What “I Value The Sanctity of All Human Life” Usually Doesn’t Mean (but should)

What “I Value The Sanctity of All Human Life” Usually Doesn’t Mean (but should) October 2, 2014

a-hand-of-father

Last night I finally sat down to watch some of the speeches from a conservative political event that recently took place. I’m not sure why I did that to myself, but I did. I’ve been actively working to purge myself of wasting time on the politics of the Empire, but old habits die hard, especially when a presidential election is creeping up on the horizon.

As I watched a few of the speeches, I realized that things haven’t changed all that much– they’re the same ideas, same speeches, same everything… just rolled over into a new year. Of course, one of the key phrases of the right seemed to keep cropping up– the phrase “I value the sanctity of all human life.”

Personally, I love the truth of this phrase as much as right-wing political talking heads like to say it. However, this common phrase becomes one of those Princess Bride moments where I just want to yell at the television: “you keep using that phrase, but it doesn’t mean what you think it means.

To help you translate what this phrase means in a political speech or when one of your well-meaning friends uses it, let me tell you what “I value the sanctity of all human life” does NOT mean:

“I value the sanctity of all life” doesn’t mean: “I am heartbroken with all these children who have crossed our borders to flee death, poverty and violence– we should really stand together to give them a fresh start here in America.”

“I value the sanctity of all life” doesn’t mean: “Breaking up families by deporting parents who are undocumented and making their children functionally orphans is immoral and needs to end immediately.”

“I value the sanctity of all life” doesn’t mean: “The incarceration rate in the United States is the highest in the world. We should probably look at that and work to find ways to restore lives instead of simply locking them up.”

“I value the sanctity of all life” doesn’t mean: “The number of death row inmates who have been recently exonerated from DNA testing is too significant to ignore. We must abolish capital punishment immediately to ensure that no innocent people are put to death.”

“I value the sanctity of all life” doesn’t mean: “The preschool to prison pipeline for men of color is unjust, we must expose and fix the racial inequality that is built into our justice system.”

“I value the sanctity of all life” doesn’t mean: “My heart is grieved at the number of people who have died from US bombs in the past decade. It is time to put an end to US militarism around the globe.”

“I value the sanctity of all life” doesn’t mean: “People in the middle east should have the right to peacefully attend a wedding without one of our drones dropping a bomb on them. It’s time to reconsider drone warfare.”

“I value the sanctity of all life” doesn’t mean: “I value the lives of Palestinians as much as I value the lives of Israelis. We must work to find a solution that honors, respects, and protects both of them.”

“I value the sanctity of all life” doesn’t mean: “We practically have more guns in our country than we do people. It is time for us to all work together to enact common sense measures, such as universal background checks, to do our part to keep guns from falling into the wrong hands.”

“I value the sanctity of all life” doesn’t mean: “Military grade weapons are designed to kill people in mass quantities. There is absolutely no logical reason why any private citizen would need to own one.”

“I value the sanctity of all life” doesn’t mean: “Our nation’s police have become people who are unnecessarily violent, often shooting first and asking questions later. It is time to look at how other countries use a police force to serve and protect their citizens without so much deadly violence.”

“I value the sanctity of all life” doesn’t mean: “Our consumption of resources in the US often impoverishes nations while forcing us to collude with evil regimes. It is time for us all to start learning how to live simply.”

“I value the sanctity of all life” doesn’t mean: “The earth produces enough food for everyone on it to eat. We must begin an era of working for distributive justice to ensure no one on this planet dies because of a lack of food.”

“I value the sanctity of all life” doesn’t mean: “Every child in America should have access to affordable healthcare. In fact, in one of the richest countries in the world, no one should get sick and die because they can’t afford a doctor.”

You see, the statement “I value the sanctity of all human life” doesn’t mean a lot of things, and in fact, typically means only one thing: “I am against abortion.”

Which, fine– me too.

But what about everything else that saying, “I value the sanctity of all human life” should mean in order to be a true statement? That’s the real question.

Those things are just ignored as liberal nonsense, instead of actually sitting down to have a real conversation about what valuing the image of God in all people might look like. And as a Jesus follower, that grieves me.

Those of us who dare to say “I value the sanctity of all human life” would do well to pause for a moment and consider what those words actually mean… because they are beautiful words that can– and should– mean so much more.


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  • I totally agree except with one statement: That there a “presidential election is creeping up on the horizon.”

    There will always be a presidential election on the horizon. People start talking about the next election just after the one election is over with.

    Otherwise, this was an excellent idea. It reminds me of what Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne have been saying about the value of life extending after the womb.

  • The human capacity for rationalization being what it is, as long as we restrict the conversation to what valuing the image of God in all people might look like (or similar discussions), we’ll make little headway with those of us whose political imaginations are limited to the interests of the empire.

  • DavidS

    The implicit exceptions to the phrase “I value the sanctity of all human life” for different movements, both conservative and liberal, has been a source of grief and frustration for me.
    I appreciated this article and found myself saying “Yes…Yes! Yes!!!”

    UNTIL….

    the suggestions that we use the state to force or coerce various ideas, such as gun control, free health care, etc.

    Note – using the state power to protect human life and dignity is oxymoronic and hypocritical. The state is intrinsically anti-life and cannot be redeemed with the right laws or individuals. Only the kingdom of God, founded and lead by Jesus, is truly pro-life.

    The ultimate contradiction in your article here is when you called ownership of “military grade weapons” by private individuals into question (a valid concern) ignoring the fact that most atrocities performed with these weapons are when they are wielded by agents of the state.

    If the state “needs” more power to “protect human life and dignity”, it will enforce these ideals with violence and military grade weapons. A little ironic, no?

  • $120619225

    Yes, of course your theories are more important than empirical evidence and indeed human life itself.

  • Rogene Robbins

    I have thought this for a long time. Very well stated.

  • R Vogel

    When listening to conservative speeches this may also be helpful: http://weeklysift.com/2014/09/29/a-conservative-lexicon-with-english-translation/

  • WilmRoget

    “the suggestions that we use the state”

    Please quote them.

  • Jason

    There is no implication in the article that the type of power you are talking about is the right way for the state to enforce regulations. In fact, the over use of violence by law enforcement was called out. Nothing hypocritical here.

  • Gabriel Cody

    I tend to agree with you DavidS. While Ben never specifically said “the suggestions that we use the state” making something illegal is by default giving the state power to enforce it. The only way to do that is by threat of violence against citizens. The same goes for spending government money. It is all taken by the threat of violence from individuals and families. Also defining military grade weapons is problematic.

  • pericles9

    I am pro-life, which is vastly different than anti-abortion.

  • Von Runkle

    It is incredibly hard for me to read this essay and not be reminded of the of the pharisee and the tax collector in Lk 18:9-14; “…God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get….”

    He gives 14 examples of how, in essence, he (and you, too, if you agree with him) is better than people who may have a different understanding on certain public policy issues or how to best order our society. (Supposing, as he did, that the conservatives at the convention he watched, agreed with his 14 exaggerated and distorted juxtapositions.)

    The smugness and sense of moral superiority proffered in this article are palpable.

  • sharon peters

    *quick intake of breath, jaw drops*

  • Ron McPherson

    Odd. I didn’t take it that way at all. However, what was a bit uncomfortable for me was unmasking my hypocrisy all these years of claiming to be “pro life” when in fact I actually meant “anti abortion.” Ben, you hit me right between the eyes on this. I pretty much have no defense. Thank you for this. At 50 years old I’m still learning.

  • It sounds like you’re arguing for anarchism, if I’m hearing you correct. I would argue that through scripture we see God working through governmental structures, such as kings in the OT who were expected by God to provide citizenry with certain things. In Romans we see Paul recognize that government exists, even that they’re appointed by God– so to write them off as having no role in the here and now is beyond what I even think scripture does. I’m not a fan of government (I’m Anabaptist and do not vote) but I’m also not a fan of anarchism.

  • Thankful for you, Ron. Thanks for being open to walking and growing.

  • Eva

    You really should vote!

  • bz

    American religio-politics is a shining example of ye ole hegelian dialectic. On the right they openly praise the name of Jesus but of course are hypocrites. On the left they (at least nominally) actually espouse a few biblical principles, but in the past decade there is a move towards thinking that morality is pretty subjective and that religion itself is a societal cancer that must be cured by reason. Where then is the christian supposed to throw their support. I for one have no clue, but Im sure the obvious answer will be the wrong answer.

  • Artistree

    As the Scriptures teach and the Early Church confirmed ( Didache), abortion is an eternal wickedness. Every life is precious.

  • MM

    Government can exist by the decisions of individuals to cooperate for the common good. It does not have to be forced. Any group of people can get together and “govern” themselves. Some people are so used to thinking of everything in terms of violence, they forget that there is a such thing as communities peacefully cooperating and working together. Power can come from peaceful cooperation, it does not have to come from violence.

  • louismoreaugottschalk

    i have found srength, connection & recovery in a 12 step program. i’m always on the first step; powerless in a situation that is cunning, baffeling, and too powerful for me to comprehend or cope w/. the second step asks me to ponder the possibility that i could be restored to sanity or, at least, be introduced to the truth about reality.

  • Artistree

    Ben should vote, but not for either of the major two parties, generally.
    Whether the left wing of the Beast, or the right wing of the Beast, it’s still the Beast. I vote third party….that way I don’t have blood on my hands.

  • Well, it’s a little more complex than that. There are many prominent people out there who say the phrase who don’t mean many of those things, and some of them none of those things. But there are a lot more than many people think who oppose abortion and also see a number of those things as also being life issues. We do need to continue to work on those who respect life in one or a limited number of contexts – not those on the right who have trouble seeing it beyond abortion and euthanasia, but also those on the left who have trouble seeing it beyond the death penalty and war, as well as many more permutations.

