The subject of abortion has been contentious since well before it’s legalization in the United States. Each person has their own views on its morality, or lack thereof, and whether or not it ought to be accepted or outlawed. While there are existing pro-choice conservatives and pro-life liberals, in most cases, conservatives tend to oppose abortion, while liberals are generally in favor of it.
Carl Lentz, a Pastor in Hillsong, New York, enraged many members of the conservative community with his refusal to brand abortion as a sin. This outrage was noted by the right-wing outlet Daily Wire who clearly vocalized their beliefs that a Christian Pastor, of all people, ought to be one of the first people to condemn abortion.
While The Daily Wire is a wonderful publication that covers many stories very well, the story regarding Pastor Lentz missed the mark. Abortion is an inherently complex matter; there is no cut and dry solution or answer.
While some conservatives do support abortion in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the life of the other, there are conservatives who vehemently oppose abortion in all cases. Likewise, there are liberals who support abortion up until the moment the baby is born. One thing tends to be common to those that occupy the political extremes of this issue, however; both camps believe those with contrasting opinions are wrong.
There are several reasons why Pastor Lentz did not condemn abortion as a sin. The most plausible reason is that Lentz personally does not view it that way. He is completely within his rights to hold this position and should not be demonized for it or forced to say what makes other people feel good. Americans often preach about the merits of diversity and tolerance, yet struggle with accepting contrasting viewpoints. This is something that both liberals and conservatives struggle with.
Furthermore, abortion is an issue that is best looked at from an objective standpoint and not a religious or emotional one. Quite frankly, there are many credible arguments for and against abortion. For instance, one could argue that denying a woman an abortion is cruel due to the fact that the baby is actually growing in her body and impacting her livelihood. Assuming the baby is born and nothing goes terribly wrong, the woman’s life will be changed forever, whether she decides to keep the child or give it up for adoption.
Conversely, another person could make the claim that abortion is an inherently cruel and inhumane practice. The act of abortion does destroy a living organism, and in the eyes of many, this act is viewed as murder. However, the debate as to when the “cells” become a “baby” is still ongoing and innately controversial. The point is that no cut and dry answer exists when it comes to abortion.
Regardless of whether one identifies as pro-choice or pro-life, banning abortion is not the best solution. If someone truly wants to have an abortion, they’re going to have one, no matter how dangerous it may be. History has proven this. Before the legalization of abortion, women died from attempting to abort unwanted fetuses in a host of gruesome and unsafe ways. No matter how ugly abortion may be in the eyes of some people, banning it is completely counterproductive.
This runs parallel to the infamous, never-ending debate on gun control. While the majority of conservatives support the right to bear arms, most liberals advocate for stricter gun laws. Like those who fail to see the flaws of banning abortion, those in favor of gun control are ignorant of the fact that anyone who wants a gun will get one. They can do it through legal means or illegal means via theft, the black market, etc. The solution to mass shootings is not to disarm law-abiding men and women of the firearms that could very well save their lives one day.
Those who oppose abortions should simply choose not to get them. This is a practice that many anti-abortion Americans advocate already. Instead of demonizing those who do not oppose abortions, those against the practice should simply continue living according to what they believe is right. We cannot always force others to see things the way we do. Forcing one’s beliefs onto others often does much more harm than good. Those in favor of and against abortion will have to understand and accept that there will always be people who disagree with them and cannot be swayed.
Pastor Lentz did absolutely nothing wrong by refusing to condemn abortion as a sin. He should continue to stand by his beliefs regardless of who disagrees with him. Just as conservatives, libertarians, liberals, and other groups are entitled to their views on abortion, Pastor Lentz is entitled to his. Nobody has to agree with his position, but he still deserves as much dignity and respect as any other American.