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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. john

    The United States government does not recognize an unborn child as a person. If you think otherwise, try taking a tax deduction for an unborn child and see how far that gets you.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  2. April

    I see where the author is trying to go here, but any good journalist will recognize that his sources are weak. He used just a small handful to represent an entire, massive group of people. It's like saying he took a survey and found, "one thousandth of a percent of Evangelicals use do think this way, so that means that they all did." Try again.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Fred

      Yeah, he's trying to take a small sample and stretch it out so that it covers the majority and that's incorrect. I've been around a lot longer than he has and I can tell you that abortion was never the majority's choice. I think his intent here is to mislead people
      into thinking this is a relatively recent change in position for the church and that's simply not true.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  3. chuckt

    Even with your argument, the current president voted for partial birth abortion. This is the killing of the baby after they are born. They survived the abortion yet he wants them to die. Of course you have no clue about the bible so I will not fight you on what God says because you are deaf to the truth. Using your logic still shows how radical this president is and how liberals think he is so moral because he thinks he is helping the poor. Take a look at how he spends his own multi million dollars. no where close to giving to charity. Keep trying to justify our current presidents poor judgment.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Gaunt

      Now you are just flat-out lying.

      The president spoke from the floor on this issue, and he made his opinions clear: the silly knee-jerk evangelical law to 'protect' survivors of abortion was redundant as the EXISTING laws already provided better protections than those suggested in this private members bill. Thus Obama (and the majority of the conservatives in the State senate) voted against it.

      You flat out LYING about the president doesnt exactly help your already shaky credibility.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Ting

      'I will not fight you on what God says because you are deaf to the truth.'

      God is not the one to turn to for moral direction on this subject. God kills babies and children at the drop of a hat. Read the Bible.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • sam stone

      looks like chuckie here is pompous enough to purport to speak for god

      October 31, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • chuckt

      Sorry Gaunt, but your not telling the truth. Just ask nurses about partial birth abortion. Leaving babies dying on tables and breathing on their own and cannot do anything, but watch them die. This president is a baby killer.

      Oh God does not promise everyone a perfect life and we all have a choice. You can follow him or follow lie's. You want smoking or non-smoking for eternity?

      October 31, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • chuckt

      Sammie- God speaks for himself in his word. You either listen or deny. I am not perfect and will never claim to be perfect. You don't have to believe me because I will not save you, but only God can do that. Just don't like people taking God's word and turning it to fit their needs or justify their sin. Even Satan tried to use God's word against Jesus.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  4. Chris Rowland

    To this author, Evangelical history is 40 years old. actually, Christianity is 2000 years old. Christians outlawed abortion in the didache, 1800 years ago. I doubt this guy really knows much about Christian history, and I don't know how he presumes to write articles about it. The earliest Christians in Rome opposed abortion, so did the early colonials.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Gaunt

      Yes, he has studied and has a graduate degree in divinity, so why would he know anything about the church?

      Typical half-wit answer: dont like the facts he lay out so you make up silly lies to insult the author.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Fred

      He doesn't care about facts. He just slapped this article together in about ten minutes and turned it in.
      He looks angry in that picture. Angry or constipated, I can't tell which.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Gaunt

      Fred, with all due respect, shut the fu ck up.

      The author has presented a cojent argument backed by facts and sources, and in post after post you do nothing but insult the author (about whom you know nothing) to cover up your cowardly inability to actually debate his points, present your own evidence or even comment on point.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Gauntlet can't get over bullyin' It's become part of his character, life-growth, so to speak. Bwahahahahaha

      October 31, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Fred

      Poor Gaunt. He's been fed liberal lies for so long that the truth causes him physical pain.
      He reads something and he wants to believe it so badly because it fits with his warped worldview.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      I wonder if gaunt makes the surviving babies run the gauntlet on a shelf in the janitors closet. There are some bottles of cleaning fluid in there he should do a scientific taste test with and get back to us.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • logicalgirl

      Funny that you have proved Gaunt's point. Good job.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Whoa, girl, you don't like scientific experiments to get The FACTS?

