United Methodist Church Agencies Celebrate Roe Vs Wade
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Tens of thousands of pro-life activists will gather in the nation’s capital on Friday, marking the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that swept away state laws restricting abortion.
Both Southern Baptist and Roman Catholic church agencies, representing the largest churches in America, have come alongside March for Life participants in seeking to further curtail the nation’s abortion rate and lament the over 55 million unborn lives lost to abortion since 1973.
Meanwhile, some old-line Protestant church agencies, like the United Methodist lobby office and women’s group, are celebrating the Roe v. Wade decision and actively oppose both abortion restrictions and crisis pregnancy centers that offer women alternatives to abortion.
United Methodism first endorsed abortion rights at the 1970 General Conference, after a 20 minute debate, and strenuous opposition from Methodism’s then most distinguished theologian, Albert Outler.
In 1973, immediately after the court decision, the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society and United Methodist Women’s Division helped to found the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights, which was headquartered for 20 years in the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill.
These two church agencies remain members of what is now called the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC).
Last week’s news release in support of Reproductive Choice comes from the United Methodist representatives to RCRC, one from the Board of Church and Society and the other from the Women’s Division.
It does not quote Scripture and barely mentions God. Except for an absurd reference to realizing God’s Kingdom through abortion rights, it could just as easily have come from Planned Parenthood or the National Abortion Rights Action League. It offers nothing particularly Christian.
It does not lament the over 50 million abortions in the U.S. since 1973, which have included not only the grisly consequences for the unborn but also the incalculable anguish borne by women who have had abortions.
Remarkably, it warns against crisis pregnancy centers for trying to save both mothers and the unborn. It hails Roe’s having rescued women from “coat hanger abortions and unnecessary deaths” without noting that, although statistics are incomplete, more women may have died from abortions since 1973 than did before.
And it hopes for when “sexuality is safe and celebrated.” It does not bother to define what form of “sexuality” should be celebrated. Its view of sexuality, the human body, and human life seems completely utilitarian and divorced from Christian teaching or any notion of a living, personal God who reveals Himself through Jesus Christ.
In short, this statement from two United Methodist agencies is shameful and morally vacuous. A once robust liberal Protestantism, which captured official Methodism early in the last century, used to emphasize protecting the weak from the strong.
Now nearly comatose and having exhausted nearly all remaining moral capital still remaining from the historic faith, liberal Methodism has reached the dreadful spiritual cul-de-sac of celebrating the death of the weak and innocent at the hands of the physically strong.
Growing, vibrant churches are largely pro-life, while declining denominations remain archaically pro-abortion rights. We should all prayerfully and vigorously counteract the anti-life public witness of the Board of Church and Society and the United Methodist Women’s Division.