The Direction of Inclusion

It seems that today we have competing arguments, especially in the current political environment, in regards to the exclusion and inclusion of the interests of individuals in our society. For example, if you are socially conservative, you may want to deny inclusion to gay individuals who want the right to marry. And so the fight gets picked and while that’s happening, social conservatives are also fighting for the inclusion of the unborn. There are simultaneous arguments happening calling for the exclusion of some and the inclusion of others.

If we look throughout human history, we can see a pattern that indicates that as time moves forward, humans tend to be more inclusive. We’ve shown a consistent willingness to redraw the boundaries in order to protect the rights of “the other” be it differences in nationalities, religious affiliations, races, genders and so on. Aside from the isolated cases of discrimination that is still alive and well today, on the whole, our global consciousness has maintained a course of more inclusion than exclusion.

There are hints of it even today in this election cycle. It’s been widely shown that race is less of a factor for younger voters than it is for older generations. The statistics also show that differences in gender and sexual orientation are less divisive among the younger generation. Even between a spectrum of just a few generations we see a very clear directionality towards inclusion.

I find this to be interesting, specifically in the case of the social conservative movement today. On the one hand, they are very passionate about the rights of the unborn. This is very understandable and admirable and if history is any indicator, regardless of any kind of legislation or court ruling, they will see abortions go down. Since Roe v Wade was handed down, we’ve seen a general decline in abortions. While this may be because of wider availability of contraceptives leading to a lower unwanted pregnancy rate, we cannot dismiss the notion that as a society we have become more inclusive and this goes for individuals yet to be born.

Unfortunately for social conservatives, inclusion is a double edged sword. As we become more inclusive of unborn individuals, we also will become more inclusive of individuals who are out of the womb, living today in all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, races (yes, even those with Arab decent who might be Muslim), and sexual orientations (yes, even when they want the right to marry).

So as time moves forward, so will our willingness to be more inclusive and that’s a good thing. Maybe next time another state legalizes marriage for same-sex couples, social conservatives can at least see the silver lining in that as we become a more inclusive society at least their cause to protect the rights of unborn human beings is still trending in their favor.

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4 thoughts on “The Direction of Inclusion

  1. Well said Zach. I have also seen the dichotomy in issue you raise. One thing that always strikes me about this is the claim of the Pro-Life movement: they consistently argue for the right to life for the unborn yet are often for the death penalty.

    How can they stake claim to the “Pro-Life” cause when they are blatantly against life when it comes to capital punishment. It is infuriating to think about.

  2. A discussion of capital punishment came up at a party I was at this weekend. There was a Christian doing most of the arguing on each side. The one who was for (or at least not opposed to) capital punishment cited the Old Testament. The one who was against it said that what made it “okay” (for lack of a better word from him or I) is that it was God handing out that judgement, and not humanity.

    I can’t really comment on that, not being Christian myself. To those of you who are: what do you think?

  3. I think that Jesus was pretty clear about how he felt humans being the judge of others when he talked about not worrying about the “speck in your brother’s eye when you have a plank in your own.”

    Also, there is a great passage in John chapter 8, where a woman who committed adultery is brought before Jesus. The Law (read: Old Testiment) said that she should be stoned. A group of religous folk tried to get Jesus to take part in the stoning. Instead, he wrote in the sand! (I think he was writing the sins of the religous folk, or maybe even the names of women they had sleep with, though we don’t know that). Then he says, “Let the one who hasn’t sinned cast the first stone.”

    I believe this clearly states Jesus’ stance on capital punishment. As humans, none of us have the right to put another person to death, regardless of their crimes.

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