According to the Wesley Blog, Planned Parenthood has hired a chaplain, Dr. Ignacio Castuera. This chaplain, though, doesn’t serve the spiritual needs of people. Instead, he serves the public relations needs of Planned Parenthood (PP). Here’s the description of his responsibilities, from a PP press release:
As chaplain, Dr. Castuera will act as a public spokesperson to promote Planned Parenthood’s mission and vision. He will play a pivotal role in communicating the theological justification for choice, sexuality, and contraception to the Planned Parenthood community and the general public. He will also be available to provide advice to volunteer and staff leadership on moral and ethical issues around our mission. In addition, Dr. Castuera will work with affiliates to expand their relationships with religious leaders and organizations in their communities.
In other words, the “chaplain” is nothing more than a PR flack for the organization and his special focus is to provide “theological justification for choice, sexuality and contraception.” In addition, he is supposed to build relationships with religious leaders and the public so that he can sell them on the morality of PP’s mission and vision.
As noted in Wesley Blog, Dr. Castuera is a full-time pastor at a United Methodist Church. That means: His new Planned Parenthood job conflicts with his day job. He is not only personally and professionally providing a cover of credibility for abortion, his position in the church gives the imprimatur of the denomination for his activities.
Of course, the United Methodist denomination is already in trouble in this area. The Women’s Division is actively involved in the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice which demonstrates for abortion and other issues related to sexual “freedom” in the most crude and objectionable manner possible.
The ideology underlying the demonstrations, however, is based on quite sophisticated (if convoluted) logic liberals, who are “more mature and devout” are obviously pro-choice because of their religious faith, rather than despite their beliefs. After all, they declare, abortion-on-demand protects women from “back-alley” abortions and heals their distress at an unplanned pregnancy. Besides, if (heaven forbid!) Biblical principles were used as a guide for personal behavior or the ultimate authority for what is considered “moral,” the wall separating church and state would completely break down. Further, we must keep the “government out of our bedrooms!”
The ultimate argument, though, is that abortion is an issue of “religious rights” as well as “women’s rights,” because it protects a woman’s “right to choose” based on her personal beliefs.
These are the ideas that Dr. Castuera has been hired to promote. Planned Parenthood is blatantly trying to capitalize on its relationship with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice in positioning its services in a religious context. They will use rhetoric and symbolism to turn the issue into a question of religious freedom and human rights.
As the nation turns more conservative more and more teens are embracing abstinence, more girls and women are discovering the humanity, via high-definition sonograms, of babies in the womb, teen pregnancies and teen abortions are down Planned Parenthood is getting desperate and obviously is reaching out to broaden its base among church-goers.
Dr. Castuera is just the latest pawn in Planned Parenthood’s crass efforts, but he should be forced to choose between his church and his pro-abortion cause.
Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, senior fellow of Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, is a life-long United Methodist and is active in three renewal groups working within the denomination.
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