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The Resolution Where TEC Admits It Advocates For Abortion On Demand

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 • 5:50 am

It must also be noted that Council was in error in its 1978 statement that RCAR “appears to advocate an unconditional right to abortion” and is thus inconsistent with this Church’s position. This Church does advocate an unconditional legal right to abortion, as expressed in its oft-repeated “unequivocal opposition” to legislative abridgement of that right; the RCAR/RCRC is a coalition of faith communities that, among other things, seeks to preserve that legal right. In addition, although different faith communities may express their positions in different ways, all members of the coalition share this Church’s further position that the decision to terminate a pregnancy should be made according to individual conscience and should not be made lightly or for frivolous reasons.


This is the resolution passed by the Executive Council that admits The Episocpal Church advocates for abortion on demand. 

NAC 017 - Adopted
TO: Executive Council
FROM: Standing Committee on National Concerns
DATE: January 9, 2006
RE: MEMBERSHIP IN RELIGIOUS COALITION FOR REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE

Resolved, that the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church, meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, January 9-12, 2006, approves TEC membership in the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

EXPLANATION
This Resolution is submitted because a question has been raised about the Church’s membership in the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

The Coalition
.imageThe Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) has existed for over 30 years. It was originally named Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights (RCAR). In 1993, its name was changed to what it is now. The reason for the change was a policy decision to broaden the organization’s focus beyond the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy. It now deals with a wider agenda, including family planning, the bearing and raising of healthy children, adoption, day care, parental leave, and the like.

RCRC is, as its name implies, a coalition of faith communities of various kinds. Its members include the Presbyterian Office of Women’s Ministries; the Methodist General Board of Church and Society and the Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries; the Justice and Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ; the Unitarian Universalist Association and its Women’s Federation; the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism; the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and many others.

RCRC is headed by a Baptist minister, the Rev. Carlton W. Veazey, who is assisted by a modest, but talented and hard-working staff in Washington, DC. It also has an office in South Africa. It is governed by a Board of Directors and a Council of Governors, the latter consisting of a representative of each of the member churches and organizations.

A key mission of RCRC is to put forward the pro-choice position of its member organizations—“prochoice” meaning leaving to the woman, and not legal authorities, the decision to terminate a pregnancy.  The motto of RCRC is “Pro-Faith, Pro-Family, Pro-Choice.” It seeks to counteract the widespread belief that “church” means “anti-choice” and thereby gives support and comfort to the millions of churchgoing Americans who are pro-choice, whatever their denomination’s views on the subject. As noted above, it also addresses numerous other family planning issues.

RCRC engages in a wide variety of programs. For example, its Clergy for Choice Network, which has about 1300 members, keeps clergy alert to choice issues and provides workshops and other information about the role of clergy in pastoring to persons who are considering terminating a pregnancy or who have already done so. In addition, RCRC has a powerful, Bible-based sex education curriculum that is widely used; it also teaches about family planning. Further, RCRC keeps an eye on state and federal legislatures and attempts to state the pro-faith pro-choice position in commenting on legislative efforts that might affect the right to choose. RCRC also has a youth program, called Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Freedom, which seeks to educate young people about family planning and choice issues and gives them an opportunity to discuss these issues freely and openly. RCRC was one of the sponsors of the March for Women’s Lives on April 25, 2004, on the Mall in Washington, DC; prior to the March it held an interfaith prayer service on the Mall.

Episcopal Church Membership
The Episcopal Women’s Caucus and the Episcopal Urban Caucus have been members of RCAR/RCRC for quite some time. In 1986 or 1987, both the Washington Office and the Women in Mission & Ministry of the Episcopal Church became members. (Inasmuch as these are not stand-alone entities, the Church itself is now identified as the member.)

It was evidently believed by the Presiding Bishop and senior staff that this reflected the repeated position of General Convention that expressed “unequivocal opposition to any legislation on the part of the national or state governments which would abridge or deny the right of individuals to reach informed decisions in this matter [termination of a pregnancy] and to act upon them.” Resolution D095, 65th General Convention (1976), entitled “Reaffirm the 1967 General Convention Statement on Abortion.”

