The Immorality of “Pro Life”

The Immorality of “Pro Life” August 1, 2016

I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize that the so-called “pro life” stance is, for the most part, a con, a scam, a diabolical deception.

Perhaps it was the recent discussion on many blogs about voting for the “lesser of two evils” that clued in my subconscious on some level.

The claim is that, when one choice is a baby-murderer, you should always choose the alternative, no matter how bad they seem.

And that might be true – but the unexamined assumption is that abortion at any stage is murder, that an undifferentiated clump of cells is a full fledged human person.

Anyone who has tried to get pregnant knows that that simply is not true.

If you try to get pregnant and fail, it is frustrating. If you have a heavy menstruation slightly late, suggesting that fertilization occurred but the pregnancy failed very early on, it is even sadder. But it is not the same as managing to be pregnant for several months and then finding that the fetus has died. And that in turn is nowhere near as tragic as having your delivery date arrive and the child be stillborn.

Mothers know this. Fathers who’ve experienced any aspect of this know it too. And so how can so many people nonetheless accept the stark and unnuanced claim that “abortion is murdering babies” without a blink?

In some cases, people may be simply trying to avoid the ambiguity inherent in the process of embryonic development. Any dividing line seems arbitrary (just like those related to driving, voting, and drinking ages), and so picking conception as the line in the sand is understandable, if still hard to justify.

But for many, I think that the stance is much more political and sinister. It is pretty much impossible to claim the moral high ground when seeking to maintain the status quo for the rich and powerful, and to actually oppose laws and social policies that seek to eliminate injustice

Unless your opponent is a baby-murderer, in which case you can get elected as the lesser of two evils.

And so adopting this ploy, deciding to pretend that the stance of your opponents amounts to infanticide in an attempt to get elected despite your policies being on the whole more evil, is itself evil. And that is why I felt compelled to speak in the title of this post about the immorality of the “pro life” stance. For it seems that it is indeed a ploy to persuade people to consider something “murder” that isn’t, in order to claim that immoral policies and politicians should get your vote because “at least they aren’t killing babies.”

I think it is time to expose this deception for what it is.

For more on this topic, including how recently this abortion politics ploy was adopted among Evangelicals, see Fred Clark’s post from a number of years ago, about the “Biblical” view that is younger than the Happy Meal, as well as several others he has written on this topic. And of course, there are many political cartoons that address this topic – or illustrate the tactic.

protectinglife_590_438

abortion and gun control eggs are people refugee kids are scum guns kill abortions kill

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  • arcseconds

    No-one, or negligibly few, people actually believe fetuses are people in anything like a consistent fashion. They only believe this when it’s abortion being talked about, and even then my abortion is different.

    If fetuses were really considered to be people, then natural miscarriage (many incidents of which the woman herself is not aware of) would be the leading cause of death, far worse than abortion, and eclipsing heart disease by about a factor of six. Yet we don’t see widespread calls for action and calls for donations surrounding this, it’s always abortion that’s focused on. We don’t even see calls for banning IVF, which would seem like low-hanging fruit, legislatively speaking.

    And again, if babies were being killed left right and centre, it would make sense to put a lot of effort into things that actually reduce the incident of abortion, like the availability of contraception, and sex education. But pro life people typically either have little interest in these things or actively work against them.

    What does make consistent sense is that it’s about controlling the sexual and family activity of women.

    • This is a common leftist trope, but I haven’t actually seen evidence for it. I’m opposed to Indiana’s abortion law, but it does seem to me most anti-abortion sentiment is sincere and motivated by a sincere belief fetuses are morally equivalent to fully-born people.

      “If fetuses were really considered to be people, then natural miscarriage
      (many incidents of which the woman herself is not aware of) would be
      the leading cause of death, far worse than abortion, and eclipsing heart
      disease by about a factor of six.”

      -Here’s a hint: most pro-lifers are actually virtue ethicists, not consequentialists.

      “And again, if babies were being killed left right and centre, it would
      make sense to put a lot of effort into things that actually reduce the
      incident of abortion, like the availability of contraception, and sex
      education.”

      -Both of the latter became prominent in the 1960s and 1970s. And abortion rates skyrocketed. Thus, I strongly suspect sex education (edit: see below) and contraception increase abortion rates. All three are strongly supported by those on the left wing of the American political spectrum.

      • Tracy Robinson

        So punish women for having sex and nevermind that it takes a mans irresponsibility to ejaculate inside a woman knowing full well any and all consequences will fall on her? Virtue ethicist indeed. I don’t know where you’re reading your tripe but abortion rates and teen pregnancy fell by 60% in sex positive states that have easy access to birth control while they continue to increase in religiously dominant states that preach abstinence and condoms causing aids. As for when abortion became legal, of course “rates went up” as in girls had a safe alternative to back alley doctors and suicide so they took the safe route and it appeared that rates went up when they actually most likely stayed the same while decreasing accidental maternal death from unsafe abortion practices.

        • [citation needed].

        • Guy Serwin

          that sounds logical…..don’t punish women, blame the man. Anyone for equality plus entitlement?

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            Her position is neither need be punished, just that the people who think people need punished for their own business only think women are “at fault”.

        • Master Samwise

          But abortion actually exonerates the man by placing the sole onus for “fixing” things on the woman. It is a clever way to force women to be like men instead of providing them the pay and services they need to be successful and not feel they have no choice but to murder their children.

          • Pregnancy has the potential to devastate someone’s life physically, financially, and psychologically. If someone does not make a free, informed choice to assume such burdens for herself, she should not be forced to do so. Arguing that someone should continue her pregnancy in the hopes that it’ll teach some guy an Important Life Lesson is idiotic. Life is not an after-school special.

            You want men to take more responsibility? Support sex education programs that teach both contraceptive use and the importance of consent. Support parental leave. Oppose the for-profit prison system.

            ETA: pregnancy also has the potential to END someone’s life. Even now, women still die in childbirth.

          • Master Samwise

            “Pregnancy has the potential to devastate someone’s life physically, financially, and psychologically.” Ironically, so does abortion. Yet the positive affects of pregnancy certainly out weigh the side affects of abortion. There has been no documented case of pregnancy causing traumatic stress syndromes.
            http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/changing/benefits-of-pregnancy/
            https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/somatic-psychology/201010/post-abortion-stress-syndrome-pass-does-it-exist

            So that covers physical and psychological, now let’s tackle financial. I agree that this is a problem. If there was ever a thing to subsidized, motherhood is right up there with poverty in the prolife movement. That is what having consistent life ethic means. Removing the implicit prejudices against pregnancy is just crucial to not being a barbaric and sexist society that punishes women for, you know, being women.

            “Arguing that someone should continue her pregnancy in the hopes that it’ll teach some guy an Important Life Lesson is idiotic.” Seeing as I never made that argument, then this comment is irrelevant. Stay on topic please.

            “Support sex education programs that teach both contraceptive use and the importance of consent.” Or I could support a sex ed program that actually teaches people about sex rather than ways to avoid getting pregnant. You would be shocked to know how many women do not know what the luteal phase is and what it means to them and their fertility. The prevailing theories for sex ed so far are teaching them that sperm and eggs make babies and then giving them birth control or purity rings. Neither actually teaches them about WHY any of that stuff happens. Only that it does and they should use birth control/abstinence. As for the “importance of consent,” I am afraid that will persist so long as you advocate birth control as the de facto method of avoiding pregnancy. You see, when sex is merely a commodity to be obtained rather than a metaphysical joining of two unlike terms, you necessarily cheapen it. Sex is available provided you can get a person drunk enough or pay them enough. And why is that wrong? Seriously, can you really point to some objective thing that dictates that it is wrong? Nature? Society? The former says to indulge and the latter has no moral weight. So what does that leave you with? Perhaps if you quit denying the humanity of other persons, you could make the argument that denying the humanity of any other human is wrong. As such, you cannot.

            So does abortion AND with much higher numbers, mostly in developing countries where they can’t afford quality medical care AND would have rather kept the child if their poverty didn’t prevent them. Who is the real killer? Abortion or the poverty abortion doesn’t fix?

          • Post-partum depression is a well-documented phenomenon. There’s a negative psychological side effect right there.

            There are also other factors, depending on the circumstances of pregnancy. For instance:

            – Sexual assault. If a pregnancy is the result of rape, the victim may feel that continuing the pregnancy is a way of extending the assault over months or even years. Even women who consider carrying to term might worry that the resulting child will give them a legal tie to their rapist — and all too often, they’re right. In a lot of places (31 American states, for instance), rapists are allowed to sue for child custody. Sometimes a rapist will use the threat of suing for custody to coerce his victim into silence.

            – Domestic abuse. Frequently this is paired with sexual assault or contraceptive sabotage. Bear in mind that if a woman is trying to get out of an abusive relationship, she can’t just up and run — she, and any children she might have, need to VANISH. This takes preparation and resources — resources a woman doesn’t have if she’s pregnant. Also bear in mind that the two times a DV victim’s life is in the most danger are right after she leaves… and when she’s pregnant.

            – Some women are on teratogenic prescription drugs, often due to chemically-treatable mental illnesses. For many of these medications, you can’t have a healthy pregnancy unless you’ve been off your meds for at least six months prior. But if your medication is what keeps you able to function from day to day, that’s not an option.

            I notice that the Psychology Today article about “PASS” cites two sources: one of them is an article from Ms. Magazine which concludes that PASS is a myth, and the other is to a site run by the anti-abortion lobby. That’s incredibly shoddy.

            Peer-reviewed studies have all concluded that “post-abortion syndrome” just isn’t a thing. That’s why it’s not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. (Links here, here, and here.)

            I notice you gloss over the physical complications of pregnancy, like pre-eclapsia, perineal tearing, gestational hypertension, puerperal infections, obstructed labour, uterine prolapse, or deep vein thrombosis. Among others.

            If there was ever a thing to subsidized, motherhood is right up there with poverty in the prolife movement.

            That’s funny, because I don’t recall any “pro-life” politicians supporting the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. I do recall a lot of them opposing it, though. I also recall a proposal, supported by Rick Santorum among others, that teenage mothers shouldn’t be eligible for welfare programs.

            Could you please provide links to some policies and programs designed to ease the lives of poor and working families, that have been supported by anti-abortion groups or politicians? Because your assertion contradicts everything I’ve seen.

            Seeing as I never made that argument, then this comment is irrelevant.

            But that was the logical conclusion of your argument. You stated that abortion “exonerates the man”, implying that if a woman carried her pregnancy to term despite not wanting to do so, it would “un-exonerate” him somehow. If you don’t mean “her enduring an unwanted pregnancy and childbirth will teach him a valuable life lesson”, then what exactly did you mean?

            Or I could support a sex ed program that actually teaches people about sex rather than ways to avoid getting pregnant.

            Why are you assuming either/or? A good sex education program would include both.

            As for the “importance of consent,” I am afraid that will persist so long as you advocate birth control as the de facto method of avoiding pregnancy. You see, when sex is merely a commodity to be obtained rather than a metaphysical joining of two unlike terms, you necessarily cheapen it. Sex is available provided you can get a person drunk enough or pay them enough. And why is that wrong? Seriously, can you really point to some objective thing that dictates that it is wrong? Nature? Society? The former says to indulge and the latter has no moral weight. So what does that leave you with?

            I’m trying to parse this section, and it sounds like you have some very unclear ideas about what teaching consent is, and why I think it’s important. So before I explain myself, perhaps you ought to explain what it is you think I mean.

          • Neko

            You wrote:

            Sex is available provided you can get a person drunk enough or pay them enough.

            That’s quite a strawman, Mister.

            The stock conservative response to poverty is to rely on personal charity rather than government policy. In short, another moralistic scam on the part of conservative ideologues who since time immoral have sought to subject and control women. But if you want to fight a losing battle it’s a free country.

          • Master Samwise

            You seem to have skipped over my whole argument, zeroed in on one sentence that you could actually comprehend, and made a baseless accusation from your ignorance. Bravo.

            Good thing I am not a stock conservative, right? The majority of Americans believe abortion is bad. Very few believe it should be allowed in all circumstances and most would rather see it banned.

            If you had been paying attention rather than trying to find something to latch onto and form the basis for your own straw man, you might have seen me say this:

            “If there was ever a thing to subsidized, motherhood is right up there with poverty in the prolife movement. That is what having consistent life ethic means. Removing the implicit prejudices against pregnancy is just crucial to not being a barbaric and sexist society that punishes women for, you know, being women.”

            I would gladly pay more in taxes if it meant that women got longer paid maternity leave; that we provide free quality prenatal, labor and delivery, and post partum care; that daycare expenses provided more of a tax break to lower income families; that wages reflect the cost of living with the reasonable potential for attaining private property; that working mothers be given opportunities to advance in their jobs; and that the social barriers thrown up by selfish white men in front of women and mothers be taken down as the sexist, misogynistic ploys they are. Abortion and contraception are just new tools the male dominated society uses to make women behave like men so that men don’t have to deal with “women problems.”

          • Neko

            OK, if you’re going to be a dick I won’t engage.

          • Master Samwise

            Pot calling kettle.

          • Katherine Harms

            Are you saying that she did not make a free and informed choice to participate in sexual intercourse?

          • First of all: no, it’s not a given that someone who is pregnant made a free and informed choice to participate in sexual intercourse. Assuming she did ignores several real-world factors:

            1. Sexual assault. Factor in, if you please, the extreme difficulty of getting an assault legally proven, and how much awfulness gets heaped on a woman who even admits to having been raped, much less tries to get her rapist brought to public justice. Rapists often tell their victims, “Nobody will believe you.” All too often, they’re right. Then add in the factor that in a lot of places (31 American states, for instance), rapists are allowed to sue for child custody. Sometimes a rapist will use the threat of suing for custody to coerce his victim into silence.

            And if you’re thinking, “Oh, well, of course rape victims should be allowed to get abortions”, tell me… just how, practically speaking, is such an exception supposed to work? Does there have to be a conviction? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to secure a rape conviction? And anyway, court cases take a long time, and the longer a woman has to wait to get an abortion, the more danger there is to her health. Does she have to get a rape exam done? What if she failed to get a rape exam because she was too young to understand what was going on, too much in shock, or couldn’t leave her abuser’s presence for long enough (such as in cases of incest or domestic violence)? Just what is the legal procedure supposed to be?

            2. Intimate Partner Violence. Frequently this is paired with sexual assault or contraceptive sabotage. Bear in mind that if a woman is trying to get out of an abusive relationship, she can’t just up and run — she, and any children she might have, need to VANISH. This takes preparation and resources — resources a woman doesn’t have if she’s pregnant. Also bear in mind that the two times an IPV victim’s life is in the most danger are right after she leaves… and when she’s pregnant.

            3. Survival sex. This can be anything from, “He’s not really a good guy but he’s keeping a roof over my kids’ heads” to “If I don’t turn tricks I don’t eat.”

            4. Lack of proper sex education. Actual quote: “I didn’t think I was having sex. I thought I was making love.” If kids aren’t told what sex is, much less how pregnancy and contraception work, they won’t have the tools to make healthy choices for themselves. Also see #1 — many schools fail to give kids proper information about sexual assault. Some teach kids that if someone’s had sex with you, you’re worthless… even if you didn’t consent.

            But let’s say someone did make a free and informed choice to have sex… so what?

            The first problem with the “Consenting to sex means consenting to childbirth” argument is that it’s basically saying that by having sex, even with contraception, a woman is giving tacit consent to be impregnated — and she can never withdraw that consent. We don’t say, “Consenting to get into a motor vehicle means tacit consent to untreated injuries.” We don’t force anyone to donate their organs to someone else, even if that person would die otherwise. Even if someone caused a life-threatening condition in someone else (like, say, hitting them with a motor vehicle) we still don’t force them to donate their organs; they maintain their right to bodily integrity. We don’t even force dead people to donate their organs — even corpses maintain the right to bodily integrity!

            The second problem is that it limits sex to people who can afford to be pregnant. If you’re too poor, or you’re on medications which preserve your physical and/or mental health but are incompatible with a healthy pregnancy, you have to remain celibate. If you’re married and poor, or on teratogenic medication, you must have a sexless marriage. One of the most basic and universal human pleasures, not to mention an important bonding experience between many couples, confined to the privileged and healthy. How is this not class warfare?

            The third problem is that men are almost completely exempt from this — and any MRAs who scream about how paying child support is just as bad as bearing a child you weren’t prepared for need a serious reality check. Men do not have to deal with nine months of being extra-careful what they consume, taking time off from work to go in for regular prenatal checkups, and possibly losing any jobs that are currently keeping themselves and their families afloat, nor do they have to risk chronic health problems and possibly death caused by pregnancy and childbirth. Nor do they have to pay for pre-natal care and birth care (taking into account backwards countries like the U.S.A. which still don’t have universal healthcare). They can opt out of all the “joys of parenting”. For that matter, many simply opt out of the whole business, vanishing off the child-support radar altogether.

            The fourth problem is that the “consequences” that the anti-choicers mutter direly about will, if they have their druthers, develop into a child. A child who might grow up with her mother’s resentment, neglected because her mother doesn’t have the physical or psychological resources to care for her properly, or forever wondering why Mommy abandoned her, or left her unwanted in foster-care. You know how some people like to say, “Aren’t you glad your mother didn’t abort you?” Were I were offered the choice between living as someone’s “punishment” and not existing at all, I’d pick the latter.

          • Guy Serwin

            yes, the answer is more handouts….Libturd

      • Craptacular

        “Both of the latter became prominent in the 1960s and 1970s. And abortion rates skyrocketed. Thus, I strongly suspect sex education and contraception increase abortion rates.” – Enopoletus Harding

        That also corresponds with the time frame of the rise of the Religious Right. Thus, I strongly suspect religious fervor in politics increase abortion rates.

        • Nope; Moral Majority was founded in 1979 in response to the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s.

          • Craptacular

            As a person who grew up in southern Georgia in the 1970’s as part of the religious right, I can assure you that the founding of the Moral Majority was the not beginning of the rise of the religious right in the US, but one of the culminating events.

            But you can pretend that the religious right popped into existence in 1980, all organized and everything, if you think it makes your point. It doesn’t detract from the point that your “strong suspicions” have no basis in reality.

          • Opposite of Leftwing, or “Leftwing Socialist” so that would make them the “Religious(?) Rightwing” Socialist… Socialism. That’s been going on for well over a century but I don’t recall Jesus supporting either International Socialism or National Socialism, Fascist Dictatorships or Globalization. Who the heck knows how Socialism as a politic infiltrated the traditional Conservative GOP (well yes, Irving Kristol for starters), but Jesus said, “Render to Caesar what is ceasar’s. My kingdom is not of this world.”

            Religious … Right.

            The church was once opposed to the Internationalists. Now that’s all they do, use the pulpit to steer votes for politics. Some might even call them the Anti-Christ.

          • Guy Serwin

            look up Yuri Bezmenov and have your eyes opened on some of this.

          • I’ve viewed him speak in the past and everything he says, fits right into place in the big puzzle.

          • It was still very much a reaction to the decadence of the 1960s and 1970s, not its cause.

          • jh

            actually – it was right about the time that religious schools had to desegregate. White Christians didn’t want their children to even sit next to a little black boy or girl.

            The excesses of the 60’s and 70’s – translated from conservative christian speak – when the minorities started demanding that they not be beaten and that they be treated fairly just like the white men.

            Abortion was a cover issue just like “states rights” was the cover issue when the southerners decided to secede. If the moral majority had really been opposed to abortion, they would have put their money into research to for safe and very very cheap birth control and ways to transfer unwanted fetuses to artificial wombs. Instead, it’s just words with the “moral” majority.

            the only thing I’ll say is consistent is the “moral” majority’s stance on humanity. Only white men are people in their books. The women, children, people of color, the gays and the lesbians… they are all animals to be bred or owned… whatever the white man deems necessary.

          • “White Christians didn’t want their children to even sit next to a little black boy or girl.”

            -Why should they? Blacks tend to have more behavior problems than Whites, on average. Suspension rates are 4x as high. It’s very bad for classroom discipline and future student earnings.

            “when the minorities started demanding that they not be beaten and that they be treated fairly just like the white men.”

            -And look at what happened to the Black homicide perpetration rate! The biggest Black-majority cities that didn’t riot were the ones in the South.

            “Abortion was a cover issue just like “states rights” was the cover issue when the southerners decided to secede.”

            -Uh, no. Southerners tend to be anything but subtle:

            We stand for the segregation of the races and
            the racial integrity of each race; the constitutional right to choose
            one’s associates; to accept private employment without governmental
            interference, and to earn one’s living in any lawful way. We oppose the
            elimination of segregation, the repeal of miscegenation statutes, the
            control of private employment by Federal bureaucrats called for by the
            misnamed civil rights program. We favor home-rule, local self-government
            and a minimum interference with individual rights.

            “If the moral majority had really been opposed to abortion, they would
            have put their money into research to for safe and very very cheap birth
            control and ways to transfer unwanted fetuses to artificial wombs.”

            -Problem for this stupid leftist doctrine: liberals tend to be pro-abortion, pro-contraception, and pro-premarital-sex. Conservatives tend to be against all these. Ever wonder why that is? Again, abortion, contraception, and out-of-wedlock births all started to spike precisely in the 1960s. Contraception, especially without counseling, tends to lead to abortion.

            Artificial wombs are more expensive than real ones. And encouraging female promiscuity is a tactic of the Left, not the Right.

            “Only white men are people in their books. The women, children, people
            of color, the gays and the lesbians… they are all animals to be bred
            or owned… whatever the white man deems necessary.”

            -Ridiculous. No obligations were ever made for Black people to open their stores up to Whites. The South was roughly as progressive on women’s rights as the North until the 1940s. Neither Vermont nor Mississippi allowed full women’s suffrage (which I believe to have been a disastrous idea) until the passage of the disastrous 19th Amendment.

            BTW, Cruz had by far the clearer stance on same-sex marriage in the recent GOP primary. He didn’t do all that well in the Deep South. His best performance was in the Great Plains.

          • “…encouraging female promiscuity is a tactic of the Left, not the Right.”

            That depends which Socialist “Rightwing” you speak of. First there was Hitler, and he did indeed legalize abortion. The modern Radical Right in public, shout their professed “Brotherhood! Country! Race!” but in secret will kill their comrades over a pair of Doc Martin boots, will pee on their country’s flags, and would sooner kill their own than outside of their race –and are quite gung ho on the belief that polygamy is good for their race war. Multiple wives and lovers are part of Extreme Rightwing doctrines. (Emphasis: Socialism that has infiltrated Christianity to become the “Religious _Right_” Later, came “Rightwing” Ronald Reagan.

            What do people think the KKK were: Christian Socialism.

            And it has reared its ugly head again with the rising of the Neoconservative movement. They hate Muslims, “Praise the Lord and pass the Ammunition!” And I don’t see anyone among the “Religious Rightwing Socialists” speaking that loudly against Adultery or premarital sex lately. A lot of televangelists and roadside preachers are doing it.
            Reagan’s Darkest Hour
            http://www.nationalreview.com/article/223437/reagans-darkest-hour-paul-kengor-patricia-clark-doerner

          • jh

            wow – you are insane. I’ve seen nasty whites and good whites. nasty blacks and good blacks. I’ve seen nasty asians and good asians. Behavior isn’t linked to the amount of melanin in ones skin. Using your logic, I could just as easily say that white men are serial/mass murderers and should be locked up.

            black children are disproportionately given harsher punishments for crimes that would only be a slap on the wrist if committed by a white kid. there are studies that show that the people around regard black kids as “more adult” than their white peers. I blame a society that has systematicaly disenfranchised an entire group of americans on something as silly as skin color. (the war on drugs is just one example of a white war against black people. black people were asking for a more rational policy on drug usage.. funny enough, now that whites are abusing heroin at record rates, politicians are thinking of getting rid of harsh drug laws. )

            Oh sure – cherry pick a few violent events and ignore the mass murders and enslavement of an entire group of people. Honey, if we are comparing crimes, the whites of America have a lot to be punished for.

            Nah – you are misinformed. the standard argument used is that the civil war was because of states rights. Not only that, if you read any of the writings, you would have seen that this “states rights” tactic was used to justify slavery.

            as for the abortion issue – conservatives tend to be deficient in logic and rational thinking. It can’t be helped… they are mentally challenged.

            1. abortion has been with us since women figured out how to do it. we have “recipes” that involve crocodile dung in ancient Egypt medical texts. Sorry – no liberals around at that time. Hell, your religion hadn’t even been created yet.

            2. Artificial wombs are expensive? Wow.. You just justified slavery. Why bother giving a damn about a woman’s right to her own body? According to you guys, the cheap thing is the right thing to do. There’s a reason I call Christians morally challenged.

            3. No. I don’t think any liberal encourages promiscuity. We encourage having a healthy reality based approach to one’s innate sexuality. We don’t twist and contort natural instincts. There’s a reason that porn consumption is high in religious areas. there’s a reason that the sickest types of porn are very popular in religious areas. You religious freaks pathologize a natural urge. Not only that – religions objectify and sexualize women in ways that encourage rape and harm to them. You guys are sick. Just admit it.

            The south and civil rights.

            You make no sense. It was to rectify an injustice that led to making sure that everyone had the right to sit at the same table. Whites had the power and the privilege. Blacks and other minority groups were treated like (and still are) like second class citizens. But I can’t even begin to deconstruct your “logic” when you pull out the “blacks weren’t forced to share”. If we were going by your logic, I guess the black slaves should have shared their whippings and shackles with their white masters.

            to other readers, particularly christian readers. Is this what your religion creates? This type of person? For a system that supposed to create better people, it has an incredibly high failure rate. (and please no “get out of hell” excuse. that’s one of the shallowest self-serving excuses that I can imagine.) Maybe Christians need to address this elephant in the room before seeking to pass on the “good news”. Your software is too buggy for public release.

          • “wow – you are insane.”

            -LOOOL.

            I’m an atheist, man.

            “I’ve seen nasty whites and good whites. nasty blacks and good blacks.”

            -Same here. I am the last person to deny differences either within or between groups.

            “Behavior isn’t linked to the amount of melanin in ones skin.”

            -Keep telling yourself that.

            “Using
            your logic, I could just as easily say that white men are serial/mass
            murderers and should be locked up.”

            -Rly? Because White men are underrepresented among mass murderers. Muslims and Blacks are overrepresented.

            “black children are disproportionately given harsher punishments for
            crimes that would only be a slap on the wrist if committed by a white
            kid.”

            -LOOOOOOOL!

            “there are studies that show that the people around regard black kids as “more adult” than their white peers.”

            -Maybe it’s because they have a tendency to be so.

            “I blame a society that has systematicaly disenfranchised an entire group of americans on something as silly as skin color.”

            -LOOOOOOOOOL! If people with dark skin were disenfranchised, no Democrat would have won since Lyndon Johnson.

            “(the war on drugs is just one example of a white war against black
            people.”

            -That’s right; folks, you’ve heard it here first. The drug war exists in no country but the United States. Zero Black people supported the drug war. You’re hilarious!

            “black people were asking for a more rational policy on drug
            usage..”

            -Which ones?

            “funny enough, now that whites are abusing heroin at record
            rates, politicians are thinking of getting rid of harsh drug laws. )”

            -That’s stupid. Drug policies should be based on consequences, not feelings.

            “Oh sure – cherry pick a few violent events and ignore the mass murders
            and enslavement of an entire group of people.”

            -It’s not cherry-picking to say that Chinese tend to do well everywhere they go, and that Blacks tend to do poorly almost everywhere they go. Look at the recent Peruvian election. A Japanese woman v. some half-Jew. In the long run, race triumphs.

            “Honey, if we are
            comparing crimes, the whites of America have a lot to be punished for.”

            -LOOOOOOOOL! If Blacks Americans didn’t have 6x the homicide perpetration rate of Whites, maybe you’d have a point. But you don’t.

            “Nah – you are misinformed. the standard argument used is that the civil
            war was because of states rights. Not only that, if you read any of
            the writings, you would have seen that this “states rights” tactic was
            used to justify slavery.”

            -No, slavery was used to justify secession. The southern states regarded the Constitution as not permitting the more anti-slavery states to exercise their states’ rights not to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act. And there’s nothing wrong with states’ rights -they are a protection from Federal tyranny.

            “Hell, your religion hadn’t even been created yet.”

            -Dude, I don’t have a religion. I’m a conservative, not a Christian.

            “as for the abortion issue – conservatives tend to be deficient in logic
            and rational thinking. It can’t be helped… they are mentally
            challenged.”

            -The average conservative IQ in the US is 101. The average Black IQ in the US is 86. And you assumed I was a Christian. What does that make you?

            “Wow.. You just justified slavery. Why bother giving a damn about a woman’s right to her own body?”

