We need more pro-life Christians.
Yes, that's right. We need more sign-waving, voice-raising, vote-casting pro-life Christians.
Sr. Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK, has pointed out that most of what passes for a pro-life stance among Christians today is actually a position of pro-birth. A pro-birth position argues for a baby to be born but demonstrates little concern for what happens to that infant after she exits the womb.
The problem with a pro-birth position is that it is ill-equipped to help prevent a tragedy like the horrific hate-fueled massacre that took place in Orlando from happening. Furthermore, a pro-birth position does not necessarily stop an individual from being complicit in creating a world in which such tragedies are possible. A pro-birth position might result in a child arriving into the world but it does not pause to consider what type of world we are forcing that child to enter.
Presently, we are forcing babies to enter into a world where if they are gay they might be targeted for slaughter. We are ushering infants into a society in which deadly assault weapons can legally make their way into almost anyone's hands. We are dragging innocent young ones into a country in which the sanctity of their lives is outweighed by the sway of the gun lobby.
It would be easy for Christians to say, "We weren't the ones who stormed into that night club so this has nothing to do with us." However, consider this:
Every action we humans undertake is an opportunity to either instigate or hinder the formation of beloved community in our midst.
The Rev. Rob Schenck, President of Faith and Action, echos this notion through his call for Evangelical Christians (whom Rev. Schenck identifies as often being the biggest opponents to gun control legislation) to stop being "pro-gun." Rev. Schenck's journey on this issue is chronicled by the award winning documentary, The Armor of Light, which tells how he as an evangelical minister arrived at the conclusion that "the American obsession with guns just doesn't square with biblical teaching."
A pro-birth Christian might have little to say about guns. A pro-life Christian will say that no private citizen needs an assault rifle. Ever.
It might not have been our hatred that gunned down the scores of people at Pulse Nightclub but it is our hateful or harmful ideology that has the power to underwrite a culture of expendability when it comes to the lives of LGBTQ individuals.
Every time Christians refuse to bake a wedding cake or offer commercial services for LGBTQ folk, or rush to qualify their "tolerance" with a reminder that it still doesn't mean that they approve of the "gay lifestyle," they are saying that there is something less acceptable, less moral, and less equal about those individuals in comparison to themselves. These small refusals contribute to a larger cultural dehumanization of LGBTQ individuals, and when we make LGBTQ people less human, we allow ourselves and others to make them more expendable, more disposable, and more killable.
A pro-birth Christian might cause irreparable harm through discrimination. A pro-life Christian will do everything that he or she can to serve all members of the human race with dignity and respect.
This is why we need more pro-life Christians like the sign-waving ones who showed up to support the attendees of the 2015 Gay Christian Network Conference in Portland, OR and shielded their LGBTQ brothers and sisters from the abusive and hateful speech of the Westboro Baptist Church; like the voice-raising ones who have attended various vigils across the country and unequivocally condemned the murder of LGBTQ individuals while calling for their greater acceptance; and like the vote-casting ones at the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church who recently voted overwhelmingly to ordain four openly gay ministers despite their denomination's policy against taking such actions.
These are the types of pro-life Christians we desperately need in the wake of what happened in Orlando. These Christians help to create a world that honors and protects all lives one sensible gun law, one loving word, and one piece of cake at a time.