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Are You Fully Pro-Life?

Benjamin L. Corey

Many anti-abortion Christians call themselves “Pro-Life”. I myself have used that moniker. I now see the short-coming in this view. A couple of weeks ago a friend and fellow MennoNerd named Benjamin Corey posted over at Formerly Fundie a piece entitled What “I Value The Sanctity of All Human Life” Usually Doesn’t Mean (but should). This reminded me of my own journey from being Anti-abortion to being truly Pro-life. You should definitely read his post, but here are a few of the things that I have come to believe are part of truly being “Pro-life”.

  • Unborn children are people created in the image of God, and are therefore of infinite worth and should be valued and protected.
  • Orphans are people created in the image of God, and are therefore of infinite worth and should be valued and protected. We should work to support those who work in child welfare, foster-care, and adoption.
  • Women who have unwanted pregnancies and contemplate, or have, an abortion are people created in the image of God, and are therefore of infinite worth and should be valued and protected. We should minister to them without condemnation, since we serve a God who tells us that he can save and redeem anyone, even me!
  • Doctors who perform abortions because they disagree with my premise above are people created in the image of God, and are therefore of infinite worth and should be valued and protected. We should minister to them without condemnation, since we serve a God who tells us that he can save and redeem anyone, even me!
  • Death row inmates, who according to our culture deserve death for their crimes, are people created in the image of God, and are therefore of infinite worth and should be valued and protected. We should minister to them without condemnation, since we serve a God who tells us that he can save and redeem anyone, even me! If God could save Paul, use David and so many others, who is to say that he cannot redeem and change the lives of those we think are beyond hope.
  • The poor, in the US and abroad, are people created in the image of God, and are therefore of infinite worth and should be valued and protected. This means that we must be grieved that many of God’s children do not have enough nourishing food to eat while I sit with too much food and have to make the conscious decision not to eat too much and become overweight. We must move to figure out how to solve the distribution problems that make food abundant in some areas and lacking in others. We also need to work to make good food more affordable in our country, and provide alternatives to the cheap, nutrient deficient foods that so many of the poor rely on because that is all that they can afford. This also should impact how we view resources and the often underpaid workers overseas who work long hours to make the goods we purchase.
  • Immigrants, whether legal or illegal, are people created in the image of God, and are therefore of infinite worth and should be valued and protected. Whatever our (US) government says about these people, we as Christians identify as citizens first of a heavenly Kingdom which calls us to love all. This implies that we must offer hospitality and care, both for adults and children. This is especially true for children and those fleeing persecution/danger in their countries of origin.
  • Black and brown bodies are people created in the image of God, and are therefore of infinite worth and should be valued and protected. When we see media portray our brothers and sisters as in some way deserving the discrimination and police (and civilian) brutality that folks like Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride, and so many others have been the victim of. Being Pro-life should mean that we fight against the media portrayal of black and brown bodies as inherently threatening. If we make excuses for the killing (often a modern incarnation of lynching) of our black and brown brothers and sisters, rather than immediately grieving their loss and working to change the culture that devalues their lives.
  • Our enemies, those with whom the US is at war, are people created in the image of God, and are therefore of infinite worth and should be valued and protected. I cannot allow the government to force me to think of my enemies in ways that are inconsistent with Christ’s command to love our enemies.
  • Terrorists are people created in the image of God, and are therefore of infinite worth and should be valued and protected. I’ve heard some describe the apostle Paul as a terrorist, given his desire to persecute (and kill) the early Christians in Jerusalem and beyond. If Christ could reset Paul’s worldview and use him to advance the Kingdom, who am I to say that God can’t work in the same way through someone who is currently using terror and intimidation tactics? Besides, it seems to me that the West has contributed quite a bit to the creation of Middle Eastern terrorist cells by the way we’ve treated our enemies.
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