Thank you for Kate Shellnutt’s article on the pervasive and faithful readership of the Bible by African Americans. I was not surprised by the ABS findings. The line “Historically we had to turn to our Bibles as the only source of hope, even as Scripture was being twisted to buttress our subjugation” is what makes the article make sense. Black folk don’t have the luxury of reading the Bible simply as literature because we’ve lived the hardship found on its pages.
I agree that given the right conditions, we are to be stewards, not owners of our bodies. How beautiful it is to see this witnessed in loving marriages, founded on mutual respect and love, as well as practiced in celibacy. However, we must acknowledge that aside from those of us who are privileged enough to be surrounded and supported by like-minded people, this is putting the cart before the horse. It is akin to expecting a poor child to pay attention in school when he/she hasn’t had a decent meal in days. In this example, we recognize the need to provide for more basic needs first before moving to higher ideals and needs. Yet for some reason, it is hard for us to see that this applies to so many women who are caught in the middle of this ongoing debate. Society as a whole has failed them and continues to fail to provide for those more basic needs (such as but certainly not limited to healthcare, birth control, etc.) that are required in order to move toward the ideal. Unfortunately, the abortion war will rage on in the tiresome old way as long as we insist on putting the cart before the horse. What else can a woman do but try to claim her own body as hers when she is not supported in any ...1