      October 31, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  5. Fred

    Hate to tell the author this, but he's 100% wrong. Evangelicals were not behind abortion prior to some great seismic shift in doctrine. I'm sure that there were some who thought it was okay, but the vast majority were against abortion from Day One.
    I guess they'll let just anyone post articles on here. This twelve year old looking "writer" is clueless.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Huebert

      I see that you enjoy making baseless as.sertions and ad hominem attacks. Is this perhaps because you have no evidence to support your position and the author does?

      October 31, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Gaunt

      yet another uneducated half-wit who doesnt like what the author has to say, cant actually address or refute his facts, so content themselelves with just insulting the author, about whom they know nothing at all.

      So many zealots have posted so many iterations of this same ignorant tactic here, its actually getting funny.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Fred

      If he had some evidence, then we could discuss it. As it is, he has nothing to work with.
      Sorry, EPIC FAIL.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Huebert

      The author provided quotes form a prominent evangelical writer of the time. These quotes are relevant and support his position. In any academic circle that is considered evidence. To quote you EPIC FAIL.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Alex

      Huebert note how in order to state that some one is using the ad hominem fallacy you must fall to it as you must say that some else has made a mistake not based on evidence but personal statement of opinions/fact (depends on point of view) about someone else.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Huebert

      Alex

      Wrong. An ad hominem attack is an attack on the person rather than their position. At no point did my previous post address Fred personally, they only addressed his ideas, which were weak. Since I never addressed Fred personally I can not be guilty of an ad hominem attack.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Fred

      Huebert, two magazines do not provide proof that it was the majority's thinking on the subject.
      Those magazines do not speak for most of the Christians of the time.
      Yes, he did EPIC FAIL with this article. He needs to stick to comic books or anime because he
      certainly does not know what he's talking about.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Huebert

      Fred

      Proof is impossible as this is an opinion article. What the author does have is evidence, those articles he cites. Weather or not you accept the evidence is up to you, but until you provide some evidence in support of your position your post amount to little more than screaming "Your wrong, and ugly". Also, drop the ad hominem attacks, they make you look weak.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  6. GK

    As if it's not bad enough that someone else is trying to tell me what to do in this supposed "free" nation, the majority of these people seem to be men who will never be able to bear children thus really have no reason to be debating what/when/where any women should do with their bodies.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Fred

      Freedom doesn't mean "free to do anything and everything I want." It never has. There have always been rules and laws restricting behavior and there always will. One reason for laws is to protect those who can not protect themselves, such as
      unborn children.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • logicalgirl

      It would be nice if someone then protected the post-born. You know from poverty, hunger, abuse, disease, lack of education; the list goes on. Nice that we get all worked up about unborn but then pllllt.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Fred

      Sorry, logicalgirl, but we do have that.
      I am happy to inform you that the government has food stamps, welfare, head start programs, free lunches, etc., etc., for
      people to help them out. There are plenty of social programs out there. It's not like the kid is born and tossed to the wolves.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Gaunt

      Except 'unborn children' is an oxymoron. Might as well say 'unconcieved children'. The law doesnt deal in potential, it deals with facts. Can I sue based on an 'unsigned cheque'? can I arrest someone based on an 'unstolen theft'?

      Biology and mecical science have long established the criteria for a life form, and a fetus does not qualify until viability. The woman, on the other hand (who conservatives keep wanting us to forget about) DOES have actual, real, not-potential rights which must be protected.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • logicalgirl

      And these programs seem to be working spectacularly too, huh. Have you seen how many poverty stricken people there are in the US? These program may help, of course, but not much. Apparently you haven't been on any public assistance lately.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Alex

      but if another body is connected to yours do you have a choice about what it does/happens to it. Hmm lets ask some conjoined twins.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  7. Bob

    Xtian Taliban terrorists will be the doom of this country.

    WE ARE NOT IRAN PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 31, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Fred

      Poor Bob. Typical braindead liberal.
      It was Christians who built this country into the greatest nation that ever existed.
      It's the liberals who are intent on reducing us to #35 (or worse).

      October 31, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • logicalgirl

      Perhaps you might tell us where to find this definitive information that the Founding Americans were Christian? From Jefferson's own writings, he was not. Others were similar. Many of them would not be considered Christians now. And regardless, they have been gone for 200 years. What's your point here? So we are never to evolve and change?

      October 31, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Seyedibar

      Sorry Fred, but it was people escaping Christianity who built this nation despite Christianity. Claiming that your backward religion is responsible for all the might and merit of the USA is no more accurate and irresponsible than saying that the founding fathers' whiteness is responsible for this paradise. In truth, this country has grown in leaps and bounds thanks to atheist and agnostic thinkers, statesmen, scientists, and engineers.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Fred

      Evolve and change into what?
      There's a saying: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Leaving religion behind just because it's the latest version of stylish is a sure
      fire recipe for disaster.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  8. Clear as mud

    "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."

    Clearly? The Bible is so full of contradictions that nothing at all is "clear".

    The same statement with the scriptures reversed...
    "According to Exodus 21:22–24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense. But The Law plainly exacts: 'If a man kills any human life he will be put to death' (Lev. 24:17). Clearly, then, in contrast to the mother, the fetus IS reckoned as a soul.

    The same conditions transposed, but now your "clearly" takes the opposite meaning and the fetus WOULD be reckoned as a soul.

    Torture scriptures [or numbers] long enough and they'll confess to anything.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  9. blessings

    No one knows the mind of God.
    It is all a guess, hopefully, with the best intentions in mind.
    No one knows that it was not all a political stance against liberal politics started by the moral majority.
    And, I have not heard any explanation; what happens when a fetus, or person is naturally aborted?
    Who's to blame?
    A soul goes straight to heaven, but who has physical responsibility for the aborted?
    Shouldn't there be a funeral?
    A name?
    Something...no matter when the natural abortion takes place?

    October 31, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Have you ever read the Bible ? The Hebrews did not believe in souls, or eternal life. Neither did St. Paul, except for the "saved". There are no "souls". Grow up.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Robert Brown

      See if you can guess which Hebrew wrote this “….and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

      October 31, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Cindy

      realbuckyball-have YOU ever read the Bible? It really doesn't what the Hebrews believe or what you think Paul said. Everyone has a soul and it ends up in heaven or hell I think GOD said that. I also believe the souls of the aborted babies in up in heaven where they are much better off than with "mothers" who choose to kill them.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Cindy
      What makes you think dead babies go to Heaven?
      According to Christian theology, all humans are born with original sin.
      Only through baptism and the acceptance of Jesus as your Lord and Saviour can one get to Heaven.
      HIstorically, unbaptized children were not allowed to be buried on consecrated ground.
      Up until 2007, the Catholic church believed that they went to Limbo, which is neither Heaven nor Hell but a place where God is absent.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • captain america

      No real American needs or heeds the opinion of some third world flunky. If your bull sh it opinion isn't worth crap in your own country why do you mistakenly think that it would mean something to US. There's your sign

      October 31, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • sam stone

      "See if you can guess which Hebrew wrote this “….and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”"

      sam berkowitz?

      October 31, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • sam stone

      "Everyone has a soul and it ends up in heaven or hell I think GOD said that."

      No, man said that

      October 31, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Realbuckyball,
      Which bible have you read? Do a word search on “soul” in the KJV. It will take you all day to read the results.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Sam,
      Have you ever heard of the 23rd Psalm?

      October 31, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Doc,
      Matthew 19:14
      But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • u

      Robert

      Your verse is taken out of context, and does not address what Doc is saying. try again please.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  10. houbie

    Saying life begins at conception so abortion should be illegal is a dismissive argument. If it was that easy, there would be no dialog on the subject. At the same time, saying a women has a right to choose is also dismissive, and understates the moral complexity of the issue.