            -Uh, no. And if you cared so much about self-ownership (which you don’t), how do you justify anti-discrimination laws, which explicitly deny it?

            “I don’t think any liberal encourages promiscuity.”

            -LOOOOOOOL!

            “You religious freaks pathologize a natural urge.”

            -LOOOOOOOL!

            “Not only that – religions objectify and sexualize women in ways that encourage rape and harm to them.”

            -On occasion. But what relevance does this have to this topic?

            “There’s a reason that porn consumption is high in religious areas.”

            -Lots of young people.

            “Blacks and other minority groups were treated like (and still are) like second class citizens.”

            -LOOOOOOL!

            If you look carefully, it’s Whites who are treated as third-class citizens, and Blacks as first-class.

            “For a system that supposed to create better people, it has an incredibly high failure rate.”

            -Agreed.

            “But I can’t even begin to deconstruct your “logic” when you pull out the “blacks weren’t forced to share”.”

            -Which means you lose the relevant argument by default.

          • Neko

            He’s not insane. Just an unapologetic and repellent racist.

          • “Neither Vermont nor Mississippi allowed full women’s suffrage (which I believe to have been a disastrous idea)…” Thank you for making your position very clear. At least it is consistent. It makes no sense for women to have the right to vote if we don’t even have ownership of our own bodies.

          • Should business owners have the right to decide not to sell to or employ members of Democratic-voting races such as Blacks and Jews? From a self-ownership perspective, that issue is much more clear-cut than the abortion one.

          • If the Democratic customers and/or employees are going to reside inside of the business owners’ BODY without his permission for 9 months and subsequently torture or even kill him upon exiting, then you are quite right, the issue is much more clear-cut than abortion.

          • Neko

            This just in, citizens of the United States have a constitutional right to equal protection.

          • Not from anything non-governmental.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            Not to mention they have had the solution to abortion all along. The Bible makes it clear that human production only requires Jesus to make male humans out of dust and then roofie them and use an organ of theirs without their informed consent to get female humans.

          • or stones (Matt. 3:9)

        • Diana Sinclair

          Sure, RECORZDED abortion rate when up with legalization. That is because when women were getting back alley illegal ones, nobody recorded it – unless the women ended up in hospital with a serious infection or hemorrhaging as a result. SO saying that abortion skyrocketed with legalization is myopic.

      • Kubricks_Rube

        The rate of legal abortion skyrocketed (which is kind of obvious). But estimates for illegal abortions pre-Roe run from 200,000 per year to 1.2 million per year. Control for population growth and abortion is considerably less prominent now than in was in 1960 in both absolute and relative terms.

        • “But estimates for illegal abortions pre-Roe run from 200,000 per year to 1.2 million per year.”

          -One number is substantially larger than another. What kind of confidence interval is that?

        • jh

          In addition, the protestant churches weren’t against abortion. There were articles stating that abortion wasn’t a moral evil.

          the fact was that abortion was legalized because americans got tired of opening the newspaper and reading about yet another girl who had died because of a botched illegal abortion. the doctors and medical community were horrified at the death rate.

      • Mike AQ

        And Enopletus here shows us the dishonesty of the reich wing.

      • cj68

        How exactly are they equivalent? WHOSE morality? Because virtually enslaving every woman to a dependent organism can hardly be called “moral” in most people’s concepts of morality. AND what about brain dead people? For your assertion to be correct, we would have to then identify the removal of a BRAIN DEAD person off of LIFE SUPPORT also as Murder because brain dead=no functioning brain yet, sunshine, so every brain-dead body in this country, according to your “morality” must be kept on life support until their heart gives out. And pro- lifers are NOT even close to being ethicists in action! They vote for PEDOPHILES, rapists, liars, TRAITORS, and LIE, LIE, LIE, LIE, lie. Even YOU are lying. Abstinence Only education leads to Skyrocketing STD’s AND TEEN PREGNANCY, liar. Or are you just too lazy to check the statistics? AND teen pregnancy is the leading cause of poverty, a cycle that lasts often for many generations. Keeping the poor cheap for rich men’s labor needs. The whole REAL point of the “pro-life/lie.”

    • connylynn

      The best birth control is self control.
      Casual sex causes diseases, heartache and single parents.
      Men think sex is their ‘right’ without considering the consequences of their selfishness and disrespect of women.
      Christians are constantly promoting waiting for marriage before having sex.
      It’s a tough thing in this perverted world but it works most of the time.

      And abortion is a choice, miscarrying isn’t.

      • Dave Williams

        “Christians are constantly promoting waiting for marriage before having sex.It’s a tough thing in this perverted world but it works most of the time.”

        LOL. Yeah, that’s why in “abstinence-only” sex education states, the rate of teen pregnancy is HIGHER than in states that teach COMPLETE sex education.

        • connylynn

          There’s a right way and a wrong way to teach those values.
          Anyone who removes their selfish desires will see that done properly it is the best way to prevent so much heartache and unwanted pregnancies.

          And your statistics are lies from the very people who want to live their lives how they want without consideration of the consequences.

          There are no states that teach only abstinence. Who are you kidding?
          And the value of saving yourself for your future spouse is not embraced in today’s society.

          • jh

            ummm… NO. that’s the final answer.

          • connylynn

            Sorry. Final answer to what?

          • jh

            To every thing that you posted. Your argument is based on nothing but your subjective wants and desires and is not in line with the actual world. Your Christianity may work for you but it does not work for everybody else. Your religion should not be law and be imposed on other people.

            (And personally – I find your stance entirely immoral. the moment we reduce a living woman to nothing but a womb, we have lost the moral high ground. Your fetus fetish is just that.. your fetus fetish. Nothing in the bible gives any great indication that God gave a damn about the unborn much less the unborn. see global flood, killing of the first born, execution of the Canaanite women and children)

            When your Christianity has the following conditions, I might consider it valid as a starting point for governance.

            1. Every christian has the exact same interpretation as the next. (good luck with that)

            2. christians promote morality that is at least 50 years ahead of the non-christians AND every christian promotes that same morality. (an even greater impossibility based on historical christian attitudes)

            Of course – a simpler thing would be for your god to prove his existence. For a being that created this entire reality, created life on earth, interfered with Pharaoh’s free will in Egypt, stopped the sun during a battle, parted the red sea, raised the dead to life numerous times, showered manna on his people, promised that if a christian prays that those prayers will be answered even be able to move mountains … It should be a small thing to provide a few small signs. Of course .. all these signs must be done without any human intervention.

            1. magically provide a billion dollars in my bank account
            2. heal every single amputee by regenerating their missing apendages
            3. bring Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton back to life.

          • connylynn

            I live in the actual world and if you think I always like it or everything always
            goes perfect for me you would be wrong.
            I am objective in my beliefs and values as they are real to me even if they are not to you
            God’s peace and comfort are better than anything the world has to offer.
            My desires are not much different than anyone else’s.
            To love and to be loved, financial stability, health and peace of mind.
            But reducing prayer to a shopping cart while disrespecting the One
            you’re praying to is not going to work.

            My concern for the unborn is not a fetish but a concern for a viable human being and the physical, phycological and emotional welfare of the mother who must live with what she’s done for the rest of her life. I don’t see how that is immoral.

            As for the constant accusations directed at God for the evil that was contributed to Him in the Old Testament, when Satan was the perpetrator behind the scenes, are unfounded until you can show me any similar type of actions sanctioned by God after the resurrection of Christ.
            Why are people so concerned about deaths that happened thousands of years ago when babies are being murdered by the millions right here in our backyard, sanctioned by government and the majority of the people.

            1. Christians come in a wide variety of people and if you expect them all to agree on every doctrine you are expecting the impossible. We all agree foundationally that Jesus is the Son of God, He died for the sins of the whole world and is returning soon to complete God’s plan of total restoration of His creation.
            There are many secondary issues that are always cause for debate but they do not affect or change God’s salvation plan or His love and grace for all people.

            2. God puts the essence of moral boundaries in everyone and each person either rejects it or accepts it. The foundation of God’s morality is: Love your neighbor as yourself, treat others as you want to be treated, do not judge, always forgive, don’t lie, don’t cheat ect.
            Very basic and obvious stuff even to non-Christians.
            Are there rediculous and overzealous, legalistic Christians out there?
            Unfortunately, yes. The label given to Christians is very broad and lumps them all together when many should not even be calling themselves Christians.
            When you have a complaint about someone’s faith you need to specify the denomination or group instead of blaming them all for the few who do not follow Jesus’ Gospel of Grace.

            God proves His existence through nature and His Word. He is a Spirit and must be worshipped in spirit. It would not be faith if one could see, hear or touch it.
            God works through fallible people who love Him but we are still a work in progress.

            Pride is one of the things that holds back more miracles being done. Pride, doubt and unbelief. And I’m talking about Christians who have to battle these things daily. And that battle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers of the unseen realms and the demonic powers of this world.

            1. God doesn’t use magic and no one needs a billion dollars so praying for that would be filed under ‘greed’.
            2. God could recreate missing appendages but that takes great faith and no doubt, two things most of us don’t have.
            3. Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton are already back to life in heaven.

          • Neko

            Why must every Christian have the same interpretation as every other? The Christian religion is all interpretation, and it’s the very nature of interpretation to vary.

          • Dave Williams

            “There are no states that teach only abstinence.”

            Really connylynn? Guess again.

            “Mississippi does not require sex education in schools, but when it is taught, abstinence-only education is the state standard.”

            https://thinkprogress.org/teen-pregnancies-highest-in-states-with-abstinence-only-policies-8aa0deeebb41#.oldm0fjmn

          • connylynn

            Mississippi may predominantly teach abstinence but that is not the reason for it’s high teenage pregnancy rate.

            Mississippi is currently first in the nation for child poverty and a study published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives says it is not lack of sex education but social inequality that causes more teenage sex.

            A teenage girl in Mississippi is three times more likely to give birth than a teenage girl in New Hampshire, the state with the lowest poverty rate.

            Academics, policy-makers and social workers have known for decades that girls living in lower socio-economic circumstances are more likely than their wealthier peers to become pregnant. Teens often use sex to ‘battle’ despair due to poverty.

            Research at the University of Maryland, College Park and Phillip Levine of Wellesley College found that the truly at-risk teens are those who live in areas of great income disparity.

            New Hampshire has the lowest rate of teen pregnancies and the lowest poverty rate, Sex-Ed is not law and they do teach abstinence.

            New Mexico has the highest rate of teen pregnancies and 2nd highest poverty rate and Sex-Ed is the law and they do not teach abstinence.

            Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Connecticut all have lower teen pregnancy rates, a low poverty rate and sex education is not law.

            There is no such a thing as ‘safe sex’ outside of
            a committed relationship. Condoms have a 15% failure rate in preventing pregnancy and other contraceptives don’t prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
            Early sexual activity and multiple partners are emotionally and physiologically damaging never mind the loss of the teenagers self-worth and the heartaches that follow.

            The ‘abstinence-plus’ education contains very little abstinence. 
            The Heritage Foundation examined 
            nine different curricula and found 
            that, in a total of 942 pages, not one 
            single sentence urged students to 
            abstain from sexual activity.

            If abstinence is to be taught it must be taught with the heart of the teenager in mind.
            They must know that they are more than their physical bodies. They also have a soul and a spirit and can enjoy self-respect and dignity when they say “no” to the sexual pressure put on them by society and its perverted idea of sex.

            The decision part of the human brain is not fully developed until 21 years of age.
            Expecting teens to make wise choices concerning sex is like telling a 3 year old they can decide for themselves if they want to cross the street alone.

          • Dave Williams

            Isn’t it wonderful that people such as yourself COMPLETELY ABDICATE any responsibility.

            “Expecting teens to make wise choices concerning sex is like telling a 3 year old they can decide for themselves if they want to cross the street alone.”

            Guess what? They MUST make decisions and providing them with ALL of the necessary information is FAR BETTER than saying “just say no to sex” when we ALL KNOW this will not happen.

            And isn’t it also interesting that the states with the highest rate of poverty are those that are controlled by Republicans? This is what Republican policies bring to the table – abstinence-only policies. So essentially everything you are supporting – are things that the lunatic Right is supporting and DOES NOT WORK.

            So please… continue to bring more information to the table. Everything you end up providing will weaken your position – as you have just done.

          • connylynn

            I’m not sure how can you tell me I “abdicate responsibility’ when you are telling teens to go ahead and have sex without considering it beyond pregnancy and STD’s.

            You’re teaching them to ignore self-control, their emotions, spirituality and age appropriate behavior and then abdicating the responsibility to a condom.

            Of course teens have to make decisions but it should not be about sex. They are too young to totally understand the ramifications of having sex just because their physical bodies desire it.

            One thing that condoms don’t protect is the heart. Those who approve of contraception focused education, are not giving students the whole truth.

            Adolescent sexual activity is detrimental to their well-being and is a risk factor for developing low self-esteem, depression, and suicide.

            The American College of Pediatricians supports abstinence-until-marriage and also recognizes the unique neurobiology of adolescent brains.
            The frontal cortex of the adolescent brain is still in development and unable to make the consistently wise executive decisions necessary to control action based on emotional input.

            Human sexuality is both a gift and a responsibility but it is not needed for personal wholeness or emotional maturity.

            There will be teens who will not be able to resist the temptation but does that mean we should stop teaching the best option just because some don’t choose it?

            Teens are committing suicide at an alarming rate. Should we teach them the best way to do this?

            Teens killing with guns are increasing. Should we teach them how to do that without getting caught?

            If one waits till marriage or at least for a committed relationship to have sex then there is no ‘baggage’ from previous partners.

            The reason for poverty in different states is based on location, history, culture and natural resources not just governmental parties.

            And there’s been a Federal Democratic Government in power for 8 years and poverty has increased considerably.

            The poorest states, based on per capita income are; Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisiana, Montana, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, and North Carolina.
            Half of these, Arkansas, Kentucky, Montana, North Carolina, and West Virginia—have Democratic governors and three have Democratic majorities in the lower house of their legislature, so these state governments can hardly be classified as Republican.

            New Hampshire, Idaho, Utah, Nebraska are Republican and they are among the lowest pregnancy rates, lowest poverty rates and they teach abstinence.

            Also, this pornographic saturated society is another reason for the teen pregnancy problem. Unnatural desires and high expectations from a girlfriend are fed into young boys from an early age. The brain is psychologically affected by pornography and it is extremely addictive. Always wanting more without considering the other person.

            There is more than one reason for this crisis but giving kids condoms because you have so little faith in them and say “They’re going do it anyway” is a pathetic excuse for child rearing.

            They are just kids. Let’s protect their innocence instead of their ignorance.

            Bottom line, parents should be able to choose what their own children are taught about sexuality, not the government.
            These classes should not be part of the curriculum but an extra session on approval of their parents.

            Tyranny is well on its way to America when kids are forced to be vaccinated, it’s law to teach the theory of evolution as a fact and sexuality as a nothing more than a teenage right.

          • PingTech

            “Sex is a dirty, shameful, evil thing….that should only be shared with someone you love.”
            Great message for the kids. Really.
            I don’t know *how* a contradictory statement of “values” would cause issues related to sex and sexuality, do you?….ya-huh.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          “LOL. Yeah, that’s why in “abstinence-only” sex education states, the rate of teen pregnancy is HIGHER than in states that ACTUALLY teach sex education.”

          FTFY

      • Diana Sinclair

        “Christians are constantly promoting waiting for marriage before having sex. It’s a tough thing in this perverted world but it works most of the time” SURE! like it worked for the right wing icon, Bristol Palin who was paid six figures to promote abstinence only programs but got herself knocked up twice without “waiting for marriage”.

      • droop

        You’re talking as if there is no such thing as condoms or birth control pills. Proper use of these in casual sex doesn’t cause disease, heartache and single parents. It causes pleasure. If Christians want to wait for marriage, let them wait. But don’t be telling others what’ is right for them.

        • connylynn

          Birth control does nothing to stop a heart from being broken.
          And the pill does not stop the spread of diseases.
          And if you think that the amount of single parents out there are not a result of premarital sex and adultry, you are kidding yourself.

          We are not trying to tell you what to do we are just exposing the facts as they play out in a world that treats sex as a game instead of the beautiful thing it was created to be.

          • droop

            I didn’t say the pill stops the spread of diseases. Condoms do. The amount of single parents out there is the result of ignorance and lack of access to birth control. You see the “facts playing out” through your own life views. It’s a lot more complicated than that.

          • connylynn

            The ignorance is in believing that there will be no adverse affects when having sex with whoever you want whenever you want, even with birth control.

            I know it’s complicated but selfishness in one’s sex life is the root of so many emotional and social problems.
            People start to treat each other as objects for their pleasure instead of with respect and dignity.

          • You said, “People start to treat each other as objects for their pleasure instead of with respect and dignity.” We are in agreement on the immorality of that. I would add, however, “Treating women as objects, incubators, instead of persons worthy of respect and dignity” is equally immoral for the same reasons.

          • connylynn

            Agreed. As in many cultures women are just ‘baby makers’ and house keepers.
            I don’t want that for western society or any society.
            But using abortion as birth control for getting rid of your ‘mistake’ is not moral either.

            Abortion on demand creates a false sense of security while enjoying excessive and recreational sex at the expense of, usually the woman’s self worth and dignity.

          • I see your point, but I also believe that it is immoral to bring an innocent child into the world as a result of poor judgement or a one night stand. Forced birth doesn’t fix the mistake, it only compounds it.

          • connylynn

            But it’s not immoral to kill them?
            What about their right to life?
            Is it that child’s fault that their parents had a one night stand?
            There are many children born unexpectedly that are the joy and pride of their mom and/or dad.
            And there are also many children born by choice that end up being neglected or abused.
            Sex always has the possibility of conception but people want to act undisciplined in this area and then not take responsibility for their choices.

          • As a counselor, I’ve seen way too much misery for both the parents and the child when ill-advised pregnancies are brought to term. No, it’s not “the child’s fault,” which is why the child deserves better than to be brought into the world unwanted as the result of a random booty call. The “pro-life” position assumes that being born is always the best possible outcome, but I don’t believe that is the case, and if you want to get biblical, scripture says in Ecclesiastes 4:1-3, 6:3-5, Job 3:2-19 and 10:18-19 that it is better to be miscarried than to be born and have a miserable life. Putting myself in the child’s shoes, I certainly would not want to be carried (trapped!) inside the body of someone who was being forced to continue the pregnancy against her will. I believe it is less immoral to end the pregnancy as early as possible, before the embryo could suffer. In any case, life is not a “right,” it is a gift paid for by somebody else’s blood, sweat and tears. And yes, many people are selfish, undisciplined and irresponsible – which makes them bad parents.

          • connylynn

            No one can say that every baby born from a one night stand or outside of a committed relationship will have a miserable life. How does that determine what kind of life one will have? Many children from ‘good’ homes end up being miserable or unwanted.

            Ecclesiastes was written to show people how vain life is without God and Job was written as an example of how quickly life can change and how evil forces are a part of the battle.

            A child isn’t ‘trapped’ inside its mother’s body, he or she is growing and comfortable in its natural home until birth.

            The consequences of sex outside of marriage abound and society has selfishly accepted that killing babies is the answer instead of self-control, self-respect and love.

            Plus, adoption is always an option as there are many loving couples who would love to have that ‘unwanted’ child who has a right to a chance at life.

          • “Every baby”? No. But a lot of people who were unwanted do in fact have miserable lives. I know this because I hear from them on a daily basis. Life is hard enough without that additional burden. I can’t tell you how many times people have told me, “I wish I was never born!” These include those who were adopted by good people, but nonetheless cannot overcome being rejected by their birth mom. Too many children languish in the foster care system and don’t even get adopted. Healthy white infants, yes; minorities, kids with physical or emotional problems and those who were abandoned or removed from their moms due to abuse or neglect as toddlers or older, have a much smaller chance of being adopted.

            Anyway, how do you plan to make that happen legally? I mean, do we force women who are pregnant as a result of irresponsibility and/or poor judgement to carry to term against their will, and then just take the babies away at birth? And who will make that decision, and on what basis?

            The verses I referred to are pretty specific and self-explanatory.

            “Comfortable”? That is assuming a lot. Research suggests that the mother’s emotional state including stress, fear, anxiety and depression can have a negative impact on the fetus, creating a hostile chemical environment. Not to mention, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, poor diet, physical and/or sexual abuse by one’s partner, and suicide attempts (not uncommon in countries where abortion is illegal).

            Again, would YOU want to stay inside the body of an UNWILLING person for 9 months and then force her to endure the agony of childbirth?! What a horrible position to be in. I’d far rather be aborted than do that to someone. I don’t believe any of us has a “right” to use another person’s body against her will.

            Yes, casual sex can have unfortunate consequences, and bringing an innocent child into a bad situation should not be one of them. People are not going to stop having sex no matter how much you may want them to, and until we have perfectly effective and universally available birth control, there will be unwanted pregnancies. Babies should be born because they are loved and wanted by people who are ready to be good parents, not because strangers met in a bar, screwed in a car, and “oops!”

            I respect your right to your opinion, but I disagree. Being born is NOT always the best option in every situation. I believe that abortion is sometimes the better choice for all involved, but in any case the decision should be up to the woman. I thank God I never had to make that choice and I wouldn’t want to make it for anybody else! If it came down to it, if we were going to legislate anything, I’d be more in favor of mandatory birth control as opposed to forced birth. But I favor choice.

          • connylynn

            I totally understand how frustrating it is and how helpless one can feel when there’s so much pain and misery everywhere.
            But there is joy and good also and none of us knows how things are going to turn out for anyone else.

            Our hearts for those suffering is much the same but our presupposition on when someone’s life is valuable differs. Abortion has effectivity desensitized society to the beauty of a developing human and the result has been millions of babies killed because people don’t want to deal with the consequences of their choices no matter how hard those choices are.

            I don’t think legally forcing women to have babies is possible as back alley abortions would be the result.
            I believe in teaching people from their hearts not their heads, what is right, moral and beneficial for society while honoring and valuing others above their own needs.
            Criminalizing pornography would be a good start as it dehumanizes women, increases the demand for human trafficking and gives people a warped idea about sex.

            The start of this conversation was about premarital sex and that is the root of this problem no matter what people say.
            How many men have kids they don’t even know about because having sex with whomever they want whenever they want was more important.
            Women left to decide what to do after her ‘partner’ is long gone. And birth control is not enough as it does nothing for broken hearts and loss of self respect.
            I never said I expected people not to have sex but there is a better way to have it without the endless problems that come with casual sex.

            Let’s leave religion out of it and just look at the principles of the Bible.
            Do not commit adultery–less affairs and fewer broken marriages
            No sex before marriage– fewer abandoned kids and women
            Treat women with respect and dignity– less abuse or rape
            Provide for your families– financial security and less stress
            Love your spouse– more contentment and happiness
            Do not lie–more fulfilled relationships with honesty at the center of them
            ‘Sabbath’ rest–more time spent with family
            Forgive one another– peace and restoration between people
            Give 10% of your income to help others–self respect and less poverty

            People criticise the Bible all the time but if more people would follow the basic principles in it what a different world this would be. One doesn’t even have to believe in God to see that these principles make sense and are given for mankind’s best interest.

            I’m not implying a boring existence or that you have to go to church on Sunday but in general doing things God’s way would solve alot of societies problems which would include helping people who ‘do not want to live’.
            But humanity wants to do things their own way and that has proven to be disastrous.
            I know that religion has destroyed people’s perception of God but God knows what’s best for us, not religion, which is man’s invention, not God’s. God’s way is love and grace.

            Can society go back and undo the damage pornography, recreational sex and self centeredness have done?
            It would be tough. Very tough, but not impossible.
            Deep in every human is a longing to have more control and clarity. That only happens when we are taught to look beyond ourselves and put others first and having sex solely for ones’ own pleasure works contrary to that.
            The root of the problem is selfishness and spiritually vacant souls looking for answers by satisfying only their physical desires.

          • Look, I really appreciate your heart and your desire to help people. And certainly selfishness, irresponsibility and spiritual emptiness are at the root of human suffering. You said we differ on “when someone’s life is valuable,” but I made no such judgement. A life is not a commodity. As a Christian I can only try to put myself in the other person’s (or fetus’) shoes and ask, “Would I want that life for myself?” BTW, twice now you didn’t answer my question, would YOU want to stay inside of the body of a woman against her will?

            I’m glad you agree that back-alley abortions are not a desired outcome.

            “How many men have kids they don’t even know about” – for real! I hear it every day from the single moms living in poverty who have 4 babies from as many different dads, who have fathered babies with God only knows how many other women because thanks to people like you successfully promoting the “pro-life” agenda, “babies are ALWAYS a blessing!” a lot of folks no longer believe in abortion OR birth control. Women often believe that by having a baby with a man, they will win his love and commitment, but it nearly always has the opposite result. The men move on to their next victim. And who suffers as a result? The women and children. Birth control can be “damage control.” While it won’t prevent broken hearts or lost self-respect, at least it prevents bringing innocent children into the situation.

            You said, “Let’s leave religion out of it and just look at the
            principles of the Bible,” and, “Religion is man’s invention.” That is correct, and FYI, the Bible was written by men. As for the alleged principles you claim are in there, e.g., “treat women with respect and dignity” – ?! As a minister I am pretty familiar with the Bible, and maybe we aren’t reading the same Bible, LOL! But that is a whole ‘nother topic that I’m not going to get into here.

            You don’t approve of casual sex, and neither do I. We agree that it is an attempt to fill a spiritual emptiness. But thankfully this isn’t Saudi Arabia and in a free society, we cannot inflict our personal spiritual beliefs on others through legislation. We can only hope to share a meaningful gospel (NOT a list of religious rules) and meanwhile minimize the damage as much as possible.

          • connylynn

            I Timothy 5:2
            Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters.

            And just because the Bible was written by men, who were the scholars of that day, doesn’t make it any less inspired by God. You need to be careful and separate the grace of God in it from the culture of that time.
            Jesus always treated women with dignity and respect.

            Sorry, I never caught that as a question. Why would a tiny baby want to be ripped out of their mothers womb? They never even got a chance at life. They deserve a chance and I would want that chance.
            People have children everyday knowing that in this life there will always be pain and suffering yet they think life is worth living and no one should be denied that opportunity. Natural life is a blink of the eye compared to eternity and even though many people have suicidal thoughts at some time in their life the majority do not take that route.

            No, life is not a commodity, which is why we have no right to dispose of one like it was.
            And if we start looking at any baby as not being a blessing we are on a slippery slope to selective breeding and promoting unequal status.

            I don’t believe in legislating spiritual beliefs as that has been proven to never work.
            The Law never worked. It was only a temporary tutor until the Holy Spirit came to work in peoples hearts through love, not their heads through rules and regulations.

            Saudi Arabia is a nation of tyranny and that never works except to destroy people’s freedom and dignity. The gospel of Grace gives people freedom from self condemnation and freedom to choose God’s system of love and mercy not selfishness and pride.

            The single mom’s are the ones who suffer from the irresponsibility of many men whose only thought was getting laid. Women need to be taught to respect themselves more and to say “no” to societies idea that recreational sex is right or safe.
            Women need to value themselves more as a person worth waiting for. True love waits.
            If he won’t wait, he doesn’t love you.

            I realize that the deep seeded need to be loved drives women into the arms of the wrong men and that is hard to change but when we tell young people that sex is alright as long as you use birth control we are ignoring a big part of who they are.
            We are ignoring their souls and their spirits. They are so much more than their physical bodies, which want to run the show and follow their natural inclinations.

            The number of unwanted pregnancies is a result of lack of self-worth not sexual freedom because freedom is saying ‘no’ to sex without commitment and should be the norm.

          • Yes, Jesus treated women with respect and dignity, and He was regarded by his contemporaries as quite unusual for doing so. I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you, but women in the Bible had approximately the same social status as slaves or broodmares. I really don’t have time to go into this with you, but plenty of other people have already explained it at some length and I’m sure you could look it up if interested.

            My question, again, was, “Would YOU want to stay inside of a woman’s body AGAINST HER WILL?” Not “why would they” or “they have a right.” You said, “They deserve a chance and I would want that chance.” So you would WANT to inflict yourself on a woman, taking over her body against her will like a 9-month rapist? You seem like a nice person, I find it very hard to believe that you would want to do such a horrible, selfish thing to somebody. I certainly would NEVER want to be put in that position. To demand your “right to life” when the woman desperately wants you OUT of her body and may even be suicidal because of the pregnancy, is exactly the sort of selfishness that you claim to oppose, except in the case of the selfish horny man the use of her body only lasts a few minutes, whereas pregnancy lasts 39 weeks and ends in torture. Yes, if I were that embryo, I would absolutely prefer to miscarry or be aborted as early as possible rather than to stay inside of that woman’s body.

