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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.

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TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: abortion; garrywills; moralabsolutes; politics; prolife; religion
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To: goldstategop

The post I responded to was saying that Christians can’t support punishing, much less executing, a “mother” who aborts her innocent child, because Christians are into repentance not vengeance.

My question is why someone who intentionally kills a born person should be severely punished as vengeance, perhaps even executed, while a “mother” who intentionally kills her unborn innocent child is treated as almost a second victim.

If abortion is murder, then a woman who intentionally has an abortion is guilty of premeditated murder. Those who make excuses otherwise sound remarkably like those who make excuses for murderers of older people. Bad childhood, mental health, stressful life, etc.

There are only two ways out of this contradiction. Either the unborn child is not quite a person, which is why his killing can be considererd to be not quite murder, or all who participate in the abortion should be treated as equally culpable.

81 posted on 11/04/2007 9:14:54 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: sobieski
Natural law says that life begins at conception. It’s also what science says. The liberals say that they determine when a person is created. That, however, is metaphysics. So let’s stick with science, not the liberals religious beliefs

Okay, let's go with your view. Are you consistent? Would you support the prosecution and death penalty for mothers who have an abortion in a society where abortion is banned? If not, why not? You should have no hesitation in doing so.


Science says life begins even before conception - the semen & the ovum are 'life'. The question isn't 'when does life begin?' or even 'when does human life being?', it's 'when does personhood begin?'.

Pro-life is better re-termed to 'pro-human life'. God made all kinds of life - human life, animal life, plant life. If one is truly 'pro-life', they are vegetarian and don't use any products that require the killing of animal life.

82 posted on 11/04/2007 10:19:26 AM PST by Swordfished
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To: shrinkermd; 230FMJ; 49th; 50mm; 69ConvertibleFirebird; Aleighanne; Alexander Rubin; ...
Moral Absolutes Ping!

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I'm that the author of this piece probably isn't all that familiar with the Bible, but "Thou shalt not kill," is a pretty familiar phrase.

83 posted on 11/04/2007 10:30:18 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: shrinkermd
Not having an answer tells me you have not really examined your own thinking.

I gave you an answer. If the mothers were culpable under the law but were not prosecuted - which is your claim, I don't know it to be true - then it's because the police and the district attorney were uninterested in doing their job.

Their failure to prosecute, though, does not mean that abortion is not killing.

84 posted on 11/04/2007 10:35:41 AM PST by SittinYonder (Ic ■Št gehate, ■Št ic heonon nelle fleon fotes trym, ac wille fur­or gan)
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To: shrinkermd

This author is an idiot.

85 posted on 11/04/2007 10:39:34 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain. True support of the troops means praying for US to WIN the war!)
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To: Sherman Logan; Swordfished
The two of you read entirely too much into my comment, or maybe not enough. At any rate you both missed the point entirely. I am as adamantly pro-life as anyone on this board if not more so.

Christ's forgiveness is extended to us no matter what we have done in the past. That is not saying that we should turn murderers and rapists free based on that forgiveness. The common laws given to man hold consequences for having been broken, and in such cases we should expect that we, and others will suffer the consequences of our actions. Justice, a concept that comes from God, requires no less. However, it is not for us to say what will happen to this person spiritually after the fact. It is our duty to confront, admonish, restore, and disciple one another, not to stand as judge jury and executioner. However, if I was as perfect as you two seem to think that you are I would have no problem doing that.

I am not saying that we give these people a pass, but rather that we seek to show Christ's love to them, as He, and others He has put into our lives) have showed it to us, not write them off, based on a mistake.

86 posted on 11/04/2007 10:48:58 AM PST by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
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To: P8riot

I’m still waiting for a logical reason why the intentional killing of an unborn child should be treated differently under the law than the intentional killing of anyone else. \

Or for that matter why a woman killing her child five minutes before birth should be treated differently from the same woman killing the same child five minutes after birth.

Of course Christ’s forgiveness is available to women who have abortions, but for that matter it is equally available to Jeff Dahmer and Ted Bundy (or was, both gentlemen being deceased).

87 posted on 11/04/2007 10:58:49 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: shrinkermd

Since when is a MORAL issue not an issue for Religion or Politics? Is murdering babies such a regular event in America that we should not think about it.

88 posted on 11/04/2007 11:00:59 AM PST by fish hawk (The religion of Darwinism = Monkey Intellect)
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To: ASA Vet
Liberals and think is an Oxymoron.
89 posted on 11/04/2007 11:02:32 AM PST by fish hawk (The religion of Darwinism = Monkey Intellect)
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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?