    Folks might want to check out Consistent Life – http://www.consistent-life.org/ – which is a network of 200 groups plus individuals working to respect life across the board both on a range of “direct life” issues as well as in opposing structural violence such as racism and an economic system which forces many into poverty.

  • louismoreaugottschalk

    i took your suggestion & read & studied that article this afternoon. Thx 4 that! Newspeak is a language of humanities betrayal and the tender of traitors. B/c I and my husband are seniors and disabled we know the time grow short before our existence will no longer be tolerated. To comprehend how things stand is a great benefit.

  • I’m with you.

  • I sometimes do for local issues, like the local school board. I cannot in good conscience vote for president however, as all of the candidates from either party would be quick to blow our enemies to smithereens, and I just can’t participate in that. It’s definitely something that makes Anabaptists look strange, but I just can’t actively participate in empire in any meaningful way.

  • Should we then make nothing illegal? If it’s okay to make murder or rape illegal, why not other crimes? Where is the line between over-reaching and reasonable?

  • coloradito

    How self-righteous? A guy who doesn’t vote lectures the rest of us on politics. Thanks for your “translation”, but more children die from abortion than guns, the death penalty or even hunger.

  • Gabriel Cody

    Look up the non aggression principle (NAP). Paying another to be your enforcer does not exclude your complicity in the process.

  • Gabriel Cody

    It boils down to life, liberty, and property. These are the basics. As long as you do not deprive another of these (or threaten to) no law has been broken.

  • Mark

    So, what would you use the state to do? What mandate(s) would you give it?

  • Mark

    So, giving me a speeding ticket is “violence”? Fining me for being a slumlord is “violence”? If so, on a micro level, disciplining my children always carries the same “threat of violence.”

    I have to disagree with you and with DavidS on this one.

  • gimpi1

    Perhaps the article hit Greg the same way, Ron, but he’s not yet mature enough to acknowledge it. A loud “how dare you claim superiority” is a common defensive strike when a point hits close to home.

    Good for you, for being able to absorb new information and take it to heart. I’m 57 this year, and I know I have a great deal to learn. Exciting, isn’t it?

  • gimpi1

    I can’t speak to Christians, but for myself, I look at outcomes and throw my support where the outcomes have been better. Not perfect, no solution will ever not create more problems, just better than before.

    For instance, we have known for years that we have real problems with health-care delivery in the U.S. One side has proposed various solutions based on better (not perfect) models around the globe. The other side has either denied that there was a problem (manifestly false) or demanded that any proposed solution be perfect (manifestly impossible). I go with the side that is trying to solve the problem, not deny or entrench it.

    Another example is climate change. One side is at least willing to discuss how to address it, the other is so locked in denial that even mentioning the facts is a kiss of death. Denying a problem is the only sure way I know of not to solve it. Frankly, on the right all I see is denial. Health-care, climate change, systemic racism, destructive concentration of wealth, a loss of upward-mobility, the current Republican solution to all of these problems is to deny that they exist.

    Neither “side” is perfect. We don’t do perfect as a species. One of my favorite sayings is, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” For myself, I try to support whoever I feel will attempt to fix problems, not deny that they exist.

  • Gabriel Cody

    I would suggest not using the state at all giving it no mandates thus no reason to exist. I believe that people can coexist without an authority telling them to. Communities could band together for community needs on a voluntary basis.

  • Gabriel Cody

    As a christian I know my citizenship is not of this country. This left vs right paradigm that we’re coaxed into believing is the only way causes us to compromise on some issues to support others. I can’t continue to compromise.

  • Compared to all of you, I’m fresh-faced and dewy-eyed.

  • gimpi1

    Ahh, Irish, your time will come.

  • Noah

    I’m with you. Except about the police issue. Abuse, especially racial abuse, is likely lower than any time in history. Think 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, etc. We just happen to have access to see almost everything and the media cycle is 24/7. These things are new, so it seems like it’s more. Either way, though, it’s gross.

    The militarization of the police is a different issue. That’s no good.

    Btw, you left out the crazy hypocrisy that we have -any- kids who need to be adopted with all the ‘pro-life’ people. That astounds me.

  • Noah

    Where is he wrong?

  • This isn’t about politics, this is about a holistic view of what it means to value life, pointing to God’s alternate Kingdom that is radically different.

  • R Vogel

    Tolerated by whom, pray tell? I can’t believe that age or able-ness (not sure if that is the correct word) would be disqualifying for you and your husband to make wonderful contributions to the world. I hope you have or find opportunities to do so!

  • bz

    @gimpi1:disqus I’m with you on your assessment of the “right”, except I disagree that they are in denial. They are, and always have been actively assaulting those ideas/people in the name of personal gain. There is no way that I can support those policies. But the “left” is becoming increasingly intolerant of anyone who espouses Christianity. It wasn’t always that way, but its shifting that direction very quickly in favor of a “Do as thou wilt” creed.

    Both sides discriminate now. The right is obvious in their discrimination and always has been. The left is very subtle in its discrimination because it is a cerebral intellectual discrimination against those with ideologies and religious understandings that they deem archaic and anti-reason or anti-science.

    I don’t expect perfect. I just find it hard to vote for people who despise me. At this point in time if i put my viewpoints on paper I don’t know which side would hate me more.

    But hey both the Pharisees and the Sadducees hated Jesus. Maybe im doing something right.

  • bz

    I agree. So what do you do?

  • gimpi1

    I don’t see the discrimination you do on the left. After all, both President Obama and Hillary Clinton are Christian. Do you feel this hurt them in the Democratic Party?

    As to your point about discrimination against those with religious understandings that are unscientific, I plead guilty, proudly. I don’t want creationism taught in the schools. I want medically accurate sex-ed. I want real climate-science driving governmental policies. Some religious beliefs are simply factually wrong. They don’t deserve a place at the table because they aren’t true. Is what you mean by discrimination?

    Now, I don’t say the people holding such beliefs should be treated rudely. I don’t hate people for holding unscientific views. But I can’t treat those views as equal to views that have facts backing them up. I don’t want Ken Ham getting a governmental grant for his “research.” Because he’s not doing research. He’s perpetuating a scam. If you find that discriminatory, I’m sorry, but we simply won’t see eye to eye, then.

  • bz

    Like I said. The discrimination is VERY subtle on the left but it exists. Its a discrimination that nullifies everything a person says because of a variance in the philosophy of the left. Its all good for Obama or Clinton to say that they’re Christians, But imagine the uproar if they said “God literally,not figuratively, made the first man Adam”. You’re allowed to be Christian to a certain point on the left.

    Im 100% against the merging of church and state. Anytime you have that you have persecution i.e. The dark ages, politico-islamo-extremists etc. However, there is also persecution when you have abolition of religion by the state i.e. the USSR, North Korea, The French revolution. I’m not trying to force feed anyone my religious views. I’m not going to defend Ken Ham and say that he has an airtight debate. What I am arguing is that the Left now sees religion (Christianity in particular in america) and by proxy the religious as the single greatest threat against progress in society. Therefore if one is a little too vocal about their view that God is a bit more involved in human affairs than a 17th century Deist’s view, the current reaction of the left is to shun.

    Here is a video by some secular intellectuals, some of whom I have admired. They inadvertently bring my point home. Its pretty long but if you have the chance…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEeBPSvcNZQ

    P.S. Being concerned about the environment should not be looked at as an anti-christian view. Biblically speaking, Adam and Eve were vegetarians who’s main job was to care for their environment and all the creatures in it.

  • Gabriel Cody

    Love God, love others. Don’t get involved in politics. If enough people withdraw support it de-legitimizes the government.

  • Von Runkle

    Since you’re interested in a “holistic” and consistent pro-life ethic, you might want to study this rating chart put out by pro-abortion group NARAL. Pay close attention to which politicians get 100% ratings, and which ones get 50%, or more commonly, a 0% rating from NARAL. See if you can detect the common denominator.

    http://votesmart.org/interest-group/1016/rating/5938?p=1&of=#.VC7FCVZtdmA

    See which members of Congress voted in favor of Obama’s undeclared war in Libya, and which ones voted against it. You might discover that many of the same politicians who received a 100% rating from NARAL, also voted for the war in Libya.

    http://politics.nytimes.com/congress/votes/112/house/1/493

    Also, in the spirit of non-partisan gospel values, ask yourself from which side of the political spectrum are proponents of legalizing suicide and euthanasia? Proponents of allowing a sperm and an egg to fertilize, letting it grow for a while, “stripping it for parts” and research, and then throwing them in the garbage, are generally from which US political party?

  • bz

    But why would de-legitimizing the government be a goal of Christianity? Especially if the government is probably one of the only things keeping society from overtly descending into full blown social Darwinism.

  • Your entire comment is operating from the assumption that I am a democrat or prefer their party. Unfortunately, that’s a wrong assumption.

  • Von Runkle

    No. I’m assuming that you’re interested in consistency. And since you took conservatives to task in this essay, I figured I would help you flesh out the rest of the story. I’m trying to help you stay above partisan politics.

  • gimpi1

    I’ll check out your vid later, I’m on deadline today. As to your points:

    Neither Clinton or Obama should say, “God literally, not figuratively made the first man, Adam,” because it’s not true. It’s not a fact. It’s an aspect of Christian history and mythology, but it has no basis in science. If that’s what you regard as discrimination, well, all I can say is I’m sorry, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect beliefs that you can offer no evidence of to be given the same weight as beliefs that do have evidence backing them up.

    Ken Ham doesn’t just not have “an airtight case,” he has no facts on his side at all. I’m married to a geologist, and I can say with some assurance that the earth is 4.5 billion years old (approximately), that the fossil record supports the biologic evolution of life, and that the geologic processes that shaped the earth did not include a worldwide flood. He’s not being discriminated against, he’s just wrong.

    Facts matter. Perhaps where we disagree is that I can’t see factually wrong beliefs as worthy of respect. The people that hold them don’t deserve to be treated disrespectfully, but factually wrong beliefs should be called out. How would you suggest I, or anyone else, do that without you feeling that you’re being treated disrespectfully?

