July 26, 2005

Straight to the Point: Pro-Choice or Pro-Life?

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 9:07 pm

Update June 30: While the abortion debate has been going on here, a similar debate has been going on in response to Father Jake’s post on abortion at the Christian Alliance for Progress. Check it out and add your thoughts.


The abortion discussion has been raging on among commenters to this blog, and it is no longer entirely respectful. Before I get into my personal views on this topic, a warning — I will delete any comments that include personal attacks, and the commenter will be permanently blocked from commenting here in the future.

In my previous post on abortion, my intent was to highlight the moral complexity of the decision to abort. Many commenters assumed from that post that I’m pro-choice, which isn’t true. The abortion-on-demand argument misses something very important — when a woman conceives, something has happened that can never be undone. The world has changed in a fundamental way. A potential life exists where none did before. To treat abortion as a trivial clinical procedure is to deny the fundamental fact that something very profound is taking place.

Pro-life advocates argue that a fetus is a human life, while pro-choice advocates argue it is not. I find this clouds the issue rather than clarifying it. A fetus is not a human being, at least not yet, but it is far more than inert matter. We need to see a fetus as it is — not yet a fully developed human being, but much more than superfluous tissue. So I won’t argue the point that a fetus is a human life, mainly because I find this distinction irrelevant. A fetus is what it is — a potential human being, and as such deserves protection and care in its own right. Given this, I start with a strong opposition to abortion.

But is abortion always immoral? Is it always counter to the will of God? In the case of incest or rape, it’s hard to imagine that God’s will is always for the mother, already a victim, to be forced to carry the fetus to term.

Unfortunately, the Bible is silent on abortion. Yes, I know there are verses that can be used to make the case against abortion, but if abortion is so antithetical to God’s will in all cases, why doesn’t the Bible come out and say so? Since it doesn’t, we can only look to the examples of compassion and love shown us by Jesus. Love and compassion need to be shown to the fetus as well as the mother, but still, rape and incest seem to me situations where abortion may be in accordance with God’s will.

Are there other situations where abortion is moral? If abortion is immoral sometimes, but moral others, where do we draw the line? I don’t know. And this is why, in spite of my personal opposition to abortion, I am also opposed to criminalizing abortion.

Many argue that a woman controls her own body. This is clearly true, not only as a statement of principle, but as a statement of empirical fact. Women do control their bodies, as demonstrated by the high number of illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade. Women will always be the ones to make decisions about whether to continue their pregnancy or not, regardless of the law.

Given that I don’t know how to draw the line between moral and immoral abortions, plus the fact that I’m a male and can never experience pregnancy for myself, I am really uncomfortable with laws that restrict a mother’s ability to choose to abort.

So there you have it, in all its self-contradictory, ambiguous moral uncertainty: I am opposed to abortion, and opposed to making abortion illegal.

I would feel a bit embarassed by straddling the fence on this issue and not clearly coming down on one side or the other, except that as it turns out, my denomination has taken the same stand. From the ELCA Social Statement on abortion:

The position of this church is that, in cases where the life of the mother is threatened, where pregnancy results from rape or incest, or where the embryo or fetus has lethal abnormalities incompatible with life, abortion prior to viability should not be prohibited by law or by lack of public funding of abortions for low income women. On the other hand, this church supports legislation that prohibits abortions that are performed after the fetus is determined to be viable, except when the mother’s life is threatened or when lethal abnormalities indicate the prospective newborn will die very soon.

Beyond these situations, this church neither supports nor opposes laws prohibiting abortion.

Unlike gay marriage and the ordination of gays, I think my church is right on target on this one.

Just because the mothers must make the difficult moral decision regarding abortion doesn’t mean they will always do so in accordance with God’s will. This is why, as I stated in my previous post, we must work to help women avoid unwanted pregnancies. Abstinence-only programs are not the answer. Young people must be told to abstain if they can, but use a condom if they can’t. The way to make sure that mothers make the right decision about abortion is to make sure they never have to consider it to begin with.

81 Comments

  1. Third try:

    Gary writes:

    “And what is our responsibility? What is required of us? “He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)”

    Gary,

    What is our responsibility? What should we be doing to be responsible human beings? Please, I would refer you to the comments of Laura, posted on 7/30. I don’t believe I could say anything any more profound and relevant than she:

    Laura writes:

    “My own personal belief is that it has come to the point when people who support choice have to realize the advances in science and knowledge have surpassed personal moral choices. Thomas Jefferson once said:

    “I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know also that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also and keep pace with the times.”

    Women DO have a choice. They CAN have control over their bodies. Our society must reeducate itself about when the appropriate time to assume that control begins. In the years when back street abortions occurred, women didn’t have the same kind of access to birth control they do now. Also, women were more prone to be ashamed because of societal views toward sex. This is no longer a problem. All we have to do is turn on our television, or pick up the latest woman’s magazine to see women openly celebrate their sexuality without fear of reprisal or condemnation. How can women have advanced in this manner and stay at a stand still when it comes taking a proactive stance over their bodies reproductive process?

