Monday, February 13, 2012

The 180 Movie: Abortion, Young Americans & Compartmentalism

To live the Orthodox Christian Way involves possessing the Orthodox mind, ethos, and worldview, which remains unchanged in all places and in all ages.  This Orthodox way of thinking and seeing permeates all aspects of our lives: personally, privately, within the family, in the workplaces, and publicly.  Unfortunately, our neighbors who live and work alongside of us in our secular Western culture often suffer from compartmentalism. That is, they knowingly or unknowingly separate their lives into philosophical compartments bearing labels such as political philosophy, private relationship philosophy, work relationship philosophy, religious philosophy, spiritual philosophy, work philosophy, historical philosophy, social justice philosophy, etc.  When one suffers from compartmentalism, the person may say one believes something with regard to religious teaching, but the stated belief isn't actually expressed in his or her relationships with the opposite sex or evident in conversation regarding politics. 

As Orthodox Christians, we are called to live the Way of Christ that we might be of one mind, one heart, one ethos, one worldview.  This is only possible by immersing ourselves in the life of the Church, the path of humility, repentance, love, and prayer.  The Orthodox Way is not the way of rational philosophy but of the noetic knowledge of the heart.  

The movie 180 demonstrates the lack of a holistic way of thinking and seeing among young Americans, specifically with regard to views on abortion.  Even when members of the younger generation know intellectually that the baby in the womb is alive, they have been indoctrinated to accept the idea that abortion should remain legal because of a woman's "right to choose" to "terminate the pregnancy," especially in certain circumstances.  So, a severe contradiction exists between what some say they believe with regard to the life of the child in the womb and what they believe according to a political philosophy rooted in secularism.  If abortion is seen primarily as a political issue (pro-life v. pro-choice) emphasizing the personal autonomy of the woman to make choices regarding her body, then attempts to stop legal abortion may be viewed as "politicizing health care" rather than attempts to end the legalized murder of innocent babies.  

Not only does the Orthodox Church reject compartmentalism, but also rejects the confusion between rational philosophy (models based on concepts) and theology (knowledge of God by experience of the heart, not concepts in the rational mind).  The pursuit of theology within the life of the Church, which is only pursued through prayer and repentence, not by academic study or scientific inquiry, brings one to a Way of living wherein all things, by the Spirit, are seen through a single lens and understood outside of philosophical contradictions between spirituality, religion, vocation, relationships, politics, etc.  

180 is a fascinating piece of work that demonstrates ignorance (lack of education) regarding history and the problems of compartmentalism in a secular pagan society.  

More information on the historic approach to abortion in the ancient Church is available under the prenatal care section of this blog.