Sketches on Atheism

Educating Christians. Lesson #1: Abortion; your god LOVES it!

Cronos1--article_image-1-There’s an unmistakable truism in Sam Harris’s assertion that atheism is just a way of clearing the space for “better conversations.” By this he meant rational dialogue free of the unreasonable noise so often encountered when religious zealots attempt to imposes their predictably preposterous beliefs on civil secular societies… and of all the conversations perverted by (tax free) religious nonsense none is noisier than that concerning abortion. It is a subject Christian’s dive into headfirst; confident they hold some moral high ground rooted in the inerrant word of their infallible Middle Eastern god. This position, unfortunately, precludes many theists from having what Harris calls a better conversation; a dialogue that when approached sensibly should ideally begin with an acknowledgement that no one in their right mind wants an abortion. Such a positive and truthful affirmation would then naturally refocus the discussion onto matters of prevention, not access, as the central subject of any adult discourse. That, however, is not a conversation Christians are open to. They believe their pro-forced-birth position is the beginning and the end of any exchange, although it’s not at all clear how they arrive at this elevated notion. Indeed, if one actually reads scripture (something the vast majority of Christians never actually do) it’s perfectly clear that the particular Middle Eastern god they idolise is not only a prejudiced, insecure and jealous mass-murderer but also a definitive advocate FOR abortion; personally and passionately performing many terminations and ordering countless more.

In Hosea 9:11-16, the son of Beeri prays for his god to intervene in earthly affairs and wreak havoc on the unborn of an entire population.  “Give them, 0 Lord: what wilt thou give?  Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts… Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.”  To paraphrase, Hosea pleads that the people of Ephraim can no longer have children, to which the Christian god dutifully obeys and makes all their unborn children miscarry.  Now, terminating a pregnancy unnaturally is unmistakably what we today call an abortion.

In Hosea 13:16 the Christian god is utterly diabolical as he dashes to “pieces” the infants of Samaria and orders their pregnant women [to be] ripped open by swords.” This, self-evidently, describes mass abortions of such barbarity that it’s hard to even fathom.

In Numbers 5:11-21 a bizarre and abusive ritual is described which is to be performed by a priest on any woman suspected of adultery; a ritual which results in an abortion. In the text a potion is mixed and the accused woman is brought before the priest who says, “If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband may the Lord cause you to become a curseamong your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell.” As clear as day this is a definitive description of an induced abortion; an act where poison is forcibly given to ruin the foetus and rid a woman of another man’s child.

In Numbers 31:17 Moses commands “Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every women that hath known man by lying with him.”  In other words, kill all women that are or could be pregnant, which is plainly abortion for the foetus.

In 2 Kings 15:16 the Christian god again orders pregnant women to be “ripped open,” which is both abortion and homicide on a mass scale. At that time Menahem destroyed the town of Tappuah and all the surrounding countryside as far as Tirzah, because its citizens refused to surrender. He killed the entire population and ripped open the pregnant women.”

In total there are twenty-six separate instances where the Middle Eastern god Christians worship performs abortions on demand, conducts infanticide (the intentional killing of new-borns), and murders toddlers en masse; acts recounted from 1 Samuel 15:3 to Isaiah 13:15-18 where this god not only smashes babies to death but also rapes their mothers. In a word the Christian god is a heinous baby-killing, foetus-destroying monster, and as it turns out his son is also no friend of the unborn. In the Gospel of the Egyptians Jesus not only demands total abstinence but preaches for the outright separation of the sexes, stating that “sorrow” and what he repeatedly calls “error” will remain with man for just “As long as women bear children.” The statement is quite explicit: don’t ever get pregnant, and if you do then abortion is better than birth.

Now back to reality.

No rational person is of course going to use this mountain of scriptural evidence to align the Jewish-Christian-Islamic god with the pro-choice movement and use it to defend a woman’s right to make decisions concerning her own body.  To do so would be absurd, and so bellowing Christians (who’re so quick to label those who are pro-choice as somehow ‘pro-abortion,’ which is the equivalent of labelling someone ‘pro-amputation’) would be well advised to stop trying to do just that… particularly considering they’re contradicting the baby-killing, pregnancy termination actions of their own god and saviour. Simply put, using an Iron Age fairytale to support or defend a 21st Century subject is ludicrous beyond measure, and for this reason its passed time theists jettisoned the madness and joined the adult world; a world where we hope to have “better conversations” about the things that are important to the wellbeing of our planet and our species.

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141 thoughts on “Educating Christians. Lesson #1: Abortion; your god LOVES it!

  1. Theists are inclined to cherry-pick parts of the bible they like, and ingoring those who contradicts their particular opinions. This is in part an explanation why there are so many different sects of protestantism, in case of a biblical contradiction, which verse to pick?

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    • There’s actually not a single entry in the bible which denounces abortion. Not one. The ‘commandment’ Thou shalt no kill is moot for obvious reasons. It a little weird then trying to understand where Christians get this militant forced-birth idea from. If they read their bible they’d see they should be champions for it, not against it.

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      • The sad truth is that most christians never read the bible, most what they know about the bible is either told to them by their ministers or by their parents. Therefore the overall majority of christians is utterly unaware of the contradictions their holy book is riffled with.

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      • The great irony of all ironies. Once a christian makes an argument such as “The bible says so”, one should ask this person where in the bible it is written; if they cannot refer to a concrete bible verse, you know what you are dealing with. This is even more bizarre, since the bible as an excellent system of referring to specific phrases in the bible.

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      • Why is “Thou shalt not kill” moot?

