July 23, 2005

Freakonomics on Abortion

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 9:24 pm

In a bit of synchronicity, a spirited but respectful discussion of abortion has broken out among commenters to a previous post. Meanwhile, I was reading an analysis concerning abortion in the bestselling book Freakonomics. I have addressed the gay issue extensively here, but I have not addressed the second of the Big 2 conservative Christian issues, namely abortion, so I suppose it’s about time. However, for those looking for simple answers, I have none. I guess that’s why I’ve avoided the topic.

Wildwest said in a comment:

Abortion, of course, is a complicated issue. Right-to-Life hardliners are like pacifists. The idea is a good one on the face of it, but hard questions begged to be asked.

This could be the theme underlying my thoughts on abortion. Similarly, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner write in Freakonomics:

Morality, it could be argued, represents the way that people would like the world to work — whereas economics represents how it actually does work.

I’ve argued before that religious extremism (whether on the right or the left) comes from seeing the world as it ought to be rather than as it actually is, so Levitt and Dubner didn’t need to convince me.

Levitt (the economist that actually did the analytical work in the book — Dubner is a journalist who helped Levitt write the book so that it’s comprehensible) shows that there is a strong correlation between the crime rate and the availability of abortion. The steady drop in crime in the US began 17 to 18 years after Roe v. Wade. Children that would have been born to single mothers too young or too poor to raise a child, were instead aborted. The result appeared when these fetuses would have reached young adulthood, but did not.

Levitt doesn’t have an agenda. He seems to be a “quant jock” who enjoys poring through data to find correlations, and ultimately, causes. He doesn’t advocate abortion. In fact, in an analysis that only an economist would think to perform, he shows that one murder was avoided for each 100 abortions. If you believe that an aborted fetus has more worth than 1/100th of a person, then the trade-off between abortion and crime is not worth it.

Neither is Levitt saying that poor, young single mothers raise criminals. He is simply looking at the data that show that children of poor, young single mothers are more likely to engage in crime when they reach adulthood than other children. These are the same mothers that could not afford an illegal abortion before Roe v. Wade, but could afterwards. The moral here is that women know very well whether they are ready and able to raise a child. The women that began getting abortions after Roe v. Wade did not do so to avoid an inconvenience, but because they understood they were in no position to be a parent.

But what light does this shed on the abortion debate?

In a perfect pro-life world, every mother of an aborted fetus is selfish, and every aborted fetus is a potential Mozart, Einstein or Billy Graham. In a perfect pro-choice world, every mother is a selfless saint, and every aborted fetus is a meaningless piece of tissue. But here in the real world, there is much more ambiguity, much more uncertainty, and the moral decision is much less clear. Levitt’s analysis shows us just how little we understand about a mother’s decision to abort. What activists on both sides don’t want to see is the real world as it truly is — where the issues are not clear cut, the moral certainties are few, and the implications are far-reaching.

The only thing I know for sure is that every unwanted pregnancy is a tragedy, and that unwanted pregnancies should be avoided by abstinence when possible, and by birth control when not. Each unwanted pregancy that is avoided is one less difficult, ambiguous decision that need not be made.

48 Comments

  1. There are many points which you make that I have little disagreement with,
    however, I think you miss the point. I hope you don’t mind one of us
    “Conservative Christians” addressing you. I identify myself as such, and
    I think that it would be healthy for the Christian community, at large, to
    have a discussion regarding the issue of abortion. In doing so, I feel
    that the foundational issue which your blog fails to address is how a
    “Christian” arrives at the justification of abortion in the first place.
    In order to support it, you must first justify your Christianity with
    a pro-abortion position. How do you do so? Until you do so, everything
    else you say is merely a bunch of words on a page with no Biblical
    Foundation upon which to stand. I have many questions, in this regard.
    Who am I to judge who should be allowed to have the priviledge of birth,
    and who should be “spared” the hardship of being born into a family where-
    in the mother does not want the child for whatever reason? If financial
    hardship is the qualification are you not assuming that any person who
    was raised in a home which faced financial hardship should not have been
    born? I know that this seems overly simplistic language to “Progressives”
    who tend to pride themselves on being so intellectually superior to the
    Conservative Christian, who tends to view things as black and white, right
    or wrong, good or evil. But before venturing down a road of discussion
    about why abortion should remain a legal and “righteous” option to a
    Christian, I would need to understand how you justify the act of deciding
    who should be born and who should not ever be born with your Christian
    faith. Thank you.

    Comment by Jacke — July 24, 2005 @ 6:59 pm

  2. In scripture, we see that children were reagrded as a blessing (the bile calls them an inheritance from the Lord) and that a woman who couldn’t bear children was considered to under a curse, and remembering that Mosaic law ascribed the death penalty for ACCIDENTAL abortions that resulted in the death of the baby, when you add all of that together-you see a picture that suggests supporting abortion (or claiming its a right for others if not for you personally) cannot co-exist in the mind of a believer. For how can we condone or rationalize something that goes against the teachings and certainly the INTENT of our Creator? Hardship in life is not a good enough reason, for we ALL suffer at one point or another. Prosperity is not promised to everyone. Should we devalue the opportunity to live based on a perceived disadvantage that might NOT last for a lifetime? Perhaps one can argue that the Bible does not have a DEFINITIVE and EXPLICIT “ruling” on abortion. But it certainly gives us hints and directions, upon which we can arrive to proper doctrinal positions. And as a Christian, I just don’t see how one can serve God and serve a “right” that God would not approve of. We cannot serve 2 masters, can we?

    Comment by Rod — July 24, 2005 @ 8:32 pm

  3. Hello from a fellow pro-choice supporter. I haven’t read the Freakonomics book, but wonder if their arguments presuppose that only the very poor get abortions? I found some statistics from The Alan Guttmacher Institute (a non-profit that researches reproductive issues) that indicate 2/3 of women getting abortions cite the fact that they cannot afford a child, but 52% of aborters are younger than 25 – hardly any 25 year old is financially able to provide for a child in the manner that our society seems to deem appropriate. I find it ridiculous to say that crime is going down due to poor, criminal-producing women getting abortions 18 years ago. Isn’t it more logical to think that the very poor either cannot afford an abortion, or that the crime-prone will not be responsible enough to drag themselves to a doctor to get an abortion? If you think long enough, you can connect any two phenomena – there are simply too many factors behind crime-rate reductions to pin it on abortion.

    As second point: You say that “The only thing I know for sure is that every unwanted pregnancy is a tragedy…” but about 50% of all American pregnancies are unintended (again, citing the Guttmacher institute). There is a difference between “unwanted” and “unintended,” but many women either do not believe in abortion or decide to work around their mistake and do not view it as a tragic event.