  • gimpi1

    And where can you point to that working?

  • Frank6549

    While you whine irrelevantly over 27k innocent unborn children were killed this week in the US mostly for reasons of convenience and comfort.

  • How the heck do you keep getting back here? I’m thinking it’s probably a sin or something to hack your way around having your IP address banned.

  • Gabriel Cody

    It has worked in many small pockets throughout history. I don’t expect it to be adopted anytime soon. I will continue to live within the confines of whatever authority God has allowed to operate over me as long as I am not forced to do anything against my biblical principles or not allowed to do something that He has directed me to.

  • bz

    You’re basically proving my point. In the past maybe as recent as 10 years ago, You could be a perfectly legitimate left leaning politician and believe that God made man. An idea that, like it or not, is just as radical and speculative as the idea of spontaneous generation which is essentially the current theory of biogenesis…even though science disproved spontaneous generation a few centuries ago.

    However today if a politician dared to say such a thing the left would throw out ALL of the individual’s ideas not just few religious ones that they have. People wouldn’t be comfortable with that individual teaching a 3rd grade coloring class let alone hold an office. The only people who the left still seems to tolerate that actually believe in God in a more active sense than philosophically are probably the aging civil rights generation of activists. Once they die off there wont be any room at the table for Christians.

    There are plenty of people who can debate in favor of the existence of God more skillfully than I can. Definitely more skillfully than Ken “im embarrassing myself” Ham can. I’m not trying to do that today. The only fact that I’m trying to push today is that the left has become much more intolerant. The attitudes have ranged from passively dismissive to openly derisive towards people who believe in an active God as opposed to the left in the days of MLK or Lincoln. This trend is only going to continue.

    I’m not personally concerned about being treated disrespectfully by my friends on the left. But being dismissing the whole lot of Christians as intellectually lazy by default, and being dismissive of any ideas one might have because they believe in flying spaghetti monsters could be seen as, you know, disrespectful, unwelcoming, and discriminatory. It is what it is though dude.

  • gimpi1

    It has never worked except for small pockets of tribal hunter-gathers or tiny agricultural villages with little contact with the outside world. Even then, there were always power-structures, mostly over women and children, so perhaps you don’t recognize them as such. But humans always seem to form a hierarchy.

    In a modern, industrial, high-tech interconnected world it is not possible. Electric grids, airports, modern hospitals, highway and rail systems don’t lend themselves to community-based voluntary support.

  • Jeff Preuss

    And here I was toying with the idea to make a Frank6549 ID, and go around being all positive and kind and stuff everytime Frank6548 isn’t.

    Now I’ll have to pick a new number, I guess. (Even though I’ve really no desire to create a sock puppet account to troll someone – even him.)

  • gimpi1

    The reason that a politician would be dismissed for claiming “God made man” in Genesis sense is that it’s factually wrong. Facts matter. A politician stating “Evolution is a lie from the pit of hell,” as one recently did, should be jeered at, not for his religious belief, but his ignorance. Genesis is simply not fact. I don’t see that as insulting Christians, but as accepting reality.

    Many Christians don’t have a problem with this. I don’t know anyone who would have a problem with someone believing in a sort of guided evolution and I don’t have any problem with your “active God” concept unless you try to push that concept into places where it has been disproved. Life evolved. The earth evolved. These are proven. Wether or not that process was guided by some deity is undecided, and therefore open to debate.

    How have you felt disrespected? I agree, dismissing all religion as the parody of the flying spaghetti monster is foolish. I don’t think I’ve done that, have I?

  • Guy Norred

    The last statistics I can quickly find are from 2011, but unless the steady decline of the last quarter century has made a severe reversal, your number is about twice what it should be.

  • bz

    Every living thing is from a single cell that spontaneously generated with all of the intricate mechanisms of metabolism and fully developed mechanisms of replication before said cell dies, unfavorably mutates, or is destroyed? Sure “God created” might sound odd, but the chance of the former happening is even more wild. Yet that is what you consider “Fact”. In actuality this is NOT proven. Its more of a conjecture seeing as this process has never been replicated. Yet its the best that the scientific world can come up with…Even though it is the theory of spontaneous generation which the early pioneers of science proved wrong. At its base, the origin of life has no provable fact. It is an opinion any way you slice it.

    The fact of the matter is that the left finds the idea of God as something that is offensive. Something that must be called out. People who take it too seriously are evicted from their ranks. Jeering at people whether its at perceived ignorance or religion/lack thereof was something I thought was completely pathognomonic of being a right-winger. But if one gets too cozy with the idea of God, the left will jeer you as well and hold you in contempt.

    And no. I don’t find you disrespectful. We just disagree and that’s okay!

  • $120619225

    What’s really funny is that he thinks this will somehow get him around being instantly killfiled by any individual user.

  • gimpi1

    Actually, I think you’ll find your first sentence isn’t what biological evolution is about. Single-cell organisms are by no means simple. I also think you’re referring to abiogenesis, not evolution. The origin of life is not proven, the process by which live took diverse forms is. Abiogenesis the origin of life, evolution the process that shapes it.

    You don’t have to see something happening to confirm it. My husband studies subduction zones, a process taking place far down in the earth’s crust, where the crust and mantle meet and one tectonic plate is pulled under another. No one has ever been there, humans couldn’t survive the heat and pressure, even if we had the technology for the trip. However, analysis of the chemistry of lava-flows, the pattern of volcanoes and the understanding of plate-tectonics can allow us to understand pretty well what we can’t see.

    I, personally, don’t hold believers in contempt. I don’t personally know anyone who does. I admit to being a bit contemptuous of people willfully ignorant of the basics of modern science. I may have picked that up by marrying a scientist. The man hears the “Answers in Genesis” and smoke comes out his ears.

    And I don’t blame him, it’s painful to see someone actually trying to subvert the teaching of fact-based earth-science in schools. He regards it (rightly, I believe) as a threat to the nation. With better understanding of subduction, volcanic processes, climate and weather models, thousands of deaths and billions of dollars of destruction every year could be prevented. People trying to suppress fact-based science are are slowing that research.

    But, he does not hold believers in contempt. He doesn’t regard Christianity (or any religion) as a blight on the land. He respects beliefs, as long as people don’t demand their beliefs trump facts if the two come into conflict.

    Good discussion!

  • WilmRoget

    “I’m trying to help you stay above partisan politics.”

    Very funny.

  • WilmRoget

    How exactly do you implement your ‘don’t get involved in politics’?

    Keeping in mind that there are ways in which non-involvement becomes complicity in atrocity.

  • WilmRoget

    Don’t you mean that the smugness and sense of moral superiority proffered in your post is palpable?

  • WilmRoget

    “As the Scriptures teach and the Early Church confirmed ( Didache), abortion is an eternal wickedness.”

    Hmm. So you are saying that the “Early Church” and Didache, and the Scriptures declare that God is eternally wicked –

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers+5%3A11-31

    ” 14 if a spirit of jealousy comes on him, and he is jealous of his wife who has defiled herself; or if a spirit of jealousy comes on him, and he is jealous of his wife, though she has not defiled herself; 15 then the man shall bring his wife to the priest. And he shall bring the offering required for her, one-tenth of an ephah of barley flour. He shall pour no oil on it and put no frankincense on it, for it is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering of remembrance, bringing iniquity to remembrance.

    16 Then the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the Lord; 17 the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel, and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water. 18 The priest shall set the woman before the Lord,
    dishevel the woman’s hair, and place in her hands the grain offering of remembrance, which is the grain offering of jealousy. In his own hand the priest shall have the water of bitterness that brings the curse. 19 Then the priest shall make her take an oath, saying, “If no man has lain with you, if you have not turned aside to uncleanness while under your husband’s authority, be immune to this water of bitterness that brings the curse. 20 But if you have gone astray while under your husband’s authority, if you have defiled yourself and some man other than your husband has had
    intercourse with you,” 21 —let the priest make the woman take the oath of the curse and say to the woman—“the Lord make you an execration and an oath among your people, when the Lord makes your uterus drop, your womb discharge; 22 now may this water that brings the curse enter your bowels and make your womb discharge, your uterus drop!” And the woman shall say, “Amen.
    Amen.””

    For here we have God ordering the use of abortifacients for a pregnant woman accused of adultery.

    What would drive you to say such a terrible thing about God?

  • bz

    The current theories of abiogenesis are based upon the suppositions the evolution poses; that organisms through a series of favorable mutations along with the death of the weaker organisms become more complex. The logical conclusion is that life must have originated with the most simple single cell organism (though not simple at all indeed!) Currently spontaneous generation is the only theory of abiogenesis that can keep God out of the equation. A shaky, shaky equation. Once you add God to the equation you would have to re-examine all of the suppositions that evolutionary thought has crafted over the past 200+ years when it comes to the emergence of diverse forms.

    We can expand this back further to the origin of the universe. The big bang is the most popular theory right now. Many say that something from nothing doesn’t need God because “something” is more stable than “nothing”. Thats a pretty shaky argument and one that is subject to change.

    The fact is that there are no hard facts to disprove God’s existence.

    Again. I digress. I’m not trying to prove the existence of God or castigate those who don’t believe that he exists. I’m simply sharing my observations. Observations of bigotry that may be hard to see from a liberal perspective. Its like saying “No conservatives I’ve met are bigoted against blacks”. While that may be true, one can easily find them trolling on every news article about black people, and they always address them in a condescending way in the media.

    The Right is not trying to defund research because of religion, they want to defund research so they can get rich. Religion is just a cover.

    I wish your husband nothing but the best with his research. I’m currently still stuck in academia and understand how much more difficult it is to get a research grant these days.

