What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.


What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

"Nobody is Pro-Abortion"

Ever hear that one? You know, no one is for abortion. No, no. It should be safe, legal, and rare. It's a sad thing, a tragedy. All the lefties are merely pro-choice. Don't you understand?

Well, the next time someone tells you that, point him to this link. This is a "sermon"--in the Church of Moloch, one presumes--by one "Reverend" Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, the new lesbian dean of the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass.

Ms. Ragsdale is having none of this "tragedy" stuff. According to her, abortion is a blessing. In fact, abortion is always a blessing. It's a blessing whether a woman has been raped, has a child with major birth defects, or is in poverty and doesn't have good daycare. In those cases, the only tragedy is the poverty, the rape, the birth defects. The abortion is a blessing. And when a woman is in a loving, committed relationship, gets pregnant (oops!) and doesn't want the baby, then Ms. Ragsdale says, "[T]here 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."

When Eros is made a god, he becomes a demon.

But there's more.

Ragsdale is on a mission. It seems that not everyone yet worships her god aright. So the motto for her "sermon," which she led the congregation in chanting, was this: "Abortion is a blessing, and our work is not done." Sound ominous? It should.

For one thing, she says that a sign that the pro-aborts' work is not done is the mere fact that anybody talks about abortion as a tragedy. That's gotta go. Eros-Moloch must be worshiped with enthusiasm.

And there's this: "When doctors and pharmacists try to opt out of providing medical care, claiming it’s an act of conscience, our work is not done." See? As long as anybody gets to opt out of the new State Religion, their work is not done. Murdering babies, of course, is "medical care." That's a given. And we must all cooperate in that blessed work.

Ragsdale has lots more to say about this issue. Let me see if I can summarize it: Liberals are supposed to be in favor of conscience and are supposed to cheer for conscientious objectors. She realizes this. So she has to do a little dance to get around the strangeness of a liberal calling for forcing doctors to cooperate in abortion. Her take is that the conscientious objectors of the Civil Rights Movement were willing to pay the price but that the doctors who don't want to be forced to be complicit in abortions aren't willing to pay the price. How's that? Well, see, the Civil Rights protestors were willing to go to jail, whereas the doctors in question "insist that the rest of the world reorder itself." Huh? Say what? So, you know, the Civil Rights Movement people weren't insisting that the world reorder itself? No way. They were happy just to keep going to jail forever and ever. They didn't want any changes or anything. But the stupidity goes farther. Because the status quo (as Ragsdale herself admits by her "our work is not done" mantra) is that doctors are allowed to opt out of providing murderous "medical care." So it isn't they who are seeking a reordering of the world, but Ragsdale and crew, who just can't stand the fact that anybody is allowed not to be on board with their agenda.

And what is the "price" Ragsdale wants doctors to have to pay for their conscientious objections? Well, you could have guessed this: They must not be doctors.

If your conscience forbids you to carry arms, don’t join the military or become a police officer. If you have qualms about animal experimentation, think hard before choosing to go into medical research. And, if you’re not prepared to provide the full range of reproductive health care (or prescriptions) to any woman who needs it then don’t go into obstetrics and gynecology, or internal or emergency medicine, or pharmacology. Choose another field! We’ll respect your consciences when you begin to take responsibility for them.
Oh, that's simple. Just a small price to pay. Nobody unwilling to be complicit in murder should become a doctor. It's so obvious. How could anybody not get it? A non-murderous doctor is like a pacifist soldier--a contradiction in terms. I can't imagine how we've gotten to the year 2009 without realizing this before.

I wonder how many people in the congregation joined Ragsdale in chanting, "Abortion is a blessing, and our work is not done." None, right? Because nobody, but nobody, is pro-abortion.

HT: View from the Right

Comments (26)

I read that speech some weeks ago and the sickened me. You have disposed of its wickedness brilliantly, Lydia. Sometimes you read of something so awful from the clergy that you suddenly understand Augustine's aggression against the Donatists.

If your conscience forbids you to carry arms, don’t join the military

Perhaps she hasn't heard of Desmond Doss?


The military has room (and a Medal of Honor) for a pacifist soldier, but the medical profession has no room for doctors who won't kill babies? Lord have mercy.