This is not an inconsistency in principle, but a requirement of law enforcement policy.

Law is not required, nor can it be required, to perfectly express justice in an unexceptionable way. It can only restrain the most publicly objectionable practices, and then only in most cases.

For example, the law does not arrest people for "private lying" which does not involve fraud, breach of contract or the like. "Private lying" maybe just as morally heinous, but public authorities simply cannot monitor private communications, and if they attempted to do so, they would do more harm to legitimate personal privacy through universal surveillance than the good they might accomplish.

Concerning abortion: this kind of homicide is harder to prove than other murders, because the victim's very existence may be unknown to every other person on earth except for the mother, and she can "privately" abort using herbal remedies or prescription medicines, for instance a large dose of oral contracaptives, without even facing the inconvenient necessity of disposing of a large And recognizable body.

Therefore the only effective way to use legal power to curb massive numbers of abortions is to focus on shutting down the medical-abortion complex, the funding through insurers and public agencies, concentrating prosecutorial attention on the professional abortionists.

And just about the only way to successfully obtain a conviction would be through the testimony of a woman whose child he aborted: a woman who sees herself as a victim who was exploited by the abortionist.

This is not an entire fiction. Most abortionists are flagrantly guilty of not providing adequate information for tthe woman to make an informed consent, and therefore young and ignorant women often do not possess a criminal mens rea, a sufficent awareness that she is killing a baby.

The doctor, of course, knows. Prosecute the doctors with the cooperation of women who are seen as his victims, and you've shut down most of the abortion industry.

90 posted on 11/04/2007 12:36:04 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o (This day we fight! By all that you hold dear, on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!)
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To: Sherman Logan

Don’t look for me for a logical reason for that. We don’t live in a logical society.

91 posted on 11/04/2007 12:36:54 PM PST by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Strikes me as a rationalization, but you word it well.

OTOH, the “mother” in the case could be considered the prime mover in the homicide of the unborn child, with the doctor being only an instrument she uses. The closest analogy I can think of is a wife who hires a hitman to off her husband. The plea that the wily hitman exploited her innocence is just a tad difficult to carry off.

92 posted on 11/04/2007 12:41:37 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Swordfished; shrinkermd; SittinYonder; don-o
I'd be interested in your view of the argument expressed here at #90.
93 posted on 11/04/2007 12:44:07 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o (This day we fight! By all that you hold dear, on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!)
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To: Swordfished

Yes, there should be a penalty for the doctor and the mother.

In your world, when does personhood begin? Why should a newborn be considered a person? What’s special about that? And if a person has Alzhemeri’s (sp), then do they lose their personhood?

94 posted on 11/04/2007 12:48:57 PM PST by sobieski
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To: Ol' Sparky

I don’t think he governed as a liberal. He cut taxes, de regulated business, regulated the porn industry, defended the BVM, fought crime.

95 posted on 11/04/2007 12:50:23 PM PST by sobieski
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To: goldstategop

But if you accept human life as sacred, doesn’t that automatically preclude the death penalty? If all human life is sacrosanct and that sacrosanctness stems from that life having been infused with the ‘Divine Essence’, doesn’t that mean that only God could ever choose to rescind it? If only God can rescind his Divine Essence, then any killing of a human person for any reason would be a violation of that persons sacredness.

One could go to the Bible and find that God has directed that in the case of Murder we are allowed to take a human life:
Exodus 21:12, He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.

But that same chapter of Exodus also contains:
Exodus 21:22, If men stirve, 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.

This seems to be indicating that the taking of a life, deemed sacred, is to be punished with death, but that the killing of an unborn child should be punished in a financial manner. It reads as though God is declaring there to be a difference between a living person and an unborn child.

Am I wrong to read this into the Bible?

96 posted on 11/04/2007 12:50:45 PM PST by 49th (this space for rent)
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To: indylindy

I’ll take his 80% on my side, vs Hilary 100% on the other.

97 posted on 11/04/2007 12:51:29 PM PST by sobieski
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To: shrinkermd
The extraordinary capacity of human beings to rationalize evil enables us to gratify ourselves but it does not render evil good.

The fact that millions of women rationalize the killing of their unborn babies does not render evil good, Whether a thing is evil or good is not a matter to be established by majority vote. Even Whether a thing shall be legal or illegal is not always a matter to be established by majority vote. That is why matters of conscience are constitutionally protected against majority rule.

