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Being A Feminist Christian

Last week, Madrid was all geared up for the Pope’s visit. An important aspect of this visit, was that the Church had granted authority to other priests who were in Madrid to give absolution to people who confess to, either having had or abetted abortion(s) – a sin which is awarded with excommunication usually. I remember once in school, a Catholic nun was telling us that abortion was a sin. From that day till now, I have found myself questioning this statement. I am a Christian and have always been one. I have been educated in its doctrines to a reasonable extent and follow most of the rituals associated with it. I don’t have anything against any other religion but Christianity is the only religion I know.

I do think that Christianity is relatively liberal towards women.  There are countless instances mentioned in the Bible that clearly shows that women are to be treated with respect. (Of course, there are other incidences that are open to debate, but I am not arguing the pros and cons of Christianity here.)  But what I fail to grasp, is the Church’s stand on abortion. (Nor can I understand its stand on contraception. The world is bursting at its seams! “Natural” Family Planning? What about those of us with irregular periods?! We need contraception now more than ever! But that is a different issue.)

According to the Church, abortion is equivalent to murder, as it counts every conceived child as “gift of life”. Although I tend to agree with this under normal circumstances, I’m afraid that there are far too many facets involved, that a blanket rule cannot be applied . Suppose I was raped, and this “gift of life” was implanted in me by a random rogue, seriously I don’t think I need that gift at all. When I posed this question to the nun, she said that there are a lot of adoption agencies willing to look after the child so the mother need not worry about being stigmatized. But I am more concerned about the woman herself.

Does that mean that the woman simply has no say in the matter and has to blindly comply? People are quick to point out that Mother Mary accepted Jesus Christ without any questions, even before she was married and while living in an arguably restrictive society. Yes she did. But she accepted the Son of God. Not the son of a sex-crazed, violent animal. How can a woman possibly be forced to endure the physical and mental trauma of bearing the child of a man whom she has every right to detest? Being raped is suffering enough. As if to add insult to injury, I cannot fathom why should she suffer any further just because some horrid man did not have the sense to control his raging hormones? In many cases, rape survivors do not even know who raped them. So in this scenario, does the esteemed Church in its infinite wisdom, expect that a woman should further sacrifice her body and mind to have a child for no fault of hers?  I find this unacceptable.

I m happy to be a Christian and do not want to embrace any other religion. But that does not mean that I can blindly accept or agree to the dogmas dictated by outdated customs, which bear little or no significance today. As much as I believe in Jesus Christ, I also believe that He has given each of us a mind to think, analyze, decide and then act on our decisions. And I believe that this is what makes me human-just as God intended.

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About the Author

Anne John

Anne John loves to play with words and calls herself a reader, writer, explorer & dreamer. She has a wide range of interests and has recently jumped onto the Mommy Vlogger bandwagon! read more...

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