Abortion, “Settlements” and Judeo-Christian Communities of Faith

There are very few subject matters that excite people to such a degree that they become passionate even when there is no personal stake in the matter. The curious thing about two of them – abortion and the “settlements” – is that the left and right are similarly inconsistent about the rights of the self and those of the impacted.

Abortion

The left-wing considers abortion a personal matter for the mother. They consider the impacted party – the fetus – to have no rights, even up to the point of birth. Their “pro-choice” position argues that if you don’t like abortions, then don’t have one. Each person can decide on their own what works best for their circumstance. Some pro-choice people have even suggested that men should have zero say in the entire abortion discussion.

The right-wing that is “pro-life” doesn’t dismiss that women are a factor in the topic, however, they feel that the fetus also has rights. Some people in this camp feel that abortions are a form of legalized murder of innocent babies. The moves taken by some states like New York which have removed any penalties or restrictions for an abortion up until the moment of birth are viewed as sickening. The idea that men should have no say in laws regarding infanticide are considered outrageous and repugnant.

“Settlements”

The left-wing has tacked to a different course when it comes to Israeli Jews living over the 1949 Armistice Lines between Israel and TransJordan. They feel that the rights of Jews to live in the area commonly called the “West Bank” is wrong as it impacts Palestinian (formerly Jordanian) Arabs who do not want them living there in their call for a Jew-free country. Rather than follow their own advice on abortion – if you don’t like it, don’t do it – they have attempted to stop others (Jews specifically) from living in “settlements.”

The right-wing has similarly taken the inverted path on Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria. They stand fully behind the rights of Jews to live where they want, especially in the Jewish holy land. The fact that Palestinian Arabs don’t like it is irrelevant. The impacted party must learn to live with the actions of people who use their agency to control their lives.

Changed Laws

The see-saw between right and left has pulled laws in different directions over the decades.

Abortion was illegal throughout the United States until 1973. The law continues to be challenged by different states which expand upon the rights of women (like New York described above) or for the rights of the unborn, as in Texas and Mississippi.

International law not only allowed but encouraged Jews to live throughout historic Palestine. The 1920 San Remo Agreement and the 1922 Mandate of Palestine not only called for Jews to live everywhere in the land, but specifically prohibited anyone from being banned from living in any part of the land (Article 15) – even in what became TransJordan (Article 25) – because of their religion. The United Nations reversed that in 2016 with the passage of UNSC 2334 which made it illegal for Jews to live over the 1949 Armistice Lines.

Abortion rights advocates demand that abortion rights are human rights and fight the laws viewed as discriminatory and will push for access even if laws are passed which they view as inherently misogynistic. Settlement activists similarly view UNSC 2334 and various calls to ban Jews from living somewhere as deeply anti-Semitic. They are fighting against the laws and attempts to boycott Jews who live in the Israeli territory of Area C.

The Distant Passion

The Deciding Party with Agency

There are nearly 4 billion women on the planet, so it stands to reason that there are many people who feel a vested interest in abortion rights. A woman in Ireland may look at the status of abortion in Texas and know that the decisions there have no immediate direct impact on her. However, she may feel both a connection with the women of Texas, and believe that the trend line in one part of the world may ultimately impact the situation for her thousands of miles away.

So it is with Jewish settlements. While there are a paltry few million Jews, there are hundreds of millions of Christian Zionists and others excited to see the rebirth of the Jewish State and want to ensure its success as they believe it confirms their faith. They stand amazed at the thriving democracy and technology marvel that Jews have built in the middle of the illiberal Middle East and are confident that God is blessing the Jewish people and will also bless those who bless the Jewish people.

The reality is that everyone – not just those with a vested interest – would likely be fine with abortions and settlements if there were no impacted party. The tension exists because there are others in the mix, and that dynamic is what ignites the passions.

Israeli buildings in the Judean Desert in Area C

The Impacted Party

In the abortion debate, many religious people believe that life begins at conception. Even those less religious intuitively understand that there is something unique about a fetus, especially in the third trimester, when an abortion cannot be equated with a woman getting a tattoo or body piercings. The pro-life community believes that the rights of the unborn – at some point during pregnancy – are as great as the rights of the mother.

The right and left do not side with the party with agency or the impacted party but whom they prioritize. The right sides with Jews and the unborn while the left tilts towards women and Arabs.

The split can perhaps be best summarized by the religious Judeo-Christian community versus the secular and Muslim community. The religious Judeo-Christian community generally believes that a fetus is more than a mass of cells and has inherent human dignity. They similarly attempt to live lives infused with the values of the Bible, and believe that the land of Israel is not simply holy land as it is to other faiths, but a uniquely Jewish Promised Land. The secular world believes neither, and wants to keep the beliefs of others out of their lives and politics.

The pro-life and pro-Zionist factions have tremendous overlap, not just in conservative politics but in the religious Judeo-Christian communities. The pro-abortion and pro-Palestinian groups similarly overlap in their anti-Judeo-Christian worldview, which they have attempted to characterize as a “White Patriarchy,” as a method of demonizing those alternative views.

Ongoing debates on abortions, settlements and a variety of issues will feature a slew of creative invectives, but at the core is the battle between the devoutly secular and the Judeo-Christian communities of faith around the world.

Related articles:

Prostitution and the Hijab

The Noose and the Nipple

When Power Talks the Truth

3 thoughts on “Abortion, “Settlements” and Judeo-Christian Communities of Faith

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s