Friday, April 3, 2015

How to Ruin Good Friday

I walked in to a Good Friday service today and heard these words: 

"I carry the cross for the mother who aborts her child without reason."

Excuse me, is this a Good Friday service?  

Is there even one day per year when opponents of abortion can cool their jets?

1)  No woman ends a pregnancy "without reason."  Somebody may not like her reasons, but she has reasons.

2)  An abortion is painful and inconvenient and costs money.  No woman goes through this "without reason," though some women do end up having several abortions.  

3)  In the first trimester, the embryo or fetus is not a child.  Using the phrase "aborts her child" is like waving a flag against legalized abortion.

4)  No man should dare to condemn a woman who finds herself pregnant in a situation where she feels she needs to end a pregnancy.  No man!  You haven't been there, you don't know.  It may be that her boyfriend refused to support the child and share in the parenting.  Whatever the situation, shut your mouth if you carry male genitalia.

I was deeply offended by those words.  

In 1994 I edited a book containing personal stories of Christian women who in difficult circumstances chose abortion.  It's called Abortion--My Choice, God's Grace: Christian Women Tell Their Stories, published by New Paradigm Books in Pasadena, California (available from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc.).  

 I am a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

I left the service long enough to get back into a frame of mind in which I could reflect on Jesus' death.  Unfortunately, I missed the only woman speaker out of 7.  I returned to the service planning to stay to the end but found that I could not focus on the words being spoken and sung.  

When Psalms were read--such as "Insults have broken my heart" (Ps. 69:20), they suddenly had a non-Good-Friday meaning for me.  I had to leave.

As I walked out, the young man who had spoken those words gave me a big friendly grin.

"Asshole!" I hissed.   

Lead me not into temptation--sorry, Jesus!  

That young guy is a seminarian, not even ordained yet.  He has the fancy title of "vicar."  I should not have condemned him in the same way he condemned women.  We're not supposed to trade an eye for an eye. 

Sorry, Jesus, for adding to your troubles on this day.

To warn others: 

Don't try to attend Mt. Olive Lutheran in Santa Monica CA.  I could have gone to my own church's Good Friday service or to the local Episcopal church, but I chose this Lutheran church close to my home, which has had great services over the years.  

I sure won't make that mistake again.

No comments: