Shannyn Moore recently wrote an inflammatory piece, comparing Communism and Sharia Law advocates with Alaska Family Action. We are deeply offended, and hope that anyone who does not advocate for the mass killing of millions of innocent victims (as occurred last century in Communist countries), or the televised beheading of "infidels" this century, is equally offended by her claim. The difference between such groups and Christians who wish to speak about public policy is not simply a subtle nuance, and should be detectable by Shannyn.
Alaska Family Action does indeed endeavor to promote Judeo-Christian values, which historically involves reaching out to those who are most vulnerable and in need (whether yet unborn /newborn, or struggling to raise a family.) We are thankful that we are still able to do so, including fundraising to get our message out in the public square, despite the best efforts of some to oppress and silence that perspective.
A word about our motivations is appropriate. Since ancient Rome, Christians demonstrated respect for life by pulling discarded babies from the Tiber River and trash heaps outside the city gates; in the 1600s Christians established the first hospitals. Helping the vulnerable is an essential part of who we are, and for Christians, these actions are rooted in our Scriptures.
Let us take just one example: Abortion. AFA advocates against elective abortion because we believe the unborn child is a person. If we are right, then killing the child is dreadfully wrong, with at least two differences from killing an adult. First, we know that at certain stages of development, the unborn child can not only feel pain, but does not yet possess the capability known as "going into shock" to partially block excruciating pain before death. Second, when the child is dismembered in-utero without benefit of anesthesia, no one hears her as she screams.
Our revulsion at this practice leads us to ask voters to oppose Senator Hollis French and the bipartisan coalition. We obviously disagree with Senator French on partial birth abortion, the need to protect minor children from predators, the right of parents to be involved in their daughter's abortion decision, and forcing the public to fund abortions. However, we're deeply troubled that he would use his position as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee to prevent a hearing or vote on bills passed by the House on these issues. We believe that is an abuse of power, and an affront to democracy.
Indeed, AFA does seek a voice in the public arena. Issues of life and proper respect for traditional marriage have moved there and we will move with them. We are grateful that Governor Parnell spoke at our fundraiser. There is plenty of precedent in American history for political leaders to speak out on moral issues, going all the way back to George Washington. There is also plenty of precedent for churches and the religious to be deeply involved in issues of public concern - from the cause of Independence through the call to Abolition; from calls to arms to calls for peace; from civil rights for blacks to civil rights the unborn.
Does she find laws against murder objectionable because they are rooted in a Biblical commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill"? Do followers of Christ lose their right to speak in the public square, or lose the right to raise funds to communicate their point of view, because their view is informed by their faith? Alaska Family Action uses funds to advocate for candidates, as permitted under the law. Instead of demonizing Jim Minnery and AFA, rather than seriously engage on issues that confront our families, we suggest an authentic dialogue.
Perhaps people of faith will eventually lose their right to raise funds and speak out on issues of public policy. However, given what is at stake, many of us who are followers of Christ will follow the example of generations of believers and continue to speak out for the vulnerable. We will do so to our last breath. We can do nothing less.