By Akin Ojumu

John Ragan is a Republican member of the Tennessee House of Representatives for Oak Ridge District 33, in Anderson County, Tennessee. A staunch “pro-life” politician, the man is a foot soldier at the forefront of the fight to prevent women from terminating their pregnancies for any reason.

As far as Representative Ragan is concerned, once a woman gets pregnant, she is duty-bound to carry the pregnancy to term and deliver the baby no matter what. Under no circumstances can she be permitted to terminate her pregnancy. There can be no exception made for her to have an abortion, not even if her life is at risk or she is a 10-year-old victim of incest.

In the Tennessee Legislature, John Ragan sits on the Joint Working Group on Federal Education Funding. The purpose of the Working Group is to come up with an excuse on how the State of Tennessee can reject $1.8 billion in education grants from the Federal Government. If successful, Tennessee will become the first state to reject $1.8 billion in federal education funding.

The Working Group held a hearing recently. There, John Ragan expressed his deep concern for “tying ourselves to the federal government.” He suggested that the federal program that provides feeding assistance to students from low-income families and students with disabilities is a waste of money that could be diverted to fund other more important programs.

Before he can support the program, Representative Ragan would like to turn the federal program to feed poor children into a performance-based scheme. Unless it can be proven that the program will increase the students’ test scores, pro-life Ragan made an impassioned appeal that the State of Tennessee should reject the $1.8 billion. He simply doesn’t see any benefit in spending money to feed low-income students if, at the end of the day, they don’t even achieve high-level education performance.

That Representative John Ragan despises the poor is no surprise. The Republican politician has a long history of targeting funds earmarked for school students from low-income households. Back in 2020, he turned his ire on school students whose families were behind on paying their lunch bills. He sponsored a bill that empowered schools to deny students from low-income families the opportunity to participate in school events and activities, to graduate, or to receive a diploma if they don’t use their own work money to pay off the lunch debt.

Unfortunately, there are some of my Christians friends who are easily fooled by politicians who come to them wrapped up in the pro-life banner. These uninformed Christians tend to believe that any politician who is anti-abortion is fighting the Christian cause and thus deserving of their support. 

What they fail to realize is that they are being conned by unscrupulous politicians. Most pro-life politicians have no regard for life or the Christian cause. To them, pretending to be pro-life is a means to an end, and the end is to win elections and gain political power.

The pro-life advocacy of Republican politicians stops in the labor room. The moment the baby is born the woman and her child are on their own, abandoned to fend for themselves. It’s no concern of theirs that the woman doesn’t have the means to provide food, shelter, healthcare, or education for her child. 

In fact, these pro-life Republicans make it their mission to promote policies and enact laws that deny the woman and her child food, housing, healthcare, and education. At the same time, they fight, tooth and nail, to give unlimited tax breaks to the rich and powerful at the expense of the poor and powerless.

Here are the obvious facts. You can’t be pro-life and be pro-starving poor children at the same time. There’s no authentic pro-life politician who’d want to take away funds for feeding students from low-income families or deny food to students with disabilities. 

Any politician with a reputation for turning his back on the needy is a politician without a soul and an enemy of God. Such a politician is anti-life and not pro-life.


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