Rick Warren’s abortion tweet and how it hurts the pro-life cause #NoMoreShame

Today Rick Warren tweeted this:

And then John Piper retweeted it.

And then I broke down crying.

Because you know what? HOW Christians talk about things REALLY does matter.

Using flippant, shaming, callous language when speaking about deeply
sensitive and painful subjects, brings HARM and not HEALING.

It absolutely breaks my heart when
Christian pastors with huge, national influence
WASTE their place of privilege and LOSE the hearts of hurting people
for the sake of a cheap shot,
a quick thrill,
a PUNCHY tweet.

When these pastors choose to indulge in cheap, tasteless, flippant analogies
about abortion
guess who takes the hit?
WE DO.
We, the pro-life advocates.
We, the Mamas and women who are trying to
build bridges, engage respectful dialogue,
seek solutions,
hear stories,
offer support.

Brothers in Christ, please refrain from the language of shame.
Please support us by choosing words of grace to tweet to your massive audiences.
Please work with us by choosing words that edify the dignity of human life. Please don’t make the battle harder than it already is.

  • http://likesunshineinthehome.blogspot.com/ Sarah H

    AMEN.

    • Anonymous

      Preachers like the Rick Warrens are, in my opinion, the new Pharisees. For me, once I realized I wasn’t God, nor did He expect me to be, I stopped pretending that I knew everything and had the final “biblical/scriptural” answer to everything. Too many “famous” preachers are intoxicated by their own fame, thinking it’s God’s stamp of approval on everything they say and preach. Ain’t so.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dwight.daniels.1293 Dwight Daniels

        I always enjoy the judgmental views of those who have no idea…and aren’t willing to take the time to find out what Rick Warren and Saddleback do or don’t do for the world community in so many needy arenas.

        • Anonymous

          Dwight this isn’t about how much good is done by Saddleback. It’s about using inflammatory language in a Tweet that, in reality, is “preaching to the choir.” Therefore, inflammatory and non helpful in such an important arena. This isn’t about trashing Rick Warren’s whole work. It’s about calling “highly influential” ministers to account for cheap shot cute tweets.

  • dj

    Amen, sister. Extremely well-said.

  • http://twitter.com/leslielaughs Leslie Lee

    Yes! I saw Warren’s tweet earlier and ’bout fell out of my chair. So much bridge-building, nuance, grace, and gentleness needed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dwight.daniels.1293 Dwight Daniels

      Then you’d be falling out of everything if you read the New Testament. There are absolutes. And just because I agree or disagree doesn’t change God’s position. You’d have fallen off your camel when Jesus wasn’t graceful to the ‘religious’ or when he turned over the tables at the temple….he was …so…..so….harsh.

  • Pam M

    Or, instead of bashing Planned Parenthood: What if Rick Warren used his clout to help set up another large network of health clinics for lower income women to increase access to the many other health care services that Planned Parenthood provides?

    • fancystephanie

      This would be soooo nice… I went to Planned Parenthood for birth control and pap smears when I didn’t have health insurance. Had there been another easy option, I would have gone there.

    • KatR

      It’s a nice idea, but I can’t see Rick Warren funded clinics ever allowing women access to birth control, or providing Pap smears to sexually active single women without a huge dose of “why aren’t you married”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dwight.daniels.1293 Dwight Daniels

      Clinics are being set up at Saddleback. Food is given out in the 10s of tons at Saddleback…AIDS help worldwide is a Kay Warren passion. And planned parenthood deserves bashing. It’s mission is clear. And it’s basis is in racism. Study a little about the early days of planned parenthood and find out how many of the aborted children are black.

  • Anonymous

    YES! How about a tweet that says “all single mom’s who choose life are BRAVE!”

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      I like this.

  • QoB

    Given what many (if not all) ‘pro-life’ activists in Ireland have said during recent public discourse on abortion legislation, I’m not at all surprised at this lack of compassion. One sign outside parliament after the death of Savita Halappanavar said “Must millions of unborn innocents be sacrificed to Satan for the death of one woman?”; others said that women would fake suicide to get abortions.

  • Jennifer

    Thank you.

  • Heather

    What a horrible thing to say. And how disrespectful to women who must agonize about such decisions. I used Planned Parenthood’s services for birth control when I was newly married and dirt poor because insurance didn’t cover the pill.

    • Elledee

      Agonize is right … Most women do not take this decision lightly, and if they became a single mother would be shamed also to have Had sex, let alone children, out of wedlock. They are completely stuck, with either decision, and receive virtually no support from the church no matter what decision they make. In this issue and all others, I cannot agree more: words matter.

      • Cathy

        Is the decision to abort right or wrong, then? Does the fact that someone “agonizes,” and doesn’t “take the decision lightly” about an abortion, make it somehow not the taking of a himan life? I don’t get the rationale…even a little.

