In the realm of pro-life activism, there is no shortage of subverters to the cause of life. Many seek to infuse feminism as a means of absolving women of moral culpability to procuring the murder of their unborn child. Others seek to dilute the issue of life by making everything a “pro-life” issue. Then there are those who blame racism for the prevalence of abortion in America, particularly its prevalence amongst the black community. Often, these talking points come from so-called “black Christians.” This rhetoric was espoused by Woke Church author Eric Mason with Allen Parr. But more recently, it has been posited by former NFL tight end Benjamin Watson.
Benjamin Watson is known for transitioning his NFL career into a supposed pro-life activist, yet he also peddles Critical Race Theory and Social Justice under the guise of Christianity. Against those who disagree with Watson on matters of race, he will accuse them of racism. He even redefined “woke” so that any who employ the term as a pejorative are harboring “the residue of anti-blackness.” Now that he is promoting his latest book, The New Fight for Life: Roe, Race, and a Pro-Life Commitment to Justice, Watson is taking the lead for merging Critical Race Theory and Social Justice with the Pro-Life movement to advance his post-Roe agenda.
And what better platform for the millionaire athlete to air his racial grievances than on Russell Moore’s Christianity Today podcast?
The Unprepared Church
Following the introduction, one of the early themes of the podcast is the notion that “the church is not ready to actually deal with the real human needs that people face.” Without citation, Watson asserts that a recent poll found that “less than 10% of churchgoers have even heard a sermon about the issue of abortion.” Watson would go on to blame the charged partisan divide on abortion for the church’s failure to properly address the issue.
This issue has become so politically charged in our American context that immediately when you say abortion, even at a church, it’s either going to be Democrat or Republican or independent and a lot of folks don’t want to deal with that. And that’s unfortunate because in the crossfire and the collateral damage are the preborn children, and the women, and the men who are facing these decisions. When we as a body are really addressing it the way that we should because the culture has taken it and made it something that is not.
If a church is not addressing the issue of abortion, then that is not a real church. But this is the liberal doublespeak that the progressives in the church often employ: both the church is not doing anything at all, and there needs to be more support for the mothers. This doublespeak is especially evident later in the podcast when Moore cites the 2700 pregnancy centers and Watson asserts that it is easier for Christians to talk about abortion than sins in their own life, in which he is referring to racism. Pro-Life pregnancy centers exist, so this notion that the Church was unprepared for the overturn of Roe v Wade is a canard, because the infrastructure was already in place through pregnancy centers, adoption agencies, and other ministries which many American churches sponsor.
Women are Victims Narrative
One of the most subversive misconceptions regarding abortion is that the mother is also a victim, and therefore should not be held responsible for her actions, especially not criminally. While Russell Moore acknowledges that the majority of abortions are chemical abortions (mifepristone), where the mother is the abortionist, he still proceeds to express sympathy for the mothers who murder their children in the womb.
But a lot of the people in abortion clinics or taking abortion drugs are pro-life in the sense that they don’t deny that what they’re doing is an act of violence. They just think they have no other choice.
The mere acknowledgement of a fetus being a life does not negate the gruesome violence abortion entails, whether in a clinic through surgical procedure or at home with a pill. There was always another option, beginning with that of abstinence—that is not committing the sin of fornication in the first place. Then there is protection, which many of these women were not using during the sexual act leading to the abortion. But they had no other choice. It is not that they are ignorant of whether a fetus is a life, it is just that they either do not care, or believe their circumstances outweigh their responsibilities.
Watson would go on to cite his own Human Coalition’s statistic:
76% of abortion determined women say that they would prefer to parent. If their circumstances were different…many of them would say, look, if financially I was stable, if my relationship with the father was stable, if I had adequate housing, if I had a livable wage, if I had perhaps more education or childcare so that I could go to work, if I had healthcare, there are all these reasons people give. And I think part of the argument and part of the compassion that we as pro-life should have is to say for that person, those are very, very real, tangible reasons.
Why were the women unconcerned with these problems BEFORE they had irresponsible sex with an irresponsible man? It is only when faced with the consequences of their sin, they choose murder as the easier alternative. Even if they had all these things: first of all, their poor life decisions resulted in this predicament; second, they would still choose to abort because it remains the most convenient option. Watson’s statistic is a lie that is propagated to engender sympathy towards the mothers. Cynically speaking, it could be a ploy for fundraising because it engenders sympathy. Throwing money at the mothers is not going to “make abortion unthinkable” when murder is always the cheaper option.
According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, 45% of abortion customers reported having at least one prior abortion. Nearly half of abortions are repeat customers. Exposing the disgusting nature of homosexuality led to societal backlash. How much more public support to end abortion would there be if the pro-life movement exposed the true heart of the recalcitrant mother seeking her second abortion? The pro-life industry’s refusal to acknowledge the prevalence of repeat customers is to its own detriment.
Abortion in the Black Community
Then the conversation shifts towards the prevalence of abortion in the black community.
