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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. SoldierOfConscience

    I have four questions for any people supporting killing unborn humans.

    Answers are YES or NO only. If you say anything else I will assume you mean YES :)

    1. Is the fetus alive?
    2. Is it human in nature?
    3. Does it have its own unique human DNA not found in any other human being?
    4. Is it true that the fetus is not harming mom or anyone else?

    If YES to all four then the fetus is a unique unborn human that is not harming anyone else. .

    Im a reasonable person, by all means if the mom's life is in danger or in case of r @pe or 1ncest then 4 is FALSE.

    November 1, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Huebert

      yes
      no
      yes
      depends on the fetus.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @SoldierOfConscience
      I have one question for you.
      Answer only YES or NO. If you say anything else I will assume that you're dodging the question.
      1) Is a blastocyst a foetus?

      November 1, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • My goodness you’re stupid

      Since when does doing harm exclude someone from the definition of human? According to you we get to terminate everyone caught doing harm . Fortunately your “rules” and opinions are not what the law is based on

      November 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • The Truth

      1. Is the spem alive? – Yes
      2. Is it human in nature? – Yes
      3. Does it have its own unique human DNA not found in any other human being? – Yes
      4. Is it true that the sperm is not harming mom or anyone else? – Yes

      Oh my God, I need to start asking for forgiveness for all those potential humans I massacred as a teenager!! Every crusty tube sock and stiff paper towel I will have to try and find and perform some proper burial! Dear God, the humanity!!

      November 1, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Soldier

      You are not a reasonable person, and here's why:

      1) Limiting it to YES or NO only shows an unwillingness for actual discussion of the issue.
      2) You have posted this for months, and have gotten actual answers despite your attempts to limit answers.
      3) You ignore responses constantly, like you will probably ignore this one.
      4) When things don't go your way in a thread, you run like a little bitch.

      November 1, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • QuestionEverything

      (1) Yes
      (2) No
      (3) Yes
      (4) No

      Those are my answers. What's your point? Since I really don't think the answer is "yes" to all four questions do I get to have an abortion?

      November 1, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      @ hawaii guest

      1. The reason for limiting it to yes or no is not to avoid discussion but to keep it simple. Life is black and white. SOmething is true or false not an infinite sea of grays.
      2. the so-called discussions have been people trying to beat around the bush or obfuscate the point
      3. I'm not ignoring anything
      4. Im not ignoring this

      November 2, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      @question everything:

      Re 2: Do you mean the fetus cells are cat or dog or plant cells?
      Re 4: Yeah its not always yes. But if it IS yes (for example, medically normal pregnancy) then I have proved all fetuses are unique human beings

      November 2, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • tallulah13

      Life has never been black and white. There are many factors that should be considered before any important decision is made. The correct decision for you is not going to be the correct decision for every person. I suppose black and white is simpler, but it's not realistic, fair or compassionate.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      @thetruth

      you are being facetious. I asked if the embryo cells have UNIQUE dna. Even my snot may carry my dna but the rest of me is alive even after it is discarded. But with the fetus, once its gone, that DNA is gone...... Kapeesh?

      November 2, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Doc Vestibule, the answer is YES.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • tallulah13

      You've proved nothing "Soldier". Perhaps all your personal pregnancies have been easy, but this is not always the case. There are indeed times when a fetus is harming the mother, sometimes to the point where the mother's life is threatened. Sometimes a choice has to be made, and women deserve the chance to choose their own lives. You are not the judge. You are not qualified.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Talullah, applying that standard to, say shoplifters, its not all black and white, maybe the perp NEEDED the trinket jewelry or the garment being smuggled out under the sweater or whatever. Lets not prosecute them. The retailer is wrong to think in black and white.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Following that logic, an acorn is an oak tree.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Talullah, see last line of OP

      November 2, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • tallulah13

      Or how about this: A shoplifter is a 3 year old child who didn't realize that the cookie she took didn't belong to her. Let's throw her in prison! You are a very simple person, aren't you.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • tallulah13

      Your last line of you OP is a shade of gray, "Soldier." Hm. I guess it's not all black and white after all.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Huebert

      SoC

      I'm sure that you are intelligent enough to appreciate the fact that while some situations can be adequately viewed as black or wight, others cannot. To use your shoplifter example, what if it is a woman trying to steal food to feed her family?

      November 2, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Damocles

      @SoC

      Did you really just say 'perp'?