This Resolution was reaffirmed verbatim by Resolution B009, 67th General Convention (1982), reaffirmed again in similar language by Resolution C047, 69th General Convention (1988), and again by Resolution A054, 71st General Convention (1994). These resolutions also state that abortion is permissible when the “physical or mental health of the mother is threatened seriously,” when the child would evidently be born “badly deformed in mind or body,” or when “the pregnancy has resulted from rape or incest”; in other cases a woman who is considering an abortion is “urged to seek the advice and counsel of a Priest of this Church, and. where appropriate, penance.”

In addition, the Church has expressed itself in favor of family planning. For example, the 1976 Resolution quoted above states that “the beginning of a new human life, because it is a gift of the power of God’s love for his people, and thereby sacred, should not and must not be undertaken unadvisedly or lightly but in full accordance of the understanding for which this power to conceive and give birth is bestowed by God” and that “such understanding includes the responsibility for Christians to limit the size of their families and to practice responsible birth control . . .”

Similar language appears in other of the resolutions referred to above.

In 1978, Executive Council spoke negatively, albeit ambiguously, on the subject of RCAR membership.  The Episcopal Women’s Caucus and the ECW of Washington had asked that The Episcopal Church become a member of RCAR. The Council decided that the RCAR “appears to advocate an unconditional right to abortion,” which Council believed would be inconsistent with the Church’s position. As a result, Council decided not to comply with the request, although it said it “continues to support” the “unequivocal opposition” to legislative abridgment of a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy expressed by General Convention, as summarized above.

The leadership at the Church Center in 1986-87 was apparently unaware of this 1978 action of Executive Council. In addition, as noted above, in 1982 General Convention had once again expressed its “unequivocal opposition” to legislative abridgment of the right of choice. Further, a 1985 effort to persuade General Convention to change this position was defeated, based in part on distribution of RCAR materials to deputies and Bishops.

It must also be noted that Council was in error in its 1978 statement that RCAR “appears to advocate an unconditional right to abortion” and is thus inconsistent with this Church’s position. This Church does advocate an unconditional legal right to abortion, as expressed in its oft-repeated “unequivocal opposition” to legislative abridgement of that right; the RCAR/RCRC is a coalition of faith communitiesthat, among other things, seeks to preserve that legal right. In addition, although different faith communities may express their positions in different ways, all members of the coalition share this Church’s further position that the decision to terminate a pregnancy should be made according to individual conscience and should not be made lightly or for frivolous reasons. (emphasis added)

In the 2003 General Convention, Resolution D045 proposed that the Church, and also the Episcopal Women’s Caucus and the Urban Caucus, withdraw from membership in RCRC. Quoting from some publications of some members of the coalition (including a quote from Whoopi Goldberg), it was argued that RCRC takes positions that are inconsistent with the position of the Church. For example, one coalition member was quoted as stating that a woman’s sexuality “is a blessing, not a curse,” that the woman’s “need to express it is to be honored, not despised,” and that the woman is “called to figure out what this unwanted pregnancy is all about” and to do so “without guilt or shame.” This was said to be inconsistent with the Church’s position that sexual abstinence should be taught and that abortion should not be used as a means of birth control, family planning, sex selection, or any reason of mere convenience.” No mention was made of the 1978 action of Executive Council described above. The premises that underlay D045 were challenged in committee, and the House of Deputies passed an amended version of this resolution that would have referred the subject of RCRC membership to a standing committee. The House of Bishops took no action and thus the matter died.

Thereafter, the Standing Commission on National Concerns did review the matter and voted 8-0 against withdrawal from RCRC.

Inasmuch as membership in RCRC is fully consistent with the oft-stated positions of General Convention on family planning and opposition to legislative curtailment of the freedom to choose to terminate a pregnancy, that membership should be affirmed.

Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice formerly Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights.  Religious Coalition.  I deeply resent the implication that God is sanctioning the termination of innocent life and often for no other reason than that it was an inconvenient time to accept the consequences of choosing to be sexually active.

