USA (MNN) — Last Friday, the March for Life took over Washington, D.C. Life Matters Worldwide’s Tom Lothamer says initial reports estimate around 400,000-500,000 people came out for the pro-life march. Representatives with Life Matters Worldwide were at the Evangelicals for Life Conference last weekend and attended the March for Life as well.
“This was the 44th annual march,” says Lothamer. “We’ve been doing this every year to highlight the sanctity of human life in this country — especially since Roe v Wade — and really rallying the people, hearing great speakers, and it’s more like a real encouragement event but also saying to the public, ‘Here’s this mass of people, men and women, who are committed to the sanctity of human life and we’re going to be here every year as long as it takes until we see Roe v Wade go off the record books.’”
An Inclusive March
The March for Life had interesting timing following the Women’s March earlier last week, which had over 500,000 attendees in Washington, D.C. While the Women’s March touted having an inclusive message supporting women’s rights, it was very exclusive when it came to pro-life feminists.
“When I think of the Women’s March — and I am definitely sure there were a lot of many women there who are really concerned about the issues of women in America and the struggles they may be facing — however, when the Women’s March banned pro-life groups and women from that march, that was very telling that they’re very one-sided, very intolerant.”
Lothamer continues, “Erik Metaxas, when he was speaking at the March for Life, he said, ‘This is the inclusive march, where as long as you’re alive, and a human being, you are welcome at this march.’ I really believe the March for Life is really the one that was tolerant and inclusive and it was saying we want to highlight, we want to promote the sanctity of human life. We believe that babies in the womb have rights, and we also want to highlight the protection of and support of women as well!”
But What Does That Mean?
In light of the recent temporary ban on refugees from President Trump, the Women’s March earlier last week, and varying responses from the Christian community to both… it has prompted people to ask, “What all do Christians really mean when they say they’re pro-life?” Some have accused Christians of being especially focused on pro-life just in relation to the unborn, but neglecting care for other vulnerable and marginalized groups.
While there are always examples of people who will validate any extreme assumption (against individuals both Christian and secular, liberal and conservative), Lothamer says this “pro-birth only” assumption is often not true when you get down to the ground-level of Christian pregnancy care centers, refugee organizations, and shelters around the United States.
“If you look at the number of pregnancy care centers in this country — upwards of 2,500 or more — [they] are very inclusive of women, whoever they are, whatever their situation, even if they’ve had an abortion, they can receive help from these centers. And they receive all kinds of help in reference to parenting, job skills, medical help, all kinds of things at these centers. That’s one example.
“When you look at the pro-life community, we’re about helping women, especially as it relates to abortion, but also we’re about helping those at the end of the life.”
And, says Lothamer, “We are supportive of refugees coming into this country and helping them. If you take, for example, Bethany Christian Services in Grand Rapids, Michigan — one of the largest ministries of its kind — they have a huge ministry to these people (refugees), finding them homes and helping them get jobs and settle in this country.”
One thing is for sure: a full range of pro-life issues are hot topics right now, and it’s encouraging that people are talking about them.
Lothamer explains that fostering such pro-life conversations and the positive actions that come from them is what Life Matters Worldwide is all about.
“We are trying to keep this at the forefront in the minds of our people. Our mission, for an example, is to assist the Body of Christ in understanding the biblical pro-life message not only in word, but in deed.”
Church, the Ball is in our Court
Now, Lothamer says it’s up to the Church to keep up the momentum about all pro-life dialogue, because people have questions and it’s going to take compassionate believers willing to engage in hard topics to point people to Christ.
“It’s really in the Church’s corner, in their court, to continue to promote this, support pregnancy ministries, continue to educate their people in how they can be more actively pro-life in deed in their communities and with their families. I think it’s the Church because if we want to talk about security, our security in reality, especially from a Christian perspective, it’s not what’s going on in Washington, not who is the president. Our security is Christ…. His call for us is to go out and be Christ-like and His change agents to a lost and dying community.”
As the Church, we should also ask ourselves hard questions and pray for wisdom on what a biblical definition of being fully pro-life means.
Lothamer offers these thoughts: “How do we care for our neighbors who live right across the street or right next to us? Are we helping them and encouraging them, showing kindness? A number of women and men can get involved in pregnancy care ministries, a number can get involved in rescue ministries in their local communities, they can help ministries for the chronically and terminally ill,…become educated, they can help connect with their legislators on these particular pro-life type of issues. And a major one, probably the main one, is for God’s people to pray for righteousness to prevail in our nation and for the Church to be revived.
“I really encourage not only myself, but my brothers and sisters out there, let’s stand up, let’s work at protecting life at all stages, in all circumstances such as sexual slavery, homelessness, abortion, end of life, and so forth.”