(Photo: The Christian Post)
WASHINGTON – A coalition of African-American clergy and leaders who came to the nation's capital to lobby for a Congressional investigation of the abortion industry says that the American church is by and large ignorant of abortion's negative impact.
Black clergy who spoke about the apparent lack of effort from pastors to speak out and act against the abortion industry on Tuesday morning addressed the question of why this was so.
The Rev. Walter Hoye, president and founder of the Issues4life Foundation, told The Christian Post that there are many reasons why the apathy existed in church leadership.
"Some of them are woefully uninformed. Some it's because of the media blackout, the deliberate media blackout that takes place all across the country regarding this particular issue," said Hoye. "But some, some are willfully uninformed and we are working together as a team so that everyone understands this issue. We're working together as a team to expose the truth and educate our clergy."
Pastor Stephen Broden of Fair Park Bible Fellowship Church in Dallas, Texas, told CP that this apathy stemmed from "political correctness," which he dubbed "an insidious idea within the public square that has muted the voice of the church."
"In an attempt to be politically correct, it has caused the church to hesitate on those issues in order to be accepted by the majority in the community," said Broden. "At this time, the majority in the community is buying hook, line, and sinker an ideology that is the antithesis of the biblical definition of the value of life."
The Rev. Dean Nelson, vice president of Underserved Outreach for the pro-life group Care-Net Pregnancy Centers, explained that black clergy have as early as 1973 stated strong pro-life views.
"It is important that in 1973 you did have one of the largest black denominations, the Progressive Baptist, that did have a strong resolution affirming a pro-life stance," said Nelson to CP.
"We have had that, but since that time there has been a clear eroding of that standard for life within the black community for all of the reasons that were pointed or stated."
Nelson also said he believes "there is a growing resurgence of black pastors who are committed to this" because they have become more informed on the abortion issue and due to their increased involvement in urban pregnancy care centers.
The black clergy's remarks on the issue of the church's efforts regarding abortion come as black pro-life leaders held a news conference at the National Press Building demanding that Congress hold hearings into how abortion clinics are operating, especially those in African-American communities.
There were several speakers, mostly clergy, who spoke on the issue of abortion in the black community. Many touched on the trial of Philadelphia abortion provider Kermit Gosnell, who was found guilty Monday of three counts of first-degree murder and one count of manslaughter.
The news conference was sponsored by the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, which was founded and is currently led by conservative author and commentator Star Parker.
"It's the first time in 40 years that we have had an abortion doctor on trial and we all know the end result yesterday but this is just the beginning," said Parker. "It just the beginning for the black community to speak out very aggressively about what has been happening in our community for an awful long time … [Kermit Gosnell] is not an anomaly."
Other notable speakers at the news conference included the Rev. Alveda King, head of African American Outreach for Priests for Life and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bishop Harry Jackson, author and pastor at Hope Christian Church, Beltsville, Md.