From where Im standing it seems as though Life for you comprises a very narrow demographicone that bears a striking resemblance to you.
By John Pavlovitz
You tell me that yourevoting for Donald Trump for one reason: because youre pro-life.
Despite everything youve seen and know about this man (much of which you openly lament), you say that you just cant support someone who doesnt share your burden, and that youre voting solely this issue.
Life, you say is the ultimatedeal breaker for you.
I wish that were true.
I actually dont believe youre pro-life, I believe youre anti-abortion,which is a far more selective and convenient defense of Humanity.From where Im standing it seems as thoughLife for you comprisesa very narrow demographicone that bears a striking resemblance to you. The unborn are easy to advocate forbecause you canidealize them into something palatable to you, something benign andcomfortable, something in your own image.
You see, its not that youre really pro-life,youre pro-straight, white, Christian fetuses.
I can tell by how oftenyour heavy burden for the sanctity of life evaporates upon delivery. In so many cases this compassion really has a nine-month expiration date,as iflife begins at conception but ends upon leaving the birth canal. The completionof that third trimester is actually the shelf life of your passionate regard for much of the living.
Because if that life you say you so treasure oneday converts to Islam, you label it dangerous, you see it as a threat, you applaud suggestions of its expulsion, youdeny it open worship.
If that life eventually comes out as LGBTQ, you condemn its soul, harass it in your workplace and church, try to prevent its marriage, tell it where and when it can use a public bathroom. You bully it and drive it to suicide.
If that life has brown skin and wears baggy pants and gets gunned downduring a traffic stop, you not only have littlegrief overits loss, but readilyblame it for its own execution.
If that life is strapped toa prison gurney andpumped full of drugs that will cease its lungs from expanding while its terrified mind comprehends it all, you celebrate the occasion as justice being servedafter a last meal you resent having to pay for.
If that life has to endure its formative years in overcrowded, grossly underfunded public schools, you tell it to pull itself up by its own bootstraps, while nestled in the cloistered, privileged, gated community of a Suburbia where bootstraps come with abirth certificate.
If that life has working parents who cant makea living wage, you label it alazy, unproductivedrain on societyalwayslooking for handouts and trying to work the system to its advantage.
If that life needs healthcare because its undeveloped heart can barely beat on its own, youre suddenly empty ofempathy and low on generosityunless it can pull its own weight and pay the premiums.
If that life doesnt eat enough fruits and vegetables because it lives in urban areas where such things are scarce and financially prohibitive, you ridicule its obesity and sickness as signs of cultural overindulgence and gluttony.
If that life is sexually assaulted, you want to blame it for its promiscuity and immodesty, and wonder why it didnt just keep its legs closed and why it cant just move on and why it is so easily offended by locker room banter.
If that life is one daysent overseas todefend liberties here;separatedfrom spouses, children and parents, and placeddirectly in harms way, youre far more cavalier exposingits vulnerabilityand far less concernedabout whether or not it is sacred.
If that lifedoesnt reside in the continental U.S. or speak English and comes here fleeing oppression, poverty and war youll never understand,you ask it to goback and go through the proper channels, instead of the barely sea-worthy makeshift raft orthe stinking, stifling storage container it nearly died intrying to get here.
I wish you were pro-life, my friendI really do.
I wish all human beings mattered as much to you as Caucasianembryos do. I wish that once these diverse babies are thrust out into a violent, difficult, painful worldmany enduringdisadvantages, obstacles and trials you will likely never experiencethat you actually gave more of a damn about them.
Because if you did, Life would be far bigger to you.
You would want to do more than prevent abortions.
As vigorously, passionately and loudly
Youd want to prevent hunger and poverty.
Youd want to prevent illiteracy and child mortality and forced prostitution.
Youd want to prevent racism and bigotry and homophobia.
Youd want kids inthe bad neighborhood to have great schools and teachers just like your kids have there in the good neighborhood.
Youd want to support single parents and the terminally ill and the mentally ill by helping them carry their oversized burden.
Youd want religious freedom even for people who arent Christian.
Youd want LGBTQ people to live and work and worship and love as they desire.
Youd want people of color not to have to fear law enforcement and not to be disproportionatelyincarcerated.
Youd want fewer guns in the hands of kids andcriminals and those with mental illness.
Youd want to prevent violence and workplace termination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Youd want a living wage for all people who work hard, and healthcare for their childrenthat wont have to replace their daily meals.
These might also be deal breakers for you.
I am a person of Life. That is what my faith calls me tobe.
I dont celebrate when a womanterminates a pregnancy (I honestly dont know anyone who does), but my advocacy for life also goes wellbeyond the womb, and includes a far more diverse swath of Humanity than only those who look, speak or worship the way I do. It includes immigrants and Muslims and Atheists and my enemies.
I wish we were partners in that wider affirmation of the living, because that would be cause of celebration and reason for hope and a visible sign of Americas greatness.
I am pro-all life because it is all sacred; not only when its heart begins beating, but as it beats and when itstruggles to beat and up untilit ceases to beat.
I defend all lifeequally. I celebrate it all fully. I protect it all passionately.
I really wish you did too.
About the Author:John Pavlovitz is a pastor and blogger from Wake Forest, North Carolina. In the past two years, his blog Stuff That Needs To Be Said has reached a diverse audience of millions of people. A 19-year veteran in the trenches of local church ministry, John’s mission is to help the Church become a more compassionate, loving environment for all people. He serves on staff at North Raleigh Community Church and just finished his first book called Building a Bigger Table, due in early 2017.