Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Sacrifice of Women's Bodies

....seems to be pretty acceptable in the eyes of the Catholic Church hierarchy.  Where do I even begin?

First of all, I know this story is kind of old for some of y'all, but have mercy.  I've been in Florida with my family and Backbencher's for the past several days for my Nana's funeral.  

Second of all, let me also acknowledge that some of y'all reading may in fact be Catholic and/or pro-life.  There is much I admire about the Catholic Church, and its relatively consistent ethic toward life is one of those things (I may not agree with their stance on abortion, but at least they oppose war, too....unlike other pro-life, pro-military 'churches' in this country).  But this is ridiculous.

A nine-year-old girl is repeatedly raped by her stepfather.  Repeatedly.  She becomes pregnant with twins - often a high-risk pregnancy even for adult women, and more so in a girl who has barely reached puberty and whose hips have not widened enough to give birth to one child, much less two, even assuming she survives the pregnancy and the concomitant changes to her internal anatomy - as a result of this rape.  Doctors perform an abortion to save her life, and they and her mother are excommunicated by their bishop.

The MSNBC article notes that, "Despite the nature of the case, the church had to hold its line against abortion."  Thank you, Archbishop Sobrinho.  Because apparently women's bodies - or children's bodies, in this case - are less important to the church than are the theological ethic of life that leads the church to have what they call a "pro-life" stance.  What is it that Lincoln said? "I care not for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it."  Or, again, whose CHILDREN are not better for it.

Some of you may be saying, "What about the fetuses that are aborted?  Don't they deserve to be treated better?"  Here's the thing.  Sometimes that is a false argument - to choose between the life of the mother and the life of the fetus (or, in this case, fetuses).  Without the abortion, the nine-year-old would have died, and so would have the lives growing her womb.  An ethic of life that leads to a forced death - not a death this little child CHOSE (which is the death of Jesus) but one that was forced upon her by her rapist stepfather - is no ethic of life whatsoever.  Again, the sacrifice of women's bodies seems to be an acceptable one of the church hierarchy.  

But I am here to tell you, by whatever authority I have as a child of God baptized into the church of Jesus Christ and as an ordained minister within a mainline Christian denomination, the sacrifice of women's bodies is not an acceptable sacrifice to God.  The sacrifice of human bodies, if it was ever acceptable to God (and boys and girls, that is a debate for another day), is no longer acceptable after the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

In short, the sacrifice of women's bodies on the altar of "pro-life" is not acceptable to God.

Oh, and did we mention the stepfather has not been excommunicated by the Church?  Because apparently the ongoing rape of a child is not an excommunicable offense.  I wonder, what would it take for such a one to be excommunicated?  

1 comment:

Pastor Joelle said...

This is one of the best thought out commentaries I've read on this travesty.