Thursday, September 18, 2008

Do Words Reveal Our Character: The Ugly Abortion Issue

Kevin Bussey at the Recovering Pharisee blog has an interesting post that focuses on an article written by a college student in The State Hornet, the news paper of California State University, Sacramento.

In an attempt to show her disdain for Sara Palin and her anti-abortion statnce, Briana Monasky goes so far as to say this in Sara Palin Hardly Represents Women,

That may be my main issue with Palin, the first female candidate for this position. This should be monumental. I should be incredibly proud to finally see a woman on the stage. Instead, I am ashamed that my country is letting her run. When I hear that women are pro-life I simply don't understand. Beyond that, as a victim of sexual assault I consider it devastating to think that a woman may have to carry a child to term conceived from an act of hate. I hope her dad rapes her and she has to carry that child to term. I bet you she wouldn't. I bet she'd grab a coat hanger herself and take care of it.

Though my heart goes out to this young woman for the terrible tragedy that she has experienced in her life, there is no excuse for anyone even suggesting that this kind of harm come to a woman running for office simply because she disagrees with her views on abortion. This article does go go show just how high emotions run on this volatile issue (for instance, let's not excuse anti-abortion activists who have blown up clinics), but I want to point out something else that becomes evident from Ms. Monasky's follow-up article after she received heavy criticism.

All anger aside, I stand behind the statements I made about her. One line lacked eloquence, but it was supposed to. To take what I said and somehow attribute it to who I am as a person is equally offensive.

Jesus was very clear about this, in Matthew 15:11 and 18, Jesus tells us that it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles a person for what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart. If we cannot make judgements on a person's character based on the words that come from their mouth (or their pen), in both public and private, then how will we ever truly know who anyone is "as a person." Our words matter and our words are a window to our heart and soul. Be careful of the words you choose, they will reveal something of your character.

For more on the use of strong language, see Mark Dricoll's comments on strong language in the pulpit at Passion for Preaching
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