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Notebook Religion

Blood sacrifice

Katherine Hancock Ragsdale (Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage/Out/Getty Images)

© The Universe/Brigham Young University

A Studio C scene being filmed.

Religion

Blood sacrifice

Abortion-promoting pastors offer blessings to Planned Parenthood

“God loves you and is with you no matter what you decide. You can find strength, understanding, and comfort in that love.” So reads the “Pastoral Letter to Patients” from the Clergy Advocacy Board of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In the midst of recent allegations surrounding Planned Parenthood’s activities (see “Pieces of children” in this issue), it’s sobering to remember those denominational leaders who support the abortion industry.

Churches have supported the work of Planned Parenthood for years. In his Sacred Work: Planned Parenthood and Its Clergy Alliances, Tom Davis, a United Church of Christ minister and past chair of Planned Parenthood’s Clergy Advocacy Board, details the role “mainline Protestant and Jewish clergy, in their alliance with Planned Parenthood, have played … in achieving respectability for birth control,” while working “below the public radar.”

Sometimes they work above the radar, too: Presbyterian Church (USA) minister Andrew Kukla took to his blog this spring to say, “I love Planned Parenthood. I love the people that are Planned Parenthood. I love their ministry. I love that they live resurrection in a way I only talk about it.”

Katherine Hancock Ragsdale—a lesbian Episcopal priest who infamously chanted “abortion is a blessing and our work is not done” in 2007—offered the following remarks before Congress in 2012: “I recall vividly one day when I left my home to pick up a 15-year-old girl and drive her to Boston for an 8 a.m. appointment for an abortion.” She continued, “I did not take her across state lines, nor did I, to my knowledge, break any laws. But if either of those things had been necessary to help that girl, I would have done them.”

Episcopalians aren’t alone. Earlier this year Bill Mefford, the Director of Civil and Human Rights for the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Church & Society, jokingly tweeted he was inspired by the March for Life on Jan. 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. He held a sign saying, “I march for sandwiches,” prompting Matthew Schmitz, deputy editor of First Things, to tell him, “Part of the shock comes from your expressed indifference to abortion. Isn’t it a violation of human rights?”

In Sacred Work, Davis says, “Ultimately the conflict between the opponents of Planned Parenthood and its clergy defenders is a theological one.” He’s correct, but not for the reasons he suggests. It’s not that abortion advocates embrace “a form of humane theology.” It’s that they ignore a preeminent sacred work: the Bible.

Mormon studio

Studio C, a sketch comedy show on YouTube, runs the gamut from political correctness and the police to awkward prom dresses. It offers clean, lighthearted fun.

But there’s a twist: Produced by Brigham Young University’s television station, Studio C is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir of the digital age. Studio C helps the Mormons, and Mormons help Studio C. The LDS duo of pianist Jon Schmidt and cellist Steven Sharp Nelson, for example—better known as the Piano Guys—appeared in a sketch this May.

There’s in-house recognition of the show’s potential to create a favorable impression of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Before its first season in 2012, cast member Adam Berg told BYU’s student newspaper The Universe, “I think Studio C has such great potential to do a lot of good for the Church and the members and to help break down some social walls, that could lead people to investigating the Church.” —J.B.

Comments

  • MTJanet
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 11:52 am

    I can't help but believe that what/who these so-called pastors really worship is molech.  We don't have to believe what people say about themselves - we can look at their fruit and discern exactly what they believe.  This poor woman, Ragsdale, is deluded in many ways - she needs Christ.  There are so many churches now that don't follow the Word of God; we can never expect them to understand truth and practice it.   

  • Richard H's picture
    Richard H
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 11:52 am

    The denominations listed belong to the National Council of Churches, an extremely Progressive/Marxist based organization.  Support for Planned Parenthood should be no surprise as the Bible holds no authority for the NCC members.

  • Oso Grande
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 11:52 am

    Are you kidding me Katherine Hancock Ragsdale. You need to read your bible and get right with God. You are so far off base and in this world that it's scary that you are leading so many to spend eternity in hell. Repent come back to the true word of God not what you have made your god in your image

  • Laneygirl
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 11:52 am

    Buddy, you are correct in saying lust supports abortions. I don't think we are alarmed enough that the one gigantic sin being overlooked in our. own. churches. is sex outside of marriage. A man here in NW Florida was incensed that he was asked to step down from the Deacons because he was living with his girlfriend! How Judgmental, he said.

  • Peter Allen's picture
    Peter Allen
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 11:52 am

    Both stories above point out what can be done with money.  Mormon churches REQUIRE a tithe.  Abortion generates millions, besides our tax money that goes to them.  Think about this.   WHAT IF we the church get our average personal giving up to 10% in support of alternatives to abortion, our own Christian studios, etc.  Our paltry 3% is embarrassing if we call ourselves committed.  And I believe if we are bible believers we will support the church and such efforts often more than 10%.  There is an historical correlation to when churches began spending money for mostly internal uses instead of social programs that reached out with the gospel, and when organizations such as planned parenthood and the government began to fill the void.  We need to take back the land.  What about you personally?  Dig deep!