Does the Executive Committee speak for you?  Are you willing to be a member of this organization?  If not, have you openly reputed your forced membership in this odious organization?  Have you let your diocesan leadership know how you feel? 

Many believe that The Episcopal Church is a dying organization - fitting considering their ardent and vigorous advocacy for death on demand.

The photo above shows a baby in the eleventh week of pregnancy.


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Comments:

Jackie,

Thanks for providing the documentation.  This resolution is damning indeed.  The moral rot and decay within TEC is now so far advanced that our liberal foes, intoxicated by their own success, now feel free to take positions like this quite openly.  They have no shame whatsoever anymore.  It is a sign of how totally self-deluded and spiritually blind they are.

Let it again be noted, that TEC is the ONLY so-called “mainline” denomination that is a full member of this odious religious coalition of ultra-liberal groups.  Yes, there are various activist boards in the PCUSA, UMC, or UCC that are members of the RCRC, but not the whole denomination.  One more dubious distinction for the Episcopal Church.

And I note particularly that the first time TEC/ECUSA apparently went on record as favoring the “pro-choice” position was…(did you notice too?)...1967.

Hmmm.  Interesting, is it not?

David Handy+

[1] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 10-14-2008 at 06:43 AM • top

“A key mission of RCRC is to put forward the pro-choice position of its member organizations—‘prochoice’ meaning leaving to the woman, and not legal authorities, the decision as to whether to beat her child.”

“A key mission of RCRC is to put forward the pro-choice position of its member organizations—‘prochoice’ meaning leaving to the woman, and not legal authorities, the decision as to whether to starve her baby.”

Doesn’t work, does it?

[2] Posted by Phil on 10-14-2008 at 08:27 AM • top

(A little off topic - sort of related… )
It is sad to say that if Obama is voted our president, things will most likely get even worse.  He supports live birth as well as partial birth abortion ... murder as a “right” for women!  He attempted to have passed in Illinois a bill to allow live birth abortion and if given the opportunity to place like minded liberals in the supreme court system, will most likely bring this travesty to a legal status. 

Lord help us and our unborn children!!!

[3] Posted by Fr. K on 10-14-2008 at 08:29 AM • top

Jackie, thanks for posting this information. It is past time to speak out strongly about this. Maybe we can change some hearts and minds before GC2009.

[4] Posted by oscewicee on 10-14-2008 at 08:39 AM • top

I am strongly pro-choice.
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before the baby is conceived - that is.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

[5] Posted by Philip Snyder on 10-14-2008 at 09:32 AM • top

As a followup, once the baby is conceived, you have made your choice and the only choice that should matter now is whether God wants the baby would choose to live or die.  Since God asks us to choose life, I think we can safely assume that God wants all children to live.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

[6] Posted by Philip Snyder on 10-14-2008 at 09:34 AM • top

Just becoming a grand mother for the first time and having my baby grand-daughter & her mother living with us while daddy is in Iraq, I have to say that when I see her I cannot imagine how anyone could murder such a precious gift from God that is the innocence of a helpless baby. This just makes my stomach turn and my heart break. What barbarians! God weeps and I with Him!

If one does not want a baby then one must not do what makes one! The church should go back to standing firm on teaching     celibacy until married to parents as well as young boys and girls.

[7] Posted by TLDillon on 10-14-2008 at 10:11 AM • top

I find it interesting that the erosion of TEC’s institutional pro-life stance parallels the erosion of TEC’s membership.  This may be dated, but the fastest growing denominations have been the Roman Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Church, and the Assemblies of God.  All three institutions affirm life.  That is not to say that individuals within those denominations sometimes choose abortion, but the official institutions hold a standard which is true, noble, right, pure, and lovely, rather than a standard of competing interests cushioned with words like ‘regrettable.’
I’m one off these old-fashioned Christians that believe an ongoing rejection of God’s guidance in how we live our lives places us further and further away from God’s gracious protection.

