“Brood of vipers!” Those weren’t just Jesus’ words to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:33, they were also the first words that came to mind when I read the “Pastoral Letter to Patients” penned by Planned Parenthood’s “Clergy Advocacy Board.” Wow. It just has to anger you and break your heart at the same time to see the effort put out by these self-proclaimed “religious leaders” to deceive women.
These sorts of “clerics” are the ones about which Jesus warned us. They come in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves (Matthew 7:15). “[H]ypocrites!” was the charge of Jesus against them, “For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence” (Matthew 23:25). That is exactly right.
Again Jesus: “Woe to you … hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones,” (Matthew 23:27). How appropriate is that? Dead, unborn babies’ bones in this case. I tell you, I suspect most women can see right through their false rhetoric, but if these clerics are successful in deceiving some women, that woman’s error and the life blood of her unborn little one is on the hands of these “clerics”, not only the woman’s. It is why Jesus said, “It would be better for [them] if a millstone were hung around [their] neck[s], and were drowned in the depth of the sea,” than to “cause one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin” (Matthew 18:6). And that is exactly what they are doing — encouraging sin.
“The decision to have an abortion is personal,” they write. Well, of course it is. Does anyone say differently? But that is not the issue, is it? The decision to cheat on my wife is also personal. I can do it or not. My wife doesn’t even have to know about it. The question is, is it against God’s will? “Many people wrongly assume that all religious leaders disapprove of abortion,” the letter continues. Talk about self-indulgence. Who cares of what “religious leaders” approve? We care about what God, the Maker of the Universe and the One who “formed [our] inward parts” and “knitted [us] together in [our] mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13) thinks.
“The truth is that abortion is not even mentioned in the Scriptures – Jewish or Christian,” they write. The snakes! Murder is mentioned. The question is does abortion fit the bill? We must define when life begins, and that is the one question they avoid like the plague.
But that’s what women want to know. Is what I am about to do okay with God? Am I taking the life of my baby? The best these clerics can do is say, “We don’t know because the word ‘abortion’ is not in the Bible.” But even if that is what they truly believed, what do you think would be the most logical approach? If they had any decency, they would be very hesitant to promote abortion. For that is exactly what they are doing by teaming up with Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country.
“We support you in your decision” or “the decision is yours” does not even begin to deal with the ramifications of the emotional distress these women feel. Yet they just want to encourage them to have peace in ending the life of their unborn child without dealing with the fundamental, commonsense questions we all have. “Don’t think about it” seems to be the overarching theme of their message. “Our hope is for peace in your heart,” they say.
Cowards! How can they have peace if they don’t know what they are doing? You offer no answers. Thus, you offer no peace. You simply affirm their decision to abort their children.
If these religious leaders really didn’t think a baby in the womb is a life that would be one thing, but they know better than that. Remember, these clerics are advocates for Planned Parenthood, an organization that promotes abortion up until the baby is completely outside the womb and perhaps even beyond.
Take a look at these clips if you have any doubts of that: 1-where they are not sure what to do with a child already born after a botched abortion and 2- where Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards says she believes life begins when the children are born. Not to mention their horrible history, through Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger, a documented believer in eugenics. That’s who these clerics are standing to support. Not distressed women. They could help women in crisis pregnancies through many other avenues. But through Planned Parenthood?
That’s why they don’t even have the dignity to sign their names to the letter. They only sign it “The Clergy Advocacy Board, Planned Parenthood Federation of America.” That actually gives me a bit of hope that they might feel a bit of shame deep inside for participating in such a heinous effort. But I’ll do what they won’t. I’ll give you their names, as found on the Planned Parenthood site. They will not continue to operate in the shadows as far as I’m concerned. Here are the members of Planned Parenthood’s Clergy Advocacy Board:
Rabbi Jon Adland
The Rev. Susan Russell
All Saints Episcopal Church
The Rev. David A. Ames
Providence, Rhode Island
Rev. Tom Davis
Saratoga Springs, New York
United Church of Christ
The Rev. Dr. Gawain F. de Leeuw
White Plains, New York
The Rev. Kevin Jones
Rev. Dr. Daniel Kanter
First Unitarian Church of Dallas
The Rev. Vincent Lachina
The Rev. Jeremy Lopez
Salem United Church
Tonowanda, New York
United Church of Christ
Rev Janet Maykus
Christian Church DOC
The Rev. Mark Pawlowski
Three Rivers, Michigan
Rabbi Dennis Ross
Concerned Clergy for Choice
Albany, New York
Dr. Scott Sattler
Rabbi Peter Stein
Cranston, Rhode Island
Muslims for Progressive Values
Los Angeles, California
The letter rightly extols God’s unconditional love for women, whatever their decision; in fact, it is the only redeemable thing in this letter. That’s why so many Christian, pro-life efforts are concentrated on post-abortive women who continue to suffer the consequences of their abortion for years after Planned Parenthood has taken their money and sent them on their broken way. But to use God’s unconditional love as a support for sin is shameful.
Unfortunately, this is nothing new. Paul addressed it in Romans 6:1, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” If these ministers have opened their Bibles, then they know that. But again, it is all a deception, a smoke screen, and a poor bit of theological sleight of hand. The fact that God loves us still does not answer the fundamental questions involved in the issue of abortion. They just want women to feel good about their decision and forget about the consequences of their actions — consequences that they will inevitably face, one way or another. Painful consequences.
This is about more than a mere theological or scientific disagreement. These “clerics” end their letter by saying, “If you’d like to speak with_a (sic) clergyperson, your local Planned Parenthood health center can refer you to someone who will be supportive of you and your decision.” How evil is that? They don’t say consult your minister. No. God forbid, he might have a different view and be “unsupportive” of their decision. He might even discourage an abortion, even while supporting her completely (which is what all good Christian ministers should do).
No, these “clerics” want women to know they can call them — and others like them — through Planned Parenthood. At the end of the day, it’s not about truth; it’s about control disguised as compassion, served up by the only god these “clerics” know — the one they see in the mirror every morning.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.