The ProLife Team Podcast 102 | Albert Reyes & Jacob Barr | Talking about Racism and Abortion

The ProLife Team Podcast
The ProLife Team Podcast 102 | Albert Reyes & Jacob Barr | Talking about Racism and Abortion
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Listen to Albert Reyes and Jacob Barr talk about racism and abortion in an attempt to collect another interview for the virtual museum on the history of abortion. Albert Reyes was recommended to be interviewed on this topic by Lori Morrow.

Summary

This is Jacob Barr, and I had the opportunity to talk with Albert Reyes on the Pro-Life Team Podcast about several critical issues regarding racism and abortion. Albert Reyes, with a deep background in ministry and leadership in serving vulnerable communities, shared his insights on these complex topics.

Albert discussed the disparity in healthcare and insurance coverage among minorities in America, noting that a significant portion of the uninsured population comprises people of color. This situation, he suggested, could contribute to the higher rates of abortion among minority groups, particularly when combined with unplanned pregnancies and economic challenges.

Addressing the issue of racism, Albert emphasized that racism is fundamentally a sin and has no place in Christian faith or biblical teachings. He pointed out the importance of seeing every life as sacred, irrespective of race or background. According to Albert, the Christian worldview and biblical principles advocate for the sanctity of life, making abortion fundamentally inconsistent with these beliefs.

Albert also touched on the importance of family structures, noting the vital role of fathers in the family unit. He highlighted the challenges faced by single parents and the need for community support, including churches, to step in and provide assistance and resources.

In discussing the impact of systemic issues like racism and the justice system on minority communities, Albert stressed the need for more comprehensive support systems. He shared about programs like Family Pathways and Next Step, which Buckner offers, aimed at helping single parents and young adults transitioning out of foster care.

Albert’s reflections on the intersection of racism and abortion bring to light the complex social, economic, and spiritual factors at play. His emphasis on biblical teachings and the sanctity of life provides a perspective that aligns with the core values of the pro-life movement.

For those in the pro-life movement, consider using hashtags such as #SanctityOfLife, #FamilyValues, #ProLifeAdvocacy, #SupportSingleParents, #FaithInAction, #EndRacism, #ChooseLife, #HopeInCrisis, #CommunitySupport, #LifeIsSacred to spread awareness and show solidarity with these important issues.

Transcript

The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

Jacob Barr :

Welcome to the pro-life Team Podcast. I’m Jacob Barr and I’m with Albert Reyes. And today we’re going to be talking with Albert about several questions regarding racism and abortion. So Albert, I’m excited to have you on the pro-life Team Podcast. Would you introduce yourself by telling us a little bit about your back story and how you became connected with the topic of abortion?

Albert Reyes :

