A few weeks ago, I wrote about my struggle with the narrow categories of “pro-life” and “pro-choice”. You can read that post here. I received some comments from people who questioned how I could take God’s command to choose life seriously if I were in favor of legal abortions.
And this weekend, I received a message on Twitter from one of my good friends from my trip to the Middle East in 2006. He and I don’t agree on much theologically, or probably politically either, but I am so thankful for his friendship. We had great fun and spirited discussions on our Middle East tour, and I am thankful for those opportunities that bring me into dialogue with people who hold very different views than I do. He wrote:
I’m really not trying to pick a fight, I have a legitimate question: How do you reconcile a biblical understanding of the sanctity of human life, with a strong pro choice view? I just can’t do that and I’m respectfully asking from a biblical worldview perspective how do you?
So, I’ve been thinking about how to reply to his question, but I can’t do it in 140 character twitter posts.
Let me start with this. I did “choose life”. I have been pregnant three times, and I carried all three of those pregnancies to term. I am thankful for each of those lives who are making this world a better place by their presence.
But I only had three pregnancies because I had access to birth control, and because my husband had a vasectomy after our last son was born.
So my husband and I were able to choose when I got pregnant (more or less, you know what I mean–we were able to choose when we did not want to get pregnant might be a better way of saying it).
And it made me realize that abortion should not be seen as the primary issue. Abortion is a secondary issue. Conception is the primary issue.
Here is a great article about that.
(Will wait for you to read the article….elevator music is playing….welcome back).
My point on being pro-life and pro-choice is if we provided birth control to women who want it, abortion rates would go down. If we provided economic and social policies that helped women rise out of poverty, abortion rates would go down.
This same friend who asked the above question, shared a link to this article about “gendercide”, or the infanticide in cultures where female children are not valued. And I agree with my friend that it is appalling that in this world today people are choosing to abort female fetuses, or are killing female infants. Appalling. No two ways about it.
But abortion and infanticide are, once again, not the primary issue. They are the secondary issue. The primary issue is a culture that doesn’t value women, and states it so clearly that it creates a world where killing female babies seems a good idea.
I believe in this coming election in the United States that we had better pay attention to how the candidates speak about women.
Do they need people to hand them “binders full of women” so they can find qualified women to hire?
Do they think that women’s bodies can prevent “legitimate rape” because our uteruses can “shut the whole thing down”?
How do they feel about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009?
Are they pushing for legislation that would require spousal consent before abortion? This seems to me to be less about “choosing life” and more about finding ways to keep women subjected to men. The vast majority of women are in conversation with the fathers of their fetuses, of course. Everything about this disturbs me.
Or, and here’s a new addition to the seemingly never ending list of politicians to avoid, there is the Senate candidate who claimed that pregnancies that resulted from rape were what “God intended.”
Issues that affect women affect us all, men and women, boys and girls. So pay attention to what the candidates say about these issues.
And the reality is, if we want to “choose life”, we ought to be embracing policies that set aside our own personal moral choices (ie, “people shouldn’t have sex outside or marriage”) and we should embrace the idea that conception is the sacred act. How can we create a culture where all of the babies who are conceived are wanted, loved, and valued?
Before abortion was legal in this country, women still had abortions. Women subjected their health and their lives to prevent pregnancies they didn’t choose. This all happened before my time, and if it happened before yours as well, I invite you to read about Margaret Sanger.
If we make abortion illegal again, as the Republican Party leadership is vowing to do, it will not make abortion go away. It will only endanger the health of the desperate women who subject themselves to desperate measures.
Because abortion is the secondary issue. Conception is the primary issue.
And for those of us who claim that “choosing life” is a Biblical instruction, we need to attend to that primary issue.
We need to educate our daughters and our sons about birth control and about what it means to be in sexual relationships.
We need to make sure women have access to birth control.
We need to help women rise out of poverty so that economics don’t get in the way of their desire to choose life.
We need to value women. From equal pay in the work place, to infanticide across the globe, the devaluing of women does not help us “choose life”.
My friend’s question was also about Biblical views. And in addition to the Biblical instruction to choose life, I look to the Biblical instruction to care for the widow and the orphan. I look to the way Jesus treated women with respect and showed their value. I look to the role women played in the Book of Acts, as early leaders of the church.