            Yes, “sexual freedom” and unwise choice of partners is in part responsible for unwanted pregnancies and out-of-wedlock births. However, I blame the pro-life movement too, for the simple reason that you have managed to successfully remove the stigma of having babies outside of marriage. Now that “Babies are ALWAYS a blessing!” girls see a baby as a badge of honor or a great accomplishment, so many of them don’t even bother with birth control. Congratulations on that.

            Regardless of your personal spiritual beliefs about sex (some of which we share), again, in a secular society what are you going to DO about it, especially considering that many people do NOT share our beliefs? I’m glad you agree that the way they handle it in Saudi Arabia is undesirable, but you have to admit, it works.

            I think I’ve said about everything I wanted to say here. I appreciate your thoughtful conversation and wish you all the best.

          • connylynn

            I have studied women in the Bible extensively and I know they had a very low status in that culture. But that has nothing to do with what God wants for them.
            Jesus was showing people how wrong they were in their treatment of women.
            Unfortunately, it’s taken centuries of religious and cultural battles for women to gain the respect that God intended for them to have. We live in a cursed and unfair world so the battle goes on.

            Many unexpected and scary things happen in life and people deal with them as best they can. If being pregnant is horrible for someone that still does not condone abortion.
            Some people go through years of rehabilitation after an accident and fight their way
            back to health. Nine months is not forever.
            And if a woman finds herself pregnant it is usually because she had consensual sex.
            Her choices brought her to this situation. Responsibility comes into play here,
            for your own life and the one you created. The child is innocent even in a rape situation, difficult as that is to comprehend. Killing the child will not take away the memory of that horrible act.

            Post abortion trauma and depression can be worse than dealing with carrying a baby you were not expecting. You make pregnancy sound so terrible when it’s actually one of the most amazing and beautiful experiences a woman can have.
            Life is hard, we all know that but most women, when given a little time to accept her situation, will show herself strong and capable of getting through it.

            I am not unsympathetic of these women but I will never be able to condone killing a child because life is hard. Find the strength to get through it and see what you’re really made of. Someone else’s life depends on it.

            And your question is a little unreasonable because a baby has no voice in this matter.
            He is just supposed to be cared for and loved by the one who began his life not forced to decide if he is valuable enough to live.

            There should never have been a ‘stigma’ of having a baby outside of marriage. It happens.
            It’s not the best of situations but that doesn’t make that baby any less special than one
            born to a married couple.
            If the pro-life side kept a stigma on unwed mother’s they would be criticized for that.
            They are just trying to save precious lives. The mothers included. Very few women go through an abortion unscathed and without regrets and depression. It’s a life time of
            always wondering, what if?

            Ones’ personal beliefs should have nothing to do with who decides when and if another human lives or dies. How a women can take the life of her own child I will never understand.
            And how you think saving a child is selfish but killing one isn’t.
            That void will always haunt her just because nine months was too long to save a life.

            I pray you find strength in God as you help these women through tough situations.
            It can’t be an easy job. Take care. Enjoyed the chat.

          • Neko

            You keep confusing two issues. You believe Christianity offers the best approach to life, fine. But if you’re an American citizen, you live in a constitutional republic that forbids the establishment of religion. This notion that abortion is “murder” is theological, not legal, and further, the tactic of accusing pro-choice supporters of being “baby killers” has been a complete failure.

            The fact is anti-abortion activists are committed to legal subjection of women rather than persuasion. Wagging your finger about “selfishness” may be self-gratifying, but it won’t keep one abortion from happening.

          • droop

            I’ll give you the last word, but I’ll finish with what I said before. If you want to wait for marriage to enjoy sex, wait. But get out of the lives of those who are going to do so responsibly and don’t need to be judged on the way they live.

          • connylynn

            Who said anything about judging?
            That’s not my place.
            I’m just saying that even outside of religion, excessive sexual encounters cause many problems.
            From physical to emotional to social and financial too.

            No one wants to admit this because they want to continue in this lifestyle without considering the consequences.

            Consequences have nothing to do with religion, they are a fact of life.

            Selfishness run amuck is the core problem in our society and disrespect in the area of sexual relationships is a big part of it.

            One doesn’t have to believe in God to see that.

          • Sgt Carver

            Marriage does not stop heartbreak, STD’s, adultery, single parents or unwanted pregnancies.

            Hang around a divorce court or STD clinic and find out for yourself.

          • connylynn

            If both partners honor their marriage the way God intended then you will have no heartbreak, STD’s, adultery or single parents.

            Unexpected pregnancies possibly
            but at least you’re in a committed relationship.

          • John MacDonald

            I wonder why God cares if people are married on earth when there is no marriage in heaven?

            (Matthew 22:24-30)

            “Teacher, Moses said, ‘IF A MAN DIES HAVING NO CHILDREN, HIS BROTHER AS NEXT OF KIN SHALL MARRY HIS WIFE, AND RAISE UP CHILDREN FOR HIS BROTHER.’ 25“Now there were seven brothers with us; and the first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother; 26so also the second, and the third, down to the seventh. 27“Last of all, the woman died. 28“In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.” 29But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30“For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

          • connylynn

            Because He wants people to be happy and loved while on earth.

            Love will be complete in Heaven and procreation no longer neccessary.

            Genesis 2:18
            Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”

            God’s original plan for marriage was beautiful but we live in a cursed, fallen world and society sees marriage as unimportant or only a civil right.

            Marriage was also important to God for having children and raising them together in love and commitment to each other and to Him.

            Genesis 9:7
            “As for you, be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.”

          • Neko

            The creation stories in Genesis are myths that derived from existing Near Middle Eastern myths. Just so we’re clear.

          • Sgt Carver

            How has that worked out?

            One? Two? (Mary and Joseph?) Name a couple who have not sinned.

            For, you know, us humans, you are demanding an impossible standard.

            Why not encourage all people to be eight foot tall? It is possible, but everyone else is literally a victim of their own shortcoming.

          • connylynn

            I never said these couples didn’t sin. Everyone sins. But many are able to honor and respect their spouses when they both keep a close connection with God.

            Love and forgiveness go a long way and I’ve seen it in many godly marriages.
            That doesn’t mean they’re without problems and struggles but a three cord rope is hard to break. God, wife and husband bound together and going through those struggles together.

            God’s standard is Jesus.
            Grace abounds when you stop trying to do it yourself and rest in Jesus.
            When you understand your complete forgiveness in Him and that you are righteous in God’s eyes through Jesus Christ then you are free to fail without judgment.

            Grace replaced condemnation at the Cross.
            Self-condemnation is most Christians’ weakness and it destroys their
            confidence in their relationship with God.

            You do not have to be a victim of your shortcomings.
            God is a God of second chances, and third and fourth……….

      • So married people don’t need birth control? Married people should stop having sex as soon as they have the number of children they can afford to support?

        • connylynn

          No. once your married I have no problem with birth control.
          And of course, if you’re sexually active before marriage you should use birth control.
          I’m just commenting on the problem of excessive, casual sex that has become the norm and is the root of so many emotional, physical, social and financial problems.
          Sex should be more important than it has become. There’s so little intimacy and purity left.

          • ah! I agree, as far as it goes. For me personally, as a Christian and a yogi, sex is sacred, whereas for many people in our culture today, it’s mere entertainment. But having said that, I don’t want to impose my own personal values on other people. I appreciate that we live in a secular society and grownups should be able to do as they choose. But I really hope, for the sake of everyone involved, including potential offspring, that if people are going to have casual sex they would be using protection.

    • BigBlueWave

      I assure you that pro-lifers are concerned with IVF and the fate of leftover embryos. This is one reason why pro-lifers opposed *embryonic* stem cell research. This one reason certain pro-lifers have engaged in what is known as “snowflake adoptions” i.e. the adoption of left-over embryos.

      As for contraception: the birth control pill was invented in 1960. There has not been a discernible decrease in abortion. The birth control pill, the way it was touted, should have decreased abortion by at least half. That hasn’t been the case. Overall, compared to the year abortion was legalize, abortion numbers are up, not down. So birth control has not delivered on reducing abortions and never will, because the real reason abortion happens is that people think it’s okay to kill their unborn child.

      • Tracy Robinson

        The irony in “pro life” people being against stem cell research are the thousands and millions of people that will now die because of medical science hurdles created by banning stem cell research. So “save a baby” to “kill thousands of people”. Good job! Also, birth control was originally created so married women did not need to spend their entire lives pregnant. It was not intended for young unwed ladies to use. Of course it wouldn’t impact abortion rates initially. Today, however it drastically reduces abortion rates in states where it is readily available. WOMEN should have a choice what happens to their bodies or else we are all just organ farms waiting to be harvested for strangers in need of our body parts… or do you not see bodily autonomy that way? How does someone elses medical choices affect YOUR life? I’m willing to bet they don’t but your voting to get basic human rights stripped from half the population affects millions of lives. Genius.

    • Master Samwise

      Yes, miscarriage does result in the death of a child. No that doesn’t give you license to kill tue child. Yes that is why we oppose IVF and embryonic stem cell research.

      You seem to be arguing a straw man here or the lowest common denominator in the prolife movement. It’s like if I said feminism was bad because of FEMEN and other radical groups that deface buildings and harass people.

      Taking to an actual prolife person with a consistent life ethic would likely cause you panic because the tropes and emotional appeals you employed above would look rather silly.

  • arcseconds

    Here Fred goes into some detail as to what changed his thinking about abortion.

  • RustbeltRick

    I completely agree. And even though you have seen the light, remember that a critical mass has most certainly not. There are huge numbers of people whose minds and votes stop at the abortion issue, because nothing else matters; they will vote for the quote-unquote pro-life candidate even if that person is a disastrous leader (Bush), a clown (Palin), a tyrant (Trump), or close-minded nihilists (the Tea Party).

    The masterstroke of the Republican Party in the 20th century was to choose a side on Roe v. Wade and exploit it for maximum value. No issue has provided more leverage to obtain raw power. It’s the ultimate political bait-and-switch.

    • Trump, a tyrant! LOOOOOOL!!! BTW, Trump was notoriously weak on the abortion issue. Everyone who was serious about it voted for Cruz or at least Carson.

      Courts’ jurisdiction over abortion law should be removed.

  • Phil Ledgerwood

    My aunt is a staunch conservative and pro-lifer. She went to Washington DC to do some volunteer work for a pro-life group and came away very disillusioned. Her impression is that the movement is primarily a mechanism for getting certain candidates elected and found very little actual sentiment about the plight of the unborn.

    I think you hit something when you talked about avoiding ambiguity. A day 1 clump of cells is not a person. A baby 1 day before delivery is not a clump of cells. There are no clear cut lines as to when one becomes the other, and rather than try to work through that complexity together, it’s just much easier to take the life begins at conception position.

  • Al Cruise

    Most of the death penalty support comes from pro-lifers. Executing someone who is later found to be innocent is just God’s will. I was told that once.

    • Tianzhu

      Well it’s a 100 percent certainty that an unborn child is innocent. Zero chance of it committing a crime worthy of death – you know, other than existing.

      • Misty Kiwak Jacobs

        4.1% of people sentenced to death are innocent. It’s not either/or. Why not be pro-life from conception to natural death?

        • Tianzhu

          You clearly have zero sympathy for people who are actually victims of crimes.
          The poor poor criminals, bless their hearts.
          Your virtue signaling is juvenile.

        • Kate Aandem

          Only 4.1 % of people say they are innocent before death? I thought they all said they were innocent.

          • Misty Kiwak Jacobs

            A comment completely devoid of mercy. Is this not a Christian site?

          • John MacDonald

            It’s more of a place where old fundamentalists come to die. lol

          • Dave Williams

            4.1% were found to be innocent AFTER they were killed.

        • jorgenfleisterman

          They can’t be fully pro-life because wars are profitable for military-industrial corporations that fundraise for conservative politicians who pander to pro-life voters, so the cognitive dissonance must be ignored for the sake of profits. Besides, it’s mostly foreign brown people who get killed in wars, even their innocent children, but conservatives don’t care about loving their enemies as they love themselves.

          • jh

            Or – in the words of George Carlin
            “”If you’re pre-born, you’re fine. If you’re preschool, you’re fucked!”

            And…

            “Conservatives don’t get a shit about you until you reach military age,” Carlin said. “Then they think you are just fine. Just what they’ve been looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers.”

            This pretty much sums up the pro-life position.

      • Tracy Robinson

        Except there’s no such thing as “unborn children”. There’s a human life though. It’s the woman whose body you wish to occupy so you can dictate her life and medical decisions. When will men take responsibility and punishment for ejaculating in women? Why not Holy Seed? Why aren’t men being condemned for masturbating? That’s millions of “unconcieved children” isn’t it?

      • LadySunami

        If it’s unborn it’s not a child.

        Embryos are innocent, but in the same way rocks are innocent. They innocent by default, because non-sentient things cannot be guilty.

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        Not the point. As a former “unborn person” no one asks if we will have any serious ethical problems with other people using pregnant women as farm equipment to procure us, and if we never existed of course there would be no us to care!

        • Tianzhu

          I’m guessing you were raised by a single mom and hated your father.

          Atheists and homosexuals have the same family pattern.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            Jesus certainly hasn’t given you powers of perception. Care to guess the bumps on my noggin or the lines of my palms?

      • “Innocence” in the judicial context implies volition, consciousness or sentience, which does not apply to a zygote or fetus. But if you want to give the fetus rights then it also has responsibility. What about using another person’s body against her will for 9 months? That would certainly be a “crime” if committed by any born person. But the fetus cannot commit a crime because it is not a person and therefore has no rights or responsibilities.

    • Again, most anti-abortionists are virtue-ethicists.

      • Craptacular

        “Again, most anti-abortionists are virtue-ethicists.” – Enopoletus Harding

        Using “virtue ethics” as an attempt to mitigate the hypocrisy of the pro-life stance merely points out the flaws in what they consider virtues, but does nothing to make them less hypocritical.

    • Random Boy 3 m

      comparing a innocent child to a convicted murder is just flat out ridiculous

    • Random Boy 3 m

      “Most of the death penalty support comes from pro-lifers. Executing someone who is later found to be innocent is just God’s will.”

      putting aside the fact you compared innocent infants to the terrorists from the Boston bombing, abolishing the death penalty to prevent people from being falsely executed is like abolishing prison sentences to avoid people from being falsely imprisoned. oh yes, and we already have a solution to that. it’s called free trial (note: liberals have been trying to abolish free trial for people accused of rape.)

  • Jennifer

    From the moment of conception life begins God breathes his life into that embryo. All fetuses are created by God. You are promoting the taking of a life made in the image of God all life is sacred from the moment of conception until natural death. Thou shall not kill.

    • otrotierra

      No. According to the bible, life begins with breath, not conception.

      • jinx

        psalms/139-13
        “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. … For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.”
        and
        Jeremiah 1:5
        “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

        • “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”

          That’s your argument that life begins at conception? Based on that verse, life begins before conception! Follow the logic of these very verses and you’ll see that they are not giving a statement about conception or birth. They are poetic expressions of the poet’s belief he is called by God.

          • jinx

            Or He is speaking about life both spiritually and physically. Someone stated that according to the bible life began with breath not conception.

        • LadySunami

          Neither of these verses contradict what otrotierra said.

          For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

          Psalms 139:13

          Just because God is in the process of creating a thing, does not mean it is alive or that is has a soul.

          Imagine the psalm was written from the perspective of Adam instead. It would say something like,

          For you formed my inward parts; you sculpted me of dust from the ground.

          Would this mean that dust itself was alive and so must be respected as a living person? Of course not. While the body is formed first, it is not until the first breath of life that a person becomes a living soul.

          Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
          and before you were born I consecrated you;
          I appointed you a prophet to the nations.

          Jeremiah 1:5

          This has to do with God’s foreknowledge, not the start of life. Otherwise this would mean life begins before conception, which is more then a bit unreasonable.

          Now let’s look at the following verses for comparison:

          So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

          Ezekiel 37:7-10

          The skin, flesh and sinews aren’t enough to bring life (although it is necessary for said things to be assembled first). It is when the breath enters into them that they live.

          In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

          Job 12:10

          as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils,

          Job 27:3

          The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

          Job 33:4

          Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake; to a silent stone, Arise! Can this teach? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in it.

          Habakkuk 2:19

          nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.

          Acts 17:25

          The Hebrew word for “living soul,” nephesh, also means breath, as the two are that entwined.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            “life begins before conception, which is more then a bit unreasonable.”

            Tell that to the Mormon spirit babies 😉

        • jh

          And that’s why God is the biggest abortionist. You do realize that a miscarriage is just God’s way of performing an abortion… don’t you?

          But, based on my reading of the bible, God likes to smash babies heads on rocks and impale pregnant women and drown little children… tell me again about why your god values human life so much? I mean, the whole exodus nonsense could have been avoided but your god fucked with Pharoh’s free will so that he could kill the first born of every single Egyptian. How evil is that!?? Even Hitler wasn’t that fucked up.

    • jh

      You mean the same God who drowned pregnant women in the great flood? The one who wanted Saul to kill every man, woman, child, and animal? that God? The same God who commanded that the Canaanites be slaughtered… even the pregnant women and young boys?The God who, according to Christianity is omnipotent, but can’t stop a woman’s miscarriage or allows stillbirths? The God who knowingly let an innocent person die to justify the law rather than revise the law? (Would you be willing to die by lethal injection, knowing that the judge, the jury, everybody knows that you are innocent and who the guilty party is? Would you be willing to let an innocent person die because of someone else’s crime? That sounds evil to me.)

      Frankly – how do you know that your religion is true? this could just be the result of another God, let’s say we call it God X. And maybe God X doesn’t give two shits about a fertilized egg but does give a shit about how well grass grows? (If you are going to state that you know God’s will, you better be able to put up evidence to justify why you have the right to speak in your God’s name and it better be more than “because I said so”.)

      • connylynn

        God was dealing with a cursed world that He gave man dominion over, who then turned around and gave it to ‘evil incarnate’.

        All life is precious and if we are not humane enough to see that the science, that Atheists so intensely defend, clearly shows a fetus as a human child, than we are barbaric indeed.

        • Tracy Robinson

          Yeah, thank science for proving that sperm isn’t gods magic baby seed and that women actually have gametes of their own otherwise your whole debate would still be about punishing men for cumming anywhere but in a vagina. Unconcieved children and all that. Sin sin sin!

          • connylynn

            God created sex, sperm and eggs. It’s what we do with what He’s given us that matters.

            There’s one incident in the bible where a man was punished for ‘spilling’ his sperm but that was only because he dishonored his dead brother in refusing to have a child for him to carry on his name. A demand of the culture at the time to help his widow.

            Sin was dealt with at the cross.
            God no longer handles sin the same way because of Jesus sacrifice.

          • John MacDonald

            Did Adam and Eve have reproductive organs before the Fall? It is only after the Fall that God says:

            “To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.’ (Genesis 3:16)”

            It sounds like humans only had sex organs after the Fall, and before that Adam and Eve were some sort of weird androgynous creatures.

            If Adam and Eve had reproductive organs before the Fall it would imply God knew they would disobey and what the consequences would be.

          • Kate Aandem

            To start with, God doesn’t make mistakes. God made them man and woman. Not man man or woman woman. The Bible never mentions that God changed their bodies. That would have been a major thing and it would have been written. A baby is more than a sex act.

          • John MacDonald

            So you think Adam and Eve were having sex in the Garden before the Fall?

          • Kate Aandem

            If you are the only two people in the Garden; wouldn’t you ?

          • John MacDonald

            If Adam and Eve were having sex regularly before the Fall, it makes you wonder why Eve wasn’t getting pregnant?

            The sense of the passage I quoted seems to be that God made Adam and Eve child-bearing-ready as part of the punishment:

            “To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband (Genesis 3:16)”

            That’s the kind of God I can get on board with: one that gives me testicles as a punishment! Imagine the orgy I would get as a reward for pleasing him!

          • John MacDonald

            And even if, as you say, Adam and Eve were created fully loaded from a sexual point of view and Eve just wasn’t getting pregnant before the Fall for whatever reason, God would have had to have done a MAJOR reworking of Eve’s body to go from painless childbirth to horribly painful childbirth as punishment for Sin (as per Genesis 3:16).

          • Dave Williams

            “That would have been a major thing and it would have been written.”

            Yeah… because EVERYTHING that happened was ALWAYS written down. LOL

          • jh

            Please don’t use that excuse. I find it horrible that somebody would give the death penalty to an innocent man when he knows that the innocent man is innocent.

            Even in our society, we don’t let anybody stand in place of the criminal. the criminal stands trial and is judged.

            Besides – there is the argument about proportion. Would you really kill somebody for stealing a loaf of bread? Would you think that that sin of theft is equivalent to the serial murderer/rapist who raped and killed 5 children?

            No – your god is devoid of morality. that’s the only way you can reconcile the great evil that your god has committed or commanded to be done.

          • connylynn

            Jesus willing offered Himself for us.
            He could have walked away if He so chose.

            You need to get into the New Covenant which was God’s goal from the start.

            A Covenant of forgiveness and grace. The Law was a temporary measure until Christ came.

            Sin has been dealt with in the body of Jesus and God accepted that sacrifice as full judgment for the sins of the whole world.

            It’s people who keep pointing out sin and keeping themselves under the law.
            It’s people who say God is sending sinners to hell.

            God says, “I am no longer angry with you. I see your sins no more”

            Try listening to the God of the Gospel of Grace instead of fallible men and women who are trapped under legalism.

          • Neko

            You wrote:

            He could have walked away if He so chose.

            Big assumption there.

            It could be Jesus believed his fate would usher in the kingdom of God, but we’ll never know.

        • Jehovah God was dealing with a cursed world that He gave man dominion over

          Poor Jehovah, having to make the best he could with a cursed world, I’m sure he really tried. If only he was omnipotent or something…

          Also, who was it that cursed the world?

          • John MacDonald

            That’s what I wanted to know. lol

          • connylynn

            Your sarcasim is childish and disrespectful.
            God didn’t only try, He succeeded. He is omnipotent but He will not override His own laws.
            Man was given dominion of the earth and lost it to Satan.
            God had to work through mankind to win back what man lost.
            The curse was a result of sin entering a perfect world.
            It infects everything which is why God was so strict with His people in the Old Testament.

          • John MacDonald

            If this was the case then why didn’t God send Jesus sooner?

          • Dave Williams

            This is very funny. If God IS “omnipotent” then He knows all and sees all. Knows past, present and future. So He KNEW what Adam and Eve would do and KNEW the world would be cursed.

            Yet people STILL try to convince others that this is “Gods plan.”

          • connylynn

            People decide to have kids every day, knowing that there is alot of pain and sorrow in life, yet they still do it. Why?

            Shouldn’t we stop reproducing because those children will suffer at times?

            God knew that it would all be worth it in the end and just like we have to allow our children to make their own mistakes and suffer the consequences we know that having them and loving them is worth it all.

            God’s plan was perfection. Man’s plan was the hard way.

          • Dave Williams

            “People decide to have kids every day, knowing that there is alot of pain and sorrow in life, yet they still do it. Why?”

            If we KNEW that they would end of suffering for all eternity, MOST people would choose NOT to have children.

            Now of course if you believe that ALL go to heaven in the end, then I would be more amenable to your assertion.

          • Neko

            You wrote:

            God knew that it would all be worth it in the end…

            How do you know what God “knew” to be “worth it”? You can’t know this.

          • No, mocking you for swearing fealty to a bloodthirsty war god from a pre-industrial desert society would have been childish and disrespectful.

            Your comment is nonsensical. JH pointed out all the times God didn’t respect life. You say, “Well, Jehovah was dealing with a cursed world,” as if that explains why he had to cause so much death. I pointed out that an ominpotent being should be able to do better than that…and now you say God did succeed? I guess if God’s goal was to create lots of evil people just so he could kill them, God did succeed in that.

            You say “the curse” was a result of “sin entering a perfect world.” That seems very hands-off…who cursed the world? Who pronounced the curse?

          • connylynn

            What I write will sound non-sensical to you as you have chosen to try understanding the scriptures with only your five senses. The Bible is a spiritual book.

            You also need to reread what I wrote. You only hear what you want to hear. A cursed world IS the reason for the evil in it.

            As there are natural laws on the earth there are also spiritual laws. God abides by those laws.

            The kingdoms of the earth belonged to Satan in the Old Testament. He has twisted and destroyed what God created as good.

            God started with Abraham and began to form a nation of people that would listen to Him so He could reclaim the earth that Adam and Eve gave to Satan.

            Satan is the one responsible for the death and destruction that happened. God accepted the blame in the people’s eyes as they had no knowledge of who Satan was, as he was not revealed to them until after Jesus’ resurrection.

            God did what was neccessary to protect His children from Satan’s evil plan of pain, suffering and death.
            Anyone of you would do the same to protect your own family.

            God did not create evil people.
            People choose to do evil.
            And people who do evil things, even in our society, get punished or death in some states.

            Do counties send soldiers out to war to let the enemy win?
            This was war. The battle between God and Satan that ensued after the Fall.

            The earth was cursed as a result of Adam and Eve committing high treason against God and giving Satan rule over them.
            God did not curse it!

            Being omnipotent doesn’t mean you can do what you want, whenever you want.
            That is tyranny.

            God is all-powerful and able to do whatever He wills, but since His will is limited by His nature, He can do only what is in harmony with his nature.

            God’s nature is love and that love gave us His only Son to remove the punishment we deserved.

          • Interesting that you edited your previous comment so it just says “God” now and not “Jehovah God”. Is there any particular reason for that?

            The earth was cursed as a result of Adam and Eve committing high treason against God and giving Satan rule over them.
            God did not curse it!

            Interesting. The world was cursed, cursed you say, and yet no one did the cursing? Or are we supposed to think Satan did the cursing?

            You sound like the quintessential politician’s non-apology: “Mistakes were made.” That’s right, it’s not that *I* made mistakes or that my team made mistakes, or even that we all made mistakes–these mistakes were just “made” somehow. Similarly, your world has been cursed, but you can’t bring yourself to think about who has done the cursing.

            I’d recommend you re-read Genesis 3. Not just your commentary on Genesis, or listen to a sermon on sin, but actually read what the Bible really says in Genesis 3, and pay particular attention to which character in the story says things like “Cursed are you”, “cursed is the ground because of you,” and “I will multiply your pain in childbearing.”

            Genesis says the nature of the fruit was that it let the first man and woman know good and evil. The bible even puts that statement in God’s mouth:

            22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil…

            Or in the Watchtower’s online translation:

            22 Jehovah God then said: “Here the man has become like one of us in knowing good and bad.

            Answer me this honestly: Can two people who do not know good and bad really be considered guilty of “high treason”, as you suggest?

            Could they really understand their actions?

            Also consider that Adam and Eve didn’t eat from a “worship Satan” tree, or a “give the world to Satan” tree. The Bible doesn’t even say Satan is there; it just says a serpent, which was “more crafty” than the other animals, talked them into doing it. But you say their actions gave Satan rule over all creation, and that the Earth became the Kingdom of Satan because of their actions. Does it make sense that Jehovah would set up a system in such a way?

            I have more to say, but I’ve already written a lot. I hope I can revisit this in the future. In the meantime, please consider–you believe Jehovah God gave the power to hand over the earth to satan to two people who didn’t know good from bad. Do you truly believe Jehovah God was being loving, caring, and responsible when he did this, or do you merely pretend to believe Jehovah was loving because you’ve been told you must?

          • connylynn

            I edited ‘Jehovah’ out because of the way you mocked God’s name. And now you are quoting from the ‘World Translation’ Bible, which is contrary to my beliefs. Jehovah Witnesses do not believe in the deity of Christ and they have rewritten essential parts of the Gospel to suit their beliefs.

            I was never told that I ‘must’ love God. I know God personally and talk to Him everyday. My spirit is alive in Christ and He gives me peace and joy. I worship Him in spirit and in truth and I know He loves me.

            I read the Scriptures everyday. It is my primary source and I get insight and revelation from the Holy Spirit. Commentaries and sermons are helpful but I always read and listen with discernment asking wisdom from God before accepting anything as truth.

            The Hebrew word ‘klalah’ is translated in Genesis as ‘cursed’ and it means ‘to be complete, finished, at an end, accomplished, or spent’.

            What God was saying is the original creation was ‘finished’.
            Perfection was destroyed by sin and a curse entered the earth.
            Our society has a preconceived idea as to what the word ‘cursed’ actually means.

