Michael Patton questions Emerging/Emergent churchers about their attempts to downgrade the abortion issue among evangelical voters. Patton’s penetrating queries could also be addressed to Shane Claiborne, Tony Campolo, and the rest of the evangelical left. The questions are worth quoting at length:
If we have a respect for intrinsic human dignityâ€”the imago dei in all peopleâ€”which motivates us to provide a voice for the poor, for those discriminated against, and for Aids victims, how much more do we have the obligation to speak for the unborn? There are over three thousand children who are aborted each day in the United States alone (over 40 million worldwide). That is more than who died in the world trade center bombing.
Isn’t it hypocritical and imbalanced for us to speak with 10 decimals about the environment, the poor, and aids victims, and speak with only a hesitant whisper, if at all, toward the dying unborn who are being scraped from their mother’s womb?
Are you so disenchanted with a Republican agenda that you neglect these little ones for fear of being identified with the religious right?
If so, wouldn’t this neglect through disenchantment evidence an irresponsible and, indeed, sinful reaction that is totally inconsistent with the missio dei?
Even if we have, as of yet, not been able to do anything about abortion (which I do not concedeâ€”read Beckwith’s book), does this mean that we silence our passions and lay down our political arms in a democratic society where the people are the government?
Here is some more difficult questions:
Do you think slavery should have been abolished (or could have been) through a gentle appeal to the mass public to do what is right at the same time as keeping it legal?
Should America have given up on the abolition of slavery because for hundreds of years political activists were not able to do anything about it?
Do you think that it was right, in hindsight to have gone to war over the issue of slavery?
If so, would you support such a warâ€”a civil warâ€”over abortion. If not, why not? What is the difference?
Do you, as an emerger, believe that life begins at conception? Or are some emergersâ€”social emergersâ€”uncertain about when life begins? Is this why you don’t speak about it?
If you don’t speak to this issue, do you really expect people to listen to you about others? Why? Sometimes silence can speak louder than words. In other words, there is a message in silence.
Go read the rest of this at Reclaiming the Mind Ministries.
(HT: Justin Taylor)