So, to the people who left comments on the first post, and to my friend who asked the question, I’m not sure if I have answered it, but this may be the best I can offer on a Monday.
35 thoughts on “False Dichotomies, Cont….”
As a woman with bipolar disorder, and a daughter with bipolar disorder, pro-choice or pro-life isn’t as black and white as it is for most reading this post. I wasn’t as sick as I am now when I gave birth to two amazing beings, but had I been, I can only imagine ending my life in suicide, or, their lives being horrendous because of medications I may have taken. They can give you a pretty high statistic now of what will happen to the child if you take a plethora of medications during pregnancy, and sometimes that’s an extremely difficult choice to make. And I’ve yet to meet another mother who’s been called to the E.R. only to find her daughter on life support because she’s attempted suicide, twice. It’s just simply not as black and white as most make it. For some, the choice is hideous, and has nothing to do with birth control. It has to do with survival.
@Pollypinks- I completely understand that. Stories such as yours and the heartbreaking assertion my partner makes that he is ‘living in hell every day’ as someone with both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia has prompted us to seek either a tubal ligation for me or a vasectomy for him. Bless you and remember there are always other people fighting the good fight to keep on going ❤
I am Marci’s friend mentioned in the above post. I appreciate her friendship as well. I think she is bright, sincere, and a genuinely fun woman…
But Marci, you did not answer my question. You and I agree that there are more complex issues in society, women’s rights, access to Birth control, et cetera, but my question is this… As Christians, I think we both agree that God gives us a mandate to bring justice to the earth, to set right what is wrong with the world. Part of that mandate is to protect the innocent and to help those who can’t help themselves. I think we would both agree on that? Therefore, how can you support a position that doesn’t protect the most innocent lives among us? Unborn babies cannot defend themselves, and they are being fearfully and wonderfully made by the hand of God. When Paige was pregnant I remember the first time Emery Anna got hiccups, still in the womb, but Paige’s stomach was bouncing because of our precious child’s little hiccups. Whenever she gets hiccups today (almost 9 months old) I think about her as an unborn baby. Before we had Emery Anna we unfortunately had a miscarriage. It wasn’t an unfortunate cellular mishap, it was a death, we lost a child and it was heartbreaking even though Paige was only about 10 weeks pregnant at the time. My point is, in a just society, that life should be protected.
If we were to have a terrible world war that threatened US safety, I would want to go and fight not first to protect my country, but to protect my wife and my daughter. Emery Anna is so young and so innocent she needs me to protect her.
While I understand pregnancy is difficult for women (Paige was sick for 9 months). Adult women are not helpless, and even if that woman is not ready to be a mother there are options for her. The adoption lines are endlessly long today.
So back to my original question…
How can someone, who says they believe the bible, who is a justice loving, God fearing pastor, defend a position that does not protect the lives of the most innocent and most helpless among us? And how can you do this biblically?
Marci, once again you’ve articulated so well the issues at hand. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Thanks for your thoughts Marci! I’m so glad I found your blog! Have you read Half the Sky yet?? If not, please do! It addresses these very issues on a global scale. I wrote a response to it here last year when this book rocked my world: http://whisperingstreets.blogspot.com/2011/10/women-hold-up-half-sky.html
Thanks everyone. And Jason, I would like to hear your comments to my thought that abortion is the secondary issue, not the primary one. Do you not see my point there?
I agree that defending the defenseless is important, which is why I think conception ought to be the primary focus of our efforts. Let’s make sure that people who don’t want to conceive, don’t conceive.
And while I do agree with you that adoption is, in many cases, a good solution that should be utilized more often, i do not think it is fair to say that “adult women are not helpless” as a generalization about the reasons women might seek abortion.
When I had my unplanned pregnancy in college, I was fortunate that I was healthy, that my family was not going to disown me, that I wasn’t going to lose a job, and that I was not in fear of the man who fathered my child. But I don’t think any man, no matter how sympathetic, can understand what it is to be a woman making those choices.
I promise I am trying to answer your question! Thankful for your response.
