Dr. Thom White Wolf Fassett is the General Secretary of the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church.
Recently, answering some concerned United Methodists who had raised some serious questions about GBCS policies and positions, Dr. Fassett
responded with a form letter.
letter, after addressing the issues of homosexuality and welfare, Dr. Fassett
engaged the problem of abortion.
Here is his
paragraph on abortion: "Finally, the issue of late term abortions, often referred to as partial-birth abortions.
paragraph on abortion states very clearly that, according to The Book of Discipline, the official United Methodist position on abortion is pro-choice or pro-Roe v. Wade.
And pro-choice, in Dr. Fassett's
reading, means that The United Methodist Church
is opposed to any and all legal protections for the unborn and mother.
To be sure, Dr. Fassett states in his
letter that, as far as he
is concerned, "there can be nothing more repugnant than abortion no matter which method is employed " And he
adds that "the issue of late-term abortions is even more outrageous...to me." And he
notes again that he
does not support late-terms abortions.
bottom line is this: The United Methodist Church stands for the legal choice of abortion without restriction, without qualification.
In other words. according to Dr. Fassett
The United Methodist Church
is more dedicated to protecting abortion-on-demand in America than protecting unborn children and their mothers from abortion .
Just today, a bright, engaged, evangelical brother in the ordained ministry of our church mentioned to this editor that he
thought the official United Methodist position on abortion was acceptable, if not perfect.
Little did he
realize that our disciplinary paragraph is interpreted, in a rigidly pro-choice way, by the denominational powers that be.
Little did he know how our disciplinary paragraph is used, by Dr. Fassett and others, to oppose the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act that has been passed by the United States House of Representative and by the United States Senate by wide margins.
Unfortunately, this brother is not alone.
There are many faithful United Methodists who say, "All we need to do, on abortion, is abide by what the Discipline says.
However, Dr. Fassett's
statement, founded on the Discipline, indicates very clearly that The Book of Discipline is at least ambiguous, and at most in error, on abortion.
Dr. Fassett's position on abortion, which is based on The Book of Disciplines is similar to the position taken by Mario Cuomo, the former governor of New York.
Regarding abortion, both Fassett
and Cuomo are "personally opposed, but..." That is, they are personally opposed to abortion; however, legally speaking, they favor choice in an uncompromising way.
a Kempis continues to instruct with such as this: "If you try to find rest in this world, how will you ever reach that rest which is life everlasting?