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Abortion as a Moral Choice

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 • 7:55 am


Christ, have mercy:

[A] few years later, I did have an abortion. I was a single mother, working and pursuing a path to ordination in the Episcopal Church. The potential father was not someone I would have married; he would have been no better a candidate for fatherhood than my daughter’s absent father. The timing was wrong, the man was wrong, and I easily, though not happily, made the decision to terminate the pregnancy.

I have not the slightest regret about either of these decisions, nor the slightest guilt. I felt sorrow and loss at the time of my abortion, but less so than when I’d miscarried some years earlier. Both of my choices, I believe, were right for me and my circumstances: morally correct in their context, practical, and fruitful in their outcomes.

That is, both choices were choices for life: in the first instance, I chose for the life of the unborn child; in the second, I chose for my own vocational life, my economic stability, and my mental and emotional health and wholeness.

Shortly after my ordination to the priesthood, I was asked to speak at the National Abortion Federation’s annual meeting, on a Clergy Panel, with the theme of “Abortion as a Moral Choice.” I wondered skeptically who would attend such a panel, but to my surprise, the room was packed with people - abortion providers and other clinic workers. Our audience was so eager and grateful to hear their work affirmed, to hear religious authorities assuring them that God was on their side! I understood that I had a responsibility, indeed, a call, as a pro-choice religious professional, to speak out and to advocate publicly for women’s reproductive rights and health, and I have tried to be faithful to that call.

To talk theologically about women’s right to choose is to talk about justice, equality, health and wholeness, and respect for the full humanity and autonomy of every woman. Typically, as moral theologians, we discuss the value of potential life (the fetus) as against the value of lived life - the mature and relational life of a woman deciding her capacity to continue or terminate a pregnancy. And we believe that, in general, the value of that actual life outweighs the value of the potential.


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Comments:

Moloch is rejoicing with you in your “choice”.

[1] Posted by Marty the Baptist on 12-18-2007 at 09:20 AM • top

This article demonstrates just about everything wrong with the 60s “new thing” that can be expressed. 

It also displays the idiocy of relativism.

[2] Posted by Saint Dumb Ox on 12-18-2007 at 09:24 AM • top

And we believe that, in general, the value of that actual life outweighs the value of the potential.

And I believe that the unborns’ right to live is more important than inconveniecing the mother for nine months.

This woman’s child could be living, right now, in an adopted family who would love him or her passionately.

[3] Posted by selah on 12-18-2007 at 09:28 AM • top

I am so appreciative of the choices of Mary, whose life circumstances also had some serious challenges.  Neither she nor Joseph seemed to have considered abortion nor mulled over what choices were “right for me and my circumstances: morally correct in their context, practical, and fruitful in their outcomes.” Perhaps they did, but from what we read, this seems highly unlikely.  And I do believe I am correct in asserting that the ancients knew how to induce abortion.  Had Mary made a selfish choice, such as is characteristic of the overheated individualism of the American “ME culture”, God would have been disobeyed in such ridiculous extreme.  What if Mary had thought of her “own vocational life… economic stability, and… mental and emotional health and wholeness”?

Thanks be to God for Mary’s obedience and fellowship with the living God.

[4] Posted by Norman Beale on 12-18-2007 at 09:29 AM • top

The potential father was not someone I would have married; he would have been no better a candidate for fatherhood than my daughter’s absent father. The timing was wrong, the man was wrong, and I easily, though not happily, made the decision to terminate the pregnancy.

And what “choice” did the “potential father” have in the matter? 

Sorry kiddo, you made the immoral “choice” to sleep with the bum.  And your child gets the death penalty so you can avoid the consequenses of your decision.

Such callousness is apalling.

[5] Posted by Marty the Baptist on 12-18-2007 at 09:30 AM • top

Interesting, if somewhat sad. She was sleeping with a guy in the middle of her ‘ordination process’. The guy she slept with she did not consider to be worthy of being a father. I don’t know how she is today, but I can certainly say that her choices at one point in her life appear to have been very poor ones.

I hope that God has redeemed her discernment and she now makes much better choices. The bit about being unrepentant suggests to me that she has much further to go in that area.

I have a blog thingy

[6] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 12-18-2007 at 09:39 AM • top

Shortly after my ordination to the priesthood, I was asked to speak at the National Abortion Federation’s annual meeting, on a Clergy Panel, with the theme of “Abortion as a Moral Choice.” I wondered skeptically who would attend such a panel, but to my surprise, the room was packed with people - abortion providers and other clinic workers. Our audience was so eager and grateful to hear their work affirmed, to hear religious authorities assuring them that God was on their side!

Here we have a stark, textbook example of what Hannah Arendt called “the banality of evil.”  This amoral woman is not satisfied with the extermination of her unborn child, conceived with a man whom she considered wholly unfit for fatherhood, but now she needs to pass on the lie that God Himself is pleased with the actions of those who make it their life’s work to destroy His most precious creation at its most innocent and vulnerable.

May God have mercy on her soul.

[7] Posted by Jeffersonian on 12-18-2007 at 09:53 AM • top

Anglicans for Life has an online petition calling for the Anglican Communion to affirm that every life is a precious gift from God that is to be protected at every stage from conception to natural death, and to encourage all Anglicans to oppose abortion and euthanasia.  Associated with this petition is a one-question poll concerning the affiliation of TEC with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

[8] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 12-18-2007 at 09:57 AM • top

Equal rights for unborn women!

[9] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 12-18-2007 at 10:03 AM • top

[A] few years later, I did join the order. I was just a simple mercenary, working and pursuing a path to ordination in the church. The noble who had tried to enlist me was not someone I would have served; he would have been no better a candidate for obedience than my previous employer. The timing was wrong, the man was wrong, and I easily, though not happily, made the decision to join the Templars.

I have not the slightest regret about either of these decisions, nor the slightest guilt. I felt sorrow and loss when I killed my first Saracen, but less so than when I’d brawled with a Christian some years earlier. Both of my choices, I believe, were right for me and my circumstances: morally correct in their context, practical, and fruitful in their outcomes.

That is, both choices were choices for life: in the first instance, I chose for the life of the Saracen infidel; in the second, I chose for my own vocational life, my soul’s place in purgatory, and my mental and emotional health and wholeness.

Shortly after my ordination to the priesthood, I was asked to speak at the International Templar’s Federation’s annual meeting, on a Clergy Panel, with the theme of “Murdering Saracens as a Moral Choice.” I wondered sceptically who would attend such a panel, but to my surprise, the room was packed with people - thugs and other mercenaries. Our audience was so eager and grateful to hear their work affirmed, to hear religious authorities assuring them that God was on their side! Yes, indeed, God wills it! I understood that I had a responsibility, indeed, a call, as a pro-crusading religious professional, to speak out and to advocate publicly for our rights and health, and I have tried to be faithful to that call.

To talk theologically about a man’s right to crusade is to talk about justice, equality, health and wholeness, and respect for the full humanity and autonomy of every citizen of Europe. Typically, as moral theologians, we discuss the value of infidel life (the Saracen) as against the value of lived life - the mature and relational life of a man of Christendom deciding his capacity to continue or obtain an indulgence for his sins. And we believe that, in general, the value of our souls outweighs the value of the infidel.

With all due apologies to any crusaders reading for suggesting a moral equivalence between their activities and the cold-blooded murder of those people yet to be born.

[10] Posted by Boring Bloke on 12-18-2007 at 10:03 AM • top

Our audience was so eager and grateful to hear their work affirmed, to hear religious authorities assuring them that God was on their side! I understood that I had a responsibility, indeed, a call, as a pro-choice religious professional, to speak out and to advocate publicly for women’s reproductive rights and health, and I have tried to be faithful to that call.

  Any woman, whether purportedly in holy orders or not, who has had an abortion should be remorseful and penitent.  If this woman actually believes that this is her “call” then she is truly deranged.

[11] Posted by Piedmont on 12-18-2007 at 10:09 AM • top

Suppose on this same occasion there had been a panel discussion “Capital Punishment as a Moral Choice.” Somehow I suspect that the vast majority of attendees would be vehemently against capital punishment. This inconsistency of moral positioning never seems to bother these people.

[12] Posted by BillS on 12-18-2007 at 10:14 AM • top

[11] Posted by Piedmont on 12-18-2007 at 10:09 AM

Greg:  This numbering scheme is new, eh?

[13] Posted by Piedmont on 12-18-2007 at 10:14 AM • top

May our Lord protect the flocks from such a shepherd.  Surely He will remember the church that holds and affirms this woman priest and will demand justice from those who ordained her and turned her loose on the faithful.  I have a daughter in TEC.  The thought of this person acting as a priest in my child’s church brings a cold, sick feeling.  God protect us all from these dark priests TEC has loosed.

[14] Posted by Elizabeth on 12-18-2007 at 10:18 AM • top

This woman’s attempt to justify, defend and glorify her evil hits very close to home for me.  For there but for the Grace of God go I.  I too had an abortion.  But God in His great mercy singed my heart with a sorrow overwhelming and a shame not to be borne.  He showed me in an instant the horror of the sin I had committed.  Yet in that dark of horror the light of His love, forgiveness and hope shone forth.

  Did that light burn? Yes it burned.  Did that light expose the dark corners of my heart and soul?  Yes it took away my hiding places.  Would I ever seek out that cool, empty, safe darkness again.  Without Christ you bet I would.  But God did not allow me to be lost to the evil I had committed.  Instead He used the sword of His Truth to save me.  What a wonderous love is His.

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ is God’s promise that the woman who wrote this article need not be damned for eternity.  I pray she turns from that seducer the devil.  I pray she humble herself before God and becomes once again His beloved child.

[15] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 12-18-2007 at 10:35 AM • top

... will demand justice from those who ordained her and turned her loose on the faithful.

According to Church Publishing, Inc. she was ordained in and is canonically resident in Massachusetts.

[16] Posted by Piedmont on 12-18-2007 at 10:38 AM • top

I think this is the money quote from the article
“...morally correct in their context, practical, and fruitful in their outcomes.”
Can you imagine having this woman counsel any of your children about any moral dilemmas or choices they may face?

[17] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 12-18-2007 at 10:42 AM • top

What a bunch of self-justifying tripe. Yet another example of the moral idiots and socio-paths that fill the ranks of Episcopal clergy. [remark deleted] Truely and surely the Episcopal church is the hand-maiden of hell. I might get my comment removed, but alot of clergy in the general convention church is scummy,vile, sucubi. Lately when ever I read about or interact with the Episcopal church I have this dirty feeling like I need a bath. You can feel the evil.The revisionist servants of hell really need to be cut out of the Anglican Communion like the cancer they are and left to march on to eternal damnation of hell that surely awaits. Lord have mercy, on us all. I may just become Orthodox after all.