    To have a coherent dialog on abortion as a multidimensional problem, people must move beyond these simplistic positions. Painful as it may be.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Huebert

      Saying that a woman has a right to choose in no way diminishes the moral complexity of the issue, in fact my position shows the greatest deference to the moral complexities. I am saying that I can not make a moral choice of such magnitude for another person. The burden must fall upon the person who bears the risk and the consequences. In short, it is the woman's choice.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Louis

      Huebert
      Yes, nobody would call someone a "murderer" for not risking their life to rescue a person from a burning house. Pregnancy is risky. Women die every year trying to carry a pregnancy to term. People also die every day because of a lack of donated organs. Why aren't these so-called "pro-Life" Christians lobbying to make organ donation mandatory?

      October 31, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  11. Isaac

    This article is completely mistaken in portraying evangelicalism as previously pro-abortion. Forty years ago, the Southern Baptist Convention was not anywhere near as conservative as it is today, so it's not at all representative of evangelicalism at the time. And Bruce Waltke's denial of fetal personhood was vehemently opposed by his own colleagues. A few years later he presented a paper at the national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society publicly repudiating his position on abortion. These two examples are hardly sufficient to demonstrate a widespread interpretation of the Bible that Jerry Falwell supposedly overturned. This is a poorly researched article.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Andy

      I think the whole point of the article is to demonstrate how quickly the change of opinion occurred. By pointing out that one man presented a paper repudiating his prior opinion you actually lend a bit more credibility to the argument.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Isaac

      Andy, I can see why it looks like a quick change of opinion, but I would contend that there was no change, apart from the occasional statistical outlier. The article in no way demonstrates that acceptance of abortion was ever a part of mainstream evangelicalism - because it never was.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Fred

      I agree with Isaac. There was no change of opinion for the majority. A couple of magazine articles does not prove that the majority of Christians were in favor of abortion but suddenly changed their minds.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  12. Tony

    Since opinion on abortion is split 50-50, why do we have a national policy on it? It should be up to the states.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • logicalgirl

      It should be up to the persons involved and government should stay out of it.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  13. Mike in SA

    That's why abortion is not a religious argument but a human rights argument, so let's do just that and take religion out of it. After all, the "medicine" that was practiced 5000 years ago couldn't tell if a child was alive or dead at any moment before it was out of the mother's womb. Science has come a long way since. So let's focus strictly on the science and see if we come to the same conclusion.

    Any unbiased life science expert today will tell you where there is cell replication and/or resource consumption there is life. DNA from that life will prove it to be human life. DNA will also prove it to not be part of the woman's body rather a separate individual life. From there it's a human rights issue for the child and - Mr. Dudley - you and I will certainly disagree on whether it is acceptable for one human life to end another human life for the sake of convenience.

    I'll note one other thing Mr. Dudley, were we relying on religion, your quotation of the Bible completely - and I'm sure conveniently for you - ignores that it absolutely DOES lay out penalty if a fetus is killed (after the quickening - the baby's first kick). Why the baby's first kick and not earlier? That goes back to the 5000 medicine. The quickening was a big thing back then because it was the first moment they knew that a baby was actually in the womb and living as opposed to a hysterical pregnancy, tumor, still born, etc.. So from the moment they knew a child was alive in the womb, they recognized it as life.

    Having stated that, I find it fascinating Mr. Dudley clearly lies when he says Exodus 21-22-24 does not make the destruction of the fetus a capital offense. It's almost like he insultingly thinks the readership is just too lazy to look it up. Here is what Exodus 21:22-24 actually says: "“When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot."

