ERLC Research Fellow Defends Abortionists, Says It Isn’t Murder
By now, anyone who’s familiar with Pulpit and Pen knows that ERLC Research Fellow, and Liberty University Professor, Karen Swallow Prior, has been the subject of interest (or disinterest) for quite some time. Her ideological views and influences within the Southern Baptist Convention are far and wide, ranging from the affirmation of gays (despite her denial of it) to her push for animal rights activism in the Church, “the economy be damned.”
While it may seem that Karen Swallow Prior is the problem here, she really isn’t. Karen Swallow Prior is who she is–a liberal, animal rights activist, gay affirming feminist, who happens to work for the ERLC. But the ERLC is really the target of change in our opposition to Prior. But it’s absolutely imperative that we know who’s shaping the policies at the ERLC in order to affect change, and Prior has just dropped a bombshell, and should leave absolutely no doubt about who she is.
In the wake of the recent shooting at Planned Parenthood in Colorado, in one of the most disturbing articles I’ve ever seen come from a so-called “Christian” magazine, Christianity Astray, Prior writes:
Rallying for the defunding of Planned Parenthood isn’t inflammatory rhetoric; it’s political engagement. Videos depicting the self-damning words and actions of Planned Parenthood officials isn’t yellow journalism; it’s investigative reporting. On the other hand, referring to abortion providers as “abortion ghouls,” clinic volunteers and workers as “deathscorts” or “bloodworkers,” and women who obtain abortions as “murderers” is worse than inflammatory: it is unchristlike. Calling legal abortion “murder” when it isn’t (it is, to our shame, lawful) is to say what isn’t true, at least in a civil (not church) context.
Let’s be clear, Karen Swallow Prior believes that killing abortion providers is murder (which it most certainly is), but the killing of innocent babies still in the womb is not. This really isn’t surprising, however, since her supposed opposition to abortion isn’t rooted in Scripture. In fact, in another article she wrote a Christianity Astray, titled “Why I am Pro-Life,” she writes:
As a matter of fact, unlike my opposition to capital punishment, which is rooted in Christian mercy, my opposition to abortion—under any circumstances except those rare times when it is necessary to save the life of the mother—is rooted in social justice, not Christian belief.
“Social justice”–government. She says, “calling legal abortion ‘murder’ when it isn’t is to say what isn’t true.” In other words, unless the government defines a certain type of killing as “murder,” then it’s not murder. The fact that her belief on this is rooted in social justice rather than Scripture is rather peculiar. Using her logic, Jesus wasn’t murdered since he was “legally” killed, and neither were the Jews at the hands of Hitler for that matter. Does it matter whether a civil government sanctions an act or not to define it? Whose law is higher, civil government’s or God’s? 1 John 3:15 says, “hating your brother” is murder, and I’m pretty sure that wasn’t illegal.
Interestingly enough, she just called the man she works for, the man who wishes there were 1000 more Karen Swallow Priors, Russell Moore, inflammatory and un-Christlike. She also quotes Proverbs 18:21, essentially calling Moore’s words reckless. Moore, current head of the ERLC, was quoted as saying,
Let’s be clear about what is going on; it is not only that infants, in their mother’s wombs, are deprived of their lives, but also that their corpses are desecrated for profit. This is not only murderous; it is murderous in the most ghoulish way imaginable.
Her condemnation of the use of the words “murder,” and “ghoulish,” is a direct reference to Russell Moore’s words. It’s not every day that I would agree with Russell Moore on something but in this statement, I do–one hundred percent. Abortion is a gross abomination to God, and under no circumstances should it ever be perceived as “legal” from a Christian worldview. Prior’s continued pursuit of social justice, and elevating it above the law of God is what leads to her pragmatic approach to moralism.
This is why she can hang out with homosexuals at a gay film fest, even though she believes homosexuality to be sinful, and then claim she’s not affirming them. This is how she can say that “gay marriage is an act rooted in love.” She has a total disregard for the biblical worldview that requires Christians to be separate from the world. She has a set of moral beliefs, some of which just so happen to line up with biblical beliefs–homosexuality is sinful, abortion is sinful, animal cruelty is sinful–therefore she can say she has “Christian beliefs.” But her so-called beliefs, even though effectually are Christian, don’t stem from a biblical worldview, they stem from her own moralism, therefore she can disregard Scripture, except when it suits her own approach.
Further, she states,
So she quotes a cultist and a far left liberal politician as sources to justify her reprimanding of pro-lifers as the cause for the shooting incident. Where’s the Scripture? Why doesn’t she quote God? Genesis 9:6 says, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” This isn’t saying that vigilante justice is appropriate, it isn’t, but what it is saying is that God has ordained civil government to protect all forms of human life, including the unborn. She would have to deny that the unborn is human life in order to justify her sentiment that abortion isn’t murderous.
It’s now undeniably clear that Karen Swallow Prior has an extraordinarily defective and unbiblical epistemology. Her worldview is lacking in biblical authority, yet she, among others, is helping to shape the policies of the Southern Baptist funded ERLC. Karen Swallow Prior may be pro-life, but not because of “Christian beliefs.” Karen Swallow Prior might believe homosexuality is sinful, but not because of “Christian beliefs.” And someone who isn’t grounded in Christian beliefs has no business shaping the policies of a Christian church. She’s clearly jumped the rails on this issue, and is even at odds with the leadership of the ERLC, but will her supporters continue to defend her?
We shall see.
[Contributed by Jeff Maples]
Update** It’s been brought to my attention that KSP may have, or will be editing her original article. If that happens, here is a link to the original.
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