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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.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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. Lise

    Jeremiah 1: 5 says, "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you and before you were born I set you apart". I know this verse is one that Christians refer to as God showing that he knows and values us even before we are formed. Since when is everyone getting labeled an "evangelical? When I look up the term in Webster's, one of the definitions is "marked by militant or crusading zeal". Yes, devotion is an aspect of Christians or Bible believers (and I would argue all religions, no?) but unfortunately I feel this view of those who believe a fetus is a life gets tagged by the word "evangelical" which while accurate in some regards when relating to those who believe in the bible, carries a negative connotation. Every Christian who is voting is not doing so with their only agenda being the abortion standing as the author indicates. Christians (and I know many but am not speaking for all or any - this is my opinion) who are pro life, are not centering their vote simply around this issue. This author implies that Christians have on blinders and can only think about abortion and not Foreign Policy, Education, Taxation, Large Government vs. Small Government, and the list goes on. I know many Christian Americans who are in fact pro life, but more than anything are pro America and want this nation to flourish, to grow and to stand strong - as we still do - but even stronger & taller as we are "indivisible with liberty and justice - for all!" This is ONE nation – unified – that is a hope of all, is it not? I'll end on our friends on the East Coast who are standing united right now as they try and pull their life from the rubble...and they will...because this is America and we stand United. My prayers and thoughts go out to everyone today...and in my prayers...I am also thankful to live in a nation of free speech...and so even if I do not fully agree with the above article representing the complete research of biblical references to pro life...I embrace his well written piece and am thankful for his voice and freedom to to speak and express!

    October 31, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
  2. Sane Person

    God is very pro-death.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Sane Person: so what do you do with Easter?

      October 31, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  3. single celled organism

    How does life begin at conception? A sperm cell is a living cell. An egg is a living cell. They join to form a zygote which is also a living cell. What is so special about a zygote that it requires legal protection?

    October 31, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • The paradox of knowledge

      You're kidding? Sperms and egg cells by themselves won't result in human life. The joining of them will. If it's not alive, there's no reason to abort it.... unless you assume that abortion pertains to removing dead blobs of tissue.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
  4. The paradox of knowledge

    If life doesn't start at conception, then dictatorships will redefine "life". Can anybody explain rationally why FEMA purchased 750,000,000 bullets (the kind that's illegal for international war fare as they can pierce bullet proof vests, but legal for domestic use?), has built tons of empty guarded MEGA prisons (while our current prisons are overpopulated), and has stored there a massive amount of disposable coffins? Just "hearsay", or are they preparing for domestic "terrorists"? Redefining life has enormous implications as it justifies redefining "domestic terrorists". The separation of our three branches of government was wise, but it won't prevent history from doing what it does best: repeating itself.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      You are joking right? Those are all debunked conspiracy theories.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • single celled organism

      Life does not begin at conception. You are the one trying to redefine life. Plants and animals and bacteria are all life but the government can't arrest you for killing most forms of life. Most dictators believe the government should make reproductive decisions for the people. Most democracies are pro-choice. FEMA conspiracy theories are irrelevant.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • timmy

      I think you're mistaking indigestion for knowledge. You shouldn't try to think so hard after cheap "food".

      October 31, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      That's the reported number for ALL government agencies not just FEMA.
      I'm glad I don't live in your head. Conspiracy this, conspiracy that. Get a life.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      Fu.cking Troll.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • The paradox of knowledge

      This may be a conspiracy theory, I agree. The usdebtclock. org is not. It's a frightening unbelievable reality. There is NO WAY we can pay this back. NOO WAY! When the dollar falls to near zero (history has proven that this can happen), what ya gonna do, bro? Can you spell: a n a r c h y? What if massive inflation sets in to fix our debt to other countires? Study the 1930's. A wise man sees danger coming and prepares for it. They have a lot of guns here in the South! Life will get redefined on both sides of the aisle. Survival of the fittest? Unless government puts a lid on this, we'll be fair game for other countries. An army divided against itself can not stand. It'll therefore become an issue of "national security" to intervene with additional measures.... The "conspiracy theory" has a lot of rational teeth. It may not happen, but all the elements are in place. You believe in coincidences? I believe in history as it already has proven it's reliability.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:29 am |
  5. The paradox of knowledge

    When life is disposable, eugenics becomes justified. Study the founding "mother" of Planned Parenthood (Mary Sanger) who wanted to eliminate the blacks (without making it obvious), as they were a drain on society. She succeeded!!: Most aborted babies are black (4 times more than white babies...). So, when does life start? According to Obama: "If the mother's intent was to abort, then one can kill the child after it's born alive and well." Check his senate voting record! It's ironic that democrats use the "race card' to rally their black herd... that's being brought to slaughter... in the name of "choice".

    October 31, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Back-up your statements with some proof please.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • timmy

      " being brought to slaughter... "

      exaggerate much? Some people sneeze and a fetus comes out that wasn't cookin' right anyway. Right to lifers are pathetic.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      Fu.cking Troll.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  6. Innerspace is God's place while outerspace is for the human race.

    In reflections does one see,
    daily and weekly all things will be.
    Reflections reflecting upon the lands,
    Images imagining in spiral bands.
    DNa is the spiraling place,
    It brought on the human race.

    DNa is the Kingdoms of God and His kind,
    We are God's buildings but know not His mind.
    Time and distance between the smallest and biggest,
    Some went east while others went west.
    Upward and onward and inward we go,
    What in the futures will Life here show?

