A Christian Blogger Calls the “Pro-Life Movement” Heresy

I just found a blog post called “A Christian Answer to the Evangelical/Catholic Pro-Life Movement.” The author calls the pro-life movement “heresy” and argues in favor of not only abortion’s legality but also it’s morality from a Christian standpoint. This is the passage I found most thought provoking and innovative:

But it is clear the God of the pro-life movement values the survival of the fetal body over the well-being of any potential human soul. …

God trusts nature to use her wisdom at times to destroy a fetus to ensure the best “body environment” for the potential soul. Humanity must follow nature’s and God’s example by judging the “exterior environment” into which the potential soul will be born. The mental and physical fitness of the mother and father. The physical resources. Is there severe damage to the fetal body nature is blind to? Would pregnancy endanger the life of the mother? Is the conception against the will of the mother? All of these external environmental factors must be considered and found acceptable in order for one to truly say that “God approves” that another soul come into the world.

Ultimately the greatest sin of the pro-life world view is that it unwittingly asserts that God often wills human souls awaken in the hell of un-wantedness or severe physical deprivation, a place extremely rare for a person to survive, let alone thrive. Tragically, too many of the world’s souls are still being born unwanted or into environments of violence and deprivation.

The whole thing is an interesting read.

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About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • smrnda

    Interesting, it’s kind of close to this argument which I’ve heard. Christian apologists like William Lane Craig argue that it’s not wrong for god to kill children in the OT, or order others to kill children, since being young, they’ll all go to heaven and won’t have a chance to be corrupted. If that’s the case, and the fetus has a soul, then abortion guarantees heaven.

    Another point is that this writer takes into account whether the child will be wanted; many people seem to go by the rule that you’re just always *supposed* to want a child, but this acknowledges the validity of a person’s choice, which seems unusual to me for a Christian.

    • machintelligence

      Here is a clip of someone using the abortion guarantees heaven argument. For those easily offended, bail out at 1:00.

    • george

      I sense some confusion and doubt how to justify your postion. If your looking for people to justify your moral or immoral behavior then confusion will be your state of affairs. If your looking to justify behavior quoting from some religious position, rahter then knowing what the right thing to comes from the Spirit of God your going to spin your wheels all day long. Good luck!

      • smrnda

        I’m not a Christian so I’m just taking a statement made by a relatively well known Christian (Craig) where he argues that it was okay in the OT for children to be killed and that it’s not tragic since that guarantees they go to heaven, and that had the children lived normal lifespans, they might have become damned by adopting pagan religion. If that’s the case there, then the end result of abortion is a soul going to heaven for sure rather than a risk. My take is that anybody who takes Craig’s position seriously would, in order to be consistent, have to approve of abortion. I myself have never had an abortion and have never had sex with a man, so the issue isn’t of foremost personal concern to me. As far as how to make moral choices or evaluate perspectives, I take logic and reason over mysticism any day.

        On the idea that the spirit of god provides clear, unambiguous, easy and reliable to obtain instructions, given what kinds of nonsense pops out of people allegedly channeling the spirit of god the claim is just laughable. Look up Todd Bentley, who feels that the spirit of god is leading him to punch and kick people who come looking for healing.

    • Niemand

      That argument implies that the best thing to do would be to conceive as many embryos as possible and abort them as soon as possible. This will lead to the greatest number of people in Heaven because 1. they go straight to Heaven, having never sinned and 2. the earlier the abortion is performed the quicker you can conceive again, thus maximizing the heavenly population even further. Carrying the fetus for 9 months and having the baby and maybe even raising it result in rather few souls for Heaven by comparison.

      I’m sure this is not theologically correct, yet I can’t see where the flaw is if one assumes that all concepti have souls and that all aborted embryos/fetuses go to Heaven.

  • HelenaTheGrey

    Great article! As I’ve stated before, I come from that background and have been to the pro-life banquets and stuff. But it amazes me that the issue of whether a child will be born into a bad environment was never discussed. While I am still a Christian, my views are still in flux about what a Good God looks like, but growing up, I was taught that anyone who didn’t “get saved” was going to burn in anguish and hell for eternity. Eternity happens to be a really really long time. Now, let us suppose that out of all the babies being aborted, half would not be saved (and I’m going to imagine it would actually be higher than that), then doesn’t that mean that any of those babies who weren’t aborted and survived to “the age of accountability” would then perish to be tortured forever in hell? How does that align with making God good? That He should first demand that a woman have a baby she doesn’t want or else suffer the consequences (aka: she goes to hell) or condemn her baby to hell on earth followed by an eternity in hell? And let’s not forget that she is a slut, so she is probably still going to wind up in hell, even if she does have the baby. No wonder my mind revolted at the ideas I was having forced upon me at such a young age. It’s disgusting. Seriously sick stuff.

    My husband and I are in those “child bearing years” and being Christians we were told that we shouldn’t even have genetic testing done because abortion isn’t an option. But I always wondered about it. Thank God our son was and is healthy. But I wonder what I would do, because I honestly feel like it would be better in some ways to not have a baby if we knew that the baby would always struggle and be sick. I can’t argue that it would always be better to abort, but I don’t know if I could be a good mom in that situation. I don’t think it would be fair to my son or my husband, or (dare I say it) to me. I write it and it sounds selfish still, but these are ideas I am wrestling with at present.

