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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 • Opinion

soundoff (2,844 Responses)
  1. sean

    There are many reasons why abortion should be legal, the number one reason should be if it isnt legal more then just fetus's are destroyed. Common sense and understanding need to guide these difficult choices not those who have no vested interest in what they are arguing against. If it isnt you making the decision, be quiet no one cares what you think.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Smith111

      Who are you proposing that makes the argument for the unborn child? They certainly have a vested interest in the decision.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • sean

      Who takes care of the child while is a child? The parents get to make those choices. Not the loud mouthed people shouting to be heard on an issue that is a private matter.

      October 31, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  2. Sane Person

    Christians, PLEASE stop calling yourself "pro life". You don't care about life unless its a fetus because it gives you a chance to impose your religious views on others. You are NOT pro-life you are anti-choice.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Brian

      I think we have a winner in the "silly straw man argument from someone whose never left her left-wing echo chamber and actually met a pro-lifer" contest!

      Congratulations!

      October 31, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Lamb of dog

      Says the guy whose never left the state of Texas.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Nice assumption, Brian. Except that its completely false.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Kt

      Brian
      Is it a silly straw man to suggest that most pro-Lifers are also supportive of going to war and the death penalty?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Brian

      Texas? What the hell are you talking about?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • sean

      It is not a religious view. They are expressing personal opinion and nothing more. It is a desire to control the lives of others as they have nothing better to do. Pity them and their children do not argue with them.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Lamb of dog

      Oh. I'm sorry. Is it Arkansas.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Brian

      Sure "sane person" (lol), yes, you really display such a great understanding of pro-lifers. Really.

      You should someday meet someone who doesn't use moveon.org as their homepage.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Actually, Brian, if you knew how to read you'd see I was addressing Christians and not pro lifers in general. Grow a brain instead of making baseless assumptions.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Smith111

      @ Sane person

      Pro life,by definition, means pro life. In reality, there's the pro life group and the pro death group.

      I do appreciate the scarcasm of your name tho, leaving the "in" off.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • little timmy

      Smith111 says – "pro death group". You'll never but a divider, Smith, only seeing black and white, true or false, etc. There's a word for your type – extremist.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Smith, are you implying that, because I'm not opposed to abortion, I'm "pro-death" and that because you are, you're pro life? If that's what you're implying.. You are an irrational moron.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Smith111

      @ insane person

      You can't be pro choice and not consider killing innocent beings as an invalid option. if you're pro choice, you are stating that killing of innocents is ok in your view and in your world. You are insane.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Smith111

      @ little timmy

      Your argument is that since I dont want innocents killed, I am an extremist. But the people that are for the killing and actually do it are not extremist?

      Go back to watching Barney little boy.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Smith, there's no point in trying to talk any sense into someone as closed minded and simple minded as you. You are stuck in your view, and you think that anyone who disagrees is a psycho murderer. Grow a brain and stop seeing everything in such a small-minded, black and white kind of way.

      October 31, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  3. John smith

    Like virtually the entire pro-abortion movement, therealpeace2all, you miss the whole point. Is it ok to kill a 2 year old if it's inconvenient for the mother? If an unborn baby is a person in the same way a born baby is a person, it's perfectly ok to enforce, by law, that they be treated the same. You can't kill them, even if they are inconvenient. If they are not a person, then why do we need any abortion laws at all. Why not just abort them right up until delivery? Why not after delivery?

    If an unborn baby is a person, not excuse for abortion make sense. If they are not a person, no excuse is needed.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Why do you insist on using the term "pro-abortion"?
      If I defend someone's right to free speech and they say something racist, does that make me "pro-nazi"?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • ELR

      I am not sure that argument is entirely valid. You can remove a 2-year old from their mothers care if she is neglecting her child, but I don't think the same strategy would work so well for a pregnant woman. The gestation of a fetus/baby/God's miracle of life, is somewhat contingent on the woman so I don't think one's rights supersedes the other.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      It is not illegal for a pregnant woman to cause harm to a developing foetus by making poor choices.
      She cannot be arrested for eating poorly, smoking, or drinking alcohol while pregnant.
      The mother's right to self-determination supercedes that of the foetus.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • An egg is not a chicken

