Excuse Me Reverend, Abortion Is Not Pro-Life

Reverend Matthew Westfox of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice wrote, “Easter reminds me of the respect and reverence for life that is at the core of my theology, that I am in my heart a deeply ‘pro-life’ person.” Sounds good. But the Reverend then added, “Today, most of us won’t use that term because it has been co-opted by those who oppose reproductive choice and abortion access. In the spirit of Easter, I want us [pro-abortion proponents] to resurrect that term, to reclaim a pro-life theology that is deeply supportive of reproductive justice.” Excuse me?

Reverend Matthew Westfox

Reverend Matthew Westfox

How exactly was the term “pro-life” co-opted? Those who oppose the killing of innocent human life have always been pro-life. And Reverend Westfox, you want pro-abortion proponents to “resurrect” the term pro-life for the pro-abortion cause. How can you resurrect something that never existed?

The Reverend continued, “To be pro-life, after all, means to honor life and to cherish it. But do we honor life, or do we honor a heartbeat? Life, after all, is the ability to LIVE, to connect with other human beings, and, for Christians, life is among other things the ability to experience the presence of Christ through those connections. To live is to use our God-given conscience and power of moral decision-making. It is to act as a truly free person with control over one’s own body, sexuality, and reproduction.” Okay. Quite the accomplishment. One short paragraph. Five false statements.

First, the flippant remark about honoring a heartbeat is a tactic designed to distract. Even the most ardent pro-abortion proponents in the medical community accept the facts that a human heart begins beating during the embryonic stage of development and that a human embryo is a human life. Reverend Westfox, honoring a heartbeat is honoring life.

Second, defining life in terms of ability is unscientific and unchristian. The Reverend’s definition is as arbitrary as saying, “Life, after all, is the ability to ride a bicycle.”

Third, for Christians, the ability to experience the presence of Christ exists while in the womb. Luke 1:41 teaches, “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.” And Luke 1:44 reaffirms, “For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” The good Reverend needs to read his Bible.

Fourth, if “to live is to use our God-given conscience and power of moral decision-making,” as the Reverend claims, and if “to live” is the basis for protecting the right to life, the vulnerable then are left unprotected, including all infants, many adults on life support in hospitals, and some of the mentally disabled.

Fifth, the claim that “to live is to act as a truly free person with control over one’s own body, sexuality, and reproduction” is baseless. In a civilized society, the right to control one’s body, sexuality, and reproduction ends at the point where it begins interfering with another’s same right.

Continuing further with this line of reasoning, the Reverend stated, “If we are truly pro-life we must protect and affirm everything about what it means to be alive. How can we claim to be pro-life, especially as Christians when we seek to take from women control over reproduction and sexuality, which are such central parts of what it means to be alive?”

Sorry Reverend Westfox, but we must first protect life itself before we can protect everything about what it means to be alive. And Reverend, how can you claim to be pro-life, especially as a Christian, when you are supporting the killing of innocent human life?

Changing the subject, the Reverend commented, “In the parable of the sower, Jesus reminds us that seed alone does not bring about new life – that all aspects of the conditions into which the seed are cast must be suitable to sustain life. If there is not enough light or too many weeds or other circumstances that make the ground unfit, the seed will not grow. The story reminds us that respecting and honoring life means doing all we can to create the conditions that will allow life to flourish – while at the same time respecting and accepting that some conditions are not suitable to sustaining life.”

If the seed reference is a scientific analogy, it’s a false analogy, because the seed (i.e. the sperm) isn’t the issue. Scientifically, human life begins at conception, when sperm and egg unite. And if the Reverend actually thinks a zygote, embryo or fetus is a seed, his position again is at odds with the most ardent pro-abortion proponents in the medical community. A human zygote is a human life, as is a human embryo and human fetus. As for respecting and accepting that some conditions aren’t suitable to sustaining life, what does that have to do with protecting the right to life? Accepting the intentional killing of innocent human life, as the Reverend advises Christians to do, isn’t respecting life.

Still on the “ground” theme, Reverend Westfox noted, “Similarly, living out a pro-life theology means ensuring that those who want to create new life or parent a child never feel they cannot because the ground they stand upon is not suitable. It also means that no one should ever be coerced into bringing new life into a situation they do not believe is ready to sustain it. A truly pro-life theology means working for health care, employment, and other factors so that no one ever feels he or she cannot be a parent because the conditions aren’t suitable and that we never force life into a situation that lacks one of the most fundamental ingredients of healthy ground – parents who are ready to love and welcome the child.”

Wrong. The arguments about “those who want to create new life” and “the ground they stand upon” not being suitable are ridiculous. And the “coerced” argument? The life in the Reverend’s example already exists. If the biological parents aren’t ready to love the child, there’s a long waiting list of loving people willing to adopt the child. But that’s not the main point. The right to life doesn’t exist only for those fortunate enough to be loved. Those who are loved the least need protection the most. Period.

The Reverend concluded, “I find many truths on Easter morning, truths that go far beyond historical fact. Yet one in particular is the truth of a biblical, sacred exhortation to affirm, revere, and defend life; to be unabashedly, unashamedly pro-life. As Christians, let’s work together to honor the resurrection by resurrecting and re-claiming the term pro-life – not as an attack on choice but as an affirmation of all that life entails.”

