Day 9: When All Evidence is Hidden

At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.

Luke 1:39-40

If you have never read the conception of Jesus as a queer story, it’s probably because Mary seems straight–and straightness was always enough for you. But there are ways to read queerness in the annunciation story, and queer people do. Mary’s immaculate conception draws parallels for lesbian couples using artificial insemination. Mary’s run to Elizabeth can be read as a lesbian love scene. The angel Gabriel can be read as a genderfluid or intersex messenger. 

You could argue this is poor biblical interpretation, since there’s no evidence of queerness in the Advent stories. But the lack of evidence is precisely why we read these stories as queer stories: all evidence of queer love has been erased from the Bible (with the possible exception of David and Jonathan). Most likely Mary and Elizabeth were not lesbian lovers, but if Mary stopped to visit her lesbian lover on her way to Elizabeth, she would have “held these things in her heart,” as she did throughout these events. We read queerness back into the heterosexist stories we received because we are confident that God loves queer people and that their presence in the narrative is critical to our collective salvation. 

Amidst all the criticism of Qatar’s treatment LGBTQ+ people, not much has been made of the fact that are no openly gay players among the 830 or so footballers competing in the tournament. Compare that to 38 out players in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. We can recognize the reasons why male athletes may have a greater pull to conceal their sexual orientation. But we cannot, in good faith, believe that there are no gay players in the tournament in Qatar. Instead, it appears that all evidence of gay players has been erased. 

In moments–touches between players on the sidelines, the occasional gesture during a goal celebration–I imagine certain players are gay. But I cannot say for sure; instead, I read queerness where I can in the World Cup. FIFA locating the World Cup in Qatar signals to these men that they must continue to uphold traditional masculinity. They must continue to hide all evidence. Even straight players in solidarity are forced to hide evidence of allyship

Yesterday, the US Men’s Team posted several photos of brokenhearted players embracing their girlfriends. Their sorrow was public and sympathetic only in the context of heterosexuality. What would it take for a gay player to come out, even on the national team of a country that is in the process of enshrining gay rights into law? 

Perhaps, if we are lucky and if we create a safe world, the week after the tournament one or two players (most likely on the championship team) will come out. Perhaps, a generation from now, we will still be reading queer fictions into this tournament because the evidence remains hidden. If so, that would be a sin against the God who created and called each of these players.

Day 8: Highly Favored & Highly Tokenized

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored. The Lord is with you.”

-Luke 1:26-28

Today, American referee Kathryn Nesbitt is scheduled to assistant referee the England vs. Senegal Round of 16 game. She’s had a high profile this year as one of the six female referees officiating for the first time at the men’s World Cup.

The whole subject of female referees weighs me down. While I’m delighted to read about these female officials, I’m also chagrined by some of the media coverage that trumpets their uniqueness. I’m tired of celebrating women’s “firsts.” 

I want to normalize female referees, not exceptionalize them. The paradox of women’s representation in historically male spaces is that a woman wants to be recognized for who she is as a woman and to be taken seriously as a human being, regardless of gender. This paradox exists for nonbinary people as well. 

When I saw the first all-female referee team in a men’s World Cup game last week (Germany vs Costa Rica), my heart broke a little bit. I worried the tokenizing media coverage allowed FIFA to check a box of representation and claw back moral high ground without actually making systemic changes to respect and promote the many, many talented female referees in the game. My heart broke even more when I learned that Stephanie Frappart, the center ref, was also the first woman to officiate a women’s World Cup final in 2019. That is the year of our Lord 20-today-minus-three-years. 

When the angel Gabriel (who is male because Greek is a gendered language) comes to Mary, it is not so much that God is recognizing her exceptionalism in spite of gender as that the male writers of history are. When Gabriel invites Mary into a clinch role in God’s salvation, I want to shout, “Yes! Her!” And I also want to shuffle on and say, “Of course, all genders, always, in God’s kingdom.” In our flurry to resolve gender discrimination in church, Mary sometimes becomes a prop for reinforcing gender bias. As if the whole Bible can be redeemed of its patriarchy if she carries it on her back. 

