Many things have been and will be written about how Roe v. Wade came to be gutted or overturned by the Supreme Court. There have also been and will be many things written about what comes next. One important part of the story in which I am honored to have played a part, appeared as a three part series in the Mississippi Free Press by award winning journalist Ashton Pittman over the past few weeks. It tells the story of the powerful movement of Christian Dominionism, particularly the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) that has transformed evangelical Christianity and the Republican Party, and significantly powered the antiabortion movement this far. It also tells the story of the politics behind Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case before the Supreme Court that may erase Roe. Finally it also tells a story of the rising prochoice religious community that is getting organized for the long haul of reclaiming what will have been lost.
Here are a few excerpts:
‘To Rule History With God’: The Christian Dominionist War On Abortion, Part I
“If you think that America should be a Christian nation, well, what should that look like? And that’s where the dominionist agenda comes in. It’s not just any conservative thinking.”
Dominionist goals reach far beyond abortion, he said.
“While abortion and Roe and Dobbs are what we’re looking at in the heat of the moment, this is just one battle in a larger war for the world,” Clarkson said.
Pittman reports on how the Christian Right legal network Alliance Defending Freedom drafted the model legislation that states could use to ban abortion at 15 weeks gestation.
the Mississippi Legislature passed the ADF’s proposed bill, and the governor at the time, Phil Bryant, signed it into law, sparking a federal court battle that reached the U.S. Supreme Court this month.
‘God Selected This Case’: The Christian Dominionist War On Abortion, Part II
The ADF legislation was based on earlier efforts by a longtime Dominionist activist.
The Mississippi heartbeat bills were based on model legislation spearheaded by Janet Porter, a zealous anti-abortion advocate who has long espoused the ideas of Seven Mountains Dominionism and who has ties to NAR leaders like Cindy Jacobs, Dutch Sheets and Lou Engle. Sheets and Engle joined her for a 2011 prayer rally in support of her early efforts to pass the heartbeat law in state legislatures.
Rocking back and forth in his office chair during an episode of the Christian YouTube show “Your Encounter Today” on Sept. 4, 2020, Lou Engle declared that Trump was “the most pro-life president in the history of America.” He compared the mission to end abortion to President Abraham Lincoln’s warning that, unless America ended slavery, God would continue the Civil War “until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword.”
“We’re at a moment that, if things don’t shift, we could be heading toward a civil war,” Engle declared. “But I believe God can shift this Supreme Court in these days.”
‘The Seed of A Revolution’: The Christian Dominionist War On Abortion, Part III
The prochoice religious community has been stirring for some time. There was and is an urgent need for anti-theocratic religious communities to considering the lessons of the past and options for the post-Roe future.
This led to a national conference in January 2022 to begin to begin.
The two-day virtual SACReD gathering drew about 450 people from diverse religious backgrounds who united in their support for abortion rights. SACReD’s lead organizer, Rev. Angela Williams, a Presbyterian minister, told the Mississippi Free Press on Feb. 15, 2022, that the goal is “to build infrastructure” and “take back the public square” from white evangelicals who dominate religious discussions about abortions.
“I think a big factor in all of this is that the progressive movement and progressive people of faith were just caught flat-footed and were always in more of a defensive stance,” she said. “So we are in a defensive stance, but now we are taking proactive action to be supportive and care for people in our communities who deserve access to abortion care, who deserve access to health care and who deserve to make the decisions that are best for them and their families free from shame, judgment, stigma and state-sanctioned violence.”