The Holy Spririt needs to take Ragsdale out to the woodshed and give her a good talking to!

Time to play the nihilist card:

Who are you to judge?
What business is it of yours what doctors do it in private? (You say it's not private? But that's not what the Court in Roe said. It said that abortion is a private act between a pregnant woman and her physician? Checkmate!)
How dare you force your views on those doctors.
Abortion is between a doctor and her God.
You're so judgmental about beliefs that you're afraid of.
It's a prolife, Nicene Christian, thing, you wouldn't understand.
God made us with free will, and that includes doctors.
No one knows when choice begins.
If doctors are forced to perform abortions, then good doctors will quit, and bad, back alley-educated, doctors will take their place.
Is your name really "Ragsdale"?

Did you all catch Bonnie Erbe's April 1 blog post?

"In a Recession, Abortions Are Not a Bad Choice"

"But in the long run, can we not agree that an unwed couple's decision not to bring a fourth child into the world when they are having trouble feeding themselves and three children is no tragedy? It's actually a fact-based, rational decision that in the end benefits the three children they already have and society as well...

The decision benefits society in two ways. It allows the couple to focus more time, energy and resources on their three children, giving each child a better life and a better chance of growing up to contribute to society. It also lessens the chance the family will have to rely on scarce public resources (food stamps, TANF) to raise their children."

Nice one Francis !! turn their own card against them.

That's hilarious, Frank. And just to accentuate how funny it is, I wrote more than half the post calling her "Ragsland" and then had to hurry back and correct it after posting and realizing my error.

I've thought for a long time that _most_ of the "personally opposed" people are liars. Maybe a few of them have lied to themselves first. But how could anyone take, for example, Rudy Giuliani seriously when he clenched his fist and told us all how much he hates, hates abortion...and then it turned out he's a PP contributor? I mean, c'mon. How could Rudy himself take himself seriously?

And pro-lifers have said for a long time that it's illogical to hold that abortion is a tragedy or should be kept rare if you don't believe that abortion kills a child, but if you do, then it shd. be illegal. Ragsdale is just being more consistent than most by chanting that abortion is a blessing. It's like an appendectomy: Nobody is happy that one is necessary, but if it is, it's a blessing that we have good medical facilities in this country and can get an appendectomy when we need one! And I wonder, are there any pro-choicers yet out there with some rag of decency in them who will start thinking uncomfortable thoughts when they hear such open talk of the blessing of abortion?

Aha! I've been looking for this link in the wrong place. Turns out I saw it originally at Zippy Catholic: No one is pro-abortion in the same sense that no one is pro root canal.


Though come to think of it, I never heard anyone say, "Repeat after me: A root canal is a blessing."

"As long as women, acting as responsible moral agents, taking responsibility for their own lives and for those who depend on them, have to contend with guilt and shame, have judgment and contempt heaped upon them, rather than the support and respect they deserve, our work is not done."

"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."

Oh, the logic! Being a responsible moral agent means freedom from all responsibility, from all consequences. After all, why should anyone have to face the consequences of their choices?

Ugh, this woman has made me sick.

I've thought for a long time that _most_ of the "personally opposed" people are liars.
I agree, and I think I have a clarification w.r.t. earlier discussions on the particular point. I think what they often mean is not "I am personally opposed", but rather "it is OK to be personally opposed to abortion as long as you never take any action based on that personal opposition which interferes in any way with anyone else doing it". And the latest spin on this is to add "or inaction" to the equation. Soon after "or inaction" becomes entrenched, "or have any thought" will be added; because all of those things, including illiberal thoughts, ultimately threaten the unfettered will of the free and equal new man, and are therefore dispositive signs of the Low Man. And the Low Man, as we know, is without rights.

I believe I have heard Rush Limbaugh call abortion the sacrament of the religion of modern feminism, and I think I agree. There is a spirit of death at work in many people that'd earn them the title of not just pro choice, but pro abortion.

Here's another irony about this:

An Episcopalian cleric demands that a medical professional practice within the confines of an orthodoxy. So, it is in medicine, and not in theology, that one can drift into heresy.

In some ways, these recent developments in the culture war firmly show that political liberalism's claim to "neutrality," as many of us have argued for quite some time, is a metaphysical bait and switch, or what the late Fr. Francis Canavan called "the pluralist game."