      To continue with what tallulah was saying, what if someone of diminished capacity takes an item?

      November 2, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • MCR

      1. Is the fetus alive?
      It depends on your definition of alive, of which there are many. I would lean towards yes...likewise a turnip or a tapeworm is alive.
      2. Is it human in nature?
      More than the above mentioned turnip, but less so than a fully developed chip or, depending on gestation, a cat or mouse.
      3. Does it have its own unique human DNA not found in any other human being?
      Probably, given that even identical twins have some later genetic mutations during development...but can't be guaranteed.
      4. Is it true that the fetus is not harming mom or anyone else?
      If the mother chose to abort it, she perceived harm, so in that case, No.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      MCR, that's splitting hairs. whether a thing is alive is black and white. ditto if it is human cell or rabbit cell or .. (look at DNA).

      Huebert, I dont know where you got thr NO for the second question from.. is that embryo made of rabbit or radish cells? for the fourth question, you just repeated what I said in the last line of the OP

      November 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Huebert

      The second question was "Is the embryo human in nature?"

      I said no because I would not consider a microscopic organism consisting of less than 100 cells to be human in nature. An acorn is not an oak tree. Yes an embryo Is made of human cells, and given time it would grow into a human, but at the early stages of pregnancy I would not say that a fetus is human in nature.

      As to number 4, You only made exceptions for r@pe and incest, I would say that a fetus is causing harm if the mother perceives it as causing harm.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      HUbert, classic straw man. congrats!

      November 4, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, for fvck's sake. You're doing the bit with the fvcking shoplifters again, you moron? What part of this do you not get? You don't have a say in a woman's right to choose. You simply don't. Doesn't matter what your reasons are, doesn't matter how "immoral" you think abortion is. The SCOTUS has ruled on the matter and your opinion is MOOT, dumbsh1t.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Women have the right to decide, SOC. They alone are the best judges of what is best for them. You aren't qualified. Here's a little clue, Cletus: suppose someone was about to die if he didn't get a new kidney. Suppose you were the only match. Would the government be justified in forcing YOU to have surgery? To give up an organ? No, it would not. The principle is the same. No one has the right to force others to do anything with their bodies or the contents thereof.

      Get over it, you obsessive nit.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The real question is the one you didn't have the balls to ask, you coward: Whose rights are paramount? The answer is clear: fetuses before viability outside the uterus have no legal status and no rights; women do.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Tom. I have an analogy for you

      Consider a cat or a dog pet. whats more important? its right or the owners? So all these governments enforcing animal cruelty laws (e.g. you got to feed them, provide them shelter etc) are all r3tarded, to use your favorite term.

      In another thread you mentioned that your mom told you she wished she had a borted you. Was it becuase of your foul mouth? or worse?

      November 4, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Tom,

      I countered your points.

      and... *crickets*

      November 6, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  2. The Media Never Cease to Amaze...

    I am constantly surprised to see that actual organizations, whose business and livelihood are based on communication, would tolerate (much less pay) somebody to publicly discredit them. This article is yet another example.

    Regardless of your opinion on any topic, it would behoove you to check your sources and make sure what they are saying passes the common sense test and actually supports your point, prior to publishing.

    In this article, the author (according to his summary paragraph) is trying to prove that evangelicals are NOT submitting to Biblical truth. The first thing he should determine, then, is the answer to what Biblical truth IS (not what somebody else says it is). Simply quoting professor Bruce Waltke because he is “professor Bruce Waltke”, or because of who published him, means nothing when you are trying to convince people they are not following Biblical truth.

    The identification of this mistake takes only a few minutes, by simply looking at the source Mr. Waltke quotes, and seeing if it matches his statements. Exodus 21:22-24 actually DOES support Leviticus 24:17. “If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, YET THERE IS NO INJURY, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is ANY FURTHER injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”

    First, we see that the whole statement is actually finished in Exodus 21:25, not 24. This should be your first clue that your source is not going to help you in the real world. Regardless, who has not heard of a baby being born prematurely and living with no injury? This is what the Bible clearly states as being addressed by fines. However, if there is ANY INJURY “you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, etc…”

    Ok, so now that you can no longer use the ONLY specific Biblical reference that all your time and research have yielded (the entire remaining source for this composition is purely the words of other men) – you have now lost the whole basis for your article’s summary statement. Instead, you are trying to convince evangelicals that the belief of previous so-called “evangelicals” has not historically matched what is believed today – nor has it matched Biblical truth according to the very quick check we made. In this statement, you would be correct; however, with the closing paragraph of this article, the author simply reinforces both his lack of understanding (regarding what he is actually trying to prove), and the lack of quality controls in our media.

