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

My Take: When evangelicals were pro-choice

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

By Jonathan Dudley, Special to CNN

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

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

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

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

Opinion: Let's get real about abortions

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

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

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

Opinion: Why the abortion issue won’t go away

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Abortion • Catholic Church • Christianity • Opinion

soundoff (2,844 Responses)
  1. Rochelle

    If you're going to use the Bible to prove a point, how about you actually keep reading after you think you've found what's convenient for that point? Then you'll find that CT got it wrong, and so did you. If the baby is born early but unharmed, the person at fault is fined. If the baby is harmed or killed, we get to the oft-repeated "life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth" phrase. And for all those who want to respond to this with, "Who cares what the Bible says," ... For one, the passage was brought into it by our wonderful writer here and I am simply correcting his "research". Secondly, some of us do care what the Bible says. So please practice that tolerance you're so fond of saying we don't have.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • Observer

      The Bible says MISCARRIAGE or is that version of the Bible FALSE?

      October 31, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • GlendaK

      Abortion is not murder. A fetus is not considered a human life.
      "If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life." - Exodus 21:22-23

      The Bible places no value on fetuses or infants less than one month old.
      "And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver." - Leviticus 27:6

      Fetuses and infants less than one month old are not considered persons.
      "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

      October 31, 2012 at 12:53 am |
  2. Serious-lee

    It is a FACT that abortions are happening in this country.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      People are mastur bating too! omg, and women are still having periods! Ewe. . .they should be thrown out of the city limits when they do because the bible says they're gross during their periods.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • Serious-lee

      Laugh if you wish DeeCee1000, but right now people are smoking pot and having s.ex out of wed lock.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:09 am |
  3. JohnM

    I don't know Mr. Dudley so I can't say he is being intentionally deceptive or if he is just deceived himself. To go through the tumultuously liberal '70's and hand-pick certain "leaders" and say that was the position of Evangelicals up to that point in history is absurd and intellectually dishonest. Christianity's greatest theologian, John Owen (17th century) in his work on Indwelling Sin speaks of those who "destroyed their own children from the womb." Honestly though, it really doesn't matter what the opinion of man is, it only matters what Scripture says, and of that we are certain, God forbids murder, and you are accountable to Him for your actions. People need to learn to quit being so intellectually lazy and learn to search these things our for themselves doing their own research instead of relying on others. May God have mercy on America for the 40 million unborn children that have been murdered the past 40 years in the name of "abortion". It's just sickening.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • 24HCC

      Why does it matter what scripture says?

      October 31, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • Observer

      God says not to kill. He then give a long list of commands to kill people. Funniest of all is the command to then kill anyone who kills anyone.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • JohnM

      Dear 24HCC. God gives you all the freedom and rights you want which includes not believing in Him or in His Word he has left for you. But be certain of this, God made you, you belong to Him and when your life on this earth is over He will enforce His rights over you. I do hope between now and then you will investigate the good news for yourself that He offers to you.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • 24HCC

      @JohnM

      You are a silly man.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • JohnM

      Dear Observer. God's command you refer to does not say "do not kill", it says "do not murder." Do you agree that murder is a bad thing? I do too.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • phony boo

      If god was real I would kick his ass for being so stupid.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • Observer

      JohnM,

      Please tell the MILLIONS of Christians who foolishly think the most famous commandment of all says "Thou shall not kill". Please inform all the ignorant Biblical scholars who don't know what they are doing.

      They should have asked you instead.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • JohnM

      Dear 24HCC. By definition I do not think myself to be "silly", but by todays common use of the term my 4-year old granddaughter would agree with your assessment.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • 24HCC

      I am sure you get along very well, like her, you believe in fairy tale creatures.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • JohnM

      Dear Observer. You are only verifying what I have already pointed out about people not searching things out for themselves. For your own good, please do your own research instead of just believing everything you hear.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      JohnM, if your "God" instructed us not to "murder", why did he tell the Israelites to murder other people and even murder other people's children? Your "God" (of the gaps btw) seems to be just as much a hypocrite as you are.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • JohnM

      Dear 24HCC. Ouch! Fairy tail huh? That's silly. If I could trust you to do your own primary research I'd challenge you to prove God does not exist. I'll take a leap of faith and trust you, consider yourself challenged.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • Vash

      I notice how all the rebuttals to JohnM are all insults and totally lack intelligence.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • Observer

      JohnM,

      Research consists of reading what the Bible says as interpreted by Bilbilcal scholars. Obviously, you think you know more than they do. Why not apply for a job as a Biblical scholar?