            Genesis 3:16,17;
            16 To the woman he said, Great will be your pain in childbirth; in sorrow will your children come to birth; still your desire will be for your husband, but he will be your master.
            (God was just informing Eve of the pain she will have now that the earth is cursed, and the oppression she will endure from men)
            17 To the man God said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you not to eat of, cursed is the ground because of you.
            (Or more accurately “Finished, is the perfect earth I created for you.”)

            The Hebrew word ‘itstsabown’ that is translated ‘childbirth’ is the same word God used for ‘toil’ in the following verse when He was speaking to Adam. (Genesis 3:16,17)
            ”Itstsabown”  literally means toil, suffering, labour, a result of their disobedience in two of the important areas they were created for, replenishing the earth with plant life and having children.
            The curse was able to enter the earth when the protection of God was removed by Adam and Eve’s actions.

            Nature fundamentally changed as a result of the human rebellion.
            It had nothing to do with the ‘nature’ of the fruit they ate.
            The world we now live in is not as God intended.
            The original perfect creation had come to an end.
            Nature now has hostile creatures, labour in childbirth, hard-to-till soil,
            thorns and thistles and death.
            These do not conform to God’s ideal creation.
            They reflect a nature that is considered cursed.

            Adam and Eve opened the floodgates for Satan to enter into the realm that humans were supposed to have dominion over.
            This doesn’t make God responsible for the corruption of nature.
            The fault lies on them and on Satan and his demons who freely choose to go against the will and designs of the Creator.
            God simply set up the laws that stipulate that disobedience has disastrous consequences.
            God clearly warned them that they would surely die if they ate of that Tree. They were without excuse.

            Let’s put it this way. A woman has an affair and leaves her loving, faithful husband, marries her new lover and he ends up being abusive and cruel to her and her children. She is legally married to him and she made him her new husband. All her own choice even if he lied and charmed his way into her heart.

            That’s a picture of what happened in Eden.
            Except God immediately started a plan to win His family back and forgave them for leaving Him.
            He never stopped loving them and legally proceeded to defeat the one who seduced her.

            Self focus was the result from the fall. Mankind has been trying to do things without God ever since. In fact, today society would like to get rid of the thought of God entirely.
            ‘God is dead’, ‘there is no God’, ‘we can answer all things with science and man’s intellect’, ‘we don’t need God’…..
            All you have to do is turn on the news and see how that is working out for them.

            The Bible tells us that Satan used a serpent to deceive Eve. 
            Revelation 12:9 The great dragon was hurled down, that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him”.

            Adam and Eve had no concept of who Satan was, he was not revealed to mankind until after Jesus’ resurrection so everything that happened was often contributed to God.
            But their lack of awareness of who Satan was doesn’t negate the fact that they disobeyed God’s command not to eat of that tree.
            If they had no choice in it they would have been nothing more than robotic creations without possibility of love or relationship with God.

            As for verse 22. You need to read it in context and from a more literal translation.

            Genesis 3:22 (AMP)
            And the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us [Father, Son, Holy Spirit], knowing [how to distinguish between] good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take from the Tree of Life as well, and eat [its fruit], and live [in this fallen, sinful condition] forever”
            23  therefore the Lord God sent Adam away from the Garden of Eden, to till and cultivate the ground from which he was taken.

            It was in mercy that God sent them out of the garden, to protect them from eating of the Tree of Life.
            Prior to the fall they had lived in a state of innocence being dependant upon God.
            As soon as they disobeyed God and ate from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, their ‘eyes were opened’ and they realized they were naked.
            In other words, they became ‘self focused’ not ‘God focused’.
            Mankind has done this with ‘religion’ and ‘good works’ all through history.

          • Neko

            Question. How do you reconcile the notion of all creation being cursed until the end of ages over the actions of two clueless adolescents in a garden with the axiom that God is just? (Since you seem to take the myth of the Fall literally.) You can’t do it.

          • connylynn

            I can’t do what. Give my opinion on an open forum?

            Adam and Eve were perfectly created, intelligent adults who committed high treason against God when they chose to try and be like God. That was their fall into death and separation from God and the beginning of this cursed world.

            Jesus has redeemed us from the curse but the majority of humanity has rejected that gift.

          • Neko

            You wrote:

            I can’t do what. Give my opinion on an open forum?

            Oh please. That was a mighty quick jump to the old persecution complex. Why don’t you read what I actually wrote.

          • Pretending that the words of the Bible cannot be understood by reading them as the words of ancient humans in particular languages and contexts is deceitful, and is most likely a result of your having misunderstood something you read in the Bible.

            Circular arguments that try to make God’s nature the definition of what is right, moral, and good, and then insisting that God is right and moral and good in some objective and meaningful sense, are obviously self defeating.

          • connylynn

            I’m not pretending and I never said there could be no understanding of the scriptures when read only with your mind but it will be limited and you will never get full revelation of them.
            I didn’t misunderstand something I read in the bible. It is very clear.

            1 Corinthians 2:14
            “The natural man does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. For they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

            Colossians 2:8
            “Don’t let others spoil your faith and joy with their philosophies, their wrong and shallow answers built on men’s thoughts and ideas, instead of on what Christ has said.”

            James 3:17
            “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

            God is right, moral and good and His Word shows us who He is, His nature and how to live our lives.
            We fail miserably most of the time which is why we need Jesus.

            1 John 1:5
            “This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.”

          • Neko

            You wrote:

            A cursed world IS the reason for the evil in it.

            If you consider the cycle of violence, life and death that characterizes the cosmos to be a “curse,” then reality is a curse. But it’s not a curse that occurred because of a mythical, singular act of disobedience. You will have to do better than that.

          • connylynn

            I don’t have to do better than the truth.

            The cosmos is an orderly, harmonious system.
            The earth is in time and the cycle of violence, life and death is the reality of the curse in this world.

            The spiritual realm is as real as the natural realm but most people have no interest in learning about it, which is why they think the Bible is a myth.

            When Adam and Eve wanted to ‘be like God’ (it was much more than just disobeying and eating a piece of fruit) they lost the light of God’s glory and presence and darkness was the result.

            Darkness is the absence of light.
            Evil is the absence of good(God)

            God gave them the right to choose because you cannot have a relationship with someone by force.
            When the choice to ‘be like God’ was placed before them they chose their own way and lost the life connection they had with God.

            As the parents of all humanity they brought death and the curse on all mankind. God cannot be in the presence of evil so He started a plan to redeem His creation and destroy sin and death, by reconnecting with people through Jesus Christ.

          • Neko

            The Adam and Eve story is a myth.

            I’ll just add that you need not wear yourself out explaining the orthodox Christian interpretation of the Fall. I’m familiar with it.

          • connylynn

            I’m not wearing myself out. The truth is something I enjoy sharing and you did ask.

            You are entitled to your opinion but I’m not an Orthodox or Legalistic Christian.
            I believe in Grace and when you allow the truth to penetrate your heart instead of religion you will truly be set free and see the truth.

          • Neko

            That’s neither here nor there. The issue is the allegorical nature of the Fall. It didn’t actually happen.

            I understand why many Christians cling to this story as if it had been an historical event, because the reality is problematic for Christian theology. But, yeah, it’s problematic.

          • connylynn

            The Fall was an historical event. Not believing it doesn’t solidify your opinion.

            What ‘reality’ is problematic for Christianity?

            I “cling’ to the truth and don’t listen to the world’s wisdom.

            One cannot read the Bible without their spirit engaged or they will misread it.
            The natural mind cannot comprehend the deep meaning in it

          • Neko

            The Fall was not an historical event! It’s a myth that attempts to account for the human condition in terms of the transition from childhood to the sexual self-consciousness and moral perils of adult life. It didn’t actually happen. Humans evolved over millions of years. The Catholic Church, which accepts the science on evolution, offers a workaround in which God “ensouled” the “first pair,” thereby preserving the essential Fall for Christ to redeem.

            Oh well, religion is a storytelling art.

          • Neko

            You wrote:

            He is omnipotent but He will not override His own laws.

            Why not?

          • connylynn

            Because any parent, teacher, politician or commander who sets up rules and laws and than ignores them will not be respected or honored.

            God does not go back on His Word.

          • Neko

            Apparently the image of God as tribal chieftain will never die.

          • connylynn

            Only in some people’s mind.

          • Neko

            Like yours!

          • connylynn

            I don’t think that God is a ‘tribal chieftain’.

            He is God of the universe.
            And Father, Savior, Friend and Protector to those who know Him and trust in Him.

          • Neko

            I’m not going tit for tat on this. Have a good holiday (if you live in the US).

          • connylynn

            No, I don’t, but we have a holiday today as well.

            Debate is always good to keep people thinking and learning.
            You have a good day off but I do have to work today.

          • Neko

            Thanks.

        • WingedBeast

          As an excuse, that doesn’t follow.

          If all life is precious, then all life is precious. You don’t get to say that that life wasn’t precious because the conditions were different, then. You certainly don’t get to say that an Omnipotent being gets excuses when a mortal human, making a choice between bad options, has none.

          • connylynn

            Humans do have free choice and God chose to offer His own Son because people were so precious to Him. He never makes excuses, He does what’s needed beyond our scope of understanding.
            When you try to reason things out with only your mind and not the spiritual scope of situations, you will easily become deluded.

          • WingedBeast

            Does the concept of context mean nothing to you?

            I responded to something you said that was, quite literally, giving God an excuse. Then, you said he never makes excuses. To be clear, I accused *you* of making the excuse for God.

            If you can’t respond to what’s actually being said, don’t respond at all, it would be more honest.

          • connylynn

            I’m very aware of what context means. I deal with Atheists all the time who love to take bible verses out of context.

            I don’t have to make excuses for God. His Word is clear to those who want the truth.

            I answered your post simply and honestly for the space on this forum.
            Ancient cultures operated differently than how we see things today.

            Also, they were not aware of who their enemy really was as Satan was not revealed to them until the New Testament.

            God protected them from total annilation and ‘took the rap’ so to speak by withholding His complete mercy and displaying His wrath until Jesus came and bore the judgment of sin in Himself.

          • WingedBeast

            “I don’t have to make excuses for God. His Word is clear to those who want the truth.”

            Then why did you? Your entire answer was why God was excused for the examples brought up.

            “Ancient cultures operated differently than how we see things today.”

            But, you’re not talking about ancient cultures that are human and fallible and changing. You’re talking about a deity that is infallible, morally perfect by an unchanging morality. So, the conflict remains and the human excuse does not apply.

            “God protected them from total annilation and ‘took the rap’ so to speak by withholding His complete mercy and displaying His wrath until Jesus came and bore the judgment of sin in Himself.”

            Are you saying that God lacked the ability to protect the Israelites from annihilation without commanding genocide?

            Are you saying that God’s mercy was just that weak?

          • connylynn

            I’m not saying that at all.
            God created humans with wills and personalities. We are not puppets.
            And God’s mercy is endless and new every day but we must accept it.

            God will not override the spiritual laws that He put in place when He created the earth.

            The earth legally belonged to mankind to take care of. They decided to disobey God and gave it to Satan.

            Let’s put it this way. If you give someone a car, free and clear, sign over the papers and give them the keys, do you have any say in how they treat that car. It is now legally theirs and they can drive it over a cliff if they want to and there’s nothing you can (legally) do.

            The earth belonged to humans so only a human could get it back.
            Jesus was that man and He legally won it back, as he was sinless.

            Satan must operate within spiritual laws also but he decieves people into listening to his lies and gains ground that way.

            If God decided to ignore sin it would have completely destroyed the earth. He had to get the people to choose not to sin (not to drive the car over the cliff)
            He loved them too much to let that happen so He gave them His Son to redeem them.

            Genocide was a cleansing of the earth from the rampant spread of evil. Ever person ever born will live again some day with God but mankind has made it a long, slow process because of their rejection of Him.

            God will restore all things and all people in the end. The culmination of that is still in the process.
            If you look at things only with your five senses than understanding that will be difficult.

          • WingedBeast

            You don’t seem to understand. You can repeat that “man gave it to Satan” all you like and that won’t draw a clear line to justifying commands to genocide.

            “Jesus was that man and He legally won it back, as he was sinless.”

            Only if exempt. He showed disrespect to his mother. He looked on others to think him their betters. He called a woman a dog when she was begging for a healing for her daughter. He stole livestock. When even looking on your brother with hate is as bad as murder, he’s not going to come out of that without sin unless he’s exempt from the laws.

            “If God decided to ignore sin it would have completely destroyed the earth.”

            So, God was incapable of refraining from commanding the Amalekite infants be put to death without ignoring sin? Is that what you’re saying?

            “Genocide was a cleansing of the earth from the rampant spread of evil.”

            Oh, so you’re saying that the worst the Nazis can be accused of is being mistaken with regards to their target.

            Listen, you’ve obviously confused repeating your beliefs with making your case that they are without internal conflict. You haven’t made your case, you’ve repeated your beliefs and you’ve given God an excuse for an activity which, were a human to do the same activity with the same results and the same intent, you’d give none. If your beliefs are true, they should be able to hold up to actual review that you’re refusing to give.

          • connylynn

            You ignore most of what I’ve written and then ask me to explain it again which is why I have to repeat it. And you repost part of what I wrote leaving it out of context. I know what I’ve written you do not need to rewrite it.

            Jesus was the most kind and humble man that walked the earth while at the same time not backing down from what had to be said. He followed the law perfectly while gently starting to bring people out from under it. But that would not be completely possible until after His death and resurrection.

            The Jews at the time considered non-Jews as ‘dogs’ which was what Jesus was referring to when talking with the Greek woman. He never directly call her a dog and he never asked her to beg. He came to minister first to the Jews and later commissioned Paul to preach to the Gentiles.
            Jesus was trying to draw out her faith so He could heal her daughter, which He did.
            And He said that her faith was greater than any he’d seen in all Israel.
            Everything Jesus did came with a lesson for those listening.
            This women asked and she received even though she was not Jewish.
            Something Jesus’ disciples would later learn.

            As for the livestock, I’m guessing your referring to the pigs that ran over the cliff.
            The sad thing about this is Atheists are more concerned about the pigs than they are the man that desperately needed help. I think that he was more important plus Jews were not supposed to eat pork so owning them was against their laws.

            Jesus thought of His mother while He was dying and suffering on the cross and made sure she was taken care of by John.
            The reference your speaking of where His family wanted to see Him and He used that moment again for a lesson is not disrespect. He most surely went and saw His mother when He was done teaching.

            His lesson about hating your brother, was just to point out that there is no way anyone can keep the Law. The Pharisees tried really hard and it was usually them that Jesus was addressing on these issues. The law was given only to show us that we need a Savior.

            Hitler was a selfish, phycotic human being and knew nothing of the needs and concerns of the people. Your attempt to even compare him to God is hardly worth commenting on.

            God needed to keep the Israelites away from the surrounding Nations so they wouldn’t adopt their evil ways. You seem to have no idea of the lifestyle these nations are living.
            Child sacrifices, temple prostitution, murder, incest, rape …..
            Your attempt to understand what took place in the Old Testament and the reasons for it in such a short time will not happen. Spiritual cognizance and much time spent in the Word of God is the only way you will completely see why things happened the way they did.

            I am not in conflict over my beliefs in anyway and I’m not sure what you think I’m refusing to give concerning my beliefs. I believe in God the Father and Jesus His Son .
            And once more, I am not making excuses for God. I don’t have to and neither does He.
            He is God and His actions are always in the best interest of mankind even when it seems confusing to us. I am simply trying to answer your questions as briefly as possible.

          • WingedBeast

            “You ignore most of what I’ve written and then ask me to explain it again which is why I have to repeat it. ”

            No, I don’t. It’s just that I’ve heard it before and you still don’t make the case that it’s even relevant to the matter of OT genocide.

            Repeating that Jesus is so great does not, repeat not, make the OT genocides go away.

            “Jesus was trying to draw out her faith so He could heal her daughter, which He did.”

            Does that make it so he didn’t call her a dog? Does that make it so that he didn’t wait until after she accepted her place as a dog before healing the daughter?

            Does that make it so that you wouldn’t consider that he has done this woman or her daughter the slightest wrong were he not Jesus, but someone fallible?

            “The sad thing about this is Atheists are more concerned about the pigs than they are the man that desperately needed help.”

            No, we’re concerned with your claims of perfection contrasted with a standard for humans that is impossible to meet, sometimes due to being in situations which don’t have any morally perfect options.

            And, even when that’s the particular issue, we do take issue on behalf of the pig-farmer. But, that’s inconvenient for you, so you dress it up differently.

            “His lesson about hating your brother, was just to point out that there is no way anyone can keep the Law.”

            And, *my* point in bringing that up is that he doesn’t live up to his own interpretation.

            “Hitler was a selfish, phycotic human being and knew nothing of the needs and concerns of the people. Your attempt to even compare him to God is hardly worth commenting on.”

            I’m not comparing God to Hitler. I’m comparing the reasoning you give for why genocide was good for Ancient Israel to why Hitler thought it was good in the 3rd Reich and finding that they match up fairly well. The only difference being the actual targets of the genocide.

            “God needed to keep the Israelites away from the surrounding Nations so they wouldn’t adopt their evil ways.”

            And, God couldn’t communicate to those surrounding Nations at any time. It’s not like God could, I don’t know, communicate to some who would listen and enable them to change the society. It’s not like the slightest bit of imagination and compassion makes your excuse pathetic for its hidebound refusal to care.

            “Child sacrifices”

            Let’s focus on that one especially. You have God commanding the deaths of infants for, in the case of the Amalekites, merely having the wrong ancestry or, in the case of the Canaanites, being male and having the wrong ancestry. That is child sacrifice in all but name.

            Not to mention that that is akin to the kind of blood libel that, to go back to a comparison with you and not God, the Nazis used to justify the freaking Holocaust.

            “Your attempt to understand what took place in the Old Testament and the reasons for it in such a short time will not happen.”

            I’m in much better position as someone willing to look at it critically, rather than someone who assumes, first and foremost, that this must be moral perfection.

            “I am not in conflict over my beliefs in anyway and I’m not sure what I’m refusing to give concerning my beliefs.”

            I didn’t say that you were in conflict over your beliefs. I said your beliefs have internal conflict. There’s a difference, a fairly obvious one in that your beliefs call genocide and mass infanticide morally perfect when you wouldn’t dare do so in any other case.

            “And once more, I am not making excuses for God. I don’t have to and neither does He.”

            That’s exactly what you’re doing. You’re saying “oh, this wasn’t bad in this case, because mankind gave this world to satan”. And, you’re not drawing the specifics. You are taking this thing that would, otherwise, be called evil and you are trying to excuse it from that label with, quite frankly, a cheap distraction.

        • John MacDonald

          The story of the Fall reads like an “Arche Narrative.” The ancient Jews didn’t understand why God allowed man to die, or why women suffered so much, and often died, in childbirth, so they invented the story of The Fall to rationalize why things like that happened. It’s like the ancient Greeks not knowing why the sun travelled across the sky, so they invented a myth positing that the Greek God Helios dragged the sun across the sky.

          • connylynn

            The scriptures are not made up they are the history of God’s people written by men He chose, inspired by the Holy Spirit.
            They are the heart of God and shrouded wisdom to those who refuse to acknowledge Him.

            The Bible narratives must be read with one’s spirit engaged or confusion will be the result.

            God was very clear as to why there was suffering in the world but His people continued to follow their own ways instead of God’s, resulting in insurmountable problems for them.

            Death entered the earth at the Fall and will be the last enemy destroyed for God doesn’t want us living on this cursed earth forever.

          • John MacDonald

            Why didn’t God just cast an “Un-Curse the Earth” spell a long time ago? Doesn’t He have the power?

          • John MacDonald

            Or does He not have enough empathy to cast it?

          • connylynn

            God doesn’t ‘cast spells’
            He is completely just and will not override spiritual laws.

            Just like we expect a President to obey the law even though he is the most powerful person in the country, God will also operate within justice. (although with perfection, unlike any president)

            God gave the earth to man to take care of and they decided that Satan would make a better god and gave it to him.

            If God were to destroy death and sin at that point He would also have had to destroy Adam and Eve as they had put themselves in ‘camp’ with Satan.

            He loved them to much for that and started the plan of their salvation but it had to be worked out through man, as the earth was given to them.

          • John MacDonald

            You wrote: “God gave the earth to man to take care of and they decided that Satan would make a better god and gave it to him.” Where in scripture does it say this?

            You wrote: “If God were to destroy death and sin at that point He would also have had to destroy Adam and Eve as they had put themselves in ‘camp’ with Satan.” Then why didn’t God immediately destroy death and sin for the next humans that came along who weren’t, as you say, in ‘camp’ with Satan? It would seem that a just God would destroy death and sin at the first available opportunity so as to not expose humans to undeserved pain and suffering.

          • connylynn

            Genesis 1:26
            God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

            Psalm 115:16
            The heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth He has given to mankind.

            Luke 4:5,6
            And the devil took Jesus up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, “I will give You authority over all these kingdoms and all their glory,” he said. “For it has been relinquished to me, and I can give it to anyone I wish”.

            Like I said, God loved Adam and Eve and He would have had to destroy them along with the earth to remove the curse.
            And if He did that there would be no ‘next humans’ as they hadn’t had any children yet.

            If your child does something wrong, do you kill them and have another baby and try again? Of course not.
            You do everything in your power to correct them and save them from any trouble they got themselves into.

            Death and sin had to be destroyed by a human because humans brought them to the earth that was under their dominion.
            Jesus was the only one who could do that because He was sinless.

            A just God doesn’t do whatever is easiest for those who have willingly disobeyed Him and chose another god.

            Consequences of one’s decisions are part of life.

          • John MacDonald

            You wrote “Like I said, God loved Adam and Eve and He would have had to destroy them along with the earth to remove the curse. And if He did that there would be no ‘next humans’ as they hadn’t had any children yet.”

            You haven’t explained why God couldn’t have waited a while and then said to Adam and Eve: “Okay, I think you’ve learned your lesson. You can go back to paradise!”

            You also haven’t explained why Adam and Eve’s offspring had to be punished for what they did, and why they couldn’t have been returned to paradise..

            Why couldn’t God just have annihilated Satan? Why has he still not done this? There is no reason to suppose Jesus is the only one who could overcome Sin if God was more powerful than Jesus.

          • John MacDonald

            So you believe the Greek God Helios drags the sun across the sky?

          • connylynn

            Of course not. I only believe in the truth.

          • John MacDonald

            Why would you disbelieve the Greek myth that a God ferries the sun across the sky, and yet believe the Hebrew myth that God altered female physiology to make childbirth terribly painful as a punishment for sin? Are they both not just explanatory myths created by ancient cultures to explain things they didn’t understand (why the sun travels across the sky, /and why God would create women to have such painful, and often life ending child birth)?

          • Dave Williams

            Which truth? I find it amazing to think that so many Christians believe that THEIR way is THE ONLY way. So sad and so arrogant.

          • connylynn

            Not arrogance, just confidence.
            What’s the use in believing in something if you are not fully convinced of that belief?

            What’s sad is the world’s ever changing system of what’s right and what’s wrong.

        • jh

          You mean that your perfect God couldn’t make a perfect world? He was that incompetent.

          And frankly – when we have serial kilers and rapists, we don’t just let them wander around. We lock them up. Why didn’t God lock us up? Why didn’t he prevent the crimes against humanity that human beings have perpetrated.

          No – a fetus is not a baby. It is a proto-baby. science proves that. It is a range of developmental stages… which can be interrupted by numerous causes and that will usually lead to the natural termination of a pregnancy. That’s why the miscarriage rate is so high.

          Your God is just like your Trump voters.. devoid of personal responsibility and morality.

          Please – I’m all out of charity for excuses on why your perfect, loving, omnipotent, good God would allow the kind of human suffering that has been the norm of our species history until our species started walking away from religion.

          • connylynn

            Man allows pain and suffering through his actions and his rejection of God.

            God did ‘lock us up’, with the Law.
            But it was a temporary measure until Christ came and freed us from the judgment we deserved.

            And God wants you to walk away from religion. He hates it as much as you do.
            He wants a relationship not an organization that constantly misrepresents Him.

            Science has proven that life starts at conception it just doesn’t want to advertise it because it proves that abortion is wrong.

            And speaking of personal responsibility, how is abortion responsible or moral?

            (I’m Canadian but I think Hilary is more evil than Trump)
            You guys aren’t left with much choice.

          • connylynn

            God did make a perfect world. And He ‘locked up’ Adam and Eve when He had them leave the garden to where they were imprisoned, in the very world their crime had been cursed for. But He never left them alone and He Himself took their punishment at the cross and set them free.
            He also ‘locked us up’ with the Law until Christ fulfilled the Law with His sacrifice.

            Just because a fetus can be miscarried does not make it any less a human.
            We live in a very imperfect world and terrible things happen.
            Science has proven that life starts at conception it just doesn’t want to advertise it because it proves that abortion is wrong.

            God is not void of anything. He is the embodiment of all that is good and right.
            He is love, joy, peace, mercy, forgiveness and grace.
            Clinton knows nothing about those qualities.
            And God took complete responsibility for our sin at the cross.

            Reach outside of the tiny box you have imprisoned yourself in and find a whole other realm of possibilities. The world is not one dimensional as your five senses would like you to believe.

            A world without religion is something I pray for also but never a world without the one true God, who came to earth as a man to save us from the darkness in our very souls.

            Jesus hates religion as much as you do. Much of Christianity has become just another religion but knowing and loving God is not religion, it is freedom and light.

            The majority of people in the world are not Christian yet do you see any relief from pain and suffering? The rejection of the Creator of the universe and human selfishness is the cause of that.

            When Christ returns for His Church you will get a chance, for a season, to see what the world will be like without God’s people.
            But even then God gives second chances and His mercy and forgiveness will overwhelm those who did not believe. Love wins.

        • Neko

          That’s some pretty weak apologetics right there. First of all we’re talking about myths. You’re defending genocide, and it’s not even historical genocide! So much for being “pro-life.”

      • Tracy Robinson

        See, you understand that god only cares about christain life. If it’s infidels and atheists christains are supposed to burn their homes and kill the men and rip the babies from pregnant heathens bellies as described in the bible.

        • jinx

          Were in scripture does it say that he does not bless unbelievers?

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            Probably in the parts where Jesus orders his followers to sacrifice the Cannanites to him, etc.

          • Random Boy 3 m

            “Probably in the parts where Jesus orders his followers to sacrifice the Cannanites to him, etc.” ironically, the Canaanites use to practice child sacrifice and use to serve the pagan deity known as Baal or Moloch by dropping infants into a fire in front of a statue of Baal or Moloch.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            Interesting. Their crime was they weren’t killing enough people, so Jesus fixed that for them? If they had been Jesus, then it would have been OK? Why would Jesus pretend to be ‘The Lord’? Strange that I’ve been typing this comment and no still-living Jesus has any answers delivered to everyone at once in a universal forum. Oh well… posting comment… nowwwwwww.

        • connylynn

          You need to rightly divide the scriptures. The Old Covenant and the New.

          Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. God will restore all things to Himself in the fullness of time. I choose to be restored now, that’s the difference.

          What was neccessary in the OT is no longer needed.

          • John MacDonald

            Then why did many of the first Christians remain Jewish?

          • Kate Aandem

            Because ALL the first Christians were Jews, until the Roman Centurian and his household received the Holy Ghost. After Paul was converted and received wisdom and knowledge from God, he wrote all Christians are Jews, grafted onto the Jewish roots.

          • connylynn

            The Jews wanted their Messiah to rule an earthly kingdom and free them from Roman occupation and suppression.

            They rejected Him as they couldn’t see that Jesus fullfilled all the prophesies that were written about Him.

            Many also rejected Paul’s teaching because the Gospel of Grace, that Jesus commissioned him to preach, was so different from the Law they were under.

          • Dave Williams

            And yet… right-wing Christians NEVER FAIL to quote Leviticus when they want to hate homosexuals.

          • connylynn

            Well, I guess I’m not a right winged Christian then.
            I have as many issues with legalistic Christians as you do.
            God is a God of Grace for all people.
            Why so many Christians want to stay bound to the Old Covenant and the Law I don’t understand and I apologize for any pain you may have endured from judgments that they have no business giving.

            Jesus spent alot of time with the people that the religious leaders of the day had no use for and considered outcasts. And He did not condemn them, He just loved them.
            Get to know that Jesus and you can ignore the religious ignorance so many are pushing as Christianity.

          • Dave Williams

            “Get to know that Jesus and you can ignore the religious ignorance so many are pushing as Christianity.”

            I support The Christian Left who believes this. They clearly see that the Right – and Republicans – are for the things that go completely against the teachings of Christ.

            I am agnostic.

        • Kate Aandem

          God loves everyone. That’s why God sent Jesus to take on all the sins of mankind and get us back into God’s family –if and only if, you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and Jesus died on the Cross for us.