    November 1, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Primewonk

      The point is, that like many areas, religious folks beliefs change over time. What this author posted is factual. It is what many of you believed back in the 70's. Just like how years ago, many religious folks believed interracial mariage was wrong. Just like years ago when many of you believed a woman's place was in the home. Just like many years ago many of you believed your version of a god wanted white folks to own black folks. You based these thinks on how you spun verses from your bible.

      November 1, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • John

      Biblical truth is an oxymoron. It is a fictional story devised by men to control the population. Fear is the main ingedient.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Askelon

      Actually, Exodus 21:22-25 says, "If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she has a MISCARRIAGE but there is no serious injury [to the mother], the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury [to the mother], you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise."

      November 1, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Brother Maynard

      Hmmm ...
      Actually mine actually specifically applies the rule to the woman:
      "If two men are fighting, and in the process hurt a pregnant woman so that she has a miscarriage, but she lives, thn the man who ingured her shall be fined whatever amount the woman's husband shall demand, and as the judges approve. But if any harm comes to the woman and she dies, he shall be executed."
      Not a generic "YET THERE IS NO INJURY" nor an implied "[to the mother]" but actually "her" and "woman"

      Amazing how the so-called "direct word of god" is never consistant

      November 1, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Askelon

      Another excellent point, Brother Maynard!

      November 1, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • My goodness you’re stupid

      “The first thing he should determine, then, is the answer to what Biblical truth IS (not what somebody else says it is).”

      Do you have any idea how much useless slaughter of humans over 1000’s of years could have been prevented if “the answer to what Biblical truth IS” could actually be satisfactorily answered?

      November 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things'

    November 1, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian;

      November 1, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs._

      November 1, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Bob

      Just because prayer doesn't consistently and predicatably work to your satisfaction doesn't mean it doesn't work. I have seen and experienced prayer working directly, and I've also prayed and thought to myself that my prayers didn't seem to make a difference, only to see later that the results were different than anticipated, but undeniable. God doesn't work on the terms humans attempt to dictate for Him, and doesn't do tricks on command like a dog, nor is human suffering always a negative in His broader world view.

      November 1, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Bob

      Ahem. There are no instances that anyone can cite of prayer definitely working. There are recent studies done with a high degree of rigor that show that prayer has no impact whatsoever on the outcome of what was prayed for.

      November 1, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Bob

      Dogs are better than, and greater than, god. And they make much better companions.

      November 1, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Bob

      My dog's better than your god.

      November 1, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Bob

      My dog, unlike your god, respects me and doesn't threaten me with eternal torture if I don't worship him and don't kowtow to his absurd, unrealistic demands. And the sight of his wagging tail brings me far more comfort and happiness than a fictional sky fairy ever could.

      November 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  4. James

    Pass it on Folks!

    November 1, 2012 at 5:27 am |
  5. dock your dong with dudes

    What about the dark lord and his evil armies bent on pillaging and ra.ping the souls of the unwilling spreading the butt cheeks of your mind and forcing in the impure thoughts of a turd cutter blowing the fecal matter of gods bloody eyeballs of truth. Ya feel me? Hail Satan.

    October 31, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Observer

      You think about that A LOT, don't you?

      October 31, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • dock your dong with dudes

      Prolapsed.net yo, check it out and understand the galaxy.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Atheist Hunter

      dude you are deeply distrubed! May Jesus deliver your soul from it's torment!

      November 1, 2012 at 7:27 am |
  6. Reality

    Why Obama (and Axelrod) have started the pro- Roe vs. Wade ads across the USA (just like the last election) and

    Why the Christian Right no longer matters in presidential elections:

    Once again, all the conservative votes in the country "ain't" going to help a "pro-life" presidential candidate, i.e Mitt Romney, in 2012 as the "Immoral Majority" rules the country and will be doing so for awhile. The "Immoral Majority" you ask?

    The fastest growing USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million "IM" voters in 2012.

    2008 Presidential popular vote results:

    69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM.

    And the irony:

    And all because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe they should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)

    The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.

    i.e. IF THE PILL AND MALE CONDOMS WERE USED PROPERLY, ABORTION WOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE AND OBAMA WOULD NOT BE PRESIDENT.

    October 31, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Romnesia

      Abortion is not a deciding factor for most voters except when the religious right make it an issue. It is not an ideal solution but we have nothing better (that is realistic). Abortion is a legal choice.Women had abortions even when they were not legal. Also there is an element of hypocrasy on the part of the GOP – Scott DesJarlais and Mitt Romney's son for example.

      November 1, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Reality

      What both candidates should say but don't:

      The reality of se-x, abortion, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from a guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-
      Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

      The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

      : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

      Added information before making your next move:

      from the CDC-2006

      "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

      And from:

      Consumer Reports, January, 2012

      "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

      Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

      "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

      Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

      The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

      – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
      – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)

      Followed by:

      One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
      Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
      The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
      Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
      IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

      Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

      November 1, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
  7. Reality

    Leaving god (or the gods) out of it:

    ONLY FOR THE NEW MEMBERS OF THIS BLOG:

    The reality of se-x, contraception, abortion and STD/HIV control: – from a guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-
    Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

    THE BRUTAL EFFECTS OF STUPIDITY–

    The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

    Added information before making your next move:

    from the CDC-2006

    "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

    And from:

    Consumer Reports, January, 2012

    "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

    Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

    "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

    Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

    The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

    – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
    – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)

    Followed by:

    One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
    Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
    The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
    Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
    IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    October 31, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Bob

      Since abstinence is a 100% effective form of birth control, is free, is morally defensible, and eliminates the need for almost all abortions, why are we not puting 100% of our efforts into marketing for abstinence before marriage rather than messing around with all these other less effective, morally ambiguous, and more expensive and dangerous options?

      November 1, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Bob

      Because people will be people, and aren't strong enough to resist the extremely powerful reproductive drives that evolution has refined and honed. Doesn't matter how much you market to them, stupid.

      November 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Bob

      Do you really believe that even teenagers don't already understand that abstinence will prevent them from getting pregnant or getting someone else pregnant? Abstinence education is not only totally ineffective, but it is also absurdly redundant and useless. Stop spreading your misinformation. Ready access to birth control and birth control education is one of the best ways to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Ensuring women's rights and access to education is another.

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

      @Believer bob

      Abstinence only education does not work. The states that spend the most on abstinence only education have the highest teen pregnancy rates.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Bob

      What Huebert said.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Reality

      Read this again slowly and carefully:

      THE BRUTAL EFFECTS OF STUPIDITY–

      The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

      The instructions are on the boxes of condoms and Pills. It is not a matter of more education, it is a lack of responsibility on the part of the users to either use these contraceptives properly or to switch to other methods (e.g. One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent failure rate).

      And once again, masturbation, mono or mutual is just as effective as abstinence.

      November 1, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  8. Matt Drzewiecki

    The author claims that the "consensus among evangelical thinkers at the time" was that the Bible was pro-choice.

    "Consensus" usually implies at least a majority viewpoint, and perhaps even an overwhelming majority. MAYBE there was a BRIEF period where PROVISIONAL leanings towards the pro-choice viewpoint was a SLIGHT majority among evangelicals. Maybe. But probably not. (Sorry, my CAPS lock keeps GETTING stuck.) There was controversy among evangelicals in the late 60's and early 70's. "Controversy" is basically the opposite of "consensus".

    Regardless of whether you call yourself pro-choice or pro-life, this article simply does not accurately portray the facts.

    October 31, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
  9. The Mighty Hand of God Will Smite Thee

    I say we execute the eye for and eye. Any woman who has an abortion should have her head crushed just like they do with late-term abortions. Just call it a post-birth abortion.

    How ridiculous these imbeciles are who are arguing for murder on the innocent. You don't even need the bible to tell you it's wrong. Just use your conscience.

    October 31, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Observer

      The commands to not just others and the Golden Rule obviously don't apply to you. The word is "hypocrite".

