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Abortion isn't a religious issue (And it should not be a political issue says the author)
LA Times ^ | 4 November 2007 | Garry Wills

Posted on 11/04/2007 4:58:54 AM PST by shrinkermd

Evangelicals are adamant, but religion really has nothing to say about the issue

What makes opposition to abortion the issue it is for each of the GOP presidential candidates is the fact that it is the ultimate "wedge issue" -- it is nonnegotiable. The right-to-life people hold that it is as strong a point of religion as any can be. It is religious because the Sixth Commandment (or the Fifth by Catholic count) says, "Thou shalt not kill." For evangelical Christians, in general, abortion is murder. That is why what others think, what polls say, what looks practical does not matter for them. One must oppose murder, however much rancor or controversy may ensue.

But is abortion murder? Most people think not. Evangelicals may argue that most people in Germany thought it was all right to kill Jews. But the parallel is not valid. Killing Jews was killing persons. It is not demonstrable that killing fetuses is killing persons. Not even evangelicals act as if it were. If so, a woman seeking an abortion would be the most culpable person. She is killing her own child. But the evangelical community does not call for her execution.

About 10% of evangelicals, according to polls, allow for abortion in the case of rape or incest. But the circumstances of conception should not change the nature of the thing conceived. If it is a human person, killing it is punishing it for something it had nothing to do with. We do not kill people because they had a criminal parent.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: abortion; garrywills; moralabsolutes; politics; prolife; religion
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This is a long, tortuously debate that merits serious reading if you are to understand how the pro-choicers think.

I only posted the first three paragraphs. In the artilce there is a section on the Pope allegedly acting only on "natural law" rather than Biblical precedent.

Finally, the article does not mention the ancients, long before Christ, condemned abortion. See the Hippocratic Oath (500 b.c.) prohibition to abortions. Physicians took this oath for thousands of years.

1 posted on 11/04/2007 4:58:56 AM PST by shrinkermd
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: shrinkermd
It is not demonstrable that killing fetuses is killing persons.

Yes it is.

3 posted on 11/04/2007 5:07:04 AM PST by SittinYonder (Ic ■Št gehate, ■Št ic heonon nelle fleon fotes trym, ac wille fur­or gan)
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To: shrinkermd
It is not demonstrable that killing fetuses is killing persons.

Go to 1000 couples that are about to have a baby. Ask them if killing their fetus is the same as killing their baby. 100% will say yes.

The definition of murder should not be left to the perpetrator.

4 posted on 11/04/2007 5:07:21 AM PST by SampleMan (Islamic tolerance is practiced by killing you last.)
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To: shrinkermd

Thou shall not kill seems rather straight forward to me.


5 posted on 11/04/2007 5:08:33 AM PST by mort56
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To: shrinkermd

About 10% of evangelicals, according to polls, allow for abortion in the case of rape or incest. But the circumstances of conception should not change the nature of the thing conceived.
-
whatcha talkin about willis? 10% is only 10%.


6 posted on 11/04/2007 5:09:50 AM PST by ari-freedom (I am for traditional moral values, a strong national defense, and free markets.)
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To: shrinkermd
if you are to understand how the pro-choicers think

I'm not interested in "understanding" how pro infanticide liberals "think."

7 posted on 11/04/2007 5:10:26 AM PST by ASA Vet
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To: shrinkermd
Evangelicals may argue that most people in Germany thought it was all right to kill Jews. But the parallel is not valid. Killing Jews was killing persons.

Leftists are such idiots that they don't even understand the crux of the arguments they are making. The fact is that black slavery and the holocaust were both justified on the same principal that this writer is making, that the victims are NOT FULLY HUMAN. What an idiot.

8 posted on 11/04/2007 5:10:35 AM PST by SampleMan (Islamic tolerance is practiced by killing you last.)
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To: shrinkermd
The pro-abortion crowd could be dealt with quite readily if the pro-life crowd made a "one time exception" and rose up and exterminated the pro-abortionists.

Then we (the survivors) could return to being normal people in a normal world with normal rules.

