Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Ambiguity of Abortion

As a blogger one is usually expected to comment on recent news. As a church blogger one would be expected to comment on church news. And as a feminist (albeit unconventional one) I know I should be reflecting upon the horrible news of the murder of Dr. Tiller, in his own church, in front of his wife who was singing in the choir.

And yet I'm speechless. I note that this man has been called a "mass murderer" by some anti-abortion activists. He was a hero to those in the pro-choice movement and no doubt to many desperate women. He was an active faithful church member.

Those facts point to the ambiguity of life and faith. It is that very ambiguity that makes me hesitant to comment. Mind you, I don't mean there is any ambiguity about the wrongness of walking into a church and flat out murdering a man.

I don't talk about abortion in terms of "rights" I'm very uncomfortable by the whole notion of "rights" . I think that's very unChristian talk and does not help to foster community. Community requires we set aside our "rights" for the good of one another. Our Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Social Statement on Abortion states that no woman has an "absolute right" to her body, nor does everyone conceived have an absolute right to be born. I like that statement.

What I wish about abortion is that there was no question of it always being safe, legal and available for women. And THEN, if we weren't so defensive about keeping it safe, legal and available, PERHAPS, feminists and others could sit down and have an HONEST discussion about how abortion really is not a good thing, how abortion often is oppressive and violent to women, how often women have them to please the men in their lives, how it is life and how we can take care of one another so that women and men could bear and raise the children they conceive. That's what I wish.


  1. I agree with you. While I think the language of "rights" is appropriate, it doesn't seem appropriate as a Christian. I actually don't feel that way about women's ordination, either. Do I have a "right" to be ordained?

    As for abortion, I think it should contiue to be legal. But I can't agree that it's a good thing.

  2. Oops. I mean I feel the same way about women's ordination. can I be any less clear?

  3. I understood you. And I agree. But it's true of any ordination. Nobody has a "right" to it. In the current debate about ordaining gay and lesbian pastors in committed relationships I prefer to talk about good stewardship of all the gifts God has given us rather than "rights".

  4. right. I know gay/lesbian people who are so gifted, and it breaks my heart...