    I am strongly pro-choice; women should have domain over their own bodies. It is not fair, however, to say that all unwanted pregnancies are tragedies. I think that your post portrays the attitude that women SHOULD have abortions (and could be used as propaganda fodder by the far-right), though that is undoubtedly not what you meant.

    Keep up the good work – I enjoy your site.

    Comment by Alice — July 24, 2005 @ 11:11 pm

  4. Freakonomics on Abortion

    I am a Christian Too has a good post about why it’s hard to discuss abortion.

    Trackback by / musing / struggling / dreaming / — July 25, 2005 @ 2:41 am

  5. I wonder if anyone would care to grace me with the title of the post which
    on the subject of why it’s hard to discuss abortion? Though I am interested in
    reading all of the posts found at I am a Christian Too, time is a con-
    straint for me, and I will do so as time allows, but in the meantime, I
    would like to be directed toward this particular post. Thank you in
    advance.

    Comment by Jacke — July 25, 2005 @ 4:47 am

  6. It should be noted that Levitt’s theory has been vigorously criticized. Here, for instance: http://www.amconmag.com/2005_05_09/feature.html.

    Comment by Lee — July 25, 2005 @ 5:32 am

  7. I find the conservative agenda very contradictory and wish someone could intelligently explain why they are so passionate about abortion as termination of life (which I am too, by the way), and then support the cancellation of life affirming programs for the poor and disadvantaged (see Matthew 25:31ff). How can you be “pro-life” and then support the death penalty (which I guess would be “pro-death”). How can you be for life and then support the manufacture and sale of guns designed to kill people? And what about war? Do you still believe that Iraq attacked us on 9-11? How can a Christian be pro war when your Lord and Savior said to love your enemies and pray for them?

    Matthew 5:38-42
    38 “You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40 and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42 Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

    How can you talk about the love of God and then vent so much hate toward gay and lesbian persons? Didn’t Jesus say to “love one another as I have loved you”? I don’t remember any exception clause! Where is the consistency? How can a Christian be for “right to choose”, you ask? How can a Christian who believes in the teachings of Jesus be so “pro-death” on so many other issues, I ask!

    Comment by Tony — July 25, 2005 @ 10:23 am

  8. Good question, Tony!

    Comment by wildwest — July 25, 2005 @ 11:44 am

  9. Some thoughts in reply to various comments —

    It’s funny that everyone assumes I’m pro-choice, when I don’t consider myself pro-choice at all. The point of my post was how difficult an issue abortion is, not that I am for abortion. I think I owe all of you another post clarifying my thoughts in that regard.

    Jacke and Rod – I don’t see how the Bible speaks clearly at all regarding abortion (and again, I speak as someone generally opposed to abortion.) The Mosaic Law includes injunctions against eating pork and shellfish and a commandment that menstruating women seclude themselves outside their village. We ignore most of the Old Testament laws, so why pick this one out as still in effect? After all, Paul, Peter and James agreed that we can be Christian without following the Mosaic Law. Abortion was a non-issue in Jesus’ ministry, as opposed to caring for the poor and sick.

    Lee – thanks for the link…it’s a good opposing point of view. I disagree with the headline though…Levitt’s argument is strongly fact-based, and does not attempt to take any moral stand, so I don’t find it morally repugnant. Of course, Levitt’s hypothesis could be wrong. The truth of Levitt’s argument depends on the quality of the underlying data and analysis, which can only be determined by fact-based debate and study. It’s not true that you can connect any two phenomena, if you use the appropriate statistical analysis.

    Remember that Levitt (right or wrong) isn’t saying that poor women get more abortions. He is saying that poor young women couldn’t afford abortions before Roe v. Wade, so their rate of abortions increased disproportionately after Roe v. Wade, resulting in the drop in crime.

    As for Alice’s point about unwanted vs. unintended pregnancies — good point. I agree that unintended pregnancies may cause concern at first, but ultimately are a real blessing, and no tragedy. I have viewed unwanted pregnancies as those that are tragic, in that a mother must choose among an abortion, giving up the child for adoption, or raising a child when they do not have the skills, resources or ability to do so.

    Lastly, to clarify for Jacke — comment number 4 is a “trackback” from another blog referring to this post. Follow the link to see John’s blog. And btw, conservatives are welcome here, and I certainly don’t think I’m intellectually superior to conservatives!

    I’ll plan on posting more on this topic, so stay tuned.

    Comment by Bob — July 25, 2005 @ 8:30 pm

  10. Tony, you ask questions, some valid and thoughtful, some simply full of
    assumption. I’ll try to answer them as a conservative Christian but I
    would remind you that I cannot speak for all conservative Christians. I
    am an individual with my own opinions and own understanding of scripture.

    Now, first off you question how a Christian can be adamant about being
    against abortion and yet support the death penalty. Can it be that you
    do not see the difference between a defenseless baby who has never done
    any wrong, as he or she has not yet even left the womb, and a murderer or
    rapist? I believe in personal responsibility, myself. The innocent child
    in the womb has no one to defend him in his innocence and has done nothing
    for which to be responsible, rather it is the parent to be or, if you
    like, that rapist who you seem to be concerned about who are the
    responsible parties to the conception of this innocent child. I might very
    well turn the question around to you, as a Christian how can you support
    abortion and yet feel so much compassion for the rapist and murderer whom
    a jury of peers has placed on death row? Do you have more compassion for
    that murderer or rapist than you do for the unborn, innocent child? In
    many past discussions with “progressives” that has seemed to be the case.
    Note, in this instance, I did not say “progressive” Christian, could it be
    that you are a “progressive” first and a Christian secondarily?

    How do you explain away the wars in the Bible? Wars which God the Father
    fought on behalf of his people, the Israelites? How do you explain away
    the fact that even Jesus himself spoke of wars and rumors of war in the
    end times? It is a complicated issue, but not one for which there is no
    precedent in the Bible, as in the case of abortion. Show in the Bible
    where God allowed mothers or fathers to kill a child in the womb. Show
    that it happened on a broad scale as war against Nations happened in the
    Bible, perhaps then you might have a valid point.

    Further, I believe that nothing happens on this earth unless God allows
    it for a purpose. Many evil things happen but the Bible tells us that
    all things work together for good to those who love God, I believe in a
    sovereign God. A God involved in the mundane details of my life and yours,
    of cities, and of Nations. Many things man will not understand, only God
    will understand.