You are right on as usual, Marci. Unlike you, I am old enough to remember the days before abortion was legal. As a high school student, nursing student and later as a young nurse in the gynecology department of a university hospital, I heard stories and saw results of the actions of desperate women. No man has the right to tell any woman what she can and can’t do with her body,
Marci, I do not disagree that all of these issues are related (conception, abortion, equal pay for women, access to birth control, etc.) however, I do think they can be talked about separately. So before we move on to conception which has to do with birth control, sexual ethic, the responsibility of men, and several other layers let’s finish this singular conversation on abortion. What I am saying is this… As Christians can we really defend a position that does not protect the most helpless and most innocent of lives?
I would love to talk about conception, birth control, etc. and where those issues rank. But for now, I would love to hear how you defend your view on this singular issue.
Thanks, Jason. That is helpful.
On this singular issue, I would say that abortion is wrong.
BUT, (and you knew there would be a ‘but’, didn’t you), I don’t believe abortion is ever a singular issue.
In other words, in the abstract, I agree that abortion is not the way we should go. But abortion is never abstract for the women facing that decision.
Abortion is always connected to the rest of the woman’s life, her family situation, her economic livelihood, her health, her relationships, etc.
So to comment on abortion in the abstract, as if it weren’t connected to a million other things, is not real or helpful for the women facing the issue.
And I do not believe our Christian faith calls us to care about issues in the abstract more than we are to care for the people who are dealing with those issues.
I remember thinking about what to do when I found out I was a pregnant teenager. I will never forget it, as long as I live. I was thankful abortion was not the decision I felt I needed to make. I was thankful it was my choice. And I was forever full of sympathy for any other woman who felt that it was her best choice.
Marci – well articulated. Christian ethics are should never be decided in a vacuum, and we all often forget that in our theological debates.
This is a helpful conversation Marci.
So in the abstract we both agree that abortion is wrong, not God’s way, sinful.
Obviously real life doesn’t take place in a vacuum I am certainly not suggesting that. But considering absolute right and wrong is helpful in helping us determine situational right and wrong.
So abortion is wrong, taking the innocent life of a baby is wrong.
What circumstances make this right?
To me the pro choice position says:
It is better to allow women to choose whether or not they want to kill the baby that is growing in their womb than it is for the government to protect the innocent?
How am I wrong on this?
I know that pregnancy is very difficult for women. I know that an untimely pregnancy can lead to a woman having to take a break from school, endure embarrassment, and undergo great discomfort but is any of that worth a life?
I am grateful that you chose life. I can’t imagine how much duress you must have been under as a teen being pregnant. I have talked to several women who had an abortion when they were younger women. I have never, ever, talked to a woman or heard of a woman that is proud of what they did or glad that they did it. They all regret that decision.
Wouldn’t it be be a better to have a society that protected these young women from a horrible mistake that haunts them the rest of their life and protects the children in their womb?
I don’t know that I agree with your premise that a concept of “absolute right and wrong” is as helpful to me as it is for you. You took my comment and took it to a position I cannot support. Because the idea we could determine which circumstances are okay and which are not suggest that you and I (or congress or whoever) are better judges of what a woman is going through than that particular woman is herself.
While I know you to be a caring and compassionate man, hear me lovingly say to you that you will never know what it is like to be pregnant. Never. You just can’t, Jason. To say that you “know” it is difficult for women is problematic for me. You can imagine. You can be sympathetic. You can be empathetic and caring. You can be a part of the conversation. But it is not the same thing as knowing how it feels to be pregnant.
I am not interested in declaring you right or wrong. I trust that some day, we will both encounter the Divine and have a whole lot of things made clear. But to me, the “life” of a fetus doesn’t automatically trump the life of the woman who is pregnant.
I know a number of women who, while sad they had to make that decision, are still glad that it was the decision they made. I’m not sure that a woman would feel safe confessing that to you, once she knew your “absolute” views on the sinfulness of abortion. How could she admit that to you without fearing judgment?
As an aside, even though I might disagree with you about when “life” begins, I do believe that those aborted cells and fetuses are always held in the sheltering and loving presence of God. in other words, what reason do we have to worry? If you believe they are fully human lives at 7 weeks or whenever, then wouldn’t you also believe that God cares for them as much as he cares for you and I?
First of all you misquoted me. I did not say I know what pregnancy is like. I said I know pregnancy is hard, like I know this fact. Your misquoting is unfair. Of course, I do not know what it is like to be a woman.
