Two nights ago our capital city (Buenos Aires) erupted in violent protests. Not all intended on engaging in such upheaval, but others came with an agenda, an agenda of unconstraint and disorder. What was the cause? The Senate’s rejection of a bill that would have legalized abortion. Then the calamity began and while the dissidents demonstrated, they gave others another demonstration.
Our story begins several years ago, if my understanding is correct, when a 14-year-old girl became pregnant by her boyfriend. With abortions illegal here with the exception of specific cases, the girl would be keeping the child against her boyfriend’s desires. The result was her brutal murder by the boyfriend. Abhorred by such consequences, this story became central in converting the public mentality towards the legalization of abortion. Two months ago advocates scored a major victory when the lower house debated until the very early hours of the morning before voting in support and sending it to the Senate. Supporters on both sides had gathered outside the congress building awaiting the final vote after 16 hours of debate. Some celebrated, some lamented, and others turned to violence.
For some, dismissal of a story from Argentina is easy, but don’t because it is representative of what can be seen in every other part of the world, including the United States. Abortion has been the topic of the year stretching from the southern tip of Argentina to the northern portion of Ireland. The urge to make abortions easier to obtain and less restrictive to perform is sweeping the globe. While taking this story as representative of what is taking place around the globe, one can read deeper into the story and see something even more severe that we must acknowledge: sin is dangerous.
The story opens the windows in such a way that reveals much about the depravity of humanity. If we analyze it, even at a surface level, three aspects can be seen. The first is the propensity to justify one’s sin. Watch almost any protest and you will see that the protestors were ready. Regardless of the outcome, someone will be upset and they are ready to show their anger by the destruction of other’s property and endangerment of other’s lives. Protests in the United States over the last three years have shown that many people have no idea what they are protesting, they simply needed an excuse to be violent and destructive.
Look further at the root story though and one can see the second aspect, which is the propensity to avoid the results of sin. The story of the young high school couple is somewhat reminiscent of King David’s own adultery in the Old Testament. The penalty of sin is severe. The desire to sin causes people to not only justify their sin but also to stipulate their freedom to do so (and thus argue that any consequence of sin is unjust).
Finally, the third and final step is the production of sin. Sin breeds sin when not reigned in. When sin is presented as anything other than sin (i.e. it is viewed as justified and therefore cannot really be labeled as sin) it not only continues, but people will sin all the more in order to protect what they see as their right to sin and that is what this debate and many others are about.
Many consider their ability to sin a right that they are entitled to. Furthermore, not only does everyone have the right to sin, but they should be able to do so without consequences. Few recognize the significance of such a debate and argument first on a practical level and the consequences of such a mentality. Additionally, the issue is far more significant when we consider God’s holiness. Not only is the attitude against God’s standards of holiness, the attitude is against God’s character. It attacks who God is by denying the need for holiness.
What we are arguing about is not one’s rights over another. What is being argued about is one’s ability to sin without consequences. The debates and protests in Buenos Aires demonstrate the necessity to be vigilant and guarded against sin. It is dangerous, manipulative, and propagates.
Photo “Buenos Aires” courtesy of user Wally Gobetz and Flickr.