By Scott Tibbs, April 11, 2018
I do not accept your premise. That, in a nutshell, is my response to a Raw Story article on why evangelical Christians do not care about anything other than abortion, and certainly do not care about real victims. I do not accept the premise that if we do not adopt Bradley Onishi's positions on the laundry list of issues he presents that we do not care about children.
First of all, the reason millions of Christians are single-issue voters on abortion is the magnitude of the tragedy. Surgical abortions are way down compared to a quarter century ago but we are still seeing nearly a million babies killed every single year. In 2016 alone in Monroe County, there were over 1,000 abortions. No other tragedy comes close to the sheer body count of abortion.
As far as the list of issues, each one could be its own post, so my refutation will be far from exhaustive.
The thing Onishi latches onto is gun control - how can you claim to be pro-life and not oppose our gun culture? How can you be pro-life and not want to "do something" about guns? But this is the first case of "I do not accept your premise." I simply do not believe that it is against pro-life principles to support the right to own guns, including so-called "assault rifles." I believe it is pro-life to support the right to self-defense, both against criminals and (in a scenario I hope never happens) against a tyrannical government.
I do not accept the premise that support for expanding our massive social welfare system is necessary to be pro-life, or that it is not pro-life to support reducing the size of that system. Christians are called to care for the poor, but in Scripture that is an individual and church responsibility. There are many policy arguments about what is the best way to care for the poor. One could argue that the current social welfare system is the opposite of pro-life because of how the state has replaced fathers and enabled men to abandon their responsibilities.
Regarding war, there is disagreement among Christian conservatives on when and why we should engage in military conflict. I have become much more non-interventionist over the years, and many Christians I know worry about our willingness to go to war willy-nilly. Many Christians are also opposed to the expansion of government security theater and restrictions on civil liberties that follows military action.
But there are also arguments to be made that various military actions are needed to protect ourselves from our enemies. Whether I disagree with those rationalizations or not, that does not mean it is inconsistent with a pro-life message. I think the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a mistake, for example. Hawks and non-interventionists have different definitions of what it means to be pro-life. So, again, I do not accept the premise.
I also do not accept Onishi's premise on what it means to "love" people engaged in sexual immorality. It certainly is not loving to endorse sexual immorality, because we want those in sin to repent and be reconciled to God. Obviously, no one should be bullied, beaten or murdered. Our government school systems need to act against bullying, and our criminal justice system needs to prosecute and punish behavior when it violates the law. No Christian disagrees with that, so, again I do not accept your premise.
What about police shootings? Again: I do not accept your premise. There are bad shootings, and Christians do oppose unjustifiable shootings. But the fact that blacks are killed by police is not by itself evidence that the killings are unjustified. Whether a police officer is beaten and then defends himself, or has legitimate reason to believe someone is holding a gun, there are many cases where shootings look bad but are then revealed to be justifiable when the facts come out. Each shooting must be judged on its own merits, rather than condemning Christians for not protesting the fact that blacks are shot. Of course, there are some Christians who are damn near being cultists for the police, and that idolatry should be disciplined by their churches.
Onishi's article is little more than virtue signaling. He seeks to paint himself as better because he cares about all of these other issues, and he seeks to discredit those who do not agree with him. The article is the height of arrogance: It assumes that we must accept the premise that we are hypocrites or worse if we do not agree with him on all of these other issues. Nope. I am not interested in that.