Can a Christian be considered pro-life if he or she remains silent when our government treats as common criminals the poor, impoverished, suffering people who come to our country seeking refuge and asylum? The hardship we have inflicted on already hurting families by stripping young children away from their parents and then locking up the parents is something we might expect in tyrannically governed countries, but not in a democratic state like America. That Christians would remain silent, or even worse, support this administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy and practice is anti-life and anti-Christ.
So how do such Christians still claim to be pro-life? Somewhere along the way abortion became the prevailing concern among conservative Christians and everything else became secondary. When the Christian right began to engage politically the most important issue for electing candidates centered on where a candidate stood on abortion. This issue evolved into such prominence and dominance among conservative Christians that somehow pro-life became synonymous with an anti-abortion position. One could be anti-life on almost every other social justice issue, but if one still held to an anti-abortion position, ironically one was considered pro-life.
“Somewhere along the way abortion became the prevailing concern among conservative Christians and everything else became secondary.”
This explains why conservative Christians voted for and continue to support a president so lacking in honesty, decency, mercy and basic moral character. They support him because of his promise to appoint conservative judges to the Supreme Court. This erroneous reductionism that makes everything hinge on one issue is doing irreparable damage to our country and to Christianity.
I share the concern of conservative Christians for the unborn. Pro-life means that all life (at all developmental stages) should be honored, respected and valued. But when did the unborn become more valuable than the born, especially those born into tragic life circumstances?
Progressive and conservative Christians could be working together to reduce abortions of convenience, if conservatives would give up their insistence on imposing their religious beliefs and practices on everyone else. What Christians believe about sex and marriage is not necessarily what everyone else believes, and should never be imposed on the rest of a free society. If conservatives would join with progressives in supporting programs that teach sex education in schools, and make free birth control more easily accessible, think how many unwanted pregnancies and abortions could be prevented. It is not pro-life to bring children into horrific home situations where they will be abused and have little-to-no opportunity to thrive in life.
“Progressive and conservative Christians could be working together to reduce abortions of convenience, if conservatives would give up their insistence on imposing their religious beliefs and practices on everyone else.”
I care deeply about all life, born and unborn, but making abortion illegal is not the answer. For one thing, no one can say when a developing life in the womb becomes a person. That is a matter of moral opinion and personal religious belief. Should government interfere in matters of religious belief and in decisions that so deeply impact families? Should government decide who lives when complications develop – the mother or the child? What about rape and incest?
It’s quite possible (perhaps probable) that a conservative Supreme Court will not reverse Roe v. Wade, but favor laws that allow states to enact measures that basically make abortion inaccessible in certain states. That, of course, will not stop women of means from having abortions. They will simply travel to the state that makes that service available. Women with little means will have unwanted children. This, most likely, will translate into more children brought into home situations and social contexts where the children struggle daily just to survive.
Many Christians today ignore the agonizing suffering and fear heaped upon migrants by this administration. They simply close their eyes to the way Donald Trump’s White House treats as criminals an already downtrodden people looking for a safe place to raise their families. Their unwillingness to say and do anything constructive about this injustice demonstrates how desperately they need a more holistic, pro-life vision. Tragically, many are not pro-life at all.