    Let Us Love, Love Lettuce
    G.O.D.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  7. The paradox of knowledge

    When "life" gets redefined according to who rules the roost, what follows is that we'll justify killing those that are a burden on society: the elderly, the sick, etc. Look at the assisted suicide movement in Oregon, where you're told that you'll be a burden on society if you stay alive... This is no different then Hitler's intent to "speed up evolution" to create a super race (The Aryan race). A slippery slope indeed that will fix our medicare and social security problem.

    October 31, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      "When "life" gets redefined according to who rules the roost, what follows is that we'll justify killing those that are a burden on society: the elderly, the sick, etc. Look at the assisted suicide movement in Oregon, where you're told that you'll be a burden on society if you stay alive".
      What utter nonsense.
      But you're OK with religious belief being (re)defined according to who rules the roost.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Romnesia

      I'm Mitt Romney and I approve any slippery slope that will fix our medicare and social security problem.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @paradox of nothing

      The end of life, hmm... There you lie, in a bed, suffering beyond suffering, pain medications are useless, yet you struggle-on to stay alive, but there's a point when you say "enough is enough, I want to die now", but you are not allowed to, so you continue to struggle and you suffer and suffer and your family suffers and suffers, for weeks, for months maybe for a year, the bills are mounting to keep you alive and all the while you lay there suffering with no hope and not knowing when your final time will come, the doctors tell you there's nothing they can do yet their bills keep invoicing, the medications, the hospital, your family is bankrupt in all aspects, yet there you are wanting to die but you are not allowed to.

      Paraxdox, it is people like you thinking the way you think that cause this suffering in humanity, you are the evil ones.

      HOW MUCH WRONGER CAN WRONG BE THAN TO ALLOW ONE TO DIE IF THEY SO CHOOSE?

      October 31, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
  8. Sane Person

    “Give them, O LORD–what will You give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.” (Hosea 9:14)

    “may the Lord cause you to become a curse among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell." (Numbers 5:21)

    their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open. (Hosea 13:16)

    But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey. (1 Samuel 15:3)

    Happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us. He who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks. (Psalms 137:8-9)

    ....pro life?

    October 31, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Sane Person

      " you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock." (deuteronomy 13)

      "A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death." (Leviticus 21:9)

      You should not let a sorceress live. (Exodus 22:17 NAB)

      All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)

      "If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

      PRO LIFE!

      October 31, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Sane Person

      The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird, for your children will die at birth or perish in the womb or never even be conceived. (Hosea 9:11)

      Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, "Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children. (Ezekiel 9:5)

      I will release wild animals that will kill your children and destroy your cattle, so your numbers will dwindle and your roads will be deserted. (Leviticus 26:21)

      Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives r.aped by the attacking hordes. (Isaiah 13:15)

      Pro life :D

      October 31, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  9. The paradox of knowledge

    One doesn't need to be a Jew or a Christian to understand Biology 101: Life starts at conception. You don't need a Bible or a Torah to understand this. The slippery slope is that if the taking of a life can be justified: such as: "oops, it's a girl", or "wrong timing", or "wrong boy friend", etc. What follows is that we'll justify killing those that are a burden on society: the elderly, the sick, etc.

    October 31, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @The paradox of knowledge

      You Said: " The slippery slope is that if the taking of a life can be justified: such as: "oops, it's a girl", or "wrong timing", or "wrong boy friend", etc. What follows is that we'll justify killing those that are a burden on society: the elderly, the sick, etc. "

      Your 'slippery slope' argument really doesn't hold up. We have been going how long with 'choice' for women under limited circ.umstances, and yet the tea-partiers haven't started killing the elderly, sick... just yet anyway ;)

      Peace...

      October 31, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
  10. The paradox of knowledge

    cnn is denying a lot of responses on this blog that doesn't fit their agenda.

    October 31, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • midwest rail

      False. There are no moderators here, only word filters.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  11. The paradox of knowledge

    123 test...

    October 31, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  12. Bunkie Moon

    Democrats , turn wombs into tombs , and call it a choice .

    October 31, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Yes, just everyone knows that NO republican or Christian women have ever had an abortion. (eye roll)

      October 31, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Observer

      It was Bush and the Republicans who sent more than 4,000 Americans to die and 30,000 to be wounded for FALSE REASONS.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  13. rmatten

    Quote from Mahatma Gandhi: "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

    October 31, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  14. HaveYouReadIt?

    Let's all be realistic for a second: the only thing clear about the bible is that it is unclear on almost every topic. find a moral teaching in there that doesn't have a contradicting moral point somewhere else in the book. Good luck

    October 31, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      If I kill someone, and my brother takes the blame for me...that is something that we don't stand for for morrally or legally. We wan6t the perpetrator to take his just punishment. Christians feel it is OK to let someone take their just punishment, as long as they feel bad about it.

      THAT is christian morality. In order to follow christ, you must be willing to do this immoral act.

      I will take my just punishmen6t if there were one, and could not think that a moral god would make me burn in agony for any "sins".
      It is immoral by our standards if the punishment does not fit the crime.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • The paradox of knowledge

      Sad but true. The same can be said about any religion. The same confusion also applies to atheism, Darwinism, Big Bang, love and life. Should we just not worry, and be happy? "In the making of books there is no end...." Why gain more knowledge ad nauseum? Even though one can argue that there is logic in life, it's not consistent. We respond to perceived rewards and consequences, or costs/benefits, or our assessments of probability. Thomas Shelling would add "focal points". This is what governs our beliefs, our faith in whatever it may be. In the end we are all just Minotaurs acting like bulls in other peoples china shop, claiming that we "know" best. I'm not justifying relativism. Life begins at conception an that is not the real issue. The value we give to life at that early stage is the point of debate. That value depends on our beliefs. Should a Minotaur even care which way he turns in his labyrinth? Is winning even feasible? What is life worth? That's the question.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • HaveYouReadIt?

