Category Archives: Pro-Life Issues
I had planned to write a post yesterday refuting two common Bible verses that pro-choice advocates cite to “prove” that the Bible is actually pro-choice. Of course, if the choicers understood the historical and cultural context of those verses, they’d be singing a different tune. Or at least not using them to undermine the Bible’s clear pro-life position.
For more, check the blog fellow apologist and brother in Christ, Dave Armstrong, who has listed numerous verses on why the Bible is pro-life.
If I had scheduled that post to appear today, that would have left me free to read and research on the scientific and philosophical reflections on what makes a life alive. That would have been posted tomorrow. And then I’d have the weekend free to finish my series on DaGoodS’s questions that Christians hope no one asks.
But I got unexpectedly busy yesterday, and that busyness continued through today, which means I wasn’t as active in “Ask Them What They Mean by Choice” Day, the pro-life countermeasure to Blog for Choice Day, as I wanted to be.
But I still wanted to do something for it, so I found @juliewashere, a Twitter user and founder the Golden Coat Hanger, a blog on feminist and abortion issues, and I decided to use her tweets to show how extraordinarily inconsistent her pro-choice position actually is. It’s inconsistent to the point of frightening. Let’s look.
Twitter user @KatyPundit (who is male and named David; so much for my uncanny ability to guess gender using forum aliases) told Julie “You gave consent when you spread em open.” Julie responded:
that’s consent to sex, and ONLY sex.
Which is a perfect example of why sex education in America is failing. Pregnancy results from sex. Not every time, but it is a looming possibility each and every time a man and a woman lay down together. So, if you have sex, you’d best be prepared for pregnancy.
David reminds her of this fact: “LOL, Sex makes babies. At least that’s how MY kids got here… U came by Stork?” And Julie responds with a disconnect between sex and pregnancy:
no, pregnancy makes babies, and it takes several months.
Nice, genius. What do you think makes a person pregnant? I think this line of reasoning comes from someone who wants to have sex with any given partner at any given time and not have to worry about a potential pregnancy. In other words, sex isn’t for intimacy and love; it has no spiritual dimension, nor should it always be connected with bringing new life into this world. Sex is purely for the enjoyment of the two people doing it.
Yet another instance of people wanting to give into the flesh and jettison anything to do with higher, spiritual decisions. It can’t be about self-control and discipline! Sex feels too good to be disciplined about it, right? I heard Brian Sapient of the Rational Response Squad argue that pre-marital sex was a right belonging to all human beings that has been co-opted by religion. I guess Julie would agree with that line of reasoning.
Jack Yoest (@JackYoest) said, “The mothers went in to get a dead baby,” of Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s patients. Julie responded:
No, they went in to get rid of fetuses.
What does she think a fetus is? Not a person, as she tweets:
Fetuses are real, they just aren’t people. Learn to read.
I was never a fetus just like I was never a sperm. There was simply no me yet.
First, notice that there was no “her” in either the sperm or the fetus. That will become important later. Now, look at this contradictory tweet:
Live doesn’t begin at conception, it was already present before that. You fail biology.
And Julie fails the argument. Abortion takes a human life unjustly, which is the textbook definition of murder. She just admitted that life was present before conception, therefore it follows life is also present during the pregnancy and development of the unborn child (she denies the existence of an “unborn child” in another tweet). However, if she denies that a fetus is a human life, she must explain when it becomes one.
Julie defines human life in this tweet:
children are sentient, sapient, non-parasitic human beings. Nothing magic about it. Welcome to reality.
Julie’s previous tweets show us that she understands (though she may not acknowledge it) that the mind and the brain are separate. This tweet essentially confirms that position. I’ve established in this post that the brain and major organs function in a fetus prior to 10 weeks. Julie explains that while in the womb, before and after conception, there was no “her.” She believes that it is the mind that makes a person a person. That is evidenced by the fact she has tweeted “Women are people. There is just no compromising that point” and “bio fact: fetuses are non-sentient.”
Yet the mind and the brain are inexorably connected. When the brain ceases to function, the mind loses its ties to this material existence. Without my Christian faith, I couldn’t answer for certain what happens then. The problem Julie has is that she must explain when the mind begins to exist in order to definitively argue that the act of abortion isn’t murder. She never does that; she is basing her pro-choice position, then, on the unproven assumption that the fetus has no mind. Yet it has a brain that functions.