    Even the uneducated are educated enough to know when life begins. In our age of scientific enlightenment, we have seen how early a fetus can survive out of the womb. We have got to acknowledge that life does begin, and has value much sooner that previously believed. It is barbaric to ignore such things.

    Access to birth control is easy. It is everywhere, and for people who can’t afford it, birth control is free, with the help of Planned Parenthood. There are very few excuses for not taking advantage of what is available.

    Not every pregnancy is going to occur out of carelessness. Some are going to happen for reasons beyond a woman’s, or even a young girl’s, control. So, with this in mind, abortions should be limited to rare circumstances.

    Restricting abortions would not bring back backstreet abortion clinics, it would force individuals to deal with birth control issues BEFORE pregnancy, instead of after pregnancy. It is time for the people to catch up with science.”

    Comment by Jacke — August 3, 2005 @ 7:33 am

  2. The second commandment of the teaching: You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not seduce boys. You shall not commit fornication. You shall not steal. You shall not practice magic. You shall not use potions. You shall not procure [an] abortion, nor destroy a newborn child (Didache 2:1–2 [A.D. 70]).

    Comment by Darel — August 3, 2005 @ 7:53 pm

  3. Fourth try. Since I can’t get my two separate posts to go through, I’m going to try sending them in
    sections:

    Gary writes:

    “Perhaps the most persuasive argument for abortion is that God created women’s bodies to spontaneously abort a fetus when there might be a problem. (It is estimated today that more pregnancies are lost spontaneously than are actually carried to term. http://www.fertilitysolution.com/spontabor.htm) This tells us that God’s plan not only allows for, but calls for, and is designed to, instigate an abortion of a fetus not properly equipped to handle life. To abort a non-viable fetus is not to end a life, but to prevent a tragic, ill-equipped life from occurring.

    The Pro-Choice door is open. Who should be allowed to step through to prevent a tragic, ill equipped life from occurring? Certainly victims of rape and incest. What of the abused wife, the teenager with the broken condom, the mother of four or more who could not raise another, and all the other heart breaking scenarios and their tragic, ill equipped lives if forced against their will to carry to term?”

    Gary,

    I’m as a member of political groups on AOL, it isn’t often that I get the opportunity to discuss the issue of abortion and whether it is right or wrong from a purely Christian perspective. I would not be able to ask persons in those groups these questions which I now pose to you because they would not have the same meaning to one who is not a Christian. I am assuming that you are, since you are commenting on a Web site titled “I am a Christian Too,.” are a Christian. I have asked many questions of people who are commenting on this site. Many of my questions have been ignored entirely or deflected by some other topic of discussion, such as whether the war in which we are currently engaged in Iraq is a “just” war and how I can be against abortion and yet justify capital punishment. I have patiently and willingly taken time out of my life to give my best effort to answering any and all questions posed to me. I must say that the exchange would be more rewarding if the same consideration was given to questions which I have posed to this group of Christians. Nevertheless, even though the track record hasn’t been very good for getting my questions answered, I am going to give you a chance to answer some questions, and yes, I ask these questions in order to make a point, anyway, I hope my point will be taken.

    Comment by Jacke — August 4, 2005 @ 6:58 am

  4. …QUESTIONS FOR GARY OR ANY OTHER WHO CARES TO ANSWER:

    Do you believe God is sovereign?

    Do you believe that all things work together for good to those who love God?

    Do you believe that God is not the author of evil ~ but allows bad things to happen in the lives of believers and non-believers to draw them closer to Him?

    I do believe in all of those circumstances. Further, I believe that the case you are trying to make that God, under some circumstances, allows a woman’s body to NATURALLY abort a baby does not imply that man has a right to perpetrate an invasive medical procedure to kill and remove a baby. Show me where in scripture it is implied that, should man discover a child is not viable, He would approve of man entering into the mother’s womb, invasively, to kill a baby? Further, what about the majority of abortions which are undertaken, not because the baby is not viable, but rather because the baby’s timing is an inconvenience to the mother at the time of his/her conception. Your supposition is quite lacking, in my humble opinion.

    Comment by Jacke — August 4, 2005 @ 6:59 am

  5. I am trying to send my two comments in sections since I can’t get them to go through otherwise, thiswas the first section:

    Gary writes:

    “Perhaps the most persuasive argument for abortion is that God created women’s bodies to spontaneously abort a fetus when there might be a problem. (It is estimated today that more pregnancies are lost spontaneously than are actually carried to term. http://www.fertilitysolution.com/spontabor.htm) This tells us that God’s plan not only allows for, but calls for, and is designed to, instigate an abortion of a fetus not properly equipped to handle life. To abort a non-viable fetus is not to end a life, but to prevent a tragic, ill-equipped life from occurring.

    The Pro-Choice door is open. Who should be allowed to step through to prevent a tragic, ill equipped life from occurring? Certainly victims of rape and incest. What of the abused wife, the teenager with the broken condom, the mother of four or more who could not raise another, and all the other heart breaking scenarios and their tragic, ill equipped lives if forced against their will to carry to term?”