      October 31, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • JohnM

      Dear DeeCee1000. You are proving my point. You don't know me at all, therefore your accusation of me being a "hypocrite" is not valid.I may be one, but since you haven't taken time to get to know me, then your observations are invalid, just like your observations of God. By the way, God never ordered the "murder" of anyone. There is a lot at stake, you really should search these things out for yourself.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      Notice how intelligent Vash is. . .he's so intelligent that instead of answering questions, the only thing he can do is call people names. lol

      October 31, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      JohnM, lying doesn't really make your religion more appealing to others. Your bible CLEARLY gives accounts of your "God" instructing "his" people to murder entire people's, villages, towns, so forth. What is your religion worth if you have to lie about your "God's" actions?

      October 31, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • JohnM

      Dear Observer. The really cool thing is that God makes a promise to all those who seek Him with all their heart, He will reveal His truth to you. So primary reasearch does not begin by dumbing down your own mind and reading about what others think the Scriptures say, it begins by reading the Scriptures for yourself with an open mind and intellectual curiousity to know what the truth is. My atheist friends tell me there is not absolute truths, which is in and of itself a statement of absolute truth so by their own reasoning their statement can't be true. I would say to you what I say to them, quit repeating what you hear and check it out for yourself.

      SORRY GANG, I'm kind of an old guy and it's way past my bedtime, so good night and thanks for all the conversation.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      JohnM, what's the #1 reason most atheists do not believe? They've actually read the bible. .. and they realize that most "Christians" are posers.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • 24HCC

      @JohnM

      When you prove to me that the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy do not exist, I will happily prove to you that your god does not exist.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:07 am |
  4. CSX

    You quote God's word for convenience? Yet Leviticus says eye for an eye and life for life for killing the unborn.
    How plain you kweer looking person. Jesus was referred to as a child before he was born. You cut hairs with others morality yet weave immorality to suit your ways.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • 24HCC

      Question, why would anybody care what Leviticus says?

      October 31, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Observer

      CSX,

      "Yet Leviticus says eye for an eye and life for life for killing the unborn."

      False. Read the Bible SOMETIME.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:19 am |
  5. tsoho

    The question of abortion is a civil rights issue, not a religious one.

    In the same way that the United States, in the past, denied the right of liberty to slaves because they were something less than other human beings, we are currently denying the right of life to a human being who hasn't been born yet. Under the law the unborn human is not considered a "person" and so has no right to life just as a slave was not considered a "citizen" and so had no right to the protection of US laws.

    I agree that the Bible is quiet on the issue of abortion. Verses like "You knit me together in my mother's womb" indicate that God is intimately involved in the development of a fetus, while verses like the one referenced in the article indicate that God may view the mother's life and the fetus' life differently (depending on whether it is referring to a miscarriage or a premature birth). But, then again, the Bible is also somewhat ambiguous about the issue of slavery.

    Just like slavery, abortion is a civil rights issue, not a religious one.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Meatwad

      I knitted Carl a sweater for Christmas but the monster in the attic ate it.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:11 am |
  6. David from Canada

    What give the Christians the right to dictate what people of other beliefs do? The arrogance of it is beyond belief!

    If you think something is wrong morally, by YOUR moral compas, then don't do it! But what gives you the right to tell me or anyone else where OUR moral compasses should be pointed?

    If the Romeny gets elected, GOD HELP the women in the USA. They will be under attack from the people in government that are SUPPOSED to be there to serve them, not turn them into unwilling BROOD MARES!

    October 31, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Towelie

      If you are going to turn women into unwilling brood mares, don't forget to bring a towel!

      October 31, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • a

      David,

      I think your fears are misplaced. Here's why:

      In 2012, I was denied a Kohl's charge card unless my husband signed for it. This was due to legislation sponsored by the *Democrats*, interpreted by President Obama's appointees (eg the Fair Credit Act of 2010) that doesn't let me use household income when I apply for credit..

