By Angela Wittman
Can two walk together except they be agreed?
– Amos 3:3, 1599 Geneva Bible
First of all, may the Reader be aware that I’ve been a part of the pro-life movement since becoming a Christian in 1993. In fact, the right to life of the preborn and my complicit silence to their murder is the very first sin the good Lord brought to my attention after my conversion to Christ. The knowledge that as an unbeliever I had bloodguilt on my hands for not speaking up for the preborn burnt like a hot knife into the very depth of my being. But I also had true joy and freedom due to the knowledge that I was now a new creation in Christ and I could repent of that sin – and repent I did! I immediately began attending local meetings for the Christian Coalition and a local RTL group. I quickly became involved in the movement and traveled to the State House in Illinois to speak on behalf of the preborn and to Washington DC for the annual Roe v. Wade marches. My activities included campaigning for pro-life candidates and lobbying for pro-life legislation. I also began volunteering at a local Pregnancy Care Center and eventually “graduated” to protesting / sidewalk counseling at the local abortuaries, which I continued to do on a regular basis up until a few years ago. I’ve also written numerous articles on the prenatal murder of the preborn, while sharing pro-life news and information via newsletters and blogging which has now become my main ministry; I spend an average of three hours a day reading / blogging various Christian and pro-life related articles. So, my observation of the Christian pro-life movement has been built on years of direct involvement and firsthand knowledge.
May all glory be to God for saving a wretch like me and making her into a daughter of the King.
A few days ago I came across an article by Sarah Terzo posted at Live Action News, who is an atheist pro-life advocate, member of Secular Pro-Life and Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians, plus owner/creator of the website ClinicQuotes.com. In the article Sarah complains about being refused a position as a volunteer at a Christian Crisis Pregnancy Care Center:
…They were open and friendly when I told them I wanted to work there. They listened when I told them I had had a great deal of experience discussing abortion on the internet, and had helped numerous women choose life. Then I told them I was an atheist. “Sorry, we are a Christian ministry” the woman said. “We don’t have atheists or nonchristians working here. But you are free to give a donation.”
I asked them if I could have a position where I wouldn’t be called upon to counsel women. Could I do paperwork or answer the phone? The answer was no. They wanted no help from me.
As an experiment, I took up the phone book and called nine crisis pregnancy centers. I did not find a single one that would allow an atheist to volunteer.
Well, I have to applaud the CPC’s that maintained the integrity of their Christian ministries by refusing the help of an avowed atheist. I am certain that even though Sarah probably doesn’t want their prayers, she has them – including mine. But the focus of my concern isn’t Sarah Terzo being denied a position in a Christian organization, it’s the “Christians” who support Sarah and who think the Christian CPC’s were unfair and mean to her.
Here are some excerpted comments made by “Christians” at Sarah Terzo’s article “On being a pro-life atheist:”
It takes courage to join a movement which is made up mainly of people with beliefs so different from your own. It must be very hard for you sometimes, if it gets so bad as to discourage you from the cause itself. As a Christian, I imagine it would be tough for me if most of the people supporting a cause about which I cared deeply continually laced their discussion with atheistic/some-other-very-different-worldview statements and ideas. It would be easy to feel isolated and unwelcome.
I’m one of those people who prefers the use of non-religious arguments against abortion. Sure, I believe God is central to the cause, but many people aren’t looking for a religious argument. The God I believe in is a rational one and is not offended by the idea of thinking carefully about one’s beliefs. Thus, there are plenty of rational reasons behind God’s desire for the protection of the unborn. Why shouldn’t I voice them? The Pro-Life position is so logical.
Besides, this isn’t just a moral or spiritual issue; it is a legal issue in what is supposed to be a nation which separates the church from the state. If we want people to take us seriously in such a context, then we’d better know our secular arguments.
So we have that uniting us at least, and probably more. So… thank you for what you contribute to the Pro-Life movement. I actually find the existence of Pro-Life atheists to be encouraging.
Exactly. The sad reality is that Christianity has a lot of baggage. For those of us who are Christian, evangelization is tough enough. But to make our pro-life “evangelization” contingent on our evangelization of Jesus? We really up the ante.
So, I too prefer arguments grounded in human rights rather than directly in Christianity. They will appeal to a much wider scope of people, and are much harder for people to dismiss as “religiosity.”