        Although some seem to think that Christianity allowed abortion until ‘quickening/ensoulment’, it has always been clear in Christianity that the soul is present from conception – Christ was fully human, like us in his nature, and recognised by John the Baptist whilst both were in the womb shortly after the incarnation. The church has always identified as a church of sinners, it would not be surprising to find hypocrites then as now …. and as Jesus railed against, those who sought solace in the law to avoid their duty.

        Something people don’t usually understand is that the catholic church places great importance on reason. Try reading some Aquinas on the natural law, or JP2’s encyclical Fides et Ratio, or even read more about the circumstances of the Galileo controversy.
        “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.” (Fides et ratio – JP2)

        I think it would be interesting to see if there is a pro-choice position to be found in the fact that Mary said “be it done unto me according to thy word” – is the mother’s consent required?

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      • Moot because of the absolute avalanche of commands to actually kill people, like Leviticus, 20:9 “If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death.”

        Alas, it’s perfectly clear your god is an advocate for abortion. If he wasn’t he wouldn’t have performed so many. Wouldn’t you agree? Also, you say the “catholic church places great importance on reason”… that sentence should perhaps read, “the catholic church places great importance on unreasonableness, outlawing all forms of contraception (even between married couples) and by doing so forcing untold women into unwanted pregnancy’s.”

        You mention the soul. Could you please provide evidence for this thing you speak of?

        (Are you Paul as in Captain Catholic, Paul? If so, Hi! Been a while.)

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      • Hi, I’m not sure why I can’t reply directly to your later comment but this is a reply to “Moot because…”.

        To start with the end – I’ve no idea who Captain Catholic is and only saw this page as it was linked to by ‘violetwisp’ on http://carolinefarrow.com/2013/07/26/abortion-statistics-2013-the-underlying-narratives/

        Regarding God approving of, and ordering, killings in the OT – it is commonly understood that Jesus came to ‘fulfil the law’. This means that some things that had been done by the jews, and justified under the law, were tightened up (ie less killing, less divorce, more charity to others) but others were loosened (ie eat all the pork you like, don’t worry about ritual cleanliness but spiritual cleanliness).

        Regarding the reference to a soul – I am using this word to mean ‘the essence of the person’ (aka personhood), but to be clear this is an irrelevant argument. The Christian pro-life position rests on the fact that we must treat everyone with charity (do unto the least etc), and as science shows from conception the embryo is a separate (but dependent) organism at an entirely appropriate level of development for its stage of life. Christian teaching does of course allow for killing and harm (as encapsulted in the just war theory), but justification is not the same as sanctification (ie it doesn’t make it right, it remains a sin).

        Regarding contraception – I refer you back to the underlying assumptions:
        1 – Life starts at conception.
        2 – It is forbidden to kill.
        3 – Sex is ordained for unitive and procreative purposes.
        From this the argument develops that as some contraception (the contraceptive pill, morning after pill, IUD/Coil, etc) can be abortive (or artificially prevent implantation of a fertilised egg) it is forbidden. The argument against barrier methods of contraception, which of course simply prevent contraception (although not entirely – average use failure rates hover above 15% in the first year!), is based on the effect of contraception on the relationship. That is, whilst sex doesn’t have to be procreative (age, infertility, time of month, etc) it should be unitive – bringing the couple together as each offer their entirety to the other (the very essence of marriage!), but with contraception you are holding back something – not willing to be tied to the other person, looking for nothing more than your own satisfaction and using them (ie not good for a relationship). (I am ignoring the spilling of seed on stony ground argument, and referring only to those that may be equally understood without reference to a deity)

        Regarding natural miscarriage – it could be taken that the sin implicit in abortion (procured miscarriage) is not just murder, but rejection of God’s will (ie the sin of Adam) … and of course, God will take us all at the end of our life anyway – it seems illogical to declare that God is evil if we have a short life span.

        This idea of God’s will is of course at the centre of the notion of ‘vocation’, indeed it can be said that all of creation has a vocation – a purpose or nature prescribed by God, even a rock is called to obey the laws of gravity and an animal to follow it’s physical needs but humans are set apart having both physical and spiritual needs (and free will!) with our ultimate vocation being to seek God and obtain communion with him by uniting ourselves to his will.

        I’m not claiming to be a scholar, so if there’s anything I’ve missed or misunderstood just say – although I would ask that when responding you try to focus first on the assumptions of the argument so that we’re making progress rather than just calling each other wrong.

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      • Hi… sorry, you got lost in my spam bin.

        1 – Life starts at conception.

        Life actually started 3.8 billion years ago on this planet and hasn’t been interrupted since. The question you’re trying to answer is when does life jump from the mother to the foetus. The answer to that has to be when the internal life support systems of the foetus kicks in. If it can’t preserve itself within the biosphere then it’s a parasite (for want of a better word).

        2 – It is forbidden to kill.

        Not in your religion… your Middle Eastern god orders countless murders and numerous genocides.

        3 – Sex is ordained for unitive and procreative purposes.

        Ordained by who under what authority?

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  2. This post is definitely worth mentioning whenever a Crispyun brings up this emotional; topic. And you are right. NOBODY wants an abortion.and prevention is ALWAYS better.
    I wonder if your mate Roy will pay you a visit?

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      • Abortion really bothers me, it is true. But reading those texts you quote having read them long ago reminds me why I no longer read horror fiction of certain dark sci fi.
        There was widespread condemnation about some of the vile practices conducted by Congolese soldiers during the war there, Yet people say almost nothing about the heinous acts within the pages of the bible. And there is no PG. This is the stuff of nightmares for kids.

