Alabama passed the toughest abortion law in the United States. This is a look at that law which evangelicals support – with the exception of Pat Robertson. This post also looks at why evangelicals are not pro-life, where as the Roman Catholic Church can claim to be pro-life. Also in winning a war it should be stated that many evangelicals are driving young people away from Christianity due to their political engagement.
“Abortion should not only be safe and legal, it should be rare.“
“I hate abortions, but just could not make that choice for someone else.”
The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17 NIV
United States Capitol
On Tuesday May 14, 2019 the Alabama Senate passed the most strict abortion law in the United States. Later on it was signed by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. The sponsor of the law is an evangelical Christian, Rep Terri Collins. After passage of the law she said, “I have prayed my way through this bill. This is the way we get where we want to get eventually.” The Washington Post showed a picture of her in a Bible study. Terri Collins strict law outlaws abortion even in cases of rape and incest. It also sentences a doctor to jail for 99 years. The biggest concern are for those who are impregnated by incest when they are 11 or 12. Its also designed to be used to challenge Roe vs. Wade. Collins, in the Washington Post was quoted as saying the following. “This bill is about challenging Roe v. Wade and protecting the lives of the unborn because an unborn baby is a person who deserves love and protection.” The Senate Majority Leader in Alabama proudly touted how Alabama is pro-life. He was also quoted as saying that the bill, “simply recognizes that an unborn baby is a child who deserves protection — and despite the best efforts of abortion proponents, this bill will become law because Alabamians stand firmly on the side of life.” When Kay Ivey signed the bill into law she said it was done because of Alabaman’s belief in God. “To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God.” Pat Robertson also chimed in and called the law extreme and that is went too far. You can read about that right here.
Christian Nationalism at Work and Evangelical Christians Warped View of History
This law came about because of Christian nationalism. Many evangelicals view government as a tool to enact their agenda or laws that they seem fit. While often critical of an overbearing government they have no problem using the government to advance their theological beliefs. Many evangelicals often state that it was the legalization of abortion that made them political. That is was the injustice of abortion that triggered evangelicals to engage in politics. And the reality is that claim in itself is a lie and dishonest. What triggered the entrance of evangelical Christians into politics? Evangelical Christians practiced racial segregation and when that was threatened that galvanized them to get involved. Brown vs. Board of Education was being implemented. In a case called Green vs. Kennedy “segregationist academies” risked losing tax exempt status if they continued to practice segregation. The case which changed to Green vs. Connally upheld the IRS rules, and schools that practiced segregation could lose their tax exempt status. This is the real origin of the evangelicals entrance into politics. If you would like to read the entire story you can do so in, “Recommended Read: Politico on Evangelical Culture Wars; It Wasn’t the Legalization of Abortion that Triggered them it was the Threat of Bob Jones University Losing its Funding due to its Segregation Practices.”
How to Lose a Generation and Drive Young People From Christianity
Many young evangelicals are sick of the culture wars. The constant crusade to outlaw abortion, or to make gay marriage illegal troubles many younger people. Many young evangelicals detest the way older evangelicals have embraced the culture wars. As a response many have started to walk away from evangelical Christianity altogether. The stats and numbers are profound but they all point to how young people are rejecting faith because of politics. You can read more here, here and here. As Christianity in the United States continues to die, evangelical battles like the one in Alabama will result in further driving young people away. The irony? Evangelicals can perhaps win in their desire to outlaw abortion. But it will result in young people walking away from churches or rejecting faith altogether. Evangelicals can win the battle and lose the war. And in the process they can contribute to the secularization of the United States.
Why Evangelicals Are Not Pro Life….
Despite what many people said in embracing that abortion law in Alabama I think its time to state the following about evangelicals. Contrary to what evangelicals claim, they are not pro-life in their beliefs or practices. Many people who support that law are also strong supporters of capital punishment. They do not believe in sex education or making birth control more accessible and teaching people how to use it. Many people who claim they are pro-life are overly obsessed with the development inside the womb. Afterward they kick the child to the curb and oppose social welfare, education, prenatal care, and education. Actually what makes evangelicalism in Alabama troubling is that while claiming to be profile many evangelicals embraced a man who was a child molester. You can read more in, “The United States Senate Race in Alabama and the Culture Wars; Plus the Issues Dogging Roy Moore and the Problem of Evangelical Christians Embracing an Alleged Child Molester.” The evangelical view on being prolife is not sustainable. Its confusing, backwards and many don’t know what it means to be prolife. The behavior by evangelicals is very different than the behavior by the Roman Catholic Church.
Why the Roman Catholic Church is Pro-Life
Many evangelicals in the 1970’s didn’t want to engage the abortion issue because it was viewed as a Catholic issue. It was the Catholic church who stood strong against abortion and spoke out after it was legalized and opposed it beforehand. Evangelicals got on board in the 1980 time-frame or so, In contrast the Roman Catholic Church has been against many other issues as well. The Catholic Church has been one of the leading organizations that is opposed to capital punishment. You can read more about that in a a document Pope John Paul II wrote in 1995 called, Evangelium Vitae. In addition the Catholic Church also believes that people should have access to health care, education and basic needs. It doesn’t forget about people after they are born but the Catholic Church supports them in their theology and claims. So where as evangelicals can’t claim to be prolife, the Roman Catholic Church can do so.
This blogger believes this law in Alabama has gone too far. Its going to contribute to lose of life and people’s suffering. I have known people who have gotten abortions. They were young, found themselves scared and they believed abortion was the best course of action. Abortion is one of those topics its easy to talk about – unless you find yourself in that difficult situation. For many people the dark side of evangelicalism will get darker especially if people who are young girls become suicidal because they are told that their pregnancy that was created by their father or older brother must continue. In some cases this will lead to people’s death. And that is not being prolife. What this bill will do is show how many evangelicals are hypocrites in how they function, believe and practice their theology. The more evangelicals attach their faith to politics the more the faith suffers. That is a constant theme that Philip Yancey harps about. My hope is that some of these laws like the one in Alabama will be reversed and never take effect. I know some people are going to have problems with this post, but the fact of the matter is that the evangelical culture wars need to be addressed from time to time.