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Thursday, May 03, 2007

How Sad....Ministers Backing Abortion

Nineteen Maine United Church of Christ Congregational Ministers signed a letter supporting abortion, and public funding of abortion, according to Maine's Health and Human Services Committee this week. The letter, dated April 11, 2007, was submitted as written testimony in the public hearing of LD 1309, "An Act To Provide Equity in Funding for Women's Health Services." This bill would provide $283,272 per year in taxpayer dollars to publicly fund abortions in Maine.

Nowhere in the letter do the Congregational ministers identify themselves as Christian, or belonging to a Christian denomination, or to the Church of Christ. Instead, they use only the phrase "members of Maine's faith community" to describe themselves.

The letter supporting abortion, and the public funding of abortion is signed by Rev. Marvin M. Ellison, Bass Professor of Christian Ethics, Bangor Theological Seminary, Rev. William Bliss, Bath United Church in Christ, Rev. Diane Bennekamper, Cumberland United Church in Christ, Rev. June E. Boutwell, Transitional Associate Conference Minister, Maine United Church in Christ, Rev. Dr. Bruce P. Burnham, Alfred Parish Church United Church in Christ, Rev. Ernest A. Campbell, Durham First Congregational Church, Rev. Marcia A. Charles, New Sharon Congregational Church, Rev. Dr. Mark A. Doty, Hammond Street (Bangor) Congregational Church, Rev. Dr. Peggy Wolfe Dunn, Gardiner Congregational Church, Rev. David R. Gaewski, Minister of the Maine Conference of the United Church of Christ, Rev. Jeffrey M. Gallagher, First Congregational Church of Kittery at Kittery Point,Rev. David Hall (Retired), Rev. Dr. John B. McCall, Senior Minister, First Congregational Church of South Portland, Rev. Elsa A. Peters, Associate Minister, First Congregational Church of South Portland, Rev. Anne Roundy, Rangeley Congregational Church, Rev. Nancy S. Salisbury, Interim Pastor, First Congregational Church of Gray, Rev. Joanne E. Stoughton, Buxton First Congregational Church, Rev. Susan Tierney, East Windham Community Church, and Rev. John J. Ward-Diorio, Freeport First Parish Congregational Church.

Far from being outside of the Congregational Church's orthodoxy, these ministers are supported by the national United Church of Christ denomination in a recent pro-abortion press release. The Rev. Loey Powell, co-team leader in the U.C.C.’s Justice and Witness Ministries and board chair of Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, said in the press release dated April 19, 2007, "The U.C.C. General Synod, along with other settings of the church, has supported reproductive rights for more than 35 years, believing that women have the right to determine when and how many children they should have. The U.C.C. General Synod also has supported access to safe and legal abortion in order to prevent the unnecessary deaths of women, or permanent damage to them, when illegal procedures are sought."