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Baptist, Brethren, Lutheran, Methodist Churches Ask Senate for Abortion Funds
Life News ^ | 10/2/09 | Steven Ertelt

Posted on 10/02/2009 4:46:22 PM PDT by wagglebee

Washington, DC ( -- A coalition of mainline Protestant churches have authored a letter to members of Congress asking them to make certain the health care bills they are considering contain taxpayer funding for abortions. The letter comes from a group of churches that have long advocated the pro-abortion position.

Under the umbrella of the Religious Institute, the church denominations and more than 1,100 pastors and church staff from the denominations endorsed the letter.

The letter calls abortion a “morally justifiable decision” and opposed any amendments to the House and Senate bills, which current contain massive abortion funding, to strike that taxpayer-financing.

“Already, federal policy unfairly prevents low-income women and federal employees from receiving subsidized [abortions]," Rev. Debra W. Haffner, executive director of the Religious Institute complained.

The letter added that she doesn't want more abortion funding bans in place and complained that additional "restrictions" on abortion funding constitute a "serious moral injustice.”

The denominations endorsing the letter include the American Baptist Churches, Church of the Brethren, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), United Church of Christ, and the United Methodist Church, and others.

"We affirm women as moral agents who have the capacity, right and responsibility to make the decision as to whether or not abortion is justified in their specific circumstances," the letter says.

The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, Unitarian Universalist Association, and United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism also endorsed the pro-abortion letter.

The Religious Institute claims to represent 4,800 clergy and 40 Christian denominations.

Some of the signers to the letter include: Fr. Dr. Luis Barrios, Chair of Latin American and Latina/o Studies, John Jay College of Criminal Justice - CUNY; Rabbi Dan Ehrenkrantz, President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College; Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder, Bishop, The Fellowship; The Rev. Dr. Paula Gravelle, Chair, Clergy Action Board; and Rev. Dr. Larry Greenfield, Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago.

They also include Rabbi Peter Knobel, Former President, Central Conference of American Rabbis; Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey, Dean, Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary; Rev. Michael Livingston, Executive Director, International Council of Community Churches; Rev. Dr. Deborah Mullen, Director, Center for African American Ministry and Black Church Studies, McCormick Theological Seminary; Dr. Sylvia Rhue, Interim Executive Director, National Black Justice Coalition; and Rev. Dr. William Stayton, Professor of Sexuality and Religion, Morehouse School of Medicine

TOPICS: Current Events; Mainline Protestant; Moral Issues; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: abortion; babykillers; baptist; churchesofdeath; deathculture; elca; enemiesofgod; evangelical; fauxchristians; gaychurches; merchantsofdeath; millstone; molech; moloch; moralabsolutes; prolife; umc; unbelievable; wolvesamongsheep
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To: Mrs. Don-o
I remember my first involvement in Pro-life in the 1960s. Remember, this is against a backdrop of massive social tumult and abortion was just one of many issues, the war being foremost, but it was the Catholics and only the Catholics standing fast on this issue. It seemed that the conservative states were refusing to loosen abortion laws but it was based more on public policy grounds from a religious people rather than on religious doctrine.

The arguments developed and changed over time but there was a general feeling of helplessness and unavoidability as state after state adopted looser laws. That is, until it hit Louisiana. The Catholics put up a magnificent fight and stopped it cold. I can remember collecting money for the Catholics there and it was perhaps my first real contact with the Catholic Church but the money we were collecting was from Methodists, and Anabaptists and Lutherans. Pennies really but that was all anyone had.

The battle was Catholic vs. Baptists who were pushing abortion and, in this case (and Texas), the Catholics won.

We would later be undone by Roe but that was one sweet, sweet victory.

I wouldn't worry too much about the Brethern because I would imagine abortion would be virtually non-existant, even if legal.

81 posted on 10/04/2009 4:41:48 PM PDT by MARTIAL MONK
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To: lightman

Great observation!