      @ Paradox. Religion constantly makes contradicting moral statements. How can you claim to be the inerrant word of god and be riddled with discrepancies and contradictions? And since when has atheism ever made suggestions on morality? Atheism doesn't preach a standard set of morals. Hell, Atheism shouldn't really even be a thing. The only cohesive trait of atheism is the lack of belief. That hardly can define an objective set of morals.

      Of course hypotheses are going to contradict one another. Once we have determined the correct hypothesis, there won't be any more contradictions. That's basically the idea of them in the first place... -_-

      November 1, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • The paradox of knowledge

      1. Atheism is a belief just like any other belief: the belief that there is no God. How? You can not prove that there is no God, just as I can not prove that there is a God. At least I'm self aware that my "knowledge" is just a belief. Pathetic as it may seem.
      2. Correct hypothesis? Are we going to a science lab? I wish we could. We wouldn't be wasting our time on this blog if we could change our beliefs into "knowledge". It ain't going to happen. Even if Jesus came back on a white horse, would that prove that God exists? We could still scream: Aliens! The Big Bang also takes an enormous amount of faith.
      3. Atheism never suggest to preach morality? Why do they bend over backwards in their attempts to remove the 10 commandments? You want to break the 10 commandments, go ahead. You don't want them hanging on your bedroom wall. Fine. You don't want to read them, hey... nobody is forcing you. Atheism has value, but many atheist are not atheists, they are just hostile to religion for a number of reasons. I respect fact seekers (atheists or theists, but not those that are so blind that they don't notice the chip on their shoulder). Your 2 cents of wisdom preaching doesn't hold any water.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • LinCA

      @The paradox of knowledge

      You said, "1. Atheism is a belief just like any other belief: the belief that there is no God. How? You can not prove that there is no God, just as I can not prove that there is a God. At least I'm self aware that my "knowledge" is just a belief. Pathetic as it may seem."
      Most atheists here don't claim to know there are no gods. There is no reason to believe there are any as there isn't a shred of evidence to support their existence. Believing there are gods is unreasonable.

      Atheism is a religion, just like not collecting stamps is a hobby.

      You said, "2. Correct hypothesis? Are we going to a science lab? I wish we could. We wouldn't be wasting our time on this blog if we could change our beliefs into "knowledge". It ain't going to happen. Even if Jesus came back on a white horse, would that prove that God exists? We could still scream: Aliens! The Big Bang also takes an enormous amount of faith."
      Without any evidence in support for any god, they are equally likely to exist as the Tooth Fairy. Evidence for the scientific account is overwhelming, yet very few will claim to know exactly how it all went down.

      You said, "3. Atheism never suggest to preach morality? Why do they bend over backwards in their attempts to remove the 10 commandments? You want to break the 10 commandments, go ahead. You don't want them hanging on your bedroom wall. Fine. You don't want to read them, hey... nobody is forcing you. Atheism has value, but many atheist are not atheists, they are just hostile to religion for a number of reasons. I respect fact seekers (atheists or theists, but not those that are so blind that they don't notice the chip on their shoulder). Your 2 cents of wisdom preaching doesn't hold any water."
      The 10 commandments are religious garbage. You may keep your trash, just keep that bullshit out of the lives of sane people. That nonsense has no place in a civilized society.

      Most atheists are only hostile towards the religion that is forced down our throats. Keep your infantile beliefs to yourself, and you won't hear from me.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • fred

      LinCA
      “Atheism is a religion, just like not collecting stamps is a hobby”
      =>August 20, 2005: “Atheism is [the inmate's] religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said.
      The court decided the inmate’s First Amendment rights were violated because the prison refused to allow him to create a study group for atheists.

      “Evidence for the scientific account is overwhelming, yet very few will claim to know exactly how it all went down.”
      =>Same goes for God with the exception the evidence pertains to the 6th sense which is not subject to mans scientific rules of evidence as it is not of the physical matter or energy which you acknowledge you do not know and it is possibly unknowable.

      “Most atheists are only hostile towards the religion that is forced down our throats. Keep your infantile beliefs to yourself, and you won't hear from me.”
      =>stop attacking the weak ones of faith with your hidden agenda of godlessness and you will be ignored. Atheists have their list given by Dawkins which tears at the faith of new believers. You have always been protected by the belief in God by the vast majority of Americans even though you do not believe. You have never personally experienced godlessness in society yet you advocate it. I don’t see you attacking the tooth fairy or Santa Clause. That is because you know the difference between God and children’s stories.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • tallulah13

      I don't think some christiians can understand the ability to not believe in the supernatural. It's sad, and rather pathetic, but perhaps they have such a deep fear of taking responsibility for their own actions that they can't comprehend when others are not afraid.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • fred

      tallulah13
      Sorry, but the reason Christ had to save us was because man rejects God. The Bible shows the contrast between those who believe and those who do not and we understand rejection of God. It is not simply that you do not believe you actually reject the notion of God. Forget all the excuses and justification for being an atheist the bottom line is rejection of God. How silly that something you claim does not exist forces you and everyone on this planet to make a choice of accepting God or rejecting God.

      November 1, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • tallulah13

      Fred: The bible condemns you and then says you can be saved if you do what the bible says. There is no proof, only an unsubstantiated threat and an equally unsubstantiated bribe, Can you not see the problem with that?

