“I Do Abortions Because I Am a Christian”

“I Do Abortions Because I Am a Christian” April 23, 2018

Dr. Willie Parker is an abortion provider and a Christian.

He’s received a lot of press, including a long piece in Esquire magazine in 2014, for being one of only two doctors who provides care at the last abortion clinic in Mississippi. That’s a clinic that the governor wants shut down to achieve his goal of Mississippi as “an abortion-free zone.”

Four other states are also down to one clinic.

Praise for Christians

I have plenty to disagree with Christians about, but I seek out opportunities to celebrate Christians with whom I agree. Rev. Barry Lynn was head of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Senator Rob Portman is a Republican who reversed himself on the same-sex marriage issue after his son came out as gay. And Dr. Parker is a Christian who feels that he is doing the Lord’s work by helping women get essential healthcare.

Parker’s path to his profession

Dr. Parker makes the trip to Mississippi from his home in Chicago twice a month. He’s Harvard educated and gave up a career as a college professor and obstetrician to become an abortion provider. The realization that this would be his civil rights struggle is what he calls his “come to Jesus” moment, and he became an abortion provider on the day that Dr. George Tiller was murdered in his church.

Mississippi used to have 13 abortion clinics, they’ve gotten rid of all but one, and anti-abortionists want to shut down that one, too. Since they can’t make abortion illegal, they want to make it impractical by imposing nuisance requirements. These include demands that clinic doctors must have hospital admitting privileges in case of complications (unnecessary since any such situation would go in through the emergency room), scary information that must be provided by the doctor (which is one sided and often scientifically incorrect), unnecessary regulations that only drive up costs, unnecessary second ultrasounds (some with the technician required to identify the fetal parts to the woman), and so on.

Mississippi social metrics aren’t so good

Hey, kids! Here are some fun stats about Mississippi. Besides having a fun name, it has the second-highest teen birth rate in the United States—nearly four times the rate of the lowest state, Massachusetts. It has the highest rate of unintended pregnancy, at 63%. While it only has one abortion clinic, it has 38 crisis pregnancy centers (these are pretend abortion clinics with anti-choice agendas). And it has the highest rates of poverty, gonorrhea, obesity, and infant mortality in the country.

But all is forgiven since it’s also the most religious state. Jesus must be pleased.

The other side of the issue

Anti-abortion activists argue that Mississippi residents seeking abortions can always go out of state, and about two-thirds are already forced to. Not only is going out of state not an option for poor women, but this was the argument segregationists made about black students who wanted to attend the state’s whites-only colleges.

Another odd argument is that the status quo is a plot against black babies since many of the women seeking abortions are black. In fact, we’re seeing black women trying to take control of and responsibility for the size of their families. Most women seeking an abortion already have children to consider. And it is inconsistent to hear concern for the disadvantage coming out of the mouths of the same people who want to cut funding for social programs and education.

The National Right to Life News was unimpressed with the favorable Esquire piece. Consider some of their complaints.

  • Dr. Parker performs too many abortions per day during his visits to Mississippi. That’s easily solved—open more clinics and pay for more doctors.
  • Dr. Parker is reported to have done late-term abortions. Then remove pointless red tape to make abortions happen earlier.
  • Dr. Parker is quoted as underestimating the fraction of abortions after the first trimester. So earlier is better? Great—sounds like you accept the spectrum argument, that the inherent worth of the fetus increases during gestation. Again, the solution is encouraging early pregnancy tests and quickly providing complete information so that any abortion happens as soon as possible.
  • The teeny chopped-up fetus looks gross. The result of any medical operation can be yucky. Imagine holding down your lunch while watching a surgeon poking around inside a chest or abdomen. And if the issue is fetal pain, “the neurological wiring [to feel pain] is not in place until . . . after the time when nearly all abortions occur” (source).

Harm reduction

Anti-abortion activists, do you really want to reduce abortions? ’Cause if you are, you sure aren’t going about it the right way.

Zero abortions won’t happen whether abortion is legal or not. Making abortion illegal doesn’t eliminate it; it simply drives it underground (more here). What you need to do is attack the problem at the source: the half of all pregnancies in the U.S. that are unwanted. Reduce the demand for abortions and you reduce abortions. (More here.)

Not only will this turn pro-choice enemies into allies, but now you’re open to explore why other developed countries have so much lower teen pregnancy rates.

(I have more recommendations for the pro-life movement here.)

See also: 20 Arguments Against Abortion, Rebutted

There are people in the world so hungry
that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.
— Mahatma Gandhi

.

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 8/13/14.)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Erik1986

    “The result of any medical operation can be yucky.”

    I guess it depends on your point of view/tolerance for “yuck.” My mother watched via an overhead mirror while they took out her appendix (This was a long time ago, and she was only given a local). She thought it was fascinating. I wanted to see the benign tumor they removed from my parathyroid (would have been pretty small, I imagine), but of course, by the time I came out of the general, it was too late to ask about that. I watched them put pins into my broken arm (also done under local). It was interesting, and I watched them stitch up a foot-long gash on my leg (N.B. horses can hurt you. My horse was responsible for the broken arm, a horse ridden by someone else was resposible for the gash. LOL) Of course, I know the product of an abortion would be messier, but I guess I just have a high threshold for yuck. More seriously, kudos to Dr. Parker. I wonder…considering, e.g., Dr. Tiller – does Dr. Parker have a bodyguard when he ventures into darkest Mississippi?

    • Cozmo the Magician

      I got woowsy just starting to read your comment. NTY, knock me the fuck out before you even THINK about cutting me. Last year my Dr. started to describe the procedure for my hip operation. I stopped him in mid sentence and said. All I needed to know was the risks and that you are confident. I DO NOT need the details.

      • Erik1986

        As a teen, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Just wasn’t practical, financially speaking, but I guess the mind set is still there.

        • Cozmo the Magician

          Cut up innocent vegatables? You monster! /s

        • Erik1986

          That got me giggling at work!!

      • Greg G.

        I broke my leg and got an infection. The doctor opened it up and packed it with bandages, then everyday for a week he would open it up to dump antibiotics in. It is quite a thing to see your own bones.

        It happened about a week after I got Jimmy Buffett’s Coconut Telegraph CD. One of the songs was “Growing Older But Not Up” which had a song about when he broke his leg playing softball, which is how mine happened. I was the shortstop and caught a fly ball in short leftfield and the leftfielder ran into me. It was like the Joe Theisman broken leg.

        • MR

          I have an old football injury. Someone left a football out and I tripped over the damn thing and my knee has never been the same since.

        • Cozmo the Magician

          got as far as the word infection and stoped reading. Thanks for sharing, i hope somebody got something out of it.

      • ThaneOfDrones

        All I needed to know was the risks and that you are justifiably confident.

        FIFY

        • Cozmo the Magician

          Um. yeah… coulda phrased that a bit better. Donnie is confident as all hell, but i wouldn’t trust him to wash my coffee cup.