  • Ron McPherson

    I’m enjoying this discussion. I’m Christian and by faith believe the Genesis account. But I do not try and force my beliefs on others. Kudos to the both of you because you’re showing respect to one another and I, well, respect that : )

  • Ron McPherson

    I could be wrong but it seems to me that Ben doesn’t care one whit about either the conservative or liberal agenda in America. I think he’s more concerned about God’s kingdom.

  • Falken

    Really? That’s what you pop out with? A rehashing of the same junk he just pointed out is said? I hope this means you actually agree with the other points rather than just use this as another plug for “anti-abortion”.

  • Falken

    Right. We’ll forget that generally during ethical abortions – not the horror show fundies jump to about “late term” as if you’re immediately for it if you’re for any abortion – is often done before development of anything more than a few cells. So if we get reaaaaaaal liberal with the term “children” then we can also say more “children” die during masturbatory fun high school guys have. We should probably focus on eliminating part of the myriad of reasons for abortions such as unprotected, teenage sex. Or maybe working so that we suddenly feel that said individual is no longer important after they’re two minutes old.

  • Falken

    Seriously?

  • That’s one of the truest statements I’ve heard all day. I’m here to help build a kingdom- if that makes me liberal to some and conservative to others, that’s fine with me.

  • Matthew

    Interesting points. That said, I don´t think they should be turned into an American “left/right” political discussion. NEITHER major party in America is truly “pro-life” as defined by this article. These are kingdom values that can never be fully articulated in the political realm. Although this is my opinion, I do recognize that biblically speaking both Jesus and Paul speak to the role of government in our lives. How this all comes together … well … is a matter of deep discussion I think.

  • coloradito

    Benjamin, obviously it is about politics. Your opening paragraph was very clear that it started with politics:

    “Last night I finally sat down to watch some of the speeches from a conservative political event that recently took place. I’m not sure why I did that to myself, but I did. I’ve been actively working to purge myself of wasting time on the politics of the Empire, but old habits die hard…”
    This is not the first time I have heard the argument that “sanctity of life” is beyond the abortion issue. It’s not anything original at all. But, it is rather sickening to hear it from someone who claims to be against abortion. I am truly confused why you feel it is appropriate to muddle the message used by right to life advocates. As I mentioned, Abortion kills more than anything else you mentioned and there is an unseen cost beyond loss of life.

    Obviously, this is driven by your new politics – which is fine – just don’t delude yourself or others that it is something else. Your passion seems to start and end at criticizing conservatives and “fundies”.

  • coloradito

    Falken, to be clear are you really against the “horror show” that is late-term abortion? You seem to be mocking those who are against it…

  • coloradito

    OK… 13.5K killed… feel better about that “Guy”?

  • coloradito

    Noah, he is wrong by exalting the power of government. On one hand he recognizes that it is run by immoral people through immoral programs, but somehow can get past that to assert that Big Government is a plausible solution… I find this completely irreconcilable with common sense.

  • bz

    Actually Im crazy enough to believe it too even though I “know better” since I grew up watching PBS, discovery channel, and have a couple degrees in sciences…Im completely against pushing my beliefs on anyone via politics.

  • coloradito

    Ben, you are assuming that he is hacking around an IP address ban. Most ISPs use DHCP which means IP Addresses are “leased” for a specific amount of time, then they change on their own.

    Do you ban people for having a different view?

  • Von Runkle

    Ron, I couldn’t agree with you more! I’m with you and with Ben. I’m all about a non-partisan re: U.S. politics Gospel.

  • coloradito

    Even though I agree with about half the list, it is hard to escape that this article does claim the moral high ground – even while muddling a message that is used to contrast by pro-life advocates. It really is a whole new level of despicable to co-opt a liberal, pro-choice argument and then attempt to shroud it as simply a philosophical or religious perspective and deny it has no political implications or miss that it is used by those who kill unborn babies to justify their own actions… just bizarre…

  • Von Runkle

    You know what astounds me? The crazy hypocrisy that we have any people in our country living in poverty with all of the folks who claim we need to “help the poor.” You would think that all those people who claim to care so much about the poor would have divested themselves of all expendable income in order to help those with less. Nothing even close to that has happened. Go figure?

  • coloradito

    Jason, it is dangerous to put your trust in human government, no matter how “benign” or “progressive” it appears. This is why the Founders articulated the right of the individual over the “collective” and warned against any form of tyranny – whether monarchist or “democratic”.

  • Von Runkle

    Hey, Dude, you’ve got him all wrong. He’s so above partisan U.S. politics. Just ask him, he’ll tell you. As a matter of fact, he did just tell you.

    He’s all about the unvarnished Gospel! If, at the end of the day, Jesus comes out looking like he could host his own show on MSNBC, or that pure Christianity looks almost exactly like what the 21st Century U.S. National Council of Churches advocates for, or what the bloggers on the “Progressive Christian” sites say, so be it.

    Jesus was for gay marriage and against spanking. Get over it!

  • coloradito

    Governments are an object lesson in the inferiority of human ideas versus divine providence. He was not advocating for anarchism, rather he was articulating the arguments of classical liberalism this country was founded on…

    Your list was explicit in pointing out the hypocrisy/incongruity in conservative politics and advocated ideas that promote Big Government. I find that more incongruent that anything you have asserted in your list about conservatives in general. There are many conservatives that are for social justice, but find it ridiculous that government would be considered the first choice, given that it uses force (threat or actual) to enforce… Why are you advocating that government should be responsible for social justice? Doesn’t that marginalize the church’s role and (potentially) give more power to the Government?

    Espousing a limited government in every area is the only congruent perspective to have, yet you are calling it “anarchism”…

  • coloradito

    Inaction is an action… but please follow your conscience.

  • coloradito

    This is an anarchist principle…

  • coloradito

    Yeah, right… no agenda on this blog! You frame the entire article around politics then call it non-political… Is this naive or disingenuous?

  • Noah

    Where does he exalt big government? Quotes, please.

    Changing things can often mean less government, not more.

    Btw – how would you go about addressing the problems he brings up? Besides complain about government and ignore them.

  • Noah

    Indeed.

  • Noah

    Yea, seriously. Jesus taught to put yourself above the collective and hated government.

    Patriotism!!

  • Noah

    Yup. Nothing like trying to get other people who are making it worse on those disadvantaged to stop and help.

    Money is a small part of it. Systems need to be changed and improved.

  • Really? Because it seems to me that he’s mocking those who act as if late-term abortion is the only sort that exists, which is entirely different from mocking those who are against late-term abortion.

  • I’m going to assume you’re not familiar with Frank, otherwise you’d know exactly why he’s been banned multiple times, which has nothing to do with him just “having a different view.”

  • You lied to me, Frank. Last time you made a new account and I asked you about it, you told me that you’d been the victim of a glitch that made your posts only sometimes show up. It’s quite clear that you knew then, as you certainly know now, that your account had been banned, and you were trying to work around it. Ignoring for a moment just how odd it is that someone who believes there is no such thing as an unjust law would go out of his way to break a rule like that, you also go on and on about how willful sin is a guaranteed trip to hell. According to John’s Revelation, the list of those who will be thrown into the lake of fire includes liars. Just something you should think about.

  • If nothing else, it’s an odd exception from someone who believes that everyone should follow even laws that are clearly unjust, as I’ve seen Frank argue. Always follow the rules, except apparently when the rules tell you to leave and never return. Or maybe it’s more of a “you must always follow the rules, but there are some exceptions for me.”

  • Noah

    Probably, it’s way less. I’d feel better about half as many people being killed as we think. Even one.

    Btw, who is going to raise all these kids that, apparently, no one wants? Christians (myself included, for now) are doing a awful job of adopting.

  • Nope. Was a life long republican before becoming an Anabaptist. Do you seriously think the left wing cares about kids in the middle east either? They’ve continued the same violent, anti-life policies as the right.

  • Von Runkle

    Excellent moral reasoning, Noah, implicit in your question. And it’s perfectly attuned to the teachings of Christ. That’s the kind of non-partisan Christianity that Ben is striving for on this site.

    That is to say . . .unless someone else agrees to raise all the children I could possibly have, then I have the right to kill them – and nobody should have anything to say about it.

    Truth be told, I feel the same way about the Jews. Unless my grandparents offered to bring a couple over here to the States during WWII, then the Nazis were well within their rights, and plain practicality, to kill them. I mean, if the locals there didn’t want them, and my ancestors didn’t offer to raise them themselves, then who were they to voice an objection? Right? Besides, we certainly couldn’t have used force to stop them. Ben has already demonstrated that that is always immoral in all situations.

    You know, come to think of it . . .applying your moral framework to the conundrum of unwanted children could come in handy down on our southern border. Hey, I can’t take in those kids! And their parents have clearly shown that they’re not willing to take care of them. I guess, we have a solution.

  • Noah

    What in the world? People claim pro-life, but don’t follow through in a lot of areas. I’m against abortion, but because I am I’d better damn well be ready to help someone who is considering it. Not just condemning them – or not working to reduce them. Like poverty.

    And yes, I do think children whose parents had no choice but to send them away from a horrific violent area should be helped.

    Can you seriously say that we, as Christians, are doing a good job of adopting children? Especially since we’ve already been adopted (by God).

  • Von Runkle

    Do you give to crisis pregnancy centers? Does your church? Do you vote for pro-life politicians? Do you educate folks on alternatives to abortion? Do you write your representatives? Do you support foster parenting and adoption agencies? Do you advocate for personal responsibility. Do you give to the poor and homeless shelters?

    There. Those are all things you could do, short of raising someone else’s child, that would work to reduce abortions.

  • Frank6550

    Joe as usual you speak before you know. I have never lied to you.

  • Frank6550

    Some people can’t handle the truth.

  • Noah

    Indeed. I do some of those, yes. I’ve worked with children, many of whom grow up in poverty and struggled lives, for the past 17 summers at a day camp. Mostly before I even became a Christian. When people ask for money for themselves or a cause, I almost always give something.

    When and if I get married, I plan on adopting at least one child.