No, let’s work to realize the true meaning of “pro-life” by actually protecting life. Reverend Westfox is leading Christians astray. Affirming all that life entails includes affirming all the hardships that life entails. Supporting the killing of innocent human life in order to avoid hardships is the most unchristian work imaginable.

  • http://profiles.google.com/maraudertheslashnymph Marauder The Slash Nymph

    “Reproductive justice” would be letting newly-reproduced human beings live!

  • Chrstnmonks

    Shame on this so called “reverend”. pro-life means to protect life not destroy it. this is a very disgusting and abhorrent man. he is the type of reverend that turns people away from the church instead of towards it.

    • E23

      god is not pro-life Hosea 13:16

  • MaryAnne

    The picture of the man who wrote this article is scary. Please don’t post it again.. it frightens my children.

    • Brnada

      ???? …then just don’t watch and don’t let them watch…!!!!

    • Rewindingtomorrow

      Oh my gosh so scary.

  • Brnada

    about “reverend” we can read

    The Rev. Matthew Westfox, a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, came down to Germantown from Brooklyn last night. “We’re here to SUPPORT, PROTECT AND DEFEND Dr. Carhart’s clinic,” Westfox says.
    Defending the butcher LeRoy Carhart’s…
    Kyrie, eleison!
    http://www.tbd.com/blogs/amanda-hess/2010/12/leroy-carhart-anti-abortion-protesters-5543.html

  • CDW

    All you have to do is look at the guy and you know he’s no reverend.

    • K

      Judging the book by it’s cover much?

  • commonsense

    This poor Rev. Westfox has an appropriate last name which includes “fox.” A good sherpherd protects his sheep from wolves, foxes, etc. Rev. Westfox is a wolf/fox in sheep’s clothing…Although he is not a devil, his twisting of God’s Word to justify the destruction of the innocent reminds me that even the devil can quote Scripture. I pray that this “reverend” may see the truth about the horror of killing innocent human life, the pain many have after an abortion experience, etc. and may he come to accept the Gospel of Life – the only Gospel. The reverend seems to have slept through the theology class which indicated that only God is God.

    • E23

      God is not pro-life in numbers 5:11-21 God gives instruction how how to perform ab abortion on a women

      suspected of adultery

    • K

      You have nothing educational to say except shame and humiliate him for his name.. better yet… last name.. which means you are shaming all people with names of anything like “fox” or ‘wolf”? That’s pretty low and pathetic. That’s what bullies do. You call yourself Christian?

  • Guest

    wow. His words clearly imply that anyone who is not described by “life is among other things the ability to experience the presence of Christ through those connections. To live is to use our God-given conscience and power of moral decision-making. It is to act as a truly free person with control over one’s own body, sexuality, and reproduction” is not really alive, and hence can be killed. Too bad non-Christians!

  • NMS

    What a weirdo! Schizophrenia, it seems.

  • Anonymous

    In the spirit of arbor day, I think this guy should leave.

  • pro-choice

    I think the reverend makes a good point, and it is unfair that you added in [pro-abortion proponents] to his quote. Just because you are pro-choice doesn’t mean you are an advocate for abortion. It simply means that women deserve the right to choose to have an abortion.

    • http://twitter.com/DavidSchmidt David Schmidt

      Where the people who wanted others to have the choice to own slaves pro-choice or pro-slavery?

      • OnTheFence

        Wow. What a profound argument! Keep up with those one-liners, Dave, they sure do foster constructive debate!

        • Sarahalldesign

          Why don’t you answer David’s question? Semantics are important, obviously.

    • Katie

      If you’d paid attention to this article you’d have seen every one of the Reverend’s assertions refuted. None of his points were good. All were twisted half-truths and bad theology. To live like Christ is to follow his example as set out in the Word of God, the bible. This false pastor’s teaching is not even close to the real teaching of the gospel.

    • pro-keep the innocent alive

      I think “pro-choice” makes a point.Just cuz you are pro-decision doesn’t mean your an advocate for killing. Simply means that people deserve the right decide to kill.

    • Lorna

      I agree with choice. Early in the pregnacy that thing is not even a baby. I think that a more constructive debate and movement would be towards greater knowledge and access to contraception so people don’t have to make/consider abortion. If I was raped I would definately not want to have the man’s child.

      • S.O.P.

        But it IS a baby! Just in the early developmental stages. ALL of us had to go through this stage as we began our LIVES. To say there is a phase of human development in which we are not human and are some life form that is unworthy of protection is ludicrous.

        In the case of rape, is it the child’s fault his/her father did what he did to the mother? By killing the child, you are punishing the wrong person for that violation and crime. Two wrongs do not make a right. If you do not want to raise YOUR child (half the genetic make up would be yours), adoption is always the better choice — for the mother and the child.

        Is it fair that a woman is impregnated against her will? Absolutely not. But it is even less fair that a human being is deprived of life simply because his or her existence is inconvenient for the parent(s).

