To: Pete from Shawnee Mission
I can think of 2 other early Church documents that specifically state that abortion is wrong; "The apology of Anathagoras" and "The Shepard of Hermeas".
Actually, Athenagoras' "Plea for the Christians," apparently addressed to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, is usually dated in the 170's, probably 177 A.D.
Other "Apostolic Fathers" worth checking out (from the first centruy after Christ's death and Resurrection) are Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, the anonymous letter to Diognetus, Barnabas, and the fragments of Papias.
The Didache is especially worthy of note given that the early dating ranges for it would actually put its composition before much of the New Testament canon. Hard to get back much further than that. Someone should send a copy to Dan Brown.
To: The Iguana; lastchance; topher
"Actually, Athenagoras' "Plea for the Christians," apparently addressed to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, is usually dated in the 170's, probably 177 A.D."
The Greek is "presbia" not "apologia". According to the note in the Cyril C Richardson Translation contained in "Early Christian Fathers" (MacMillian Publishing, 1975 Edition) it has the sense of plea or apology. He has translated it as "Plea." Point conceded.
The addressees of the "Plea" are the emperors Marcus Aureleus and Lucias Commodius Aureleus, and addresses them as Emperors and "more importantly, philosophers." Your date is correct. He presents a defense against "atheism, Thyrestian feasts (cannabalism), and Oedipean sex (sex with ones mother.)
Regarding abortion Anathagoras states:
"What reason would we have to commit murder when we
say that women who induce abortions are murderers
and will have to give an account of it to God? For the
same person would not regard the fetus in the womb as
a living thing and therefor an object of God's care
and at the same time slay it once it had come to
life. Nor would he refuse to expose infants, on
the ground that those who expose them are murderers
of children and at the same time do away with the
child he has reared. But we are altogether
consistant in our conduct. We obey reason and do not
The pro abortion crowd often claims that the pro life movement only cares for the child as long as it is in the womb. The earliest orphanages in Rome were established by Christians to take in exposed infants. To this day Christians have cared for orphans. (Boys Town comes to mind immediately). If there is any decrease in Christians running orphanages it is attributable to efforts by the Secular state to take over what was once a strictly religious function. I would also point out that The Catholic, Lutheran, and Episcopalian churches, among others, sponsor schools and social programs directed at children. Do not let any anti abortion person get away with this lie.
posted on 06/17/2006 5:01:56 PM PDT
by Pete from Shawnee Mission
(Food that tastes like chicken should come from something that has feathers...)
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