82 posted on 10/04/2009 4:45:27 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: wagglebee

Brethern? I am shocked.

They are cousins to Mennonites and Amish and up in this area are plain clothes people with covering.

83 posted on 10/04/2009 4:55:58 PM PDT by Chickensoup (Angry about where our country is going with the current regime at the helm.)
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To: wagglebee
Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey, Dean, Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary;

The methodist in the list, I assume, since Garrett is a Methodist Seminary.

However, it is not possible for her to speak for the Methodist church. That can only be done by the every 4 year "General Conference."

She no more speaks for the UMC than does the president of Notre Dame speak for the Roman Catholic Church.

I wish the methodist position on life were better than rape, incest, life of the mother, but it isn't. Although that is the intent, the wording needs to be worked on to make it very clear that life of mother is what's being talked about.

84 posted on 10/04/2009 5:25:11 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: xzins

I agree that the wording of the article leads to the incorrect conclusion that the signers of the letter are speaking on behalf of their respective denominations.

Abortion to save the mother’s life was permitted long before Roe v. Wade and, as far as I know, Protestants and Catholics did not object to it. There are nearly 4000 abortions EACH DAY in the United States, the number of these that truly save the life of the mother are too small to even quantify and in most of these cases the baby was NEVER going to survive.

85 posted on 10/04/2009 5:36:49 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: lightman

Who were the ELCA people who signed off on this abortion (sic) of a statement?

The ELCA CWA also asked ELCA members to counter “mis-information” about obama “health” care. (The REAL mis-information comes from the White House and the Congress.) So the ELCA is for death to both babies (the unborn and those in neonatal units, suffering from genetic diseases, etc.) and seniors!!!!

The ELCA mis-leaders are laboring under a delusion of Satan. They need the Holy Spirit to heal them. They have no business whatsoever prescribing policy to anyone, whether their own members or to public officials.

86 posted on 10/04/2009 6:20:55 PM PDT by Honorary Serb (Kosovo is Serbia! Free Srpska! Abolish ICTY!)
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To: wagglebee

They have hit an all-time low. The National Council of Communist Churches continues to ride to Hell!

87 posted on 10/04/2009 6:50:33 PM PDT by Redleg Duke ("Don't fire unless fired upon, but it they mean to have a war, let it begin here." J Parker, 1775)
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To: Chickensoup; Mrs. Don-o; wagglebee
Here is the official position on abortion from the Church of the Brethren.    It DOES NOT support abortion.

The Church of the Brethren opposes abortion because the rejection of unborn children violates the love by which God creates and nurtures human life.
Statement on Abortion

There is one person who endorsed the letter discussed in the article who declared themself a pastor in the Church of the Brethren.

Rev. Christen Petit Miller, Church of the Brethren, Fort Wayne, IN
List of endorsers

A quick serarch and I found this person is not an active pastor of a congregation.

There is a split coming to the COB unless (what I have dubbed) 'The Ft. Wayne problem' is quickly resolved. There is a contingent from Ft. Wayne that is attempting to push a (what I believe to be a personal) gay agenda into the church. Now it appears 'The Ft. Wayne problem' has expanded to be pro-abortion. Next summer, at their annual conference, the gay agenda will either be embraced or rebuked. The COB desperately needs your prayers.

88 posted on 10/04/2009 7:05:45 PM PDT by Dissident1
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To: wagglebee
I converted to RC five years ago.

I did not leave the Methodist, they left me.

89 posted on 10/04/2009 7:07:11 PM PDT by mware (F-R-E-E, that spells free. Free baby.)
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You come from WayBack! Great! I am pleased to know you better.

90 posted on 10/05/2009 6:54:09 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Mammalia Primatia Hominidae Homo sapiens. Still working on the "sapiens" part.)
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To: Dissident1
I am glad-hearted to hear of the continued unambiguous fidelity of (most of) the Church of the Brethren.

