Russell D. Moore at Christianity Today on the Susan G. Komen foundation’s caving to Planned Parenthood:
This is an important victory for Planned Parenthood and the abortion rights lobby. First of all, the association with Komen is a key piece in Planned Parenthood’s effort to present itself as a “women’s health provider” rather than simply as an abortion provider. Beyond that, the surrender of the nation’s leading breast cancer awareness group to this kind of political pressure proves the clout of Planned Parenthood and their allies.
Evangelical and Catholic Christians, and our pro-life allies of all faiths, might be tempted to draw some wrong conclusions from this tragic affair. After all our years of trumpeting opinion polls showing a “pro-life majority” in the United States, this demonstrates that, when it comes to money and power, the pro-choice forces aren’t sustained simply by the penumbra and emanations of an old Supreme Court decision.
Some pro-life persons might wish that the Christian churches had as much influence in the public arena as Planned Parenthood, that we were able to mobilize as many callers and threaten as many boycotts. Some might see this as a sign that we need more money and respect. After all, if some Christian foundation had more financial firepower than Planned Parenthood, Komen might have stood firm.
In all of this, though, we can gain an opportunity to see what the abortion culture is all about: cash. Planned Parenthood and their allies use the thoroughly American language of freedom of choice and women’s empowerment, but what’s at stake, as seen here, are billions of dollars. That’s why, despite their talk about adoption as a “choice,” Planned Parenthood and others hardly ever lead women through an adoption process relative to how often they promise them the “fix” of a “terminated pregnancy.” There’s a profit motive involved in every abortion.
Christians shouldn’t be surprised by any of this. Money and power, abstracted from the lordship of Christ, always lead to violence. Pharaoh ordered the execution of the Hebrew children because they threatened his position in “the 1 percent” of ancient Egypt. Herod carried out the same decree because he wanted to protect his kingship, a kingship that carried with it the financial support of the Roman Empire.
No one, Jesus told us, can serve both God and Mammon. In saying this, Jesus personalized money in a disturbing way. When capital becomes God it, somehow, is no longer something, but someone. The demonic force of rapaciousness so distorts the soul that, when it’s threatened, someone is going to die.
The answer for those of us who cherish the lives of women and their children, regardless of stage of development, isn’t to long to compete with Planned Parenthood in the influence that comes with massive amounts of wealth. It’s instead to see, first of all, how our own captivity to Mammon devolves us in the same way.
The author goes on to exhort Christians to stop their emphasis on money and power.
He is surely right to criticize the worldliness of contemporary churches–manifested especially in those that proclaim the “prosperity gospel,” but also in the general deference we tend to pay to wealth and power.
And yet, if we are to battle legalized abortion, don’t Christians have to pursue the power to change the laws? Don’t pro-life organizations need more money? Might we become so spiritual that we withdraw from the world’s concerns and thus become complicit in the institutionalized slaughter that is the abortion industry? Don’t the world’s battles require the world’s weapons, and isn’t this legitimate in our vocation as citizens in God’s kingdom of the left?
By the way, I like Dr. Moore’s phrase” Evangelical and Catholic Christians, and our pro-life allies of all faiths.” This is not just a Catholic issue! All conservative Christian organizations will be put into the position of having to pay for not just birth control pills but also abortion pills.
UPDATE: See also Mollie Hemingway’s more hopeful article in Christianity Today entitled “The Komen Fiasco’s Silver Lining.” She points out how at least the affair unveils (1) that the Komen foundation funds abortions (2) that Planned Parenthood, contrary to the common assumption, does NOT provide mammograms (3) that the media is flagrantly biased in favor of abortion (4) that Planned Parenthood practices extortion.