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. Pharmf16

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    December 4, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  2. Thomas J

    Okay, just as an "FYI", I've stated here before (twice, actually) that I am not a Christian. I went to a private Christian school while growing up, though, so I like to think I have a degree of familiarity with the bible (though I'm certainly no expert: I've never even read the entire Old Testament, for example.) That having been said, I am sympathetic to Christianity (a bit more than I used to be), and I wind up defending it a lot (mainly because the kinds of people who are rabidly anti-Christian are usually the kinds of people I don't get along with on other levels as well) So, to your question. Using The Internet as a resource, I found the following verse (which, afterwards, I will qualify with a few caveats):

    November 25, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Thomas J

      sorry, the above was meant as a reply to Tokyo, but i posted it as a new topic 🙁

      November 25, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  3. Tokyo

    Interesting debate, but most of it misses the point. No pro-lifers here have cited a single passage in the Bible that say life begins at conception or that killing a fetus is murder as much as killing a person post-birth. Are there any such passages? The pro-choicers have at least cited Exodus 21:22-25, which clearly suggests that causing the death of a fetus during an attack on the mother will merely result in a civil fine (but that physically attacking and killing the miscarried child after the miscarriage is murder, just to emphasize that murder can happen only after the child has left the womb).

    November 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Thomas J

      Not sure where you're getting all this "physically attacking and killing the miscarried child after the miscarriage" stuff (unless that's what you're misconstruing the "mischief" of the verse, as phrased in the KJV, to be?), but what most reasonable people take the verse to mean is that if two men fight and a pregnant woman is hit or somehow injured during the fight, and if she then gives birth to a premature but LIVE child, then the offender is to be fined (with the fine decided by the injured woman's husband). But if the child is born dead, or winds up dying shortly after birth, it is to be "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" punishment on the offender.

      November 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Tokyo

      Thomas J, thanks for your response. I would disagree with, but respect, your interpretation. What about my question: Are there specific Bible passages that say life begins at conception? Thanks.

      November 25, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • Thomas J

      This is the most frustrating discussion site ever. I can't get my response to post, because it apparently has some seemingly-impossible-for-me-to-find word that is being blocked by this site's "profanity filter."

      Which is absurd. There's not a single profane word in my response, but in trying to get my response to post, I'm becoming hyper-aware of every potential "t.it" in "insti.tute." and "beati.tude" and "subt.itle."

      In essence, this site's "profanity filter" is MAKING me think profanely, ha ha.

      What a GREAT way to facilitate and encourage communication, right?

      November 25, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Tokyo

      Thomas J, sorry you're having trouble. If you could just type the name of a Bible passage, I would appreciate it. Hopefully the filter won't stop it. Thanks.

      November 25, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Thomas J

      Okay, just as an "FYI": I am not a Christian. I went to a private Christian school while growing up, though, so I am somewhat familiar with the bible (though I'm certainly no expert: I've never even read the entire Old Testament, for example.) However, I am sym,pathetic to Christianity (a lot more than I used to be), and I wind up defending fairly often (mainly because the kinds of people who are anti-Christian are usually the kinds of people I don't get along with on other levels as well) So, to your question. Using The Internet as a resource, I found the following verse (which, afterwards, I will qualify with a few comments):

      Psalm 139:13-16a "For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed."

      Okay, first off, I do NOT think the verse quoted above is a very good "pro-life" verse: it's simply the best I could come up with. Which brings me to one of my points: I personally do not base my pro-life views/opinions on any Mosaic Law or on any specific bible verse. What I base my pro-life view on is the, in my opinion, horror that abortion has become. Just using common sense, and looking at what it has led to, I feel that abortion is wrong. There are no bible verses against pedo.philia per se, for example, but I know that an adult having a se.xual (or probably even a non-physical but a still coercive emotionally romantic) relationship with a pre-pub.escent girl is wrong. I don't need a bible verse to tell me so. Also, there are no bible verses (I don't think?) against eating human flesh per se. These are relatively poor examples on my part, though. What I'm trying to say is that there's this dynamic that frequently crops up when discus.sions or arguments take place between non-Christians and Christians: what I often see is non-Christians attacking Christians for not being good enough Christians. Which is, fra.nkly, hilarious. Let me repeat that: what we see during most "hot but.ton" topic arguments (abortion, same-s.ex "marriage", etc) is non-Christians, who have no respect for the tenets of Christianity, attacking and ridiculing Christians for not being, in their view, good enough Christians. It's absurd.

      Let me make a few things clear. In my opinion, there is at least one very good example of what the road to Abortion has led us, as an American society, to, and it is on this very page. At least two people here have stated their opinion that unborn human beings are parasites. PARASITES. Whew. Now, I was an English Lit major in college, so I think (?) I know what these people mean (speculatively/philosophically/rhetorically-wise) when they trot out this "parasite" comparison. I would like to think that they don't LITERALLY mean they view unborn human beings as parasitic org.anisms, but, honestly, I'm not quite sure. One thing I do know is this: not one "pro-choice" person on this thread has tried to call them out for their callously inhumane "parasite" comments. This, I think, is rather telling. And rather alarming. And rather prophetic. 1,000,000+ abortions a year is what leads to people thinking of unborn human beings as "parasites", and leads to
      people not even arguing/disputing the point. That, to me at least, is REALLY scary...