    I’ve answered your questions.

    Again: Can you seriously say that we, as Christians, are doing a good job of adopting children?

  • Frank6550

    What really funny is that you think I am speaking to you and that I care whether you see my words or not. It doesn’t affect me if one less foolish person sees what I say.

  • Von Runkle

    (I’m guessing one of the things you don’t do on that list is vote for “pro-life” politicians, but hey)

    I need to research this question, but my hunch is that the majority of adoption agencies are specifically Christian, if not some kind of faith-based. But I’ll look that up later.

    I’m guessing that many if not most pro life people do some, or all of those things on that list as well, or they do different things. So I think it an unfair characterization by you to suggest that if one claims to be pro life, but has not personally adopted a child, they are doing nothing to prevent abortions except “condemning people.” Not true.

    But you are also suggesting an “all or nothing” measurement by which to judge the Church. Either Christians collectively completely eradicate all poverty, orphans, and fill in any other kind of social ill, or no individual can claim the title “Christian.” Certainly, we are all going to be judged by what we do and what we don’t do, but I presume God reads hearts and intentions, and understands our human limitations. I would like to think that you are not going to be thrown into the fires of Hell because when you died, somewhere on this planet, a child went to bed hungry.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Wow. Your obsession is clearly a mania that likely needs professional help. I hope you get it. This can’t be healthy for you, Frank.

  • Noah

    So, that’s a yes?

    You keep making assumptions, specifically about stuff I’m not saying. I never said anyone who is anti-abortion and doesn’t adopt is condemned. Not even close.

    I think many people who claim pro-life (mostly on the political spectrum, not personally), aren’t being consistent and overly focused on one issue.

    I think that is most people who profess Christianity lived their lives more like Christ, we’d have a lot less problems.

    I think we should point out holes in the church and not just say ‘eh, we’re good enough’.

    I’m independent, but I have voted for pro-life politicians. I have no idea why you’re making assumptions.

    I’ve also served ‘pro-life’ political administrations

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think I’ve made any assumptions of you on here.

  • Von Runkle

    I think many people who claim pro-life (mostly on the political spectrum, not personally), aren’t being consistent and overly focused on one issue. – MANY ARE INCONSISTENT. ALL OF US ARE HYPOCRITICAL IN SOME AREAS OF OUR LIVES. I BELIEVE MOST PEOPLE WHO ARE SINCERELY PRO-LIFE HAVE MADE PRUDENTIAL JUDGEMENTS THAT KILLING A CHILD IN THE WOMB IS MORE MORALLY PRESSING THAN OTHER TERTIARY PRO-LIFE ISSUES, LIKE “FREE” DAYCARE, “FREE” SCHOOL LUNCHES, ETC. THEY DO NOT SEE THE MORAL EQUIVALENCY. IT’S KIND OF LIKE OUR CIVIL JUDICIAL SYSTEM. THERE ARE LAWS AGAINST ALL KINDS OF INFRACTIONS. SOME INFRACTIONS CAN GET YOU LIFE BEHIND BARS, OTHERS CAN BE CLEARED UP ON THE SPOT WITH A CREDIT CARD.

    I think that is most people who profess Christianity lived their lives more like Christ, we’d have a lot less problems. AGREED!

    I think we should point out holes in the church and not just say ‘eh, we’re good enough’. AGREED. HOPE YOU’RE OPEN TO THE SAME LEVEL OF SCRUTINY AND CRITICISM THAT YOU DOLE OUT. SO FAR IT SEEMS YOU’RE QUITE MARRIED TO AND DEFENSIVE OF YOUR POSITIONS.

    I’m independent, but I have voted for pro-life politicians. I have no idea why you’re making assumptions. GUITLY, AS CHARGED.

    I’ve also served ‘pro-life’ political administrations. HAPPY TO HEAR IT.

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think I’ve made any assumptions of you on here. YOU MAY NOT HAVE, BUT YOU HAVE INDICTED THOUSAND OF PEOPLE AS SOMEHOW BEING PRO-LIFE HYPOCRITES FOR NOT ADOPTING SOMEONE ELSE’S CHILD(REN)

  • Noah

    The caps make it seem like you’re yelling and angry/defensive.

    The amount of Christian political zaz and money/time spent towards the -politicization- of the anti-abortion, is absent in many other ‘life’ areas. That’s all this entry is saying.

    It is -not- saying one is more important than the other. Life is important, and here are some areas we can actually make some improvements.

    It’s easy to demonize the ‘they’, which is not what I’m doing. I’ve seen both sides demonize each other.

    If the Christian political energy of abortion was consistent on all issues, we’d be a lot better off. Children who needs homes and love and care seems to be extremely important. But, this generally isn’t much of importance within the church, from what I’ve seen.

    The church is failing in a lot of areas. Pointing them out to improve things is critical, yes. We need to be critical of the church and ourselves, as you’ve pointed out.

    I just don’t get why there are kids who need to be adopted, when so many of us are ‘pro-life’.

    Some statistics may back my point up. There are roughly 250 million ‘Christians’ in the US. There are roughly 130,000 kids waiting a family.

    That means that, roughly, if one out of every 2,000 Christians adopted one child, there would be no one waiting. Granted it normally takes 2, and most singles are equipped to raise a child. That stat just boggles my mind.

    Part of what you’re saying, I think, is that when you see something that’s obviously wrong, it should be fixed. Kids without parents, seems blatantly wrong.

  • Ian

    You know putting someone’s name in quotations is kinda rude…

  • Von Runkle

    I know that typing in all caps is generally assumed to be construed as yelling. That was not my intention in this instance. I was merely trying to make a clear distinction between where your words ended and mine began.

    I’ve read all your posts to me on this issue. I hope you’ve read mine. As I see it, we are much more in agreement than we first thought we were. Thanks for your civility. Gotta run

  • I told you exactly how and when you lied to me, Frank. I can hardly be blamed if you choose to ignore that.

  • Noah

    Cool.

  • WilmRoget

    Prove here that you do those things. Before you can whine about abortion, you need to prove that you are making every sacrifice possible for the millions of children alive who have no home, or who are trapped in an abusive home.

    Prove you are doing, before you question whether others are.

  • WilmRoget

    Your excuse doesn’t fly. You were screaming, until you were caught. The simplest and most common, the textbook way of making a clear distinction is to use quote marks.

  • WilmRoget

    Your confession there is not useful.

  • Ian

    He was saying that YOU did. He was saying that it is a growing trend in left leaning political thought

  • What, you mean like when a person can’t handle the truth of having been banned, multiple times?

  • Ian

    This is the best example of twisting someone’s words that I’ve ever seen. Kudos.

  • Ian

    How about we keep harping on the issue of racialy motivated police brutility until it is gone completely. “It’s better than it was, so shut up about it” is not exactly a good approach. In fact it may lead to a resurgence of it.

  • Noah

    You must have missed where I said: “Either way, though, it’s gross.”

    That suggests we continue to work against it.

    Tackling racism is the big picture.

  • Edwin Woodruff Tait

    1. This is one possible translation of the passage, but it’s a very obscure passage and may not be talking about miscarriage at all.

    2. The OT narratives also ascribe to God the command to commit genocide, which is certainly wicked. So clearly we need a more nuanced reading of these texts.

    Hence, your argument carries no weight with me at least.

  • Edwin Woodruff Tait

    How is that junk? Benjamin said that he was in fact anti-abortion. He didn’t call being anti-abortion junk. He was criticizing a selective “prolife” position that ignores all the other issues he mentioned. And he was quite right to do so. But abortion is evil. That’s a nonnegotiable part of historic, orthodox Christianity.

  • Edwin Woodruff Tait

    And sometimes it’s the most powerful and moral kind of action. When you have a two-party racket in which each side tries to coerce voters emotionally by telling them that failing to support their wickedness is an act of support for the other side’s wickedness, then the most powerful act may be to abstain from the whole racket.

  • Exactly. I’ve been pro-life my entire life and haven’t hid that fact, even when it’s irked my own camp. My only difference is that I’ve criticized the approach of legal abolition, which we learned with slavery, doesn’t actually make something go away.

  • Ian

    It suggests that you don’t like it, not that anything should be done given that the context was an arguement that someone saying “everything is fine” might make.

  • Edwin Woodruff Tait

    That’s not a logical argument. I can oppose murder even though I am not doing as much as I could for those whom I don’t want to see murdered. It looks as if you don’t have a rational objection to the prolife position and so are using ad hominem fallacies in order to try to silence the arguments you can’t refute.

    It’s not about questioning whether others are doing. It’s about saying that children shouldn’t be killed, in or out of the womb.

    Also, I understand that you’re probably tailoring this argument to the typical right-wing quasi-libertarian American “prolifer,” who thinks that “government” shouldn’t be involved in any benevolent action. Maybe Greg fits that profile, maybe he doesn’t. Even so, I think the argument is an unfair one. But it has less weight against someone like myself who acknowledges that great social evils need to be dealt with on more than an individual level. We need to raise the minimum wage and ensure health care for everyone and all those other things that liberals call for, as part of ending abortion. And yes, more of us need to adopt. It’s not an either/or. But it still makes no sense to launch personal attacks on people for making the claim that children shouldn’t be murdered.

  • Noah

    Fair enough, I could have phrased it a bit differently. I was thinking in the overall context that it is an alarmist issue (like the Ebola threat in the US, as of now). And more so, hey this is actually getting better so let’s keep at it.

  • Edwin Woodruff Tait

    Conception is an obvious cutoff point. I don’t say _the_ obvious one–I also recognize the rational coherence of the view that says the fetus becomes a human person at some point during pregnancy and we can’t point to a specific moment. But the argument that there’s no difference between a sperm and a fertilized egg is bogus. And a large number of abortions are done well after the point when the fetus is just “a few cells.” If we could get everyone on this country on board with banning midterm or even just late term abortion, we’d be making huge progress. But any move in that direction is met by cries of “camel’s nose under the tent.”

