Voters in Lubbock, Texas are being asked to consider a proposal for a city ordinance which will create “a sanctuary city for the unborn.” It is rare that “municipal elections” generate as much interest as this one, and I expect that if this proposition wins the vote, Lubbock will likely become a news item nationally, if only briefly, as a result. There is a lot of unusual attention afforded this decision, and even I want to add my thoughts to the mix.
My neighborhood, in a nice area of town (though definitely not one of the wealthiest), is covered in political lawn signs stressing that people of Lubbock turn out to vote in favor of this proposition. There are a few signs opposing it, and I figure in other areas of town there are more of them. The local news outlets are featuring debates daily/nightly. And though I don’t expect my input to sway a single person, I want to offer some ideas that otherwise are going almost completely ignored, I think.
Allow me to come clean up front: I consider myself Christian and conservative. I also am a foster/adoptive parent whose 24/7/365 work pulls the rug out from under most (if not all) of the excuses/reasons for getting an abortion. As far as “values” are concerned, while I definitely value “the right of a woman to do with her own body as she sees fit” as a major value, I still value human life – especially “the life of the unborn” – just a little higher. In fact, I can’t think of any circumstance where when the two values are pitted against each other that I don’t value the life of the baby more than the liberty of the woman. I will always hold the value for life higher in every debate.
You would think, then, that I would be in favor of voting for Proposition A, the proposed ordinance to create a sanctuary city for the unborn in Lubbock, but I am not.
Now… if – IF – if this ordinance is in fact passed, and if it ever actually saves a life, I will be happy about that. A life saved should be celebrated, and God works in mysterious ways – even city ordinances which are far more symbolic than meaningful, and I would not want to be cut out of that party. (I wonder if there would be a party.)
But here’s the thing: I keep hearing the usual arguments on this even though in name, at least, this “sanctuary city” idea is a brand new angle. It’s still just a new gimmick in an old game.
The standard “liberal” side of the debate echoes in this proposal all over again: “Women should have the right to decide their own healthcare.” Roe v. Wade has already established the law of the land, and this ordinance will be in violation of it. This ordinance, even if put in effect, will be only symbolic for its cause, while inhibiting healthcare options on the other hand, will cost time, money, and energy to defend it in court, and is doomed to fail in the end anyway. All cost, and no real benefit. (These arguments do not reflect my values, but they are reasonable.)
On the “conservative” side, likewise echoes in this debate: “This proposition, if passed, reflects ‘the will of the people’ whether symbolic or not.” The voters should be heard and headed. This is a “Christian city” and you can go pretty much anywhere else in this land to get your abortion, but the “Christians” in this town shouldn’t be forced to aid or allow this sinful, murderous practice. And anyway, there is an exception written into the proposal allowing for abortion if the pregnancy puts the mother’s life in danger. (Also, insightful and reasonable arguments, in fact that last bit smuggling my personal values back into the abortion camp (sorta).)
My guess is that the conservatives promoting this idea want to “test” the conservative Supreme Court and see if they can’t ultimately change or undermine Roe v. Wade.
These debate points are all pretty standard by now, and we are only shoe horning them into the new idea that Lubbock might outlaw abortion within our city limits.
But you know what?
It’s all vanity.
For starts, Lubbock is no longer advertising ourselves as a “Christian” town/city. We used to, but we don’t anymore, and having lived here for the last two decades, I have noticed. This town used to actually pride itself on a robust “Christian” heritage, but that has quietly slipped away.
The “Christian” culture is still here, of course. It did not just go away. But the artifacts of “Christian” influence on this municipality are now relics of yesteryear. We have huge church buildings on nearly every street corner, but pastors are not packing the pews like they used to do. This city was historically a “dry town” up until the last decade when voters changed that too. But most telling to me is the cultural emphasis on Texas Tech University, the Buddy Holly museum, a strong economy, and decent restaurants among a few other local attractions which in no way compete with those found in Dallas/Ft. Worth or Houston. These are the ways Lubbock promotes itself in TV ads and travel brochures and efforts to attract new business.
