OSHKOSH, Wisc. — A Lutheran minister called out what he called the “hypocrisy” of Republican lawmakers in their opposition to abortion during the recent Wisconsin Republican State Convention.
James Reiff, who leads St. John’s Lutheran Church of Nekimi, had been invited to deliver the invocation for the convention, which was held on May 18 in Oshkosh. He chose to center his prayer on the sin of abortion and urging the Republican Party to work to reinstate the ban that once existed in the state.
Reiff began by thanking God for the historical achievements of Republicans in regard to enshrining human rights.
“Dear heavenly Father, we thank you that the Republican party was founded to champion human rights,” he prayed. “It was Republicans who gave us the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th, 14th and the 15th Amendments. These amendments guaranteed civil rights for all Americans.”
“But today, we as Republicans have an even more profound right to find for: that is to champion the right to exist,” he continued.
Reiff then scolded Republican lawmakers, stating that when they had a Republican governor who identified as pro-life, they did not work to end abortion, but now claim under a Democratic governor who will surely veto any such bill that they oppose the shedding of innocent blood.
“Father, you know that when Republicans had the majority under Governor Walker, they did nothing to safeguard the rights of the preborn. Now, however, when we have a Democrat governor, these same Republicans piously claim that they are against abortion, all the while knowing that any anti-abortion bill that they bring to the governor’s desk will be vetoed,” he stated.
“Dear heavenly Father, forgive our Republican legislators for their hypocrisy and fill their hearts with the righteous resolve to work tirelessly no matter how many sessions it may take to reinstate our 1849 bill that banned abortions in Wisconsin,” Reiff prayed.
He asked that God would remind the people that abortion is not a matter of woman’s “right,” but rather the very right to live.
“Heavenly Father, help us always to remember that it’s not about women’s rights, it’s about the right to exist,” Reiff concluded. “May this convention drive this truth into the hearts of our unwilling legislators through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
According to reports, Reiff was told following the invocation that his services would no longer be needed for the benediction that closed out the convention.
As previously reported, abortion has been condemned in the pulpit throughout America’s history. In his 1869 sermon entitled “Ante-Natal Infanticide,” E. Frank Howe, the pastor of the Congregational Church of Terre Haute, Indiana, said, “‘Sin must be denounced wherever found’ was the battle cry with which men preached against African slavery, and with which they now preach against intemperance and licentiousness.”
“And here is sin lurking in our own doors, boasted of and laughed about in our parlors, practiced in the best of our families, thrusting itself into the very church of God, ruining the souls and bodies of its perpetrators, and the fact of its wide prevalence demands the lovers of truth, and especially of them that are as watchmen upon the walls of Zion, a loud cry of warnings and denunciations. … Because I would keep you from the crime of murder, I utter this warning today.”