    Gary,

    I’m as a member of political groups on AOL, it isn’t often that I get the opportunity to discuss the issue of abortion and whether it is right or wrong from a purely Christian perspective.

    Comment by Jacke — August 4, 2005 @ 7:01 am

  6. Second section:

    … I would not be able to ask persons in those groups these questions which I now pose to you because they would not have the same meaning to one who is not a Christian. I am assuming that you are, since you are commenting on a Web site titled “I am a Christian Too,.” are a Christian. I have asked many questions of people who are commenting on this site. Many of my questions have been ignored entirely or deflected by some other topic of discussion, such as whether the war in which we are currently engaged in Iraq is a “just” war and how I can be against abortion and yet justify capital punishment. I have patiently and willingly taken time out of my life to give my best effort to answering any and all questions posed to me. I must say that the exchange would be more rewarding if the same consideration was given to questions which I have posed to this group of Christians. Nevertheless, even though the track record hasn’t been very good for getting my questions answered, I am going to give you a chance to answer some questions, and yes, I ask these questions in order to make a point, anyway, I hope my point will be taken.

    Comment by Jacke — August 4, 2005 @ 7:02 am

  7. Second section:

    … I would not be able to ask persons in those groups these questions which I now pose to you because they would not have the same meaning to one who is not a Christian. I am assuming that you are, since you are commenting on a Web site titled “I am a Christian Too,.” are a Christian. I have asked many questions of people who are commenting on this site. Many of my questions have been ignored entirely or deflected by some other topic of discussion, such as whether the war in which we are currently engaged in Iraq is a “just” war and how I can be against abortion and yet justify capital punishment….

    Comment by Jacke — August 4, 2005 @ 7:03 am

  8. (2nd)

    …a purely Christian perspective. I would not be able to ask persons in those groups these questions which I now pose to you because they would not have the same meaning to one who is not a Christian. I am assuming that you are, since you are commenting on a Web site titled “I am a Christian Too,.” are a Christian….

    Comment by Jacke — August 4, 2005 @ 7:06 am

  9. BULL! I can’t get my posts through. Thanks for the opportunity to debate but I can’t even get three or four lined of the next section through. I don’t know if this will get through or not. The two previous posts are out of the order in which they were written, and totally incomplete. 😛

    Comment by Jacke — August 4, 2005 @ 7:09 am

  10. Hey Jacke,

    I thought you didn’t want to play with me anymore….

    Comment by Gary — August 5, 2005 @ 1:55 pm

  11. If the Democratic Party would adopt a position that matches the ELCA’s, they would be representing the point of view of perhaps a majority of voters, and they probably would be able to stop the permanent Republican takeover of all three branches of government at both the federal and state level. Basically, no abortions past the age of viability, which now is in the neighborhood of 20 weeks. Virtually all the other circumstances are covered in that one requirement. Actually, they would virtually all be covered if that line was moved back to 10 weeks.

    Personally, I think the fetus is a human being and that abortion should be flat-out illegal. But I also think that *both* sides’ unmoving commitment to absolute purity of their position has resulted in many, many deaths of preborn children, and to a political situation that is death-dealing to scores of postborn people as well.

    I would rather see postborn people protected from war, poverty, and preventable medical and enviornmental disaster and preborn people protected from abortion from, say, the 10th week of pregnancy on than to see nonwealthy postborn people be regarded as entirely expendable while preborn people are always protected by law.

    Which reminds me: Kerry wasn’t exactly about protecting people from the war on terror; nor did he seem much concerned about the economic welfare and thus the ultimately the lives of people poorer than middle class. The Democratic Party has a long way to go to earn accolades for its protection of postborn people. But its far more likely to make changes in that direction than the other party.

    Meg

    Comment by Meg — August 7, 2005 @ 3:12 pm

  12. Clarification: Note that the ELCA position as stated above calls for allowing previability abortions only in the extreme cases of rape, incest, and so on; and postviability abortions only in the case of extreme fetal abnormality or impending death of the mother. The former can be determined well before viability, thus my mention of the 10th week. This position answers the concerns of the probable majority that are in the middle of the spectrum on abortion.

    Sorry for the post-again habit.

    Meg

    Comment by Meg — August 7, 2005 @ 3:17 pm

  13. Jacke –

    I’m sorry, but I’ve been away from the internet for a week on vacation, and for some reason your posts seem to have gotten snagged by the spam filter. I’ll have to look into it…there’s no obvious reason why your comments would get flagged. I’ll let you know what I figure out.

    In the meantime, I’ve approved all your posts. Again, sorry, but sometimes we need to unplug from the web! I thought I had it set up so that legitimate comments would get posted, but I guess not.

    Comment by Bob — August 8, 2005 @ 4:29 pm

  14. Come along as we chase rabbits…

    Jacke wrote,
    “I will say this, the 15 year old pregnant girl would also have the option of carrying the baby to term and putting it up for adoption. I note you failed to mention that option. You present it is as though her only choices are to have an abortion or have motherhood forced upon her. That is not the case.”