    • Kristen inDallas

      If the idea of a person who is born into a very hard life and has little opportunity to come to know God winding up burning in hell doesn’t square with your idea of a just and loving God, I would suggest re-examining the theory that tells you that would be their fate. I got the impression that it was up to God to make that call, not my old sunday-school teacher making claims about what she thought God ought to do. What it looks like is (to an outsider) is that you’ve got 2 contradictory images of God battling in out in your mind. But trying to change the world to eliminate the places (or people) where those contradictions show up doesn’t eliminate the contradiction, just makes it slightly easier to cope. Shedding long-held beliefs (even the ones that don’t square with a more cherised long-held belief) can be a difficult thing to do, but (in my expirience) worth while. My thoughts are with you…

  • http://wellspentjourney.wordpress.com/ Matt

    I really hate to be a link-spammer…but if anyone’s interested, I wrote a point-by-point response to this article from a pro-lifer’s perspective.


  • Kristen inDallas

    Note: Just responding to the argument in question… I’m not attempting here to change anyone’s minds on when human life starts, at what point we grant rights to a human, when factors make it morally permissable to infringe on those rights, or even whether there is such a thing as morallity.

    But this argument from a Christian standpoint that God doesn’t approve of a new soul entering the world if certain environmental factors aren’t met, specifically on the supposition that an unwanted child is more likely to inherret a corrupt soul, has some huge holes. Now I understand that Christians of different varieties will often pick and choose which bits of the bible are the most important, and which they think they can comfortably ignore, but there are a few ideas that you really can’t toss out without unraveling the whole premise for Chistianity, namely the idea of the omnipotent God and the idea that He gave us free will. Getting rid of either of those bits makes everything else that is claimed completely unreasonable, and the person is no longer practicing Christianity.

    So on the first front, if a person is claiming belief in an omni-potent God, they’d have to believe that regardless of the state of our aortion laws, no soul would be born that God didn’t intend. It wouldn’t even take miricles to ensure this, as “lack of conception” is a pretty naturally occuring phenomenon. On the second front, people claiming belief in man’s free will should understand that everyone is tempted to sin and everyone is empowered to overcome it, no matter how many PB&J picnics or drive by shootings one may have endured in childhood.

    I do believe there is plenty of room for honest debate among the pro-life and pro-choice causes. When it comes to life-of-the-mother concerns about exactly where to draw the line and how exactly to frame it legally, untill we all sog through all the medical journals and tomes of constitutional law decisions, we can agree to disagree. Even those who just honestly have a different understanding of human potentiality than I do, I can chalk up charitably as a lack of understanding (and they can similarly view me as being overly imaginative). But the type of reasoning being used by Frank, the kind that is able to look at a developing fetus and imagine its future life as a human able to imagine exactly the type of suffering which makes us human and cries out for mercy, and to respond to that suffering with the cold solution of death… that makes my stomache turn.

    • HelenaTheGrey

      But by your very argument that “no soul would be born that God didn’t intend”, we can also deduce that no soul that God intends to be born would be aborted.

    • Anat

      but there are a few ideas that you really can’t toss out without unraveling the whole premise for Chistianity, namely the idea of the omnipotent God and the idea that He gave us free will.

      How about people use their claimed free-wills to live as they understand, and if God doesn’t like it, he can in his omnipotence set things the way he wants? Stop trying to do your god’s work for him, humans have enough to worry about as it is.

    • Anat

      Why worship an omnipotent god in the first place if he/she/it doesn’t choose to use their omnipotence to make a less messed-up world?

    • Kodie

      This subject becomes a lot less complicated when you don’t try to guess what god wants and how god works. It is obviously a lot of people trying to square what they think is true with a god who agrees with them. I find it difficult to believe so many people can have such different views, all believe in the same god, and come to different conclusions, and blame all those conclusions on god, after working it out themselves so tortuously. For example, anti-abortioners show us pictures of dead fetuses magnified to a 24″x36″ poster and accuse pro-choicers of killing babies, and the whole “clump of cells” is “denial”. Maybe some Christians have to come to terms with abortion or allow it similarly change the mind of god to fit the facts.

      If you believe a fetus has a soul, I will go along for argument’s sake, and agree that an unwanted child doesn’t necessarily inherit a corrupt soul, except I don’t know what any of that means. It is like saying a poor kid can’t grow up to be rich. A common pro-life argument is about the triumphant kid, the overcomer. What if they’re denying the long-shots overcomer a chance to see if he or she can? My answer is “oh well.” It is like a story that never gets to be told, the kind of tragedy you might consider in the vast overwhelming universe, what if god never created us? I don’t know, I think I’m replaceable. I don’t miss a friend I might have had if I never meet them. Everyone has a personal story, but that’s also a romantic thought. Once you open the book, you have to read the whole thing, or something. Except it’s on this platform that life of a human being is radically special in an artistic sense, censorship. There is no censorship on a book I didn’t actually write. There is no censorship if I started to write a book but realized I’m not an author. I don’t have to share my thoughts out on paper in a book that you can read and learn from me, I’m not beholden to humanity to continue anything I’ve started.

      That is how I think about abortion. You determine whether something has a soul or not by wrangling with something unknowable by a fixture I was given to believe spoke to people personally, but he is not saying the same thing to everyone. At least in the sense of an afterlife, we could imagine that something with a soul recognizes that it was alive and now it is somewhere else and may have some feelings of resentment about not being wanted, or missing out on life. I do not agree with that any more than a book knows it’s not going to be written. Perhaps I might project on the unwritten book myself and grieve at my failure to want to write a book or be able to write a book, and have my own thoughts still kept inside me, unwritten. But that is projection.

      Like the others, if god does exist, he could just tell us what he wants.