      I can understand why people believed these myths in a time when most of nature was still a mystery, but now that most phenomena have a perfectly explainable causes, the reasons for belief have been distilled into nothing more than cultural habit and personal choice. There are many emotional reasons why people believe in the god of their choice, but there are no logical ones.

      November 1, 2012 at 2:22 am |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "August 20, 2005: “Atheism is [the inmate's] religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said.
      The court decided the inmate’s First Amendment rights were violated because the prison refused to allow him to create a study group for atheists.
      "
      One person's study group doesn't a religion make. Atheism is simply a lack of belief. Crucial elements of religion are completely missing from it. While there may be gatherings, there is no worship. While it pertains to belief, it is about lack thereof. There is no doctrine.

      The closest atheists come to believers is the "spiritual but not religious" types.

      The court decision you quoted shows that freedom of religion includes the right to freedom from it.

      You said, "“Evidence for the scientific account is overwhelming, yet very few will claim to know exactly how it all went down.”
      =>Same goes for God with the exception the evidence pertains to the 6th sense which is not subject to mans scientific rules of evidence as it is not of the physical matter or energy which you acknowledge you do not know and it is possibly unknowable.
      "
      Than it isn't evidence, other than for a mental disorder. Your thoughts on your imaginary friend don't constitute a reliable record. Just because you make shit up, doesn't mean it is anywhere near the truth.

      Without physical evidence, your beliefs are just some bullshit story.

      You said, "stop attacking the weak ones of faith with your hidden agenda of godlessness and you will be ignored."
      Keep your delusions and mental illness to yourself, and the problem goes away.

      You said, "Atheists have their list given by Dawkins which tears at the faith of new believers."
      It's a public service. Indoctrination of "new believers" is some of the worst abuse you can perpetrate on an impressionable person.

      You said, "You have always been protected by the belief in God by the vast majority of Americans even though you do not believe."
      Bullshit. It's the delusions of the majority that has chipped away at my freedoms. I have to fight for a decent education for our youth, as the religious morons would like nothing more than to remove science from the classroom and substitute their bullshit fairy tale. I have to fight for equal right for everyone, as the religious morons would like nothing more than to force their delusional views on everyone.

      You said, "You have never personally experienced godlessness in society yet you advocate it."
      What do you know about my personal experiences?

      You said, "I don’t see you attacking the tooth fairy or Santa Clause. That is because you know the difference between God and children’s stories."
      The only difference is that children are allowed to stop believing in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. Because they are allowed to stop believing in them, they are far less likely to inflict harm based on those belief once they grow up.

      I couldn't fucking care less what you believe. Being delusional or an idiot isn't illegal. It's the effect on society of the delusions that I oppose.

      November 1, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • fred

      LinCA
      “The closest atheists come to believers is the "spiritual but not religious" types.”
      =>spiritual atheist types? Exactly how does that work given your past arguments? God is spirit and believers are born of the spirit. Some religions pump this up as the Spirit of God others the spirit of mother earth etc. The spirit is in that area I referred to as the 6th sense because it does not fit the measurable physical world materialists are limited to.

      “Than it isn't evidence, other than for a mental disorder. Your thoughts on your imaginary friend”
      =>tell me did all of the presidents of the United States suffer from mental disorder since they claimed Christ as their imaginary friend.

      “Without physical evidence, your beliefs are just some bullsh it story.”
      =>we are talking about purpose and meaning for the existence of the physical matter and energy. What evidence do you have and how is your non belief based on any evidence that is any more credible (according to your own standards) than my evidence? I have heard the belief can be we only have those moments where chemical reactions on organic matter result in life. Well I can get that by running a current through a cut off frog leg. I assume you believe existence to be a little more than that. Where is your evidence?
      If you are in the camp of atheists that claim nothingness after death we have agreed that there is no evidence for that and the notion of nothingness is in error.
      We don’t know? That implies there could be something yet you have no evidence for that. At that point your bullsh it story again is no more credible.

      “It's a public service. Indoctrination of "new believers" is some of the worst abuse you can perpetrate on an impressionable person.”
      =>yes, Stalin and party did a wonderful job of stripping the youth of God by indoctrination of godlessness. Cheers to your godlessness and your indoctrination but just don’t claim higher ground.
      “I have to fight for a decent education for our youth, as the religious morons would like nothing more than to remove science from the classroom and subst itute their bullsh it fairy tale.”
      =>time you went into the classroom. What is taught in schools is that God is like all other gods as they give equal time to world religions. Take a close look as they paint the atrocities in the name of God and peace in the name of secularism. Take a close look when they label creationism in with myths of Greeks. Where have you been the 15years some small town in the South?

      “ I have to fight for equal right for everyone”
      =>no you fight for what you believe is equality today. That equality changes from culture to culture and over time. You do not offer equal rights to the unborn based on your belief. You do not offer equal rights when I am forced to hire less qualified applicants to meet quotas. You have given a physical characteristic elevated rights over another physical characteristic.
      Your problem is that because you reject the Bible you cannot comprehend a man is over the women as Christ is over man yet both man and women are equal in the eyes of God. Sorry, but your version of equality is simply mans attempt to prove his moral code above the absolute as given by God. Good luck with that.

      “What do you know about my personal experiences?”
      =>you cannot escape the fact that your “world” was dominated by the Western World View which is Judeo Christian. At its core has been the vast majority who lived around you that looked up to God with respect. You have lived in that bubble of protection regardless of your personal belief or experiences.
      Thanks be to God. Yes, some blessing came your way just by where you were born.