    If we were to carry your idea of pacifism to fruition I have no doubt that
    there would no longer be any Christians living to have an argument such as
    this. Do you think Islamist terrorists would turn away from murdering
    Christians if Christians tied their hands, put away the gift of God which
    he blessed humans with, the gift of the will to live, the will to defend oneself?
    Why do you suppose God created man with a want of self preservation? He
    did create us? Do you believe that, Tony?

    Now, why do you think that pro-life Christians do not care about the
    needy? What information do you base this belief upon? Do you think that
    all conservative, pro-life Christians are greedy and selfish individuals
    who do not serve humanity? This is the assumption you seem to make which
    is, to be frank, simply STUPID. The idea that you cannot be pro-life and
    care about the welfare of the needy too, as though they are mutually
    exclusive is just outright ridiculous. I serve in my community, and I
    work with children, almost daily, as a volunteer.

    In the case of homosexuality, I, as a conservative Christian individual,do
    not hate anyone. God, however, in His Word, calls upon me to hate all
    sin as he hates sin. It is clear in the Bible that homosexuality, as well
    as fornication and adultery was abhorent to God. That tells me that God
    considers it to be sin. I do not hate adulterers, I hate the sin of
    adultery,I do not hate fornicators, I hate the sin of fornication, and
    I do not hate gay individuals, I hate the sin of homosexuality. I have
    known and loved a few homosexuals in my life, I have found them to be
    wonderful friends, full of joy, full of creativity and fun to be around.
    I have loved them, that does not mean it is necessary that I condone their
    lifestyle, and my non-condoning of their lifestyle does not and will not
    keep me from loving them. I have sin in my own life, how can I judge them
    so harshly? I don’t. I don’t condone the sin in my life either, but
    rather I am convicted of it and make efforts to change it, repentance, you
    know, I’m sure you’ve heard the word before.

    Thanks for the opportunity to dialog with you. I’ve enjoyed it.

    Comment by Jacke — July 25, 2005 @ 8:37 pm

  11. One more thing — the reason I like Levitt’s analysis (even if it turns out to be wrong) as well as the opposing analysis is that this kind of fact-based investigation into the causes and impacts of abortion has been missing. Abortion is an important moral question, and that is why it deserves more of this kind of critical analysis, not just emotional arguments.

    Comment by Bob — July 25, 2005 @ 8:47 pm

  12. For Bob, I wasn’t necessarily assuming that you take a pro-choice position.
    Rather, I was asking questions about how a Christian can take a pro-choice
    position and reconcile it. Sorry, if you misunderstood my intent. You see
    I read the Colleen McCain Nelson column, which cited your website in my
    local newspaper and that is how I found you. I suppose I assumed, to some
    extent that by her citing your web site that you are in agreement with her.
    She stated that: “…And they want conservatives to know it’s possible to
    believe in abortion rights, gay rights and God.” Well, of course that is
    possible, my question is how do you reconcile the positions as a Christian?
    Is there someone who can do so? I’d be interested in hearing that.

    Thank you.

    Comment by Jacke — July 25, 2005 @ 8:49 pm

  13. So I take it you believe God and scripture is apathetic or silent on the issue of inserting medical devices that dismember a human baby? Not trying to be graphic here, but let’s not pretend the process of abortion is not gruesome and barbaric. You think scripture is silent on an act that takea defenseless baby and chops it up? We’ve become so accustomed to SANITIZING what happens by calling it an “abortion”. And in those terms, its easy to pretend the Bible holds no firm position on the matter. However, when we unmask the secular methodology to brainwash away the cruelty and brutality of the act-then you can see the truth for what it is. An abortion destroys an innocent human life. It does so in a way that is considered inhumane and barbaric by biblical standards. That much cannot be disputed. Keep in mind that an abortion kills an innocent baby, who did not have the benefit of counsel or a jury. We only execute those found guilty by a jury, having been first afforded due process. Comparing abortion to capital punishment is apples to ornages. Another commented on the death penalty. I would remind you that it was God himself who instituted capital punishment for certain offenses. If you question the “logic” of being anti abortion but for the death penalty, then start by seeking God’s opinion. He gave the authority to His people to judge and condemn to death certain offenders. And He is the author of life. I would also point to the fact that scripture tells us that govt is the instrument God has chosen to impart justice. And it tells us that all authority on earth is FIRST granted in heaven.

    Comment by Rod — July 25, 2005 @ 9:31 pm

  14. egarding the admonition to turn the other cheek…that scripture is often used out of context. To say that the bible commands us to be completely non-violent is a stretch. Let’s apply it to a real life scenario. You wake up in the middle of the night to find that your daughter is struggling in her room. You walk in and find an intruder raping her. Will God condemn you if you use force to subdue, or even kill the assailant if its necessary? Does that scripture command me to ask the rapist if he wants my wife too? Of course not. We can agree that would be rather absurd. As a father, God has placed on me the responsibility to protect my wife and my children. God doesn’t obligate me to offer them up as voluntary victims. Turning the other cheek means not repaying an evil act with the same coin. If I am cursed, I do not have license to return that act with with a curse of my own. One only has to look at what Jesus hi\mself did for guidance. In the face of blatant commercialism, he reacted with RIGHTEOUS ANGER and drove out the money changers from the temple. Did he ask politely? Or did he use physical force? Please understand, I am not advocating violence. Merely stating that as a Christian, there are times when I don’t have to turn the other cheek. The admonishment in that scripture is not a vow of “victimhood” for believers.

    Comment by Rod — July 25, 2005 @ 9:48 pm

  15. Regarding war….. did the soldiers who fought in WWII commit a sin in the eyes of God? They liberated Europe, saved millions of Jews from extermination, stopped a butchering madman. Was it wrong to do this? The bible speaks of govt being a sword to persecute/prosecute those who do evil. They do so with God’s authority. I would think the logical conclusion is that God hates war, but allows it to prevent/overcome acts of evil. Our own nation, the one that affords us the liberty to carry out God’s gift (worshipping Him) came about after a war. Were the founders engaged in an act that God did not allow or approve of? We seldom apply wordly examples to scriptural doctrine. And to an extent that is the correct way of doing it. After all, the eternal cannot be compared to the earthly. However, we need to remember that the bible is an instruction book for life on earth, with the goal of life in heaven. It guides us in matters we face in the world every day, and not just matters of beliefs and salvation. We are called to be in the world (just not OF the world), and that means we must apply the lessons to the reality of human nature.

