Mitt Romney Is Inventing Policies for a Fantasy G.O.P.

Last year, as an alternative to the temporary expansion of the child tax credit under President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah introduced a plan to give every family a monthly benefit of up to $350 per child for children 5 and under and $250 per child for children 6 to 17. It was simple, generous (it included a payment before birth, too) and — on paper, at least — effective. According to the Niskanen Center, which helped devise the proposal, the Romney plan would cut overall child poverty by roughly a third and the deepest child poverty by half.

Republicans hated it. His Senate colleagues Marco Rubio and Mike Lee denounced Romney’s plan as “welfare assistance,” and called for “pro-work” policies to assist families. “An essential part of being pro-family is being pro-work,” the senators said. “Congress should expand the child tax credit without undercutting the responsibility of parents to work to provide for their families.”

Romney, who voted against Biden’s rescue package, went back to the drawing board and recently unveiled a less generous version of his plan aimed at winning Republican support in the Senate. In this iteration, which would fill the gap left by the expiration of the Biden expansion in December, a family with children would have to earn at least $10,000 per year to qualify for the full credit. Below that, the benefit would scale proportionally so that a family earning $5,000 per year would receive 50 percent of the credit. The most impoverished families would receive the smallest benefits.

This version of the child benefit, to use the lingo of Romney’s earlier conservative critics, would “reward work.”

And yet there’s little indication that any more than a token group of Republican lawmakers is interested in Romney’s latest proposal. There’s no appetite for it. For the vast majority of Republicans in Congress, passing a new child benefit is not the kind of work they came to Washington to do. (It should be said, though, that in the absence of the filibuster, that token group of Republicans plus most Democrats would be enough to pass the Romney bill or something like it.)

The hostile and then indifferent response to Romney’s child allowance from his Republican colleagues — as well as the nearly total absence of meaningfully pro-family legislation from conservative lawmakers — tells us something very important about the future of the pro-life cause in the Republican Party. But maybe not quite what you think.

In the weeks since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, some conservatives and abortion opponents have, as Elaine Godfrey reported in The Atlantic, expressed the hope that their movement and political party would turn their attention to the material well-being of mothers, families and children. So far, that hope seems to be misplaced.

Free, now, to pursue whatever policies they’d like on abortion, most Republican lawmakers and anti-abortion activists appear to be focused on passing harsh new restrictions on reproductive autonomy and creating broad protections for “fetal life.”

Trigger laws and prior statutes have already made abortion illegal in roughly a dozen states. Legislators in Missouri and Texas want to pass laws that would extend their bans across state lines, to punish residents who go to other states to obtain abortions. South Carolina Republicans, likewise, have drafted legislation that would ban all abortions except to prevent the death of the mother and would prosecute anyone “conspiring to cause, or aiding or abetting, illegal abortion.” And an Ohio bill would recognize the “personhood” and constitutional rights of “all unborn human individuals from the moment of conception.”

What you won’t find passing anytime soon in any Republican-led state legislature are bills to reduce the cost of childbearing and child-rearing. At most, a few states that have or will ban abortion have extended postpartum care under Medicaid. But there are no major plans to improve coverage or provide new benefits. As a practical matter, the pro-welfare, anti-abortion politician does not exist, at least not in the Republican Party.

The policy correlation is, in fact, what you would expect it to be. As a rule, the states with the most generous safety nets and anti-poverty programs are also the states with the widest access to abortion and other reproductive health services. The states with the most restrictive abortion laws are also, as a rule, the states that do the least for families and children as a matter of public policy.

Another way to make this connection is simply to look at a map of states that continue to refuse to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and compare it with a map of states that outlaw (or effectively outlaw) abortion. The overlap fits the pattern.

This distance — between the rhetoric of “life” and the reality of conservative Republican governance — only looks like hypocrisy. In truth, it is perfectly consistent.

