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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John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

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Pope Francis eases forgiveness of abortion for Jubilee Year of Mercy

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By John-Henry Westen

ROME, September 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- In an announcement today, Pope Francis said that he is enacting an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy from December 8, 2015 through November 2016. As part of the Jubilee, the pope has allowed priests to forgive the sin of abortion, which St. John Paul II taught in Evangelium Vitae (paragraph 58) is “murder.”

The statement marks the most extensive remarks on abortion that Pope Francis has made during his pontificate. Rather than downplaying the seriousness of abortion, as some media contend, in the statement the pope encourages the millions of women who have aborted their children to go to confession and seek God’s forgiveness.

In the Catechism, the Church calls abortion a “criminal” practice, and imposes the penalty of excommunication on those who do it -- essentially, removing those who commit abortions from the Church. In the past, typically re-entry into the Church for those who have separated themselves from it by excommunication can only be undertaken by a bishop. However in much of North America priests have already been given standing permission by their bishops to forgive abortion.

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput explained in an email sent to LifeSiteNews today, “For many years now, parish priests have been given permission to absolve the sin of abortion here in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.” The Philadelphia archbishop, who will play host to Pope Francis during the pontiff’s visit later this month added, “But the practice has not been common in various other regions of the world.”

“This action in no way diminishes the moral gravity of abortion,” concluded Chaput. “What it does do is make access to sacramental forgiveness easier for anyone who seeks it with a truly penitent heart.”

The pope declared that all priests may forgive the sin of abortion for “those who have procured it and who with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it.'"

The pope says in his letter that abortion is a “tragedy” wherein “extreme harm” takes place, and calls it “profoundly unjust.”  He admits however, as does the pro-life movement, that it is an “agonizing and painful decision” and many women “believe that they have no other option.”

In order to be forgiven by God of such a serious offence, the pope says the one who has procured the abortion must be made aware of the “gravity of the sin committed” and be truly repentant. They must come, says Francis, with a “contrite heart, seek forgiveness for” the abortion and hoping for “reconciliation with the Father.”

The full statement from the Pope on the matter of abortion follows:

One of the serious problems of our time is clearly the changed relationship with respect to life. A widespread and insensitive mentality has led to the loss of the proper personal and social sensitivity to welcome new life. The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realizing the extreme harm that such an act entails. Many others, on the other hand, although experiencing this moment as a defeat, believe they they have no other option. I think in particular of all the women who have resorted to abortion. I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision. What has happened is profoundly unjust; yet only understanding the truth of it can enable one not to lose hope. The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the Sacrament of Confession with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father. For this reason too, I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured itand who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it. May priests fulfil this great task by expressing words of genuine welcome combined with a reflection that explains the gravity of the sin committed, besides indicating a path of authentic conversion by which to obtain the true and generous forgiveness of the Father who renews all with his presence.

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TLC stars Kody Brown and his four "wives"
Fr. Mark Hodges

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Surprise, surprise: New suit says gay ‘marriage’ ruling laid ground for legal polygamy

Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, September 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – When "The Pill" was made available to the public in 1964, Christians warned it could lead to promiscuity and disassociation of sex with marriage and children.  They were ridiculed as religious fanatics.

When abortion was made legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy in 1973, Christians warned that it would not save women's lives, but would instead lead to devaluing all human life, especially children's lives. They were dismissed as moral-legislating hate-mongers.

When euthanasia was legalized in Oregon and other states, Christians warned that the non-terminally ill and eventually the mentally handicapped, or simply the unwanted, would be killed in the name of mercy. They were mocked as right-wing crazies.

When sodomy laws in Texas and elsewhere were stricken from the books in 2003, Christians warned that societal approval of that harmful practice would lead to an increase in disease and further perversion. They were ignored and vilified.

When DADT (Don't Ask Don't Tell) rules for the military were reversed, Christians warned that the epidemic of rapes in the armed services would increase, not decrease, and that combat readiness would continue to diminish. They were called bigots, their words "hate speech."

And so on. Recent history is rife with examples of conservatives warning against societal degradation being vilified as "slippery slope" straw man creators, who want only to legislate morality.

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That's how those who warned that the Supreme Court's same-sex "marriage" decision would lead to legalization of any and all kinds of "marriage," such as a man and several wives or vice versa.