          • John MacDonald

            Why does belief matter? People believe and don’t believe contrary things over a lifetime. If God doesn’t care whether you believe in the republican agenda or the democrat agenda, why would it matter to God what you thought of some execution thousands of years ago? Some scriptures say to reap the benefits you need to believe, but might that just have been a way for the emerging Christian cult to exercise control over it’s members? No one cares if you “believe” you should rob a convenience store for whatever reason. What matters are your “actions.” The thought police belong in dystopias like George Orwell’s “1984.”

          • John MacDonald

            Wouldn’t you say a selfless atheist who devoted her life to worthy causes was just as deserving of heaven as a believer who led a self-centered, solipsistic life?

      • Leonardo Rossi

        Well, yeah, some Christians actually worship Khorne, who is anti abortion because children need to grow so their blood can be spilled for the blood god and their skulls can be used for the skulls throne.

    • gfish3000

      And when the fetuses are miscarried? Was that God going “whoops, didn’t mean to make that one…” and doing the equivalent of pressing the delete key? What about the stillborn? God changing his mind at the last second? And if thou shalt not kill is so absolute — because there doesn’t seem to be an “unless X” clause in that commandment — then how is it not a sin to wage war on others and why aren’t all soldiers seen as sinners and heretics by their respective religions?

      • jinx

        Miscarages and still births are the consequences of sin starting in the garden of Eden. man was initially allowed to eat from the tree of immortality before the incident involving the tree of good and evil. Sin corrupted the original man etc.
        Also still born and miscarried babies still have a soul.

        • John MacDonald

          What about animals who have miscarriages and still births?

          • jinx

            What are you asking?

          • John MacDonald

            Do you think animals like chimpanzees and elephants have miscarriages and still births because humans sinned in the Garden of Eden?

          • jinx

            If you follow with scripture and this is my view only the downfall of man (sin) brought about the corruption of a perfect world. Sickness, disease, death are a direct link to that original act. So if miscarriages are a product of some illness, would animals have miscarriages or also be immortal? I don’t know. That’s a question for john mcArthur types.

          • John MacDonald

            Sounds a little Sadistic of God to punish innocent animals like dogs and pigs in this way just because man sinned. Why are animals being punished for something they didn’t do?

          • jinx

            What mere mortal can judge and tell the creator what is sadistic? And if man’s sin-polution/overfishing/habitat distruction etc causes miscarriages etc in animals are we to blame God?

          • John MacDonald

            You don’t think savagely punishing creatures for a sin they didn’t commit is sadistic?

          • jinx

            So who’s interpretation of savagery are we to use. The people of Dan in West Africa, the Apache of the Americas, or some other peoples. Surely one is not better than the other.

          • John MacDonald

            Someone elsewhere on this blog recently pointed out Dr. Dennett shows that the view of sites such as BioLogos that the Christian God of Infinite Love spent over 3 billion years of creature suffering and mass extinctions such as the dinasaurs, etc. to create humans seems highly improbable. Also, I would add that while apologists may use heaven and the afterlife to excuse human suffering, it doesn’t work with other creatures.

          • jinx

            I don’t follow those blogs, but if you want a good theological understanding, I would suggest John McArthur. He simply tells it like it is. Most atheist and christians argue from the same point with both sides misinterpreting the others view. Don’t use other atheist sites and simply repeat whats said blindly. Don’t follow charlatens and try to use it to discredit Christ. Anyway I’ve got to go. Great day to all.

          • jinx

            Define savagely and give your resources. And while you’re at it do it in such a way that takes into account all sensibilities, all cultures, and all history. You can’t do it without God, and can guarantee you things we find acceptable here in the west are viewed as savage and sadistic. What makes western views better? Nothing!

          • John MacDonald

            Over 3 billion years of creature suffering and mass extinctions such as the dinosaurs and the Dodo bird seems pretty atrocious to me, considering that God could have presumably avoided it. Wanton disregard for life and the well being of living things seems to suggest God is a sociopath.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            What wife can judge and tell her husband not to rightfully rape her when she sinfully denied him sex?

          • connylynn

            God did not curse the earth.
            He said, ” Cursed is the earth because of what you’ve done”
            NOT “I curse the earth because of what you’ve done.

          • John MacDonald

            mis-comment / sorry / lol

          • John MacDonald

            I don’t understand what you think the difference is?

          • connylynn

            The earth became cursed because of sin.
            God did not curse it Himself.
            It was a result of Adam and Eve listening to Satan.

          • John MacDonald

            What power was responsible for bringing the earth into a cursed state?

          • John MacDonald

            If God didn’t cast the magic spell that cursed the earth, then who did? Who is the agent who is responsible for the earth becoming cursed?

          • connylynn

            The power of disobedience.
            Sin is a spiritual force and infects everything in its path.

          • John MacDonald

            So you think “Sin” is a powerful entity that, supercharged by man’s disobedience, cast a magic spell that cursed the earth?

          • connylynn

            No, not an entity but a force that man succumbed to and allowed into the earth.
            Much like desire that moves people to want to do things, good or bad.
            No magic spells, just a curse which is still obvious in our world today.

          • John MacDonald

            Desires don’t exist outside our minds. It is still unclear in what sense you mean “Sin is a spiritual force and infects everything in its path.” Calling “Sin” a “force” is no different from calling it an “entity” because both seem to be characterizing “Sin” as something that has causal powers above and beyond just individual humans “behaving badly.”

          • connylynn

            You choose to ignore the spiritual part of yourself so you believe that the mind is where all desires come from.

            Our human spirit desires transcendental experiences like perfect truth/love/justice/beauty ect.

            Any earthly satisfaction of these inner desires leaves us feeling frustrated and wanting more.

            We know we have not yet reached a perfect understanding of our world, so we research and seek more knowledge.

            We intuitively know that our current knowledge is limited and does not meet our desire to know all that is to be known.

            Our conscious desire for perfect knowledge and complete truth has been written in our human nature by God, who is complete and perfect.

            Genesis 4:7
            “Is it not true that if you do what is right, you will be fine? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. It desires to dominate you, but you must subdue it”

            An inanimate object does not ‘crouch’ nor ‘desire’.
            Sin is not an entity in itself but a force Satan uses to entrap people.
            We have the power to reject it’s enticement before it creates a wrong desire in our hearts.

            Sin begins in the human heart and, if left unchecked, works its way out in thoughts, words, and deeds.

            In physics, a ‘force’ is any interaction that, when unopposed, will change the motion of an object.

            An ‘entity’ is something with distinct and independent existence.
            Sin cannot exist without someone giving in to the temptation.

          • John MacDonald

            So, according to your words, you think Sin (1) “begins in the human heart,” while at the same time is (2) “a force Satan uses to entrap people.” It seems like you are saying Sin BOTH begins with the human heart AND begins with Satan. Could you clarify? Your position is a little hard to understand. And also please clarify if Sin is such an irresistible force cast forth by a supernatural Satan, isn’t it a little unfair for a just God to hold lowly, finite humans accountable for succumbing to Sin?

          • John MacDonald

            If Sin is a spiritual force that is such a nuisance, why doesn’t God just wish it out of existence?

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            “You are raped for your sin”, the victim-blaming monster said to the victimised person, whom he then went on to gaslight her legitimacy to say he had done or could do any wrong.

          • connylynn

            The curse came from Satan, not God.

            And any rapist who tells his victim that they deserved it in any way or it is a result of their sin is a phycological, sociopath and knows nothing about God or His ways.

            And rape is Satan’s idea, not God’s.

            People make choices. Sometimes the most horrific choices and others suffer greatly because of those choices.
            None of that is the will of God. Mankind has, on the whole, rejected God throughout history and then they ask, ‘Where is God?’

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            The rape comes from her sin, not the perfectly just husband. Besides, she’s not as smart as him and can’t make sperm and where was she when he ordered her to have sex with him? So, you see, that wife has no reason to judge her husband for the rape that happened to her. In fact her husband is actually completely against rape and is the only person not complicit in rape.

          • connylynn

            Mankind was given dominion of the earth and they gave it to Satan. He doesn’t care about the animals or humans.

          • John MacDonald

            Animals and all other manner of creatures were suffering and dying millions of years before man came on the scene.

          • John MacDonald

            And God cast the magic spell that caused man to become mortal, and cast him out of Eden so he could suffer, not Satan.

          • jinx

            You should really read Genesis. So many misquotes.

          • John MacDonald

            Didn’t God make man mortal as a punishment?

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            “Mankind was given dominion of the earth”

            Just following the story book: Who makes such a stupid decision?

          • Kate Aandem

            I guess we’ll never know. We’ll just have to kill’em and eat’em!

          • John MacDonald

            Feel free to eat all the dog that you want. I’ll pass.

          • John MacDonald

            Paul may think all creation (including animals) will be saved. He writes:

            “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:18)”

            This agrees with Paul’s idea that all people will be saved:

            “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ ALL will be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22).

            I guess this all means cockroaches will be saved. lol

          • jinx

            Total misinterpretation..

          • John MacDonald

            I was making a joke. See where I wrote “lol”

          • John MacDonald

            But it does stand to reason that if sin brought suffering and death into the world, Christ’s victory over sin will eventually overcome all suffering and death so that cockroaches will be free from suffering and death.

          • Dave Williams

            And YOU are the only one who has the “right” interpretation? Then explain the multitude of Christian sects in the world – EACH believe that THEIR interpretation is the right one.

          • Neko

            Part of Paul’s charm.

          • John MacDonald

            You wrote “Miscarriages and still births are the consequences of sin starting in the garden of Eden.” I responded “What about animals who have miscarriages and still births?” Are animal miscarriages and still births also the consequences of sin?

          • jinx

            I’m not sure. One thing we do know man lived in a lush garden. And it seemed he did some type of work in the garden, but he wasn’t cursed with hard labor until he sinned.

          • EdmondWherever

            One thing we do know man lived in a lush garden.

            I have to disagree that we “know” this. I think we don’t. We have absolutely no data on where this garden was, how big it was, how long ago it existed, or what’s happened to it since.

            The only source of information we seem to have on it is a collection of cultural myths from the Middle East, saying that it was occupied by the first two humans ever, as well as a talking snake, and a fruit tree which somehow granted people the knowledge of good and evil if they ate from it.

            Besides the magical qualities of that story which would seem to categorize it as fiction, it is also completely contradictory to what we know about the biological development of life on this planet, not to mention the lack of talking snakes or knowledge-granting fruit in the taxonomic catalog.

            The story seems further complicated by the fact that in order to “sin”, and therefore be cursed with hard labor, Adam & Eve would need to know that disobeying God was an evil deed. If they didn’t know that, then they were blameless innocents. But they couldn’t know that disobedience was evil until after they ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which was itself the disobedient act.

            The whole story comes apart under close scrutiny, revealing it to be a fable. None of it contains anything we reliably “know”. Several parts of the Bible are like this. Noah’s ark contradicts shipbuilding, animal care, and habitat distribution. The Tower of Babel contradicts linguistics. The sheer amount of magic in the Bible brings serious doubt to our ability to “know” that any of it is true.

          • jinx

            And you have no proof that it didn’t happen as well. Family as well as cultural history has been passed down for centuries with so called previously unknown facts being called fables. Do you have to understand that disobedience is evil and does that make you an innocent. Children disobey their parents daily without knowing the full extent of their actions but they are still disciplined. They were disciplined because they disobeyed God not because they were evil.
            In regards to some of your other arguments wait around a minute science or anthropology just may catch up.

          • John MacDonald

            Yes, but when parents punish children the punishment doesn’t massively outstrip the offence, and we don’t impose the punishment forever on the child and their children that committed no offence.

          • jinx

            You should reading before you try and poke holes in scripture. The same old arguments, nothing new and I’m no bible scholar. Try McArthur or Ravi Zacharius for deeper understanding.

          • John MacDonald

            That’s not an answer to what I posted.

          • jinx

            Sure it is.

          • EdmondWherever

            And you have no proof that it didn’t happen as well.

            I also have no proof that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs didn’t happen, either. But we don’t gain knowledge by speculating wildly, and then saying that it can’t be disproven. Do you believe everything that can’t be disproven? Or have you chosen one specific “cultural history” to believe, while dismissing all the others on the planet?

            Do you have to understand that disobedience is evil and does that make you an innocent.

            If you have no knowledge of good and evil, then yes, you’re an innocent. In the story, Adam and Even had never seen God before, they only knew that he was there before them. But the serpent was there before them, too, because the animals were first. How were they supposed to know who to obey? Why would the knowledge of good and evil be something that God would want to keep from them? Wouldn’t they obey better if they had it?

            Children disobey their parents daily without knowing the full extent of their actions but they are still disciplined.

            Good parents are able to explain why they expect to be obeyed. Don’t touch the stovetop because it will burn you. Don’t run out into the street or you can be run over. Come home before dark, because there are dangerous people out there. Parental commands come with good reasons. God never gave a reason why Adam and Eve shouldn’t have the knowledge of good and evil. And the only consequences came directly from him, rather than an external danger that he couldn’t protect them from, like a hot stove. Parents are trying to protect their children from the perils of the world. But in a theological view, all those perils are created by God, and could be mitigated by him, if he so chose.

            They were disciplined because they disobeyed God not because they were evil.

            And so God threw them out of their home. I wouldn’t expect the same reaction from a good parent. Even disobedient children are given more than one chance to do right.

            In regards to some of your other arguments wait around a minute science or anthropology just may catch up.

            It’s highly unlikely that linguists are one day going to tell us that all the world’s languages originated spontaneously at a construction disaster site, or that biologists will discover that all the marsupials in Australia hopped there together from Mt. Ararat, while leaving no trace of their dead along the way. We’ve already figured out how these things work. Science has already spoken on resurrections, virgin births, or what happens when someone tries to walk across the surface of a lake. These aren’t part of the real world. But they are the kind of things we find in stories and myths. I think it’s safe to assume that’s all they are.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            Nothing I even tell you I am just pulling out of my posterior can be disproved- have you checked to make sure I wasn’t right by coincidence or lying?

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            And introducing a super-powered magical deceiver who is left alive in the story is just shooting oneself in the foot- turns out the whole Bible is from the perspective of our one evil trickster god!

        • gfish3000

          So the message from Genesis is: “Want to be curious? Want to explore, ask questions, and have agency? Plagues, tragedy, disease, war, and death on you!” or something like that?

          • jinx

            No the message is there are consequences to disobedience.

          • gfish3000

            Your statement and my question are not mutually exclusive.

          • Dave Williams

            Yes… consequences that VASTLY outweigh the disobedience.

          • Neko

            If you read the Fall as a story about the transition from childhood to adolescence/adulthood, it makes a lot more sense.

        • Neko

          Oh boy. Again, creation myths are myths.

          You wrote:

          Also still born and miscarried babies still have a soul.

          You know this how? How can we verify the “soul”? What is its substance? How do we verify it exists?

    • PAULA K. SCHMIDT

      your problem lies in the misinterpretation of the word “THOU”.

    • EdmondWherever

      Doesn’t God know ahead of time if a fetus is going to be aborted? Why would he go to the trouble of creating something which he knows is not going to be completed? Wouldn’t it prevent the most abortions if he simply made conception a matter of will, rather than something which can happen unintentionally?

      • jinx

        God as the creator of all does not have to do things as we deem he should. Your view of God is so small.

        • John MacDonald

          Perish the thought that God should be held to an ethical standard. lol

          • jinx

            Whose ethics? Western, Eastern. Middle Eastern? whose ethics exactly?

          • Eric

            Doesn’t matter much. It is, for instance, a near universal notion that it is a moral failing to allow an evil to come to pass if able to prevent it. God – who, by definition, is capable of preventing any evil – just regularly gets exempted from that standard by lazy rhetoric like yours.

          • jinx

            When all else fails, here comes the insults. You can’t have universal ethics without God. To do so always ends in some sort of cultural snobbery.

          • Inserting God doesn’t provide universal ethics either, whether in theory or practice. On the theoretical level, saying it does reflects a very odd use of “objective” when what is meant is not something that all people everywhere can determine regardless of culture or upbringing, but rather that God’s commands are by definition “moral” in a way that undermines any hope of humans determining morality other than through direct revelation in a given moment. On the practical level, one still has conflicting claims across time and cultures about what God desires.

            I have blogged about this before on more than one occasion.

            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/2011/06/absolutely-moral-from-the-archives.html

            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/?s=Objective+morality

          • Eric

            Condemnation of inaction where action would have prevented an evil is already a near-universal feature of ethical and moral thinking world-wide. Naturally, that doesn’t imply perfect agreement on what an “evil” is, but that’s beside the point here. No need for “universal ethics” to make this observation – or to point out that, if this standard is consistently applied to all moral agents, many conceptions of god fail to meet it.

          • Dave Williams

            You can’t have universal ethics without God?

            One word… BULLSHIT.

        • EdmondWherever

          But your view of God is unprovable. You’re free to claim anything you want about God, and there’s no way to confirm if you’re right or wrong. World wide, people make all kinds of claims about their various gods, with absolutely no method to check if any of those claims are actually true. What am I supposed to do with that? How do I believe you over anyone else?

          All of it seems to depend on personal interpretation. Some biblical scholars believe that Numbers chapter 5 includes instructions for making an abortion medicine. That can make it difficult to argue that abortion is forbidden. And when it comes to the commandment against killing, that’s undermined by Leviticus and its endless lists of who should be killed for which crimes. And some of those “crimes” are remarkably petty. No modern, Western justice system would put anyone to death for adultery or working on the wrong day of the week. If killing is so forbidden, then these would have been good opportunities for God to set a better example. Instead, he has townspeople handing out “justice” with piles of big rocks to each other’s skulls. If God is supposed to be so moral and good, then why does his justice system sound like something created by primitive tribes of barbarians?

          What’s so wrong with my idea of conception being an act of will instead of unintentional? Think of how many abortions that would prevent! Nobody accidentally writes a novel, or bakes a cake. Those require an act of will. Why should the creation of a human be such a lottery? There are actually times in someone’s life when they don’t want a baby. They may have plans for that a few years down the road. Why shouldn’t they be fully in charge of that decision, just like they would be if they were writing a novel? Why should it be forced upon them before they’re ready?

          • Frank

            If someone does not want a baby, don’t get pregnant.

          • EdmondWherever

            Attempts to avoid pregnancy sometimes fail. If this process had been “designed” to be under our willful control, like scratching an itch or taking a step, then it would be as simple as you say. If I don’t want to cross the room, then I simply don’t move my feet. If I’m painting a picture of a tree, I’m not going to paint a deer by accident. Why can these simple acts be controlled by will, but creating a baby can happen without intention? This is a poor design. It is what we should expect from a “designer” who included Down syndrome or Alzheimer’s. I have no issue if that “designer” is just blind nature, but if it is a “wise and loving God” then something is very wrong.

          • Frank

            No baby is created without a choice and intention. If you don’t want to get pregnant there is a foolproof way to not.

            God doesn’t cause those things. We live in a fallen world.

          • EdmondWherever

            We live in a natural world, where humans (and most animals really) have a strong sexual drive. God could have eased that drive some (or a lot), especially for men.

            Some women get pregnant by rape. So much for the “foolproof” way. Would it have been so terrible if they could at least choose not to get pregnant by rape? Might have been nice, since God decided to make men so much stronger than women, and decided not to give women any kind of defensive capabilities in their genitals.

            Honestly, I can think up better designs for humans in 5 minutes in front of a keyboard than God did with eternity at his disposal. There’s no reason that parenthood has to be a life sentence for people, simply because they enjoy having sex. People should be free to plan their families when they’re ready. Anti-choicers talk about pregnancy like it’s a “gift” from God, but what kind of gift burdens someone for 18 years, and cannot be refused?

          • Frank

            We live in a fallen world. Bad stuff happens. That’s not an excuse to purposefully choose more bad stuff.

            You are welcome to play God when you create a universe.

          • EdmondWherever

            Why is having sex “bad”? Shouldn’t we assess whether something is bad or good based on how much harm it causes someone? Isn’t it “good” if people can find companionship and pleasure with each other? I don’t understand this scowling attitude which Christianity casts over sexuality. We don’t need to purposely choose to do harm to each other, but we should be free to purposely choose something pleasant without fear of punishment.

            I also don’t understand what is meant by a “fallen” world. According to Christianity, this happened when Adam & Eve at the Fruit of the Knowledge of Good & Evil. How long was the world not fallen before that happened? Did God not realize that his perfect world was only going last about a week? What were his plans for the next 10,000 years? What kind of plan could he have had, if he puts this magic tree right within reach of naive, inexperienced people, surrounds it with talking animals who are going to call him a liar, and he knew that all this was going to happen anyway?

            Maybe it’s about time for someone else to play God. The one I keep hearing about can’t seem to do it right. He punishes people for crap which has nothing to do with justice, he builds a world where the strong can easily victimize the weak, and he sets it all up to happen in advance. Looking too closely at these stories just unravels the idea that he knows what he’s doing at all.

          • Frank

            It’s not bad when it’s in proper context.

            The plan was Jesus.

            You are welcome to your fantasy but we are living in reality.

          • EdmondWherever

            It’s not bad when it’s in proper context.

            I think that the only improper context would be without consent. If God is the one who invented sex, and he’s the one who sets the rules about it, then those rules can only be arbitrary. Unless he’s working under another set of rules himself which he can’t break, but that’s hardly consistent with the definition of a “god”.

            The plan was Jesus.

            How is that a “plan”? Why not just start with Jesus, instead of having him show up in the middle of the picture? How does it help anything to have one guy whipped, beaten, and nailed to a piece of wood? It’s not as if Jesus was the first person to be crucified. It was a common Roman practice, lots of people suffered the same fate (and worse) long before he did. Did none of that suffering count? Why should such mistreatment of an innocent person make a difference, anyway? If God wants to forgive and save people, he should be free to just do it, without some complicated sacrificial rigmarole. None of it makes any sense.

            You are welcome to your fantasy but we are living in reality.

            Resurrections and virgin births are not part of reality. Things like that, talking animals and magic fruits, walking on water and kryptonite haircuts, those are actually found in fantasy. The sex drive of animals, the aggression of males, the pressures of raising a child, these are reality. We should give more respect to what real people go through, and disregard these magical tales as useless. None of it seems to be helping the most religious US states to rise out of poverty, obesity or poor education, to say nothing of teen pregnancy.

          • Neko

            You wrote:

            I don’t understand this scowling attitude which Christianity casts over sexuality.

            It may have been the influence of certain ascetic Greek philosophical traditions like Stoicism. It’s certainly possible Jesus was himself ascetic, as the Gospel passages about becoming “eunuchs for the kingdom” and no marriages in heaven suggest. Millenarians tend to embrace sexual asceticism.

            And the fact is, sexuality is fraught. It’s a powerful urge oriented toward procreation, which for most of history meant a high risk of agonizing death for women. Yes, one could say that design leaves much to be desired.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            “We live in a fallen world. Bad stuff happens. That’s not an excuse to purposefully choose more bad stuff.”

            If any god is claiming the world is fallen, pass that advice along to them.

          • John MacDonald

            What about rape resulting in pregnancy? What about early teenage pregnancy (we can hardly expect a young teenager to be as responsible for the consequences of their actions as we do adults)?

          • Frank

            Less than 3% of all abortions are due to rape, incest, to save the life of the mother or the inviability of the child.

            Teenagers makes all kinds of unfortunate and tragic mistakes. Some result in death like text while driving, drinking while driving, death or severe injury due to stupid behavior. Having a child is not the end of the world.

          • John MacDonald

            So you would say abortion is okay in the cases of rape, incest, to save the life of the mother etc. ?

          • Frank

            When there are two victims who made no choices, woman and child I can’t say and believe it’s up to the woman and her doctor.

          • John MacDonald

            I’m pro choice, so I like that you allow some room for abortions in extreme cases, but I think your viewpoint has some inconsistencies. Why, from a pro life point of view, would something such as rape give a woman a “fetus killing” option card?

            Wouldn’t you say the sacred life of the unborn child overrules the emotional distress of the rape victim? So what if the rape victim has to undergo discomfort for 9 months? After that, the child will be born and adopted and the rape victim can go on with her life. Life is tough, and sometimes through no fault of our own we have to undergo uncomfortable situations for extended periods before things get back to normal, such as when a job is lost or a bad disease is endured.

          • Frank

            I don’t think it’s ok in any circumstance and in the case of rape I would hope the woman wouldn’t punish the child by killing it for someone else’s crime but the woman is a victim too. So while I would against abortion in this case I can at least understand that the decision is made in emotional trauma.

          • John MacDonald

            So you think abortion should be illegal in general, but legal for a rape victim?

          • Frank

            Actually I don’t believe that we can legislate morality. I think a change of heart is required. Abortion should be extremely difficult to get and no one should affirm it.

          • John MacDonald

            Interesting!

          • John MacDonald

            It’s unusual to find a pro-lifer who thinks abortion should be legal (while taboo).

          • Frank

            Abortion is legal but it’s still unacceptable to many even after all this time. Laws can work but not always.

          • John MacDonald

            I always thought we did legislate morality, such as when we made slavery illegal, even though many believed it should be kept legal.

          • Frank

            We can try but it doesn’t work. Slavery stopped when hearts were changed. Afterall a war was fought over it.

          • John MacDonald

            A war was fought to change the law of the land about slavery. It was the right thing to do. Why are you not fighting as part of the pro life political lobby to change the abortion law? Is this not a dereliction of duty on your part?

          • Frank

            As I said and as it has been proven. An abortion law doesn’t make abortion acceptable or unacceptable. Only a change of heart will.

          • John MacDonald

            Has it never happened that a change of law came first, and later widespread acclaim?

          • Frank

            You tell me.

            In the case of abortion it’s clearly not the case. Which is the topic at hand.

          • John MacDonald

            Do you have no memory of rulings in favor of LGBT rights in a time when the general populace viewed them with widespread disdain and ridicule (and people with disabilities for that matter)? Surely if you view abortion as a human rights issue you should be working to get the law changed! As I said, a change in law can lead to a change in the general perception of an issue.

          • Frank

            The populace changed first which allowed the laws to pass.

          • John MacDonald

            Perhaps you don’t remember the degrading and ridiculing portrayal of Homosexuals in popular media (such as on “In Living Color”), reflecting and shaping popular perception around the time rulings were being made.

          • Frank

            I remember. That was awhile ago. Perceptions changed which allowed the laws to get passed.

          • John MacDonald

            I’m afraid you don’t understand. LGBT rights laws in the United States didn’t get passed because of a popular demand. They were a result of Supreme Court decisions:

            Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in the United States are considered amongst some of the most advanced in the world. Since June 26, 2003, sexual activity between consenting adults of the same sex as well as same-sex adolescents of a close age has been legal nationwide, pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas. As of June 26, 2015, all states license and recognize marriage between same-sex couples on account of the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. The strongest expansions in LGBT rights in the United States have come from the United States Supreme Court. In four landmark rulings between the years 1996 and 2015, the Supreme Court invalidated a state law banning protected class recognition based upon homosexuality, struck down sodomy laws nationwide, struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, and made same-sex marriage legal nationwide.

            So you see, you should be working to get the abortion laws changed.

          • Frank

            You are desperate to prove something. Unsuccessfully though.

            The laws were able to get passed because public opinion had changed. Is not rocket science.

          • John MacDonald

            So your position is that the Supreme Court makes its rulings based on public opinion?

          • Dave Williams

            Another insipid response. And the woman who is raped?

    • Pseudonym

      Just as a matter of curiosity, what’s your take on Numbers 5:11-31?

      This isn’t a “gotcha” question. I’m honestly curious about this.

    • gimpi1

      OK, what you’ve proposed is a theory. Now, you need to do the hard work of proving it. First, you would have to prove the existence of God. Then, you would have to prove that God takes some sort of action that “breathes his life into that embryo,” by which I assume you mean a soul. Of course, you would also have to prove the existence of a soul.

      You need to do this because it’s unreasonable to expect to restrict other people’s behavior on what you believe. You can only pass laws and therefore restrict other peoples behavior based on what you can prove.

      You and those that share your beliefs have your work cut out for you. I suggest you get cracking…

    • You are certainly entitled to your opinion. However, if you are trying to make a claim based on the bible, scripture simply does not support it, for the reasons several people have stated in this discussion and which I’ve addressed at some length here: http://metalnun.blogspot.com/2009/11/is-bible-pro-life.html

  • Jennifer

    Psalm 139 verse 13 you (God) formed my inward parts you knitted me together in my mothers womb. The early church prohibit the killing of the embryo You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish The didache one of the earliest writings of the early church look it up.