What a thrill to be highly favored. And what a curse to be tokenized. No one should be impressed that FIFA is using baseline workplace nondiscrimination policy as proof of morality. In this Christmas season, let’s avoid Mary-as-proof-text-for-gender-equality, whether in sermons or music or Christmas party trivia about the FIFA World Cup.

Annunciation, by Leonardo da vinci, c. 1472.

Day 7: The Victimized Tyrant

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, magi from the east came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star in the east and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him.

-Matthew 2:1-3

The sixth time the camera cut to FIFA President Gianni Infantino–on his phone, always on his phone–I thought: There is King Herod

King Herod is powerful, cunning, curious, insecure, throws great parties (sometimes with the decapitated heads of his enemies), and is perpetually a victim. Sure, he oversaw the deaths of a few hundred baby boys in Jerusalem (or a few hundred? thousand? migrant workers in Doha), but this was merely the necessary cost of progress.

King Herod is not, in fact, a very powerful king; he is the Jewish puppet king installed by and at the mercy of the Roman Empire. He is the representative of Julius Caesar. His job is to make the Roman Empire look both attractive and undefeatable. King Herod is simultaneously asserting power and abdicating it, and he plays this role very well, better than Infantino and his teen diary-esque monologue.

King Herod is frightened at the news of the child king. If there is a child in the world who is King of the Jews, then it means the delicate system Herod upholds is moot. If the Judean people do not need the Roman Empire, Herod’s wealth and dynasty collapse. 

Imagine that a player arose from the margins of World Cup teams–Messi, Mane, Suarez, Marta, take your pick–and rose to prominence as the greatest player in the world to never play in a FIFA tournament. Imagine this talented player moved as a teen through a prestigious academy training, built a rabid fan following, then left abruptly to travel the world playing pick up soccer, teaching ball skills to impoverished teens and providing them with the food and healthcare to make their neighborhood tournaments as compelling as professional tournaments. Imagine all of it was free. Infantino would absolutely be releasing the snipers to protect his monopoly. 

Throughout the Christmas story, watch how Herod chameleons from omnipotent tyrant to helpless middle manager. Watch how his attitude becomes a template for aspiring conflict-avoidant bureaucrats. 

And another thing: when Infantino hunched over his phone, he was never “checking the scores of the other game,” as the announcers apologetically explained. He was checking on the comfort of those to whom he has pledged allegiance.

If you think Gianni Infantino is persecuted now, wait until his daughter asks for John the Baptist’s head on a platter. (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Day 8: Weakness is Made Perfect in the Group Stage

But God said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for wherever I am weak, I am strong.”

-2 Corinthians 12:9-10

There is a special kind of suffering that only exists in the last game of the group stage. On Wednesday, we witnessed two delicious wins—Tunisia’s convincing 1-0 triumph over a mostly second-string French team, and Mexico’s 2-1 victory of Saudi Arabia—which were not enough for the teams to advance to the Round of 16.

I sat with my newest friend at the bar furiously calculating how many yellow cards Poland would have to receive in the last 6 minutes of their game with Argentina in order for Mexico to advance by fair play rules. There is no math like the math of the group stage, and there is no sorrow like the sorrow of the group stage.

These losing wins capture the spiritual paradox of suffering. A win is both utterly meaningless and profoundly significant. Suffering is incomprehensible and necessary to comprehend in order to keep living.

Paul’s refrain that “whenever I am weak, I am strong,” is one that triggers a gag response for many Christians (and former Christians). It has often been used to justify suffering and encourage the exploited to suffer their exploitation nobly for Christ. What if Paul is not justifying suffering, but contextualizing it? Research shows that people who demonstrate the greatest resilience after trauma are the ones who can make meaning of it. In sufficient grace, there is sufficient resilience.