    October 31, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Mike in SA

      BTW...before anybody responds saying the Exodus verse was referencing the pregnant mother, that's ridiculous. Those laws had already been established and there was no reason to separately establish the same laws for pregnant women. It would be like saying "The law is that if any person is injured, they are due compensation. On top of that if any pregnant woman in injured, they are due compensation." That makes no sense. It is clearly speaking about the fetus.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Louis

      A lot of actual Bible translations, including the KJV that evangelicals prior to Falwell usually used, render Exodus 21:22-24 as aborted, not born prematurely. That's completely within the author's argument. Later translations have rendered it supporting the anti-Choice agenda, actually changing scripture to match dogma.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Louis

      Mike in SA
      It makes perfect sense if the OT authors did not consider a fetus a child, or a person "murdered" during they hypothetical fight. Likely, as now, there was some confusion over this and the OT writers were simply outlining how such a case was not murder.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Gaunt

      Mike, rather it is you weho are clearly lying. The passage refers to the value of a fetus: is HAS value (if a man inflicts violence on a woman and compels a miscarriage, but the woman is otherwise unharmed there is a fine.), but it does bnot have the same value as a human being (if if a man inflicts violence on a woman and compels a miscarriage, and the woman is harmed, then the standard biblical penalty applies).

      It makes perfect sense, and amusingly, until very recently pretty much every bible on the planet interpreted it exactly this way. Only recently have hypocritical evangelicals tried to edit their own holy book to mean something different, so as to fit the politics of the day.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Mike in SA

      Louis and Gaunt, I clearly state why the idea that this passage refers to the health of the woman is ridiculous. Apparently you didn't comprehend, so let me try again. The mother's health had already been addressed in the passages prior to these. What wasn't addressed was the health of the fetus, so it is the fetus' health that is being addressed in this passage, NOT the woman's.

      Also, Louis, the KJV does not distinguish between "abort" and "born prematurely" it simply says "so that her fruit depart from her". One of the primary reasons churches have moved away from the King James Version is that it was interpreted more than 500 years ago between 1604 and 1611. We have a MUCH better understanding of the ancient languages of that area and era now.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Mike in SA

      Besides, I also clearly state how this is NOT a religious argument, try as you may to pull me back into one. It is an argument based on the science of the day which shows there IS human life as soon as cells replicate and/or resources are consumed and from there a protection of human rights argument. The best YOU can say is "We don't know when life begins" because the actual science shows the life to start in the earliest of stages. And if we don't know whether one human is alive or not, we should not be allowing another human to end that possible life just for the sake of their convenience.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  14. XYofLight

    Women and men should be aware of home remedies. Instead of paying quite a sum of money for an abortion or having one subsidized, just take toxic amounts of Iron.

    You can look up lethal fetal doses on the web and it won't harm the female host too much, a bit of discomfort at first but hey, it's practically free abortion.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  15. BSH

    Late-term abortion is a disgusting concept, whatever the view used to be. We know, scientifically, that a baby still in the womb has dreams, moves of its own volition, feels. I don't know any way to rationalize this as NOT being a "person," except a mere formality of location.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Bob

      You don't know jack.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Plan B costs $44.99. Walk into Walgreen's, with a photo ID, and buy it, over the counter.
      Anyone who has unprotected s'ex needs to use it, if you don't want a child. Abortion is irrelevant in 2012 .

      October 31, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • realbuckyball

      There are actually very very very few late term abortions ever performed. It's a red herring. You DO know jack.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Corp and citizen approved? Corps are people, the most favored of sons.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Instead of dissolving children, those corps need a good case of dissolution. Citizens don't have to put up with them.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  16. the Athiest

    The author of the article suggests – (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.) - this wont happen because what he suggests requires thought and clarity of mind. something most religious people lack. Religion is a poison to civilization. perhaps the greatest threat as a species we will ever face.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Andy

      Your post was going so well until you decided to belittle an entire group of people. You should have just stopped half way through.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Chris Rowland

      Where do you get the leeway to describe "perhaps the greatest threat to our species"? What about the sun expanding and burning off our atmosphere in a couple billion years (inevitable)? What about disease, meteors, ice ages, etc etc?
      What kind of hubris does it take to say that unless everybody believes as you do they pose not only a great threat, but the greatest threat to our existence?
      Come on.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  17. Keith

    The Christian Right is about power, nothing else. God and Salvation happens far away from those folks.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • NEC

      That is it in a nutshell Keith, the church and evangelicals are doing the same thing they did in the middle ages, exploit the faithful for money and power!

