Blog Template Theology of the Body: Appalling: Frederick Buechner on Abortion

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Appalling: Frederick Buechner on Abortion

... or a bad joke:

"Speaking against abortion, someone has said, "No one should be denied access to the great feast of life," to which the rebuttal, obviously enough, is that life isn't much of a feast for the child born to people who don't want it or can't afford it or are one way or another incapable of taking care of it and will one way or another probably end up abusing or abandoning it.

How would Jesus himself decide, he who is hailed as the Lord of Life and yet who says that it is not the ones, who, like abortionist, kill the body we should fear but the ones who can kill the body and soul together the way only the world into which it is born can kill the unloved, unwanted child. (Matthew 10:28)?

There is perhaps no better illustration of the truth that in an imperfect world there are no perfect solutions. All we can do, as Luther said, is to sin boldly, which is to say (a) know that neither to have the child nor not to have the child is without the possibility of tragic consequences for everybody yet (b) be brave in knowing that not even that can put us beyond the forgiving love of God."

- Frederick Buechner, Whistling in the Dark.

Good grief. No doubt that Buechner, as a writer of his tradition and time, may represent the best of a theological world view "freed" from the constraints of Christian sacramentality. But this dying world is dangerous enough without such ridiculous presumption. I do not care how lofty your imagination of God's mercy is- if we fail to celebrate that He is who is Mercy Himself became flesh, the father of lies is somewhere distorting the Gospel. If we fail to let His Incarnation bear on our policies towards the least of His enfleshed little brothers and sisters, then we have denigrated Him too. I do not care how many notions of unmerited grace an author throws around in a treatment like Buechner's- if warrant is thereby provided for the killing of babies, the devil is somewhere lurking around.