President Harrison Responds to a 31 year-old letter from Julia Child

It was April 1982, President Reagan had stepped up his support of Pro-Life causes and the famed cook Julia Child had stepped up her longtime support of Planned Parenthood.  She was doing a fund raiser in Memphis, Tennessee for them.  She was picketed by those in against baby killing.  She responded in a July 1982 letter to Dear Abby.

“’I did want to ask them this,’ she wrote. ‘What are your plans for these children once they are born?  Are you going to help provide for instance, for the child of a retarded 13-year-old daughter of a syphilitic prostitute?  Or what of a tubercular and abandoned welfare mother who already has six children? These are extreme cases of course, but there are plenty of them and these are our future citizens who, for the most part, end up in our juvenile courts and in our jails.  If you insist on their birth, you must also assume responsibility for their lives’” (Dearie:, 438-439)

This is has always been the way of those championing the morality of immorality.  They throw in the face of those championing morality: “O yeah, well where is your compassion for those who have been, will be, or are impacted by this problem?”  This tactic is nothing new but it didn’t use to be able to muzzle the truth-speakers.  It didn’t use to be able to cause them to move from denouncing the sin being championed to groveling about their own sin.  It does know.

Here is LCMS President Harrison’s take on the advancing homosexual agenda. It’s found in the 2013 Convention Workbook, pp. 12-13: “’It has become increasingly difficult to stand and oppose the advance of the homosexual agenda when I am well aware of the fact that the LCMS has invested very little in actually reaching out to and caring for those individuals and families who are affected by same-sex attraction.’”  The conservative writer in The Lutheran Clarion applauds this (Vol. 5, Issue 6, p. 3).  I appall it.

First, every single Law/Gospel sermon proclaimed from every single LCMS pulpit has reached out to families affected by each and every sin.  Second, can you imagine Paul saying, “It has become increasingly difficult to stand and oppose the advance of those in favor of murdering Christians because after all I did the same?”  Or how about Peter saying, “It has become increasingly difficult to stand and oppose the advance of those in favor of denying Christ because I having been guilty of that and have not reached out enough to those affected by the propensity to deny Jesus?”

As the propers appointed for a Day of Humiliation and Repentance teach us, the time for thumping our chest and spouting our mea culpas is when God judgment falls for no one then can say our sins don’t deserve it.  But now is still a day of grace.  It is not too late to preach Law and Gospel.  Except in the blue-logoed LCMS that is.  Following our president’s lead we are to mourn our confessed sins rather preach against the unconfessed sin that is enslaving our country because our confessed sins make it difficult to stand against the unconfessed ones.

As Julia Child might say, “Dearie, that recipe is wrong.”


About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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