      October 31, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • LinCA

      Have a wart removed? Off with your head.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Observer

      Terrible typo: should be "judge"

      October 31, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • The paradox of knowledge

      An eye for an eye? The Old Testament seemed to use that rule. Common sense dictates this too. People respond to costs. It's the basis of economics 101: cost/benefits. Increase the costs and the benefits will look a whole lot less appealing, depending on the probability of having to pay this cost. You kill, then you deserved to be killed (when you're caught). Muslims will cut of the hand that you use to steal: 100% effective! The problem is that Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek and to forgive others. Forgive the thief and give him your coat? Any volunteers? Too many possessions that you can't part from? I understand. He also taught us to help the least among us. The unborn belong to this category. That request seems to be easier to comply with, than having to give all our toys, and our coats to the thief. How many Christians would reach for their shotgun, instead of offering the thief ... their coat? Christianity appears as rational as the Big Bang theory: Too many questions, too little answers, and irrational assumptions. Everybody claims that they "know". The irony of knowledge, where bias seems to apply only to others.

      November 1, 2012 at 2:07 am |
    • sam stone

      I say that petty vindictive pr!cks find comfort in a petty vindictive pr!ck god. you are yet another example of this hypothesis

      November 1, 2012 at 4:05 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      That's extreme but really there is no difference between a late term abortioner and a murderer

      November 1, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • sam stone

      "but really there is no difference between a late term abortioner and a murderer"

      there is, according to the law of the land

      November 1, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • My goodness you’re stupid

      SoldierOfConscience “… really there is no difference between a late term abortioner and a murderer”

      1. Murder is illegal
      2. Late term abortion is legal

      November 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Late term abortions are only legal when the life of the mother is endangered (eg. Ectopic Pregnancies, TTP, Severe Preeclampsia, etc.)

      November 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  10. single celled organism

    The bible also says it is a capital offense to work on the Sabbath, eat pork products, or wear clothing made from two different types of fabric. As soon as these laws are enacted, bans on gay marriage and abortion might also make sense.
    For people against gay marriage and abortion, why don't you move to Afghanistan. No one is making you live in America.

    October 31, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • The Mighty Hand of God Will Smite Thee

      We love our country and want to see her return to God.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Chad

      Correction, under the Old Testament, which was in effect ~2500BC to ~30AD, those activities were prohibited.

      Under the New Testament, the "rules" are quite different, namely:

      “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. 25 Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26 for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”[f] 1 Corinthians 10

      October 31, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Franklin

      Chad
      The Ten Commandments are part of that Old Testament you say Christians don't have to follow, you know? Makes you wonder why all those red-neck judges in the south want them posted up in their courthouses?

      November 1, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • The Truth

      "Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience" Chad knows this was in reference to eating meat that had been a sacraficed to other God's and had nothing to do with eating unclean animals as the jew's and 1st century christians knew them. There would have been no pork on those tables and Chad knows it.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  11. Plain_Jane

    Jonathan Hill, graduate of Oxford with PhD from Univ. of Singapore, writes of 2nd-century Christians on p. 92 in his 2010 book, "Christianity" (pub. Fortress Press):

    "The Christians were equally uniformily opposed to abortion.. . The Christian condemnation of abortion thus seems to have been motivated by a concern for the safety of women just as much as for that of unborn children, although they will have believed both were important."

    October 31, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Len

      Gee, even Falwell wrote books. They were full of stupid nonsense too, but Christians can get anything published. Money is no object!

      November 1, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • The Truth

      "writes of 2nd-century Christians"

      The section you quote is in regards to 2nd century Christians as you mention, the above article is refering to evangelical christians in the mid to late 1960's. I know you all like to "think" you are 2nd century christians, but you are not, you are 21st century christians...

      November 1, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  12. 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)

    " 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)

    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)

    October 31, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Sane Person: all these verses you cite are simply evidence of what the cross states even more plainly:
      1) it's worse than we want to admit (we all deserve death – he had to die)
      2) it's better than we ever dared hope (he was willing to die in our place)

      As Jesus makes clear at the end of Luke (24:27,44), it's all about him. To miss that, is to miss the point of the Bible (Jn.5:39-40).
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkNa6tLWrqk&w=640&h=390]

      October 31, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Sane Person

      You're right, Russ. We all deserve death because a rib woman ate a forbidden fruit when a snake told her to.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Sane Person: or to put it more bluntly... because – like Eve – we all thought we could do life apart from the Author of life... that we knew better than our Designer... that we could be our own gods, which is basically what Satan says in Isaiah 14:13-14.

      So yes, you can say it's all about eating a piece of fruit. Or you can say it's about rebellion.
      But either way, it's basically telling the Author of life: "Screw you, I can do this without you."
      Like a lamp unplugging itself from a light socket...

