I was stopped in my web-surfing tracks recently by this blog title: “I’m a Pro-life Atheist, but the Pro-Life Movement is Shutting Me Out.”
After reading this post, I wanted to know if there were others like Sarah Terzo, the author of this post. A little research confirmed that, indeed, there are many atheists who actively oppose abortion. In fact, there are pro-life organizations whose membership is entirely atheist, or at least non-religious.
My survey of several posts and websites confirmed something that is disturbing. Since it manifests itself in several different ways, I am left with some questions I cannot answer. The core of the disturbance is this: Christian pro-life activists and non-Christian pro-life activists do not work well together, and the available information suggests that it is the Christians who put up the barriers. The reports of non-cooperation come from secular reporters, and I didn’t immediately find any such reports from Christian pro-life bloggers.
Here are the ways secular pro-lifers are shut out of cooperation with Christian pro-lifers:
- When secular pro-lifers volunteer to work in rescue sites where pregnant mothers receive counsel regarding the decision to keep their babies, the secular volunteers are rejected. They are rejected even if they volunteer to do clerical work where they would have no contact with the mothers.
- When secular pro-lifers try to coordinate demonstrations or publicity for the pro-life agenda, the Christian activists refuse to include them.
- When a secular mother engages in counseling about the decision to keep her baby, there may not be any literature for her to read that focuses on the right to life without including Christian religious teaching.
- When Christian pro-life advocates begin planning events or major activism, they never make any attempt to contact or coordinate with secular activists who hold the same view.
It is possible that these allegations could be refuted if a Christian activist were interviewed, but Christians have not, in the material I could find quickly, commented about even the existence of atheist pro-life organizations.
I have both Christian and secular readers, so I would really like to hear from any who care to comment. Are you aware that the pro-life movement is a big umbrella that includes both a variety of religions and completely secular groups? From your perspective, secular or religious, is there any reason all the groups cannot work together on this issue without compromising their positions on the existence or non-existence of any god? Who gains if any group advocating the right to life is shut out of the work it takes to reduce the pressure of the pro-choice advocates? I fervently desire to hear from Christians, atheists or any other group. What is your experience? What do you observe? What do you think?
I am a Christian, and I am fervently pro-life. I believe that a zygote is a human being as surely as a newborn baby or an old grandmother. My convictions are built on a combined foundation of science and faith, but I would have a hard time rejecting the help of an atheist who wanted to end the scourge of convenience abortions. I earnestly solicit your comments. What’s wrong with this picture?