What “White, Conservative, Christians” Really Believe- A response to John Pavlovitz

Dear Mr. Pavlovitz,

Your article “White, Conservative, Christian Friends – I Really Wish You Were Pro-Life” is a textbook example of racist, media-driven stereotypes. It constructs a shallow straw-man caricature of “white, conservative, Christians” and blames them for just about every major problem facing our society. It seems you have somehow arrived at the mistaken conclusion that you have the authority to define the authentic pro-life experience for the rest of the world and that people can’t be genuinely pro-life unless they are doing so on your terms. Your assertions are flat out wrong.  

You begin with the appalling and unfounded assertion that the only fetuses we pro-lifers actually care about are “straight, white, Christian fetuses.” Let me tell you what I know to be true:

When we adopted our special needs Chinese son, there were several other couples with us who were adding a Chinese child with a disability to their families. 14 of the 17 families were white, pro-life Christians. Many had made huge financial sacrifices and major life changes to bring an abandoned, non-white child into their household. And what about my white conservative Christian friends who have adopted black children – are they only concerned about “caucasian embryos” too?RICCARDO LENNART NIELS MAYER VIA GETTY IMAGES

Some of my most ferociously pro-life friends are hispanic and African American.  Their passion is largely due to their ability to see how the abortion industry targets and preys on their communities. This includes my Muslim friends, who see the push for abortion as a form of western cultural imperialism because their faith teaches them to value children, not dispose of them.  

One of your most sickening claims is that “white, conservative, Christians” “have little grief” when our black brothers are killed.  The reality is we are heartbroken over the violence and high incarceration rates in black communities. We know that fatherlessness is a major predictor in criminal behavior and we grieve over the fact that only 17% of black children will spend the entirety of their childhood with both their mother and father. That’s one of the reasons why most of us support traditional marriage. So if we fight for the healing of the black family, does that qualify as concern for “black embryos” in your eyes? Or when it comes to racial issues is the only acceptable “pro-life” position demonization of law enforcement?

And of course, you drag out the tired trope that advocating for traditional marriage constitutes “harassment” and drives LGBT people to suicide. We support one man one woman marriage because we recognize that mothers and fathers offer distinct and complementary benefits to children and understand that redefining marriage redefines parenthood. But you suggest that our opposition to gay marriage constitutes “bullying.”  In other words, the feelings of LGBT adults are more fragile and important than the feelings of children who will face a life of intentional fatherlessness or motherlessness due to our newly redefined definition of parenthood.

You say that if we were really pro-life, then we’d want to prevent “hunger and poverty… illiteracy, child mortality, forced prostitution…” Well guess what?  Our best shot at solving those problems is by promoting traditional marriage so that children grow up with both their mother and father.  Marriage is our greatest anti-poverty weapon, it stacks the deck in favor of kids’ social, emotional, mental and academic success, and it drastically cuts the odds that children will be abused, homeless, and trafficked.   Most of us are pro-marriage because we care about the lives of children far beyond the womb.  Does that make us “pro-life” in your book or just “homophobic”?

Some of my “white, conservative, Christian” friends are up to their eyeballs in work with the homeless, the drug-addicted, and the trafficked.  Others volunteer with at-risk public school kids and still others are fighting for school vouchers so that poor parents can get their kids into great schools rather than their children functioning as a money-magnet for failing schools with high rates of illiteracy. Many of these mean, white, conservative Christians make bags filled with socks, toothbrushes, and food that can be handed out to the ever-growing populations of panhandlers in the city. But unless we subscribe to government-funded health care for all despite the back-breaking cost to working families, we aren’t sufficiently “pro-life?”

My church, which has both “white, conservative, Christians” – and also just “conservative Christians”, is dedicated to our local food bank. Many of those (obviously-not-pro-life-according-to-your-definition) Christians deliver bags of their overflowing gardens to supplement the canned food that we regularly collect. We do this because living in an overpriced city is hard. And it’s not getting any easier with the $15 minimum wage imposed by our “progressive” city council which is driving business out and making it even harder for low-skilled workers to find any employment at all.

I know “white, conservative Christians” who have left comfortable homes and moved to to Pakistan, Iraq, and other war-torn areas, sometimes with their young children to minister to those in crisis before and after they become refugees. I know others who serve refugees here in Seattle regardless of their religion. But you seem to suggest that if we have any reservations about a massive influx of unvetted foreigners, even after observing the dramatic increase in sexual assault and violent crime across Europe because of failed refugee policies, then we are not truly “pro-life.” No critical thinking allowed. Just virtue-signal and be done with it, right?

These “white, conservative, Christians” (and a helluva lot of non-white conservatives and non-white Christians) care a great deal about protecting women from sexual assault. When addressing the problem of violence against women, I have never in my life heard one of these white, conservative, Christians say that a woman’s “promiscuity and immodesty” was to blame for the assault or suggest that they should have “kept their legs closed.” We take seriously the fact that women are more likely to be targeted for violence and that’s why we fight for women’s safety and privacy in bathrooms and locker rooms.  Indeed, we wonder why progressives are so outraged that Trump walked in on naked beauty queens, but celebrate the “new civil right” of biological men showering next to women and children.

I have “white, conservative, Christian” friends who are advocating for poor brown surrogate women across Africa and Asia who are being exploited by entitled westerners.  Why would these rich westerners think that they can treat a woman as a womb for rent and force a child into existence with the intent to deny that child her right to her mother and/or father… just because the adults really really want a baby? Probably because for years “progressives” have told adults that if they really really DON’T want a baby they can force that child out of existence through abortion.

You and I see the same problems in this world, but we have very different solutions.  You think it’s primarily government’s job to fix the problem.  I think it’s primarily my job.  And yours.  And the job of families and communities.  It’s okay to disagree.  But it’s not okay for you to use that disagreement as a platform to stereotype and stigmatize.  Don’t cheapen the fight against violence, sexual assault, exploitation, poverty, and work to save born and unborn children, just because the policies so touted by you are failing.

Do “white, conservative, Christians” have room to grow? I know that I do. But inflammatory caricatures like the one constructed in your article needlessly divides the people of our great nation.  And that doesn’t seem like a very “pro-life” approach to me.  


Katy Faust

P.S. I despise Trump.