  • Katie

    Reverend, as he may be, God will not accept this man. He’s trying to interpret Christianity into his own opinions and beliefs. And that is NOT the way God intended his work to be interpreted. Reverend Westfox is a sinner, nothing more. It is never okay to take a human life, whether it is in the womb or not. As a Christian, he should know this. And telling fellow Christians that abortion is right? That it’s not actually taking a life? He apparently was not educated properly in the ways of the bible. Has anyone ever seen a reverend descend to Hell? Because Reverend Westfox will never see Heaven’s gates.

  • Shelly

    Dude, really??!!! Like, are you serious homeboy? matthew 16:5 “Watch out!” Jesus warned them. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. this would be one of those teachings

  • Debbiekay_79

    Wow….I am appalled. That is some messed up thinking. And DAVE- loved your Pro-choice or Pro-Slavery question! SHELLEY-“pro-decision doesn’t mean your an advocate for killing. Simply means that people deserve the right to kill” Seriously! People DESERVE the RIGHT to KILL! THINK about what your saying! Use some logic. I guess Hitler had the right to kill all the Jews and Christians and any other group that he didn’t feel had a right to live. And Osama Bin Laden had the right to Kill on Sept. 11th.

  • Anonymous

    WHO titled this man a “Reverend”??? What he is saying is a lie from the pit of hell. LIFE BEGINS AT CONCEPTION. All the other “gobally goop” words that he spewing are nothing more than justification for murder.

  • jason

    “reverend” looks like he’s 20 years old

  • Jmvm123

    “Whatever you did to the least of my brethren, you did onto me.”

  • Victoria Martinez

    “Reverend” his way of thinking is very twisted, these types of people are the one that twist the meaning of the bible, God does not support killing another human life, in the bible there is many passages about the seed and fruit of the womb. Pro-life means to choose life over murder. Simple as that.

  • Xox-dee-xox

    “The story reminds us that respecting and honoring life means doing all we can to create the conditions that will allow life to flourish – while at the same time respecting and accepting that some conditions are not suitable to sustaining life.”
    “respecting and honoring life means doing all we can to create the conditions that will allow life to flourish”………….As soon as you decide to have sex, especially unprotected sex, youve created those conditions that allow life to come into existence. Whether or not it flourishes is unfortunately up to the fools who decided they didnt need to be responsible and use birthcontrol. There is no excuse for not using birth control.
    As far as Im concerned he is merely saying that if you are rich, healthy, and living a relatively perfect life its fine for you to have a baby. Whereas in any situation where conditions are not ideal, the infant life growing inside should be disposed of, it wasnt the infants time anyways right? WRONG. WRONG WRONG!!
    God would not let us befall into situations where women end up pregnant if not for a reason. Even before the child is conceived he sees that infant’s future and decides upon who will bring it into the world. Think of it this way, first and foremost that child your carrying inside your womb is God’s child over and above anything else, now do you really think you have the right to kill someone else’s baby?
    If someone pregnant walked up to you and asked you to punch or kick them in the stomach to kill their child you would think theyre crazy, but really, is walking into a clinic and taking a blender to a baby any different?

  • A Random Friar

    Brethren, I think it is fair game to attack his argument and logic, but let’s try to keep the ad hominems (what he looks like, speculation about his personal life, etc) out of this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Churchill/1459831900 David Churchill

    Nothing like twisting Jesus’ parables to suit your own liberal agenda. Perhaps Rev. Westfox would like to use Matthew 19:12 to support the gay lifestyle. Or, better yet, perhaps he could use the parable of the ten virgins to support a push for green energy. Just thinking like a liberal, here….

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  • Nicoya3

    What is wrong with the Reverand??!!! He is soooooo stuck in his pro-abortion (choice) agenda that he not only purposely changes the meaning of what pro-life is, but then sounds very ignorante in his explanation when trying to convince others. He is almost as “truthful” as Planned Parenthood. I feel bad for those who had to listen to him.

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  • K

    Obviously abortion is not a joke. But to be so rigid and make it so simple that “people should not have abortions” is craziness to me. By saying no, you leave no room for debate and listen to whatever the situation for that specific person might be. What you are doing is you are closing your eyes and ears to hear the story. You are not understanding and empathizing. If you are not listening, then how can you learn? How can you progress? Life is not hard-coded like that, and it shouldn’t be. There are lots of reasons why people NEED to have an abortion, and you can’t just hard-code it and say no to abortion.

    However, this goes the other way around too. You can’t just abuse the right of choice by just doing what you want without thinking, and then not taking responsibilities and consequences for it. And I don’t think the people who are pro-choice would advocate this either. That’s why I do think that everything depends on the situation, and the individual needs to weigh what their values and importance are and how they came about that situation they found themselves in.

    You cannot just tell people that people’s opinions or beliefs are wrong. If certain groups of Christians find truth in Reverend Matthew’s Westfox’s teachings, then they should listen to it. If they don’t want to listen to it, then they don’t have to. Why trash on the guy like most of you are doing here? And like “pro-choice” stated a year ago.. being “ProChoice” doesn’t mean you advocate abortion. It just means that: You are an outsider and you are willing to listen to the situation and support the woman’s right in choosing what she wants to do with her body.