God and Hillary Clinton, Part 4 – Pro-choice Christians?

This is part 4 of an ongoing series of interviews with colleague Paul Kengor examining the religious views of leading candidates for president. In this interview, Dr. Kengor expands his prior treatment of Hillary Clinton’s views on abortion by describing “pro-choice Christians.” Links to the previous posts on this and related topics are listed at the end of the interview.

THROCKMORTON: You have made a point to describe the sincerity of Hillary Clinton’s Christian affiliations while at the same time embracing abortion rights. In a sense, then, she could be described as a “pro-choice Christian.” Is there a larger pro-choice Christian voting block that may have some impact in the next election?

KENGOR: Hillary is very much part of the Religious Left, which is united in its commitment to “social justice.” Tragically, for many on the Religious Left, this justice is confined to race and class and economics, and only for those fortunate enough to have been born. They do not extend their social justice to the unborn, which they relegate to the status of non-humans who are deprived of the most basic of all rights: the right to life. This is a complete, utter injustice. They refuse to extend the social-justice umbrella to include these most innocent and defenseless among us, those who most need our protection. These Religious Left individuals include a Baptist named Bill Clinton, Roman Catholics like John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi, and a Methodist named Hillary Clinton, to name merely a few.

Both Hillary and her United Methodist Church leadership would describe themselves as “pro-choice Christians.” In fact, her church is a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

This will shock pro-lifers to read this, but there are actually pro-choice Christian feminists who pray to God for the ability to abort their children.

THROCKMORTON: Give us some examples of these pro-choice Christians.

KENGOR: Well, Planned Parenthood has its own chaplain. Then there are groups like Episcopalians for Choice, Christian Dykes for Choice, Francis Kissling’s heretical Catholics for a Free Choice, and so on.

When I was an undergraduate, there was a group of feminists at a nearby college–the name of which I will withhold–that called itself First Church of Christ Abortionist, which taught that abortion was a kind of holy sacrament for women. I know this sounds completely insane, which, of course, it is, but I promise you that I’m not making this up. Who could make up something like that?

THROCKMORTON: What is Hillary Clinton’s association with some of these groups?

The most disturbing example that I detail in my book [God and Hillary Clinton: A Spiritual Life] was the April 2004 “March for Women’s Lives” in Washington, DC. This was a pro-choice gathering that was so over-the-top and in fact obscene that George Neumayr, the veteran Catholic reporter and editor-in-chief of Catholic World Report, characterized it as a Pagan festival, though Neumayr rightly cautioned that this might be unfair to ancient pagans, since worshipers of Baal would no doubt have found the gathering too depraved for their tastes. Much of what occurred there was so profane that it could not be printed in newspapers or broadcast without violating FCC standards.

Women carried signs decrying the president’s mother, Barbara Bush, for not aborting her oldest son. “If Only Barbara Bush Had Choice,” read one sign; “Barbara Chose Poorly,” said another. They held up similar placards regarding Pope John Paul II, stating things like “The Pope’s Mother Had No Choice.” Another sign declared: “Pro-Life is to Christianity as Al-Qaeda is to Islam.” Another proclaimed: “I asked God, She’s pro-choice.” A female rabbi said that to be “pro-choice” was to be “pro-God.” The abortion doctor George Tiller referred to the unholy alliance of George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and John Ashcroft as “the four horsemen of the apocalypse.”

It was a hateful, intolerant scene, and it was into this zoo that Mrs. Clinton stepped. In fact, her presence seemed one of the few joyful moments for these extremely angry women. The emcee had just finished telling the crowd, “I want to be your dominatrix this morning.” Then, before introducing Senator Clinton, she observed, to explosive applause, “Estrogen levels on this Mall have reached levels we enjoy.” These feminists adore Mrs. Clinton, and she adores them.

THROCKMORTON: You have said that Mrs. Clinton’s former OB-GYN, an abortion doctor, describes himself as a pro-choice Christian?