      October 31, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Sane Person

      And by "the author of life" you mean a bunch of ancient hebrews who wrote a book of fairy tales about a psychopathic god?

      October 31, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Sane Person: as JRR Tolkien told (a then atheist) CS Lewis: "Christianity is not just one more fairy tale pointing at some underlying truth; it is the underlying Truth to which all the fairy tales point."

      And later, CS Lewis made that very point with a scholarly essay about the Gospels – "Fern Seed & Elephants":
      "I have been reading poems, romances, vision-literature, legends, myths all my life. I know what they are like. I know that not one of them is like this. Of this text there are only two possible views. Either this is reportage... Or else, some unknown writer in the second century, without known predecessors, or successors, suddenly anticipated the whole technique of modern, novelistic, realistic narrative. If it is untrue, it must be narrative of that kind. The reader who doesn't see this has simply not learned to read. I would recommend him to read Auerbach."

      http://orthodox-web.tripod.com/papers/fern_seed.html

      There's two of the leading experts on ancient myth in the last century – stating demonstrably that the Bible cannot be categorized as myth or fairy tale.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • OTOH

      Russ, Re: Myth, Legend and Bible stories:

      Characteristics of Myths:

      1. A myth is a story that is, or was considered, a true explanation of the natural world and how it came to be.
      - Check.

      2. Characters are often non-human and are typically gods, goddesses, supernatural beings or mystical “fist people.”
      - Check.

      3. Setting is typically ancient, or prior to the time when actual records were kept. Myths are typically set in a world very similar to our own, but with supernatural monsters or areas.
      - Check

      4. The plot of a myth may take place between a supernatural world and our present day world. Myths do this to highlight the basic human behaviors that are essential in any setting.
      - Check

      5. Myths possess events that bend or break natural laws. This is often done to magnify the “super-naturalness” of the mythical world.
      - Check

      6. Promotes “Social Action”—myths try to tell people how to act and live. Core values such as individualism, family and community are often instilled in mythical heroes.
      - Check

      7. Myths have sense of mystery, or the unknown.
      - Check

      8. Dualities (or complete opposites such as night/day, good/evil) often play important roles in the plot of a myth.
      - Check

      9. Myths often have an emphasis on language… Mythical heroes are often sophisticated storytellers.
      - Check

      10. Myths are often metaphoric—that is, myths are created to comment or analyze a real world event. Real world questions that myths often attempt to answer are:
      • Why are we here?
      • Who are we?
      • Why are we living? What is our purpose?
      - Check

      ------------------------------------
      Characteristics of Legends

      A NARRATIVE of human actions that are believed by the storyteller and the reader/listener to have taken place in HUMAN history.
      - Check.

      Written in such a way as be at least potentially real/true; includes no happenings outside of the realm of possibility.
      - Check.

      Legends have a specific SETTING: a time, and a place. They often include beliefs and ideas of a culture.
      - Check.

      Legends have flexible guidelines, therefore, can begin with miracles that are believed to have really happened.
      - Check.

      Legends transform over time. Facts will change or be stretched, hyperbole will enter the plotline, and colorful details will remain and/or get more colorful. Legends evolve over the years and are kept fresh, lively and exciting.
      - Check.

      Legends can be prose or poetry. They combine a real event or real person’s unusual life story with the exaggeration and heroic actions that we associate with stores of heroes and great national events.
      - Check.

      Legends read like folktales but have at least a bit of historical truth.
      - Check.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • Len

      Russ
      The problem with that is that mythologies full of gods acting like humans, and demigods going on heroic quests predate the Bible coming up with similar stuff. Lewis was wrong, the Bible is exactly like the rest of myth. Check out Lord' Raglan's Hero Pattern; Jesus scores very high as a fictional hero archetype.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:31 am |
  13. Russ

    The Hebrew word in Exodus 21:22 is not 'miscarriage' but means 'to come out.'
    That verse is talking about premature birth, not the death of the child (miscarriage).

    As such, Ex.21:22-23 actually supports the pro-life position.
    Killing the unborn child was clearly a capital offense, as the rest of that verse makes plain.

    October 31, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • Observer

      Tell the people who translate the Bible that you know better.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Observer: ironically for you, those are the people I'm citing.
      Go check it out for yourself. There are plenty of online resources.

