Kristen Walker Hatten

Christianity and abortion: is it really that complicated?

Kristen Walker Hatten
By Kristen Walker Hatten
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November 26, 2012 (LiveActionNews.org) - I wasn’t a Christian when I became pro-life. I was kind of anti-Christian. I was converted on the basis of science, reason, ethics, and human rights.

A year later, I was confirmed in the Catholic Church. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. But I also don’t think one has to be a Christian to be pro-life.

I do, however, believe that one has to be pro-life to be a Christian.

Why? Well, because, duh.

I mean, is it really necessary to go into deep biblical study over this issue? Is it necessary to quote Exodus 21:22-23, or Psalm 139:13-15, or Matthew 18:10, or Jeremiah 1:5? Is there even really anything to argue about? I think the big “argument” about whether you can be a Christian and be pro-choice is B.S. I think that deep down, every Christian who knows the truth of abortion knows the answer to this.

Is it possible to have even a rudimentary understanding of Christianity and think abortion is okay? Can any of us really imagine Jesus Christ holding a woman’s hand and encouraging her to have an abortion?

I was astounded when, a few years after becoming pro-life, I discovered that there were denominations of Christianity that were not explicitly pro-life. I was shocked when I learned there were Christian denominations that were explicitly pro-choice.

I did a little research, and of the major branches of Christianity, the only ones I found with a strong pro-life platform were the Catholics, the Southern Baptists, the Eastern Orthodox, and the Evangelicals. There are thousands of Protestant denominations, so I’m sure I missed some, but of the major ones, these are the only ones I have found. Please correct me if there are more. I’d love to hear that there are more.

That there are so few Christian denominations who have an official pro-life platform is troublesome. What is even more troublesome is that there are many Christians who, despite having submitted to the authority of a church that tells them abortion is a grave and mortal sin comparable to almost nothing else, believe in abortion “rights” – and vote for them, against clear instruction from their church. Southern Baptists and Evangelicals who are pro-abortion are less common, and, ironically, they do not have the same belief that their church can separate them from full communion with Christ through excommunication, as Catholics do.

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According to large denominations of Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Quakers, Church of Christ, and more, abortion is not incompatible with Christianity, which is the same as saying abortion is not incompatible with Christ.

Do you believe that? Do you believe that pro-choice Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, et al. actually believe that?

I don’t. I don’t buy it for a second. I don’t for one second think, if Jesus Christ appeared before a congregation of “pro-choice Christians” and asked them their opinion on abortion, they would look Jesus in the eye and say abortion is okay. I don’t believe for one second that a “pro-choice Christian” would stand in a clinic with Jesus Christ and watch a woman have an abortion.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe they have really convinced themselves that abortion is kindness to women, and somehow not cruelty to and the killing of an innocent, dependent human being.

And hey, maybe my understanding of Christianity is completely bass-ackwards. Maybe Christianity is not really about loving and helping those in need, protecting the innocent, telling the truth, and bravely defending justice and righteousness. Maybe Christianity is about intentionally and specifically ending an innocent human life if it is inconvenient or difficult, and encouraging women to “solve” their problems with violence against their children. Maybe “suffer the little children to come unto Me” is just pretty words, or just a poetic way of telling people to make sure the children they allow to live outside the womb go to Sunday school.

Jesus wanted Christians to be kind. No one argues with that. But kind to whom, exactly? And what does “kind” mean? Just going around being “nice” to everyone is lovely if you’re a saffron-robed Tibetan monk, or a spaced-out hippie. But if you’re the slightest bit aware, and if you have any concept of justice, you must admit that, like David Mamet said, “[k]indness to the wicked is cruelty to the righteous.” We have to get over this idea that encouraging terrible behavior is ever kind.

So, if we apply this truth – “Kindness to the wicked is cruelty to the righteous” – to abortion, who is the wicked, the mother or the child? The mother, obviously. We don’t mean that she utterly sinful and repulsive, but it is she who created this situation in almost every case, and it is never the innocent child. Also, if we choose to do “kindness” to her instead of the child, someone will die. If we choose to do kindness to the child, no one will die.