You bet well, I’m started out as a young man answered a call to vocational ministry at the age of 15. Came to personal faith in Christ age of nine. Baptized when I was 10 and when I became got to the age of 15 just i don’t know i felt like there was something else I could do other than just attend church you know and I had this feeling and yearning to serve more so went to the front there and told the pastor in one of our services and then I preached the first time when I was 16 and then when I was 18 the church that I went to the First Mexican Baptist Church of Corpus Christi. Licensed me to preach at age 18. Went off to college, earned ABBA in management and worked. Worked, Worked my way through with the local grocery store, Safeway and then also the university bookstore. My parents had a couple of businesses, you know, while I was growing up so I grew up in the family business, grocery stores, laundromat, candy, candy, wholesale distribution so we’re always in a work environment. So either at church, at the store or we were at school, so didn’t really have time to get in trouble. And so my dad is a former Marine and law enforcement officer so you know it is not a lot of space for wiggle room for getting off track there so I went to Angelo State University, earned ABBA in management and then I met my wife i was about future wife i was about I think 18 when I sang in a quartet at her church and so I saw her there in the audience i thought, OK, there’s this is a special service today so I went to meet her and, you know, we kind of traded phone numbers and stayed in touch she went to Vader University i went to Angelo State and so I know the road between Waco and San Angelo pretty well, at least in those years of college. And then we both graduated she went into Speech, communication disorders, speech pathology and I did business and then went on to seminary we were married in 1982 and Southwestern Seminary went and studied there. So I continued to work full time at a company called US Telephone it was GTE Sprint, and then Sprint was the name that we got stuck with and today it’s still Sprint. So it was interesting to be working full time at Sprint and customer service, going to seminary she was going full time to do her masters and then PhD at the Collier Center, University of Texas at Dallas and PhD in Communication Disorders and Brain Sciences. And I was plugging away at seminary degree. She graduated first so there have been lots of days and years when they call the office, they call home and say is Doctor Reyes there and I would say yes, she sure is you let me get her she’s in the kitchen, you know and so i’ve finished seminary with the Master Divinity and then went on to pastor full time in Dallas and worked on a on a doctoral degree and so finally earned a doctor of ministry and study of missions mythology. Then we moved to El Paso and we started a church there she was on faculty at Texas Christian University in the Speech hearing communication department Miller speech and hearing clinic. And so she quit that on a tenure track position and we went to El Paso where we started a church there Pueblo Nuevland Church by the way this weekend. Tomorrow I’m headed over there to speak at their twenty fifth anniversary service. So we started a church there. She went to work at University of Texas at El Paso. They had a speech and hearing program there so she went to work there and we started the church together with there for seven years we our three sons were born there. Our first pregnancy, the child passed away. A little girl passed away into the, I guess the twelfth week of the pregnancy so we lost our first baby while we were in Dallas and i was pastoring at a church there in close to love field. So we had to recover from that and moved to El Paso to start a church and there she became well and then we’re able to have babies there so that’s seven years and three babies went there without a church. No kids left here with a church and three kids so it was it was pretty much of an adventure lots of fun there in El Paso, texas. From there we moved to San Antonio so once again she stepped out of a tender track position that she was in and we moved to San Antonio where I became president of the Hispanic seminary there later LED it to become Baptist University of the Americas. So I LED it to be my job was to help that get accredited and certified to grant degrees, which we did all that, and that’s a great run there seven years in San Antonio. And then from there we moved to Dallas where I’ve joined Buckner International and once again my wife but she was in a tenured track position our Lady of the Lake University she became disabled there with the chronic fatigue and chronic pain fibromyalgia so didn’t she wasn’t able to continue she worked there until she had to stop and so we moved to Dallas and I’ve been married 42 years to be 43 here in January of course our sons went with us and we’ve been working now with Buckner first as the president of the children Family Services division and then in 2010 became the sixth president of Buckner in 144 years. This year’s 144 years. I’ve been at it for 16 years the last 11 as CEO. So I’m still a minister still, preach still get to back this weekend preaching. Write books, you know so because of the combination of business management and ministry, it was a good fit for that role. And while I was at San Antonio I started a PHD program in leadership at Andrews University a second doctorate and finished that at while I was at Buckner so it would have finished the dissertation so on. So it’s been a great run and working with Buckner it’s just been awesome we are we do three things, protect children strengthen families and serve seniors or transform generations by serving seniors. And so off the bat I would say as it relates to abortion and life and so on. Is that our mission, the mission I signed up for and we had to change it a little bit because it was too long before nobody could remember it including the CEO so I penned a new one that was similar to what we had a lot easier i wouldn’t make it something that we could all remember and be hard to forget so we signed up for a mission that to follow the example of Jesus in serving vulnerable children, families and seniors. And then our vision of where we’re headed is to set the standard of excellence in serving vulnerable children, families and seniors so that’s easy to remember, not as long. And so we have values that we work by but this is a ministry that started in 1879 right after the Civil War and from the very beginning, our founder who was a Baptist pastor, you know, he did all the things ministers do, but in addition to pastoring and everything that he did write sermons and so on, he really had a heart for children and families that struggled so he’s he on his own, started this ministry 1877 gathered deacons together, said, you know, he has seen a lot of dads die in the Civil War and not come back. Texas was in the Confederacy defending slavery and a lot of dads went from the South to fight and did not return, lost their lives. So he saw this happen he’s he was here in 1859 right before the war and then saw dads leave then did saw that they not come back. A lot of moms, widows became mothers became widows and then a lot of those widows didn’t survive. Mentioned being a single mother in the nineteenth. Century you’re trying to raise your children and your husband dies you don’t have a way for income. And then disease was set in, just a lot of moms didn’t survive, didn’t make it. So actually he saw a lot of children become double orphans. I’m calling double orphans we’re both mother and father are gone, no one to take care of them and that really bothered him and so he called deacons together and said we got to do something about this so they raised about 200$ eighteen, 77 and then the Deacon board said when you get to 2000 you can start. So two years went by, they got all the way up to twelve finally, he put eight hundred dollars of his own money so imagine how much is 800$ in 1879 that’s a chunk of money today. And he put the money in, lent it to the ministry, and they started in that year with the Buckner orphan so they rented a home here and in Dallas, Junius and Haskell. And then within the year in 1880 he bought 42 acres and it’s over there on Buckner and Samuel boulevard in Dallas when you go down 30 east you can see the sign that says Buckner boulevard. And so today we still own that, for instance 1880 to 2023 we still own those 40 acres and our historic campus is there plus a lot of other places so that’s the kind of a quick quick background of how I’m connected to this issue where we just believe in life and every life is precious and biblical standpoint that you know God created us in our mother’s womb and it’s sacred at the sanctity of life is Baptist believe in that and sure other Christian denominations do and so we just really you know we don’t want to just be thinking that we’re against abortion and not before what happens when the child is born right so we we’re saying we’re four children and four life we want to provide and we be every child should be deserving of a family and that’s the best place for children to grow up right and to learn, grow and develop is to is to have a healthy family and a safe environment to live in. We started out as the first orphanage West of the Mississippi, but we don’t do orphanages anymore in the US and they’re certainly not at Buckner. We’ve transitioned from that type of institutional care which is better than nothing to more in home care with family based care, foster care adoption so we are a contract license placing agency with the state of Texas so when CPS removes a child, we’re one of the agencies that are called not all agencies are faith-based about 25 % of them in Texas are faith-based The other 75 % don’t have a faith orientation. And so the state has a range of agencies they call we’re one of them and of course we’re faith-based we don’t back off of our faith and we are allowed along with the other 25 % to practice the best practices we can offer with a faith orientation in our case, it’s faith in Jesus so hopefully that gives you an idea of where we’re coming from.