    An excellent point! Of course, you are absolutely correct! Choosing to have the baby is also a choice. It turns out you are Pro-Choice after all! Welcome to the Club. The meetings are on Tuesday evenings. There is coffee cake and refreshments on the table to the right of the door. Choose-Choice buttons and T-shirts are on the table to the left. Sign-up sheets for Sunday’s picnic are on the back table. Can we count on you for your famous Pro-Choice-Potato-Salad?

    Jacke wrote,
    “I am waiting for a reply as to how a Christian can reconcile abortion with their faith, I remain very skeptical of the position, but considering they do not seem to want to have a discussion about it other than to state that abortion discussions are difficult and complex, I doubt that any dialog will ensue.”

    The dialog has ensued, cast your doubts away! Regarding the reconciliation, I have already done so. From a previous post:

    “Perhaps the most persuasive argument against abortion comes from Jeremiah 1:5(NASB) “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” This tells us that there is an individual identity of the child in the womb. There is a life. It has value as a life.

    Perhaps the most persuasive argument for abortion is that God created women’s bodies to spontaneously abort a fetus when there might be a problem. (It is estimated today that more pregnancies are lost spontaneously than are actually carried to term. ) This tells us that God’s plan not only allows for, but calls for, and is designed to, instigate an abortion of a fetus not properly equipped to handle life. To abort a non-viable fetus is not to end a life, but to prevent a tragic, ill-equipped
    life from occurring.

    The Pro-Choice door is open. Who should be allowed to step through to prevent a tragic, ill equipped life from occurring? Certainly victims of rape and incest. What of the abused wife, the teenager with the broken condom, the mother of four or more who could not raise another, and all the other heart breaking scenarios and their tragic, ill equipped lives if forced against their will to carry to term?”

    This allows for the value of life, and recognizes that God’s Creation has provided for circumstances when the pregnancy is not carried to term to prevent a tragic, ill equipped life from occurring. Expanding this approach is not inconsistent with Christianity. The reconciliation has occurred; the challenge has been met. You may not agree with the approach, and you may feel that you have found holes in the reasoning, but like Thomas, you cannot deny the reality before you, holes and all.

    Jacke wrote,
    “Your supposition is quite lacking, in my humble opinion.”

    In your humble opinion, my supposition is lacking? That’s fine; I can live with your disappointment.

    Jacke wrote,
    “Do you believe God is sovereign?”

    I need to know just what you mean by “sovereign.”

    Jacke wrote,
    “Do you believe that all things work together for good to those who love God?”

    An excellent question. Allow me to ask one of you first that will provide clarification as to how I might answer your question. Do you believe that all things work for the good for those who love God, when “all things” might include an abortion?

    Jacke wrote,
    “Do you believe that God is not the author of evil ~ but allows bad things to happen in the lives of believers and non-believers to draw them closer to Him? I do…”

    I believe that God is not the author of evil. I do not believe that He allows things to happen in the lives of believers and non-believers to draw them closer to Him.

    Jacke wrote,
    “BULL! I can’t get my posts through.”

    Jacke, if you believe that all things work for the good to those that love God, then the above situation works for the good, and should not cause you to lose patience, but rather provide an opportunity for you to thank God for allowing it to happen in your life, so that you may draw closer to Him. Don’t you agree?

    Jacke wrote,
    “Gary…I’m not interested in chasing rabbits with you.”

    Jacke, if you are referencing Lewis Carol, then I’m impressed. If you are referencing Grace Slick, then I’m doubly impressed.

    It’s been fun, but now, where did that rabbit get to…?

    P.s. I recognize that this post is skating on thin ice in regards to the forbidden “personal,” and that I might get booted for going over the line, (just how many mixed metaphors do I dare include?) but I just hope that I’m still on the list for the “Bob went on Hiatus, and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt.”

    Comment by Gary — August 8, 2005 @ 6:12 pm

  15. >>Jacke, if you believe that all things work for the good to those that love God, then the above situation works for the good, and should not cause you to lose patience, but rather provide an opportunity for you to thank God for allowing it to happen in your life, so that you may draw closer to Him. Don’t you agree?

    Comment by wildwest — August 9, 2005 @ 8:09 am

  16. Shoot. I wrote much more, but got cut off after “agree?” Now I can’t get back to it, so I can’t type it again. Oh, well. I’m not going to rewrite it. I’ll take this as an opportunity to learn patience. 🙂

    Comment by wildwest — August 9, 2005 @ 8:12 am

  17. Jacke, I’ll be happy to respond to Laura’s post. The pertinent points were made in the final two paragraphs.

    “Not every pregnancy is going to occur out of carelessness. Some are going to happen for reasons beyond a woman’s, or even a young girl’s, control. So, with this in mind, abortions should be limited to rare circumstances.”

    I agree. Abortions should be very rare occurrences.

    “Restricting abortions would not bring back back-street abortion clinics, it would force individuals to deal with birth control issues BEFORE pregnancy, instead of after pregnancy. It is time for the people to catch up with science.”

