September 2002—A quarterly news
letter for United Methodists
GUEST COLUMN: KATIE, A BLESSING FROM GOD
In October of last year, my husband and I were confronted with one of
those "tragic conflicts of life with life that," The United Methodist
Church’s Book of Discipline states, "may justify abortion"
(Paragraph 161J). An ultrasound revealed that something was seriously
wrong with our four-month-old fetus.
Aware that we were only weeks away from the deadline for legal
abortion in our state, our doctor strongly urged us to consider an
amniocentesis. From what he saw on the ultrasound screen, he suspected
our child had a chromosomal disease called Trisomy 13, which, he told
us, "is incompatible with life."
Amniocentesis, the doctor explained, would let us know for certain
whether our child had a chromosomal abnormality. He added that it also
carried certain risks for the fetus, including miscarriage. I told the
doctor I believed abortion was wrong. "Why," I asked him, "should we
risk killing our child merely to satisfy our curiosity?"
Our doctor looked me straight in the eye. "You are going to get
big," he said, "and people you don’t even know will come up to you in
the grocery store. They will be excited for you and ask when your baby
is due. All the while, you will know the hard truth that your baby is
not going to live." He added compassionately, "You may not be able to
My husband, Steve, and I were shaken. I felt numb. The previous
ultrasounds and prenatal visits had indicated that all was well. We
had joyfully begun preparing the nursery. Nonetheless, I felt the
peace of the Lord, and my resolve was steady. "I can handle it," I
When my father and a long-time friend heard that all was not well,
they tried to persuade me to consider abortion. "You don’t know what
you’re facing," they said. "What if the baby lives a full life-span
and needs total care? What kind of life will you have?" My father
argued, "If the baby is going to die anyway, why not terminate now?
The longer you carry the child, the harder it will be for you."
Before we ever tried to get pregnant, Steve and I had discussed
abortion. He thought abortion was sometimes acceptable, but he was
willing to go along with my conviction, with the moral truth, that
abortion is wrong. Now that the problems we faced were no longer
hypothetical, however, I raised the issue again. I asked him what he
wanted to do.
For a few days, Steve weighed the pros and cons of abortion. Then
one day, as he was driving home from work, he heard a radio spot for
the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of children who
have life-threatening illnesses. Steve thought to himself, "If my baby
had one wish, what would it be?" Instantly, he knew the answer: it
would be to live. From then on, abortion was out of the question for
both of us.
At some point I decided to research Trisomy 13 on the Internet. The
pictures I saw broke my heart. The afflicted babies were severely
misshapen, sometimes having only one eye, no nose or a nose on top of
the head, malformed genitalia, extra fingers and toes. That night I
told Steve what might await us. To be honest, I felt shame. "Maybe you
should not come into the birthing room," I suggested. I pictured
myself holding our baby in my arms, not letting anyone see.
"No," he said. "I don’t care what our baby looks like. I am going
to be there with you, and I am going to love him or her no matter
Since we believed our baby would not live long, we tried to make
the most out of every day of the pregnancy. We sat at the piano and
played from a book of children’s songs. "Somewhere over the rainbow
way up high, there’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby." We
watched Roadrunner cartoons and Christmas specials. We rejoiced over
every kick and hiccup.
While the baby was inside me, my body was doing most of the work.
Once the child was born, however, her organs would not be strong
enough to sustain her. "I wish you could stay pregnant forever, so our
baby could live," Steve said.
Towards the end of the pregnancy, the doctors convinced us that the
risk of miscarriage was negligible, and an amniocentesis would help
them know whether or not to attempt immediate, surgical procedures.
Since this was for a valid medical reason—not just to satisfy our
curiosity—we agreed. The amnio results arrived about two weeks
later. We learned that we were having a baby girl; and, sadly, we
learned that the initial diagnosis had been correct: she had Trisomy
13 and was beyond the help of modern science.
In the early morning of March 4th, my water broke. I woke Steve and
told him it was time for us to go to the hospital. Before we left, we
got down on our knees and prayed. I thanked God for the privilege of
carrying our baby. We asked for a miracle; we asked for God’s comfort
and peace; we asked for His will to be done. On the way to the
hospital, we sang songs to our little Katie. We had been told she
might be stillborn, so we imagined ourselves dancing with her in a
field of daisies.
The birth was traumatic. When I was fully dilated and ready to
push, the nursing staff discovered Katie was breach. "Your wife is
about to burst open, and the doctor isn’t even here yet," the head
nurse warned Steve. Later he told me I was lucky he could not find a
knife, or he would have done a caesarean himself. He feared for my
For thirty minutes I rode the waves of contractions with my legs
closed together. The doctor finally arrived and went to the sink to
wash his hands. "Is everybody excited?" he asked. My sister wanted to
It was too late to turn the baby around, too late for a caesarean,
too late for an epidural. Katie had to be delivered vaginally in the
breach position. I screamed in fear.
By the time she was born, Katie was blue and still. Steve was
praying that I would just get to hold her for a few minutes before she
died. The doctor carried her to the warming table, and she started to
breathe. Finally, they brought her to me.
She seemed perfect, and she had a a head full of dark hair. My
heart skipped a beat. Had God healed her? I looked down at her hand
and started to count her fingers. "Don’t count," my husband said.
Attached to Katie’s pinky was a tiny extra finger, a telltale sign of
When Katie showed signs of hunger, I put her to my breast but could
not get her to suckle. The nurses tried to help, but they finally told
us we might have to choose between an IV, a feeding tube, or letting
her starve to death. Reluctant to cause our daughter any discomfort,
we were not sure what we should do. Finally, one of the staff
suggested we try a bottle. To our delight, Katie began to suck at the
plastic nipple. We were overjoyed to see her alive and feeding.
Since the first indication of Trisomy 13 in October, we had stopped
working on the nursery and avoided baby stores, for the doctor had
told us she would probably live no more than a few hours. So it was
with great pleasure that Steve walked into Wal-Mart the next morning
and bought four shopping carts full of baby accessories. He brought
the new car seat into the hospital, and we did what we had never
expected to do: we loaded up our things and took our daughter home.
We were able to hold, love, and kiss our daughter for two wonderful
months. Steve took a leave of absence from work so that he could spend
every possible moment with her. We explained to friends that Katie was
a "special needs" child. "She needs extra kisses," we said; and we
gave her all the kisses we could.
Our precious daughter is gone now, and we miss her terribly. Katie
was a gift from God, and she changed our lives forever. We have
wonderful memories and hundreds of pictures, and someday we hope to
see her again in heaven.
Those who urged us to consider abortion did not realize what a huge
blessing God had in store for us. They do not understand that God does
not make mistakes.
Elisabeth Slotkin/6146 Klare Drive/Keystone Heights, FL
AN AMAZING WEEK IN
As your Lifewatch lobbyist, I spent the week of July 22nd-26th in
Washington, DC. Then and there I met with at least one person in each
of the offices of the 65 members of the US House of Representatives
and the US Senate who are also members of The United Methodist Church.
In these meetings, I presented information on Lifewatch’s and United
Methodism’s positions on partial-birth abortion, human cloning,
physician-assisted suicide, and other sanctity-of-life issues.
My general impressions of this lobbying effort are two in number.
First, in a wonderful way, God answered our prayers during the week
in Washington. More than you know, I appreciate the prayers you
offered for the effort. All week long I sensed a prayerful connection
with the larger Lifewatch community. Indeed, those of you who prayed
diligently, before and during the Washington week, deserve more credit
than I for this mission to Capitol Hill.