Jacob Barr :

Sure. Yeah thank you for sharing your back story And yeah, your journey there. So in your opinion, are minorities in America mostly pro-choice pro-life undecided, or something else?

Albert Reyes :

Well, first of all, let’s talk about who we’re talking about minorities and we’re talking about non Anglo-Saxon people of non Anglo-Saxon descent. So that would include Hispanics, which if you think about Hispanics in general that that’s a multicultural group. You know you have Tejanos Mexicanos, Guatemaltecos, the list goes on. You know, from Puerto Ricanos, it’s just Puerto Ricans, El Salvador so all kinds of people, in fact, most of the Western Hemisphere is made-up of the Latin American people but they’re not monolithic they’re very different by language, culture, even though they’re in one group that they’re very multicultural in and of itself. And so that would be Hispanic, Latin American people and then African American people or people African descent. Of course that’s a racial distinction, but you consider minority as well. And then you have Asian folks and then Alaskan or Native Alaskan people, excuse me, and then from other parts of the world as well but I think the big groups, when we say ethnic minorities, we’re talking about Hispanic and African American and possibly as well Asian folks would be the broad strands but I would say that studying the culture, one of my degrees is in mythology which in which connects to cultural anthropology across cultural studies and so as I’ve studied different people groups around the world, the people group that are ethnic tend to be family oriented in fact, I would say for Hispanic people, the very center of Hispanic culture is the family and there’s a leaning towards collectivism versus individualism. So in other words, you don’t have an identity outside of a group, whereas in Western culture or Anglo Euro American culture, there’s this idea of individualism, It, you know, you can identify, identify yourself as me and not necessarily talk about who you’re connected to. In Hispanic culture you don’t really have an identity unless you can say I’m of this group, I’m a member of this group, right or that group, I’m the Garcias or I’m from the raises or I’m from, you know that Tejanos or whatever group you’re at there really has to be a group orientation. At the center of that culture is family. And I see some of the same trends in African culture as well as Asian culture, a lot of very tight knit nuclear and extended family ways of organizing yourself and living out that the rules of culture are really along those familial lines. And so I would say in general based on that study that you’re going to have people that value life and the children that are born in the live in those lives in that community as being more celebrating life than perhaps other cultures.

Jacob Barr :

Ok, when it comes to race and racism, well, race and racism are politically charged ideas like candidates often use to drum up votes, motivate their base, demonize a political opponents. When race is combined with the topic of abortion, candidates can swing a lot of votes in their favor by saying the right thing about race and abortion. In your view, how can Hispanic voters avoid being taken for granted and stay principled enough to navigate through the rhetoric and manipulation?

