I Decided To Engage An Anti-Abortion Activist – Here’s What I Learned

I Decided To Engage An Anti-Abortion Activist – Here’s What I Learned July 25, 2016

On Sunday I attended a rally held by FURIE – Feminist Uprising to Resist Inequality and Exploitation – in downtown Chicago with my daughter.  The rally was titled “Blame the System Not the Victim” and was organized as a “speak-out against rape and gender violence followed by a march through downtown Chicago.”

Despite the interminable heat it was a good and fun way to spend an afternoon.  I was there to listen and support, as were many of the attendees, but many were also there to speak and share their own stories and experiences; tears were shed, hugs were exchanged, and catharsis was had.

But alas, there is always somebody intent on ruining good things for everyone else.  Meet Vladimir:

vladimir

The reason I didn’t show the rest of his signs is because they are horrifying and disturbing, and I don’t think they deserve to be seen (although, unfortunately, you can get an idea of it from the sign on the right).

Vladimir, who declined to give his surname, got wind of our activity on Facebook and decided it was a perfect opportunity to come spread what he believes is the word of Jesus to us, the unsaved.

Well, I looked back and forth between our group of over a hundred participants and Vladimir, standing alone with his signs, and decided to go talk to him.  I’ve always wondered what people like him would say if confronted with the scriptural shakiness of their beliefs, and I was sure Vladimir wasn’t expecting someone educated in theology and Christianity to be at the rally he was protesting.

I shook his hand, asked to take his picture, and asked him about himself.  He came to America from Russia 4 years ago, and it was here that he was “saved,” as he put it, by Jesus Christ.  He does not belong to a specific church, or at least did not want to tell me the name of his church or denomination.

This was before most of the attendees had noticed him, so we were able to speak at some length undisturbed.  When I first told Vladimir I wanted to talk to him about Jesus, he got defensive.  “You don’t know Jesus,” he told me.  “You don’t know the Bible.”

To the contrary, I told him, bringing out the copy of the Bible that I carry with me in my daughter’s stroller (I’m carrying it around for my Bible journaling series).  I know quite a bit about Jesus and the Bible.

This seemed to soften him some, and to his credit, he never questioned my faith after that.

So naturally I asked what he thought about Numbers 5 and its prescription for an unfaithful wife.

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:  Speak to the Israelites and say to them:  If any man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him…and there is no witness against her since she was not caught in the act; 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; then the man shall bring his wife to the priest…Then the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the Lord; 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.  The priest shall set the woman before the Lord…In his own hand the priest shall have the water of bitterness that brings the curse.

Then the priest shall make her take an oath, saying, “If no man has lain with you, if you have not turned aside…be immune to this water of bitterness that brings the curse.  But if you have gone astray…the Lord make you an execration and an oath among your people, when the Lord makes your uterus drop, your womb discharge; now may this water that brings the curse enter your bowels and make your womb discharge, your uterus drop!”  Numbers 5:11-22 NRSV

In case it’s not clear, this means that God is totally cool with abortion in the case of adultery.

Now, of course, that passage is no more the “word of God” than the passages condemning homosexuality or the mixing of fabrics (Leviticus 19:19).  But I wanted to see how someone like Vladimir would reconcile his Biblical fundamentalism with a passage that so starkly contrasted with his worldview.

I probably shouldn’t have been surprised by the fact that Vladimir took issue with my translation; according to him, the King James Version is the only “real” version of the Bible.  So I took to Google and pulled up the same passage in the KJV translation.  The relevant portion reads:  “…when the Lord doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell;  And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot…” (Numbers 5:21-22).  

Curiously, Vladimir misunderstood his own argument and insisted that this passage means that the woman will die, not the baby.  I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and chalk that bit of nonsense up to English not being his first language; clearly he believed this passage was at best ambiguous.

But then we got to the heart of the matter.  As Vladimir put it:  “I do not read Old Testament.  I follow Jesus.”

“But Vladimir,” I told him.  “Abortion existed during the time of Jesus.  Jesus didn’t say anything about it.  Don’t you think he would’ve mentioned if it was important?”

And here is where we got to the true heart of the matter, the reason there truly can be no reconciliation between people like Vladimir and people like myself.

“Jesus says we cannot murder,” Vladimir told me.  “Abortion is murder.”

I foolishly tried to tell him that the science is far from settled on this matter.  He pointedly told me, “I do not care about science.” (Hey, at least he’s honest).