Any mention of Jesus, of Christian faith, of religious heritage (all of which is quite strong here) has quietly yielded to the thrill of football games. Meanwhile, Jesus never – NEVER – never makes it part of his kingdom cause to write or call a congressman, test the courts of Rome with social agendas, or campaign for votes in a democratic republic. Instead, he takes the instrument of criminal execution and glorifies God in his crucified flesh. All other campaigns amount to fooling around with temple prostitutes honoring Jupiter or Mars or Zeus and friends. The “Christians” of Lubbock don’t seem to know it, but they are already divided and defeated, and joining this battle just proves it all the more.
And sure enough, nothing draws the “Christians” of Lubbock together quite like a football game (an altar to power if ever there was one). All those Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, non-denominatinals, and everyone in between, “Christians” who can’t seem to get it together for Jesus all get it together with Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, “back sliders,” hedonists, college kids, pagans, artists, “liberals” and abortion rights promoters to cheer on the local football team!
So, when the same “Christians” who passed new laws making it legal to purchase booze in this city a few years ago, and who get together to worship at the altar of Texas Tech football with all the enthusiasm and fervor of a snake-handling religious service, suddenly strike upon my value for the life of the unborn and seek to play politics with that against “liberals” in some symbolic ploy to win points for “conservatives,” I am not impressed.
Now… hear me carefully here:
I am not saying “VOTE NO on Proposition A” here. No. Not at all.
I am saying, DON”T VOTE one way or the other – especially on Proposition A.
Those promoting that proposition are doing so largely in the name of Jesus, but are taking that name in vain as they do it.
Look. I feel the angst of this too. I look at the last two presidential elections and see a whole party who champions (among other “liberal” values) abortion, the killing of the most innocent humans in the world, pit against a presidential candidate who opposes that, but who in almost every other way is so offensive to Christian values and virtue as to pulverize any semblance of unity left in this country.
And for what?
The cult of Trump.
I don’t want to claim that every little thing Trump ever did as president was bad. No. I am not a hater, certainly not for political sake. I have a short list of things I appreciate about his presidency, but on their best day they all serve lesser gods than the Kingdom of God, and that is a fact too. He was an exceedingly vain and narcissist man and president – almost diametrically opposed to any humility or love we find in Jesus, and yet due to his political twists, he became the champion of “Christians” nationwide.
He made America “great again” if you say so, but he did not glorify God. No. That was a photo op, not glorification of God. Jesus glorified God, and did it on a Roman cross. It’s a whole other category.
And THAT gets to my point here.
The right to life of the unborn might win in this election, but at what cost and with what baggage?
You “Christian” types surely know that when Jesus was born, Herod killed all the babies in Bethlehem in a vain effort to get Jesus too.
Let that bake your Christian noodle. Jesus, who took the place of Barabbas at the climax of his life, was whisked away leaving all of Rachel’s children to die in his place at the start! (Almost a divine abortion.)
I don’t think we are approaching life in this creation of God the right way. Not in Lubbock. And I don’t think an ordinance establishing us as a “sanctuary city for the unborn” is really going to honor God either. (But I will celebrate if it saves a life!)
I wonder where the prayer is on this. Pastors all over town are urging the few remaining pew packers they still have to vote in this election, but they have quietly set aside the power of prayer for the prayer for power. No, I know, they said to pray too, but they really meant VOTE. They are pimps peddling fornication in a voting booth. Pastorbation.
You know what else?
I have personal experience in Christian ministry in this town reaching out to a cheap whore with the love of Christ and making such an impact in her life that the social workers at the Planned Parenthood office actually reached out to our church to ask the ministers there what we had said or done to make such an important and profound change in the health and life of this woman.
Can you say, “Mysterious ways”???
I assure you, there was a lot of prayer and absolutely no voting going on in that one. And God was glorified when Planned Parenthood called the church to look into the light.
Why didn’t we maximize that? That should have made headlines in this “Christian” town. But I don’t think anyone hardly knows of it or remembers now.
I think we were already so sadly seduced by the vote that we hardly noticed.
And in the years since, Lubbock no longer advertises our heritage of faith as a part of the attraction of this place which might cause you to relocate here. (Not that they ever should have, but it nonetheless provides a window into my point.)
I am quite certain that if Proposition A is passed in Lubbock, Texas, whether it ever is deemed to have saved a life or not, it will actually perpetuate the fight between liberals and conservatives and will cloud the real issues about whether or not God is glorified all while “Christians” attempt to lord it over others with a vote.