A group of evangelical Christian women are calling on the nation to stop the Senate from rushing to confirm the next justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. This initiative, named a Call to Pause, was initiated by Lisa Sharon Harper, author and president and founder of Freedom Road LLC.
The group wants to “hit pause” on the culture wars and help others understand their beliefs that having a conservative Supreme Court justice will hurt evangelical people of color as well as the pro-life movement. Abortions have increased only among poor women in the U.S.; rates for economically stable women have hit a low.
The women leaders are also calling evangelical women to contact their senators and encourage them to appoint a more moderate Supreme Court justice, fast for 35 days, listen to stories and testimonies of people of color, and act based on discernment.
Evangelical women with varying political beliefs released statements in support of this movement:
“… History proves that the net effect of the “Culture War” results in the dismantling of protections won by the Civil Rights Movement, aided by a conservative Supreme Court. The historical data shows that the way to actually reduce abortions is to reduce poverty, not to reduce the liberties of poor people and people of color. Therefore, as a Christian leader, who is committed to the ministry of reconciliation, I urge all followers of Jesus to speak out against the collateral damage of the “Culture War” that undercuts the credibility of the gospel in a world that so desperately needs the healing and wholeness that only our God can bring.”
— Rev. Brenda Salter McNeil, Founder & President of Salter McNeil & Associates LLC, associate professor & director of Reconciliation Studies at Seattle Pacific University, and teaching pastor at Quest Church in Seattle, Wash.
“ … Our healthcare, voting rights, and education among others are in jeopardy. We will not sit by idly, as this regime attempts to place the yoke of white supremacy around our necks for perpetuity. We, Christian women of color, say ‘NO!’ The future belongs to those with the courage to speak truth; consequences be damned.”
—Ekemini Uwan, public theologian
“An ideologically independent SCOTUS nominee is imperative if Evangelicals in the U.S. are truly pro-life and not merely anti-abortion. Overturning Roe v. Wade will not reduce abortions but become a contributing factor in increasing poverty, dismantling Civil Rights, and literally moving the country back decades in terms of rights for people of color and specifically women of color. Criminalizing Abortion has become the Culture War’s rallying cry but the core of the Culture War has always been about white supremacy.”
– Kathy Khang, author of Raise Your Voice
Evangelical men also joined the call with statements of support, including Sojourners’ own Jim Wallis and Adam Taylor.
For a long time, we have seen the creation of “culture wars” used to gain political power. In the name of “pro-life” beliefs, we have seen narrow partisan mobilizations that violate what some have rightly called for instead: a consistent ethic of life. The “seamless garment of life,” as described by former Catholic Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, requires us to go deeper into what will genuinely and most broadly serve life, and the dignity of life, on a wide set of issues and concerns — like poverty, violence, racism, and capital punishment — not just the criminalization of what are tragic and vulnerable decisions often made by poor women in circumstances with great discrepancies of power.
– Jim Wallis, founder and president of Sojourners
“The Call to Pause serves as a much needed balm and bridge in the midst of our nation’s culture war. These courageous statements from evangelical women are an important reminder that as followers of Jesus we must embrace and apply the most important matters of the law- of justice, mercy and faithfulness- to our politics, including the critical decision around who will replace Supreme Court Justice Kennedy.
– Adam Taylor, executive director at Sojourners