      “It's the effect on society of the delusions that I oppose.”
      =>exactly what devastating effect would following Christ have on society?

      November 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • fred

      tallulah13
      no, the Bible actually shows of history of man making a mess of things because man does not believe Gods ways are best.

      “I can understand why people believed these myths in a time when most of nature was still a mystery”
      =>well we still have the exact mysteries today; why do we exist and why is there good and evil.

      “most phenomena have a perfectly explainable causes”
      =>each generation comes face to face with unexplainable phenomena and that which is unexplainable is where faith determines what you believe about the event. Nothing new under the heavens.

      “ the reasons for belief have been distilled into nothing more than cultural habit and personal choice”
      =>I agree with you and this applies to the atheist as well since the habit of materialism forms a belief where only explainable physical events are possible. Take evolution which has its scientific merits but those theories say nothing about the God or the Bible or address origin of life yet some attempt to carry those theories into the arena of faith where they are meaningless.
      The cultural habit of the non believer is to find what is wrong with the Bible and God rather than search for truth with an open mind. Your argument swings both ways.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "spiritual atheist types? Exactly how does that work given your past arguments?"
      How hard is this to grasp? When I was comparing atheists to believers, obviously I meant the closest you can get is the believers that don't belong to a religion. It wasn't the delusion these believers still suffer from that they have in common. It's the not being part of a cult that they have in common.

      You said, "tell me did all of the presidents of the United States suffer from mental disorder since they claimed Christ as their imaginary friend."
      Quite a few did. Some just pretend.

      You said, "we are talking about purpose and meaning for the existence of the physical matter and energy. What evidence do you have and how is your non belief based on any evidence that is any more credible (according to your own standards) than my evidence?"
      I don't claim to know. I don't claim my imaginary friend did it.

      You said, "I have heard the belief can be we only have those moments where chemical reactions on organic matter result in life. Well I can get that by running a current through a cut off frog leg. I assume you believe existence to be a little more than that. Where is your evidence?"
      I never made that claim.

      You said, "If you are in the camp of atheists that claim nothingness after death we have agreed that there is no evidence for that and the notion of nothingness is in error."
      Again, not my claim.

      You said, "We don’t know? That implies there could be something yet you have no evidence for that. At that point your bullsh it story again is no more credible."
      Admitting not knowing is a hell of a lot more honest that just making up some bullshit story.

      You said, "yes, Stalin and party did a wonderful job of stripping the youth of God by indoctrination of godlessness. Cheers to your godlessness and your indoctrination but just don’t claim higher ground."
      Yes, Stalin was pretty bad. He used everything he learned about the power of indoctrination during his religious training. He also learned that if he wanted control, he had to eliminate the competition. He had to take out religion. So you are right that religion, when used to control people, is horrible.

      You said, "time you went into the classroom. What is taught in schools is that God is like all other gods as they give equal time to world religions."
      Yes, we're making progress but it remains a constant struggle to ward off attempts to roll back the progress and send us back to the dark ages.

      You said, "Take a close look as they paint the atrocities in the name of God and peace in the name of secularism."
      Like I said, we're making progress.

      You said, "Take a close look when they label creationism in with myths of Greeks."
      Fairy tales have no place in education.

      You said, "Where have you been the 15years some small town in the South?"
      Any place where they still cling to these delusions and pass them for sound education, is one too many.

      You said, "no you fight for what you believe is equality today."
      If you think that your imaginary friend doesn't like homosexuality, you should not engage in it. You have no right to deny anyone else to participate just based on your mental illness.

      You said, "That equality changes from culture to culture and over time."
      Of course, and the more civilized, the more equality there is. Discrimination based on some ancient fairy tale is something we should have abandoned thousands of years ago.

      You said, "You do not offer equal rights to the unborn based on your belief."
      A zygote's "rights" don't override those of the woman. If you don't want an abortion, don't have one. Don't try to force your uneducated beliefs on others.

      You said, "You do not offer equal rights when I am forced to hire less qualified applicants to meet quotas. You have given a physical characteristic elevated rights over another physical characteristic."
      Where did I do that?

      You said, "Your problem is that because you reject the Bible you cannot comprehend a man is over the women as Christ is over man yet both man and women are equal in the eyes of God. Sorry, but your version of equality is simply mans attempt to prove his moral code above the absolute as given by God. Good luck with that."
      Imaginary beings have no jurisdiction over anyone who doesn't voluntarily submit to them. If you want to live your life according to that moronic bullshit, go right ahead. Stupidity isn't illegal. Trying to force anyone else to submit to those delusions is downright immoral.

      You said, "you cannot escape the fact that your “world” was dominated by the Western World View which is Judeo Christian."
      I will admit that I have seen first hand the horrors committed in the name of religion.

      You said, "At its core has been the vast majority who lived around you that looked up to God with respect. You have lived in that bubble of protection regardless of your personal belief or experiences."
      You must mean protection for the deluded at the expense of the sane.

      You said, "Thanks be to God."
      Hell fucking no. That imaginary friend that you call your god is a monster beyond compare. The sooner we get people to shed their infantile beliefs, the better.

      You said, "Yes, some blessing came your way just by where you were born."
      None that religion or the delusions at its root can take credit for.

      You said, "exactly what devastating effect would following Christ have on society?"
      Have you looked at what the fundies are trying to do to this country? Are you really so immoral that you consider discriminating against your fellow citizens to appease some delusion acceptable? Are you really willing to send this country back to the stone age by stifling science and education, just to maintain a bullshit story?

