Faith

Clergy members bless new Planned Parenthood clinic: 'God let your spirit rest upon these caregivers

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More than 20 local faith leaders showed up to bless Planned Parenthood's newest facility in Washington, D.C., in a ceremony this week organized by the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, DCist reported.

"In almost every message to our staff, I talk about our doing sacred work," said Laura Meyers, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, the outlet reported. "This confirms the sacredness of the work we do."

Meyers also told DCist that pro-life activists have "tried to separate those of us working on or supporting the right of women to choose from a sense of deep spirituality. So today is a shift in that narrative."

Tuesday's ceremony involved leaders from Christian denominations, a rabbi, Hindu priests and an Imam over Skype, DCist reported.

Rabbi Michael Namath, program director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, reflected on the Jewish belief that one honors God when one honors his or her body, the outlet said.

"May the ones who bless our ancestors bring healing on all in need," Namath prayed, DCist reported. "God let your spirit rest upon these caregivers, who serve as instruments of your hands."

Reverend Doctors Christine and Dennis Wiley of Baptist United Church of Christ helped organized the event, the outlet said, and they noted that those against abortion are the loudest voices in many religious circles.

"The conservative voices are big," Christine Wiley told DCist. "It drowns out the progressive voices, but it's not that progressive voices aren't there."

The ceremony culminated with those in attendance writing on stones what they needed to get rid of in their lives, tossing them away and then picking up new stones with words of blessing on them, such as "courage" or "peace," DCist said.

Then the group sang "This Little Light of Mine," the outlet reported.

After the ceremony, Hindu priests Venkatesh Vadhyar and Bragadeesh Balasubramanian of Sri Bhaktha Anjaneya Temple in Frederick, Maryland, flicked holy water around the clinic. "When we chant mantras, vibrations go through the water," Balasubramanian told DCist.

"I've been a Christian longer than I've been an abortion provider," well-known pro-choice proponent Dr. Willie Parker said, the outlet reported. "Women have been made to think that this [clinic] is some evil place, where God is not."

People often respond to abortion by "cursing [women] for making sacred decisions," he added. "Our answer to the curse is to bless."

Dr. Serina Floyd said, "Patients express shame, guilt, or fear about how God will perceive them. Having an abortion does not make you unlovable in God's eyes. Now I can tell patients that this is a blessed space," DCist reported.

This story has been updated.

(H/T: Life News)

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