[8] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 10-14-2008 at 10:11 AM • top

On study of God’s relationship with the children of Israel, it is clear that He was offended by certain actions.  Indeed, a common refrain was God telling Israel if you don’t straighten up, I’ll exile you.  Then came King Manasseh.  He committed many evils, including Baal worship, Asherah worship, worship of the host of heaven, and the sacrifice of his own son.  He used wizardry, set up graven images in the temple, and built altars for the host of heaven in the temple.  He seduced Israel to do the same. 

Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. . . the LORD did not turn away from the heat of his fierce anger, which burned against Judah because of all that Manasseh had done to provoke him to anger. So the LORD said, “I will remove Judah also from my presence as I removed Israel, and I will reject Jerusalem, the city I chose, and this temple, about which I said, ‘There shall my Name be.’ 2 Kings 21:12, 23:26-27

No other king of Judah is recorded as seducing his people to sin.  The Bible points to King Manasseh as the explanation for Judah’s doom. I take this to mean that the institutionalization of sin or the institutional endorsements of sin is grievous in God’s eyes.

[9] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 10-14-2008 at 10:46 AM • top

Sidetrack here: Notice how many times the GC has passed resolutions affirming a woman’s right to erase a pre-born human life.  Yet when the GC was asked to reaffirm its committment to the basic tenets of the Christian faith, one of the typical reactions was “we’ve already said that once, so there’s no need to debate it again.”  Again we see that the GC is simply a political organization, and a hypocritical one at that (sorry to be redundant.)  They can certainly take a stand when they want to, and suppress discussion when they want to.

[10] Posted by Connecticutian on 10-14-2008 at 11:46 AM • top

Some good news from the Diocese of Dallas regarding this topic:  At this weekend’s convention the following will be introduced . . .

Resolution 2008 R03
Dissociation from the Religious Coaltion for Reproduction Choice (RCRC)

Resolved: The 113th Convention of the Diocese of Dallas dissociates itself from the affiliation of the Episcopal Church (TEC) with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC).

Rationale
On the 12th of January 2006 the Executive Committee of the Episcopal Church voted to formalize the relationship between the Episcopal Church and the RCRC, a registered politcal lobby, which advocates for unlimited abortion rights in the political realim.  The literature and website of the RCRC reveals that it advocates positions specifically at odds with those of the Episcopal Church as expressed by a resolution of the 1994 General Convention, which states, “As Christians, we believe strongly that if [the right to abortion] is exercised, it should be used only in extreme situations.  We emphatically oppose abortion as a means of birth control, family planning, sex selection, or any reason of mere convenience” (1994-A054, ‘Reaffirm General Convention Statement on Childbirth and Abortion’).
Such an affiliation by The Episcopal Church represents a clear divergence both from the stated postion of this church and the normative moral teaching of Catholic Christianity.

(Sponsors are then listed.)

And I say it’s long overdue!

[11] Posted by Jill C. on 10-14-2008 at 12:01 PM • top

My comment is somewhat off-topic as well, but related also.  Jill W. brought up an excellent point about the institutionalization of sin, which is what has happened to this country.  We have instituionalized abortion and I have come to believe that the demise we see going on, the erosion of the moral compass in the U.S. is like that of what happened to ancient Israel.  How many millions of babies have been murdered since Roe v. Wade?  40 million?  I heard someone that it’s closer to 50 million. 

On another thread someone correctly used the term “Moloch”.  Here’s an irony.  The shortfall in social security is due to the fact that we won’t have enough workers to support the system.  And guess, how many workers we are short, that’s right 50 million, approximately the same number of aborted babies.  If you go back to Roe V. Wade, those first legally aborted babies would be in their mid-thirties.

I believe that our rampant endorsement of abortion on demand is one of the key reasons that God is removing (or has removed) his hand of protection from this nation.  There are others, but this particular abomination places the blood of innocents before The Almighty.  That any clergy would support RCAR is beyond my ability to comprehend, because both Judaism and Christianity are very clear that all life is precious to God.

