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Do Churches Care About the Victims of Abortion? “Lucy’s” story …

This is from a recent comment by that prolific, caring, and intelligent frequent reader of this site: “visitor.” If you know “visitor” please pass along our thanks.

Is there a sincere Christian who can say that “Lucy’s” account was not settled through the cross?

When are we going to hear a little more concern for the adult women who have had abortion(s)?

The age of accountability? We hear all concern for the babies who have gone on, but is there a fundamentalist who will deny that the souls of babies are in God’s hands?

Yet women are being used by the fundamentalist right for political grandstanding. And the same women, who need healing, are being driven from churches because they have become shaming environments for post-abortion women.

Here’s a slightly fictionalized account (to conceal the victim’s identity from media scrutiny) of fundamentalist abuse of a woman – but the story is true:

She became pregnant from what amounted to an easy rape in her early teens, whereupon her family railroaded her in for an abortion.

So I called a certain pastor to inquire whether his evangelical congregation would be a safe place to bring Lucy for worship, on account of her abortion. Lucy loves the Lord Jesus in a pure way, as much as anyone, every inch the born again Christian any evangelical congregation might welcome. All except for the problem about her abortion, an issue which has become an extremely popular object of U.S. Christian vituperative from the pulpit. I explained to the pastor how Lucy had suffered in an automobile accident as an infant, which rendered her somewhat mentally impaired – permanently in an eerily passive state of distraction.

She became pregnant from what amounted to an easy rape in her early teens, whereupon her family railroaded her in for an abortion. Because of her mental condition, in early adulthood Lucy spent years bouncing in and out of mental institutions and the U.S. medical system under miscellaneous psychological diagnoses. She was administered a constant variety psychotropic drugs which further compromised her mental stability.

When she started going to church, Lucy was unable to resist the pernicious doctrine she heard among certain fundamentalists, who told her that her abortion was unforgivable. Lucy’s response was to engage in suicidal behavior, hospitalization, homelessness, finally finding safe harbor in a good halfway home. While her reading skills are adequate, some of her symptoms mimic schizophrenia – she lacks emotional and mental boundaries. Lucy can not hear anyone fulminating about abortion from the pulpit without taking it personally. In a church setting, she is incapable of sophisticated discernment when her symptoms are at their worst. No one who knows Lucy would risk her misplacement in the wrong congregation again.

Lucy was my litmus test. As a believer who had been through abortion, if a believing community is unsafe for Lucy, it is also unsafe for me.
The pastor went to great lengths to explain to me why his church would be safe for Lucy, saying other women in his midst have been through abortion and could be of support. Lucy’s story, the pastor’s ostensible worst case scenario of causing one of Jesus’ little ones to stumble, seemed to blindside him as well as the secretary who first answered my call. He did almost all the talking. If he was not coining a new species of Christian apologetics towards women as he spoke, it sounded entirely fresh to me. It was good to have the entire evangelical interrogation game play out in third person, on the other side of the court for a change.

Because what I didn’t tell the pastor was that Lucy was my litmus test. As a believer who had been through abortion, if a believing community is unsafe for Lucy, it is also unsafe for me.

Of course, “Lucy” is not her name, and her biography is more harrowing than it now reads, for I would not embarrass my friends or subject them to hurtful media exposure. This is, after all, the United States, where so-called Christians humiliate, revile and kill strangers and fellow believers alike over the now inflammatory issue of abortion. If anyone would be hurt by the telling of her story, let it be anyone but “Lucy.” She has suffered enough. Or is there a sincere Christian who can say that “Lucy’s” account was not settled through the cross?

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4 Comments

  • Abortion-Why it is wrong

    I was sitting in my Sunday School class and I asked a simple question, is Abortion wrong? The answer, I will tell you up front is yes. Hardly surprising, the unanimous answer was yes. The next question was more difficult. “Why?”. Exodus 20:13 says, Thou shalt not kill.A fairly simple statement. The actual hebrew is “lo tirtzack” which means ” any kind of killing whatsoever”.

    I thought this was interesting. The obvious question was how many people ate meat? Turns out that most did. Okay, I guess we should only include people in this interpretation of the scripture.

    Next, I asked about the killing of murderers. The standard response was an eye for an eye and therefore in this case, killing was okay. What is the difference with Abortion? Abortion is the killing of innocences whereas the death penalty is for those people who have committed unspeakable crimes. Since I am from Texas and we kill more people each year than all the other states put together, I asked, who decides whether the crime is unspeakable enough to kill them. In Texas, a disproportion number of executed minorities exist. It appears that unspeakable has a racial component.

    Okay, we will add the exclusion of criminals to our list. What about soldiers. I was a soldier for 14 years. We are taught to kill people. It is our job during a time of war. If we disagree with killing in a time of war, isn’t Christianity unpatriotic.

    What I did by my questions was codify the Bible. During the old testiment, Israelites codify the Bible as well. A woman could not look at herself in the mirror on the Sabbeth. The reasoning was that the woman might see a gray hair on her head and pluck it out, thereby do work. Everything was codified. If codification was enough, why was Jesus sent?

    I believe that Jesus was sent because the why we do things component is just as important as the fact that we do the right things. In my opinion, abortion is wrong. Not because of the rule but because I care about children and the mother.

    Now I have a quandry. If I really cared about children, I would give them a home. Of the 580,000 children on the rolls to be adopted, only 37% were placed. I know that I have not worked to give these children a home.

    We had over 4 million evangelistic Christians show up at the polls in 2004 in large part to protest abortion. If only 1 in 8 of them adopted, then we would prove that we are a culture of life. What of those children whose lives are full of pain and drugs due to the negligence of their parents. Do we care enough to be foster care parents–not really.

    The bottom line is that if we oppose abortion because we care, it puts an added onus upon us to actually do something besides complain. I am deeply saddened that I am a hypocrite. Perhaps it would be better if I adopted the old Jewish codification, then I wouldn’t have to be true to the why, just the what.

    With respect to Lucy, the issue is one of Sin. Whereas she did commit a sin, her belief and request to Jesus to forgive that sin is sufficient to wash the sin away. Lets be fair, I sin repeatedly thoroughout the day. I must be in a constant state of prayer for God to forgive my sins. My sins are no better or worse than Lucys.

    One of the funniest and saddest terms in our venacular is Christian values. With the exception of our belief in Christ and a higher standard for Churches, values should not be Christian. Sin is sin. Value is a human quality. That some sins are worse than others is a cheap way of providing that my sins are not as great as yours.

    Please do not include Christians as a vitriolic group. Christianity is not about power or political influence. God has the power. As a Christian, I am just happy to be a servant.

  • I dunno, they certainly don’t seem to care about thousands of recently aborted full-grown Iraqis. I hope and pray that seeds of common sense and supernatural kindness take hold soon.

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