    I disagree. If you look at the huge amount of money being made by contraceptive companies, you could come to no other conclusion than that people, without having to be forced, are dealing with birth control issues before pregnancy on a massive scale. People and science are caught up just fine.

    And now in response to your thoughts:

    Jacke wrote,
    “—–”.

    I can understand how you would be able to believe this. It is very comforting to know God is in control, and that nothing happens without it being His express will.

    However, the second part of your paragraph doesn’t necessarily flow from the first. Believing that God is all those things that you believe Him to be in the first part doesn’t mean that we should abdicate our responsibilities when making the difficult choices:

    1. There are those who believe that we shouldn’t consult doctors, use medicines, and have operations, etc. because it should be left up to Him alone, who “should have the sovereign responsibility as a fair, loving and just God to decide” who should be sick and recover, and who should be sick and die. In regards to these people, “It is time for the people to catch up with science.”

    2. God gave us the gift of free will. The accompaniment to free will is the responsibility to use it wisely. To hide behind His sovereign responsibility when charged with making the difficult decisions is to reject his gift.

    Jacke wrote,
    “I have seen the testimony of many women who have given birth to less than perfect babies, babies with Down’s Syndrome, babies with Autism, babies with mental retardation, etc., who testify that their very special children have given them blessings untold, blessings which they never would have received if they had aborted the child, or even if they had had a “normal” child in that child’s stead.”

    The testimony of a parent of a special needs child can be very moving, and I would never deny the “untold blessings” that the parents have received. There is no argument there.

    “Have you ever been to a “Special Olympics,” Gary? Have you ever witnessed a Down’s Syndrome child fight and struggle to win a race, even falling to their knees and crawling on the ground because crossing that finish line is so important to them? Have you ever seen the joy on the face of one of these special” children who have won the race? What an amazing gift of God!!! What a testimony they give to the rest of us about the simple joys of life!!! Gary, these children may not be like you or I but who should make the decision whether they have a right to life or not? Me? You? Or God? Tell one of those children who just won a race that you feel that it would have been better had their parent(s) been saved from a “tragic, ill-equipped life.”

    Jacke, my cousin is a thirty-year-old Down’s syndrome child. I have volunteered for the Special Olympics in our area. My wife is a sign language interpreter for the hearing impaired, and deals with the multiple-handicapped on a daily basis. We are very active in the Deaf Community. Does this give me sufficient “Handicapped Credentials” to have an opinion?

    My opinion is that it is the woman’s right to choose. It is her burden, her responsibility, and her terrible gift of free will.

    Again, if she chooses to abort a non-viable fetus, it does not end a life, but prevents a tragic, ill-equipped life from occurring. If we were to revere the “potential for life” in the not-yet viable fetus, then logically we would provide the same reverence for the woman’s not-yet fertilized egg, and save each one every month so that a life might occur sometime. We would also be required to revere and save every sperm within every man, for they too are potential life just waiting for viability.

    Jacke, I am not asking you to agree with me. I am not trying to convince you of the righteousness of my position. What I am doing is responding to your request: “I am waiting for a reply as to how a Christian can reconcile abortion with their faith.” I have done so. I consider this as part of the admonishment in 1Peter: 3 “Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you…”

    1Corinth:12, 13 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
    So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

    Comment by Gary — August 9, 2005 @ 5:28 pm

  18. Gary writes:

    Jacke wrote,
    “BULL! I can’t get my posts through.”

    Jacke, if you believe that all things work for the good to those that love God, then the above situation works for the good, and should not cause you to lose patience, but rather provide an opportunity for you to thank God for allowing it to happen in your life, so that you may draw closer to Him. Don’t you agree?

    wildwest writes:

    >>Jacke, if you believe that all things work for the good to those that love God, then the above situation works for the good, and should not cause you to lose patience, but rather provide an opportunity for you to thank God for allowing it to happen in your life, so that you may draw closer to Him. Don’t you agree?

    Well, hello, guys! Sorry I stayed away so long! Looks like you guys have been having a lot of fun “picking on me” while I was away. Lol. Yes, I do agree that God had a reason and a purpose for not allowing my posts to go through at their time of writing. Perhaps to take a break from this highly cerebral issue or perhaps to teach me that I’m not really necessary to the debate at all. Perhaps he had a time table of His own, who knows but God? And dang it all! Even though I know that God has a purpose for all things and that all things work together for good for those who love God I’m still an imperfect human being, and in the words of a much beloved fellow chatter I know, “see how that works?” Lol. I haven’t read all the posts yet, but if you guys will continue to practice your superior patience, I’ll eventually get around to giving your questions a shot.

    And thank you Bob, for straightening things out. 🙂

    Comment by Jacke — August 10, 2005 @ 6:33 pm

  19. Gary writes:

    Jacke wrote,
    “Gary…I’m not interested in chasing rabbits with you.”

    Jacke, if you are referencing Lewis Carol, then I’m impressed. If you are referencing Grace Slick, then I’m doubly impressed.

