It's easy to form and tout an ideological or theological view on abortion. After all, opinions don't necessarily require one to put actions to words. It's entirely possible to have strong feelings about a subject, but to never translate those views into tangible action. For instance: Many people take a strong stance against abortion, yet they do not get involved in helping women who choose to keep their children, nor do they engage in assisting unwanted kids.
These latter points are not judgments, rather they are realities worth exploring, especially in light of a discussion that Russell Moore, dean of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary's School of Theology, recently sparked. In an interview with Religion News Service, he urged evangelicals -- particularly those who stand opposed to abortion -- to join him in supporting adoption.
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While he noted that the process isn't a good fit for every family, he alleged that pro-life values sync with adoptive inclinations. Unlike other activities that pro-life activists engage in, the faith leader said that he doesn't see adoption as a "cause" that would lead to legislative or cultural victory. Instead, it's more about spiritual obligation and serving the greater good.
"I see it more in calling evangelical Christians back to a commitment that we’ve always had to shelter the vulnerable," he told RNS. "At the level of the common good, this is something that all people should be concerned about."
Based on Christian teaching, Moore noted that evangelicals should be "pro-orphan." RNS went on to ask if adoption is a means of potentially evangelizing, as believing parents essentially have access to young people whom they can educate in Biblical teachings. Moore dismissed this notion, making an interesting comparison.
"Adoption and orphan care and foster care are not a covert means of evangelism any more than Christians having babies is a form of reproductive evangelism," he said. "It’s simply Christians love children, and part of what it means to love children is to share the gospel."
Moore went on to say that he believes the pro-life movement has grown and that, with that expansion comes a greater number of people adopting and fostering children. The emergence and continuation of crisis pregnancy centers and groups that seek to help teen mothers are two phenomena that seem to corroborate this notion. Rather than simply supporting anti-abortion policy, growth in these areas shows that people are very literally engaging at other more hands-on levels of the debate.
"You see that, for instance, in terms of crisis pregnancy centers, which now are expanding to minister to women in all sorts of ways, ranging from child care to job training," Moore added.
What do you think? Is adoption a pro-life policy that evangelicals should embrace? Take the poll, below:
(H/T: Religion News Service)