  • Janet S
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 11:52 am

    Agree with Laneygirl.  So heart breaking to see and hear the callousness of people, especially those who call themselves Christian (Christian - little Christ).  We are talking about human life which is so precious to God that He gave His very life to save it not destroy it.  These clergy show us how far we fall when we try to make God who we want Him to be instead of believing in the one true God who reveals Himself in scripture.  As saddened as I am about all that is happening in America, there is hope.  Hope that God will raise up His true followers to be light and salt.

  • Buddy's picture
    Buddy
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 11:52 am

    That which supports lust supports abortions.
    Margret Sanger is responsible for more human deaths than any villain in history. She is the prime starter of the abortion industry.
    The baby parts reminds me of Germany in WWll. Our country needs to get a loving heart for its unborn babies and not a heart of stone. Let's think about addressing the abortion issue at both ends. The end is an aborted baby; the beginning is a sexual relationship.
    I'm pro-life and worked with RTL. We have known for years baby body parts were being sold by PP. Like the following it has been ignored by the main stream media. For more than the last decade I have tried to bring forth the information with little response that over 80% of babies aborted in the U.S. are from unwed women and fornication is the cause of our abortions. PP supports fornication and fornication supports PP. More than half of women obtaining abortions in 2000 (54%) had been using a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant. What about the increase in STDs that can damage your body or even kill you or your wanted baby. I don't understand why the Churches are so silent on addressing this important New Testament subject. A number of times we are clearly directed to refrain from fornication. Had we been the light on this sexual permissiveness would we be facing gay marriage now? Even now the cause of our abortions is not being addressed in our many Churches. Is there such an underling condemnation of the parents that the innocent baby is condemned also and felt better off dead? There are organizations that can help a woman keep or adopt out her child. We must Speak the Truth in Love, Light exposes the dangers, does it not? God is wise to call some things sin, because sin damages or destroys relationships. Lust supporting abortions degrade the love a society has for its children. Defunding PP can help save many lives.
    The following is a link to the "over 80% information".
    http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2011/tables/11s0100.pdf
    Abortions worldwide yearly and more.
    http://www.numberofabortions.com/

  • RMF
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 11:52 am

    Laneygirl, you said it well. I read this and other similar stories and feel like my eyes are popping. I'm stunned that such words could be spoken and see nothing good in them.

  • Laneygirl
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 11:52 am

    The bulk of American population is not in the least scandalized by the words and actions of these "pastors" and "clergy". But since I doubt I'm the only one whose head is about to explode reading about it, we can all be assured at whom the enemy aimed this salvo. He is taunting us, to show how much territory he has gained inside the church. Lord, strengthen us to remember his end. And theirs too, as long as they sit in his camp.

  • Lizards88
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 11:52 am

    Be aware of false teachings, they are everywhere

  • Susan R
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 11:52 am

    It's amazing to me how people can completely leave things out of The Bible.  Romans 1 couldn't be any clearer!  I've heard arguments that it's Paul's words, not God's, but all scripture is God-Breathed.  I've heard "sin is sin".  The key here is the lack of repentance for said sin.  If people are profiting from the murder of babies, I doubt they are repenting for such murder.  They obviously aren't familiar with the passage in Jeremiah 1:5, "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you."  WAKE UP, PEOPLE!!  It's not a "mass of cells", it's a HUMAN LIFE!!

  • William Peck 1958's picture
    William Peck 1958
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 11:52 am

    Minivan Man,<like>

  • William Peck 1958's picture
    William Peck 1958
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 11:52 am

    Alan E,agree, but it's like a "side-bar" from the magazine, probably the same person wrote it.

  • Anonymous (not verified)
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 11:52 am

    Isn't it a little odd to combine the "Blood sacrifice" and "Mormon studio" pieces into the same article? Both were worth reading, but the disconnect between the two is enormous. The "Mormon studio" piece would much more logically belong in something discussing social media/pop culture trends. If someone reads it and later wants to find the article back again, I would think "Blood sacrifice" would be a long way down the list of places to look.

  • Minivan Man's picture
    Minivan Man
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 11:52 am

    In "blood sacrifice", we see a staunch Planned Parenthood proponent note the role churches have played "in achieving respectability for birth control".  This brings up a point that we love to ignore; The abortion issue is linked to birth control.  Abortion is a logical, albeit more violent, progression of the acceptance of birth control.  Once you completely remove even the possibility of procreation from sexuality, abortion is just one more step away.  We may try to draw the line between birth control and abortion, but the world hasn't bought into it because they rightly see both as unnatural, and they can see the common intent behind both.  That intent is simply this: Sex is purely for pleasure, there is no place for God in sexuality.  But God designed sexuality to be within a marriage (of one man and one woman), and He ordained this union to be fruitful.  As the church gave in to the sexual revolution, birth control became widely accepted, and abortion closely followed.  And the slide continues, as now we have taken another step away from God and legalized same sex marriage.