    • Kevin K

      I can watch just about anything except for ophthalmic procedures. Those are just … ooogie.

      • I saw a video of the removal of a river blindness worm in a human eye. Definitely icky.

        But back to the point of the post, we treat these cases of unwanted parasites. Many conservative politicians think that a stern “You shoulda thought about that earlier” is the appropriate response in the case of an unwanted pregnancy.

        • Kevin K

          True enough.

      • TheNuszAbides

        not a fan of Un Chien Andalou, then?

    • Jim Jones

      Few non-doctors would watch male to female transition surgery.

      • Erik1986

        …perhaps few MALE non-doctors….? I’ve assisted in cattle castration and gelding of horses, but I realize this is a…uh…tender subject, and not one I’d be particularly interested in seeing. I’m still trying to fathom (a) guys who will not fix their male dogs, and (b) guys who DO fix their male dogs, but then equip them “neuticals” so they look like they’re still “fully equipped.” I mean, it’s the hormones, not the “look”, after all. Whose ego is being assuaged, the owner’s or the dog’s? LOL

        • Jim Jones

          At least they aren’t adding truck nuts! That would be a sight to see.

        • Erik1986

          Eh…I’ve seen those. I call my truck Blanco (white truck-not very original, I know), but as for truck nuts, no thank you. Except, I suppose, they are useful for letting me know which truck drivers I should avoid (also those with the Stars & Bars decals, “guarded by Smith & Wesson bumper stickers, etc.). A female friend bought a humongous one ton diesel. She’s a petite redhead. She named hers “Moby Truck.” Much more clever than I with that name.

        • Jim Jones

          I’m trying to imagine a harness for them for the dog to wear.

        • Erik1986

          Neuticals are surgically inserted. I suppose they do it at the same time the, ahem, real ones are removed. What I’m trying to imagine is neuticals for horses, (then I start cracking up at the very thought).

        • quinsha

          I just told my asexual spouse about the ‘neuticals” (I called them nuticles), and he is now just sitting there laughing.

        • Nica

          When we needed to have our rescued cat Alex neutered, we called a vet (a friend of a friend) w/ a mobile care unit that came to our house. First, she injected him w/ sleepy stuff, & said, “Oh, let him just walk around for awhile; he’ll collapse when it takes hold.”

          When Alex was woozy enough, she picked him him, put him on our dining-room table, whacked off his genitals, put in the sutures (I suppose … by that time, I was still rather stunned), & wrote up the bill. Let us know that he’d be up & around in no time at all. And that’s all she wrote. We never used her services again.

        • Erik1986

          Yes, sadly, we used a mobile vet when our elderly Min Pin needed to be euthanized. He was always good at the vet’s, but we thought it would be even more traumatic to take him there for this, so we contacted a mobile vet. It was a sad day. He was almost 15. Cute little guy, but he had cancer and had reached the point where we couldn’t keep him comfortable any more. Of course re mobile vets -.since I have a horse, my regular vet is ALWAYS mobile. The only doctors who always make house (barn) calls. LOL. (which reminds me that my rehabbing horse is due for an ultrasound. Ah. another opportunity to contribute to the vet’s kids’ college fund.)

    • Annerdr

      And I cannot watch a flu shot needle pierce my skin. To each their own, but “yucky” is not an adequate reason to ban a procedure.

      • Erik1986

        I will give my horse an IM shot, but my nerves fail at giving an IV shot, even though my vet has volunteered to instruct me on proper technique.

        • I asked a nurse at the blood center how their training works. I assumed that they practice on arm-like models and then stick the other students in the class. Nope: the first living humans they stick are actual donors like me.

        • Otto

          Penn Jillette has a good podcast about giving blood after the Las Vegas mass shooting, he had a person ask him to pray while he was in the chair, it didn’t go well.
          https://pennsundayschool.com/episodes/

          #332 if you are interested.

        • Thanks–I haven’t seen that podcast. What do you think? Do you recommend it?

        • Otto

          Yes I like it, he does not talk about atheism a ton but it is entertaining, he often has interesting stories.

          Your comment about giving blood reminded me of it because he said he asks for the most inexperienced phlebotomist to stick him.

        • … definitely not what I’d ask for. Now I’m intrigued to find out his motivation.

        • Greg G.

          If they find a vein, you are a donor. If not, you are an arm-like model.

        • tatortotcassie

          Seriously? I’m in nursing class and we practiced (2 times) on arm models, and then once on each other. And then once on our instructor. … which still isn’t much practice, I know.

        • I can’t complain about the treatment I’ve had, but your approach does sound a little more sensible.

          You have a brave instructor. I hear that you can’t be a parachute packer until you’ve jumped … with a parachute that you’ve packed yourself. Sound somewhat similar.

        • Greg G.

          I read long ago, perhaps when I was in high school, that it was not permissible to jump with a chute you packed yourself.

        • TheNuszAbides

          I read long ago, perhaps when I was in high school …

          whatever comes after that already has the hallmarks of great scripture.

      • I’ve had about 170 needle sticks for whole blood or apheresis (shout out: last time was yesterday, at a drive sponsored by the Seattle Chapter of The Satanic Temple). I must admit that I’d prefer not watching the needle go in.

        • ThaneOfDrones

          Congrats. I am a 10 gallon donor myself. And I look the other way when the needle goes in.

    • quinsha

      About the only medical thing that gives me the icks is thinking about the burn ward of a hospital. I wanted to be a veterinarian at one point, myself. Heck, my cat’s vet was amazed that I managed to keep the drainage tubes for my cat clean that one time.

    • tatortotcassie

      “Abortions are yucky and therefore shouldn’t happen.” My dear Right to Life people, just what the hell do you think the process of childbirth (vaginal or C-section!) is? And never mind that the bodily functions of infants are more often than not “yucky” — frequent pee, poops of all sorts, vomit/spit up, nasal secretions, and drool.

    • lady_black

      Actually, an early abortion is pretty much no different than the menses, which we women manage to deal with on a regular basis.

    • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

      I’m incredibly weird in that I think that zygotes and blastoffs are beautiful, but fetuses are yucky. Don’t show me pictures of fetuses, even healthy ones. I don’t want to see them.

  • Michael Neville

    Most anti-abortion efforts aren’t about saving “da babbies” but about controlling women’s lives. If the anti-abortion folks really wanted to cut down on abortion, they’d promote easy access to contraception and comprehensive sex education, both of which combined have been shown to reduce abortion rates. Instead they’re strongly anti-contraception (vide Burwell v. Hobby Lobby) and promote ineffective “abstinence only” sex education.

    • Kevin K

      The benefits of contraception on reducing abortions proven in Colorado.

      https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/colorado-birth-control-facts/

      • lady_black

        LARCs are the gold standard. Not just anything called “birth control” will do.

    • But, like Trump, they seem to be unshame-able. You point out that they’re making abortion worse, and they’ll ignore you and wag their finger about people sinnin’.

  • Jim Jones

    Does Mississippi offer full, free pre and post natal care for all mothers?

