After a generation of Christian churches emphasizing financial prosperity and the American dream, is it any wonder that when being pro-life moves beyond voting for candidates and toward dealing with an unwanted pregnancy, so many of our own slip out into the darkness of the nearest large city with a guilty conscience and an envelope full of cash?
We don't need a Christian foundation to compete with the merchants of death. We don't need one more coalition with enough signatures to counter the threatened boycotts of the abortion rights peddlers. And we sure don't need to sell bumper stickers with a line drawn through a pink ribbon.
What we need, first of all, are churches who recognize that this isn't all that surprising. Mammon is a jealous god, and he's armed to the teeth. We need to create the kind of counter-culture that constantly shines the light of Christ wherever these false gods exist in our own affections. And then we need to demonstrate what it means to believe that a person's life consists in more than the abundance of his possessions.
Let's stop highlighting how God "blesses" the millionaire who tithes. Let's stop trumpeting the celebrity football players and beauty queens as evidence of God's blessing. Let's show that God has blessed us in a Christ who never had a successful career or a balanced bank account, but who was blessed by God with life, and with children that no one can number, from every tribe, tongue, nation, and language.
Planned Parenthood has won this one. They spent a lot of money, and they'll make a lot of money. And they'll do so off the shredded corpses of children and the raped consciences of women. If Jesus' kingdom were of this world, we'd be fundraising to keep up with them.
But what we have is greater than that. We have a word that tells a pregnant young woman that we believe her Down Syndrome baby is a gift, not a health care burden. And we can offer the kind of gospel that cleanses the conscience and offers what outlasts money and power: life and that to the uttermost.
Let's work to legally protect women and children. And let's grieve that old Mammon has won the day, again. But let's not grieve like the pagans who have no hope. When it comes to the struggle for life, the color of victory isn't pink like a ribbon. It's red like a cross.
Russell D. Moore is the dean of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He blogs at "Moore to the Point," www.russellmoore.com