It can be frustrating, at times, to be a faithful Christian in the public square. Personally, two issues dominate my activism: abortion and immigration. While they are separate and complex issues, I believe they stem from the same root belief: every person born into the world was created in the image of God.
Christian ethics has to begin the sanctity of human life (Psalm 139). Because we acknowledge God as the author of life, we protest any usurping of that power. And we heartily defend the vulnerable, whose station in life denies them equal standing.
But it’s hard to get the entrenched sides in our political movement to fully embrace the sanctify of life. Conservatives, rightly, champion the unborn. I’m grateful that consistent, unyielding pro-life advocacy has caused a dramatic shift in public opinion. The horror of the Gosnell abortion mill has awakened a new generation of advocates. Along with new restrictions, missional efforts like adoption and crisis centers are helping stem the tide of the slaughter of innocents.
Liberals, on the other hand, rightly champion the rights of the immigrant. They see each person who has crossed the board as a person, not a statistic or a problem. Thankfully, public opinion is slowing turning in favor of a firm, but compassionate solution to the eleven million undocumented people who live in our shadows.
And yet there is a stunning dichotomy on both sides of the aisle. Liberals champion the lives of the immigrant, but speak of the unborn as an inconvenience. And conservatives champion the unborn while speaking of the immigrant as an inconvenience. For many conservatives, unbending allegiance to a movement matters more than compassion for the immigrant. And for liberals, slavish devotion to pro-choice ideology trumps compassion for the unborn.
Christians must carefully navigate these issues. We must not allow our political ideology trump our theology. We must not be motivated by “putting points on the board” but by the gospel story. We must see ourselves in that defenseless baby or that helpless immigrant.
A faithful, biblical witness champions the rights of the unborn, the immigrant, the trafficked girl, and the prisoner. Life is precious, whether in the form of an unborn baby, the shape of an undocumented immigrant, the diminished value of the elderly, or the damaged soul of a prisoner. The Christian worldview does not allow us to see any life as inconvenient to our upward mobility. If we reject Darwinism in the classroom, we should reject it in public policy.
Of course good people will differ on how our leaders should address these issues. But the discussion must begin with a recognition that life at all stages is a precious gift from God.