Each day of the week I laid out a schedule for congressional and
senatorial office visits. Then I prayed for strength, since the work
was physically exhausting. I prayed about things that seemed confusing
or unclear. I prayed over the materials to be handed out. I prayed to
be a blessing to those I met. I even prayed to meet with some US
Representatives and US Senators. God answered all the prayers. I had
sufficient strength for each day; my questions were answered; all
information packages were delivered with a smile; and I met with three
representatives (Mac Collins [R-GA], Cynthia McKinney [D-GA, though
she is not a United Methodist], and Ralph Hall [D-TX]) and one senator
(Max Cleland [D-GA]). (Not surprisingly, the Georgians were most
willing to meet this lobbyist because she happens to be registered to
vote in their state!)
Second, this first-time lobbyist was impressed by how partisan
Capitol Hill actually is. We all know this in a general sense, but I
had the opportunity to see it "up close and dirty." For example,
opposing forces can prevent a bill—such as the ban on partial-birth
abortion—from even getting to the floor.
GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS
As might be expected, there is good news and bad news to report
from the week of lobbying.
First to the good news. During the week, the House of
Representatives voted to ban partial-birth abortion. The vote was
274-151. Rep. Hall commented that was a good majority, but he could
not understand why anyone would support something as hideous as
partial-birth abortion. Even though they support a woman’s right to
choose in the first two trimesters of pregnancy, some United
Methodists in the House voted to ban partial-birth abortion. Others
voted for the ban because they are consistently pro-life.
There is more good news on human cloning. No one that I spoke with
is in favor of it. Generally, the only research favored by United
Methodists in Congress involves no wasted embryos (e.g., research
using stem cells harvested from umbilical cords). And Rep. Hall, who
is the chair of the House Committee on Science, has distinguished
himself as strongly pro-life on cloning. (Rep. Collins said the only
human cloning he would support would involve the cloning of
Elvis...and that appears to be a bit late!)
Now, to the bad news. The bill that would ban partial-birth
abortion has to pass the Senate before it becomes law. Unfortunately,
the Senate is controlled by pro-choice senators who do not want the
bill to reach the floor for consideration. Sen. Tom Daschle, the
majority leader who controls the legislative agenda, is not anxious,
for several reasons, for the proposed ban to be placed on the Senate’s
agenda. In addition, Democratic senators, who oppose partial-birth
abortion, are under intense pressure from their pro-choice leadership
not to force a vote on the issue. Furthermore, the Senate, unlike the
House, has rules which allow much longer debates (filibusters); this
can stall a bill for months or years. Last but not least, the tyranny
of the urgent is keeping a Senate vote on the ban at bay. Terrorism,
corporate-accounting scandals, and the economy are pushing aside the
ban on partial-birth abortion.
There is more bad news. Some believe that the ban passed by the
House is constitutionally flawed. The bill does not contain an
exception for the health of the mother, and the US Supreme Court
requires a health exception in any ban. The reason
there is no exception for the health of the mother is that a doctor
could always find that the mother’s mental health warrants an
abortion. With the current Supreme Court, the ban, if passed by the
Senate, would probably be struck down 5-4.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
After spending a week with United Methodist legislators and their
staffs, I would suggest that we:
(1) Pray, pray, pray! Pray that pro-life US Representatives
and US Senators be elected. Pray that the senior policy advisor of
each legislator be pro-life or at least open to reason on the life
issues. Pray for a new, US Supreme Court justice who would not strike
down a partial-birth-abortion ban.
(2) Get politically involved. Support candidates who are
pro-life. Campaign for them. Display yard signs for them. Contribute
even small amounts to their campaigns.
(3) Write to your US Representatives and US Senators, especially
your senators. This is far more effective than commonly thought,
because it is so seldom done. As has been said, all that is needed for
evil to triumph is for good people to remain silent. So speak up.
(4) Have a servant attitude toward the opposition. During
the week in Washington, I was strongly convicted of this. Instead of
griping about how our representatives and senators are voting, we
should pray regularly for them, and let them know it. Our legislators
of both parties need our prayers to discharge, with faithfulness,
their political responsibilities in our nation’s governance. They have
an awesome task, and we need to remember to pray for them and to write
to them. God can use anyone, if we will but pray.
(5) If you are in Washington, visit your representatives and
senators. Because you are a voter, they will be hospitable to you.
Letting them know what you think might well positively influence their
votes on the life issues.
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity you provided me to
visit our United Methodist legislators in Washington. I believe that
God graciously blessed the effort.
Again, thank you very much. And may God bless you, The United
Methodist Church, and our nation.
Zoe M. Hicks/Hicks and Hicks, PC/2296 Henderson Mill Road, Suite 110/
Atlanta, GA 30345
THEIR BISHOPS AND OURS
Week after week this spring and summer, the crisis within the Roman
Catholic Church in the United States, regarding abuses of young people
and church power, worsened.
For the most part, public attention had been focused on priests,
their sins and crimes. (At this particular time, we must remember that
the overwhelming majority of Catholic priests are faithful to
Christian teaching in their lives and ministries.) But attention then
shifted to some Catholic bishops and their part in the scandal. For
example, charged with wrongdoing that occurred years ago, the bishop
of Palm Springs stepped down. Later, after it was disclosed that he
had been involved in a nearly $500,000 legal settlement for silence on
a past homosexual relationship, Archbishop Rembert Weakland was
granted a hurried retirement by the Vatican. Then the bishop of
Lexington was suddenly removed from office. Furthermore, there is the
much more widespread matter of compromised and compromising
leadership, as shown by Boston’s bishop (Cardinal Law) and others.
The Reverend Richard John Neuhaus, a Roman Catholic priest who is
the executive editor of First Things, observes that the bishops
stand at the center of today’s crisis in American Catholicism. Rev.
Neuhaus writes: "The point is that this is a crisis, and this crisis
must be permitted to do its work. That work involves scrupulous
self-examination, candid confession, firm contrition, and believable
amendment of life. And the doing of that hard work is chiefly up to
the bishops. They are the ones who got us into this mess and, given
what we believe is the divinely constituted structure of the Church,
they are the ones who have to lead in getting us out. Faithful
Catholics owe it to the church and owe it to their bishops not to let
them off the hook. In this instance, the virtue of docility includes a
respect for bishops that requires recalling them to the duty and the
dignity to which they were ordained. Too many of [the bishops] have
neglected that duty and debased that dignity." (emphasis added)
Neuhaus goes on to ask, "What is this crisis about?" Then he
replies: "The answer is that this crisis is about three things:
fidelity, fidelity, and fidelity. The fidelity of bishops and priests
to the teaching of the Church and to their solemn vows; the fidelity
of bishops in exercising oversight in ensuring obedience to that
teaching and to those vows; and the fidelity of the lay faithful in
holding bishops and priests accountable." (First Things,
By pointing out the central role of the Catholic bishops in getting
their church into and out of the present crisis, Rev. Neuhaus does
truthful service. For by the grace of God, the Church does have
leaders, named bishops, who have been granted by God the authority to
oversee the Church’s life and to navigate the Church through the
occasional waters of crisis that are bound to rise from time to time.
The Catholic crisis brings to mind another crisis in another
church. This church crisis is closer to home, for it involves The
United Methodist Church and its bishops.
Bishops in United Methodism, as in Catholicism, have been granted
oversight authority. The Book of Discipline (2000) indicates
that the bishops are "[t]o lead and oversee the spiritual and temporal
affairs of The United Methodist Church which confesses Jesus Christ as
Lord and Savior, and particularly to lead the Church in its mission of
witness and service in the world." (Paragraph 414.1) Furthermore,
bishops are "[t]o guard, transmit, teach, and proclaim, corporately
and individually, the apostolic faith as it is expressed in Scripture
and tradition, and, as they are led and endowed by the Spirit, to
interpret that faith evangelically and prophetically." (Paragraph
414.3) These two statements from the Discipline set forth
given, general duties of the bishops of The United Methodist Church.
There is a subject, in United Methodist life, that involves an
obvious crisis in leadership. And that subject is abortion. For over
thirty years, The United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops (which
includes both active and retired bishops) has been silent on abortion.
While there were around 40 million abortions performed in the United
States since 1973, our church’s Council of Bishops has remained silent
on this matter. Again, while there were 40 million abortions
performed, while millions of little ones were destroyed, and while
their mothers were deeply afflicted, the Council of Bishops had not a
word to say about it. Since the Church universal has, through the
ages, taught truthfully and ministered mercifully to protect the
unborn child and mother from abortion, the Council of Bishops’ silence
is a blatant sin of omission.
When United Methodist bishops do, on occasion, speak for themselves
on abortion, they usually take the pro-choice side. For example,
consider Bishop Melvin G. Talbert. Bp. Talbert is the former bishop of
the San Francisco Area; and he is now the chief ecumenical officer of
the Council of Bishops and the president of the coordinating council
of Churches Uniting in Christ. Recently Bp. Talbert wrote this
affirmative word about the pro-choice position: "To be for choice is
to be willing to enter into the pain and the struggle of life in the
real world, and in the face of that reality, to choose. It is in this
context that we are challenged to face the ambiguity and the
complexity of conflicting values and judgment. Our faith compels us to
respect others’ values, life circumstances, and decisions." (Christian
Social Action, May/June 2002) Opposing historic Christianity, this
statement is an obvious sin of commission.
There is no doubt that the Roman Catholic bishops are involved in a
crisis, which involves homosexuality, in their church. But just as
clearly, United Methodist bishops have created, through their silence
on abortion, a rather more subtle crisis in our church. Since the
matter of abortion results in the deaths of millions of little ones
and the long-term scarring of their mothers, it could be claimed that
the United Methodist crisis is the more serious of the two.
In the midst of these crises, the faithful of the churches are not
helpless. Indeed, as Rev. Neuhaus reminds us, the faithful are charged
to have "a respect for bishops that requires recalling them to the
duty and the dignity to which they were ordained," and a
"fidelity...in holding bishops... accountable."
"A Charge to Keep I Have" is one of the great hymns of the Church.
The whole Church sings this hymn. So all of us—laity, clergy, and
bishops—have a charge to keep the churches of our time as faithful
What is our charge to keep? To pray for the Church catholic, for
The United Methodist Church, and for her laity and clergy and bishops.
To seek to be holy in all things—that is, seek to love God with all
that we are and to love our neighbors as ourselves. And finally, to do
what we can, in love, to hold our bishops to the high calling that is
To be more specific, to serve the faithfulness and purity of The
United Methodist Church, consider doing the one or more of the
*write a letter to your bishop to encourage him/her and the Council
of Bishops to teach and preach faithfully about abortion;
*make a telephone call to your bishop to encourage him/her and the
Council of Bishops to speak, in truth and love, on abortion;
*schedule a meeting with your bishop to express your hope that
he/she and the Council of Bishops will lovingly address the matter of
*write an article in your congregational newsletter about our
bishops’ silence on abortion; and/or
*preach or teach about how the United Methodist Council of Bishops
has been silent, for decades, on abortion.
And may our Lord bless you and your witness. (PTS)
An earlier version of this article appeared in the 5/29/02
newsletter of St. Peter’s United Methodist Church of Morehead City,
LIFEWATCH AND THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH: AGAINST HUMAN CLONING
On May 7th, the National Pro-Life Religious Council held a press
conference, to support a legislative ban of human cloning, at the
National Press Club in Washington, DC. It was a
speaking-truth-to-power event. Nearly twenty representatives from
across the ecclesiastical spectrum—Evangelical Protestants, Oldline
Protestants, Orthodox, Pentecostals, and Roman Catholics—made brief
but powerful statements against cloning. The Lifewatch community
should know that The Reverend Harold D. Lewis, Jr.—the pastor of
Lincoln Park United Methodist Church of Washington, DC—stood up
front with the Lifewatch contingent. Also, Ms. Linda Bales, of the
General Board of Church and Society, attended the press conference.
Below is the statement offered by your scribe. Notice that, in
large part, this statement simply declares what is official, United
Methodist teaching on human cloning. Thanks be to God that Lifewatch,
on this matter directly related to God-given human dignity, can proudly stand with official, United
I represent Lifewatch, an organization of United Methodists for the
dignity of every human being.
As United Methodists, we have church teaching on human cloning.
Therefore, this morning I will not resort to personal opinion. Rather,
I will state The United Methodist Church’s authoritative teaching on
the cloning of human beings.
The Book of Discipline contains our church’s Social
Principles. The social principle on Genetic Technology (Paragraph
162M), declares, in part: "We oppose the cloning of humans..."
In addition, The Book of Resolutions adds rationale and
specificity to the Social Principles’ statement. Resolution 91 states,
in part: "We call for a ban on all human cloning, including the
cloning of human embryos. This would include all projects, privately
or governmentally funded, that are intended to advance human cloning.
Transcending our concerns with embryo wastage are a number of other
unresolved and barely explored concerns with substantial social and
theological ramifications: use or abuse of people, exploitation of
women, tearing of the fabric of the family, the compromising of human
distinctiveness, the lessening of genetic diversity, the direction of
research and development being controlled by corporate profit and/or
personal gain, and the invasion of privacy..."
Resolution 91 also implores: "We call on all nations to ban human
cloning and to identify appropriate government agencies to enforce the
For reasons related to the protection and advancement of God-given
human dignity, The United Methodist Church unqualifiedly opposes all
human cloning. Therefore, we United Methodists call on the United
States Senate to pass S-1899, which would ban all human cloning in the
Thank you. (PTS)
YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT
After sorting through a pool of distinguished applicants,
Lifewatch is very happy to announce our new Publicity and Outreach
Coordinator. She is Mrs. Cindy Evans of Holts Summit, MO. Cindy is
known to the Lifewatch community since she recently authored the "What
Can I Do about Abortion?" brochure.
Raised in Michigan, Cindy is a life-long member of The United
Methodist Church. The more she learned about abortion and about United
Methodism’s position on abortion and the other life issues, the more
she sensed God’s call to pro-life involvements. She then volunteered
at a local crisis pregnancy center and served on a conference task
force that studied ways that United Methodists could help women with
crisis pregnancies who carry their babies to term. In 1996 she joined
the Lifewatch Advisory Board. Cindy is married to Dave, and they have
two teenage children.
Lifewatch is pleased to welcome Cindy Evans to this important
As your congregation’s committees assemble your church’s 2003
budget, please remember to include support for Lifewatch’s ministry.
Many, many thanks.
What promises to be a grand, ecumenical conference will take place
October 24th-26th in Indianapolis, IN. Entitled "Confessing the Faith
— Reclaiming Historic Faith and Teaching for the 21st Century," this
gathering aims "to unify and encourage mainline Christians in North
America in their reaffirmation of classic, orthodox Christianity."
This conference rightly assumes that the Gospel of Life is a part of
the faith of the Church. The Association for Church Renewal, to which
The Confessing Movement within The United Methodist Church and Good
News belong, is the sponsor of the event. Dr. Thomas C. Oden, a
distinguished professor at Drew University’s Theological School and a
member of the Lifewatch Advisory Board, and Dr. Maxie D. Dunnam, the
dynamic president of Asbury Theological Seminary, will be among the
plenary speakers. It is not too late to register. Call (317)-356-9729.
The day before the May 7th National Pro-Life Religious Council (NPRC)
press conference took place (see the article above), the Religious
Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) offered a press release. The
May 6th release quoted from a 11/26/01 RCRC statement that asserted:
"The issues involved in discussing cloning are religious, scientific,
legal, and moral. The public deserves full information on all the
issues." The May 6th press release also indicated "that cloning is a
complex issue for many people of faith," and "that the United Church
of Christ, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, and
the Rabbinical Council, representing 1,000 Conservative rabbis,
support therapeutic cloning." Furthermore, "[m]ost other Christian and
Jewish denominations have not announced an official position on human
cloning." Therefore, RCRC suggests, human cloning should be a matter
of choice, and the United States Senate ban of cloning should be
defeated. Once again and as expected, RCRC raises "choice" to the
highest social good. However, when human choice leads to the
undermining, and in fact to the destroying, of human dignity, that
choice deserves to be questioned, challenged, limited, and stopped. Or
so says the Great Tradition of the Church catholic, which was well
represented by the nearly twenty speakers at the National Pro-Life
Religious Council press conference.
In the 06/01/02 issue of Lifewatch, we mentioned that US
Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), an extraordinarily articulate pro-life
politician, is a United Methodist. Now we must offer an update.
Earlier this summer Sen. Brownback journeyed to Rome, as they say.
That is, he joined the Roman Catholic Church. We wish him well in the
Roman Catholic Church, and we pray for him God’s continuing grace and
for his deepening commitment to the Gospel of Life.
Pastor Russell E. Saltzman is a Lutheran. He edits Forum
Letter, which is a wonderfully and theologically engaging monthly
newsletter on American Lutheranism. Pr. Saltzman is a member of "an
on-line support group" for "adult children born of rape or incest." A
woman named Jennifer maintains the Web site. In "Nothing Personal," a
recent article on the support group and abortion, Saltzman states:
"Everyone deals with issues of birth and origin—well, they do if
they are conscious and sentient. The perilous biologic journey of
sperm and egg, from conception to zygote to blastocyst to embryo to
fetus is just so much random chance that particular questions about
the particularity that you represent are inevitable. If somebody had a
headache that night, you wouldn’t be here. If the 64-some cells that
formed the blastocyst had failed to travel the fallopian tubes, you
wouldn’t be here. If the blastocyst had failed to implant itself on
the uterine wall, you wouldn’t be here. There are a thousand natural
reasons why you should not be here, and the chances of you being here
at all are unutterably impossible. The chances of pregnancy from rape
are even chancier. Actual pregnancies resulting from reported rapes
are ridiculously minuscule, point-oh-oh-oh-something per thousand. But
it is always somebody’s bad luck when they do happen and the ‘ifs’
roll on. If she had stayed out of the parking lot that night; if she
had been more aware of her surroundings; if the guy she met hadn’t
been a twisted creep; if her step-brother hadn’t forced her on the
"Absent a creator—absent God, the Father almighty, maker of
heaven and earth—your conception and birth are exactly that, dumb
blind chance. Yet we say that God, the Father almighty, maker of
heaven and earth made you. And me. And a very talented, warm-hearted
woman named Jennifer, with two sweet kids of her own. Her body itself
(and my body, aging though it is) carries a living and breathing
rebuke to those who regard human life as a matter of convenience.
Against all appearances to the contrary, imagine this: God, the Father
almighty, maker of heaven and earth, made her, made me, made you. It
is more personal than the Presbyterians or the Lutherans [the PCUSA
and ELCA now have pro-choice positions on abortion] will admit."
JOIN US ON THE FIRST TUESDAY OF EACH MONTH IN PRAYING AND FASTING FOR
LIFEWATCH’S CONTINUING MINISTRY.
Out of obedience to Jesus Christ, the Taskforce of
United Methodists on Abortion and Sexuality (TUMAS) “will work to
create in church and society esteem for human life at its most
vulnerable, specifically for the unborn child and for the woman who
contemplates abortion.” Therefore, TUMAS’s first goal is “to win the
hearts and minds of United Methodists, to engage in
abortion-prevention through theological, pastoral, and social
emphases that support human life.”
published by the Taskforce of United Methodists on Abortion and
Sexuality, a network of United Methodist clergy, laity, and
churches. It is sent, free of charge, to interested readers. Editor,
Rev. Paul T. Stallsworth: 111 Hodges St., Morehead City NC 28557
(252)726-2175.Administrator, Mrs. Ruth Brown: 512 Florence Street,
Dothan AL 36301 (334)794-8543/E-mail:
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