Mourning is a critical part of the group stage—and maybe that’s why we watch so closely, because we have so few safe ways to practice mourning (especially for men). Sport is a device to allow us to work out emotions in a safe container, so we are better prepared to process hardship in unsafe containers. And so we find the purpose, the victory, in losing wins. There is perfection in Tunisia’s imperfect victory. There is sufficient grace in Mexico’s return home. There has to be.

I search for meaning by reminding myself that for me, the World Cup is an event; for the players, it is a job interview. Tunisia’s early dismissal on a high note opens doors to more competitive leagues, and increases the likelihood that they will be back in 2026 and perform better.

Does that erase the sorrow of the loss? Never. Is it good and right and necessary to let that grief run its course? Absolutely. But what if grace is sufficient for you, for me, and for the people who let us down? What if we are sufficient, worthy, loved even in our most public defeats?

Day 5: The Confession of Football in a Mennonite Perspective

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.

-Matthew 5:3-5

I always thought that I loved soccer because it was in the air. It was what we lived and breathed as children in the Pacific Northwest in the 90’s, like Lunchables or Captain Planet. Only now am I recognizing that soccer was woven into my religious practice and identity as a Mennonite. 

Mennonites love soccer. Maybe it’s the globalism of the sport, or its pointedly less-violent-than-American-football ethos, or its simplicity. It fits Mennonite theology, and is the top Mennonite game (or, at the least, neck-in-neck with Dutch Blitz).

Growing up, we often wore our uniforms–right down to the shinguards–to church, so we could sprint to our Sunday games. My church had both a co-ed and a women’s soccer team (which eventually morphed into a mother-daughter team). At my Mennonite college, there was no football team, and where we gathered on Friday nights was in the stands for the school’s men’s soccer games. I have watched the World Cup at 6am in cafes with Mennonite Voluntary Service workers;  in airports on the way to Mennonite conventions; on actual airplanes with youth groups; on my Mennonite host family’s small TV in the rural village of Cuatro Cruces, Costa Rica. Watching World Cup with Mennonites is as central to my faith as the Beatitudes I was required to memorize. 

In the 2002 South Korea/Japan World Cup, my mom would wake us up at 2 or 3am to drive across town to watch the games with a family from church. They purchased a cable package for a month and left their front door unlocked on game days so everyone would have a place to watch (cheap and communal–classic Mennonite). 

The Christian faith–and Anabaptism in particular–has a legacy of body/mind dualism, an inability and unwillingness to locate the sacred in the human body. Soccer was our path into embodied theology. It was how we found the sacred in the body, whether watching in communal gasps or playing in unharmonious shouts. It filled a gap in our Christian theology; it wove together all of our beliefs about community, hospitality, loving enemies, and letting actions speak louder than words. 

Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are those who mourn. Blessed are the meek. All blessings that came through soccer.

Two Mennonite pastors play beach soccer on the day in 2014 when Germany destroyed Brazil in the World Cup semi-final, winning 7-1. (Photo Credit: Leslie Hawthorne-Klingler)

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Day 4: All the Nations will Stream (to) It

In the days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations will stream to it.
Many people shall come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that God will teach us the ways,
and that we may walk in God’s paths.”

-Isaiah 2:2-3

I will say loudly and publicly that the reason we pause our lives every four years is that we are watching the best soccer of the quadrennial and I know I am lying. This is my rationale for people who expect rational behavior. I know as well as any fan that a national team that comes together a few days a year will never play as elegantly as the club teams that play together day in and day out. We are unlikely to see such a concentration of talent on a national team as we do in the bankrolled European leagues. The conceit of the World Cup is the limitation of our nations, how 30 countries are eliminated and cheering for someone else. The act of collective national joy allows for unique bridge building between nations.

I used to think this passage in Isaiah described a moment where God unifies humanity by calling all peoples to a uniquely holy place. Today, I notice how it is only because people are “streaming (to) it” that they say “let us walk in God’s paths.” The act of noticing each other’s nations is what inspires them to keep surging up the mountain to God’s house. We are all in this together.