To echo Fr. K, I beseech my brothers and sisters in Christ who are planning on voting for Barak Obama to prayerfully reconsider their vote.  Not that John McCain is the right man, but that Obama is such the wrong man.  He is like the king above, who will further seduce this country into sin.  How will God look upon this nation if we elect as its leader a man who supports all abortion rights, including partial birth abortion?  How will God respond when our leader is one who marches in a gay pride parade?

Daily I pray that the Lord will not punish this country by allowing Obama to be its president.  God is sovereign and I believe that He can move His people to make the right choice.  If Obama is elected next month, I believe that God has spoken, His protection and grace have been removed from this country and He has abandoned us to our sins.  In that case all I can say is, God have mercy on us all.  And on the other 20 million, 40 million innocent babies who will be murdered by their mothers.

[12] Posted by Gayle on 10-14-2008 at 12:28 PM • top

I may have said this before, but just in case….The RCRC, as one of their stands, wants an end to the Hyde Amendment, which ended federal funding for abortion. Yet at the same time, they proclaim abortion a “private choice”. And no one sees any contradiction there, particularly the Executive Council?? Thanks for continuing to point out this issue Jackie; it’s one reason I am mostly likely going to leave TEC.

[13] Posted by DavidSh on 10-14-2008 at 12:49 PM • top

I’m not sure what this phrase really means:

“’[U]nequivocal opposition’” to legislative abridgment of a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.”

Quite apart from the overriding moral question of why abortion should be lawful at all, and I certainly agree that it should not, in a nation where the courts have already decided for us that abortion must be lawful, then who is really being protected if <a href= “http://www.nrlc.org/FOCA/index.html”>restrictions on abortions are outlawed—</a> the misguided and lost souls who seek abortions or the abortion providers who seek to increase their already fantastic profits?

Is TEC opposed to state laws that require abortions to be performed only by licensed physicians?  Would TEC support government requirements that abortion clinics meet life safety code and fire safety standards?  Should states require that women give written, informed consent before undergoing an abortion?  Should states have a say in what “informed consent” entails?  Is it OK for states to require abortion providers to contract with backup physicians with hospital admitting privileges who will be able to see and treat patients in the event of unforeseen complications?  Should governments be able to demand that abortion providers perform procedures in a sterile environment?  In short, would TEC support applying the same sorts of standards to abortion providers that are applied to all other health care providers, from hospitals and nursing homes to ambulatory surgery centers? 

Those requirements certainly limit access to abortions, either because they drive up the costs of providing abortions or because many abortion providers are unwilling to tailor their business models to providing reasonably adequate care.

[14] Posted by Rick H. on 10-14-2008 at 01:32 PM • top

I know a priest who called some members of the Executive Council after their meeting in 2006 to express his outrage and disappointment at the resolution to officially join RCRC. He told me a few members said they really didn’t like the resolution but voted for it anyway “just because” - but that most members saw absolutely nothing wrong with the RCRC and did not understand his concern at all. Needless to say, this priest several months later left TEC with most of his congregation and moved under another Anglican primate. But I keep coming back to the fact that most members of the Executive Council didn’t understand what the big deal was - how bereft of love they must be!

[15] Posted by Branford on 10-14-2008 at 02:07 PM • top

I am strongly pro-choice.
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before the baby is conceived - that is.

Exactly right… and the best way to avoid the problem is to maintain at least two layers of material between the egg and the sperm.
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Preferably denim. smile

[16] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 10-14-2008 at 02:21 PM • top

...this Church’s further position that the decision to terminate a pregnancy should be made according to individual conscience…

And if a woman’s individaul conscience was to not have any gay children, what then?  Since we are told that LGBT is genetic, would the RCRC support a mother’s right to termination if she found out? 

Just wondering.

[17] Posted by cliffg on 10-14-2008 at 03:45 PM • top

I think the gist of the problem is that these people believe they are their own gods.

