I am constantly perplexed by many of the things I see coming out of the Evangelical page here on Patheos. Technically, every writer on that channel is a colleague of mine, albeit only indirectly. I don’t know 99% of them, and based on what they are publishing, I rest comfortably in that fact. I mean, Mark Driscoll is still among their ranks, for God’s sake. If that isn’t a red flag, I don’t know what is.
But I digress.
The most recent article I read was by a gentleman named Grayson Gilbert, entitled “Our Cultural Moment.” I don’t know this author, but I’ve unfortunately read him before. He seems to be your typical Reformed TheoBro – a heresy hunting apologetics aficionado who unironically brands himself as relevant.
In his most recent article, he discusses – wouldn’t you know it!? – abortion. Another man with a strong opinion, laden with accusatory undertones, on what women should be doing with their bodies. Consider me not surprised! In the opening paragraph, he gets right to the heart of the demonization, writing, “With the leak of the SCOTUS draft on ending Roe v. Wade, we get a window into the soul that loves evil and death.”
Right from the jump, this bloviating blowhard poisons the well and misrepresents and maligns the pro-choice stance. He takes no care to mention all the grey areas many of us stand in, opting instead to trumpet his black and white accusatory stance for who, I’m guessing, are his tens or hundreds of thousands of monthly readers. Why? One can only guess.
This is the world in which we live, though, where Evangelical Christians don’t seem to care about nuance, about actual discussions, about anything other than being “right” (or rather, “Right”). If influencers like Gilbert did care about an actual discussion, he would never say that we love evil and death. He would acknowledge that we just have a different take on the matter. But Gilbert doesn’t care about that. Inflammatory remarks get way more clicks, and who doesn’t love those extra clicks?
But if he does happen to stumble his way onto this article, what I would tell him is this: most of us don’t like the idea of abortion. We don’t sit around excitedly wondering how many fetuses were aborted today. We don’t crack open a beer and celebrate when Planned Parenthood performs another procedure. We just don’t. What we do say, however, is that women (and all birthing people, in fact) should have access to safe and effective abortions, for a variety of reasons. Not because we love evil and death, but because we love life.
Because here’s the rub: without safe and effective forms of abortion, women will die. Abortions are going to happen, so the question isn’t whether we can eliminate abortions, it’s whether we are going to eliminate safe abortions. The SCOTUS decision, if finalized, will only do the latter. And folks like Gilbert are, in his own words, “rejoicing.”
Worse than that – and I risk my own platform by saying this – Patheos is publishing this nonsense. And I don’t call it nonsense because it disagrees with my personal take; I call it nonsense because it misrepresents and maligns the millions of us who are actually listening to those whose rights are being stripped away. It trashes the women who have had to make the difficult decision to end a pregnancy because their life was in danger. Maybe they had an ectopic pregnancy. Maybe they had maternal sepsis. Maybe they were r*ped by a family member. Maybe their baby wasn’t developing a brain or a liver. Maybe no matter what the reason, it’s none of my business and I should just shut the hell up and have empathy and compassion for them.
That would be the Christian thing to do; but it’s apparently not the Evangelical thing to do.
Are we at all surprised? I’m not. In their playbook, women are second-class citizens. They belong at home, cooking and cleaning, making sure everything is set up for their men to succeed. If they dare speak up for themselves, the Bible is thrown at them with full force. And then, because of this conservative cultural milieu, when we all start leaving the faith in droves, they call us demonic, reprobates, lovers of evil.
And again, my publisher allows this nonsense to be published.
It’s sad, really. It’s sad, first and foremost, that women have to deal with this. But it’s also sad that we can’t even have a conversation about the issue without being demonized. In just this article alone, Gilbert called millions of people evil, lovers of death, fools, haters of life, and demonic. Yet he’s the one who takes the moral high ground? Not impressed!
And so, if this is how Gilbert and his ilk approach this cultural moment, you can be damn sure that more and more people are going to deconstruct their faith. And for good reason. Because if this is what it means to be a Christian, then, like Elvis, Jesus has left the building.
If you wanna get to know me better, please follow me on social media. I’m pretty active on all platforms:
Also, if you’ve been digging my work on here, and want to see me be able to continue writing as close to full-time as humanly possible, please take a look at my Patreon page at www.patreon.com/mjdistefano. Even $1 a month helps bigly!!!