The Bible Supports Abortion Rights... Pro-lifers Must Become Secular
The Bible supports abortion-rights, just as it supports slavery and the
subjugation of women.
On USENET in 1987, Steve Manes in New York City asked pro-life student John Morrow at Rutgers in New Jersey, what would you do if this were a hundred years ago, and people didn't know DNA from RNA?
John replied, "Gee Steve, I don't know. What would you do if this were the Middle Ages and some crazed crusaders were about to burn you at the stake as a heathen?"
John insisted, "We progress. We learn new things," and went on to say it was the American Medical Association which called for legislation to protect the unborn after "quickening," when fertilization was determined to be the starting point of individual life.
Why can't pro-lifers look at animal rights that way?
Why are they an obstacle to social and moral progress when it comes to animals, they way they resisted the abolition of human slavery?
Like the abolition of slavery, the emancipation, of women, birth control, the sexual revolution, LGBT rights, etc., prenatal rights, like animal rights, really are a progressive cause.
Do human zygotes, embryos, and fetuses have the same moral status, personhood, or rights as infants and toddlers?
Tamar's pregnancy was discovered three months after
conception, presumably because it was visible at the time.
This was proof that she was sexually active. Because she was a widow, without a husband, she was assumed to be a prostitute. Her father-in-law, Judah, ordered that she be burned alive for her crime.
If Tamar's fetuses had been considered to have any value whatsoever, her execution would have been delayed until after their birth.
There was no condemnation on Judah for deciding to take this action.
Exodus 21:22-24. If two men are fighting and one injures a pregnant woman and the fetus is killed, he shall repay her according to the degree of injury inflicted upon her, and not the fetus.
Author Brian McKinley, a born-again Christian, sums up the passage as:
"Thus we can see that if the baby is lost, it does not require a death sentence-it is not considered murder. But if the woman is lost, it is considered murder and is punished by death."
Halacha (Jewish Law) does define when a fetus becomes a nephesh (person), a full-fledged human being, when the head emerges from the womb. Before then, the fetus is considered a "partial-life"; it gains full human status after birth only.
The Babylonian Talmud (Yevamot 69b) states that: "the embryo is considered to be mere water until the fortieth day." Afterward, it is considered subhuman until it is born.
Rashi, the great 12th century commentator on the Bible and the Talmud, states clearly of the fetus 'lav nephesh hu -- it is not a person.'
The Talmud contains the expression, "the thigh of its mother," i.e., the fetus is deemed to be part and parcel of the pregnant woman's body.
This is grounded in Exodus 21:22. That biblical passage outlines the Mosaic Law in a case where a man is responsible for causing a woman's miscarriage, which kills the fetus.
If the woman survives, then the perpetrator has to pay a fine to the woman's husband. If the woman is killed, the perpetrator is also killed. This indicates that the fetus has value, but does not have the status of a person.
There are two additional passages in the Talmud which shed some light on abortion. They imply that the fetus is considered part of its mother:
One section states that if a man purchases a cow that is found to be pregnant, then he is owner of both the cow and the fetus.
Another section states that if a pregnant woman converts to Judaism, that her conversion also applies to her fetus.
Some Jewish authorities have ruled in specific cases. one case involved a woman who becomes pregnant while nursing a child. Her milk supply would dry up. If the child is allergic to all other forms of nutrition except mother's milk, then it would starve.
An abortion would be permitted in this case, a potential person, would be justified to save the life of the child, an actual person.
Polls have found up to 90% of American Jews supporting abortion rights.
The New Testament is more permissive than the Old!
Jesus repeatedly upheld Mosaic Law (Matthew 5:17-19; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 16:17) as did his apostles (see chapters 10, 15, and 21 of Acts). Paul, however, not only claims Mosaic Law has been abolished, but claims Jesus said to him three times, "my grace is sufficient for thee" (II Corinthians 12:8-9).
Some Christians misinterpret this verse to mean they're free to do as they please--ignoring the rest of the New Testament altogether!
The late Reverend Janet Regina Hyland (1933-2007), raised Catholic but went on to become an evangelical minister, a vegan, and author of God's Covenant with Animals (it's available through PETA), told me they're quoting Paul out of context.
Paul, she observed, was very strict with himself:
"But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." (I Corinthians 9:27)
Regina Hyland said this verse indicates it's possible for one to lose one's salvation (a serious point of contention among born agains!).
Christians focusing solely on II Corinthians 12:8-9 MUST be quoting Paul out of context, because otherwise it doesn't make any sense:
Paul repeatedly attacked sexual immorality.
"This is God's will—your sanctification, that you keep yourselves from sexual immorality, that each of you learn how to take his own wife in purity and honor, not in lustful passion like the gentiles who have no knowledge of God." (I Thessalonians 4:3-5)
"Make no mistake," warned Paul, "no fornicator or idolater, none who are guilty either of adultery or of homosexual perversion, no thieves or grabbers or drunkards or slanderers or swindlers, will possess the kingdom of God." (I Corinthians 6:9-10 [NEB])
Paul told the gentiles to train themselves for godliness, to practice self-control and lead upright, godly lives (Galatians 5:23; I Timothy 4:7; II Timothy 1:7; Titus 2:11-12).
He instructed them to ALWAYS pray constantly. (I Thessalonians 5:17)
Paul wrote further that women should cover their heads while worshiping, and that long hair on males is dishonorable. (I Corinthians 11:5-14)
According to Paul, Christian women are to dress modestly and prudently, and are not to be adorned with braided hair, gold or pearls or expensive clothes. (I Timothy 2:9)
On the one hand, Paul gives moral instructions throughout his epistles, often warning that those who fail to observe them will not inherit the kingdom of God.
And on the other hand, "three times...'my grace is sufficient for thee'..." means you can do whatever you want?!
Why then did Paul give the moral instructions in the first place?
Secular pro-life arguments are religion-neutral and thus applicable to everyone, including
atheists and agnostics.
The pro-life movement ALREADY HAS the support of organized religion.
Instead of preaching to the choir, i.e., wasting time with religion, pro-lifers should focus on embryology and prenatal development, DNA, RNA, etc. to make their case to our mainstream secular society.
Conservative Christians are quick to condemn anyone preaching a false gospel! text
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