I often find it amazing how the various modern perversions of Christianity don’t get it wrong so much as turn it completely on its head:
The National Catholic Reporter newspaper put it best: “Just days before Christians celebrated Christmas, Jesus got evicted.” Yet the person giving Jesus the heave-ho in this case was not a Bethlehem innkeeper. Nor was it an overzealous mayor angering conservatives by pulling down Christmas decorations. Rather, it was a prominent bishop, Thomas Olmsted, stripping St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix of its affiliation with the Roman Catholic diocese.
The hospital’s offense? It had terminated a pregnancy to save the life of the mother. The hospital says the 27-year-old woman, a mother of four children, would almost certainly have died otherwise.
Bishop Olmsted initially excommunicated a nun, Sister Margaret McBride, who had been on the hospital’s ethics committee and had approved of the decision. That seems to have been a failed attempt to bully the hospital into submission, but it refused to cave and continues to employ Sister Margaret. Now the bishop, in effect, is excommunicating the entire hospital — all because it saved a woman’s life.
Unsurprisingly, the New York Times columnist betrays that he has absolutely no understanding of one of the core teachings of Christianity, the very commandment that Jesus gives his disciples. Christianity is not about saving lives, especially not at the expense of others. It is about sacrificing one’s life for others, something that the mother, the nun, and the hospital actually committed murder in order to avoid doing.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
The bishop did right to excommunicate those who killed a child in order to potentially save the life of its mother. And if we lived in a moral society, the state would do right to prosecute them.