We know today that the religious right condemns abortion. But did you know just how recently they developed that opinion, and why?
Today on the podcast is Reverend Serene Jones
, a pro-choice reverend, religious scholar, and the former chair of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University. She is a leader on progressive religious issues, including abortion.
is an expert on how abortion and reproductive rights became a political rallying cry for the conservative religious right. Unknown to many, until just decades ago, the church was essentially silent on the issue of abortion. The Southern Baptist Church even issued statements that specifically said
, as late as 1978, that the government should not be involved in abortion. But over time, sensing an opportunity to gain followers and consolidate political power among white voters, the church launched an all-out crusade against abortion.
On the podcast, Rev. Serene explains this history, and the combination of political convenience and white supremacist thinking that led to the relatively recent creation of abortion as a political issue. She also delves into the reality that there is nothing in the Bible that condemns - nor even mentions - abortion. She explains how, in her interpretation of Christianity, the Bible actually supports the right to choose - both through specific verses, and the consistent message that people have the autonomy and freedom to make decisions that are best for them.
- Transcript of interview (please note that transcriptions are computer-generated and may not be 100% accurate)
- Southern Baptist Convention Resolutions on Abortion, 1971 to 2009
- Salon.com (Op-ed written by Serene) - There is nothing godly about outlawing abortion — and Texas' law is particularly un-Christian
- Politico Magazine - The Real Origins of the Religious Right