  • WilmRoget

    Yet I twisted nothing. What I did was take Artistree at his or her word, and evaluate what he/she wrote in light of Scripture.

  • WilmRoget

    And your empty dismissal carries no weight with me.

    You wrote: “may not be talking about miscarriage at all.”

    Yet this is a pretty clear description of miscarriage: “and make your womb discharge, your uterus drop!”

    Anti-abortionists, being in it for the power to control women’s bodies, rather than genuine concern for children, simply don’t care about anything that impedes that desire for control.

  • WilmRoget

    “That’s not a logical argument.”

    Why is it not logical to hold greg to the standard he imposes on others?

    Your diversion accomplishes nothing.

  • “Anti-abortionists, being in it for the power to control women’s bodies,
    rather than genuine concern for children, simply don’t care about
    anything that impedes that desire for control.”

    That’s a pretty unfair blanket statement of everyone who opposes abortion. If you think that I oppose elective abortions because I’m interested in power and control, I’d be pretty disappointed at how little you know me by this point.

  • WilmRoget

    No, its not unfair. It is particularly fair regarding men who are anti-abortion, since they and men in general, never face any of the risks that pregnancy carries. There is a fundamental immorality in demand that women endure risks you never, ever, will.

  • Unfortunately, the way our system is set up, voting third party is the closest thing to a wasted vote. Not meaning to disparage you for voting your conscience, but it’s the reality of the system; because we have a “first past the post” system where the candidate with the most votes wins, unless a third party can actually draw more votes than one of the “major” parties all it really does is draw votes away from the major candidate that those third-party voters most agree with, guaranteeing a victory for the other guy. They call it the “spoiler effect,” and it’s one of the many reasons why I so strongly dislike our current system. You shouldn’t have to feel like voting your conscience means wasting your vote.

  • I think, if I’m reading Falken correctly, that Falken’s complaint was that Artistree responded to Ben’s expansion of what it means to be pro-life with what seemed to be “abortion is bad, discussion over.” Though if I’ve misread Falken, I hope he will correct me.

  • There’s also the issue that many (I’d say most, but I don’t have statistics handy) late-term abortions are performed when a fetus has died in utero. It’s a wanted pregnancy that ends tragically, and the dead fetus is removed for the mother’s physical and emotional well-being. So even in simply banning late-term abortions, we see a need for nuance.

  • In Wilm’s defense, it appears that what Wilm is doing is turning Greg’s own standards against him. In the discussion above, Greg seems to suggest that if a person is not doing x, y, and z, then they aren’t allowed to have an opinion about abortion.

  • coloradito

    Really? So is trying to counter or soften an argument by asserting that only 13,500 innocents were killed last week instead of 27,000… That’s not only rude but extremely offensive and dehumanizing.

  • coloradito

    We could apply the same thing to regular homicides… I mean outlawing them doesn’t change a murderer’s heart.

  • coloradito

    But one still seems to say abortion is wrong, and abortion accounts for many more deaths than anything else mentioned in the article… And many of that same political party could also concur or find good common ground with many of the items on the list.

    These rationalizations around political parties aren’t very rational…

  • Falken

    I’m mocking those who constantly presume that if you’re ok with abortion, you’re instantly ok with late term abortion or post-natal “abortion” with a barely contained slur of “baby-killer” hidden between the lines. While I’m not ok with abortion, I find it ridiculous a mostly male government should write laws inhibiting something they never have to go through. I find it ridiculous that far too often these people only care about the fetus, not the person they are later outside of “potential”.

  • Falken

    Non-negotiable. Interesting.

  • If you vote to make all guns illegal, I’ll vote to make all elective abortions illegal, deal?

  • Ian

    “What would drive you to say such a terrible thing about God?”

    Artistree never tried to claim anything terrible about God, he only said that there is a biblical case against abortion and that Church tradition teaches against abortion.
    He was likely unaware of the passage you pointed out, but then you put words in his mouth. It’s easier to fight straw men I guess.

  • Ian

    Your pretty quick to assign a motive aren’t you? Must you always be so quick to anger and slow to listen.

  • Matthew

    I read some of your earlier posts coloradito and it seems you are for limited government (in the U.S.) rather than big government. My first question is, do you think Jesus (or even Paul) would be for a limited government, a big government, or no government at all? Secondly, although Ben´s list of things that should be included as part of the pro-life agenda are indeed noble, I personally don´t see either party in American politics addressing them adequately.

    I suppose the next logical question would then be — should we even expect either party to address Ben´s list fully and adequately? Is it even proper to place this discussion inside another discussion of American politics?

    One might assume that Ben (because of his list) is making a Republican versus Democrat argument, but I´m not certain that is the case. He might simply be attempting to flesh out real kingdom principles that he thinks are being altogether ignored by both U.S. political parties.

  • coloradito

    Ben, that is not the same. Consider a non-elective abortion as it compares to killing someone in self-defense. You are fine with taking an innocent life to save just one life, but not fine with taking the life of a violent aggressor who is culpable and save several, perhaps many in the process. Please explain how your views could ever be deemed consistent. I genuinely would like to understand how such an incongruent view can be held and why you believe you have the right to force your views on others by making guns illegal.

    In the grand scheme of things, I guess it would seem a good deal to make that devil’s bargain: abortions for guns. In the end, America is still much too violent to abolish guns just yet.

  • coloradito

    Matthew, in the time of Jesus people spoke Koine Greek because of the former influence of that Empire, but he lived under the rule of Rome as well as local rulers. Certainly in his time politics were more complex, no? The difference is he lived under a conquering army. We do not. He lived under tiny tyrants in the form of the Pharisees. In the end, we understand how God used evil for good. While it is reasonable to believe Jesus would want us to live in peace where we can freely worship and tell others the good news, He obviously has not “blessed” everyone in the modern world. But in those same countries that struggle with human rights and religious pluralism, He manifests himself more visibly and more strongly than here where we take him for granted and abuse the liberties and freedom he gave us. I don’t think Jesus cares about any government but his own and we must submit ourselves, our children and our grandchildren to his care, but it is right and acceptable to thank him for allowing us to live in relative peace and freedom. Since we live in a democratic republic, the people are the temporal authority. My concerns about Christians supporting Big Government is that we don’t really live in a Christian nation. Other than the economic implications of Big Gov, which are many, even if it were resoundingly successful who would be exalted? Would it be Jesus and his kingdom or would it be Big Gov and the DNC (please vote for me). And, while government can do a lot of good, what it gives it can take away. Any form of human government is eventually corrupt because of human nature, the larger it grows in size and influence the more harm it can do, even with the best of intentions.

  • Matthew

    Thanks coloradito. I´m not certain Jesus (or Paul for that matter) doesn´t care about government — Jesus talks about “giving unto Caesar …” in the Gospels and Romans 13 clearly makes a strong case for some kind of governmental structure overseeing our lives.

    That said … I can still see problems with government attempting to shower the masses with the good things of the kingdom. How can any governing body comprised of broken and fallen humans ever legislate the pearls of the kingdom equitably and fairly to all members of society? Some would argue — however — that even if the government is not hard wired for kingdom principles the government is indeed there to do good. As Romans 13 says:

    “For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good.”

    So, based on Romans, is it wrong to want the government to attempt to live out (or even legislate) the kind of pro-life agenda Ben points to in his article? If governments are indeed ordained by God and are supposed to be servants of the good, then doesn´t it logically follow that whether big or small, governments should be (best case scenario that is) in the business of being “kingdom-like” rather than “empire-like”?

    Big questions I know … but our God is bigger.

  • River Riggs

    Check out the Green Party platform. Of course it is not likely that our presidential candidate will win in 2016, but voting green makes a statement on issues that you would likely agree with much more than the major parties. Greens are beginning to win more and more local elections as people are coming around to the ideas of caring for the Earth AND its people.
    http://www.gp.org/committees/platform/2012/

  • Falken

    Understandably, abortion’s not a good thing. Unfortunately, the world isn’t perfect. It’s not quite so simple as “only for medical reasons”. Sometimes, things happen and people have to make a choice. My personal stance on abortion was framed both by common sense and some experiences.

    Common sense portion? I’m a guy. I can’t have kids like a woman can, so I’ll never know firsthand what’s in anyone’s head when they get an abortion. I’ll also will never know the emotional struggles that sometimes seem to occur. So, out of habit, I sort of ignore men who wax on about abortion being evil because we’ll never be in the position to get one.

    Experience? Well, one of my friends got one. Her boyfriend was rather vicious and manipulative, and did indeed get her pregnant with the idea of locking her down to him. His thoughts were she would be stuck with him, because he would use the child to always be present in her life. He also thought that her being early twenties with a kid would make her unattractive to any other man that came along. We’ve had friends that have been in the system, and I can’t honestly say I’d ever feel OK putting a child up for adoption given how there are blockades to those who want to adopt and so very many not just available but needing to be adopted, needing to be given a home, needing to be loved by parents. I do look forward to the day when legislation banning it is unnecessary, because abortions are nearly unnecessary. However, until there is a perfect world that has to wait.

  • Falken

    He. xD

  • coloradito

    Falken, the argument that men have less right to be opposed to abortion is like saying women should not express their views against war, since throughout history men have been the warriors. It is not a reasonable argument and marginalizes men as stakeholders and as human beings. What about the choiceof the baby, male or female?

  • Falken

    Actually, that is a flawed counter argument. Women have a right to express views against war because regardless of if those men are warriors, their families are back home. Women have a right to express views against war because regardless they may be tasked as part of the rebuilding effort or may even be there dealing with wounded. This is of course if one chooses to ignore any historical battle where women were also taking part of the fighting. War doesn’t limit itself to one gender, one class, many times not even one nation especially if one takes into account World War I and II.

