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Southern Baptists Shifting Toward “Safe, Legal, and Rare” Stance on Abortion

by | Jun 23, 2022 | Abortion, Feminism, Opinion, Politics, Religion, Social-Issues, The Church | 0 comments

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The Overton Window is quickly being moved as Southern Baptists increasingly shift closer to the progressive position of the last decade on abortion. The Democrat mantra on abortion used to be “safe, legal, and rare.” It was their way of disguising their pro-abortion stance as compassion for women who may have the “rare” need to kill her “inconvenient” child—you know, because it was occasionally necessary to do so. A lack of financial stability, the inability to finish school; an unwanted and surprise pregnancy that caught these mothers off guard certainly needed a failsafe to bail them out of their horrible nightmare.

And that failsafe was “safe, legal, and rare.”

Of course, that was ten years ago. The Democrat party has moved on to a new mantra—”have em’, kill em’, we don’t care.” That’s tongue-in-cheek, but it certainly sums up today’s progressive mindset toward unborn children. But not to worry, because Evangelicals are quickly filling in the void left behind by the Democrat party of yesteryear and adopting a position that’s nearly identical to Hillary Clinton’s vision of “safe, legal, and rare.”

The entire mindset behind the “safe, legal, and rare” movement was the notion that abortion is sometimes necessary. The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) has now adopted this mindset.

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To be clear, the ERLC hasn’t adopted the position that abortion should be legal—yet. Though, many Southern Baptists leaders and pastors, including Dwight McKissic, have. But the ERLC has clearly adopted the position that abortion is currently necessary. The difference between Hillary Clinton’s “safe, legal, and rare” stance and the ERLC’s “making abortion unnecessary” stance is difficult to discern save the ERLC at least states that it hopes to someday make abortion “unthinkable.”

Apparently, right now it’s thinkable, legal, and necessary—perhaps that should be the ERLC’s motto.

The ERLC is holding a conference in January dubbed the Standing for Life Conference which will feature prominent Southern Baptist speakers like Matt Chandler, Elizabeth Graham, and “Christian” hip hop artist who supports the pro-abortion failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate, Stacey Abrams.

Stand for life, the website declares, “is a collective impact alliance and movement that connects and unifies organizations, leaders, influencers and the public to affirm and protect the dignity of all human life.” Keep in mind that this is the same ERLC that opposes strong measures to end abortion. The current ERLC head, Brent Leatherwood, recently signed a joint letter calling on politicians to decriminalize women having abortions.

“Women are victims of abortion,” the letter reads, “and require our compassion and support as well as ready access to counseling and social services in the days, weeks, months, and years following an abortion.”

“As national and state pro-life organizations, representing tens of millions of pro-life men, women, and children across the country, let us be clear: We state unequivocally that any measure seeking to criminalize or punish women is not pro-life and we stand firmly opposed to such efforts,” the letter signed by the ERLC’s Brent Leatherwood stated.

Last year at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, ERLC employee, Josh Wester, argued against a resolution calling on Southern Baptists to affirm the complete and total abolition of abortion.

And last month, the ERLC posted on Twitter that the organization “will always advocate…toward a day when abortion is not just illegal, but both unnecessary and unthinkable.”

This idea, that abortion needs to be made “unnecessary,” stems from the idea that a lack of social justice, welfare, and communitarian collectivism is the actual reason we have abortions. Take for example what Russell Moore, former head of the ERLC and a self-described “communitarian”, recently wrote in an op-ed at the Washington Post.

“Moreover,” Moore writes, “the reason we have abortion at all is because of the loss of the sort of social trust that would enable communities and governments and religious bodies to care for women in crisis and for children, born or unborn.”

So, in the minds of these leftist social Marxists, we must not punish people who have abortions, we must not treat them as criminals, instead, we must support them socially and financially to such a degree that it is not “necessary” for them to have an abortion.

But let’s think about this logically through a thought experiment. Would these people, who are so hell-bent on implementing social justice and welfare programs, apply the same logic to sex abuse…or racism? “The ERLC will always advocate for racial equality…working toward a day when racism is not just illegal, but both unnecessary and unthinkable.” Or, “The ERLC will always advocate for women…working toward a day when sex abuse is not just illegal, but both unnecessary and unthinkable.”

Further adding to the confusion over whether or not Evangelicals should support legal abortions, 9Marks board member, Matthew Martens, was seen on Twitter liking and agreeing with multiple posts calling on Evangelicals to support the killing of innocent children in the womb as punishment for the crimes and bad choices of their parents. Here are a few of them:

Well, that settles it. Abortion is necessary—not believing that is “barbaric and cruel.” As Southern Baptist pastor, Dwight McKissic argued, pregnancy is a “consequence” of a choice rather than, as the Scriptures put it, “a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (Psalm 127:3) As long as the child was conceived by the consensual choice of the parents, he argues, they merit legal protection. However, if the child, through no fault of his own, is not conceived by consent of both parents or by incestual consent, that child has no right to protection. That child is less than human; abortion, in that case, is “necessary.”

I honestly never thought I’d see the day when a Southern Baptist pastor, a prominent, involved, and an outspoken one at that, would openly admit that he supports abortion in these cases. McKissic’s argument demonstrates that he is driven by leftist political ideology over biblical ideology—the two are completely incompatible. And when asked to take a stand, he repeatedly

Here’s the thing: he knows that his position is incompatible with Scripture. He knows what the Scriptures say—he concedes that here. But he decides he’s not going to abide by Scripture and “respect the mother’s choice” if she wants to kill her child.

And the Southern Baptist Convention recently affirmed all of this in a resolution passed at the annual meeting. A resolution that was submitted with strong language denouncing abortion had several sections of that strong language replaced by pro-ERLC propaganda with an affirmation that mothers shouldn’t be held accountable for it because, well, they’re just victims too.

So where does the Southern Baptist Convention stand on abortion? Ten years ago, no Southern Baptist would have argued that abortion is “necessary” and that it should remain legal. Today, that is the official position. It may not exactly be “safe, legal, and rare,” but it is certainly inching closer to that.

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