Keeping 1 Cor. 2:1-5 in mind, I do not preach philosophy or politics. Even so, it’s clear from the testimony of Scripture that the people of God care for the most vulnerable. And it’s that word ‘care’ that is so important.
What has brought this to mind is the recent bill passed by New York state and the comments made by the governor of Virginia and a member of the House of Delegates last week. The bill in New York, and the one proposed in Virginia, allow for abortion in the third trimester up even to the time of birth. By law in New York, a baby that was born at noon could have been aborted at 11:59.
I realize that there are issues around the life, health, and mental state of the mother (these are the considerations for such an abortion in these laws), but I am talking about what amounts to an unfettered ability, the right, to terminate a pregnancy at 40 weeks full stop. It is a tragic and barbaric reality that we have come to a place in our culture where such a thing is not only advocated and codified into law, but celebrated. When the bill was signed into law, One World Trade Center, by order of Governor Cuomo, was lit up in pink to celebrate the moment.
Where Christians ought to speak up in defense of those who have no voice, we also must think of those who are contemplating abortion or have had one. Many women feel trapped and believe that this is the only option left to them. What is the response of the Church to these women? Typically, these women hide their decision thinking that if their Christian friends were to know then judgment would ensue. It’s a feeling that so many women are not able to outrun.
So where is the body of Christ for these women? Is there forgiveness, healing, and hope for these women who suffer?
So too must we think of the children not only in the womb, but outside of it. Do we care about the children whose mother has chosen life for her baby that is born into poverty? How are we caring for the most vulnerable babies outside of the womb?
Are we encouraging and supportive of adoption? Is the child only entitled to a right to life, but not to be raised in a loving Christian family?
And does our support of a life-giving culture extend even up to the grave? With abortion on one end and euthanasia on the other, there is a sense that life at the most vulnerable of stages is dispensable. But like the children, are we doing more than paying lip service for the elderly? When was the last time you visited the lonely in an assisted living facility? Invited someone who has no family over for a meal? Really cared for them in a personal way, not in the abstract?
In a 2016 interview, Stanley Hauerwas of Duke University said, ‘I say that in a hundred years, if Christians are identified as people who do not kill their children or the elderly, we will have done well. Because that’s clearly coming.’
Though not for the pulpit, these conversations are happening around us and Christians should engage in them.
P.S.: Our denomination, which talks so much about being on the side of the marginalized has said nothing about these recent developments (The Episcopal Church’s main office is in New York). I have scoured the internet looking for a response and the only Anglican response I could find was from the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America which can be found here: