Skip to comments.United Methodist Church Only Condemned Gosnell After Pro-Life Pressure
Posted on 05/31/2013 5:19:11 PM PDT by Morgana
The D.C. lobby office of the United Methodist Church, the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), has finally broken its silence about the health care offered by abortion and infanticide provider Kermit Gosnell.
The GBCS likes to boast that it has not been silent on pressing issues of social concern. But when it comes to arguably the most pressing social-justice issue of our day, which according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute globally claims the lives of tens of millions of precious babies created in Gods image every year, the GBCS has been absolutely silent. Or rather, when it has spoken out, it has only been in a very one-sided, abortion-defending way, treating the children killed by the violence of abortion as unworthy of receiving Christian compassion or even acknowledgement of their existence.
But realizing that the liberal GBCS staff do not represent the views of more than a small minority of the unsuspecting United Methodists whose denominational apportionments (skimmed from church offering plates) largely fund the GBCS, several of us at the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) decided to press the question of whether or not even Gosnells crimes were too much for the GBCS.
On May 7, we launched a mini-campaign on Twitter, using the hashtag #SilentGBCS and calling on the GBCS to defend vulnerable human life in light of the Gosnell murders.
One week later, they broke their characteristic silence, releasing a brief statement entitled: Gosnells actions are reprehensible.
As a longtime watchdog of the GBCS (which is given free reign by the denomination to operate with very minimal accountability), this statement offers the most pro-life language I have ever seen from the church agency. The statement celebrates Gosnells conviction for the grisly murder of newborn babies and the lethal drug overdose of an immigrant woman, decries what he did in strong language, calls on United Methodists to take seriously our shared responsibility for the sanctity of all human life at all stages of life, and directly states, The biblical teachings of the 10 Commandments is quite clear: Do not murder. (Deuteronomy 5:17). It does not endorse the bizarre recent claims of other abortion defenders that pro-lifers are, by some convoluted logic, to blame for Gosnells house of horrors.
Furthermore, while it may simply be a product of hasty composition, in this statement the GBCS takes a refreshing break from its usual political sloganeering to very clearly describe Americas debate over the sanctity of unborn human life as being between those who oppose abortion and those who support it, avoiding such lefty, intellectually dishonest euphemisms as supporters of choice or reproductive justice defenders.
Finally, the statement even describes tougher regulations and inspections enforced in Pennsylvania as a matter of justice being served.
And yet, after the first two sentences noting the specific already-born victims for whose death Gosnell was convicted, the GBCS resorts to rather ambiguous language about what he did, leaving it up to readers to guess whether or not the GBCSs newly professed concern for the sanctity of all human life at all stages of life extends to the preborn children killed by Gosnell. The GBCS avoids mentioning the 24 unborn children Gosnell was convicted of killing in illegal late-term abortions.
With sad moral cluelessness, the GBCS says Although justice has been served this case has become the latest battlefield in the abortion debate, but it is unclear why.
As if the sorts of things done by abortionists as part of their clinic practices are irrelevant to abortion debates. As if Gosnells house of horrors was a once-ever anomaly that people should just passively trust will never occur again, even with no legal safeguards. As if it is somehow socially conscious to ignore a similar case developing in Texas or the reality of the many other documented cases in other states of unsafe and unsanitary conditions in abortion clinics. As if the devaluing of the lives of newly born but unplanned children is completely unrelated to devaluing the lives of soon-to-be-born but also unplanned children.
And in apparent allusion to the #SilentGBCS campaign, the GBCS sanctimoniously declares that Christians should not use this case as an opportunity to point fingers or cast stones at one another. But metaphors aside, the denominational lobby appears determined to remain stubbornly unreflective about its own long defense of actual violence in terms of abortion.
Furthermore, for decades, the GBCS has been an enthusiastic member organization of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), which stridently decries any and all legal restrictions or even moral disapproval of abortion. In recent years, the GBCS staff has zealously defended our denominations increasingly contested affiliation with RCRC, which pro-life United Methodists hope to end soon.
But even as more members of the United Methodist Church wake up to the scandal of the UMC-RCRC connection, the GBCS insists on portraying the Coalition as incapable of wrongdoing.
In fact, a former GBCS staffer privately told me of being fired, probably because of this individuals willingness to challenge RCRC on its lack of nuance. This apparent purging occurred on the watch of current GBCS General Secretary Jim Winkler.
So it is not completely true to say that the GBCS has refrained from joining other supporters of abortion (in the GBCSs welcome new language) in bizarrely blaming Gosnell on pro-lifers.
Earlier this month, RCRC indeed blamed Gosnells house of horrors on pro-lifers and actually protested against basic clinic health and safety regulations that could prevent future such reprehensible, ongoing evils.
And while even Kermit Gosnells own defense attorney has been persuaded to support further regulations on abortion and even outright bans after the unborn baby is 16 or 17 weeks old, RCRC (which thanks to the GBCS claims to represent United Methodists) is now lobbying Congress against a proposed limit on abortions of pain-capable babies.
For years, the GBCS has strongly pushed for public policies that based on the principle that companies cannot be trusted to self-regulate to operate in just, ethical, and consumer-protecting ways. But does it trust often lucrative abortion clinics to self-regulate? If not, then amidst all of GBCSs political lobbying, will it ever find time to proactively lobby for clinic regulations such as those recently passed in Virginia? Even if RCRC disagrees?
