Episcopalian Priest, the Rev. Nina Churchman wrote a letter to Episcopal Life Online saying that women shouldn’t have to ask for forgiveness for aborting a child. In fact, Rev. Churchman then goes one step further and says God rejoices in the woman’s choice to abort. Here’s the text in full:
After reading the 3 June article, “Pregnancy-loss Prayers”, I found the text for Rachel’s Tears online and was sickened to discover that the rite for abortion is couched wholly in terms of sin and transgression. The Episcopal Church, by resolution, has long held that women have the freedom to choose an abortion. It is not considered a sin. That this new rite begins with the words, “I seek God’s forgiveness…” and includes “God rejoices that you have come seeking God’s merciful forgiveness…” is contrary to the resolution. Women should be able to mourn the loss of an aborted fetus without having to confess anything. God, unlike what the liturgy states, also rejoices that women facing unplanned pregnancies have the freedom to carefully choose the best option – birth, adoption or abortion – for themselves and their families. No woman makes this decision lightly or frivolously. But each needs the non-judgmental and non-coercive support of her faith community to make the best decision for her circumstances.
The wording of this liturgy focuses solely on guilt and sin instead of the grief and healing that may accompany a very difficult but appropriate decision to terminate a pregnancy. If anyone is paying attention at the General Convention, this rite should not be approved.
Firstly, the question of sin being based on resolution seems strange to me. I wonder if before that resolution passed, did Churchman believe abortion was a sin. I’d bet not. What if at some future date the Episcopal Church reinstates abortion as a sin, do some people in Heaven then have to go to Hell?
But the point the Rev. Churchman is making that God rejoices in the choice of abortion is absurd, illogical and offensive. God creates each life. Breathes a soul into each of us. For the Rev. Churchman to say that God rejoices in the destruction of a baby is awful. Truly heartbreaking stuff from an alleged follower of Christ. And further, her point that God doesn’t really differentiate between giving birth to the baby or killing the baby is shocking.
We’ve seen and heard many folks over the years saying they’re “personally opposed” to abortion but don’t believe it should be illegal for everyone. To me, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But Churchman is not only taking it one step further by saying she is perfectly fine with abortion, she then says that God isn’t even “personally opposed” to killing one’s baby.
I fear that Rev. Churchman confuses forgiveness and understanding for acceptance of sin. Though God may not reject outright those who have had an abortion – that should never be confused with rejoicing in the sin. God rejoices in repentance.
Pic from Midwest Conservative Journal