In response to widespread illegal and unconscionable activity, including the slaughter of tens of thousands of…
Thus began NSW Premier Mike Baird’s announcement last week on Facebook. Not initially seeing the rest of the announcement, and knowing Baird to be a fellow evangelical Christian, I assumed he was finally doing something about the unconscionable slaughter of tens of thousands of unborn children, and the subsequent silence of most Christian politicians.
Alas, the ‘activity’ Baird was in fact referring to – and which he announced he was shutting down – was greyhound racing. But the grandiose announcement draws attention to that which he has not outlawed, and the inconsistencies in his trendy vicar persona. I don’t doubt Baird’s Christian faith and commitment; in fact, I have good reason to regard it as quite genuine and credible. But therein lies the problem: opposition to abortion is basic to the Christian faith that Baird holds to.
Now there are no shortage of secular and scientific arguments against abortion, but for a Christian, the matter is even more straightforward. Genesis 1:27: ‘God created man in his own image.’ As to the gestational reality: ‘For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb’ (Psalm 139:13). Hence the Christian belief in the dignity and humanity of all human beings from conception. Baird, who’s studied theology and who’s no slouch when it comes to the Bible, knows all this. And he knows that humans are more import than dogs.
Of course, Baird is hardly the only politician in trouble here. The Greens are a lost cause, having fetishised abortion, making unfettered access an article of faith (and grandstanding funding commitments a campaign strategy), but the silence and inaction on abortion from Christian politicians of the other parties is scandalous.
Now they and their supporters – and Baird has a lot of Christian supporters – might argue that it would be impossible to wind back abortion access and funding. Maybe that’s true. They assure us that the MPs privately raise these issues in the party and cabinet rooms. Who’d know? The only thing we do know is that the unconscionable slaughter of tens of thousands of unborn children each year doesn’t get mentioned publically. Unlike greyhounds. But it’s a disingenuous argument anyway: politicians are forever making noise about their pet projects and wish lists, even without hope of ever accomplishing them.
So why isn’t Baird making a noise? Why aren’t his Parliamentary Prayer Group colleagues making sure the public knows the horror of abortion as they read into Hansard a description of some of the macabre procedures? Why aren’t the MPs who attend – and publically pray at – the Sydney Prayer Breakfast moving motions, and proposing laws, that would see this butchery exposed to scrutiny? The answer lies with the Christian constituency. Christianity has become so marginalised that we get giddy with excitement at the thought of a civic leader who shares or claims to share our faith, without actually expecting anything from them. MPs are good at playing the Christian card, and at trumpeting their faith at Christian election forums and local churches. What we need, however is clarity about what they will do (or attempt to do) and about what they will say publically, not just to a sympathetic audience.
Instead we have a celebrity evangelical Premier – feted by Christian groups and praised by churches – giving the game away as he assures the Guardian that he has ‘no plans to alter the abortion laws in any way’. The real scandal is that Christian MPs who jump on the greyhound bandwagon and yet remain silent on abortion are still invited to cut the ribbon at the opening of the new church hall. They are still lauded for their faith and piety in the Christian media. And, perhaps most scandalous of all, they remain on communion rolls as church members in good standing.
Christian readers, it may not be within your bailiwick to effect ex-communications. Or even building opening guest lists. But if you think Baird’s slaughter-prevention priorities a little off, use this as an opportunity to let your Christian politicians know where you stand on the unconscionable slaughter of tens of thousands of unborn children; and where they should stand, and speak, too.
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