The down side of this development is that the prophets of Moloch have abandoned any pretense of neutrality or "metaphysical humility."

I've always suspected that political liberalism was merely a gateway drug that pushes one to take the hard, liberal fascist, stuff. I can hear it now at the Russell Kirk Rehab Center: "I began smoking Locke when I was 20, and then, before I knew it, I was doing five lines of Rorty a day with a Leiter chaser. I am ashamed to admit that I can't get past noon without a quart of Comsky concentrate while snorting a gram of Chavez. And yes, I do have a stash of Keith Olbermann porn that I just can't shake."

"Nobody is Pro-Abortion. Ever hear that one?"

Yeah, I usually hear that before I'm told that if I were really pro-life I'd be a vegan.

Vegetables are living beings. If you were really pro-life, you'd eat sand.

On what Zippy said, I think that some people who say they are "personally opposed to abortion" mean that they feel somewhat uncomfortable or squeamish about abortion. But to my mind that doesn't rise to the level of being _opposed_ to it, even "personally." For example, one has trouble imagining one of those people trying passionately to talk a friend out of having an abortion. Perhaps a good parallel for their feeling about abortion is my feeling about chemotherapy as a treatment for cancer: I feel uncomfortable thinking about it, I worry that people sometimes go overboard with it, and I would hesitate to consent to it myself. But I think it needs to be decided among the cancer patient, his family, and his doctor whether chemo is in his best interests. I might say, at most, that I'm "not a big fan of chemotherapy," but that does not rise to the level of "I'm personally opposed to chemotherapy."

"Vegetables are living beings. If you were really pro-life, you'd eat sand."

Minerals are just as much a part of Gaia's living body as you are - you cannibal! If you were REALLY pro-life, then you'd just choose to die of starvation.

Right Lydia, and the "personally opposed" trope is where they say that it is OK to be personally opposed to chemotherapy as long as you don't in any way politically interfere with the political right others have to choose chemotherapy. The "in any way politically interfere" starts with not criminalizing chemotherapy, continues to shunning any public questioning of the all encompassing wisdom of chemotherapy as discriminatory prejudice, moves on to incorporating legal sanctions against chemophobia into employment law, continues further into positively requiring certain professions to participate, and ends with banning bad thoughts about chemotherapy and insisting that all children be brought up to hate chemophobia; because all of those in fact ultimately interfere with the unfettered enjoyment, by the superman, of the equal political right to choose chemotherapy.

What's interesting is that I, like most Americans, am quite willing to permit regulations on cancer treatments. I'm perfectly willing to believe that laitril (sp?) is quackery, and though I crinkle my brow and think there's something rather odd about arresting people for having too many peach stones squirreled away in their basements (which has happened), I don't get all hot under the collar about the government's making some decisions about what disease treatments are too dangerous, poisonous, fraudulent, and the like. But people _do_ get positively frenzied about restrictions on abortion or any attempt to limit "access" to it, even by private choices not to participate. That move from "I feel uncomfortable about it, but people should be able to make their own decisions" to "everybody has to be on board with this" happens with abortion but not with disease treatments. Now, why?

My guess is, frankly, that it's because sexual liberation is this huge central thing to the Left, so anything related to the sexual revolution, like "abortion rights," is sacred.


What's interesting is that I, like most Americans, am quite willing to permit regulations on cancer treatments.
There is a libertarian streak that isn't sanguine about that at all though: a libertarian streak which thinks self-mutilation is an inalienable right, that drug use of any kind is an inalienable right, that suicide is an inalienable right, etc. etc. And in those cases where some jurisdictions or some cases absolutely prohibit a thing you see incredible resistance, libertarian backlash.

I'd be willing to bet you don't have any tattoos or belly button rings either (heh). What this is all about is that libertarian streak which views the body as "property" -- under a conception of property in which the owner is basically a tinpot god whose will is absolutely plenary with respect to his property, and every other owner's will is equally absolutely plenary with respect to hers.

Another thing that has happened is that with the collapse of the traditional conception of property liberals have needed some other abstract domain for the exercise of the will within which there is absolutely equal freedom. While Marxists and classical liberals can argue endlessly over whether a given piece of land is "property" and what that implies, it is much more intuitive to treat a person's body as her "property" - in the sense of a domain within which the will is absolute, within which absolutely equal freedom obtains; thus the scare quotes.