Obviously we are not going to do that. The fact that we do not threaten to do so merely emboldens them, and that's where you get articles like this piece in the LA Times.

9 posted on 11/04/2007 5:10:58 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: shrinkermd
Hello...it’s a political issue because there are already laws governing abortion.

What grade is this author in?

10 posted on 11/04/2007 5:11:09 AM PST by Earthdweller (All reality is based on faith in something.)
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To: SampleMan
Go to 1000 couples that are about to have a baby. Ask them if killing their fetus is the same as killing their baby. 100% will say yes. The definition of murder should not be left to the perpetrator.

Bingo. For abortophiles the fetus is a "person" if the mother wants it, and not a "person" if she doesn't want it. The personhood of the fetus is wholly dependent on the whims of the mother.

11 posted on 11/04/2007 5:12:05 AM PST by HerrBlucher (He's the coolest thing around, gonna shut HRC down, gonna turn it on, wind it up, blow em out, FDT!)
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To: shrinkermd
I do not think the planned murder of the most helpless is a religious issue, it is a moral issue.

A person who has no morals should not be trusted at anything.

12 posted on 11/04/2007 5:12:22 AM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Remember the Alamo, Goliad and WACO, It is Time for a new San Jacinto)
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To: shrinkermd
Killing Jews was killing persons. It is not demonstrable that killing fetuses is killing persons.

I'm disappointed in Wills. This is shooting fish in a barrel.

OK, so I redefine the legal term "person" to exclude Jews. Now I can kill all the Jews I want without killing a person.

Neat, huh?

13 posted on 11/04/2007 5:12:27 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: shrinkermd
It is not demonstrable that killing fetuses is killing persons. Not even evangelicals act as if it were. If so, a woman seeking an abortion would be the most culpable person.

Women kill their babies just so they can fornicate without the 18-yr-long consequences.

14 posted on 11/04/2007 5:12:41 AM PST by Rudder
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To: shrinkermd
But is abortion murder? Most people think not

But is abortion murder? Most people think not. Evangelicals may argue that most people in Germany thought it was all right to kill Jews. But the parallel is not valid. Killing Jews was killing persons. It is not demonstrable that killing fetuses is killing persons.

The writer makes statements like these without any supporting evidence whatsoever. He doesn't even point out the fact that a pregnant woman will decide her child is a human by giving it a name, decide which schools the baby can go to, the room the baby will have up until the point she decides to have an abortion...then all bets are off and the baby is no longer human according to the psychology of the woman...even though the biology of the baby hasn't chnged. Liberal bull!!!

15 posted on 11/04/2007 5:12:59 AM PST by paltz
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To: shrinkermd
It is not demonstrable that killing fetuses is killing persons. Not even evangelicals act as if it were. If so, a woman seeking an abortion would be the most culpable person. She is killing her own child. But the evangelical community does not call for her execution.

Of course we don't call for her execution, we would rather see her restored and whole. We preach forgiveness from sin, not vengeance.

16 posted on 11/04/2007 5:13:24 AM PST by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
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To: shrinkermd

This is Rudy Giuliani propaganda.


17 posted on 11/04/2007 5:13:33 AM PST by TommyDale (Never forget the Republicans who voted for illegal immigrant amnesty in 2007!)
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To: ari-freedom
"whatcha talkin about willis? 10% is only 10%. .. ???

The 1 or 2% of the queers legislate as if there is a vast majority ... the 1 or less % of Islamists take over whole towns and are well on their way to controlling the gum'mint skools ...

Only 10%

18 posted on 11/04/2007 5:16:01 AM PST by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true.)
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To: SampleMan
Yes it is.

Actually, it isn't. "Person" in this sense is a legal term, not a medical or scientific one.

It thus has no inherent meaning at all, but only what is assigned it by the legal system, which in this case means a single swing voter on the Supreme Court.

What the pro-choice people never seem to realize is that women, Jews, blacks, homosexuals, old people, crippled people and any other of their favorite groups could equally well be classified as non-persons using exactly the same procedure.

19 posted on 11/04/2007 5:16:48 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: shrinkermd
"It is not demonstrable that killing fetuses is killing persons," says the superstitious Garry Wills.