      November 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  4. Kimc

    If you think that one should not have an abortion as a moral position, then you should be against laws against abortion. If you want the moral credit for making a moral decision, then you must make the moral decision yourself, not be forced to make it by law. You get no moral credit for a moral decision you didn't make yourself.

    November 22, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Moderator

      "...What you have just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

      November 22, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
  5. rbrucecarter

    That passage in Exodous says no such thing (see below). If the mother delivers prematurely, it is a civil matter. But if the baby dies – it is murder: I would be pro-choice if the baby had a say in the matter. We seem to care more about baby seals than baby humans. And since it is mainly African American babies that get aborted, it is offensive genocide against the black race, just as Margaret Sanger – founder of Planned Parenthood – envisioned. There is no such thing as an unwanted child. Millions of couples are trying to adopt.

    22 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.
    23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,
    24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

    November 20, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Melissa

      However, one interpretation of the bible states that if the mother has a miscarriage (rather than delivers prematurely). The offense is to that of the mother. If there is serious injury to the mother THEN the "eye for an eye" rule applies. It's a really murky subject that even those to interpret the bible are having a hard time clearly defining.

      November 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Kimc

      bRUCE - You are misinterpreting this: it says if the fetus dies but there is no mischief, then it's a monetary fine, not a stoning offense. "If there is mischief" must therefore mean harm to the woman, not the fetus.
      The racism isn't inherent in the abortion, it's the other way around: if we weren't prejudiced against African-Americans they could more easily get out of poverty and would be better able to afford to raise a kid as one would like to.
      As to there being no unwanted children, well, you are wrong there on several counts: most importantly that you are not appointed to speak for everyone. Bulletin: not everyone thinks exactly like you do! If there were no unwanted children, why would any children be abused?

      November 22, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  6. Jed

    Right, but Evangelicals do not speak for Christianity. Let's remember that they didn't exist until the early 19th century. The Catholic Church has ALWAYS fought against the evils of birth control and contraception, even as early as the days of the Roman Empire when the Christians would save and adopt the children "exposed" by Roman or Greek parents. Let's get some history straight, shall we?

    November 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Jack

      Yes but Dudley explicitly says that Catholics have always been against these things.

      November 13, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Bill Martin

      St. Thomas Aquinas, the greatest Catholic Theologian, held that the 1st stage of a fetus had only a "vegetative soul", which was not created by G-d. http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/aquinas/summa/sum129.htm. The God given soul doesn't exist until infused into an "apt" body after the vegetative soul, and the intermediate animal/sensitive soul stages in the fetus have passed. http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/aquinas/summa/sum110.htm When was Thomas Aquinas anathematized by any Pope? The pre-existence of souls theories of Origen were rejected by the Church 1,500 years ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synod_of_Constantinople_(543) Yet, Catholic anti-choice demonstrators are encouraged to propagate Origenist pre-existence of souls notions. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/27/abortion-clinic-protest-doctors-safety

      If Bathsheba had not been protected by David, would she have not been stoned to death, with a fetus in her womb? There would have been no doubt as to her adultery, since the entire community knew that Uriah had refused to stay with her while on his compulsory military leave. In less obvious cases, the 5th Chapter of Numbers provides for abortion in cases of suspected adultery. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers%205:20-22&version=CEB . Moses legislated for strong families, not for the rights of a zygote. Should a married woman bring an illegitimate child into her household?

      Moses had no use for illegitimate children, or even the descendants of the illegitimate. (Deut 23:2) Moses did not provide for the adoption of illegitimate children. In fact, his rules would have assured that none survived.

      November 16, 2012 at 1:40 am |
  7. Jack

    Ignore the knee-jerk denials by the right-wing idiots posting here. Both Albert Mohler and Christianity Today have acknowledged that Dudley's history here is accurate: " Evangelicals were in fact divided, and many if not most of our leaders were formally "pro-choice" in the 1960s and 1970s."

    November 10, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Thomas J

      Jack, you can cut/paste the same quote as many times as you like, but you need to accept the fact that "Christianity Today" did not and does not speak for the Evangelical movement. It is a magazine, not an elected board of officials. The "Evangelical Movement" is not a Corporation with a CEO that speaks for it. You can harp on and On and ON about how "Christianity Today said this or that", but it doesn't mean a thing. The Evangelical Movement was (and is) an organic and changing thing, not static and not easily pigeon-holed, as you (and Jonathan Dudley) would have it. At this point, it really appears that you are being intentionally dense. There's no point in talking to you if you are going to pretend to be stupid. Unless, of course, you aren't pretending...

      November 10, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
  8. Thomas J

    Jonathan Dudley's article "When Evangelicals Were Pro-Choice" would make for an interesting "Letter to the Editor" of a small-town newspaper, but anyone thinking that Mr. Dudley has arrived at a well-researched and plausible idea with this nonsense of his would have to be, well, pretty gullible.

    Here are the facts: Mr. Dudley has taken two very isolated incidents (a 1968 Christianity Today cover story, and a SBC resolution in 1971) and come up with a huge and unlikely scenario from those two circu-mstances. Let's examine both incidents a bit more closely, shall we? First off, Dudley conveniently omits a few facts. Christianity Today is more or less the flagship magazine of Rev. Billy Graham and his ministry (Rev. Graham being, in the 60s and 70s at least, somewhat
    more left/liberal than right/conservative.) Of his magazine, Rev. Graham himself said that with it he wanted to "plant the evangelical flag in the middle-of-the-road, taking the conservative theological position but a definite liberal approach to social problems." The magazine in question only had a readership of 150,000 to 250,000, and while Rev. Graham is a fine man and by all reports an amazing Christian, he and his magazine can hardly be said to speak for the entire Evangelical movement, and certainly not with just one very isolated cover story back in 1968.