    If not, it is in no way a “pro life” state.

    • Annerdr

      If you do that then women will just get “dependent on the state.” There is no greater horror than this.

      • lady_black

        Just tell them the fetus is the one who is dependent. It wouldn’t be a lie.

  • RichardSRussell

    Quite a few years ago I saw a joke list of “Rejected State Mottoes”. The only 2 I still recall are Alabama’s (“At least we’re not Mississippi”) and Mississippi’s (“Think how much better we make YOUR state look”).

    • Kevin K

      Arkansas: Where Cousins Go To Date

    • Otto

      South Dakota: North Mississippi

  • watcher_b

    I am going to say something controversial, which always invites completely reasonable responses on the internet. Please, don’t get me wrong, I am firmly in the pro-choice camp.

    But I can understand the “pro-life” non-religious argument against abortion. My understanding is that Christopher Hitchens fell on the “pro-life” spectrum of the two sides of abortion. If human life does begin at conception, then abortion would be something similar to killing a human being. There is definitely a slippery slope there, but there is also a slippery slope to deciding when the fetus becomes “human” during its development (where ever that is).

    It can be a WILDLY complex argument, full of nuance and long reaching repercussions no matter where you land. Hence why I am pro-choice as I believe it is too complex for anyone to tell anyone else what to believe. Unfortunately, often religion gets involved and complexities and nuance get tossed out the window.

    I remember, back in my religious days, before the internet, I used to log into BBS’s and debate religion and abortion on the local forums. I was 16 at the time and this woman who was Stongly pro-choice caught me in chat one day and found out I was a teenager and just laid into me. All of which, in retrospect, I 100% deserved. I was an arrogant prick, but luckily I did not take it personally or dig my heels in. I could have asked so many more questions back then and tried to understand other people’s perspectives better. I think ultimately that is what I wanted to do, but it felt too good to be a “warrior for Christ” or whatever I imagined myself to be at the time.

    • Annerdr

      You seem to be forgetting the woman involved. The pregnant woman? If you consider that she has some rights over her body, then you have to weigh the rights of the fetus against the rights of the pregnant woman. What if she doesn’t want to take the risk of giving birth?

    • Raging Bee

      Calling something a “human life” is not the same thing as saying we can grant it actual personhood and rights, or saying anyone else has any obligation towards it. My appendix is “human life,” because it’s living and it’s human tissue; but that doesn’t make it a “person” with any rights that supersede my own.

      And it simply impossible, both in theory and in practice, to grant personhood to a fetus without seriously diminishing the personhood of its bearer. And this, to make a long story short, is why we simply cannot grant personhood to something that’s living inside another full person: that would be in infringement on constitutional rights that have already been recognized by law and by the actions of others.

    • Anthrotheist

      As others have pointed out before me, the problem surrounding abortion isn’t simply one of ‘human life’ because there are in fact two living human entities involved. So long as one of those entities is entirely dependent upon the other (that is, not yet viable), its needs cannot be elevated over the self-autonomy of its benefactor.

      When the autonomy and dignity of a conscious and viable human conflicts with the needs of an unconscious and nonviable potential human, the slippery slopes involved on either side end up necessarily supporting the former’s over the latter’s.

    • Kevin K

      Well, it is a “slope” of sorts, but it doesn’t have anything to do with when “life” begins (if someone tells you they know, you can be pretty sure they’re lying). There is a continuum of when the rights of the woman carrying the fetus outweigh the rights of the fetus. Those rights get superseded by the rights of the fetus in the third trimester (according to the US Supreme Court, in any event).

      The court famously, specifically, and overtly declined to take a stand on the question of when “life” begins. There is no definition that satisfies all variables. By your definition, Henrietta Lacks is still “alive” because HeLa cells are grown in virtually every lab in the world. Despite the fact that her body was buried some decades ago.

      • I never found the “when life begins” argument to be interesting. There’s no nonliving-to-living transition. The sperm and egg are living, the fertilized cell is living, and then it continues to be living from then on.

        “When is it a person?” would be more relevant from my standpoint.

        • Aram

          I thought Dawkins’ ‘discontinuous mind’ discussion in The Ancestor’s Tale also answered abortion objections well.

        • I’m not familiar with that one, but I’ve found it online here. I’ll take a look, thanks.

          https://www.richarddawkins.net/2013/01/the-tyranny-of-the-discontinuous-mind-christmas-2011/

        • Aram

          Ah so, I see Dawkins noted the parallels already 🙂 good read

        • Kevin K

          That’s pretty much the position the courts have taken as well. A liver tumor could be considered “alive”.

          Personhood is easier to define, I think. You’re a person when the government allows you to have a number. You can’t get a Social Security number in utero. If you are lucky/unlucky enough to undergo surgery while in the womb, the insurance company doesn’t pay the bill on your behalf, but on behalf of your mother.

        • This is a bit of a tangent, but I find that many pro-lifers like to retreat into the dictionary. They have vast interest in the various nuances of “personhood” or “human” or “human being” or whatever. It’s a smokescreen.

        • Kevin K

          True. But they like to make up their own special definitions that just so very-neatly describe exactly what they want to describe.

        • Kevin K

          Anything to deny the agency of the woman involved in the equation, of course. Apparently “possessor of working uterus” doesn’t count as a “human being” in their lexicon.

        • Kevin K

          That’s pretty much the position the courts have taken as well. A liver tumor could be considered “alive”.

          Personhood is easier to define, I think. You’re a person when the government allows you to have a number. You can’t get a Social Security number in utero. If you are lucky/unlucky enough to undergo surgery while in the womb, the insurance company doesn’t pay the bill on your behalf, but on behalf of your mother.

          Internet sucks today.

      • lady_black

        Actually, the fetus has no rights in the third trimester, either. If she has a need to end the pregnancy, it will be ended, and the fetus has no say. This is commonly called “delivery” though. Abortion only applies prior to the 20th week.

    • Otto

      Someone pointed out to me the essay Carl Sagan wrote on the subject recently. I felt it treated this complex issue very well.

      http://www.2think.org/abortion.shtml

      • Brian Curtis

        “Recently”?

        • Otto

          It means ‘not too long ago’.

        • Aram

          It’s the way you’ve constructed the sentence, makes it look like you’re saying that Carl Sagan wrote the essay recently. Sagan died in 1996, hence Brian’s surprise, I imagine.

        • Otto

          I know, and I agree I constructed it poorly (nothing new there).

          But I think he knew what I meant and played off of it…then I figured one good turn deserved another.

        • John-Hugh Boyd

          I suspect Otto’s first sentence should read…..
          “Someone recently pointed out to me the essay Carl Sagan wrote on the subject.”

        • RichardSRussell

          The general rule (observed maybe ¾ of the time) is that a modifier should go in the immediate vicinity of whatever it’s intended to modify. This above is an instance of a misplaced modifier, many of which result in unintentional hilarity. Here’s a classic (of the intentional variety) from Groucho Marx: “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know.” The thing with misplaced modifiers is that they’re hard for the author to detect, because of course he or she knows what it’s supposed to mean.

