Katherine Ragsdale, meet Bobby Calvan

homepagebaby1From time to time we all write things we regret.  When that happens, people usually add something to the offending post or else create a new post and link to it.  It could be as simple as “I lost my mind; can I get a mulligan on that one? Thanks.” And then you move on.  If you say something you don’t regret, but you are tired of  trying to persuade people you’re right, you can always just turn off comments and trackbacks and wait.  Eventually the furor dies down.

What doesn’t work is deleting the post and pretending it never happened.

Back in 2007, Ms. Katherine Ragsdale preached a sermon on abortion and later posted it on her blog.  As recently as a day ago, she was content to have her views on abortion known.  Now that she’s been appointed Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School, however, it’s somewhat inconvenient that she proudly proclaimed that abortion is a blessing; those who provide it are saints, providing abortions is holy work, we need more of it, not less, and doctors, pharmacists, and other medical professionals should not have the right to abstain from this blessed sacrament. 

She wrote,

These are the two things I want you, please, to remember – abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.

I want to thank all of you who protect this blessing – who do this work every day: the health care providers, doctors, nurses, technicians, receptionists, who put your lives on the line to care for others (you are heroes — in my eyes, you are saints); the escorts and the activists; the lobbyists and the clinic defenders; all of you. You’re engaged in holy work.

Suddenly she doesn’t want us to remember it, because now that’s she’s been appointed Dean, that post has been deleted without explanation.  I can understand Katherine Ragsdale’s attempt to hide her repulsive screed which declared that abortion is a blessing.  After all, when someone thinks abortions are consequence-free, certainly there should be no problem with deleting a blog post!

It didn’t work for Bobby Calvan, and I hope it doesn’t work for Ms. Ragsdale.  There was a time she was content to openly, proudly proclaim this view.  Now she can defend it to a group outside of her little “progressive” circle and see how well it holds up.  Or admit that she was wrong, as Bobby Calvan eventually did.

Midwest Conservative Journal has links to where the sermon is still publicly posted on other sites.  The cached copy is here, and here is a PDF of the cached page with the entire sermon, Our Work Is Not Done.

And don’t worry, Ms. Ragsdale.  I will remember your exhortation. And I’ll think of it often, and of you, as you train the next generation of Episcopalian clergy.

ADDED: The Anchoress puts in her 2 cents, with bonus linky goodness.


  1. Lori F. says:

    I noticed that you are currently reviewing a book titled “Preserving Democracy.” I haven’t read the book – the intro sounds great, except for one thing…America is not a democracy. It is a republic – an important distinction. A democracy can present its own problems, the “tyranny” of the majority. Just a thought.

  2. Lori F. says:

    Regarding Ragsdale – there’s a reason why a large bloc of the Episcopal church withdrew from the “home branch.” It boggles the mind what some churches will do to show love and inclusion. Problem is, love is not God’s only attribute, or even His greatest attribute. And, Jesus sure wasn’t inclusive of the pharisees of His day. Sometimes, the best way to show love is with stern words and disciplinary action. I pray that God will show His love for Ragsdale with appropriate discipline and that she will recognize it for what it is. (I pray that for myself as well.)

  3. Australian says:

    This is very interesting. I cannot understand how it is that someone who holds such views can be a minister in any Christian Church. She is advocating that which is darkness, not light.

    I would have replied to the Anchoress but I cannot log in to her site. I have a story. It is not about me, but about my niece, Cassandra. My niece has had two pregnancies via IVF and when that happens they do a lot of tests. She was supposed to come to my son’s wedding but she was not able to travel from Queensland to Melbourne for the occasion. The girl was in a panic because doctors had told her something was wrong with the baby and they were urging her to abort. She did not want to go back to the hospital for further tests because of the pressure.

    It is really disgusting that the other side of the coin is never discussed. That is, women are pressured to kill their unborn children because the “tests” indicate an abnormality. The lives of the women are not in danger as a result of the abnormality. This is just one aspect of what Ragsdale stated that deserves the BS notation.

  4. Blake A. Willey says:

    I don’t understand. If Rev. Ragsdale is really a proud abortion proponent, true to her beliefs, and true to her conscience, why would she take her comments down? Did she change her mind? Convert to Christianity? Is she ashamed of what she thinks?

    Confused in Chicago

  5. Lori – wrt Preserving Democracy – yes, definitely, the author knows that we are a republic. It’s an excellent book, so far I’m really enjoying it. As for showing love – yes, many people have some rather strange ideas about what showing love can include. How they figure love = tolerance of some pretty bad stuff just baffles me. Forgiveness, yes. Tolerance of ongoing rebellion, not so much. God is love, yes, but He is also HOLY. The scales on that need to balance.

    Australian – yes, the pressure is pretty high, especially in countries with socialized medicine. You might enjoy this about a young Canadian woman who resisted the pressure to abort her baby. Not a “Hallmark Channel” sort of miracle, but a miracle nonetheless.

    Blake, yes, interesting how that happened, isn’t it? If these folks really believed their opinions on this issue were so superior, why not trumpet them to the world?

  6. Abortion is RIGHT! No one should stop abortion or even try. If you can’t trust a women with a choice, how can you trust her with a baby?

    [So the baby gets the death penalty because a woman is too irresponsible to care for it? NICE. - ed.]

  7. sarah y says:

    She is a reverend and she says killing innocent life is a blessing? That the doctors and nurses who commit this premeditated murder are SAINTS?How can she say that? Hasn’t ever read the 6th commandment;”You shall not murder”?And were in the Bible did she get that the murder of innocent lives is “holy work”?I am a bit confused.


  8. Please define what is an abortion, and what is a blessing. Then explain the difference beween both.
    Given the definitions, and discussion concerning abortion and a blessing, which one (s) do you choose, and under what circumstances? Please explain this before God and humanity even if you are an atheist.
    Your opnion can be respectfully well taken or respectfully disagree with, but whether your opinion is agreeable or disagreeable, it counts as non opinionated and a non violent one. God has the first and the last word.
    God bless and good healh!

  9. This is an example of how it is possible to become so brainwashed that you can think killing a child in the womb is a blessing. Sick.

    Abortion is not a right by the way. Rights are enshrined in the constitution, and last time I checked, there is no right to abortion in our constitution.

  10. Unfortunately for us the Reverend Katherine Ragsdale’s mother did not believe in abortion.


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