These past few weeks it has been hard to find topic more common than abortion. There have been marches from people on both sides of the issue. There have been hours of news coverage. There were people who picked a presidential candidate based strictly on this issue. To say that abortion is a big topic is an understatement.
Abortion has been on a steady decline over the past few years thanks to birth control. As a Christian this is something to celebrate. We rejoice that the killing of innocent children has reached the lowest point in recent memory. But there is something that upsets me about this “pro-life” movement.
I don’t think we are really pro-life.
I think we are anti-abortion.
Pro-life means that we fighting for rights and the right to live a normal life for all individuals.
Not just the lives of the unborn.
This includes Muslims and Christians. It includes blacks and whites. Poor and rich. Sick and healthy. Americans and immigrants. Democrats and Republicans. Gay and Straight.
We say that we care about everyone. We say that we are pro-life, but do we really do things to help those who are different than us.
The main thing I think keeps us from helping is fear.
This past weekend we had our yearly spin weekend event. On Saturday we got to serve the community. I took a group of high school boys to feed some people who are homeless in downtown Monroe. As we walked toward people who were less fortunate, I heard the students behind me talking about how it felt uncomfortable. I heard a few talking about how they were scared and that they were prepared to run. I heard a few talking about how sad it was to see people like this.
The thing that bothered me most about this experience was hearing how some of the students assumed these homeless people were violent. They assumed we would get jumped. They assumed these people were all bad people. They were fearful.
These students did not get to this assumption on their own. As adults we have to stop promoting fear. We do this because we think it will keep them safe. We hear things like
“We can’t help the immigrants. What if they are terrorists?”
“I don’t know if I would go down there. When they see you aren’t poor they might attack you to take your stuff.”
“We can’t let Muslims have the same rights as us. They are too dangerous.”
“Don’t listen to what he has to say. He’s a liberal.”
I think that the idea of being pro-life scares us. It means there will be people who don’t look like us, act like us, believe like us, worship like us, and might not even like us. There is tension there. Between things we think are right and things we think are safe. As Christians we are given instructions on how to handle all these situations.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
No matter the emotional feeling, we are commanded to love. To love others as we love ourselves. To bless those who persecute us. The only way these are possible is through Jesus.
Parents, teach your kids to love well. Teach them to be pro-life. To fight for justice for all people. To fight for equality. To love others as we love ourselves. To love others as Christ loves the church.
Students, love well. Love without fear. Be a life changer. You can change the world. There is enough hate in the world. Be a light of hope. Be different and love for others.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Love God. Love Others.