In terms of encountering the divine, I believe we have encountered God on this one and He has made this clear. Which is why I am fighting to protect those innocent children.
Ultimately, this has to come down to when life begins.
If you believe life begins at conception then you believe that an abortion is a woman choosing to murder an innocent life.
If you do not believe life begins at conception you will have to take on virtually the entire scientific community, present and past.
Again, I realize an untimely pregnancy is very difficult for a woman but does this justify the taking of innocent life.
Again, the reason I am so passionate about this is that I believe God has made this ethic clear and I am fighting for children, especially female children. I have read that 40% more baby girls are aborted than baby boys.
Considering that stat alone, pro life is clearly the more pro female position, am I wrong?
I am not trying to anger you. I am just presenting facts on a very important issue that I believe the Christian community should be united on. Since Roe v Wade 50 million American lives have been taken with no government protection. I believe this is a violation of the right to life that the Declaration of Independence so clearly guarantees.
I didn’t mean to misquote you, Jason. My apologies.
It seems we are not going to agree on this.
I’m not angry about it. But I’m not really sure there is further value in talking about it. We see the issue very differently. I’m thankful you are so confident in your beliefs. They just are not the same as mine.
The scientific community does not say that life begins at conception. Life forms so small as tiny cells do not merit balancing with the life of an adult human being trying to live life responsibily. A responsible person wants for their child or children to have full complete lives with good homes and food and a nurturing environment and the many important healthy opportunities that children need to become responsible adults. When a person or persons cannot provide even a modicum of these things children need, then it is appropriate and responsible not to have that child. God in Jesus Christ tells us to love and serve others and not to become their judges. That role is to be left to God. That is how I see the greatest commandment, Love one another and serve others.
Okay, Jason. I’ve thought about it some more. (and calmed down–always helpful) And I guess my question to you would be that since you do take God’s command to choose life seriously (which is a good thing) why should the emphasis be on making abortion illegal?
Because women will still have abortions whether or not it is legal.
Why wouldn’t your emphasis be on all of those other factors we have mentioned? And I guess when I mean “you”, I am also referring to the broader Christian community that so actively campaigns against abortion.
For example, since studies show that preventing unwanted pregnancies through easier access to birth control brings the abortion rate down, why don’t anti-abortion Christians support making contraception easily available?
When abortion is an “absolute” moral issue for people, taking a stance of “it is wrong, end of story” without then actively seeking policies that would make abortion unnecessary doesn’t make sense. It becomes empty rhetoric that doesn’t cost the speaker anything.
I agree we should choose life. Which is why the overturning of Roe V Wade is not where I put my religious values to practice. Advocating for women, for children, for birth control, for increased access to education and health care all seem better ways to choose life in ways that might actually make a difference.
Jason believes life begins at the point of conception.I respect that belief although it is not mine -two cells joining provide only the potential for life.The key point however is that it is a belief,not a proven indisputable fact.Nothing wrong with that ,but it is not balck and white.
If a young pregant woman,having examined her conscience and circumstances, decides that a termination is the least worst option,I gather that you would provide her with succour and support.Jason writes above that he would consider her a sinful murderess.I find this a cruel judgement,lacking in compassion and understanding.
I concur totally that the optimum way to reduce abortion is to reduce unwanted pregnancy in the first place ,through the methods you set out.
Dan and Georgia.
With all due respect it is undeniable that life begins at conception. Show me any reputable scientific study that does not affirm that. To say that a human zygote is not life is to have little understanding of DNA, cell division, and the processes of life.
If a single celled organism as complex as a human zygote were found on Mars the scientific community would clearly announce that life had been found on other planets, they would not say the potential for life had been found.
That is what makes embryonic life so amazing the DNA complexity found in a human embryo is as complex as it is in a 5 year old child or 75 year old man. My daughter who is 9 months old now is molecularly just as complex now as she will be when she is 16, 46, and 86… Human life is fascinating when you really understand it. Again, I say this with all due respect but I challenge you both in your understanding of biology. Just three weeks after conception (which is before most abortions occur) the baby’s heart begins to beat, how is that not life?
Life that should be protected.
Marci. To your points…
I don’t disagree with your ideas.
