Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Mixed Moral Choices

A discussion at Stand Firm this week had me seeing red.

Does anyone have a problem with the following?

As a Christian who is privileged to be an Episcopal priest and equally privileged to be President of the New Jersey chapter of the Religious Coalition of Reproductive Choice, I couldn't be more proud of my church for its compassionate, pro-life stand.

Yes, I said PRO-LIFE. Even a quick read of the official position of TEC will leave no doubt that we, as a church, are supportive of the life of the embryo / fetus, the life of the mother, and the life of the family.

I am proud of my church that it, like I,and like many, many Episcopalians abhor abortion as a method of birth control - which is crystal clear after reading our position on abortion and our funding of the RCRC (let those who have ears, hear . . . and intellect, think).

I am proud of my church that we have resisted the emotionally manipulative pictures of abortion and pre-term abortion which are tragically necessitated by the harsh realities of those involved.

I am proud that my church does not use equally horrific pictures of heart or other organ transplant procedures, coronary artery by-pass, or gruesome laser eye surgery to deter decisions about these life-saving and life-giving surgical measures.?

I am proud of my church that, in an age that continues to devalue the life of a woman, where even as I write this, some women in? developing nations are undergoing. . . hmm.... what is is the term our brother Don used . . . ah, yes . . ."gruesome" . . . female genital mutilation so that she will remain "faithful" to her emotionally insecure and socially and spiritually immature husband because she will no longer be able to "enjoy" intimate, sexual relationship with him and therefore will not be unfaithful (as he will, undoubtedly be - but, that is blessed as socially-sanctioned and economically necessary polygamy), respects the dignity of every woman to make a choice about - and, control over - what is happening in her own body - including the embryonic life therein.

I am proud of my church that every woman - yes, including the life of a woman who is a priest, married or not, - can make the painful, awful, life-determining decision about whether or not she can make a commitment to the embryonic life she carries in her body, depending on the opinion of her physician and pediatrician, her assessment, based on the opinion of the probability of the support of the father of her potential child, and the ability of her family and community to support her decision.

I am proud of my church which understands that issues of grinding poverty and poor access to quality health care and education for women, coupled with the debilitating effects of racism, sexism and heterosexism. supports the . . . what was the term our brother Don used . . . ah, yes . . . "inhumane"? . . . decision of a woman to determine the direction of her own life.

I am proud of my church which understands that the advance of diagnostic procedures still falls far behind the information needed to make a timely decision about the lifelong commitment to a new life, necessitating the "pre-term" (aka "partial abortion"), which, at this point in time, is perfectly legal and, therefore, cannot be called "murder" - any more than the execution of a profoundly retarded person who has committed murder.

I am proud that I, like so many, many LGBT people and our straight allies, have chosen to be foster parents to - or adoptive parents of - the live, full term, delivered human lives of those "defective" children which our heterosexual brothers and sisters have chosen not to abort, but not to take responsibility for, except to depend on the fiscal generosity of "the State" and "the kindness and generosity of strangers."

I am proud of those adoptive parents who have made the life-time commitment to "someone else's child" which includes, as we have just gone through (in August, while I was at Lambeth), serious surgery to replace the retina of our beloved Katie who was 'slugged' by another profoundly handicapped (male) adult child because she resisted his sexual advancement and is now permanently blind in that eye. We adopted her at age 4. She's now 30. She is, and forever will be, our child, even though she was birthed, but not aborted, by another women and her husband.

I am proud that The Episcopal Church supports the sex education which is championed by NCRC to avoid pregnancy in the first place, including the choices of abstinence, birth control, and, if tragically necessary, abortion.

I am proud that The Episcopal Church respects the "dignity of every human being" in our baptism covenant and prays, during that baptism, that the child receives "the gift of wonder of all of God's creation."

I am proud of The Episcopal Church and our baptismal covenant, which is not replicated throughout the World Wide Anglican Communion and, perhaps, ought to be.

What greatly distresses me is that there are those who would triumph the simplicity of their own state of sin so that others might feel guilty about the difficulty and complexity of the reality of their own morality.


(the Rev'd Dr) Elizabeth Kaeton

As I commented at S/F,

I think the point of her ramble is that she thinks it is harmful to pregnant women to be presented the facts of abortion. I think she is saying that these women’s “own morality” is confused, and it is wrong to do anything that might cause “guilt.”

The problem does boil down to a confused and ungrounded morality for which the unborn must suffer.

Unfortunately, as these comments point out, it appears Rev. Kaeton has a case of moral confusion as far as being both pro-life and President of the NJ wing of the RCRC.

There is no confusion as to RCRC'c position on abortion as their web site says,

"RCRC was founded in 1973 to safeguard the newly won constitutional right to abortion"

More quotes from Elizabeth Kaeton can be found here
At General Convention, 2006, a proposal to rescind this affiliation was debated in the Social and Urban Affairs Committee. John Vanderstar, a lay deputy from the diocese of Washington and Executive Council member, defended the affiliation. The Rev. Canon Elizabeth Kaeton of Newark testified, “While abortions may not be favored by local churches, we are deputized to follow the Holy Spirit, not the wishes of the folks back home.”

The Holy Spirit favors abortion?

So the Rev. Kaeton (AKA the Swan of Newark) is Pro-Life and Pro-abortion, and was also instrumental in ensuring ongoing funding of RCRC by our Church.

Are you "proud" that the Episcopal Church helps fund the RCRC with your money?


  1. Nothing more than mental masturbation...and really unworthy of response.

    Is it any wonder that the body count in DioNewark is down 40% over the last ten years?

    Is it any wonder that many of those in the pews are seeking ways to continue contributing to the local parish while ensuring that none of their hard earned money flows upstream to EDUSC and ultimately to 815? Who would want to support such ungodly and unbiblical positions as those made by the Rev. Kaeton?

  2. "I couldn't be more proud of my church for its compassionate, pro-life stand."
    TEC leadership is also 'proud' of their ability to rework and reinterpret the meaning of words and phrases to make the truth a lie and a lie the truth. Satan is the author of confusion.

    1. Yep, this reinterpretation of "pro-life" appears to come straight from the book, "Revisionism for Dummies" by T.D. Screwtape.