    Actually, I am a huge Lewis CARROLL fan and I like the Grace Slick song, to which you refer, as well. :O

    Comment by Jacke — August 10, 2005 @ 6:37 pm

  20. Gary writes:

    Jacke wrote,
    “Do you believe that all things work together for good to those who love God?”

    An excellent question. Allow me to ask one of you first that will provide clarification as to how I might answer your question. Do you believe that all things work for the good for those who love God, when “all things” might include an abortion?

    Yes, I do. However, I would find it a great irony that someone who truly loves God would choose to have an abortion in the first place, as opposed to other options available. Now, I understand that some will probably take offense at that statement but I am sharing my honest feelings here, and, as YOU so eloquently stated above, Gary:

    “I can live with your disappointment.” 😉

    Comment by Jacke — August 10, 2005 @ 6:44 pm

  21. First John writes:

    “Also, Jacke, as has been alluded to elsewhere, it’s not as simple as “conservatives are honest, progressives are hypocrites”. From the progressive side, it appears that conservatives are themselves hypocrites because they support war, which kills people who are (unarguably) persons, while opposing abortion on the grounds that it kills foetuses, which might be people. This is an absolutely fundamental tension that needs just as much justification as the “progressive” positions on
    abortion.” ”

    Then, after I have addressed John’s perceived “hypocrisy” on my part, by addressing the issue to all about capital punishment and war, since I, or people who believe like I do, are being labeled as “hypocrites.” Thinking that perhaps if I do so then someone will fulfill my own request that progressives justify and reconcile abortion via the Word of God….

    John writes:

    “Jacke,
    I’m not going to address capital punishment or just war, except to point out that both have been opposed by a vocal minority and (often) majority of Christians throughout church history (the early church was, for example, staunchly pacifist). The point here, though, is that killing is in both cases justified on grounds that fall far short of the demands you make for justifying abortion – neither saves the life of another person; even for a just war, there is no direct correlation between the people killed and any lives saved.”

    John, I would now remind you that you were the one who suggested my position was hypocritical and since it appears that many in this group of fellow believers are reluctant to answer any of my questions until I have exhaustively covered THEIR questions first (a common liberal trait, I might add, and therefore I am quite used to the trend) I did just as you required of me.

    To comment on your above statements, I would take issue with your statement “(the early church was, for example, staunchly pacifist)” based upon evidence I provided in a previous post and taking into account that your “church” affiliation may not be the same as my “church” affiliation. Are you speaking of your “denomination” or American history of Christianity, John?

    I would also take issue with your statement “killing is in both cases justified on grounds that fall far short of the demands you make for justifying abortion – neither saves the life of another person; even for a just war, there is no direct correlation between the people killed and any lives saved.” War statistics do not, unfortunately, measure how many future lives may or may not have been saved by the removal of a brutal dictator such as Saddam Hussein proved to be. I think it would be wonderful if statistics did project the amount of lives which might have been saved due to the toppling of such a regime and I am certain that a great many lives will have been saved, however, I have no way to prove how many and you, Sir, have no way to prove that lives have not been saved at all.

    You put just war and capital punishment on the table, I am merely following up on that, just as you requested.

    Comment by Jacke — August 10, 2005 @ 7:17 pm

  22. Gary writes:

    “Jacke wrote,
    “I will say this, the 15 year old pregnant girl would also have the option of carrying the baby to term and putting it up for adoption. I note you failed to mention that option. You present it is as though her only choices are to have an abortion or have motherhood forced upon her. That is not the case.”

    An excellent point! Of course, you are absolutely correct! Choosing to have the baby is also a choice. It turns out you are Pro-Choice after all! Welcome to the Club. The meetings are on Tuesday evenings. There is coffee cake and refreshments on the table to the right of the door. Choose-Choice buttons and T-shirts are on the table to the left. Sign-up sheets for Sunday’s picnic are on the back table. Can we count on you for your famous Pro-Choice-Potato-Salad?”

    You know, Gary, you have a penchant for making statements for me rather than asking me questions that I don’t particularly like, but since I have no control over that I guess I’ll just have to allow you to be disrespectful and try to clarify and show you why your “statements” are wrong.

    Now, you say “It turns out you are Pro-Choice after all!” It’s a bit of a twist on words I suppose, wildwest had earlier asked what it means to be Pro-life, I ask you what does it mean to be pro-choice? It seems to me that a Pro-lifer has every choice available to him or her that a pro-choicer has except for abortion as an acceptable form of birth control, after the fact of pregnancy. So, to me, a pro choicer is one who wants abortion to continue to be available on demand, for any reason, whereas a pro lifer is a pro choice person too, but merely excludes abortion as an acceptable choice. So, you can play the semantic game all you want but it won’t change the fact that I am against abortion on demand for birth control as a viable choice. I would ask you nicely to try to curb your inclination to make statements for me if I thought it would make a difference but I am willing to accept that little bad habit of yours for the sake of debate, no thanks necessary. 😉

    P.S. I do make a mean potato salad!