I shook my head and thanked him for talking to me, then rejoined my group.  As we marched through downtown, Vladimir followed, finally setting up in a much more visible area at our endpoint.  That’s when things got heated.

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  • TLC

    Um, wow. I need to read about Vladmir right before I try to go to sleep. Because his horrific self-righteousness and complete lack of empathy have brought my busy brain to a screeching halt.

    The way ro show people the love of Jesus is to traumatize them? WTF???

    I can’t even even at this point.

    Kudos to the woman who knelt in front of the signs.

  • Brandon Roberts

    eh i see abortion before the child is formed as a grey area

  • Rita, Canberra

    The science of reproduction is settled. Ultrasound technology, together with biology, embryology, fetal surgery, and examination of the human remains of an abortion, all tell us that the victim targeted for abortion is a human being, belonging to the human family, a human being who can be identified as a daughter or son, a ‘who’ not a generic ‘thing’.
    At fertilization, a new human life comes into being–no longer a generic bunch of cells but new life distinctively different from either the sperm or the egg. This new human being is now the child of identifiable parents, a child with a personal DNA now different from that human being’s mother to whom the egg belonged and from that human being’s father to whom the sperm belonged. This tiny new human being is not a potential human being but rather a unique new human being with potential—the potential to grow with singular continuity through each stage of human life–from zygote to embryo to fetus to newborn to toddler to young girl/boy to adolescent to young man or young woman, to middle-age and to old age. Through every stage of human life, this is the same human being, the same life, the same individual, the very same uniquely personalized human identity.

    The anti-scientific deception behind the pro-abortion movement that our pregnancies are ‘childless’ is one of the craziest ideological dogmas that has ever duped a couple of gullible generations.

    • wifather2000

      Did your mother miss with the coat hanger?

    • Gary Miles

      The anti-scientific deception behind the anti-choice movement that a mass of pre-sentient, undifferenciated cells is a child is one of the craziest ideological dogmas
      that has ever duped a couple of gullible generations.

      • Rita, Canberra

        “a mass of pre-sentient, undifferentiated cells”? You need to consult a good textbook on human reproduction, embryology and fetology.

        At fertilization, a new human life comes into being–no longer a generic bunch of cells but new life distinctively different from either the sperm or the egg. This new human being is now the child of identifiable parents, a child with a personal DNA now different from that human being’s mother to whom the egg belonged and from that human being’s father to whom the sperm belonged. This tiny new human being is not a potential human being but rather a unique new human being with potential—the potential to grow with singular continuity through each stage of human life–from zygote to embryo to fetus to newborn to toddler to young girl/boy to adolescent to young man or young woman, to middle-age and to old age. Through every stage of human life, this is the same human being, the same life, the same individual, the very same uniquely personalized human identity.

        • Tim Lambert

          Cut and paste much? If you can’t even make your own argument, maybe debate isn’t for you.

          • Rita, Canberra

            You’ve guessed wrong, Tim. It’s no cut and paste. It’s common knowledge in common language.

          • Tim Lambert

            Really? You know that a good Christian wouldn’t lie, right?
            Follow the links to your talking points.
            https://goo.gl/KIcQVy
            https://goo.gl/FC9s72
            https://goo.gl/4JyHmm

          • Rita, Canberra

            You’ve proved my point. Tim. This truth is common knowledge in common language–not cut and paste. It’s the truth.

          • Tim Lambert

            Hardly. What I have shown is that you have taken someone else words verbatim, copied and pasted them as your own, when they are not your words or your ideas.

            This is simply plagiarism and to argue otherwise demonstrates that you are either a liar or an idiot.

            When you post online, the words and ideas should be your own. If you are incapable of making your own arguments then you are simply posing as someone with such an ability. If you can’t make your own argument then quit wasting the time of those of us who are engaged in honest debate.

          • Christian Chiakulas

            Holy shit Tim, that was BRUTAL. Kudos. XD

          • Rita, Canberra

            Nonsense! Universal truths are in the public domain. This truth that through every stage of human life, from conception to death, a human being is the same human being, the same life, the same individual, the very same uniquely personalized human identity has appeared ad nauseam over many years (I first used it in 2012) and is now a meme for legitimate use in debates such as this.

