The April 2021 announcement of additions to Planned Parenthood’s Clergy Advocacy Board (CAB) points to the disturbing nature of “progressive” Christian ideology.
That clergy professing the Christian faith would officially represent the nation’s largest abortion business also illustrates the accelerating divide between such individuals and those who recognize Biblical truth and obedience to God’s word as essential to being a follower of Christ.
They justify their allegiance to Planned Parenthood and its deathly product by contorting sacred scripture and employing abortion industry talking points – all to the detriment of those they are charged with leading in faith and at the peril of their own souls.
I don’t arrive at this observation lightly.
I recognize that clergy are to be shown respect in their role.
But while speaking against a clergy member must be done respectfully, failing to speak out when we know them to be leading people astray neglects those they deceive and fails to show these clergy love by admonishing them in their error.
Abortion takes a human life; clergy advocacy not okay
Quite simply, following Christ and His mission does not allow for Planned Parenthood advocacy.
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The abortion giant’s whole business model is focused on increasing abortion – ending innocent lives. The CAB members know this – unless they are deluded by denial – and if they were honest, they would acknowledge that abortion is not empowerment, nor the only “choice” for a woman.
Christ came so that we may have life; the promise of eternal life – if we authentically follow Him. Advocating for abortion, the taking of innocent life, conflicts directly with the sanctity of that life which is a gift given by God.
I asked pro-life activist Abby Johnson about PP’s addition of new clergy representatives. She said it was a “tragedy” when clergy don’t speak to their congregations about the dreadfulness of abortion.
“I do think most clergy know about the horrors of abortion but many just won’t talk about it,” Johnson said, “and that is a tragedy because the vast majority of women seeking abortions are Christians.”
Johnson is concerned about women in need getting love and acceptance from their churches and challenged people to support them, “because the abortion industry is solely focused on increasing abortions since that is what makes them money.”
Because of the image of God in us, we have freedom – to end a life with abortion?
PP’s clergy have shown their support for abortion through problematic, even blasphemous public statements before taking up with the abortion giant.
United Church of Christ minister Jes Kast unapologetically plugged abortion in a May 2019 interview with The Atlantic, stating, “Because of the image of God in us, we have freedom.”
This rejects the need to honor all who are made in the image of God, which includes unborn children, and the Biblical definition of freedom.
Those who do as they please under the guise of freedom harm others and themselves by becoming slaves to sin.
Clergy should know this.
Kast also manipulated Jesus’s words about abundant life to support the abortion decision in this statement:
“Because of that—because I value life, and I believe Jesus values life—I value the choices that give us the type of life that we need.”
Kast wishes that her “more conservative siblings in faith” would respect her support of “legal abortion access as part of what it means to do justice.”
Oh yes, justice. More on that shortly.
There is also this disturbing statement by Kast:
“I value thoughtfulness a lot. And I wish those who are considering the choices in front of them were honored and respected, and that the government and institutions and even God doesn’t have the final say over how we make the choices that are best for us.”
The fact is, believing that God does not “have a say” is to deny God’s sovereignty and dangerously placing oneself on a self-made “god” throne.
Kast and her PP clergy associates would do well to see that all we can do is fall to our knees and plead for God’s mercy – because He absolutely will have full say in where each of us will spend eternity!
A disturbing pattern
As I researched each of the nine new CAB members, my heart continued to break.
Rev. Katey Zeh was featured in an August, 2019 Pulpit and Pen article, where she describes her calling to ministry while volunteering at an abortion clinic.
In her book about women of the Bible, Women Rise Up, Zeh’s writing advocates for abortion, including a twisted statement about Martha in Luke 10:38-42.
“I identify with a lot of them but, personality-wise, Martha of Bethany is the one I identify with most,” Zeh wrote. “What I love about her is she advocates herself and is not afraid to challenge Jesus about what he does or doesn’t do.”