Albert Reyes :

Well, you know, so you know, there there’s interesting, that’s a great question, Jacob and I think that so here’s a thought that I just finished telling you that minority and ethnic people tend to be more valuing life and the children and so on. Now at the same time, most abortions are done or held or acted out by minority women. And so then those two those two facts kind of collide you know right now i saw a survey or data in that in the US if you were add up all the abortions 33 % of them are had by white Anglo-Saxon women, 39 % by African American or black women, 21 % by Hispanic and 7 % from other. So when you add black and Hispanic together they’re going to be the largest group of abortions happening so I think we have to ask ourselves well if the value is for life then why is the why are the numbers skewed in that direction. And so I think we can probably in additional questions get to some underlying issues of why it is that and what can be done. But I think that, yeah, it’s tempting to listen, you know, to what the messages are. And then when you mix race with abortion, definitely sound bites and messaging could cause someone to lean one way or the other. But I think if I were to speak toward the Hispanic community, you know, 21 % would be smaller than the other two groups from white Anglo females and black females as well, 33 and 39 the Hispanic community is a lower at 21 %. There’s a high value for the child in the in the family and I think that that’s the community is pretty much headed in that direction and reflects that and messaging about who we are and the message about you know, killing your child just doesn’t really resonate with his, the Hispanic community.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah. So some claim that black or Hispanic people, and well and pregnant black or Hispanic women in particular, typically receive unequal medical care. So pregnancy poses a higher risk for black slash Hispanic women compared to other women. Is this true? And if so, would it help justify abortion choice policy?

Albert Reyes :

Well, I found out that there are 27 and a half million uninsured people in the US and of that 27 and a half, million, six of ten are people of color. So 60 % of all people that are uninsured are people of color to be Hispanic and African American. Hispanic people have the highest underinsured ratios in the nation and Latinos are three times more likely to be uninsured than their non Hispanic white peers. So i do think that economics has a factor to play and the lack of insurance, perhaps the lack of access to health insurance and Healthcare is a major issue. And I did notice that minority women tend to have the more UN unplanned pregnancies than those that are not in those minority groups. And so I think it’s a combination of perhaps preparation, education, access to healthcare and then just the incidence of unplanned pregnancies then you have women that are in a dilemma with no insurance to pay for a good proper healthcare and fewer choices to make then I think that’s those are some contributing factors that lean towards. The point you made about unequal health care and health insurance, I think that is a factor. And it does pose a higher risk for black and Hispanic women, even if their values are such that they love life and believe in life and want their children. Sometimes those choices are economic and they’re difficult to overcome. So yeah, that those are, those are dilemmas that the community faces.

Jacob Barr :

What are your thoughts on what you know what is eugenics and abortion choice policy? It is abortion choice policy aligned with eugenics.

Albert Reyes :

Yeah, You know, I think the idea of eugenics is sort of manipulating the birth process and the reproductive process and you know, we would not really favor that. You know, historically we’re affiliated with the Baptist Journal Convention of Texas Baptist and historically we’ve said we believe in the sanctity of life and the reproductive process as God created it because we have a faith orientation and that, you know, our faith is Psalm one thirty nine that talks you know, my mother’s womb. You knit me together and my mother’s inward parts you knew me there and every day that I was going to breathe, all my days were numbered. I’m fearfully and wonderfully made so if you, if you think about how David the Psalmist talked about the birth process and birth itself, those are the biblical foundations that we believe in that we follow that life is sacred and really should not be tinkered with so you know, the reproductive systems were created by God. When they work together, they produce life. And we believe in that not and not really getting in the middle we’re not we know we’re not the creator, we’re the created and so the reproductive process works as is and we don’t want to get involved in that that’s so that would not be in favor of that.

Jacob Barr :

Ok, Is abortion more common among minorities in your opinion?

Albert Reyes :

