A few days ago, following the Sanctity of Life Ministries fund-raiser her in northern Virgina, I wrote the following about pro-choice Christians:
Across the mainline denominations, as well as parachurch organizations such as the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, you will find nary a person willing to say they are pro-abortion. In fact, applying that label will result in one’s getting heated and emphatic denunciations combined with the claim that as pro-choice Christians they simply ant to see abortion be legal and safe, but also rare.
I was wrong.
The Episcopal Divinity School, a seminary of the Episcopal Church has nominated a new president and dean. She is the Rev. Dr. Katherine Ragsdale, an abortion fanatic. If ever a person could be called “pro-abortion,” it’s Ragsdale. Stand Firm commenter James Manley directs readers to Ragsdale’s sermon blog, and a speech she gave in 2007. She prefaces it by saying,
The Democrats have removed “safe, legal, and rare” language about abortion from the platform. About time!
She then offers a speech that is extraordinary in its assault on unborn children. Among other things, she said:
When a woman wants a child but can’t afford one because she hasn’t the education necessary for a sustainable job, or access to health care, or day care, or adequate food, it is the abysmal priorities of our nation, the lack of social supports, the absence of justice that are the tragedies; the abortion is a blessing.
And when a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion – there is not a tragedy in sight — only blessing. The ability to enjoy God’s good gift of sexuality without compromising one’s education, life’s work, or ability to put to use God’s gifts and call is simply blessing.
These are the two things I want you, please, to remember – abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.
This person is not a scholar, but an activist. She is known entirely as a result of her abortion rights advocacy. She is one of the founders of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights, and is on the board of directors of NARAL. And now the president of an Episcopal seminary. Those who have chosen her have put their stamp of approval on one of the most extreme pro-abortionists in the country, much less the church.
So I think it is now safe to say that, in fact, there are people in the mainline churches–some of whom are even in prominent positions–who are not pro-choice at all. They are pro-abortion, and according to the ancient standards of the church–standards that go all the way back to the early 2nd century and the Didache–they should be treated as anathema.
(Via Stand Firm.)
UPDATE: Ragsdale’s complee lack of academic credentials and her extremist advocacy of abortion as sacrament of the Religion of Me has lots of folks ecstatic at her appointment. According to the Episcopal Life Online, they include Thomas Shaw, the Bishop of Massachusetts:
“I am thrilled with the appointment of Katharine Ragsdale as the president and dean of EDS. She brings a wealth of small parish ministry to her new position and it is critical that the new president and dean be able to train and form parish priests for the growth of progressive parishes across the country. She brings a wealth of experience, talent and creativity to this new position.”
They also include Dr. Angela Bauer-Levesque, acting (there’s the right word) academic dean:
“I am elated to have the Rev. Dr. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale join EDS as its first woman president and dean. As someone with stature in the church and in the world, she inspires excellence. Her commitments, energy, and clarity, combined with her astute analysis, her collaborative style, and her experience in fundraising will make EDS more boldly live out its purpose of educating lay and ordained leaders for the church and the world, dedicated to work for justice, foster diversity, and seek constructive change.”
Finally, there’s Thomas Ely, Bishop of Vermont:
“The search committee sees in Katherine the right combination of a person of immense faith, demonstrated organizational and team leadership ability, a passion for academic excellence and quality theological education, formidable development skills, and the ability to be a strong, articulate, and inspiring voice for the mission of EDS, both within the Episcopal Church and beyond. From among the many gifted candidates we interviewed, Katherine Ragsdale overwhelmingly stands out as the one best equipped and called to lead EDS into this next exciting and promising chapter of our life and mission.”
Remember: all of this effusive praise for a woman whose only real accomplishment is her unceasing, unqualified, fanatical advocacy of abortion as the be-all and end-all of women’s rights.