[18] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 10-14-2008 at 03:55 PM • top

Vile…shame beyond measure…they shall be cast out for an eternity. Reconciliation with TEC? I’d rather die in the arms of Christ first. So much for the “inside strategy” Inside what? Murder Incorporated?
Intercessor

[19] Posted by Intercessor on 10-14-2008 at 04:24 PM • top

Absolutely terrible the TEC is associating with this organization.  I would like to see the “resolutions” they quoted in full…betcha they are somewhat taken out of context, especially given the 1994 resolution quoted above.  Anyone up to the challenge??

[20] Posted by B. Hunter on 10-14-2008 at 05:01 PM • top

Here is the 1976 resolution…can anyone find the 1967 one - it is the original.

Resolution Number: 1976-D095
Title: Reaffirm the 1967 General Convention Statement on Abortion
Legislative Action Taken: Concurred As Amended
Final Text:

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the following principles and guidelines reflect the mind of the Church meeting in this 65th General Convention:
1. That the beginning of new human life, because it is a gift of the power of God’s love for his people, and thereby sacred, should not and must not be undertaken unadvisedly or lightly but in full accordance of the understanding for which this power to conceive and give birth is bestowed by God.
2. Such understanding includes the responsibility for Christians to limit the size of their families and to practice responsible birth control. Such means for moral limitations do not include abortions for convenience.
3. That the position of this Church, stated at the 62nd General Convention of the Church in Seattle in 1967 which declared support for the “termination of pregnancy” particularly in those cases where “the physical or mental health of the mother is threatened seriously, or where there is substantial reason to believe that the child would be born badly deformed in mind or body, or where the pregnancy has resulted from rape or incest” is reaffirmed. Termination of pregnancy for these reasons is permissible.
4. That in those cases where it is firmly and deeply believed by the person or persons concerned that pregnancy should be terminated for causes other than the above, members of this Church are urged to seek the advice and counsel of a Priest of this Church, and, where appropriate, Penance.
5. That whenever members of this Church are consulted with regard to proposed termination of pregnancy, they are to explore with the person or persons seeking advice and counsel other preferable courses of action.
6. That the Episcopal Church express its unequivocal opposition to any legislation on the part of the national or state governments which would abridge or deny the right of individuals to reach informed decisions in this matter and to act upon them.

Citation: General Convention, Journal of the General Convention of…The Episcopal Church, Minneapolis,
1976 (New York: General Convention, 1977), p. C-3.

Did they really know then where we would end up on this issue???

[21] Posted by B. Hunter on 10-14-2008 at 05:23 PM • top

B. Hunter (#21) queries: “Did they really know then where we would end up on this issue???” 

I don’t think so.  Individuals, families, churches, even denominations never crumble in a day . . . it’s a slow fade.

[22] Posted by Jill C. on 10-14-2008 at 07:04 PM • top

Philip, I’ve often used a variant on your comment in #5…
I am strongly pro-choice… I believe in every fetus’s right to grow up and make choices.

[23] Posted by Free Range Anglican on 10-14-2008 at 07:45 PM • top

Child sacrifice is unacceptable to God.  Why can’t those in TEC who advocate for “pro choice” see this as nothing more than child sacrifice.  My guess is that the leadership of TEC would be opposed to capital punishment. So much for consistency in human rights.

[24] Posted by Fr. Dale on 10-14-2008 at 08:04 PM • top

Jackie—an excellent historical overview of the problem!

I never cease to be amazed at how some (even church leaders) can miss the central point in the pro-choice / right-to-life argument. The issue is not with what the mother, or for that matter what the father, want or what rights they individually or jointly may claim. They are simply the causative factors in the creation of the fetus. It is the Lord God Himself who binds the soul to the flesh of the fetus thereby making a human being.

We must assume that once the Creator has bound the soul to the flesh that anyone who does anything that will kill that undeveloped child is guilty of murder. It really is that simple.

Who, with a scalpel in hand, would turn back a brother or sister sent by God? Can a church advocate such a thing and still serve the Lord? The question is simply ridiculous.

[25] Posted by George Hood on 10-15-2008 at 01:42 AM • top

Who, with a scalpel in hand, would turn back a brother or sister sent by God?
George—These positions coming from a church that preaches “radical inclusivity”. Go figure.

