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Old 04-16-2001, 08:28 AM   #1
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Question Biblical justification for the anti-abortionists?

I was recently given the following versus as a biblical justification for anti-abortion stance:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">by Epitome
Here are referrences in which the Lord declares children still in a womb to have destinies.


Genesis 25: 23 The LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger."

Job 31:15 Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?

Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.

Isaiah 44:1 "But now listen, O Jacob, my servant, Israel, whom I have chosen.2 This is what the LORD says-- he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.

Jeremiah 1:4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

Luke 1:14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.

which goes with

Luke 1:40 where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!


Plus, of course Jesus whose conception was a miricle had a certain purpose. It's pretty clear to me from these verses that God looks at people's destiny from their conception and even before rather than waiting until the children are born.</font>
Do most Christians agree that this constitutes an anti-abortion stance by god. It seems to me that we have a lot more abortion rights advocates then atheists, so obviously there must be a difference in opinion.

I am not an expert in biblical criticism, so I though I would bring this argument here for input.

Maverick

 
Old 04-16-2001, 08:56 AM   #2
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Religious Tolerance.org, always useful, has a page on the Bible's pro-abortion positions:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_bibl.htm

It's good, and too long to post here.

Michael
 
Old 04-16-2001, 12:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:
Religious Tolerance.org, always useful, has a page on the Bible's pro-abortion positions:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_bibl.htm

It's good, and too long to post here.

Michael
</font>
Michael,

Thanks for the link. It seems to reinforce my perception that there is no "set in stone" prohibition on abortion in the bible.

I still am curious what the average christian thinks about this issue. The religious right sure seems to think they have the biblical justification for their stance.

Maverick



[This message has been edited by Maverick (edited April 16, 2001).]
 
Old 04-17-2001, 12:58 PM   #4
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Maverick,

For the record, my stance on abortion has it's roots more in philosophy than religion. I do believe there is religious justification against abortion, but the philosophical side is so strong I rarely feel it necessary to site 'God' as an authority. Not to mention most people pro-choice don't consider God an authority. *L*



Epitome
 
Old 04-17-2001, 01:22 PM   #5
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Oh, my, I read through the Biblical Justifications for Abortion and find them extreme stretches... I don't have time to pick them all apart, but I'll start on the first few:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Genesis 2:7 God made Adam's body out of the dust of the earth. Later, the "man became a living soul" only after God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." This would imply that Adam's personhood started when he took his first breath. Following this reasoning, a newborn becomes human after it starts breathing...</font>
Adam was NEVER a fetus. He was formed out of CLAY. So to suggest that there is anything similar between a living, breathing (albeit through the umbilical cord) fetus and a lump of clay is ridiculous.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Genesis 25:21-23 "...Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger." The passage refers to the twin fetuses of Rebekah as being "nations." They are clearly not nations at that state of development; the word has to be interpreted symbolically. They are rather two fetuses who were later born and whose descendents, according to the Bible, became two nations. The passage also refers to the twin fetuses as "banim:" a Hebrew word which almost always means a "newborns" or "infants," or "children." The ancient Hebrews did not have a separate word to describe "fetuses." So they used the same word to describe fetuses that they also used to refer to children. English translations of the Bible use the term "children" here; this would more accurately be translated as "fetuses" except that the latter is really only a medical term. Again, the passage does not address the main question: are the fetuses full persons, or are they potential persons? </font>
Suppose Rebekah decided to abort? This passage more supports the pro-life stance that unborn children, in the eyes of God, have more than a potential for life, but a destiny as well.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Genesis 38:24 Tamar's pregnancy was discovered three months after conception, presumably because it was visible at that time. Because she was a widow, without a husband, she was assumed to be a prostitute. Her father-in-law Judah ordered that she be burned alive for her crime. If Tamar's twin fetuses had been considered to have any value whatsoever, her execution would have been delayed until after their birth. There was no condemnation on Judah for deciding to take this action. (Judah later changed his mind when he found out that he was responsible for Tamar's pregnancy.) </font>
It's not clear that the child had 'no worth' only that it was testimony to Tamar's sin, punishable by death.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Exodus 13:1-2 "The Lord said to Moses, 'Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether [hu]man or animal.'" Throughout much of the ancient Middle East, the firstborn son in each family was ritually murdered as a sacrifice to the Gods...</font>
Oh this is rich. Consecrating the child to God was NOT killing them! DUH It was devoting them to God, performing sacrifices in their honor to make them Holy. The Bible lists the First Born's as inheriting the blessings and being the most important. It doesn't do this to the 'second born' who survives the sacrifice by being born second.

This is such a breach of Biblical scholarship it is testament to the incompetence and/or laziness of the author of this list... I'm not even going to bother picking apart the rest of the list.


Epitome
 
Old 04-17-2001, 05:29 PM   #6
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Life is usually connected to "breath" in the Bible--which can also sometimes be translated as spirit.

I take that to mean the ancient world thought life began with the first intake of breath. Of course, important persons like Augustus and Jesus had their divine conceptions, but most--even the Genesis myth of Adam getting life from God--has to do with an infusion of breath to become "a living being."

To be fixated on the well-being of the helpless fetus, surrounded by a world of secular evil uneasily safe in its mother's warm womb is closer to Freudian transferrence rather than any biological mandate from God. It seems like more fundamentalists and evangelicals focus more on the fetus than they do kids in their own families.
 
Old 04-18-2001, 02:06 AM   #7
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Cool

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by aikido7:
It seems like more fundamentalists and evangelicals focus more on the fetus than they do kids in their own families.</font>
That is the sort of logic the people who bomb abortionists use, I suppose? :[ [No, you're not one; but that sounds like the logic they use...] I never understood how someone could justify murdering someone if they're against it? I much prefer that we not kill anyone, period [I see little reason to speed someone off to heaven, much less to hell...]. Thankfully, most of those Christians I'm familiar with do in fact spend a lot of time worrying about the kids that are already born, which I would assume is why the show "Focus on the Family" is successful, even though it doesn't seem terribly interesting.
 
Old 04-18-2001, 11:42 AM   #8
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I don't know of too many people foolish enough to believe that they could speak for the "average Christian", as the group is far too diverse to come up with an "average opinion". The best one could do is state his/her own opinion, and any supporting information to support that position.

In my experience, people generally chose their beliefs, then build the necessary foundation and walls around this opinion to protect it from differing opinions and beliefs. The beliefs that we generally chose are those supported by our chosen peer group. Whatever helps us fit in with the group, to be accepted by the group. The abortion / "right to life" issue is not an exception.

In the examples given in the link Michael provided, the "spin" placed on the verse is clearly in keeping with the agenda of the individual interpreting the verse.

A single example, although each verse could be taken in turn:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Job 3:2-4; Job 3:11-19; Job 10:18-19: Here, Job is suffering. God instructed Satan to preserve Job's life while killing his children and destroying everything of value in Job's life, including his health. Job says that it would have been better if he had died at or before birth, so that he would never have experienced such misfortune. This passage seems to imply that a terminated pregnancy is better than bringing into the world a baby who will suffer greatly.</font>
To me, these verses imply that Job considered his pre-birth state to be an extension of his current life. Why else would he say it would have been better off to have died at birth or before(Job 3:11 - Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?")? As in most things, we see what we want to see - and if it does not fit our paradigm, we often don't even see it. The idea that Job sees life as starting before birth fits my paradigm. It does not fit the author quoted above, so the meaning he attributes to the same verse is far different than the one I do.
 
 

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