October 11, 2009
The Clergy Who Want an Abortion Ba'al OutBy Robert Knight
Did you know that the Priests of Ba'al Coalition has weighed in on the health care debate?
Okay, they don't really call themselves that. Ba'al was the god of ancient pagan tribes that sacrificed babies in fertility rites and whom the children of Israel defeated to advance Western civilization at its founding. But the aforementioned group does refer to themselves as "clergy" and "religious professionals" who demand abortion on demand, in a quite demanding way.
"An Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Abortion as a Moral Decision" was released on Sept. 30 and signed by more than 1,100 "religious leaders." It's the usual suspects like trendy Episcopalian priestesses and the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State's Rev. Barry Lynn. Other signers include Frances Kissling of Catholics for a Free Choice and assorted reverends affiliated with Planned Parenthood or the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
The Priests of Ba'al letter, which is aimed at U.S. senators marking up the Democrat health care takeover bill, asks other clergy to get behind abortion on demand and claims a divine imperative for taxpayer funding of abortion.
The group claims that "Scripture neither condemns nor prohibits abortion," leaving out inconvenient truths as reflected in such verses as "For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks toYou, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." (Psalm 139: 13,14 NASV) or to the prophet Jeremiah: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you." (Jer. 1:5)
But that's from God's Word. It's not clear from which divinity the Ba'alers draw their moral force. Perhaps it's The Force from Star Wars.
Listen to this reasoning: "The sanctity of human life is best upheld when we assure that it is not created carelessly."
The inestimable value of a child's life does not depend on what the parents were thinking when they tumbled into bed. A lot of us began as a result of too much champagne.
The letter further argues: "It is precisely because life and parenthood are so precious that no woman should be coerced to carry a pregnancy to term."
Say what? Life is so precious that it's okay to kill babies? This is right up there with Rep. Jerrold Nadler's "Respect Marriage Act," which would overturn the Defense of Marriage Act and destroy marriage as we know it. Liberals seem to be trying to outdo each other with ridiculous euphemisms, such as "reproductive freedom" for abortion (no one argues that women can't have babies, except in China).
The Ba'al clergy letter was hatched by the Connecticut-based Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing. That's the nutty group headed by Debra Haffner, former leader of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S., better known as SIECUS. Among other things, SIECUS, an offshoot of the Kinsey Institute and Planned Parenthood, promotes graphic sex education and acceptance of homosexuality beginning in kindergarten. SIECUS began with a commitment to spreading the gospel of "child sexuality," according to founder Mary Calderone.
Haffner herself once proposed a "national petting project" in which teenagers would be taught how to remove each other's clothes and perform all possible sex acts except heterosexual intercourse. Sure they won't. I've always thought that we had a better chance of delaying sex if the kids kept their pants on.
The dark spirit of absurd contradiction pervades the entire Priests of Ba'al letter. At one point, it says:
Translation: So what if a girl is frightened and coerced? She calls the shots! And as for you men, even if it's your daughter's unborn child, or even if you're the husband, you have no rights whatever, even to ask that the child be allowed to live.
Here's more: "Poverty, social inequities, ignorance, sexism, racism, and unsupportive relationships may render a woman virtually powerless to choose freely."
Just a minute. Earlier, the letter said women are moral agents whose decisions cannot be questioned. Now they're saying that women are victims (especially if they choose to keep their babies). That's why Planned Parenthood and the rest of the Priests of Ba'al fight so hard to keep the truth from women who can't be trusted to see their babies on an ultrasound machine.
They don't want any doctors or nurses spilling the biological reality that a real, live human being is in jeopardy. But it's tough beans for the Ba'alers in South Dakota, where a district court on August 20 ordered compliance with an earlier ruling upholding a state law requiring abortionists to inform women that "an abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being." The original ruling noted that this was a statement of scientific fact, not ideology.
It's almost surrealistic watching folks who would fight for the right of consumers to read labels about what's in a can of corn but who want to keep women in the dark about what's inside their wombs.
The Priests of Ba'al don't claim to have all the answers, just whatever is conveniently "moral" at the time.
Robert Knight is Senior Writer/Correspondent for Coral Ridge Ministries and a Senior Fellow at the American Civil Rights Union.