      I'll make it easy... here are two with scholarly citations...

      http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5700

      https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/786-does-exodus-21-sanction-abortion

      October 31, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • My goodness you’re stupid

      “That verse is talking about premature birth, not the death of the child (miscarriage)”

      The stories in exodus take place before 1000 BC. Way back then premature birth was a death sentence more than 99% of the time. They had no doctors, no incubators, no hospitals, no medicine, no science… All they had were endless supplies of dirt, disease, ignorance, filth and religion.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  14. The Mighty Hand of God Will Smite Thee

    Abortion is pure evil. And anyone who has an abortion is pure evil. We should not be surprised when we get destructive hurricanes as long as we tolerate evil in our midst.

    October 31, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Observer

      If you had read the Bible you'd know the word abortion never appears in it. Get real.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • The Mighty Hand of God Will Smite Thee

      It is covered under "Thou shalt not kill." And abortion is legalized killing.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • single celled organism

      You're confused. Hurricanes were caused by gay marriage. Tsunamis are caused by abortion and Earthquakes are caused by letting girls go to school.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Athy

      So you're saying abortions cause hurricanes, which affect everyone, even those that don't believe in abortion. Actually, that kind of logic is precisely what I would expect from a religious nitwit.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Observer

      According to the Bible, if you cause a woman to have a miscarriage, you pay a FINE. Hurt a person, it's an eye for an eye.

      There's more in the Bible to support arguing for abortion than to oppose it, but the Bible never mentions abortion.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • Zed

      "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". Jesus is unequicocally clear on this point that all are sinners and all are loved. We are all guilty of sin and forgiveness is between each sinner and the lord on judgement day only. "why is it a concern of you" (Jesus said to one of his disciples.). The focus on abortion has been at the expense of many other teachings of the bible and enabled an entire generation to ignore the people that concerned Jesus the most: the Lost, the least, the lonely, the leppers.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • sam stone

      "And abortion is legalized killing."

      So is war

      November 1, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • TR6

      I thought god was punishing us with hurricanes because we don’t outlaw gays. Will you fundies make up your minds?

      November 1, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  15. The paradox of knowledge

    To the "Vocal Atheist" response: "Back-up your statements with some proof please". Please don't play ignorant. Anyone that at lleast past 5th grade can google the facts. To keep it simple for you, try wikipedia. Senate voting records should not be hard to find either. You're not ignorant, you choose to act like one. Atheist should be fact seekers, unlike most religious people. You may not like the facts if atheism is your "religion", and that's OK. I don't like the paradox of life either.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • single celled organism

      Your theories about Margaret Sanger are irrelevant. Abortion is bad because a pro-abortion woman 100 years ago was also racist. By that same logic, everything George Washington or Thomas Jefferson believed is also wrong because they were racist.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
  16. everydayingenuity

    Why don't the Christians trust their god to handle this. If God want a child to be born it will be the mothers hart and situation will change and she will have the child.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • single celled organism

      God would rather cause hurricanes in order to persuade us to appoint more right wing Supreme Court justices that will overturn Roe V Wade.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
  17. Chad

    For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13

    When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. Genesis 25

    “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1

    The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. Genesis 25

    And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit Luke 1

    Or why was I not as a hidden stillborn child, as infants who never see the light? Job 1

    I cant imagine what kind of "theology" could possibly consider an unborn child not human.. utter, utter nonsense.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • LinCA

      Religious garbage. If you don't want an abortion because you think your imaginary friend doesn't want you to have one, by all means, don't have one.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Athy

      Is that all you can do, Chad, copy and paste from a 2000-year-old collection of fables? Not very thought provoking.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Chad

      The point was, regardless of what you think of the authenticity of the bible one simply can not create a case that "the Bible plainly teaches that life begins at birth:"

      clearly, utter nonsense.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • AAA

      @chad why are you citing the psalms? They were nothing more than poems written by a polygamist. These quotes are useless, even by evangelical standards. You, sir, are dumb.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • Len

      Chad
      "Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harl.ot; and also, behold, she is with child by who.redom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt." Genesis 38:24

      If her fetus was considered a "person" why would it be killed along with it's mother?

      "Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them. And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD." Numbers 3:15-16

      Here, fetuses and infants less than one month old are not considered persons worthy of being counted as part of the nation.

      You may be right in your passages supporting an anti-Choice position, but the Bible is so hopelessly full of contradictions that it actually supports both sides. Jewish law did not recognize a fetus as a person, and they are the experts of their own scripture, right?