      “If an unborn baby is a person in the same way a born baby is a person”

      Here’s where your “logic” breaks down. A fetus is not a baby

      October 31, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Huebert

      The thing is, some people consider a fetus to be a person, others do not. Since forming a clear definition of "person" is impossible, the decision should be left up to the individual.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Kt

      John smith
      Being pro-Choice is exactly like being a supporter of legalizing marijuana, you want to give people the legal right to use it if they want to, not passing a law forcing people to use it, or allowing for stronger drugs. You're argument is utter nonsense.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Smith111

      @KT

      You seem to be an expert on nonsensical arguments. Who is getting killed to provide medical marijuana? Your comments are invalid.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • little timmy

      nope. unborn baby is not a person. it's not even like a partial munchkin

      October 31, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  4. Rosslaw

    Well, if a sheperd who wiped his a** with his left hand said it 3,200 years ago it must be true.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  5. W. L. Brown

    Of course the unborn child is alive Mr. Dudley. That is simply according to science. What you are inartfully trying to say is that the unborn life has no value as a person according to law. Assuming for the moment that should be true, don't you find it rather strange that we have laws protecting the lives of animals from cruelty and pain? Why not have at least the same for unborn human life?
    For those of us who believe that the unborn child should have personhood and be protected under the law, as I do, this is the most important civil rights issue of our times. Just because the Bible also supports the pro-life position does not take away from the validity of the common sense pro-life argument from a civil rights standpoint. It seems to me that anyone who accepts this has a civil if not also a moral duty to fight for the civil rights of the unborn child. The right to life of that child is superior to any right that the mother may have to be free of an unwanted pregnancy. That should be clear on its face to any objective thinking person.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Brian

      Well said.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Edwin

      W.L.: there are also laws protecting an unborn fetus from pain and abuse. No one disputes it is living tissue. But those laws you state that protect animals do not protect them from being killed - so I think your point is poorly taken.

      As far as personhood, why would we think a fetus is anything more than an extension of the mother until it is able to live on its own?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • NoTheism

      and what you're omitting is the consideration about personhood...
      The article mentions points to this by referring to the "soul" at some point.
      But what I find hilarious is when you say "For those of us who believe that the unborn child should have personhood".. personhood is not something we assign to things, is it?
      That's nuts... are you not a person because nobody recognizes you as one? Or is a fetus a person only because we assign it the status of one?
      How ridiculous....

      October 31, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @W. L. Brown

      Another... **Pro-Forced Gestationer** ™ I see. Lets *make* every woman carry the zygote/fetus to term.

      What a great idea ! 8O

      Peace...

      October 31, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Brian

      Edwin – its not merely an "extension of the mother" - it has its own blood type and genetic makeup that is different from the mother.

      Its a separate person sharing the body of the mother.

      The parallel would be siamese twins where one of the 2 would die if separated from the other.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Momof3

      Who's life is more important when its a decision between the health of the mother and the life of the child? Who gets to make that judgement?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Smith111

      @ Edwin
      "why would we think a fetus is anything more than an extension of the mother until it is able to live on its own?"

      A child isnt able to live on it's own for many years after birth. You're suggesting it is ok to terminate a child's life until it is able to live on it's own?

      October 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Mike

      The concept of "Personhood" is valid, but is an unborn fetus a person? A strong argument can be made, entirely from a logical standpoint, that "Personhood" requires sentience and sapience – neither quality the unborn possess until, probably, very late in gestation. Certainly not in the early stages, where there is insufficient brain matter to support consciousness.

      By that standard, the unborn can't qualify as people until at least the middle of the second trimester. Therefore, arguing that ALL abortion is invalid. While "life" may begin at conception (as an organism genetically separate from the mother, even if technically parasitic at that point) "Personhood," and the legal protections that come with it, do not.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Kt

      W.L.
      person |ˈpərsən|
      noun ( pl. people |ˈpēpəl| or persons )
      1 a human being regarded as an individual

      How is a fetus an individual until it is born?