I believe it is and I think again those reasons that we talked about are unintended pregnancies and under insured. When you’re when you have an unintended pregnancy and minority women tend to have more than you’re also uninsured, then you’ve got you’ve got an economic dilemma there, you’ve got a problem and if the child is born and can live and it’s a healthy child, then you’re talking about some expenses that are going to come right after that. I forget the number but over a lifetime we’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars 300 to five hundred thousand dollars I think is a number I recall probably not exactly right, but we serve a community right now near Love Field, a three square mile radius of in Dallas, texas just above Love Field where Southwest Airlines flies in. And in that three square mile area there are 95,000 thousand people living in three square miles. You know 94 % of the people in that community speak Spanish, there are 98 % are Hispanic and 90. So in that area that there’s a lower people that live in, you know get below the poverty level and don’t just don’t have resources. And so we studied that area and we figured out that the removal rate of CPS in that area is twice the number of removals. In Dallas County it’s double and then the teenage pregnancy rate is three times the national average. And so teenage girls are living in that area and just getting pregnant probably unintended and before they can be married right so yeah, I do believe that and I think the numbers will show that minority women are at a higher level of pregnancy and perhaps unintended pregnancy and then the economics aren’t there to support them. So I think that’s why people who have a faith orientation like Christians and others, we really need our ministries and our churches to bring forward solutions and then with the recent changes in Roe V Wade in Texas, churches and ministries have an opportunity to say, OK, say if you have an unintended pregnancy then you know we have these resources for you we want you to keep your child we can’t just say don’t get an abortion we really need to say you know have your baby and then you know here’s some, here’s some solutions everything from diapers to formula to you know just support for the mom and local churches and then if they if they need extra help kinship care which can be funded by the state of Texas foster care. And then if they just can’t sustain the child, then adoption, so the child can live their families that want to adopt children and people in churches that can make a room at their table and have an extra bed. Children deserve a family and I think we have to be for something and bring solutions buckner certainly does that. We’re going to celebrate 70 years of adoptions this next month in October. And so we’ve been doing it for a long, long time and I just think that we just need to be with ready solutions that are economic in nature. If the problem is economic, it shouldn’t be that kids. Women choose to abort their children because they just don’t have money. When we have all the money in the world, we have all the money we need. We just need to put it in the right place to help children live and.

Jacob Barr :

That makes sense. So some people call abortion in America a black genocide. Is this overstating or misrepresenting the case?

Albert Reyes :

Well, you know, I think in general, you know the probably should have my numbers down better, but a certain amount of period we’ve seen 50 million babies lose their lives to abortion and 50 million people that’s just a lot of people think about the potential, right, the intellectual potential, the creativity, the economic engine and power of 50 million people that that’s that could be a country, you know. And so I think that it’s just, it’s just unthinkable, right it’s just hard to imagine that we’ve lost that many people that you know they’re besides the value of life and what each child could contribute and be you need to think about the ramifications to our society just in terms of again, I go back to economics, 50 million people who could work, 50 million people among which could be could come doctors, lawyers, dentists, teachers, firemen, policemen, military people, professors, educators and the list goes on. That’s just a lot of people that so I think it’s a it’s a it’s a stain on our country right the land of the free and i you know being one that supports life and solutions for life it just sads me that was allowed to be done whether it’s black or Hispanic or any Anglo or any child of any culture. I think it’s unthinkable. Yet it’s happened. And you know, we, I think we just need to be ready to welcome a child. And a child deserves to grow up in a family, a healthy family, a safe family. That’s what Buckner is all about, protecting children and having a place for them.

Jacob Barr :

Makes sense? So some people claim that the biggest problem that black families face is absent fathers. Others say that’s a myth or that the bigger underlying problem is corruption, corruption and racism in the justice system. More specifically, the justice system is targeting black men to pull them away from their families and put them in jail, effectively creating the new Jim Crow. Who’s telling the truth here and how does that How does this impact abortion rates in black homes?

Albert Reyes :