It looks like the pro-choice crowd is so pleased with having the ability to end a human life on a whim that they are actually celebrating the 38th anniversary of the day they were granted that “right.” January 21st is the sixth-annual Blog for Choice Day.
It’s not going to stop with blogs, either. Pro-choicers are called to use Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites to get the pro-choice message out.
Jill Stanek has announced a counter-initiative called “Ask Them What They Mean by Choice Day” for the same day. Each time a pro-lifer encounters pro-choice rhetoric, we should (as the name suggests) ask them what they mean by “choice.” Of course choice is code for “kill the baby.” Just like the term “reproductive rights” is code for “right to decide if my child lives or dies.”
Last I checked, the power of death and life belonged only to God, not to us. Short of saving the mother’s life (and even then I can still see a serious moral dilemma, but we live in a fallen world where sometimes choices like that become necessary), I can’t think of a single justifiable reason to abort a child that doesn’t use a lot of wild suppositions and far-out “what if” statements. Like, “What if the baby doesn’t get adopted and ends up in an abusive foster care home?” Or, “What if the baby is born with a terminal disease?” And so on. Those just dodge the issue.
Look for a post this Friday refuting some pro-choice positions that try to use the Bible against our pro-life stance. Under consideration will be Numbers 5:11-31 and 2 Samuel 11:15b-23. I’ll also contrast some philosophical details with scientific details of life.
Abby Johnson is a former executive from Planned Parenthood. Recently, she renounced working for the company and has become a pro-life advocate.
When asked why she switched sides in the debate, she said something very touching and powerful. I almost cried. Here is her account of why she had to leave Planned Parenthood:
I had never seen an ultrasound-guided abortion before. They’re not standard procedure because they take a few extra minutes. To the best of my knowledgeit [sic] was the first time it had happened at our facility.
I was called in to help. My job was to hold the ultrasound probe on the woman’s abdomen so that the physician could get a view inside the uterus. I got everything ready. When I looked at the screen and heard them say that she was 13 weeks pregnant, on the screen I saw the profile of a 13-week-old baby in the womb. I had seen thousands of ultrasounds before, including ultrasounds of my own daughter Grace, who is now four. In that instant, I had a flashback to my own ultrasound of my daughter when I was 12 weeks pregnant. In that instant, I realized what was about to happen and what I was about to witness. . . .
When the abortion procedure started, I saw the child begin to move away from the abortion instrument and recoil. The child knew that it’s life was in danger. Before that moment, I had never even considered that the child in the womb felt pain or felt anything for that matter. Planned Parenthood had always told us that the fetus had no sensory development until 28 weeks.
So, something that isn’t “technically alive” and has no sensory apparatuses recoils at a medical instrument? Interesting. My question is this: does the child really not have any sensory apparatuses? Let’s look at what Pregnancy.org tells us this happens for the first 13 weeks of pregnancy:
Neural tube forms – It will develop into the nervous system (Brain, spinal cord, hair, and skin). Already your baby has the foundation for thought, senses, feeling, and more!
Moving on to week 5, the heartbeat begins, blood flows in the veins, and most of the organs take shape. The brain, center of the nervous system and the arbiter of sensory input, develops and grows in week 6. Elbows, fingers, and feet grow in week 7. By week 8 cartilage and bones form, as well as the tongue and the eyes. Independent movement begins in week 9, and at this stage the baby is capable of grabbing an object placed into its hand! By week 10, all critical development is finished, the “embryo” is now officially termed a “fetus,” and this is the point where the baby just solidly grows.
Take note of this. The aborted baby in Johnson’s story was 13 weeks. Pregnancy.org tells us that at 11 weeks, the major organs start to function. That would include the brain, which would interpret all the sensory information from the nervous system. Is there any reason to assume that the baby is incapable of feeling pain? I’m no scientist, but it seems likely that the baby would feel pain, as he or she has all the necessary organs to.
At the 12 week mark, the fingers and toes separate and dexterity improves, but as we’ve just learned, a little one of only 9 weeks is capable of grasping an object. Since the eyes aren’t functional, the only way that the little one would know to grasp something in his or her hand would be to feel the object being placed there. Are we to believe that the baby is only capable of feeling pressure changes?
At week 13 is when the hands are fully functional, and the little one might start playing with his or her fist for comfort. Further, the baby begins to practice inhaling and exhaling. It is here that the little one that was the catalyst behind Johnson’s conversion was aborted.
