Ancient Voices

Perhaps you’ve seen the Planned Parenthood “sting” video on youtube. If you haven’t, you should watch it now. It’s horribly disturbing.

Abortion is quite a telling element of our society. Approximately a quarter of all American pregnancies are prematurely and willfully terminated in an abortion clinic. Pregnancy in America has become, in many ways, the most unwanted “side-effect” of sexual activity. Our own president, Barack Obama, once infamously said that he wouldn’t want his daughters “punished with a baby” for having premarital sex.

Clearly we live in a culture where we desperately want sex without pregnancy. We have even created sociological constructs about sexual orientation that define us, at our very core, based on who we most enjoy having sex with. In fact, I would argue that this concept of orientation has become the definitive measure of sex rather than the natural purpose of sex, which is to propagate the human race. For many Americans, sex is about pleasure (and possibly love), but not about procreation. This seems like a rather bizarre, even anti-scientific belief. But it is pervasive.

I wonder what other cultures might have to say about this. I wonder, even, how the women of the Bible would respond to our culture’s pregnancy-phobia. What would women like Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah—all of whom knew intimately the heartbreak of barrenness—say to our 25% abortion rate? For so many today, pregnancy is a curse; it is a problem easily solved with a “medical procedure”. But these women considered themselves cursed because of their barrenness. We seek to avoid pregnancy at all costs, but they considered it their greatest joy and highest honor.

Perhaps these ancient women have something to teach us: That pregnancy is an honor and a privilege, not an unwanted side-effect of sexual pleasure or, Mr. President, a “punishment”. You may criticize me because I’m a man and have no right to speak about such things. Perhaps you’re right. But I’m trying to give voice to ancient women of great faith and hope in God, and I believe their voices are vital for today, not only to renew the soul of our culture, but also to save the lives of humans that might otherwise be discarded.

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