Aspazia, at the Mad Melancholic Feminista blog, writes about wounded women and evangelical communities:
While I was getting my hair shampooed, the stylist starting telling me about how her step-daughter had been drawn into a "born-again" Christian community, which was difficult for her and her husband, who are both non-observant Jews. Being blessed (or cursed?) with my inquisitive mind, I asked her more questions about why her step-daughter was drawn into this sort of community.(You have to wonder about that practice of putting scare quotes around "forgiven".)
The story is she was abandoned by her mother at a young age, and she has consequently grown up feeling wounded and vulnerable (who can blame her?). She has spent a great deal of time trying to find a place where she belonged, where she felt loved and buoyed up by a community. Then, in her early thirties, she got pregnant and her step-mother (my stylist for the day) encouraged her to get an abortion. She (the step-mother) was deeply concerned that she was not mentally capable of taking care of a child because she was so consumed by her own demons. Her step-daughter agreed with her and then had the abortion.
Soon after her decision to have an abortion, she became a "born again." This is, unfortunately, a common occurrence. According to my stylist, she was overwrought with guilt for a host of what she considered to be irresponsible decisions made. The guilt only added to her already profound sense of alientation and she longed to be "forgiven." And here is where the evangelical Christian communities can step in.
Infanticide through exposure was an accepted practice in some cultures during the early centuries of the rise of the Christian church. Unwanted babies were left to die on the dung heaps outside of town. Christians initiated the practice of retrieving, rescuing and raising these babies--behavior which seemed quite incomprehensible. Twenty centuries later, with their children gone beyond the reach of human retrieval, Christian communities are adopting the mothers. This also seems incomprehensible--and to Aspazia, more than a little alarming.