      October 31, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Mike

      Excellent !

      Peace...

      October 31, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  6. Brian

    Todd Atkin? Its Akin.

    Your logic is as sound as your spelling. Yawn

    October 31, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • NoTheism

      nice ad hominem, Brian!

      October 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Brian

      Umm....you clearly don't understand the definition of ad hominem.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • NoTheism

      No, I'm pretty sure I do... it seems more probably that you're the one that doesn't understand much about logic.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Ann

      I think he actually meant "add hominy." It's a grits recipe. Of course, then Atkin wouldn't have approved. Too carb-y.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • NoTheism

      Oh, I meant probable* but now you're going to point out my typo and invalidate my point...
      Way to argue, Brian.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Brian

      Hey "Notheism" - ad hominen attack ignores the argument and personally attacks the person.

      Calling their argument illogical is.....wait for it...attacking the argument.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  7. USMarineCorpsCaptain

    I am a Christian. I am also a man. I am unapologeticaly pro-life. However, I do not for one second pretend to know what God thinks of abortion or when a soul is "legitimate". A woman will have an abortion is she desires to have one. I have no say in the manner in which she treats her body. But it is somthing SHE will have to live with and deal with. If, in the end God judges her accordingly (and He will) SHE is the one who will either receive grace or punishment. Abortion is a non-issue and should be left alone.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Eric G

      Well said Sir. Very well said.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Lamb of dog

      I don't agree with your beliefs. But I respect your stance.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      You won't be let off that easy. ............'Gen 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.'.... You can check the NT for confirmation of orders.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • rock woman

      Well said indeed. Except...are we sure the judging God is a he, not a she? Or a both? Or a neither? I do not for one second pretend to know which. Do you?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Anyone else find it odd that someone in the American armed forces calls themselves pro life?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Sane Person, not really. Jobs are tough to get and it's an honorable profession. It's the politicians that cause the trouble.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Chuck Wallace

      SanePerson – Actually, there is total consistency between our Military and Pro-life. Our Military protects us for the evil in this world who would like nothing better than to kill us and the Pro-Lifer who is protecting the unborn child from being killed by an abortionist while in the most protected and vulnerable place, their mothers womb.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Innerspace is God's place while outerspace is for the human race.

      USMarineCorpsCaptain,

      I am a Christian who believes in a woman's choices. For we (our bodies) are but buildings or so it is written in the Gospels. Also, the Kingdoms of God are upon one's insides. We are die-cast from the inside to become an outside viewer with no linkages to God's Kingdom being of our insides. We are God's buildings and one should always keep this in mind. We are born and than we live and then die. After death our souls or energies resort back from whence it came from which is the innerness places of innerspace. From God are we conceived and live then die only to be received by God once again we are in God's fold.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Sure, Chuck. The military protects us from "evil". As if the American military has never been evil itself.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Christianity and Islam is a mental disease- FACT

      Dont agree with your views but well said.

      October 31, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  8. John smith

    Eric G, should I have no say if the baby is born? If so, why should I not have a say when the baby is unborn but should have a say if the baby is born? Is it the location of the baby? Does that really make sense to you?

    October 31, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You cannot escape the reality that as a male, you may offer your opinion on the matter but ultimately have no control over whether a woman chooses to abort your child or not.
      Just as a woman can express her opinion about a man getting a vasectomy, but can't stop him from doing as he will with his own body.
      Short of physically restraining the other person, that is...

      October 31, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Eric G

      You should have a say if it is your fetus. If it is not your fetus, you have no say. Once born, it becomes a baby and has the same rights as everyone else.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • John smith

      Ok, Eric, you made some claims here you'll need to support if you want to argue your position. Why should I not have a say if it's not my fetus? Do I have a say if my neighbor wants to get rid of his 2 year old? Why should a born baby have rights like everyone else, but no rights if it's not yet born. Once again, does location matter? Do the baby's rights depend on where it's located?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • John smith

      Doc Vestibule, the issue we are discussing is not what are allowed to do with current law. We're discussing whether the current law is good or not.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Momof3

      "Possession is nine tenths of the law." The person in legal possession has the rights. When you get pregnant, then you have the right to choose what to do with the fetus.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  9. Doc Vestibule

    "I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking. If all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed, and why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of what pro-life is.”
    – Sister Joan Chttister

    October 31, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Taroya

      Excellent, and well put!

