Last Friday, when the Supreme Court officially released its ruling on the reversal of Roe V. Wade, I was grateful that I had already written and released the Friday e-news because it would give me a week to think through my spiritual reflections. Though seven days later, my heart remains heavy and my thoughts somewhat muddled. Over this week I’ve talked with relatives, friends, members and read commentary as you have. I was nine years old when Roe v Wade was decided by the Supreme Court so I have no real memory of life under a different legal framework. But I do worry about the health and safety of vulnerable women and especially for women, children, and families without sufficient economic means.

I realize that good Christians can be found both rejoicing and lamenting over the Court’s decision. We must be careful not to claim that our own personal opinion is God’s will. The brilliant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote “The tendency to claim God as an ally for our partisan values and ends is the source of all religious fanaticism.” Though each of us can be passionate about our own beliefs and advocate for what we hold as truth, it is important to exercise humility and grace and to acknowledge the complexity of issues related to families, science, faith, and public life.

People often say that religion and politics don’t mix well. But surely God calls us to live out our faith in our whole lives, including our political viewpoints and civic engagement. Jesus’ first sermon in Luke ruffled so many feathers in his hometown that they ran him out of town. He challenged them not just on personal spiritual matters but on public responsibility saying that God had sent him to “release the captives and let the oppressed go free.” Luke said the people in the synagogue were filled with rage. Jesus was engaged in the real issues of his time and I think we are called as Christians to examine our faith by reading the scripture, talking with other Christians, reflecting deeply on personal experience, and listening to the rational sciences in order to discern wisely.

Reinhold Neibuhr wrote “Goodness, armed with power, is corrupted; and pure love without power is destroyed.” So we will continue to walk through this life as Christians seeking an integration of power and love that is life giving to all of God’s children.

Grace and Peace,