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Why Being Pro-Life Should Include Being Pro-Palestinian

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The basic tenet for the pro-life position is equality. Regardless of the stage of human life, all human life is considered to be equal. As a result, most pro-lifers believe that pre-born life must be protected by law. Pro-lifers do vary in terms of what exceptions should be allowed such as in the case of rape or when the mother's life is in danger.

Pro-choice advocates see things differently. Pro-choice advocates struggle with equating life in the womb with life outside the womb. Certainly this is understandable when comparing a child or adult with an embryo especially when keeping the pregnancy would place a mother in a difficult situation.

This difference between pro-life and pro-choice advocates point to the different definitions used to define human life. Pro-life advocates tend to define human life both objectively and universally by defining human life biologically at conception. The pro-choice definition of human life is more subjective and selective in that it states that the expectant mother is the one who should determine the human status of the unborn. One reason for this belief is the emphasis that pro-choice advocates place on the rights of the mother. Another reason for this belief is that pro-choice advocates do not believe an unborn life has enough characteristics that would qualify it as being human.

Both sides hold positions that are problematic. For example, pro-choice advocates view babies who are born prematurely to be fully human while they do not give the same recognition to unborn life who are more physically developed. The only characteristics that such prematurely born children have that more developed unborn life do not have are due to location.

On the pro-life side, while there is legitimate concern over using embryos for stem-cell research, there is no such concern for discarded embryos. A more important problem, however, is that the pro-life belief in equality is not always applied to the post born. This is especially true for many pro-life conservative Christians who show an abundance of concern for Israel while being apathetic to the suffering of the Palestinians. The problem here is not their concern for Israel but their lack of concern for the Palestinians.

Reasons why these pro-life advocates do not treat Palestinians as equals are sometimes based on religion. For example, some pro-life advocates believe in Christian Zionism. Christian Zionism states that immigrants who are of Jewish descent have a greater right to the land promised to the descendents of Abraham than indigenous Arabs.

Another reason why pro-life Christians promote this inequality might have to do with familiarity. Zionism is a European venture in the Arab Middle East. In addition, pro-life Christians feel more solidarity with Jews than Muslims.

Whatever the reason, when pro-lifers do not promote equality for Palestinians, they betray the basic principle on which the pro-life position is based. An argument that is often made for this promotion of inequality of Israelis over Palestinians is the perception that Israel's existence is at great risk. However true that might be, all of the objective data indicates that Palestinians face more danger than Israelis do.

When one compares their infrastructures, economies, unemployment rates, and GNP, it is easy to see which group's existence is more endangered. In addition, when one compares the violence that each side practices on the other, it is the Palestinians who are more threatened than Israel is. It is Israel that is destroying the infrastructure of the other side. It is Israel that has killed over 600 Palestinians compared to the Palestinians having killed over 20 Israelis in 2006 alone. It is Israel that is demolishing homes and confiscating land. And it is Israel that uses its military to greatly restrict travel of the Palestinians and not vice-versa.

If our belief in the equality of all human life moves us to be pro-life, then it should also move us to be pro-Palestinian. That means we should support the Palestinian venture to have a state that is equal in terms of rights and prosperity to Israel. At the same time, we cannot be pro-Palestinian without qualification. That qualification is that we cannot support Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians. This violence must be opposed at all times. Similarly, our belief in equality should cause us to give the same qualified support for Israel.

A test for whether one believes in equality can be seen in how a person supports the rights of those that are different. American pro-lifers pass this test when they work to protect the rights of the unborn regardless of their stage of development. But they fail this test when it comes to advocating the rights of those who are born who hold to a different religion or come from a different culture.

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Curt Day is a religious flaming fundamentalist and a political extreme moderate. Curt's blogs are at http://flamingfundamentalist.blogspot.com/ and http://violenceorsurvival.blogspot.com/
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