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My Take: When evangelicals were pro-choice
The author notes that evangelical Christians were once largely pro-abortion rights.
October 30th, 2012
05:54 PM ET

My Take: When evangelicals were pro-choice

Editor's Note: Jonathan Dudley is the author of "Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics."

By Jonathan Dudley, Special to CNN

Over the course of the 2012 election season, evangelical politicians have put their community’s hard-line opposition to abortion on dramatic display.

Missouri Rep. Todd Akin claimed “legitimate rape” doesn’t result in pregnancy. Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock insisted that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

While these statements have understandably provoked outrage, they’ve also reinforced a false assumption, shared by liberals and conservatives alike: that uncompromising opposition to abortion is a timeless feature of evangelical Christianity.

The reality is that what conservative Christians now say is the Bible’s clear teaching on the matter was not a widespread interpretation until the late 20th century.

Opinion: Let's get real about abortions

In 1968, Christianity Today published a special issue on contraception and abortion, encapsulating the consensus among evangelical thinkers at the time. In the leading article, professor Bruce Waltke, of the famously conservative Dallas Theological Seminary, explained the Bible plainly teaches that life begins at birth:

“God does not regard the fetus as a soul, no matter how far gestation has progressed. The Law plainly exacts: 'If a man kills any human life he will be put to death' (Lev. 24:17). But according to Exodus 21:22–24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense… Clearly, then, in contrast to the mother, the fetus is not reckoned as a soul.”

The magazine Christian Life agreed, insisting, “The Bible definitely pinpoints a difference in the value of a fetus and an adult.” And the Southern Baptist Convention passed a 1971 resolution affirming abortion should be legal not only to protect the life of the mother, but to protect her emotional health as well.

Opinion: Why the abortion issue won’t go away

These stalwart evangelical institutions and leaders would be heretics by today’s standards. Yet their positions were mainstream at the time, widely believed by born-again Christians to flow from the unambiguous teaching of Scripture.

Televangelist Jerry Falwell spearheaded the reversal of opinion on abortion in the late 1970s, leading his Moral Majority activist group into close political alliance with Catholic organizations against the sexual revolution.

In contrast to evangelicals, Catholics had mobilized against abortion immediately after Roe v. Wade. Drawing on mid-19th century Church doctrines, organizations like the National Right to Life Committee insisted a right to life exists from the moment of conception.

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As evangelical leaders formed common cause with Catholics on topics like feminism and homosexuality, they began re-interpreting the Bible as teaching the Roman Catholic position on abortion.

Falwell’s first major treatment of the issue, in a 1980 book chapter called, significantly, “The Right to Life,” declared, “The Bible clearly states that life begins at conception… (Abortion) is murder according to the Word of God.”

With the megawatt power of his TV presence and mailing list, Falwell and his allies disseminated these interpretations to evangelicals across America.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

By 1984, it became clear these efforts had worked. That year, InterVarsity Press published the book Brave New People, which re-stated the 1970 evangelical consensus: abortion was a tough issue and warranted in many circumstances.

An avalanche of protests met the publication, forcing InterVarsity Press to withdraw a book for the first time in its history.

“The heresy of which I appear to be guilty,” the author lamented, “is that I cannot state categorically that human/personal life commences at day one of gestation.... In order to be labeled an evangelical, it is now essential to hold a particular view of the status of the embryo and fetus.”

What the author quickly realized was that the “biblical view on abortion” had dramatically shifted over the course of a mere 15 years, from clearly stating life begins at birth to just as clearly teaching it begins at conception.

During the 2008 presidential election, Purpose Driven Life author Rick Warren demonstrated the depth of this shift when he proclaimed: “The reason I believe life begins at conception is ‘cause the Bible says it.”

It is hard to underestimate the political significance of this reversal. It has required the GOP presidential nominee to switch his views from pro-choice to pro-life to be a viable candidate. It has led conservative Christians to vote for politicians like Akin and Mourdock for an entire generation.

And on November 6, it will lead millions of evangelicals to support Mitt Romney over Barack Obama out of the conviction that the Bible unequivocally forbids abortion.

