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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David Bereit of 40 Days for Life, on the right.
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All one fight: Why the leader of 40 Days for Life says he may become active in the fight for marriage

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By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Just eight years ago, 40 Days for Life was founded as a pro-life Christian ministry. This year, it reached 252 cities in 19 countries.

Now, says founder and National Director David Bereit, he's discerning whether to expand his personal activism to marriage.

"The various moral issues we confront in our culture today are all intrinsically connected," Bereit told LifeSiteNews at Saturday's March for Marriage. “When you look at the various factors that lead to the breakdown of nations and civilizations, they are moral factors," Bereit said. "It's the devaluing of human life, it's the abandonment of religious belief and practice, it's immorality -- the increase thereof – and it's the breakdown of the family."

"They're all tied into this moving away from God, and America was founded as a nation with Christian principles and ideals that used to say 'In God We Trust.' And the further we've turned away from that, the more we have fallen,” he said. "I believe that with man, turning the tide in our culture is not possible, but with God, all things are possible."

Bereit stressed that his attendance at the March for Marriage, as well as his ongoing process of discernment, was representative only of his own circumstances -- not those of 40 Days for Life, which remains an abortion-focused ministry.

Bereit did not shy away from questions that are often raised about what President Barack Obama called America's “tragic” history.

"America was built on Judeo-Christians principles,“ he said. “There are still fallen people that make up our churches and our communities."

"The question is, will people of faith and conscience turn back to God and do their very best to align themselves with the principles that formed our nation and made our nation such a great place in history?"

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

The third annual March for Marriage, which was organized by the National Organization for Marriage and exclusively livestreamed by LifeSiteNews, drew thousands of people, mostly minorities, just three days before what is being billed as the definitive U.S. Supreme Court hearing on the issue of same-sex "marriage."  

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‘Persecution plain and simple’:  Franklin Graham fundraises for Oregon bakers after GoFundMe shuts them down

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By Ben Johnson

BOONE, NC, April 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – First, they were fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual “marriage” ceremony. Then, a rival business owner convinced GoFundMe.com to stop Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein from raising money to pay the fine on the grounds that, since their religious beliefs violate state law, they are common criminals.

Now, one of the nation's most well-known Christian ministers and philanthropists is coming to their aid.

An administrative law judge fined the Oregon bakers, proprietors of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, $135,000 to pay for the emotional suffering of Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer – a lesbian couple who say they feel the Kleins “mentally raped” them.

The Kleins have since closed their Portland-area business and lost substantial income. After hearing of the fine on Friday, Melissa said the amount would financially crush them.

The family opened a GoFundMe page and, within hours, they collected more than $109,000.

Then Lisa Watson, the co-owner of Cupcake Jones in Portland, began lobbying the website to banish the couple's appeal.

“The amount of money they have raised in a matter of a few hours by thousands of anonymous cowards is disgusting,” Watson wrote on Facebook. She added that the website's “terms of service address hate speech, bigotry, criminal activity, and sexism among other things in their campaign.”

GoFundMe then suspended the Kleins' fundraising.

“While a different campaign was recently permitted for a pizzeria in Indiana, no laws were violated and the campaign remained live,” GoFundMe said in a statement. “However, the subjects of the 'Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa' campaign have been formally charged by local authorities and found to be in violation of Oregon state law concerning discriminatory acts. Accordingly, the campaign has been disabled.”

The day after the announcement Watson, who operates her business with husband Peter Shanky, posted a photo of her 2015 Equality Advocate Award “for outstanding leadership to advanced lived equality for all LGBTQ Oregonians.”

The Kleins hope the website will reconsider. “We have told GoFundMe that the money is simply going to be used to help our family, and there is no legitimate breach of their terms and conditions,” the Kleins wrote on Facebook.

That's when the Reverend Franklin Graham and his ministry Samaritan's Purse stepped in, allowing those who wish to alleviate the couple's suffering to donate on its website.

"The fund was created to help persecuted Christians in the U.S., including Aaron and Melissa Klein,” an employee at Samaritan's Purse told LifeSiteNews today. “It was only activated over the weekend and the organization has not yet announced any numbers. Currently, Samaritan's Purse is focused on the earthquake in Nepal and providing relief supplies to people impacted by the disaster.”

Graham praised the Kleins' steadfastness in the face of legal challenges. “They have taken a stand for the Word of God, and they should not have to stand alone,” the ministry's founder and president Franklin Graham said. “I believe that Christians across our nation will rally around Aaron and Melissa and their five children. Please pray for Aaron and Melissa, and pray for our nation. When our judges are punishing Christians for practicing what they believe, that’s persecution, plain and simple.”

“God bless Reverend Franklin Graham,” AFR Talk radio host Bryan Fischer said today. 

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

The Kleins will still receive the money raised by GoFundMe, in addition to any supplemental funds raised by Graham's international charitable ministry.

Conservative author Dan Calabrese wrote that “Melissa's Sweet Cakes will not have to go into bankruptcy and the family won't personally be ruined. And what a disappointment that must be to the gay mafia, whose agenda is to intimidate all gay marriage opponents into not just silence but compliance, for fear of just such” an outcome.

Christians have risen to the challenge before. Memories Pizza raised more than $840,000 after the Indiana pizzeria was harassed into closing its doors for saying it would cater a same-sex “wedding.”

Calabrese warns that these victories may lead to more intense anti-Christian persecution.

“When put in an untenable position like this, Christians and others who support their right to operate their business as they see fit will come to their aid. So the gay mafia will take it up a notch, attempting to intimidate the fundraising organizations from cooperating with the effort,” he said.

If that fails, “Maybe they can persuade friendly Democrat lawmakers (or terrified Republicans) to legislate them out of business.”

