Dear brothers and sisters,
The sacred Scriptures describe the sons of Issachar as “men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32). These men were part of a contingent who came to King David at Hebron to help him battle Saul and claim the throne. A titanic clash was in progress; a monumental transition was imminent. We need more sons of Issachar today.
As more are becoming aware of the racial inequality and injustice faced by African Americans and other non-white people in America, there seems to be a growth of those who believe it’s time to reckon with the generational injury caused by injustice. My fellow Christians of color are relieved by this movement and heartily respond, “It’s about time.”
But even as we become more aware of injustice against those of us who’ve broken past the birth barrier, there regrettably isn’t always a similar awakening towards justice for our brothers and sisters who have yet to take their first breaths outside the womb. The bodies being broken in the streets and those being desecrated in the womb all deserve the same measure of justice, and it is time for us, as the one family of God, to say so with one voice.
I am so heartened to see and hear voices calling for lament on behalf of victims of racial violence and decrying the blatant disregard for human life outside the womb made in our God’s image. Christian circles which have been silent about ethnic justice in previous generations are now pleading the case for equality. We have been reminded that Asian, African American, Latinx, Native, and Indigenous folks are our neighbors and as such we owe them love, protection, and the respect of our concern for their survival, their wellbeing.
Isn’t it time to recognize that we need not choose between justice for all persons, whether inside or outside the womb? Can we any longer afford to stand on either side of the false chasm that separates justice based on race from justice for those whose full substance is still being formed?
We have the power and the obligation, dear friends, to boldly unify our witness to the love, righteousness, and justice of God. What does it say to the unbelieving world that some believers unequivocally support racial equity but seem far less concerned about the fate of the unborn, and that other believers are unapologetic advocates for the unborn but may only be persuaded by great effort that white supremacy is a scourge that has poisoned our union? It’s time to consider whether we are presenting a faithful and true witness to our God whose justice is not singular. There is no point on the path of human life that does not merit our inclusion in the pursuit of justice. The matter of life in the womb has been addressed by the ethicists and moralists, and they have told us, yes, there is a life at conception. So it’s now time for the jurists and magistrates, the advocates and activists, the doctors and teachers, cashiers, politicians, dads, and all of us, to take up the cause of our in-womb family with the same justice orientation as we employ on issues of race.
Shouldn’t our justice conferences and webinars and teach-ins feature speakers and information on race and pre-born justice together? Shouldn’t we all expect to grow to the place where it’s just as likely to see an African American fighting for the right of unborn people to develop and live free from violence as it is to see a white person standing for the right of an Asian woman to also live without being assaulted or killed? When we speak Imago Dei, we should just as easily see a Black woman in Harlem as we see the child she carries. As we persist to see demonstration of the time-honored creed, “liberty and justice for all,” the person being knit inside that woman should be included in our “all.” Otherwise, our justice is incomplete and our professed love is defiled because they both rest on a foundation of bias and exclusion.
Let’s press on family to mature and deepen the power of our witness with a new reconciled justice.
With love and more love,
- Pray that we will gain strength to count everything as loss to point people to Christ by declaring a unified message of justice.
- Pray that we will move out of our justice silos and show what it looks like to become fluid in our justice advocacy, able to fight racism AND personism.
- Pray for love and grace towards each other as we all learn how to live this more faithfully.