Rector's Blog: We Believe
This blog post is also available as a podcast
Friends, in the weeks to come, I will be devoting my blog(podcast) to the conversation about reproductive rights, and especially abortion. It is a difficult topic. The Christian community is founded in the unconditional love of God and is not meant to shy away from difficult conversations, but to enter into them with care and intention, with prayer and wholeheartedness.
I will seek to use this space for that kind of engagement, and as always, I will welcome your feedback.
I want to begin this extended conversation by speaking directly to women, and all people who are able to get pregnant, since you are the ones who are most directly affected by the decisions made regarding your reproductive rights.
We believe that you are made in the image of God.
We believe that you are not a mere reflection of men. You are not an addition, an appendage, or a rib: You yourself are fully human. You carry your own dignity, your own rights, your own belonging in this world.
We believe that you don’t need a man like me to tell you this for it to be true. Because you already know this to be true deep within your marrow.
We believe in helping to create a culture that honors you, that honors your body rather than objectifying it.
We believe that your body should not be treated as a partisan battlefield or political tool by those in power.
We believe your body is your own.
We believe that you should have the same rights to bodily autonomy as men.
We believe that the decision to terminate a pregnancy belongs to the person who is pregnant.
We believe that God loves you. Period.
We believe that sometimes abortion is your best option.
We believe that all life is sacred. Which means your life is sacred. And we have a responsibility to honor the sanctity of your life, of your agency.
We believe that the life within a pregnant person is sacred, and the termination of that life is always serious, and sometimes devastating.
We believe that the sanctity of unborn life should not undermine your agency.
We believe that the sanctity of unborn life should not override your health and safety.
We believe that access to a safe, legal abortion is healthcare, and treating it otherwise serves to diminish the fullness of your humanity and weaponize your own bodies against you.
We believe you don’t need us to explain to you the complexity of carrying life within you, and the decision to terminate that life.
We believe that Christians can in good conscience disagree with one another about abortion without taking it out on you.
We believe that choosing abortion does not make you less faithful, less loved, less of anything.
We believe God knows this better than we do.
We believe God Is compassionate and understanding, and will never abandon or forsake you.
We believe that the church should not be a source of judgment and shame, but a community of love and support that stands with you unflinchingly.
We believe you.
We believe the Bible never defines when human life begins, nor does the Bible articulate any injunction against abortion.
We believe using the Bible to shame or guilt you in your time of suffering is spiritual abuse.
We believe trying to take away your rights, your agency, the fullness of your humanity in Jesus’ name is blasphemy.
We believe that staying silent while other Christians shame and dehumanize you in Jesus’ name is sinful – and we know we are guilty of it.
We believe that forcing you to carry a pregnancy to term without putting into place a support system that helps and cares for you in practical ways is not reflective of God’s love.
We believe that advocating for an unborn life at your expense without putting into place a support system that helps and cares for that life in practical ways once its born is not reflective of God’s love.
We believe that even if these systems were in place and our society did reflect and embody God’s love, the choice to terminate a pregnancy would still belong to you.
We believe in Jesus Christ, whose earthly ministry acknowledged, humanized, respected, and elevated women.
We believe in Jesus Christ, who rebuked those in power when they sought to use the law to diminish, subjugate, harm, and kill women.
We believe that if the Church really is the Body of Christ, we should sincerely follow Jesus and do likewise.
We believe that privileging our comfort in avoiding hard conversations while you endlessly struggle for basic rights is sinful. We have so much work to do.
We believe you. We do not show it well enough. We do not show up often enough. We do not advocate for the repentance of our society for its treatment of you with the ferocity of John the Baptist. We have to repent of that.
We believe you.
We believe that the church and the world need to do a better job of listening to you, learning from you, being transformed by your experience.
We believe we need to learn how to entrust ourselves to your leadership and be better about following you as you lead the way.
We believe you.
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