| By Father Joe Krupp

Dear Father Joe: I Need Help Explaining to My Family and Friends Why I Oppose the Upcoming Ballot Initiative.

Father Joe, I know I have to tell my family and friends about my reasons for opposing the forthcoming pro-abortion ballot initiative in Michigan, but I want to do it in a way that is charitable and—if possible—doesn’t ruin lifelong friendships. Please help!

I will do my best to help; let’s pause, pray and ask Jesus to help us.

I would like to begin with the first part of your question: you write that you “know you have to tell your family and friends your reasons for opposing the forthcoming ballot initiative.”

May I humbly suggest that what you are required to do is pray about it?

Some people can exchange ideas, some people can’t. There are people who are open to new or challenging ways of thinking and there are people who are not. Jesus is not requiring you to get into shouting matches with people who only want to shout. Your heart is a treasure that Jesus gave the world: protect that treasure. God is not calling you to attempt to reason with unreasonable people and, if you find you are unreasonable on this topic, you best serve the issue by not attempting to reason.

With that, no matter anyone’s state of mind, we can pray for them. We can pray that God heals our wounds and the wounds of those who disagree with us.

With that in mind, I would like to share with you my reasons for opposing this ballot initiative and I will focus on my reasons FAITH Magazine that I believe pro-choice voters can (and do!) agree with. Let’s dive in!

The crux of my problem with this initiative is that it makes no sense. Here is what I mean by this.

Michigan’s radical ballot initiative would proclaim that there really is no point where the being in the womb is human until the moment after that child emerges from the womb. Whether we consider ourselves pro-choice or pro-life, I think we can all agree that scientifically life begins at some point in the womb. If it did not, how would we even distinguish between a premature baby and a non-person who could simply be aborted?

As far as I can tell, if this initiative is passed, it would be the most radical abortion policy in the world, outside of China and North Korea. I’m not kidding. In every civilized country I could find, there is a point where abortion is illegal, a point where the citizens of that country have decided “that’s a life now.” In some countries it’s 12 weeks after conception, in others it’s 14. Russia had the lowest bar I could find at 24 weeks.

Should this initiative pass, we will have the most permissive abortion laws in the world: abortion at any time, for any reason.

Almost every rationale for abortion on demand that I’ve heard pitched by the abortion industry ignores this truth. The commercials I’ve seen actually call my objection to this “radical.” I would call it logical rather than radical to believe there is some point where that being in the womb is human. If that is not the case, then why do we spend so many medical resources fighting to save the lives of premature babies? It comes down to this: do we define humanity based on whether someone else wants a person to exist? The much-anticipated baby born prematurely is worthy of saving, but the unwanted baby can be disposed of?

If we really believe this, we have descended into a place of evil.

I believe with all my heart that this moment is an invitation and opportunity for us to reclaim our sanity. As a person who believes in the sanctity of life, it is my fervent hope that we embrace the reality that we can do so much good in this fight through our answer to Jesus’ call to love and care for the most vulnerable members of our society.

No matter how we choose to vote this fall, I urge us all to be patient, loving and sacrificial. We can and must give of our time and resources to let any expectant mom know that we are here to provide any help we can to God’s people. If we don’t put our money and time where our convictions lie, then we are lost indeed. Our willingness to love, give and sacrifice are at least as important as our political activity.

I pray that we embrace our call to hold life sacred at every point along its beautiful continuum, from the moment of conception until the moment the Father calls us home to him. We must follow the example of Jesus and care for the most vulnerable among us, both mothers and babies, born and unborn.

Holy Spirit, give us strength, courage, and wisdom!

Father Joe Krupp is a former comedy writer who is now a Catholic priest. @Joeinblack