    The other circu-mstance that Mr. Dudley's entire proposition rests on is that in 1971, the Southern Baptist Convention pa-ssed a resolution which supported abortion in certain very specific and limited circ-umstances (i.e., when the life and/or the emotional health of the mother was at risk). What Mr. Dudley conveniently leaves out, though, are two very important facts: he does not report that the vote on the resolution was incredibly close (which indicates that there was much disagreement between those who voted on the resolution) and he also avoids mentioning the contention and debate within the Southern Baptist community after the resolution was pa-ssed, which was quite considerable indeed.

    As I've mentioned before, in a previous response, I attended a private "As-semblies of God" school from 1972 to 1984, and I never met anyone who even attempted to broach the subject of whether abortion might be permissible from a Christian perspective. I had a number of friends who were Southern Baptists, and most of them couldn't even go to movies on Sunday, attend dances on Satu-rday night, or so much as play "Go Fish" (playing cards being gambling, you know), so I think it's a pretty safe bet that they weren't publicly (or even privately) in favor of Abortion on Demand. I'm not saying I'm a perfect bellwether for the Evangelical movement with my limited experience mentioned here. But I've know when I'm being sold a load of nonsense, and this article of Mr. Dudley's is certainly that. Any freshman Creative Writing teacher would take exception with a student who based a position paper on only two isolated (and not very clearly docu-mented) facts, as Mr. Dudley has here. This article by Mr. Dudley (with the visual aid of "Gru-mpy Old Man With Pro-Life Sign" at the top to accompany it, along with a photo of Mr. Dudley himself, who looks as if he's about to burst into tears) is the worst kind of "Historic Revisionism." Whatever. It's pretty much what we've come to expect from the Left nowadays. All I can suggest to his readers is that they do some research on this subject before buying into the kind of intellectual laziness and sloppy/shoddy journalism that Mr. Dudley is guilty of here.

    November 10, 2012 at 2:01 am |
    • Jack

      So Dudley's article is bad because of a few personal anecdotes and Dudley's physical appearance? Please.

      Even a recent article in Christianity Today concedes that Dudley's characterization of evangelicals at the time is accurate: "Evangelicals were in fact divided, and many if not most of our leaders were formally "pro-choice" in the 1960s and 1970s. I do not mean to suggest that Dudley's argument in this respect is wrong."

      Your opposition to the argument made here is not driven by any research or evidence but instead by your own close-mindedness and prejudice.

      November 10, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Thomas J

      Above, witness Jack conveniently ignore the "research or evidence" of my paragraphs two and three, and instead focus his attack on the humor I included in my response. Typical debate technique: ignore the substance, attack the minutiae that can be attacked. Good work there, Jack...

      November 10, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Jack

      You didn't provide any evidence, simply your own assertions with no sources to back them up. Given that you are prejudiced against people based on their physical appearance, you don't seem like a very trustworthy person. So, sorry, I'm not just going to take your word for it, especially when even the pro-life staff at Christianity Today, as well as Albert Mohler, have conceded that Dudley's history here is correct.

      November 10, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Thomas J

      See Jack Grasp At Straws. See Jack Ignore Facts. See Jack Make Weak Arguments...

      November 10, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, see Jack beat the crap out of his opponent. So badly that some other nancy has to come along to help out the loser.

      November 10, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Thomas J

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son-

      "some other nancy"? That sounds a lot like hate speech, Tom.

      Even coming from a Pro-Choicer such as yourself, that's not very cool, dude...

      November 10, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Bill Martin

      Thomas J. has conveniently ignored the strongest, Bible based, evidence that Dudley set forth. Only a coward ignores his opponent's strongest argument and tries to distract with nonsense about card playing and dancing - which is no evidence at all. If you are honest, then answer this evidence:

      “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.”

      November 16, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • Thomas J

      Bill, we can tell a lot about a society by the laws it enacts. If there's a law or code or more or policy against a specific behavior, it is because that behavior exists. This is just common sense: laws are not enacted for behaviors that don't actually occur. For example, Moses didn't have any negative mitzvot against, say, his people traveling through outer space, or eating Twizzlers. This is because Twizzlers (and space-travel) did not exist in the time of Moses. What I'm saying, is that if you want to make out that abortion would be fine or was fine with Moses and the Hebrews of his time simply because he had little to say about it, whatever, fine. It's a bit disingenuous of you, in my opinion, but fine. My point (or one of them, at least) is that if a million+ abortions per year were taking place in the time of Moses, you can BET he would have ruled against it. Also, the bible verse that you (and Dudley) mention above references "premature (i.e. live) birth". Which has, subsequently, been alternately translated as "miscarriage." These are two very different circu-mstances. Regardless, I'm not even basing my Pro-Life view on any Mosaic ruling (or lack of one), but rather on what it has become: a horrible, horrible situation where millions of innocent lives are being ended prematurely, for the sake of convenience, expediency, and a kind of trumped-up and ersatz concern about "Women's Rights".