Zeh is clearly missing that Jesus rebuked Martha and admonished her to see that she had missed the truth. Martha also does not hold onto her advocacy; as a Jesus follower, she repents of it.
If clergy members believe in their hearts they are called to “challenge” God by advocating for abortion, they are lost.
The high ground?
Zeh, the CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, wrote on Facebook of being a newly appointed CAB member:
“The anti-abortion movement has been steeped in misogyny, sexism, homophobia from its inception, under the guise and the perversion of Christian teachings. It’s far past time for people of faith to reclaim the moral high ground on this issue. We are the majority, and we are on the side of compassion and justice.”
Zeh is obviously mistaken about the many pregnancy help organizations around the world as she is mistaken that any high ground can be taken on abortion advocacy. Pregnancy Help News (PHN) offers countless stories on the abundant compassion of pro-life Christians, which she would realize if she had eyes to see.
I surveyed a variety of individuals about what comes to mind when thinking of pastors who are pro-abortion.
It amazed me that some of the individuals were so quick to give the clergy the benefit of the doubt, even parroting the “they’re pro-choice, not pro-abortion” mantra.
But Zeh and the eight other CAB members’ work and words would refute this assertion; they are pro-abortion, or they wouldn’t be advocating for the nation’s largest abortion business. The terminology they employ only confuses those who aren’t paying attention to the word games.
A voice of faith?
One example is Rabbi Sarah Smiley in a statement to the Jewish Chronicle concerning her CAB appointment.
“More often than not, the only voice of faith we hear in regards to reproductive rights is the voice of opposition,” Smiley stated. “I am excited to help change the narrative and bring a voice of faith to the side of reproductive justice.”
The “reproductive justice” catchphrase is merely word play, a coopting of civil rights rhetoric planted firmly in the Planned Parenthood playbook.
New PP CAB member Rev. Dr. Rebecca Todd Peters is described as a Presbyterian feminist social ethicist focused on issues including, you guessed, it, “reproductive justice.”
“If we think about the broad moral teachings of the Bible, especially in the Hebrew Bible, there is a lot of emphasis on justice and how we structure societies to reflect it,” said Peters. “Some of the people who end their pregnancies are people of faith and some of them aren’t. But all of those people are thinking seriously about their circumstances.”
One hopes Peters does not mean to infer that crediting a person for thinking seriously about a moral wrong negates moral culpability for engaging in that wrong – nor that prior thought eliminates abortion’s aftermath.
Praying they get a new understanding of who Jesus is and how God views life
It’s easy to talk about abortion as a “right” for someone else. But those with personal experience with the procedure, whether having undergone it or serving women have or who are at-risk for it, have a different take than these misguided faith personnel.
A post-abortive woman from Kentucky responded to my survey question with this:
“It breaks my heart and makes me want to know their (the new PP CAB members) names so I can pray for them by name and, if given an opportunity, sit and talk to them face to face and have a conversation about what it is, ask why they think it’s something to support and share my story, explaining the consequences.”
“All those women!” she said. “I wonder what kind of hurts they’ve suffered, And the men too. I’m praying they get a fresh or new understanding of who Jesus is and how God views life.”
I immediately sent her their names as she requested.
“I cannot imagine what pro-choice pastors believe the word of God says,” the director of a pregnancy help center in Georgia responded. “I would equate it to the belief that some people are ‘less human’ than others (slavery, genocide, euthanasia).”
It’s normal for pastors to be Christians and publicly support the pro-abortion work of Planned Parenthood
Another from Romania wrote:
“I think the truth needs to be expressed with love and clarity. I don’t think it’s normal for these pastors to be Christians and at the same time publicly support the pro-abortion work of Planned Parenthood. Many women have abortions due to pressure and lack of support. If abortion is a woman’s only option, how can we talk about free choice?”