Readers can donate to the Klein family here.

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Opposition to same-sex ‘marriage’ – a deeper love

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By John-Henry Westen

April 27, 2015 (CNSNews.com) -- Same-sex “marriage” – the legal recognition of same-sex relationships – is one of the most contentious issues in America. Laws, constitutional interpretation, and the future of religious liberty may well rest on what nine justices decide two months from now.

Many observers seem to believe that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of redefining marriage. And while many on all sides of the debate, especially those who are undecided, believe this will bring cultural peace, evidence around the world points in the exact opposite direction.

Rather than settle animosity and ease cultural tensions, the advent of same-sex “marriage” will lead to the repression of religious freedom and determination to root out dissent to the gay rights doctrine. At LifeSiteNews, we have watched this play out for nearly two decades in 17 countries around the world – and America is next.

A prime example is Canada. Same-sex “marriage” passed in 2005. Similar to European countries which have done so, there has been a relentless pursuit of the minds of children against the wishes of their parents. Schools, both public and private, were first mandated by law to have gay-straight alliance clubs under the auspices of anti-bullying. Then, sex-education, teaching the normalcy of homosexual sex, was given to children without parents being permitted to opt their children out of the classes.

We have arrived at this state of affairs because of the silence of Christian pulpits on sexual matters, and the concomitant shouting from every secular pulpit, screen and book. Even the current discussion around same-sex “marriage” in the United States reveals a grave reluctance to speak about the heart of the issue – homosexual sex. Rather, arguments are made about the goodness of natural marriage, about its benefit to children, and its unchangeable character.

From reporting on the subject every day for so many years, we knew that the struggle for same-sex “marriage” has very little to do with marriage. In fact, until just recently, gay activists didn’t even want to be “married” to each other. Most had no interest in the constraints that such a formalized union would entail in terms of exclusive partnership.

However, the leaders among the activists convinced the movement that they must attain marriage as a societal stamp of approval to homosexual behavior. And, frankly, they have largely succeeded.

Today, in many of the nations where same-sex “marriage” is law, opposition to it is seen as akin to racism. It is seen falsely as an animosity against someone for who they are—an unwillingness to recognize the human dignity of a class of persons due to an immutable characteristic.

However, that false perception is due to a purposeful agenda to conflate animosity against homosexual sex acts with animosity against persons who experience same-sex attraction. The ancient Christian teaching to “love the sinner and hate the sin” is an impermissible distinction in the minds of some. It is, however, the key to understanding the majority of the opposition to same-sex “marriage.”

The plain truth of the matter is that opposition to same-sex “marriage” is rooted not in hatred and bigotry, but just the opposite – in love. Like parents who do not allow children to behave dangerously without lovingly correcting them, opponents of same-sex relationships are hoping to save people with same-sex attractions from severe physical, psychological, and spiritual harm.

Just as, out of love and concern for their children’s welfare, parents must correct and discipline, despite the protests they may get in return, any true believer in marriage, natural law and science must lovingly correct their fellow man.

In other nations, the perception that opposition to same-sex “marriage” is based upon bigotry has led to laws that violate religious liberty, parental rights and freedom of speech. This is why those who oppose same-sex “marriage” must present their reasoning as based on love and concern for the welfare of those in homosexual relationships, in addition to concerns for children and society itself. And there is ample evidence on which to base that concern in the numerous studies showing the grave harm of homosexual sex to both body and psyche.

When I’ve spoken of these findings at conferences around the world, some have questioned if the researchers who showed these harms weren’t themselves biased by anti-gay sentiment. And so I’ve taken to carrying with me on my phone the quotes of the late Canadian gay activist Gens Hellquist, whose testimony proves the harms of gay sex better than any study ever could.

Speaking a year after the passage of same-sex “marriage” into law, Hellquist was seeking more healthcare dollars for the LGBT community. "We have one of the poorest health statuses in this country,” he said. “Health issues affecting queer Canadians include lower life expectancy than the average Canadian, suicide, higher rates of substance abuse, depression, inadequate access to care and HIV/AIDS."

"There are all kinds of health issues that are endemic to our community,” he added. “We have higher rates of anal cancer in the gay male community, lesbians have higher rates of breast cancer.”

He concluded: “Now that we can get married everyone assumes that we don't have any issues any more. A lot of the deaths that occur in our community are hidden, we don't see them. Those of us who are working on the front lines see them and I'm tired of watching my community die."

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Pastors and preachers must take up this call to speak the truth in love, for without this approach, the public will be led to believe that those opposed to same-sex “marriage” are indeed haters needing to be stopped with the force of law. Love is the most powerful force in any argument, and gay “marriage” pushers have used it very effectively. As Hilary Clinton tweeted as she fought religious freedom laws in Indiana: “We shouldn't discriminate against ppl bc of who they love #LGBT”

The truth is that those who oppose same-sex “marriage” are showing a deeper love, as any parent does when instilling difficult discipline. We have enough love and concern for those with same-sex attraction to warn them not to engage in behaviors proven to be very harmful. We won’t encourage people to enter into such harmful behaviors by redefining marriage to encourage it, nor will we allow our children to be indoctrinated into regarding it as a healthy and safe alternative lifestyle.

We have failed so far to get this message of love out to the public. I will not be surprised if the Supreme Court approves of same-sex “marriage” – and I will be even less surprised to see a subsequent  crackdown on religious freedom, as already seen in states like California and Colorado.

Pope Benedict XVI predicted it a decade ago. Observing the international trends, the then-Cardinal said “very soon it will not be possible to state that homosexuality, as the Catholic Church teaches, is an objective disorder in the structuring of human existence.”

Reprinted with permission from CNS News

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