It rhymes with awesome. Get it? Get it?

Hey, Churchrat. Are you on your way to the post office?

Yesssss.

Mail this for me?

It was an envelope addressed to our friendly neighborhood crisis pregnancy center. The church where I work is on their mailing list–three times. I’m up to my ass in Stop the Baby Killin’ pamphlets two or three times a month. I’ve called them and tried to stop these duplicate mailings several times, and it never works. They ask me to be their contact person at the church, and I say I’m not comfortable, so they call back and ask me again. And again.

I have a number of problems with the pro life movement. Its general tone seems more concerned with controlling women and their behavior than with the actual well being of women and children. Oftentimes, the pro life thing employs misinformation to make their point, which troubles me too. And the whole ties to the Republican party thing? Do you think that once all those babies are born they some how won’t require access to health care or social welfare programs?

Whew. Okay.

What I do love, though, is organizations that work to improve the lives of low income women and children by helping them learn life skills, secure housing, provide access to nutritious food, etc.

My friendly neighborhood crisis pregnancy center makes my head feel a little explode-y for that reason. They hook homeless women and girls up with safe places to live. They collect jars and jars and jars of baby food. They have mentoring programs and scholarships. And for those reasons I’m not quite willing to tell them to go to hell when they send me three invitation to a fundraising dinner featuring one our fair state’s most heinous politicians talking about “Legislating Life” in what I assume will be his typically misogynist rhetoric. Or when they ask me to pass out fliers that explain abortion causes breast cancer. It does not. Plus, there’s that thing about church secretaries not really being hired to tell people off.

Is there a job like that? That would pay me to tell people off?

I digress. I also complain about how simultaneously irritated and ethically uncertain these multiple mailings make me feel. Mostly I do my complaining out loud and to myself, but my office adjoins the pastor’s. He hears me.

The official position of my denomination on abortion is that “partial birth” abortions, which pretty much no one performs anymore, are very bad. But they acknowledge a certain moral complexity governing reproductive choice and are generally unwilling as a body to come out against earlier term abortion’s ongoing legal status. So, really, as a Whatever Kind of Mainline Protestant We Are we should leave this issue to individual conscience and not take a political position. We should seek instead to support and love people in all phases of life and life-choice making. That’s really what it says, in those words.

So the pastor, God bless him, wrote a note to the administrator of this charity explaining this not-really-a-position. He went on to say that we also believe, as a denomination, that access to comprehensive reproductive care is a human right. We dig birth control. Our friendly neighborhood crisis pregnancy center doesn’t. They dig a zesty blend of chastity and submission to the will of God concerning marital childbearing. He asked, as I have on million times, that they remove us from the mailing list.

They’re a-gonna pray for me, Churchrat. (Yes, he does say “a-gonna.”) They’re gonna pray for the whole lot of us Our Kind of Mainline Protestants.

Well, I said, that couldn’t hurt at all. I’m sure we’ll take all of those we can get.

I mailed the letter.

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