Sarah, please please please do not ever give up the fight!! I’m so sorry to hear of your experiences. I happen to be a Christian, but my pro-life stance is rooted in the scientific and biological proof of an unborn child’s humanity. And yes, I do believe that my views on abortion happen to line up with my faith in God. However, everyone in the pro-life movement needs to embrace those from ALL walks of life, all ranges of beliefs or non-beliefs. Those who are of faith should pray hard and pray all they can, but at the same time, that does not represent every person in the movement. I’m EXCITED about groups like Secular Pro-life. I’m HAPPY to know that those who have no religious affiliation are willing to show that the pro-life community is not a bunch of bible thumpers. This is a human rights issue, not a religious issue. The overturning of Roe v Wade MUST be based off of the fact that science proves that an unborn child is a living human being and is entitled to legal protection. You, Sarah, are NEEDED! Thank you for all you have done so far. You will continue to do great things. And I know you are an atheist, but I will pray on your behalf for the hearts of the Christians in the pro-life community that have refused your help, that they realize the walls they are putting up (I hope that’s okay with you).
You’re awesome and an inspiration!!!
It appears to me that those “Christians” (if they really are in Christ) have forgotten that their first allegiance is to Jesus Christ and His commandment to make disciples of the nations. They’ve misplaced their loyalty from Jesus Christ to the pro-life cause. Instead of remaining faithful to Him, they have sold their Christian inheritance much like Esau sold his for a bowl of stew. Instead of relying upon the LORD for victory, they have chosen an arm of flesh, much like the Israelites did in the Old Testament when choosing Egypt over the LORD as an ally in war.
Sarah also complains in her article that:
A while back, I posted a poll in a pro-life forum, where I asked pro-lifers if they would march side by side or work with a pro-life atheist. Almost half of them said they would not. They told me that they would not want to be “unequally yoked” with a nonbeliever.
While Sarah is offended at the 50% who stood firm on Scripture and said they would not march or work side-by-side with a pro-life atheist, I have to express being offended at the other half who said they would and ask if they have lost their way? Isn’t our emphasis as Christians supposed to be on the Gospel? Don’t we yet understand that lives and hearts changed by the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ is what will ultimately end the holocaust of the preborn in America?
Friends, I know many of you have been preaching and praying for revival in America… But perhaps we should do some housecleaning in Christian Pro-Life America first by preaching and praying for revival there. As for me, I’ve decided to begin attending the 40 Days for Life events at local abortuaries, not to pray with the attendees, but instead to pray for them as I pass out Bible tracts.
While 40 Days for Life describes it’s mission as: “to bring together the body of Christ in a spirit of unity during a focused 40 day campaign of prayer, fasting, and peaceful activism, with the purpose of repentance, to seek God’s favor to turn hearts and minds from a culture of death to a culture of life, thus bringing an end to abortion.” It is in reality an ecumenical movement between Evangelicals and Roman Catholics as can be seen in this image posted on their “About” page: http://www.40daysforlife.com/about.cfm
One can also read their endorsement page and see that leaders from different faiths have given it their stamp of approval:
NORMA McCORVEY (Roman Catholic)
Former “Roe” of Roe v. Wade
President, Crossing Over Ministries
LOU ENGLE (Evangelical?)
President, The Call
FR. FRANK PAVONE (Roman Catholic)
National Director, Priests for Life
Pastoral Director, Silent No More Awareness Campaign and Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries
WENDY WRIGHT (Roman Catholic?)
Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute
JOE SCHEIDLER (Roman Catholic)
National Director, Pro-Life Action League
These are just a few examples of the hodgepodge of pro-life leaders who endorse 40 Days for Life. A discerning Christian might not want to promote or be part of such a group in obedience to God’s command to: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? – 2 Cor. 6:14 KJV
The ecumenical Christian might want to ask their self if they truly want all glory to go to God for ending prenatal child-murder via abortion or are they somehow seeking to undermine His work by uniting with unbelievers when He has clearly revealed in His Word that this is wrong and thus bringing glory to themselves for ending the holocaust of the preborn. Just who are you serving? The Sovereign Lord who holds the hearts of men in His hands or some man made effort destined to fail due to sin and compromise in the Christian pro-life camp?
Christians, please for the sake of the preborn, wash your hands and hearts and seek the Lord’s help in your efforts. Stop being an affront to Jesus Christ and instead be a blessing.
May God have mercy and bless this commentary. In Lord Jesus Name, I pray, Amen.
- On being a pro-life atheist (liveactionnews.org)
- Pro-Life Clinics Reject Pro-Life Volunteer… Because She’s An Atheist (patheos.com)