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      • They should have gone with Marcion. They had their chance but realised they would struggle to shoe-horn the Creation story and the Prophecies without it. Well they made their bed…now fuck em.

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  3. You know, if by some freak of nature, I turned out to be a bellowing anti-abortionists calling women who wanted to end their unwanted pregnancies “murders”, I think after reading your account here John I would have to crawl off in a hole somewhere and remain forever silent. Sadly though, such people would have to have some level of shame to do this and from what I have seen, many would rather go to their death believing their sociopathic nonsense rather than conceding that maybe they read too much into scripture concerning this issue.

    As usual, very nicely done

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    • Cheers, Larry. This was the result of a bevvy of Christian posts proclaiming some moral high ground in what is a deeply personal matter. None of these Christians, though, could identify a single sentence in scripture to actually back up their position…. Soooo, i figured i should don my teachers hat and do some educating 😉

      I saw on BBC last night that Texas is once again in the middle of an abortion hoedown.

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      • “I saw on BBC last night that Texas is once again in the middle of an abortion hoedown.”

        Yes a two part measure where abortions after 20 weeks are illegal and in effect shutting down 85% of current abortion clinics be declaring they need to measure up to the standards of a surgical unit only found in hospitals and that the hospitals that do an abortion procedure must have a resident physician who does this. These will of course be challenged in the courts but it continues to show how the anti-abortionists foes will try to kill Roe v. Wade in a piecemeal fashion.

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      • And i’m guessing through all this no one is talking about prevention, right? We can be at times a very peculiar species, Larry… very peculiar indeed.

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      • “And i’m guessing through all this no one is talking about prevention, right?”

        Yes. The prevailing thought here is that prevention is the equivalent of promoting promiscuity. Fucking knuckle draggers.

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  4. Reblogged this on A Tale Unfolds and commented:
    When the poor blighted bleeding heart Christians set off on yet another campaign concerning abortion, when women are targeted and vilified by the sanctimonious arseholes that try to make up moral codes for the rest of us they should maybe read a little bit more of the text here they claim they receive their authority to practice such ethics.
    Christian is another word word Hypocrite .

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    • What is it with Abrahamic religions? God is a misogynist (First Class)?

      Or are women a threat to the Power of the Priest—? “Keep ’em bare-foot and pregnant, chained to the kitchen sink and in purdah” … there. THAT should draw their teeth …

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  5. But John, it says very clearly in the Didache or “The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles” that “you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is born.” Oh, I’m sorry, Christians rejected that document as apocraphal.

    Christians are supposed to emulate Jesus, but Jesus is God, so we should go around and force abortions on people even if they don’t want them? This is hard, damn.

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    • Yup, and it gets even harder for Christians when Jesus was so specific about obeying the OT:

      “Do not think that I [Jesus] have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke or a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17-18)”

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  6. Spot on again John, “. Indeed, if one actually reads scripture (something the vast majority of Christians never actually do)”
    Heard an evangelical preacher on Mahar say “too many Christians thump the bible and not enough Christians read the bible”
    He then pointed to Matthew 25….
    Has to do with feeding the hungry, healing the sick and so on. And they also mentioned Christian’s ability to take literally the parts they agree with and consider those they don’t agree with to be fiction.
    And the hypocrisy roars on!

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      • Feeding the hungry, healing the sick, etc (recognising our obligations to others) is fine, but socialism traditionally focuses on institutions/classes/etc not the individual – it refuses to recognise free will.

        ” the fundamental error of socialism is anthropological in nature. Socialism considers the individual person simply as an element, a molecule within the social organism, so that the good of the individual is completely subordinated to the functioning of the socio-economic mechanism. Socialism likewise maintains that the good of the individual can be realized without reference to his free choice, to the unique and exclusive responsibility which he exercises in the face of good or evil. Man is thus reduced to a series of social relationships, and the concept of the person as the autonomous subject of moral decision disappears” http://www.tfp.org/tfp-home/catholic-perspective/what-the-popes-have-to-say-about-socialism.html

        And a brief piece on capitalism: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1909020,00.html

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    • That could be paraphrased: “too many Christians thump the bible and not enough Christians thump the priests”

      A major cause of discontent in the home, we’ve been told, is ‘domestic deafness’ wherein hubby simply tunes out the constant droning. Perhaps there’s some variant of this at work with religiosos? Religiosi?

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  7. Abortion reduces the potential cannon fodder for the future, possibly? Every hand on a rifle “fartin’ for the Lord” has to help (apologies for my attempt at an American accent).

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      • I’ve been sniffin’ around Chris Clochard’s site—nothing new there for a long time.

        Did God finally take him, do you think?

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      • Even though second-fiddle to a banging monkey, I miss being ‘blog dog’ …

        I have no idea how you know, but I’m grateful for that. Thanks.

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    • Am sorry but I hardly think anti abortionist Christians are against it purely for lack of fodder….it’s dangerous to mock and undermine your enemies intelligence and working intelligence ….and cocky arrogance of you to think you have the answer contained within an apologetic attempt at Americanism within quotations…..you do yourself and woman a disservice with your attempt at disguising your insecurity through humour …..your not sure where you stand, but hope it’s where the solid are

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      • Don’t apologise for your opinion, you’re entitled to it. If it’s me you’re accusing of insincerity, rest assured I am entirely sincere when I direct my ‘humour’ at the two-faced or double-standarded.

        I only apologise when due for my own failures, sometimes for my ignorance, but not if I hurt the feelings of someone richly deserving it.