It is easy to read prophetic texts like Isaiah 2 as waiting around for God to do something grandiose to heal humanity, but perhaps what God is doing is creating the conditions for us to learn from each other. To perform small acts of healing together. Walking in the paths of God means not only learning to notice God, but noticing the best of other cultures and adopting those practices. 

This is not to say that the stadiums are temples of God–vanity construction projects won’t save us (*cough* Solomon’s temple *cough*). Or that the World Cup resolves geopolitical conflict. But the magic of the World Cup is that it is difficult to sustain nationalism when we all bring our joyful selves and cultures to the same place. The more nations you are connected to, the more you enjoy the games. And we catch glimpses of God in the way that a melting pot of nationalism begets the collapse of national identity.

Day #3: A Way in the Desert

A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.

Isaiah 40:3-4

We don’t know how many workers–mostly if not entirely immigrants–died constructing the stadiums in Qatar. The Guardian cites 6,500 migrant worker deaths in the country since the World Cup was awarded to Qatar in 2012; officially, only 37 of those are linked to World Cup construction. The exact number of World Cup-related deaths is unclear, but what is clear: the number is staggering.

When I ask the question, “What am I to do?” it feels too big. I respect and admire the boycott movement, but from where I write in the United States, it also feels over-simplistic. There’s morality in the boycott, but not moral purity. Washing my hands of the World Cup disguises the fact that the global supply chain is predicated on disposable humanity. I am overwhelmed by all the other things I have consumed–from fast fashion to cell phone batteries–that other humans have died for. 

When I can’t answer, “What am I to do do?”, I ask another question: “Where is God?” Where is the God of the suffering, the God in solidarity, the God working out salvation, in this moment? This Advent, I imagine Joseph and Mary as laborers in Qatar, being served ice so they would drink less water. I imagine Jesus birthed not at an inn, but under the hulking shadow of Al-Wakrah Stadium (which is, weirdly, shaped like a vagina).

I imagine the players who play on the sidelines bowing their heads not asking God to win, but in reverence for the bodies and lives of migrant workers. I do what I can to sing the refrain of justice: to demand FIFA pay restitution to the families of all injured workers. I consider where I can make restitution for my own role in the global supply chain, as a consumer in the most-consuming country in the world.

Perhaps one of the strangest juxtapositions of a World Cup during Advent season is how our tangible consumption of goods is coupled to the intangible consumption of entertainment, bodies, sport. There are so many ways to wall ourselves off from God by consumption. 

We struggle to level the playing fields, much less lift up the valleys and make the mountains low. But we are called to prepare a way for God in the wilderness. How shall we prepare?

If you think it looks like a vagina in the daylight, you should see it at night. (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

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Day #2: What Will Never Love You Back

“A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth. Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon… the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born.”

-Revelation 12:1-4

Here is the thing people get wrong about the book of Revelation: we remember it as a great battle between good and evil, but it’s more about how evil permeates the lives of the good and the evil. The good—the woman and her baby—run away. The dragon chases them, and eventually bestows his authority to the beast. The beast is charismatic and sexy and powerful and so the people submit to the beast, whether they are good or evil. Revelation is about the banality of evil, and how evil is all-consuming. You can run from it or submit to it, but submitting will not spare you. When it comes to evil, no one ever wins.

I’ve watched teenagers fall in love with the beautiful game, I’ve watched them train and tryout and compete and break and submit for love of it, some of them at a very high level. In this World Cup, I’ve eagerly watched the early upsets of the group stages. I know developing countries are getting better at beating European powerhouses because the Europeans are drafting and training their children younger and younger. It reminds me of the advice Tressie McMillan Cottom gave to Black people navigating academia: “the institution cannot love you…. Just get your hugs where you can and let them have their institution.”

No matter how much children love the game now, we are marching them to the wolves. It is nearly impossible to teach them to love the game without teaching them to contort themselves for the institution. I wish I could tell the teenagers I’ve mentored that the institution will never love them back, no matter how well they perform, no matter how far they make it. It’s something Lionel Messi and I both learned recently, at almost the same age: he at FC Barcelona and me within the institutional church. Maybe this is why I still wear my #10 Barcelona jersey.

