Shameless plug for a friend

Please pardon this shameless plug for the official grandmother of this blog, Frederica Mathewes-Green of Beliefnet, NPR and lots of other places. The Dallas Morning News just ran a very interesting Q&A with her — gentle and blunt at the same time — linked to the content of her recent lectures in an Episcopal church in Dallas. The title of the lectures was a flag-waver if I have seen one: “Sex and the City: Men, Women and the Future of Civilization.”

Here is a sample from the interview:

Question: Why is it important for you to speak out about social issues such as abortion, and feminism?

Answer: Abortion has always been the most important issue to me because of the numbers of the deaths. An issue that causes people to die is more important than one that causes them to live in poverty.

If soldiers are killed in a war, that’s a tragedy. But if it’s little children dying, that’s more urgent. The numbers now are about 40 million since Roe vs. Wade. And I think all other sexual issues are connected.

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • Lola

    Err . . . where’s the link to the Q&A? I don’t live in Texas, ya know . . .

  • rfwarren

    I’m curious, if abortion is so abhorrent, more so than bringing unwanted and thereby unloved and uncared for children into the world, why aren’t the folks who are so opposed to it not foresquare in favor of effective methods of contraception and sex education?

  • tmatt


    DUH. That has been fixed. Thanks for the heads up.

  • tmatt


    There is a diversity of points of view in the pro-life movement on those issues. And I also — althought I am not a Catholic — suggest that you actually do some research on the effectiveness rates of modern natural family planning methods. On sex education, the cultural right basically does not want tax dollars being used to teach its children beliefs that contradict their own beliefs. It does not think Planned Parenthood is the highest authority on faith, family and marriage. Thus, you need a diversity of viewpoints or you need neutrality.

  • rfwarren

    And so it goes. It would be an interesting world indeed if people could work for consensus of opinion even on the issues we find ourselves at odds over, instead of engaging in the vitriol and divisiveness we see today.

  • tmatt


    Divisiveness is real, it is something that church-state law must grasp. True tolerance involves creating a society in which divisive beliefs are allowed (see the Air Force Academy threads).

    Was there vitriol in my statement?

    In the main church-state seminar at Baylor, the prof always used to say: In the end, your religious liberty has been purchased by people with whom you might not want to eat supper.

  • rfwarren

    The vitriol comment wasn’t about you or the piece just as a part of the culture wars in general.

  • francis

    being born as “unwanted and thereby unloved and uncared for children” is certainly less than perfect, but better than being slashed to pieces.

    And regards contraception: Even though the Church (and others) oppose articificial contraception, I think there are quite enough contraceptives around to do the trick. But somehow abortion figures are still high. And these figures are truly abhorrent (Mrs Matthewes’ 40 is quite an understatement).

  • Huw Raphael

    A better question arises when you ask where the “unwanted” babies come from – if they are unwanted then the divine gift of sex was misused – someone tried to have their cake and eat it, too. Lacking is a sense of marital responsibility.

    And, to avoid a common debate tactic here, only a very tiny portion of abortions result from rape and the like. It’s not the same ethical issue as “woops, didn’t want twins cuz I’ll have to shop at CostCo. Let’s kill one.”

  • Joan

    We have had contraceptives available for nearly a century, birth control pills for a half a century, and legalized abortion for 30+ years. SIECUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) has proclaimed that all such birth control will reduce the numbers of “unwanted, unloved, and uncared for” babies. Well, the numbers of abortions have sky-rocketed but we still have “throw away” children. Sorry: It is NOT happening. When it is so easy to dispose of unwanted pregnancies, it is also easy to justify disposing of unwanted infants and toddlers, and the sick and elderly.
    Matthewes-Green is right: Killing little children for convenience is horrible!