      The result of pro-life is an unsustainable population where everyone starves. Not much pro to that type of life.

      Sometimes, I wonder why the evangelicals hate living so much. And since it appears that they do, why don't they just check on out? I won't miss 'em.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Edwin

      Amazing quote.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Momof3

      "LIKE!"

      October 31, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  10. Sane Person

    The picture for this article sums up the whole Christian pro-life crowd; old, bitter geriatrics who are stuck in their old ways and closed minded.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Sorry, did I say pro-life? I meant anti-choice.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Richard

      While the old and young left have the blood of the largest mass murders in recorded history on their hands.

      And just think!

      Their still working on it!

      Now there's something a true leftist psychopath can be happy about.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Nice trolling attempt, Richard. Did you really think I'd take you seriously?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • ThinkRationally

      Richard, you seem to be saying that people who share a political view are guilty of the crimes committed by others who happened to share that view. This is beyond silly. Have there been any conservative serial killers? If so, when do you start serving time for their crimes?

      Do you even think through what you write?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Anono

      Um... Richard, far more people have been killed in the name of christianity than by abortions. Look throughout history and you see atrocities performed in the name of God throughout every generation. So, please do not try and rewrite history and pretend like abortion is the worst thing that has ever happened. If you feel so strongly about your religion than maybe you should let your religion decide what happens to these women that end up getting abortion, they are obviously going through tough things in their lives and do not need people like you adding to their troubles. Let God sort it out in the end, you are just spouting out hate for the sake of hearing your own voice and no one needs it

      October 31, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  11. Dan

    Jonathan, Two things: It's a mistake to think that one theologian speaks for all Christians or established dogma for all. Secondly, the verse in Exodus is talking about unintentional harm to a woman's baby due to a struggle between two men. Most likely because a wife might try to intervene. The lack of severity in the penalty comes from the unintentional nature of the act.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Momof3

      Dan – the author used the passage from Exodus to show that the bible doesn't say that life begins as conception and that the child is, basically, souless until birth. Nothing about abortion in the bible...

      October 31, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  12. John smith

    Erin, what claim of rights are you referring to? I said the issue is *whether* an unborn baby has rights like a born baby? If not, why not? Why does an unborn baby not have the rights of a born baby? Location (in/out of the womb)? Age (born/unborn)? "It's a blob of tissue" misses the point. We're all blobs of tissue.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @John

      Out of curiosity, are you interested in actually getting reasons, and discussion?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      A Candid Conversation between Two Species

      The Man: I am the predilect object of Creation, the centre of all that exists…
      The Tapeworm: You are exalting yourself a little. If you consider yourself the lord of Creation, what can I be, who feed upon you and am ruler in your entrails?
      The Man: You lack reason and an immortal soul.
      The Tapeworm: And since it is an established fact that the concentration and complexity of the nervous system appear in the animal scale as an uninterrupted series of graduations, where are we cut off? How many neurons must be possessed in order to have a soul and a little rationality?
      - Santiago Ramon y Cajal, Recollections of My Life

      October 31, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • John smith

      Absolutely, as I have time to read and respond.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Edwin

      Doc: why must "soul" be binary (yes/no)? Isn't it entirely possible that 'soulness' is a fully measurable quality, not merely yes or no but all possible amounts in between?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @John

      Well then, at least to me I see the situation as this.

      It's a bodily autonomy issue. Even if the fetus/baby/child whatever you want to call it has rights, why does its rights trump the rights of the mother to not be a life support system if she doesn't want that. At no other point that I'm aware of is there a law doing that to any other person in this country, even if it would result in another persons death.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  13. Richard

    Is it my imagination or does the author remind you of a Nazi guard in "Raiders of the Lost Ark"?