I needed to believe that [they baby can’t feel pain until it’s 28 weeks] to continue to justify abortion. I was surprised, shocked, appalled and disgusted at what I was watching. I felt betrayed because I couldn’t believe that this company that I had believed and trusted in had lied. I didn’t want to believe it, but was looking at it so clearly. The evidence was in front of my face. The abortion started and in just a few moments, the screen was black, and the abortion was complete. In that moment, I knew that my life was going to have to change. I knew that I couldn’t walk out of there the same way that I had walked in.
Her book is Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-opening Journey Across the Life Line. It sounds excellent.
I admit that I positively cringed at some of the weak argumentation, but I think that she might have the start of a good argument for pro-life from science if she would develop it a bit more.
A few points need to be articulated much better so that this argument appeals to people who don’t share a Christian worldview. The chief one is the whole part of how the baby resides in the mother, but isn’t a part of the mother. I agree that is a good argument, but her logic fails. Paraphrased, she states:
The baby has a 50% chance of being male, and thus has a penis; the mother is a woman who doesn’t have a penis. Therefore, the baby isn’t the mother, but resides in the mother.
That needs to be totally re-worked. Because there’s a 50% chance that the baby could be a female, and therefore, employing this same logic, would be part of the mother.
Perhaps a better way to state this is to define what comprises a human being. If we can find a way to agree that a single cell, capable of acting out all of the major processes of life, meets the definition of life and would be easily distinguished from non-life, then she has a good argument.
I also think she did all right in stating that when we watch a zygote develop to a embryo, then develop to a fetus, that what we see is a human being appearing exactly as a human in that stage of life would look. Similar to how a baby doesn’t look like a teenager, nor does a teenager look like a senior citizen. The fertilized egg is a human being, though it may not look fully-formed.
She touches on the “number of cells” argument as well. I’m skinny. Does that make me less of a human being than an obese person? The obese person has more cells. If someone killed me because of something I posted on my blog, should they spend less time in prison than a person who killed an obese Christian apologist because of something on the obese dude’s blog?
Of course not. You’d be laughed at if you were the attorney forwarding that argument.
Yet, for some unknown reason, many people accept and widely circulate the argument that abortion is only killing a clump of a few hundred cells. That’s not enough cells to constitute a human being, say the proponents of this argument, therefore you’re not killing a human when you perform or undergo an abortion.
Again, you’d be laughed at in court for trying to say an obese person was more “human” for having more cells than a skinny person, and therefore the killer of an obese person should spend longer in prison than the killer of a skinny person. That’s ludicrous.
It looks like our secular friends, particularly those who are pro-choice, are very upset about the so-called “Ultrasound Jesus” ads that are getting set to go this Christmas in the UK.
I don’t think that the ads are intended to be pro-life. But if they are, so what? One proven way to influence public opinion is through advertisement. Businesses do it when they’re in danger of losing their copyright or trademark due to their common usage in the language (such as Xerox or Happy Meal). What’s wrong with the pro-life movement using advertisement to get its message out?
Certainly the same groups wouldn’t protest a pro-choice ad. Or the rampant atheist billboards that seem to be cropping up all over the world. It’s just like the controversy over the Tim Tebow ad for the Superbowl. Why does the pro-choice camp get so riled up over ads that can be construed as pro-life?
Mark from Proud Atheists tends to draw much criticism from me. Mark is a bit childish in his arguments against religion in general, and Christianity in particular. The set of atheists who continually refer to God as “Sky Daddy,” “Sky Fairy,” or compare the evidence for the existence of God to the evidence for the existence of garden gnomes do tend to be childish. These are also the same ones who refer to God as “your god” when addressing my rebuttals and accuse me (without proof) of believing that people who don’t adhere to my “concept of the Christian god” will go to hell. Because I’m just that mean and arrogant, I guess. As such, their arguments tend to be less than compelling. Or even outright stupid.
Mark holds a special place in my heart because he makes misunderstandings and mischaracterizations of Christianity into an art form. I’m currently working on answering this post bullet point by bullet point, and the misrepresentation would be laughable if it weren’t so annoying. If you’re going to criticize a position, at least have some basic understanding of it! Mark shows no evidence of understanding anything about God or Christianity.
Ready to give up on Mark yet? Well, I’m not. In a world of unbelievably dumb blog entries about the existence of God, this is, quite frankly, a stand out post. And I mean that as a compliment. Mark raises some good issues that should be considered from an ethical perspective. Read the rest of this entry
It’s nice to read a heartwarming story for a change:
Despite protests and pressure from feminists and pro-abortion groups, an 11-year-old girl in the Mexican city of Chetumal has refused to undergo an abortion. The young girl explained her decision saying that she understands, “a life is growing in her womb.”
