Moreover, even if Roe is overturned, the issue would return to state legislatures, and abortion would probably be legal in more states than in 1972. In states where abortion was illegal, leftists would provide their version of an underground railroad, providing safe harbor and transportation for women to get abortions in states where it was legal.
Not exactly a big win for Christians, that scenario. Or for life.
Is this a call to abandon our political efforts? No. But to win any long-term political battle, we need to more profoundly engage the culture. Christians are the majority in this country, but we often act like outsiders. We keep to ourselves, and spend too little time marketing our message and our works to the outside world.
One Super Bowl ad featuring Tim Tebow and his mom did more to engage America in a discussion about life than thousands of political ads combined.
So what can we do? For openers, Christians could let every pregnant woman in crisis know we care about her, not just her baby. Such women, many of them very young, are facing the most profound decision of their lives, and they feel they have only two options: terminate the pregnancy, or go it alone as a single mom. Having a child is different from raising one, and it’s the raising part that terrifies most young single women. Many choose termination without telling anyone; that’s how hard their choice is.
Why can’t we provide a substantive third option and broadcast it to the nation? We hear stories of couples aching to adopt, and going outside the country to do it. How about setting up a network of couples seeking to adopt single pregnant girls?
We’ve got eHarmony and ChristianMingle. How hard would that be?
What if every church in America agreed to adopt one pregnant woman in need for every 100 members of the congregation? What impact would we have on those women? And they on us?
That would be one heck of a pro-life and pro-choice campaign all rolled up in one. Indeed, it would be one heck of a marketing campaign for life. And for Christians.
People who know only the media caricature of Christians would rethink everything they thought they knew about us, and why? Because we were being the best versions of ourselves.
All this storytelling just might make more converts. And a better nation.
I know because one Christian man’s story changed my life forever. His name is John Croyle. He was a star for Bear Bryant’s Alabama team in the 1970s. An NFL career beckoned, but he had a conflicting dream: He wanted to run a ranch for at-risk kids. He had a gift for working with young people, one he knew was God-given. With help from Bryant and friends, he chose the kids, not pro football, and started the Big Oak Ranch in Gadsden, Ala.
Croyle has spent his life raising and loving children whom no one else cared about. His impact has reached 3,000 kids and counting. And all without a single dime from the government. “Big John,” as his kids call him, raises millions of dollars each year, and gives those kids the love and mentoring they need every day. And all this is fueled by his faith.
Can’t we find more John Croyles and share their stories?
Look at one Christian couple, Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, and what they did for a homeless Memphis ghetto boy named Michael Oher. They took him in and raised him as their own, and watched him become a football giant. Their story, told in Michael Lewis’s book The Blind Side, and in the movie made from it, inspired a nation.
We would recruit more people to our position if they knew who we are and what we stand for. And we would engender a lot more respect from those who don’t share our beliefs.
We would also prove the efficacy of private solutions to public problems. John Croyle’s work has not only helped save thousands of kids, it has removed them from the public dole. And from the cold grip of bureaucracies ill equipped to deal with matters of the human heart and soul.
Stories matter. More than legislation or politics, they have the power to change hearts and minds.
A friend of mine recently told me a story about his son and daughter-in-law, and how the two struggled to have a baby. They tried everything modern medicine allowed, and found themselves expecting not one but three babies. Then came talk of a “reduction.” That is a euphemism for terminating a baby in the womb when multiples are involved.
The son asked his dad for advice. The dad is pro-choice. But he told his son that he and his wife should not “reduce” because that decision would haunt them the rest of their lives. Others counseled the couple to do it.
Years later, father and son were in a park watching three beautiful kids playing in the sun. Is there anyone who can’t imagine how they felt about that choice not to “reduce”?