Tyr is the god of the law, the god of honour, the god of peace and justice. All of these things come from his ordeal, his choice, and his path; accepting the cost. Tyr offered his sword arm and thus his status as champion and warrior as security to Fenris Wolf so he would accept the binding that proved to hold the ever-hungry one, and stop his devouring all that lived. He accepted the loss of his hand because when it came down to it, he taught us that honour requires us to accept the cost of our choices, the price of our bargains and decisions or we can have neither worth nor honour.
This brings us to one of the most divisive issues of the day, abortion.
There are Heathens on both sides of the issue. In my own community the split is very heavy on the side of pro-choice, but it is by no means universal. Where we differ from both secular and the loud baying hounds of Christianity on this issue is with the lesson of Tyr. We accept the cost of our decisions. To make a choice is to accept the costs it imposes. If we cannot accept the cost, we have no right to make that choice.
There are a lot of people right now who oppose abortion claiming the sanctity of human life. The legislation in Georgia, while less extreme than that proposed in Alabama still prohibits abortion after the fetal heartbeat is detectable at six weeks. Our first daughter was thirteen weeks along when we had our first positive test. We were trying to conceive and tested every time my wife thought it was possible, and got negative results even when it turns out she was fairly far along. The idea that your window to choose should close before many can detect there is a question seems flawed, but lets leave that aside and look at the justification of the heart beat law. Every child’s life is sacred, even potential children.
The lesson of Tyr is that to make a choice is to accept the cost. Has the Pro Life movement accepted the cost? Have they chosen to treat the lives of children as sacred, the health of mothers as their holy responsibility? No, honestly they have not.
- Georgia is ranked 43 in overall child well being (1 being best and 50 as worst)
- 672,150 children live in poverty which is 27.3% of the total number of children living in Georgia
- In 2012, 144,000 children lived with aging grandparents
- In 2012, 925,000 children lived in a household with a single parent – which is 39% of Georgia’s children
- Approximately 14,000 children are in the foster care system on any given day
- In 2011, there were 65 confirmed child deaths related to abuse or neglect
- Every year approximately 700 children will age out of the foster care system in Georgia. The following statistics are for the children who leave the system at 18 years of age:
- 51% are unemployed
- 43% end up homeless
- 3% will further their education
- Many will be incarcerated
- More than half of the young women will have children who will also enter the foster care system and the cycle continue.
Far from treating mother and baby as sacred and paying the cost to make sure that those pregnant women would be cared for during the pregnancy they didn’t want, and the child they didn’t want would be looked after, the State of Georgia, and indeed most of the “Red States” or Conservative strong pro life regions have similar statistics showing neither mothers nor children receive anything resembling care from the state which forces the birth to take place.
The leading cause of bankrupcy in the US is medical costs. 46% of all bankrupcy cases in 2005 were directly related to unpaid medical costs, not inlcuding bankrupcy filed due to child care costs matching or exceeding minimum wage earnings. Clearly, those howling the loudest for these children to be born are NOT willing to pay for them to receive medical treatment or care, not willing to step forward and see they receive any home more loving than the street.
Heathen’s may be pro-choice or pro life, but we hold Tyr’s lessons first in our heart and in our mind when we make such choices. To chose a thing is to chose its cost. If we are pro choice, we accept that we who are not willing to pay the costs physical, mental, emotional, and financial do not get to make the decision. If we are pro-life, we accept that to say to a woman that she must bear this child is to pledge that this mother will receive such care that she will not be at risk, that this child will be cared for all their growing years so that she need never fear for their fate.
Christianity and our secular pro life movement will not do so. They howl for the baby to be born, then refuse to pay for the mother’s or child’s medical costs, or support the upbringing of the baby. They demand the children who are not wanted be born, then pass laws punishing those who attempt to feed or aid the homeless who almost half the kids aging out of Georgia’s foster care system frequently become. They demand the children be born, then throw them in the trash and punish them for being trash after doing so. This is not pro life, this is sadism.
To chose a thing is to chose a cost. Hail to Tyr, who taught us to value our honour more than our power, wealth or fame. Hail to Tyr who taught us that if we are not willing to pay the price we must not make the choice. Since our society has proven it is not willing to pay the price for unwanted children, it has no right to take the choice away from those pregnant women looking at one of the single hardest choices for any human being to face alone.
For the record, I am pro choice.