Good for her! Her child didn’t ask to be born under these trying circumstances, so why punish the child by killing it? It doesn’t make sense. What to do with the child can be decided at a different time. The important thing here is that new life be loved and preserved.
I’m pro-choice. Abortions should be legal, safe and rare. It is simply a milestone of a civilized, modern society. I keep hoping someday that America will be just that. [Atheist posting as zunedita373 at Proud Atheists]
You know that you live in a culture that has lost its fear of God when you read a comment like that one. The brutal murder of an unborn child is called a “milestone of a civilized, modern society.”
As I had suspected, a vast majority of the atheist respondents to the poll posted by Proud Atheists are pro-choice. As Lorena, another commenter, says:
I think many atheists are pro-choice because, once the fear of hell is removed, it makes sense that a woman should have the right to not bring an unwanted child to this world.
I’ve posted before on the fear of hell–I don’t think that Christians should fear hell. After all, Jesus has died for our sins: past, present, and future. Hell is a concern of the unbelieving, not the believing. So fear of hell is not the reason that we should be pro-life.
Even after removing the fear of hell, it still doesn’t follow that a woman has any “right” over another human being’s life, even if that life is disrupting her day-to-day activities. Applied to its limit, this would essentially give any human being the right to terminate the life of anyone who adversely affected him. I don’t think that this is where we really want to be.
It should be noted that most atheists do not believe that life begins at conception, and Lorena is probably among them. Theists tend to share the opinion that life begins at conception, but the Bible is silent about such matters so it is difficult to have a definitive answer. I believe in erring on the side of caution–that is why I firmly believe that life begins at conception. That, and simple logic: a single fertilized cell (zygote) is capable of performing all the necessary functions of life.
There is one alternative to abortion that should be explored: adoption. It amuses me that this option is often never even considered by most atheists when the pro-life/pro-choice debate comes up. The few times I’ve seen it, it is usually thrown aside by the atheist for various reasons, usually centered around the potential for the child to seek out the mother later in life. Abortion, in the atheist’s twisted reasoning, is the only sure way to prevent having to revisit old wounds like a rape or an incest.
That said, there are many couples out there who would love to have a child, even if said child were the product of a rape or incest; especially if the child was the product of teenage imprudence; or if the child were severely deformed or retarded.
Consider the number of unwanted pregnancies in the United States. Now consider the number of couples who are having difficulty adopting because of lack of babies being given up for adoption. It’s almost as if God chooses to bless odd unions with a child just so the adoption industry can find this child a home. Adoption seems to be the logical, God-honoring solution to the problem of unwanted pregnancies.
It isn’t the fear of hell that should keep us seeking God’s will. It is the desire to please God. In the Ten Commandments, God commands us to not murder. It seems pretty straightforward, if you accept that life begins at conception, that God doesn’t want us to end the life of these precious babies. Especially when there are alternatives such as adoption. It pleases God when we obey him, especially if we sacrifice our own comfort for that obedience.
This post from Proud Atheists demonstrates, once again, that our culture has lost its fear of God. It isn’t hell that keeps us in line, it should be the desire to please God and to live out his will for our lives. But this culture wants to do its own thing, apart from God. This society is in love with its sin, and that will be its ultimate downfall.
Why on earth would an individual who is a committed pro-lifer think that it is okay to slay another person in cold blood? Inherent in the pro-life position is respect for the sanctity of all human life, as we are all bearers of God’s image. That includes people who are living in unrepentant sin.
What is repugnant to me are Christians who are actually enjoying this fiasco, saying that Tiller got what he deserved. The most common expression of this sort I hear is “What goes around comes around.” VJack of Atheist Revolution linked to this article listing tweets about Dr. Tiller. At the time of writing, 12% of respondents to a WorldNetDaily poll said they cheer the fact that Dr. Tiller is dead. Even two bloggers that I respect and like have applauded the fact that Dr. Tiller is dead, see here and here.
The fact of the matter is that God made all human beings in his image, male and female (Gen 1:27), saint and sinner. God prohibits murder (Ex 20:13). The apostle Paul said not to repay evil for evil (Rom 12:17; 1 The 5:15; see also 1 Pet 3:9), to let God administer justice in his own way in his own time (Rom 12:19; see also Prv 20:22). Therefore, we must conclude that vigilante justice of this sort is wrong.