    Comment by Jacke — August 10, 2005 @ 9:49 pm

  23. Gary writes:

    “The dialog has ensued, cast your doubts away! Regarding the reconciliation, I have already done so. From a previous post:

    “Perhaps the most persuasive argument against abortion comes from Jeremiah 1:5(NASB) “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” This tells us that there is an individual identity of the child in the womb. There is a life. It has value as a life.

    Perhaps the most persuasive argument for abortion is that God created women’s bodies to spontaneously abort a fetus when there might be a problem. (It is estimated today that more pregnancies are lost spontaneously than are actually carried to term. ) This tells us that God’s plan not only allows for, but calls for, and is designed to, instigate an abortion of a fetus not properly equipped to handle life. To abort a non-viable fetus is not to end a life, but to prevent a tragic, ill-equipped
    life from occurring.

    The Pro-Choice door is open. Who should be allowed to step through to prevent a tragic, ill equipped life from occurring? Certainly victims of rape and incest. What of the abused wife, the teenager with the broken condom, the mother of four or more who could not raise another, and all the other heart breaking scenarios and their tragic, ill equipped lives if forced against their will to carry to term?”

    This allows for the value of life, and recognizes that God’s Creation has provided for circumstances when the pregnancy is not carried to term to prevent a tragic, ill equipped life from occurring. Expanding this approach is not inconsistent with Christianity. The reconciliation has occurred; the challenge has been met. You may not agree with the approach, and you may feel that you have found holes in the reasoning, but like Thomas, you cannot deny the reality before you, holes and all.

    Jacke wrote,
    “Your supposition is quite lacking, in my humble opinion.”

    In your humble opinion, my supposition is lacking? That’s fine; I can live with your disappointment.”

    Posting back a statement I made claiming your supposition is lacking while otherwise ignoring the reasons I gave for being dissatisfied with your supposition isn’t awfully impressive Gary…here were the rest of my thoughts on the subject, any comment?:

    I do believe in all of those circumstances. Further, I believe that the case you are trying to make that God, under some circumstances, allows a woman’s body to NATURALLY abort a baby does not imply that man has a right to perpetrate an invasive medical procedure to kill and remove a baby. Show me where in scripture it is implied that, should man discover a child is not viable, He would approve of man entering into the mother’s womb, invasively, to kill a baby? Further, what about the majority of abortions which are undertaken, not because the baby is not viable, but rather because the baby’s timing is an inconvenience to the mother at the time of his/her conception. Your supposition is quite lacking, in my humble opinion.

    Comment by Jacke — August 12, 2005 @ 11:33 am

  24. Gary writes:

    “Jacke wrote,
    “Do you believe God is sovereign?”

    I need to know just what you mean by “sovereign.””

    If you do not have a hard copy of a dictionary, Gary, there are online dictionaries available.

    Comment by Jacke — August 12, 2005 @ 11:36 am

  25. Gary writes:

    “I believe that God is not the author of evil. I do not believe that He allows things to happen in the lives of believers and non-believers to draw them closer to Him.”

    You don’t believe that God allows certain unhappy situations to occur in our lives in order for us to grow in the faith? How do you explain bad things happening to good people? Have you read the book of Job? Interesting response.

    Comment by Jacke — August 12, 2005 @ 11:40 am

  26. Gary writes:

    “I can understand how you would be able to believe this. It is very comforting to know God is in control, and that nothing happens without it being His express will.

    However, the second part of your paragraph doesn’t necessarily flow from the first. Believing that God is all those things that you believe Him to be in the first part doesn’t mean that we should abdicate our responsibilities when making the difficult choices:

    1. There are those who believe that we shouldn’t consult doctors, use medicines, and have operations, etc. because it should be left up to Him alone, who “should have the sovereign responsibility as a fair, loving and just God to decide” who should be sick and recover, and who should be sick and die. In regards to these people, “It is time for the people to catch up with science.”

    2. God gave us the gift of free will. The accompaniment to free will is the responsibility to use it wisely. To hide behind His sovereign responsibility when charged with making the difficult decisions is to reject his gift.”

    I am not one who believes that we should just allow a person to live or die without medical treatment and assume the outcome is God’s will. God is the creator who gifted man with his abilities, to assume that God would not want a Doctor to exercise his knowledge to SAVE lives? No, I can’t agree with that mentality, I would, however, agree that should a sick person avail themselves of a Doctor to cure some fatal disease and the Dr., having done all that is in his/her power to save that person that whether that person lives or dies that God’s will was done for his own mysterious reasons. I have also specified repeatedly that in a case where there must be a choice made between the life of the baby or the life of the mother, that I would support abortion to save that mother’s life. My beliefs are consistent in this regard. It is a question of sustaining life in both of the cases you outlined, as opposed to abortion, which provides for the death of a fetus, in many cases, actually the majority of cases, merely to end the life of the fetus when not necessary to save the life of the mother. The difference is clear to me, life I support, death by the intentional action of man for any reason other than to save a life, I do not support.

