It appears that up to 62% of Americans in the so-called battleground states think that it’s ok to abort an unborn baby 24 weeks into pregnancy if there is a chance the child suffers birth defects from the Zika virus.
Yes. You read that correctly. Sixty-two percent.
That says quite clearly that we have not converted this nation. Pro-lifers have not made our case in the marketplace of ideas, and until we make our case in the marketplace of ideas, we will never end abortion.
In spite, or perhaps because of, our Faustian bargains with politics we’ve failed to convince the larger population that an unborn child is a human being. In fact, while we have spent over 50 years engaged in Sisyphean labors to change the law through strong-arm politics, the killing fields have broadened into heretofore unthinkable areas such as rationing of medical care, euthanasia, killing comatose patients for their body parts, surrogacy, egg harvesting, animal-human hybrids and embryonic stem cell research.
The same thing has happened to us with the redefinition of marriage, and is now happening to us with religious freedom. In each case, we denied our vocation as Christians to preach and teach Christ and went off chasing after a quickie forced conversion through strong-arm politics.
Meanwhile, the other side used its considerable talents and wits to engage actively in converting the populace to its viewpoint.
We have lost in the marketplace of ideas because we really haven’t participated there. Almost all the gains we’ve made in converting the public to a culture of life is the result of efforts of splinter groups like Feminists for Life, the Center for Medical Progress and Live Action.
We’ve spent over fifty years trying to force a political solution. In the process, we’ve compromised the moral voice of the Gospels beyond all recognition by bending, twisting and trimming the words of Christ down to fit into the expediencies of partisan politics.
I am not opposed to political action. I’ve passed pro-life laws myself and I used my political wits and skill to do it. There are people walking around alive who would be dead if I hadn’t done that. I am so grateful God gave me the opportunity to serve the unborn in this manner.
But hard-ball politics is not conversion. It can be, if it’s done properly, the work of a certain segment of the converted. But it is a special anointing, that, based on my experience, I would say requires deep, scalding awareness of one’s own fallen state and complete and absolute reliance on Christ.
Most of the time, pro life political hard-ball devolves down to maneuvering and cajoling elected political puppets who signed up for the pro life cause to get our endorsement in an election to honor their commitments. Pro life people are always playing outside baseball in this game, and we have, for over 50 years, been consistently dealt from the bottom of the political deck.
What I’m saying in plain terms is that we’ve been used and manipulated and lied to and nothing has changed.
Meanwhile, after 50 years of all-out culture war 62% of the people in key states support killing a viable unborn baby because it might suffer birth defects. Nothing has changed because we’ve been dancing with the political devil, and the devil never changes. He just changes us.
While we were off trying to get people we helped elect to stop dealing us away in the back rooms, our opponents were out there converting the nation to every nihilistic socially destructive innovation that came along. While our elected officials gave us lip service, their elected officials gave them results.
I’m not saying we should abandon political advocacy. I am saying that we should never compromise any part of the Gospels of Christ to do it. That’s a tough requirement. Jesus doesn’t fit in with the world. He will always put us at odds with the powers that be, including, or perhaps most especially, political and monetary powers.
If we don’t compromise Jesus, then we are going to be forced to be outliers in the political arena. We can’t be all-in, buy-the-farm followers of anyone or anything except Christ. We have to play our own kind of political hard-ball, which involves refusing to break with the teachings of Christ, even when it is the stupid thing to do politically.
I’ve walked this road, and I have found — to my surprise and awe — that if you follow Him even when it seems like you’re deliberately doing the stupid thing by following Him, He will make it work out. All it takes is faith. That, and willingness to be a fool for Christ.
Sixty-two percent. After 50 years.
We’ve done hard-ball politics and “smart, pragmatic” political behavior to the max.
Maybe it’s time we tried following Jesus without question and trusting the result to Him.
How can Christians become more effective in the political arena without compromising their walk with Christ? Look for next week’s post for a discussion of that all-important question.