And, as in every case cited above, what Christian conservatives warned is exactly what has now happened.

In a U.S. 10th Circuit court filing, reality TV polygamist Kody Brown and his wives point to the U.S. Supreme Court's historic ruling on same-sex marriage to buttress their pro-polygamy case.

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth, summarized to LifeSiteNews, "The left's chaotic cultural agenda knows no boundaries. Once 'marriage' could be redefined to accommodate sexual perversion, it would be impossible to stop other perversions from being recognized." 

The American Family Association's Ed Vitagliano told LifeSiteNews, "It has been clear for decades that sexual radicals in America have been targeting the God-ordained institution of marriage for destruction. Toss in a handful of U.S. Supreme Court rulings, beginning in 2003 (Lawrence v. Texas), and ending with this summer's debacle (Obergefell v. Hodges), and we are on the verge of seeing the secularists succeed." 

The AFA executive vice president concluded to LifeSiteNews, "We have no doubt that the polygamists will be next to step into the federal courts."

Indeed. Brown and his four wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn, have asked the court to uphold a judge's ruling striking down part of Utah's law against polygamy. To prove their case, they cite precedents involving same-sex marriage (United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges), and a case that struck down a ban on sodomy (Lawrence v. Texas).

"From the rejection of morality legislation in Lawrence, to the expansion of the protections of liberty interests in Obergefell, it is clear that states can no longer use criminal codes to ... punish those who choose to live in consensual but unpopular unions," Brown's filing states. "This case is about the criminalization of consensual relations."

LaBarbera told LifeSiteNews that the move to legalize polygamy is no surprise. "Once the argument for homosexual so-called 'marriage' became 'Love Is Love,' it was only a matter of time before multiple-partner activists would start defending the 'right' to have THEIR [perversion of] 'love' legitimized by state-recognized 'marriage.'"

The Browns, who appear on the television show "Sister Wives," sued the state of Utah over its ban on polygamy, which Brown calls "plural relationships." They argue that the law violates their right to freely practice their religion and their right to equal protection under the law.

Specifically, Brown is challenging the state's assertion that polygamy is harmful to societies that condone it.

Brown argues that the state should not have "the right to impose criminal morality codes on citizens, compelling them to live their lives in accordance with the religious or social values of the majority of citizens."

LaBarbera concluded, "Social conservatives and Christians must work to overturn Obergefell, just like homosexual activists worked to overturn the Supreme Court's Bowers v. Hardwick decision in 1986 that allowed anti-sodomy laws. Otherwise, we are guaranteed to lose more and more freedoms as 'gay' power grows, using legalized 'marriage' as leverage."

Arguments in the Brown polygamy case could take place before the 10th Circuit Court in Denver before the end of the year.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, MD, on March 6, 2014. Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Sen. McConnell: GOP won’t push Obama on Planned Parenthood defunding

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Planned Parenthood won't lose its funding for at least 18 months, says America's top senator.

Speaking on WYMT TV, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, said, "The president’s made it very clear he’s not going to sign any bill that includes defunding of Planned Parenthood, so that’s another issue that awaits a new president, hopefully with a different point of view about Planned Parenthood."

“We just don’t have the votes to get the outcome that we’d like,” he said. “Again, the president has the pen to sign it. If he doesn’t sign it, it doesn’t happen. But, yeah, we voted on that already in the Senate, we’ll vote on it again, but I would remind all of your viewers the way you make a law in this country, the Congress has to pass it and the president has to sign it.”

McConnell's comments came despite pressure from Senators and Representatives alike, as well as pro-life groups, who want Republicans to make defunding a priority.

"If the president of the United States and Harry Reid think it's more important that Planned Parenthood get your tax dollars than to pay our troops, then they are shutting down the government,” Freedom Caucus leader Jim Jordan, R-OH, told CNN last week.

Jordan and others have pushed GOP leaders to attach defunding efforts to must-pass pieces of legislation, such as a highway bill earlier this summer and the upcoming Continuing Resolution to keep the federal government running. GOP leaders have generally opposed this strategy, which has created a schism within the party.

Conversely, Democrats have been largely united. Leaders and rank-and-file members in both parties have generally supported taxpayer funding of the abortion giant, despite the possibility of illegal abortions being done to illegally harvest fetal organs and other body parts.

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