      November 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      What a gross misrepresentation of the reasons that people get abortions. Do not distort reality just to suit your ideology.

      November 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Thomas J


      Further down the page, I can see that you've had no problem with Huebert (who is Pro-Choice) referring to human fetuses as "parasites": you've even argued with Fred (who is Pro-Life) on some of those same threads, but never taken issue with Huebert's "parasite" comment.

      Obviously, you're rather selective when it comes to what you consider to be a "gross misrepresentation" of things, or a "distortion of reality."

      "Parasites". Whew...

      November 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      How lovely for you to not address the point that I brought up, and resort to something as irrelevant as someone elses classification that:
      1) I don't share.
      2) From a purely biological behavior is correct.
      3) Still doesn't matter to your misrepresentation of the reasons that people get abortions.

      Any other irrelevant point (Red Herring) you want to bring up to distract from your other Red Herring?
      Wow a Red Herring on top of a Red Herring, I don't see that very often.

      November 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Thomas J


      what I have a problem with is people who, instead of addressing a comment in a rational and logical manner, instead choose to huff and puff and get all indignant about the easiest thing to argue within it. You picked one thing to be scandalized by, as if your scandalization proves to discount my entire point/post. I think most people would consider abortion to be, in many (if not most cases) convenient and expedient (look up those words, if you don't know what they mean: expediency isn't necessarily a bad one, by the way). And I honestly feel that the entire issue of "Women's Rights" (and alternately, this phoney-baloney "War on Women" we keep hearing about) are themselves "red herrings". You and I can disagree on that, but to imply that I'm "grossly misrepresenting" things, by saying that many people see abortion as convenient and/or expedient, is simply your interpretation of my intentions. And not a very accurate one. When people start trotting out words referring to my "ideology" or my "agenda" or my "narrow-mindedness and prejudice" (not you per se, but other commentators further down the page) simply because I'm stating my opinion, it serves as a kind of curtailment of speech. An attempt to end the open exchange of ideas. By attacking the man, instead of the man's argument, it tends to put the kibosh on reasonable discussion. It most often happens here when someone makes a good point. Instead of disagreeing with the good point (and looking foolish) the arguer finds some picayune matter to get butthurt about, and thereby derails the attention paid to the good point. Sound familiar?

      November 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      And exactly what survey are you using to determine the reasons for people getting abortions? On what dataset are you basing your assertion that the reasons are convenience and expediancy? Also, what criteria are you using to define what those two terms entail?

      November 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Thomas J


      Instead of putting on your Professor costume and stroking your chin and referring to surveys and datasets and criteria and assertions, how about you and I just talk? Any intelligent and perceptive person can read this thread and see that whenever I make a reasonable and logical response, my points are either sidestepped, ridiculed, or I'm subjected to an Ad Hominem attack of some kind. And now here you are trotting out your thesaurus in an effort to, i dunno, put me on the defensive or something. Whatever. You're being ridiculous. And you're not fooling anyone with your schtick right now. And we're accomplishing nothing. I guess I'll just sit here and wait for someone who is, like myself, interested in rational discussion and in actually exchanging ideas and possibly even learning something new, as opposed to just attacking people with opposing views. Argument isn't about winning or losing, it's about arriving at truth. Both parties win, when the truth is reached.

      November 16, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      So asking for justification for your assertion on the reasons people get abortions is attempting to apparently put you on the defensive, or is it sidestepping your points? Sorry, but you talk of rational discussion, but your last post merely shows that all you want to do is engage in presuppositional bullshit. Justify your assertions, then you might get what you purport to want.

      November 16, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • LordEarlGray

      Stop spelling words with unnecessary hyphens!

      November 20, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Abort 'em all, let Goddess sort 'em out


      The hyphens are being overused so that we can avoid the "bad word filter" on here. Have a look at the post from user "Helpful Hints" a bit further down on this thread for further information on this subject.

      That having been said, go f-uck yourself 😉

      November 20, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  9. Thomas J

    Why in the world won't this thing let me post my response? There are no words that could possibly be flagged in it. Sheesh...

    November 9, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Thomas J, Look for word 'fragments' within your words:

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, sopho-more, etc.
      ho-oters…as in sho-oters
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      inf-orms us…
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.

      November 9, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • Thomas J

      @Helpful Hints: thanks for the tips. This is quite absurd, though. I've written a lengthy and well-thought-out post that I can't submit, due to overzealous robot censors. good grief...

      November 9, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Damocles


      Yeah, that drives me bonkers as well. What I do is copy it before I post it, that way if I missed anything I can go back and look it over again.

      November 9, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      I know, Thomas, it's nuts.

      Can you page back to find your message in the posting box and look it over for the offending fragments?

      November 9, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Thomas J

      Oh I've still got it: I just can't find anything wrong in it :0

      November 10, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Helpful Hints

      Thomas J,

      Keep looking... it's sorta fun when you find it!

      Considering the subject matter, perhaps you have "r-ape" or "const-itution" in there?

      November 10, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • Damocles

      Yeah t-it and v-ag are the ones that I usually find.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Kimc

      TJ - You object to the word "parasite" to describe a fetus, but, however inappropriate the connotations of the word may be, literally, the description is completely accurate as long as the fetus cannot live without feeding off of the mother's body. That is included in the definition of "parasite".

