How to Be Pro-Life in Our Real Lives

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The Christian call to care for the vulnerable starts with facing the heightened needs in our own communities.

This year gives Christians an important opportunity to consider and grapple with what it means to be pro-life—to be a full advocate for the sanctity and dignity of human persons—in a politically fraught, death-filled time.

While fixation on social media and national politics has skewed our focus to what happens in Washington, DC, our pro-life convictions direct us to the local work that must be done and expand our moral imagination beyond partisan boxes.

In his book Resisting Throwaway Culture, professor and author Charles C. Camosy writes that our culture and economy tend to reduce “everything—including people—into mere things whose worth consists only in being bought, sold, or used.” In a throwaway culture, exploitation and oppression often become subconscious and systemic. Abortion is an obvious example of this, and Camosy writes that during the pandemic, we have seen how our elderly have been treated in a similar fashion.

Our opposition to throwaway culture should prompt Christians to vote in a way that backs their principles, to give money in support of causes they care about, and to use platforms like Facebook to raise awareness. But we must also, Camosy suggests, go beyond such things, “get our hands dirty, and move ourselves out of our safe spaces to the peripheries where we can encounter the excluded and the marginalized.”

Fighting throwaway culture is impossible when we are at a distance from each other. We will always be tempted to objectify and discard those we only encounter through screens and pixels. True love, empathy, and service happen in real presence: as we see and appreciate the entirety of the complexity and beauty before us and submit ourselves to real, physical …

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