Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Yes Virginia, the PCUSA is Pro-Choice

Thanks to the Witherspoon Society for pointing out this article by Frederick Clarkson, Maligning the Faith of Others for Political Profit. Frederick Clarkson provides a critique of Rev. Jim Berkley of the Institute for Religion and Democracy (IRD). Rev. Berkley works for Presbyterian Action of that three-pronged organization.

Rev. Berkley criticized the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) in a May 22nd blog entry, A Really Crass "Religious" Coalition. Berkley concluded his post:

There is no excuse for Presbyterian entities--Presbyterians Affirming Reproductive Options, Women's Ministries, and the Washington Office--continuing to financially support and lend our once-good name to a crassly political, morally bankrupt, abortion-at-any-cost outfit like the RCRC.

OK. Here is what Clarkson writes about RCRC:

It is a group that sounds like exactly what it is, a coalition of religious organizations that believe in the right of their members to make their own choices about matters of reproductive health including abortion -- free from the religious dictates of others or the interference of the government. RCRC comprises mostly major Christian and Jewish organizations such as the Episcopal Chuch, the YWCA, the American Jewish Committee, Conservative Judaism's Rabbinical Assembly, and agencies and caucuses of national religious organizations. RCRC carries out public policy and related public education work in Washington.

And it is perfectly natural that the PCUSA entities would be part of this organization, as Clarkson writes:

As it happens, it makes perfect sense that the Presbyterian Church (USA) would be active in RCRC. The 2.6 million member denomination, whose policy history on abortion is available on its web site has been prochoice since 1970, (before Roe v. Wade)...