    • I understand why you would turn to that proof text, but it simply doesn’t prove what you think it does. All things are fearfully and wonderfully made by God, are they not? How does the affirmation that God also creates human beings (albeit, from our perspective, by natural processes) address the issue of when one makes the transition from sex cells to a human person?

      For Protestants, the view of the Didache or other ancient church writings doesn’t settle matters.

      • jinx

        “All things are fearfully and wonderfully made by God, are they not? ”
        No that text is only used to describe humans. When he looked at creation he called it “good.” man is his special creation.

        “How does the affirmation that God also creates human beings (albeit, from our perspective, by natural processes) address the issue of when one makes the transition from sex cells to a human person?”

        First we forget that god created sex, made it pleasurable and one of the ways he gave us to procreate.

        “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

        Here it tells us that not only did he know us before we were formed but our destiny as well. People were always people regardless of their stage of development.

        • This text actually undermines your claims, since it does not say that God knows all individuals in the womb as persons, but that God knew the prophet even before he was conceived!

          • Frank

            What a small god you believe in.

          • How so? That seems a very odd accusation in light of my view of God as articulated on so many occasions on this blog!

          • Frank

            You seem to suggest that God is incapable of knowing the people he is going to create. Maybe I misread you?

          • You seem to have. How did you get that from what I wrote? Please explain.

    • vanishplusxzone

      You think your god is all powerful, right?

    • honesttoGod

      You are right. That is in the Didache. It is not, however, in the New Testament, at least some of which is contemporary with the Didache. So the idea is not unknown, but it isn’t central enough to be mentioned in the New Testament. As the NT (and the OT, too) is silent on this issue, perhaps we should take care when we claim that God has been definitive on this issue. Unless the Didache should be part of the NT canon? But that would cause all sorts of other problems.

  • charlesburchfield

    IMHO It is a knot that continues to tie itself to those of us w disordered personalities [black & white thinkers]who seem to be most resistant to a nuanced conversation about this &, by default, become the pawns of the fascists. Forgive them father…!
    Thanks for this:
    ‘adopting this ploy, deciding to pretend that the stance of your opponents amounts to infanticide in an attempt to get elected despite your policies being on the whole more evil, is itself evil.’
    And this;
    ‘For it seems that [the “pro life” stance]is indeed a ploy to persuade people to consider something “murder” that isn’t, in order to claim the that immoral policies and politicians should get your vote because “at least they aren’t killing babies.”’

    “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
    ― Adolf Hitler

    • Kevin Osborne

      Life exists and life ends. The decision as to how life ends is personal, societal, and to some degree unconscious. The more conscious one’s decisions, the more aware one is of all factors regarding that choice, the easier that choice and its consequences.

    • Random Boy 3 m

      it’s funny how you quote Hitler when he stated that if you repeat a lie over and over again then people will believe it when that is exactly why most people DENY fetuses are human. if i had half a penny for every time i have heard the words “cluster of cells” i’d be hanging out in Dubai drinking a bottle of golden energy drink (yes, that exists https://youtu.be/eElMOuxb8IQ?t=2m34s). but that doesn’t matter right now. let me provide you with some good arguments.

      1. 3d ultrasound. 3d ultrasound has been able to record fetuses having beating hearts, moving, feeling pain, and other things.

      2. when a chicken egg is fertilized it becomes a chicken. conception is when a human egg is fertilized. perhaps when a human egg becomes fertilized it becomes a human.

      3. the fetus is the result of a biological mother and a biological father. just like everyone else. in a matter of fact everyone was a fetus at one point.

      • charlesburchfield

        Hi random!! This post was 6 months ago!! You’re having a hard time letting this go aren’t you?

        • Random Boy 3 m

          eh, yes.

          • charlesburchfield

            I’m a little worried. A lot of things are going on with a person like you that tend to be condensed over one issue. Do you have any pets or Hobbies?

          • Random Boy 3 m

            do you think that some of the things i said were convincing?

          • charlesburchfield

            That’s not really the issue is it? The issue is you have no identity. You’re not a real person. You have become a Persona with one issue. you are trapped and being held hostage by a misogynistic ideology that’s keeping you very sick, shallow emotionally and without empathy for the woman. You are becoming a minion that is being controlled by demagogues who easily find a scapegoat for you to judge, condemned, hate. That is the price you pay for going along to get along. You really have no dog running in this race. You’re not a woman in that situation. You’re not a father who has put a woman in that situation. Perhaps you don’t even have a very robust sex drive. You are disconnected from the real issue which is hurting those of my sisters who, because of biological fate, have to make Sophie’s Choice.

  • iggram

    Some “fetal facts” are needed here. There is an extraordinary amount of new and
    ever-growing information we now have about the unborn child’s life.

    Fact: in the early fetal life the heart begins to beat at 18 to 21 days after fertilization; that there are brain waves at six weeks; at eight weeks all body systems are present, including little fingers and toes!
    It’s at this stage that most abortions take place—six weeks after the baby’s heart has started to beat. So much for theory that it is just a piece of blob!

    In fact it is precisely because of modern scientific understanding about life in the womb that there are people of all faiths, and no faith, working in the pro-life movement. The cause of the unborn is the ultimate human rights issue not a religious one which the pro-abortionist use as an argument to evade the powerful truth science has presented us with.

    • You seem happy to repeat claims you’ve heard without fact-checking them, which seems to confirm my concern about people being duped for political ends.
      http://www.lemauricien.com/article/abortion-fact-fiction-and-humanity
      http://www.svss-uspda.ch/pdf/brain_waves.pdf
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4078859

      • iggram

        Perhaps you are the one who is not fact-checking– Plus argue with this:

        C. Christopher Hook, M.D. Oncologist, Mayo Clinic, Director of Ethics Education, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine:

        “When fertilization is complete, a unique genetic human entity exists.

        The official Senate report reached this conclusion:

        Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being – a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.

        Unborn babies are among the most vulnerable and helpless members of our society. Science declares that they are human beings with inherent value. The value of human beings is not dependent on where they are, how tall they are, what race they are, what they look like, or how old they are. Each person has inherent worth because of who and what he or she is: a member of the human species.”

        I am also quoting Fr. Tad Pacholczyk Phd neuroscientist.

        ” As the embryonic human continues to grow up, it will develop a brain, as well as memories, awareness, and consciousness. Such carefully choreographed and remarkable embryonic development will occur precisely in virtue of the kind of being he/she already is, namely, a very small human being.

        All of us, in fact, are embryos who have grown up. The human embryo is special because of its humanity…it will invariably arise as long as he/she is afforded even the smallest chance at life. We actively deny him/her the right to manifest its future personality, its individuality, its consciousness, and its genius by selecting his/her for termination.

        • John MacDonald

          Consider the inverse case, of a grown individual who is alive, but of whom everything about their personality and mentality was destroyed in a car wreck. There is nothing of them left except physiological livelihood, and this only being made possible by virtue of a myriad of machines such as a ventilator. Should there be a law enacted so that it becomes illegal to pull this “vegetable person” off life support because they are “still a human being?” Of course not. The same is true of an early stage fetus, which has nothing of what we call “human” about them.

        • I wonder if you think that “fact checking” means “finding someone with credentials who agrees with me” – which almost anyone can do – rather than looking to see what the consensus is.

          Unborn babies do indeed deserve protection. Almost everyone across the political spectrum agrees about that. Sperm cells and unfertilized egg cells do not require protection. Almost everyone across the political soectrum agrees with that. It is only a small handful who believe, pretend to believe, or are willing to go along uncritically with those who believe that the instant an egg is fertilized it has the same standing as a baby that can survive outside the womb, who create divisions where otherwise there would be widespread agreement, and willingness to reduce abortions by doing those things which studies show to be effective in reducing the number of abortions.

          • So, you are basing your facts on “what the consensus is”:. . .this sounds good, but poses problems. One is the echo-chamber. . .I.e. why is everyone agreeing? Are they not seeing the other side, are they biased? This is a problem within the scientific community. . .consensus building is often a very political enterprise, designed to squash minority viewpoints. Groupthink is also a concern. . . few want to step out on a limb and be contrarians. . .so, they accept, they build consensus. . .But they could also be wrong. . . There are many examples look at phrenology and eugenics as two examples of “scientific” belief that was widely accepted by the intellectuals of that time, but has since been dismissed. . . But not before the eugenics movement caused horrific suffering. . . science has a poor record, when it comes to consensus, for that Is a political act

          • I am talking about working with the consensus of relevant experts, not popular opinion. It is always possible that the experts may be wrong, but when they agree it is more likely that they are right than that they are wrong, more likely that they are right than that I (a person without expertise in their area) am right while they are not, and more likely that the experts will make any progress that there is to make in the area in question and thus overturn a consensus that deserves to be based on new evidence or research. Humanity has a poor record, but on the whole science does not. There isn’t an area I can think of where our current understanding is plausibly considered less accurate than what proceeded it.

          • Random Boy 3 m

            consensus does not freaking matter you ding dong

          • The kind of scatter-spam trolling you’ve engaged in here is not what this blog is for. There are plenty of other places where you can offer insults and pretend that they are substantive contributions, and so presumably given those abundance of opportunities elsewhere, you won’t feel deprived when not given the opportunity to lower the level of discourse here.

        • Eric

          “When fertilization is complete, a unique genetic human entity exists.” – C. Christopher Hook, M.D. Oncologist, Mayo Clinic, Director of Ethics Education, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine

          Is this supposed to be a taboo-breaking admission from a scientist or something? Because I’m really puzzled by the weight apparently given to Hook’s titles and positions, when it’s such a trivial observation.

        • Ana

          Given the amount of fertilized eggs that simply fail to implant in the first place, I find it difficult to believe that this is where life begins. If so, God created bodily system that naturally kills off a good portion of new life. For example, the body makes implantation more difficult for embryos with more genetic abnormalities. If every life is sacred, and assuming life begins at fertilization, why would God create us in such away that may automatically discard the less then perfect eggs? Not to mention the cases where even healthy eggs fail to implant, or when multiple zygotes are created at once and almost all fail to implant.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    The trouble is, there is necessarily a “line in the sand”: the problem is where it is to be placed. People are not replaceable. If I die I’m dead: the me that has the subjective experience of being me is dead and can’t be revived by someone else being born later (at least not without believing in reincarnation). My mother nearly miscarried with me – if she had then I would not exist, even if she went on to have another child.
    The problem with looking at function is that function is gradated whilst existence is binary – function develops slowly and in stages but I as an individual subjective consciousness must have started at some definite point, before which I wasn’t and after which I was. If I die after that point it is an irreplaceable loss, before that point there is no “me” to die.
    Placing that point at conception, or at any point before gastrulation (7-10 days in) is a non-starter for the same reason as there being a definite point at all: prior to that the embryo can actually be split into several fully-functioning individuals, so it can’t really already be a single unique individual in its own right.
    I also personally can’t see how you can place that point at past 8 weeks since there is now brain wave function (albeit incoherent) which then continues unabated becoming more and more sophisticated to birth and beyond. It may not be able to think and be fully aware as an adult, but then neither is a baby once born. I can’t see how you can deny that at least from this point that this is the same life and existence as the subsequent adult.
    Without a clear “life-commencing” event between gastrulation and 8 weeks I would be cagey about putting commencement of life any time after gastrulation, however.
    What I don’t do is regard those having an abortion as “murderers” or “baby-killers”, which is daft: I am presuming someone who has or carrys out an abortion does not regard the fetus as having its own unique life and so is happy to treat it as just another medical procedure. I would consider them as making a dreadful mistake (albeit understandable given the difficulty in the area) but not as murderers, any more than you would regard say a car crusher operator as a murderer because someone unknown to him was sleeping in an abandoned car.
    (I also don’t think you can rate the life of a fetus as directly comparable with tjat of a child whilst ot us sufficiently undeveloped for its viability to be in question, given the potential it may never come to term and will die anyway. I don’t agree though that parents necessarily regard a life as less precious in the womb, and I know this from personal experience.)
    I don’t think you an vote exclusively on the issue of abortion, particularly if (as in the US) neither party is able to promise abolition (and couldn’t stop illegal abortions continuing even if they could). As also pointed out what really lowers the abortion rate in those circumstances is policies lowering unintentional pregnancies and providing assistance for those pregnant and trying to raise children (especially single mothers) and that is not the necessarily the same political party as the ostensibly “anti-abortion” one, if I understand US politics correctly.

  • “But for many, I think that the stance is much more political and
    sinister. It is pretty much impossible to claim the moral high ground
    when seeking to maintain the status quo for the rich and powerful, and
    to actually oppose laws and social policies that seek to eliminate
    injustice”

    -Why do you care what rich Manhattan billionaires earn? And besides -they’re With Her:

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/760229355784138752

    Are these Manhattan billionaires really voting against their own interests? I have my doubts.

  • I wonder if some middle-ground can be made, some sense of “gravity about the decision” being preserved while acknowledging the need for rights among the already-living if we made some kind of rule that said: “Okay, we call abortion the nixing of human life / potential human life” – with the stipulation that “We make decisions regarding what lives are more valuable than others ALL THE DAMN TIME.”

    What I mean is… we have wars (most people who are “stereotypically conservative” about the abortion issue seem to believe in Just War), and there is where we decide that the lives of the enemy are less valuable than the lives of our people. (ISIS terrorist? Their life has ZERO value to most Americans). We have ideas about police-actions against criminals. Even when dealing with “the innocent” – hospitals have to decide things regarding treatments – when they can save a life and when they cannot – and that factors into allotment of things like transplant organs, blood and the like. If society were just honest about how we do value some already-born and breathing lives above others (not just for sinister purposes, but for the fact that we live in a hard damn world) maybe there could be some way made in the debate.

    The first cartoon, the “we’ll do everything to save the baby-bump, but damned if we’re going to care about the babies of the poor” resonates with me.

  • jinx

    “but the unexamined assumption is that abortion at any stage is murder, that an undifferentiated clump of cells is a full fledged human person.

    Anyone who has tried to get pregnant knows that that simply is not true.

    If you try to get pregnant and fail, it is frustrating. If you have a heavy menstruation slightly late, suggesting that fertilization occurred but the pregnancy failed very early on, it is even sadder. But it is not the same as managing to be pregnant for several months and then finding that the fetus has died. And that in turn is nowhere near as tragic as having your delivery date arrive and the child be stillborn.”

    Having an abortion is a trumatic though self inflicted trajedy that many women suffer from years after aborting their babies. This “clump of cells” as you refer to it is as precious as any child that the mother may hold in her arms.

    However I agree with you about the voting for the lesser of the two evils. In my eyes they both are the same. The dem policies not only have an effect of targeting more minorities in the womb, but it was during the Clinton presidency supported by hillary that has led to harsher sentencing for minorities, more prisons as well as Hillary referring to young black men as super predators. Both sides are the same with the biggest diference being at what point do you place the target on my back, in the womb or after birth.
    The current presidential race is between Narc-les the clown and Queen Hillary. I guess all those years of reality TV, has given the general populace a hankering for drama. It makes me sick. We need to start all over again because I am ashamed of this sham playing before us!

  • BigBlueWave

    I am pro-life. I have had a miscarriage after 23 days of pregnancy. I did not have the same emotional devastation as someone who carried a baby for six months and then lost the baby. However, there is no doubt in my mind that I lost a human being. You are confusing emotional investment with intellectual recognition. No, you will not usually have the same emotional investment in a young embryo than in a full-term fetus. It doesn’t mean you don’t recognize what you lost. Miscarriage is the natural order of things, just like natural death for old people. It’s upsetting, but the fact that you are not as emotionally devastated than at another person’s death you don’t recognize the loss of a person. A little logic, please.

    • jinx

      “I am pro-life. I have had a miscarriage after 23 days of pregnancy. I did not have the same emotional devastation as someone who carried a baby for six months and then lost the baby.”

      The person that chooses to end the life of an unborn child knows they are pregnant and decides to end the childs life. As much as we’d like to pretend most, some view abortion as getting rid of a baby. Planned termination of the baby is diferent.
      Perhaps if a mother isn’t aware that she is pregnant, an emotional bond has not occurred, but that’s not always the case. I know my experiences are only my experriences but I do know women who count their miscarriages as lost children.

  • John Moerman

    Reading through the article, I couldn’t help but wonder if the author was being satirical or genuine. Sadly, I think he really believes his conclusions. Basing his beliefs on the humanity of the unborn on (perceived or real) duplicitous words and actions of pro lifers is anything but objective. The immediate consequence of a conception is not just the production of a ‘clump of cells’. This ‘product of conception’, by any objective standard, is life.
    And, linking abortion to miscarriage by anything more than the common denominator of ‘the death of an embryo/fetus’ is as ridiculous as defining an embry/fetus as human or not by whether it is wanted or not. Though miscarriages may happen with some degree of frequency, they happen ‘naturally’… That is, without personal intervention. To induce a miscarriage, is,,by definition, abortion. And abortion, by definition, is the intentional killing of an innocent human being prior to birth… At any stage of human development.
    A ‘clump of cells’ is simply a human embryo in the earliest stages of human life. And by human embryo, we are simply acknowledging that it is human… Not an eagle, not a dog, etc. Human. A stage no different than a fetal stage, infant stage, child stage… ‘Old’ age!

  • micahnewman

    How does the hypocrisy of any number of people have any bearing on the morality of abortion? That was a rhetorical question. I’ll help you out: IT DOESN’T. Crass tu quoque fallacies are not moral arguments.

  • Tracy Robinson

    TLDR comments section here: Women are stupid murdering whores. God is great. Women are less than human especially when pregnant they become fully non human for the duration of the pregnancy. I love Jesus.

    • charlesburchfield

      Projecting your pain on a target won’t take care of your pain. It will still be there tomorrow won’t it? Do you have a therapist to help you sort through your own issues? Get one if you don’t.

  • John Moerman

    Reading through the article, I couldn’t help but wonder if the author was being satirical or genuine. Sadly, I think he really believes his conclusions. Basing his beliefs on the humanity of the unborn on (perceived or real) duplicitous words and actions of pro lifers is anything but objective. The immediate consequence of a conception is not just the production of a ‘clump of cells’. This ‘product of conception’, by any objective standard, is life.
    And, linking abortion to miscarriage by anything more than the common denominator of ‘the death of an embryo/fetus’ is as ridiculous as defining an embry/fetus as human or not by whether it is wanted or not. Though miscarriages may happen with some degree of frequency, they happen ‘naturally’… That is, without personal intervention. To induce a miscarriage, is,,by definition, abortion. And abortion, by definition, is the intentional killing of an innocent human being prior to birth… At any stage of human development.
    A ‘clump of cells’ is simply a human embryo in the earliest stages of human life. And by human embryo, we are simply acknowledging that it is human… Not an eagle, not a dog, etc. Human. A stage no different than a fetal stage, infant stage, child stage… ‘Old’ age!

  • Frank

    There’s zero morality of love found in abortion.

  • Great satirical cartoons!

    There is so much irony in the “pro-choice-pro-life” political debate.

    Consider the recent comment of James Dobson (formerly of Focus on the Family), now a big Trump supporter. Dobson says we need to get back to the “sanctity of life” and build up our military.

    Huh?

    On the other hand, what caring pregnant mother has ever said to her family, ‘Guess what, I’ve got worthless tissue, only a fetus, not a real little person in me.”

    Heck, a fetus is an infant in the same way that a sapling or a sprout is a Redwood. Fetus is only a Latin term; it’s not a denial of humanness.

    It gets stranger. In California and many other states, if a murderer kills a pregnant mother, he is often accused of two murders–both the woman and her unborn infant.

    On the other hand if the mother, kills the unborn infant, that is her right.

    Huh?

    The ? in the womb doesn’t change whether or not the mother wants it. ? is still a human regardless of human laws.

    Treating an unborn exactly as a new born isn’t correct, nor is abortion-on-demand.

    It seems that politicians ought to stay out of women’s private lives. Questions about pregnancy ought to be between an mother and her doctor only.

  • Megan Larino

    As a woman who is pregnant and choosing not only to keep the baby, but to have a natural childbirth, breastfeed, be a stay at home mom, and homeschool, and who loves her unborn child and any future, presently not yet conceived children more than anything in the world, and who would never consider getting an abortion, I am thoroughly disgusted with anti-birth control, anti-abortion advocates who support cutbacks of public assistance and, in most cases, choose not to adopt. What you’re saying is, women who aren’t as financially blessed as you should either lead a cold, pleasure less existence without intimacy with their love, or risk getting pregnant and be forced to suffer against their will for nine months, then go through the intense physical pain of childbirth, followed by the incredible emotional pain of either watching your child cry incessantly because you cannot afford food, clothing, or shelter, or of being ripped from the baby you brought into the world in order to put it in foster care, knowing it will most likely age out of the system and become homeless. Pro-life? More like pro-birth, and who gives a crap about the life that ensues… Also, I find it ironic that most people who call themselves pro-life claim to be Christian. I’ve listened to a Jewish man who makes a living explaining Jewish teachings describe the Jewish perspective on abortion. He said that all children, and all pregnancies, are a gift from God, and that even though it is believed that the soul isn’t incarnated until some point after conception, ending a pregnancy at any stage would be rejecting God’s gift–UNLESS, that is, the pregnancy has the potential to harm the mother. A doctor would be able to determine whether her physical health is at risk, but he says that her mental health is equally important, and that if it was a risk to her mental health–whether that means she would be depressed or stressed because she couldn’t care for the baby financially or emotionally or that it would affect her in some other way that isn’t physical–it would be up to the mother, not a doctor, to make that call, and that we should trust that she knows herself, because for virtually everyone who chooses to abort, it’s done with much sadness after deciding the other options would be even worse, and it’s not taken lightly or done happily. He says that in the case an abortion is called for due to a physical or mental health risk, it would be acceptable at any stage of pregnancy before the baby is born. In fact, he says, if a woman had a health risk and chose to have the baby anyway and sacrifice her already-born self for her not-yet-born child, she would then be considered insane and incapable of making decisions, and an abortion would be strongly pushed or even forced. And in case these so-called Christians have forgotten, Jesus was a Jew and never intended to create a new religion, but to simply modify Judaism and make it accessible to everyone–and he wasn’t vague about what he wanted to modify, and abortion policy was not on his list.

    • connylynn

      You make a lot of good points but accusing all Christians of not caring is a stretch. There are so many Christian organizations helping the poor, the outcast and the single mom’s.

      The problem lies in the freedom to have casual sex whenever you want and the irresponsibility of men when it comes to having sex without commitment and/or abandoning their children.

      Anyone who puts aside their selfish desires and considers the value in waiting for marriage to have sex will see the many problems that would be solved.

      Another issue with abortion on demand is it is now being used as birth control, never mind the emotional and psychological problems that affect women after an abortion.

      • Megan Larino

        I didn’t accuse all Christians of not caring. I am a Christian myself. I simply said it’s ironic that most people who call themselves pro-life also call themselves Christian (which is ironic not just because of the harsh judgement they place on women who get abortions and the lack of compassion for why they feel desperate enough to have no other option, and the lack of willingness to sacrifice their luxuries so that less fortunate people can have necessities [in the case of those who have a significant income but complain about taxes going to the poor and/ or don’t tithe], but because traditionally, Jewish thought actually insists on abortion if the pregnancy could hurt the mother physically or mentally, and it is up to the mother to decide if it would hurt her mentally [and while the New Testament teachings sometimes “amend” traditional Jewish thought, abortion is not one of those issues]). I agree that using abortion as birth control is reckless, but the reality is that very few women getting abortions are using it as birth control, because most women feel awful about their choice to get an abortion (they don’t necessarily regret it because the alternatives may have been much worse, but it was still a painful decision to make and they wish it could have been different), and out of the few who would feel no qualms about using abortion as their only means of birth control, even fewer actually do it because most cannot afford to. Despite lies being spread, abortion is never covered by tax payer money. I disagree, however, that sex before marriage is wholesale immoral. A relationship should not be built on sex, but it would be foolish to deny that it plays a large role in a healthy relationship. I’m not saying that not enjoying the sex has to be a deal breaker or that everyone should have sex before they get engaged to make sure they’re compatible in that area, I’m just saying that those things should not be condemned either. If you are someone who can stick with someone despite not enjoying the sex (and I’m not saying everyone who waits doesn’t enjoy it, just that some couples don’t), good for you! It’s honestly something I can deal with myself because for me personally it is at the bottom of my list. But don’t be quick to judge those who don’t wait, because while not wanting to be with someone due to sexual incompatibility might sound shallow to you, realize that there are probably petty preferences you have of your own (the person has to have a certain level of education or look a certain way or like a certain sports team, etc).

  • scott stone

    Mind commenting on the morality of those who hold the opinion there should be no restrictions?

    • I have not had anyone say there should be no restrictions – that even a woman whose baby is healthy and due to be delivered the next day should be allowed to terminate the pregnancy on a whim at that stage, for instance.

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        Exactly. The position would not make sense.

  • Carol S

    I wonder how evangelicals would vote if it came to light that a mistress of Trump’s got pregnant and he pushed for and paid for the abortion.

  • Davis

    Once again, the difference is between killing and supporting. People who always bring up this anti-abortion vs. no help once born are making a classic false equivalency

  • John

    I’m glad the single mother of my adopted special needs daughter did not abort her due to a birth defect. She deserved life and a family to love her. Adoptions, foster care and the like are quite numerous among evangelicals, so your broad caricature does not hold up to scrutiny.

  • Ellen

    I lost 2 children at 8 and 10 weeks along. Children – not undifferentiated clumps of tissue. And I can assure you that some 30 odd years later, I still know that and remember them. Anyone who’s tried to get pregnant can tell you? Really – anyone? Guess you didn’t ask me.

    • It sounds like you misunderstood what I wrote. I said very clearly, I thought, that when one is trying to get pregnant, a miscarriage early on can be heartbreaking. But if you had miscarried at 8 months, I imagine that the experience would have been even more traumatic.

  • Ellen

    And I’m not voting for either “evil” this election. I don’t expect that any party is ever going to be pro-life in its entirety. But I can’t stand with one that cheers someone’s abortion because of bad timing. DT is awful, so is Hillary. They are both pro-themselves.

  • John MacDonald

    One area of ethics I find interesting is how we make the move from calling something “taboo” to calling it “immoral.” For instance, here’s a brief clip from The Jerry Springer show about two sisters that have sex with each other. Is one justified in making the leap from saying their acts are not just “taboo,” but “immoral?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muVGkTKfwpk

  • droop

    There has NEVER been a “child” aborted. Ever.

    • connylynn

      You must not have kids

      • droop

        wrong. I have two.

        • connylynn

          And you never considered them your children while your wife was pregnant and you felt them kick and you saw the ultrasound and heard the heartbeat.

          • droop

            They were our *future* children. They were fetuses, not children.

          • connylynn

            Well. When you get to heaven you will meet those ‘fetuses’

          • droop

            You’re putting me on, right? Or do you actually believe that a god creates a mass of tissue inside a woman, messes up the creation so that it can’t survive, has it spontaneously abort and fly to “heaven”?

          • connylynn

            God didn’t cause your wife’s miscarriage. I love how everything gets blamed on Him.
            There is good and there is evil in this world.
            God is the good part.

          • droop

            You can’t have it both ways. If your God creates all life at the moment of conception in his image, then he also creates a “being” that cannot survive and is spontaneously aborted. And of course he knew all this was going to happen before it even started.
            We’re not going anywhere with this discussion; you stay in your delusional world and I’ll live in reality. Cheers.

          • connylynn

            People make choices and just because God knows the end result does not mean He caused it.
            Of course, you never chose to miscarry but we live in a fallen world and the effects of that are prevalent.
            But for every child lost there are thousands that live.
            You will meet your lost children some day.
            I’m not delusional.
            If your reality is never knowing your miscarried children, that is sad indeed.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            “Avatar
            connylynn droop
            5 days ago
            People make choices and just because God knows the end result does not mean He caused it. ”

            It’s not as if you are claiming Jesus is a perfect creator and the cause of all existence, no way!

          • connylynn

            Jesus did create everything perfect.
            Man is the one who destroyed it.

          • Here is what you do not seem to be grasping, or are unwilling to engage with. Human actions cannot directly turn herbivores into carnivores, bring bacteria and viruses into existence that cause illnesses, and various other things that characterize our world. Saying those are “caused by sin” and not “caused by God as punishment for sin” is an attempt to avoid taking seriously the implications of your quasi-literal approach to the creation account, as interpreted under the influence of modern-day fundamentalism.

          • connylynn

            I ‘grasp’ quite well on the subject.
            I never said all destruction and suffering was directly from humans, although much of it is.

            Their rejecting Jesus is all it took to allow Satan free reign in this world system.

            If it wasn’t for the prayers of God’s people things would be much worse.

            God’s ultimate plan for total restoration of all He created will come to pass but for now He must work through mankind because He gave them dominion of the earth.