      October 31, 2012 at 10:05 am |
      • Keith

        I left my Fundamentalist church at 17 years old and never looked back. We were part of the back to the land movement int he seventies and like the song said "we found Jesus, on our on"

        Organized religion has nothing to do with "God"

        October 31, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  18. Doc Vestibule

    Help control the people population.
    Have your children spayed or neutered.

    October 31, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • logicalgirl

      Ha! Good suggestion.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • captain america

      Do what you will in your own country but no America will be heeding or needing the advice of some third world flunky. There's your sign

      October 31, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  19. Kevin O.

    I am not alone when I say all of you breeders with more than one child are PIGS!!! You breed, you consume, you don't work on a farm, you don't do much more than support your own household (if you can even do that) and you think you have a RIGHT TO REPRODUCE????

    I hope in my lifetime there is mandatory abortion for every family with more than one child. You disgusting consumers constantly pushing your Bible in our faces while over-eatting and defecating while saying "The Lord said this and the lord said that" SCREW YOUR GOD!!! And SCREW YOU!!!

    October 31, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Nathan

      With any luck, you will spread AIDS fast enough to rid the world of you non-breaders!

      October 31, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • GI Joe

      Kevin O: Sounds like the best part of you ran down the crack of your momma's butt. Take your own advice and take a leap. What's the matter with you? Didn't breast feed enough when you were whelped?

      October 31, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Nathan
      You do understand that there are too many people in the world, right?
      Any population left to reproduce unchecked will eventually be poisoned by it's own effluence – this is true of everything from bacteria to humans.
      It seems from your AIDS comment that you assume Kevin is gay – but why is that?
      I'm straight. I had one kid, then got a vasectomy.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      MADNESS AND EVIL can sometimes be two sides of the same coin, like in your case. Progressive approved.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • CommonSense

      Whoooaa there, little guy. Let's put your happy pajamas back on and ease back into bed. Think good thoughts and the boogyman won't come. I promise.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • CommonSense

      @Doc Not sure what your doctorate is in, but it cannot be medicine. Please know that AIDS is not a "gay" disease. It may be portrayed that way in the US, but that doesn't fit the facts in other parts of the world. In fact, I am pretty sure that there is no such thing as a "gay" disease at all.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • XYZ

      Wow! Easy, there sparky. You may not be alone in your position, but you sound quite lonely. You've been drinking way too much of the fanatics' cool aide. Breathe slowly and don't listen to those voices in your head.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @CommonSense
      Please take the time to re-read my comment.
      I was responding to Nathan's post, which implies that AIDS is a gay disease.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Why do the educated Athenaites have such a problem with s e x?

      October 31, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      You should try a normal birth instead of ye olde poppin' out of daddy's forehead.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  20. Ben

    The author presumes that evangelicals have not thought about the issue for themselves, nor studied the Bible for themselves and come to the conclusion that the Bible supports protection of innocent human life. It's a fairly short-sighted article and a little insulting.

    October 31, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Keith

      If you are an Evangelical you should be insulted daily because it is clear that you don't think.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Eric G

      The problem is that your studying is biased in it's origins. You have a preconceived conclusion and look for evidence that supports your position while discarding conflicting evidence.

      Bad form Sir.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • stephan

      So for 100's of years, the evangelical position was clear, than in in the 70's, Jerry Falwell changed all yer minds.

      We are now supposed to respect those minds as clear thinking? LOL

      October 31, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Fred

      Ben is right 100%.
      They bring in some wet-behind-the-ears kid to write an article and it's no wonder it's garbage.
      Abortion was never okay with the majority of conservatives or Christians.
      This "writer" needs to go back to reading comic books.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • logicalgirl

      Out of curiousity, why do you have a bias against this person and not just his article? You have attacked this author personally multiple times. Would it not be better to attack his opinion instead of the author to make your point?

      October 31, 2012 at 10:54 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.