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      • If you are just wanting to hurt feelings, then yes, your attempt at humour will go far to do just that hahaha…I jest…

        Anti Abortionist Christians are not against it because of the loss of fodder, but because women are making choices – within patriarchal religion, it is only the man who has authority..man (w/i this domain) can do what they want to children and effectively see women who have abortions as in direct contradiction to man (because the patriarchal god is but a projection of mans deluded self)

        Humour of course has its place, but humour stems from partial truths and it was your partial truth that I disagreed with as it undermines the real sickening issue here

        Thanks for your reply and all the best to you 🙂

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      • You’re right, Anne, the truly hardcore religious (which is a noisy minority) fear women and this is a reaction to that. Why these people harbor such fear is utterly beyond me, but we really don’t have to look very far at all to see it in action. Abortion is their political/ideological flagship; the go-to subject inside which they believe they can speak their gibberish and not be considered crackpots. Well, they do come across as crackpots, and extremely uneducated ones at that, which is what this post was all about. If we can laugh at anything in this it’s the astonishing hypocrisy of the religious… people who don’t even know their own religion.

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      • Yes John, it is quite a flummox but all stemming from control ….Anyway, I have never seen anything like your post and want to thank you for posting it…I really did find it interesting

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      • You just reminded me of this Stephen Fry quote:

        “It’s now very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more… than a whine. ‘I find that offensive.’ It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that.’ Well, so fucking what.”

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      • “It’s now very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more… than a whine. ‘I find that offensive.’ It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that.’ Well, so fucking what.”… that’s a great quote, Stephen Fry is someone I have a lot of time for 😉

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      • Stephen Fry is quoted a lot in my university materials (I’m studying socio-linguistics among other things). He has a very sober view of language that I agree with wholeheartedly, loosely quoting him that it is the “intent behind the usage of language that is important, not the words themselves” or words to that effect.

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      • Yes he is very funny and very astute. I love how deadpan he always is, but you can certainly hear all the gears whirring and clunking away inside that head of his.

        Here’s a haiku for you:

        Language is a tool;
        Is Mr.God a tool?

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      • I don’t know, I thought it could, as long as the two statements or parts are juxtaposed. There is a lot of conjecture about the formation of english Haiku, and it would seem that actually anything goes, because of the loss of essence from the original Japanese construction. In Japanese haiku each syllable contains the meaning, whereas in English the syllable only forms part of the word and thus is not representative of the overall meaning.
        Some reckon that true Haiku should be expressed in only 7 syllables, which in English becomes a singular statement. So I would say a question just adds variety.
        Although if you’re going to be nitpicky about it:

        Language is a tool;
        Mr.God is a tool.

        Howzat?

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      • Almost due to give up—by the time I find the ‘reply’ button I’ve lost my place, forgotten what I was about anyway and for that matter have no idea where the blasted reply will go … hah, make ’em work, I always say.

        Phew … it was the ‘Fry’ comment. Comments. Fry aside, if I’m offended by something someone utters I let them know. It’s the warning stage “Caution, beyond here be monsters” after which comes the savaging of ankles if they continue. Luckily most of the time I an quite tolerant; and if I offend anyone it’s mostly by accident. (My dread is accidentally offending.)

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      • Can I just say that I apologise for being harsh towards Argus…I could have privately apologised but thats a bit cowardly I think….I can see you are a good kind of person and it was uncalled for.

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      • Oh, don’t worry about the dog… he’s incapable of offense: he’s a Kiwi. Actually, its even worse than that: he’s a pommy come Kiwi, and a south islander to boot! 🙂

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  8. After having several conversations whith people who percieve themselves as “pro-life” because of their Christian moral high ground, I have come to the conclusion, that the entire anti-abortion theme within Christianity is a political scam. It is easy to appeal to people by oversimplifications of difficult issues. Painting the foetus and even the zygote as a baby and then demanding, that the baby should not be “murdered” is a very effective way to win over people who do not have the information, or the ability, or especially, who do not whish to deal whith such hard issues.

    When people who are generally rather lazy to join any political, or religious movements (and often have recieved the initial indoctrination in their childhood) have been brought over by this obvious lie about the decision on abortion being a simple yes or no decision between a desire to murder and a desire to protect a child, those people have been persuaded by this emotional appeal to join in on rather extremist political movements. Religions are just politics and this example, if anything, proves that.

    But there is a nother side to this. It is that religions often stand on a concept of a soul. Some supernatural entity that is alledgedly you. That your person is not of this flesh, but that it may survive your death. This concept is of course appealing, but quite unverified. Where the hell does such and entity come from? And when does it enter to dwell in your body, not to leave it until the body dies? As a sort of parasite. It really does not matter wheter there is any mentioning about at which point the soul enters the body in any of the holy books, since we have no evidence about such a thing as a soul existing. It is fancy. A natural way of projecting hopes and fears into whishfull thinking, by inserting this imagined unnatural element of a soul.

    The conversation about the abortion is not only about subjucating women – as undeniably odrered by this Middle-Eastern god (no real surprice there), but also for covering up the lie, that there is no way of determining when does such a thing as the soul enter the body, nor where does it come from anyway, since we have no way of determining the soul even to exist anyway. Well, exept that it was natural for people who had no knowledge about the neural impulses in the brain to explain consciousness through magic and gods. We allready know better, so why does our society cling on to this silly ancient concept? Perhaps, because it is a game of politcal power being played on peoples cultural heritage, emotions, their money and ultimately nothing else.

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    • Political power and wealth is the prime mover behind religions, not God/gods.
      Any means of control helps lock that power in place—the major being control over the expression of the basic biological urge. The ol’ priest gets to issue the licence, and marriage isn’t real without him doing the mumbo-jumbo, and until the mumbo jumbo is done any sex is a sin.