[18] Posted by Anglo-Catholic-Jihadi on 12-18-2007 at 10:46 AM • top

The potential father was not someone I would have married; he would have been no better a candidate for fatherhood than my daughter’s absent father. The timing was wrong, the man was wrong, and I easily, though not happily, made the decision to terminate the pregnancy.

I don’t have enough evidence to judge the “timing” or “the man” (ok… I guess I have enough information to judge the man)...

...but there’s no question that it was the wrong woman.

There is nothing you can achieve with your “vocational life”, “economic stability”, and your “mental and emotional health and wholeness” (sic) that can compare.

And she isn’t even making a fair comparison… as the child could easily be put up for adoption. I know families searching (and waiting) for babies from other countries who would love to give that child a home.

This article is incredibly painful to even read. To think that there are such people in the world who think they are called to the ministry.

[19] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 12-18-2007 at 10:50 AM • top

Piedmont -

If this woman actually believes that this is her “call” then she is truly deranged.

An excellent point. So if we agree that the Father issues no such “calls”... and that she is responding to some calling…

... who/what is on the other end of the conversation?

[20] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 12-18-2007 at 10:54 AM • top

Paula Loughlin (#15) - Powerful testimony.  Thank you for having the courage to share that with us, and Praise God for taking you back into His loving arms again!

[21] Posted by CarolynP on 12-18-2007 at 10:57 AM • top

From the website that published this article:
About Me
Reverend Anne Carroll Fowler is an Episcopal priest and Rector of St. John’s Church in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts and is currently co-convener of the Pro-Choice Religious Leadership Council of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. She is also a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice Speakers Bureau. She is a former member of the Boards of Preterm and Planned Parenthood and of the Ethics Committee at Faulkner Hospital, a former chair of the Women-in-Crisis Committee and the Sexuality Study Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. She is a participant in the Public Conversations Project, the ongoing dialogue among “pro-life” and pro-choice leaders in Boston. She is also President of the Board of the Massachusetts Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry.

[22] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 12-18-2007 at 10:58 AM • top

Piedmont,

Yes, the numbering scheme is new. Several people have requested it over the past few months so I took a few minutes to do it. The numbers act as the [link]s used to - they contain a permalink to the exact comment that you can use in email or as a link in another comment… right-click and choose “Copy shortcut” or “Copy link location.”

[23] Posted by Greg Griffith on 12-18-2007 at 11:03 AM • top

Jihadi,

Not the whole comment, just part of it… wink

[24] Posted by Greg Griffith on 12-18-2007 at 11:05 AM • top

Let me get this straight, the author made a free will decision to engage in sexual activity with a man who she was not married, did not plan to marry and was not a good candidate to be a good husband or father, as a result from this evening’s “entertainment” was an undesired new life with unique DNA, an unintended externality.

Individual Rights - Since this new life, a daughter, has unique DNA, it is not a part of the woman’s body. Since this is a developmental stage of reproduction of humanity, it is incorrect to claim the same status as virus or other pathogen with unique DNA. The desirability has no impact on the right, as loathsome speech is still protected. Therefore this mothers choice violated her daughters right to be born as she had been and every other adult was given the chance.

Distributive Justice—If mom had been given life the daughter should be given life.

Utilitarian—Utility must be on the whole good not the good of a specific individual. While the mother and father certainly benefit from the mothers decision to forgo any responsibility of killing the child and rationalizes using a utility argument, she abuses the theory for the utility of the good of the daughter is not counted, neither of the benefit to society this life could contribute or the happiness of her future husband or the contribution of grandchildren after but purely focuses on the mother’s tangible prosperity which is an improper use of this theory.

Hmmm ... her moral choice seems to fail by three secular theories, in fact two outright make claim for her action to be an immoral action.

I think this author needs a good Catholic school education (where I was taught logical ethics to a level that seems more emphasized then my Protestant schooled friends), for theological heritage of thinking about ethics and moral goods. I was reminded by of this a weekend ago listening to a Catholic lawyer go through result of unintended evil by a good act (thus mitigating the former) or the good resulting from an evil act (thus negating the former), but this is evil result from an evil act.

——

Pure Christan ethics are much simpler and she still fails Thy shall not murder.

Also that bit forbidding of sacrificing a child to the god of prosperity (which is actually what this is at it’s root, child sacrifice for the offering of prosperity - I bet this priest never thought of it that way but her own words in this article betray her to prove that’s exactly what she did and thought, but a new nifty name mane child sacrifice acceptable).

[25] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 12-18-2007 at 11:10 AM • top

#15—St Paul was the chief of sinners yet by grace chosen by God to be a mighty witness to us gentiles. He surely paid the temporal consequence for his sins, yet even those God redeemed for his glory! Truly we serve a great Redeemer and by reading the tone in your post, I trust the LORD can heal you and redeem this area of your life for His glory. [*Hugs*]

[26] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 12-18-2007 at 11:15 AM • top

No problem Greg, I thought that might happen. My main point is that it is truely scary some of the people TEC has seen fit to ordain through the years.This church has Bishop Spong ,Carter Haywood, Gene Robinson and a whole host of clearly demented people in official positions. If I had my own children I sure would not allow them to have anything to do with TEC. Is it any wonder that Evangelical churches have no problem attracting young families and we are dying. Run and run fast!

[27] Posted by Anglo-Catholic-Jihadi on 12-18-2007 at 11:16 AM • top

Let me get this straight, the author made a free will decision to engage in sexual activity with a man who she was not married, did not plan to marry and was not a good candidate to be a good husband or father

Isn’t that amazing? She’s so anxious to get to the “I had a good reason, that I think God agrees with, to kill my baby” that she just glosses right over this indictment of her character?

Look… I’m not saying that christians don’t struggle with how to display affection and attraction to those we are courting while still remaining pure… and wherever the “line” is for you (even if it’s just holding hands) it can get blurred at times… but isn’t it true that this struggle is very much tied up in seeing the person as a potential life-match?

IOW… aren’t we “attracted” to her because we believe she is at least someone we could marry (if not outright expect to)?

Pardon me if I sound sexist… but my (admittedly limited) experience leads me to believe that this is at least as true for Christian women. So what happened here?

[28] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 12-18-2007 at 11:35 AM • top

The article above is, indeed, very dark. For me, it is a stark and graphic reminder that we are engaged in struggle that is about so much MORE than mere church property, money, and relative power within the Church. Those of us on the orthodox side need to always remember that, ultimately, we are engaged in spiritual warfare. I have that term, “spiritual warfare”—it has a vulgar and simplistic ring to it, and sounds, to my ears, decidedly odd coming out of the mouth of an Anglican. But there is simply no other to characterize what is going on in the Church these days. We on the orthodox side are battling people who mock the Word of God (“we wrote the Bible, and we can rewrite it, if we want to”); we are battling people who openly refute the most basic tenets of Christianity; and—yes—we are battling people who slaughter innocent babies with no sense of remorse or shame at all…

Yesterday, there was a fairly loud and raucous dust-up on Stand Firm regarding Bishop John Howe’s various positions regarding that is going on within the Anglican fold these days. I am afraid that I may well have been one of the more raucous and loud participants in that debate. At the end of the day, I was satisfied that the matter had been clarified in a reasonable and forthright manner. But I want to take this opportunity now to offer apologies to anybody and everybody that I may have upset with my various comments—I especially want to apologize to Greg and Sarah if my defense of John Howe’s character seemed unnecessary or if it caused offense in any way. It was not my purpose to defend his various actions and statements as the Bishop of Central Florida. In fact, as I stated several times, I am in complete disagreement with most of Bishop Howe’s posture regarding TEC. I was merely trying to defend his character and to argue that, from my point of view, he is a man possessed of exceptional spiritual gifts. If I did not do a good job of explaining myself, or if it seemed as if I was unduly attacking, I want to now—publicly—apologize to Greg, and to ask his forgiveness…

However, reading over the article above, I am reminded of the phrase, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Personally, I would gladly surrender ALL church property and ALL church endowments and trust funds, if in doing so I could prevent this hideous slaughter of innocent babies. others may think differently than me, on this point. But I am appalled and horrified when I read apologetics for infanticide, such as the article above.

Over the course of several decades, John Howe has stood up for these babies. He is clearly an enemy of those who would continue to kill babies—and he is especially an enemy of those who would kill babies with the sanction and blessing of the Church… On this point, we should ALL be able to agree.

More to the point, I think, we must ALL try to keep in focus the fact that we really ARE engaged in ferocious spiritual warfare with forces of darkness that are almost incomprehensible representations of pure evil. Christ, have mercy, indeed… Have mercy on all of us who do so little while your children are slaughtered in the womb! Christ, have mercy—and give us the strength and wisdom to know how to battle such evil, so that you, Lord, might receive all the glory.

[29] Posted by bluenarrative on 12-18-2007 at 11:39 AM • top

What’s next?  Consider the following piece of fiction:

A few years later, I killed my neighbor. I was a single mother, working and pursuing a path to ordination in the Episcopal Church. My neighbor was not someone I would have chosen to live next to.  The timing was wrong, the man was wrong, and I easily, though not happily, made the decision to terminate his life.

I have not the slightest regret about this decision, nor the slightest guilt. I felt sorrow and loss at the time of the killing, but less so than when I spilled my no-fat latte the previous day.  My choice, I believe, was right for me and my circumstance: morally correct, and fruitful in its outcome.  The house next door is much more quiet, and my life more peaceful.

[30] Posted by Maxwell on 12-18-2007 at 11:43 AM • top

That essay by the Rev. Anne Fowler is one of the most warped and evil things I have read in a long time.

DoW

[31] Posted by DietofWorms on 12-18-2007 at 11:45 AM • top

Sick!

[32] Posted by DaveG on 12-18-2007 at 11:50 AM • top

bluenarrative

The article above is, indeed, very dark. For me, it is a stark and graphic reminder that we are engaged in struggle that is about so much MORE than mere church property, money, and relative power within the Church. Those of us on the orthodox side need to always remember that, ultimately, we are engaged in spiritual warfare.

Amen!

I have that term, “spiritual warfare”—it has a vulgar and simplistic ring to it, and sounds, to my ears, decidedly odd coming out of the mouth of an Anglican.

grin  To these ears as well… but you’ve got it right… that is what is happening. The issues around sexual sin are “merely” the syptom. Sin is the disease.

[33] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 12-18-2007 at 11:51 AM • top

have= hate… I hate the term “spiritual warfare”

I can be such a terrible typist at times!

