There are so many things wrong with the Episcopal Church, and so many reasons why I left it, they're difficult to recount. Long before the decision to ordain Gene Robinson, a divorced, practicing homosexual, as a bishop, TEC had lost its way. Starting in the 1970s, it became a place to worship the latest politically correct fad and a place to hear moral relativism preached instead of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Long after the media stopped caring about Nicaragua, for example, I remember hearing a sermon decrying U.S. support of the contras. At a children's Christmas pageant, a "single mother" and a "handicapped person" were thrown into the mix along with baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the shepherds. One Sunday I was handed a photocopied hymn to "Mother God."
And as if those bad memories aren't enough, there are constant reminders of how appalling things continue to be. An item in New Directions, a publication of the traditional Anglican movement Forward in Faith, reported the news that the Rev. Katherine Ragsdale was recently appointed dean of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass. It went on to recall a speech she gave in Birmingham, Ala., a couple of years ago on the subject of abortion (which Marvin Olasky also commented on in a WORLD column back in May):
When a woman wants a child but can't afford one, because she hasn't the education necessary for a sustainable job, or access to health care, or day care, or adequate food, it is the abysmal priorities of our nation, the lack of social supports, the absence of justice that are the tragedies; the abortion is a blessing.
And when a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe affordable abortion, there is not a tragedy in sight; only blessing.
The ability to enjoy God's good gift of sexuality without compromising one's education, life's work, or ability to put to use God's gifts and call is simply blessing. These are the two things I want you, please, to remember - abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Let me hear you say it. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.
What more need be said?