      I’ve often wondered why all the fuss about someone who (face it) has nothing to lose in this life because he/she has never been born—but no worries about slaughtering innocents, either for God or Mr President (“in God we trust”) … or both?

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      • Yes, indeed. Does the unborn and aborted go to heaven, or does it as not having been babtized go to hell. If it is sent to heaven, is it not in it’s best interrest to be aborted, before it can sin? If it is sent to hell, what kind of an asshole is the alledgedly allmighty god to set up a system where a “child” is sent to eternal torment before it was even able to sin?

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      • I remember many years ago my very spiritual Mother asking that when NZ army padres refused to bury a baby in ‘consecrated’ ground because baby was never baptised.
        Mother stayed spiritual after that but gave Christianity away—she “walked the walk” without ever again “talking the talk”.

        Are you calling God the Almighty, compassionate, merciful, etc ad nauseam an anus? Cool … I like it~!

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    • I think you are positively spot-on in saying it’s political (and therefore financial), not actually religious. In the end it’s an extremely easy button to push for the right-wing of the political spectrum, and when pushed alarms sound off in the very emotional (not necessarily very smart) religious ranks. Alone this is a sad indictment on politics; an appeal to the lowest common denominator rather than the higher faculties of human beings. “Fire up our base!” is heard more often than, “This is an opportunity to advance the human condition.”

      The soul is the wild card here and it is precisely the subject I zero in on when engaged in an any anti-choice post/blog. Funnily enough, the religious zealots who’re screaming avoid the topic as if their life depended on it. To say “soul” is to beg evidence… and there is no evidence for this fantasy concept. And they know it. Instead they debate notions of “personhood,” dancing around any direct religious/spirit reference. The question that arises is “when does life begin?”… which is easily answered: Life began 3.8 billion years ago on this planet and hasn’t been interrupted since. That answer (which is entirely accurate) drive the religious utterly crazy.

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    • I think you’ve summed this up very well. It’s too hard for the “pro-life” people to think for themselves, so they buy what’s being sold by the religious right. Too bad they seem to think that life stops when the child is born and are more than willing to demolish programs that would help the mother and child in impoverished circumstances. Yeah, so much for being truly “pro-life.”

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  9. This is certainly some heavy duty reading for a Sunday morning, especially when my innards are in turmoil. But John, you are on form once again. Hoping to catch a shark are we, with a juicy baby for bate? I can’t believe I just went there, but there you are, must be the illness addling my little grey brain monkeys. As far as I’m concerned the only people who are truly qualified to talk about abortion are the women who are contemplating it. Having a child is a very abstract concept if you don’t already have one, but I know that it is difficult not to be pro-life once you have one, particularly for a woman. However, my take on the whole existence affair is not so conventional as you well know, and I do believe that abortions serve their purpose. It is a choice in a whole world of choices that anyone may come up against in the course of their life. I believe it’s taboo precisely because many people fear death, or worse if you’re a religious type who believes that being spit-roasted by the Grand Master Poobah of Darkness is a fate worse than death [tutting and shaking my head at the utter idiocy of it].
    I of course agree that nothing should be off the table in terms of discussion, although all views are valid and are worthy of discussion.

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    • Ishaya, you wrote: “As far as I’m concerned the only people who are truly qualified to talk about abortion are the women who are contemplating it. Having a child is a very abstract concept if you don’t already have one, but I know that it is difficult not to be pro-life once you have one, particularly for a woman.” I am sorry but I take a bit of an issue whith this.

      First: I think it is the woman who is the one truly qualified to choose wether or not she wants an abortion, but if she is out of the equasion (as in unconscious), it might be her doctor who needs to do the choise, and that woman or in special cases her doctor should have a clear legal right to do so. However, it is a moral and social issue, and therefore it should be contemplated by as many people as possible, whith as precise information as possibly awailable, since at least in a democracy, it is the majority of people who decide what is moral and what is not. I see no reason to think, that the fathers love for a child is any less than that of the mother unless they have been taught to think so. However, it is the would be mothers body we are discussing before the child is actually being born and hence it is her decision.

      To me it seems the “pro-life” side is playing whith as little information as possible on this matter and as much emotional appealing through outright lies as ever they can get away whith.

      Second: Most abortions are infact done to women who have allready had children.

      Otherwise I agree whith you.

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      • It was a broad statement, and I’m in no fit state to be specific right now. But I thank you for your educated interjection (sarcasm is working just fine though, despite all else). My point was, that the question of abortion is ultimately a woman’s choice, love and connection with unborn or fully manifest child from father notwithstanding. But being a mother of 3, having lost several children, and having been faced with abortion myself, it usually is nobody else’s choice but the woman’s, unless medical circumstances dictate otherwise where anything else would prove dangerous to the mother.
        Your second point is most liberal in its sweeping nature, and as generalisations go it is missing important details of the reality of what any mother goes through in deciding to abort a child. Imagine having to decide to have your man bits removed, that is as close a comparison that I can make.

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      • It seems to me, we are actually in full agreement of the matter. I somehow just misread you. Sorry. I merely meant that there is a need for the entire society, not just the would be mothers to recognize that it is their choise.