[34] Posted by bluenarrative on 12-18-2007 at 11:59 AM • top

Abortion as a Moral Choice

It certainly is.  Morally speaking, it’s an evil choice. 

Paula L:  Does the RCC still consider ectopic pregnancy to be the only viable reason to abort?

[35] Posted by J Eppinga on 12-18-2007 at 12:05 PM • top

God help us! How does someone, who claims the Gospel even, get so twisted and perverse in their thinking?

[36] Posted by DaveB in VT on 12-18-2007 at 12:06 PM • top

I will absolutely never understand pro abortion Christians.

My oldest would have been 19 this year.  He was born with a severe brain defect, and died when he was 3.  We found out during the “sonogram from Hell”.  It was never a question whether he should have a natural life and a natural death.  Taking care of him defined my wife and I, in a good way.  I would never trade those three, long, hard years for anything.

A priest in our parish once gave a homily on the Feast of the Holy Family in which he told us what family stood for -
Forget
About
Me -
I
Love
You

[37] Posted by Paul B on 12-18-2007 at 12:07 PM • top

Right now there is a girl who considers herself a Christian.  She attends church, she believes the Bible and recites the creeds with all sincerity.  She may even be active in her youth group and trys her best to witness the love of Christ to all.

But she like so many of us thought she was ready to have sex.  Maybe she is planning on marrying the boy.  Maybe she fell victime to a moment of temptation.  It might have happened once or many times.  But she had sex and she is now pregnant.

The church she attends does not talk much about sex or pregnancy or birth or abortion.  The pastor and youth leaders trust the half hour of Sunday school and the hour of Tuesday night youth group have given the girl and others all they need to make a good moral decision.  They let it be known that sex should be saved for marriage but that pretty much all they let be known.

Now she is pregnant.  She prays and prays about what to do. Because she does want to live her life as a Christian she decides to find out what churches teach about abortion.  Whether it can ever be a moral choice which not only is not wrong but will glorify God and bring her closer to Him.  If she belongs to any mainstream Protestant denomination she will soon find that abortion though viewed as a imperfect choice remains a valid one in any number of circumstances.  The circumstances range from being a threat to the life and health of the mother or needing to complete one’s education.  Still the girl has doubts but decides to speak with someone at a local abortion clinic.  There she meets with a spiritual counselor.  A clergy man or woman who is a from the very same denomination as the girl.  Told all the Christian reasons why an abortion is the best choice for her she makes the appointment.

Then the feet in the stirrups,  the pinch of the needle, the numbness, the sound of the vacuum,  the tugging and cramping and the invasion.  That awful invasion.  A glass of juice, a rest, a prescription and an aftercare sheet.  No baths, no douche, no sex. Call 911 if you start bleeding heavily.  Have a friend drive you home.

It is only then she discovers that the church she trusted to lead her into Truth, has lied.  That the serpent has left the garden and is in the rectory.

[38] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 12-18-2007 at 12:08 PM • top

Are there any checks and balances on who can become an ordained clergy member?  Are there any interviews conducted?  Are the people who conduct the interviews competent?  Just wondering if there is a procedure.  It seems as though we let any warm body enter the clergy.

Why is someone who is about to be ordained a priest involved in a casual sex relationship?  I would think that when one decides to follow the path to priesthood that they would live a life that is according to christian and moral principles and if they were truly reformed they would make changes in their life to reflect that commitment.  I do understand that people are weak and make mistakes, but an ongoing relationship out of wedlock with someone who one knows is not husband and father material is not a moment of weakness but a decision to carry on a casual affair while preparing for ordination. Good grief!

[39] Posted by nochurchhome on 12-18-2007 at 12:10 PM • top

Moot - If it will result in the death of both than I was taught the moral good would be to save the life they are able. Generally an ectopic pregnancy would bring death to both mother and child, so in that situation I was taught the moral imperative was to save the mother’s life—all the decision tree stuff, I’ll let a Catholic go through, I’ve heard the hypotheticals, but I did not retain them.

[40] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 12-18-2007 at 12:13 PM • top

Ms. Fowler is a higher-up within the RCRC, of which TEC is a prominent member.  For more on the RCRC and TEC’s involvement, see my comment on an earlier posting by T19:
http://tinyurl.com/2h3h8u

[41] Posted by Steven in Falls Church on 12-18-2007 at 12:17 PM • top

1. She had a choice NOT to have sex with someone to whom she was not married.
2. She had a choice to RECONSIDER becoming a priest, since the role doesn’t seem to suit her.
3. The above should have been her choices.

[42] Posted by snowbird on 12-18-2007 at 12:26 PM • top

Moot.  Hope this helps.  This information is from EWTN:
“It is absolutely true that the Catholic Church bans abortion to save the life of the mother. However (and this is an extremely important point) the mother’s life may be saved by a surgical procedure that does not directly attack the unborn baby’s life.

The most common dysfunctions that may set a mother’s life against that of her unborn child’s are the ectopic pregnancy, carcinoma of the uterine cervix, and cancer of the ovary. Occasionally, cancer of the vulva or vagina may indicate surgical intervention.

In such cases, under the principle of the “double effect,” attending physicians must do everything in their power to save both the mother and the child. If the physicians decide that, in the case of an ectopic pregnancy, the mother’s life can only be saved by the removal of the Fallopian tube (and with it, the unborn baby), or by removal of some other tissue essential for the preborn baby’s life, the baby will of course die. But this would not be categorized as an abortion. This is all the difference between deliberate murder (abortion) and unintentional natural death.”

[43] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 12-18-2007 at 12:34 PM • top

Bottom line - life begins at conception.  The color of your hair, eyes,  how tall (or, in my case, short) you will be, the pigment of your skin, whether you can carry a tune or need a bucket, whether you can run the 40-yard dash in 4.3 or 7.0 seconds, etc. has already been decided.  Abortion, like any sin, can be forgiven…but you first have to be repentent.  This poor woman is living with a veil over her eyes.  Jesus, I ask you to reveal to her the sin and lie of her belief that this was “her choice” to make.  Break her heart so she can be forgiven.  Help her to see how much You love her.  Amen.

[44] Posted by B. Hunter on 12-18-2007 at 12:38 PM • top

The Episcopal Church has become a very evil place.

[45] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 12-18-2007 at 12:57 PM • top

I suppose that, intellectually, I was already aware what an ethically misguided and confused group TEC’s “progressive” clergy had become.  But the utterly unself-conscious moral idiocy, the total ethical cluelessness of this woman still leaves me speechless.  Almost…

[46] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 12-18-2007 at 01:02 PM • top

And I assume fornication which led to the abortion was also an ok moral choice by this person… but what does the Bible say? In every form, fornication was sternly condemned by the Mosaic law among God’s people, the Israelites (Lev. 21:9; 19:29; Deut. 22:20-11, 23-29; 23:18; Ex. 22:16). Fornication is also mentioned many times in the New Testament (Matt. 5:32; 19:9; John 8:41; Acts 15:20, 29; 21:25; Rom. 1:29; 1 Cor 5:1, 6:13, 18, 7:2; 10:8; 2 Cor 12:21; Gal 5:19; Eph 5:3; Col 3:5; 1 Thess. 4:3; Jude 1:7; Rev. 2:14, 20-21; 9:21; 14:8; 17:2,4). Guess the Bible isn’t taught in seminary (or should I say cemetary) any more, you think?

[47] Posted by Festivus on 12-18-2007 at 01:18 PM • top

So, it’s okay to belong to a church that sanctions the killing of innocents, but not sodomy?

[48] Posted by Gullible's Travels on 12-18-2007 at 01:26 PM • top

That is, both choices were choices for life: in the first instance, I chose for the life of the unborn child; in the second, I chose for my own vocational life, my economic stability, and my mental and emotional health and wholeness.

To me, here’s what sticks out in the above paragraph:

. . . I . . . unborn child . . . I . . . my . . . my . . . my . . .

Total score:
My: 3
I: 2
unborn child: 1
God: 0

[49] Posted by DeeBee on 12-18-2007 at 01:27 PM • top

Check out the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, a project of Anglicans for Life and Priests for Life.  From their website:

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign is an effort to make the public aware of the devastation abortion brings to women, men, and their families. The emotional and physical pain of abortion will no longer be shrouded in secrecy and silence, but rather exposed and healed. This effort is a key to make abortion unthinkable and persuade society that women deserve better than abortion.

The campaign, a joint project of Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life, has three main goals:
Make the public aware that abortion is harmful emotionally, physically and spiritually to women and others;
Reach out to women who are hurting from an abortion, let them know help is available;
Invite women to join us in speaking the truth about abortion’s negative consequences.

[50] Posted by Branford on 12-18-2007 at 01:32 PM • top

It’s the sneer with which she uses quotes around “pro-life” in her profile that really gets to me.  Selfish and unrepentant.  I believe God has received the soul of her aborted child, but unless the mother repents, she will never see her.

Paula L., praise be to God for your repentance, for your healing, for your faith and for your willingness to witness.

[51] Posted by Katherine on 12-18-2007 at 01:41 PM • top

I sure hope “religious professional” does not come into vogue.

[52] Posted by chips on 12-18-2007 at 01:50 PM • top

The Episcopal Church has become a very evil place.

I think this about sums it up.  Even the Devil can cite Scripture to his end, and we see it in sharp relief with today’s TEC.  An organization that can tolerate the espousal of this wickedness is corrupt to the core.

Paula L #15 - thank you for your witness.  May God take the pain from you and reunite you with your child in glory.

Paul B - Bless you and your son.  The tears just flow…

[53] Posted by Jeffersonian on 12-18-2007 at 02:03 PM • top

“Jesus says nothing about homosexuality,” said Fowler. “He doesn’t care about personal salvation, the Bible doesn’t talk about personal salvation. God and Jesus are interested in community salvation of the chosen people. It doesn’t bother him that Jesus is accused of hanging around sinners so much. It’s about how the community treats the person who has sinned?”

“For a huge number of Christians,” she went on to say, “Jesus the Lord is savior for their personal salvation. It’s their personal purity that matters. That’s not what I believe.”

[54] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 12-18-2007 at 02:20 PM • top

Paula Loughlin #38 - your description is chilling.  God have mercy on those that would cheer on this evil.

[55] Posted by Phil on 12-18-2007 at 02:25 PM • top

Sorry for the above… (so much for my supposed technical skills)

That was a quote from the Rev Fowler at a recent “Bible Thumping Against Gays Doesn’t Work” seminar.