That’s because the Republican ideal of a “pro-family” agenda is girded on traditional hierarchies. Reproductive autonomy, up to and including the right to get an abortion, weakens hierarchies of gender. And the social safety net — especially one that extends directly to mothers and children — undermines the preferred conservative social order of isolated, atomized households kept in line through market discipline.

If the goal of abortion opponents and politicians is to encourage life and promote families, then, yes, their interests and priorities are at odds with their actions. But if the goal is a more rigid and hierarchical world of untrammeled patriarchal authority, then, well, things are pretty much going according to plan.

Margaret Atwood Sounds the Alarm on Authoritarianism | Amanpour and Company

i’m honestly astounded by again the
prescience um that you wrote because
part of the crisis in handmaid’s tale
started with an attack on on congress
and and the the you know the fallout
from that i mean here all these decades
later in 2021
we had an attack on congress and there
are many who believe that the
fundamental democracy of the united
states is under threat so what does
totalitarianism look like in the u.s
or could
when when it arrives
uh well it’ll have a lot of god in it
um and a lot of things will be done in
the name of of said word
uh that if you actually uh believe in
some form of god and in the in the uh
latter part of that book uh you would
think that such a god would not
indulge in these practices i’m being
very circumlocations here
um yeah so it would have a lot of god
and it would have a lot of american
flags in it
and it would have a lot of let’s get
back to the old days in it
when were those old days and what was
going on in them
so you can’t separate anything that
happens in the united states from
uh its history of uh slavery
and um
so-called reconstruction and and jim
crow laws and segregation that’s all
very recent
so
i think the totalitarianisms of the left
lead through hope
so things are going to get much better
except we have to get rid of those
people
and those of the right to lead through
fear
unless you follow me and do what i say
terrible things will happen
and there’s a list of terrible things
which are specific to each
circumstance but i wouldn’t say that’s
how it goes
don’t you think well it’s fascinating
again i mean just really
just watching all of this unfold things
that i personally never dreamed could
happen uh an attack on american
democracy of all places rolling back
quote unquote the woman question um
which we see right now and again goes to
the very heart of the handmaid’s tale
and that of course i don’t need to tell
you the texas abortion law the
mississippi uh abortion
decisions that are about to come up the
idea that roe versus weighed may be
overturned either in whole or in part
how well i mean you obviously are
concerned did you ever imagine though
that when you wrote the handmaid’s tale
this amount of reality would shape up so
many decades later
okay i’ve never believed in
exceptionalism
i’ve never believed it can’t happen here
[Music]
[Music]
you

F.D.A. Will Permanently Allow Abortion Pills by Mail

Earlier this year, for the duration of the pandemic, the F.D.A. temporarily lifted the in-person requirement on mifepristone, the first of two drugs used to end a pregnancy. The decision to make this change permanent is likely to deepen the already polarizing divisions between conservative and liberal states on abortion. In 19 states, mostly in the South and the Midwest, telemedicine visits for medication abortion are banned, and these and other conservative states can be expected to pass other laws to further curtail access to abortion pills.

The Supreme Court Gaslights Its Way to the End of Roe

There are many reasons for dismay over the Supreme Court argument in the Mississippi abortion case, but it was the nonstop gaslighting that really got to me.

First there was Justice Clarence Thomas, pretending by his questions actually to be interested in how the Constitution might be interpreted to provide for the right to abortion, a right he has denounced and schemed to overturn since professing to the Senate Judiciary Committee 30 years ago that he never even thought about the matter.

Then there was Chief Justice John Roberts, mischaracterizing an internal memo that Justice Harry Blackmun wrote to his colleagues as the Roe v. Wade majority was discussing how best to structure the opinion Justice Blackmun was working on. The chief justice was trying to delegitimize the place of fetal viability in the court’s abortion jurisprudence, where for nearly 50 years, viability has been the unbreached firewall protecting the right of a woman to choose to terminate a pregnancy.

“It’s an unfortunate source, but it’s there,” he said, referring to Justice Blackmun’s papers, on file and open to the public at the Library of Congress. “In his papers, Justice Blackmun said that the viability line was — actually was dicta.”

“Dicta” is a dismissive word that refers to asides in an opinion that are not actually part of the court’s holding. The entry in the Blackmun papers to which the chief justice was most likely referring was a memo of Nov. 21, 1972 that the author of Roe v. Wade sent along with a new draft opinion to the other justices, noting: “In its present form it contains dictum but I suspect that in this area some dictum is indicated and not to be avoided.”

In that memo, of course referring to what was still a work in progress, Justice Blackmun proposed that the right to abortion be fully protected only until the end of the first trimester of pregnancy. “This is arbitrary,” he wrote, “but perhaps any other selected point, such as quickening or viability, is equally arbitrary.”

But two weeks later, after consulting with other justices, including Lewis Powell and Thurgood Marshall, Justice Blackmun circulated another memo endorsing the viability line. Far from describing this determination as arbitrary, he wrote in a memo dated Dec. 11, 1972, that viability “has logical and biological justifications,” namely, that “few could argue, or would argue, that a state’s interest by the time of viability, when independent life is presumably possible, is not sufficiently developed to justify appropriate regulation.”

In other words, by the time the court issued the final opinion in January 1973, viability was not dicta but rather an essential element of the decision. Chief Justice Roberts may not like viability — as clearly he doesn’t, observing to Julie Rikelman, the lawyer for the Mississippi clinic challenging the state’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, that “viability, it seems to me, doesn’t have anything to do with choice” — but he was flatly wrong to suggest that it was an unconsidered aspect of Roe v. Wade.

(And of course it is extremely odd for a Supreme Court justice to dig into the court’s private work papers to cast aspersions on a published opinion.)

In fact, as the second Blackmun memo makes clear, the court that decided Roe saw a direct link between the viability line and a woman’s ability to choose abortion. In that second memo, Justice Blackmun referred to the “practical aspect” of the viability line, observing that “there are many pregnant women, particularly younger girls, who may refuse to face the fact of pregnancy and who, for one reason or another, do not get around to medical consultation until the end of the first trimester is upon them or, indeed, has passed.”

And then there was Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who rattled off a list of “the most consequential cases in this court’s history” that resulted from overruling prior decisions. If the court had adhered, for example, to the separate-but-equal doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson rather than overruling that precedent in Brown v. Board of Education “the country would be a much different place,” he told Ms. Rikelman. “I assume you agree with most, if not all, the cases I listed there, where the court overruled the precedent,” Justice Kavanaugh continued. Why then, he asked, should the court stick with a case it now regarded as wrongly decided?

More gaslighting: The superficial plausibility of Justice Kavanaugh’s analogy between Plessy v. Ferguson and Roe v. Wade dissolves with a second’s contemplation. For one thing, Plessy negated individual liberty, while Roe expanded it. For another, Justice Kavanaugh’s list could have been 1,000 cases long without casting any light on whether today’s Supreme Court should repudiate Roe v. Wade.

But the justice’s goal was not to invite contemplation. It was to normalize the deeply abnormal scene playing out in the courtroom. President Donald Trump vowed to end the right to abortion, and the three justices he put on the court — Neil Gorsuch, to a seat that was not legitimately Mr. Trump’s to fill; Amy Coney Barrett, whose election-eve nomination and confirmation broke long settled norms; and Justice Kavanaugh — appear determined to do just that.

It was Justice Sonia Sotomayor who asked the uncomfortable question. “Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?” she demanded of Scott Stewart, a former law clerk to Justice Thomas who argued for Mississippi as the state’s solicitor general. Listening to the live-streamed argument, I first heard “political acts” as “political hacks,” I suppose because still in my mind were Justice Barrett’s words when she spoke in mid-September at a center in Louisville, Ky., named for her Senate confirmation mastermind, Senator Mitch McConnell. “My goal today is to convince you that the court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks,” she said then.