But before casting their ballots, such evangelicals would benefit from pausing to look back at their own history. In doing so, they might consider the possibility that they aren’t submitting to the dictates of a timeless biblical truth, but instead, to the goals of a well-organized political initiative only a little more than 30 years old.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jonathan Dudley.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Abortion • Catholic Church • Christianity • Evangelical • My Take • Opinion

soundoff (2,844 Responses)
  1. LakeRat1

    These anti-choice zealots just want power, and they have found a great weapon t get it. They don't even respect life; if they did, we wouldn't be so anxious to wield such military power. When are people take their freedom back from these "Talaban" zealots? (They WILL, but the wait is excruciating!)

    October 31, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • Richard

      "Anti choice zealots"

      What slave owners called those who didn't want them to have the "CHOICE" of owning slaves.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  2. miscreantsall

    This discussion will never end.

    The REAL issue is:

    If you are pro-life then YOU and your "organization" MUST be ready to take care of the "unwanted" life. It will be YOUR responsibility and YOUR resources must be used to provide a quality life for the "unwanted".

    Otherwise: mind your own business and stop trying to control other people's lives!

    October 31, 2012 at 6:03 am |
    • Richard

      That's what Hitler said about the Jews.

      But I have a better idea, lets just kill all who we find burdensome.

      What a second that would be you.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Richard

      But I have a better idea, lets just kill all who we find burdensome.

      What a second that would be you.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  3. Richard

    I wonder where did CNN dug up this author.

    I was alive when Roe v Wade became law, while this guy wasn't even an unaborted child yet.

    But Mr Dudley seems full of it.

    There may have been a few back slidden evangelicals who are more interested in being trendy than truthful but virtually all rank and file evangelicals were strongly pro life back then.

    But this guys who looks like he's around 19 assumes because he read a history book by a pro abortionist that he now has a real grasp of the history of this time period.

    Mr wet behind the ears Dudley is a revisionist of the worst kind, one who bends history to make it fit with his ideology.

    And his ideology has been the driving force behind the most mass murders in known history.

    i.e. Lenin, Stalin, Mao and today's butchers of the unborn for birth control.

    Go Johnnie boy, kill.

    And hope you sleep well tonight knowing the that millions of innocent defenseless unborn children are being murdered because of folks like you.

    Lets see what do we call when a big guy picks on a little guy who is innocent and defenseless?

    Oh yeah a bully!

    Sweet dreams....

    October 31, 2012 at 6:02 am |
    • Gaunt

      You contemptable troll. The author makes an evidenced, sources, post regarding the evolution of the principles of abortion over time. You, barely able to wipe the zealous drool from your frothing mouth, insult him at length, insult his apparent age 9which you dont even know) and then compare him to Stalin and Mao. All without making a SINGLE tangible point or actually addressing his arguments or evidence in any way whatsoever.

      For shame.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:09 am |
    • ComSenseWiz

      Before I got married over 20 years ago, I had aborted 5 different fetuses with 5 different women and to this day I don't give it a second thought and sleep like a baby every night. That is in part a function of no longer being affiliated with the Church of Pedophiles (Catholics) or any other fiction (any other religion). I have 2 fantastic kids at this point the oldest of whom attends Stanford. Since both my kids are exceptionally smart, neither will ever be affiliated with the fiction of any religion.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:26 am |
    • Richard

      Gaunt,

      Use all the personal attacks you want, it was my early 20's back during the Row v Wade decision legal debacle happened.

      And to put it kindly the author is cherry picking facts to make a case for the closest to things to genocide American has.

      His thesis that evangelicals were pro death, I mean pro choice, is laughable.

      But then again Joseph Goebbels knew if you kept repeating lies often enough that some people will believe them.

      At least Goebbels and and Hitler picked on adults, whereas you and your leftist buddies pick on the innocent defensiveness unborn.

      And call anyone who disagree you "Trolls"

      October 31, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Richard

      "Before I got married over 20 years ago, I had aborted 5 different fetuses with 5 different women and to this day I don't give it a second thought and sleep like a baby every night"

      ...............Common Sense...................

      Psychopaths never regret their crimes, they're usually proud of them.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  4. Aristocles

    It would be better to let the states decide on abortion and for the liberals to work on preventing situations where someone would seek an abortion to begin with, and far better that abortion, like slavery, simply become something repugnant and unthinkable. Leave the unborn be. Let them live. Stop trying to deny their personhood.

    October 31, 2012 at 5:56 am |
    • Richard

      While I like your idea.