        Yes, I suppose that the difficulty of the choise is similar to that surgical operation you refer to. But I bet it is almost as hard for the woman who has never had children before. And yes I am rather liberal. 😉

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      • Oh and to add to that…”However, it is a moral and social issue, and therefore it should be contemplated by as many people as possible, whith as precise information as possibly awailable, since at least in a democracy, it is the majority of people who decide what is moral and what is not.” Hypothetically speaking, yes this makes sense. However, democracy is an overblown myth that does not really work in reality. You would have to remove subjectivism from the equation for democracy to work, oddly enough. It’s easy enough to throw PC buzzwords into the mix in order to make your argument sound educated and rational, but the reality is that unless faced with having a part of you removed you cannot make a true judgement of the question of abortion. Perhaps it’s not in anybody’s hands, perhaps it is something biologically within the foetus in some cases that prompts the need to abort. Controversial? Unfounded? Codswallop? Possibly, but have you honestly considered all the possible avenues of what is involved in such a scenario, including the possibly far-fetched, or the extraordinary because it doesn’t fit the finely polished model of reality you so choose to imitate? Well have you?

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      • Sorry Rautakyy your follow-up comment failed to reach me until after I posted my additional reply. But I think it’s an interesting point, that all avenues should be considered. Because in every debate or argument there is always ellipsis, those gaping great holes that very few want to explore with any conviction. I guess I like exploring big gaping holes hahaha!

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      • @Ishaya, yes there are problems about democracy. I agree about that as well. Yet, I live in a hope (perhaps I am being naive) that we could make it work better by education. Teaching people to read does not seem to cut it. Most people read trash magazines rather than classics of literature, for example. To me this suggests we need to have even more education. There are many different forms of democracy, that have good and bad sides. We should learn from them and use that knowledge to make it better. Cos’ as you know, no god is going to make it better for us. 😉

        One way to make democracy better is to make people more informed about the realities of abortion, so that when people vote for our leaders, this “pro-life” poppycock could not be used as a tool to scam the ignorant voter. So, even if the voter is not in total grasp of the emotional stress, a could be mother may have to go through when she makes the choise, that voter would be up to the task of choosing the representative, who will not abuse that anguish to take away the choise of the woman.

        I hope you get better. I really did not want to make you upset.

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      • Honestly I think democracy works in a very lucid way, in that it comes and goes in waves of solidarity and perhaps certain cultural norms, but it is very secular in nature as most things are. The concept of an all pervading democracy is fallacious and cannot truly exist. So it’s a case of taking what you’ve got and trying to work with it, which is what most modern governments do give or take a bucket load of conviction, as I see it. I don’t think your view is naive, but perhaps idealistic which is a good way to be in order to promote change, to imagine and at least plan a model of a working social dynamic that allows people to exercise personal agency more, and thus to have greater influence on such important topics as abortion. But the exacting of such change is a different kettle of fish as I’m sure you will agree, in that herding a group of meerkats would be easier than trying to reach any kind of overall social consensus about anything. Even at the micro level of human interaction, of debate and communication, such as right here on this blog, it is difficult to reach any kind of unifying agreement even though we both are essentially talking about the same thing. What gets in the way is the style of communication based on personal experience. I wrote a post about it a while back:

        http://wp.me/p3khXh-9p

        I would imagine though that the subject of abortion is probably not the hottest topic on the agenda of most governments. It invariably and sadly becomes something that has to be dealt with, but when you have an issue with over-population globally you would imagine that the pro-lifers would be thrown out by most governments along with the bath water. Really what it comes down to is not necessarily feminist rights, but human rights being that men cannot carry children. Not allowing a woman to make a decision either way as to wether she wishes to carry a child is an infringement of human rights. As it is, here in the UK anyway there is a narrow window within which such a decision has to be made, and it’s based on when the foetus becomes viable, or is fully formed enough that it would survive in incubation conditions. Of course you could argue that a foetus is a life from the outset, and I agree it is having carried a few myself, but it’s mighty difficult to prove scientifically. But again, I don’t believe all foetuses are destined for full life for wont of a better explanation. Not all babies are guaranteed survival even if they do go full term.

        You didn’t upset me, but I thought adding my first hand experience would add fresh input to the discussion, even if it made some feel uncomfortable. I’m ok with it, as I say nothing should be off the table. My experience is just that, it wasn’t mean to be a trump card 🙂

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    • This post was really as a response to an incredibly silly post I read this week; a post whose entire argument boiled down “God doesn’t agree with abortion because God is good and love.” I kid you not, that was the extent of the argument and I just had to point out to this young catholic girl the error in her assessment. These zealots are extremely quick to holler, yet they do so not knowing a single thing about their religion and the god they worship. It’s patently, yet regretfully pathetic. Like arguing with a three-year-old.

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      • Yeah I know what that’s like, arguing with a 3 year old that is… pointless and infuriating, but cute.
        I’ve noticed that the abortion issue as you already pointed out, gets banded about on a number of blogs, Prayson’s was the last one I came across that springs to mind. Aren’t just as many references within the Holy Door-stop about feigning ignorance, ie turning the other cheek, blind eye etc., as there are about killing babies? It’s becoming clear to me from all that I have read here on WP in the last nine months, and it’s a lot with regard to theist/atheist issues and debates, that if at least subliminally the Christian mob are indeed following the contradictory nature of their religions to the letter. Many of the them as you say are ignorant of what is actually contained within their scriptures, yet seem to mirror and parrot the confusion therein with expert precision.

        “God doesn’t agree with abortion because God is good and love.”… yeah, now go and ask a grown up if Santa is real… by the way young child your statement is rather abstract and doesn’t really make too much sense. Could you rephrase that using semaphore, it might be easier to understand?…

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      • Oh, after pointing out all the commanded baby-killing in the OT she then said “It doesn’t count because Jesus freed Christians from that law.” (yes, i know, Jesus WASN’T a Christian). I had to show this poor thing Mathew where Jesus says “Obey the OT to the tee.” After that she stopped commenting. Silliness is infuriating 😦

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      • See that’s the one detail that seems to escape most Christians is that ol’Jesus/Jesu/Yasi/Yosi was not a Christian. Now fizzy pop seller Paul/Saul/Sauel was. In fact Jesus had very little to do with himself at all (to put a very Irish twist on things)!