His ancestors probably used the same humanist defense when enslaving Africans, who were looked upon as less-than-human: "It is not demonstrable that chaining Negroes is chaining persons."

20 posted on 11/04/2007 5:17:04 AM PST by Hornitos
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To: shrinkermd

Preaching mostly to the choir I assume, but here is my 2 cents anyway......

Anybody that votes or suggest they will vote for Rudy G, is simply not pro life!!! Case closed the fat lady has sung


21 posted on 11/04/2007 5:17:34 AM PST by Friendofgeorge (Fred Thompson for President)
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To: shrinkermd

“About 10% of evangelicals, according to polls, allow for abortion in the case of rape or incest. But the circumstances of conception should not change the nature of the thing conceived.”

How true this is, the position that ‘in case of rape or incest’ ignores the humanity of the unborn..


22 posted on 11/04/2007 5:18:47 AM PST by N3WBI3 (Ah, arrogance and stupidity all in the same package. How efficient of you. -- Londo Mollari)
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To: shrinkermd

Gary Wills bent so far backwards in his “reasoning”, he stuck his head up his butt. This is beyond twisted logic. It’s deliberate self-delusion.


23 posted on 11/04/2007 5:18:49 AM PST by WashingtonSource
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To: P8riot

The author is correct that this is an inconsistency in pro-lifers.

Are you equally anxious to see Jeffrey Daumer made “restored and whole?” Or do you preach vengeance for him, but not for her? If so, on what logical basis?


24 posted on 11/04/2007 5:19:20 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Hornitos
"It is not demonstrable that killing fetuses is killing persons...

Willful suspension of disbelief anyone? Talk about having no faith in modern science.

25 posted on 11/04/2007 5:19:33 AM PST by Earthdweller (All reality is based on faith in something.)
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To: shrinkermd

Without the right to life, there are no other rights.


26 posted on 11/04/2007 5:20:33 AM PST by mware
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To: Sherman Logan

Actually, personhood is an absolute and totally independent from what a law defines it as. But your over all point is well made, that laws are crafted to discriminate against personhood, be it non-person slaves, illegal and non-person Jews, or non-person unborn children.


27 posted on 11/04/2007 5:21:54 AM PST by Hornitos
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To: SampleMan

esp considering that the word ‘fetuses’ means nothing more than *unborn child*


28 posted on 11/04/2007 5:24:42 AM PST by N3WBI3 (Ah, arrogance and stupidity all in the same package. How efficient of you. -- Londo Mollari)
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To: Friendofgeorge

Try putting an “Abort Hillary” bumper sticker on your car and see the reaction you get from the pro-choice types.


29 posted on 11/04/2007 5:25:03 AM PST by reg45
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To: shrinkermd
Gary Wills is conveniently ignoring several historical facts here and he also is failing to look at this issue from any kind of reasonable historical perspective. First the early Church condemned abortion in a first century document, the Didache. Although it did not consider abortion to be murder until much later in history--because of the lack of knowledge about human reproduction and embryology--the Church has always condemned it. Also, he purposely has misinterpreted the pope's comment on natural law. Natural law is not something demonstrated by science: it is a knowledge of right and wrong that can be recognized by most people. It is not up to science to "prove" that abortion is murder. Moreover, since John Paul II explicitly condemned abortion as murder in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, this subject is no longer open for discussion by Catholics, including Wills. And this brings me to the point about Wills' lack of historical perspective. Since Aquinas did not know how conception occurred and since no one knew that the fetus really existed until the mother could feel its movements, which was in the fourth month of pregnancy and which was called "quickening," he concluded that ensoulment occurred at quickening and that that was when the fetus became a person. But Aquinas always considered abortion to be a sin because he saw it as a kind of birth control. Finally, let's get to the issue of personhood. Those who argue that the fetus are not persons are arbitrarily separating the idea of personhood from the biological existence of a human life. There is no good, logical, or compelling reason for them to do this, however. By doing this, they turn personhood into a subjective concept, so that it no longer means that there as a human life whose existence can be empirically demonstrated but that a person is someone who possesses certain qualities, such as autonomy, intelligence, the ability to think, feeling, etc. This is a convenient way of denying that entire categories of human beings, such as the unborn, those who are disabled, those in comas, are not persons. It is scandalous for Wills to continue to portray himself as a faithful Catholic when he is nothing of the sort.
30 posted on 11/04/2007 5:30:51 AM PST by steadfastconservative
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To: reg45

I heard someone suggest that Rudy was a good argument for abortion....I guess Hillary also.