      It is the DNA of the left to murder kill those they don't agree with or find "burdensome"

      They don't want to give up what they see as opportunity to form a "Brave New World"

      October 31, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  5. Menachem

    Gaunt seems to be the modern day version of adolf hitler.

    October 31, 2012 at 5:50 am |
    • Gaunt

      Firstly, Godwin's law. You lose.

      Secondly, yes, I want to make sure the rights of women are respected and not trampled and ignored by the far right's blind ideology. Oh wait, that makes me the exact opposite of Hitler.

      Thirdly, Hitler was fanatically anti-abortion. In 1934, Nazi germany made abortions illegal. In 1940, Hitler imposed the Death penalty on any doctor who performed abortions. The planet has rarely seen such an extreme crusader against abortions as Hitler. You must be a big fan.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:07 am |
    • Richard

      I want the women's of the women protected.

      Unfortunately you don't care about the rights of the unborn.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  6. Nurse

    I support choice. The choice of who I will have intercourse with and when and why. I also believe in living with the consequences of our decisions. I also believe that goverment has no place in the bedroom. Thats why it should not mandate coverage of abortion and contraception. These choices and their consequences should be between two consenting adults not between the goverment and our insurance comapnies. I also believe in human rights. Just as our founding fathers saw that our basic rights derived from God and not from the state. The state recognized some of these God given rights in the Bill of Rights. Abortion is not listed among those rights but was created by Roe vs Wade, which did not recognize God as the source of said right.

    October 31, 2012 at 5:46 am |
  7. Troy

    Not that this is an unimportant issue, but I think WE the people have to figure out. How America is going to contend with much larger issues. We have yet to recover from a recession that almost crashed everything. The housing scandal isn't over. The dirty people on wall street are still robbing people blind without any regulation. Our unemployment rates no one knows for sure what they are. Price gouging on oil prices are incredible. Mismanagment of moeny taken in by the government on all levels in totally out of control. I think these issues are something WE the people need to worry about.

    October 31, 2012 at 5:40 am |
    • Stefan

      1,200,000 deaths per year should be the ONLY issue.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:30 am |
    • Gaunt

      Except in the exceedingly rare and usually emergency cases where an abortion was performed after 24 weeks, there are no such 'deaths'.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:33 am |
    • Richard

      "Except in the exceedingly rare and usually emergency cases"

      This is how slave owners viewed having a choice to do with their slaves as they please.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  8. Jason

    Something to chew on... A human individual is created at conception. At that point in time a female begins carrying her and her mate's offspring. This offspring is unique compared to any other human life ever before conceived. The offspring begins developing from the most simple of forms, a single cell. It doesn't stop developing until the life of this new and unique human cell line has ended. This cell is special in that it is not only a new combination of it's parent's genetic material but also in that each parent donates other cellular components for this new individual life form to begin its development. Every human being has passed on life to one another by giving parts of ourselves to our offspring. Since human cells can only come from other human cells, human beings are all seeded from the same original human cell and we are all connected in a real physical sense by this shared cellular lineage.

    October 31, 2012 at 5:36 am |
    • Gaunt

      Something to chew on: You are wrong.

      No human individual is created at conception. A zingle-celled blob of tissue with no defining charaictaristics is created at conception. between 55 and 65% of all these cells are lost in miscarriages (or 'god abortions). Only at about the 24 week mark, when viability is achieved is there a life form present by strict medical and biological standards. Unique DNA means nothing, you have hundreds of thousands of unique DNA in your body as bacteria, viruses, even cancer cells have unique dna.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:04 am |
    • Rationalintn

      So what's your point? We "share" 75% of our DNA with dogs, and 33% of our DNA with daffodils. So should it be a crime to euthanize unwanted dogs? Should my grandma go to jail for picking daffodils, therefore murdering them?

      October 31, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Wring Twins can arise two weeks after the initial fertilization event, thus nothing is set in stone. There is no "moment". YOU cannot define what pico-second that is.

