Yesterday’s March for Life in Washington, D.C. was a tremendous day both as a demonstration for human rights and a display of Christian unity. Catholic bishops marched with Anglican bishops and Orthodox clergy, with Lutheran and Southern Baptist leaders.
In the morning I attended an Evangelicals for life seminar co-hosted by the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Commission, featuring its leader Russell Moore and Hispanic Evangelical Samuel Rodriguez. March for Life President Jeanne Monahan, a Catholic with an angelic disposition, thanked Evangelicals for their ecumenical solidarity. Moore smilingly explained that future matches don’t need fewer rosaries but do need more Evangelicals. A fiery young Southern Baptist pastor shared his testimony of complicity in the “murder” of his own child by abortion at age 21, after which he sought God’s mercy.
Back at the IRD office, 12 Anglican bishops, including Archbishop Foley Beach, joined us for brunch in what has become a cherished annual tradition. Afterwards, IRD staff and bishops together joined many thousands for the march down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, the unofficial pro-life caucus of United Methodism hosted its annual service in the Methodist Building chapel. United Methodist theologian Edgardo Colón-Emeric of Duke Divinity School delivered a thoughtful message on the “luminosity of life,” citing St. Thomas Aquinas. General Board of Church and Society chief Susan Henry Crowe, even though her agency is not pro-life, courteously attended the service.
Sadly, one of her colleagues was less courteous. Her agency’s “Director of Civil and Human Rights” Bill Mefford tweeted a sarcastic photo of himself outside among pro-life marchers with a sign proclaiming: “I March for Sandwiches.” His tweet further explained: “I was inspired by the march for life to march for what I believe in!”
Har-har-har, and no doubt he did. Mefford’s bio on the GBCS website explains his job entails opposing the death penalty. But while defending several hundred convicted murderers evidently is imperative, the nearly 1 million unborn children destroyed every year in America apparently are a topic of mirth.
Unfortunately, Mefford’s sign and tweet embody the lack of moral seriousness in much of modern Methodism’s social witness. Some day, this church’s social witness will be redeemed. Some day.
But Mefford’s antic in no way detracted from the powerful Christian witness of more dignified church leaders. Check out some photos below, especially the robed Anglican bishops in a prayer circle.