        • http://www.facebook.com/susanne.doremus Susanne Doremus

          Me neither. Does the thief agonizing over whether or not he should steal make his crime less wrong?

          • Mistie Holler

            Is the thief who steals a loaf of bread to feed his starving wife the same as Bernie Madoff? If not, why not? Yes, it matters if they ‘agonize’ over it or not. Because if somebody’s’agonizing’ over a decision, what does that tell you about the nature of the choice that has to be made? You can be dogmatic about this if you like, but you’re only harming your own cause.

          • Cathy

            How does “agonizing” over a decision “that has to be made (and why does a decision have to be made when one finds out that they’re pregnant?)” have any relevance to having an abortion? In other words, somehow “agonizing” before aborting, somehow makes it a wiser decision? I am not being beastly about it, but I truly don’t understand your logic.

          • Anonymous

            Cathy: I’m going to jump in, here, because I think this conversation is derailing a bit. This post is NOT about whether abortion is a moral evil. This point, here, is to say that using flippant analogies and shaming tactics does NOT help the pro-life cause. Getting outraged about abortion might be a starting point, but 40 years since Roe v. Wade, we pro-lifers need a few more tools in our belt for rebuilding and promoting a culture of life. Rick Warren’s tweet did NOTHING but further entrench either side and that’s why it was unhelpful and ineffective.

      • Cindy

        There are SO many churches and Christians out there who would love to help…they need to look a little further.

  • Mistie Holler

    When it comes to something important and sensitive like abortion, if you can say it in 140 characters then there’s a good chance it isn’t worth saying. That’s one of the reasons I find Twitter so troublesome; because people say these things without thinking and then it’s out there, retweeted on and on.

  • http://www.lara-thinkingoutloud.blogspot.com/ Lara

    Amen.

  • J

    It is the biggest hypocrisy that those who preach “pro-life” have no desire to help those women who choose to keep their children. If you want to end abortion, then you can’t simultaneously cut out all the help for low-income women. Rick Warren can preach all day, but pro-lifers need to stand with these women (and their children they chose to have).

    • fancystephanie

      Many pro-lifers would never dream of helping single mothers. That would be enabling the sin of having pre-marital sex.

      • Cindy

        But let’s not forget the huge number of prolifers who do help these women, sacrifice their time and money in countless ways.

        • http://www.facebook.com/susanne.doremus Susanne Doremus

          Yes. Thank you!

      • Cathy

        I don’t know in what circles you travel, but your observation would make news with the people whom I know. At the church we attend in the Bay Area of NorCal, there are lots of young families, who not only have biological children, but adopt orphans from other countries, including a couple whom I know that had two biological children, and adopted a daughter with Down’s Syndrome from Russia (before Putin’s ban). Not only that, but there are many families who open their homes to at-risk children so that they have a short-term place to live while their single mom gets her feet in the ground. These families, many of whom have several children themselves, take in these children, and pay their expenses with no help from the state. I find your assessment disconcerting, to say the very least. I wonder if you have statistics to support your assertion.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dwight.daniels.1293 Dwight Daniels

        That’s really sad stephanie. You have no clue about the things done by prolifers. But if you’re just a prodeather…so be it.

        • fancystephanie

          Wow. That is a mean, mean, comment. You don’t know me. You don’t know my stand on abortion. You don’t know my life story. You don’t know me. But you chose to make this pithy, snarky comment that made me cry because it is MEAN. How dare you. This is exactly what Rick Warren did in his tweet. You are so mean.

        • http://www.mhmcintyre.us/ Mark McIntyre

          Dwight. You are free to disagree with her comment, but it does not call for character assassination.

      • http://www.mhmcintyre.us/ Mark McIntyre

        Unfortunately some pro-lifers have taken such a stand, but I would argue that they are the minority. I know many pro life advocates that provide support for the mom’s and babies following birth. Please don’t paint pro-lifers with such a broad brush.

    • Cindy

      I would be very surprised if Rick Warren doesn’t support single moms who have made the tough decisions to keep their children. As a member of the church where Piper has preached for the past 30 years, I know for sure that he strongly supports Christian organizations that help women with unplanned pregnancies and encourages those in his congregation to do likewise. Don’t assume that a tweet like this means these men are hostile to unwed mothers.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dwight.daniels.1293 Dwight Daniels

      If you only knew….and it’s so easy to find out exactly what Saddleback advocates and DOES for single women, hiv positive people, hungry people…..but that bandwagon is much easier to jump on instead of finding out. I think you should go down and to the local planned parenthood and ask them for a few abortion videos filmed on site.