    Comment by Rod — July 25, 2005 @ 9:56 pm

  16. Whenever I think about this issue, all I can come back to is that there is really only one thing that splits people: When does a fetus become a person? For people who believe that a person is such upon conception, I think we can certainly understand that we don’t sacrifice a person for any reason, no matter how it benefits society or families. The reverse being that if you don’t think a fetus is a person until they can, say, survive outside the womb, then abortion makes perfect sense. Personally, I’ve come to the opinion that (human) life begins when the fertilized egg successfully attaches to the uterine wall; which is why I believe the “morning-after” pill should be readily available but I do not feel okay about other abortive procedures. The only other fight here, I think, is how to best prevent abortions, through law or through education and ministry.

    Comment by S — July 26, 2005 @ 6:47 am

  17. “The bible speaks of govt being a sword to persecute/prosecute those who do evil. They do so with God’s authority. I would think the logical conclusion is that God hates war, but allows it to prevent/overcome acts of evil.”

    Rod… you demonstrate my point. All “pro death” statements come from the Old Testament. The question we need to ask is, “Are the world, and my life, different because Jesus lived, died, and rose?” How seriously do we take Jesus when he says, “You have heard it said (OT)… but I tell you (NT)…”? As one who takes the teaching of Jesus very seriously, I will side with Jesus when his teachings contridict the Old Testament. Remember that during Jesus’ time there were those who wanted to go to war with the Romans. The Romans were beating and killing people for no reason other than control. Jesus knew he was to be one of the victims… yet Jesus spoke about peace and love and taught people to set their minds on the eternal not earthly matters. Can one call themself a Christian when they deny the teaching of Jesus, his death and ressurection, and return to the ways of the Old Testament? Is this not a rejection of the Christ?

    Comment by Tony — July 26, 2005 @ 7:02 am

  18. To Tony who wrote about Christians:

    “why they are so passionate about abortion as termination of life (which I am too, by the way), and then support the cancellation of life affirming programs for the poor and disadvantaged…”

    It gets so tedious writing the same things over and over again, especially to one who doesn’t have the Spirit of God and who hates His Holy Word. But, for the sake of that casual reader who may ignorantly think you make a good point I will respond.

    Here is the way that I see your position, if I as a Bible believing Christian disagrees with a bloated, private property devouring (Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not Covet another’s…(any of their possessions/goods)), self-enriching beauacracy taking what is given by God to me for distirbution to needs that I am responsible to God for addressing, then I shouldn’t disagree with murdering a baby in its mother’s womb. Since I don’t think that money should be distributed by the fat, selfish King, I shouldn’t care if they crush the skulls of 5 lb. helpless creations of God, suck out their brains, rip off their limbs and toss them into a trash can.

    Here is what I see:
    1) the goverment is “the people” being their collective rule,
    2) “The people” are bloated by any reasonable standard.
    3) “The people” take private property based upon a mob rule/might makes right mentality (democracy).
    4) “The people” ignore the 8th Commandment, “Thou shalt not steal.” Just because you get enough of the people to agree on something doesn’t mean it’s right. How about if the neighborhood agrees that your lawn mower is community property, since you have one, and your neighbor wants one? Or, can anyone just walk into your house and go through your fridge? If not, you appear to be a hypocrite.
    5) What you see as “life affirming” I see as mostly life degrading. True some can be helped, but that should be accomplished through their church’s care, not a faceless “sugar daddy” to be exploited and cheated as much as possible. It denies the responsibility of both the giver and the receipient. A Christian is not to give to all indiscriminately, without regard to the state of the potential receipient (II Thessalonians 3.10).
    6) “The people” ignore Thou shalt not Covet another’s…(any of their possessions). Someone who desires their neighbors possessions, that which doesn’t belong to them, and was not given of the free will of the owner, is coveting and sinning against God.
    7) God provides to me what He wills, and He expects me to do what the Spirit of God leads me to do with what I have been entrusted with. “The people” feel they know better and take God’s gifts to me and do what they want to do with them. They deny me the right and resposibility to serve my God with what He has blessed me with.
    8) You want me to accept, against all reason, and for the ease and convenience of someone, that a baby in its mothers womb is not a baby, a human being, created by God, given life by the Almighty.
    9) You want me to ignore that a baby’s conception is permitted or stopped by God (unquestionably supported by Scripture) so that any conception is God’s will.
    10) I shouldn’t care if they crush the skulls of 5 lb. helpless creations of God, suck out their brains, rip off their limbs and toss them into a trash can.

    The way I see it, your position ignores the Bible and therefore is evil. It ignores the depravity of human nature, and it exaults mankind over God by choosing your own will over God’s. It dengrates the Lord God Almighty and His sovereignty over His creation by pursueing a policy based upon your “feelings” about people, rather than obeying what God has told you to do (will you let a man starve to death if he won’t work? If not you are sinning against God).

    Your sophistry is silly and illogical and ungodly.

    Repent from your sins and believe the gospel.

    Comment by don — July 26, 2005 @ 7:25 am

  19. Bob says:

    “I don’t see how the Bible speaks clearly at all regarding abortion (and again, I speak as someone generally opposed to abortion.) The Mosaic Law includes injunctions against eating pork and shellfish and a commandment that menstruating women seclude themselves outside their village. We ignore most of the Old Testament laws, so why pick this one out as still in effect? After all, Paul, Peter and James agreed that we can be Christian without following the Mosaic Law. Abortion was a non-issue in Jesus’ ministry, as opposed to caring for the poor and sick.”

    Do you have no understanding of the Moral, Civil and Ceremonial Laws of Isreal? An aside: You are seriously misinformed, the menstrating women did not have to seclude themselves outside the village. The reason for the dietary requirments and laws of clean and unclean were to point toward the purity and separation of the people of God that would be acheived by the blood of Jesus in His sacrifice for His people’s sins. We don’t just “ignore those laws,” as you so flippantly state it, God has repealed them in the post cross era, their purpose being accomplished. The same goes for burnt offerings and the whole sacrificial system. It has been fulfilled in Jesus’ cross, and therefore done away with. This is basic theology. How can you even raise such foolishness as if it were thoughful and theologically sound? You need to repent and study the Bible.

    As to abortion being a non-issue in Jesus ministry. With that tortured logic, what do you think about paedophilia? How about beastiality? What about animal cruelty? These were all non-issues in Jesus’ ministry, and therefore based upon your foolishness they must all be permitted today. You fail and demonstrate your ignorance by not seeing the Bible as a whole.