Yeah, You know, I think that I’m just today Jacob sent in the last edits of my next book. I wrote a book called the Title it’d be released probably in spring of 2024 The title is Never Alone. The power of families to inspire hope. And the core thought of the family is that, you know, we believe that God created humanity, right so he created us and he is the creator who created the reproductive process so people continue to be born so when it came time to organize humanity, God chose a family as the basic unit, a mother, father or children. And I realized they’re single moms and blended families and there’s there are different kinds of family structures that are there, but it boils down to a family, right, Parents and children. And so one of the so I took 10 chapters, I took ten families in the Bible and I took a microscope to them and just studied everything I could to learn about them so there’s ten different biblical families, and when I found Jacob is every single one of them needs help, right they’re dysfunctional they’re broken because sin entered the world people make bad decisions and even though it’s God’s design, the way they live their lives is not God’s plan. Which is why we need a Redeemer and a Savior to restore and reconcile and to help us, you know, heal families. But even if families are broken, that’s still the unit he chose. And part of that is to have a father in the family, of course, and a mother. And, you know, my wife and I’ve been married 42 years and we’re thankful for that and, you know, we had to work at it hadn’t always been easy we have three sons and we’re a family unit. And you know, sons need their dads daughters need their dads. And so again, whatever culture we’re talking about, African American, Hispanic, Asian or Anglo, we cannot afford for dads to be gone, right whether through divorce or just, you know, just separation or just abandoning the family because that does leave a gap seeing we also have a program for single parents called Family Pathways. It’s a program where moms, usually moms sometimes dance they’ll come with their kids to the campus they live on 7 campuses. There’s about 150 families in this program and it’s about 500 people. And typically they’ll find us because there’s an economic issue or they struggle with homelessness or housing. In some cases there’s domestic violence and such, but they come, it’s an academic program, so you have to earn an associate of arts to finish the program so the goal is you come as you are and to one of our campuses, you live on the campus, there are wrap around services, but the goal is you’re a student, you have to be college ready and you have to be ready to get into Community College so we have in Dallas, we have a relationship with Dallas College and East campus and different cities we have that relationship to work with the Community College so of the single parent goes to school, earns an associate degree in the field of their choice. They get a job, they have a checking account, a savings account, they are sustainable economically on their own they get to the point where they don’t need any help they graduate, some stay for the bachelor’s some stay for the masters. We have seen some incredible turn around stories in there and so single parents can survive and they can make it and we were there to help them, you know be on their own 2 feet. But it, you know in the case where there’s a father and a mother, it takes two parents, you know and so i think single parents are like major heroes if they can do it and it’s possible with the right resources. So I think the absence of a father, whether it’s because they committed a crime and they’re incarcerated, whether it’s Hispanic male or a black male or an Anglo, that that’s a hit to the family, you know that and then of course there’s what happens when they get out, you know, do can they be reunified, can they get a job? I think Christians and the church in general has very little resource there are some ministries and I and I’m grateful for those ministries that are out there. But I think churches really need to embrace those i mean, which of us have not sinned which of us have not made a mistake just because our mistake wasn’t legal, you know, and we didn’t, we didn’t lose our freedom. But we’ve all made mistakes we all need to be rehabbed, you know so I think that’s an opportunity for churches to join prison ministries and there are many that have to join in to say that person that came out after three years or five years, how can we, you know, integrate them back into our homes? Those children need their dad, you know and if you look at the percentage of people that are incarcerated, you’re going to see higher ethnic minorities, higher black, higher Hispanic, you know, and so i think you know, just plainly speaking, you get into prison if you do a crime and you know, if you do a crime because you know you’re not, you’re not doing something else, you don’t have gainful employment or you don’t have opportunity. So there’s other issues why people, you know feel like that’s their only choice is to is to do a crime and then you get caught then you’re in trouble. As I said in my household, you know, we just unless you wanted the wrath of my dad’s belt, you know and again he was a Marine, so he didn’t mess around and he didn’t, he didn’t ask you once or twice, but just one time so we had, of course he was a man of faith, he was a Christian man and he felt it was his responsibility to discipline us and be there for us, go to our baseball games and be concerned about how we’re doing in school. He’d read the Bible to us on Sundays after church we learned our spiritual lessons at home and then we went to church to celebrate we didn’t expect the church to do it for my parents. They took responsibility to disciple us, to teach us to talk about our faith at the table, you know, to guide us along. So I think that guidance of a dad is just critical i read a chapter about that in that book about importance of a father in the home. That’s the goal and then where it can’t happen then we need to come around that single mom to help her, you know and maybe they’ll be dads that can be mentor dads for their children, but you just really need to have a father as well as a mother in the family.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, that makes sense. What would you say about racism and abortion that you were not asked about today as of yet?

Albert Reyes :

I’m sorry, can you repeat that?

Jacob Barr :

Oh sure. What would you say? What would you like to say about racism and abortion that I didn’t ask you a question about?

Albert Reyes :