I believe abortion is wrong (as you do)
I believe stealing is wrong (as you do)
I believe murder is wrong (as you do)
I believe that BEST way to stop theft or murder or abortion is prevention. I believe in education, I believe in the public school system, I even believe in educational public broadcasting (I do think Bill Moyers could go) I believe in advocacy programs, I believe in abstinence (the Biblical sex ethic), and I believe in contraception…
And because prevention is more effective I spend most of my time and energy working for prevention. In fact I am just coming from a luncheon where I am working with other pastors in our community to begin a program wherein public school students will have the opportunity to take a class where they will be taught God’s word, the Bible…
But I still believe (I am guessing as you do) that theft, and murder should be illegal, that our society should prosecute thieves and murderers. Do people who are guilty of these crimes have reason for these crimes? yes. Which is why I believe in prevention. But it is still a crime, we believe these things are crimes because we want to protect people’s property and we want to as a society protect life, therefore we prosecute anyone who takes life.
If abortion is the taking of human life, which science overwhelmingly tells us it is wouldn’t we have a more just society that did not allow for the taking of that life?
Would people still seek abortion? Of course, just like people still sell drugs, and steal, and murder despite those things being illegal. I am just talking about pursuing justice in our society, justice that as Christians we should desire to reflect the Kingdom of Christ.
Thanks for your comments, Jason.
In terms of abstinence based education, I believe that can be a piece of education in religious families. I am not a fan of religious groups going in to public schools to teach that. And I think that religious or no, sex education needs to provide education about what happens when you have sex.
I was a good church kid who never spent a minute thinking about birth control because “true love waits”. It isn’t anyone’s fault but mine, I suppose, that I didn’t get myself better educated. But in the moment, “true love waits” wasn’t the info I needed. I needed to know about contraception.
And as an aside, the abstinence model I was given also meant that had I wanted to talk about birth control with anyone, I don’t know who I could have spoken to without fear of judgment. If ‘good girls’ wait, then what space was there for me to ask my questions?
The over riding moral judgment around women’s sexual behavior is yet another piece of this puzzle. Shouldn’t it wake up the church and cause us to change our rhetoric when we realize that the only category of women for whom abortion is on the rise is evangelical women? If we’ve created a culture where their fear of judgment is stronger than their dislike of abortion, that is a real problem, and it will not be solved by abstinence only curriculum. (I’m not saying you are suggesting abstinence only education, but many people are).
And I think plenty of people, including me, believe that while life may begin at conception, that doesn’t mean it is viable at conception. It also doesn’t mean that the cluster of cells that are on their way to become life are worthy of more care and concern than the lives of the women who are pregnant.
Thankful for the way you are working in your community.
I don’t disagree with anything you just said about the church being judgmental etc. We can agree that we have a very self-righteous, judgmental church culture. But then I think most people are self-righteous and judgmental. I know just as many “liberals” who think conservatives are “idiots” as vice-versa. So should we be striving toward humility and compassion in the church culture, and in every other culture? Certainly.
My original question had to do with the Bible. It is clear in scripture that the Biblical sexual ethic is abstinence. Sex was created by God for a man and a woman in marriage. As a Christian, teaching the Bible, I would expect you to teach that as God’s ideal. If we our society held to that ethic this discussion would be all but null and void.
But we live in a fallen world so we have to deal with these things.
Thus, you are forced to weigh morality.
I am putting a high weight on protecting life and I believe that any human life is viable.
When you begin using the viability argument you go down a very slippery slope. It was the viability argument that led to the holocaust, and to slavery. I am not saying you are defending the holocaust I am warning you that the same sort of viability of human life argument has led to some horrible things and I would argue that 50 million aborted babies since Roe v Wade is also horrible.
When does the baby become viable?
When his heart begins to beat? Well then most babies aborted are viable
Should we allow for sex selection abortion? Is a baby not viable because of sex? Is that the mother’s choice. (Note that most sex selection abortions lead to the killing of female babies)
Should we allow for disability abortion? Is someone who is mentally handicapped not viable?
