Last person out, bolt the door...

(Tim) Really, what more is there to say about "If my father were still alive, he'd have converted to Eastern Orthodoxy" Franky Schaeffer? His trajectory was set twenty-five years ago with little but dishonor and shame since. Here's the latest in that line, taken from a piece he wrote for the Huffington Post (ephasis in the original). Yes, I know Franky's larger argument is to move the Democratic Party toward electability by getting them to distance themselves from the albatross of late term abortion, but the context of this piece is immaterial to me as I remember Francis Schaeffer while reading these words...

I have argued here in the Huffington Post that I consider myself pro-life (though I believe abortion must also be legal) and yet I am an avid supporter of Senator Obama. ...More than thirty years after helping to launch the evangelical pro-life movement I am filled with bitter regret for the unintended consequences. Mea culpa!

...To most Americans--including me--it is gut-check self-evident that a fertilized egg is not a person, because personhood is a lot more than a collection of chromosomes in a Petri dish or in the womb.

Perception is reality in politics, maybe in ethics too. And to many Americans the Democrats, at least in perception, adopted an absolutist pro-choice platform, guaranteed to alienate many reasonable and compassionate people who would otherwise allow some abortions and be on the Democrat's side on almost all the other issues of the day from gay rights to stopping the Iraq war.

It seems to me that there will always be a need for some abortions to terminate pregnancies gone wrong. Sometimes compassion means saying yes to a thirteen-year-old who has been molested or raped. Whatever her fundamentalist parents want she must have the right to an abortion.

So, we're to understand Franky believes in the necessity of abortion remaining legal; also "gay rights;" also a thirteen year old girl's freedom to kill her unborn child against the will of her "fundamentalist" father and mother.

Those who love Francis and Edith Schaeffer might consider backing into Franky's tent and covering him with a blanket. The man seems incapable of behavior honoring the Fifth Commandment.

Comments

Incredible, Tim! Yes to the 13-year old to murder. No to the 13-week old to live. I somehow don't think this is what Francis Schaeffer had in mind when he told people (paraphrasing) "If you don't like how Jerry Falwell is combining politics and religion then go and and show everyone a better way."

The only thing self-evident here is that Mr. Schaeffer the younger is a 24-karat, gold-plated . . .well, I won't even say what it rhymes with.

For all of Orthodoxy's bombast about being the original true church (they think Rome was simply the first Protestant sect), why do they always seem to be so soft on abortion?

Kamilla

So, we're to understand Franky believes in the necessity of abortion remaining legal; also "gay rights;" also a thirteen year old girl's freedom to kill her unborn child against the will of her "fundamentalist" father and mother.

Oh yes indeed. That is why we must vote for Obama. He's a Christian donchaknow!! Just ask the professors at Covenant Seminary.

For reference, here's a source which indicates that the Orthodox actually oppose abortion rights--taking much the same stand as Sarah Palin.

http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article7101.asp

And here's the amica cureae for the 1988 Webster case by the U.S. Orthodox primate.

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/abortion.aspx

Now if I'm reading these correctly, the Orthodox are NOT soft on abortion (at least among the bishops), but it does appear that Franky Schaeffer has a little trouble figuring out what his church actually believes.

Just the other day, Nick and I were lamenting that Francis Sr. was not with us anymore. But every time I read something about Franky, I'm reminded that it might be a mercy (to Francis Sr., that is).

Dear Tim:

Someone gave me two back issues of "Books & Culture: A Christian Review." One of them was the March/April 2008 issue which contains the review by Os Guinness of Franky Schaeffer's "Crazy for God." The review is entitled "Fathers and Sons."

I recommend it highly in helping us to think about Franky.

Guinness lived with the Schaeffer's for more then three years (late 60s, early 70s), was mentored by Francis and was the best man in Franky's wedding. He is well-positioned to know the truth about Francis and Edith and Franky.

I'll let you all read the review but it skewers Franky in about as nice a way as possible. It is clear and restrained at the same time. Franky has completely lost his way, if he was ever on the path.