      October 31, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Jason

      The zygote at the time of conception is 100% its own unique set of "human" DNA. It is a biologically a new "human" cell line that that is set apart from its parents. Comparing "dogs" to "humans" is a not a valid comparison. A dog's DNA is similar to humans because our cells and higher morphological features are very similar, but the differentiation of those cells into the human organism is nowhere near the same. Regardless, even a dog's life begins at conception... To the other point, a single differentiated cell (e.g. a skin cell) is part of an organism but it is not a new organism in itself such as the zygote. The life of the organism started and develops from this single cell and is complete upon the death of this organism in its single cell or mulch-cellular state. This is basic biology and it doesn't take 24 weeks of a "living" cellular organism to be deemed alive by biologist. Abortion is stopping the life of those cells, that organism... Since this is a new human organism, maybe there's an important moral question to be considered. You can argue that only "persons" matter or no hard occurs until they are "aware" but you must not argue that it isn't "alive".

      October 31, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Jason

      I can't read my small screen well. :p
      edits : mulch-cellular = multi-cellular ; no hard = no harm

      October 31, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Richard

      Gaunt,

      You seem to follow in a long line of atheistic leftist who have historically committed the largest mass murders in history.

      Stalin, Lenin, Mao and today's leftist who butcher the unborn for birth control.

      A hallmark of these leftist is using science to commit atrocities against humanity using pseudo science as a defense, (excuse)? for their atrocities

      Hitler did this well to.

      You have his same passion for death.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  9. kirk

    first dude you took that verse way out of context it says the exact oposite of what you said
    second NEVER HAS true evangelicals said abortion was not the killign of a child
    third the bible says god knows you from the womb he in fact formed you there
    fourth not one single thing that this article said has one speck of truth in it but the anti christian mob jumps on it
    and last before you open your pathetic and idiot mouth try reading the scripture in the hebrew with translation
    you will see just how STUPID you look

    October 31, 2012 at 5:27 am |
    • kirk

      we have murdered over 50 million children on the altar of lust
      do you not think that their life has value to god if not your just to dumb to even speak with
      you will face like i will what we say and do in this life be very carefull
      to the non believers i have nothign to say to you for you do not recognize the source of wisdom
      so your words have no value here

      October 31, 2012 at 5:32 am |
    • Gaunt

      This kind of topic certainly does bring the illiterate zealots out from under the sink, doesnt it.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:11 am |
    • Rationalintn

      Who looks stupid? That's a rhetorical question, we already know who looks stupid.

      October 31, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • Richard

      Gaunt is a great example of how leftist ideology has lead to the greatest mass murderers in history.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  10. Richard

    Where did CNN dig up this author.

    I was alive when Roe v Wade and he is full of it.

    There may have been a few back slidden evangelicals who are more interested in being trendy than truthful but virtually all rank and file evangelicals were strongly pro life back then.

    But this guys who looks 19 assumes because he read a book by a pro abortionist that he now has a real grasp of history.

    Mr wet behind the ears Dudley is a revisionist of the worst kind, one who bends history to make it fit with his ideology.

    And his ideology has been the driving force behind the most mass murders in known history.

    i.e. Lenin, Stalin, Mao and today's butchers of the unborn for birth control.

    Go Johnnie boy, kill.

    And hope you sleep well tonight knowing the that millions of innocent defenseless unborn children are being murdered because of folks like you.

    Sweet dreams....

    October 31, 2012 at 5:27 am |
    • Bob

      Actually, the biggest mass murderers in history are religious organizations, especially the Catholic church... with a measure of exptreme torture thrown in. Dare I remind you of the inquisition, the crusades, the witch burnings. I don't fear science and medicine, I fear you religious nuts with your bloodlust in the name of an imaginary deity.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:06 am |
    • LakeRat1

      Fine ! Let's not murder embryos, lets go to war, and kill fully developed people instead!
      Pro-life???

      October 31, 2012 at 6:38 am |
    • Richard

      Rat,

      Yours is the reasoning of a mass murderer.

      Or do you prefer to murder those who can't fight back?

      Some would call that a bully.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  11. ciaopaparazzi

    Hypocrisy is nothing new to Religious Zealots.

    October 31, 2012 at 4:42 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Your gubmint god has quite the appeti*te, Ms Zelly. Checked the balance lately?

      October 31, 2012 at 4:54 am |
    • Richard

      Yes and mass murdering is nothing new to the atheistic leftist

      Ie Lenin, Stalin, Mao and today's abortionist.

      Biggest mass murderers in history, what a great group for you to be in.

      You should be proud.