    • Michael Neville

      Bob has written several posts on what he calls the Spectrum Argument. Here’s a LINK to the latest one.

      • Damn Disqus for not making links visible…

        • Greg G.

          I blame the Patheos style sheets.

        • Herald Newman

          It’s not just Patheos. Other sites using Discus seem to have similar problems. Patheos is particularly bad because links remain black.
          One suggestion for people is to use <u><a href=”put link here”>text to display goes here</a></u>

          Edited

        • Greg G.

          Bob has a recent comments page from some HTML that I sent him. It appears in the Patheos style. I use the same code from my hard drive but with no additional style so that the HTML sent for the Disqus widget is the same and the links appear normal.

          Before the Patheos style change, I noticed that using bold outside a link did not make the link look bold unless the bold included other text. But the bold tags inside the link tags did allow it to be bold. IIRC, it was the same with italics and underline tags. I would put the underline tag inside the link HTML in case the next iteration of style sheets goes back to that.

          I liked to use <a> and </a> to give a bit of color to the text but it did not underline it. It would be whatever color was used for the scheme chosen by the blogger.

          I usually just paste the URL into the text, now. One has to make sure to have a space or a return at the end of it so Disqus knows where the link ends. I have some canned links I use a lot that are in HTML format so I type ” [Link]” into the link part to identify it.

        • Yeah, I’ve regressed to your approach, just putting in URLs plain, with a space on the end. It ain’t pretty, but it works.

        • MR

          Greg, speaking of the html you provided us. I keep forgetting about that. I found a file that I had (fortunately on my desktop or I would never have found it), and it works great. I thought, “Hey, I could slap this up on my website and I can access it from anywhere.” But, apart from displaying the header, it doesn’t seem to work. Is there any particular reason why it works from my desktop, but not from the web?

        • Greg G.

          I don’t know why it wouldn’t work from any domain unless it is a domain issue. You can bookmark the one on CE:

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/recent-comments/

        • MR

          That works, thanks!

    • Venavis

      The thing is, that ‘pro-life’ argument is completely irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if it’s alive. It doesn’t matter if it’s human. It doesn’t matter if it can play piano or do calculus. It doesn’t matter if it can feel pain or listen to music. It doesn’t matter if it may one day cure cancer.

      It still doesn’t get to use a woman’s body without her consent.

      • And somehow the idea of “choice” has to come in there. Any one person can feel that they wouldn’t have an abortion or would counsel their loved one away from that option. That’s fine. That’s a choice. It’s when they declare that they’ve got it all figured out and they want to impose their conclusion on the rest of us by law that we have a problem.

        • Venavis

          I think choice might even be the wrong word here. You can ‘choose’ to whatever, as long as it doesn’t override someone else’s CONSENT.

      • lady_black

        Exactly.

    • Joe

      f human life does begin at conception, then abortion would be something similar to killing a human being.

      That argument is consistent only if the “pro-life” advocate is concerned with the killing of human beings. Experience has shown me that such extreme pacifists are rare in pro-life circles.

      Some even go as far as calling for the death of doctors who perform abortions.

      • TheNuszAbides

        some even go as far as murdering them.

    • Robert M. Price is another atheist who’s personally pro-life but also pro-Roe.

      Which raises a question: why aren’t there three labels? We know what “pro-choice” means, but then there’s “pro-life personally but OK with Roe v. Wade” + “anti-Roe.” The last two are often lumped as “pro-life,” but it’s still ambiguous.

      • Otto

        Huh…I always lumped the first 2 as ‘pro-choice’.

        • A reasonable approach, though I’m not sure that’s the only way of dividing things.

        • Otto

          I guess I just felt that if someone was alright letting other people chose that would make them pro-choice. At one time I would have listed myself under the “pro-life personally but OK with Roe v. Wade” and thought of myself as pro-choice. I can certainly see someone feeling they were pro-life though, I just hadn’t thought about it like that.

        • lady_black

          It does, in fact, make them pro-choice. It’s merely a choice they believe they wouldn’t make.

      • Kev Green

        There are two aspects to consider: the moral and the legal. Technically this makes four positions, but one of them is nonsense. So, you have the ‘pro-choice’ people who are okay with the moral implications. The mainstream ‘pro-life’ movement members who oppose abortion morally and think that means it should be illegal. Then there’s the third group who are morally opposed, at least at later stages, to abortion; but they understand that making it illegal isn’t the answer.

        Sure, it would be nice if all three positions were recognized. But, we live in a polarized society where only two positions on any given issue are recognized. With abortion, only where you stand on the issue in regardless to legalization is relevant in the larger conversation. Personally, I agree with your spectrum argument in regards to the moral aspect, but am well aware of all the reasons that making abortion illegal is a bad idea.

        • lady_black

          I view abortion as morally neutral, since no one is obligated to make their body parts available for anyone’s use but their own.

      • lady_black

        The second is pro-choice. One’s *personal* views about abortion don’t inform views about the law.

        • Fair enough, but I’ve gotten into discussions with personally pro-life people only to belatedly realize that we were on the same page about the legality of abortion.

        • lady_black

          They say “personally pro-life because they think it sounds nicer. Lots of pro-choice people might struggle with the thought. Especially if they want to be pregnant.

        • eric

          I don’t think there’s any particular reason to doubt their sincerity. I’m personally anti-adultery but have no problem with it being legal. I’m generally (but with many exceptions) anti-lying but have no problem with it being legal. And so on. If someone tells me they’re fine with abortion being legal but they wouldn’t do it because they think it’s wrong, more power to them – I’m happy to have them on our side.

        • Greg G.

          I’m personally anti-adultery

          That reminds me of a joke so I need to release it from my system.

          A young lady finished her meal at a sidewalk cafe and lit a cigarette.

          A snooty woman at the next table said, “I’d rather commit adultery than smoke a cigarette.”

          The first woman replied,” So would I, but I only have a half-hour for lunch.”

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          this is what we like to called the civilised approach, i believe in monogamy, but if some one wants to put it about more power to them, not my thing, and i may think they are being reckless but that is my problem not theirs

      • ildi

        Actually, no:
        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2016/10/03/high-profile-atheist-explains-why-hes-on-the-trump-train-an-interview-with-robert-m-price/
        “As for abortion, it is a crime against humanity. How can anyone claim the name “humanist” and be pro-abortion? Beats me. I’d love to see Roe v. Wade repealed. “Evidence-based policy” is the last thing Progressives really want.”

    • Dys

      If human life does begin at conception, then abortion would be something similar to killing a human being.

      I think you’re accidentally conflating two different things. I don’t think anyone can reasonably argue that a zygote/fetus/whatever isn’t human life. But that only accounts for the “human” part of “human being”. A zygote or fetus has no “being” – there’s no consciousness there. It’s not a person.

      So there’s no killing of a human being, but there is the termination of human life.

