Stephen Beer, Blog, Stephen Beer

Stephen Beer (www.stephenbeer.com)

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Discussing life issues without prejudice

Politics is overdue some real debate about so-called life issues. How can we do this without finding ourselves sucked into the more extreme positions almost before we have begun to think things through? I know a few Christians in politics are thinking about this.

What we need to do is create a space in which people can discuss issues such as euthanasia, abortion, genetic engineering, etc without being condemned by one side or the other. Perhaps, against all odds, we can find common ground.

Jim Wallis, of Sojourners in the United States, is trying to do just this, focusing on how to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and also meet adoption needs, rather than coming out simply as 100% against abortion. In this way, he believes, common ground can be found in the US.

It is debateable how much of a live issue this is at the moment in British politics. But one issue that is certainly live is euthanasia. There seems to be a bill a year on this. Again, can we focus first of all on the positive - what can we do to promote quality and dignity of life - before we get to the details?

A useful contribution to the debate was published this week in the Society Guardian, at www.society.guardian.co.uk/socialcare/story/0,,2022626,00.html , drawing attention to the need for more funding for palliative care.

Surely, Christian Socialists and others on the Left could unite around such a cause?

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