Justice Barrett’s performance during Wednesday’s argument was beyond head-spinning. Addressing both Ms. Rikelman and Elizabeth Prelogar, the U.S. solicitor general who argued for the United States on behalf of the Mississippi clinic, Justice Barrett asked about “safe haven” laws that permit women to drop off their unwanted newborn babies at police stations or fire houses; the mothers’ parental rights are then terminated without further legal consequences. If the problem with “forced motherhood” was that it would “hinder women’s access to the workplace and to equal opportunities,” Justice Barrett asked, “why don’t safe haven laws take care of that problem?”

She continued: “It seems to me that it focuses the burden much more narrowly. There is, without question, an infringement on bodily autonomy, you know, which we have in other contexts, like vaccines. However, it doesn’t seem to me to follow that pregnancy and then parenthood are all part of the same burden.”

I’ll pass over the startling notion that being required to accept a vaccine is equivalent to being forced to carry a pregnancy to term. “Gaslighting” doesn’t adequately describe the essence of what Justice Barrett was suggesting: that the right to abortion really isn’t necessary because any woman who doesn’t want to be a mother can just hand her full-term baby over to the nearest police officer and be done with the whole business. As Justice Barrett, of all people, surely understands, such a woman will forever be exactly what she didn’t want to be: a mother, albeit one stripped of her ability to make a different choice.

I will give the gaslighting prize to Justice Kavanaugh and his suggestion that the court should simply adopt a position of “neutrality” with respect to abortion. Abortion is a contentious issue with important interests on both sides, he said to Solicitor General Prelogar. “Why should this court be the arbiter rather than Congress, the state legislatures, state supreme courts, the people being able to resolve this?” he said. “And there will be different answers in Mississippi and New York, different answers in Alabama than California because they’re two different interests at stake and the people in those states might value those interests somewhat differently.”

Justice Kavanaugh painted a soothing description of a down-the-middle resolution, but Solicitor General Prelogar, for one, wasn’t fooled. “The nature of fundamental rights is that it’s not left up to state legislatures to decide whether to honor them or not,” she responded.

Can Justice Kavanaugh really believe what he said? We’ll see soon enough. Last month, the court heard arguments in a case that challenges New York’s strict requirement for a license to carry a concealed weapon. Most states have looser restrictions. New York, through its legislative process, is in a minority.

Will Justice Kavanaugh and those of his colleagues who glorify a recently manufactured version of the Second Amendment allow New York City to keep going its own way on gun safety in the name of “letting the people decide”? That’s about as likely as the chance that those very same justices will decide to keep the right to abortion on the books. In both cases, we know what they’re going to do. The only mystery is how they will explain it.

Republican Issues (Sean Parnell)

THE ISSUES

PROTECT PA JOBS

I will fight to keep taxes as low as possible, protecting your earnings and your freedom, and slash regulations to get DC off the necks of Pennsylvania job creators.

I’m from a union family and understand how important unions have been to middle-class families in Pennsylvania. I will always support middle-class working families and defend their rights in the workplace.

After decades of being beholden to OPEC, we are finally energy independent. A net energy exporter, in fact. We need to keep it this way. Fracking creates jobs and keeps us free. I will support Pennsylvania’s energy workers – and I won’t let my party betray them.

FIGHTING FOR VETERANS

Our veterans are the best of us. When they raise their right hand and volunteer to serve our great nation, they do so knowing that they may give their lives in defense of our freedom. When our veterans come home from distant battlefields, they deserve to be thanked on behalf of a grateful nation, but that gratitude must not stop there. Our leaders need to work relentlessly on their behalf to ensure they’re given a fair deal on the home front. They fought for us; now it’s our turn as American citizens to fight for them.

I will never forget the dedication and sacrifice of our nation’s warriors. Veterans who fought and bled for this country should not have to fight and bleed for the healthcare and benefits they were promised. Veterans willingly chose to serve this nation during a time of war; they deserve the right to choose where to get their healthcare. If you like the care you receive at the VA, great. You can keep it. If you don’t, then it should be your right as a veteran to choose where you want to go.

Veterans who deploy to defend the streets of America should not have to return home to sleep on them. I will fight to ensure our veterans stay off the streets and in jobs where they can provide for their families and live the American Dream that they bled to protect.

Election Integrity

As we look at what happened in 2020, we need to work to make sure the voters never again have a reason not to have faith in our electoral process. We need to increase transparency and security to prevent voter fraud by making sure signature verification is taking place on mail-in ballots and promoting stability in the process. There should be no changes by unelected bureaucrats or activist judges within 60 days of the election. Our election workers have a great deal of responsibility and changing the rules of the game on them by proclamation within 60 days places unnecessary burdens on them.

SUPPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT

There are those who spend their time and energy trying to tear our police officers down. They attack them for the uniform they wear. They use their positions of power to advocate for defunding the police and demonizing them, while every day, our police walk out their door to keep the people of their communities safe from those that wish to do us harm.

THE AMERICAN DREAM

America is still the greatest nation in the history of the world. While the radical left is trying to silence free speech, transform our institutions, and roll back our constitutional rights, I will always fight to defend the country I love.

Strengthening our military

As someone who has served in fierce combat, I know firsthand the importance of making sure our troops are supported and well-funded. We need to ensure our military is the strongest fighting force in the world and is used to defend Americans from our enemies, NOT to police every corner of the earth. At the same time, we need to be fully funding our military budget. China and Russia are not backing down, and we need to be prepared to defend ourselves should the need arise.

SECond amendment

“…The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed…” I will fight like hell to protect the right to keep and bear arms, and I reject the notion that society is somehow guilty because a criminal commits a crime. We do not need more gun control laws, we need to enforce the laws we have and give resources to those whose job is to enforce those laws.

HEALTHCARE

I have a pre-existing condition. This is personal to me. I will always protect people with pre-existing conditions and make sure they have the same access to quality health care.

I want Americans to have the freedom to choose a healthcare plan that fits their needs. The best way to drive healthcare costs down is to get people jobs, allow insurance companies to compete across state lines, and allow small companies to band together to get lower rates.

I will defend the good health benefits Pennsylvania’s labor unions have won through negotiation – and fight the liberals who try to take these benefits away.

I believe the more insurance companies have to compete for your business, the more affordable healthcare will be, and it will ultimately empower all Americans to pick a customizable plan that works best for them.

IMMIGRATION

Securing the border is a national security issue, it’s an illegal drugs and guns issue, and it’s a human trafficking issue. We need leaders to admit this is a crisis. President Biden’s failure to acknowledge the problem he created shows the lack of sincerity in addressing our nation’s border security.

If there are members of either party that are serious about fixing our immigration system, I will gladly work with them. But first, we must secure the border.

I will stand up against those who want to open our border and continue to allow for policies like sanctuary cities that circumvent federal law to exist. Those positions are out of step with what the majority of Pennsylvanians believe, and I will always put Pennsylvania first.

fight for the unborn & the supreme court

I am pro-life, and will always vote to protect the unborn. As a US Senator, I will vote to confirm judges who share that view. I will strongly support pieces of legislation like the Born Alive Act, and believe Joe Biden’s decision to revoke the Mexico City policy undermines our moral leadership worldwide.

I disagree with packing the court or confirming justices that will legislate from the bench. We are a country of laws, and the judiciary should enforce them as they are written, not create policy.

SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE

It’s simple, Social Security and Medicare should be protected. People have paid into the program their whole lives, and at the end of the day, they have earned it, and they deserve their Social Security and Medicare at retirement.

Should Pro-lifers be Pro-Vaccine?

The Pro-life movement and Black Americans. The media tends to portray these two groups as very different. And they are. But there are some curious commonalities between the two groups. Most obviously, there are large numbers of Christians in both groups. More surprisingly, these two groups are by far the most suspicious of the COVID vaccine – although for different reasons.

Why do Pro-lifers and Blacks have this vaccine suspicion?

My name is Curtis Chang, and welcome to Redeeming Babel, where our mission is to provide Biblical thinking in a confusing world. In another video, I explained the history behind Black American distrust of vaccination. In this video, I turn to the Pro-life movement.

Pro-lifers fear that the vaccine is connected to abortion. And indeed there is a distant connection. But the consensus of leading Christian bioethicists is that this distant connection should not discourage pro life Christians from taking the vaccine. Pro lifers in fact have strong reasons to be pro-vaccine.

The cell line

To understand why this is the case, one must first understand what a cell line is. A cell line begins with some original cell taken from a human source, and then those original cells get replicated in labs over and over and over, often over decades. The cells that descend from that original cell make up the cell line. It is these descendant cells – the cell line – that gets used in biomedical research.

One of the most important cell lines used in COVID vaccine research is the HEK 293 cell line. No one knows the actual individual identity of HEK 293. The original cells were obtained in the Netherlands in 1973 by Dr. Frank Graham. Dr. Graham has reported that he cannot be sure whether the fetal remains came about through a miscarriage or an elective abortion. But it is quite possible – maybe even probable – that HEK 293 originated from an elective abortion.

For the sake of understanding the pro-life Christian’s worst fears, let’s assume this is the case.

This would mean that COVID vaccine research used cells that if you back far enough, can be trace an ancestry to a past abortion. Keep in mind that the vaccine ITSELF does not contain any fetal cells; it is the research PROCESS that used the cell line. And remember the cell line used today is not the actual original cell taken from a fetus. Those original cells are long gone. The HEK 293 cell line are the descendants of that original cell taken back in 1973.

The HEK 293 cell line has been used not just in vaccine research, but in most advanced medical treatments today. The biggest recent breakthroughs in treatment for diabetes, heart conditions, hepatitis, arthritis, lung disease, cancer and many other diseases all drew upon the HEK 293 cell line. In fact, if someone today did not want to touch the impact of the HEK 293 cell line at all, that person would almost have to disconnect from modern medicine entirely. If you have received any meaningful medical treatment in the past ten years, you most likely have already been impacted by the HEK 293 cell line. None of us can avoid this impact.

And this is where we have to make a key distinction: the distinction between impact and guilt. Impact does not equal guilt.

There can certainly be impact from a past sin. In fact, the Biblical concept of original sin is meant to say that none of us can avoid the impact of past sin. Sin originates a “cell line” of impact, if you will, that can extend down through the generations.  Anyone who has a family of origin where there was abuse or addiction knows that this is true. Past sin makes an impact on subsequent generations.

But impact that gets passed on is not the same as current guilt. Let’s say, God forbid, you had a grandparent who was abusive. This fact will impact your family of origin and probably even you. But this does not mean that you automatically are an abuser. Impact gets passed on. But guilt does not. In the same manner, an act of abortion back in 1973 had a huge impact on all biomedical research, including COVID vaccine research. But this does not automatically make the COVID vaccine guilty.

So, as we think about the COVID vaccine from a pro-life perspective, let me emphasize three key points:

  1. None of the vaccines contain any fetal tissue or offshoot

  2. No actual cell taken directly from fetuses were used in research

  3. None of the vaccines encourage more abortions for medical research

None of the vaccines contain any fetal tissue or offshoot

First, none of the vaccines contain any fetal cells or even any descendant cells. None of the vaccines contain the HEK 293 cell line itself. To repeat, the research process for the vaccine relied on the cell line, but the vaccine itself does not include the cell line. When someone gets injected with the vaccine, they are NOT getting injected with any fetal tissue or any cell line originating from fetal tissue.

No actual cell taken directly from fetuses were used in research

Second, no actual cells taken directly from fetuses were used in the research. When we talk about how the HEK 293 or other cell line were used in vaccine development, remember that we are not talking about the actual cells from an abortion that happened decades ago. The HEK 293 cells used today in labs are not the original cells. Those original cells are long gone. The cell line are descendants (usually modified at that) of those original cells.

The analogy I like to use is the railroad lines that connect my home state of California to the rest of the country. Most goods that we Californians import today from the rest of the country come to us on railroad lines that were originally laid down in the building of the First Transcontinental railroad. That origin story is filled with racist treatment of the first Chinese Americans, my ancestors. They were discriminated against horribly, given the most dangerous jobs, and were periodically lynched by mobs, like in the horrible Rock Spring Massacre.

Today’s transportation lines into California are like the fetal cell lines that developed the COVID vaccine. They are not evil in their current state and usage, but they run on tracks that follow lines first laid down by previous institutional sin. And none of us can avoid being touched by those lines.

None of the vaccines encourage more abortions for medical research

Finally, it is important to emphasize that none of the COVID vaccines encourage more abortions for medical research.

In fact, the fact that HEK 293 has been so widely studied and used for decades means that most researchers rely on it and other long established cell lines. They are not motivated to obtain new cell lines from new fetuses. And government regulations strongly discourage any researcher trying to do so, especially from aborted fetuses. This point is key to the difference between impact and guilt. Because it means that current vaccine research, while it has been impacted by past abortion, is not guilty of promoting current abortions.

All of these facts have led to a consensus among the leading Christian bioethicists. The consensus is that Christians – including pro-life Christians – are encouraged to take the COVID vaccines. The Vatican – which as studied this issue extensively – has given its approval. The president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has similarly approved. Leading conservative bioethicists, like those associated with pro life foundations such as the Heritage Foundation have also joined in the approval.

I agree with this chorus of thinkers. I believe that every pro-life Christian should take the COVID vaccine.

Imaging redemption

Indeed, I suggest that the COVID vaccine can serve as an image of God’s redemption. Redemption is God’s ultimate answer to the problem of original sin. Redemption is taking something that originated in a wrongful state, and reworking that thing into something good. The Bible tells us that in his death and resurrection, Jesus redeemed human sin.

1 Corinthians 15:22 puts it this way:

“For as all die in Adam, so also all shall be made alive in Christ.”  

1 Corinthians 15:22

In other words, Adam’s original sin had an impact on us all. We are descendants of his spiritual cell line, so to speak. But the origins of that spiritual cell line, that began in death, is not the final verdict. The spiritual line of Adam has been reworked by Jesus. What began as a story of sin and death has been reworked into a story of forgiveness and life. That is what it means to be “made alive in Christ.” That is redemption.

The idea that what began in death could be reworked into life is hard for the human mind to grasp. This is why we need images of redemption in the world. We need examples that can serve as metaphors of what Jesus accomplished, that show us, “Jesus’ redemption is kind of like that…”

I propose that the COVID vaccine is an image of redemption. Yes, the vaccine may have a distant origin story in abortion. But that past has been reworked and redeemed into something that saves life. We can point to the vaccine and say, “Jesus redemption is kind of like that.” And indeed, the production of a vaccine in less than a year is really a miracle. Something like this has never happened this quickly. I personally believe God’s redemptive power was present in the process.

My invitation to Pro-life Christians who distrust the COVID vaccine is this: please remember that the Christian story is the story of redemption. Every one of us has a origin story in sin. None of us can avoid this. Yet each one of us has had our story reworked by Jesus into new life. That’s what it ultimately means to be pro-life. To be pro life is to be pro redemption. And to be pro redemption, in my view, means being pro vaccine.

The vaccine is ultimately a redemption story. Let’s be part of that story.