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Pro-lifers and gays have one thing in common: Psalm 139

While they are diametrically opposed on most issues, Christian anti-abortionists and homosexual campaigners both find a special resonance in the words of Psalm 139.

  • David Van Biema
  • United States
  • March 29, 2012
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Saralee Howard remembers the woman who walked into the Shared Pregnancy Women's Center in Lansing, Mich., last year and asked for an ultrasound even though she was leaning toward an abortion.

Howard sat with her during the ultrasound, and together they listened to the fetal heartbeat. When the woman identified herself as Christian, Howard talked about "God valuing this precious unborn child made in his image." The woman, with little money and two children, said she thought God would understand her decision.

As the woman stood to leave, Howard slipped her a Bible bookmarked to a prayer that sings of God's prenatal involvement in the swelling rhythms of sacred poetry:

"For it was you who formed my inward parts," it read; "You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

The next day the woman canceled her abortion.

The Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, who coordinates religious programs for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, recalls a gay pride parade some years ago where she noticed a simple white poster bearing only the words "FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE."

She smiled at the public display of a phrase that had, privately, played a huge role in her own coming out.

Howard is ardently anti-abortion and feels active homosexuality is a sin, if no worse than many others. Voelkel, meanwhile, supports abortion rights and is an out lesbian. But the women were citing the same verses from Psalm 139.

For decades, Psalm 139 has been a byword of the anti-abortion movement, printed on posters in crisis pregnancy centers. More recently, it's been tied to high-resolution ultrasounds, the movement's most potent technological persuader.

At the same time, the famous Psalm has also "come out" as a source of strength for gay and lesbian Christians.

Full Story: One Psalm, two causes, two meanings

Source: Religion News Service
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