Rejecting Any Call for Disengagement

By Dave Andrusko

Editor’s note. My family is on vacation. While we are gone I’ll be running articles from the past 12 months that you’ve indicated you particularly enjoyed. Dave

That’s an awful lot to read today both at Today’s News & Views and National Right to Life News Today. So let me talk quickly about what relates specifically to us in a blog entry titled, “On Not Growing Weary in Doing (Public) Good,” by Rob Schwarwalder.

Suffice it to say that there has been recently, as there always have been, people of good faith who believe that because Roe v. Wade has not been overturned, this proves that it is (fill in the blank) futile, a waste of energy, a misdirected use of spiritual resources for believers to be politically engaged. With respect and generosity, this call to retire from the public square must be rejected.

Schwarwalder does a wonderful job explaining how victories are almost always incremental and then summarizing what has been accomplished because people of faith have been involved so passionately for decades. (He is primarily addressing Evangelicals in this case.)

“For example,” he writes, “when advocates of disengagement argue that after decades of Evangelical political activism, Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land, they should consider that to shift the culture is a trans-generational effort. It involves continuous and creative initiatives to persuade fellow-citizens and woo their consciences with fact and reason, grace and truth.” And that process is clearly well underway.

Schwarwalder is clear-eyed and honest. He fully understands that we have much more to do. “Yet the examples I have cited constitute real change, and with the advent of a more pro-life milieu among younger Americans, how long can Roe and its attendant evils stand?”

The irony is, of course, that this call for withdrawal follows on the heels of a tremendously successful election cycle. But to focus on a given set of wins (or losses) is to miss the point entirely, at least for Christians.

It is not ours to “choose” whether to work to save the defenseless. Whether the sun is shining or the skies are pouring rain, there is no such option, given that we have already committed our lives to a spiritual ethos grounded in respect for human life.

As such we don’t have “rights,” in this context, only an obligation to do whatever we can in love and faithfulness “to advance life-affirming biblical principles in public affairs.”

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