Last Friday, the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade and immediately made the reproductive rights and overall health & safety of pregnant persons & potentially pregnant persons more dangerous.1 Clarence Thomas’s opinion also signaled an intent to reconsider and potentially overturn other precedents that would affect access to contraception, marriage equality for LGBTQ+ persons, and same-sex intimacy.
SCOTUS has delivered other conservative victories as well. Today they ruled in favor of an evangelical football coach, employed by a public school system, who led a post-game prayer at the center of the football field. Last week, they struck down a ban on the use of public funds for funding religious schools in Maine.
All of these decisions presuppose that Christianity, in general normative white Christianity and in particular conservative evangelical Protestant or conservative Catholic Christianities, will be the primary benefactors. Each of these decisions are landmark victories from the vantage point of long-term white Christian nationalists and their allies. And while it is easy to get distracted in the never-ending games of “what is a christian nationalist?” or “how do you define an evanglical” - this is not the time or place for it. Language may fumble at portraying every single nuance of belief and practice, but let this be sufficient: the long-standing political and legislative groups and the unified voting bloc that empowers, funds, and enables them have reached their plainly-stated “pro-life” goals.
What comes next, no one knows. But we do know is this: they will use their power. It does not matter how they gained it, or whether the majority of Americans disagree with them.
The enormity of these changes is overwhelming, particularly for the most at-risk, for marginalized communities, whom America heaps hardship onto. So first and foremost, take care of yourself.
From a more practical standpoint, please be cognizant of which groups you support or send funds to. This thread from Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg is extremely valuable in that regard, and highlights the role that some religious orgs have had in supporting reproductive rights:
If this is important to you, and especially if you come from a background that demonized abortion, there are entire histories of individual people of faith and faith-based organizations working to secure and provide reproductive rights. Gillian Frank, a historian of sexuality & religion, wrote a piece titled “The Surprising Role of Clergy in the Abortion Fight Before Roe v. Wade” for TIME (and is writing a book on the subject).
He built upon this story for a recent story at Slate:
It’s also worth noting that one result of white evangelical hegemony over public conversation on religion is the lack of general knowledge about faiths and beliefs that affirm reproductive rights:
Jack Jenkins @jackmjenkins1. Side note: In two separate interviews with conservative faith figures yesterday, I brought up arguments of Jewish leaders mentioned in this piece — a different religious view of when life begins, abortion can sometimes be required, etc. The responses were fascinating. https://t.co/YrqY3b266a
Another aspect of lingering white evangelical hegemony is the high-visibility of anti-choice advocates like Karen Swallow Prior, who was given an op-ed in The New York Times on Friday. (More on this later.)
There are so many different angles to this. There are so many people lamenting this rapid implementation of the Christian nationalist agenda. There is so much work to do to regain what has been lost. More will be covered here, as I gather my thoughts and highlight the work of others. Feel free to subscribe to keep up to date.
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Miss me with objections over the term “pregnant persons.” Trans, intersex, and non-binary people exist and can become pregnant. Language changes.