Dear Covington Catholic…Choose Love, Choose Life

As expected, anti-abortion marches and rallies across the country have sprung up in opposition to the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade (January 22). The majority of these counter-protests are led by Catholics and Evangelicals, many of whom claim to value life yet often blindly disregard human rights and dignity beyond the womb.

I submit to you Exhibit A: Over the weekend, MAGA hat-wearing students from Covenant Catholic High School mocked Nathan Phillips — a Vietnam veteran and Indigenous American — during a controversial interaction that occurred while the students visited Washington, D.C., to participate in the anti-abortion “March for Life” protest.

While many have been quick to defend the *white* students (y’all know this much grace would not have been extended to Black and brown kids), lived experience tells me that no good can come from anyone — particularly the church — telling young men that they have a say in what women and pregnant people can do with their bodies.

Such harmful teachings only perpetuate misogyny, toxic masculinity, and rape culture. (Exhibit B: Catholic school boy Brett Kavanaugh.)

To the students and administration of Covington Catholic: Please spare me your pious platitudes to “choose love, choose life.”

There is nothing life-giving or loving about Catholic students taunting a Native American whose ancestors were killed, colonized, and forcefully placed in American Indian boarding schools run by Catholic missionaries.

There is nothing life-giving or loving about teaching youth to “March for Life,” but not also bringing them to the nation’s capital to protest gun violence, march against climate change, protest the government shutdown, or (God forbid) march for Black lives.

And there is nothing life-giving or loving about proudly wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and shirts that support the dehumanizing agenda of a racist, xenophobic, transphobic, “pussy-grabbing” narcissist. (Exhibit C: 45’s Twitter account.)

As a faithfully pro-choice Christian, I choose to journey in compassion with those discerning abortion, parenting, adoption, or foster care — all without coercion or condemnation.

I choose to advocate for policies and practices that support the well-being of women and families, such as affordable housing and health care, paid family and medical leave, comprehensive sex education, birth control, and equal pay.

I choose to live out my faith with fear and trembling, seeking to dismantle systems of oppression — inside and outside the church — which rob immigrants and refugees, LGBTQ folx, people of color, and other marginalized communities of their God-given dignity.

On this 46th anniversary of Roe, I stand with Catholics for Choice and the vast majority of Christians and Americans who are in favor of keeping abortion safe and legal.

I choose love. I choose life. Will you?