            I can understand that you turn to false claims of plagiarism vecause you cannot find a counter-argument to my statement:
            At fertilization, a new human life comes into being–no longer a generic bunch of cells but new life distinctively different from either the sperm or the egg. This new human being is now the child of identifiable parents, a child with a personal DNA now different from that human being’s mother to whom the egg belonged and from that human being’s father to whom the sperm belonged. This tiny new human being is not a potential human being but rather a unique new human being with potential—the potential to grow with singular continuity through each stage of human life–from zygote to embryo to fetus to newborn to toddler to young girl/boy to adolescent to young man or young woman, to middle-age and to old age

          • Tim Lambert

            https://goo.gl/NyWsPc

            Where to begin. There is an old adage, that one should do to others as they would have you do unto them.

            I think that I speak for the others in this community when I say that we are not interested in attempting to communicate with someone who considers the exchange of memes to be communicating.

            You may not be aware of this, but this entire post is being written live, in responce to your reply. None of it has been taken from the writings of someone more intelligent and articulate than myself.

            Now you claim that you have been parroting this meme for years and that you have never been called out for your blatant plagiarism before. That doesn’t mean that it is correct or acceptable behavior.

            We here certainly would not reply to you using canned statements copied and pasted from the web. I understand that your marching order are simple, “Go to the comments section on the Friendly Atheist blog and paste this text and when they reply paste this second text and so on and so forth.”

            We’ve seen the supposed grassroots campaigns were masses of obedient followers broadcast the same identical message over a thousand separate media outlets.

            But, when you scratch the surface of the message, beneath it is the same thing over and over again, a mindless drone, too brainwashed to understand the significance of the words she is parroting.

            It reminds me of Ryan Bundy trying to wiggle out of paying for his crimes with his “i am an idiot” defence.

            http://goo.gl/OQibNf

            Just writing down these magic words is not enough. It isn’t going to save Ryan and it isn’t going to justify your lack of soul.

            We are perfectly willing to demonstrate that your arguments are flawed and poorly thought out, but first we need to see YOUR arguments, formulated in your own words. We have no interest in arguing with a drone that simply parrots the words it has been fed without understand their significance.

          • Rita, Canberra

            “There is an old adage that one should do to others as they would have you do unto them.”

            This truth, Tim, that through every stage of human life, from conception to death, a human being is the same human being, the same life, the same individual, the very same uniquely personalized human identity is a very old adage–something human beings have understood and accepted over a very long period of time.

            Your speculation that I write under someone’s orders is absurd.

            You just can’t provide rational arguments that address the legitimate points I am making.

          • Never mind the alleged “plagiarism.” The crux of the matter is:
            1. Having human DNA is not the same as being a human person. Being a “person” requires more than mere genes. In any event, science does not concern itself with personhood, which is a philosophical, ethical or spiritual concept.
            2. Even if you want to argue that a fertilized ovum is indeed a fully fledged human “person,” that would not give it the right to stay inside of another person’s body against their will for 9 months.

          • Gary Miles

            He just proved you were a plagiarizing liar, Rita. Now apologize and slink off into the corner.

    • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

      Fertilization is when the sperm and egg combine, but many fertilized eggs do not implant in the womb. I think as many as 30% fail to implant, and are lost. No one knows why this happens – whether only the strongest fertilized eggs implant, or whether the process is more random. This seems to me to shed doubt on the idea that fertilization is the beginning of an individual’s life. If it is, then a third of people die within a day of conception. If you want to view life beginning very early, I think implantation makes more sense.

      • Rita, Canberra

        The natural incidence of the failure to implant has no direct relation to whether or not a new human being comes into existence at fertilization.

        • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

          And you know this how?

          • Rita, Canberra

            Logic, dear Kathleen, pure logic.

          • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

            Rita – I’m trying to engage in good faith to understand other viewpoints. Please do not call me dear, or talk down to me. I don’t see the logic of being sure at what point a new human is created. How could you possibly know this?How could any person? At what point does the spirit join the physical? The joining of sperm and egg, implantation, when a certain number of cells are present? Why do you think it must be conception? What are the steps of the logic involved?

          • Rita, Canberra

            I apologize, Kathleen–I was trying to be facetious and offended you instead. I am sorry.
            Your questions are good ones. I’ll try to answer them.
            The science is very clear now that when an egg is fertilized by a sperm a new human entity comes into being. This new being has a new DNA i.e. different to the mother to whom the egg belonged and different to the father to whom the sperm belonged. Scientists have examined this new entity and determined that it is indeed already a distinctly new human being at the very earliest stage of life.