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  10. Pingback: an evidence-based christian approach to abortion | violetwisp

  11. Great quotes from the Old Testament. Sadly most Christians are totally ignorant when it comes to what Yahweh was up to before he sent his son to straighten things out 😦

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    • The whole concept of bad Yahweh running amok in the OT then straightening himself out in the NT is hilarious. You have to suspend a LOT of reality to believe in any religion, but Christians really do push the whole idea to the limit. “He got some counselling…” 🙂

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    • He didn’t send anyone! He came down Himself in person as His only begotten son, so he could sacrifice Himself to Himself and so save all us miserable sinners from using our holy God-given Free Will as we freely see fit! (Not that He didn’t see how we’d use it Himself, even before the Creation)(He’s clever—and a bit devious—like that.)

      So there!

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  12. Pingback: My skepticism began at an early age | randomthoughts

      • I think the creators of this god didn’t think far ahead into the future when the nature of their god would be questioned. It is impossible to lie for this god unless you have chosen to be blind to reason

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  13. Excellent post, John – and well done digging up those scriptures!

    As I said over on Ark’s blog, the day approaches when all religions will fall by the wayside and be replaced with sanity, logic and reason. It’ll be a day to remember – what a party the world will have 😀

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  14. @JZ

    Great post John.

    I am surprised none of our familiar defenders of ‘life’ have risen to the challenge of admitting that their spooky fairy tale gives them nothing to go with on abortion.

    You know what I sense here but, is missing when I go out to speak with the religious?

    A common frame of reference.

    Arguments are a shared endeavour, both parties need to be able to put their statements to the test and, if shown wrong, change their assertions to make their viewpoints more accurate in reflecting reality.

    A problem I encounter is that if one point of contention agreed upon, then logically it would lead to other questions that the religious have been explicitly told not examine or think critically about.

    Like, “Why does a ‘loving’ god have such a raging stiffy for infanticide, genocide and slavery?

    The Deluded: *commence handwaving and arguments from authority*

    Sigh.

    To admit that a single religious belief is wrong is the first step in educing the poisonous veil that truncates rational thought.

    It has been my experience that not many are willing to take that first step.

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    • Ain’t that the truth. It’s the reason i find apologetics (and apologists) profoundly baffling. Here are some evidently bright people capable of reading and writing and some logical arrangement of their thoughts. What they are also very skilled at is putting up the blinkers; ignoring the awful and the plainly contradictory. Surely they’re aware that they’re doing this, and that means they’re intentionally deluding themselves. They’re actually making a conscious decision to fuck themselves over. That, in my books, is just weird behaviour.

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      • …and once again we are back at my observation about self-preservation superseding rational thought.
        http://wp.me/p3khXh-co

        I think our Christian brethren are indeed an intelligent bunch (mostly), but when you fear repercussions of eternal damnation, not to mention pissing off the rest of your community and ostracism, you of course do what you have to do in order to maintain the equilibrium. You perpetuate the lie because you feel as though you would be letting the side down. But I agree I think it would take a stern stomach and a strong constitution in order to turn a blind eye to some of the allegations put forward in the Big Black Book of Numbers.

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      • The 1st Council of Nicaea really screwed up monumentally choosing to keep the OT. I guess they thought they needed a creation myth, but seriously… why not just write a new one?? It’s really not difficult. Give me an afternoon and a bottle of good red and i’ll bang out a creation story that’ll know your socks off.

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      • I’ll buy it if you do, I’d love to read your version… oh no you could just cut and paste your entire blog! Read between the lines to eek out the moral infrastructure, Bob’s yer uncle, Fanny’s yer aunt! 😉

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  15. Oh my god I love you!!!!!!! This is amazing. I want to post this on my FB page but I’m sure I’ll lose half of my friends. But damn, man!!!!!!! You did it in one beautiful post.

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  16. You said — “As far as I’m concerned the only people who are truly qualified to talk about abortion are the women who are contemplating it”

    Surely not! The woman is just the vehicle! God alone knows what’s right and has the Power to decide! And HE (may peace be upon Him, the most powerful, the most compassionate, the most merciful one) decided a long time ago that He (omnipotent, don’t forget) was going to use her as a vehicle to populate the Earth. So who the hell is she to interfere with God’s Almighty Will by getting a ‘termination’?

    And you said that! Thank God the laws aren’t in the hands of feminist nutters, individualists, or any other fruitcakes who actually think that that so-called ‘rights’ over-ride God’s Holy Laws and Commandments—yes, COMMANDMENTS!!! as laid down over millennia in Holy script.

    And always do not forget the supreme Commandment:

    THOU SHALT NOT KILL

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    • Did you know that all foetuses are female for the first 6-8 weeks of life until the Y chromosome is switched on in some and they become male? Makes you wonder what the cause of that is then ay Poochie?

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      • She’s sensitive, I’ll give you that—but bright enough (oh Gods …) to see where I’m coming from.

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    • I’m not that sensitive, no more than you anyway my white haired fluffy friend. Words are such gorgeous little things and there are so many things you can do with them sans aides visueles. Makes playing devil’s advocate irresistible when no-one can actually poke you with a big stick. Hell if you haven’t seen me on film, you might even surmise that it’s not really me in the picture!

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      • Phew! I thought I was going to have to ‘tuck tail and run’.