Then there is this: choosing to do “kindness” to the mother by encouraging or allowing her to abort her child is not kindness. It is telling her that doing something despicable and wrong is okay and will help her. That is a lie. Lying is wrong, kids.

It’s fun to pretend Jesus was a misty-eyed hippie. Except he wasn’t. The culture we live in tells us Jesus was okay with, for example, adultery, because he saved a woman from being stoned to death for committing it. They leave out the part where told her to “sin no more,” because nowadays the only sin is believing in sin. Our culture too often confuses mercy with leniency. They are not the same thing.

I have no doubt that Jesus was kind, but I don’t think he was nice – not in the way we mean it today. He told us to love everyone. Loving everyone does not mean smiling and shrugging at everyone’s sin. I don’t expect mine to be smiled and shrugged at. If I wanted that, I would be a Unitarian Universalist. Telling people killing their babies is okay is not loving. It’s not true. It’s not righteous. It’s not Christian.

Saying publicly that abortion is not Christian is judgmental and mean, or so I have been told repeatedly. Well, I’m judgmental and mean, I guess.

Look, I know I am a sinner. I sin all the time. I’m horrible and lowly. I fail constantly. But I am a Christian, and I rely on the mercy of Christ to save me.

What I don’t do is pretend my sins are not sins. I have done it before – we all have, probably - and I had to repent. You can’t go around indignantly declaring that grave, life-destroying sins are fine with Jesus because it makes you more modern and hip and “with it,” or because it sounds “nice,” or because hell yeah women’s rights.

I could be really super-wrong about this, I guess. I could stand before God on Judgment Day and He could be all, “You were gravely mistaken, my child. I love abortion.” But somehow I doubt it.

If I were a pro-choice Christian, I would pray a lot: to know if I was wrong; to be led to the truth, no matter how inconvenient; and to sin no more.

Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org

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Lisa Bourne

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Opposing gay ‘marriage’ may demand civil disobedience: Louisiana bishop

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By Lisa Bourne

LAFAYETTE, LA, June 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The bishop of the Catholic diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, is one of the nation’s Church leaders to come out strongly against the Supreme Court decision forcing all 50 states to recognize homosexual “marriage”.

Bishop Michael Jarrell reminded Catholics in a statement that the judiciary does not have the power to redefine marriage, and he opened the door to civil disobedience as a possible response to the June 26 Supreme Court ruling.

“Let me state very plainly that no human court has the authority to change what God has written into the law of creation,” Bishop Jarrell wrote in his statement. “This ruling is irreconcilable with the nature and definition of marriage as established by Divine Law.”

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“The marital covenant was established by God with its own proper nature and laws,” he continued.

Recognizing the tide of religious persecution across the country against those who hold the Biblical view of marriage, Bishop Jarrell addressed the issue of living one’s Catholic faith in light of the Supreme Court decision, and gave the green light to refuse to comply, even if it means breaking the law.

“I realize that this ruling will create conscience problems for many Catholics, especially those in public office,” Bishop Jarrell said. “In some cases civil disobedience may be a proper response.”

In an exercise of episcopal authority, the Lafayette prelate also issued a mandate that no representative of the diocese would enable homosexual “marriage” in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.

“No priest or deacon of this Diocese may participate in the civil solemnization or celebration of same-sex marriage,” he declared. “No Catholic facility or property, including but not limited to parishes, missions, chapels, meeting halls, Catholic educational, health or charitable institutions, or facilities belonging to benevolent orders may be used for the solemnization of same-sex marriage.”

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The bishop also cautioned against Catholics showing support for homosexual “marriage” by their presence at same-sex “wedding”.

“All Catholics are urged not to attend same-sex ceremonies,” he said.

The bishop said he hoped this October’s Ordinary Synod on the Family at the Vatican would address issues brought about by “the alteration of the traditional law about marriage.”

Bishop Jarrell also expressed deep sadness at the Supreme Court ruling, and said while Catholics have great respect for everyone as children of God, the justices’ decision had no legal or moral foundation.