      October 31, 2012 at 12:27 am |
  7. marie deVille

    Scripture has many references to life before the delivery of the baby. Recall that in the book of jeremiah 1:5 says Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. We also see how John the Baptist and Jesus inside their mothers wombs leaped. Luke 1:41+ When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43“And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? 44“For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. There are several other accounts that do show life in the womb is a life, is a soul, and can even be called of God for a purpose. There is no place I can find in the Bible that justifies killing a child whether in the womb or out. Killing your own children was always a sign of a great curse and brought the judgment of God. You will see this throughout scripture as the prophets spoke of the wicked civilizations offering their children up as sacrifices to their Gods. As a nation we are offering them up to the God of ourselves/ selfishness/ convenience and greed. What a sad and deceived state we are in! Oh God have mercy! and bring America to her knees in repentance.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • Observer

      Speaking of being deceived, the Bible never mentioned abortion so why not stick with what it ACTUALLY says?

      October 31, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • DJ

      marie you really make me sick, you know that?

      October 31, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Vic

      Well said Marie
      God Bless :)

      October 31, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • DeeCee1000

      "Soul"? What do you mean by "soul"?

      October 31, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Before you talk about "scripture" you must establish the authority of those human texts. You're wasting your time. You have not done so, AND this is not a Theocracy. You have no right to shove your beliefs down my throat.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:02 am |
  8. Matts

    It's Todd Akin. Not Atkin. I don't understand how the popular media can keep screwing up the facts....like names. It's pretty easy and simple to check.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      He's related to the founder of Atkin's diet.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:47 am |
  9. Reality

    Mr. Dudely "thu-mpted" Exodus 21: 22-24 as "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.”

    Hmmm ???

    Injuring a pregnant woman (and her womb-baby) as per Exodus 21: 22-24 does not warrant significant punishment???

    New International Version (NIV)

    22 “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely[a] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you ARE TO TAKE LIFE FOR LIFE, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,"

    October 30, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Observer

      Reality,

      So which is the TRUE Bible? Other versions say the woman miscarries. Take your pick.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Equally Confused

      I wonder if the author actually read the passage from Exodus. There are also several other biblical passages that support life beginning at conception but he fails to mention them. For example, God knowing you in the womb and wasting seed (the mere potential for life) being sinful.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Equally Confused

      @Observer – The passage says that if the injury is premature birth (not miscarriage) than the penalty is a fine. The rest of the passage supports the conclusion that harm to the fetus will be penalized equally, such as death for death.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Observer

      Equally Confused,

      Some Bibles say MISCARRIAGE. Which Bible is the TRUE Bible? There are a lot of Christians who think they have the true Bible and are wrong, so tell us which is the right one.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:24 am |
  10. Pete

    Recent Reversal? I don't think so. There have been laws against abortion in the US since the 1820s all the way until Roe v Wade. Considering Christians were the largest group by far in the 1820's (and most of the 19 & 20th century) its hard to say that they were always for abortions. A couple quotes from a magazine in the 1960's doesn't speak for an entire population in history. Do some research.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Slap Happy

      I think it is just abhorrent how you Christians support and encourage abortion. You should really be ashamed of yourself.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • DJ

      I actually know a few Christians who are anti-abortion.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  11. 24HCC

    God's plan" is the way that Christians traditionally explain things like amputations, cancer, hurricanes and car accidents.

    For example, if a Christian dies a painful and tragic death because of cancer, she dies as part of God's plan. Her death has a purpose. God called her home for a reason. Even if something bad happens to a Christian, it is actually good because it is part of God's plan.

    You can see how pervasive "God's plan" is by looking in Christian inspirational literature. For example;

    Because God made you for a reason, he also decided when you would be born and how long you would live. He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. The Bible says, "You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!" [Psalm 139:16]

    There is also this:

    Regardless of the circ.u.mstances of your birth or who your parents are, God had a plan in creating you.

    Under this view of the universe, God plans everything.
    Take a moment and think about this, "He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death." Let's examine one simple implication of this statement. What this means is that God has pre-planned every abortion that has taken place on our planet.

    If the concept of "God's plan" is true, you can first of all see that God wants us to be aborting children. Every single abortion is planned by God, so God must be doing it for a reason. Second, you can see that both the mother who requests the abortion and the doctor who performs it are blameless. Since it is God who planned the abortion of the child (God chose the "exact time" of the death, the mother and doctor are simply puppets who are fulfilling God's plan, are they not? What about all the Christians who are fighting against abortion? If abortion is part of God's plan, why are they fighting it? God is the all-powerful ruler of the universe, and his plan is for more than a million children a year to die in the United States through abortion.