Who knew that this isn’t really about personal salvation? Christ wasn’t interested in individuals turning from sin… but rather in turning the community away from condemning sin?

I recognize that the concept of a covenant is confusing to many Christians who mistake it for “contract” instead of a family bond… but it takes it too far to ever say “He doesn’t care about personal salvation”.

She hasn’t just mistaken basic moral teachings… she’s removed the entire foundation of our faith.

[56] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 12-18-2007 at 02:28 PM • top

Anglicans for Life is not recognized by TEC, while RCRC is.

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/8020_59628_ENG_HTM.htm

From the TEC Website:

“One of the great strengths of the Episcopal Church is the diversity of views and opinions on many issues.  The following list includes organizations that highlight Episcopalians’ political, social, and theological perspectives.”

Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC)
RCRC brings the moral power of religious communities to ensure reproductive choice through education and advocacy. The Coalition seeks to give clear voice to the reproductive issues of people of color, those living in poverty, and other underserved populations. While our member organizations are religiously and theologically diverse, they are unified in the commitment to preserve reproductive choice as a basic part of religious liberty.

[57] Posted by Dr. N. on 12-18-2007 at 02:28 PM • top

It is not a consideration of the morality of abortion in TEC, but rather the availability of the services to all women!

[58] Posted by Dr. N. on 12-18-2007 at 02:32 PM • top

Paula L.,

Echoing the voice of other comments, thank you for your witness and praise be to God for your repentance and faith.

My emotions (4 weeks to go before the baby’s due) are running quite high at this time and this story makes me want to grab that woman by the ears and knock some sense into her.  It makes me think of the pain my own mother went through having three consecutive miscarriages between my older sister’s and my birth (she lost them at 3, 5, and 7 months in some order), and how she would have given anything to have ALL of her babies alive today.

It breaks my heart to read this story, and while I have the urge to want to cause her physical pain, I know that is the wrong response.  So I’ll include Ms. Fowler in my prayers tonight that she recognize her sins for what they are, repent, and be brought back to God who loves her very much.

[59] Posted by Courageous Grace on 12-18-2007 at 02:33 PM • top

I cannot speak to this woman’s character.  I believe, however, many good people make this extraordinarily bad choice because they are deceived by our society’s naming of a fetus as “potential life”.  The logical inconsistency is glaring.  However, I think many would make a different choice if the fetus were labeled a human being, no different than any of us.  Sadly, the Supreme Court let that falsehood become codified and so some good people fall for this lie - and then make a choice such as this one.

[60] Posted by montanan on 12-18-2007 at 02:39 PM • top

How is reproductive choice “a basic part of religious liberty?” This is only true when “religious liberty” = “liberal agenda” or maybe “religious liberty” = “doing your own thing”

I don’t recall our Bible talking about religious liberty in the sense used by RCRC, but rather obedience to the will of God as revealed through scripture.

[61] Posted by Dr. N. on 12-18-2007 at 02:52 PM • top

And from the RCRC website, Dr. John Swomley (United Methodist minister and a professor of Christian social ethics), the author of one of their position papers, presents abortion as justified as self-defense for a woman. He writes in part:

No woman should be required to give up her life, her health, or her family’s security to save the life of a fetus that is threatening her well-being. At the very least, she is entitled to self-defense.

This supports Hosea6:6’s earlier posting that in many cases, abortion is “sacrificing a child to the god of prosperity.”

[62] Posted by Branford on 12-18-2007 at 03:09 PM • top

Holiness holiness
Is what I long for
Holiness is what I need
Holiness holiness
Is what You want from me
So take my heart and form it
Take my mind transform it
Take my will conform it
To Yours, to Yours, O Lord!

From a song by Scott Underwood

1 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)
But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

Romans 6:19 (NIV)
I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.

Hebrews 12:14 (NIV)
[ Warning Against Refusing God ] Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Exodus 15:11 (NIV)
“Who among the gods is like you, O LORD ? Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?

I Peter 1:16 (NIV)
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

[63] Posted by Jill C. on 12-18-2007 at 03:12 PM • top

I believe, however, many good people make this extraordinarily bad choice because they are deceived by our society’s naming of a fetus as “potential life”.

It is our decision what we allow a fetus to be called-if we categorically reject the “potential” portion of that name, and do so every time we hear it, then abortion may come to be identified for the sin it is.

[64] Posted by matt 10:33 on 12-18-2007 at 03:12 PM • top

The writings of this “religious professional” clearly demonstrate what everyone has known about the Episcopal Church for many years:  all the glitter, glamor, and glitz, but none of the guilt, remorse, or morals.  This person is clergy?

[65] Posted by Apocalypse on 12-18-2007 at 03:20 PM • top

Thank you all for your kind words and support.  Paul B faced a grief that no parent should ever have to face but he and his wife put their total trust in the steadfast love of our Savior. And because of this the world was made a better place for a too brief time.  Love is eternal and the love they have for their son and his love for them continues to illuminate their lives.

I am always puzzled about those who demand abortion should be available in case a preborn child is disabled.  The world can be a cruel place.  Drownings, automobile accidents, fire, disease, a gunshot.  All or any of these could leave a child of ours disabled.  Totallly dependent on our care.  What then?  The Fowlers of the world no doubt have an answer couched in clean words like quality of life.  They are death merchants.  But the Triune God has given us the answer and that is ” ...whosoever believeth in me might not perish but have everlasting life”

PS The death merchants will never stop at abortion and euthanasia.
They dream the unthinkable and shudder with pleasure.  Stone by stone their altars are being erected in the halls of academia and government and public policy institutes.  Christ is our only defense against them.  Hold fast.

[66] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 12-18-2007 at 03:24 PM • top

Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’

Luke 23:28-29

Hearing it from a supposed shepherd is even more perverse.  What a sick, debauched, corrupt and life-denying organization is this “church.”

[67] Posted by Jeffersonian on 12-18-2007 at 03:28 PM • top

Apocalypse

The writings of this “religious professional” clearly demonstrate what everyone has known about the Episcopal Church for many years:  all the glitter, glamor, and glitz, but none of the guilt, remorse, or morals.  This person is clergy? 


Aww… you’ve got such a good game going and just gave it up?

How about “grief” for “remorse” and maybe “goodness” for “morals”? grin

[68] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 12-18-2007 at 03:30 PM • top

The potential father was not someone I would have married; he would have been no better a candidate for fatherhood than my daughter’s absent father. The timing was wrong, the man was wrong, and I easily, though not happily, made the decision to terminate the pregnancy.

Then why was he someone she would be willing to have sex with?  Ah, but once sex and marriage are no longer connected, once sex is no longer primarily for procreation, what does it matter?  Only that dated, dusty thing called the Bible, but look, I can put that on my shelf and ignore it.

It’s appalling that this woman who calls herself a priest would think it acceptable to cover her immorality with murder and then go about insisting that it was the moral choice.  It is appalling that she would consider her goals to be more important than a life… clearly she wanted the priesthood so badly she was willing to kill for it.

On a personal note, abortion is legal in Korea. Just over two years ago a woman in Korea, who I have never met and whose name I do not know, chose to set aside her goals in a culture where the repurcussions for unwed pregnancy will last a lifetime no matter whether she chose to parent or not, “out of respect for a life.”  She may never be able to marry or hold a decent job, traditional Confucian society scorns an unmarried mother.  If she ever is successful this pregnancy will likely be a secret that she will never be able to share.  Out of respect for a life, she bore a son in November 2005.  Out of respect for a life, I became the person that child calls “mama”... and we are forever blessed.

To those who say that only pro-lifers are stodgy old men who don’t care about women’s rights… I’m a woman!  To those who say that you can’t know how “awful” pregnancy and birth can be… I have borne two children.  To those who say that if you think adoption is the answer for “unwanted” children, adopt some… I have.  There are no unwanted children in this world… Our God wants them, and plenty of would-be parents do yearn for them.

Jesus died so that we might live.  Those of us who dare to proclaim him must be prepared to, in our limited and fallen way, do the same… to die to a few months’ worth of selfish wishes (in a culture that really doesn’t care if a pregnant woman is married or not) so that someone else can live a lifetime… to the true follower of Christ, it’s a no-brainer.

[69] Posted by Free Range Anglican on 12-18-2007 at 03:37 PM • top

We all know what her opinion of the “potential” father was, but could he have been any worse than she?

Besides, he wasn’t the “potential father”.  To say that would indicate that child was a “potential” life.  This was a “real” life, snuffed out before it could form, and this very real father had no choice or say in the matter.

[70] Posted by Old Dad on 12-18-2007 at 04:27 PM • top

If this were the ONLY issue in TEC I objected to it would be more than enough to send me running in the other direction.  They have become a cult of self-worship and will openly sacrifice even their own children on the altar of the “divine me”.  Whether the robes are pretty rainbows or black they serve at the same altar of baal.  The serpent is indeed in the rectory- and at the altar.

[71] Posted by Elizabeth on 12-18-2007 at 04:34 PM • top

I recently tallied by diocese the members from the rosters of TEC’s Committees, Commissions, Agencies, and Boards of General Convention.  Massachusetts had 4 ex officio, nonvoting members and 19 voting members.  In contrast, South Carolina, TEC’s fastest growing diocese, had 0 ex officio, nonvoting members and 1 voting member.

[72] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 12-18-2007 at 04:35 PM • top

Interesting, Jill.  Aside from the moral squalor of abortion advocacy, it would seem that exterminating your next generation of parishoners is bad for the ASA figures, too.  Who knew?

[73] Posted by Jeffersonian on 12-18-2007 at 05:02 PM • top

Regarding montanan and quincyquintessence pointing out that saying “potential life” is misleading. The Bible often use the word “with child”  instead of pregnant. “With child” gets the message across that this is a life, a human child, in the womb. A word search on “with child” on biblegateway with NIV turns up:
Genesis 6:11
Isaiah 7:14
Isaiah 26:17
Isaiah 26:18
Matthew 1:18
Matthew 1:23
Luke 1:31
But I am not sure it they are direct literal translations from the Hebrew or Greek.

[74] Posted by Deja Vu on 12-18-2007 at 05:23 PM • top

Well, I felt sufficiently moved that I deemed it necessary to respond to the essay on their website, (the 56th comment, entitled “The Real Cause for Surprise”), so I won’t repeat it here in the interests of brevity. Anyone interested can read it there.

What a sad excuse for a Christian priest, of any variety, made more humiliating by the fact that the author parading her complete lack of moral and psychological understanding pretends to be an Episcopal priest, thereby “tarring us with the same brush.”