“As Catholics we have a profound respect for the dignity of all God’s children,” he stated. “Nevertheless there is no basis in law or in nature for altering the traditional definition of marriage, established by God from the beginning.”

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Lisa Bourne

Catholic News Service gives platform to head of union that gave hundreds of millions to pro-abort politicians

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By Lisa Bourne

June 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The news service of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has published an article by the head of an organization that has given hundreds of millions of dollars to elect pro-abortion politicians.

Americans should listen to Pope Francis, at least when it comes to his message on poverty and economics, according to Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, an organization that has done arguably more to elect pro-abortion politicians than any other group in the last 50 years.

The union chief made his case in a June 22 guest column for Catholic News Service (CNS).

The AFL-CIO donated $200 million to Democratic politicians in 2008 alone.

LifeSiteNews contacted Catholic News Service about Trumka’s column in light of the AFL-CIO’s support for abortion, contraception, and homosexual “marriage," but CNS declined to comment.

On his way in the piece to pronouncing unity between the Church and big labor, Trumka touts Pope Francis’s recently reported high approval rating and the “newfound vigor” the Roman Catholic Church has added to its “traditional social doctrine” since his election.

“For much of the last century and more, the labor movement and the Catholic Church have stood together in solidarity for people who labor for a living,” he wrote in the CNS column. “Pope Francis lives and breathes this tradition.”

“Together, the Catholic Church and the labor movement stand for a new moral and political order,” he said.

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In his June 22 piece for Catholic News Service he wrote about helping to ease the pain and suffering for others as his reasons for praising Pope Francis.

“We believe in the duty to ease pain and to offer comfort to those who are suffering -- and not just with kind words, but with action,” Trumka opined. “That is why I am so heartened by our Holy Father Pope Francis.

Trumka, raised Catholic, writes his column for CNS with a Catholic voice, but the union he heads up supports contraception and homosexual “marriage”, along with abortion.

While the Church today holds The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers among its themes of Catholic Social Teaching, giving voice in the Bishops’ own news agency to the representative of an organization which has given hundreds of millions of dollars to pro-abortion politicians contradicts the USCCB’s very own document teaching on the need for Catholics to act in support of Catholic principles and policies in public life.

“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles,” the USCCB’s Catholics in Political Life states. “They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

The nation’s top union also supports the so-called “free” birth control imposed as part of the HHS mandate, something many groups – including the USCCB itself – resisted being forced to provide.

“Women have fought hard for the right to safe, legal reproductive health services and the freedom to exercise that right,” the AFL-CIO Statement on Women's Access to Quality and Affordable Reproductive Health Care says. “The Affordable Care Act provides that women will receive preventative health care benefits, including FDA-approved methods of birth control, without co-pays or deductibles.”

Many of those forms of “birth control” may act as abortifacients.

The AFL-CIO’s support for abortion and birth control isn’t where the union’s advocacy for anti-Catholic initiatives stops. It encompasses homosexual activism as well.

Pride At Work is a nonprofit organization that represents LGBT union members and their “allies,” that “organizes mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBT Community to further social and economic justice.”

Pride at Work is an officially recognized constituency group of the AFL-CIO

The deeds of the AFL-CIO as an organization are not the sole illustration of how Trumka’s CNS appearance sends a conflicting message with regard to Church principles, but also statements embracing and advocating principles in direct contrast to the faith by the man himself.

“Working people believe in equality and fairness and that’s why we are happy to stand with millions of Americans and with President Obama in supporting marriage equality,” Trumka said in a statement supporting homosexual “marriage”.

When the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 defending marriage were overturned, he said they never should have been adopted in the first place.

“The Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 were radical and divisive laws that never should have been,” Trumka said. “Now, we can begin to fully clear the dark legal cloud that has hung over our nation.”

Trumka employs a childhood anecdote to frame his article complete with violence against his grandfather on the part of the profit-focused mining company that “owned everything,” in his Pennsylvania hometown.