            Logically the next stage for this new life is implantation. Significant numbers of these new human entities are lost–failing to implant they die. But each one was alive and was for some moments in time vibrantly in existence,
            At every stage of life, there are some human beings who just don’t make it to the next stage. Logically, we know that we can’t say they never existed simply because they didn’t reach that next stage.
            Again, logically, at every stage of life each of us is the same human being–human continuity can be observed and affirmed from one stage to the next–the same human being–and although we cannot identify our spiritual continuity with the same scientific proofs as we use to ascertain in the physical assessment of a new human being–the same spirit–the same essentials–the same essences of a human being that can be recognized as particular to each one of us and distinguishes us spiritually from each other, The spirit of each human being is not measureable by scientific methods which are applicable only to material externalities. But we know and accept many truths which have no material dimensions and yet we have substantial agreement on.

            So what makes people want to deny the humanity of each unique human being at the zygote, embryonic and fetal stages of life?
            Dr. Jerome Lejeune, who did such excellent research identifying unborn children with Downs Syndrome, explained it succinctly: “The genetic makeup of a human being is complete from the moment of fertilization: Not a single scientist doubts it. What some of them want to debate is the amount of respect due to an individual based on her stage of development. If a human being is a half-inch long, does she deserve respect? If she is 20 inches long, does she deserve 40 times more? People who use years and pounds to quantify the respect due to another human being are not well intentioned.”
            No reputable scientist would doubt for one moment that the genetic make-up of that human being targeted to be killed by the abortionist is complete and that this new human entity is growing purposefully towards the next stages of her/his life.

            There is a huge and fundamental difference between the various cells which make up a body (i.e. which are parts of a system), and the complex and coordinated system which is already operational in a single-celled zygote. Looking at this zygote, we can say “this is a separate, fundamentally independent organism” (not independent, of course, in the sense of not needing basic nutrition and a sympathetic environment, but independent in the sense that it is self-directed towards growth, development and maturity). Within this single cell, the polarity is already determined (i.e. the basic poles determining where the head and tail will be!) We can already see a unique human entity. Of course, skin cells are “alive” (excluding the dead upper cells evidently) in the same sense that stomach cells are “alive” and carrying on “life” processes (with all the associated biochemistry). However, no scientist looking at some stomach cells, or skin cells through a microscope, would say “Look at this wonderful human life! Just think, if I place these in a womb, they’ll grow into an amazing and complex human being!” I do suggest that anyone with any doubts on the humanity of the embryo take a good introductory course in embryology. Before answering a moral question about legal protection for unborn children at risk of abortion, we need to answer a simple scientific one – are unborn children human beings?

            If they are not, they will have the DNA of another species. If they are part of the mother, their DNA will be identical to the mother’s.

            But if they are a genetically unique human being (and I know of no reputable scientist who would deny this), then we must deal honestly with the ethical question of when it is right to take another human being’s life.

          • Gary Miles

            There you go, copy/pasting other peoples words again. Don’t you know anything on your own? Can’t you clearly expound on a subject in your OWN words? How stupid do you have to be to just copy/paste other peoples creations?

          • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

            Thank for the really nice reply.
            How I interact with abortion has changed over my life. Thinking about what you said, I realize that I am processing differently, in particular I have gone through a process of including all the people in the equation in a crisis pregnancy decision. First of all, I am uncomfortable with abortion, and wouldn’t have one myself, except in the worst of circumstances. If I were raped and became pregnant, I would want my husband and children to weigh in on what we should do. The other situation where I might abort is a child who has genetic flaws which make life outside the womb impossible – in other words, a baby who can’t survive. I had a friend in this situation, and she chose to abort as soon as possible, to prevent her child from suffering pain. This was a wrenching decision. She ended up not having the abortion: before the doctor could begin the procedure she miscarried her already dead son. She caught him herself. Listening to her I realized I would react the same way she would – I would have a strong desire to spare my child as much suffering as possible.
            So there are reasons I would get an abortion. But I don’t think I can dictate to other people under which circumstances they can get abortions. The decision making is just too personal.
            Another issue which is bound up in abortion is domestic violence. If violence is present in the relationship, it often intensifies when a woman becomes pregnant. A common strategy of abusive men is to not begin abuse until pregnancy is established. In other words, pregnancy makes women more suceptable to abuse, and it also makes escape from an abusive partner much more difficult. I wish our society had better ways to solve the problems of domestic violence – a better safety net would be a start – as well as more parent friendly jobs – but as things stand, women are sometimes in the position of choosing between a pregnancy and safety for themselves and the children they already have.
            I don’t know at what point a pregnancy becomes a person – I feel like this is a mystery that can’t be solved by logic alone – but I do know that the reasons women decide to end a pregnancy are not simple. My own thought is that a pregnancy becomes a human when it has a spirit as well as a physical existence, and who can say when this happens?