            My beliefs on Creation are founded in God’s Word and His nature.
            Which is Grace.

            Our judgment was satisfied in the body of Jesus Christ at the cross and God sees our sin no more.

            Consequences for sin are the natural order of things, not punishment.

          • Nick G

            Their rejecting Jesus is all it took to allow Satan free reign in this world system.

            Why? Isn’t God, in your belief, stronger than Satan? If so, he could have prevented – and could prevent at any time he chose – Satan having free reign in this world system.

          • connylynn

            Yes, God is stronger than Satan. But mankind has a choice as to whom they put their trust.

            The majority choose to reject or ignore God and then they ask, “Where is God?”

            God’s plan is complete restoration of all He created, including people.

            But they choose how they want to live their lives while on earth and much evil is done at the hands of those who ignore God’s standard.

            Jesus came to take the judgment due mankind and the completion of that sacrifice is the destruction of death.
            Not people, but death, which was never God’s plan for His creation.

            Just like any child chooses whether to obey their parents or not, or people choose to obey the law or not, we all choose whether we listen to God or Satan (the world’s system)

            Without choice we would be nothing but ‘robots’ or ‘puppets’.

          • So that’s why 280,000 were killed by a tsunami in 2004 … God didn’t want them to be puppets …

            I guess you could say the same of the 160,000 killed in an earthquake in 2010 …

            … all wicked people killed by their own wicked ways …

            …. your logic is nonsense.

          • connylynn

            He gave man free will so they wouldn’t be puppets.
            God is not in the business of causing natural disasters and calamities. On the contrary, He is the giver of life.

            Look up at the skies, ponder the earth under your feet.
            The skies will fade out like smoke, the earth will wear out like an old garment, and many people will die. But my salvation will last forever, My plan to set things right will never be obsolete.
            (Isaiah 51:6)

            For Jesus did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.
            (Luke 9:56).
            It is not the will of your Father who is in Heaven that one
            of these little ones should perish. (Matt. 18:14).

            It was God’s design that His sons and daughters should forever smell the fragrance of exotic flowers, not rotting corpses.
            They should always enjoy the delicacies of tropical fruit and tasty food, not face hunger and starvation.
            He is the one who provides the fresh air from a mountaintop and cool sparkling water, not ugly pollution.

            God allows the sun to shine and the rain to fall on everyone, the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ and in doing so shows His love to all people.

            You can’t complain that God should have created an environment less prone to destructive events, because He did.

            Originally the world was created perfect.
            Initially there was no death and everything was in balance.
            The world was ecologically perfect.

            Human action, not God’s, brought on the unpredictable
            and destructive cycles in nature.

            God could intervene if He wanted but He would be inconsistent and unstable if He began changing the rules every time someone thought He should.

            Is it reasonable to expect God’s Omni-capabilities to override natural law?
            People whine about God not preventing tragedies but choose to reject and ignore Him.

            But, if you want God to intervene in some cases and allow nature to run its course in others where would you like Him to draw the line?

            Should He prevent every tragedy?
            Should He set a number on how many deaths are acceptable?
            Should He set the limit by event, day or area?
            Should He set an age limit on potential victims?

            Would it be acceptable if a person like Hitler had died of cancer as an infant?
            Wouldn’t you then blame God for that childs death?

            And can you or anyone prove that God hasn’t prevented many terrible disasters already?

            Why doesn’t God stop all the unnecessary pain and suffering?
            Why should anyone be afflicted with disease, neglect or abuse?
            With all that power, why doesn’t God protect innocent people from bad things and prove to everyone how benevolent He can be?

            If every person is born innocent at what point does that change?
            Is innocence lost by intentional acts of wrong doing or age?
            How exactly, do we want God to keep people tragedy free?

            Should He suspend, or rearrange, all natural laws at the critical moment without regard for how it impacts others?
            If He only helps the ‘good’ ones, does it matter how the ‘bad’ ones are affected?

            Should God allow good people to die before they experience horror?
            Would the victims of the holocaust have been better off if they had died as infants?
            Would God be considered merciful if they had or would He be blamed for their deaths?

            Should we expect God to destroy those who create horror before they have a chance to do so?
            Would we approve if terrorists had died as infants?
            Would God still be implicated if they had?
            If God eliminated all the people who do bad things before they did it, how many of the now-living would actually be alive?

            Human moral failure cause 80% of all tragedies and that doesn’t account for problems caused by human error or ignorance.
            That leaves very few ‘bad’ things we can attribute to God.
            The obvious solution is to remove the humans.
            Where would we be then?

            God neither causes natural disasters nor can He prevent them without breaking several natural laws, one of which involves human will.  

            God is not oblivious to tragedy. Complete restoration of all
            He has created, including all people, is God’s ultimate plan.

            But for now, death is a normal part of this crippled world.
            And that’s the logical truth.

          • You make a lot of assertions without any evidence to back it up (not even a bible verse, if you could call that evidence).

            “Human moral failure cause 80% of all tragedies”. Really, any evidence to back that up?

            “Originally the world was created perfect.
            Initially there was no death and everything was in balance.
            The world was ecologically perfect.”

            Again, any evidence for this?

            “Human action, not God’s, brought on the unpredictable
            and destructive cycles in nature.”

            I don’t think even the Bible would support those claims.

            The way you describe God, he seems virtually powerless in the face of natural law. That sounds rather like a nonexistent God to me.

          • connylynn

            I did give bible verses but you’re blind to their meaning.
            Plus, I asked you several questions, none of which you bothered to answer.

            And if God broke natural law to please you, that would be okay?
            Just like we expect the laws we have in our societies to be followed
            God doesn’t break His own laws.

            The Bible is a proven historical record whether you like it or not and
            I could site several studies to prove what I wrote.

            But if you were truly interested in the truth you can study it out for yourself
            as this venue leaves little allowance for every scripture and data to be written.
            But just for fun here’s a quote, “Humans probably played a bigger role than
            nature in the making of the catastrophe, meteorologists said. University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy figures that 75 to 80 per cent of the
            devastation can be blamed on the human factor.”

          • No, connylon, Isaiah 51:6, Luke 9:56, and Matthew 18:14 do not say:

            “Human moral failure cause 80% of tragedies” or that the original earth was “ecologically perfect”, and those verses certainly do not say that “Human action brought on the unpredictable and destructive cycles in nature”.

            Those are all baseless statements for which you have given no evidence, biblical or otherwise.

            As for your many irrelevant questions, to all those asking what God “should” do or why doesn’t God do certain things, my answer is that I have no expectations of nonexistent entities.

            A “law” of nature has a different definition of the word than a rule of “law”. Your confusion of the terms is incoherent.

          • connylynn

            I never said ‘the 80% human cause for tragedy in the earth’ was in a bible verse’.
            I gave you a quote from a scientist and here’s another one.
            “Scientists believe the increase in hydro-meteorological disasters is due to a combination of natural and human-caused factors.
            Global warming is increasing the temperatures of Earth’s oceans and atmosphere, leading to more intense storms of all types, including hurricanes.”
            (Klaus Jacob, a senior research scientists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory)

            Humans continue to blame nature instead of looking at the real source of these problems, ignorant ‘scientific progress’.
            Maybe instead of blaming floods, fires and crop failures on nature (or God), human beings should take responsibility for the impact of their own actions, both individually and collectively.

            God created the earth in perfection.
            “It was very good”

            Ecclesiastes 7:29
            But I did find this; God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.

            Psalm 145:17
            The LORD is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds.

            1 Timothy 4:4a
            For everything created by God is good.

            The ‘rule of law’ is the legal principle that law should govern a nation.
            It says that every citizen is subject to the law, including law makers themselves.

            Natural law follows the nature of mankind and the world. It derives from one’s rights not from the arbitrary power of the state.
            Natural law has objective, external existence that is not a myth but a real and potent force in today’s world.

            The definitions of natural law and rule of law are similar, not by some proof of pure reason, but by history, experience, economics, and observation.

            God enforces His natural law and abides by it just like man enforces their rules of law and are ‘supposed’ to abide by them.

            God does exist and even if He didn’t how do you answer those hard questions that only He has the answer to?

          • No, connylynn. Anyone could tell you that some disasters are caused by humans, I even agree that human contributions to global warming over the past century and a half may be contributing to some current natural disasters.

            But you have provided no evidence from any source for your “80% human cause for tragedy in the earth”. It’s pretty clear that you completely made up that figure.

            Who is blaming natural disasters on God? I’m certainly not. And while humans might be contributing a certain degree to global warming – global warming had nothing to do with the earthquake and earthquake-caused tsunami that I cited.

            Scientific progress does not cause earthquakes.

            No, the verses you quote do not in any way indicate that “Human action, not God’s, brought on the unpredictable and destructive cycles in nature.”

            No, connylynn, “natural law” is simply a short-hand for the way that enlightment scientists discuss what actually occurs in nature. It has nothing to do with “law” in the legal, institutional sense.

          • Neko

            Btw “natural law” in the religio-philosophical sense refers to objective morality inherent in nature that may be identified through reason.

          • Oops – I am editing this original reply (I thought I was replying to connylynn – not Neko.

            But just to be clear, “objective morality” is a construct that some theologians argue for to support their faith. But their argument is not that “objective morality” is inherent in natural law, but rather that it cannot be explained by natural law, and therefore must be explained by the existence of God. Of course, such theologians fail to prove the existence of objective morality in the first place.

            Sorry for the mis-reply, Neko.

          • Neko

            Not a problem! I thought the argument assumed the existence of God, but I don’t really know what I’m talking about, so never mind. 🙂

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            Jesus once told me differently. Perhaps you do not trust in what one side in this claimed interaction is telling you what this supposedly still available person once said? That just seems honest, doesn’t it?

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            It’s not as if you are saying Jesus is omnipotent and could make miscarriages impossible, no way!

          • connylynn

            For those who truly believe and do not doubt those beliefs, yes.

            In general, no, God operates through people and their free will to make decisions.
            Unfortunately, most of those decisions are made without God.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            “In general, no, God operates through people and their free will to make decisions.”

            I had a talk with Jesus, and he says he doesn’t do anything like this. More recently Jesus uses decks of Magic the Gathering cards to “interpret” what to do… hasn’t made it very far on anything. Despite his being alive and still able and willing to communicate with people, he said it is alright if I present both sides of this two-sided interaction as if he does not exist to get his opinion on this independently from me. That seems like a totally honest way of acting, as modeled by Christians such as yourself.

          • connylynn

            God’s Word is Jesus and it says nothing of the sort.

            He will communicate with you in your private prayer time but He will not violate His Word.
            That should be your source.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            The Bible doesn’t represent him accurately at all. For example, it doesn’t get his powers right. Creating the universe was simple my text here claims that Jesus claims. Walking on water just sounds that impossible magical power to him. Also, he can’t confirm any of this despite still being available and able to communicate, so my text here claims that he claims you’ll just have to trust the honest behavior I modeled here from Christians like you.

          • Surely, you’re joking! When my wife was pregnant 3 times, each time that little one in the womb was our unborn infant. Heck, “fetus” is only Latin for offspring! If I say the fetus has a cranium, it means the same thing as saying the unborn infant has a skull.
            We never said that he/she was a “future child.”

            Please think about your changing of semantics.

          • Random Boy 3 m

            yes and people who are currently children aren’t adults yet. i guess it’s OK to kill children then

          • droop

            Don’t be ridiculous.

          • droop

            My wife had two miscarriages as well. Were they children? Nonsense.

  • Daniel

    The logic makes no sense in this article. Murder is the deliberate taking of life. The reality that people die, whether it be from a miscarriage, a still birth, a car accident, a heart attack or cancer doesn’t somehow excuse the deliberate taking of life which is what abortion is. Further, our collective or individual reactions to death does not eliminate the reality that a person dies. There is some poor soul being murdered in the Middle East somewhere as I type this and none of us are pausing to feel the anguish of that death yet that death is a reality. Even if nobody on earth is aware or cares about this death and the murderer considers this person less than human, that does not mean the death is meaningless as of course God witnesses all things.

    People do not mourn miscarriages the same way they do the death of a sibling or close friend precisely for the same reason we do not mourn the death of a distant relative in the same way we do the death of a parent. Our mourning comes from our closeness with that person which is something we lack with life in its earliest stages. I saw my child at 8 weeks in the womb and cried as I watched the heart beat on the screen which created a bond with my child. If I lost that child at 9 weeks I would have mourned much harder than if I had never seen that image of my child and her heart beating. The fact is that at conception we are a fully human living organism and our lives will end at some point. If prior to natural death somebody murders us whether it be by taking a pill, killing us in abortion, murdering us as a child or euthanising us in sickness, in all of these cases a grave evil has been committed against us. In the sight of God, abortion is without a doubt an abomination and absolutely no Christian can claim to be a follower of Jesus and at the same time advocate a woman’s right to deliberately end the life of her child. End of story.

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      We have all been mass murderers then. Millions of “unborn children” aged up die all the time because other people are not using our organs without informed consent to keep them alive when those peoples’ own bodies cannot live without another’s organs. A body dying on its own is murder… somehow!

  • Glenn Peoples

    “But it is not the same as managing to be pregnant for several months
    and then finding that the fetus has died. And that in turn is nowhere
    near as tragic as having your delivery date arrive and the child be
    stillborn.Mothers know this. Fathers who’ve experienced any aspect of this know it too.”

    James, this is shonky and equivocal, I think you could do better if you weren’t trying to be edgy. Of course pro-lifers know that we react differently to losing an X (I use that term because any other term would provoke an objection from somebody) very early in the pregnancy and losing an X much later. The psychological reaction is bound to be very strong.

    But to infer on this basis that Mums and Dads know that an early embryo has no human status and is disposable is worse than the hardline fundies you devote yourself to railing against. No, Mums and Dads know that they feel differently about the loss. That’s the difference. And it’s not because of their theory of personhood. It’s because they’ve been waiting longer for baby to arrive and their expectation of the being born alive and healthy grows as the pregnancy progresses.

    • I genuinely disagree with you. We do not mourn the death of a loved one as differently regardless whether the person is 5, 15, or 25. Obviously if someone has been told that their baby has or is a soul immediately after conception, they might mourn in a comparable way a very early miscarriage. But when they are better informed about embryonic development and understand the problems with imagining, for instance, that what could still become identical twins is a fertilized egg with two souls (or is a second soul added later?), then they may still mourn the failure to bring the pregnancy to term, but they will do so differently, understanding that a missed opportunity to bring a desired child into the world is not the same as losing at a later stage a child that has more fully taken shape.

      • Daniel

        I believe this is the folly and inconsistency of the pro choice argument. The main issue with abortion is at what point does a person become a person and have the right to life. You are making the case that the level of mourning is an indication of when a person has value or that the level of development of the organism indicates whether or not it has value. In both cases you fail to indicate at what point exactly the level of mourning would then make the person human or at what point of development the person becomes human. No pro choice advocate has ever made a consistent argument for this because the logic breaks down when you apply it further to other human conditions and stages that everybody would agree is life and should be protected (I’m thinking pain, consciousness, viability as typical arguments). The reality then becomes that truly a person has value and worth simply by being wanted by the parents so that if it is unwanted it has no value. This is of course morality with no basis, completely arbitrary and anti everything that is Christianity that gives the greatest value to the least of us the least wanted of society. It is also impossible to pinpoint a moment of becoming human because from the moment of conception the genetically human living organism never ceases to be what it was at conception which is a human being. We simply develop further. If you are going to stand by development as a standard of value then you have to be willing to say a child with Down syndrome has less value than a child with normal development. And usually pro abortion people end up concluding this and will eliminate these from society with abortion at first and hopefully nothing further but the logic is already laid down.

        So the question remains and from you unanswered. At what point does a human being become a human being and deserve our protection of it’s life? Pro Lifers have answered this clearly, effectively and in line with scientific reality. Now if you are a Christian, this is not even an argument. Very early records have condemned abortion clearly (read the Didache) and the very idea that you think humans have the right to create arbitrary lines to justify the ending of a human life is a horrible offense to the author of life.

        • The question you ask is like asking at what stage a human being is mature enough to vote, or drive, or whatever else. There is no obvious dividing line, but we have no choice but to impose one, since at some point we simply have to give the rights, even though some might well be mature earlier or immature later. There is a continuity from immaturity to maturity, not a decisive moment when one makes a clear and unambiguous transition from one to the other.

          The genetic material, and life, are present even before conception. And so what makes the mere combination of the two cause the resulting cell, the fertilized ovum, to be morally equivalent to a fully-developed baby in your thinking?

          • Daniel

            Because the genetic material in the sperm and the egg are not distinct human living organisms. When fertilized at conception the zygote is a new human being with it’s own DNA that is distinct from it’s parents DNA. It is entirely human, distinct from it’s parents and has the full potential of development if given time, the right environment and nutrients. Whether this human organism splits or not it is clear that it is a human organism. None of these things can be said of sperm or an egg. A fully developed baby is not a fully developed human just as an undeveloped fetus is not a fully developed baby. So what is your basis in protecting infants? Why is it not morally acceptable to kill a 1 month old if you do not want it?

            There is no comparison to driving and voting. Our country was founded upon the idea that we have certain inalienable rights that are not arbitrary or contingent upon others giving us these rights. These are given to us by God and to violate these rights is an affront to our creator. Life is the most basic human right. So to compare the right to life to driving a car is absolutely ridiculous. The right to drive a car is man made and so man has the right to arbitrarily create a dividing line for this right. The right to life is not man made and so man does not have the right to arbitrarily create a dividing line for this right. Wherever human life exists man has a duty to protect it. This is the most fundamental principle of our country and without it the rest of American values are meaningless.

            A more important question to me is how you can square the taking of a human life with your Christian faith? Are you a Christian? Was the life of Jesus at the moment of the immaculate conception not a human life worth anything? How can a Christian who seeks to carry his own cross in sacrificial love accept the killing of a child in the womb for selfish purposes to be morally acceptable? I’m at a loss for words in trying to understand the logic behind this.

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            I’d ask how you can square using another person as farm equipment despite them telling you, “No”, with your Christian faith but history already sailed that ship!

          • It is a characteristic of the so-called pro-lifers to question the faith of those who disagree with them. It is as though they have completely forgotten how recently this issue became one that Evangelicals aligned with Catholics on.

            But let us leave such tactics aside and deal with more substantive matters. If a fertilized ovum is a single distinct full-fledged human individual, if that ovum becomes identical twins, do they as adults retain that individual identity? Or in such cases do you in fact recognize that changes and developments can occur which lead that single cell to become two humans and not just one?

            (On a side note, it is ironic that you claim to be arguing a Christian viewpoint here, and yet you have taken the Catholic term for the conception of Mary without original sin, and misused it as though it were the term for the virginal conception. Are you perhaps a troll pretending to be a Christian, or do you just know very little about your own faith tradition, other than its voting issues?)

          • Daniel

            I never said individual human. Human organism and human being are both human lives. God is three persons in one being, to be a being simply means you exist. I recognize the reality of both the human life present and it’s ability to develop into multiple persons.

            I am Catholic and am in lign with Christianity from it’s beginning on this issue. Why are you opposed to the traditional Christian belief on abortion? I have the duty to admonish fellow Christians that are openly and publicly teaching falsehoods which is what you are doing. I have 2,000 years of consistent teaching, scientific reality of human life and the authority of the Church to back up this claim. What is your basis for speaking for Christians on this topic?

          • I am a Liberal Protestant and so the appeals to authority are not going to work, even if you had not shown through your misuse of terminology that you only selectively know what your own church tradition teaches.

            You emphasized that from the moment of conception the fertilized ovum has a distinct human life from the parents. That is debatable on its own terms, but I think it is clearer that suggesting that there is a distinct human life, with a soul, present from conception falls afoul of the case of identical twins. And you seem to recognize this implicitly in the language you use. Can one person develop into two separate persons? Or does the capacity of the early stage of embryonic development to become one, two, or even more distinct persons demonstrate that we are dealing with a stage that is pre-personal?

          • Daniel

            I’m not sure what you mean by selectively know what my Church teaches. You are assuming that I am implying things when I am not. When I said distinct human being or living organism I am not implying a distinct individual person. When I say a living human being I am not implying the existence of a soul. The Catholic Church has never defined the moment of ensoulment and I don’t plan to do so either. It is possible that ensoulment occurs at the moment of conception in which God who is all knowing could place two souls in the zygote thus prompting the split which science has yet to fully understand itself. It is also possible that ensoulment occurs later when the heart or brain forms around the third week. The point is we don’t know but it could occur at conception. What we do know is that human life is present and that human life in it of itself is sacred. The fact that it is a distinct human living organism is not debatable. I can take a cell from anywhere in your body and match your DNA. Your genetic makeup tells us that you are a distinct person and that you are human. If you are not a twin, your DNA will be completely unique to the rest of the world which would indicate your distinct personhood. However, even if you were a twin there are other ways to tell you are a distinct person. Most obvious would be separate bodies, but on a deeper level twins are clearly separate persons with their own souls that animate their separate bodies. At the moment of conception when we are within our mother’s body it is not as simple as saying we have separate bodies therefore we are separate humans. However, we most certainly have different DNA from both our parents and are clearly separate in this sense. That DNA is also human DNA which means from the moment of conception we know without a doubt that we have a distinct living human organism.

            Now I have an issue with your reasoning on multiple fronts. The first is the ensoulment criteria. This criterion is dangerous because it is placing the value of life on something spiritual in which we have no objective way of discerning whether we are right or not. This means we could be potentially murdering a soul and trying to claim ignorance. It also has the potential to give rise to devaluing human lives who are of different faiths. If the soul is what gives us the right to life than who is to say that a baptized soul is more valuable than an unbaptized soul? You begin to create the logic for treating people of different faiths as less than human based on the condition of their soul. Not saying you believe this just saying your premise can logically conclude with that. All of that aside your argument is only relevant to abortifacients like plan B. Abortion will happen more after 12 weeks or so which by then you have a heartbeat. This goes back to my original question, at what point do you believe we gain value as human beings? According to your argument of ensoulment which is subjective and unknowable I conclude that what gives us value is ultimately if we are desired by our parents or not which is un American and un Christian. It also means if a person believes the soul begins at self-awareness you have created the logic to conclude infants can be killed as well. To answer your direct question, I do not believe that one person can become two persons and yes we may be talking about a stage that is pre-personal. That does not mean we are not dealing with human life which regardless of later developments still deserves our protection both because of who we are as Americans and who we are as Christians.

          • This comment is strange, with your going back and forth and trying to make the issue about the “state” of someone’s soul rather than the presence of a soul, whatever that is. If having the genetic material of a human being is all that is needed to be a person with rights, then every cell would have them. I am glad that in the end you at least answered my question, after being distracted for so long, or perhaps having tried to distract for so long. But you presented problems with your own viewpoint earlier, even if you failed to recognize them. Is one soul present in the fertilized ovum that will eventually become identical twins, or two? Or does the fact that one cell can eventually become two persons indicate either that the question is unanswerable, or perhaps that the question is meaningless because the Greek idea of a soul that it is based on is problematic?

            My point about your selective familiarity with your own tradition was, as I explicitly stated, a reference to your misuse of the term “immaculate conception.”

          • Daniel

            Sorry, you are right about the immaculate conception. In my haste I referenced the wrong title of the conception. I apologize, though technically the conception of Jesus would also be immaculate. Thanks for the correction but I think my point remains.

          • Daniel

            A cell is not the same thing as a living organism. A cell is a building block to the living organism whether that organism is comprised of a single cell or multiple cells. I answered your question clearly then critiqued your logic and conclusions and I think a fair reading of my response will show that so I’m not repeating my point about souls. I said we don’t know if there are multiple souls, one soul or no souls at the moment of conception and my argument is not based on ensoulment. The question is not meaningless but is unanswerable which means a different criteria is necessary. I’ve stated my criteria and based it on science and consistent Christian traditions. I’m still waiting for your criteria which seems to be we don’t know therefore it’s value is based on the desires of the parents. Is that your criteria?

          • There are certainly multiple criteria (plural) that are relevant, and not just one criterion (singular). You claimed that science can tell us things that are relevant. Science shows that consciousness is inherently intertwined with brain activity, and so in the absence of brain activity, just as applies to end-of-life decisions involving brain death, most ethicists would say that one can terminate the life without it constituting murder.

            In a secular society in which there is religious freedom and no state church, an individual should be free to follow the dictates of her conscience on this matter. An argument based on Christian tradition might be relevant to such individuals, but it would be unconstitutional for it to be enshrined in law and imposed on everyone.

          • Daniel

            Thank you those are much more plausible criteria, though I would argue still ambiguous. Absence of brain activity is a matter of time and perspective. A person at the end of their lives who is truly brain dead may be pronounced dead. However, there are situations where a person is in a vegetative state or a deep coma that has essentially no brain activity or very minimal amounts. We consider these persons to be living and we protect their life because given time, environment and nutrients these people may recover and return to better brain activity. If a person had almost 100% possibility or even 50% possibility of returning to full brain activity it would be completely immoral to end their lives because of a momentary lapse in brain activity. This situation is more in line (of course not exactly) with the moral question of abortion than those who are brain dead at the end of their lives. At 3 weeks after conception the brain is already beginning to form and given the time, environment and nutrients needed it will develop to a fully functional brain. We should consider the potential of development or healing when considering the morality of the question. It would be a crime against humanity to make an infant sterile at birth simply because they haven’t fully developed their ability to procreate. Likewise, it is a crime to end the life of the person in the womb because he/she hasn’t developed a fully functional brain.

            I think we can draw the line at two places based on your criteria.
            1. Life begins when brain activity begins somewhere between weeks 3-8…perhaps weeks 24 with more consistent brain activity? Therefore life after that point should be protected. We can kill the life if brain death occurs or prior to the development of brain activity.
            2. Brain activity is a sliding scale and the value of life is contingent upon consciousness. Since it is subjective, parents can decide to end the life if they choose. But not at birth because we can see the baby?
            The first seems more consistent but I still see it as violating the clear potential growth of the brain and person. In the other issue I reject your view of this country as a secular country. We have freedom of religion and no state church shall be established but this does not mean that the ethical and moral principles of a particular religion have no place in our laws. As long as a person’s constitutional rights are not being stripped, we have the freedom as a people to democratically decide the values of our country. The very idea of the freedoms established in our republic was implemented under the strong conviction that God established these rights not man. The problem with abortion is that the freedoms of the child in the womb are being stripped. The woman’s desire to end the life is not the primary constitutional issue. The primary issue is at what point does life begin and deserve our protection because her choice does not trump the right of another person’s life. I’ve laid out a criterion and so have you. As a democracy we should resolve this issue with a vote that is vote on a particular criteria or criterion for when life begins. Thanks for going back and forth, I’ve enjoyed the discussion, learned some things and I think (correct me if wrong) understand your position though I disagree completely.

          • I don’t think you realize the extent to which you are assuming what you need to prove. The very question at issue is whether a single cell, by virtue of the fact that it has the potential to turn into a person, therefore is a person and thus deserving of the legal and other standings and protections that persons have. Can you understand that that is the issue – whether a cell or clump of cells, before having a brain or nervous system, never mind consciousness, is inherently morally the same as the person that that cell could potentially develop into over time? One can try to make the case for that, but then one simply must recognize that the matter is complex and the case far from clear cut. Or one can argue that because there is no other clear dividing line that we should draw the line at conception to err on the side of caution. The latter position I respect immensely, since I too tend to prefer to err on the side of protecting more persons than risking depriving someone of their rights. And that is part of the irony of what the so-called “pro-life” stance has brought about. By insisting dogmatically on things being clear that are in reality ambiguous, and by insisting that there can be no reasoned disagreement about this topic, they drive a wedge between themselves and the liberals whose primary characteristic is to champion the downtrodden and defend the defenseless. Many liberals would agree that abortions should not be carried out after a certain point in the development of the fetus, and are eager to implement programs that reduce abortions. And yet many who claim to be “pro life” won’t even engage in conversation with such people, preferring to depict them as “baby killers” when they are nothing of the sort.

            Perhaps now you are starting to understand the point of this post?

          • Daniel

            Sure, I get the point of the article and realize the starting point of the two opposing sides can result in mischaracterizing each other and squashing dialogue. And I appreciate the perspective. However, I would also note that when criticizing “Pro Life” people remember that their voice and opinion is not allowed to be heard in our democracy. Never mind engaging in conversation, the pro life stance has been deemed unconstitutional. Our society has claimed that the right to end the life in the womb is protected by the constitution without clearly defining and addressing the complex issue of when life begins or gains legal protections. My stance is that we have the right to vote on this issue based on the values of our society and how we collectively view life. This means I’m ok with losing this battle but not through the supreme court dictating to us what life is and isn’t. That’s my political stance.

