Last week the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a number of rulings reaffirming an originalist interpretation of America’s Constitution and its federalist assumptions. Perhaps the most important of these was the decision to rescind Roe v. Wade and return the issue of abortion to the people and their respective states, where it belonged in the first place. This was a tremendous victory for millions of faithful Christians who have fought for decades to see this day. One would think that Christian leaders would be leading the parade of those celebrating.
Consider the case of a young Wesleyan pastor from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, who shepherds a flock of a few thousand congregants.
In response to the SCOTUS decision, he immediately posted the following:
“Okay, Christians, we have a choice right now. This political victory for those who are pro-life isn’t a victory for everyone. If we are really, truly for all life, let’s be for those who have all different perspectives on this issue, and let’s truly love like Jesus. Let’s be ready to stand with those who are hurting right now and truly be FOR them. Please, I am begging you, let’s choose a posture that is truly pro-life and not just anti-abortion.”
Frankly, this is one of the most poorly reasoned, logically vacuous and biblically shallow comments I’ve heard on this issue.
First, since when is saving the lives of millions of children just a “political victory?” Forgive me, but our young church “leader” might want to consider the untold boys and girls who will now be spared the fate of having their bodies torn apart and their arms, legs and heads severed without even enjoying the benefit of anesthesia. Isn’t this SCOTUS decision a “victory” for these innocents — these least among us — and shouldn’t saving their lives be one of the Church’s highest moral imperatives and not merely something to be dumbed down to the category of a “political” cause?
Second, this pastor argues that all true Christians must now prove their pro-life credentials by being “for those who have all different perspectives on this issue.” Really? Would this same theolog have argued that all who were opposed to the execution of Jews in Hitler’s concentration camps should have proven their B’nai B’rith street cred by being “for those who had all different perspectives on this issue?” As the Allied Forces celebrated V-E Day, would he have shouted, “The Third Reich is hurting right now! Please, I’m begging you, Let’s choose a posture that is truly pro-Aryan and not just anti-Auschwitz?”
How about slavery? Does our presumptive spiritual instructor believe all Christians who stand against treating Black people as chattel should be told they must prove their abolitionist sincerity by “being for those” who have a different perspective on buying, selling and owning other human beings? Would he have implored Orange Scott and Luther Lee (the abolitionist pastors who founded his own denomination) to “choose a better posture” — one that was not just “anti-slavery” — you know, one that was “FOR” the
“hurting” antebellum slave owner as much as the emancipated slave? Would he have called the Civil War just a “political” issue rather than a moral one? Would he have “begged” those celebrating freedom on Juneteenth to tone it down a bit and “stand with those” who had just lost their “right” to own a black man?
Or how about those who fought for women’s rights? Would our Wesleyan friend have scolded suffragists such as Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks or even John Wesleyan himself, for not “standing with” chauvinistic husbands who believed their wife’s place was barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen? Would he have lectured everyone celebrating a woman’s right to vote? Would he have told Elizabeth Stanton that her “political victory” wasn’t a “victory for everyone”? Would he have instructed all members of the fairer sex that they should “be ready to stand with” domineering men as much as they were standing for their equality and individual worth?
And finally, as to his admonition to “love like Jesus,” perhaps our presumptive pastor would do well to follow his own advice and consider this: “Suffer the little children, and forbid them not.” Or maybe this? “But as for the cowardly, as for murders [and] the sexually immoral, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” The Alpha and the Omega, aka Jesus.
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery).