Advocates for reproductive dignity are often either baited to debate anti-abortionists using conservative theological language and frameworks or are not well-versed in liberating God-language. Genuine change needed for justice cannot happen using the tools of oppressors. Sacredly Speaking helps justice advocates, guided by their faith and moral principles, to change the frameworks needed to realize reproductive freedom and dignity.
God-Talk About Reproductive Freedom
“For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.”
– Audre Lorde
Sacredly Speaking develops, curates and publishes resources from various faith traditions and moral teachings to equip spiritual leaders, political leaders and activists to be prophetic voices for reproductive freedom, justice, and liberation. To accomplish this, the Sacredly Speaking program:
- Creates opportunities for scholars and activists to speak and write about reproductive issues in ways that are relevant and accessible to wider public attention
- Highlights compassion-based principles from diverse biblical and moral traditions that provide the foundations for intersectional and holistic approaches to reproductive freedom and human thriving
- Equips a cross-section of progressive religious scholars, spiritual leaders and justice activists with religious and moral language for generating a more just society
U.S. culture is theologically-infused with an “insider-outsider” orientation that promotes the right of “insiders” to make judgments against “outsiders,” to heap guilt and shame upon certain bodies, and to implement supremacist strategies that limit the freedoms of others. Sacredly Speaking seeks to create resources that clear the smoke of this toxic air and foster a culture for equity of voices, theologies, and values.
Theology and God-language are critical to the reproductive freedom because many people have been socialized to accept toxic judgments of guilt and shame that impact them as they make reproductive decisions. RCRC is committed to helping people talk about the range of reproductive issues in ways that are life-affirming, God-affirming, and human-dignity-affirming – that is, without guilt and shame.
Because Christianity is being used as a weapon of reproductive and other oppressions, Sacredly Speaking addresses Christian God-talk and theological frameworks by incorporating the richness of various religious traditions.
“To talk about these issues openly and honestly—that is life-affirming, God-affirming, and human-dignity-affirming. And that is the heart of what all religion is about.”
– Rabbi Jessica Kirschner
Episode 1: Rev. Dr. Traci C. West spotlights the intersections between domestic violence and racism, theology, and politics; religious concepts of sexuality and the body; and the importance of wholeness and community support.
Episode 2: Rev. Aaron Payson shares his experiences with domestic violence advocacy work, and discusses reproductive dignity, dominance and control, spiritual abuse, and the concept of God as a compassionate companion.
Episode 3: Activist Chauna Lawson shares her intimate knowledge of domestic violence, and discusses the use of power, manipulation, and the misplacement of “forgiveness” in faith communities.
Episode 4: Rev. Zoraida Saldana shares her experiences as a domestic violence counselor, highlighting the way abuse impacts reproductive freedom, how faith leaders and communities can perpetuate or inflict DV, and how survivors can break the chain and seek help.
RCRC’s Compassion School is a free virtual learning opportunity, open to anyone and everyone who longs for a more compassionate and just society, and who is ready to help build toward that society.
Click the here to learn more!
RCRC’s flagship program is our “Compassion Care for Reproductive Decisions and Loss” training workshop, wherein we give tools to help clergy, health care workers, social workers, legal professionals, and others connect with the people they serve in meaningful and compassionate ways.
We do this to help ensure that individuals who experience reproductive challenges and crises are supported in ways that honor their human dignity focusing on their lived experiences, spiritual beliefs, moral values, hopes and needs.
To learn more, click here!
“Catholic Bishops’ Theological Mistakes on Abortion Come at a High Price” by Dr. Mary E. Hunt
“The Argument for Abortion as a Religious Right” by Leila Ettachfini
“Our Jewish Beliefs Call for Us to Advocate Reproductive Rights” by Daniel Schere
“We Must Engage with Shared Values in the Abortion Debate” by Cari Jackson
“The Right to Abortion – And Religious Freedom” by Stephanie Russell-Kraft
“The Biblical Basis for Being Pro-Choice” by belief.net
“When the Religious Right Was Pro-Choice Evangelical Praised Roe” by Rmuse DailyKos
“Where Major Religious Groups Stand on Abortion” by Pew Research Center *
*For a deeper look at the stances of various religious groups on abortion and contraception, register for an upcoming Compassionate Care virtual workshop.
Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice by Rebecca Todd Peters
Abortion and the Christian Tradition by Margaret D. Kamitsuka