The Choice Between Life and Death

 

Deuteronomy 30:19

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live . . . 

The Republican Party platform:

Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.

The Democratic Party platform:

The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.

Christians, what will it be?  Life or death?

  • Laura

    Thanks for clarifying what the actual platforms say. I know where I stand, but there has been so much “creative” truth telling going on about the Republican Platform, that I really wanted to know what all it specified.

  • damon

    If it is this simple, why spend so much time on all those other issues? Does a belief that the act of abortion violates scripture mean that we accept all that comes with the Republican party? A non-Republican vote is a vote for death?

    Even if you think this is the most important issue, I don’t see how a credible website that purports to be intellectual could claim it is that black and white.

    • David French

      So in the election of 1860 if you were opposed to slavery, you’d still vote for the Southern Democrats because you preferred, say, their tariff policy towards France? That’s pretty sophisticated of you.

    • hillplus

      Fortunately Romney has all the other qualities that make a good leader as well! Besides the huge issue of life, there are three numbers that we need to remember:
      1 Unemployment
      2 gasoline
      3 the National debt

      All are higher under President Obama.
      Plus the man would not even vote to save little babies who survived abortions!!! That tells us volumes about his character.

  • damon

    First, the Republican position is demanded by the only possible interpretation of scripture. Second, the Republican position is comparable to 19th century abolitionists. Add a Nazi reference to your next post and you will complete the Moral Superiority Trifecta!
    The problem is, it’s a tad too simple. We’re not electing a Head Abortionist. We’re electing the Leader of the Free World. Republicans with the same platform have been President for 20 of the last 32 years and yet abortion is still legal. Even if you believe Romney is solid on this issue (which would be an act of faith, given his history), the link between my vote for President and any abortion that may be occur in the future is too tenuous for that to be the sole (or even primary) consideration.
    Since this site supports Romney for 1000 other reasons, I would suggest this be added to the list, not held out as a trump card to which all “good Christians” should submit.

    • http://talkorigins.org jatheist

      damon wrote: “Republicans with the same platform have been President for 20 of the last 32 years and yet abortion is still legal.”

      Exactly… it makes the whole abortion position rather moot if you ask me.

      • David French

        Of course because of Roe v. Wade Republicans can’t outlaw abortion, but they can and have made a real difference in state support for abortion and have made real progress through appropriate judicial nominees in empowering a wave of pro-life legislation at the state level. And there’s no chance at all of outlawing abortion if Democrats win. Only through Republican victories do we even have a chance of overturning Roe.

        • http://talkorigins.org jatheist

          David French wrote: “Only through Republican victories do we even have a chance of overturning Roe.”

          Sure… say a 10% better chance. Of course, 10 multiplied by 0 still equals 0 – thankfully.

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  • http://bruceepperly.com Bruce Epperly

    I appreciate the conversation. I don’t think either party has done that well on life, and abortion is simply on of many issues of death. If we wanted to choose life, consistently, we would oppose the death penalty, put severe restrictions on firearm purchases, avoid wars of opportunity (Iraq), have universal and free healthcare, do our best to act responsibly in the community of nations, not manipulating for our own ends, welcome immigrants at our borders (providing good food and drink regardless of where their final destination would be).
    By the way, the bible’s position on abortion is ambiguous and neither Jesus nor Paul have anything to say about it, though it was practiced in the first century….

    In the most obvious passages, Exodus 21 draws a clear demarcation between the killing of a person and the killing of a fetus. Exodus 21:12, for example, reads:
    Whoever strikes a person mortally shall be put to death. If it was not premeditated, but came about by an act of God, then I will appoint for you a place to which the killer may flee.
    But Exodus 21:22 reads:
    When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman’s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine.
    It is good to quote scriptural accurately. Fetal life should be taken seriously, however, the question is both theological and legal, and given the varieties of Christian and Jewish positions on the nature of life and God’s actions (not to mention other faiths), we cannot base any clear position on scripture or faith traditions.

    • David French

      Bruce, in almost every mainstream version of the Bible, the term “miscarriage” is translated more properly as premature birth. For example, here’s the ESV:

      “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

      Here’s the NIV:

      “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”

      Here’s the King James:

      22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

      23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

      24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

      25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

      Here’s the New King James:

      “If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”

      American Standard Version:

      And if men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart, and yet no harm follow; he shall be surely fined, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

      23 But if any harm follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

      24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

      25 burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”

      The idea that the verse refers to a miscarriage as giving birth to a dead child isn’t supported by the original language or by context. In fact, the verse reaffirms the value of life by implementing lex talionis in the event of “harm.”

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