The individuals love you, but the institution will never love you back. Being good and talented and charming does not spare you. Even if you thrive in the institution, it will try to destroy you. Souls can only flourish in the streets, in the pick up games, where two or three gather without uniforms or straight-edged fields or capital investment firms.

The banality of evil is that we know the institution will not love us back. But we still try to love it.

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A sympathetic millionaire who the institution cannot love.

In the Fields by Night: Daily Advent Devotions for a World Cup Season

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by the Word, and without it not one thing came into being….

-John 1:1-3 (NRSV, modified for nongendered pronouns)

Anyone who has been following the news for even a moment of the last decade, and happens to be watching the largest sporting event on the globe, begins with a disclaimer: “Well, FIFA can eat a dick, but I’m here for the beautiful game.”

More or less, but not necessarily, in those words. It’s a strange collision of events that the World Cup falls over the Christian season of Advent. As I prepare for the birth of Christ this year, I have never felt closer to the world in which Christ was born. A world in which we are all either sell outs or captives of the Empire which claims global loyalty and dominance. That is to say, I have never found a better metaphor for the Roman Empire than the Fédération Internationale de Football Association.

But FIFA is not just a parallel for the government and culture that attempted and finally executed the murder of God’s Son. FIFA is also a direct descendant of the secularized, patronizing, self-aggrandizing form of the European church that formulated the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius. Perhaps a milder form, but nonetheless a new force for justifying European economic and spiritual dominance. And so FIFA is also an apt metaphor for the modern institutional church, the necessary evil that we tolerate—or don’t—in search of a spiritual home.

In the beginning was the Word. A Word that preceded institutions and corruption and colonialism. In the beginning was the beautiful game. Like many, I fell in love with soccer as a kid who fell into sync with the rhythms of the ball, the players, and the satisfying whirr of a goal. I found something divine which I still believe lives somewhere within the institution.

A friend said recently that soccer is a religion, and he didn’t mean it kindly. He meant soccer fans treat the World Cup as though there can still be salvation in an institution that disregards humanity—we insist our paltry efforts to reform it justify our participation in it. I am guilty as charged.

This is why I am creating a daily devotional series for this Advent. As a former pastor who was shredded and burned out by the institution of church. As someone who returns to the pitch every week in search of a divine spark. As a person who stands in the fields at night and hears angels but is uncertain what they mean.

This Advent, I am searching for the Christ child who will be destroyed by the Empire. I am searching for ways to live faithfully as someone who has not yet been destroyed by the Empire. Join me through this World Cup and Advent for reflections on faith, hypocrisy, compromise, and—always—hope.

The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds, 1834, with apologies to Thomas Cole.

Why Some Christians are Pro-Abortion

While Christians in the United States have a reputation for being pro-life, Christians are, like many groups, divided on the question of abortion. Following the leaked Supreme Court draft decision on Roe v. Wade, my social networks exploded with Christian memes in favor of abortion, like the excerpt of the 2018 Presbyterian USA statement “Religious Freedom without Discrimination.”

"Personally choosing not to have an abortion or use birth control... is religious freedom. Making that choice for someone else, on the basis of one's own religious principles, is religious oppression." From "Religious Freedom without Discrimination," approved by the 223rd General Assembly of Presbyterian Church USA.
Excerpt from the Presbyterian USA “Religious Freedom Without Discrimination” statement.

Christianity has been so thoroughly linked to the pro-life movement that it can be confusing how Christians got from here to there. Christians who support abortion on the grounds of about bodily autonomy, feminism, forgiveness, social safety nets, or science can sound more like liberal talking points than claims about who God is and what God hopes for humanity. However, these beliefs are rooted in a coherent and deeply Christian theology. It’s called incarnational, or embodied, theology.