    As for caring for the poor. Did Jesus ever tell anyone to give their money to Herod so that he could do good to the poor? Did Jesus ever tell anyone to give their money to Caeser so that he could do good to the poor? Did Jesus ever petition the government to do more for the poor? Did God even tell the great King David that he should have had more government instituted social programs. Give me some scriputers that show that we should abdicate our God given responsibility to a government. Why do you think you can make a logical jump from the Christians duty to love our neighbor as ourself, to let the government steal your goods, to give it to the coveteous in order to perpetuate the governments existence and enrich those who would feed at its trough. It has been the same throughout the ages.

    You are just a Herodian, but you are probably not a Christian. Herod says kill the babies and your ilk follows like God hating fools. Caeser is your God. You trust in the power of Caeser, and not the power of God.

    Repent and believe the gospel. Then you will see clearly.

    Comment by don — July 26, 2005 @ 7:51 am

  20. Don… Thank you for your kind words. Tony

    Comment by Tony — July 26, 2005 @ 8:09 am

  21. Tony….remember that jesus said he came to FULFILL the law, not REVOKE it. He said not a single word of it would come to pass. Jesus never contradicted the OT. God cannot contradict Himself, can He? to say such a thing is to deny God’s deity and perfection. God never mispeaks, so how could Jesus contradict the Father?

    And you’re flat out wrong, the NEW TESTAMENT is where we find the instruction regarding govt. Romans 13 tells us that govt authority is appointed by God. It tells us that govt is God’s avenger, “to execute wrath on those who practice evil”. It calls govt “God’s minister”. Do you believe that God prohibits ANY killing? Does that mean you believe police officers who kill assailants have committed a sin? What about a woman who shoots her rapist, did she sin? Did Jesus say “you are hereby prevented from using physical force to protect yourself”?

    Comment by Rod — July 26, 2005 @ 8:53 am

  22. The UNDENIABLE truth is this: we do not know with any SCIENTIFIC certainty WHEN life begins. We cannot “prove” when it does. And when faced with this unknown, prudence demands we err on the side of caution. As Christians, we cannot recklessly gamble with murder. For if it IS a life at conception, then abortions are exactly that, murder. Again, we cannot PROVE this, and that is why we are compelled to err on the side of caution. Nothing in scripture ever hints that killing babies, or “possible” babies, would be allowed. However, we get plenty of hints to the CONTRARY. And in the basence of definitive instruction, why should we believe it is a license to flirt with an act that without a doubt terminates the PROCESS of innocent life?

    Comment by Rod — July 26, 2005 @ 9:02 am

  23. Peace to you, Don and Rod.

    Comment by wildwest — July 26, 2005 @ 9:29 am

  24. Just an aside, I wouldn’t begin to question or judge whether someone else is a Christian or not. I
    might suggest, however, that the answers are in the Bible for those who care to avail themselves of
    its wisdom. I might also suggest that some people might be searching the Bible for scripture which
    they can fit into a mold to support whatever position they might be trying to support.

    Occasionally, when I feel someone has wronged me, I will find myself reading scriptures which condemn
    persecutors of Christians. I might find myself, in my own mind, thinking aha! That fits so and so
    to a tee, God will deal with that person! And, you know, I might be right, but I don’t know that I
    should be reading the scripture to find satisfaction that someone else will be punished, I don’t
    believe that is the right spirit with which to be reading God’s Word. In my opinion, I think we should
    all be careful not to take bits and pieces of the scripture out of context of the WHOLE Word of God but
    rather look at the WHOLE, in context of the whole, for its overall flavor and meaning. That means, fellow Christians,that we must “study to show ourselves approved” and so that we may have the discernment to “rightly divide” God’s Word. A time consuming endeavor, but one of great value. At any rate, this has been an interesting discussion, thus far.

    I would still like my original question answered: How do “progressive” Christians who are pro-abortion reconcile that position with their faith? Thanks.

    Comment by Jacke — July 26, 2005 @ 10:15 am

  25. >>shows that there is a strong correlation between the crime rate and the availability of abortion.

    Comment by Mark — July 26, 2005 @ 10:59 am

  26. The Exodus verse that Don referred to upthread is Exodus 21:22. It does NOT require death for an injury causing accidental abortion. The verse is as follows: “When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine.” If the woman is not injured beyond the miscarriage, only a fine is required. That’s the NRSV, and the other translations I aren’t significantly different.

    I’m not using that to justify abortion– I am about as pro-life as it gets. However, we need to make sure we’re careful when “using” scripture to support an argument that we don’t twist it to suit our own ends, even if those ends are noble.

    I read statistics recently that said that abortion rates are not significantly different in countries where abortion is outlawed. They just get more dangerous. An overturn of Roe would mean that abortion laws would be up to the states, which in turn would mean lots and lots of people from conservative states heading to California and the New England states for abortions. Poor women would be left with illegal abortions, which would be rampant. LEGAL abortion rates would drop, but I doubt the overall rates would decrease by more than a temporary blip. Legislating this isn’t going to change the problem, which is that too many unplanned pregnancies are occuring, and too pregnant women don’t have the support that they need to feel capable of parenting their babies.

    There ARE countries (I’m thinking in Europe particularly) where abortion is legal, but MUCH rarer than here. What are they doing right that we’re doing wrong? Why are citizens of a “Christian” nation aborting far more often than citizens of secularized, post-Christian countries? Could it be because women and children are supported by those societies to a much more significant degree than they are here?

    If we really care enough about women and children enough to get past the emotional outrage and THINK, we implement policies that will cause meaningful drops in abortion rates and foster a culture that puts its money where its mouth is when it comes to caring for children.

    Comment by Aerin — July 26, 2005 @ 12:13 pm

  27. Amen!

    Comment by Tony — July 26, 2005 @ 12:21 pm

  28. Aerin, if you’re concerned that folks might use scripture incorrectly, perhaps you can explain why you ignore the next verse. It says if harm DOES follow, then the penalty is eye for an eye, even life for a life.

    Does harm follow modern day abortions? And do you see the distinction that in scripture the abortion is deemed “accidental”, and not premeditated. If “no harm follows”, then the baby lives. Right? Do babies survive modern day abortions?

    In light of this reality, I wonder where you perceived that scripture was being “twisted” to suit our “noble” purpose…

    Comment by Rod — July 26, 2005 @ 1:14 pm

  29. Aerin writes:

    If we really care enough about women and children enough to get past the emotional outrage and THINK, we implement policies that will cause meaningful drops in abortion rates and foster a culture that puts its money where its mouth is when it comes to caring for children.

    Get past the “emotional outrage”…….?

    Should we get past legalized infanticide? Should we get past 40 million dead babies? Should we get past it just so we can advocate socialist public policies?