Blessings and regards,
Martial Artist

[75] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 12-18-2007 at 05:51 PM • top

In her “About Me”, the Rev. Anne Fowler also lists that she is President of the Board of the Massachusetts Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry.
Why is it that the same people who advocate abortion also advocate for same sex marriage?
I am thinking that both positions are the result of the same misunderstanding of sexuality.

[76] Posted by Deja Vu on 12-18-2007 at 05:55 PM • top

This is just indicative of the self-gratifying sickness routinely found in the Diocese of Massachusetts.  If you actually want the Anglican Church with some Scriptural fiber, I suggest you check out Bishop Bill Murdoch and co. 

People’s capacity for denial and delusion never ceases to amaze me. 

“At another point, a few years later, I did have an abortion. I was a single mother, working and pursuing a path to ordination in the Episcopal Church. The potential father was not someone I would have married; he would have been no better a candidate for fatherhood than my daughter’s absent father. The timing was wrong, the man was wrong, and I easily, though not happily, made the decision to terminate the pregnancy”

The timing was wrong, the man was wrong, yada, yada; I guess everything but the unprotected casual sex was wrong.  When the man is all “wrong”, why the hell are you having sex with him? 

“That is, both choices were choices for life: in the first instance, I chose for the life of the unborn child; in the second, I chose for my own vocational life, my economic stability, and my mental and emotional health and wholeness”.

So it was good and moral to sacrifice the baby to “your own choice”? 

You know, birth control has actually been around a lot longer than Roe v. Wade.  A pity that a woman can get a fancy graduate-degree education and still not know how to use condoms, diaphragms, birth control pills, etc. 

But my deepest and most profound pity is reserved for the child…

[77] Posted by Passing By on 12-18-2007 at 05:57 PM • top

She says she chose for her “mental and emotional health and wholeness”. But she seems to have become stuck in the moment, devoting the rest of her life to trying to justify that decision and surrounding herself with other people who would support that decision.
In fact, she chose mental and emotional stagnation—spiritual death.

[78] Posted by Deja Vu on 12-18-2007 at 06:07 PM • top

Chips wrote

I sure hope “religious professional” does not come into vogue.

Be very careful what you hope for. Have you considered the value of having some clue, in advance, that the person you think is a priest considers himself (or herself), quite to the contrary, a religious professional?

Personally, I think I would prefer to know in advance which of these two the person I am thinking of consulting on a matter of personal spiritual concern considers himself to be.

Blessings and regards,
Martial Artist

[79] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 12-18-2007 at 06:14 PM • top

With regard to the foregoing discussion of “potential” as a means of desensitizing participants in both the activity and the debate, I have posted the following concept before, but it appears it bears another repetition.

She who controls the terms of the debate has the greater opportunity to win it. Using the particular instance of the debate over abortion, every attempt to discuss the unborn baby in terms which reduce its status to anything other than an unborn baby, obscures the reality of the issue at stake.

This issue can be stated in very simple terms as “Under what circumstances, if any, might we be morally justified in killing an unborn baby?” To allow the opposition to state the question in terms that refer to the unborn baby as something other than an unborn baby, or to talk about the action in words other than “killing” or “taking the life of” that unborn baby, concedes the argument, for the very simple and easily understood reason that it obscures the true substance of the question. Both unborn baby and with child are probably terms which do not significantly concede the argument, because they make clear what the object of the termination is, a living human being (albeit not always yet sufficiently fully developed as to be able to survive outside the womb).

Blessings and regards,
Martial Artist

[80] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 12-18-2007 at 06:30 PM • top

To talk theologically about women’s right to choose is to talk about justice, equality, health and wholeness, and respect for the full humanity and autonomy of every woman.

That’s not theology, that’s a political agenda.

[81] Posted by The Pilgrim on 12-18-2007 at 06:36 PM • top

Hosea - Thank you.

Paula L - Thank you.  I really appreciate the work that the RCC has done in the area of bioethics. 

Also, thank you for sharing your testimony, and for the thoughtful piece on what can happen to the unwed mother.

[82] Posted by J Eppinga on 12-18-2007 at 06:41 PM • top

God has taken his children home and in his seeing, this may be better for them. The remorse and grieving that follows leads some to repentance and spiritual renewal. Others move to denial of the life and rationalization. We see both sides here, and must accept both as needing our help within the Church.

What is troubling is that the people supposedly of the Church are encouraging denial and promoting an agenda that encourages women to place themselves into very hurtful situations. When the “church” is complicit with civil abortion as a form of religious freedom, it becomes atheistic and turns mothers, whether churched or un-churched, into losing gods. Without the life affirming center within the church, there is no merit for baptism and the responsibility it gives to the parents and Christian community.

[83] Posted by Dr. N. on 12-18-2007 at 07:36 PM • top

Paula Loughlin:

This story about the unfortunate Ms. Fowler and her deadly choice was enough to make my blood run cold.  Perhaps her insensibility to what she has truly done is the most chilling aspect of all.  But what a tremendous blessing to read your bold and forthright witness to what God can accomplish in a life surrendered to His purposes.  Thank you so much for sharing such a profound testimony with the rest of us.  Your willingness to do so is a true exercise in stepping out in faith, with complete trust in the Lord.  My admiration for those brave and committed Christians who are willing to do that simply knows no bounds. 

You are edifying the Body of Christ, and I have no doubt that you are able to do so with a special anointing of his Grace.  How much poorer would we be in the absence of your courage and transparency.  I have always enjoyed reading your posts, but the present entry leaves me with a deep sense of gratitude to God for His ability and willingness to raise up faithful stalwarts like you in every generation.  May God continue to richly bless you, and you may rest assured of my prayers for you and the child that seemingly was lost, but who is only separated from us here and now in the body, but not for eternity, where he or she, along with you, will enjoy the beatific vision and the felicity of the saints and angels forever and ever.

You are quite right about the machinations of our great Adversary, the old serpent who is “a liar from the beginning.”  He has now entered into the sanctuary, and too many of our churches have been left as “bare ruined choirs” in his wake.  Yes, it is time that we Anglicans came to more fully understand one of those “unAnglican” things to which we are not terribly accustomed—the vigorous exercise of spiritual warfare, at all times and in all places.

With that in mind, I appreciate your prayers on behalf of poor Ms. Fowler.  We must understand, above all else, that she is held captive in sin and error by the great Enemy of our souls, and that the One who shed His blood on the cross to set the captives free longs for the turning in her heart that would enable Him to draw her to Himself.  I can’t help visualizing what she must have been like at the time of her first Communion, or her Confirmation, when the first stirrings of faith in that young heart led her to confess Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.  And then I have to wonder what went wrong, although I may never know.  But I can hope that a testimony like yours may one day be hers as well, and pray for her to that end. 

I can’t recall what your Churchmanship is.  I’m an Episcopalian myself.  But perhaps you and some others will benefit from this article, “A Special Word To Women Who Have Had An Abortion,” posted on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website, by Dr. Joanne Angelo.  It deals with the encyclical of Pope John Paul II, “Evangelium Vitae.”  This quote from His Holiness stands out for me:

“You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord.”

http://www.nccbuscc.org/prolife/programs/rlp//97rlpang.shtml

I believe with all my heart that this is true, and that these dear children are now members in the Communion of Saints, that they pray for their parents, and long for the day when they will be reunited with them.  In God’s good time, that will come to pass if we are faithful and true to our Lord’s calling.  Until then, let us “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)  Thank you again for being willing to share this particular burden with the rest of us,  thereby giving us a further opportunity to be obedient to the Lord who will one day take all of our burdens away.

God bless you!

[84] Posted by episcopalienated on 12-18-2007 at 08:18 PM • top

“To talk theologically about women’s right to choose is to talk about justice, equality, health and wholeness, and respect for the full humanity and autonomy of every woman.”

Well, not quite EVERY woman.  Unborn woman are denied their justice, equality, health and wholeness…and full humanity and autonomy” because they end up in the wrong womb.  Lord have mercy on us all.

[85] Posted by GoodMissMurphy on 12-18-2007 at 08:18 PM • top

Episcopaliented, thank you.  Your kind words and support are a work of Grace.  I am Catholic and the forgiveness I received when I confessed my abortion was one of the most freeing moments of my life.

I was raised Catholic but my mom was indifferent to our Religious Education so I stopped catechism classes after 5th grade.  Just as well for I missed most of the Jonathan Livingston Sea Christ era.
In college because of my involvement in NOW ( heterosexual women were welcomed at the time) and my suppport of abortion I left the church and attended an Episcopal church.  I did not return to the Catholic church until I was pregnant with my second child.  Before I went to an Episcopal church I never knew Adeste Fideles had 79 verses.

I named my lost child Soledad and include her in my prayers.  For any one wanting to challenge the Culture of Death I highly recommend the writings of the Catholic church.  Other authors who aptly defend life are Wesley Smith, Nat Hentoff and Dean Koontz.  If you want a great fictional treatment on Utilitarian Ethics read Koontz’ ” One Door Away From Heaven”

We must remember that abortion is a lie.  It is the child of its father and can only be defeated by putting on the full armor of God and much prayer and fasting.  We just celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Gaudulupe who is the Patroness of The Preborn.  May her appeals to her Son for mercy for this fallen world keep His arm back from the wrath we deserve.  Christ is Victor.

[86] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 12-18-2007 at 10:58 PM • top

This blood-chilling witness by Fowler is typical of statements provided by the RCRC.  The Episcopal Church is still claiming to parishioners that it has not gone beyond an earlier resolution that limited abortion (for the mother’s life, for instance).  I know that people have been told this whitewashed version of the situation within the past year.  But in fact, the RCRC literature upholds the most heinous forms of abortion, including “partial birth” termination; and the Episcopal Church recommends and dispenses this material.  The church has completely outsourced its moral and spiritual obligations in this matter to a group that is not bound by any standards the church has ever officially approved.  (It’s not that I consider the GC democratic, in any case; it is a travesty to claim that it allows authentic representation.  But in this case, its outrageous “polity” was even beyond the usual.  The way the RCRC was adopted by Executive Committee—and the matter was kept from the floor—speaks for itself.)  If you ask me, this matter might as well have been the main “presenting issue” for the orthodox cause; it cries to heaven.

[87] Posted by Paula on 12-18-2007 at 11:05 PM • top

Under the most difficult of circumstances, such as rape, incest, physical danger to mother, abortion is still a tragedy.  Her circumstances at the time of the abortion appear to be much less challenging; for that reason it is harder to be sympathetic. However, this was clearly a tragedy for her, and she clearly has not come to grips with it, and what you see is a coping mechanism for something she has not yet faced.

I hope someone says the Lord will forgive you and make you whole. Just talk to him about it, and ask his forgiveness.

