Lesbian head of Episcopal divinity school sees abortion as “blessing”

Howard Sutherland writes:

Damian Thompson at the Telegraph reports that the Episcopal Divinity School, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has just appointed as its new president and dean Katherine Hancock Ragsdale. Ms. Ragsdale is a hyper-political homosexuelle Episcopal ministress, who owes her dubious ordination to the heterodox former Episcopal bishop of Newark, John Shelby Spong. Not surprisingly, in addition to her obsession with homosexualist causes, Ragsdale is thoroughly obsessed about unrestricted abortion both as a social necessity and an inherent good. Indeed, for her it is a “blessing,” and she doesn’t hide behind any euphemisms in saying so.

Given the state of the Episcopal Church—and of mainstream American churches generally—these days, it is not surprising that someone as polarizing and far-left as Ragsdale has been given charge of one of the denomination’s most prestigious seminaries. Depressing and disturbing, but not surprising.

Thompson quotes, in full, a “sermon” Ragsdale gave in Birmingham, Alabama in 2007, celebrating the fact that an Operation Save America picket had failed to close a Birmingham abortion clinic. In her remarks, Ragsdale holds forth at length on the topic of abortion, referring to it constantly as a blessing, with no acknowledgment whatever that every abortion ends an innocent human life. No, all that matters is the convenience and self-fulfillment of the woman. So far, so standard for liberals, even if the constant repetition of “blessing” is a bit heavy.

What makes Ragsdale’s oration ominous is her conception of what must happen for the pro-abortionists’ work finally “to be done.”

According to Ragsdale, if any stigma attaches to a woman’s aborting her child for any reason—or for none at all—their work is not done.

If it is permissible to make an argument about abortion, even in favor, that refers to men, their problems or any interest they might have in the act, the pro-abortionists’ work is not done.

Most ominously: “When doctors and pharmacists try to opt out of providing medical care, claiming it’s an act of conscience, our work is not done.”

We all know what Ragsdale means by providing “medical care.” In her view, obstetricians, gynecologists and pharmacists have no right to be guided by their consciences in the practice of their profession. They have only the right to leave it, if they will not do as the Ragsdales of the world demand. Does anyone doubt that B. Hussein and Michelle Obama, along with the leading Democrats in the House and Senate, fully agree with her? Indeed, is there much reason to think that many Republicans in that compromised party’s leadership strongly disagree with her?

Her peroration is worth quoting at some length, as it summarizes her priorities and give a flavor of her missionary fervor in this diabolical cause (emphases 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.

I want to thank all of you who protect this blessing—who do this work every day: the health care providers, doctors, nurses, technicians, receptionists, who put your lives on the line to care for others (you are heroes—in my eyes, you are saints); the escorts and the activists; the lobbyists and the clinic defenders; all of you. You’re engaged in holy work.

[end of excerpt]

Ending this paean to the slaughter of innocents for the sake of selfishness, Ragsdale has the gall to sign off with “God bless you all.” “You all” must not include any unborn children, past, present or future.

There has been much accurate comment recently, at VFR and VDare among other sites, about how liberal churches—including my own Roman Catholic Church—sell out their flocks throughout the West with their agitation for unrestricted immigration. She doesn’t mention it here, but Ragsdale surely shares that liberal obsession as well. The position she does take here, encouraging American women to kill their own children whenever they fancy, is even more subversive. The open-borders clerics urge us to import and welcome our replacements; Ragsdale encourages us to kill ourselves, and call ourselves blessed for doing it.

This is a deeply evil speech, and one suspects a deeply evil woman (who no doubt sees herself as perfectly loving, compassionate and all-inclusive). Satan has found an eloquent mouthpiece in her. Unfortunately for us, most of our rulers share her views. I’m sure she will be very welcome and right at home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. HRS

- end of initial entry -

James N. writes:

It is quite interesting, in the sense that it contradicts “mainstream” thinking about abortion, that abortion is such a topic of passion for gay activists.

In the conventional formulation (tragic choices, safe and rare, womens’ sexual freedom, etc, etc) people who do not get pregnant and whose exercise of the sexual faculty cannot result in pregnancy should not have this as one of their leading policy priorities.

But this is not true. In fact, the opposite is true. Scratch the “abortion is a blessing” party, and find gay activists by the score.

Why is this? Like many questions we can pose to the Ruling Class, this is a very subversive question—because it takes bright thinkers directly to “we worship life with our very bodies, they worship death in the same way”.

Jacob M. writes:

I read the entire linked “sermon” by Ragsdale and noticed that it illustrates another important theme: mainstream conservatives’ pathetic attempts to out-liberal liberals, and how they are doomed to failure. Ragsdale noticed that the anti-abortion protesters made a faux-feminist argument against abortion by slighting men and portraying women as innocent victims.

Ragsdale said:

Here’s another sign. Did you notice the arguments that were being shouted at us in front of the clinic? They’ve been trying for years, and seem to be pushing especially hard now, to position themselves as feminists—supporters of women. You heard them—yelling that they understand that it’s all men’s fault. That men must do better at supporting women and children so that women, presumably, won’t feel the need to abort. They yelled that they understood that the women going into the clinic had been hurt by men and were reacting to that pain and betrayal. They pledged to help men be more responsible so that women wouldn’t want abortions.

Ragsdale is having none of it. Indeed, her response to this blaming of men and exculpating of women is that it’s just more evidence of how misogynistic pro-lifers really are, because it “puts men at the center” and makes “discussions of women’s reproductive health all about men!” How many more such reactions from liberals are conservatives going to need, before they see that they need to stop trying to work within liberalism, and instead step entirely outside of liberalism in order to oppose it?

Laura W. writes:

Ragsdale’s words are reminiscent of Margaret Sanger, who said, “through sex mankind may attain the great spiritual illumination which will transform the world, which will light up the only path to an earthly paradise.” Ragsdale is the diabolic opposite of a priestess in a fertility cult.

April 8

James S. writes:

Pretty disgusting. It reminds me of a commenter at GNXP.com who called pregnancy an “unfortunate side effect” of sex.

What I don’t understand is why she wants to be a leader in a Christian church? Does it pay well?

LA replies:

No mystery there. What is more fun that taking something over that you despise and making it into something you like?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 07, 2009 12:02 PM | Send

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