With the Supreme Court voting to overturn Roe v. Wade, one of the nation’s leading progressive theologians decried the growing risks posed by far-right religious extremism.
“Today’s decision to strike down Roe vs Wade is absolutely gut-wrenching,” said Rev. Serene Jones, the president of Union Theological Seminary, a globally-recognized graduate school of religion devoted to advancing social justice.
“For starters, it’s abundantly clear that this ruling has nothing to do with the law. It’s solely based on a distorted, warped version of Christianity that has been weaponized against women for far too long. For decades, certain Christian groups have demonized reproductive freedom by relying on a patriarchal, one-dimensional view of our Bible. Politicians have seized on this rhetoric, constantly justifying their anti-abortion crusade by referencing God.
“This is appalling on so many levels. First, the Bible does not condemn abortion. It does, however, call on us to love and support one another. It’s beyond hypocritical for the religious right to latch onto abortion while supporting policies that literally kill people, like loose gun rules and restrictions on masks and vaccine mandates. Additionally, this decision will disproportionately harm communities of color and the poor, a reality that is clearly antithetical to biblical mandates of justice for all.
“Second, America was built on the promise of freedom of religion. The belief that life begins at conception is often based in personal faith. It’s anti-American to force this idea on people who believe differently.
“As outrageous as this Supreme Court decision is, I fear that this is just the beginning. The Court has already signaled that it is open to overturning fundamental LGBTQ+ rights, like the right to marriage. This wouldn’t just strip LGBTQ+ people of their due protections; it would also unleash a wave of discrimination on top of the already-pervasive bigotry against LGBTQ+ people. I shudder to think of the harms such a ruling could cause, from increased physical violence against LGBTQ+ people to a surge in members of those communities dying by suicide.
“As faith leaders, it is our duty to fight this heretical effort to distort Christianity’s core beliefs and use religion to divide rather than unite. We must preach the love that God demands and condemn all attempts to use the Bible to justify bigotry, cruelty, and hatred.”