[88] Posted by Going Home on 12-18-2007 at 11:18 PM • top

“I really appreciate the work that the RCC has done in the area of bioethics.”

Yes, yes!  The RCC’s importance is incalculable today, when life is held so cheap by so many “ethics” vendors.  We need tremendous vigilance at this time; most people do not know how twisted and revisionary the ethics classes often are, even in major universities.  Similary, ethics boards can hold deadly criteria; I have recently read about a very bad situation in an Episcopal hospital, actually, with regard to life-and-death issues.  I am interested (like Greg) in the handicapped, and I praise the work I have seen in the Catholic Church—the L’Arche communities, for instance.

[89] Posted by Paula on 12-18-2007 at 11:23 PM • top

Martial Artist (#80) - your point is exactly what I was attempting to say.  Some people would make this awful choice fully knowing that it kills a human.  However, I think far more are duped into believing it is okay because we have let the opposition control the question - calling the child a “fetus” or a “potential life”.  We need to be clear with people they are talking about a human being, a child, not different materially from any children lying in their beds wondering if they’re on Santa’s “nauty” or “nice” lists.  We also need to be clear we are talking about killing or taking the life of that child.

I know this issue to be true because for years I was ‘agnostic’ on this question, being neither in favor of nor opposed to laws governing abortion.  The Supreme Court had decided we aren’t human until past 24 wks - and I believed that to be true because they said it was.  It was only a process of intellectual honesty which made me realize we are either human from the time we are conceived or we are disposable at any point in our lifespan - at any point that we are not deemed to be fully independent and ‘functional’, employing our free will (which is what the left uses to define our humanity).

[90] Posted by montanan on 12-18-2007 at 11:25 PM • top

I know the rhetorical rule that the first person to invoke Hitler & Company loses…I was taught that rule as a teenager by a wise high school debate coach.

BUT reading the author’s absolutely cold and dispassionate description of the events leading to the death of her child, by her will and at her call, reminded me of nothing more than the testimony of Rudolf Hoess, commander of Auschwitz, as he testified at the Major War Crimes trials in 1946 of the development of the means of killing the denizens of that camp in breathtaking numbers.

I am just blown away. I can’t believe this woman is under orders in a Christian Church. She knows a different God than I do.  As ashamed as I am to admit this, words beyond this fail me.

[91] Posted by Kevin Babb on 12-19-2007 at 12:25 AM • top

OK, they haven’t failed me for long…

Doesn’t anyone else see the irony of killing a baby because letting the baby live might get in the way of training for a clerical vocation in a Christian church?

This is the equivalent of me killing my wife so that I could pursue priestly orders in the Roman Church, since it doesn’t allow married men to be priests.

[92] Posted by Kevin Babb on 12-19-2007 at 12:35 AM • top

Here’s the website for her parish:
http://www.stjohns-jp.org/

After reading the description of this “eucharistically based faith community of neighbors and families celebrating different understandings of the Christian faith within the Episcopal Church,” I wonder why anyone would bother. A bottle of port would be more edifying and you’d get that warm fuzzy feeling without leaving home. This woman isn’t a priest, she’s a community activist.

[93] Posted by texex on 12-19-2007 at 02:17 AM • top

Excellent point, Kevin. This is like the man who killed his parents pleading with the judge for mercy because he’s an orphan.

I am so heartened to read so many comments expressing outrage, sorrow, horror, at this “priest’s” reasoning as well as her actions. I fail to see how any good, decent person can advocate killing a helpless, innocent human being for the sake of convenience. I don’t believe that abortion is ever a moral choice, but using it as a form of birth control is absolutely indefensible. If the woman doesn’t want babies by unsuitable fathers, she should try being a little more discriminating as to who she lets into her bed. In fact, she should try abstinence. I’m the coordinator of the Anglicans for Life chapter at our church. Anglicans for Life has a campaign called “Silent No More” whose aim is to raise awareness of the harm abortion does to women as well as to unborn babies. Women who have had abortions speak around the world about their sorrow and regret. There is a Catholic group called something like the “Rachel Project” that reaches out to women who have had abortions to help them deal with their guilt and grief. I think it’s disgraceful that the Anglican Church doesn’t take an unequivocal stand on abortion. Abortion is not a matter for a woman to decide according to her conscience. Abortion is murder - murder of an innocent human being. Period. The church should take a stand and be the voice of Christ in the world today. What would Jesus say about abortion? I think everyone knows the answer to that. I can’t believe that pro-choice “Christians” truly believe, deep down, that he would approve. He did say some rather harsh things about people who harm his little ones.
As one poster pointed out, accidents and illnesses diminish the mental and/or physical capacity of children after they’re born, but society frowns on killing them for their own good. My mother is almost 88 years old. She’s been a miserable, unhappy person all her life who has done nothing but harm to everyone around her. She physically abused me as a child. She is now ill and slipping into senility. She is nasty, stubborn, self-destructive, demanding - well, you get the idea. She is a physical and emotional burden to me. My brother wants nothing to do with her. I had cancer surgery last year; my husband is handicapped; we live on a fixed income; I often help my daughter with her two little girls; and my son, a Marine, is about to deploy to Iraq for the second time. The stress of dealing with my mother is horrendous. Can I slip a little anti-freeze into some brownies and feed them to her because both she and I would be better off if she were to die? I think society - and the law - would take rather a dim view of that. Yet society and the law give a woman the right to kill an innocent baby.

 

 

 

‘priest

[94] Posted by Nellie on 12-19-2007 at 02:29 AM • top

Another kind of church leader:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGDndcxH-O4

[95] Posted by texex on 12-19-2007 at 02:32 AM • top

“The potential father was not someone I would have married; he would have been no better a candidate for fatherhood than my daughter’s absent father.” This woman is obviously mentally deficient.  The “gentleman” in question is not the potential father he is the father.  Apparently she did not realize sexual intercourse can lead to conception which results in children etc, etc, etc….  Having failed these simple points of reality and logic why should we assume any of her further logic, discussion or insights would be anymore sound?

[96] Posted by Dave B on 12-19-2007 at 07:57 AM • top

I just have to ask, what is the Via Media of this situation?  Maybe the better choice would have been to abort the mother and save the child,  at least with the child there is some potential!

[97] Posted by Dave B on 12-19-2007 at 08:00 AM • top

I am not a Roman Catholic—though my wife seems to be terribly worried sometimes that I might eventually swim the Tiber. smile This would be highly unlikely, for a number of reasons. I am very comfortably situated in the Reformed traditions of the Anglican fold, and actually consider myself to be rather low-church. But I do, in fact, have a LOT of respect for Rome, and I think even the most die-hard Protestants should be willing to concede that Rome’s claims to authority are impressive, even if they are not entirely unassailable from a theological or intellectual point of view.

I have never known much about the various Marian apparitions, and know almost nothing at all about Our Lady of Guadalupe. Certainly, I had never been told that she is the patroness of the preborn.

This may sound odd, coming from somebody who describes himself as a Reformed Protestant and a low-church Anglican, but I have no problem asking various saints in heaven to intercede for me. In particular, I spend a fair portion of my daily time in prayer paying homage and respect to the Mother of our Lord, Mary. And I never hesitate to ask her to intercede with her Son on my behalf when I am facing particularly thorny problems…

My wife and I, after we were married, went through an awful time—she could get pregnant, but would lose the baby after a few months. No doctor could identify the exact problem and we tried everything imaginable. In the process of trying “everything imaginable,” we lost at least seven babies. After losing about five or six of these babies, we began the process of trying to adopt a baby, even while continuing to have our own biological baby. For a number of reasons, the prospects of successfully adopting a baby were not very good, and we viewed this as a desperate measure not likely to be successful. We went through the business of collating and preparing paperwork and documentation for various agencies—both domestic and others all over the world—primarily as a distraction; something to do to take our minds off of our overwhelming sorrow. The pain and grief and sense of hopelessness; the the awful unrelenting atmosphere of death that loomed over our home and our marriage, was appalling.

I had to be in New Mexico on business. And, while there, I came across a small, quite lovely, Mexican chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. I went in and prayed—asked Mary to please intercede on our behalf with her Son. I spent a LONG TIME in that chapel that day, really pouring my heart out to Mary.

To make a long story short, I left New Mexico, and flew home. The next day we got a phone call saying that there was a little girl in Vietnam waiting for us to take her home! The God that we worship is a truly awesome God, and the boundless mercy and love that His Mother shows to us poor miserable sinners is astonishing.

I am not sure that this has much to do with this thread, but the reference to Our Lady of Guadalupe inspired me to share this bit of personal history with the people on this site. Sometimes, I find myself driving in my car and I will see an old beat-up vehicle on the road with me sporting a big garish decal of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and it ALWAYS becomes an opportunity for me to express gratitude to her for her intercessions on our behalf.

[98] Posted by bluenarrative on 12-19-2007 at 10:15 AM • top

Paula and Jeffersonian, thank you for the kind words.

I don’t know what else to say except we have no regrets.  We wish we had understood how long our son would have been with us; we might has pursued different treatment options to keep him comfortable.  But overall, he was such a blessing.

It also shows how little doctors know.  This little five pound boy, delivered by C-section, with hardly any brain working, scored higher on the APGAR scale at birth than one of his sisters.  She’s in middle school and an honors student.  Go figure.

Abortion would have taken away our pain, but not really.  I don’t see how it can ever be right.  We started grieving the afternoon we found out; we named him and he was our son.  He wasn’t supposed to survive birth.  Then he wasn’t supposed to survive the week.  Then, we had to take him home from the hospital, because there was no treatment - he would always be in a vegetative state.  My wife quit working to take care of him.  Money was tight.  Our emotions were raw. Christ was present.  We made it through.

[99] Posted by Paul B on 12-19-2007 at 10:34 AM • top

My heart weeps for this woman.  She is so blinded by sin and evil that she can’t even tell up from down.  I pray that she comes to know repentance and forgiveness before it is too late.

[100] Posted by OneOfFive on 12-19-2007 at 11:02 AM • top

Here is a link to a story from the New York Times from 2002—a first person account by the father of a fifteen year old girl, describing how he and his family and friends intimidated her to get an abortion against her decision to keep the child. He said he and his wife responded to the thought of being grandparents assisting their daughter in raising the child, “we felt we had been sentenced to 18 years of hard labor”.

