It is really good to hear about the many organisations and churches – and individuals – that are prepared to publicly state they are ‘Pro-Life’. In other words, that they believe in the sanctity of human life from conception to its natural end. These are courageous, faith-filled people!
If you have any understanding of the bible at all you will know you cannot separate the Pro-Life stance from the Christian faith (example Jeremiah 1:5). They go hand in hand. So perhaps not so easy to understand is the number of people, politicians, churches and organisations who say they are Christian but will not make this declaration. They are afraid.
Some churches say ‘we will lose half our congregation’ if we make such a declaration. Others say they don’t have any difficulty, from a faith point of view, with abortion anyway (incredible!). Some organisations, even some funded by Catholic and other faiths, say they will not make this declaration because it will make it more difficult to reach out and help people who are not practicing Christians. Still others feel they will lose government or community funding if they are found out to be Pro-Life. And there are those who say if they declare themselves pro-life it is like they are condemning those who say they are not.
Some people are concerned about ridicule, or being physically attacked, or having their house or business targeted. Perhaps there is good reason here; attacks can and do occur.
Some politicians say ‘it will affect my political career’, or ‘I won’t get endorsed if I say that’, or ‘I have to follow the party line’, or even ‘I won’t get elected if people know I am a practicing Christian’. Some politicians say they vote against life because ‘my vote won’t make any difference anyway’ or ‘I want to wait for the big issues before I declare my beliefs’. Even our Prime Minister, himself apparently a practicing Christian, once stated (paraphrased) ‘he could and would separate his Christian beliefs from his role as Prime Minister’. Clearly he was afraid of not getting elected at the time, which is a little sad.
There are people who argue they will lose all their friends. Others are afraid of losing their jobs or damaging their prospects for promotion. Still others say their family will ridicule them as hypocrites and some are afraid of mainstream or social media attacks. And there are those who say their work will be called into question because of their ‘bias’. Another argument is that ‘we have to live in the real world’. Hmmm.
Some people are of course trying to justify past behaviour. A person may have had an abortion, or paid for one, or helped with one, or encouraged a friend to have one, and they have spent all their time since then trying to justify the act. They may have looked for justification in the bible by cherry-picking particular verses, or they may have looked for solace in arguing the child was better off this way because she was sick or because Dad was not interested, or Mum didn’t have enough money to provide a ‘good life’. We humans are really good at trying to justify our actions.
The truth is that it is a scary thing to declare your Christianity and your Pro-Life beliefs and it is definitely a scary thing to admit your past hypocrisy. You do lose friends and it definitely does affect your job and career prospects. You will be ridiculed by family, friends, the media and social media. Your children may feel embarrassed by you. There is a good chance you will be threatened or insulted and of course you will be labelled a hypocrite.
Perhaps that is why so many in the Pro-Life field are older people. People who are retired and no longer have to worry about the day to day work world. People who have had their families and careers already. They are courageous people, sure, but perhaps not so fearless as younger Christians. On the other hand, perhaps it has simply taken them a lifetime of experience to gain the necessary wisdom.
Is the time coming when you will not have a choice? When you will have to declare whether you are for or against Christ? Or will we be able to continue to believe we can have a foot in both camps? Actually that time is already here. Luke 9:26 Matthew 10:33 Mark 8:38
Right to Life Association of WA