Do you see the issue here? God didn’t intend for life to be so complicated, this is why for centuries and today science does not recognize a viability argument for establishing when life begins. Life begins when life begins at conception. Any other argument is political, or given to justify the taking of life…
I don’t think abstinence is a biblical model, actually. Or it certainly is not the dominant one. There are plenty of illustrations of sex outside of marriage (and ‘marriage’ is another thing that I do not think has a clear biblical model either, but that is another story).
There may be many good reasons why we teach abstinence, but a claim of biblical imperative doesn’t really work.
Because the idea of viability is so tricky, I think it is even more important for us to not treat it as black and white.
And to your early comparison of abortion to murder and robbery, those two are things that any of us could do. We are right not to do them of course.
But men can’t get abortions. It is not a choice men will ever face.
And so for men to declare so cleanly that women are murdering babies when it is a scenario that men will never directly face, is troubling to me. It goes back to my earlier comment about empty rhetoric. For me to say “never” do something that I couldn’t do in the first place seems hollow.
So I think that men can claim that they will never have sex unless they plan to procreate. But I don’t think they can pass moral judgment on an issue that will never be a choice they have to make.
I am glad you jumped back into this very important discussion. We are sharing ideas which is important in our world. We can still love each other and disagree on very important issues.
1. Show me in the Bible how sex within marriage is not the Biblical ethic. Using scripture.
2. To exclude men from this debate is to exclude men from a responsibility to children. I am not arguing for pro life because I want to take rights away from women. I am pro life because God calls us to defend the innocent. Do Justice, Walk Humbly, Love Mercy. We are called to protect and serve the widows and the orphans. A child whose mother does not want them to live is a functional orphan, and a victim.
This ultimately is where pro choice and pro life people disagree. You value the choice of the mother great than you do the life of the child. I believe in freedom for the mother, I want to protect her freedoms and choices, but not at the expense of a child’s life.
Abraham–offering Sarah as his sister, sleeping with Hagar, ending up with multiple wives
Jacob–two wives, children with their two slaves
Let’s just start with those two patriarchs
And then marriage…the two illustrations above can also be used.
I’m not saying that the idea of a monogamous relationship between two people is wrong. i think it is a worthy goal and one that I promote and encourage. But I am claiming that American notions of what a “biblical marriage” look like are not based on the Bible. They are based on a lot of things, but the idea of getting married in a church is not from biblical illustration. It is a fairly recent invention, culturally speaking, for women to have any say in their marriage, and for their marriage to not be about property transfers.
Again, your language, Jason, would make me not want to come seek your counsel. “A child whose mother does not want them to live is a functional orphan..” Again, comments like this from men who will never be pregnant really offend me. Comments like that, Jason, really support my argument that men should NOT be making decisions about what women do with their bodies, because it shows that while you have very strong opinions that are based in your Christian faith, your opinions are not grounded in compassion or understanding of the woman who is facing these choices. I would, in all seriousness, request that you would temper that language if a woman ever came to you for counsel. I’m not saying to tell her to get an abortion. Feel free to present a good case for life, which is what I would do. But please don’t call women murderers because they interpret scripture differently than you do and because they make difficult choices about pregnancy different than you think you would, were you to ever get pregnant.
And Jason, I have answered your question about being pro-choice and biblical. It appears that since my answer is not the same as yours, it must therefore be wrong.
I’m not sure I have any more to add to this.
It is very clear in both of those stories that Abraham and Jacob were in sin… Look at the mess that polygamy left them in… That is clear in reading Genesis. I think if anything this is demonstration of the pain that comes when we do not follow what God describes.
I realize that this is a complicated world and I deal with complicated issues all of the time. I certainly agree with your concern about compassion. I certainly would not speak in this setting the same way I would if someone were to come to me, and I hope you would not either.
Lastly, I believe in truth. I believe that God has communicated truth, and honesty with people is ultimately the most compassionate thing that we can do. Truth in love. You and I have a different position on how the Bible is to be read and understood and thus we have different responses to this issue. The hope for this discussion was that we would both seek truth. If we can’t find truth, or say that it doesn’t exist, We will both be pretty lousy pastors.
Jason, it may be very clear to you that Abraham and Jacob “were in sin”, but it does not seem clear to the author(s) of Genesis. On what are you basing that judgment? Your Christian beliefs superimposed on the biblical record? Or some scripture passages I am not aware of?
