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Metro Atlanta pastors focus on abortion in Mother’s Day sermons

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“It would be the wrong Sunday for anyone to mess around here,” George said.

George noted in his sermon the outcry over the draft high court opinion. The judges appear poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and end the nation’s right to legal abortion.

To exploreFocus on Georgia’s anti-abortion law after draft High Court ruling leaks

“It would be easy to jump on the wrong side of the fence of this issue and go with the flow. … But as followers of Jesus Christ, this is not an option or a choice that God gives us. If we believe in him, we believe in what he says about life in the womb,” George said to applause.

Legend

At First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Reverend Anthony George mentioned the issue of abortion in the news in his Mother’s Day sermon on Sunday, May 8, 2022. “It would be easy to jump on the wrong side of the fence of this question and go with the flow. … But as followers of Jesus Christ, this is not an option or a choice that God gives us. If we believe in him, we believe in what he says about life in the womb,” George said to applause. (Photo from Church livestream)

Credit: First Baptist Church of Atlanta

At First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Reverend Anthony George mentioned the issue of abortion in the news in his Mother's Day sermon on Sunday, May 8, 2022.

Credit: First Baptist Church of Atlanta

callout arrowLegend

At First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Reverend Anthony George mentioned the issue of abortion in the news in his Mother’s Day sermon on Sunday, May 8, 2022. “It would be easy to jump on the wrong side of the fence of this question and go with the flow. … But as followers of Jesus Christ, this is not an option or a choice that God gives us. If we believe in him, we believe in what he says about life in the womb,” George said to applause. (Photo from Church livestream)

Credit: First Baptist Church of Atlanta

Credit: First Baptist Church of Atlanta

At the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, one of the largest predominantly black churches in the state, senior pastor Rev. Jamal Bryant said the draft notice is evidence that the Supreme Court of United States “has no faith in women making decisions about their own bodies.” .”

Bryant read part of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s comments that when the government controls the decision on abortion, women are “treated as less than a full adult.”

“If America is anything other than racist, it’s sexist,” Bryant said during his sermon. “It is diabolically designed to keep women out of power and in a place of subjugation.”

callout arrowLegend

At the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia on Sunday, May 8, 2022, Senior Pastor Reverend Jamal Bryant said the draft abortion notice leaked last week is proof that the Supreme Court of United States “has no confidence in women making decisions about their own bodies.” (Photo from Church livestream)

Credit: New Birth Missionary Baptist Church

At the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia on Sunday, May 8, 2022, Senior Pastor Reverend Jamal Bryant said the draft abortion notice leaked last week is proof that the Supreme Court of United States

Credit: New Birth Missionary Baptist Church

callout arrowLegend

At the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia on Sunday, May 8, 2022, Senior Pastor Reverend Jamal Bryant said the draft abortion notice leaked last week is proof that the Supreme Court of United States “has no confidence in women making decisions about their own bodies.” (Photo from Church livestream)

Credit: New Birth Missionary Baptist Church

Credit: New Birth Missionary Baptist Church

Sunday sermons in metro Atlanta reflect the ongoing debate among the American faithful – some with cautious joy and others with impending dread – as a reversal of the 49-year-old’s decision has never been more possible. .

National polls show that most Americans support access to abortion. A Public Religion Research Institute survey from March found that a majority of religious groups think it should be legal in most cases – except for white evangelical Protestants, 69% of whom said the procedure should be banned in most or all cases.

Religious groups that have historically taken a strong anti-abortion stance, including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, have urged worshipers to pray for Roe’s overthrow.

To exploreEverything you need to know about abortion in Georgia

Bishop Garland Hunt of the Father’s House in Peachtree Corners used the holiday to note that children are “blessed and ordained in the womb.”

Referring to the High Court leak, he said “God is the giver of life. God created life. “

Life, he said, begins at conception and that a woman’s body should not be “a killing zone”.

“In fact, life was already ordered before the foundations of the earth. If you really want to know, you’ve already been called before conception. Design only catches up with what God has already ordained.

No faith is monolithic on the issue of abortion. Yet many adherents of religions that do not ban abortion are dismayed that a view held by a minority of Americans could supersede their individual rights and religious beliefs.

In Judaism, for example, many authorities say that abortion is permitted or even required in cases where the woman’s life is in danger.

“This decision would prohibit abortion where our religion allows us to do so,” said Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, Scholar-in-Residence at the National Council of Jewish Women, “and it bases its concepts on when life begins on the someone else’s philosophy or theology.”

In Islam, similarly, there is room for “all aspects of reproductive choice, from family planning to abortion,” said Nadiah Mohajir, co-founder of Heart Women and Girls, a Chicago-based nonprofit that works with Muslim communities on reproductive rights and other gender issues. .

According to new data released Wednesday by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, 56% of American Muslims say abortion should be legal in most or all cases, a figure that roughly matches the beliefs of American Catholics. .

“I personally think abortion is the greatest failure of our church, of our Christian way of life,” Deacon Chester Griffin said during services at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Atlanta on Sunday. Mothers Day. “We are now in a situation where people are basically saying if you have an abortion you should go to jail. Now, I don’t know how it’s going to be, but I think as a Good Shepherd, our Jesus wouldn’t want that. Our Jesus would like to have compassion.

Griffin said he believes that over the next few months and years, women will change the world.

“I think there will be enough women saying enough. Stop this madness and start living like human beings and those of us in the church will say ‘start living like Jesus.’”

Compassion is a virtue emphasized by some Christian leaders who are calling on their staunchly anti-abortion colleagues to turn down the heat as they speak out on the issue.

Caitlyn Stenerson, pastor of the Evangelical Alliance Church and campus minister in the Twin Cities Area of ​​Minnesota, called on church leaders to “be careful,” keeping in mind that women on their pews may have had abortions for various reasons and may be grieving and struggling. with trauma.

“As a pastor, my job is not to heap more shame on people but to bring them to Jesus,” Stenerson said. “We are called to speak the truth, but with love.”