The Politics of Abortion : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the controversial Supreme Court decision of 'Roe v. Wade' which legalized a woman's right to choose in matters pertaining to abortion. With the exception of war no social issue is quite as divisive as abortion. Yet, curiously, the black church has historically been mute in the acrimonious debate about this topic. Many of our black clergy leaders are quick to offer unsolicited opinions about the immorality of war, the cruelty of capitol punishment, the folly of invading Iraq and the inhumane assault on civil liberties allegedly caused by Attorney General John Ashcroft. There is no lacking of critical opinion of President Bush as evidenced by the vitriolic comments made against him because of his opposition to the University of Michigan's Affirmative Action Plan. However, when the subject is abortion the black church virtually disappears from spirited debate. Why? Is abortion not a moral issue? Are black fetuses somehow not worthy of our emotional capital? Fundamentally, if we profess to be Christians, are we not to cherish the sanctity of life and acknowledge God as the ultimate Life Giver and Taker? The recent decision by the outgoing Republican Governor of Illinois to grant clemency to all death row inmates because of the imbedded corruption in convictions was the right choice. Many of our black churces rejoiced at this decision and rightfully so. Will we also rejoice for the unborn? Too many questions, too few answers. QED

-- Anonymous, January 22, 2003


I think Bible-believing black Christians recognize the evil of abortion. However the anti-abortion movement is firmly a part of the conservative agenda, and the pro-abortion movement is welded hard and fast to liberalism.

To oppose abortion the black church would need to ally with conservatives and oppose liberals. This would put them at odds with their traditional allies, and on the same page as their traditional opponents.

Rather than wrestle with this uncomfortable situation, the black church remains quiet on the abortion issue at the same time it's quite vocal on the other issues.

-- Anonymous, January 22, 2003

Professor Dickens,

I have also noticed that the black church is very silent on abortion. However, the black church is a very complex institution with a great deal of diversity. Since moving to the Richmond, Va area a few years ago, I have learned that on Sunday morning when one visits a black church you may find yourself in a catholic, episcopal, resurrection lutheran, presbyterian, methodist, AME, AMEZ, CME, baptist, or pentecostal church. Quite frankly, if you tried to put all these denominations in the same church for one year, one would probably have a fight over doctrinal differences.

Likewise with abortion, we know that God really does not like abortion. As a matter of fact God does not like sin which includes abortion, killing, racism, promiscuity, etc. I wish that people did not get abortions but sometimes women feel all alone and helpless and they get an abortion. They feel the pain of their abortion all of their lives. Therefore, I would imagine that some members of the black church have not taken a stand on this issue because they are individuals. In short, contrary to popular American opinion, black people are not a monolithic group. Sin is sin and as far as I know there is no list of sins that a group should take a stance against. A group has to be against all sin. It's up to the individual to confess his sins to the Sinless One and repent and ask for forgiveness.


-- Anonymous, January 24, 2003

RP & Jazzman:

Thanks for your observations. The political alliances that RP outlines make for the 'complexity' expressed by Jazzmzn concerning the issue of abortion. Abortion is infanticide pure and simple. Infanticide is sin - 'Thou shalt not kill'. The inconsistency of black theology (protesting against capitol punishment yet remaining reticient on abortion) severly weakens our collective credibility. It is highly unlikely Convo V, VI or VII will take up this paramount issue. Our concerns at Convos are far too pedestrian in scope. QED

-- Anonymous, January 25, 2003

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