31 posted on 11/04/2007 5:36:01 AM PST by Friendofgeorge (Fred Thompson for President)
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To: Sherman Logan
Are you equally anxious to see Jeffrey Daumer made “restored and whole?” Or do you preach vengeance for him, but not for her? If so, on what logical basis?

Dahmer knew what he was doing. In many cases women who get abortions are not fully aware of the magnitude of their decision and are usually counselled (preyed upon) to do so by those on the left with an agenda. They are talked into it. Then regret it the rest of their lives.

32 posted on 11/04/2007 5:49:58 AM PST by peteram (Liberals are just Stupid!)
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To: mware

“Without the right to life, there are no other rights.”

That is such a profound statement that only liberals would not know what it means.


33 posted on 11/04/2007 5:52:57 AM PST by jesseam (Been there and done that!)
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To: shrinkermd
It is not demonstrable that killing fetuses is killing persons.

Then why do abortion supporters call themselves "pro-choice" and not pro-abortion?

Better yet, why do abortion supporters recoil with horror and outrage when photos or videos of abortions are shown? Why do they protest when laws are initiated requiring abortionists to show women considering abortion an ultrasound?

If Wills were correct, it would be the pro-abortion side that would be wanting to display clear photographic and medical imagery of what they are doing.

34 posted on 11/04/2007 5:54:12 AM PST by puroresu (Enjoy ASIAN CINEMA? See my Freeper page for recommendations (updated!).)
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To: SittinYonder
If abortion is a killing, then why were women never prosecuted? They instigate the abortion, often pay for it and an abortion cannot be done without their cooperation.

I practiced medicine for 13 years prior to Roe vs. Wade and women were never prosecuted in Minnesota. It was this kind of tautology that made harsh abortion penalties almost impossible to enforce.

35 posted on 11/04/2007 5:54:22 AM PST by shrinkermd
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To: peteram

Sure, but many women also know exactly what they are doing and just don’t care. Your automatic exclusion from responsibility for all women is not logical, and is frankly more than a little patronizing.


36 posted on 11/04/2007 6:04:52 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: shrinkermd

So if it isn’t a human child, what is it?


37 posted on 11/04/2007 6:06:40 AM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: shrinkermd

Abortion is a losing issue for the Dem’s and is one of the few “emotional” issues that rally’s Republicans. Dem’s usually vote because “the sky is falling” and so on this issue, along with Homosexuality and socialism, Republican’s hold their lines. Of course the Dem’s want to see this issue go away, because the Republicans wouldn’t have a rallying issue to get the voters to the polls.

My cup if half full and I’m grateful, yet my Democratic voting friends always see their glass half empty.


38 posted on 11/04/2007 6:07:49 AM PST by Jumper
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To: boleslaus sabakovic

Interesting...never thought of it that way.


39 posted on 11/04/2007 6:10:35 AM PST by grellis (Is this the best we've got??!)
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To: shrinkermd; eyespysomething
If abortion is a killing, then why were women never prosecuted?

Are you suggesting that government's failure to prosecute is the evidence necessary to establish that abortion is not killing?

Ridiculous.

What government does or does not do establishes nothing.

The question, if there is one, is at what point does life begin. I think the answer is clear that life begins at conception. The organism is forming and growing from that point on.

Any other conclusion, I believe, is agenda driven. It is beyond me how "science" can throw up its hands in defeat and not admit that life begins when the organism begins to form and grow.

To suggest that life begins when a fetus is viable is simply absurd - that fetus began long before it became viable.

If we are unwilling to concede that a growing fetus hours or days or weeks old is a living organism, how can we possibly conclude that an amoeba is alive?

