I am tired of people advocating for the rights of the “unborn” at the expense of the living, especially when those affected are predominantly women, those socialized as women, and people with uteruses.
Statistic after statistic of the real implications and harms of anti-choice restrictions continues to be ignored, not to mention the disproportionate effect on women of color and those furthest from systemic resources.
Most of all, I’m aggravated by so-called “Christians” using Jesus to justify their harmful actions with deadly consequences.
As David Barnhart, Methodist Pastor, notes, “‘the unborn’ are a convenient group of people to advocate for. They never make demands of you…they don’t need money, education, or childcare. They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love Jesus, but actually dislike people who breathe.”
I was raised Catholic and then broke away from the church when I came out at 18. I’ve had a long and winding path to reintroducing spirituality into my life. It took time to reframe and reclaim some Christian roots for my broad spiritual practice. The guiding force of that work, however, was my continual digging into Jesus’ original work and mission.
It’s clear in the works that were hidden from the bible, such as The Gospel of Mary Magdelene and the Gnostic Gospels that Jesus believed in women’s leadership. He knew the power of the femme divine.
Jesus showed all of this at a time when women were treated as little more than property, second-class citizens. This time is increasingly not so different than today, especially with the Supreme Court’s latest decision, along with every other anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ bill that is passed.
Every spring, my mother sends me the little black book of prayers for lent. In it, the Catholic church describes Jesus’ teachings and care for the “little ones” as more than children. The institution itself asks its followers to understand that Jesus wanted us to care for people discriminated against by society. This means women, people without access to medical care, and those shunned by the institutional religious practices of the time.
As an activist, I can see Jesus as someone who understood the concept of solidarity.
He went and spent time in communities to find out what they needed. Jesus would be at the clinics, but not to shout hate at people making the hardest decisions of their lives. He would go there to listen to their stories, hold space for their pain, and better understand their actions.
He would care about people seeking abortions who have traveled across states seeking help. Jesus would understand their love for the children they already have and their decision to prioritize them. He would hold them as they weep for being denied the care they need and deserve.
Jesus would care for these mothers, these people, these families. He would care for their children and their quality of life. I often think of Mathew 21:12 when Jesus disrupted the temple, flipping over tables and fighting against capitalist gains. I can see him today, raging against the systems perpetuating pain and hurt against women, families, and children.
Personally, I don’t believe that Jesus is coming back. But you’d better believe that if I did, I’d be worried about what he’d find in our country and the disruption he’d create at what’s being done in “his name.”
Bex Mui, she/her, is an LGBTQ+ Consultant, spiritual organizer, and founder of House Of Our Queer.