    Let’s reverse things. If society doesn’t put “its money where its mouth is”, does that JUSTIFY or RATIONALIZE abortion? If I don’t decide to care for someone else’s children, does that empower the parent to kill the child?

    The answer is “of course not”. Which means what society does to care for children matters not one IOTA when discussing abortions.

    Comment by Rod — July 26, 2005 @ 1:23 pm

  30. Aerin,

    I just discovered your home page. It’s beautiful. It seems to me that God is working a marvelous transformation in your life. It seems that when that happens with people they almost always get in trouble with the religious authorities. I suggest continuing to love those around you and be a witness to them.

    Regarding abortion, I wonder how you would respond to some of Meg’s comments under the July 17 entry, “The Dallas Morning News on Progressive Christians.” She makes some interesting points that I’m not quite sure what to make of.

    Comment by wildwest — July 26, 2005 @ 2:13 pm

  31. Don –

    You have every right to disagree with other commenters, and with me, but you must do so respectfully and without personal attacks. Claiming that your brother/sister in Christ is not a Christian is not respectful. We are justified by grace through faith in Christ, not by the doctrines we hold regarding abortion or any other issue.

    If you persist in this kind of a personal attack, you will be blocked from commenting on this site.

    Comment by Bob — July 26, 2005 @ 5:19 pm

  32. Jacke asks: “I would still like my original question answered: How do “progressive” Christians who are pro-abortion reconcile that position with their faith?”

    I’m not pro-choice, and I wouldn’t presume to speak for those who are, so I can’t answer your question. I’ll have to leave that to someone else.

    Comment by Bob — July 26, 2005 @ 5:49 pm

  33. (sorry for the length but I hoped to be thorough…)

    I’m guessing here: you think people have free will? No free will no decision?

    Free Will seems to go hand in hand with rights–no free will no rights that need protecting. But thinking we all have free will is a problem for a Christian except in front of those who do not know God–hence government. (if all were perfect Christians who would need government?) God says that we must be born again and further says that we must be born again by Him as Word.

    That we must be born again:

    John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

    God saying we are born by hearing Him as Word:

    First that God says He is His Word:

    Joh 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    Now God saying that we are born again by the hearing of His Word:

    1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

    and

    James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

    Now I bring this up, the issue of being born again, God being His Word and us being born again by that word to make plain that when we are solely dependent on God as Word (as we really are) to know anything and to perform in us what He says ( Phil 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. ) to include actual and non-metaphorical new birth in Him, to demonstrate the will of men is mute. There is no free will. Being actual new creation in Jesus Christ (2Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.) begs who we got that way. God answers that He as Word literally speaks us into existence as new creation in Him. So IN God as Word, there is new creation and no freedom of will.

    Now as a Christian, one non-metaphorically born again as a new creature in Jesus Christ and seeing that we did not birth ourselves and knowing that there is no free will, what decision is there–for abortion or against it or anything else. By saying that there is a choice –at all–and a decision to be made concerning this or that, you have denied Christ. How so?

    God is His Word and is the very Speech by which all that was and is being made was made and is being made. He IS Creating Speech–the speech, concerning that which is created that decides what will be created and what will not. In order to argue–to speak ‘about’ anything, particularly choice, a non-creating speech must be spoken else something is created. So the very speech that approves and promotes free will and the rights consequent with a theoretical free will must be non-creating or it always gets in the way of the hearer’s free will–there they are (we are) being newly created and built up as new creation over and over–eternally.

    The problem with non-creating speech is that it is the anti-Christ. God is the Christ and is His Word and creates what He Speaks. The anti-Christ is non-creating speech. To whit: now you have been speaking that in order for the ‘right’ of abortion to exist, some children must die. Note that to keep the ‘right’ alive and in the minds of the public at all times, some new soul must be killed. I.E. The non-creating speech of ‘rights’ is founded on the lie of free will and it (non-creating speech–a speech which can’t create anything) necessarily gives those whose only speech is non-creating, a lens of non-creation and death expressly becuase it proposes free will. Once free will has been proposed, the use of that will in its proposed unrestricted environment can only consume as it cannot create. It kills–just by speaking.

    God says that of those who cannot and have not heard Him as Word:

    John 8:43-45 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

    Jesus wasn’t talking ‘about’ anything. There was no ‘Hebrew problem’. They could not hear Him as Word. So they, like many today are spoken through by non-creating speech to pretend that God speaks as ‘holy information’ (and so doesn’t interfere with the supposed free will of the hearer/reader) and doesn’t create anything so as to leave room for the consumption of ..whatever. Because no new creation means only consuption of limited resources.

    The non-creating speech compounds the death it is by something else which you may to be aware of: love. It does this by merely speaking non-creatively and making non-creation a supposed virtue. but non-creation means emotion is functionally a limited resource–only so much love to go around. It is one thing to reply “God is Love” (indeed He is..) but a god stripped of who and what He really is so as to provide a feeling to the creature is not love to th4 exact degree He is a caricature of who He really is.

    In the emotional economics of non-creating speech, each soul only has value as emotional utility to others. If that soul brings emotional utility to those around them, they are welcome. If that soul doesn’t –or in the case of abortion–rumor is the baby won’t (indeed,the baby will cut certain emotional opportunites in the future for its mother…) — they are expendible. Do you see that in the chase, the competition for emotional resources (purely for those only encapsulated in non-creating speech) only death can follow? Get wounded, lose an arm, somehow through NO FAULT OF YOU OWN provide less emotional utiltiy to those who can only consume because they cannot create–and that very race will kill you–in the very middle of chasing and thinking to provide others with emotional bounty.

    Non-creating speech is the enemy because it makes it seem that everything can only be understood through a lens of non-creation and therefore consumption and therefore death in the end.

    You say, with such speech as you have that you are a Christian. There is no other Christian than those who have been non-metaphorically born again and who know God as Word–God says that verbatum.

    1 John 5:1 Every one that believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten of God; and every one that loves him that has begotten loves also him that is begotten of him.

    1 John 4:4-6 *Ye* are of God, children, and have overcome them, because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. They are of the world; for this reason they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God; he that knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

    You explictly say you are of God and have been begotten of Him in Jesus Christ–Creating Speech–as a real, literal new creation in Jesus Christ by so saying. Yet you also hold forth that emotional merchadise is more important than life–that emotional opportunity of the mother is more important than the life of the child in the womb. Those are two incompatibles because they are opposed AS two different speaks. God creates. Satan destroys.