Christians who defend abortion hold a fundamental assumption about who God is: flesh incarnate. God chose to come to earth in a human body because human bodies are inherently good, and holy, and at times a little bit silly. With the birth of Jesus, God made the stunning claim that the world directly in front of us is as holy as the place where God dwells. To have a body is to be loved by God, even if your body is awkward or doesn’t work very well or comes with a uterus or has chronic illness or is a child. In short: Jesus’ arrival on earth was an affirmation that every body is a beach body.

For pro-abortion Christians, this view of Jesus leads to two other beliefs: (1) sex is not sinful and, in fact, is an inherently holy reminder of human dignity and (2) life and death are blurry categories that are both holy. These views come directly from the Gospels. The first is about Jesus’ birth, and the second is about Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Quote from Benedictive Nun Sister Joan Chittister: "I do not believe that just because you're opposedc to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."
This quote from Sister Joan Chittister, first shared by supermodel Gigi Hadid, is one of the popular images shared by Christians in recent weeks.

Through the birth of Jesus, God chose the human body as the means for salvation. God reiterated the Genesis claim that humans were created good, bodies and all. Bodies are good not because some intangible divinity (the soul) temporarily resides there, but because the body is where intangible divinity meets concrete matter. Where stuff meets not-stuff. This means that everything bodies do—get fat, get old, get pregnant, snore, poop, make silly noises, have sex—is good and is sacred. Sex does not need to be controlled or punished, but should be approached as a holy gift from God. Because this theology has low anxiety about sex, these Christians also have minimal desire to control the outcome of sex. Sex can result in a multitude of outcomes, from no pregnancy to miscarriage to full-term birth to termination of pregnancy, and all of these are natural and honor the diversity of what it means to have a holy body. In spite of, or perhaps because, Jesus’ conception did not involve sex in our traditional sense, incarnational theology calls for a more expansive and embodied theology of sex. It is the fact of God-made-flesh that makes the body and all it does holy, not the details of Jesus’ conception. Likewise, this claim about the divinity of the body, created and nurtured inside a woman, counters the reading of Genesis that because woman was made from man’s rib she is inferior to man (and therefore should be controlled by men). Body is a body is a body, and all of it is what God called good.

A quote from Raphael Warnock: "For me, reproductive justice is consistent with my commitment to [ensuring health care as a human right]. I believe unequivocally in a woman's right to choose."
Rev. Raphael Warnock does not share his theology in this brief pro-choice endorsement, but we can read Jesus’ healing ministry as a statement that health and care is a human right, Luke 1:38 as an affirmation of a woman’s right to choose.

At the other end of Jesus’ life, an incarnational reading views the death and resurrection as a redemption that blurs our traditional concept of “death = bad, life = good.” God empowered us not to fear death. Just as Jesus became flesh to walk alongside humanity, God stays near to humanity in death. This counters the “life-at-all-costs” ethic that runs deep in both Christian and American society. Jesus’ death teaches us that it is possible to die well, to die as a result of living in impossible and unjust systems, and to still be connected to God. Jesus’ resurrection, alongside the raising of Lazarus and others, also tells us that the line between life and death is blurry. There is a certain humility required of us in the liminal spaces, whether at the end of the lifespan or the beginning. This is why Christians are hesitant to assume that the fusion of sperm and egg equates to a baby—having a body is anything but clear-cut.  

A consistent incarnational theology results in not just greater openness to abortion but also to end-of-life care, such as being removed from a ventilator when the brain has stopped functioning. These liminal states are not binaries, not “life vs. death” or “good vs. bad”—they simply are part of the incarnational experience. God-made-flesh is a repudiation of binaries.  

Although Christians today are known as pro-life zealots, that is a relatively recent phenomenon (with a fraught history). The Christian theology of abortion is deeply nuanced. Pro-abortion Christians exist because of Christ, not politics.

A black and white photo of two young men and two young women standing on a beach in 1938, looking toward the ocean.
I didn’t fact check, but I’m pretty sure The Message translates Galatians 3:28 as “Every body is a beach body.”