Well, if black women earn almost $0.58 on the dollar to the white male counterparts for the same job and the same education and these same black women are three to four times more likely to have abortion than their white counterparts, you tell me that this issue isn’t connected to life. And I think in this what I call new fight for life. You know, the pro-life movement needs to understand that. These different justice issues will have some sort of impact on the abortion rates…because they impact mothers and the impact fathers and the impact communities that are suffering from the stain of abortion. We can’t ignore those things.
The income disparity between black women and white men does not consider career or education, so Watson is deceptive again in using an outdated, unintelligent talking point. Furthermore, this transitions into an “every issue is a life issue” talking point to blame those who are against abortion for not supporting expanded government program.
Watson then advocates that governments ought to better fund education initiatives, tax credits, and criminal justice reform. Ironically, on the issue of education and tax credits, then Watson should be supporting conservatives, who have a tendency to value students over teacher unions and believe in tax credits for childrearing. Meanwhile, letting prisoners out of jails, under the guise of criminal justice reform, has done wonders for America’s crime rates.
Russell Moore would then lament the maternal and infant mortality in Mississippi being the highest in the nation, which they decry as being caused by a lack of healthcare. Mississippi is the most obese state in America, so if healthcare in Mississippi, which has the highest percent of blacks of any state (37.8%), is to be improved, then diet and exercise must be at the forefront, not more healthcare programs.
Watson’s book apparently employs the phrase “Jubilant Justice” which is just Social Justice rebranded. Russell Moore than posits the question of abortion being a systemic issue in the black community, claiming that white people acknowledge its prevalence yet deny systemic racism, to which Watson answers:
The funnel that feeds the abortion industry is the racism or the structural racism in America…I have to faithfully deal with an industry that that, yes, goes where people are vulnerable and disproportionately those people are black. But I also have to say, ‘why can they do that in the first place?’ Well, they can do that because of a history and a litany of policies that have been discriminatory, policies that have stripped the ability to build wealth, ongoing residential segregation, the host of other things that has happened in this country and has continued to happen in this country… And the two are benefiting from each other and it is unhelpful. And I found it to be actually insulting when people can identify one but won’t look at the other.
Basically, black people are victims and murder their children because of white supremacy. The systemic racism he describes addressed decades ago or is outright false. Housing policies have been long gone and residential segregation is likely due to poor credit when applying for mortgages. Poor decisions, like irresponsible sex, drug use, and criminal activity are more prevalent amongst the black community. Thomas Sowell writes about in Discrimination and Disparities that materialism is behind the inability of the black community to build generational wealth and that the impact of slavery has been nonexistent for a century. Rather than address the sins of the black community, it is easier for a millionaire athlete to blame systemic racism than to combat the subcultural attitudes that stem from gangster culture, rap music, racial idolatry, fatherlessness, and anti-whiteism.
Moreover, maybe white people do not see abortion as a systemic issue because the black community has supported abortion at every possible juncture throughout the past fifty years. Roe v Wade was overturned with virtually minimal support from the black community who votes 90% Democrat in each election cycle. During the 2022 elections, 90% of black women voted for abortion in Michigan’s Prop 3, so when the issue itself is on the ballot, it receives overwhelming support. Watson and Moore can claim racism all they want, but the truth remains that the black community overwhelmingly supports infanticide. Rather than address the sin within this communities, they would rather blame “the systems” and treat wicked hearts as victims.
Where are the men?
One of the final thoughts in the interview is a question posited by Russell Moore:
How do we get men to see where they fit in this and how do we get the church to really equip men to be able to learn how to be parents and to and to take responsibility and so forth?
Watson proceeds to claim that men were silent on the issue of abortion because it is a women’s issue and also cites guilt from past mistreatment.
Deep down inside so many men wonder if they have what it takes to be the men that they desire to be because most of them want to be good dads. And so specifically when it comes to abortion, when people say, “you know, it’s not a man’s issue,” sometimes that comes from hurt, honestly, and there are a lot of women who say that and they deserve to be heard. We’ve treated them terribly. We’ve disrespected them in so many ways. We have run over them. We have left them. We have treated them horribly. And so it makes sense for them to have that sort of sentiment…You’ve got to be willing to be honest and challenge other men and challenge ourselves when it comes to using our voice, using our actions, using our hands and feet to really show what this means.
While society has browbeaten men into believing abortion to be a women’s issue, this is the fruit of feminism. Watson and Moore’s conflation of men who desire to be husbands and fathers with abortion fails to address the blue haired landwhale in the room. Those quality Christian guys that they proceed to describe are not going to be interested in those abortion customers who do not value life and have high body counts. It is a complete non sequitur to avoid blaming the women for the sins they uniquely commit.
There will always be men who desire sex. Prostitution is often called the world’s oldest profession. On Seinfeld, Elaine famously quipped, “To a woman, sex is like the garbage man. You just take for granted the fact that any time you put some trash out on the street, a guy in a jumpsuit’s gonna come along and pick it up.”
It takes no effort for a woman to be a whore, yet Feminism would call this empowerment.
Abortion is a moral hazard that fuels promiscuity and prevents the formation of family units. Treating women as victims of abortions is not Christ-like, nor are black women victims of abortion that they perpetuate as both customers and voters. Benjamin Watson blames racism for abortion in the black community to the detriment of his own community. And tragically, he is not alone in this folly.
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