      October 31, 2012 at 5:31 am |
    • Gaunt

      Stalin wasnt athiest, but trying to teach trolls like you history is a colossal waste of time.
      Much like trying to teach you science.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:15 am |
    • Richard

      Stalin wasn't atheistic.

      Ok. if it makes it feel better about yourself.

      But he still shared your leftist ideology and was a mass murderer like you.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Richard

      Lets see...............

      Troll vs mass murderer?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Richard

      Gaunt,

      I'm a physician who got tired of seeing aborted babies sacking up in the bio-hazard bin at Planned Parenthood clinics.

      Lets compare academic credentials sometime.

      You remind of the brain washed historical leftist militants who used pseudoscience as a cover for murder.

      Hitler did it as well, so don't think I'm just picking on leftist.

      We should dump these cut up mutilated bloodied bodies in huge piles in your front yard with their dismembered arms legs and brain matter spatters all over you.

      While your babbling on about science.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  12. Old White Guy

    Only old white guys have the right to choose what a woman can do with her body!

    October 31, 2012 at 4:22 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Better get your vision checked, old guy. You just dissed some of your female pals at SCOTUS

      October 31, 2012 at 4:30 am |
    • dallas

      Don't women AND men get to make choice when they decide to have intercourse or not. if a woman AND a man choose to have intercourse and that act makes a life, why would just the woman get to decide whether to terminate that life?

      Neither should. We spend amazing effort in this country supporting those who need the most support – elderly, poor, children, etc. Aren't fetus' the most vulnerable? Shouldn't they have the most protection? Why wouldn't more liberal leaning people believe that – they tend to want to care about all other vulnerable members of our society, why are the most vulnerable denied their care?

      October 31, 2012 at 4:36 am |
  13. brad4nyc

    It does not matter what the bible says about anything because it is a book of myths.

    Clearly, god is imaginary.

    October 31, 2012 at 4:17 am |
    • Mopper

      Wow. How original. You must be a born philosopher.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:33 am |
    • Richard

      Spoken like a true atheistic leftist, the ideology responsible for the biggest mass murders in history.

      Now there is real moral authority.

      October 31, 2012 at 5:34 am |
  14. Hawk

    We define human death as the moment when meaningful higher brain functions cease.Thus shouldn't the beginning of human life be defined as when those higher brain functions start working (which is about 6 months)? That is when actual pain can be felt by a fetus. Prior to that, any "pain reaction" is only an unconscious reaction controlled by the spinal cord, and not the brain. It is not actual pain.

    October 31, 2012 at 4:16 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Did you take a poll? The womb is created for the child. When did you usurp power over it? Da mobsters in the gubmint have the power?

      October 31, 2012 at 4:24 am |
    • Nurse

      We define death as when the heart stops beating. There are many 'brain dead' people kept alive here in the US in long term catostrophic care hospitals. The DNA of the fetus is also clearly human. It is also living perfusing tissue. Even if it has no mind it is clearly as human and alive as your fingers and toes. The question comes up if it is a seperate person from the mother. Well, guess what DNA testing shows? Thats right it is human, alive and not the mother. Of course that only counts if you believe in things like DNA, life in perfusing tissue and science as a whole. Flat earthers and those who beleive we never walked on the moon clearly could come up with a diffrent view.

      October 31, 2012 at 5:16 am |
    • Menachem

      Life begins at conception. THAT is the SCIENTIFIC definition. Good enough for me. Abortion is first degree murder, plain and simple.

      October 31, 2012 at 5:46 am |
    • Gaunt

      Please dont lie and call it science. Because science and medicine says quite the opposite. There is no individual human life at conception, because there is no life form present. According to strict and universal definitions of a life form, it requires viability (aka, independent survivability), which the fetus does not gain until 23 or 24 weeks.

      When you lie about what 'science' and 'medicine' believes, you just look foolish and uneducated.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:13 am |
    • David

      First, pain does not have a clinical definition. It is where a patient says it is to the degree that the patient asserts. A 'pain' test for the fetus is nonsense.

      As far as your 'higher brain' argument to life, if you terminate someone in a vegetative state without legal authority, you will be tried for murder. You don't get to argue 'they weren't alive'.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Richard

      Gaunt says

      "Which the fetus does not gain until 23 or 24 weeks"

      Baby steps Gaunt,

      Good to see you now acknowledge that abortions are murder after 23 weeks.