I will certainly pray that y'all can clean up the Fr. Wayne problem. Please, if I may ask, pray that we Catholics can clean up the Notre Dame problem. And a great deal more.

Oh, and the Catechism is still Catholic.

And so is the Pope. (There's a great deal of comfort in that!)

91 posted on 10/05/2009 6:59:17 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Mammalia Primatia Hominidae Homo sapiens. Still working on the "sapiens" part.)
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To: Upbeat; MarkBsnr; Marysecretary
I am a Roman Catholic and I celebrate the principled stand of those Protestant denominations and pastors and people who stand in solidarity in defense of the innocent unborn. I also believe that we would all better concentrate on the 95% of religious matters on which we agree with one another rather than fighting over the 5% on which we disagree (mud-wrestling to the delight of those who believe none of the Truth). Let us share our mutual optimism by all means.

I will more easier contend with fellow Catholics in error because their errors confuse those not of the Catholic Faith. As the late Bishop Fulton Sheen used to say: If the Catholic Church were to be what its opponents contend it is, then (Bishop Sheen) would not be a member of it either.

To each of you, may God continue to bless you and yours.

92 posted on 10/05/2009 1:35:44 PM PDT by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline of the Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemen's Club)
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To: wagglebee
I received an e-mail from the ELCA's e-Advocacy Network earlier today referencing this article.

The e-mail states:
"...there has been some misleading information regarding the ELCA's advocacy regarding funding for abortions. The "Religious Institute" and its director, the Rev. Debra Haffner, claim mainline church support stronger public funding of abortions in health care legislation. Based on the Religious Institute's open letter, subsequently wrote an article which inappropriately and incorrectly stated that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America supports the letter and the coalition, when in fact we do not."

"The ELCA Washington Office staff are working with a group of other faith-based partners to ask for a more forthright statement from the administration and congressional leadership that health care reform will not be used to increase the opportunities for public funding for abortions."

I haven't had a chance to check the claims in this post against the ELCA's counter-claim. However, it appears LifeNews may have either misrepresented ELCA's position or gotten bad information from another organization.
93 posted on 10/05/2009 1:47:38 PM PDT by javachip (TARP - proof there is no situation so bad that government can't make it worse.)
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To: BlackElk

Thank you, BlackElk. My blessings go to you and yours as well.

94 posted on 10/05/2009 2:52:32 PM PDT by Marysecretary (GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL!)
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To: wagglebee; lightman
LifeNews has added this to the end of their article:

"An earlier edition of this story indicated the denominations of the clergy also signed the letter. We are happy to correct this and note that the denominations apparently did not participate, only the clergy members themselves."

It appears the "clergy" who signed this pro-abortion letter were speaking for themselves and not representing the positions of their denominations.
95 posted on 10/05/2009 5:19:07 PM PDT by javachip (TARP - proof there is no situation so bad that government can't make it worse.)
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To: javachip; lightman; SErtelt

Steven Ertelt (the editor of Life News) is a man of great integrity and a FReeper. I think it was clear to most readers that the clergy who signed did so as individuals and not on behalf of their denominations, but I’m glad he clarified it.

96 posted on 10/05/2009 5:22:52 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: gusopol3
likewise the “Lutherans” are not the “Missouri Synod” Lutherans.

Nor, are they the Wisconsin Synod.

97 posted on 10/05/2009 6:46:47 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: wagglebee
Here's the "girls" The Religious Institute's, "Reproductive Justice" page.

Why in the world would this bunch ever have to think about reproducing???

98 posted on 10/06/2009 7:50:07 AM PDT by AnalogReigns
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To: AnalogReigns

“You must purge the ugliness from among you.” And all the people said, “Amen” and “Amen”.

99 posted on 10/06/2009 7:53:12 AM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: wagglebee

100 posted on 10/06/2009 7:56:05 AM PDT by AnalogReigns
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