      November 22, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Thomas J

      @Kimc- you've posted your response on the wrong thread (the "parasite" thread is a little further up), but I'll respond anyway. Two points: parasites are usually considered to be inter-species (if that's the right terminology?), as in the following definition: "an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host, from the body of which it obtains nutriment." But I won't belabor the point, since The Internet has most people challenging/debating the meaning of even the shortest-syllabled words nowadays, and you can (and probably will) simply challenge the definition I provide. But feel free to believe what you want to believe. Which brings me to my second point. I'm GLAD that you and others like you (Huebert, for example) feel that unborn children are parasites. Seriously. When people such as yourselves voice such loathsome and fanatical dogma, it will only wind up helping the pro-life cause in the long run. Because of people like you, the pro-choice movement is about to "jump the shark", as they say, and fairly soon America's zeitgeist will swing back in a more Conservative direction (for a while, at least.) It'll happen, I'm guessing, within the first or second year of Obama's second term. So anyway. You and Huebert keep up the good (nay, GREAT) work, okay?

      November 23, 2012 at 1:07 am |
  10. Cheap Kids Uggs Bailey Button

    I like what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and reporting! Keep up the excellent works guys I've included you guys to blogroll.
    Cheap Kids Uggs Bailey Button http://www.cheapuggclassicshortclearance.net/cheap-kids-uggs-bailey-button-abc-14.html

    November 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      You're talking about Dudley??? It's a nice twisted opinion piece (which will work because most don't check the sources), but hardly good work or journalism in any sense. Read the link below (to Mark Galli's response in CT).

      November 9, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • JC

      Anyone who groundlessly accuses Dudley of "taking quotes out of context" with this post will be disappointed to learn that Mark Galli at Christianity Today has conceded that Dudley's characterization of this history is correct.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  11. SoldierOfConscience

    This whole article is a bunch of codswallop. See goo DOT gl SLASH twR46

    Taking things out of context to assert that evangelicals ever approved of ...

    November 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      Thanks... yea, much as I suspected. Great article. And, unlike Rachel keeps saying below, it's actually Galli to destroys Dudley's line of argumentation. (Which, of course, Dudley then gives a similar treatment of selective and out of context quoting in his response as he does in this original article.) So, add strawman to the long list of logical fallacies.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • Kimc

      Of course evangelicals used to be pro-choice - some of us are even old enough to remember it.

      November 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  12. SoldierOfConscience

    It's a biiig slide down people. Started with the "lets not judge anybody or any thing; lets accept everything"

    November 6, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      f we had, like in fifties
      – Strong intact family unit (no easy di vorce, disapproval of out-of-wedlock births)
      – Value placed on life (hence, BC and ab ort ion is moot)
      – kid has a dad to see how to behave as man, mom to see how to behave as girl. So we need man and woman!
      – Picket fences and perfect world.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      And lest we forget the other great things about 1950's America like:
      Nuclear hysteria (duck and cover, kids)

      November 6, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  13. Rachel

    Jonathan Dudley wrote a response to Albert Mohler and Christianity Today, who were whining about this article (even though grudgingly saying the history is accurate): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonathan-dudley/how-evangelicals-decided-that-life-begins-at-conception_b_2072716.html

    He destroys them.

    November 5, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      He didn't really destroy anything. He simply backed up his ALREADY bad line of argumentation with a bit more similar data. EVEN IF he were correct in his rather short-sighted 'history' of this debate, I'm not seeing the relevance to the issue today.

      Anyway, here's what I wrote when this article was first published:
      Poorly researched (or purposely biased) article, as the debate goes back far MUCH further than the 20th century (and there certainly was no consensus... as if this is something new, as the article portrays). However, a big difference today, is that we now know the answer SCIENTIFICALLY, as well as Biblically. While I'd probably not consider Dr. Waltke a conservative in the sense the term is being used here (he was a prof at my alma mater), I can hardly believe that quote is in context. Surely, Waltke was aware of passages which talk about spiritual events in the lives of unborn children (John the Baptist at meeting the in vitiro Jesus, for example).

      Either way, clearly, life does not begin at birth. If that position was held in the past, it is simply in error. What is amazing, is that the more secular the culture becomes, the more anti-science it gets on this issue. (That kind of under-covers what is REALLY going on here. This debate isn't about science, logic, well-being of society, women's rights, etc... it's about eugenics at a foundational level and empowerment of women – at the sacrifice of children, potentially about half of them women btw – at the political level.)

      November 6, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • Rachel

      You say his argument is bad but you don't provide even a shred of evidence to support that assertion

      November 6, 2012 at 7:15 am |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      No, I didn't detail it. You can do that on your own time! What I indicated is that the argument is bad, because A) his history of the situation is short-sighted, so much so that it makes it overall irrelevant, and B) that even if he were correct, it doesn't help the conclusion he is trying to draw.

      In other words: Opposition to abortion and infanticide has a LONG and majority history within the Christian church (right back to the the time of the apostles, in fact), and even if some group here or there changed their view (granting, for the sake of argument, that Dudley got his research right) doesn't indicated that Biblical interpretation is arbitrary, incorrect, or based on current political whims. (That's the genetic fallacy, btw.)