            Personally as a Christian, I think the matter is dogmatically settled and corroborated by science. A pro choice stance from a Christian if viewed through the lens of Christian history puts that Christian in an almost nonexistent sliver of historical Christian thought which should give even non-Catholics serious pause to their belief. If a person is Catholic it’s a non-debatable issue. Further, I think the life at conception belief is the best and most consistent belief to hold even if you remove religion. Sure it’s complex and we have many questions about the mystery of life but a simple child can understand the reality that despite how developed we become there is not a single person dead or alive who was not at one point a single celled organism. We should respect God’s creative design of human life. Our genetic material may have been in sperm or an egg but our being clearly came into existence at a singular moment in time. Please also recognize that abortions do not occur during early weeks and all you have to do is watch one abortion to know you are not simply eliminating a clump of cells. So I would say yes in the political sphere we shouldn’t argue dogmatically about the rights of the lives in the womb but in reality we are not allowed to argue at all. And that is also a tragedy. Either way, I get your point and the article and appreciate you engaging in the discussion.

          • Nick G

            However, I would also note that when criticizing “Pro Life” people remember that their voice and opinion is not allowed to be heard in our democracy.

            That’s an outright lie, and such an obvious one that it is puzzling you should tell it. Forced-birth advocates like you are constantly repeating your opinions, and are quite free to work for a constitutional amendment that would ban all abortion..

          • Nick G

            Scientifically speaking, every unfertilised human egg, and every human sperm, is human life: a full member of Homo sapiens. The fact that they are haploid rather than diploid does not change this.

            Note: For personal reasons, I have dropped all but the first letter of my surname from my nym. All previous comments of mine on Patheos sites have the new nym.

      • Glenn Peoples

        James, this is wrong in a couple of ways I think. Firstly it’s wrong because I never suggested that we mourn differently if a person is say, 15 or 25, so you may be misunderstanding something there.

        But although I never said that, secondly you’re also mistaken. The truth is that we do mourn differently over death at different stages – and different circumstances – of life. We really do – just look around! The way a mother might sob over her dead 4 year old killed in an accident, “my little baby, my baby!” is different fromt the way she might mourn her mother, 90 years old, after a long and fulfilled life. The way I would mourn if my 18 year old died of a drug overdose is different from the way I would react if I just now discovered that I *had* an 18 year old son out there in the world, who has just died.

        So at an empirical level, you’re mistaken.

        The reason and the way we mourn death is brought about by all kinds of things: Our history and experience with the one who has died and so the connections w have formed with them, our expectations of a future with that person and the time we have spent building those expectations etc. But our own psychological response to a death is not at all an objective measure of whether or not a life worthy of protection has been lost.

        So again, it is quite wrong to say that I as a father “know this,” i.e. I know that the abortion of an embryo is not homicide, just because I would respond differently to the death of a newborn.

        You might think you have arguments for the death of an ambryo not mattering as much. OK fine, but to argue that the pro-lifers are wrong about the deliberate killing of an embryo just because of our emotional response is not a serious argument.

        • I didn’t use an example from old age because it would shift the conversation naturally into the very fact that end of human lives, like beginnings, differ in significant ways from the periods in between. And that obviously supports my point. But I didn’t want to seem to be avoiding the point you had made. And thus I responded with what I thought was evidence that was more pertinent, namely that we to not mourn as differently for the tragedy of children and younger adults dying at various stages, as we do comparatively between any of those on the one hand, and early miscarriages on the other. But since you have chosen to bring up evidence that helps make my case, I would indeed suggest that an early miscarriage is more like someone dying of old age than the tragic loss of a child in elementary school, or a teen, or a recently-married child in their twenties, or whichever other scenario you’d like to consider.

          If there were an objective measure of whether a newly-fertilized ovum has a soul which changes its moral status and gives it the full standing that a fully-developed human being has, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation, would we? Isn’t this discussion happening precisely because of the lack of a clear objective basis for evaluating the matter, unless one considers things such as the lack of a nervous system or other such data about embryonic development to be morally pertinent, objective, and self-evident in its implications? But even then, if people do not agree about the moral implications of objective data, then by definition the matter has an element of subjectivity, does it not? And one cannot simply theologize away subjectivity merely by asserting that something is objective when it clearly is not, since not all observers can agree on it irrespective of their perspective.

          • Glenn Peoples

            James, by focusing all your attention on the death of an older person, you’ve evaded the wider point, namely that we do indeed mourn differently under different circumstances. I used other examples as well to make that point, which undercuts, rather than reinforces, your position. For example, I compared the way we mourn a young child dying in an accident with the way I would mourn my 18 year old son dying of an overdose, and I compared that with the way I would mourn if I just discovered that I had an 18 year old son who had just died.

            You fell silent on all those examples, but I hope you can see, even if you don’t verbally acknowledge, that they show us pretty clearly that we do mourn differently under different circumstances, but the way in which – and the extent to which – we mourn is *not* a measure of whether or not we know that a real life has been lost. Or if you don’t see that, hopefully these examples will help others to see that.

          • I thought I was shifting the focus where you had shifted it, and so it seems odd for you to complain about that.

            Perhaps you remember the Friends episode in which Rachel has done a pregnancy test and it was positive, but when she does another one Phoebe tells her it is negative, and Rachel cries, asking how she can be saddened by the loss of something she never had. As I have pointed out from the outset, one can mourn the failure to conceive, and not only the failure to carry a desired pregnancy past a week or a month or the second trimester. Life, and the genetic material that will make a person, are both present in the cells that unite in conception. It seems to me that the insistence that the moment they unite results in a person in the full sense without qualification is an assertion that plays fast and loose with the meaning of words, and at least in our time, does so above all for political ends.

  • raylampert

    Abortion has become the go-to political wedge issue. Convince people that this one issue is more important than anything and you can get away with whatever you want and laugh yourself to the bank.
    Your average anti-choice voter hasn’t really even thought about the issue; they just follow whatever rhetoric their preacher gives them so they can have a “clear conscience” in the voting booth. Heck, the religious voters haven’t even read their own holy book. The god in the Bible loves killing people, including pregnant women and children.

    • connylynn

      You don’t have to read a ‘holy book’ or listen to a preacher to know that killing babies is wrong.
      And the ‘god’ you speak of is a lie perpetuated by non -religious people who distort the scriptures and have zero understanding of spiritual things.
      They love to ignore the true culprit responsible for pain and death and ignorantly extract verses from the Bible and use them out of context.

      • I have to say, I wonder how it is possible for you to give this response. The Bible depicts the Israelites as having been ordered to exterminate every living thing in certain cities, including babies. The issue is not whether one needs a “holy book” to know that killing babies is wrong. The issue is whether one should consider a book “holy” when it says that killing babies is not always wrong.

        • connylynn

          The Bible is a historical record of what happened after mankind gave dominion of the earth to Satan. He is the one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy, not God.

          God had to work through man to save them from Satan’s clutches but never revealed to them who Satan was as they had no spiritual authority over such an enemy until after Christ’s death and resurrection.
          So God had the people fear and obey Him so they would avoid the other nations way of life, which was evil through and through.

          If left unchecked evil would have killed more babies than war ever did because the destruction of the human race was Satan’s only plan.
          Mankind gave Satan the earth God gave them and effectivity made him the god of the world system.

          God was at war with Satan over humanity and there are always casualties in war. But He protected His own as anyone would protect their family from an attack against them.

          Looking at the Bible from strictly a natural veiw will only result in confusion. One dimensional thinking has made God look like the culprit instead of the true author of pain and suffering, Satan.

          And the word ‘holy’ literally means ‘separated’.
          God needed to separate the Israelites from the other nations in order to keep the lineage of Jesus pure, who was the answer to defeating Satan.

          • You are obviously free to engage in such ad hoc and convoluted attempts to preserve your chosen view of the Bible. But I hope you can understand why it doesnot look persuasive from the perspective of someone who prefers to honestly accept what the Bible says, and adjust their view of what the Bible is accordingly.

            Because your comment ultimately agrees that it is OK for God to tell people to kill babies, and simply tries to justify why God would do so. And so you don’t seem to be disagreeing with my point, but simply trying to blunt its impact.

          • connylynn

            My chosen veiw of the Bible is God’s truth, not religion.

            God does not agree with killing babies and neither do I.
            I sure hope you’re not pro-choice as that would null and void anything you have to say about not killing babies.

            So before you accuse me of not knowing the Word of God you need to spend more time in the scriptures, in prayer and meditation so God can reveal the truth to you.

            Most people have not distinguished the works of God from the works of Satan. 
            The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I (Jesus) have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.(John10:10)

            Sickness, death and poverty are 
            works of the devil. If they were the works of God, then God would have placed them in the Garden of Eden with Adam. 
            The curse came on the Earth after Adam sinned, and it was the work of Satan. 
            God is not the author of sickness, poverty, or death and until we know that in our hearts and minds we will continue to live on this Earth in bondage to the curse that Jesus has freed us from.

            When God created Adam He put into him the power to bless the whole Earth. (Genesis 1:28)
            The word ‘bless’ literally means ’empowered to prosper’. 

            The moment that Adam and Eve sinned against God they died spiritually. 
            Their spirits did not ceased to exist but they were separated from the life of God and connected to Satan. 
            The power that God gave Adam to bless the whole Earth was twisted in
            the opposite direction by Satan, and he used it to curse the whole Earth.

            At this point God was on the outside looking in. 
            He could have just left the Earth and mankind in the hands of Satan,
            but He did not do that. ‘God is full of compassion’. (Psalm 78:38)

            Compassion filled His heart and He set the plan of redemption into motion by sending His Son into the world to redeem it.
            But before Christ came there was a spiritual battle over mankind and
            that is what you’re misinterpreting
            in the Old Testament.
            So many people leave Satan out of the equation when reading the OT.

            Without ones spirit engaged in studying the scriptures and meditating on their truths you will read them in error because the natural mind does not understand the things of God.

            ‘The natural man does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. For they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned’.
            I Corinthians 2:14

            God doesn’t need anyone to make excuses for Him.
            His plan will happen no matter what we think.
            If one truly loves God they know that He would never kill anyone.
            Satan kills, God redeems. Love wins.

          • How does anything in your comment change the fact that, according to texts in the Bible, God ordered the Israelites to exterminate all people, of whatever age, in certain cities?

          • connylynn

            I fully explained that in my previous comments.

            You need to read the bible as a whole. How you’re reading it is no different than reading every other chapter of a book or every other page of an important document.

          • On whose authority do you assert that I need to not merely read this collection of separate works as a whole, but need to do so in a way that silences the individual voices of that collection, subjecting them to what I, or perhaps you, have determined is the norm to which all voices must be made to conform?

            Do you not recognize the disrespect in your own approach, which refuses to accord to these texts the reading skills that you would apply to other important documents?

          • connylynn

            I mean no disrespect to anyone I was just offering an example of how the Bible is often read without decernment and inclusion of other passages.

            My point was that many people take scriptures without considering them beyond one chapter or verse. If that’s not you, my apologies.

            The individual voices of the scriptures are all inspired by one person, the Holy Spirit.

            Using the writers’ own writing styles and personalities, God shows us who He is and what it’s like to know Him.
            Combined they are one book, one story, a love story, written to inspire us and give us revelation of God’s plan.

            Any important document needs to be read with one’s full attention and decernment.

            The Bible is a spiritual book though, and cannot be fully understood without the help of the Holy Spirit. The natural mind sees it as foolishness.

            I Corinthians 2:14
            The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

          • So presumably you are saying that if you had the discernment that the Spirit grants, then you would know that Paul was talking about the message he proclaimed and how people responded to it, and not to written texts? I would insist, in response, that it doesn’t take supernatural help to know that – it just takes doing what you pretend that you are not, while accusing a New Testament professor of taking an atomistic approach.

            If Paul were referring to the spiritually immature (among whom were some of those to whom he was writing) not being able to understand texts that would later become part of the Bible (including, of course, his own letter), then that would mean that the Corinthians who most needed to understand what he wrote would have been incapable of doing so. A self-defeating viewpoint, to say the least.

            Why is it worth devoting so much effort to defending your view of the Bible against the evidence which the Bible itself provides? Why not accept what the Bible itself presents, and change your view of the Bible to match?

      • raylampert

        And who do you say is the true culprit?

        • connylynn

          There’s light and there’s darkness
          There’s good and there’s evil
          There’s God and there’s Satan
          Bible 101

          • That isn’t “Bible 101.” The dualistic viewpoint you are referring to only comes into the picture in the Persian era, and at that time the concept of Satan gets developed and comes to the fore.

          • connylynn

            Satan is clearly revealed in the New Testament several times.
            He is mentioned in the OT a few times but was not revealed
            to the people, not even Job.

            The Post-Exilic Persian influence on the idea of Satan is not biblical.

            God is infinitely greater than Satan and will eventually cast him into hell.
            This could not be done if they were equal and opposing forces.
            But God will not break His own spiritual laws so He had to work through
            humans as they were given dominion of the earth.

            The fact that there is light and there is dark does not mean they are necessarily equal just because they are opposite.
            As light always overtakes darkness when a light is turned on.

            Darkness, in fact does not exist. Darkness is simply a word to describe the absense of light.
            This is true of evil as well.
            Evil is just a word to describe what happens when men forget to live in the light of Christ and follow his teachings.

            There is God and there is Satan and God(Love) will win.

          • When Satan is developed as a figure in postbiblical Jewish works, and then incorporated into the New Testament by first century Jewish authors, what makes that “clearly revealed”? Is the authenticity of 1 Enoch “clearly revealed” in the Letter of Jude?

          • connylynn

            Satan is mentioned in the book of Jude and so is Enoch, the great grandfather of Noah.

            But there are many other scriptures that reveal Satan in the New Testament.

            The Bible is the inspired Word of God and Satan is mentioned from the beginning. He was not incorporated by 1st century Jewish authors.
            That’s just another lie to discredited the authentic Scriptures.

            John 8:44
            “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father who was a murderer from the beginning.”

            2 Corinthians 11:14
            No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

            2 Corinthians 11:3
            But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

            Ephesians 6:11
            Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

            2 Thessalonians 2:9
            That wicked one, who shall come by the working of Satan with great power and signs and lying miracles

            Matthew 5:37
            “But let your statement be, ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, anything beyond these is of Satan.”

            Matthew 13:19
            “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, Satan comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.”

            John 17:15
            “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from Satan.”

            2 Thessalonians 3:3
            But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the Satan.

            Ephesians 6:11
            “Satan has great power and intelligence, and a host of demons who assist him in his attacks against God’s people.”

            Hebrews 2:14
            “Since we, the children, are all creatures of flesh and blood, Jesus took on flesh and blood, so that by dying He could destroy the one who held power over death, the devil.”

            1 Timothy 3:7
            And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

            2 Timothy 2:26b
            And they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

            2 Corinthians 2:10-11b
            I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

            1 Timothy 5:14-15b
            For some have already turned aside to follow Satan.

            2 Corinthians 4:4
            In whose case the god of this world(Satan)has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

            1 Peter 5:8
            “Be sober-minded, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.“

            Ephesians 4:27
            “And give no opportunity to the devil.”

            Romans 16:20
            “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

      • Kitsune Inari

        But you have to know a little bit of human biology to know that aborting a mindless fetus isn’t killing a baby.

        • connylynn

          Science teaches without reservation that life begins at conception. It is a scientific fact that an organism exists after conception that did not exist before conception. This new organism has its own DNA distinct from the mother and father, meaning that it is a unique person.
          As the embryo grows, it develops a heartbeat (22 days after fertilization), its own circulatory system, and its own organs. From conception, it is a new organism that is alive and will continue to grow and develop as long as nutrition is provided and its life is not ended through violence or illness.

          It is indisputably human, as it has human DNA.

          According to all the laws of nature, the preborn baby is human.

          A zygote [fertilized egg] is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete … unites with a female gamete or oocyte … to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.

          Human Embryology & Teratology (Ronan R. O’Rahilly, Fabiola Muller [New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996], 5-55):
          “Fertilization is an important landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed.”

          T.W. Sadler, Langman’s Medical Embryology (10th edition, Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006, p. 11):
          “Development begins with fertilization, the process by which the male gamete, the sperm, and the femal gamete, the oocyte, unite to give rise to a zygote.”

          Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Miller, Human Embryology and Teratology [3rd edition, New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001, p. 8]):
          “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization … is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte.”

          William J. Larsen, Essentials of Human Embryology New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1998
          “Human embryos begin development following the fusion of definitive male and female gametes during fertilization. This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development.”

          Embryology textbooks are clear: life begins at fertilization. And the life that begins is not simply a continuation of the life of the sperm or egg cell.
          Rather, it is the life of a distinct, unique, new individual which has never existed before in history and will never exist again. Nothing will be added to the new organism except nutrition, and it will continue to grow and develop unless death occurs due to injury, violence or illness.

          The word ’embryo’ is defined as such (Considine, Douglas [ed.], Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia, 5th edition, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1976, p. 943):
          “Embryo: The developing individual between the union of the germ cells and the completion of the organs which characterize its body when it becomes a separate organism. … At the moment the sperm cell of the human male meets the ovum of the female and the union results in a fertilized ovum (zygote), a new life has begun.”

          And yet another textbook (Carlson, Bruce M. Patten’s Foundations of Embryology, 6th edition, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996, p. 3) states:
          “Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote)[.] … The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual.
          The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception, when an individual’s unique set of DNA is created, a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated.”

          In 1981 (April 23-24), a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee held hearings on the question of when human life begins.
          Speaking on behalf of the scientific community was a group of internationally known geneticists and biologists who had the same story to tell – namely, that human life begins at conception.

          Dr. Micheline M. Mathews-Roth, Harvard Medical School, gave confirming testimony, supported by references from over 20 embryology and other medical textbooks that human life began at conception.
          “It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive…It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception.”

          Dr. McCarthy de Mere, medical doctor and law professor, University of Tennessee, testified:
          “The exact moment of the beginning of personhood and of the human body is at the moment of conception.”

          Dr. Alfred Bongiovanni, professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, concluded:
          “I am no more prepared to say that these early stages represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty … is not a human being. … I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception.”

          Dr. Richard V. Jaynes:
          “To say that the beginning of human life cannot be determined scientifically is utterly ridiculous.”

          Gordon, Hymie, M.D., FRCP, chairman of medical genetics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester:
          “By all criteria of modern molecular biology,life is present from the moment of conception. … Science has a very simple conception of man; as soon as he has been conceived, a man is a man.”

          C. Christopher Hook, M.D. Oncologist, Mayo Clinic, Director of Ethics Education, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine:
          “When fertilization is complete, a unique genetic human entity exists.”

          The official Senate report reached this conclusion:
          “Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being – a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.”

          Preborn babies are among the most vulnerable and helpless members of our society. The value of human beings is not dependent on where they are, how tall they are, what race they are, what they look like, or how old they are. Each person has inherent worth because of who and what he or she is: a member of the human species.

          • Kitsune Inari

            Each person has inherent worth because of who and what he or she is: a member of the human species.

            So you don’t think intelligent aliens from outer space would have inherent worth?
            Human people aren’t special because we are human, but because we are people.

          • connylynn

            People are human.

          • Kitsune Inari

            So you don’t agree that other sapient creatures like chimps and dolphins are people?

          • connylynn

            No. They have bodies and souls but they do not have spirits, only humans do.

  • Dallas Shyboy

    If you are pro life then adopt and stop forcing your stupid ideals on others

    • connylynn

      I would gladly adopt but when the ‘ideal’ that killing babies is looked at as being a way to solve a problem than I wish I could force them to stop.

      Stating ones beliefs and ideals is not forcing anyone to do anything but legalized abortion is forcing the idea that life is not valuable.

  • Random Boy 3 m

    this article is just completely missinforming and it will take me to long to talk about the entire article but the main resion i found this article is becuase of the stupid cartoon i saw. ovcourse the mother either should have payed for a child or should have just not have sex (i really don’t want to be talking about this, ok?) and if she was raped then we should have just charged the rapist as punishment instead of raising taxes on people who had nothing to do with it. there is a little thing called charity and it does not reqire tax mony. oh yes, and i saw that other cartoon, wich is just extreme irony since most people who come across the boarder are unacompanied men.

  • Random Boy 3 m
  • Katherine Harms

    You can be glad that your mother was stupid like the people you make fun of. Otherwise she might have worried you would be stupid and not worth the pain of childbirth.

  • Clayton Gafne Jaymes

    To the ladies across the age spectrum who have had a abortion or more (regardless of the reason/s) I do want to make it clear that you can always come to God and find Him to be deeply forgiving and merciful in His love and undeserved kindness to you. And if you are thinking you are not worth the love and mercies of God please think on the point of ‘undeserved kindness’ that God gives us all. What you’ve done in the past is not a matter of the relationship ou will have with Jehovah God through Jesus in the future, even starting today.   God certainly forgives in huge and unbelievable ways. And if you need to hear it form a human, I forgive you too.
    ***
    Addressing the article:

    What is it called to pass out of life without someone accelerating that process?

    What is it called when a person is poisoned to the point of dying at the hands of another?

    It is to be considered ‘murder’. When steps are actively taken to actively stop a baby from being born, no matter what stage it is at, you are murdering the baby.

    That is not the same thing as a baby naturally unable to come to term fro whatever the reason is outside of human intervention to stop(terminate/murder) it from developing to human life outside the womb.
    ***
    Psalm 139:13 For you produced my kidneys;
    You kept me screened off in my mother’s womb.
    14 I praise you because in an awe-inspiring way I am wonderfully made.
    Your works are wonderful,
    I know this very well.
    15 My bones were not hidden from you
    When I was made in secret,
    When I was woven in the depths of the earth.
    16 Your eyes even saw me as an embryo;
    All its parts were written in your book
    Regarding the days when they were formed,
    Before any of them existed.
    17 So to me, how precious your thoughts are!
    O God, how vast is the sum of them!
    -[RNWT

    • I would encourage you to read more about Psalm 139, as well as the discussion in the comments here, and to ask yourself why that Psalm did not lead to a prohibition of contraception, the causing of a miscarriage being punished with the death penalty, or for that matter a ban on war and capital punishment.

      • Clayton Gafne Jaymes

        Hello to you James and thank you for commenting.

        Why would one assume those things you mentioned should logically follow from what Psalm 139 says?

        If ‘capital punishment’ is a matter of death penalty being carried out under a just law, why confuse that with murder, or the unrighteous and lawless act of taking a life for selfish and self serving reason/excuses?

        War basically follows the same reasoning about the difference between killing and murdering. Also, ppl an avoid war. Then there are times when ppl end up in ‘war’ because of the ppl warring against them. Now, is it ‘murder’ to defend your own life and the lives of other innocent ppl who didn’t start the war but have been pushed into it by the other side?

        • On the one hand, you are assuming what needs to be proved, namely that the prevention of a fertilized human ovum from developing into a fully-formed human being is “taking a life” or the equivalent thereof. On the other hand, you are assuming that (unlike in cases such as capital punishment, war, self defense, divinely commanded child sacrifice, divinely commanded conquest and genocide, and perhaps other cases), it could not conceivably be within the rights of a mother to take the life of an unborn child even if one grants that that is what abortion at an early stage entails. And so what I am trying to do is to get you to not merely assume the very things that are at issue, but to seek to demonstrate them through evidence and arguments.

          • Clayton Gafne Jaymes

            Hello to you again James. And thank you for replying.

            I don’t recall mentioning a few of those things you are saying I am ‘assuming’ this or that about. Why did you do that?

            What ‘divine child sacrifice’ might you be rferring to? The main one of Jesus where God didn’t do anything but rather sinful humans carried out their wicked will against Jesus and God?

            And that brings me to the main point:

            What would God have considered it while Jesus was right then in the process of coming into the world as a human at ‘day 1’ of the sperm and egg process? Do you think God would think: ‘yeah, he sina’t a ‘human yet. So if she takes an ‘ABORTIFACIENT’ to terminate the process of human life that is okay.’ ?

            That wouldn’t have been God’s thought. Nor would God have thought that with John the Baptist that He mentioned would be born. Or Isaac to Abraham. Or Samson that God mentioned before he was born.

            Humans taking it upon themselves to stop the process that has naturally begun according to design is a matter of unlawful taking of life: murder.

            And you do seem to be making the case for abortifacients (drugs causing abortion) rather than contraception which is before the egg and sperm coming together and starting the process of a human.

          • It is ironic that you mention Isaac and Abraham, since that was the instance of attempted child sacrifice I was alluding to. And you seem to think that the mere fact that an ovum has been fertilized makes it a person. Can you justify that view from scripture, using the methods that you apply to your prooftexts?

          • Clayton Gafne Jaymes

            Hello to you again James. And once again thank you for replyig

            I already did ‘justify’ it when I mentioned Jesus comeng to earth. Do you think God would have allowed for the destroying of that step among steps to becoming a full human in the flesh?

            Can you ‘justify’ from Scripture where you think it isn’t?

            As for Abraham and Isaac, Isaac wsa a willing participant in that act. Just as Jesus was with His Father. And also, God did not intend to allow Abraham to sacrifice his son. Was it not God who had Abraham and Isaac God to the place and was i not God who stopped Abraham? And again I will point out the willing participation of Isaac in the matter. That is far from the execution of a human life that had no say in someone unjustly taking/preventing its life. And for what reason??

            James, do you calimto be a ‘Christian’??

          • I am a Christian – are you completely new to this blog?

            Trying to use a particular understanding of Jesus as God incarnate – presumably also embracing the traditional view of Jesus as not involving the fertilization of a human ovum by a male human’s sperm – is beyond bizarre. Surely if you have to clutch at straws in this way, and appeal to scripture until put on the spot to show how it claims what you do when it doesn’t, indicates the weakness of not just your claims but your whole approach to this issue?

    • Gary

      I get very uncomfortable whenever guys discuss abortion. Personally, I think only women should be allowed to discuss pros and cons, especially when “forgiveness” is mentioned.

      But since you are basing your assumptions pretty much upon the Bible, I would like to know your interpretation of Num 5:12-31, Law of Jealousy.

      • Clayton Gafne Jaymes

        Hello to you Gary.

        My comment speaks to who it speaks to. If it bothers you, I’m sure you’ll recover.

        Have a good rest of the day wherever you are.

        • Gary

          No answer on Numbers? Too bad. Sounds like an abortion to me. Done by either the priest, or God Himself. Mainly to satisfy the jealous husband’s wishes. The subject doesn’t bother me at all. No chance on me being pregnant.

          • Gary

            But that’s why I defer to women on the subject.

          • Clayton Gafne Jaymes

            Oh the Numbers account. 🙂 I’ve been seeing that more and more the last 6 months.

            I’ll tell you what, you explain to us what the law for adultery was at that time. And that account of this ‘abortion’ is based on what taking place? What happened to this woman if she were lying right before God?

            And if she wasn’t guilty of the false charge of her husband then what would take place?

          • Gary

            So….you support stoning for adultery? No. main point – biblical versus can’t be used solely to argue pro/con of anything. Using Psalms to argue anti-abortion is as valid as using Numbers to argue pro-abortion. And I blow off all arguments pro or anti abortion when it originates from a male.
            I’d have more sympathy for an argument coming from a male, pro or con, if there weren’t so many father’s avoiding paying child support. A very biblical solution to father’s not paying child support, would be to cut penis’s off. Consider it just a biblical extension of circumcision.

  • Clayton Gafne Jaymes

    Even if there were any truth to the thought of ‘immorality of Pro-Life’ it would b e worth great consideration so such sayers how many ppl were living ‘immorally’ in their sexual dealings that brought them to the point of not wanting to choice ‘pro life’ for the baby that would be born if they didn’t choose ‘pro death’ for that little human in the womb.

    So the active immorality’ for the ‘pro death’ community is worth far more attention in the end wouldn’t you agree?

    • If you have nothing more to offer than what are clearly either caricatures or misunderstandings of others, what’s the point of commenting?

  • Alma Mercer

    I call it a necessary evil , but the fact remains it needs to exist , and if we are talking Roe v Wade , leave it alone ! their are millions of situations out their , and we have have a story to tell , but to strip a woman of choice and her right to make a sound decision that belongs between doctor and patient confidentiality should be no concern to public viewers , no matter their view . this is a health care issue , and everything possibility, for a happy healthy life and mental stability should remain in place . after all this to will be one of the hardest decisions a woman will ever make and ripping this away because of some majority saying its evil , is irrational. weather we like it or not this to has its benefits, fetal tissue saves lives .

  • Elaine Walkden

    I wish forced birthers would quit pretending it’s about anything other than wanting to up the numbers of the white race.