Well, you know, here’s what I’d say, Jacob racism is a sin, period. It’s in the scripture, you see, you see racism happening you see, you know, Jews and Samaritans, right so you know the Good Samaritan, You know the title I’ve often asked friends, you know, is it. Do you wonder, You know, we have the Good Samaritan laws here in the US. Good Samaritan law says if you’re driving along the road and you see someone that’s having a problem or they’ve had an accident and they need help, it’s illegal not to stop and render, render help render a. That’s the Good Samaritan law in the United States. Also wondered what? Why don’t we have everyone or why there aren’t any Good Samaritan laws in India where maybe 1 or 2 % of the population is Christian. Well, maybe it’s because they’ve never heard of the Good Samaritan story, you know? And so the Good Samaritan story is actually an anomaly because no. And Jesus told the story, right so no self respecting Jew would ever say the word good and Samaritan in the same sentence. It just wouldn’t do that, you know and so there’s the Gospel of John says Jesus had to go through Samaria, right so if you’re in the southern part of Israel and you need to get to the northern part, to Galilee, up in the north or Nazareth, the route you would take would be when you get to the Samaritan border, you take a right that you go to the right, you cross the Jordan River, you go up Trans Jordan on the east side away from Samaria. And when you get to Nazareth you cross back over into Israel because in the middle was Samaria so you didn’t you went your way around, you crossed the river twice to get to where you were going and so no Jew would go through Samaria. When Jesus said i had to go, I have to go through Samaria he was on mission. He was entering a cross cultural, A racially different place. And when he gets there and he meets the woman and he says to her, you know, can you give me something to drink well, that whole conversation was driven by the Samaritan woman along cultural lines, religious and historic, right so first she says, wait, wait a minute, you’re a Jew, I’m a Samaritan like, what are you doing in the hood? What are you doing in my neighborhood? Like, you’re not supposed to be here. So then you know he’s he answers the question you know and then and so then she said, he said I want some water and she says wait a minute you’re are you greater than Jacob, our father who gave us this well And I says, well, you know if you if you knew who was talking to you and the water he offers, then you know you would have never drink you’d never thirst again. So then there’s a cultural factor in that conversation that she drove. Then there’s a historical factor she’s bringing up the history of Jews and Samaritans who hated each other. And then she said, now you Jews say that it’s the rightful place to worship is in Jerusalem but we Samaritans know we’re the true people of God. We know it’s Mount Gerizim, not Jerusalem. So which do you say it is? And so he said it’s not about place, it’s about spirit and truth those who worship this worship in spirit and truth. So that third axis of the conversation is religious, right so cultural, historical and religious aspects and I think we really need to peel that back. All that to say is that, you know, racism is not any part of the Christian faith, even though sometimes Christians make racial comments and they make, you know, discriminatory comments or people you know will make decisions that are prejudice one person over the other so none of that is biblically based that that’s sin, right that’s just less than what God, who authors all of life in all the varied shapes and sizes and cultures and languages. You know, the word that’s out in the Great Commission is Ponta TA Ethne, right to all nations. And then if you look at Revelation Chapter 7, there’s a gathering of every people, every tribe, every language, every tongue around the throne of all the peoples of the world that’s the that’s the end game that’s the end of the party it’s going to be a party with all of us there. So I think it’s a it’s a racism in general is a man made construct that it has no place in the biblical and Christian vocabulary, language, actions or behavior. And when we act that way, we just have to repent and ask God to forgive us and find a better way. When it comes to abortion, killing children is not something that’s taught or authorized or, you know, supported in biblical, the biblical texts or in the Christian faith it’s not part of what we believe we value life it comes from God and it’s precious, you know, whether you’re young, whether you’re old and so I just think that the whole argument and the issue itself, it’s a political issue, Yes, abortion and racism and the way that people talk about it. Political rhetoric yes, it is political, but I would like to frame it in a biblical construct and in a Christian worldview and ask the question of what does the Scripture say about these things? And in the Christian worldview, the way we think the world works. What is our leader say and do his name is Jesus of Nazareth. Let’s copy him that’s why I wanted to do the mission to say we want to follow the example of Jesus so what would Jesus do i’m not sure, but what did Jesus do? I can read that right? I can read what he did and I can know what he did and I can behave that way. I don’t want to get into imagining what he would do i want to know what he did, and that’s what I want to copy that’s what his disciples are supposed to do so Jacob, I think that life is sacred. Butler stands for that, and we provide solutions every day for people who want to move that direction and believe and think the same way and if they don’t have resources, we have donors and we have churches we’re related to 5000 churches in Texas called Texas Baptist. And then with there are a lot of other churches of all kinds of denominations all kinds of you know, Episcopalian and Methodist and all kinds of that fly under the Christian flag we work together we even though we’re Baptist in our roots we work with even more churches than Baptist across the nation and in other parts of the world. We’re in six countries outside the US as well. So yeah, it it’s there’s more to say there but I appreciate the questions that you’ve asked and hopefully it encourages people to step up and provide solutions and Buckner’s one way to help women who are in that crisis of an unplanned pregnancy and need help.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah and when you’re when you’re talking about the Good Samaritan, it makes me think of well pregnancy clinics who are often they fundraise to provide medical care they’re reaching out to women who are essentially on the side of the road thinking they have you know that they’re lost they’re broken. They’ve been abused. They feel like they have no choice and Planned Parenthood is you know offering them, you know an abortion. And so Princey Clinics I feel like really sort of embody the Good Samaritan when it comes to. Yeah, essentially, you know, representing people out of the church community out of faith. Believing people who are actively trying to help provide, you know, care. You know, inviting people towards healing. Inviting people towards right yeah really good things in this in this space. And really in the end yeah, abortion is just it’s evil and it’s. Yeah, yeah. Go ahead.