[26] Posted by DavidSh on 10-15-2008 at 08:43 AM • top

George Hood, thank you for your beautiful - and so true - expression of what happens in an abortion. How could anyone do it? I really don’t understand.

[27] Posted by oscewicee on 10-15-2008 at 09:04 AM • top

I was discussing abortion with a non-Christian friend the other day.  She said she wasn’t pro-abortion, but she didn’t want the option taken away from women by law.  (Somehow, that seemed disingenuous to me, but we kept talking…)  She said killing in self-defense was legal, so how about a woman who is going to commit suicide unless her pregnancy is terminated?  I said, that the situation in question is not the run-of-the-mill reason for most abortions, but even in that case, it’s not the child that is threatening the woman’s life (like, say, a burglar would), it’s the mental dysfunction she’s suffering, probably due to too many other pressures.  It is more like a women who suffers a mental breakdown and drowns her month old baby.  That is not self defense.  That is mental illness, and needs its own treatment and care.  A mom who drowns her baby will be in jail until it is determined that she is mentally unable to tell right from wrong.  We still hold that murder is wrong.

My whole point being that the resolution still affirms abortion in the cases of mental anguish of the mom and even fetal deformity.  The 1976 resolution is a deeply flawed resolution.  If TEC can’t even hold to THAT, we’re toast.

Every case of mental illness needs the touch of God and the support of the Christian community.  Every pregnant woman who would threaten the life of her child because of her dysfunction needs the support of the Christian community.  But the fact that we can’t get to every one of those women does not make it OK to legally “allow” abortions in those cases.

I told my friend that abortion should be illegal, not because it will stop abortion (because we know it won’t) but because we as a society cannot condone infanticide.

[28] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 10-15-2008 at 10:03 AM • top

... and a follow up note.  My friend is not only non-Christian, but a professed pagan who believes in reincarnation.  Because of that, she’s more than ready to pull the plug on lots of people: pre-born, old people, people in prison… because, hey, they’re going to just get recycled and come back as something else.  Why not check out if your life isn’t any fun, and take your chances on the next incarnation?

In our syncretistic society, this pattern of thought is becoming more prevalent.  It helps to be prepared for this line of thinking, if you have much opportunity to witness to your faith in Christ.

[29] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 10-15-2008 at 10:07 AM • top

Cindy T. said:

I told my friend that abortion should be illegal, not because it will stop abortion (because we know it won’t) <bold>but because we as a society cannot condone infanticide.</bold>

Cindy, does it matter what society can or cannot condone? Should we take our marching orders from a judge or even from a group of judges? Let us ask: who makes the Law? The answer to that question really determines who is a believer and who simply wears the label.

If one says the law of men is higher than the Law of the Lord, then one says that he believes more in men than he does in his Creator.

Abortion is wrong because it violates the Law of God.

Abortion is wrong even in the case of incest or rape. It is wrong in that case not only because it unlawfully takes a human life but also because it targets an innocent soul for the sins of others.

What would the unborn say in their defense? Would the child of a rapist and his victim say: “Please do not kill me for the sin of my father. I am not guilty of that sin and I would serve God if given a chance.”

What would anyone say if it were they in that situation and they could speak for themselves? Regretfully the unborn cannot speak. They must depend on their brothers and sisters to speak for them.

[30] Posted by George Hood on 10-15-2008 at 11:30 AM • top

Hi George, I guess I wasn’t clear.  Of course I oppose abortion because it is against God’s laws.  But I was talking to a woman who does not believe in God.  In discussing the issue with her, it doesn’t work to appeal to God’s law—though she knows it violates God’s law.  I was appealing to her as a citizen of the USA, which has laws against murder.  I was trying to show her how abortion and murder are one in the same.

Please pray for my friend.  I believe she holds these views largely because she was a rejected and abused child who was raised in foster care.  She really does not like children, because her own mother disliked children (her).  I am praying that Jesus will (partially through my prayers, friendship and witness) heal her of her rejection and broken heart.  If she can find her own value as a beloved child of God, maybe she can value other children, born and yet-to-be born.