    October 31, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Thanks to Disney's acquisition of LucasFilm, all the guns carried by Nazis in the Indiana Jones movies will be digitally replaced with walkie-talkies.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  14. ThinkRationally

    "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."
    ________________________

    This highlights a big part of what is wrong with religion. It professes to deal in absolutes, in objective morality from a higher being, but in reality it is nothing more than subjective interpretation of va-gue scripture. Scripture can be, and is, twisted to match what someone wants it to mean. That something this basic could change in so short of a time highlights this flaw. That people allow themselves to be manipulated in this way is sad and dangerous.

    Once you see this, how can you still think the Pope, or the Pentecostals, or the Baptists, or the WBC have it all correct? How can you fool yourself into believing that you happen to be in just that group that has it right? Especially when that group's stance has reversed 180 degrees within your own lifetime.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Richard

      Where as the atheistic left has consistency in being the biggest mass murderers in history.

      Your friends, Stalin, Lenin and Mao to name a few.

      Along with the butchers for birth control leftist.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Richard: Stalin, Lenin & Mao? You must be new here.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Richard, don't be an idiot.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • thisIsAwesome

      @richard

      is you cra'y?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • ThinkRationally

      Richard, give me a break. You have no response to what I actually wrote, so you bash atheism as a whole?

      Did those people have in their heats that they were doing these things in the name of atheism, because they were compelled to do so by atheism? Or were they just power-hungry and not mentally balanced?

      But even that is beside the point. Even if they did do those things "in the name of atheism", that establishes nothing with respect to whether there is actually a God or not. If there are believers who do evil, as there certainly have been, does that prove that God does not exist? If so, then I accept your argument and we agree that there's no God. Otherwise your argument has no meaning, unless you propose that we all believe without regard to whether it's true or not because maybe we behave better (debatable, to say the least).

      Do you have anything to say that directly address my point, or are just spouting tired old arguments?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Birth control = totalitarianism?
      That wins the prize for least cogent argument of the day.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • thisIsAwesome

      @richard

      use your noggin

      October 31, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Bob

      Catholicism does not professed to be based only on scripture. We are the living body of Christ and a lot of our religion has been passed down to us from Him through St Peter and the lineage of the Church and Popes as well as by divine relvation of the Holy Spirit. There are few absolutes to be enforced in Christianity, but one of the big ones is that God is in charge of life.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • ThinkRationally

      Bob, I don't see how that changes my point. If anything, it makes it more apparent. You are saying that people along the way are making it up as they go. And you are dutifully following along.

      You mention divine revelation. Could you please elaborate on how you tell when a person has actually had such a revelation vs when they simply claim to have had one, but really didn't?

      October 31, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  15. rayalan

    Common sense should be used here. Life begns at the moment of conception. The magic of life is at conception, not when it comes from the womb. Would any of you folks who believe otherwise feel ok by stopping a breathing baby from breathing and end its life? If faced with that could you actually do it?

    October 31, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Momof3

      Babies in the womb aren't breathing...

      October 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  16. Elmer

    OK, I'm jumping in...
    Christians believe "life is eternal"... if life is eternal, then this is not the life. Your born into a body and it dies. Life is not the cells that make up your body, it your "soul", your consciousness. For someone to arbitrarily assign conception as the moment in time that a body and soul "join" is incredibly subjective at best. Nobody has any way of knowing, hence the reasoning that it is better left to those involved. How arrogant do you have to be to think you know?