I'm getting rather tired of listening to arguments suggesting that it is acceptable to abort a child that resulted from a rape. We have a friend who brought such a child to term, and I honestly think anyone in their right mind would object if I referred to the baby as "the rape", "the bastard" or "the rape child" every time I mentioned him. Now that he's born, ANYONE would be horrified to hear him referred to as such. Isn't he more than that? Why would we define him as only that, or constantly name him so?

Somehow, before he was born, he was an exception. Not only that, but it was the only thing defining his existence. And even people who frequently oppose abortion would say it was OK to kill him; after all, he's not normal; he's a rape child.

Mark Chambers: You mean Covenant College, not Covenant Seminary. Keep your libels straight.

Tim: Since comments are closed on the "English Department" entry, let me pose this question here. You suggest that Profs. Kapic, Allen, and Clark are likely Obama supporters, but the only evidence you seem to offer is that they voted against a 2006 Covenant College faculty meeting going into executive session. Could you connect the dots a little better for us?

>You suggest that Profs. Kapic, Allen, and Clark are likely Obama supporters

That's not how I put it. Regardless, you've noted correctly that comments are closed.

Mark Chambers: You mean Covenant College, not Covenant Seminary. Keep your libels straight.

Ah thanks John Muether I misspoke. If only one could find and destroy all copies of that horrible poll. Ah well, public record can be a hard thing to deal with. I wasn't too impressed with the treatment of Clark in the Van Til book BTW. Found it rather disappointing but consistent with (at least in my experience anyway) the idea that historians often make poor theologians.

>Found it rather disappointing but consistent with (at least in my experience anyway) the idea that historians often make poor theologians.

I find that often theologians make poor theologians as well...

I find that often theologians make poor theologians as well...

That's certainly true at times David. There are poor doctors, poor managers, poor representatives of whatever vocation one chooses to address. Did you have something specific in mind or are you still smarting at having the fallacy of category pointed out in your outburst at Fred Greco?

The most frightening aspects of Schaeffer's words were his references to 'personhood' - that is deplorable theology, and worse social ethics. He's on a trajectory to match Peter Singer's madness.

The EO Bishops are opposed to abortion...they should be opposed to Franky too! They really must stop parading him about as the convert they wish the rest of us were.

>Did you have something specific in mind or are you still smarting at having the fallacy of category pointed out in your outburst at Fred Greco?

Grow up.

It seems to me that there will always be a need for some abortions to terminate pregnancies gone wrong.

Does anyone disagree with this? Even the Catholics (who tend to be the most thorough and consistent on life issues) would agree.* The problem is the example, not the statement, no? If the example were a mother with a tubal pregnancy, would anyone disagree?

*Defining "gone wrong" as "severe and immediate threat to the mother's life", and "abortion" as "medical procedure that ends a pregnancy".

Sam Stienman quoted:

"It seems to me that there will always be a need for some abortions to terminate pregnancies gone wrong."

And then wrote:

Does anyone disagree with this? Even the Catholics (who tend to be the most thorough and consistent on life issues) would agree.* The problem is the example, not the statement, no? If the example were a mother with a tubal pregnancy, would anyone disagree?

*Defining "gone wrong" as "severe and immediate threat to the mother's life", and "abortion" as "medical procedure that ends a pregnancy".

I write:

Yes, some people do disagree. See for example El Salvador where there is apparently no exception to the prohibition even to save the mother's life.*

There was a New York Times Magazine article several years ago (full disclosure, the article was criticized for significant factual errors that don't relate to the point here) which described situations in which doctors would hold off on performing surgery for ectopic pregnancies until the fetal heartbeat had stopped on its own. Just bad luck for the woman if she suffered a rupture before that happened.

*I don't read Spanish so I am relying on others' assertions that this is the case.

Sam, as you hint, there is a ton of wiggle room in the "gone wrong" statement. Pro-lifers of course vary from "OK if the mother's life is endangered" to "never OK" to "OK if mother's health is endangered or the baby was conceived during rape or incest" and such.

That said, the key is that there is.... a ton of wiggle room. We simply need to define our terms and see whether we really agree when the matter is clearly spelled out.

David Wegener, thanks to the pointer to Os Guinness' review. Seems that there is a lot to be debated on this....

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