      October 31, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  15. devenw

    I think the Bible would say this in order minimize the hurt suffered because of miscarriage. Abortion wasn't around in biblical times, so what could the bible actually say about it? It all has to do with your moral compass. Does it feel right to you to destroy an unborn child? What I don't understand is the disdain from the left to the right to feel that this is morally wrong. I think science should decide this matter, when does consciousness begin, at that point, it should be strictly forbidden, and is probably the best compromise we could all ever get on this matter.

    As far as Romney, don't vote for him because he is anti-abortion, vote for him because he actually has a clue how to run a business and a government. Vote for him because we gave Obama a chance for hope and change and he gave us divisiveness and somehow even more corruption than Bush even managed.

    October 31, 2012 at 4:08 am |
    • Gaunt

      Abortion most certainly was around in ancient times, it has been cited in historical texts as far back as ancient Assyria and the early dynasties of Egypt. The original Hypocratic oath (470 BC) specifically mentions abortion. In ancient Egypt, not only was abortion around, it was fairly commonplace.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:13 am |
    • Gaunt

      Oh, and there is NO disdain from the left for those who think abortion is morally wrong. Thats why the left tends to be pro choice: if you dont like abortion, then dont have one. Your CHOICE.

      What pro-choicers vehemently oppose is the anti-abortion crowd 's belief that their OPINION is so utterly infallable (despite being against all medical evidence) that they have a right to restrict the rights and freedoms of others, and take away THEIR choice.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:15 am |
    • Your Bartender

      Abortion most definitely was around in Biblical times. The ancient Egyptions firt mention it in 1500 BCE, and classical Greece and Rome both had numerous methods. Generally various noxious drinks were inbibed, and the herbs used have been found to have abortive properties. All of these predate the New Testament, and some date well into the Old Testament.

      Christianity makes no mention of it until well after the Bible was assembled, even though abortion was in Practice in places like Greece for hundreds of years. And Greecewas so much a part of the early Christian experience that many of the first Bibles were in Greek.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:17 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Blah, blah, blah. Just more barbaric excuses. A birthright should not be a game of running the gauntlet. Got that gaunt?

      October 31, 2012 at 4:20 am |
    • Gaunt

      No I dontt 'got that, Anybody. Dismissing actual argumentation and facts might work in your playground, but it wont fly with the adults in the room.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:22 am |
    • Leif

      Of course abortion was around in ancient times.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:22 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Only gaunt has the facts. Bwahahahahaha Ya little usurper and bully.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:33 am |
    • Gaunt

      What are you Anybody, 11 years old?

      No, I'm not the only person who has the facts, many do. You dont.

      October 31, 2012 at 5:03 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      gauntlet, bullyin' goes on in middle school, high school, and universities. It continues on in corps and congress. That's your religion. It's also the religion of the streets brought to you by the Great Society. No wonder you would apply it to an unborn child.

      October 31, 2012 at 5:38 am |
    • hello

      devenw, Obama has only had 4yrs. What you and other people have forgotten is, it took a long time for this mess to be created (2 wars etc etc). It's going to take much more than 4yrs to fix. Only a miracle could have fixed it in 4yrs, nothing else. It will take time and Obama has done good so far.

      October 31, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  16. Jack

    Dudley argues that the "life begins at conception" crowd is something new. He implies that it is merely a form of political brainwashing and that the history of Christianity argues against this new position. Society once argued against a woman's right to vote, against inter-racial marriage and for chiildren working in sweat shops. Are these too merely forms of political brainwashing?

    Dudley uses nothing less than the age old "flip – flop" argument to argue that in moving toward conception as the start of life, those who celebrate the Christian faith are being fooled by political chicanery and if they would only heed his opinion they would come back to some ground truth. Nonsense. Abortion is the ending of a human life, nothing less and it took the federal legalization of this act to wake up the Catholic Church, followed by the rest of Christianity.

    October 31, 2012 at 4:03 am |
    • Gaunt

      It takes a real zealot to go through the reasoned, evidenced arguments above and conclude 'nonsense' without even bothing to explain why, justify or evidence his silly position. It reveals someone who is so obsessively certain of their own opinion that something as simple as facts wont even sway them. How sad.

