Well, what once looked like an impossibility now seems within reach. Justice Anthony Kennedy is resigning from the Supreme Court. President Trump has promised to appoint Pro-Life judges. Roe v. Wade is now on the chopping block. Even CNN recognizes this to be the true. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortions will not cease, the rules and regulations for abortions will simply go back to each state to decide. Some states will have stricter laws then others, but the majority of states will continue to have legal abortions. Still, the prospect of another pro-life judge on the Supreme Court is good news for the pro-life crowd. (NOTE: I consider myself to be pro-life.)
Congratulations to the 81% of evangelicals who voted for Donald Trump! Your moral relativism and scriptural gymnastics used for justifying a vote for him seems to be working. You were right and I was wrong…sort of…in an “end justifies the means sort of way.”
But what now? The holy grail of the conservative movement (overturning Roe v. Wade) is within reach. What’s next? Some say the Marriage Equality Act is next. We shall see. But I want to talk about what we, the church, should be doing in preparation for the abolishment of Roe v. Wade.
Over and over again the Old Testament tells us to care for orphans. Our definition of orphan is a child who has neither a mother or a father. But that is not the biblical definition! The Hebrew word, translated “orphan” simply means “fatherless.” Thus, an orphan was any child who did not have a father! This is why, almost every time the word “orphan” is used, it is also in the context of caring for “widows” as well, some of whom would be single moms. Furthermore, to be “fatherless” extended far beyond a child whose father had died to include children who no longer lived with their fathers or whose fathers had deserted them. Thus, for some, Moses was considered an orphan because he did not live with his dad and was raised by Pharaoh’s daughter, whom the bible never says was married. Apparently, she raised him as a single mom! By this definition of “orphan,” assuming Joseph died before Jesus reached adulthood, Jesus, Himself, was an orphan! Then, James, the brother of Jesus, more than likely an orphan himself, wrote, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” (James 1:27). As a church, we have a clear mandate to support single moms and their children. There is no way around it. It’s as close to a command as you can get.
Why bring this up?
Being pro-life means far more then being anti-abortion. If Roe v. Wade is overturned there will be more orphans and single moms in need of care. Regardless of the reasons women have abortions (and there are many and it is far more complex then “for the sake of convenience”), if abortions become illegal or more restrictive, more women will carry their babies to term. As a church, especially since we have fought hard to protect the unborn, we have to be ready, willing, and able to help care for the born. We will need to spend our resources on caring for kids and single moms instead of on programs and cool staging. We will need more daycares and community centers and after school activities and less gymatoriums and coffee bars and bookstores.
As I see it, a church committed to pro-life (or anti-abortion) will need to address ministering to “orphans” and single moms (or parents) by…
- Teaching abstinence, but also teaching about contraceptives and “safe-sex.”
- Addressing the issues that cause women to choose abortions – poverty, abuse, education, employment, etc.
- Imploring fathers to be dads and active in the lives of their children. Even if their children do not live with them.
- Stressing the beauty of adoption and foster parenting and supporting families who choose to adopt or become foster parents.
- Loving, and not condemning or judging, the teenage girl who becomes pregnant, nor the boy who impregnated her.
- Welcoming children into the worship and life of the church.
- Assisting “widows and orphans” with housing and utility bills and medical bills, eduction, etc., etc., etc.
These are just a few suggestions off the top of my head. My point is, it’s not enough to just fight to overturn Roe v. Wade, you have to prepare for the impact stricter abortions, or no abortions, will have on those in your communities.