    If God's plan is true, then each one of those abortions was meticulously planned by God.

    If God does not intend for us to perform abortions, is it then wrong that God has a plan? If God has a plan, is he not the direct cause of every abortion? Simply think it through, and you will begin to see the problems in this proposition.

    Think about Adolph Hit.ler. He was evil incarnate, and Hit.ler is well known for the atrocious things he did. What I would like you to do right now is to consider this statement: "Hit.ler is part of God's Plan." Think about this:

    He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. The Bible says, "You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!" [Psalm 139:16]

    God never does anything accidentally, and he never makes mistakes. He has a reason for everything he creates. Every plant and every animal was planned by God, and every person was designed with a purpose in mind.

    If God has a divine plan for each of us, then he had a divine plan for Hit.ler too. It is when you stop to think about it deeply that the contradictions hit you.

    Now let's imagine that you say a prayer in this sort of universe. What difference does it make? God has his plan, and that plan is running down its track like a freight train. If God has a plan, then everyone who died in the Holocaust died for a reason. They had to die, and each death had meaning. Therefore, Holocaust victims could pray all day, and they would still die. The idea of a "plan" makes the idea of a "prayer-answering relationship with God" a contradiction, doesn't it? Yet Christians seem to attach themselves to both ideas, despite the irresolvable problem the two ideas create.

    Think about what God's plan means for you personally. If the plan happens to say that you will get hit by a bus tomorrow, or that terrorists will blow you up, or that you will be shot in the head four times, then that's what will happen. It would be the same with any disease. If you contract cancer this afternoon and die three months later, that is God's plan for you. Praying to cure the cancer is a waste. God plans for you to die, so you will die. He has pre-programmed the exact time of your death. There is nothing you can do to change the plan - no amount of prayer will help - because your death will have meaning and your death will cause side-effects that are also part of the plan.

    Who will you marry? You actually have no choice in the matter. God has pre-planned your wedding in minute detail. "God knew that those two individuals [your parents] possessed exactly the right genetic makeup to create the custom 'you' that he had in mind. They had the DNA God wanted to make you." Therefore, your spouse was pre-chosen by God for you so that you would create the children who are a part of his plan. You also have no choice in the number of children you will have - God has pre-planned their births.

    In addition, this sort of universe means that Hit.ler is blameless. Hit.ler was not "evil," because Hit.ler had no free will at all. Hit.ler was simply an actor forced to play his role in God's plan. God planned for millions of people to die in the Holocaust - he planned their deaths in exact detail. Hit.ler had to kill those people. Hit.ler was God's puppet in making that those millions of deaths happen right on schedule.

    In the same way then, every murderer is blameless. Since God has planned each of our deaths in exact detail, murderers are actually essential to God's plan. Why do we punish them? We should be rewarding them for doing their God-planned duty. What if you get r.a.p.ed tomorrow and get pregnant? God did that because he planned the exact time of that child's birth and death. God actually pre-planned your r.a.p.e, and the rapist was God's puppet. Rather than hating the rapist, we should celebrate God's plan.

    Do you believe that murderers and rapists should be rewarded? Do you believe that Hit.ler was sent by God to kill millions of people in the Holocaust? Do you believe that God is the direct cause of every abortion on this planet? Do you believe that you have no choice in your spouse or the number of children you have? Probably not. But that is what you are saying when you state that Hit.ler or cancer or anything else is part of "God's plan."

    If you think about it as an intelligent person, you will realize that the statement "It is part of God's plan" is one of those meaningless palliatives. When you sit down and think it through using your common sense, the statement makes no sense.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Baret Fawbush

      You reflection on Biblical Christanity and the will of God is seriously skewd and grossly misrepresented. I would remark on your emotionally charged post, but then again i dont imagine you would be objective in actually listening. I assume you'd only troll 30 minutes worth of my typing.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • 24HCC

      @beret

      You are incorrect. If you wish to argue my points, please do so.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Athy

      24HCC, there is no fucking god. Why do you cling to such juvenile beliefs? Are you so biblewashed that you can't think logically? Just give it up and join the free non-believers. Religion is just a crutch. Only the weak need it.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • 24HCC

      @Athy

      Read before you write.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:12 am |
  12. I.