      November 1, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • The Truth

      For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13 – David singing about his birth as an adult might but with no actual memory of the event.

      When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. Genesis 25 – " the time came for her to give birth" denoting actual birth of children therefore viable and illegal to abort under Roe vs Wade.

      “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1 – supposed divinely inspired post-prophecy that conflicts with the concept of free will.

      The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. Genesis 25 – Like any women with two babies kicking around wouldn't have this exact experience, besides the fact that again you have much older babies well past the viable stage protecting them under Roe vs Wade.

      And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit Luke 1 – again, common experience for a mother who experiences an adrenaline surge for the child to also feel it and respond, and says nothing to the point of when a fetus becomes a human that should be afforded human rights.

      Or why was I not as a hidden stillborn child, as infants who never see the light? Job 1 – obviously a common occurrence of the day for Job to mention it, i'm sure God just hated them more than he does our society because he apparently gave us better health care which has taken infant mortality from 30% during the time of Christ down to 7% currently in the U.S. so maybe YOU are defeating God's planned killing of 1 in 3 children like he had going for so long with his chosen people Israel. Ever think about that? Maybe you are caulk blocking God who's been trying to kill more babies but our scientists just won't let him, their research on bacteria and viruses demolishing God's primary abortion tool that's been in use for thousands of years...

      November 1, 2012 at 4:08 am |
  18. Bachelor Bob

    Women wisen up!
    Men think they can r a p e you and demand abortion as if it protects you against this horrible crime. Fight againt this heinous crime called r a p e and demand protection.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • single celled organism

      Are you living in a cave? It's only the anti-abortion Republicans that have been making all the pro-rap e comments.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
  19. Matt Drzewiecki

    After reading the article, I must conclude that the author is either extremely ignorant about history, or otherwise he is intentionally misrepresenting the facts in order to push his own agenda.

    He cites the viewpoints of a single conservative and a few extremely liberal evangelicals, and claims that they are "encapsulating the consensus among evangelical thinkers at the time". Convenient to say, but terribly inaccurate. There was never a "consensus" among evangelical Christians that abortion was ok.

    (p.s. Bruce Waltke changed his viewpoint by 1976. http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/19/19-1/19-1-pp003-014_JETS.pdf)

    October 31, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Observer

      The Bible nevers mentions abortion. If it was perfectly clear, this wouldn't be an issue.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Zed

      However, unlike almost all politcians on the topic, he does correctly backup his claim with a bibilical reference.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • Matt Drzewiecki

      I certainly agree that there was much debate about abortion when it became a mainstream topic. There were certainly differing viewpoints, even among evangelicals. In fact, there was a strong liberal influence even among the "conservative" Southern Baptist Convention until the early-to-mid 90's.

      Even Bruce Waltke quickly changed his mind, proving that there was no "consensus" among evangelicals that the Bible was pro-choice. Many early statements that leaned a little 'pro-choice' were provisional at best, and represented an immature amalgamation of the viewpoints of a very diverse group.

      This issue has been a dividing issue. It's not that evangelical Christians flipped their stance on abortion. What really happened is that liberal and conservative Christians began separating from each other over issues such as this, to the point where we now have consensus where we originally had dissension. Now, the consensus is one of opposition to abortion among conservative evangelicals.

      The view matured in light of texts such as this:

      Psa 139:13-17 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. (14) I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (15) My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. (16) Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (17) How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

      October 31, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • single celled organism

      That is exactly the point of the article. Evangelicals changed their viewpoints in the 70s so that they could form an alliance with Catholics to lower taxes for the rich.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  20. single celled organism

    I just clapped my hands smashing millions of living bacteria. If I can commit mass murder like this without government interference, then its a slippery slope to eugenics, Hitler, Fema death camps, pedophilia, and killing puppies.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @single celled organism

      Now that was one of the funnier parodies on "slippery slope" ! :D

      Well done.

      Peace...

      October 31, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Innerspace is God's place while outerspace is for the human race.

      Life eating life. What's wrong with this picture?

      October 31, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • The paradox of knowledge

      You're confusing bacteria with the human species... Go back to your biology books. The article isn't about bacteria. Neither is it about antibacterial soap, which would be more effective than... clapping your hands to destroy them. I do applaud you for your ignorance. Oops, there goes another bacteria....

      October 31, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
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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.