We need a radical pro life agenda. We need it now. We need to claim back the term “prolife.” This post is not about abortion. It is not about a woman’s agency. No. Its not about recent comments from a Presidential candidate. My thoughts on this are mirrored fairly well by the ELCA’s position. Here is the link- http://www.elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Abortion.
I personally agree with this statement. We need as Church to affirm life, but we are better served trying to change the socio-economic conditions that make abortion a viable option for the poor and marginalized. We need to be teaching safe sex. We need to be supporting teen mothers, not shaming them overtly or covertly. We need to stop slut shaming. Of course I affirm life. Jesus was born to an unwed teenage mother. My daughter was born to an unwed teenage mother.
But that’s not what this post is about. This article is about why we need a radical pro life agenda. How can I with any integrity as a Christian support the death penalty. War. All of them. How can we not be supporting Black Lives Matter? Or the Trans community? Why aren’t we fighting the evil of systemic poverty?
I’ll tell you why. Because we have allowed the term pro life to become hijacked into a narrow view. One that isn’t reflective of the rich and vibrant vision of God’s kingdom. In it’s place we have allowed an anemic political virus to turn the term pro life into a vampire that sucks all the Gospel out of a room.
We need to be standing up to state sponsored murder of prisoners. If we can’t stop, we need to be visible signs of Jesus’s opposition to state sponsored murder. Jesus was a victim of the death penalty. The entire Passion narrative is an account of Jesus’s time on death row. He was railroaded in court. He was tried by a jury of his peers. He was found guilty yet couldn’t be more innocent. Where is the laser focus on this? Why doesn’t pro life mean saying no state sponsored murder?
We need to be speaking up about the endless war we have been engaged in since September 11th 2001 overtly, and covertly for much longer. We are continuing to send the poor to kill the poor. This has been the colonialist/imperialistic agenda of the American empire for over 200 years. Manifest destiny may have mutated to American exceptionalism but its still uses the currency of death. Don’t believe me, google the words “Signature Strikes.” I’ll wait.
We are engaged in an endless war and we are only concerned when “our” people are killed. We should have pastoral care and concern for those who serve in the military. But what about the deaths of world citizens everywhere. Just War theology is a joke. Simply put, you can never convince me that Jesus is on our side in war. Or the ned to kill the so called enemy. Jesus is concerned for all of us. But he isn’t rooting for your side. What doesn’t pro life mean to stand up to the military industrial complex’s agenda?
Why aren’t we as a whole, not the exceptional community minded churches and pastors, out in droves trying to figure out how to accompany black lives matter? Accompany, not lead, or teach, or correct. Why aren’t we coming out and hearing the cries. Why are we allowing the media, and pundits, and our own brokenness to dictate to us what this organization is saying to the American conscious right now? Why hasn’t your Pastor mentioned #freddiegray #trayvonmartin #jamarclark or countless others in weeks, if ever? We are quickly going down the path many churches did in the 60’s. You can’t tell now, but most churches didn’t support the civil rights movement. Don’t let the adaption of Dr. Kings image to a less radical federal day off and “safe” narrative fool you. We left him high and dry and the Panthers and countless others. We are doing the same thing now. Why doesn’t pro life mean stop the extra judicial executions of young black man?
Why aren’t we screaming at the North Carolina legislature. I mean literally screaming. Why aren’t we talking about how Trans people in this country run the risk of being lynched and we as a whole hardly ever say a peep about it? Why is it that when we talk about affirming life, why aren’t we affirming more and more queer lives? Why don’t trans lives matter? Where is the Gospel in Mississippi this week? Why are we allowing people to hijack why it means to be Church?
Church. Its scary. It can be frightening to take on so much injustice. To compete against our angrier brothers and sisters in Christ. To stand up to the encroaching darkness and say no more. Not one more inch will I let you spread like a stain on the very soul of my community. Not one more execution will I allow in this prison without reminding you of the Cross. Not one more bomb gets dropped, or another one of our sons and daughters shipped off to be warped by war. Not one more young man will be killed with no repercussions by police and city agencies. Not one more trans child of God will be hurt, or marginalized in my community. We say no to systemic evil. We say no to the demons that are possessing our country.
We need to adopt a radical pro life agenda.