      The evangelicals in the US are truly the immoral minority.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:24 am |
    • fred

      LinCA
      “You said, "tell me did all of the presidents of the United States suffer from mental disorder since they claimed Christ as their imaginary friend."
      Quite a few did. Some just pretend.”
      =>seriously, you actually want to hide behind that unsupported conclusion? These men rose to the highest level of leadership and you want to marginalize them because they were elected by proclaiming to be Christian.
      As a Christian I do not recall marginalizing someone because of their belief or non belief in God. Your roots in atheism are beginning to show their fruit.

      “You said, "We don’t know? That implies there could be something yet you have no evidence for that. At that point your bullsh it story again is no more credible."
      Admitting not knowing is a hell of a lot more honest that just making up some bullsh it story.”
      =>so you claim you do not know; why we exist, the purpose of life, origin of life, if there is or was God, spirits, soul, or what happens after your physical death.

      “The evangelicals in the US are truly the immoral minority.”
      =>This smells like the beginnings that may lead to the burning of Christians. The pendulum does swing both ways doesn’t it. Brace yourself for a world where the majority does not know the love of God.
      Even if you reject God, as Cain did, at least heed the warning because the truth remains the truth regardless of what local opinion may be at any given point in time. God warned Cain to do what is good and it will be well with you. When you think wrong thoughts darkness is crouching at the door and you must master it.

      November 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Wow fred talk about a completely irrelevant and useless post on your part. You could have put down
      "e;jongew;oinwgewgknewogwp,g ker whkln", and it would have made just as much of a non-point as your post did.

      November 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      The same applies to you. You cannot imply Christians are delusional morons then establish Christianity as a litmus test for Presidency of the United States. This makes you the irrational delusional one.
      You have no evidence for you positions of why you exist, where you go upon death, why look at the universe and ponder its miraculous wonder or the origin of life.
      You also have a strange need to pounce on Christians and God while proclaiming Christians are to be ignored and God does not exist. You don’t see me freaking out when someone accuses me of sin.

      November 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Wow so instead of irrelevant drivel in a long tangent about nothing, you don't even want to stay on the same topic anymore? Interesting fred, because I don't recall posting anything about a litmus test or anything like that. And if you want to know why people pounce on christians, maybe you should look at what people on the religious right want to do you dumbass! Seriously, you just don't give a shit about anything that doesn't conform to your little indoctrination bubble of complete idiocy you fallaciously call a worldview do you?

      November 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      What, you're going to run away already fred? Fucking useless tool. Probably went to his church to cry to his pedo priest about how mean all the ateists are being for not automatically falling lock step into Christianitys' completely immoral idiocy.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "seriously, you actually want to hide behind that unsupported conclusion? These men rose to the highest level of leadership and you want to marginalize them because they were elected by proclaiming to be Christian."
      Any adult still believing in imaginary beings is delusional. Ergo, every christian is delusions. It is far easier for someone who isn't delusional to pretend to be, than the other way around. Because most US voters are delusional, and vote according to those delusions, it's almost impossible to get elected without appearing to be just as deluded.

      Smart people, like Obama, are likely atheists. Dumb shits like Bush and Palin are likely truly deluded.

      You said, "As a Christian I do not recall marginalizing someone because of their belief or non belief in God."
      Like I've said, you are free to believe whatever nonsense you want. I respect your right to believe in the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus. I just have a hard time mustering respect for those beliefs.

      You said, "Your roots in atheism are beginning to show their fruit."
      Atheism is the logical result of being rational, not the other way around.

      You said, "so you claim you do not know; why we exist, the purpose of life, origin of life, if there is or was God, spirits, soul, or what happens after your physical death."
      I don't know for a fact whether there are any gods, or how life started. That doesn't make all "theories" about them equal. The ones supported by evidence are far more likely to resemble reality.

      You seem to assum ethat there is a "purpose of life", or a reason "why we exist". Odds are there are none. There is no evidence to suggest there are any, anyway.

      You said, "This smells like the beginnings that may lead to the burning of Christians. The pendulum does swing both ways doesn’t it. "
      I hope we can rid the world of this cancer through education, not eradication.

      You said, "Brace yourself for a world where the majority does not know the love of God."
      I won't hold my breath, but that sounds like a pretty good deal, assuming we get there through education and understanding.

      You said, "Even if you reject God, as Cain did, at least heed the warning because the truth remains the truth regardless of what local opinion may be at any given point in time. God warned Cain to do what is good and it will be well with you. When you think wrong thoughts darkness is crouching at the door and you must master it."
      Blah, blah, blah. I really couldn't care less what you think your imaginary friend says or does, as none of it applies to me.

      November 3, 2012 at 2:41 am |
  15. Jackson Z

    PLEASE SHARE

    October 31, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  16. Jackson Z

    This op-ed is prophetic

    October 31, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  17. JimmyThang

    I have a couple of questions about abortion. Is there any particular stage of human life more important than others or is there any stage that is more deserving of protection than others? If so, when and why? And if so, who gets to decide and why? Should liberty include the right to arbitrarily terminate an innocent human life? I used to be pro-choice but have since had a change of mind and heart. I also tend to oppose the death penalty and feel that the government should step in to save lives that are in jeopardy because of medical costs. I believe that the protection of innocent life in all stages should be one of the few responsibilities of the government.

    October 31, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • HaveYouReadIt?

      life's beginning has to be defined at some starting point. Who decides that life begins at conception vs. the existence of a heartbeat vs. sperm wasted while using contraceptives?

