S.R.Claridge writes Mystery and Romantic Suspense novels. Her work has been said to have the energy of Dan Brown, the mystery of Mary Higgins Clark and the humor of Janet Evanovich. Claridge novels will take you to the edge of your seat, keep you guessing until the very end and ultimately warm your heart. It is on the pages of every S.R.Claridge novel that Mystery and Sensual Suspense collide.

For more information on bookings, interviews and upcoming releases, please visit the author website and Facebook fan page.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Out-Of-The-Closet Confessions

Since my post yesterday (entitled:  In the Words of the Eagles, Get Over It), I’ve received thirty-two emails.  Some of the emails shared personal stories and some just wanted to rail on me for my “open-mindedness” caused by my “pathetically weak Christian stance.”   But, all of the emails had one common thread and one woman stated it like this:  “How can you call yourself a Christian and have a pro-choice view?” 
This is sort of a coming-out-of-the-closet moment for me...so here it goes.

The question is really two separate questions, so I will answer them separately at first and then explain how they tie together.

Why do I call myself a Christian?

I call myself a Christian because I am a believer in Christ, having accepted Jesus as my personal Savior; and because I believe that everything good in my life is a blessing from God.  Without Him, I am nothing.

Why am I pro-choice?

I am pro-choice because I believe a woman has the right to choose what is done with her body.  I hate abortion.  I hate that it is necessary in our society.  There is no refuting that it is a terrible option.  That being said, I will not tell a woman who is raped that she must have the child.  I will not tell a young girl who has been molested that she has to birth the child.  I am pro-morality but until there are changes made in the moral fabric of our nation, I will remain pro-choice.  The alternative is worse.  If we overturn Roe vs. Wade without first increasing the overall morality in our world, we have simply set people up to fail and caused more destruction and more killing.  Teenagers, in particular, make mistakes.  Their hormones are raging for the first time in their lives.  They’re falling in love for the first time.  More times than not, they will succumb to passion and have sex.  That’s reality.  Should a sixteen year old girl be forced to have that baby?  Should she have to endure the social stigma attached to it? I’m not saying she should or should not.  I’m simply saying the choice should be hers.  If she is forced to have the baby, then …what other options lie before her?  Suicide?  A back alley abortion that could kill her or render her never able to conceive again?  Running away from home because of her family’s disapproval?  Killing or abandoning the baby once it is born?  

It is easy to sit from a high horse and cast judgment; but walk for a moment in the shoes of that sixteen year old girl and truly understand the fear, the heartache and the devastation of the circumstance.   You cannot mandate morality and you cannot fix immorality by forcing your will upon another person.  Each woman’s situation is unique in their life and only that woman can make the choice that she believes is best for her life at that moment. 

I wish abortion was unnecessary in our world; but while there are people making immoral decisions, while there are rapists and molesters among us, abortion must remain a viable option for women.

We should be striving not to make abortion illegal, but to make it unnecessary.

How can I call myself a Christian and take a pro-life stance when abortion is clearly an act of murder and God has said, “Thou shalt not kill?”

This is a good question.  A fair question.  My opinions, my views and even, at times, my actions don’t always support my spiritual beliefs.  I’m not perfect.  But beyond that, I refuse to live my life adherent to a belief system of “shoulds.”  For example, because I am a Christian I “should” take a pro-life stance.  Because I am a Christian, I “should” vote Republican.  Because I am a Christian, I “should” take a stance against homosexuality, I “should” never get drunk, I “should” actively try to save sinners and  I “should” not curse.  Because I am a Christian I “should” not have immoral thoughts and certainly not perform immoral acts.  The list goes on and on and on. 

The point is this:  I’m a Christian because of my love for Christ, not because I follow some sort of religious network of rules.  God knows my heart and He alone will change it in the areas in which it needs to be changed.  I live by relationship not by religion.  I live with love not judgment.

Simply stated:  Being a Christian gives me no right to judge others or condemn others or take a stance against their lifestyle or their choices.  I refuse to do that.  How people live, the choices they make and what they believe are between them and God.  My job is to love them and to help in any way I can… and that’s how I can call myself a Christian and still take a pro-life stance…without apology.

The religious fear and guilt movement of “shoulds” and “have to’s” in my life has ended.  I’m standing firm on my relationship with God; not on other people's opinion of me.  You can either judge me or love me.  The choice is yours.  ~



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