I do not condemn thee
Posted by Catherine

What strikes me about the abortion debate is that compassion is in short supply.  Whether it is the pro-choicers ruthlessly mocking or denying the devastating grief and pain that many women feel after abortion or pro-lifers condemning women as “evil” or “murderers”, it seems few people want to approach the subject with heart and mind truly open.

The truth is that extraordinary numbers of women are saying the same things about abortion: that they didn’t understand what it was, that they felt they had no real alternative and that they have suffered alone, sometimes for years or even decades, from its aftermath, silenced by shame and by the universal notion that abortion was their “choice”.  They are then further condemned by almost all pro-choicers and many pro-lifers.

There is a very moving story in St. John’s Gospel about Jesus and a woman caught in the act of adultery, which was of course a very serious crime in that society, commonly punishable by lapidation.   The scribes and Pharisees bring her to Jesus, saying that the law of Moses condemns her to die by stoning – what does he say?  Jesus initially refuses to answer them but when they insist, replies that he who was without sin should cast the first stone.    At this, they slowly begin to leave until Jesus and the woman are left alone.  He says to the woman, in a famous and commonly quoted phrase, “Go and sin no more” – but before that he says something very interesting that is far less commonly quoted.  He says, in the Authorized Version, “I do not condemn thee”.  This holy man tells a woman caught in the act of adultery that he does not condemn her.   There can be no more complete and moving statement of compassion.

It seems to me that many supposed followers of Jesus have lost faith with the inspiration of their master.  They are quick both to cast stones and to condemn.  Yet this neither touches people’s hearts nor gives them hope and inspiration to change, to go and sin no more.

5 Comments

  1. Well said.

    Posted by Karen on February 19, 2013 at 12:17 pm // Reply to comment
  2. Very nice Cathy!

    Posted by Kurt on February 19, 2013 at 11:17 pm // Reply to comment
  3. While I understand your point and feel real empathy for those who feel thus treated, I’d have to stop short of agreeing that ‘many’ pro-lifers feel the way you describe. As someone who has been heavily involved in the pro-life movement – even since high school – I can tell you that, whether individual or organization, the greatest of majorities of pro-lifers have equal concern when it comes to woman and child. We even go a step further and encompass the father and other family in our blanket of compassion. Giving good information, lobbying for safety and informed decisions, finding aid during and after birth – all of these are done by the vast majority of pro-life advocates. That the left, pro-death camp accuses us of neglect of mother while caring only for the child is a sleight of hand trick used as a stumbling block for our good name. I surely hope, this train of thought is not also prevalent to those who observe us on our own side of the fence.

    Posted by Birgit J on February 20, 2013 at 4:16 pm // Reply to comment
    • That is good to hear. I hope you are right. I was going only on what I see and hear from some of the pro-life groups that I encounter on Facebook… I would like to think they are indeed not representative.

      Posted by Catherine on February 20, 2013 at 6:25 pm // Reply to comment
      • What kind of help you extend to abotiron workers during their transition? So far from the time you started your ministry how many converts you had?May God continue to bless your hard works and your good heart .

        Posted by Patrick on December 15, 2013 at 10:32 am // Reply to comment


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