ERLC Says You Must Fight Poverty to Be “Pro-Life”

Using a talking point from the Democratic Party, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention claimed in a recent website article that you can’t really be pro-life if you aren’t trying to eradicate poverty through wealth redistribution.

Entitled We Can’t Be Pro-Life if We’re Not Fighting Poverty—written by a women’s studies professor named Katie McCoy—the article devalues the importance of promoting pro-life and abolitionist legislation and instead baits-and-switches the reader on the subject of poverty.

Let conservative Christians be heard: Being “pro-life” means we want to criminalize the practice of invading a woman’s womb and gassing, poisoning, or severing babies. It does not mean adopting leftist socialist policies or wealth-redistribution schemes or giving people free crap. Being pro-life means giving people their own lives, not promising them other people’s property.

Being pro-life means giving people their own lives, not promising them other people’s property.

The ERLC has largely been silent on the abortion fight in 2019, as a record-breaking number of powerful pro-life bills have passed state legislatures. Pro-life groups have learned largely not to count on the ERLC to lift a finger to help pass conservative anti-abortion legislation.

But have no fear, they’ll write crap like what this gender studies professor wrote about poverty alleviation, moving the goal post for what it means to be ‘pro-life.’

McCoy, who serves on the SBC’s Female Leadership Council, writes…

But there’s another characteristic of the Early Church that doesn’t seem to have the same urgency here in America, at least not in our conversations on important social issues. And it happens to be inextricably linked to the prevalence of abortions in our communities: if we’re going to be truly pro-life, we must also be anti-poverty.

McCoy then demonstrates that impoverished women kill their kids with more frequency than women in the middle or upper class.

Consider this: In 2014, 49 percent of women who had abortion procedures had incomes at 100% of the federal poverty level; that’s a single woman with no children living on $11,670 year or less. (An additional 26% of women who had abortion in 2014 had incomes between $11,670 and $23,340 per year.) 

Perhaps out of McCoy’s reasoning or thought process is the correlation between impoverished income and impoverished morality. The tie between ghetto-dwelling and ghetto-morality is more than correlational. One is usually causal. The breakdown of the family among minority groups and the lower class is the ultimate cause of poverty in those demographics (having a married mother and father is the single greatest deterrent to lifelong poverty). That means the solution to the type of child-killing immorality present in these communities is not financial, but is moral.

Amazingly, McCoy urges sympathy for murderous moms and says, “Put yourself in her shoes,” before discussing the expense of child-bearing.

She ends with, “If we’re going to speak up for the unborn, we have to speak up for the poor. If we’re really going to be pro-life, we must also be anti-poverty.”

Jesus was pro-life and defended children, saying that anyone considering hurting a child will be better off killing themselves than going through with it (Luke 17:2). Jesus was not anti-poverty and did not consider poverty eradication a goal of his ministry, saying plainly, “The poor will always be with you” (Mark 14:7).

There is a difference between being pro-charity and anti-poverty. We should help the poor. However, poverty is not something to be “against,” as though we can help that it exists. It is not an enemy that can be defeated. Poverty is the outworking of slothfulness, sin, and sometimes stupidity, which are three marks of a fallen world that will not be removed this side of glory.

The ERLC will continue to lie to Southern Baptists about their many “pro-life” efforts. JD Greear just talked about their “sanctity of life” agenda in a video about the SBC’s future. But when they use these terms, the Democrat-led ERLC does not mean they’re trying to stop abortion. Their redefinition of terms allows the ERLC to brag of “pro-life” work while doing nothing at all to end America’s assault on the unborn.


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God Bless, Cody Libolt



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