I think it is insane to believe in such things, but by the same token I think the people who believe in such things genuinely, sincerely do believe in them.

Hi Zippy, I have long thought what you've most recently stated concerning libertarian thought--that is as an autonomy of self. This seems to me to be one of the clearest demonstrations of the noetic effects of the fall on man. "You shall be as God". Creatures demanding the right of a creator, or at least right of a necessary being, denying contigent being status. It [this thinking] is a proud slap in the face of God that we've all done but not consistent with Christian thought.

But you have to admit, Zippy, that there are a lot more hard-core libertine/libertarians about abortion than about government regulation of cancer treatment. Maybe this is because sex and all related matters are more tightly connected in people's minds with the notion of "the right to control one's body."

Maybe this is because sex and all related matters are more tightly connected in people's minds with the notion of "the right to control one's body."
I think so. I think regulation of cancer treatment is seen to some extent as protecting the little guy from big corporations, rich doctors, and general technical incompetence. Denying people a free and plenary exercise of the will over their own bodies, equal to the rights of all others to the same, isn't perceived as what is at issue in such regulation; and if it were then you would see the fangs bared.

Mind you, I'm still not suggesting that the underlying set of beliefs form some kind of consistent system. They don't. (They literally can't).

I'm also not suggesting the absence of self-deception or other psychological disorders in addition to the intellectual disorder, etc. I'm not even suggesting a lack of disingenuous rhetorical tactics, dishonesty etc.

But we are to at least some extent dealing with a genuinely held (despite being incoherent) belief when it comes to the notion that it is acceptable to be personally opposed to X, it just isn't OK to assert discriminatory political authority based on that personal opposition.

At least reading Miss Ragsdale's paean to abortion a couple of weeks ago gave me and my wife the rough push we needed to leave the ECUSA for good. I know, I know. Why did it take so long? We have no (good) excuse. I have nothing else to add. Her words are so wicked that the mere contemplation of them is difficult to bear.

OK, so we see the gloves are off. They are allowing the true colors come forth: No more "neutral" façade, no more pretending that we are about the rights of persons, no more nonsense about "personally opposed".

So what can we do about it? Are there any "big guns" that we can bring to bear short of, literally, big guns? Is that our only "choice" (heh, heh - no pun unintended)?

It is interesting to read her cv on the EDS website (they have a whole bunch of links, including to some of her less notorious sermons) http://www.eds.edu/previewMain.asp?pageID=316

I particularly like the fact that they've felt a need to post a bunch of student and faculty videos where the individuals proclaim how glad they are that Ragsdale is coming to EDS.

My guess is that EDS is probably in dire financial distress (like a lot of other freestanding seminaries) and that they had a hard time getting a really good person to come in and fix their problems -- no one wants to preside over a sinking ship. But that would make perfect sense for Ragsdale who seems to revel in the killing off of things. If they hire her then they deserve the results of her death touch.

Good for you, Cyrus, and for your wife. Good luck finding a new church, too.

Tony, it's just what Elrond says in the council: "There is nothing you can do but to resist." That's all we can do. I'd like to see some sort of Ethical Physicians' Association (and ditto for nurses and pharmacists) get started to act as a lobbying group. And here's an interesting thought: In the certification battles for colleges, a number of colleges have been able to form alternative certification organizations that have been recognized by the Department of Education. Is there any possibility of forming alternative organizations that the government would recognize that would grant licenses to practice medicine? I wish we could get something like this going in the areas of psychology and counseling, where it is pretty much already impossible to get and keep a license without bowing to dreadful ideas. (Or so I've gathered from anecdotal evidence.)

Post a comment

Bold Italic Underline Quote

Note: In order to limit duplicate comments, please submit a comment only once. A comment may take a few minutes to appear beneath the article.

Although this site does not actively hold comments for moderation, some comments are automatically held by the blog system. For best results, limit the number of links (including links in your signature line to your own website) to under 3 per comment as all comments with a large number of links will be automatically held. If your comment is held for any reason, please be patient and an author or administrator will approve it. Do not resubmit the same comment as subsequent submissions of the same comment will be held as well.