Religious Right

Churches: Fighting Abortion, or Protecting Robbers? – Response to an Email

July 19, 2004

Here is part of my response to an email today complaining about positions I’ve taken on this site.

I am against abortion, as my site makes very clear. There is trauma and tragedy and violence for all involved, and it is sickening.

But I also read my Bible — quite a bit, in fact — and I know God is not impressed by pro-life political affiliations that take no account of the moral character and actual results of political movements and leaders. God does not judge by externals, but by what people really pursue, and what they really do to each other.

Martin Luther King said it is wrong to not hold the robber accountable, while arresting the victim. My problem with rightist church-politics as practiced in this country is that:

1) it protects the robbers, refusing to investigate their activities and characters, helping to deflect attention from them by campaigning loud and hard about 1 or 2 other moral issues (which are, as my site makes clear, also very real and important);

AND, WORSE BY FAR:

2) Right political-religion does not do much at all to actually help people avoid and escape even those 1 or 2 moral quagmires by effective, direct, personal efforts. It primarily uses those issues to spread blame and guilt, and to win elections so the government can help to further enrich the robbers.

The ‘conservative’ churches seem much more interested in political power than in moral or spiritual power, and they are getting what they have been choosing – (temporary) political power, and continuously declining moral credibility and spiritual power. More now than at perhaps any other time in American history it can be said of the churches, “the name of God is blasphemed among the unbelievers because of you.”

Why does the church think it is holy to try to do all the good deeds that need doing long-distance — keeping the problems at more than arms length — trying to force others to do good through legislation (or the destroying of legislation) or through military destruction?

I am opposed to abortion. I am equally opposed to all the ineffective sanctimony coming out of the religious right allegedly in defense of the helpless. If they cared about the helpless, it would be much more apparent in their local communities.

And there would be much more honesty among them; the scoundrels on the public scene (Rove, Cheney, Limbaugh, Colter, as a very small sampling) would not be honored among them (Isaiah 32). And they would actually be DOING something other than shouting and parading about these issues in political campaigns. I’m not talking about you personally since I don’t know you, but about these churches in general (and I’m right; I’ve lived in them).

If the only real strength of the Christian Gospel is an ability to manipulate the voting public, then who needs it! But in fact we do need it, desperately. We just need it’s self-proclaimed agents to figure out which kingdom they want to identify with, the Real One, or the one of worldly wealth and political-military power.

Thank you for your feedback. I know you have been poorly informed by your limited exposure to the realities going on in our country. I do blame you for that since we hear what we choose to hear, but I also blame the manipulators and brain-washers that you choose to listen to so exclusively.

May the blessing of God be in your heart, mind, life, and family. And in our country and our world. Amen.

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7 Comments

  • I can turn to those days.

    To me these words are so selfish, especially in the eyes of the Lord. You say that it is no one’s business what you decide for yourself…Well, that is selfish to me because you do not even own your life. The Lord owns you in every way…he can take it all back any given second.

    I am a victim of rape, so I know what the does to an individual. I have been confronted with choices of possible pregnancy from that rape. I had to focused into what God would have me do—I instantly realize that I have a choice to believe whether my child would be apart of the ugliness that was forced upon me. I know I would have chosen life for my child.

    We as women have a choice to do what is to be done to our bodies when it comes to abortions. We can choose to see that innocent baby as a mistake, a blunder, a slip-up or as a gift from God even if it is conceived from rape. With the strength of God, it is possible to think beyond why.

    On the other hand, if you choose to have self-gratifying sex which results in pregnancy, than that is the choice you made. This is where the irony of sowing seeds prevail its harvest. Your eyes, mouth, ears, and heart are all openings to your soul. The words you speak are spiritual container that feeds your soul. What do you allow into your temple (your body)? Does God live within every corner of your every being? If so, you will comprehend that the mentality of owning your own life or that of an unborn baby is not true.

    I believe the respect that you are demanding needs to be addressed towards God first; than towards his gifts (unborn baby), and lastly to yourself. I have done exactly this. I forgave the person that raped me. I forgave the rapist because God forgives all. Therefore, I do not put myself above God. Exalting oneself is a sin!

  • “… where is this “obligation to preserve lifeâ€? mentioned?â€?
    (William Bollinger)

    Well, evidently in the childlike believer’s heart.

    For, as I take BJT to say, and actually agree with, God speaks to people who are searching for his intentions, his true will, not those who will idolize some literal-minded interpretation, some contrivance from his empirical words. – As nowadays do the new neocon brand of Bush-plus-feckless-Democrats-sponsored pettifoggers on the U.S. Supreme Court, who adhere to this anti-American, anti-Christian tradition of Straussian-“Schmittlerian� (from Carl Schmitt, Hitler’s ‘crown jurist’) legal positivism, a mindset that essentially tries to be shrewd by playing dumb, and is proud of such falsehood.

    What I just don’t understand with BJT is why he/she will not make a full point. As to me, my stance is identical with Larry’s, as in the main article, and I think I can agree with BJT too, but I wonder why he/she, upon stating …

    “Who said we want to return to those days? No one.�

    … will not go on saying that no-one speaks against contraception, here, and, generally, that there is a difference between treating women just as a personal sex servant of some man (or a society as a whole which takes on the outlook of, essentially men), – as anonymous #1 shared her (his?) bewilderment with us, – on the one hand, and regarding an embryo as some biological “increscenceâ€?, attached to the body of a woman and ready to be disposed with like a cancer at any inconvenience she (or her environment?) may feel upon it, on the other hand, – as is essentially the take of far too many liberals, despite their protestations.

    Why can people, nowadays, not even TRY, any more, to find some middle-ground of moderation, in their (quasi-)religious frenzies and factions? Oh, this squalid conjunction of ideological exclusiveness and mutual pragmatism at the mangers of power, this is going to be our undoing, quite apart from any reference to abortion …

    But back to the issue: What I criticize with the Right is that they value life too little, not too much. And it was upon the very vigour and spirit, I saw Larry do the same, that I first felt, and still feel, attracted by this site.

    I’m glad of his good work. Thanks to all who contribute.

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