      October 31, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Innerspace is God's place while outerspace is for the human race.

      It's all bout money and what it can buy JT. What it can buy,,,,,,

      October 31, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @JimmyThang

      Ah but you would still be putting life and rights of the fetus higher than at any other point in a humans life. At no other point in life would a person be required to give up bodily autonomy against their will, even if it means the end of another life.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Very early on they can take a sample of the fetus cells and determine if their are any genetic problems going on, like Downs Syndrome, spina bifida or if the lungs will be mature enough at birth. There are some slight risks for the procedure but I think the results outweigh the risks.

      I know what the believers think, they think that the mystery of God wanted that couple or mother to have a deformed or severely retarded child for some crazy Godly reason.

      There are many, many reasons to abort but that should be left-up to the individual even apart from the wishes of the male counterpart. It is their body, their decision, no one has the right to stop it if the individual so chooses to have an abortion.

      Let's not only think about the life of unborn but you have to consider the person that is carrying it first and definitely not some religious nonsense.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @TheVocalAtheist

      Well said.

      Peace...

      October 31, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Hawaii

      Well said.

      Peace...

      October 31, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @peace

      I have yet to have my bodily autonomy comment responded to.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Athy

      TVA: I agree completely. Very well written. Hard to find any flaw in your comment. Thumbs up all the way.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Hawaii

      I was wondering, as I've seen you use this argument before in other discussions in the past... has 'anyone' ever had a legitimate rebuttal to your argument ?

      If so... what was their argument....?

      Curious.

      Peace...

      October 31, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @Athy

      Well thanks Athy! You make me feel like a diamond in the rough!

      October 31, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @peace

      Nope, no one has. I've been posting it for a few months now when the subject comes up, and not a single real answer to it yet.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Hawaii

      As I suspected. And if you wouldn't mind... do you remember any of the 'fails' against your argument ?

      Still curious as to how someone could or would even approach what you have written.

      Peace...

      October 31, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @peace

      Usually it's just a Red Herring/Slippery Slope of eugenics, or completely ignoring the post. Kind of like what happened in this thread.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Can some please explain to me why christians don't hate their god for being the most prolific abortionist in history?

      November 1, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • hawaiiguest

      Because in the mind of theists, god=good, and if something seems to contradict that, that just means you're not a good theist, and need to rationalize it away better.

      November 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Bob

      A mother is required to feed her 2 year old child. She is forced to give up her bodily autonomy to do that. Whether she is physically feeding it,or asking someone else to do it, she does not have an expectation fo bodily autonomy because she is legally required to act in order to keep her child alive. If she wants to have full control over exactly what she does with her body, and her desire is that she should not have to do what is bodily required to feed it and it dies, she would be charged with murder. All a woman has to do to deliver a healthy baby is feed herself and push it out one time. There is considerably more effort involved in keeping a 2 year old alive, so the protections offered the 2 year old require much more effort than those that should be offered to the fetus.

      So, you can stop asking that dumb question anymore.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bob

      That's a bullshit argument and you know it. The biological mother is not required by law to keep the 2 year old. She can give it up for adoption, or even sign over parental rights to her parents. You're point does not address my question at all.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Bob

      I most obviously DID answer your question satisfactorily, and I am sorry if you are too immature to admit it.

      What if the mother does not want to give up a baby and would rather avoid feeding it? If she had true bodily autonomy, she would not be required to physically sign the baby over or physically give it away, and she could choose to feed it only if and when she wanted. Legally, she does not have bodily autonomy as soon as that baby is born, she is required to ACT in some way or she will be prosecuted.

      Sorry you were wrong, but don't feel bad, just try a different angle.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bob

      You're equating accepting the responsibility of keeping the child after birth to being forced to give up bodily autonomy. The logical result of keeping a child is voluntarily giving up certain autonomous things. This is not force, this is choice. You're wrong Bob, and merely grasping at whatever perceived straws you think you see.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Bob

      You are simply crafting your own definition "bodily autonomy" so that it fits with your strawman. No wonder nobody has "satisfactorily" addressed your question, you have intentionally used incorrect definitions of terms.

      So, since you are obviously not going to agree with my correct definition of bodily autonomy, why don't you tell me YOUR definition of bodily autonomy and explain at what point before, during, or after birth that you think that definition should change, and then I will try to work with that and help you out.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bob

      Bodily Autonomy is the right to not have your body used against your will. Hence why we don't prosecute adults for not giving blood, not being an organ donor, or respecting their rights to refuse certain medical treatments. How exactly is my definition "wrong"?

      November 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Bob

      "Bodily Autonomy is the right to not have your body used against your will."
      Is that REALLY the definition of bodily autonomy you are going with? I don't think thay makes sense in terms of the English language. Nowhere in any dictionary is autonomy of any kind refereed to as a "right". That is your own personal add-on.

      The actual dictionary defines autonomy as "the quality or state of being self-governing".
      Do you agree that the definition of "bodily autonomy" should ACTUALLY be "The quality or state of self-governing one's body", or do you want to stick with your fake definition? Let me know, and I will continue to try to help you out.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bob

      Either definition you want to use, under law, it is a right of all citizens. Also, my definition is not opposing of yours. The biggest problem I'm seeing is your talking in terms of your own views, and I'm speaking in terms of actual U.S. law.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Bob

      Can you site the law you are talking about? I don't to waste my time owning you only to have you try to weasel out of it by busting out new info. Thanks.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bob

      Look up the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 3, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 9(1).