KENGOR: That’s correct. His name is William F. Harrison, who became Hillary’s personal OB-GYN in the early 1970s in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He has done about 20,000 abortions. He was interviewed at length for my book. He was quite candid, extremely open, and very generous with his time. He likewise is a Methodist. He says that he prays to God that Hillary will be our next president. He has described his patients as “born again,” saved from the scourge of botched abortions. I continue to exchange occasional emails with him. He sent me a copy of his memoirs, each chapter of which starts with a Bible verse. When asked how Hillary, as a Christian, could advocate abortion rights, he was puzzled by the question, noting that Hillary, after all, is a Methodist. Point taken.

Tomorrow I will post the remainder of this interview which will discuss the views of Barack Obama, and more on Rudy Giuliani. Thanks again to Paul for this series.

Past posts in this series:

New Book Explores God and Hillary Clinton

More on God and Hillary Clinton: An Interview with Historian Paul Kengor

Hillary Clinton vs. Rudy Giuliani: A Pro-Life Dilemma?

Click HERE for a related article on abortion and mental health.

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  • TAAD

    Social Justice is a code name for items that are in the Communist Manifesto. A Christian should not be interested in Social Justice, but more importantly Justice. There is a vast difference between the two. Social Justice removes much of the Gospels from what Justice is in the Gospels. Christians need to work for Justice which includes a wide range of issues, including Life issues!

  • christine

    “It was a hateful, intolerant scene, and it was into this zoo that Mrs. Clinton stepped. In fact, her presence seemed one of the few joyful moments for these extremely angry women.”

    why are feminist pro death lovers so angry ?

    is there even a shred of joy in their existence ?

    it wouldn’t appear so….. and isn’t it amazing,

    that all those in favor of death,

    are in fact alive….

    on whose authority do you decide who lives and dies ?

    May God love, bless and keep you !

  • Jerry

    How can you be Christian and Pro-Choice ? There is a direct contradiction.

  • margo

    Say it all together now…”This nation is going to hell in a handbasket…with a bow!”

    There is no such thing as being a pro-choice Christian. It’s kind of like being a Christian that is also a satanist. I’m so sad for them…they’re so confused!

  • http://RochesterProlife.org Mary Jost

    You can’t be both a Christian and Pro-Choice. It’s like saying “I love you Lord but not your children”. What offends the Lord the most is aborting His children. The Commandment of God is “Thou shall not kill”. These people who say that they are a Christian & Pro-Choice do not know the Lord. They are not Christ-like which is what a Christian is. Repent.

  • Ann

    I think we do the human race a dis-service when we hold up Christianity as the ONLY religion that values the life of the pre-born child. In fact, religion should not be confused with beliefs or values. A person who does not believe in or practice Christianity is just as worthy to value human life and civility as anyone else. I think we can all learn a lesson from some of the hypocrisy of Christian leaders and some organized religion in the name of Christianity. Arrogance and hypocrisy are unsustainable whereas sincerity and introspection can evolve. We have to remember that all of us were created without attaching a religious condition to our worth – what religion we choose or don’t choose from that point on does not diminish us from our creator or from being one of His children. When we talk about the pre-born child and their right to life, it is important to come from that premise rather than attaching a specific religion to the subject. Our right to evolve spiritually is a very personal matter and can change over a lifetime many times and in many ways.

    A simple question to anyone who does not believe the pre-born child is already living or viable is this – “if this child is not alive, why do you have to terminate their life by stopping their heart that is beating just like your’s is?”

  • Jayhuck

    Mary Jost -

    It may be true that you can’t be a Christian and pro-choice, but neither can you be a Christian, be pro-life and then support the death penalty. And just because you happen to be a Christian and pro-life does not give you the right to force your beliefs onto others.

    Abortion, whether it is legal or illegal is going to happen whether we like it or not. Should we speak out against it? – Yes. Should we try and peacefully persuade people to use other methods? – Yes. Should we try and legislate our beliefs onto others – No.

  • Brenda

    How could Hillary, a Christian, advocate abortion rights? they asked, and were reminded, “Hillary, after all, is a Methodist.” WHAAAAAAAA? Dial M for MURDER = Dial M for Methodist? Is THAT what they’re saying? Boy! I don’t want to be a METHODIST! I can just hear this conversation:

    “I’d like you to eliminate my political rival.”

