Tuesday, March 21, 2017

10 Ways to be Pro-Life That Have Nothing to Do With Abortion

One criticism that is often leveled against the pro-life community (sometimes by me) is that it is really “pro-birth.” That is, they focus their efforts on eliminating abortions, but do nothing to support children or people who are already born.

In the spirit of defying labels and provoking discussion, here are my thoughts about how you can be pro-life and never even talk about abortion.

10. Work to prevent suicide. One way to do this is to offer financial support or volunteer time to a suicide hotline. Learn more about how to do that here.

9. Another way to fight against suicide is to refuse to participate in abusive language: choose to be politically correct. When we use words like “gay,” “retard,” “pussy,” “welfare queen,” “oreo,” “coconut,” etc as slurs, we participate in abusive culture. Members of the groups above (LGBTQ, mentally challenged, poor, people who don’t fit stereotypes) are emotionally hurt by these abusive words, which can contribute to depression and suicide attempts. There are many wonderful disparaging words in the English language that do not insult people. Here’s a handy list of my favorites: asinine, ridiculous, inane, reckless, illogical, absurd, hateful, insipid, worthless, banal, ludicrous, nonsensical, or outrageous. There’s a real pushback against “political correctness” these days, but really, there is power in our words. Think about the words you use: make them accurate and not abusive.

8. Another way to prevent suicide may be to support same sex marriage: this article in JAMA Pediatrics shows that same sex marriage policies are associated with a 7% reduction in high school suicide attempts.

7. Fight against slavery. Outright slavery exists in many countries in the world, but even in the USA, covert slavery still exists. Some great books to start with are Disposable People by Kevin Bales, Nobodies by John Bowe, and Good News About Injustice by Gary Haugen. These books will open your eyes to the complex issue of modern slavery and give you ways to fight against it.

6. Another way to fight against slavery, both covert and overt, is to shop for fair trade products. Buying locally made products is one good way to do this. Another way is to research the clothing you buy and buy clothing made in accordance with OSHA labor laws. This will cost you more money.

5. Support programs that feed and clothe people. The Meals on Wheels program has gotten a lot of attention lately, but there are many other charities: food banks, Note in the Pocket, homeless shelters and ministries, Backpack Buddies, etc. You can choose to advocate for this through government intervention (local, state, or federal) or through individual intervention (donating your time and money).

4. Vaccinate your children and support vaccination programs. Vaccination eliminates diseases. There is zero credible evidence that vaccination causes harm.

3. Shop locally. Big corporations are not evil, but their primary goal is to earn profit for their shareholders. Paying high salaries, providing benefits, investing in local economies: none of these things increase shareholder profits. Small corporations exist to earn profit for their owners. They will naturally want to provide benefits to keep good employees and invest in their local economies. So buying local products improves quality of life in your community.

2. Reduce pollution. How can you reduce pollution? Buy an electric or electric hybrid car to reduce the amount of exhaust in the air. Reduce your use of electricity. Invest in renewable energy sources. Support government policies that reduce energy pollution and encourage renewable energy measures. This will require government involvement in the USA because public energy companies are regulated by the government (basic economics). Notice that I have not said anything about global warming. Regardless of where you stand on that issue, it is clear that pollution destroys life. Burning coal and oil contribute to pollution, while wind and solar do not.

1. Look for ways to build relationships in real life. Invite your neighbors over for beverages once a month. Join a religious organization. Host a party that DOESN’T involve selling a product. One of the most effective ways to combat the various ills of society is by spending time with other people face to face, rather than on social media. The more time I spend with people, and the wider variety of people I get to know, the more I fall in love with people.

And is there anything more pro-life than loving all people, regardless of whether they agree with my communities, opinions, or worldviews?

No comments:

Post a Comment