      • lady_black

        And it happens anyway, more often than not.

    • BlackMamba44

      This might be human life, but it’s not a human being. That is a blastocyst (zygote?) sitting on the tip of a needle. The pro-life folks want to give this clump of cells more rights than the sentient human being it’s attached to. They want to give it special rights that they don’t give sentient human beings or even corpses.

      So, no, I don’t understand the pro-life arguments.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c9e7aee720c88c74c6f439151b08d2ef23b720083eda6f8d8aca9d18aa676fe4.jpg

      • lady_black

        That is a blastocyst. A zygote is one cell.

        • BlackMamba44

          Thanks. I couldn’t remember at the moment and didn’t feel like going to search.

        • Greg G.

          The best way to get good information on the internet is to not ask a question, but to post wrong information. –Abraham Lincoln

    • RichardSRussell

      When does life begin? About 4.28 billion years ago. We are merely sequels.

    • Kev Green

      I understand the religious argument for ‘life begins at conception” that’s when they claim the ‘child’ gains a soul. But, I don’t see a non-religious justification for the claim. What’s the objective difference between a fertilized egg and an unfertilized egg?

      • Otto

        The supposed non-religious justification seems to be that at conception there is a whole new unique set of DNA. It is nothing more than the ‘non-religious’ version of ensoulment.

        • Robert Baden

          I’d argue since drone bees come from unfertilized eggs. ova are alive and members of their species. No special pleading for mammals.

        • Otto

          You won’t get any argument from me there, but I also think that whole issue is beside the point. The pregnant person gets to decide what is best for them self and if they don’t consent to be pregnant then they should not be forced to.

        • Robert Baden

          Try saying it is beside the point to a woman who had an abortion and is traumatized by people saying she killed her baby.

        • Otto

          Yes, I have personal experience with that, and I told the woman (a person very close to me) that it was nothing more than a guilt trip and they (the people casting judgement) can fuck off.

        • Kodie

          I’m not my DNA, either. If you asked any person using DNA to defend personhood, ask them if they are their DNA. There’s nothing remarkable about even a unique set of DNA if that’s all we have so far. What’d I recently see on a billboard… something about a teddy bear, if you were conceived after 1973, 1 out of 4 of your peers was never born!!!! Alarming! If I was aborted, I wouldn’t miss a fucking thing. I don’t understand “glad I was born” or some kind of stunning, shocking, terrible feeling of not being born at all. You get to live, someone else doesn’t get conceived at all! There are billions of peers that will never be born because someone stopped at 2nd base. I don’t miss people who aren’t here, and to tell the truth… well, maybe it’s too far, but a lot of people I know probably didn’t need to be born either. Being alive is weird, because our major reason for being alive is family, I think. Those are the people who would miss us if they knew us already and then we were dead. Our position at work or in society is redundant. If we can contribute to society in a more meaningful way than the average person does, then that’s gravy. But in my own head, in my body, in my life, in my position such as it is in my family and in society, I’m not just DNA, and not even sure how much DNA contributes to much. It makes me look different than a lot of other people, or similar to other people, more or less prone to diseases, etc. than I would be if I had different parents, but I don’t have my sister’s DNA, I don’t have my brother’s DNA, but we are similarly prone to genetic appearances and tendencies, but it doesn’t make us.

        • lady_black

          Ova are alive, and so are sperm. And they all have different DNA than the organism they came from.

        • Greg G.

          They won’t listen when you point out that the same fertilization can produce monozygotic twins, triplets, etc. and each are separate people.

        • lady_black

          With half or a third of a soul, according to the Christers.

        • eric

          A process that evidently happens a lot more often than most people realize…because most of the time, one twin cell absorbs (i.e. kills and eats) the other.

        • Greg G.

          I have heard of two separate fertilizations attaching in the uterus so close that they merge into one person called a chimera. When they compared a woman’s DNA with her children, they seemed to nephews and nieces because her head developed from a different fertilized egg than her ovaries did.

          So, I have always wondered if a fertilized egg could split into two then join up again. How would we know?

        • al kimeea

          A woman was recently found to have her former twin in her brain.

        • Greg G.

          Was it Kylie Minogue?

          https://youtu.be/YPwtJ89jes4

          I had never heard that song before. I was thinking of a different song from way back with similar lyrics.

        • Otto

          Wow…I didn’t know they were still doing bad 80’s music videos in 2010+

        • Greg G.

          I listened to an oldies station until they started focusing on the 80s and 90s and it wasn’t because they were making me feel old. Now I listen to the local Classic Rock station or try to find one when I travel.

        • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

          Chimeras are my favorite.

          “Human life starts at conception! Each fertilized egg is an individual human equal to a born baby!”

          “So, when two fertilized eggs merge into one organism, what happens to the two human beings? Do the two human beings that previously existed die, and a new human comes into being? Does one of the humans die, and the other humans lives? Do the two humans both live, and chimeras are actually two humans (do they get to vote twice if they are?)? What exactly has happened?”

          I’ve never gotten a pro-lifer to answer me. With twins they’ll usually say, “God knows at conception that the split will happen” or some secular attempt at an alternative. Chimeras? Nothing.

        • Greg G.

          I’ve never gotten a pro-lifer to answer me.

          That one is a stumper for them.

          Even the two souls for twins excuse is a fail as they insist that it is the new DNA that is created that makes a person. What about the fertilizations that have a fatal genetic combination? What about those that spontaneously abort?

        • TheNuszAbides

          What about the fertilizations that have a fatal genetic combination? What about those that spontaneously abort?

          punt to Teh Fall, minions of Satan, etc. duh.

          EDIT: oops, i forgot this topic sometimes includes anti-choicers who have the WLCesque habit of trying to cloak their abysmally misguided moralizing in logicky and/or sciencey talk.

        • ildi

          “”God knows at conception that the split will happen” Well, by that logic, God know at conception that for whatever reason abortion will happen and save himself the trouble of ensoulment in the first place. God seems to have so much and yet so little power, depending on the apologetics being defended.

        • lady_black

          I have a higher standard for humanity than DNA.

        • TheNuszAbides

          “with great complexity [of consciousness] comes great responsibility.”

    • lady_black

      As much as I hate to disagree with Hitchens, 1) life doesn’t begin at conception. It began millions of years ago and has been on a continuum since then, 2) Abortion is not “killing a human being.” It’s the declining of the use of one’s body to sustain a human being. Maybe Hitch would feel differently if it were his body being coopted. None of us are obligated to anatomical donation, not for nine months and not for nine minutes. 3) An embryo or fetus is ALWAYS human. That entitles it to exactly nothing from anyone else’s body. 4) The time when the rights of a fetus surpass the rights of the pregnant woman is *never.* If the pregnancy is becoming an issue to her health, later in the game, if the pregnancy needs to end, it will be delivered. Whether the fetus survives or not.

