The Blessing of Evil?

From a sermon by Dr. Katherine Ragsdale, recently appointed as the sixth and newest president of Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA (Emphasis mine):

“When a woman wants a child but can’t afford one because she hasn’t the education necessary for a sustainable job, or access to health care, or day care, or adequate food, it is the abysmal priorities of our nation, the lack of social supports, the absence of justice that are the tragedies; the abortion is a blessing.

“And when a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion – there 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.

“These are the two things I want you, please, to remember – abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.”

This opinion piece from US News & World Report argues that “in a recession, abortions are not a bad choice.”

Abortions a blessing? Sound fiscal decisions? Does this shock us?


It shouldn’t. Consider the arguments used for slavery prior to the Civil War:

The Governor of South Carolina declared, “Slavery is not a national evil; on the contrary it is a national benefit.” He went on to say that slavery “has exalted the white race itself to higher hopes and purposes, and it is perhaps of the most sacred obligation that we should give it the means of expansion.” Pastors preached sermons in its defense. Extremists called for the reinstatement of the slave trade. No longer just a right, or a necessity, slavery had become a moral obligation that had blessed the South and the slave. It must be defended at all cost.

Slavery was firmly established on economic self-interest. From the traders who first brought the slaves to the New World to the slave-owners themselves, “American slavery was prompted not by racism but by the pursuit of profit.”

Throughout the decades of slavery, the pro-slavery forces argued that the South must have slavery in order to survive economically. Eventually, the economic argument became a cornerstone of its defense. As the defense progressed from “right” to “blessing,” so too did this line of reasoning.

The “abortion is a blessing” rhetoric is not new, but I expect it to intensify. The battle against abortion is far from over. In fact, it may have just begun to escalate.

*UPDATE: Rev. Ragsdale has removed the sermon from her personal site, but it can be read in its entirety here. A certain faux-conservative news-anchor that blasted a pro-life advocate for suggesting that ANYONE was pro-abortion can . . . well, you know.

HT for pic: Medical Pastiche

12 thoughts on “The Blessing of Evil?

  1. Kansas Bob says:

    Rationalization is often the tool of the enemy.. sadly many are seduced and deceived by it.. often even sadder when a religious leader is deceived in this way.

  2. Tim A. says:

    Appreciate this article and the excerpt from the woman’s speech. Such fallacy in thought and morals. We can rationalize anything can’t we?
    The comparison of slavery and abortion is a good one, I think.
    It it is personal property or our own body we can do what we desire with it.
    God bless you brother.

  3. Chuck Grantham says:

    Whomever came up with the Didache would disagree with Dr. Ragsdale. That’s a lot of Christian tradition opposed to abortion.

    The excerpt you have here seems to have the underlying assumption, “It’s all about me”. Sad to hear that from a Christian pulpit.

    I would have had to walk out and knocked the dust from my shoes at that sermon, I’m afraid.

  4. Ken Cloud says:

    Malichi 2:17 sums it up. This world is so far indarkness it does not see the confusion in it’s own rationalzation. I Believe we are coming to a close on this old world. “Even so Lord Jesus, COME QUICKLY!

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