One of the reality-bending strategies of the pro-abortion lobby is to use compassionate or even Christian-sounding arguments to advocate for abortion and attack those who are pro-life. Sen. Raphael Warnock proudly declared “I’m a pro-choice pastor” during his recent campaign. President Joe Biden, ostensibly a Catholic, attempts to sidestep his public, obstinate rejection of Catholic Church teaching on abortion by claiming he supports the church’s position personally, but not publicly. (Imagine someone saying he’s against murder personally, but publicly doesn’t think it should be illegal.)
Another way the abortion lobby tries to use pro-life advocates’ faith against them is by accusing Christians of caring more about life in the womb than outside it. The argument claims those who are unabashedly pro-life do not value other types of human life, and that their concern for the innocent unborn is nothing more than a ruse to hide their contempt for the poor, the sick, orphans, prisoners, and others.
The below Facebook post, which has resurfaced recently, is just one example:
Generally, those making these kinds of ad hominem arguments do not cite actual interactions with pro-life Christians, nor do they cite any surveys of Christians or pro-lifers to objectively determine how many individuals and groups involved in pro-life advocacy are also involved in caring for other vulnerable groups.
It does not follow logically, of course, that fighting for the life of innocent, unborn babies has to imply a callousness towards the sick, the poor, and the vulnerable. It is very possible to care for many different types of vulnerable groups at the same time, something at which the great faith-based community in our country excels daily.
As just one data point, Baylor University published a study in 2017 on the effects of faith communities’ efforts on homelessness. It found that, in the cities studied, the majority of emergency shelter beds – 58 percent – were provided by faith-based homelessness organizations, and that these organizations produced a whopping $9.42 in taxpayer savings for every $1 in government funding.
It’s not just homelessness. Countless faith-based organizations do outreach to prisoners, going into prisons to love and listen to the incarcerated, and to help in their adjustment once they’re released. These programs affect countless thousands of people through the life-giving hope of faith.
Considering that those most engaged in their faith-based communities are more likely to spend their time and treasure serving the vulnerable, and more likely to be pro-life, the strong and varied faith-based outreach to the vulnerable skewers the argument that pro-life people of faith spurn such efforts.
I suggest a different approach for those trying to use Christianity against babies’ right to life. If they genuinely desire greater participation of the faith-based community in the work of helping the vulnerable, let me show them where to start: fighting to eliminate government red tape.
During the Trump administration, I had the honor of serving as assistant secretary for community planning and development at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under Secretary Ben Carson. One of the areas my department was in charge of was homelessness.
In that role, I met with dozens of faith-based groups caring for every type of vulnerable segment of our society. There is absolutely no shortage of Christians wanting to help. These great groups often presented innovative proposals to house the homeless, care for those with mental illness, strengthen broken families, and help forge better relationships between law enforcement and homeless communities.
I learned quickly that the faith-based community is willing and highly able to compassionately care for the homeless, the addicted, the chronically poor, widows, orphans, and others. Sadly, I also witnessed firsthand the devastating impact of how government statutes and regulations tie the hands of these great faith-based organizations, often preventing them from participating in, or being funded by, federal programs. This, rather than attacking the character of those who are pro-life, is the place to start for anyone concerned with more engagement from faith-based groups in meeting the needs of the vulnerable.
Instead of impugning the motivations and character of pro-life Christians who care deeply about defending innocent unborn babies, why not work together with fellow Americans of all political persuasions to remove the bureaucratic red tape that handicaps our great faith-based groups from more effectively serving all of the most vulnerable in our society?