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Deeper Roots + Wider Branches

Pursuing Sanctification, Community & Mission

Category Archives: Public Policy

I am not a fan of everything published in Philadelphia Weekly, but I do tend to pick it up on a weekly basis mainly for their excellent “Arts & Culture” Calendar. I’ve attended several cool events that I found in PW. Lately, I’ve been picking up PW for more than just making my weekend plans. This month their “News and Opinions” section has featured some good writing on justice issues in our city. While I’ve got my beefs with PW, I definitely have to give props to the publication for talking about these issues and for reporting on tragic and hopeful local developments. Also want to give props to the writers: F.H. Rubino, Tara Murtha, and Aaron Case. Keep up the good work!

In Kensington, Renewed Hope for Troubled Souls” (2/23/11) – For my liberti church people, this is a great gospel story taking place in our own ‘hood. We should be praying for and networking with these people.  Check out Innercity Missions website.

In Philly, More Safe Places for Child-Abuse Victims” (2/16/11)- Helpful information and resources for those in our community serving children. Check out the Philadelphia Childrens Alliance for more info.

For Americans in the Sex Trade, Still Little Hope” (2/9/11)- Tragic story, but there are developments both in the city and the state to fight the injustices perpetrated against girls who have been manipulated and in some cases forced into prostitution. Also check out the documentary “Very Young Girls” and the work of Covenant House PA and Dawn’s Place.

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This past weekend was the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the historic decision which made it legal for women in the U.S. to “terminate” unwanted pregnancies. The brief sound bites and the hand full of blog posts I caught over the weekend reminded me of just how frustrated I am with this issue, with myself, and with other young evangelicals like me. While fighting human-trafficking is rather trendy right now (with many celebrities picking it as their “cause”), not many choose to fight for the rights of the unborn. I am ashamed to say that although I have deep convictions that abortion is murdering millions of children, I do very little with these convictions. I’m ashamed to say that it often takes an election season to get me thinking about the issue again. I’m sure many are in this boat with me. And yes, we have our reasons: the issue seems tired; over-politicized; we don’t like some of the ways that the generation preceding us fought this battle; we feel frustrated that passionately fighting for this cause seems to pigeon-hole us politically and culturally; often those who are making the most noise for the cause are not necessarily the people we want to be associated with; and let’s be honest- while saving the lives of orphans in Africa, and refugees, and child sex-slaves, and other trafficked humans is “hip” and will win us the praise of our friends and coworkers, fighting for the rights of the voiceless unborn (and by implication against the “rights” of the women who carry them) is simply not cool, and not something anyone is interested in discussing. People may accept that we hold this position, but the general vibe is “keep it to yourself.”

I don’t know what the solution is, but I no that silence is not it. As Christians who who care about seeking justice for the oppressed this is an issue that we should be learning about and talking about. Ok, so there are some crazy pro-life people out there! And yes, I agree (and hope) that my church is not made up of political clones who all tow the Republican party line. And yes, this is a delicate issue. But regardless of your political leanings, let us not deceive ourselves into believing that this is a personal issue on which we all may come to any opinion we like. Abortion is the termination of a human life created by God. Last time I checked, that’s called murder. I honestly don’t know what it looks like or sounds like to faithfully fight this evil in our generation, but we must figure it out. We must talk. We must read. We must do something! I (and I believe many of us) need to repent for our apathy towards this issue. Father, forgive us.

In a broken world with so many issues, there is no possible way that we can each fight against every injustice. I will be honest: I do not necessarily feel called to become an expert on the abortion issue, or to make a career out of fighting it. But I am deeply disturbed at how absent this issue seems to be in the conversations and justice-related efforts of young evangelicals, as well as in the hip urban churches that many of us populate. While I may feel called in other directions such as serving refugees and being part of church-planting, I still feel a deep conviction that somehow I should be more aware and more involved in this issue which I believe is no less important that ending the trafficking of children and adults around the world.

I guess part of what I’m trying to do here is to echo the call of Isaiah 6:8: “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” Who will be that person for this issue? Who will be the voice of our generation for the rights of the unborn? Who will lead us in this fight? Who will help us figure out how to talk about this? Who will pioneer the new approaches that are so desperately needed? Where are you? Will you please start talking?

Join IJM in asking President Obama to make the fight against human-trafficking and modern-day slavery a priority in his administration and learn about the the Child Protection Compact Act: http://www.ijm.org/justicecampaigns

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