    So honestly, yes men have no real right to be opposed to something they don’t have to deal with on either side – the actual process of abortion or the roughly nine months that can proceed in lieu of the abortion. The most we can do is be sympathetic and do our part to not only insure the comfort of the mother but the health of mother and child. It also begins a possibility of an incredibly slippery slope where both parents are required to be there, by which a man can sabotage a woman’s right to choose simply by declining.

    In addendum, my argument is in regards to the fallacy of a primarily male body making a decision that many times – at minimum – eighty percent of its members will never have to personally deal with. I’m well aware one can apply that same logic to pretty much anything in regards to a group not in power, but I don’t make the rules of legislature.

    Now in talking about the choice of the baby, are you implying their own say so despite the fact they won’t have cognitive or verbal capability to agree or disagree for many years, let alone the actual capacity to understand the choice or do you mean gender? I ask because the former would in turn completely violate a woman’s right to personhood by rendering her a hostage incubator while the latter is something that has already gone on in history, with people throwing away or killing children of an undesired gender.

    Last but not least, you speak of a man’s right to be opposed to abortion is that strictly in the area of personal ethos, opinion, etc. or do you mean their say so in whether or not an abortion should be allowed if the child is theirs? Once again, this type of clarification would be needed as the former is a First Amendment right which we can all keep while the latter continues to violate personhood of the woman with the child.

  • coloradito

    Falken, it’s very interesting to observe how pro-choice advocates determine when life/personhood begins. For those of us who are pro-life and believe life begins at conception, there are no such problems or ambiguities.

    According to what you stated above, it can be inferred that you might rationalize/advocate for abortions to happen even after birth… actually “years” after birth – up until the time a child would have “actual capacity to understand the choice”. Talk about a slippery slope…

  • Falken

    Which case and point proves your real intentions. If you’re creating “slippery slopes” that equate someone who feels a person should be more than their reproductive organs to murder, you’re demonstrating an aspect of closemindedness, are twisting my words to suit your agenda, and have managed to actually ignore anything that doesn’t support your agenda. Ambiguities and problems exist for those who have to deal with them, particularly in the real world where things unfortunately aren’t as cut and dry as people like to pretend they are. There are some situations where abortion is understandable – I gave one – and there are plenty where it is preventable. Work on being compassionate and realizing the understandable ones then work on figuring out ways to prevent abortions from being so common. Otherwise this heavy judgmental tone of “abortions are murder and that’s that” is no different than proclaiming “pro-lifers just want women barefoot and pregnant, and find her life unimportant if the child is in a position to kill her in the womb”. If one forces absolutes they cannot complain when those absolutes become extremes, be it in actuality or merely in perception.

  • James Foxvog

    How about “I value the sanctity of all human life does not mean I’ll work against catastrophic climate change, which will likely end very many human lives.”

  • gimpi1

    Those trying to teach “the controversy” in public schools are (or at least claim to be) doing it for religious reasons. That’s what sends my husband into orbit, the idea that at the primary and secondary level, kids aren’t being taught the most modern scientific consensus. It’s like teaching a first-aid class where you discuss the theory of germ-transmission of infection and the need to keep wounds clean, but you also teach the theory of humors and things like mud-packs on wounds to “cool the hot humors.” One theory has proved up, one simply has not.

    As I understand it, abiogenesis is not considered proven in any scientific field. We simply don’t have the ability to research it yet. Hypotheses have been proposed, but there’s no way to test them. So, yes, at this point in time, there is no way to prove the existence or non-existence of God. However, that does not call into question the facts we’ve discovered. Life did descend from common ancestry. Humans are primates. We share the vast majority of our DNA with other primates. God could have guided this process, or it could have been random. We don’t know. Most scientists lean towards random, possibly because it’s something that can be tested for or modeled. Divine intervention can’t be researched, at this point.

    I guess I’ll have to take your word on the contempt you feel. It might be regional. I live in the Pacific northwest, and don’t see it, but since this is a relatively “unchurched” place, perhaps it doesn’t show up, since religion is not as powerful a force here.

  • $120619225

    Yep, absolutely hilarious. I can see that it’s replied to me, but I cannot read what it said. Dance, funny monkey.

  • Hypothetical question: if the system were set up differently, such that the system itself encouraged a multitude of parties rather than just two, and if one or more out of that multitude were strongly pacifist in nature, do you think you would feel able to vote and otherwise participate without going against your conscience? I realize it’ll probably never happen, since the people with the power to change the system benefit from keeping it how it is, but I’m curious.

  • Gotcha. Edited. I try hard to be mindful of my pronouns. Sometimes I even succeed. :-P

  • Probably not. Scripture encourages us to live as immigrants and exiles, and in my mind, that would mean we wouldn’t do certain things in our guest country– like vote, kill for them, etc.

  • Okay. I can see the logic behind that.

  • Mark

    Don’t fool yourself. We ALL put our trust in our various governments. We trust that our money will be accepted wherever we choose to spend it. We trust that we have some recourse should our particular bank fail. We trust that we will have access to an attorney should we get arrested, and, on a more local level, we trust that the water is going to come out when we turn on the faucet. These are just a few areas where we put our trust in our government.

    There is certainly much room for improvement in governments – federal, state, and local – here in the U.S.; but, I challenge you to point out any countries which are significantly better. Those which might be certainly have a better way to provide health care to their citizens.

  • Guy Norred

    Not really, but exaggeration as egregious as this kind is not helpful to anyone’s case. And for the record, my name is Guy Norred.

  • Edwin Woodruff Tait

    Right. And we all know that the Bible was written in English. . . . The Hebrew is more ambiguous. “Beten” does often mean womb, but can mean more generally “belly.” The word your translation renders as “discharge” means “swell.” In the other phrase, it’s the verb that most suggests the miscarriage/abortion meaning: “naphal” means “to fall,” but it can mean “to be born,” and the noun “nephel” derived from it refers to a miscarriage or abortion. However, the noun “yarakh” does not, to my knowledge, ever carry the meaning “uterus” elsewhere. I can see how it might mean that here, but this seems to be an educated guess by the translators. It normally means “side” or “thigh” and has a pretty broad range of meaning. I’m sure I’m influenced in my reading here by my early exposure to the KJV, which reads “make thy belly to swell and thy thigh to rot.” But working through the Hebrew, I still think that meaning is quite possible–that it’s referring to some kind of disease that would make the woman’s belly swell up. Or it could mean a miscarriage, certainly.

    As I said in the last post, the more important point here is that the Hebrew Bible contains all kinds of things that we cannot apply literally without wickedness. Phineas’ murder of the copulating couple in Numbers, for instance (read the sexual meaning of “beten” into that one and it becomes even more horrific), is the kind of thing ISIS would do. It’s objectively an appalling atrocity. Even conservatives who insist that this act must have been justified in its original context (thus becoming, ironically, moral relativists) don’t claim that it’s a model for us today. And that’s just one of many examples. So your use of Scripture here is highly tendentious. Maybe an awareness of the evil of abortion is something that only came with the Gospel. Fine. (Yes, I know that the NT doesn’t mention abortion–but the Didache indicates that condemnation of abortion as murder goes back very, very early in Christian tradition.)

    But you seem more interested in sweeping ad hominems than in actually engaging the issue.

  • Edwin Woodruff Tait

    And this is more evident to you than the fundamental immorality of cutting children to pieces in their mothers’ wombs? Talk about swallowing camels and straining at gnats. . . .

  • Edwin Woodruff Tait

    I don’t follow the argument that putting a child up for adoption is somehow worse than killing it. . . .

  • Edwin Woodruff Tait

    How is it closed-minded to be persuaded by the many cogent arguments showing that individual human life begins at conception, or at the very least at some point relatively early in pregnancy? You dismiss the claim that abortion is murder because you’ve already framed the argument so that it is only about whether a woman is “more than her reproductive organs.” Talk about closed-mindedness. I have yet to hear any cogent argument for the view that personhood begins at birth. All the reasonable arguments I’ve seen support either conception, a period of time during pregnancy rather than any specific moment, or some point after birth as the time when personhood begins. None of these possibilities fit the political pro-choice position. It’s a position almost completely lacking in a meaningful philosophical basis. (The attempt to get around this by Judith Jarvis Thompson only works, at least for cases other than rape and danger to the mother’s life, if one is an extreme libertarian.)

  • Which is why I say “I value the sanctity of life from conception until natural death”

  • WilmRoget

    When you cannot even describe the situation accurately . . .

    just admit it – you to impose your will on women, no matter what the cost.

  • WilmRoget

    Your nitpicking only negates your argument. Face it, the Bible explicitly commands the use of abortifacients if a woman is suspected of adultery.

  • BT

    Nicely said. I think that if this were how the pro-life movement actually defined itself, I would have a far greater respect for it

  • Joe M

    If you are against abortion then you should also be for contraception and comprehensive education about human sexuality beginning in middle school (at least). I can honor Mr. Corey’s objections to abortion but if keeping children (some who CAN get pregnant) ignorant of the fundamental way their own bodies work you are only half-stepping and your yearning to see abortion end will be fruitless (and insincere).

  • Jill

    Yes, all the reasons you state above concerning our dismissal of the sanctity of life as it pertains to the peoples worldwide who are marginalized, abused for profits or power, overworked, enslaved, imprisoned for profit, their lives persecuted and in shambles while others steal with force, weapons, and violence the resources of their sovereign nations and countries, are not the usual political discussions limited to human abortion that is deafening in its insistent clamor for attention.