      November 7, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  14. Thomas J

    Jane, the reason the "evangies" still get lots of press for their "arcane beliefs" is because there are a lot of people who AREN'T "evangies" (or Christian, or even religious) who share those very same beliefs. I myself am not a Christian. But I do think abortion is wrong. Lately, I've heard your line (or variations on it) about how "it's time for (insert conservative-belief adherent here) to hurry up and die off already" a bit more frequently than I'm comfortable with. It's a very telling sentiment on your part, actually. Those who espouse it are, ostensibly, in their OWN eyes at least, the "good guys". All I can say is Heaven help us...

    November 5, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • The Truth

      "I myself am not a Christian. But I do think abortion is wrong." Okay, let's take it a step further then. When you say "abortion is wrong" is it your belief as a non-Christian that this applys at the moment of conception or later when the fetus is more fully formed or after the fetus is 24 weeks old which is already the law, because I also agree aborting a 26 weeks old fetus is wrong unless it is to save the life of the mother, any other case such as r a p e and incest should have been dealt with before 24 weeks.

      If you want to go all the way back to conception, what is your reasoning from a non-Christian viewpoint? With no soul to worry about and no evidence of any pain being experienced by a fertilized egg it seem's a bit silly to restrict a medical procedure a woman chooses for her own body.

      November 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Nii

      Your question is very stupid as 90% of the worlds population believe in a human soul not just the 1/3 who are Christian.

      November 6, 2012 at 2:24 am |
    • Anon

      90% of the world are stupid sheep

      November 8, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      Even 100% of the human population believing in a soul doesn't make it true.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:54 am |
  15. Thomas J

    Trying again:

    So the gist of this article is that at some point during the late 60s / early to mid 70s there were a handful of Progressive Fundamentalist / Evangelical Christians who were testing the waters by being tentatively in favor of legalized abortion. This all having occcured either during or shortly after the upheaval of the hippie movement, where mores and values were being re-evaluated across the board. And from this, we're to assume that ALL Fundamentalists were, at one time, Pro-Choice? This is the height of absurdity. I went to a private Christian School (Assemblies of God) from 1972 to 1984, and although I wasn't a believer, at NO POINT did I ever hear anyone say that they thought abortion was okay. There is certainly some "Revisionist History" taking place, but it's NOT the Fundamentalists doing it. It's the pro-abortion types who will do anything to make their enemies (pro-lifers) look ridiculous, waffle-y, flip-floppy, or whatever. But EVEN IF there were a handful of Christians in the pre Roe v Wade era who were in favor of legalized abortion, SO WHAT if they changed their minds, in light of the freaking holocaust "abortion rights" has become, with millions of abortions performed per year, and abortion used as "retroactive birth control" by so many. Rest assured that anyone with any sense knows that this "When Evangelicals were Pro-Choice" jive is pure smoke screen, smoke and mirrors, and flummery/mummery/tomfoolery of the first order...

    November 5, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Jane

      You really should read Reality's post about abortion. Basically, there is no going back from Roe vs. Wade because it would never get broad enough support from the population.The evangies are just nutcases stuck in the past and most of us are just tired of their tantrums and them getting way too much press, far more than their arcane beliefs deserve. Time to move on or just hurry up and die, evangies. The world left you behind long ago.

      November 5, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Rachel

      Yes, you your response sounds much more credible LOL

      November 5, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      @ Thomas J –
      Bingo! If not for the fact that the article has a pretty short version of the history of this issue and commits several logical fallacies, it would certainly fall on being a Red Herring & Genetic Fallacy, as it doesn't really address the issue at hand. So what if some portion of some group that might be tied to the current group of people arguing against abortion had a different take on it? The fact is that this group was, then, in error as we now know better on the basis of science (and, I'd argue, good Biblical exegesis).

      The bigger point remains. What is the unborn?
      Does his/her value and rights depend on the whims of the powerful, or are they something intrinsic (c.f. Declaration of Independence)?
      And, if the pro-choice people are correct in their thinking, how do we get rid of inconsistencies in our legal system? (For example, if someone murders a pregnant woman in California, it is a double homicide, likely opening them to the death penalty.... yet if this same woman didn't want the baby, someone else killing him/her would simply be assisting this woman in carrying out her right. So, the woman's want of the baby is the difference between death row and being a hero? Um, OK.)

      November 6, 2012 at 1:50 am |
  16. Thomas J

    wondering why my reply didn't show up...

    November 5, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • == o ==

      do you know how to avoid the bad word filter?

      November 5, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  17. Rachel

    Jonathan Dudley just wrote a response to Albert Mohler and Christianity Today, who were wining about this article (even though grudgingly saying the history is accurate): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonathan-dudley/how-evangelicals-decided-that-life-begins-at-conception_b_2072716.html

    November 5, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Rachel


      November 5, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      Apparently you didn't actually read Galli's article being responded to by Dudley. Dudley did just about as good of job in selective and out of context quoting with Galli as he did with his original article.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:03 am |
  18. maze

    when something seems bogus, it usually is. Check out a study on that verse in question. it doesn't hold up under scrutiny.

    November 5, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Rachel

      Well, it didn't seem bogus to me

      November 5, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  19. fred

    I call it a symbiotic relationship and both rights are impacted by abortion. If there is no God is would still be a symbiotic relationship just without eternal implications.

    November 5, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Huebert

      In order for a relationship to be symbiotic both parties must benefit. A fetus provides no benefit to the mother, in fact it can be a significant detriment. Pregnancy makes the mother weaker, it siphons off her own resources (food), and causes wild hormone fluctuations. Sounds like a parasite to me.

