Yesterday, Hugh Hewitt opened his show with an interview with this blog’s old “friend” Al Mohler on the anniversary of Roe v Wade. This was the opening exchange:
HH: I wanted to try and prompt pastors this weekend, even if they haven’t already thought about it, to step back and talk to their congregation about it. What was the significance of those numbers and this anniversary Dr. Mohler?
AM: Well, when you consider the fact that you’re talking about 55 million unborn people have been aborted in American since Roe v Wade, and you are talking about single judicial decision that quite literally changed the entire landscape of America. And lead to a revolution in terms of our moral life that goes far beyond what most people can imagine. It’s not only about abortion, but about an entire set of issues that flow from it. But the bottom line is that abortion on demand is still the law of the land forty years after Roe v Wade.
I can think of little that better encapsulate where the church has gone wrong in terms of what its influence is and how to use it. Simply put, no court decision can lead to a “moral revolution.” That is just sophistry. Making something legal does not make it moral. If the church did its job very well and all Americans were practicing Christians, abortions would not happen, even if Roe v Wade were still the law of the land. Roe v Wade does not make people make decisions to have abortions.
In this statement, Mohler is saying it is the government’s job to establish morality. It is not. The government reflects the morality of the nation. The church is the institution that should be establishing the morality of the nation. The fact that this much abortion happens speaks as badly about the church as it does about the courts.
Now, there are lots of reasons why Roe v Wade is really bad law. It should be opposed and it should be overturned. But the moral issue is something different.
If Christianity is to regain is cultural place and influence it must admit its mistakes and failings in order to learn from them and not to repeat them. This is a big one, and a good place to start. While herightfully decries the decision, Mohler must also make plain the failings of Christianity in American that lead to the decision. How did we come to a point where so many people wanted abortion legalized? How did we come to the point that something so shameful could be legitimized? Something broke down in the American people, something it was the church’s job to build and maintain, not government’s.