From a Christian moral perspective, what is the difference between Gosnells snipping the spinal cord of a baby within minutes or hours after his birth and Gosnell performing the same procedure on a baby at the exact same stage of development but still in utero?
What are the logical, ethical, and principled relationships between a culture of disregard for the life and dignity of unborn, and even partially-born, unwanted children a culture which the GBCS has reflexively championed for years and similar treatment of newly born, physically identical unwanted babies? How does one draw the line in a morally consistent and logically coherent way?
What does the GBCS think of how some of its abortion-defending allies have become increasingly open in defending infanticide?
When GBCS, through RCRC, celebrated a day in early March to offer prayers of thanks for a Mississippi abortionist and all the other brace abortion providers around the world, did such unqualified celebration include people like Kermit Gosnell ?
Since the GBCS has taken the unusual step of disallowing viewer comments below its statement, it seems that these are the sorts of questions that they are eager to avoid.
For an example of what a consistently compassionate, morally unmuddled denominational statement on the Gosnell murders looks like, see here.
Are they behaving more like Methodists or like meth heads?
It is of course for God to cry over. This was so egregious that even Planned Parenthood panned Gosnell and that takes a lot.
I also needed to rub my eyes... I thought for a moment it was about the United Methodists condemning the GOSPEL....
UMC gave up on Jesus for a different god some time back. They are not to be trusted.
a “god of this world....” Social sides of the gospel are fine, but much “social gospel” seems to be tied down to the unredeemed spirit of worldly society, rather than about what can be to bring the glory of God (and especially salvation) TO society.
The Confessing Movement, Good News, Lifewatch, Transforming Congregations, and the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD, mentioned in John's article) are renewal groups within the United Methodist denomination which, together, have kept the UMC from going completely off-track theologically, scripturally, on marriage and life issues.
Due in large part to the work by these groups, the UMC is the only mainline denomination which supports monogomous heterosexual marriage and the sanctity of life.
(Tornado warning -gotta go....)
Good luck ~
Standard Protestant doctrine says what Gosnell's been up to doesn't make any difference.
we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day."
At a minimum, there are twice as many infants murdered in the womb each year by abortafacient contraceptives as by people like Gosnell and no one is bothered by the fact that such folks aren't condemned by the Methodist Church or any other Church except the Catholic Church.
I guess "Superslsick Christian Liberty Grease" will let you slide past murdering infants but not collecting their tiny feet, is that it?
yeah......The leftists took over UMC years ago...It is a shame because they have local conservative churches that are having their clock cleaned.
Good luck in telling any other church except the Catholic Church that!
“Are they behaving more like Methodists or like meth heads?”
This is NOT my Grandmother’s church
I did not leave the UME church. The UME church left me. I have not been back since.
Here's the link:
The Kermit Gosnell Verdict: Implications for Pro-Life Lutheran Christians
A statement by LCMS (Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod) Life Ministries
It’s striking though how many “conservative” Methodists remain within the umbrella of the liberal denomination. They must be looking for “hope and change”.
I grew up as a Methodist before it was United Methodist. I’ve always wondered who or what they united with. Perhaps Satan?
“They were Methodists, who my father called ‘Baptists who could read.’”
LOL from a recovering ex-Methodist.
This is not really accurate. The truth is that the denomination has no governing body between our every 4 year policy-setting conference. There is no bishop, group of bishops, agency, or court that is in charge of the denomination.
Therefore, the General Board of Church and Society is not given free reign...as if someone out there was approving of what they do and refusing to make them knuckle under.
There are no controls at all, no one is in charge, and no one is making anyone do anything. Our boards and agencies (all of them, not just GBCS) are loose cannons on deck.
And our "democratic" process with a meeting only once every 4 years makes it virtually impossible to change.
So, these groups and persons pretend to speak for the United Methodist Church, but they don't. They speak for themselves, but they have a UMC name attached to them.
All that said, the UMC has successfully fended off inroads on homosexuality, has improved its position on life (although it's still much lacking), and has implemented a change in representation by number of adherents that will with the help of our African churches, eventually, hopefully see positive changes in all these areas. However, meeting only once every 4 years, it will be agonizingly slow.
I recall reading a section in one of the older BODs—1984, perhaps?—which spelled out very precisely this matter of “speaking for the church”.
Leftists, especially autocrats and marxists have controlled the Bishop’s Council for decades. The only new bishops are true believers who swallow social gospel atheism whole.
You are correct. The only problem, as always, is there is no group/person that has the authority to enforce.
From your keyboard to God's ears!
LOL!! Me too. I went to a "traditional Anglican" church recently, and the liturgy was so familiar, like opening a trunk in Grandma's attic. I very much miss the M.E. church I grew up in.
I just went to my religion bookshelf to look for it, since I was a trustee back in that era, only to find I have given it to Salvation Army in a fit of frustration/rage. I kept two Methodist hymnals, though; and especially treasure the really old one from before they started making God neuter.
Don’t the African Methodists have a lot of influence on the UMC as well in keeping it more conservative than many other mainline Protestant churches?
quotable quote from A River Runs Through It.