Matters of individual conscience are protected from majority rule because the human capacity to rationalize evil on a wholesale scale is so dangerous. Slavers did not regard Africans as moral human beings . That was the majority opinion in America for centuries and the majority opinion in the American South well into the 19th century. This opinion rationalized the enslavement of millions of Africans in America. Nazis did not regard Jews as moral human beings. This was the majority opinion of Germany. This opinion rationalized the murder of millions of Jews.

Today, millions of women do not regard their unborn babies as moral human beings.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

New Testament or Old, my Bible (the King James version, of course, here quoting Jeremiah) makes clear the fallen nature of man and his infinite capacity to call evil, good and good evil, in order to rationalize his gratification. I have commented sometime ago on any Dennis Prager article the thrust of which is that the most important determinative of one's politics-whether left or right- is one's view of the nature of man, whether he is fallen or perfectible, whether he is essentially good or evil. Liberals think that man is good or at least perfectible with proper training which they are all too willing to provide. Conservatives believe that man is a fallen creature who cannot be educated to virtue but must be reborn, re-created as it were, to a whole new moral perspective.

If one regards man as essentially good (or in this case since were talking about pregnancy, woman) then, in the worldview of the liberal, the decisions of millions of good women about how to regard their unborn babies is very persuasive, indeed conclusive. Surely, 40 million women since Roe vs Wade could not have done an evil thing! A Christian, especially a conservative Christian has no difficulty in emphatically identifying 40 million evil acts. To the conservative Christian this morality is not to be determined by mob rule.

A final word about the kind of women who advance so ardently the rationalizations for 40 million abortions. How do they see the world? I believe they see the world as wholly out of balance and in need of reshaping so that moral justice can prevail. There are many impediments frustrating their ambitions to shape the world. Since we are talking about women, it is not surprising that they regard the traditional role of women as a huge stumbling block to their ambitions which all are global-remember, they want to shape the world. Justice Ginsburg, not surprisingly, has come out and flatly said so on her last dissenting opinion in the abortion case which she lost. I was not alone in regarding her dissent which was read aloud by her from the bench in a rare display by a justice of such pique, to be an articulation of the need to employ abortion as a means to reshape the role of women, to recast her relative power vis-à-vis men. Women like Justice Ginsburg simply believe that women must be able to abort their pregnancies in order to advance their careers and their social lives. You can see my vanity post asserting just this charge here:Ruthie "Remidies" is Preganant! A different view of Gonzolas v. Carhart; Others insinuate that women who choose marriage as a career path want to be allowed to attempt to entrap a man with pregnancy and then abort if he fails to marry her. Such women are not ignorant of the methods of birth control but deliberately eschew them in order to get pregnant. How many abortions occur under this Faustian scenario?

If the soul sickness of man seduces him into a compact with evil, the fact that he repeats his sin an infinite number of times does not make evil good. It does not justify him in committing the sin an infinite number of times plus one.

Politicians are no less sinners than the rest of us and, if anything, they have an even greater capacity to rationalize evil for their own gain. If millions of women are committing abortions, that is not a justification for abortion. If a politician who is perhaps not very bright but is undoubtedly smart enough to count, figures out that enforcing a law against millions of women would be politically disastrous, he will rationalize the course which guarantees his own political survival. The failure of this politician to confront evil no more justifies abortion than does the reality that millions of abortions occur.

98 posted on 11/04/2007 12:51:39 PM PST by nathanbedford ("I like to legislate. I feel I've done a lot of good." Sen. Robert Byrd)
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To: sobieski

80% is extremely generous when talking Rudy. I would not consider it conservative.

It is also ignoring fact. Sad thing for you.

99 posted on 11/04/2007 12:55:10 PM PST by dforest (Duncan Hunter is the best hope we have on both fronts.)
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To: Sherman Logan
"The closest analogy I can think of is a wife who hires a hitman to off her husband."

I freely concede that what you're saying is morally accurate (rare is the woman who would believe that her busband is just a mass of cells of dubious humanity) --- but I think what I wrote still stands: you can't shut down the abortion industry without going after, principally, the abortionist, with postabortion women as accusers and not as co-defendants.

And you're never going to be able to prosecute women who engage in do-it-yourself abortions with a handful of OC's.

100 posted on 11/04/2007 12:55:25 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o (This day we fight! By all that you hold dear, on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!)
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