She thought she wanted to keep it and swore she’d be a good mother. My wife and I—and my oldest daughter—freaked, and not just because of our dashed aspirations for this girl. We were too old to want to raise another baby—and we felt sure the raising would fall to us.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A00E2D61F3EF934A35754C0A9649C8B63&sec;=&spon;=&pagewanted=1

[101] Posted by Deja Vu on 12-19-2007 at 11:07 AM • top

bluenarrative, I appreciated your post.  I’ve always been an episcopalian but I too have great respect for authority and teachings of the Catholic church and have often turned to their catechism when trying to make difficult decisions because guidance has been lacking in my own church.

After experiencing some of what you posted my husband and I were at the point where our only hope was IVF.  We thought long and hard about this option.  For some reason it didn’t seem right to us (although I harbor no judgement or ill feelings towards those who make other decisions).  We went to the Episcopal church for guidance and were told to do as we feel or think to be right.  The catholic church said no to ivf. I had a good friend who was catholic and going through the same decision process as to whether or not continue with IVF.  She called me one day in tears.  Her catholic priest told her no on the ivf and she was devastated.  Her decision was to proceed with ivf,mine was to proceed with adoption.  Today we both have a beautiful daughter.

We are currently waiting for a second child through adoption.  We began our paperwork 2 years and 3 months ago.  We finished our paperwork 22 months ago and it continues to sit on someone’s desk. We are told we have another 1.5-2 years left to wait.  Maybe I’ll look into Lady of Guadelupe and see if that helps.

It is hard not to wonder or question why some have children they don’t want and others wait forever.  Last night on my news we heard about an infant who was thrown away in a dumpster in NYC and a couple of nights before that we heard on the news 2 twins were set out in front of a dumpster.  Maybe after we die we get all our questions answered but until then…...

[102] Posted by nochurchhome on 12-19-2007 at 11:24 AM • top

I don’t think there seems to be enough recognition here that this is not just a sadly mislead individual but the leader of the Episcopal Church’s counseling service on abortion; her story is the tip of the iceberg on the RCRC literature.  (Such literature even promotes “partial-birth” abortion and contests the Supreme Court’s decision on it.)  This is the material that is given to people by the Episcopal Church at a time when they are particularly vulnerable and questioning.  This is done without the knowledge of most Episcopalians and without even having gone through the “democratic” processes of GC (imperfect as those are).

http://www.rcrc.org/news/Supreme Court Decision.cfm
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice on Supreme Court Decision

[103] Posted by Paula on 12-19-2007 at 01:04 PM • top

I completely believe in “choice”.  Any woman, and man (if involved in the decision) has the complete free choice of going to heaven or hell.  It’s that simple….and it has been so ever since Eden.

[104] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 12-19-2007 at 01:20 PM • top

Really, the only thing left for TEC to do is install stirrups on altars across the land.

[105] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 12-19-2007 at 01:23 PM • top

Blue Narrative,

There is a great deal of symbolism associated with the apparation of Our Lady of Gaudalupe.  This article explains it and the impact it had on Aztec culture:
http://happycatholic.blogspot.com/2005/11/our-lady-of-guadalupe-and-symbolism.html

I don’t know how to do that tiny URL thing but if someone does I would consider it a kindness if you would sub it for the long link above.  Thanks

Nellie,

I will pray for you as you and your family go through this difficult time.  Do not despair for our hope is in the Lord.

[106] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 12-19-2007 at 01:30 PM • top

I see as well that diocese of Melbourne is calling for a “new stance on abortion”.

The church is inclusive, except for those with “foetal abnormalities”.  Sometimes full sacramental inclusion means making it to the baptismal font.

[107] Posted by felix hominum on 12-19-2007 at 02:03 PM • top

Felix -

I see as well that diocese of Melbourne is calling for a ”new stance on abortion”.

Yes. Note also that they say “we shouldn’t make it more difficult legally because we will go back to the days where poorer women resorted to underground means” and “the way you reduce abortions is with contraception and sex education” right after they say “We certainly don’t adopt the pro-choice perspective”.

When did we stop believing that the best way to avoid abortions was to not get pregnant in the first place?

I remember one military “briefing” where they told us “the most effective way to avoid pregnancy is to keep a barrier between the sperm and the egg… preferably two layers of denim”.

When did the church become more liberal than that “keep it in your pants” philosophy? What exactly are we becoming?

[108] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 12-19-2007 at 02:47 PM • top

The words I have read throughout..appalling..chilling..horrified..I think we don’t really know what to say when confronted with such evil…and especially out of the mouth of an Episcopal priest..Priests are supposed to lead us..guide us..teach us and now we find again and again that they also lie to us..this one is surely ” held captive in sin and error by the great Enemy of our souls”...if ever we need to ask God for and receive discernment the time is now….thank you for bringing this horror among us to our attention.

[109] Posted by ewart-touzot on 12-19-2007 at 03:30 PM • top

Everyone is right to condemn and object to what she says and how she says it. 

But I would encourage everyone, particularly the middle aged men who cast stones at this sin from afar, to think before you write. Think of your greatest point of tempation ever in your life, perhaps as a teenager or in college, and if you failed at that point.  Assume that failure was an abortion. Then write your comments.

This Priest is recasting the nature of her decision because deep in her soul she can’t imagine Christ forgiving her if she admits that what she did was wrong.  In essence, the problem a failure to acknowledge Jesus as the Christ.  The identity of Christ—“who do you say that I am” is at the center of all of our problems within Anglicanism.

[110] Posted by Going Home on 12-19-2007 at 03:43 PM • top

But I would encourage everyone, particularly the middle aged men who cast stones at this sin from afar, to think before you write. Think of your greatest point of tempation ever in your life, perhaps as a teenager or in college, and if you failed at that point.  Assume that failure was an abortion. Then write your comments.

Sorry GH… but I don’t get that. It’s a mistake (and giving in to the pro-abortion dishonesty) to spin this as something so… “male vs. female”.

I can almost gurantee that there was a man involved in this pregnancy… that he sinned too… AND that those here who express disapprobation with her actions would be equally likely to “throw stones” at him.

As a man I can tell you that I blame the man at least as much as I blame the woman… and I blame the culture for the fact that so many believe it’s the “woman’s choice” and that half of the population really has no right to an opinion because they lack certain anatomical advantages (and by implication no need for guilt over our collective sin).

I would be much more comfortable with you reminding all of us that our personal sin is every bit as much in need of the cross as this particular sin. I would start by heartily agreeing… and then reminding you that the church isn’t embroiled in a debate over whether it was sin at all.

[111] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 12-19-2007 at 04:04 PM • top

Ah, perhaps this is part of the source of the problem… Our culture now seems to consider pregnancy something men do to women rather than something men and women create together.

[112] Posted by Free Range Anglican on 12-19-2007 at 04:09 PM • top

rather than something men and women create together.

LoL! And don’t that just take all the fun out of it? grin

[113] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 12-19-2007 at 04:13 PM • top

Ouch! That smilie looks altogether too “leering” for what I had intended.

Why, oh why, don’t I have an “edit” option?

[114] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 12-19-2007 at 04:15 PM • top

Positive Phototaxis:  That <s>smilie</s> sneerie wink can’t be changed or “edited” as it was born with that way.  Smilies, frownies, winkies and sneeries are all welcome in the comments section.  This is a welcoming thread.  grin

[115] Posted by Piedmont on 12-19-2007 at 04:31 PM • top

Positive Phototaxis:  That smilie sneerie can’t be changed or “edited” as it was born with that way.  Smilies, frownies, winkies and sneeries are all welcome in the comments section.  This is a welcoming thread. 

LoL!  Yeah… but my “happily-married-pro-helpmeet-pro-marital-bliss” comment comes across as decidedly unchivalrous with that leer on the end.

After all… We may not be on a thread discussing one… but there are ladies present.

[116] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 12-19-2007 at 04:42 PM • top

Opps!  I meant leeries instead of sneeries.  Leers and sneers wink are absolutely welcome forever. grin

[117] Posted by Piedmont on 12-19-2007 at 04:53 PM • top

Going Home,

I think you are dead on when you say, “because deep in her soul she can’t imagine Christ forgiving her.” As most modern and post-modern thinkers do, Fowler appears to have a low view of God and a high view of humanity. This is the classic starting point for liberal theology. That model is false, but it also breaks down when people begin to have doubt in the “goodness” of humans - and it really break down when you begin to doubt your own goodness. She is in the middle of a protracted crisis of theology.

And part of this probably comes from the fact that she had the abortion, not when she was very young, but when she was already taking responsibility for her life. She was finished with undergrad and had made a profound career decision by going to seminary. One could be surprised how one can study the Gospel, be surrounded by a Christian community and undergo spiritual formation and still come to this decision. I know seminarians are often under attack and many TEC(apostate) seminaries are none of the three things listed above, but this is beyond the pale.

[118] Posted by texex on 12-19-2007 at 06:09 PM • top

midwestnorwegian wrote:

I completely believe in “choice”.  Any woman, and man (if involved in the decision) has the complete free choice of going to heaven or hell.

The problem is not whether or not we have “choice,” of course we do. The problem is that government arbitrarily and inconsistently places limits on our “choice.” To illustrate my point, if my wife becomes pregnant, we can decide to <strike>kill the unborn baby</strike> have an abortion preformed, and it is all fine and legal insofar as this nation’s secular authorities are concerned. However, if I decide that it is necessary to have a retroactive abortion performed on Ted Kennedy or John McCain, I am reasonably confident that the authorities will “weigh in” to register the fact that they take exception to my exercise of “choice.” wink

Blessings and regards,
Martial Artist

[119] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 12-19-2007 at 06:38 PM • top

Is anyone out there supporting this Episcopal Priest and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice? The supporters must have reason to make this a recommended program of TEC, while not recognizing the pro-life position of Anglicans for Life. One would think there would be many Episcopalians writing here to condemn our concern about this program.

There must be a reason that TEC is comfortable with the death of 40,000,000 children since Roe v. Wade. Can it just be they are followers of the secular, liberal agenda, and haven’t thought about how this position hurts the Church?

I see only the orthodox position here. Where are the TECers and other pro-choice denominations? Where is Integrity?

[120] Posted by Dr. N. on 12-19-2007 at 06:45 PM • top

No wonder her husband found someone else.  The man showed good sense. People who are this self-absorbed do not make for loving and cooperative partners in life.

[121] Posted by blissfully ignorant on 12-19-2007 at 07:33 PM • top

Dr. N - check out this 2004 story from Episcopal Life on the participation of ECUSA in the D.C. pro-choice march. From the article, Episcopalians show support for reproductive freedom at march:

. . . The Rev. Katherine Ragsdale, a member of RCRC’s Council of Governors, welcomed the gathering with assurances that the religious community is behind them. “You can’t sustain a movement on outrage,” she said. “We are here to support the providers, politicians, women and activists, and let them know that we respect them for their work and their commitment.” Ragsdale, an Episcopal priest, added that a punk rock concert was held in Washington April 24 to enlist young people in the movement.

