I somehow managed to miss this story when it first hit the blogs last year, but an editorial in the July/August issue of Touchstone brought it to my attention: Alma’s Mater: The Violent Hypocrisy of Some Peace & Justice Christians. The Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper is pastor of Judson Memorial Baptist Church in New York. Last year she wrote an article in Tikkun titled My Choice, in which she confessed to having aborted her fourth child, whom she named Alma. Unlike most people styling themselves pro-choice on the abortion issue, Schaper freely admits to having murdered her child:
I happen to agree that abortion is a form of murder. I think the quarrel about when life begins is disrespectful to the fetus. I know I murdered the life within me. I could have loved that life but chose not to.
She claims to have made this difficult choice "as a mature sexual being" who believes that "birth control and abortion are positive moral forces in history." For her the recommendation of abstinence as an alternative is "immoral to its core." The incoherence of her ethical reasoning is too obvious to warrant further comment.
However, it is worth noting that Schaper recently contributed to Jim Wallis's God's Politics blog, where she commented on the Virginia Tech shootings last April: Worship in a Time of Catastrophe. Someone unacquainted with the complexities of a consistent life ethic might be forgiven for wondering on what basis she would object to the murders committed on that campus (though, perhaps tellingly, she never once uses that word). After all, was not the killer simply exercising his freedom of choice as a mature adult?