Two Ministers’ Reflections on Choice and Faith

Last Thursday, we two, Rev. Alice Diebel and Rev. Mitra Jafarzadeh, attended a training from Faith Choice Ohio.  Faith Choice Ohio is an organization of religious leaders who understand the necessity of abortion care for anyone and everyone who finds themselves in need. Abortions have been a necessary part of women’s reproductive health care since the 1500s and was legal into the early 1800s.

Did you know that?

In this training, we were introduced to the history of anti-choice activism. Did you know that anti-choice work was taken up by the same people who tried to enforce segregation through the courts? When they failed, they looked for causes that would help them keep their political power. The misinformation and bad theology they propagated resulted in a rise in conservative political engagement and activism.

(Though we did not talk about it, I cannot help but to think that the same energy is giving rise to While Christian Nationalism we see today. – Rev. Mitra)

The training also talked about the decades-long whittling away of options and how the government funds facilities called “crisis pregnancy centers.” These centers do not always offer medical care and do not have to tell the truth. People who do not have accurate information are not truly free to choose. The centers are plentiful and easy to access. The next time you drive by one, remember that they may well receive tax money that could go towards social services for children and families in need.

There are political organizations funding candidates to extend restrictions on rights to privacy and bodily autonomy. It matters how we vote, but it also matters how we organize and fundraise.

And it matters just as much if not more that we engage the conversation. When we understand our moral grounding and are willing to have real conversations, we may discover that we have more allies than we knew.

After all, of those gathered for the training were a variety of protestant Christians. Judaism and Catholicism were also represented.

Faith Choice Ohio offers trainings regularly. You do not need to be in Ohio to attend. There were several people at this training from Oklahoma. St. John’s is a border-state congregation. We need folks from both Kentucky and Ohio to engage this work.

We encourage you to learn more. Gather with a friend or two and sign up together. 

Our faith calls us to build a community where all are honored. But there can be no honor without freedom.  

Reach out. Learn, work, and help turn the tide towards freedom.

Rev. Alice Diebel                             Rev. Mitra Jafarzadeh