    • ThaneOfDrones

      But I can understand the “pro-life” non-religious argument against abortion….
      Uf human life does begin at conception…

      I also can “understand” the arguments, but since they are all based on fallacious or erroneous foundations, I do not find them the least bit convincing. I get especially annoyed when they try to invoke science on their behalf, when they clearly do not have the least familiarity with the relevant science. My impression is that they start with their conclusion, and try to muster sciencey arguments that back it up. In other words, they look just exactly like the religious arguments, with the overt religion removed.

      • TheNuszAbides

        that’s certainly how Dillahunty’s debate opponent – Kruselnicki? – came off. the only other specimen i’ve observed arguing that angle was somebody visiting CE to play definition wars.

    • MadScientist1023

      I, like everyone, have heard the “a fetus is a human being” argument more times than I can count. I agreed with it for a long time until I realized something: it doesn’t matter. There’s no point in getting into the argument about where human life begins because it doesn’t actually matter. The real question is how much right a person has to decide what happens to their own body. Whether or not the fetus is a person has no actual bearing on the issue of bodily autonomy.

      If someone comes to you and says “I need to borrow your kidney for nine months, and you’re the only possible donor”, you should have the right to say no. Even if they die as a result, they need to get your consent before taking it. The government does not get to say “you’ve had sex, so that counts as consent” and take your kidney without your approval. They do not get to say “we’ll give it back” and then take it without your consent. You’re the one who has to take the risk of anesthesia and major surgery. You’re the one who could have a long and potentially painful return to full functioning. You’re the one risking potential complications. You deserve the right to refuse, even if the person who needs it dies as a result.

      Pregnancy is no different. Even if the fetus is a human life, it doesn’t automatically invalidate the woman’s right to bodily autonomy. If the life of another was all that it took was cede the right to bodily autonomy, then organ donation upon death would be mandatory, as would live donation of blood and bone marrow. It would save a lot of lives, but we don’t do it because we respect the rights of individuals to say what happens to their bodies.

  • Greg G.

    This xkcd comic seems to address our hobby.

    https://xkcd.com/1984/

    • Raging Bee

      That’s our opponents’ hobby, not ours!

  • skl

    I suppose the back-and-forth on abortion will go on and on as long as there are persons.

    There’s always another article to write and another seemingly incessant comment thread, e.g.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/07/spectrum-argument-for-abortion-revisited-2/#disqus_thread

    • Doubting Thomas

      Do you think it’s wrong to write another abortion post? Too bad. I’ve been told that there’s no such thing as wrong There’s only what the most powerful deem appropriate. And Bob is the most powerful around here.

      • skl

        In some societies in the past, the powerful allowed parents
        to kill their children (e.g. ancient Roman empire). In American society for
        over its first 200 years, the powerful dis-allowed parents to kill their
        children. For the last 45 years, they’ve allowed it.

        Things change, power changes.
        They’ll probably change again.

        • Halbe

          Really? US law allows parents to kill their children? Are you referring to the Idaho religious shield laws? Otherwise I am pretty sure killing your own child is still considered a serious crime in the US.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          yet another forced birther who doesn’t realise that there is a difference between being born and not born, for a person who was trying to be a pedant over language earlier in thread they seem to not have a very good grasp of English,.

        • lady_black

          Incorrect. Parents in the United States are not now, nor were they ever allowed to kill children. However, abortion was only illegal for 100 years of our history (give or take).
          I’ve viewed old advertisements for pills and potions to “restore the menses.” What do you think that meant?

        • skl

          “Incorrect… abortion was only illegal for 100 years of our
          history (give or take).”

          Not quite.
          “In the 18th century and until about 1880, abortions were allowed under common law and widely practiced. They were illegal
          only after “quickening,” the highly subjective term used to describe
          when pregnant women could feel the fetus moving”

          https://www.cnn.com/2016/06/23/health/abortion-history-in-united-states/index.html

        • lady_black

          Yes. But that could hardly be referred to as “restoring the menses.” That implies a very early abortion. Like once a period is missed. After quickening, at that time, abortion was as dangerous as delivery.

        • eric

          LOL your own quote pretty much proves the point. Abortion has only been a legal issue 1880-2018. If you want to claim victory because lady black said ‘100 years (give or take)’ and it was actually 138 years, well I hope that makes you feel better. But the historical truth is a lot closer to ‘100 years (give or take)’ than ‘as long as there are persons.’

        • skl

          I don’t think so. I read the CNN excerpt as meaning

          * 1776-1880: Abortions not allowed after “quickening”
          (usually after 3rd or 4th month).

          * 1880-1973 – Abortions not allowed.

          Add in some pre-independence colonial years and you have over 200 years of an anti-abortion American society.

        • Do you consider abortion to be currently illegal in America, because there are limits, just as there were before the first anti-abortion laws?

          Please explain.

          .

        • eric

          The second one is just you repeating the same point.

          The first law – banning it ‘after quickening’ – is actually closer to Roe than the pro-life position. Quickening occurs roughly in the middle of pregnancy, though it can happen sooner. Roe had a graded set of rules where the woman had full control in the first trimester, while the state was recognized in having an interest (and thus increasing power to regulate or ban the procedure) after that. So a state law banning abortions after quickening would, in theory, fit pretty well within the framework set out by Roe.

          I’m very very skeptical that most people would locate “I support Roe‘s compromise” in the anti-abortion, pro-life part of the ideological spectrum. But again, if that’s the way you roll – if you think “Pro-something like Roe” = “anti-abortion,” then hey, more power to you.

        • skl

          “The first law – banning it ‘after quickening’ – is actually closer to Roe
          than the pro-life position.”

          If so in pre-1880, maybe it was only because they didn’t have ultrasounds or knowledge of DNA. In any case, post-1880, the
          powers actually moved farther from Roe.

        • eric

          Yes, they did. Again, this does nothing to help your argument. You’re trying to claim this ideological fight has been going on forever but the only thing you can do to support your point is repeat over and over again that we’ve been fighting over it for a bit over 100 years.

          Look, agreed. We’ve been fighting over it that long. Point accepted. 1880+. Nobody’s saying otherwise. Now, do you understand that “fighting over it since 1880” /= “fighting over it forever”? That the two things aren’t even close to being the same thing?

        • skl

          “… your point is repeat over and over again that we’ve been fighting over it for a bit over 100 years.”

          No. My pointS are that

          1) American society was largely against abortion for over
          200 years
          , and

          2) Things change, power changes and will probably change
          again.

        • eric

          Do you see Roe as “against abortion”? Because again, the law you’re citing to support your argument is a law that is very similar in how it regulates abortion to Roe.

        • skl

          You may go back and re-read my posts.

          Good night.

        • eric

          I’ve reread them, and as I’ve pointed out, the 1800s law you cite doesn’t support your claim…it actually undermines it. You cite a law that gives the pregnant woman months more control over their decision than Roe gives them as an “anti-abortion” law, and don’t see the glaring flaw in that.

        • skl

          We’ll have to agree to disagree.

