By most accounts, both of the major marches in Washington, D.C. were major successes. One was a march by women protesting Donald Trump's presidency, the other an annual pro-life march calling for an end to abortion.
Both managed to get their message out loud and clear. Both were covered extensively by the media. The March for Life even had a speech from Vice President Mike Pence, the first time someone as high-ranking as the VP has ever addressed such a crowd.
It's been argued, however, by some pro-life women that the women's march missed an opportunity by not being inclusive of them. Salena Zito, writing for CNN, lamented that, "Feminists who were pro-life but supportive of social justice issues like gender equality and immigration rights were uninvited." Indeed, the Washington Post reported that the group New Wave Feminists, an antiabortion group who was originally listed as a sponsor of the women's march, was dropped by march organizers after a strong backlash. March organizers apologized to New Wave Feminists, saying, "We look forward to marching on behalf of individuals who share the view that women deserve the right to make their own reproductive decisions."
What could have been an opportunity to show credibility was instead used by opponents to shape the protests as having a partisan agenda. It's a shame, because the march I witnessed in Columbia, MO was represented by a host of issues. But when the big idea (a march for women) doesn't match up with what march organizers really want it to be about (reproductive rights), credibility gets lost.
The credibility of pro-life Christians will now be put to the test. Mere hours after President Trump severely restricted immigration from several majority-Muslim countries, Fox News reported some individuals from those countries, including refugees and those who put their lives on the line for the United States, were being detained. The New York Times reports further issues across the country and abroad.
Now will be the time for movement Christians to show whether they themselves are more than just partisans. As some of their opponents on the left like to ask, "Are you pro-life, or are you really just pro-birth?" As Christians use their Christian faith to profess their reasoning for why abortion should be ended, their credibility will rest, in part, on how they tackle some of the teachings of their faith that might be considered left of center.
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Mark 12.31
"Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.' Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'" - Matthew 25.41-45
The Women's March did, in fact, miss an opportunity to grow their movement beyond partisan limits. Will Christians supportive of the Right to Life do the same?
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