother is in danger either, although I would never ever want to be in that position. The baby is forgotten in the above arguments.

    I believe in self defense. Does an unborn child fall in this definition? "the defense of one's person or interests, especially through the use of physical force, which is permitted in certain cases as an answer to a charge of violent crime."

    I'm not sure it does.

    1. I think you might have mis-read. The above things in the abortion column are not arguments against abortion; they are common arguments FOR abortion. As a result, they purposefully ignore the baby. I'm simply pointing out that the arguments they use FOR abortion is the same argument so many believers use FOR free access to guns. Therefore, I'm trying to provoke those who are for free access to guns to ask themselves if their arguments are really valid, and if so, why the same argument wouldn't work for abortion. In my case, I think the arguments for BOTH sides are faulty. I would say that this is a more consistently pro-life and Biblical position, that we seek peace with people in both scenarios.

      As to your second point, you make two statements: (1) "I believe in self defense" and (2) "Does an unborn child fall in this definition"?

      So let me be Biblical provocative here again.

      (1) Should you believe in self defense? Proverbs 25:21-22, Matthew 5:9,21-22,38-48, and Romans 12:17-21 all would seem to indicate that if it is at all possible we should not repay violence for violence, but instead love and even provide for our enemies, thus overcoming evil with good (not overcoming evil by a lesser evil).

      (2) Even if self-defense is okay, I'm not arguing that the unborn should have a right to self-defense! That is not at all the case--they cannot participate in self-defense because they are defenseless. I'm arguing that society has a responsibility to defend the defenseless--that is why we have so many laws protecting children and the mentally infirmed and the handicapped, and it is also we as believers are explicitly told that we should defend those who cannot defend themselves (Ps 82:3-4) and that the unborn are indeed God's children (Ps 139:13-17).

  3. Mis-reading is a special skill I possess.

    To your points on self defense, I have seen those verses and really thought them through. When I think of self defense, I'm thinking of someone coming into my home at night with bad intentions, etc. Those situations are rare. I absolutely believe in being the bigger person and walking away and not escalating altercations and yes, repaying evil with good.

    The second point at the end becomes irrelevant in the light of my mis-reading, since I wasn't making the correct argument.

    A more accurate way to say it would be that the implications for free access to gun control and free access to abortion are different. The act of obtaining a weapon hurts no one, no matter whom it protects. An abortion, by it's very definition, kills a defenseless human, no matter whom it protects.

    I guess the arguments for or against either could be better, but it's the means it takes to reach the ends are what bother me.

    I'm not always the best at putting my thoughts into words (or I'd have a blog), but I hope I'm not coming across as argumentative because I think we agree here for the most part.

  4. I just reread Matthew 5. Boy, if we are to take this whole chapter literally and in full effect, then there are a lot of Christians living in adultery. Side note, my dad took this literally and it damaged his second marriage, but I digress.

    I would also expect to see and lot more one eyed, one armed Christians running around......

  5. Very interesting comparison, Pastor Michael. My personal convictions come down on the side of life and against unreasonably permissive access to firearms. And my college English professor--in a very conservative Christian college--taught me to avoid "slippery-slope" arguments.