I don’t claim to have a handle on the Truth. But I certainly am seeking it. I trust that God does know the truth, is the Truth, and so I will leave the determination of it to God, and will seek to live in love and with compassion until we no longer “see through a glass dimly” as Paul states.
Thank you for your thoughts.
I consider that an acorn is not an oak tree.
If a single celled organism were discovered on Mars,I would agree that this was evidence of life.
None of the foregoing concerns sentient human life .We will continue to disagree on when this commences,but please do not describe me as ignorant or scientifically ill-informed.
We are not discussing eugenics here.Conflating this with the subject at hand is a false trail.The US state does not oblige women to abort children due to genetic or racial heriditary,thank God.
I viewed my children as being “in this world” only when they were born and breathing their own air.I did not dare to think of them as living sentient human beings until that moment.If we had lost them when they were viable.i would have grieved for them as I would a child.The early miscarriages were a great sadness,but they were not deaths.
“But then I think most people are self-righteous and judgmental”.Maybe so..All the more reason to possess our own moral architecture and not rely on the judgement of others.If so ,we are not true to ourselves and we are lost.
As Marci suggests,abstinence can be a substitute for ignorance.We might wish the world otherwise,but it has never been so.Young men will continue to have unprotected sexual relations,and young women will get pregnant.Wishing that it were otherwise will not make this go away.There is no excuse for leaving young people in ignorance.
i see a multitude of greys rather than black and white.I will admit that makes my universe much more complicated than yours,but it makes me no less moral -I just have to examine my conscience hard to decide what might be right and wrong.,
If morality were left up to us Dan it would be an impossible task. Fortunately, I believe that God has communicated these things to us in His word. That is where this whole conversation began, I asked Marci, How she reconciled the Bible and a pro choice view? She has yet to answer that initial question.
On Euguenics. When you begin to talk about deciding on when life is viable outside of the idea that life begins at conception, eugenics is where that conversation has gone in the past and still to this day in other parts of the world. That was my warning to Marci (see the above post) I was not trying to change the subject.
Furthermore, you may know much about biology and life science I am not arguing that you don’t, but you disagree with the a world of scientific scholarship when you say that life doesn’t begin at conception. You show ignorance in this claim. If you want to change the terms to call it “viable life” or “life in this world.” That is another conversation.
I was reflecting only that my god provides me with fewer absolute certainties than yours apparently does to you.
I do not see how Marci has not explained her views in the context of her faith.if this leaves you unsatisfied,then so be it.
As a word to the wise Jason,you would do well in discourse to avoid over emotive and/or discourteous language.Neither are helpful or advance your cause.,I will thank you again not to call me ignorant.
Middle aged men proclaiming that they know best how women should treat their bodies leaves me with an overwhelming sense of unease.You have described your views well.
I am pro life.I find myself after this discussion surprisedly grateful to live in a country where abortion is not a political issue;where universal healthcare is available to all,free at the point of delivery,where there are rigid gun control laws;where capital punishment has been abolished,never to return
I take my leave
Thank you Dan. Appreciate your comments from way across the pond and thankful for the way the internet makes the world smaller.
Thank you in turn for the honesty and humanity in your writing.which has helped me further to clarify my thoughts on this complex subject.
Once here.i have also very much enjoyed reading many other entries in your journal.
The internet can indeed remind us how inter-connected we are.
I believe Jesus gives God’s ideal for marriage in Mark 10
5 And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. 6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
10 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
A great resource I would encourage you to read is The Art of Biblical Narrative by Robert Alter. I do not mean this in a patronistic way, it was very helpful for me in unlocking that the author of Genesis did understand the sin of polygamy, etc. The results of these ancient near eastern sins, the Bible speaks to the harm that they bring.
It has been long understood through church history that the biblical ethic for sex is within marriage.
On men speaking for women, I am not trying to speak for women. My hope is to be a voice for the innocent child that cannot be heard.
I am sorry if you took offense to any of my comments, that was not my intent. This was just an honest conversation between two adults about an important issue. These conversations are important for the hope of truth and for the human spirit, we should not have ill will toward each other. I assure you I have none toward you and I hope you have none toward me. I did not mean to be impolite, only to point out the inaccuracy of your comment.
Good discussion all…
Jason ,no offence given or taken.I have enjoyed the conversation
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