Perhaps this is at the core of many pro-abortionists’ views.  Lord have mercy on them.

[31] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 10-15-2008 at 03:46 PM • top

Cindy T.:

Thank you for your response. I am very much a student of life and of the spirit, particularly my own, since it is that one that is in the most immediate danger. You see, I am a sinner, a repentant one it is true but nonetheless a very flawed man. It is solely because my Creator has given the gift of mercy that I have spiritually survived this long.

It is for that reason that I do not tolerate within my own thinking any prevarication or equivocation. It was to my horror that one day I discovered that the Lord doesn’t simply chance upon our thoughts and desires, he already knows all of them, perhaps even before we are aware of them.

The Lord has been merciful with me. He has shown me my many flaws and has allowed me to correct them. He has even given me help. He is my only refuge from that which would destroy us all in this life.

Mercy is His. Grace is His. For those who are wise enough or smart enough to come to Him in humility and are repentant of their misdeeds, He is generous. For those who are so damaged or so engaged in sin that they no longer seek Him, He gives many warnings and, in the end, a final, certain, and terrible justice to those who do not heed.

The trials and tribulations of this world are but a preview for the sinner of the world to come unless he reforms. In so many ways, our misfortunes are frequently signals to us to change and indications of our Lord’s involvement in our lives.

For some, these signals from our Lord given through our guardian angels, are dim. The further one is from God, in the spiritual sense, the more difficult it is to hear Him. For these, time is critical and there is none to waste. They must hear the truth and they must begin to respond to it quickly or they will be lost forever.

In this context, do you believe that speaking to your friend in the language of a sinful society is doing her any good? What does her soul really need to hear? When she hears you speak of the authority of a sinful secular state, what does she think of you as a believer?

Instead, tell her who you are and step up to the task at hand. Tell her of the Lord thy God, of His mercy, of His promise. Most of all, remember that her challenge may also be your test: what does God expect of you in this instance? Perhaps there is an important reason that you find yourself in this situation. What will you do and how will you comport yourself? Will you stand up for His law or will you argue about what the law of men is or should be? Consider whether your words will please Him.

Clearly on the one hand, the laws of men permit abortion but on the other you seem ready to argue that “infanticide” is something that no society can tolerate. I beg to differ. Without adherence to His law, anything and everything is possible. It is only when the civil law conforms to His law that justice is accomplished in the secular sense.

Two final points: first, no one does not believe in God. Many deny Him but all know, even if they will not admit, that He exists; secondly, you say your friend knows that abortion is against God’s law. I say that this is tacit admission on her part that she believes He exists. She awaits a word to affirm what she already knows in her soul. Who will bring her that word?

Does He exist? I was thinking today about an Indian child, a girl of five or six years with a cinnamon colored face, black eyes and long black hair. She had a club foot that her mother wrapped in rags because no shoe would fit the deformity. If she held your hand as you walked together, her weight shifting from the bad foot to the good one would cause her to tug at your hand. In my minds eye, I once again looked down into her smiling, somewhat front-toothless grin. Then I lifted my eyes to the heavens and praised He who is the author of all that is, ever was, and all that is to come. She did not know she was imperfect. All she knew was of His love and she shined brightly in its radiance. We truly can be His gifts to one another.

Peace be with you.

[32] Posted by George Hood on 10-16-2008 at 02:44 AM • top

Your decision to commit murder should not be done “lightly” ...

[33] Posted by Rich on 10-16-2008 at 01:13 PM • top

Cindy, thank you for your moving witness. Could you maybe give us a name (real or otherwise) of this young lady so we can pray for her? Dave

[34] Posted by DavidSh on 10-16-2008 at 02:17 PM • top

Thanks, David, so much.  Please pray for Jes.

[35] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 10-16-2008 at 02:53 PM • top

If it isn’t moral to vote pro-choice, how is it moral to pay for pro-choice lobbying?

[36] Posted by Sr. Sarah on 10-17-2008 at 06:45 PM • top

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