          In any case, America has always had restrictions around
          abortion. But things change. Maybe one day the powers will eliminate all
          restrictions around abortion. Or maybe the powers will once again move farther from Roe, like in 1880, and make abortion illegal in all cases. Things change, power changes, and will probably change again.

        • ildi
        • Kevin K

          And even then, abortion was not outlawed in all states. Some states never outlawed abortion specifically, and some specifically allowed it. Hence the need for the Supreme Court to decide the issue.

        • In the US, it’s not legal to kill children, not your own or anyone else’s. Not now, not 45 years ago, not before that.

          Type more carefully next time.

    • Halbe

      In most civilized countries there has not been a “back and forth on abortion” in decennia, because it is firmly viewed as a decision between the pregnant woman and her doctor. The US just has some catching up to do. (The abortion ‘debate’ in the US is mainly kept alive by cynical politicians that can only push their right-wing agenda by turning gullible sheep into one-issue voters.)

      • skl

        I hadn’t heard of “decennia” before. It sounds like a long time in human history.

        • Halbe

          Glad that you learned something from my comment. A decennium is 10 years; decennia is the plural form (1 decennium, 2 decennia). It usually denotes a period of more than 20 years, but less than a century. Do you have anything of substance to add? Maybe a comment on why US Protestants and the GOP suddenly turned this into a major culture war issue some decennia ago? After centuries of not really caring about it?

        • skl

          “Do you have anything of substance to add?”

          Maybe that homosexuals have had it hard for millennia.

          (Millennia is the plural of millennium, and thus a period of
          at least 2,000 years.)

        • Elizabeth A. Root

          And your point is?

        • The plural is millennia, but the meaning of plural is more than one.

          1,001 years is more than one millennium.

          1,001 years can be accurately described as millennia, although that would be seen by most people as misleading.

          Anything more than half is generally rounded up to the next significant digit, and if the significant digits is the thousands, then anything more than half (anything over 1,500) is described as two thousand, and thus two millennia.

          Not at least 2,000 years.

          .

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          when are people on the internet going to learn that if you are going to be a pedant you had better be bloody right.

        • Halbe

          Nothing of substance it is. Thought so.

        • ThaneOfDrones

          If your hardness persists for millennia, consult your doctor immediately

        • lady_black

          Never studied Latin, did you? You’re probably young, and not in the medical field.

  • God bless Dr. Parker, not only for providing abortion services where they are needed so badly, but for doing so in the name of Jesus, because Jesus would be on the side of these women just as much now as he was on the side of the woman “caught in the very act of adultery” – which he defended against the “religious right” of his day – ! See https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6d3aaabe58a5c1dbe2c2843fe0d6262fc28670915cdcca67361044336154abde.jpg http://ChristianChoice.Org
    Rev. R. D.
    ++++++++

    • I assume that this is a pro-choice argument from the Christian perspective?

      If you have a short version, you might want to pass that along. That page is more than I plan on reading.

  • al kimeea

    The only reason to have sex is to make a baby. If you want sex, then you must want a baby.

    • ThaneOfDrones

      You forgot the sarcasm tags.

    • Otto

      Now explain masturbation…;)

      • Someone observed that if God was against masturbation, he would’ve made it like tickling (which you can’t do to yourself).

        • Otto

          Now that is a good reply…lol

      • al kimeea

        mass murder

    • Right you are. That’s the only sensible way to see humans’ natural sexual urges.

  • God hates the hands that shed innocent blood Proverbs 6:16-17

    • Is this relevant? An embryo isn’t a person.

    • epeeist

      Proverbs 6:16-17

      So why should we take your book of fables as authoritative?

    • Ray Dubuque

      If THAT’s the case then why are there so many biblical passages that tell us that he was often involved in JUST THAT, as is laid out at http://WhatKindOfGod.org ? Rev. R D

      • You forget the fact that God gives life and He is the only One who can take it.

        He will take your life one day, at a time of His choosing, then judgement, what will you do with your sins on that day when you stand before His awesome presence?

        Repent and believe the Gospel before it is too late.
        .

        • Otto

          >>>”You forget the fact that God gives life and He is the only One who can take it.”

          That is most definitely not a fact.

          >>>”Repent and believe the Gospel before it is too late.”

          If your religion requires threats to attempt to get people to believe it than you have a shitty religion.

        • You gave yourself life?
          You decide when you die?
          .

        • Otto

          How does the answer to those questions help your case that your assumption is a fact?

        • Joe

          You forget the fact that God gives life and He is the only One who can take it.

          I don’t forget what I never remembered in the first place.

        • Empty dogma. Why believe yours over the Scientologist’s?

    • Otto

      Psalm 137:9 Blessed is he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.

      • Amen

        • Otto

          You do realize that verse contradicts your original post…or maybe not so much.

        • Not in the slightest.

          You are merely displaying your lack of understanding of God’s Word.
          .

        • Otto

          It is not God’s word…those are words written by men.

        • Yes written by men that God chose to write His word.

          Humble yourself and cry out to Him for forgiveness before He takes your life and throws you into hell forever.
          .

        • Otto

          >>>”Yes written by men that God chose to write His word.”

          So says you…another man. Funny how your God needs humans to act as go between’s for his communication.

          Humble yourself and quit pretending to talk for God…you arrogant gobshite.

        • Otto

          >>>”Yes written by men that God chose to write His word.”

          So says you…another man. Funny how your God needs humans to act as go between’s for his communication.

          Humble yourself and quit pretending to talk for God…you arrogant gobshite.

    • Joe

      So, he hates surgeons?

      • God’s wrath, His fury, is upon those who murder babies.

        Since He is all powerful and will judge with righteous judgement at a time of His choosing, being an object of His wrath is not a good place to be.

        Repent and believe the Gospel before it’s too late for you.
        .

        • Joe

          I’m good, thanks for your concern.

        • “Murder babies”? What’s that supposed to mean? Is that a clumsy reference to abortion?

          God is just fine with abortion. You need to read your Bible, specifically, Numbers 5.

          What he’s not fine with is a man supporting a wife who’s carrying another man’s fetus. Let’s get our priorities straight, shall we?

        • Greg G.

          What about the babies with Amalekite blood? God is all for exterminating Amalekites. Indiscriminant killing, no, but God likes genocide.

        • God takes everyone’s life – He gives it and it is His to take.

          Repent and believe the Gospel before God takes your life and gives you what you deserve.
          .

        • Must be nice being the Creator. You get to impose morality on everyone else, but you get to kill people just for the heck of it.

        • That is what is called a straw man argument, you make a faulty statement and then knock it down. eg.

          “God get’s to kill people for the heck of it” – straw man [faulty statement]

          Read the Bible for correct theology.

        • Read the Bible for correct theology.

          That’s cute! It’s like you think that there is one simple and unambiguous moral message in the Bible.

        • Please look up the perspecuity of Scripture.

        • LOL@contradictions in the Bible

        • Laughing because you have no reply?

        • You’re saying that over 2000 years, Christian apologists have had plenty of time to think up rationalizations? Sure, I agree. What I’m saying is that an objective observer would see the Bible as full of contradictions.

