Living a Christ-like life

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 12, 2006

On Wednesday this week, a Judiciary Committee turned up the heat on Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito on the issue of abortion. Alito managed to sidestep the issue time and time again saying – what any Supreme Court justice should say:

“It would be wrong for me to say to anybody who might be bringing any case before my court … ‘Go away, I’ve made up my mind.’ That’s the antithesis of what courts are supposed to do.”

It doesn’t matter about Alito’s personal belief on abortion – as a Supreme Court Justice his role is to interpret the U.S. Constitution.

But, it brings to the forefront, once again, the abortion issue.

There is something I’ve never quite understood about the conservative crowd that fights against abortion on the grounds of the sanctity of human life.

Don’t get me wrong – I believe in the sanctity of human life – that God created life and no one has a right to take it.

But if you truly believe that, shouldn’t that be a belief that you carry across the board?

Shouldn’t we also believe in and fight for dignity for the elderly? For the infirmed? For those born into less fortunate circumstances?

What about the killer on death row? If we truly believe that God created all life and that it is only his role to take life, then how can we support the death penalty?

I know what you’re thinking – there’s a big difference in an innocent, unborn child and a vicious killer.

But, actually, according to my interpretation of the teachings of Jesus, there’s not.

Aren’t we all the same in God’s eyes? Doesn’t God view all sin equally?

Again, don’t get me wrong. I think someone who sexually assaults a child should be subject to medieval-type punishments –

the drawn and quartered, entrails taken out – kind of stuff.

But, that’s the human reaction that, as Christians, we are supposed to work to overcome.

It reminds me of a line in the film, “American President.”

Michael Douglas’s character (the president) makes a speech: “America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve got to want it bad, because it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, ‘You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil who is standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.'”

That’s kind of like Christianity. It’s not easy. I don’t think it’s suppose to be.

Look at the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5). The meek will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who mourn.

Whoever is angry at his brother without cause is in danger of judgement.

Don’t sue anyone – and if they sue you, give them what they want, plus more.

Love your enemies. Bless them that curse you.

Those are pretty tough standards to live by.

But, we pick subjects – like abortion and homosexuality – that are not really personal threats.

How many male ministers who stand in the pulpit are really going to be faced with the reality of having an abortion? Most won’t be tempted to turn gay either. So, it’s easy to stand up and shout about those “sins.”

In fact, it’s so easy to talk about the things we shouldn’t do, we forget about the things we should do.

What about forgiveness? Love your neighbor? Can we find it in our hearts to love someone who would strap a bomb to their body and walk out into a school yard full of children?

What about wrapping your arms around someone whose lifestyle you find despicable and telling them you love them?

I’m not saying I can do it. But, I guess I am saying I should try.

TAMMY LEYTHAM is editor of The Selma Times-Journal.