A common complaint I hear from non-Christians when it comes to people who are pro-life is that those people are really just "pro-birth" and "don't care about those children once they get older". "If you are so pro-life, why don't you adopt?" They ask. Although I am sure there are some people out there who don't care and am myself a bit mystified by the right-wing complaint of helping take care of the poor and needy, I have found that most pro-life advocates really do put their money where their mouth is.
I write often about the adoption process we are in and have complained that the system is full of Christians. Those Christians are, for the most part, pro-life advocates who do care for children even after they are born. In fact, they make up such a large majority of adoptive parents in this country that you cannot ignore their contributions or the fact that they are carrying out their convictions. My sister-in-law is on a mission to get one person in every church to adopt, which will not only mean that all the children in foster care would have a home, but they will also all be indoctrinated into the Christian religion. I grew up in a church with a woman who worked for the Crisis Pregnancy Care Center, a Christian organization that could be seen as an anti-Planned Parenthood. She was constantly organizing drives for diapers and baby clothes and our church was happily involved, often taking young mothers under wing and guiding them either toward adoption or long-term care. I attended another church that had an orphan and widows ministry, where the group organized events for children and a weekly support group for the widows. Another church I attended had a soup kitchen, food pantry, Boys & Girls Club, and free music lessons for the people in their community. Even that crappy church I went to for a few months raised and donated $43,000 to the local Urban Ministries in their city. The last church I went to has partnered with the local elementary school for over two decades now to provide winter coats for kids in need, and more recently Christmas for families in need. Last year they provided Christmas dinner, gift certificates to Target, and presents for 26 families. This is a church with a regular attendance of fifty people on a Sunday. Don't tell me that people who are pro-life don't care about people once they are born. Again, there are always going to be churches and Christians who just do it wrong and they should be called out on their bullshit, but to state that anyone anti-abortion doesn't care about people would be a gross falsehood.
I have some serious issues with religion in general and American Christianity in particular, but don't call the Christians out for not adopting children, because they're already doing it. Remember these numbers the next time someone says that pro-life people are only pro-birth: Christians are twice as likely to have adopted than any other American hitting 5% rather than 2.3%. 38% of them have seriously considered adoption as opposed to 20% of non-Christian adults. Christians are also more likely to have large families and adopt multiple children. Christians are a bit concerned about the numbers of non-religious and homosexual families that are adopting, worrying that they will somehow be pushed out of the "adoption market", but this is what should happen as we move into a more secular future. I know that in my state though, we ended up with our adoption agency not because they had the most stellar reputation, but because they didn't require me to sign a statement of faith.
So my question for all the bleeding heart liberals out there (of which I am one) is, if you say you care so much about people, why aren't you adopting more children? I mean, my liberal friends are so quick to march for the rights of a woman to have an abortion (as they should), but the only non-Christians people I know of who have adopted did so because they were gay. I see atheists on various message boards "calling out" Christians for their hypocrisy, yet they don't seem to see their own and get upset when the religious tell them that they don't care about the "sanctity of life". I see their point. Pro-choicers seem to encourage abortion and talk about protecting people and having safe spaces, but it all seems rather superficial in the long run. Lip service and advocacy without actually doing any of the leg work required to care for those people, because the truth is, churches all over the country ARE doing that work. Those on the left seem content to let the government run programs to help the poor, even when those programs have been proven to have blind spots. Now, I know that there are several secular organizations who are working on changing that perception, but most of them are fairly new. Up until recently, the church and religious organizations (like the Salvation Army) have been a source of much needed care for the poor, needy, and vulnerable. I can see that atheists and other non-religious peoples do care about people, but they have a lot of work ahead of them before they reach the level that churches are at. And they must do that work. Because if we are to become a less religious country, we have to replace the work that those churches were doing or fall into our own hypocrisy. We need to create soup kitchens to feed the homeless, buy diapers for the mother who decided to keep her baby, and coats for all the children who cant' afford them. I'm sure that in every city in America we can find fifty atheists who could help provide Christmas for twenty-six needy families. As churches begin to shutter their doors and less and less people attend, the nones must not be content to let someone else take care of those in most desperate need.
This is a personal, but secret, blog archiving my deconversion from a Christian to a non-believer.