        Your picture is a lie? Hell, I used an old passport photo …

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  17. I HAVE THE ANSWER!

    Boom-boom! God spoke to me in a flash of pure genius (Ghandi should be so bright, or Solomon) giving me the Whole Solution.

    First, a qualifier:
    “other than medical grounds*” let the bloody priests have their way, and ban (by invoking the armed might of the state) (it means law) any and all other abortions.

    Let the pregnancy go full term (*) … and then once sufficiently weaned, and IF the new mother is entirely agreeable—the baby be presented** to any qualifying foster parent yearning for a child; said child now to be brought up anonymously but entirely (r) entirely at the expense of the church claiming jurisdiction over the parish wherein child was conceived.

    Such to include every reasonable cost and expense of a normal upbringing (other than gifts, but the churchmen may give gifts too if they wish)(they won’t~!) up to and including college to bachelor level.

    There. Win/win all around, no?

    * The wishes of the Mother paramount. If she ‘don’t want no baby’, that’s adequate medical grounds.

    ** Or retained if so desired by the compelled birth mother, under the same conditions

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  18. Great post. The bible is such a violent book in places. My mom was forced to give birth to a child she could not care for, my half sister. In exchange the parish handled the adoption. Decades passed before my half sister tracked us down, and now she has a grandchild. She lives in Tenn. so I never see her really, and her kids have southern accents (weird!). But she’s thankfully not a bible thumper. Don’t think my mom ever liked the idea of the reunion, but it happened and I’m glad it did.

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    • Thank you, my photographic genius friend! That night shot over the GC yesterday was a cracker!

      Australia has a terrible history of forced pregnancy/adoptions, too. A commission into the whole sorry affair has only just concluded. It seems “wellbeing” is the thing often omitted in most debates, and I think we’re worse of for ignoring it.

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  19. Pingback: Educating Christians. Lesson #1: Abortion; your god LOVES it! | Allallt in discussion

  20. Your intellectual approach gives you the higher ground on this touchy subject. A dose of their own medicine may force them to actually read their sacred text. All the best … Mary

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  21. I am not a Christian who believes abortion should be made illegal, so I guess that makes me prochoice. But I would say from a religious standpoint (not specifically Christian) abortion does not makes sense since most religions teach that our souls came to earth and are on some kind of journey. So I guess abortion still bothers me; I’m just not going to regulate it.

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    • Hi Lana. It’s true, outlawing it would only make matters worse, and any such criminalization would work directly against a woman’s well-being; the thing often overlooked in all this debate. It’s hard for me to entertain the idea of a soul in this subject, there exists no hint or clue beyond wishful thinking that one even exists, but as a former catholic myself I was always of the opinion that the (indestructible) ‘soul’ would treat the interruption like a bus that breaks down at the bus station. That’s to say, it had to wait for the next one. I mean, 30+% of all pregnancies miscarry (Mao Clinic figure). Chromosomal abnormalities are common, and that “bus” never leaves the station. If, as fundamentalists would have people believe, a soul is present at the Big Fusion then their god is in fact killing 100-times more than women/men who make the difficult but pragmatically sound decision that they simple aren’t emotionally or financially ready to raise a child.

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  22. John, I’m really going out on a limb here, but here goes…I am a spiritual person. I consider myself an integrated Christian because I also relate strongly to tenets of other religions and even celebrate their holy days, as well as those I grew up with. (Yeah, that just blackened me in the eyes of the Religious Right…praise Ganesha!) I would say that’s beside the point, but it’s not because I am pro-choice. It’s none of my damn business what goes on with another person’s body (unless that person invites me to join in). I know how I feel about someone trying to tell me what I can or cannot do with my body. It would be the height of hypocrisy to think that it’s okay for me to tell someone else what she can and cannot do with her body, while I don’t want anyone doing that to me. The hypocrisy rampant in the Religious Right is appalling. Their lack of human compassion toward others who are different galls me no end.

    I commented above and will say the same here. I’m appalled at the pro-lifers who are so quick to save the unborn child but are just as quick to demolish programs that would help impoverished mothers have food for their children. They are only pro-life until the child is born, and then they don’t give a damn. If they were truly pro-life, they would do everything they could to clothe the poor, house the homeless, and feed the hungry. Orphans and widowed elders would never have to worry about where their next meal would come from or if they would have a bed to sleep in at night. Oh yeah, that’s right, that would mean they would have to read the whole Bible instead of picking and choosing that which suits their needs.

    I’m not really sure where I’m going at this point, other than to say I appreciated your post and agreed with much of what you said. Cheers!

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    • Cheers, and go out on a limb all you like. It’s a safe sandpit here 🙂

      You just reminded me of this Onion article from a few years ago:

      Jesus Christ Files Lawsuit Against GOP For Slander

      When asked about the lawsuit, House Speaker John Boehner made the following remarks:

      “Mr. Christ is entitled to his opinion, however the GOP believes that the underlying message in the Bible is that giving tax cuts to the wealthy is the true path to happiness. I don’t know where Mr. Christ thinks the Bible says to help the poor and the sick, but that sounds awfully socialistic to me, and we are not a socialist country.”

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      • ROFLMFAO – I almost pissed myself laughing at that article quote! And sadly, it seems that is exactly how they think. I’m happy to work with the poor and the sick, doing what I do to help the poor and under-served. If that makes me a socialist, then so be it.

        And thank you for the welcome. I may not agree with you on every subject, but I believe people can agree to disagree and turn their focus to the subjects on which they do agree. You know, making this world a better place for all…oh dear, there I go again, sounding like a socialist. 🙂

        Like

  23. Pingback: Frankentalk… | Random Rationality

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