Friday, November 11, 2005

Killing in the Name of ... Part IX

Just when you think you've seen everything ... Planned Parenthood has hired a "minister" to prove they are not anti-Christian ... in full ...

Few ministers respond to Planned Parenthood invitation

Hoping to show that it is not anti-Christian, Planned Parenthood's Lexington affiliate is bringing the organization's national chaplain to speak with area clergy this week. But so far, only a handful of religious leaders have agreed to meet with him.

David Bowman, board chairman of Planned Parenthood of the Bluegrass, said it hasn't been easy to spread the word about chaplain Ignacio Castuera's visit.

"Most church organizations would not give me names and e-mail addresses for their clergy," he said. "There were many organizations, both denominational and ecumenical, that didn't want to get involved."

Castuera, a United Methodist minister from the Watts section of Los Angeles and the first Planned Parenthood national chaplain, wasn't surprised.

"The closer Jesus got to the cross, the smaller the crowds got," the chaplain said. "This is pretty close to the cross because people have to take derision, ostracism, all that."

In 2003, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America provided contraception, HIV testing and other services to 2.8 million people and performed 244,628 abortions.

Castuera's position on abortion: "It's always a tragedy," he said. "I don't think it's a sin."

As the largest abortion provider in the country, Planned Parenthood is frequently criticized by Christian conservatives.

Some Methodists say they're embarrassed by Castuera's ties to the group.

"I think it does reflect poorly on the church," said James V. Heidinger II, President of Good News, a Wilmore-based evangelical United Methodist group.

Teresa Scott, president of Planned Parenthood of the Bluegrass, said, "Particularly in the South, the more conservative areas, there is that perception that you can't be pro-choice and believe in God," she said. Castuera's appearance will give people another perspective, she said.

In a letter, board chairman Bowman, an elder in the Presbyterian Church USA, invited "local religious leaders, whether skeptical about or sympathetic to the 'pro-choice' position" to have lunch with Castuera today or Saturday. He also encouraged them to attend Castuera's speech on "sexuality and spirituality" at 2 p.m. Sunday at Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church in Lexington.

"We hope in part to correct the inaccurate perception that Planned Parenthood and its mission are irreligious and anti-Christian," Bowman wrote.

Bill Henard, pastor of Porter Memorial Baptist Church in Lexington, is not convinced.

"It's a little bit of a conflict of interest or even hypocrisy for them to say they're not anti-Christian when they oppose basic Christian values of the family," he said.

Organizers don't plan to debate the merits of Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion-on-demand in all 50 states.

A "thoughtfully and cordially pro-life" preacher would be welcome, but it's pointless, Bowman said, for "indignantly and self-righteously pro-life" ministers to attend.

Thirty million dead and counting and these clowns think hiring a "minister" is going to clean things up with Bible-believing Christians?