By Shewanda Riley
It’s been less than a week since one of the most divisive Supreme Court rulings in recent years was announced. Many Christians and evangelicals gleefully celebrated how overturning Roe v. Wade, the 50-year-old legal precedent that made abortion legal in the United States, confirmed the shifting of the Supreme Court to an ultraconservative majority. Many posted on social media and taught from pulpits that it is a sign from God and an answer to decades of prayer. Others expressed equally strong disappointment that women across the United States have lost the fundamental right to make decisions about their own reproductive health.
The kind of responses I’m seeing from evangelical Christians reminds me of one of the most disturbing things I read during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation battle in 2018. It was an explanation by a pastor I followed on Facebook. The pastor callously declared that though she was a survivor of sexual assault, she did not believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. She continued that the claims were “a subversive attempt by liberal activists to stop a MAN OF INTEGRITY because they have NO MORALS, NO INTEGRITY because they have NO MORAL COMPASS!!!!”
Her words are a perfect example of evangelical Christians shamefully showing how some can’t recognize or much less show God’s grace to others or recognize the sin of other injustices The moral compass doesn’t stop at the abortion clinic. The moral compass should extend to people who are hurting like those who are survivors of sexual abuse or those experiencing discrimination and injustice. James 1:27 cautions about this kind of hypocritical behavior: “Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world. (MSG)
It seems to me that those “Christians,” like this pastor who doubted Dr. Ford’s claims of abuse, ignore the words of Matthew 7:1-2 which caution against judging others: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way, you judge others, you will be judged….” Rather than judging her and other victims of such heinous crimes, more effort should be spent praying and sharing God’s love with them.
Sadly, nearly two years after the end of the chaotic Trump presidency, the United States continues to experience great racial, ethnic, religious, and economic divisions. Even if your motivation to support Trump was because of issues like abortion, there is no scripture to justify continuing to ignore equally important issues of racial, social, and economic justice.
God will hold accountable those Christians who turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to other injustices and did not embrace the truth of Matthew 12:33 which reminds us that to “…love your neighbor … is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” In other words, no religious practice/belief or political affiliation should be more important than showing Godly love and kindness to others.
Shewanda Riley is a Dallas, Texas based author of “Love Hangover: Moving From Pain to Purpose After a Relationship Ends” and “Writing to the Beat of God’s Heart: A Book of Prayers for Writers.” Email her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @shewanda.