“Today, Catholic politicians, bureaucrats, and their electoral supporters who callously enable the destruction of innocent human life in the womb also thereby reject Jesus as their Lord,” Jenky added. “They are objectively guilty of grave sin.”
“Again, I am not telling you which party or which candidates to vote for or against,” he said. “But I am saying that you need to think and pray very carefully about your vote, because a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.”
Understand, this is not an attack on the Roman Catholic church. My words would be no different if the clergy member who issued this statement was Lutheran, Episcopalian, Baptist, Pentecostal, non-denominational, or any of the other 40-some-thousand denominations out there. Upon reading the article, this is my reaction:
He is absolutely right. Except, he’s not. And here’s why.
He says that those who condone abortion are deserving of public ridicule by Christians for taking a life, which, absolutely, is against God and against our neighbor. But he’s wrong. Not because killing isn’t wrong and evil, though. Not even because we shouldn’t confront each other when we fail.
It’s because I don’t hear this same claim being made against our police officers who take a life in the course of their duty. Or against our soldiers, sanctioned murderers whose job it is to kill people we decide need to be killed. When was the last time Christian clergy en masse spoke out against these lives taken?
The truth is that every single one of us is deserving of the public ostracization and ridicule that the letter heaps onto those who condone abortion. Not one of us is better than the other. So to stand up and say, “These people are deserving of the attention while others are not” is hypocritical at best and equally sinful at worst. Those who issue statements such as these can only be truthful if their next words are, “And I’m just as guilty”. The Bishop who issued this letter, by nature of nothing else than simply being human, is just as guilty of rejecting Jesus as his Lord and has put his own salvation at risk: we all are and we all have.
We reject the love of God given to us every day of our lives, every one of us. As Paul puts it, “For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, and “Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded.” Not only have we all screwed it up, none of us can say that we are better than another or that we screwed up less than anyone else.
That’s my problem with Christianity’s “hot button” issues. Why are they more important, more hotly contested than any other issues? Why are people on one side or the other evil or un-Christian? Abortion and murder are terrible sins, and we need to wrestle with them, but so are neglecting the poor and needy, lying, exercising greed, and any other action we take or word we say that hurts God.
If we are to start publicly calling each other out on our failings, then we need to widen the scope and understand that the cross-hairs we aim at others will point right back at us, whether we want them to or not. We no longer have any high ground on which to stand. In fact, we never have.