    “Eliminate?”

    “Wait a minute! You ARE a METHODIST, aren’t you?”

    “Naw, I’m a Catholic, and I’m going to have to report you to the FBI.”

    BANG! THe Catholic falls dead.

    “Sorry”, the M guy says blowing the smoke off his gun. “I’m a METHODIST!”

  • Brenda

    Abortion, whether it is legal or illegal is going to happen whether we like it or not. Should we speak out against it? – “Yes. Should we try and peacefully persuade people to use other methods? – Yes. Should we try and legislate our beliefs onto others – No.” –Mary Jost

    O.K., so what if I BELIEVE that YOU don’t have a RIGHT to live……? and nobody speaks up for YOU……………

    After Roe v. Wade, the numbers of abortions skyrocketed. I’ve had young women tell me that if abortion is legal, it must be ok to do it.

    Insofar as we acceed to the wishes of others in this regard without trying to stop it, we are participants in it. Many are ignorant. I do understand that. But we need to tell them, and we need to enact laws that prevent the ignorant from murdering the helpless, or for that matter, the selfish from murdering the helpless.

  • Jayhuck

    Brenda,

    All I’m suggesting is that we don’t impose our views regarding abortion on others – Educate instead of legislate, because legislation will not end abortion, and outlawing it increases the likelihood that women will seek out help that has the potential not to just end the life of her baby, but her own as well.

  • Jayhuck

    Warren,

    I think this is a terrible and biased view of abortion from Paul Kengor. I don’t know anyone on the left who thinks that the unborn are subhuman. I’m sure there are radicals on the left who believe all sorts of things, but to to speak about them and Hillary in the same breath really isn’t just or fair. It isn’t fair of Paul to intimate that this is an issue solely of the left when there are moderates who are pro-choice as well. I may be wrong, but I think most people who are moderate or on the left, who really care about social justice, see abortion as terribly unfortunate but a necessary evil. Of all my friends who are liberal and support choice, I don’t know a single one that celebrates abortion.

  • http://sleevenotes101.wordpress.com Jonathan

    A recent report out said that countries which have banned abortions are experiencing them in the same numbers as though where abortions are legal. One of the things I find interesting was an argument I heard (I don’t know whether true or not) that abortions actually decreased during Bill Clinton’s tenure in office. There is a real hue-and-cry by some about eliminating abortions all together. Which is a great idea that isn’t based in reality. There’s always a lot of talk by certain politicians about being “pro-life”, but from what I can see, it’s all lip service to fire up the “base.” I think I would rather have someone who works hard to reduce the number of abortions than someone who gives lip service to stopping abortions but ends up doing little, if anything. Not that I’m an HRC fan, but, she seems intent on working to reduce abortions. I do have a hard time with other Christians who are so dogmatic about who can and who cannot be a Christian. That’s between a person and God isn’t it?

    j.

  • ken

    To all of you claiming “you can’t be pro-choice and christian”:

    When did God appoint YOU as arbiter of who is and who is not christian?

    Seems pretty arrogant that you would declare someone isn’t a christian because they don’t agree with you.

  • Mary

    Jerry,

    God is pro choice. He doesn’t always like the choices we make either.

  • Ann

    We all have issues we advocate – the right to life is one that seems obvious yet for others it is thought of as a 9 month inconvenience and so the decision is made to terminate a life. For those who are against hate crimes yet do not advocate for life of the innocent, I find a contradiction. Abortion is a hate crime because there are two people involved and yet one has no voice and is at the mercy of the person who is supposed to be protecting them. This has NOTHING to to with Christianity or religion or the government, yet that is what this subject is clumped into. It is a personal and moral choice. I agree with Jayhuck – educate these women about what and who is involved, allow them to understand completely what they are about to do – let them see pictures of their pre-born child, give them resources and hope, and hopefully they will make the choice for life. It is only out of ignorance that we make some of the choices we do that haunt us the rest of our lives – abortion is one of them. Just like with any law that is intended to stop hate crimes, it will be impotent unless a heart is changed.