“Pope Francis speaks for the church I grew up in when he calls for an organized moral response to the injustices of modern capitalism,” stated Trumka, whose salary level is around $300,000 per year according to unionfacts.com.

Trumka has been implicated in encouraging intimidation and deception to advance union goals, according to a report from the National Legal and Policy Center.

Trumka has also been accused of legitimizing violence. During a multi-state coal miners’ strike organized by the United Mine Workers in 1993, Trumka, as union president, ordered more than 17,000 miners to walk off the job, and explicitly told strikers to "kick the s--- out of" employees and mine operators defying union demands.

Homes were vandalized, shots were fired at a mine office, and power was cut to one mine, temporarily trapping 93 miners underground.

A non-union contractor, Eddie York, was murdered by a union member, shot in the back of the head as he drove past strikers at a West Virginia work site. Those trying to rescue the victim were attacked by a group of union members. The union member who shot the contractor went to jail, but no one else was disciplined for what took place.

Trumka told Virginian-Pilot in September 1993 regarding the incident, “I’m saying if you strike a match and you put your finger in it, you’re likely to get burned.”

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Supreme Court suspends Texas law that would have closed half of its abortion facilities

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By Ben Johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – About half of the abortion facilities in Texas got a reprieve from the Supreme Court on its last day in session.

Justices ruled 5-4 that, right now, the state of Texas may not enforce health protection laws that would have put all but nine of the state's abortion offices out of business. The court's conservative bloc – Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito – objected, but Anthony Kennedy cast the decisive vote with the court's liberals.

At issue is whether the state may require abortionists to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and require abortion facilities to meet the same health and safety codes as other ambulatory surgical centers.

The temporary stay of Senate Bill 5 lasts until the justices decide whether they will hear an appeal from the abortion industry, which argues the law's provisions would unduly restrict a woman's access to abortion-on-demand.

“The U.S. Supreme Court was swayed, not for the first time in a week, by illogical arguments,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “By actively lobbying against common sense regulations that would make sure women have access to ‘safe, legal and rare’ abortions, Planned Parenthood and their allies are making a mockery of women’s health care.”

“The abortion industry cares only for their bottom line, and women and their prenatal children are merely dollar signs in their business cycle,” Hawkins said.

"Women and babies are being denied protections with the Supreme Court blocking pro-life legislation,” said Lila Rose of Live Action. “Contrary to what big abortion organizations would have us believe, the possible closure of abortion facilities is due to the refusal of these corporations to adhere to sensible and ordinary medical precautions. We look forward to the day that both the legislature and the Courts use their power to protect the most vulnerable among us."

State pro-life leaders regret the loopholes that they say put women's health at risk.

“Unfortunately, women who do not have abortions at any of the nine operating ambulatory surgical centers that perform abortions will continue to be subjected to substandard medical care,” said Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life.

The ruling does not permanently enjoin the state. It does not even guarantee justices will hear the case.

Should they decline, the law will go into effect in its entirety.

Last October, the Supreme Court allowed Texas to implement these measures while the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals considered its decision in a 6-3 verdict. However, it added that the state must allow abortion facilities in El Paso and McAllen to operate subpar operations, defying greater protections for women, because closing those facilities would require women to drive a great distance to the next nearest abortion facility.

Earlier this month, a three-panel judge of the appeals court, based in New Orleans, upheld the health regulations. All three judges had been appointed by President George W. Bush.

Had the full requirements gone into effect, half of all the remaining abortion facilities in Texas would have closed.

The left-wing website ThinkProgress worried, if the High Court upheld the decision, it would mean that “Roe v. Wade is almost entirely dead.”

Today, representatives of the abortion lobby felt relief. "Our Constitution rightly protects women from laws that would create barriers to safe and legal abortion care, but Texas politicians have tried to sneak around the Constitution with sham regulations designed to close clinics’ doors," said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a pro-life Republican, vowed to “continue to fight for higher-quality health care standards for women while protecting our most vulnerable – the unborn.”

“I’m confident the Supreme Court will ultimately uphold this law,” he added.

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