    I know and you know that to those who have not heard God as Word, (they are deceived) that emotion is power and that to be weak or be perceived as emotionally poor in this world is get trampled on. But the worldly emotion of non-creating speech is deadly and consumes all that are in it. Emotional utility is a trap to kill all within it. It kills the soul in the womb because the soul cannot entertain the mother and has no voice. It kills the mother by making her a proponent of the lie fo emotional utility of another soul for herself so that when she is sick or injured, she then legitimately fears for her life.

    Choice sounds sweet–but it comes from a mouth that consumes all in its paths. When they say to you “I chose you with the same heart I chose God with–if it was good enough to chose God it’s good enough for you.” you will know that your life is not worth a nickel becuase emotions and feelings change with the wind as new emotional resources are found the older ones tapped out and worthless.

    Understand then that the soul in the womb is dependant on God being in the mother as Word (and those around her) and speaking Creating truth even before it is born or it comes forth to the slayer–the non-creating speech of emotional utility and scarcity. Yet there you are saying abortion is of Christ.(!) But those through whom Christ speaks (because He is actually in them) know nothing of the emotional utility “reality” of the pagan world and do all God does in them for both the creation and preservation of life.

    It may seem that you get to be an important person among those who seek Chrisians to speak death as the final solution to any restraint or impediment to emotional opportunity in the middle of a supposed race toward those limited amounts of that very opportunity in an environment of non-creating speech. But in the end, you already know, your life is worth nothing when your emotional utility to them runs dry because you have all together hunted the life of others for that exact reason.

    If you think you have free will–don’t have an accident. Don’t fall down and break your neck and get in any position–your fault, their fault, anybody’s fault–of less emotional food for others. Because if that happens, you know already the sand drops through the hourglass as the time draws closer when you will no longer be able to provide that emotional juice they MUST have. After all, the babies being killed in the womb didn’t provide that juice–that is the lie that killed them–that they could and therefore should.

    tim elder, jr

    1John 4:17 Herein has love been perfected with us that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, that even as *he* is, *we* also are in this world.

    In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen

    Comment by tim elder, jr — July 26, 2005 @ 9:09 pm

  34. Aerin, if you’re concerned that folks might use scripture incorrectly, perhaps you can explain why you ignore the next verse. It says if harm DOES follow, then the penalty is eye for an eye, even life for a life.

    I did in fact read the next verse, in several different translations, and didn’t think it relevant because it refers to injury to the woman rather than the baby, which would presumably have died following a miscarriage. Looking back, I see that it could be perceived as ambiguous– another reason to be cautious.

    Either way, I would not use a law verse from Exodus to support a claim– do that and you wind up explaining away the hundreds of other laws we ignore. It’s too easy for pro-choice opponents to knock down.

    Should we get past legalized infanticide? Should we get past 40 million dead babies? Should we get past it just so we can advocate socialist public policies?

    Of course not! When I saw “get past the emotional outrage,” I mean that to be EFFECTIVE in reducing abortions we have to think rationally about how to do that. Hence the points I mentioned about lower abortion rates in European countries, and the ineffectiveness of outlawing abortion. Yelling and screaming may make us feel better, but it doesn’t save children. The public policies you refer to as “socialist” are a means of reducing abortions, not the other way around.

    I did say in my first post that I am pro-life, and I am not justifying abortion. I am absolutely against abortion. I’m saying that even if we outlaw abortion, people will still have the choice to do it (again, see my post above regarding the overturning of Roe giving power over abortion restrictions to the states). We don’t want them to make that choice. Therefore we should provide alternatives and use education to change minds.

    To me, it comes down to this: Is my first priority making a law, preaching condemnation, or punishing the guilty? Or is it saving children? If it’s the second, strategies above and beyond legislation MUST be pursued.

    Comment by Aerin — July 27, 2005 @ 11:19 am

  35. Yeah. I mean, wasn’t Jesus’ ministry largely about teaching us to do the right
    thing because it is the right thing to do, rather than following a set of laws out of fear whether they make any sense to us or not?

    Comment by wildwest — July 27, 2005 @ 1:25 pm

  36. Aerin writes: because it refers to injury to the woman rather than the baby,

    So claim “scholars” who wish to njustify abortion. However, before this issue became a “religious” debate, scholars agreed that it refered to the baby. As a matter of fact, the overwhelming MAJORITY of biblical scholars agree on this point. Again we have to remember the INMENSE VALUE God and Jewish society placed on babies.

    To believe it refers to the woman only you have to ignore that this interpretation comes from “progresive” and liberal scholars.

    You have to pretend that God placed no value, and had no concern for the child. You have to pretend God does not take special care and interest in protecting the defenseless.

    Is that the God you serve?

    The actual Hebrew text implies harm to BOTH mother and child. For you to claim it refers to the mother only means God didn’t care what happened to the child.

    Are you really going to claim that? I didn’t think so…

    Comment by Rod — July 27, 2005 @ 7:45 pm

  37. Aerin writes: I mean that to be EFFECTIVE in reducing abortions

    Banning on demand abortions will greatly reduce the number of abortions. The person who “created” the back alley coat hanger abortion claim has now testified before Congress that the number was a complete and total fabrication. So don’t think banning abortions won’t make a SPECTACULAR difference. It will. And it will save babies. Millions of them.

    Comment by Rod — July 27, 2005 @ 7:50 pm

  38. Aerin writes: people will still have the choice to do it (again, see my post above regarding the overturning of Roe giving power over abortion restrictions to the states)

    If it is brought back to the states, then abortions will be by and large banned. You see, most folks are against on demand abortions. Which is why the liberals want to keep it at the federal level, where they can force it on everyone. And it is also why they would never allow it to be voted on. The abortion right was an i9nvention of an activist court. The “people” have learned since then the medical facts. And that truth has changed minds. Overturn Roe and you’ll see abortions decrease SUBSTANTIALLY. Its a naive MYTH to believe otherwise.

    Comment by Rod — July 27, 2005 @ 7:55 pm

  39. I guess I think it’s just a bad idea to hinge the pro-life argument on an ambiguous verse from the law codes in Exodus when there are so many of those laws that are said to be irrelevant to Christians (and not just by progressive or liberal groups).

    I wasn’t referring to any “back alley coat hanger guy” and his numbers, but to current studies that compare countries with legal abortion and those without it.

    I already discussed in an earlier post about what will happen with abortion rights turned over to states. Some states will not outlaw it (California, for example) and people from other states will flock there for abortions.

    Roe may very well be overturned. If it is, we’ll be seeing lots more babies born to poor women in red states. Are we ready to support those babies with prenatal care for their mothers, and day care once they are born so that their mothers can work, or other financial support so they can stay home? Or do we not care about babies once they’re born?