What about people like Dr. Tiller, who live in abject and unrepentant sin? Did God not order the Israelites to commit mass genocide on the Canaanites, the Midianites, and the Amaelkites, all of whom lived in that same abject and unrepentant sin? That was Old Testament times, when the Israelites held the power to enforce God’s law. We hold no such power under the New Covenant of grace. Like Romans 12:19 teaches, leave it to God’s justice.
What further amazes me is that people are also rejoycing that Dr. Tiller is in hell. This is an affront to me for two reasons. First, we don’t know the condition of his soul; that is between him and God. We can’t know the state of someone else’s election. Second, as I’ve stated before, we should never rejoice in a soul going to hell. Hell isn’t a place we should wish on people; instead, we ought to focus on making our own calling and election sure (2 Pet 1:10).
If a Christian is haughty about the fact that he is going to heaven, while a baby-killer like Tiller is rotting in hell, this “Christian” ought to wonder if he is actually going to heaven. True devotion to God brings humility, not pride. No one is going to heaven on his or her own merit, but by imputed righteousness through faith in Christ. Think about that for just one moment. The Christian isn’t in heaven because he followed the right path; he’s in heaven because God had mercy on him! This ought to be humbling, for as Paul repeatedly has stated, boasting is excluded.
How much more to God’s glory would it have been to see Dr. Tiller repent of his sins and stop performing abortions? Alas, he was in a church that appears to tolerate his sins enough to let him serve. All too often, the American church tolerates sin and doesn’t challenge people to repent. This creates a false assurance of salvation for many people. That false assurance creates the haughtiness that we just talked about.
A real assurance of salvation, as the apostle Peter wrote, produces faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. Lacking these qualities, people forget that God cleansed them of their former sins (2 Pet 1:5-9).
So, Christians, look at your reaction to the Dr. Tiller killing. Are you pleased that a baby-killer’s life was ended, and he is now in hell for his unrepentant sin? If so, you might have to do some growing as a Christian. If you believe that this sort of thing undermines the pro-life position, and you mourn that Dr. Tiller may have yet had a chance to repent, then you’re probably on the right track.
Daniel Florien from Unreasonable Faith caught Pastor Chris Fox from Kendalls Baptist Church impersonating atheists on Unreasonable Faith. I think Pastor Chris’s point was to show that atheists have no foundation for morality, however there are better ways to go about doing so.
One of the comments that Pastor Chris posted was as follows:
What’s wrong with killing babies? I see no problem with it. I have enough mouths to feed. I don’t get the argument and I am an atheist. Since I don’t believe in God, I don’t believe in anything characterized as good, bad / right, wrong. So, what’s the big deal?
He gave away the farm in the first sentence. I’m assuming that he’s talking about abortion. It’s obvious that this was posted by a pro-lifer because no pro-choice individual would ever refer to abortion as “killing babies.” They would refer to it under the equally appaling tag “exercising reproductive rights.”
If you’re going to impersonate atheists, at least get the lingo right.
Which brings up the next question: Did Pastor Chris actually do anything wrong? Well, I think that he did and I’m happy to see that he apologized for it. What he did was create a false identity and attempted to make fun of the atheistic worldview. I’m not sure I see the hypocrisy in this, but what I do see is the same sort of mentality that led atheists to create Landover Baptist Church. We, as salt and light for the world, should avoid the same sort of dirty tactics that the world uses against us. Pastor Chris fell into temptation–he did to them what they did to us, an action specifically condemned by Paul in Romans 12:17.
What he should have done was to engage the issue intellectually. He should have logically demonstrated what we theists have always known: atheists have no foundation for morals, so they borrow morals from the Judeo-Christian worldview and declare that those are the morals that society has “evolved” with. Without God, life has no transcendent value and therefore things like “good” and “evil,” “right” and “wrong” have only what value we humans assign to them. Wrong and right become a matter of opinion in the atheistic worldview.
So, what do the atheists do? Well, they create the New Ten Commandments, of Which There are now 15 (listed on p. 263-264 of The God Delusion). But, the good folks from Atheism is Dead examined those 15 commandments and discovered that most were, in fact, biblically based. The atheist has no escape: his morals are derived from a Judeo-Christian sense of right and wrong, and that sense comes from the Bible and ultimately God himself.
This is how Daniel Florien and his readers knew what Pastor Chris did was wrong. They knew it was wrong because the Bible said that it was wrong, and that means that they get their morals from the same place as Christians.