Washington Post Channels the Spirit of Black Church ‘Evolution’ on Abortion

On the front page of Tuesday’s Style section of the Washington Post was a story on “Black churches and the abortion dilemma.” The theme of the story by Clyde McGrady and Lateshia Beachum was that “many conservative White evangelicals rejoiced” after the leaked draft opinion on abortion, black churches were more…. “complicated.”

An underline caption to a Rev. William Lamar, who “says Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. Is being ‘intellectually dishonest.’

Why? Alito’s draft opinion suggests Roe suppresses the black population and quoted Clarence Thomas that there is a“compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics.” This then is Lamar’s fuller reaction: 

“He’s being intellectually dishonest,” the Rev. William H. Lamar IV of D.C.’s Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church says of Alito’s draft opinion. “They don’t care about Black babies. You can’t care about Black babies and gut pre-clearance in the Voting Rights Act.”

You can’t? Can’t you let them live and then discuss gerrymandering? Are you “intellectually honest?” to disregard Bible verses such as Jeremiah’s “before you were formed in the womb I knew you”?

Reporters also praised Sen. Raphael Warnock for sticking with his pro-choice position and spoke to Rev. Earle Fisher, “a member of Planned Parenthood’s Clergy Advocacy Board.” 

It main point was that for black ministers, “Even among those who oppose abortion, the topic is fraught. Research shows that Black pastors are less likely to mention abortion in their sermons than White pastors of evangelical churches, and opposition is often more implied than stated directly.”

In other words, they preach more boldly on “pre-clearance in the Voting Rights Act.”

The Post reporters conclude “happily” by describing how pastors like Lynntesha Roberts Henley — who said abortion was a “distraction” from police brutality and HBCU funding — had an “evolution” and now finagle around the Bible in favor of a right-to-choose ethic: 

The 14-year-old was a pregnant girl. However, her family tried to convince her not to get an abortion. She was disappointed that her family promised to help her less than she had expected. This caused her stress, and limited her ability to live a happy adulthood. Motherhood became her focal point. Roberts Henley claims she was neutral while counseling her teenager, but that she watched her struggle afterwards.

“I grew up in the Black church, and we were always taught that murder is a sin, period. For a long time, I viewed it specifically as that,” she says. But as she grew up, “I realized that people have to make a choice that’s best for their life dependent upon what the situation and scenario is. That is how I became more open to people having the right to choose for themselves.”

PS. The story is placed below an interview with Ketanji brown Jackson, incoming Liberal Supreme Court Justice. She was asked about Alito’s leaked draft opinion very late in the interview. Was that a “good thing” or a “bad thing?” Jackson replied, “I don’t know the answer.” Do you support or oppose protesting at Supreme Court justices’ homes? “I do not have any comments.”

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