Bieber, abortion and babies
One of the first exposures I had to Justin Bieber came a few months ago. I sat amazed as his video of the song Baby enthralled and delighted my youngest daughter. As my precocious toddler danced through the living room, looking ever so much like the adoring teen-aged groupies on the screen, I knew Master Bieber had a new fan, although somewhat younger than he traditionally skews toward.
A couple of days ago, Justin Bieber picked up another fan well outside of his normal fan base. I won’t be dancing or swooning any time soon, but I am happy to share my daughter’s admiration for this young man. He won her over with his song Baby. He won me over with his comments about babies.
The February 18th edition of Rolling Stone,with Justin Bieber on the cover, features an interview with the Canadian singer that caused no small amount of fuss when some of the questions and answers were released on the Internet and to the media. Among the standard fare of questions you might expect to be asked a young pop icon, Rolling Stone reporter Vanessa Grigoriadis also asked Bieber about his stance on abortion. “I really don’t believe in abortion,” he told the magazine. “It’s like killing a baby.”
Out of the mouth of babes! Justin, a 16-year-old Catholic school student and music superstar from Stratford, Ontario, showed great wisdom and insight in this straightforward answer.
Abortion is an ugly topic, no matter where or when it is broached. It upsets people because it is upsetting. And because of this, sometimes we make the issue more complicated than it really is.
The heart of the abortion debate is not a matter of politics or economics. It’s not about religion or personal freedoms.
At the heart of the abortion debate is one simple question: What is it being aborted?
Abortion takes the life of something growing in the womb … what is it? Justin Bieber, when faced with the ugly question, provides the right answer: It is a human being—a baby. Once you know the answer to this question, all the other questions really answer themselves.
But not everyone accepts this answer. Consider the immediate follow-up question the reporter posed to Justin. When asked if it [abortion] was acceptable in cases of rape, he told Rolling Stone: “Um. Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don’t know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that. ”
We do not take innocent human life simply to maintain our own personal freedom of choice
I feel for the young man. Such heart-wrenching questions are a favourite ploy of those who won’t answer the only question that matters. You wouldn’t want those who suffer to suffer more would you? How could that be fair or just? It wouldn’t … if what abortion destroyed was something other than (or less than) human. But if it is a baby—a human being—as Bieber rightly states with all his teenage charm, then the question becomes another matter altogether.
We do not take innocent human life simply to maintain our own personal freedom of choice. We don’t allow the murder of a neighbour for the protection of our privacy. We don’t condone a parent killing their teenager because they cannot afford them. We should never tolerate someone having the right to kill another person simply because their existence reminds them of tragic or traumatic events. Why then would it be acceptable to do so if the human simply isn’t born yet?
And that’s why those who claim they are pro-choice and support a woman’s freedom don’t want to hear straightforward answers like Justin’s. That is why the immediate follow-up is always about some even more tragic suffering, some complicated set of circumstances which diverts attention away from the one question at the centre of the whole issue: What is living in the womb? Even if he can’t follow all the rabbit trails of hypothetical cases of rape, Justin Bieber at least is clear in his answer to the one question that really matters.
God has declared all human life—every human life—important to Him
And he has paid for his straightforward answer. Some of the expected reactions proclaimed that a young man like Justin can know nothing about the issue of abortion because he will never really have to deal with it. In other words, being male makes him biologically exempt from any rightful participation in the discussion of abortion. Yet how many of those babies being aborted are male? Who gets to speak for them? Why shouldn’t husbands and fathers and brothers—all members of the human race—have equal say in how we value and treat all humans?
Every human life is important, no matter where it is lived, no matter what it looks like, no matter what value we might want to place upon it. God has declared all human life—every human life—important to Him. That’s why He came as a baby Himself. God became a human being to show that every human life is worth saving.
The Word of God—Jesus Christ—through whom all things were created, became a defenceless fetus that He might be the Saviour for all fetuses. He was a newborn to be the Saviour of all newborns. A toddler, teenager, and twenty-something to share in the life of people at every stage, in every circumstance.
The lives of the baby in the womb and the young woman feeling pressured into a tragic decision are important to God. The person who is only a tiny blastocyte and is given no choice, or the one who demands her right to choose—both are precious to God…precious enough that He sent His Son to live in their place, to die for their sins, and to rise for their hope of everlasting life.
One of the most telling concerns raised in all this was over the influence the singer’s comments might have on young girls—his core fan base. And this is precisely why I am glad for the attention this issue gained and for the comments young Justin Bieber made. More and more we see young people like Justin willing to come forward and do what few grown-ups around them seem willing to do. And if telling girls to wait for sex and consider choosing life for the unborn is a “bad influence” on young girls, then I will be happy for my children to be so influenced. Such ideas are truly welcome music to my ears.
Rev. Ken Maher is pastor of Christ Our Hope Lutheran Church in Collingwood, Ontario. His blog is hope4thehapless.wordpress.com/