Laura Ingraham Hangs Up on Rev. Over Jesus/Abortion Comments

Rev. Rebecca Turner, Executive Director of Faith Aloud, was invited to be a guest on conservative Laura Ingraham’s radio program this morning. The plan, it seems, was for Rev. Turner to spend 15 minutes discussing the 40 Days for Prayer campaign, which was designed to show that there’s widespread support for a woman’s right to choose in the religious community.

That did not happen. [Rush transcript may not be verbatim]

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LI: Welcome to our show.

RT: Thank you for inviting me.

LI: You are a minister so I take it you follow the teachings of Jesus.

RT: Yes, that’s true.

LI: If Jesus were here today do you think he would counsel a woman to have an abortion?

RT: Jesus always showed compassion to women. He acted with respect even to the ones who were accused of sexual impropriety. I’m sure Jesus would do the same thing today, and that’s my model.

LI: [Angrily] You didn’t answer my question. So you think Jesus would applaud the murder of millions of innocent children, in the first, second, and third trimester?

RT: We know that abortion existed during the time Jesus was on earth, and for thousands of years before that. If he were opposed to abortion he would have said something about it.

LI: [More angrily] Where do you get the idea that Jesus knew about abortion?

RT: We know that abortion has existed for thousands of years, so I’m confident that Jesus would have been aware. There were many plants used as medicinal abortifacients in that part of the world. And yet his concern was for the way women were being treated.

LI: [Nearly screaming] What part of “Thou shalt not kill” don’t you understand?

RT: The Bible actually says “Thou shalt not murder.” I’m sure you would agree that every ending of a life is not murder.

LI: [Frustrated] Well you have your 40 prayers. I’ll pray for you and this interview is over! 

LI: [Hangs up.]

Evan Derkacz, editor of Religion Dispatches, was previously an editor and writer at the award-winning web magazine AlterNet.org from 2003-2007. Before that, he worked for Tikkun magazine. His writing has appeared in McSweeney's, AlterNet, The Huffington Post and Start Making Sense (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2004). He has been interviewed on Air America and Pacifica Radio.