  • Phyllis

    When I first started hearing about abortion I was in my teens and it wasn’t made legal, the Supreme Court had n’t legislated it yet. My idea, even though I was raised Catholic, was that since they legislated it, it must be alright to do then. It wasn’t until I overheard several people talking about it and realized what an abortion was that I became appalled at the thought that society would actually okay this. At first it was because it was just a blob of tissue, then it was coming downing the birth canal and the mother decided that she couldn’t mentally have another child. Whether a Christian or not, I believe somewhere deep inside people commit sin because they want to, as in get drunk, commit adultery, steal, etc. and have to justify their actions by defending it in some way. The pro-choice group has to defend their beliefs. To do otherwise would mean they have to take a good look at what is really happening during an abortion – a murder. After seeing the movie “A Silent Scream” and saw how that so called “blob of tissue” was trying to get away from that surgeon”s knife, I cried my eyes out and every time I hear of the statistics about abortions, whether up or down, I can’t help but think of how that little person had to fight for it’s life in the warm “safe” place of a mothers womb!!! Christian or not, we all commit sin or injustices if one doesn’t believe in sin…we just need to take a good long look at the sin we are defending and why.

  • jag

    Kengor stated:

    “Tragically, for many on the Religious Left, this justice is confined to race and class and economics, and only for those fortunate enough to have been born. They do not extend their social justice to the unborn, which they relegate to the status of non-humans who are deprived of the most basic of all rights: the right to life. This is a complete, utter injustice. ”

    Wow…so terribly objective. Who is this guy again, and why is he an authority? It’s one thing if you want to philosophically question the stance of one group, but quite another to dismiss it out of hand. It’s a very unacademic approach, agree with it or not.

    Usually, on this blog, we are looking to increase understanding – not cut the conversation off at the knees.

    I hope in the future, we can do better.

  • Mary

    Educate people before they begin to have sex without protection. Change the health care system that is costly for poor people, provide more options for wokring mothers without fathers or single parent households. I don’t agree with abortion but there is so much more than just the inconvience. Guilting someone into understanding does nothing – educating and providing for more people does.

  • Bill

    Sad commentary always results when we spin our own personal beliefs into what God has clearly proclaimed, in that killing an innocent life in the womb is not tantamount to uprooting a weed that is growing in our garden. A seed is planted in the ground to grow into new life and bear fruit, and a child is planted in the mother’s womb for the same reason. I know how to plant the seed, but I don’t know how to make it grow. It’s not my choice that life takes place, but God’s. Sex is good , so God says, we are all by products of this act. None of us had the choice to determine if we would be permitted to live outside the womb, that choice was made by another who came before us. So who is appointed the judge on whether I live or die….I’ll give you a hint it’s not another human being.

    Man has found a way in his infinite unwisdom to take this decision out of God’s hands….after all man does know better. You can tell by the results of where this has gotten him… that there is no truth in that statement. “No God in the picture, no future in the picture” and intellectually deficient person like most of us can figure that out . We are not known by what we say but by what we do, and we are likewise judged by that same standard.

  • Ann

    For any on this blog or for anyone you might know who is suffering the consequences of an abortion they have had, I recommend the book “Tilly”. This book is for those who are not comfortable with the decision they made and it will help them to reconcile their thoughts and bring them peace.

    I do not think the actual act of abortion is really the issue in our conversations here – it is more about the rationalization of it that brings contention.

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  • Paul Waters

    If memory serves, didn’t you American fight a civil war in the 19th century the purpose of which was to enforce the anti-slavery morality of the North on the pro-slavery morality of the South? Is Brenda suggesting that Abraham Lincoln et al should have limited themselves to preaching and cajoling? And 100 years or so later, should the civil-rights leaders contented themselves with persuading the Southern states to abandon their pro-segregation morality rather than asking the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Congress to impose integration by judicial and legislative fiat. The only difference between the victims of the pro-abortion morality and the victims of the pro-slavery and pro-segregation moralities is that the former cannot speak for themselves.

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