Howard Snyder’s Moral Calculus: Abortion vs. Creation Care

Howard Snyder’s Moral Calculus: Abortion vs. Creation Care November 2, 2015

From Howard Snyder:

What say you?

I strongly oppose abortion on biblical, moral, and humanitarian grounds. I see justifiable exceptions only in the rarest of cases, such as perhaps when the mother’s life is in danger.

Moral principle: If two lives are at risk and only one can be saved, it is morally better to save the mother than the unborn child. It is a terrible choice to have to make, but at times an ethically necessary one.

For similar pro-life reasons, I oppose despoiling earth’s environment—the beautiful life-giving but vulnerable garden and life-support system God gives us.

If we’re faced with an unavoidable moral choice between protecting the environment or protecting unborn children at risk of abortion, which do we chose?

Actual example: An election is approaching. I must choose between two candidates for U.S. representative to Congress. One strongly opposes abortion, but not unrestricted pollution. The other supports effective action to protect the environment, but is not anti-abortion.

For many Christians, the choice is clear: Vote for the anti-abortion candidate!

But what is the moral calculus here?

In fact, it’s a terrible choice to have to make. But I suggest it would be more pro-life, and therefore more Christian, to vote for the pro-creation-care candidate, even when I disagree with his or her position on abortion.

Here’s why: Numbers, strategy, urgency, politics, compassion….

Christians who do recognize the threat to our climate should not try to convince the deniers. Instead, we should pray and act to protect the lives of the vulnerable by protecting the global garden in which we all live, on which we depend. That is what it means to be pro-life.

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