Friday, September 23, 2016

Abortion: Polarising issue in USA politics; Seems to be complex from spiritual view

How sensitive the topic of abortion is in the USA can be sensed from this article where a pastor advises his congregation to vote for the Republican party as its platform is against abortion:

[Please note that this is a sensitive matter. Readers who prefer to avoid reading about such sensitive matters may please skip reading the remaining part of this post.]

From the Heart of a Pastor: What I Am Telling My Congregation About the Election, http://www.charismanews.com/politics/opinion/59867-from-the-heart-of-a-pastor-what-i-am-telling-my-congregation-about-the-election, dated Sept. 13th 2016.

Please note that I have a PUBLICLY NEUTRAL informal-student-observer role in these posts that I put up about the USA presidential elections. Of course, as I am an Indian citizen living in India, there is no question of me voting in these elections.
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Ravi: I find abortion to be a very complex topic from a spiritual point of view. I don't have a clear stand on it, as of now. I mean, I am learning about it. [I don't know whether Sathya Sai has written or spoken in public discourses on abortion.]

Of course, cases where health of the mother is in danger (and cases like rape & incest?), come across as cases where abortion should be OK from a spiritual point of view. But in other cases, especially in unmarried teenage pregnancy cases, is it the spiritually right thing to do for the pregnant lady to abort? How would a spiritual advisor counsel an unmarried teenage pregnant woman who does not have the financial and social support structure to raise a child, at that stage in her life? It is one thing to talk about the glory and wonder of a new human baby coming into the world, but it is another thing altogether to handle the at least two decades effort, in many parts of today's world including many parts of India, to raise the child.

Of course, I am not talking about any legal issues here, like laws in some states of the USA where abortion, barring the exception cases mentioned earlier, would be legal but would have some restrictions (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_States_by_state). I am talking only about the spiritual view of the matter.

Some people may view abortion from a non-religious/non-spiritual prism. That, I think, is a key difference between my view and their view. I view creation of human life through a spiritual and religious (Hindu beliefs mainly) prism. I view the birth of a child into a family as not limited to the physical act of sex and then the biological development of the foetus in the mother taken to full term as a human child that is born. I view it additionally as having an important undercurrent of it being a gift of God / act of destiny/ karmic effect, which has the great potential of lighting up the family with not only human happiness and joy but also elevate the parents spiritually as they get into roles of parents. One of the most awesome things that I see in human life is the unconditional love that many mothers have towards their children. Such mothers are willing to sacrifice anything, even their own life at times, for the well being of their children. In such cases, the wife gets transformed into an example of selfless service as a mother, that spiritual and religious people like me, hold in awe and great respect! In fact, my belief as per (my understanding of) the teachings of my Guru, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, is that this unconditional love that some mothers (who evolve into that role after (first) childbirth from a different role of being only a wife-not-mother role) have for their children, is a sample of the love that God has for his devotees. Hindu scripture is full of stories of such unconditional love that God has shown to his devotees (e.g Prahlada, Dhruva, Gajendra) by responding to their earnest prayers to Him.

So, for me, motherhood and also fatherhood, is a God sent opportunity for a wife and husband to spiritually evolve and become more worthy of love and respect as human beings.

I repeat that my stand on abortion is not clear and that I am learning about it. So please be tolerant of any flaws in my views expressed above, and do convey your differing views, if any. Thanks.

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