    Yet, to say, “I value the sanctity of all human life” while disregarding, dismissing, manipulating, abusing, polluting, poisoning, devaluing, deforesting, genetically altering, and killing for profits and power the rest of creation is not a pro-life position. Nature and creation is not a commodity, ours to use, abuse, mistreat, alter, destroy, and kill for profits and increased status and power. One who is truly pro-life understands intimately that our connection to the entire nature world is built on honoring the sanctity of all of nature, natural processes, and creation itself. Human beings are not above creation; they are one interdependent part on the health and vitality of all of life and creation. As long as some classes of humanity consider themselves above and superior to other human beings, and enshrine prejudice, slander, and condemnation in so-called “holy books and epistles” (whether the discrimination is driven by gender, race, culture, sexual identity or orientation, age, ability, or social status which are all fabrications of the monetary and economic manipulations of the “privileged”), all the reasons for how we devalue the sanctity of life you mention above will continue destroying the heart and mind of our human civilization and world. Not only are classes of humanity no better or superior to others, humanity is not above the rest of creation and life itself. If we are not protecting the sanctity of every aspect of creation, we cannot save human life, either individual human beings, or the entire human species.

    All life: plants, trees, forests, birds, fish, animals, insects, all human beings despite our diverse differences, waters, soils, and the air that all life breathes is sacred. It is all part of the sanctity of, not just life but, love. If we cannot, do not, or refuse to love all of creation and all life, if other human beings, the natural resources and human populations of our world are nothing more than commodities, ours to manipulate, suppression, oppress, and destroy at and by our will with force and violence, robbing this present generation and all future generations of life on earth, we will lose it all including the human species from our world and planet.

  • Jill

    If all we are living for is to “make money”, real life will ebb away while we busy ourselves “with making a living” rather than to actually live, as Christ promised was available as the “heaven in our midst”. We could be truly living with peace, harmony, equality, justice, mercy, joy, and abundance in communion with the sacred spirit of divine above, who also abides within the heart, mind, and being of our humanity, and within all of creation, if we learned to respect rather than “make money” from nature and our natural global resources. Real love, like real life, is free.

    “Only the truth will set us free.”

  • bz

    I’m 100% for the separation of church and state. I don’t see the point in forcing kids in a state school to learn about Christian teachings unless its a religion or philosophy class. Force-feeding seems pretty un-Christlike to me. That being said, Not everything taught in the science classroom is a “Hard fact”. Single cell spontaneous generation abiogenesis is basically taught as a fact because that is the natural conclusion to an evolutionary based origin that excludes a Deity. Excluding a Deity is what the scientific community (the members of which NEVER agree on anything!) seem to all agree on.

    The evidence for God that I find most compelling isnt found necessarily in the science textbook. Its found in comparing some pretty astounding predictions in the book of Daniel with the general consensus found in History textbooks and historical documents. Pretty neat stuff.

    The contempt is there. People who believe that God is the Creator are called intellectually lazy, willfully ignorant, or “the greatest threat to civil advancement” as said in the video I posted. Believing in God doesn’t make one ignorant of current scientific consensus. I really don’t care that much. I just wanted to share the observation that humans are humans and even the Left can be derisive and kind of nasty sometimes.

  • ADG

    Well I don’t know – I believe in all the things you just said as well as being opposed to abortion. I know many pro-lifers who feel the same way.

  • Edwin Woodruff Tait

    How does it negate my argument? Why should I “face” anything when you can’t be bothered actually to discuss the text in detail? You have a translation that says what you want to say, and the fact that it’s obviously making some big speculative leaps based on an ambiguous original text is an embarrassing fact you want to sweep under the rug. Again, it doesn’t ultimately matter to the bigger issue, given the number of things in the OT that clearly can’t be taken “at face value” ethically. But that doesn’t change the fact that you’re making a sloppy and arrogant appeal to a dubious translation.

  • WilmRoget

    It shows that you read into the text what you want.

    ‘when you can’t be bothered actually to discuss the text in detail?’

    Your false accusation is not going to ever help you.

    “You have a translation that says what you want to say,”

    Tell that to your mirror.

    “But that doesn’t change the fact that you’re making a sloppy and arrogant appeal to a dubious translation.”

    No, I’m not. And you’ve provided nothing to substantiate that claim.

  • spirare

    first off, i love reading benjamin’s blogs. this one, of course, makes all of the valid, oft ignored points about the sanctity of life. amen and amen.

    when considering my views on a lot of hot-button topics, i’m on the fairly liberal side….quite a change has occurred since i was raised in a very conservative, right-wing household.

    gay marriage? all for it. environmentalism? i feel like that’s almost a *duh* at this point.

    abortion?……..

    i am a woman. i’ve seen all the abortion videos that gruesomely portray the bits of babies sucked out of the womb. i’ve heard all the arguments against all forms of contraceptive, boiling down to the eternal question: “when does the human life begin?”

    i also get that it’s my right to have a say over my body. i also had several pregnancy “scares” as a young adult; i know the feeling of panic, the heart tremors, the fear of judgement, a heavy responsibility setting in too soon in life. i get it.

    but i can’t get over that within my body would be the body of another being, no matter how small. at that point, the say in my body involves another. the woman’s body, should no outside force act upon it, will carry and birth another human. even a natural miscarriage will bring forth the body of the baby. unarguable.

    also, we live in a society that warns continually of the consequences (in this case not the best term – results, let’s say) of our actions. if you drive drunk a result of your action will be either: nothing, a crash, hurting yourself or someone else, getting pulled over and a DUI. we all know that. you take one action, it will lead to another. and you have to deal with the consequences.

    if you have sex, maybe nothing will happen. or you might get an STD. or some emotional baggage. or a great orgasm. or pregnant.

    pregnancy is just a result of the action. is that reason to kill the baby? i see a clear moral “no.”

    BUT this debate cannot continue as the black/white, conservative/liberal, republican/democrat, christian/non-christian dogma-filled fight that has existed for several decades. where are the solutions from this debate? there’s not even room for conversations anymore, just emotions and blanket-statements.

    it’s not easy to find solutions, given socio-economic disparities that underly the statistics. given the often complete lack of support for young girls in these situations. given the shame and gossip that festers in faith circles when an out-of-wedlock pregnancy occurs. given that a 12 yr. old could be pregnant from a rape. given the lack of education in some countries/demographics.

    to me, the right/wrong of the act of abortion is clear. but the surrounding solutions, legal actions, societal environments, etc. is gray. still very, very gray. but we must talk about it.

    i wish we could start the debates with honesty about what abortion is. leftists (including myself) fight for the rights of endangered species….but how is the human fetus still less than that? all the issues that benjamin listed as “sanctity of life” issues are true and desperately need our attention. but for a liberal like myself, the completely separate DNA i will one day carry in my body is still worthy of a voice.

  • sg

    You make it sound like those people do not deserve to die.

    God has 100% total authority over life. None of us escapes death. duh.

    There is nothing wrong with God taking life. duh again.

  • sg

    Insane.

    Do you recall how women get pregnant? It certainly isn’t by the will of fundies.

  • sg

    Exactly, which is why we still have murder, rape, theft…

  • sg

    I thought the Pharisees were the good guys who interpreted the Law of Moses to make it easy enough to keep. Jesus interpreted the Law so broadly that no one could hope to keep it and thus all would be condemned much like our host’s version of prolife.

  • Snooterpoot

    Are you old enough to remember the Civil Rights movement in the early 60s, or the Brown. v. Board of Education decision?

    If not for enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 it is likely that our citizens of color would have waited much longer – perhaps decades – to be recognized as equal citizens.

    If not for the decision in Brown it is also likely that our African American children would have been forced to attend segregated, vastly inferior public schools and universities, especially in the south.

    I think there is nothing wrong with government to be responsible for social justice. History has proven that if it doesn’t the subjugation and oppression of minorities will continue unabated.

    One of the largest denominations in this country is unconcerned about social justice so I don’t know why you think churches would take care of that.

  • Snooterpoot

    Hyperbole much? When you pro-birthers write crap like this it exposes your preference of the so-called rights of an embryo or a fetus over the right of a woman to make her own decisions about motherhood. And, frankly, a woman’s choice about whether to carry a pregnancy to term is none of your goddamn business.

    I’ll believe you are sincerely pro-life when you openly and strongly advocate for at least some of the principles that Ben listed. Until you and your ilk do that you are simply not being truthful about your respect for human life.

  • Snooterpoot

    Yet the fundies will happily impose their will on women and use the power and assets of the government to do that.

    There’s no escaping that truth,

  • Snooterpoot

    It is your opinion that abortion is evil. Millions of people disagree with that opinion. What makes you think you have any right to force others to conform to your opinion?

  • Snooterpoot

    Your opinion that life begins at conception is yours. Others disagree. I’ll ask again. Why do you think it’s perfectly fine to force other people to conform to your opinion?

    I believe life begins at conception. I also believe that until fetal viability outside the womb a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy is, again, none of your goddamn business.

    I was impregnated by a rapist. Would you have forced me to carry that pregnancy to term? I had a decision to make, and the decision I made was mine alone so I won’t tell you what it was.

  • Snooterpoot

    Bull scat. There are millions of Christians who are political and social liberals. To say that the left is becoming increasingly intolerant of Christians is patently false.

    Disagreeing with your theology and pointing out inconsistencies or your shunning of scientific, fact based reality is not discriminating against you. It is simply disagreeing.

  • bz

    Of course there are millions of Christians who are political and social liberals. Mainly because the “Right” is bat**** crazy. However that fact doesnt negate the clear evidence of an increasing consensus on the left to become increasingly intolerant of Christianity.

    Alan Keys, Michael Steele and Clarence Thomas are Conservatives. Does that mean that conservatism is a bastion of tolerance for the melanin enhanced? That would be naive.

    The Left is far more cerebral than the Right to be totally obvious with their discrimination. Its more nuanced. Check out the video I posted above and judge for yourself.

  • Not to hijack your discussion, but for future reference: phrases like “goddaamn” offend me and future comments that include language on that level will be deleted. Thanks.

  • Snooterpoot

    My apologies. It won’t happen again.

  • RossaRemy

    All those instances are what all prolifers,and all human beings in my opinion, should believe in and fight for.

  • RossaRemy

    If they dont than they arent prolife plan and simple. Im antiabortion but im also pro-ALL LIFE.