The devil steals, kills and destroys
“It is definitely in my opinion being a nurse for 45 years, and working in the pro-life arena for 29 years, that this is spiritual warfare,” said a nurse and pastor’s wife from Indiana. “The devil steals, kills and destroys. He does not create, give life, or help in any way. In Leviticus 20:2 God warns against child sacrifice. So, if someone is a clergy, but is not revering God’s word, then it will not be a true spiritual board.”
Another director of a pregnancy help center in Arkansas stated, “I personally believe that any pastor who can agree with abortion is not in the spirit of God and hired hand who abandons the sheep to the wolves, etc. (John 10:12-13).”
This woman told me of a young college student and his girlfriend who had reached out to a local preacher for help and advice after finding they were pregnant. This pastor advised them to abort because they were “too young.”
This couple trusted the pastor’s advice. Then the young man went to his college ministry leader heartbroken and in tears, because he’d been at a family gathering that weekend and seeing little ones there, his eyes were opened to what he will never have. Too young indeed.
It defies all logic that these clergy would willfully lead others down the dark path that leads to the pain of abortion.
Big abortion buzz words
Rev. Stephen Griffith was gracious enough to respond to an email from me. The inquiry was simply to ask how he reconciled being part of PP’s CAB with following Christ.
Unfortunately, he rationalized his Planned Parenthood support with abortion lobby buzz words, by distorting the ideas of freedom and being made in God’s image, and exploiting scripture concerning Christ having connected with the marginalized.
“Jesus repeatedly walked with, turned toward and lifted up those who were excluded by society,” Griffith wrote. “In our day, care for reproductive and sexual health has been out of reach for many of those who need it most.”
“Our society has stigmatized the poor and restricted their access to birth control and abortion care,” he said. “As a minister, I feel compelled to advocate for safe, compassionate and non-judgmental medical services for all women and men.”
Then Griffith concluded with, “I believe each person is created in the image of God and is given the capacity to choose what is needed for her life. I’m proud to support Planned Parenthood and to work for the right of each individual to make her own medical and life decisions.”
Exploiting notions of poverty, compassion and choice
Seems each of these CAB members are working off the same script:
Run first to social justice in some form of talking about the poor – Never mind this was one component behind PP founder Margaret Sanger’s eugenics – eliminating the poor.
Second, be sure to throw in a compassion reference and a note about not judging people – a backhanded indictment of those who oppose abortion.
Then finish with a statement about freedom of choice – When the only “choice” really being offered as a viable solution is abortion.
A pro-life pastor from Ohio speculates on where the thought processes of these clergy went off the rails:
“What has happened to many believers is that they have created another gospel that looks like this: Jesus + social justice = salvation.”
“They believe that since people go through horrible circumstances God will look away,” the pastor continued, “even though God desires obedience over sacrifice or in this 21st century example – social justice.”
There are so many choices for assistance and support when facing an unplanned pregnancy.
The most recent Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) report, “Pregnancy Centers Stand the Test of Time,” details the specifics of the hundreds of millions of dollars in essential medical, education and support services provided each year by pregnancy help organizations in the U.S.
The claim that there are no options available to women facing unplanned pregnancy except abortion is a false one. Women and families are empowered when given the chance to explore these options. They are done disservice when pushed in any way to think abortion is their only “choice.”
As I note HERE, these clergy should ask themselves what is true, what love requires and whether they will trust God. If they cannot, or will not, then they have little hope of helping those they would shepherd to navigate life choices with salvation in mind.
We need to be praying for these confused clergy – and against them in this endeavor of promoting Planned Parenthood.
LifeNews Note: Kim Hayes is a writer for Pregnancy Help News. She has been a teacher, author, speaker and facilitator for marriage and family issues and married for over 35 years to Jeff, with four grown children. Kim’s counseling experience included 21 years as a volunteer consultant and trainer at Pregnancy Decision Health Centers. She was the Athletic Director of Columbus Crusaders Youth Sports ministry for 15 years. Kim has written several books, including the latest release, Prodigal Rewind: The Grateful Son. This originally appeared at Pregnancy Help News.