    The Bible said: "For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. II will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!" Psalm 139: 13-17

    October 30, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Athy

      Pure baloney.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:08 am |
  13. ncolk23@aol.com

    whatever, whocares

    October 30, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
  14. 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 30, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
  15. John Thomas Tolbert

    I am so thankful that Romney's going to win this election and put an end to abortion.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Observer

      Is that what Mitt "I Was Completely Wrong" Romney says this week?

      October 30, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • Reality

      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 30, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Andy Marcus

      He's not going to end abortion. GW Bush had all three branches under his control and he didn't end it. What makes you think Romney will?

      Romney is going to dissapoint so many of you on the right. You see, some of us had him as a Governor and we know him well.

      I can hear the grousing already.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Dream on.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:03 am |
  16. Jeremy Jones

    Dear Author,

    Go and read "The Didache" and educate yourself. Christians in the 1st century opposed abortion.

    Thanks,

    Jeremy

    October 30, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Dr. Dorrel Johnson

      I am familiar with this treatise.

      The first five chapters are essentially Jewish, but the Christian community was able to use it by adding brail and making the evangelical section. "Lord" in the Didache is reserved usually for "Jesus", who even then was flexing in considerable muscle as a diety.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:01 am |
  17. dave

    This article is pretty misleading. The author may want to simply get people to think about their stance, but the pieces he leaves out makes it seem more like he has a specific agenda. It's true that Christians have not always been staunchly pro-life, but the article makes it sound like Christians had always been okay with abortion until 30 years ago when Jerry Fallwell pulled a fast one on us. That's just false. Look it up. It's an issue Christians have struggled with since the time of the early church. In some periods, interpretations went one way, then they shifted the other way. Either way, it's never been an issue the church took lightly.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Captain Gibson

      The author is the same liberal f@g who wrote an article some time ago which purported that ho.mos.exuality is not condemned in the Bible.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Captain Gibson,

      Not this one
      My Take: The Christian case for gay marriage
      Mark Osler is a Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/19/my-take-the-christian-case-for-gay-marriage/

      October 30, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Captain Gibson,

      Nor this one:
      My Take: What the Bible really says about homosexuality
      Daniel A. Helminiak, who was ordained a priest in Rome, is a theologian, psychotherapist and author of “What the Bible Really Says about homosexuality" and books on contemporary spirituality. He is a professor of psychology at the University of West Georgia.

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/15/my-take-what-the-bible-really-says-about-homosexuality/

      I don't know what you are talking about.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:01 am |
  18. Observer

    "in fact, the religious are the ONLY opponents of abortion.". False. Don't use the word "fact" if you aren't sure what it means.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • mr. butters

      If you are going to call someone wrong the burden of proof falls onto you to correct them. You failed to say what other group doesn't.

      And please don't take the words out of context and say you are an atheist who is against abortion. The wording clearly refers to major demographics, not small minorities.

      I'm not saying you're wrong, but at least provide something to back yourself up.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Observer

      The assumption that all Christians oppose abortion is ridiculous. The idea that atheists all support abortion is ridiculous too. Deal with FACTS.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  19. STLTim

    People say this is a religious issue. Not necessarily! You don't have to believe in God or a particular religion to conclude that life begins at conception. If not conception, then where do you draw the line? Between the first cell after conception, and the final newborn, which cell was the one that made it alive?

    October 30, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • PseudoSmart

      I believe life begins when the baby fetus gains conciousness, which is about 6-7 months into a pregnancy. Up until then I believe abortions are valid.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • mr. butters

      On the other hand the fetus acts the same way as a parasite. It feeds off the host. It's human when it can survive outside the mother. There is a point where it can do that. (although we're looking at health problems). If you're looking at life, then it's always alive. The same way the bacteria on your keyboard is alive. Granted, these cells have the possibility to turn into something else. But at conception they are not a human life.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Francisthehorse

      Couldn't agree more Tim, I am an atheist and I am against abortion and I find it logically evident that life begins at conception. "Mr. Butters" we are all parasites....in order to survive we eat animal flesh and kill plants to utilize their nutrients. And children, once born, can't survive outside the mother. A newborn baby left on the table will die. These ever-present arguments are invalid and downright silly. Please stop doing your part in making America less intelligent and stop repeating them.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  20. Bootyfunk

    talk about trying to see what you want to see. the christian right has always been the lead opponent of abortion. in fact, the religious are the ONLY opponents of abortion. this kid isn't looking at the situation truthfully.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:26 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.