          • Rita, Canberra

            You are searching for the truth, Kathleen–and that’s always a good thing, bless you.

            Just one thing that might help in regard to any friends who find they are carrying a child who has been detected to have ‘genetic flaws’ or disabilities: these children while in their mothers’ wombs are not “suffering pain”. Even pro-abortionists like Professor Lachlan de Crespigny admit that the mother’s womb is “the ideal intensive care unit” for the child detected to have disabilities. Unfortunately, de Crespigny uses the effectiveness of the ideal intensive care conditions of the mother’s womb for keeping the child with disabilities comfortable to argue illogically for the necessity to proactively attack and abort the child.

            Genuine medicine always tries to heal, and when further treatment becomes futile, tries to allow patients to die a natural death with the best palliative care we can offer, surrounded by patience, love, respect and infinite tenderness.

            Every unborn child has a right to exist, a right to be born. Every child has the inherent and inalienable right to membership of the human family. That membership is inclusive of all the billions of natural variations of abilities and appearances and personalities and problems. Though we are not endowed with equal abilities, we each have an equal right to be born, a right to be given, before as well as after birth, equal protection of the law against lethal medical interventions.

            Leaving human rights and any form of religious faith aside, I believe deeply that every human life is good, worth having a go at no matter what the estimated calculus of happiness to suffering.

            Too often today suffering is made to seem as synonymous with evil and termination of the life of one who suffers as humane and good. The claim of the abortionists is that they are preventing suffering by preventing births.

            But suffering is part of being alive—it is part of the human condition—and in human solidarity we respond to it with compassion and love —with life-affirming care—not with killing.

      • Actually a live birth is even more rare than that. At least 50% to 60% of fertilized ova never go on to establish a pregnancy (implantation) and of those that do, about 30% are miscarried. So in the natural course of events, roughly 2/3 to 3/4 of fertilized ova never make it.

      • Arbustin

        This happened to me and my wife. As I recall, she got a positive on a home pregnancy test, but when we went to the OBGYN there was no fetal heartbeat. She needed a D&C to remove what had already built up in her uterus. I always wonder whether people like Vladimir consider us murderers.

      • gimpi1

        It’s actually higher. It appears to be higher than 50%, depending on the health of the prospective mother, her nutrition, and other factors. It does appear to be quite random.

    • gimpi1

      Most of what you said is incorrect.

      In fact, a slim majority of fertilized eggs fail to implant at all. That’s why medical science doesn’t consider a woman pregnant until implantation has occurred. After implantation, a significant number of pregnancies abort naturally. DNA is not how you determine life. Viability is.

      A fetus is only a potential life until it can sustain itself. Now, as medical science advances, that point becomes earlier, but medicine does not regard a fertilized egg that failed to implant and was flushed during the woman’s period as “a human life.”

      • Rita, Canberra

        Nonsense! A human “fertilized egg” is a human being at that very first stage of a human life, already alive and active, already in existence –not potentially in existence. That the majority of these tiniest new human beings do not implant is irrelevant to this fact.

        You are correct, however, in saying that medical science doesn’t consider a woman pregnant until implantation has occurred–but this is very different matter to implying that scientists do not recognize a vibrant fertilized egg as the very real beginning of a human not just “potential” life .

        Finally, it is the very nature of the human condition that there are periods in all our lives where we cannot sustain ourselves. Fortunately, in our cases, in the prenatal and postnatal phases of our lives, our mother’s reproductive system and our parents’ care for us as tiny infants has most successfully sustained us as is only natural.

  • Jeff

    Rather than say “Jesus didn’t mention abortion”, it would be more correct to say that the Gospel writers do not record Jesus having mentioned anything about abortion. That may be an indication that he never said anything about it, or it may simply be that whatever he did say didn’t fit into the biographical accounts they were writing about his sayings and doings.