    Comment by Anonymous — July 28, 2005 @ 10:20 am

  40. Rereading my previous comment, I think my last statement is confusing and sounds contradictory. To clarify: the poorest women in red states (the ones that will choose to outlaw abortion) will be the only subgroup who won’t be able to get access to abortions by traveling to abortion-legal states or paying for illegal ones. Within that subgroup, I do think that there will be less abortions, and that’s great– if we’re willing to support those children.

    Poor moms and kids are the “widows and orphans” of our time.

    Comment by Anonymous — July 28, 2005 @ 10:41 am

  41. i have been watching this with much amusement. listening to christians debate abortion is definitely entertaining. you get to see just how unchristian they can become when someone doesn’t agree with them. amazingly it always seems to be those ‘red staters’ that get really hostile.

    what is even funnier is reading the logic. one minute the old testament law proves this but in the next instance jesus gets thrown in and the old testament law is fulfilled. that only lasts until someone needs another old testament law to prove a point. then they forget all about jesus.

    and it gets funnier when christians start complaining about welfare. the bible says to give to caesar what is caesar’s. christians shouldn’t complain about helping the poor or even paying their taxes. i think someone forgot to tell the ‘conservatives’ that though. they forget about giving with charity in their hearts and not letting the one hand know what the other is doing. they think those women and children should just starve to death. real jesus-like.

    most christians aren’t really christians. to be a christian one must be a follower of christ and most christians don’t even come close. even christ did not judge and said so himself. he did not judge even though his own judgement would be right. one day he will judge. he will judge those that refused to believe in him and those that claimed to but really didn’t. and you really don’t believe in christ when you don’t follow the example he set for us.

    christ was about love and loving one another. he was about grace and forgiveness. try showing a little sometime and treating each other as christ would treat you. you might find then that politics are of the world and all this ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ trash is just that. trash.

    Comment by pandora — July 31, 2005 @ 8:18 pm

  42. Pandora writes:

    “i have been watching this with much amusement. listening to christians debate abortion is definitely entertaining. you get to see just how unchristian they can become when someone doesn’t agree with them. amazingly it always seems to be those ‘red staters’ that get really hostile.”

    Are you serious, Pandora??? Lol. I didn’t just fall off of a red stater turnip truck last Tuesday. Both “Progressives” and Conservatives can be hostile.

    Pandora writes:

    “and it gets funnier when christians start complaining about welfare. the bible says to give to caesar what is caesar’s. christians shouldn’t complain about helping the poor or even paying their taxes. i think someone forgot to tell the ‘conservatives’ that though. they forget about giving with charity in their hearts and not letting the one hand know what the other is doing. they think those women and children should just starve to death. real jesus-like.”

    What seems “un-Jesus-like” to me are those who judge Conservatives to be uncaring about the needy because they feel it should be up to individuals to offer charity and support to them rather than government. I can cite, as I’m sure you can where Jesus calls upon us to help the poor and needy in their need, as well as widows and CHILDREN. Can you cite scripture wherein Jesus calls on the government to do that for the believer and wherein Jesus states that when government does so that it absolves the believer of any further personal responsibility? I didn’t think so.

    By the way, I find it is usually the ones who make generalizations about whole groups of people in an effort to incite anger in others to be responsible for the instigation of many arguments in debate. What did you intend to accomplish by labeling “red staters” as the ones who are more likely to be hostile? Further, in the same sentence that you state that Jesus, or God will judge people, you seem to be judging the personal relationships of “most” Christians by stating they aren’t really Christians at all. It just seems to me that you could stand to take a little of your own advice and watch out for the plank in your own eye, Sister, but then again, who the heck am I to judge!? Ah’m jest wun a them thar stoopid red state, rednecks, Ah gess, ya no, whut pays thar taxes and watches the guvmint spend tha proceeds ta tak care uv tha poor fer me sow Ah don’t hafta worry ’bout et. :::eyeroll:::

    Comment by Jacke — August 1, 2005 @ 4:31 pm

  43. I don’t recall Jesus saying anything at all about how the government should operate.

    Comment by wildwest — August 2, 2005 @ 4:36 am

  44. Wildwest writes:

    “I don’t recall Jesus saying anything at all about how the government should operate.”

    I don’t either, Wildwest, I do know that the Bible discusses how we should live under submission to authorities.

    My point was that for liberals, or “progressives,” whatever they are calling themselves today, to assume that because some conservatives would prefer that we follow Jesus’ teachings that we should help the poor and needy, widows and children on a personal basis, as his teachings were intended, rather than through government entitlements translates that they don’t care at all about the poor and needy and in fact as “Pandora” stated: “they think those women and children should just starve to death” was way over the top, and I believe an intentional effort to start an argument. I stand by that remark.

    Not everyone has the same political beliefs regarding how best to administer assistance to the poor, but her suggesting because some people don’t view government entitlements as the way to administer assistance that they just don’t care about the poor at all and want them to die is ignorant AT BEST.

    Comment by Jacke — August 2, 2005 @ 7:46 am

  45. Pandora, afew thoughts come to mind.

    Jesus says to give to Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar. Yet He didn’t say HOW MUCH belonged to Ceasar. That would mean the amount is to be set by whom? Do you think its against Jesus’ teaching to lower taxes? Show me where scripture teaches that if the govt. wants to tax you to death, that we have no choice but to accept it without availing ourselves of the system of govt. created to represent us. Then we can discuss how govt. wealth redistribution schemes are what Jesus was talking about when He commanded us to care for the poor.

    However, if there is a question I’d like you to answer, it would be this: Do you think God and Jesus, who are one and the same, place no value on the unborn? Do you think they are apathetic towards a procedure that destroys their creation on a whim? I asked it before and received no answer. So I’m wondering if you have one.

    Comment by Rod — August 3, 2005 @ 5:29 am

  46. Rod, good luck on getting an answer to your question.

    Comment by Jacke — August 3, 2005 @ 7:29 am

  47. Levitt’s abortion-cut-crime theory falls apart when you take an independent look at the government’s crime data. Among the many facts Levitt covers up is that, in reality, the teen murder rate tripled among the first cohort born after the legalization of abortion.

    For all the facts Levitt doesn’t want you to know, see http://www.iSteve.com/abortion.htm

    Comment by Steve Sailer — August 15, 2005 @ 11:52 pm

  48. […] liberal christian, can’t happen. Now, closer to home, some comments I received from Don: You are not a Christian. You may think your [sic] a Christian. You may be just trying to d […]

    Pingback by I am a Christian Too » — October 23, 2005 @ 7:53 pm

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