An open letter to Edmonds City Councilmembers:
This morning I had a conversation with my wife about why I have been so concerned about the Edmonds City Council making a resolution regarding abortion. On the one hand, the resolution is largely symbolic and we can easily move on with our lives as usual. But I came to realize this is not really true. The resolution has profound significance. It is different than any previous resolution passed by the council. The vast majority of the people of Edmonds want it to be a “Safe City” and while we may differ on what “gun control” means we are all against “gun violence.”
Thousands, if not tens of thousands, of Edmonds residents are pro-life. Their beliefs are as deeply held as those who are advocating for “bodily autonomy” as a greater value than the life of unborn children. We, who are pro-life, did not elect you to office to vote your personal political perspective on this issue. We elected you to work with us for the flourishing of Edmonds in cooperation with people of good will who happen to be pro-choice or pro-life.
While I am hesitant to share publicly, our relatively young congregation has over the past 10 years given more than $400,000 to humanitarian causes in our community and beyond. Last year we gave $50,000 to the Foundation for Edmonds School District for an emergency fund for students and families impacted by the pandemic who were unable to get immediate help for items not covered by other grants, such as car repair. We recently raised $50,000 for Ukrainian refugees. We are sponsoring two Afghan families through World Relief. Perhaps more importantly, when we surveyed our congregation regarding their work in the community we found that our folks were serving 105 helping organizations.
My point is that we are your allies in making Edmonds a better community for all, AND we are pro-life. While I am not optimistic about changing your views on abortion in the short term, I wonder if I can ask if this is really how you want to treat your partners in service? Why would you willfully and unnecessarily create division in our community? We already know that we disagree on this issue and we work together as people of good will in spite of it. You are fundamentally changing that calculus by using the city council as a platform to present your personal views thereby disrespecting your fellow citizens who are your partners in working for the common good.
I would like to suggest an alternative approach. When this resolution comes up in the council meeting, please share your perspective on this important issue. You can signal to all where you stand. But then please vote, “No,” on the actual resolution in order to avoid one more step in the creation of division in an already divided community. Stoking the flames of discord must stop if we are to build a quality life together.
Barry Crane, Pastor
North Sound Church, Edmonds