      Note: I am not against children or any other such silliness. I simply recognize that not all women want children, and I don't think that they should be forced to have them against there will.

      November 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • fred

      I was thinking along the lines of that nurturing need most women have and the continuation of the species. I have observed a great deal of guilt in women who join our recovery groups that have difficulty dealing with past abortions. Their thoughts seem to be tied to some lack of having cared for the child that I assume was related to the nurturing instinct.

      November 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Anecdotal and irrelevant "evidence". Continuation of the species is not an issue, since we have about 7 billion people on the planet right now. Also, while regret may be an issue for some, it is irrelevant when deciding whether something should be legal or not. Some people regret smoking, should we completely outlaw it? Some people regret going to private and charter schools (i.e. me), should we outlaw all of those?

      November 5, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Huebert


      Abortion can be a tough decision. Though the guilt some women experience after abortion has more to do with the social stigma as/sociated with abortion, and the hormone fluctuations. than the mothers nurturing instinct.

      November 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • fred

      Smoking and charter schools are tangible and very different from life. Yes, regret is a part of the loss yet the emotion is tied to a fetus you claim is not life. Don't get me wrong I am not opposed to abortion being available I am opposed to the thought that life is nothing more than organic matter and chemical reaction. I do not feel loss when my battery dies but puppies and babies are different. I think it goes to the issue of soul and if there is no God abortion has very little sting.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      I dare you to point out where I have ever said that a fetus is not alive. When life begins is never the issue, as I have continually pointed out on these forums, and twice to you I think.
      You have no demonstrable evidence of god or even a soul, so until you can provide that, bringing it up is completely and utterly useless.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • fred

      What you believe determines how you view life which is why I mention God and the difference between views with or without God. I assume you have noticed that life appears different to a believer than a non believer.
      If you do not want to call it soul then what is that essence of the aborted child which the mother still wants to nurture? Animals do exhibit a similar concern and we do not know what they are aware of either as to essence of the departed. I see a spirit/soul that became part of the physical and then returns to where it came while the physical returns to its base. If there is no spirit/soul for you then we just have the physical I assume or is there more than just the regret associated with loss on about the same level as other higher forms of animal life experience loss?
      I say this because before my conversion only the loss was noted and experienced whereas now I see and experience a mult-itude of thoughts and feelings.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      How simplistic a view you have of the human mind. You say you see similar behaviour in other animals, and this should give you a clue. No matter how many humans are on the planet, the evolutionary development of caring for our young starts while gestation is still occuring, that's just basic evolutionary psychology. We experience it on a different level because brain activity within a human is much higher than other mammals.
      Still, all of this is completely beside the entire point of the discussion. I don't really care about your conversion, or how many times you assert a soul. If you want to bring it up however, it seems to me you never really applied any kind of critical thinking to your own morality before your conversion, and you were just floating along not giving a shit. This is no more indicative of the general mindset of atheists than Fred Phelps is indicative of the general mindset of Christianity. I place a high value on individual rights, autonomy, and standard of living.

      November 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • fred

      “never really applied any kind of critical thinking to your own morality before your conversion, and you were just floating along not giving a sh it.”
      =>good point except the caring part as I was always empathic and compassionate towards others in need so I did not harm others. My morality did blend in with the culture at the time. That is my experience and I know the difference between that and what I learned through conversion. This does not mean I lump all atheists or others in the same category or stereotype, but not knowing there was a higher standard holiness so to speak did impact my morality.
      That may also apply towards mortality as in that case I really did not care or give it a second thought with the exception of mocking a few bible thumpers now and again because of their foolish delusions. I fully understand that you cannot see God or the things of God or Gods perspective. I understand my proof is not acceptable as to Gods existence. In the rear view mirror I saw all the various events that presented God as self evident but I never saw it at the time or looking forward.

      November 5, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Damnit what word is triggering that fucking word filter!

      November 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Ah but you do lump all atheists in the same area fred. You do it quite often. Did you forget all your uses of the so called "godless mindset" being this and that and this?
      Just because your morality was impacted, doesn't mean it was:
      1) Negative
      2) Indicative of the truth of any kind of god supposedly existing
      My deconversion had an effect on my morality as well fred, since I had to reexamine everything I thought was moral or immoral. I wasn't spoon fed by some perceived authority what was or wasn't good.
      And at the very end of your post, can you say Sharpshooter Fallacy?
      You continue to say self evident, self evident, when your supposed evidence is anything but.

      November 5, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • fred


      “Did you forget all your uses of the so called "godless mindset" being this and that”
      =>Two basic types of people those who reject God and those who do not. Just as there is a wide spread in believers so too there is a wide spread with non believers. When I say Godless I mean those who cannot see God. I am not implying morality from the worlds standards only a world view.

      “I wasn't spo on fed by some perceived authority what was or wasn't good.”
      =>how do you determine authority in the absence of a higher level of authority than man himself? Democracy fails as does theocracy in establishing right and wrong as they are driven by the times.

      It is self evident only in the presence of faith. Doubt can eventually lead to a loss of faith for an extended period of time.

      November 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Your phrasing of "those who reject god and those who do not" presupposes god once again, which you have still not demonstrated. Also, you have talked about godless morality before.
      You're just latching on to a single word, once again, and running completely away from the point, once again.
      Faith is in no way a reliable way to determine truth, since your faith and a muslims faith, or a hindus, buddhists, or any other religions faith is indistinguishable from one another.

