And so today, we see a two-pronged front in the struggle advance a humane ethic of life: Ministries and activists give support to those considering abortion. In these places of refuge, you won't find a donkey or an elephant, but ordinary Christians serving as the hands and feet of Jesus. They offer hope and healing for women who find themselves on the margins of society. They offer a cup of cold water in Christ's name, meeting physical and spiritual needs, and offering a better choice than the cold and dispassionate choice offered by abortionists.
Meanwhile, we're also seeing real, but incremental steps taken in our state legislatures to peel back the abortifacient mindset.
Work on both fronts should continue. Evangelicals are taking a long view of this struggle, and our concern isn't that we'll just "win," but in league with the historical Christian social witness, that we'll be judged a faithful witness to God, the giver of life. This isn't politics; this is the church's social witness that necessarily entails political implication.
Christians and non-Christians can and should partner together around such initiatives as clean water and poverty relief, but if man is indeed God's unique creation, if the blood of the innocents cry out to him from the ground, then surely abortion is as much a moral evil as anything else that motivates our generation to activism.
In fact, the denial of human life is arguably what triggers all other forms of activism. If we don't get our witness right on life, how can our witness on any other issue seem anything other than pyrrhic? A Christian approach to social engagement cannot be calculated through the grid of popular appeal or mass approval.
Misguided opponents on the other side of this issue would have the public believe that being pro-life is a right-wing political cause drawn up by Machiavellian political strategists to elect Republicans or worse—a conspiratorial effort motivated by patriarchy and a repressive conservative agenda to roll back the rights of women.
This couldn't be further from the truth. Being pro-life is about justice. And justice is blind—blind to color, age, gender, ethnicity, religion, or socioeconomic status. Justice is standing up for what is true, good, and beautiful; and on the issue of life, we insist that every child is a uniquely good and beautiful creation of God, and therefore deserving of life.
So we're calling all Americans and our fellow evangelicals who wince when the "A word" is mentioned. We call them to bear witness to the God of life. We call them to envision an America that no longer violates the sacred proposition on which it was founded—that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, first among them life.
Daniel Darling is the vice-president for communications for the Ethics and Religious Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is the author of numerous books, including his latest, Activist Faith. You can connect with him on Twitter: @dandarling.
Andrew Walker is the director of policy studies for the Ethics and Religious Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. You can connect with him on Twitter: @andrewtwalk.