AMAC Exclusive – By Ben Solis
It is difficult to imagine the depths of hopelessness and despair that the followers of Jesus must have felt two thousand years ago upon the crucifixion of their Savior. Today, many Christians undoubtedly feel some sense of this pain as they face a culture determined to slander and destroy their values. But just like the disciples who witnessed the resurrection of Christ, Americans can find great joy in the fact that they are witnessing what could be the beginning of a cultural resurrection through the growing energy for the pro-life movement.
Though no pain was greater than that of Jesus, those in the crowd who had followed His ministry must have experienced incredible emotional and psychological anguish. Not only was their spiritual leader tortured and killed in front of them, but the Roman soldiers mocked and spit upon Him. They made false accusations and charges against Him while making a parody of his heavenly mission.
Here was the man who many believed had come to liberate Israel as a conquering king made to suffer the fate of a common criminal. A crown of thorns was thrust upon His head as He was mocked: “King of the Jews.”
Presiding over this all was Pontius Pilate, who Greek and Roman sources tell us was a cruel and ruthless leader. Corruption, food shortages, overpriced goods, high taxes, and oppressive government control plagued those under his rule. His tyranny seemed to have no end, as he brutally suppressed anyone who dared defy him.
This is the world that Simon Peter, James and John, Mary Magdalene, and the rest of the followers of Christ faced as Jesus was arrested and killed.
America today faces similar struggles. A turbulent economy has many worrying about being able to put food on the table. Inflation and poor policy decisions have squandered the opportunities afforded to past generations. An open border allows drugs and criminals to flow into communities. Mobs of fringe activists censor, defile, and destroy everything that is good and holy.
But in this time of angst and seeming dissolution of the bonds that used to unite us, Americans can take heart in the same words that provided hope to the faithful in Jerusalem on Easter Sunday: Peace be with you! Yes, He is alive!
There is perhaps no better reflection of the love and hope of Christ in our society today than the pro-life movement. Even as many powerful cultural institutions seek to denigrate the value of unborn life, a great grassroots movement is growing to affirm the inherent dignity and worth of the most innocent and defenseless among us.
Just last year, pro-life Americans won a victory generations in the making with the overturning of Roe v. Wade. This decision returned the power to legislate on abortion to the states, many of which subsequently passed laws to protect unborn babies from state-sanctioned murder.
This victory rested on the tireless struggle of millions of Americans who fought to change a culture of disregard for the unborn. During a debate against Democrat presidential nominee Walter Mondale in 1984, former President Ronald Reagan said, “I believe that until and unless someone can establish that the unborn child is not a living human being, then that child is already protected by the Constitution, which guarantees life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to all of us.”
But it would take nearly another 30 years for that belief to be translated into law in many states. Now, thanks to the appointment of three originalist judges by former President Donald Trump, another warrior for the pro-life movement, countless unborn lives have been saved.
In the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson decision which overturned Roe, a slew of states immediately passed laws protecting the unborn. The battle for a ban on abortions after six weeks is also underway in Florida, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Utah, while Idaho is fighting for a total abortion ban.
Last month, pro-life activist Rachel Campos-Duffy called on Americans to take on the next big challenge – the abortion pill, an anti-progesterone agent known as RU-486. Abortion providers often distribute packs of pills, leaving women and teenagers to handle this gruesome do-it-yourself project alone in their bathrooms, Campos-Duffy said, stressing that 40 percent of abortions are chemical abortions that are likely to end with complications.
In Kansas, the Republican-led state senate has passed a prohibition on prescribing abortion pills via telemedicine, and the house is still deciding. A similar battle is scheduled this year in Wyoming.
In Texas, where abortion is completely banned with very limited exceptions, a judge is considering overturning the Food and Drug Administration’s more than two-decade old approval of an abortion pill.
Lila Rose, the founder and president of the pro-life movement Live Action, has declared that this is just the start. She has singled out three courses of action moving forward, which include sending pro-life Americans into communities with resources and support for mothers, fathers, and children, continuing to place pressure in state legislatures, and winning the hearts and minds of current abortion supporters.
Already there are some promising signs that the pro-life movement is gaining ground in the culture. According to a Marist poll from last year, 71 percent of Americans want some limits on abortion – including 49 percent of Democrats and 93 percent of Republicans.
Nonetheless, there is still a difficult road ahead. Democrat-controlled legislatures in some states like New York and Minnesota have disgustingly passed laws allowing abortion virtually up until the moment of birth. Democrats in Congress are also agitating to codify abortion protections into federal law. Activists are also pushing for a ballot provision in Ohio that would cement abortion rights in the state constitution.
But here again American Christians can turn to the early Church for inspiration. Even following the resurrection of Christ, His followers faced hardship, pain, and even death at the hands of a hostile world. Paul was beheaded. Peter was crucified upside down. Thomas was pierced through by spears.
The apostles that led the ministry of Christ did not do so because they expected to be celebrated by the culture. Nor were they extraordinary men – in fact, they were chosen precisely because they were ordinary, showing that Jesus’s movement was for everyone.
Pro-lifers can take inspiration from this fact today, and know that, like the early Church leaders, their defense of truth and life can have immeasurable impact through the centuries.
Ben Solis is the pen name of an international affairs journalist, historian, and researcher.