It may be a legal question whether or not this is killing we allow in our culture - such as hunting or stepping on ants ... but to suggest that it is not killing is intellectually dishonest and morally bankrupt.

40 posted on 11/04/2007 6:12:28 AM PST by SittinYonder (Ic ■Št gehate, ■Št ic heonon nelle fleon fotes trym, ac wille fur­or gan)
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To: shrinkermd
Dear LAT & G. WILLS...

What part of "Thou Shalt Not Kill" are you unable to understand?"

41 posted on 11/04/2007 6:14:12 AM PST by Wings-n-Wind (The main things are the plain things!)
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To: SittinYonder

Well, tell me why women obtaining an abortion are not prosecuted. There must be a reason.


42 posted on 11/04/2007 6:20:33 AM PST by shrinkermd
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To: HerrBlucher

For abortophiles the fetus is a “person” if the mother wants it, and not a “person” if she doesn’t want it. The personhood of the fetus is wholly dependent on the whims of the mother.<<

Unfortunately, you’ve got that right. But it isn’t just women who believe an unplanned pregnancy baby isn’t a person deserving of the right to life, men can feel the same way. I had a sociology course not too long ago where men and women were asked to name their “happiest” day and their “worst” day. One of the male respondents said his happiest day was when he and his wife found out they were having a baby. His worst day was when a previous girlfriend told him she was pregnant...and that’s how he worded it also. When he wanted the baby it was happy and it was “their” baby. When he and a previous girlfriend conceived a child suddenly “she” was pregnant and it was his worst day.

It was quite telling, and quite sad.


43 posted on 11/04/2007 6:31:23 AM PST by fleagle ( An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last. -Winston Churchill)
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Bump


44 posted on 11/04/2007 6:40:01 AM PST by Non-Sequitur (Save Fredericksburg. Support CVBT.)
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To: shrinkermd
The purely scientific answer to is a fetus a human being is - of cource it is. What else would it be?

Personhood is a pure social construct. Slaves weren't persons. In some societies Jews aren't persons. The march of progress in this country for 200 years has been to grant more and more human beings person hood. Except this particular class of human beings.

It is not demonstrable that fetuses is persons

45 posted on 11/04/2007 6:42:55 AM PST by DManA
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To: shrinkermd

Gary Wills - yet another Vatican II Catholic who has made a killing from doing his best to kill the Catholic faith. Can you believe this abortion devotee wrote a book praising the rosary???


46 posted on 11/04/2007 6:46:58 AM PST by madprof98 ("moritur et ridet" - salvianus)
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To: shrinkermd
Well, tell me why women obtaining an abortion are not prosecuted

Is this a joke? Are you justifying abortion because women aren't prosecuted for getting one?

I don't know the laws prior to Roe v Wade, whether a woman was legally culpable or not, but if a woman wasn't prosecuted for having an abortion and legally should have been, then the obvious answer is because police and prosecutors failed to do their job.

But a failure to prosecute, as I clearly stated, is no answer as to whether or not abortion is killing. A failure to prosecute, as could easily be inferred from my previous post, is simply a cultural decision that it is killing that we allow.

47 posted on 11/04/2007 6:48:27 AM PST by SittinYonder (Ic ■Št gehate, ■Št ic heonon nelle fleon fotes trym, ac wille fur­or gan)
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To: SittinYonder

It is no joke, and I am not justifying abortion. But the question remains, “Why were women seldom to never prosecuted for obtaining an abortion?” Not having an answer tells me you have not really examined your own thinking.


48 posted on 11/04/2007 6:51:56 AM PST by shrinkermd
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To: shrinkermd

The Islamists must love the West killing itself off. What need is there for having a WMD when the West already uses a more killing one.


49 posted on 11/04/2007 6:57:27 AM PST by ex-snook ("Above all things, truth beareth away the victory.")
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To: shrinkermd
It is not demonstrable that killing fetuses is killing persons.

Foetus is latin. Wonder if the goober has ever checked what it means.

50 posted on 11/04/2007 6:57:41 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (Jesus loves you, Allah wants you dead)
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