To the individuals who gathered in Madison, Wisconsin on April 24 in protest of the state’s “Safer at Home” order, can we now say what has long been suspected? You never really were “Pro-Life,” were you?

We suspected that you were not really burdened to protect humanity, as you cheered while families were separated at the border, as you ignored yet another bloody school shooting, as you applauded the dismantling of our healthcare system, as you turned away exhausted refugees, as you laughed during his anti-immigrant rally rants. We figured that outside of gun owners and white embryos, that you really were not in this to defend the living.

But now, it is all out in the open isn’t it, neighbor?

When you are stopping traffic filled with ambulances and delivery trucks, and protesting wellness protections designed to keep people from getting sick and dying, and standing opposite nurses in face masks who are literally keeping people breathing – or when you applaud people who do — you are showing your hand.

For all your wild histrionics and your raw-throated rally cries and your garment-rending sermons and all your impassioned social media posts about the sanctity of life, here you are in the middle of a raging pandemic, packed together like lemmings, ignoring distancing of any kind, harassing essential workers, and demanding to be allowed to infect yourselves and others — while without a trace of irony, screaming “My body, my choice!”

You are complaining about your greying roots and your cabin fever and your bored kids, while 55,000 Americans have died, three quarters of a million are sick, and thousands are currently battling to win a fight for their lives, flanked by the very selfless caregivers whose work you are actively undoing. Would you think that is a little ridiculous, as a supposed pro-life human being?

I do not suppose you can see it. I guess that is how hypocrisy works. I suppose that is what cults do to people. Honestly, it must be hard keeping up with his mental instability. I imagine you are so confused by your allegiance to a serial liar, that this disconnect is invisible to you.

I am sure it is exhausting trying to keep up with who and what you are supposed to be outraged by. For weeks it was the Democrats for perpetuating an elaborate hoax, then it was the liberal media for exaggerating the threat, then it was at China for supposedly hiding a deadly pandemic that he said he had warned you about from the beginning, then it was Barack Obama for… well, for something.

And now? Now, you are being told to be outraged by the efforts of doctors, scientists, informed governors, and trained professionals — to not make more people gravely ill. Now, you are being prodded by your president to inject bleach as a cure and to see human beings as acceptable loses in the righteous cause of Capitalism.

I do not imagine you want to hear what Jesus says about all that, do you? No, I would not either.

You have always claimed to be so burdened because 4 people died in Benghazi. That was your go-to “pro-life” Hillary slur. 55,000 Americans have now died, and you are out here yelling at nurses. Donald Trump is a 50,000 times Benghazi president, and you are still full-on MAGA and demanding you be allowed to go to the nail salon and the beach.

I think that is the moral pickle you are in, friend: you want to be pro-Trump and pro-life, and those two things are mutually exclusive — because the former has no regard for the latter.

If he cared about life, he would have spoken the truth back in January or February or March.
If he cared about life, he would have offered words of encouragement to the families of the dead instead of touting his cable TV ratings. If he cared about life, he would start using his daily press briefings to actually brief the press; to let experts speak and perpetuate truth, instead of whining about his mistreatment, prescribing medicine, berating journalists, and begging for kudos.

If he cared about life, he would get off Twitter and do some learning and some listening and choose to make decisions for diverse human beings and not his FoxNews poll numbers.

But this is not about him — this is about you. You are the supposed the pro-life Christian. You are also an adult human being, with a brain and free will, and you are making choices in these days that declare what you value.

977,000 Americans are sick. I am pro, their lives. 55,000 have died. I am pro the lives of their families and loved ones. Hundreds of thousands are immunocompromised, and this illness would likely be a death sentence for them. I am pro, their lives. Hundreds of thousands could be carrying or exposed to the virus by recklessness now. I am pro those lives, too.

I am going to contend that if you are standing in defiant, middle finger opposition to doctors and nurses and science, and protections placed there to keep you and others from being brutalized by a virus and taken too soon — that you are not really fighting for life.

Maybe you need to rethink what you value. Maybe you just need to admit who you are.

John Pavlovitz

Tim Holte, Will Cioci, and Brad Horn

The original version of this Op Ed was published on

John Pavlovitz launched an online ministry to help connect people who want community, encouragement, and to grow spiritually. Individuals who want to support his work can sponsor his mission on Patreon, and help the very real pastoral missionary expand its impact in the world.

The Milwaukee Independent began reporting on what was then referred to as the mysterious “Wuhan Virus” in January 2020. Other local media did not picked-up on the story until many weeks later. Our early features focused on the economic impact, social issues, and health concerns long before other Milwaukee news organizations even mentioned the coronavirus. Over the following year, we have published hundreds of articles about the pandemic and how it has affected the lives of Milwaukee residents. This extensive body of work can be found on our COVID-19 Special Report page, a chronological index of links by month. Our editorial voice remains dedicated to informing the public about this health crisis for as long as it persists.
For medical resources, please visit the CDC’s COVID-19 page or the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. All editorial content published by Milwaukee Independent can be found at With a mission of transformative journalism, our staff is free from commercial bias and are not influenced by corporate interests, political affiliations, or a public preferences that rewards clicks with revenue. As an influential publication that provides Milwaukee with quality journalism, our award-winning photojournalism and features have helped to achieve a range of positive social impact that enriches our community. Please join our effort by entrusting us with your contribution. Your Support Matters - Donate Now