          But maybe you can convince the objective observer that those “contradictions” really aren’t? Go for it–respond to my posts.

        • Greg G.

          Was Jesus arrested, tried, sentence, crucified, and buried before the passover meal or after it? John clearly says it all happened before the passover meal while the other three gospels clearly say it was after the passover and that Jesus ate it. That is a contradiction.

        • Greg G.

          AH HA HA HA HA! Why do Christians go to all that trouble to lie about contradictions in the Bible?

          John 13:1-2 says it is before the feast of the Passover so that the meal they were having was not the Passover.

          John 13:1-2 (NRSV)
          1 Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper

          When Judas went out, the other disciples figured he was going for supplies for the festival. It also says it was night, so it was the beginning of a new day. If it was the passover time now, they would be eating quickly.

          John 13:28-30 (NRSV)
          28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival”; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30 So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

          The conversation is continuous from John 13:1 to the end of John 17. Immediately after Jesus finished speaking he crossed the brook. In the next verse, Judas Iscariot showed up with the soldiers and officials. Jesus was arrested before the Passover.

          John 18:1-3 (NRSV)
          1 After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.

          All that baloney about passover and paschal being different is dishonest. “Passover” is a translation. “Paschal” is a transliteration. It is the same word for both in the Greek.

          If that page you cite is that unreliable on this problem, I would be skeptical of other rationalizations. You should stop just posting the link and study the argument before you comment. It would be less embarrassing for you.

          So you now have a good example of a contradiction regarding the most important event in Christianity.

        • I gave you 20 contradictions in my blog post. You’ve not responded. I conclude that you have no answers. I wonder why you were so confident that the Bible has no contradictions when you can’t rebut my post.

        • Greg G.

          “God get’s to kill people for the heck of it” – straw man [faulty statement]

          You just replied to me “God takes everyone’s life – He gives it and it is His to take.”

          I don’t think you have correct theology. “Correct theology” is an oxymoron.

        • Greg G.

          God takes everyone’s life – He gives it and it is His to take.

          You don’t deny that God likes genocide. If God takes like he has given to someone else, you cannot claim that God is good. That is stealing.

          The issue here is that God says, “Thou shalt not kill” but he also says, “Thou shalt kill every Amalekite.”

        • Pofarmer

          Holy fuckin shit dude. You are a pitiable human being.

          https://www.thedrboshow.com/tools/bg/Bo/TheDrBoShow/UOfoHEpK/Christains–Are-You-in-an-Abusive-Relationship-with-God

          I will argue that Christianity is, at its core, a system that promotes this abusive relationship where God is the abuser and his flock is the abused. The psychological and emotional abuse one experiences can often be more devastating than physical abuse because while physical abuse is often apparent and causes immediate suffering, it is the psychological abuse that occurs slowly and can cause a lifetime of suffering through emotional trauma.

        • epeeist

          Repent and believe the Gospel before it’s too late for you.

          Is that all you’ve got, threats?

        • It’s no empty threat my friend – Consider your eternal destiny.

          If you are not born again, there will come a time when you wish you had never been born at all.

        • Pascal’s Wager applies to you as much as it does the atheist. You forget that there are lots of unevidenced claims about a nasty afterlife. Maybe you and I will both be standing in judgment before Allah or Quetzalcoatl.

        • Christians are not living in vain hope, we know we have the truth, unlike any other religion.

          Pascalls wager is nonsense – everyone that God created knows He exists.

          Repent and believe the Gospel before the God you know exists [Jesus Christ] throws you into hell for your rebellion.
          .

        • everyone that God created knows He exists.

          You just declare that you win, and then you win? I don’t think it works that way.

        • Like I said – we have the truth.

        • Why bother even saying that? Do you think that’s an argument? All the other believers think that they have the truth and that you’re wrong. Atheists, too.

        • “Why bother even saying that?”

          Because it’s true.

        • And yet you have no evidence. Sad.

        • You do not need any more evidence – you already know that God exists and that He is the God of the Bible, the only God who does exist.

        • Greg G.

          We do not have any compelling evidence. Why is the evidence sufficient only for gullible people? If there is compelling evidence, you wouldn’t have to talk in riddles. You could just present it instead of pretending you have it.

        • Greg G.

          we know we have the truth

          No, you don’t. You are pretending that you do.

        • Do you believe in absolute truth?

        • Greg G.

          Absolutely not!

          If there is, we cannot detect it with certainty. At best we have definitions. The definition of “bachelor” means “not married” so we know absolutely that all bachelors are not married.

        • So you are certain that there is no absolute truth?

        • Greg G.

          Absolutely not!

        • I hope anyone reading this can see how absurd that is.

          Is it absolutely true that there is no absolute truth?
          .

        • Greg G.

          How do you know you are not a brain in a vat being sent signals that makes you think you are in a body on a planet full of other people? How do you know you are not plugged into the Matrix? How do you know you are not a dream of Vishnu? How do you know you are not a dream of Vishnu who is a brain in a vat? How do you solve the problem of solipsism?

          I am presented what appears to be a reality. I react to it in certain ways and receive pleasure or pain but my senses are limited and sometimes wrong so I do not always get what I expect. If you are not just a figment fed into my vat-brain or an algorithm of the Matrix, you have the same problem. Any certainty religion gives you may be an illusion in the vat, the Matrix, Vishnu’s dream, or this, if it is reality. Ignoring this issue does not make it go away.

          But I can still live as if it is an actual reality and that religion is more like a BIV (brain-in-vat) theory or an imaginary Matrix. The Vishnu theory is part of a religion.

          Now deal with the question about whether Jesus ate the passover just before he was arrested or was buried before anyone ate it.

        • Are you saying that there’s objective morality? I’ve seen many people claim this but none who provide compelling evidence to show that this fantasy actually exists. Show us.

        • Harrison Ashley

          So, you must hate the American Constitution, then. “Fuck you, freedom of religion!!” “Heil Yahweh!” “Bow before the Fuhrer, or be crushed beneath his boots!!!”
          There’s no difference between you or the Nazi fanatics. They both follow the same idea- worship my leader, OR ELSE.

        • Greg G.

          How is it that the nation that received the laws directly from God were not as moral as the nations around them?

          Ezekiel 5:5-7 (NRSV)5 Thus says the Lord God: This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the center of the nations, with countries all around her. 6 But she has rebelled against my ordinances and my statutes, becoming more wicked than the nations and the countries all around her, rejecting my ordinances and not following my statutes. 7 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you are more turbulent than the nations that are all around you, and have not followed my statutes or kept my ordinances, but have acted according to the ordinances of the nations that are all around you;

        • epeeist

          Pascal’s wager? Seriously?

          Anyone with the brain the size of a small peanut can see how crap an argument that is.

          Anyway it is a well known fact that only non-theists go to heaven.

        • Pofarmer

          Anyone with the brain the size of a small peanut

          Yeah, about that………..