Thursday, March 15, 2012

When a collar becomes a millstone

This article from Anglican Ink requires little explanation for those familiar with the track record of Katharine Hancock Ragsdale. It is, nevertheless, a chilling reminder of how deeply the culture of death has become embedded in mainline American Protestantism. The sectarian fringe represented by Ms. Ragsdale can no longer be considered -- in any way, shape, or form -- a valid expression of the Christian faith.
The ordination vows of the Episcopal Church provide a moral mandate for helping minors procure abortions, the dean of the Episcopal Divinity School told Congress last week.

Appearing as a witness called by the Democrat members of the U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, Dr. Katharine Hancock Ragsdale shared an account of her having taking a 15 year old girl to an abortionist without informing the girl’s parent’s.

Her remarks came as Congress debated the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (H.R. 2299). The proposed bill would criminalize attempts to “circumvent parental consent laws in a state by, without the parents’ knowledge, taking a minor girl across state lines for an abortion.”

While “New Hampshire was closer to that girl’s home than Boston, as it happened, I did not take her across state lines,” Dr. Ragsdale said, adding “Nor did I, to my knowledge, break any laws.”

But “if either of those things had been necessary in order to help her, I would have done them,” she said.

“If helping young women like her should be made illegal I will, nonetheless, continue to do it,” Dr. Ragsdale said, citing the promises made at her ordination as leaving her “no choice” but to break the law to help young girls procure abortions.

The vocal activist for gay rights and abortion views have elicited criticism. In a 2007 speech given in Birmingham, Ala., Dr. Ragsdale stated that abortion was a “blessing” for women.

Among the most imperative of the church's biblical and historical mandates is to care for "the least of these" with a particular concern for "widows and orphans," that is, the most vulnerable of women and children who are so often neglected by the wider society. What does it say when women like Katharine Ragsdale are given positions of authority in the church and proceed to treat children with such disregard and hold the weakest and most innocent among them, the unborn, in utter contempt?

Jesus said, "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and be drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matthew 18:5-6).

May God have mercy on Katharine Ragsdale. Her clerical collar has become a millstone.