    October 31, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      The pharisees at SCOTUS have no problem with arrogance. They create and destroy people all the time. They really like the Beast's special sons, the corps.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  17. JohnofKent

    Genesis 2:7, Ezekiel 37:6, Job 33:4, and Revelation 11:11 seem to say that life begins after the physical assembly of the flesh at which point God breathes the breath of life into the body to create a living being. Why are those verses ignored in the discussion among Christians as to what the Bible says. I lean towards believing that life begins when God breathes in the breath of life in accordance with these words from scripture...in other words, life begins when the baby takes its first breath.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  18. lynn

    Until a fetus takes its first breath, it's just in simple terms a parasite, living off of another. The evangelicals can start adopting all the fetus's of an unwanted pregancy.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      Are you sure you're not talking about the Board of Directors at a corpse? When things go wrong it's never their fault.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  19. Buckeye Jim

    Life begins when you like the moral consequences of that beginning.
    When you like the political ferment of that concept.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  20. martian

    Recently scientists saw some squiggles on some martian rocks. They declared that this could be a sign of life on Mars.
    Also recently, science has improved to demonstrate that a fetus at one month, has a beating heart and has the shape of a human. It usually takes about a month for a woman to figure out she's pregnant, so by the time she thinks about abortion, there already exists a beating heart. Aborted fetuses clearly show pieces of arms, legs, torso, and head.

    How can a squiggle be a sign of life, yet a beating heart is not a sign of life ?

    October 31, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Buckeye Jim

      Cows, pigs, sheep, and chickens all have beating hearts.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • squiggy

      @Buckeye

      You have squiggles too

      October 31, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • thisIsAwesome

      destroyed by @buckeye

      October 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Richard

      Always amusing and sad to watch leftist trying to justify murder.

      Is it any wonder that they are the biggest mass murderers in history.

      Stalin, Lenin and Mao to name a few who shared your ideology.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • thisIsAwesome

      @richard

      you are not contributing to the conversation in a thoughtful manner

      October 31, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • meatmarket

      @Buckeye

      yeah. Totally with you. Anything with a beating heart is fair game.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Primewonk

      This is a human fetus at 4 weeks – http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_SIl46YOSYD4/S-kaoTP1LNI/AAAAAAAAATE/Wq6bu0PSRhs/s1600/getty_rm_photo_of_4_week_fetus.jpg

      This is a cat at 4 weeks – http://www.google.com/search?q=fetus+4+weeks+pictures&hl=en&safe=off&tbo=d&biw=1280&bih=800&site=webhp&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=TYKRUOidJOS40AGroIDQAQ&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ#biv=i|4;d|stZCLNFYDVgt-M:

      Are you sure this is how you nutters want to roll??

      October 31, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • My goodness you’re stupid

      Martian “How can a squiggle be a sign of life, yet a beating heart is not a sign of life ?”

      Of course a beating heart is a sign of life. 2 days after being laid, a chicken embryo’s heart starts to beat, but that does not qualify it as a chicken or a human being

      October 31, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • My goodness you’re stupid

      Richard “Is it any wonder that they are the biggest mass murderers in history. Stalin, Lenin and Mao to name a few who shared your ideology.”

      For all of recorded human history almost everyone belonged to some religion or another. So all the torture, killing and murder for almost all of recorded history was committed by theists

      October 31, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Christianity and Islam is a mental disease- FACT

      Richard

      Always amusing and sad to watch leftist trying to justify murder.

      Is it any wonder that they are the biggest mass murderers in history.

      Stalin, Lenin and Mao to name a few who shared your ideology.

      You are amazingly stupid. shall we mention who was right handed and relate them to right handed people. Their acts had nothing to do with not believing in your god or gods. Educate yourself...seriously. Your ignorance is frightening.

      October 31, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • easylife

      Morality is like driving skills. Everybody says they know how to drive or that they're good drivers but we know that's false. Christo phobic people are the same way, bashing christians much like the romans of the old days did. Yet they cannot offer any proof of their morality or their goodness. They have nobody to back up their claim to being good people. They have not produced any goodness in the world. It's an easy life to bash christ ians when you don't have any moral system tio put forth in public.

      November 1, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • yankeewmd

      @My goodness you’re stupid
      (Yes, you are)

      Most of the bombs dropped in recent years belong to western democracies. Based on that logic we should all renounce democracy because all it does it bring pain & suffering to the world. Americans, particularly, should renounce their citizenship.

      Put up or shut up.

      November 1, 2012 at 11:22 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.