      Everything you're saying is constantly presupposing an unproven assumption, which just makes everything you say fail on so many levels.

      November 5, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • fred

      When it comes to faith you keep taking me back to the Garden where doubt broke the faithful bond between Eve and God leading her to trust something other than God. By faith Able offerd the best. It always a matter of faith.

      If you note the criminal on the cross next to Christ did not have a specific profession of faith just a respect for God and Jesus. Interesting that Jesus did not detail what religion he was when he said “today you will be with me in paradise”. This is because people of all faiths may be called by God at Gods choice not ours. Hindu, Islam etc. can be a hindrance but not a road block. Do you assume those two criminals hung next to Christ by coincodense? Do you are being confronted by faith without evidence constantly by coincodence..............no this could be a calling card.

      November 5, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      And now you're falling back on your standard method of irrelevant tangents. I make a point about your presuppositions and your faith, and you just run in the other direction with absolutely nothing of value, built on even more presuppositions. Why do you constantly do this fred?

      November 5, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • fred

      you mentioned this several times so let me think about it to see if understand what you are getting at. Gotta run seat belt sign is on.

      November 5, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  20. SoldierOfConscience

    Tom the piper's son said:
    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.

    I posit the following "real questions"
    1. Whose rights are paramount? the answer is clear: 2 year olds whose survival by themselves is not viable have no legal status and no rights; parents do
    2. Whose rights are paramount? the answer is clear: pet dogs and cats whose survival by themselves is not viable have no legal status and no rights; pet owners do. we can abandon them or not give them medical treatment ...
    3. Whose tights are paramount? the answer is clear: poor people whose survival hangs by a thread are not viable and have no legal status and no rights; Rich people who employ or give charity to said poor people do.

    Legal disclaimer: the above post is sarcastic and to prove a point. To show how the logic of Tom's post goes. Do not pillory me thinking I am seriously suggesting any of the above 3 ideas.

    November 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Huebert

      Who's rights are paramount, the parasite or the host?

      November 5, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Per Huebert's dictionary,

      fetus = parasite
      3 year old baby = parasite
      beloved pet = parasite

      remember, the world is black and white. something is true or false.

      November 5, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Huebert

      Somethings are black and white, others are not. To say otherwise is a sign of immature ethical reasoning.

      unwanted fetus = parasite
      wanted fetus = child
      three year old (wanted or not) = child
      beloved pet = cat

      November 5, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • MCR

      @Huebert, Wasting your time with someone who really thinks the world is that simple is only going to drive you crazy. That's a developmental stage usually left behind around age 9; so either this person is putting you on (quite likely) or has a genuine developmental disability. Either way, I'd leave it alone.

      November 5, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Huebert


      He won't drive me crazy, I'm not expecting him to learn anything. I'm doing this for me, and believe it or not, SoC is helping me out.

      November 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      @ Huebert –
      re" unwanted fetus = parasite / wanted fetus = child"
      Thanks for the clarity and honesty in your thinking there. How about this one? colored person not needed for labor = free / colored person needed by owner = slave
      You might want to think that one through a bit. You've got the powerful deciding the value of the powerless there.

      November 5, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Moron, a 2 year old is not dependent on another's body for survival. A fetus cannot survive outside a woman's body before at least 22 weeks. At all. A 2-year-old can and has rights, you idiot. My word, but you're a dunce.

      November 5, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Yeah Tom

      If you can look beyond the artificial constraint that you have placed, i.e. "dependent on body", you will see how much the parents do for the 2 year old and how it constrains them. So with a more liberal frame of mind, read the OP again.

      November 6, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Tom, more important, ask the question " can the 2 year old (or the domesticated cat/dog) survive outside for long without extensive support from someone like the parent. That is kinda akin to the fetus needing the umbilical cord, literally...

      November 6, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Huebert


      False analogy. It's not about the powerful deciding the fate of the powerless. It's about a woman controlling what occurs within the boundaries of her own body. Seriously, how is this a difficult concept?

      November 6, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      Huehebert, I have an analogy for your last post.

      Its about controlling what happens inside the house unit. If dad needs a 55 inch TV he can skip on child support for kids he has outside this home. or feedng/clothing his existing children inside the house. After all, its the mom and dad inside this house that matter (similarly to how for you the woman's body trumps everything)

      November 6, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Huebert


      I can work with your house analogy. If you don't want someone in your house (body) you can kick them the hell out. Once someone has left your house (body) your control over their situation greatly diminishes.

      Your TV and child support payment analogy, though, is completely ridiculous. It is Immoral to advocate your responsibility (child support payments) to an individual in order to satisfy a want (55" TV). Now if you retort with "a fetus is an individual" I will say that you are wrong. An individual has its own body, it does not exist within the body of another individual.

      November 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      SOC, you're beyond stupid. A two-year-old can survive without sustenance from his mother's body. He can be fed by anyone. A fetus cannot. It is wholly dependent on only one body and that is the body of the woman carrying it. Therefore, she has the sole say over the continuing existence of that fetus.

      You don't.

      Get over it, you moron.

      Women don't care what you think. The law doesn't care what you believe. You and your beliefs are irrelevant.

      November 10, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.