When “Do Whatever You Want” Means “I Don’t Care About You”

As usual, if you need Jesus to wink and nod at a sin, you’ll need to come up with a fictional Jesus.  According to NRO, Notre Dame grad Theresa Rebek has done just that in her play “O Beautiful” in which Jesus apparently gives the go ahead for abortion because he’s such a nice guy:

The dialogue includes a gal asking Christ: “Did you ever say, ‘I’m Jesus, and I say that stupid girls who let guys talk them into going to the back seat of their cars have to have babies?’ Did you say that ever?”

“No,” Jesus replies.

“All you talk about is, be nice to each other!” the teenager continues. “You never said nobody’s allowed to have an abortion.”

The fictional Jesus confirms her assertion.

“So can I? Can I? Can I?” she asks.

“Honestly, I — I don’t really have an issue with it,” Jesus tells her.

You know something is atrocious when even a small selection provokes numerous objections so obvious that they need no more than a sentence of two to expound.  For example:

  • Anyone who thinks Jesus basically taught “be nice” hasn’t seriously read his teachings lately.
  • The reason women have to have babies when they go into in the back seat of a car is that humans reproduce sexually.  Abortion is something people do with the babies they already have.
  • Anyone who really did teach “be nice to each other” is going to have a problem with a girl who wants to murder someone who got in her way simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • Who would have thought that the sexual revolution would so quickly move us “back” to women merely being passive recipients of sex?

Now that we’re done shooting, however, I’d like to address one of the assumptions that underlies this barrel of rotting fish.  Is “ok” really a kind/loving/compassionate response to “I wanna” in situations like this?  Obviously, when “OK” means intentionally killing an innocent child, it’s hardly loving to the victim.  But is it even compassionate to the mother?

I remember one high school summer during which I was approached by a young woman who knew me by name, but whom I did not recognize. She gave me her name and said she knew me from school, but I had to confess that I couldn’t remember her.  Then she tried to spark my memory by saying “I’m the one who had the abortion.”  Not “we were in the same gym class” or anything like that, just “I’m the one who had the abortion.”  Of course my blue state high school had over 3,000 students at the time, and I seriously doubt she was the one who had the abortion.  In retrospect, however, it became obvious that that’s how she thought of herself and how she assumed everyone else thought of her as well.  It was how she identified herself to someone she couldn’t have known too well when any number of facts would have done a better job (I still can’t remember her from before that day).  It was one of the foremost things on her mind, it was something she considered unique to her, and she felt guilty enough over it to confess it to anyone.  She knew exactly what she had done, and she was suffering for it.

I don’t know the circumstances of the procedure.  I do not know who drove her there or paid for it, but it is probably safe to assume that they did so out of an attempt at compassion.  They wanted to save her from a bad situation, but all they did was replace a difficult burden with an impossible one.  Life isn’t easy for the single mothers I’ve known, but I’ve seen them succeed.  How exactly does one succeed at bearing the burden of having murdered one’s own child when the accusation comes from the conscience?  Does she forget?  Beat her conscience until it falls silent?  Pretend that it doesn’t matter or that there’s no problem with what she did?  The one who says “do whatever you want” nudges her down an impossible path.  We simply cannot bear the weight of our own sins; only Christ can do that for us.

Christians know what a compassionate God would really do because we know what He did do.  It wasn’t dismissing her actions as irrelevant; it was dying so that she wouldn’t bear the guilt of them.

HT:  Gene Veith

About Matt

Software engineer by trade; lay theologian by nature; Lutheran by grace.
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