Albert Reyes :

Yeah, yeah pregnancy clinics make a huge difference you know, they’re they stand in the gap where, you know, a woman is in an unplanned pregnancy she’s looking for answers she needs help and it is a place where they can turn to for just a time out to think about the decisions that it’s a big decision that you’re making excuse me and there are pregnancy clinics all around that provide that love care and concern and acceptance. And in some cases, those agencies will reach out to us and say we have a mom who wants to, you know, put her child up for adoption and there are plenty of adoption agencies and parents who would love to take a child. They’re right now about 7000 children waiting for a family in the Texas waiting program these are not babies these are grown kids, you know, that reach the age of 18 and when they are have been in the foster care system because they don’t have a family for whatever reason, the state of Texas will hand them a certificate of completion like a graduation when they’re 18 and a bag or a box with their belongings and say you know good luck and that’s where the help ends. So we started a program called Next Step for the next four years to help them go through vocational training or their college degree and help them get on their feet so they can have a start, you know and we’re their family in that period. And then there’s a there’s another organization called Connections Homes. They match up young people who’ve aged out of the foster care and maybe gone through our program to be their family that young adult person doesn’t live with them but they know that’s their family for Christmas and Thanksgiving and birthdays and if they get married and who’s going to walk them down the aisle and all that. So that program is there to try to put the family together again that’s God’s design and we’re always going to try to emulate that so I think whether we’re talking about a woman who has to, who is facing abortion decision, who goes to a crisis pregnancy and all the solutions that are out there, we’re going to drive right back to the family and try to put it together and give them all the resources they can to survive and we’ve seen many success stories. In fact, Alicia Howell, I went to meet her mother years ago to present a certificate of appreciation alicia was adopted thirty forty years ago through Buckner and I’m very thankful i think her and a sibling and she ended up becoming the senior vice president and chief financial officer of the seven eleven corporation. And because one family said we have room for a baby and they took her in and now she’s, you know, at the end of her career and she’s joining our board in January so that’s just one of thousands and thousands of examples of what we do when we step up with solutions for life versus you know, ending a life and so we’re grateful to be able to provide that service.

Jacob Barr :

Awesome well, I really appreciate your time. Your time, Albert. It’s been really good to hear your thoughts and reflections on these questions. Would you close this podcast in a prayer or this interview in a prayer?

Albert Reyes :

I’d be glad to be an honor, Jacob thank you for that let’s do that. Lord, we know that even in my own example, in my mother’s womb, my two brothers and I, you knew us before we draw our first breath you knitted us together, and you made me different from my brothers. And you gave me a reason for living in a purpose, and you tie it to redemptive history and I’m grateful for that Lord, grateful for salvation, for Jesus dying on the cross, for me and for children who deserve a chance at life. Or for all those unborn children and mothers that maybe face a crisis and multiple reasons why they feel this is their only choice we pray Lord that you would speak to them and draw them towards life and towards solutions, whether it be a pregnancy crisis center, a crisis pregnancy center, a local church, a friend or relative who would be supportive and Lord help us to put our money where our mouth is and maybe it would cost us to buy diapers or to buy formula or to provide subsidized rent or whatever it takes for that mother to keep her child. And so it’s not a burden and for that child to have all the opportunity in the world so we thank you for all the foster care parents, the adoptive parents in all agencies for their willingness to sacrifice and open their homes for a child. And we thank you for the opportunities and we can do it. And thank you for Jacob bringing these issues to the fore, for people, especially ethnic minority people, Hispanic, black and others who struggle and Anglo women who struggle as well, that they might find hope in you. We say it, Buckner hope shines here we pray that you can help us continue to shine hope on this issue and to give life and value and see life as sacred pray this now in Jesus name amen.

Jacob Barr :

Amen.

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