  • Nancy

    This makes me cringe . . . I think of all the women sitting in churches who have an abortion in their past, and the shame and fear they live with if people ever found out. These kind of point-scoring quips keep women from being honest, finding grace and forgiveness, and living in the freedom Christ promises to all of us sinners.

  • trenchbuddy

    I am touched by the heart that brought you to tears. Thank you. Your journey has bought you that tenderness… It has cost a lot. It is going to be worth it. The women that struggle with the option of abortion… either pre or post-facto have a greater chance of understanding the love of God as a result. Nothing is as simple as a tweet. Especially not the heartbreak of being in the position of having to make such a shattering decision as this one. Thank you for not underestimating the pain…Thank you for advocating for the Future Forgiven of God.

  • Susan

    Thank you, EE. That needed to be said.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jessicaerinmell Jessica Formerly-Benash Mell

    Amen. Preach, sister.

  • Kara Murano

    thank you for saying this. saw that tweet and my heart just broke.

  • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

    I don’t know, I mean, I think it’s true. Planned Parenthood, the non-profit, profits by billions; abortion is a business, and it’s sad. I think we need to use strong language sometimes – and this coming from someone who has had an abortion. I also think that hiding the truth to protect those who have had abortions is not the answer. People didn’t want to see pictures of slaves, but we had to show them and there had to be outrage. And with sexual abuse, “we shouldn’t tell because it will hurt the family.” These kinds of excuses are used throughout history to hide horrific realities. I do think we need to be loving, and gentle, and not shaming, and we need real solutions, but I also think we should be strong and outspoken when abortion has been made into a business.

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      As a follow-up, I think I understand what you’re saying. Was it the “punchiness” of it or the fact that he said something strong against PP? Just curious. I do appreciate your compassion Elizabeth, you know that. And I’m adding this second comment because my husband said he understood what you were saying and thought it was good. Just trying to understand your point of view.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, it was the punchiness of the tweet which really disturbed me. What possible good did it do other than further entrench each side? I have no problem speaking strongly about PP. But I do have a problem with speaking flippantly about such an important topic as sanctity of life.

    • QoB

      So it should be covered on your national health plan, right? Oh wait… The US doesn’t have one. Who should be providing abortions, if not PP? (assuming legal abortion).

    • KatR

      If abortion is a business, then so are appendectomies and pacemakers and C-sections. Abortions cost money because medical procedures cost money. As far as Warren’s tweet goes, there are things that can be done to support women so they are more likely not to choose abortion in the case of unplanned pregnancy. He doesn’t seem very interested in that conversation.

      • Cindy

        I think you’re assuming a lot to say that Warren is not interested in helping mothers who experience an unplanned pregnancy. This tweet is not hatred towards unwed moms–it’s an effort to protect unborn children.

        • http://www.facebook.com/susanne.doremus Susanne Doremus

          It’s hatred against Planned Parenthood which in his opinion kills babies. I just googled “Warren and prolife” (I’m not too familiar with a lot of popular religious leaders) and see that he supports Care Net which is a big crisis pregnancy center. I talked to my friend who has used PP’s resources and she said how they told her to “go out and have fun” after they gave her her birth control. Talk about enabling women to keep up irresponsible and dangerous behavior! Any good PP does is washed away by all the wrong. I am thankful for leaders who make strong unpopular statements against evil businesses and people.

          • Cindy

            Well said, Susanne.

        • Mistie Holler

          How was it an effort to protect unborn children? Has an abortion ever been halted because a pregnant woman read a tweet comparing her abortion provider to a multinational fast food chain? No. It looks very much as if he just wanted to tweet his opinion on ‘an issue’ because he’d found what he thought was an apt analogy. He’s a preacher, he’s into inventing easy soundbites.

  • Cindy

    I think we need both. We need people who will be the loving listener and supporter, but we also need people who will boldly shed light on the atrocities that take place under PP. The latter isn’t pretty, I agree, but neither is what is happening to innocent aborted babies every day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dwight.daniels.1293 Dwight Daniels

    What about the trail of dead children and the devastated mothers to be who figure out that they have shed innocent blood? What about the fathers who have no say so in a woman slaughtering her child in the womb? I think Rick Warren was right.

  • Amy

    Another member of Saddleback here.
    I’m not even sure what Pastor Rick was trying to say. My first thought was- I doubt the McDonald’s corporation appreciates the analogy!

    I’ve read on several trustworthy news sources that only 3% of PP’s services are abortion-related. So if it’s the #1 “baby killing franchise”, isn’t it also the #1 women’s healthcare provider? Besides birth control, there’s cancer detection and treatment for women (and men), etc. PP itself isn’t the enemy.

    Why would he tweet this… Maybe it simply had been a whole entire day since he got his name in the news. Can’t let that happen! (Yeah, I’m sick of the celebrityness of my church and pastor. About ready to move on.)