Abortion has once again taken center stage in our nation. Since Roe vs. Wade, approximately 63 million abortions have taken place in the United States…63 million (Over 63 million abortions have occurred in the US since Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 | Fox News)! This has been a hot button issue for a number of years, and many have worked tirelessly to see this decision overturned.
Recently, I saw a meme on social media. According to the person who originally shared it, it was written by a “traditional Christian pastor” and said the following:
“The unborn” are a convenient group of people to advocate for. They never make demands of you; they are morally uncomplicated, unlike the incarcerated, addicted, or the chronically poor; they don’t resent your condescension or complain that you are not politically correct; unlike widows, they don’t ask you to question patriarchy; unlike orphans, they don’t need money, education, or childcare; unlike aliens, they don’t bring all that racial, cultural, and religious baggage you dislike; they allow you to feel good about yourself without any work at creating or maintaining relationships; and when they are born, you can forget about them, because they cease to be unborn. It’s almost as if, by being born, they have died to you. You can love the unborn and advocate for them without substantially challenging your own wealth, power, or privilege, without re-imagining social structures, apologizing, or making reparations to anyone. They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love like Jesus but actually dislike people who breathe.
Prisoners? Immigrants? The sick? The poor? Widows? Orphans? All the groups that are specifically mentioned in the Bible? They all get thrown under the bus for the unborn.”
I don’t know Dave Barnhardt, the pastor who wrote this, and I certainly don’t know his motives behind his words. I have read, and reread this quote, and I believe this is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever read by a person who is referred to as a “Christian pastor.” Let me share why I feel this way:
- Advocating for the unborn is portrayed in a negative light. The above quote is taken from Dave Barnhardt’s Facebook page, dated June 25, 2018. I have included the quote in its entirety as found on profile. I find nothing that would cause me to think that Mr. Barnhardt views those who advocate for the unborn in a positive light. What’s so wrong with advocating for those who do not have a voice and advocating for those who are “being knit together in their mother’s womb” by the Creator (see Psalm 139:13)? If we believe that God is the Creator and Sustainer of life, what would be wrong with advocating for those whom God spoke into existence through the gift of reproduction. However, unless I’m completely misreading his comments, I find nothing positive about advocating for the unborn. He just says it’s “convenient” and causes many people to throw those who have been born “under the bus.”
- He seems to indicate that those who advocate for the unborn easily forget them after birth. As I said earlier, I don’t know Mr. Barnhardt and I don’t know what kind of company he keeps and what kind of pro-life supporters he is familiar with. Many of the Christ followers I know, who would call themselves “pro-life” are very concerned about the born and the unborn. Many of these same people are waiting to foster these children, adopt these children, clothe these children, educate these children, and introduce these precious children to the One who came and gave His life so they could not only have abundant life here on earth, but also have life eternal with their Creator. Many of these same “advocates” have opened Crisis Pregnancy Centers that love on, educate, and provide for unwed and single mothers so they can either keep their child or if unable to keep them, ensure the child is placed in a loving and caring environment. Many of these same people have begun orphanages through the years to ensure these children are loved and taken care of. I’m saddened that Mr. Barnhardt seems to be ignorant of the multitude of generous advocates who cherish life from the moment of conception to natural death. Maybe he’s just unfamiliar with the resources available for these mothers who feel like there is no other option, but they are out there, and I pray that we can do more to give these mothers hope. By the way, I find it interesting that a particular atheist website applauded his quote (A Methodist Pastor Is Brilliantly Calling Out the “Pro-Life” Crowd’s Hypocrisy | Hemant Mehta | Friendly Atheist | Patheos) and said that he “called out the pro-life hypocrisy. However, I don’t know of very many (if any) atheist hospitals, orphanages, homes for unwed mothers, foster care homes, etc. However, there are many of these institutions that were started by and funded by those who would consider themselves “pro-life.”
- He indicates that those who advocate for the unborn act as if the born have now “died to ” them and these advocates “dislike people who breathe.” Once again, Mr. Barnhardt’s circle of influence must be much different than mine. Pastors, missionaries, evangelists, Christian school teachers, laymen, deacons (and the list goes on) are often the ones who are MOST concerned about those who have been born. They go to their “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth” to share the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ with those who have been born once, in order that they might be born again! Millions of Gospel tracts are printed and purchased every year and are given out to those who have been born. Millions of dollars are spent each year to spread the Good News to those who have been born. I have friends who are serving right now in third world countries, who have left the comforts of their homes and families, in order to share Jesus with those who have been born, but have never heard the Gospel. Christians throughout the centuries have literally given their lives and shed their own blood in order to care for the born. It was the Christians who would often pick babies up out of the trash heaps of Rome (Infanticide in Ancient Rome (earlychurchhistory.org)). While there may be some people who could care less for individuals once they come into this world, to try to imply that’s the way most advocates for the unborn feel, I believe is disingenuous and dishonest!
- Finally, his quote seems to imply that the unborn aren’t mentioned in Scripture, but the prisoners, immigrants, widows, orphans, etc are. He then adds, “but they get thrown under the bus for the unborn.” One does not have to search the Scriptures very far before they find God’s Word mentioning the unborn. Here are just a few to get you started: Exodus 21:22, Job 3:3 & 31:15, Psalm 51:5, 127:3 & 139:13-16, Jeremiah 1:5, Isaiah 44:2, 49:1, 5, Luke 1:31, 36, 41-44, Galatians 1:15. Loving the unborn, and loving the prisoners, immigrants, widows, and orphans aren’t mutually exclusive! We can love them all and we should love them all. It is easier to advocate for those who are perceived as innocent, and not an inconvenience to us personally? Maybe so. But the fact of the matter is if we believe life begins at conception, as Scripture teaches, then the unborn person is just as important and valuable as the prisoner, the immigrant, the widow, and the orphans. It doesn’t have to be one or the other and no one has to get thrown under the bus. If that’s the only kind of “pro-life advocates” Mr. Barnhardt knows, I hope he will expand his horizons and get to know some of the amazing people and organizations that minister to all of these groups and more in the name of and for the glory of Jesus!