    We do know that the early church opposed abortion. The Didache, one of the earliest Christian writings, says “…you shall not steal, you shall not practice magic, you shall not practice witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is born. ” And, as you may know, the original form of the Hippocratic Oath (5th Century BC) actually mentions abortion as well: “I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion.”

    That’s not to say you must oppose abortion just because the early church and Hippocrates did. But moral objections to abortion are not a new-fangled thing, either.

    • Christian Chiakulas

      I never said they were. As I mentioned, and (speaking candidly) as someone who has been personally affected by abortion, I have struggled with its moral implications as well.

      But the truth is there is no easy answer, and there may not be a “right” or a “wrong” answer. In the face of such uncertainty on either side, positions like Vladimir’s are indefensible.

    • wifather2000

      Did Jesus do his best writing with or without the Crown of Thorns?

  • Frank

    It’s always embarrassing when people try to use the numbers verse to claim God supports abortion. Is a test of faithfulness not support of abortion.

    Meanwhile several thousand innocent, vulnerable unborn children will be killed today mostly for reasons of convenience and comfort.

    • Christian Chiakulas

      So, what, abortion is okay as a punishment…?

      • Frank

        It was a test. Do some study.

        • Christian Chiakulas

          I get that, Frank, but if the woman fails it still results in the death of the baby. So again, I ask, does that mean abortion is okay as a punishment for being unfaithful and then lying about it?

          • Frank

            Once again it’s not an endorsement of abortion. That’s the point. There is no justification for abortion and while this guy may or may not have the right approach, if the reality of abortion offends some people, good. All of humanity should be offended by the realities of abortion.

          • Christian Chiakulas

            You pivoted around my question like a basketball player. Nice!

          • Frank

            We can have a protracted discussion around that Numbers passage. I just wanted to point out that it is in no way a justification for or support for abortion. Saying so just proves one hasn’t put the scholarship needed into it.

          • Christian Chiakulas

            You really like attacking people on “scholarship” and “research” which is odd considering you never have any of your own to argue with.

          • Frank

            You’re the one making fallacious claims.

          • Christian Chiakulas

            No I’m not. I never used that passage to “defend” abortion. I used it to attack opposition to abortion on Biblical grounds. Big difference.

    • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

      The Numbers verse directs a priest, in his office as priest, to give a pregnant woman a drink which may induce a miscarriage. If ending a pregnancy were morally wrong, how could the law of the society contain such a direction? I really don’t understand.
      I also think you do not know much about the dynamics of domestic violence. A common behavior of abusers is to begin physical and emotional abuse only after a woman is pregnant, because she is less free to end the relationship. Abortion is often for reasons of escape, terror and survival, rather than comfort and convenience.

      • Frank

        Yes you don’t understand. That’s obvious. It speaks about a faithfulness test, it’s not in support of abortion.

        I don’t discount abuse, I’d consider that rape. But to suggest that punishing the child by taking its life for someone else’s immoral actions is ok is also morally reprehensible.

        • “to suggest that punishing the child by taking its life for someone else’s immoral actions is ok is also morally reprehensible.”

          Frank, isn’t that exactly what Mosaic Law is prescribing here? It is assuming the child miscarried is not the husband”s, so it is ok. The OT ethical standards for the treatment of children of enemies (a fetus conceived through a wife’s unfaithfulness is the child of one’s enemy) is very murky. Killing the children of one’s enemies was standard fare in OT times, and was done with God’s blessing and instruction (very problematic for those who hold verbal inspiration of Scripture).

          I think one can make a case for caution and restraint of abortion based on a trajectory of the sanctity of life based on the NT, but it is anything but a absolute ban on abortion, and certainly “murder” is not applicable and only muddies the water.

          • Frank

            I disagree but let’s get to the heart of the matter.

            So you believe Jesus is ok with abortion?

          • Let’s go past God’s son and talk about YHWH, Jesus’s Heavenly Father. Did He give Moses these Laws? Scripture says He did. What’s your take on that?

          • Frank

            Answer my question.

          • Jesus does not discuss it, so I can’t answer that. Does he care about children? Yes! Does he talk about aborting a fetus as murder? But you have avoided my question. Please answer.

          • Frank

            Dodged. Expected.

            Answer the question.