      November 1, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • My goodness but you’re stupid

      “I believe that the protection of innocent life in all stages should be one of the few responsibilities of the government.”

      The termites in my house are “innocent life”, my appendix is innocent life, and my morning omelet was innocent life. So by your “logic” the government should be protecting all of them.

      November 1, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  18. k

    Religion aside, the pro-life position is the true liberal position. An important component of being a liberal is sticking up for (and fighting for the rights of) people who can't do so for themselves. That, it seems to me, is the pro-life position – standing up for the baby. HOWEVER, we liberals can't simply look after the welfare of the baby and not the mother. It is imperative that the mothers receive our help, kindness, and respect ... and given as much support (even financial, if necessary) as possible.

    October 31, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • tallulah13

      The most logical position would be to advocate education and birth control. It's amazing how many of the people who scream and shout about the evils of abortion are the same ones who fight against affordable, available birth control and real education. What a bunch of hypocrites.

      November 1, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • Bob

      Abstinence is the only 100% effective form of birth control. It is also the safest, it is free, it is morally defensible, and it eliminates the need for almost all except the most medically necessary abortions.

      Why are we not putting ALL of our collective efforts into promoting the undeniably best solution in every way?

      November 1, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bob

      Because abstinence only sex education does not work, and very demonstrably so.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      If you're a Christian, then you believe in at least one instance where abstinance did not work.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Bob

      So, because we haven't done it well in the past, we should abandon the most perfect and least controversial solution to a problem? How many things can you think of off the top of your head that the human race didn't used to be good at. but improved and got better at? How well do you think those first few brain and spine surgeries in history went? Good thing hawaiiguest wasn't there explaining to those doctors why they shouldn't keep trying to perfect it, huh?

      November 1, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Bob

      There has been plenty of time for "abstinence training" to work. Centuries, in fact. It hasn't worked, so get over your dogma and face the facts.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bob

      There is no "well" when it comes to abstinence only education. It only says "don't do it", and ill-prepares people for reality. Your surgery analogy is completely off base.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Bob

      People will be people, and especially, teenagers will be teenagers. Abstinence training is demonstrably both redundant and useless as a means of preventing unwanted pregnancies. Do some diligent research and that will become obvious.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Bob

      OK, so now we are saying that there is no way to teach something that is any better than any other way to teach it? If you really believe that, then why are there teachers at all? Or is that teaching everything else except for abstinence can be done well or poorly and improved upon?

      Are you people really this intellectually dishonest?

      November 1, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bob

      Speaking of intellectually dishonest, I'm talking about abstinence only education, which is what you're promoting:
      "Why are we not putting ALL of our collective efforts into promoting the undeniably best solution in every way?"

      At no point did I say abstinence in general is uselss. Abstinence is a good thing to teach, but it shouldn't be the only thing we teach. If you actually read my posts, and responded to the actual points instead of having a knee jerk reaction I might not have had to actually explain this.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Bob

      Why are you changing the subject? I didn't assume anything about what you said or believe. You said abstinence education "failed". Let's make that "abstinence only education failed", I am fine with that.

      So, you still believe that it's not possible to teach any one idea any more effectively than it was ever taught in the past?

      November 1, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bob

      Look at my first post on this thread. I clearly said abstinence only. I'm staying on subject. Like I just said, try to reign in the knee jerk reactions and actually read my posts.

      November 1, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Bob

      That's fine, like I asked, are you saying that it is not possible to teach anything well or poorly, that quality of and approach to teaching has nothing to do with how well that thing is learned or received? I am trying to understand why anyone would believe that it's not worth trying to teach that abstinence is far and away the best form of birth control and something that will have a positive benefit for those who practice it and the world at large. It's completely indisputable that this is the best method, and if you believe that there is no way to teach it in a way that works well for students, then you must believe that thereis no such thing as good teaching and bad teaching and that there is no such thing as process improvement, both of which are false. There is a lot that has never been said on this subject to kids and it is not at all necessary to believe in God or religion to see a deeply compelling case for what is positive about abstinence and how it can improve one's day to day and long term life.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:32 am |
  19. Jackson Z

    Please forward this article to all of your evangelical friends

    October 31, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
  20. mudfoot

    Ok Jonathan Dudley if you want to quote scriptures try Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
    Before you were born I sanctified you;
    I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

    Don't quote bits and pieces that suit your argument. The Bible is meant to be taken as a WHOLE.

    October 31, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • rusty

      Exactly. The author quotes a scripture that takes one stance and your quote from the Bible takes another. The Bible is full of contradictions and should not be taken as serious doctrine on morality. Just about any side of any argument can be justified with a quote from the Bible.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Vicarious

      @Mudfoot – the author of this article is quoting professor Bruce Waltke of the Dallas Theological Society in 1968 as well as the magazine Christian Life. He also mentioned the Southern Baptist Convention's passing of a resolution in 1971 stating that abortion should be legal. So, Jonathan Dudley is not making selective quotes from the bible – 60's-70's era Christian evangelicals made those statements. He's not quoting bits and pieces to suite an argument, indeed he doesn't even present an argument so much as point out an interesting change. It's really quite fascinating the turnaround in opinion over the past 30 years no matter which side of the fence you sit on.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • End Religion

      ...yes, a WHOLE piece of garbage.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Russ

      @ VIcarious: interesting response on Christianity Today...

      http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/october-web-only/when-evangelicals-were-pro-choice-another-fake-history.html?paging=off

      Certainly seems Jonathan Dudley purposefully left out some details that helped him overstate Waltke's position.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
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About this blog

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.