Word From the Center: Friday, March 23, 2018

Welcome to “Word from The Center” FRIDAY, a Two-Kingdom, practical reflection on the issues of the day from the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s issue…

A Pro-Life Moment and the FACT ACT… It’s not about Abortion, it’s about Liberty.

This past Monday, March 19, 2018, arguments were heard about a case pending before the Supreme Court. The case deals with California’s controversial Assembly Bill 775, euphemistically called the “FACT Act,” the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency (FACT) Act. Its real name might more honestly be called the “Compelled Speech” act (see the article link below) for the law will actually force Pro-Life Clinics, those who disagree with the practice of abortion on a fundamental, moral level, to promote abortion to those who desire their services, those whom the clinics seek to serve.

In this upcoming decision, we’ll see how far the “weaponization of politics” has come. We’ll see whether we live in a “Live and Let live” society, or whether we live in a society that accepts no disagreements or alternative arguments concerning fundamental issues that impact us all. This case is a Liberty issue, it is about the right to hold a different view about the worth of the child in the womb. If you wish to understand that position see the arguments connected to the “Pain-Capable Act” which expresses a humane policy built upon the science of what pain and suffering a child in the womb experiences as it is destroyed. Then, understand that in resisting the FACT Act, the Pro-Life clinics are merely asking that they be allowed to maintain their view of such things as they serve their patients. To be clear then, in the California case, even if the Pro-Life, Religious Liberty view prevails, nothing at all changes about a woman’s access to abortion. Californian’s access to abortions will not be curbed in the least. The FACT case is about the right to disagree, to provide an alternative service, or at least to maintain the right not to be compelled to promote that which violates one’s conscience, even one’s humanity.

Now, as a rule, Lutherans are often reticent to take positions concerning public policy, that’s true. Generally, in public issues where all are involved, believers and non-believers, we give our people all the facts and have them vote their conscience. The LCRL describes those general attitudes as “Reformation restraint seeking justice,” and “Vocational respect seeking the truth.” (see LCRLfreedom.org for more information). We know politics, even at its best won’t save us.

But fundamental issues must be engaged because they are about God at work preserving the world for the sake of the hearing of the Gospel. When it comes to fundament issues of Life, Liberty, and marriage, these are foundational issues that ultimately define what it means to be human and humane in a civil society. To that end, knowing that God is at work in various vocations in society to preserve it, we as a believing people must make our case, even take our stand for the sake of others. That’s what this case is about. It is about having the same right to do as all others already can do, namely, letting our voices be heard unfettered. The winning of this case will allow Pro-Life people, serving others in Pro-Life clinics, to share their compassionate, humane, alternative point of view to those who seek it, uncoerced. To that end, please pray.