      Its not 'nonsense'. What is nonsense is your claim that abortion is the ending of a human life. Thats not a religious call my friend, it is a medical and biological one, and they made it. prior to viability there is no life form present, and nothing is killed.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:09 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Gaunt, the encroachment on father's rights has produced a slaughter. Your 'reasoning' is wanting and not gud enuff fer gubmint work.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:14 am |
    • Leif

      @Anybody Know etc. As as often been pointed out, in various ways, if men could get pregnant, abortion rights would be part of the Bill of Rights.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:26 am |
    • Not so, bozo

      If you used your brain a bit, you might realize that the choice has to boil down to one person, and the woman is the most directly affested, not only in the physical demands a nd risks, but the years of initial upbringing. This is why the courts have given the women the right to choose, not the father or the grandparent or anyone else.

      And you make it sound like fathers are defenders of life and women are slaughterers, when in fact most unintended pregnancies that end in abortion are lead there by influence of the man, who wants the problem to go away.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:27 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Not so, bozo,,,,,,,,,,,you bought the chitown mobster spin from Vegas. Can't think, can ya? Da boyz had dancing girls on da side. It didn't stay in Vegas. Ask Harry Reid about it.

      October 31, 2012 at 5:19 am |
  17. Copernicus

    and for those who don't believe in the Bible? The law/politics is Caesar's realm not God's. When you lower you religious beliefs to the realm of politics you make less of your religion. Anyone that preaches politics from the pulpit has lost their ethics and moral authority. You get a soul during the "miracle" of birth. Thought the flesh is alive (and we can keep it alive long after a person has passed) there is no soul/person there. You get a soul and become a person when you are born. Although I have never been present during childbirth, I am from a family of ten and I have only heard it described as a "miracle". Fortunately I live in a country where you cannot force your religious beliefs on me by the power of the law, hopefully the SCOTUS agrees with me.

    October 31, 2012 at 4:03 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      You have usurped the powers of the fathers, dudette.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:09 am |
  18. Gaunt

    Please cite the passage in the Bible: old testament, New testament, or any of the apocrypha, that specifically prohibits abortion.

    Well?

    October 31, 2012 at 3:52 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Oooh, an americult pharisee.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:01 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Do fathers have any say in the matter? The great fadder in washington has practiced his old tricks again with his favorite
      :usurpation.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:06 am |
    • Angela

      Jeremiah 1:5
      “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

      God knows us, has a plan for us, even before birth. We have souls.

      Medical science has yet to prove that a baby in the womb isn't human. The word 'fetus' doesn't change a child's nature.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:22 am |
    • Gaunt

      Angela, your own quote proves you wrong. God apparently knew you BEFORE you were conceived, so were you a person then? If not then your citation certainly does not support a fetus being alive, nor does it forbid abortion. nice try, but you fail.

      And no, science has not proven a feus isnt 'human', but it HAS proven that a pre-viable fetus isnt a life form, and as such is not a life.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:28 am |
    • Catholic

      The Catholic Faith is not based upon the Bible. Being the church who created the first bible they see the Bible as a part of their tradtion rather than the basis for it. So, from the Catholic view it does not matter that the Bible does not mention abortion. It is their tradtion that forbids it. As far as the rest of Christianity, if you follow their history back far enough they all derived from Catholicism at some point. The Catholic stance is does not start at Roe vs Wade, as the article suggests, but predates it significantly.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:53 am |
  19. OldAsDirt

    At the time, murdering a pregnant woman didn't include an extra count for killing a fetus. Should we back off on that?

    October 31, 2012 at 3:51 am |
  20. mary

    Yet Jesus was a fetus..~!
    God knew Mary was carrying Jesus..
    And his birth was planned and prepared for . An abortion before the birth , would have resulted in Jesus not existing..
    Seems clear enough to me.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:35 am |
    • Gaunt

      Odd that the three wise men did not come at the conception of Jesus, or that the angels did not appear at the conception of jesus, or that the star in the heavens did not appear at the conception of jesus. No, it all revolved around his birth.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:48 am |
    • OTOH

      Then maybe "God" should stop doing abortions (and failed implantations and stillbirths). Talk about setting a good example!

      October 31, 2012 at 3:52 am |
    • SixDegrees

      And no one – not even God – cared until he was born.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:55 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.