          • Odd Jørgensen

            If the woman has a miscarriage, she is to be stoned for adultery, so it is all ok, because reasons…

          • Also note, the penalty for adultery was death, which means if the woman had become pregnant as a result of the adultery, the fetus would be killed along with her.

  • TsukiNaito

    I understand both sides. Abortion is a sad occurrence, and a living being is killed. However, sometimes it’s necessary. And it’s not for anyone else to tell a woman whether or not she’s wrong when she’s probably going through the worst time of her life.

    • Odd Jørgensen

      Someone not being born is not even close to someone being killed.

      • TsukiNaito

        Living cells are living cells. There’s no way around that. People who try are kidding themselves.

  • liberalinlove

    His message and those pictures should have o affect on people who do not believe there is anything wrong with abortion.

  • I am surprised no one has commented on the most obvious fact of the Numbers 5:21-22 passage. The woman is absolutely under the control of men. Her body is “owned” by both her jealous husband and the priest. Her body is not “her own.” As a human being I dislike the concept of “abortion on demand,” but as a man I feel it is not my place to continue millennias of men controlling women. If laws need to be passed to limit abortion in some way, I think they need to come primarily from those who are affected most, women themselves.

    The majority of evangelicals who oppose abortion, oddly enough, support Capitol Punishment. Let’s think about this for a minute. On the one hand, we have a fetus that is not viable yet, a collection of cells with potential, yes but not actualized. On the other, we have a fully realized, living human being, who has taken the life of someone else. We recognize this as murder and that this person is a danger to society. Mind you, this murderer is no longer a threat to society, they are in jail. Yet, conservatives demand we murder him or her to achieve “justice.” Conservatives who decry abortions as murder, yet have no qualms about murdering an adult prisoner don’t seem to see the irony and hypocrisy in this. Are they not created in God’s image too? Are they not worth an attempt at rehabilitation? The concept of returning violence with violence is so antithetical to Jesus message on the Sermon on the Mount it is amazing that conservative Christians don’t get it.

    But back to abortion. The Biblical accounts of Israel’s dealings with the children of enemies is profoundly disturbing. And YHWH is attributed with giving them instructions to kill the children of their enemies. The Psalmist says those who dash Babylonian children’s head against the rocks is “blessed.” It is hard to build a consistent, tight argument against abortion from Scripture, as children, like women and slaves, were viewed as the “property” of men. Children were not viewed the same way we see them today. Still, there must be a way to minimize the incredible amount of abortions in the US. But, I feel it is women on both sides of the debat that most need to come together and find solutions. We men tend to let our egos get in the way and argue endlessly!

  • Michael Corey

    So you cherry picked someone who is new to the country and the language and then ran poor theology past him? Wow. I never thought I’d see an actual flesh and blood strawman argument.

    • gimpi1

      Well, perhaps Vladimir, if he has poor command of the English language and a poor understanding of medical science and a poor understanding of differing translations of the Bible and a poor understanding of the realities of sexual assault, should refrain from jumping up and down, yelling “Pay attention to me.”

      Vladimir is uninformed. The person who engaged with him didn’t mock him, but the pointed that out. The answer is not to refrain from engaging the uninformed. It’s for the uninformed to take it upon themselves to become informed, and, frankly, to hold up their demonstrations until they do.There’s something valid in understanding that uninformed opinions often simply aren’t as valid as informed ones.

  • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

    Men who want to preach at female victims of male violence leave me flabbergasted.

    • Exactly why I’ve come to believe it is, indeed, a woman’s choice, not James Dobson’s or even the Pope”s.

  • David Stewart

    I find it interesting that the Christian lefts’ go to argument on just about anything is, “Jesus didn’t talk about it, so it must not be important.” It’s really a very poor and weak argument when you think about it. Furthermore, when one considers the early history of the church in carrying for orphaned, abandoned BABIES that surely would have been ABORTED if today’s modern means, were available, then the Christian lefts’ arguments to justify abortion, especially those who say for any reason, collapses like the house of cards that it always has been.

  • gimpi1

    In his own words, Vladimir doesn’t care about science, the Old Testament, different (perhaps better) translations of a document that he can’t read in the original, other people’s pain, other people’s experiences, reality or facts.

    Vladimir doesn’t care about anything except himself. He may claim he’s out to “save” people, but all he really cares about is himself. He demands people pay attention to him. He bullies and hurts people, and doesn’t give a damn, as long as he’s getting attention. That’s pretty unattractive.