Also marching behind the Episcopal Church banner were the Rev. Margaret Rose, director of the Episcopal Church Office of Women’s Ministries; Executive Council members Louie Crew and John Vanderstar; long-time women’s rights activist and General Convention deputy Marge Christie; and Maureen Shea, director of the Government Relations Office. . .

In 1994, the 71st General Convention of the Episcopal Church reaffirmed that all human life is sacred from its inception until death and that all abortion is regarded as having a tragic dimension. “While we acknowledge that in this country it is the legal right of every woman to have a medically safe abortion,” the resolution stated, “as Christians we believe strongly that if this right 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.”

“General Convention resolutions have expressed unequivocal opposition to any legislation abridging a woman’s right to make an informed decision about the termination of pregnancy, as well as the pain and possible support that may be needed for those making difficult life decisions,” Rose said, adding that participating in the march shows that supporting women’s rights is “essential to our call for justice.”

“By publicizing this march and other events through our network, we are able to enlist and inform Episcopalians about important events,” explained Mary Getz, director of the Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN). “This is one of the ways we are continuing to build our grassroots advocacy network.”

And this, more than anything else ECUSA has done, is why I am so opposed to what this church has become. +Robinson’s election got me involved in what the church was doing, but ECUSA’s participation in this march and the Executive Council’s vote in 2006 to OFFICIALLY affiliate with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice convinced me that there is true evil in the church at the highest levels. Very scary. (And there are those of us in the church working against this affiliation, but those at General Convention don’t want to hear about it.)

[122] Posted by Branford on 12-19-2007 at 07:47 PM • top

Blissfully,

I have to speak out against what you wrote.  I have no qualms in saying it was wrong of Rev Fowler to have an abortion and to defend it as a valid moral good choice blessed by God. 

I do not know the state of her former marriage.  It may have been wonderful, it may have been awful. But the fact remains her husband sinned against God and her when he broke his marriage vows.  We have no right to speculate that she somehow was at fault for this.

[123] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 12-19-2007 at 07:48 PM • top

Branford [122] - your response parallels mine. What is really troubling is that many mainline denomiations support this group and Roe v. Wade. If we are called bigots for not blessing GLBT marriages, what are we called for supporting the unborn child at conception against it being killed by its mother?  I guess a woman hater!

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison.

[124] Posted by Dr. N. on 12-19-2007 at 08:48 PM • top

In the quotation from a 2004 issue of Episcopal Voice quoted by Branford, I believe it is appropriate to assume that, at a minimum, Rose+ and Maureen Shea, identified as being director of the Episcopal Church Office of Women’s Ministries and director of the Government Relations Office, respectively, are paid employees (stipendiary in the case of ordained clergy) of TEC. If I am mistaken in this, I would greatly appreciate being so informed, as this will be the basis for a discussion with my rector as to why I will not pledge to the parish if there is not a means of ensuring that my pledge does not, in any way, contribute to the evil that is TEC’s alliance with the apologists for murder that are RCRC.

I would greatly appreciate any factual information that supports a finding that the aforementioned positions are not compensated in any way, directly or indirectly, by TEC or the Diocese of Olympia. In the meanwhile, I will be digging around on the DioOly website to see what nefarious activities they may be up to. Hopefully I will find the answer is none, but I am not particularly optimistic.

Blessings and regards,
Martial Artist

[125] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 12-19-2007 at 09:44 PM • top

Positive Phototaxis, the point you take objection to was simply intended to make people think before they write.  What this lady teaches is dead wrong.  But in my experience people tend to use different words in opposing something once they come to a realization that they too have been part of the problem.  Any guy that has had pre-marital sex has been part of the problem.

[126] Posted by Going Home on 12-20-2007 at 12:34 AM • top

“And this, more than anything else ECUSA has done, is why I am so opposed to what this church has become.” —Branford

I agree completely about the centrality of this issue, Branford, in the sins of the church.  I first realized the Episcopal Church’s true involvement during the last GC.  The great tragedy of the Fowler case is that she is not just an individual woman or an individual priest.  She is a person who, due to the action of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, is a model and chief counselor to those who, throughout the church and in general outreach, need “reproductive” advice.  The Episcopal Church is a major pillar of the furtherance of abortion in the United States; I was surprised when I first saw Episcopal women parading for abortion rights, but it is just the public face of a longtime “open secret” in the church.  I believe that many parishioners do not know what an active role the church has played in this culture of death.  Certainly, the laity has never been polled.

Speaking of Gene Robinson, I am also thinking of his outspoken advocacy of it; IMHO, few spokesmen can get more offensive than he does on this subject of abortion.  In an address to the Planned Parenthood national breakfast in 2005, for example, he said that PP should broadly “promote abortion rights” in opposition to the traditional religious objections to them:  “Our defense against religious people has to be a religious defense. ... We must use people of faith to counter the faith-based arguments against us.” Reports of this presentation appear in the press in a number of venues, including the Washington Post. See, for example, here:
http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=36654

Further, I would like to quote from +Robinson’s interview of June 2006.  Asked how the Episcopal Church stands on abortion, he said, “we absolutely stand behind a woman’s right to choose” and “the church has steadfastly resisted efforts to retract in any way our support for a woman’s choice.”

DAVID HARTLINE (INTERVIEWER): “When is viability? I just put a story on my website about a baby who survived an abortion years ago and she just sang in the Colorado General Assembly. What if a woman came to you and said she’s getting an abortion in her second or third trimester?”

BISHOP ROBINSON: Well it’s her right to choose so though I would be personally against it, that’s her decision. The young woman you mentioned well that’s why I believe in getting abortions as early as possible.

This was an open interview, with several well-known participants, in The Catholic Report. http://www.catholicreport.org/?id=193

I hope this is not off-topic, for it all bears upon the way the Episcopal Church is deeply implicated in this particular sin and guilt.

[127] Posted by Paula on 12-20-2007 at 12:45 AM • top

Top 10 Reasons to Be an Episcopalian
 
By Robin Williams
 
10. No snake handling.
9. You can believe in dinosaurs.
8. Male and female God created them; male and female we ordain them.
7. You don’t have to check your brains at the door.
6. Pew aerobics.
5. Church year is color-coded.
4. Free wine on Sunday.
3. All of the pageantry—none of the guilt.
2. You don’t have to know how to swim to get baptized.
And the Number One Reason to be an Episcopalian:
1. No matter what you believe, there’s bound to be at least one other Episcopalian who agrees with you.

Reason number 3 is especially revealing.  The Episcopal Church is about pageantry, glitter, glamor, and external appearance.  As Robin Williams, an Episcopalian, tacitly acknowledges, it has no soul, no conscience, and no regard for doing what is right or moral so long as it provides a self-satisfying show and spectacle.  And the reason “there’s bound to be at leastone other Episcopalian who agrees with you” on any issue is because there is no moral code in the first place.  The priestess who obtained an abortion so as not to sidetrack her career in the Episcopal Church, and the homosexual bishop who abandoned his wife and children to move in with his boyfriend, and who now speaks to and on behalf of Planned Parenthood, are ample proof of that statement.

If anyone can provide me with an example of when the hierarchy of the Episcopal Church took a strong moral stand on an issue, I would be glad to hear about it.

[128] Posted by Apocalypse on 12-20-2007 at 07:53 AM • top

Going Home, as a middle aged man I am guilty of being part of the problem.  My comments About Rev Fowler relate to her use of language and her failure in logic.  By the time I started my graduate work I was well aware that “one night stands” or “shaking up” were bad business.  Her “friend with benefits” was the father of her aborted child NOT the potential father or she would not have concieved or she would have mentioned hearing angels with blowing trumpets at the conception of the aborted child.

[129] Posted by Dave B on 12-20-2007 at 08:39 AM • top

Apocalypse,

I think we could call number 10 into question.  After all many godly clergy, bishops and archbishops have been handling DBB very deftly.

[130] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 12-20-2007 at 10:24 AM • top

#128
We saw this on a sweatshirt and my husband and I laughed at #7.  Where we live you must definately check your brains at the door.  Our old church and diocese would not allow any conservative speakers come to our parish to offer a conservative view so people could make up their own minds about all the controversies.  The diosese and churches are very controlling with information.  They preach alot of liberal garbage but there was nothing to discuss at their convention, just communion service, dinner and indian dancing….a good time was had by all.  There was no mention in church of San Joaquin voting to leave the TEC and many more examples.  No, the like their flock dumb and uniformed.  They want to influence their thinking by withholding information and only fedding them what they whink will serve their cause/agenda best.

Yes, in our parish and diocese it is….check your brains at the door and we will tell you what to think. Oh, and if you dare have a thought different than what we put in your head then just leave.

[131] Posted by nochurchhome on 12-20-2007 at 10:35 AM • top

sorry about some of the misspellings and lack of caps, my daughter is resting on my arms, making it difficult to type.

[132] Posted by nochurchhome on 12-20-2007 at 10:37 AM • top

#128, Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I’ve written a bit about it on my blog. The executive summary is this: There’s only one sort of person who exists without guilt and that’s a sociopath. The other key emotional ingredient sociopaths are free from is love. The two are entwined within our psyche and can not be disentangled.

I have a blog thingy

[133] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 12-20-2007 at 10:52 AM • top

Paula Loughlin,

In re your most recent comment on this thread I am most saddened and surprised, almost to the point of being appalled. That is an extremely offensive and uncharitable comment. You did not strike me as the sort of person who would stoop to such vile and demeaning comparisons.
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I truly believe that you owe a sincere and heartfelt apology to every member of the Order Squamata and Suborder Serpentes, not to mention the herpetologists who devote their professional lives to studying them. wink

Blessings and regards,
Martial Artist

———————-

—”The difference between a catfish and a lawyer is that one is a cold-blooded, scum-sucking, bottom-feeder, the other one is a fish.”—[author unknown]

[134] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 12-20-2007 at 11:05 AM • top

I know we’re not supposed to judge, but given that the woman likes to talk about moral choices, I can’t help the fact that the thought popped into my head, that if the man who had impregnated her was such a lousy candidate for a father, and not someone she would enter into a committed relationship with, and given that she was already a single mother, and the father of the child she already had, was also a lousy candidate, why she continues to repeatedly involve herself with men who are poor choices, and be sexually active with them. It speaks to her poor judgment, as well as her moral relativism.

[135] Posted by mari on 08-02-2008 at 05:26 PM • top

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