    Neither have I ever stated that man is to sit on his haunches, never making a decision or acting on behalf of himself because a sovereign God will, what? Take care of him? Well, yes and no. I do believe that we have a responsibility to ourselves and the community, at large, to act and make wise decisions. The key word in that sentence is WISE, and I think we, you and I, have a fundamental disagreement about the wisdom of killing an innocent life in the womb because the life it represents didn’t come along at time of our choosing.

    You seem to both agree and disagree with Laura. First saying that abortion should happen rarely and yet drawing back at the idea of restricting it to only cases of, let’s say, the impending death of the mother, incest or even rape.

    Again I ask, since we agree that some murder is justifiable, why then, as in the case of abortion, don’t we pass a law stating that all murder is therefore justifiable and legal?

    Comment by Jacke — August 12, 2005 @ 12:03 pm

  27. Gary writes:

    “My opinion is that it is the woman’s right to choose. It is her burden, her responsibility, and her terrible gift of free will.”

    Well, it’s my opinion that if that is the stance we are going to take then I could just as well claim that it is the choice of a murderer , his/her own “terrible gift of free will” which should determine whether he breaks down your door and kills you and we should legalize such an action…

    …or if your neighbor decides he likes your new car and he steals it that it’s his “own terrible gift of free will” to do so and who is society to say that it is wrong? Why should he be punished for that, your “terrible gift of free will” was exercised when you made the unwise decision of purchasing a car that your neighbor liked, how dare you?

    Let’s say that 15 year old Jacke, your neighbor, is raped by a 45 year old sex offender, who am I, or society, to deprive him of his “terrible gift of free will” and who is society or the law of the land to try to hold him accountable for invading the space of 15 year old Jacke, I mean, after all, she WAS wearing a very short skirt at the time of the sexual attack, wasn’t that her unwise exercizing of that “terrible gift of free will”???

    Can you not see where this line of thinking goes, Gary, where does society draw the line? Justifiable murder is okay, so lets make all murder legal. Some abortions are justifiable, so let’s make all abortion legal. I can identify with the lust Jacke’s 45 year old neighbor had for her so, let’s just legalize his action of rape. I like your new car too, I can sure see why your neighbor wanted it, bully for him. The fact is that we have laws, as a society we are to either abide by them or be punished for breaking them. But, hey, since we all have a “terrible gift of free will” let’s just all do our own thang, Gary, who do you think you are to question what I CHOOSE to do!?

    You claim that abortion should be a last resort and that it should rarely happen, where do YOU draw the line, Gary? What’s that? You think it should rarely occur but you don’t want to draw a line? Okay, I think rape should rarely occur, but hey, since it happens in our society anyway, regardless of the educational efforts to quell it, let’s just legalize rape, shall we, why draw a line somewhere. Who cares anyway, isn’t it just the rapist’s “terrible gift of free will?????”

    Comment by Jacke — August 12, 2005 @ 12:23 pm

  28. Abortion is wrong. Period. The only case I’ve seen where removal of an unborn child is absolutely- ABSOLUTELY, that is- is the case of an ectopic pregnancy. No-brainer, common sense.
    If, at any time, one person seeks to end the life of another, it is against God. Period. If God is Love, where does murder fit in there?
    Realize, folks, this world ain’t right, but it’s up to us to hold down the fort, so to speak… if you need more evidence from the Bible to figure out whether or not it’s OK to kill, I sugest you start from Genesis all over again- and if you make it past Noah and the Flood without finding your answer, I’ll be seriously praying for an outpouring of Godly knowledge and wisdom for you.

    Comment by M — August 13, 2005 @ 8:57 pm

  29. Gary writes:

    “Again, if she chooses to abort a non-viable fetus, it does not end a life, but prevents a tragic, ill-equipped life from occurring. If we were to revere the “potential for life” in the not-yet viable fetus, then logically we would provide the same reverence for the woman’s not-yet fertilized egg, and save each one every month so that a life might occur sometime. We would also be required to revere and save every sperm within every man, for they too are potential life just waiting for viability.”

    My question would be, did you write this with a straight face!? Lol.

    Comment by Jacke — August 16, 2005 @ 9:23 am

  30. Gary writes:

    “Jacke, I am not asking you to agree with me. I am not trying to convince you of the righteousness of my position. What I am doing is responding to your request: “I am waiting for a reply as to how a Christian can reconcile abortion with their faith.” I have done so. I consider this as part of the admonishment in 1Peter: 3 “Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you…”

    1Corinth:12, 13 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
    So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

    Ahhh, Gary. I disagree that you have done so, I don’t believe you have. Further, quoting scripture in which Peter admonishes us to “Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you…” which is clearly asking you to account for the hope that is in you regarding the fact that God has provided a perfect plan of salvation through the innocent sacrifice of His son is relevant to supporting abortion, scripturally, how, exactly?

    And no, we cannot understand everything about God and His will, but scripture most certainly gives us much understanding and indication that God values life in the womb. Of course I believe that God calls us to love the mother of an aborted child but not at the expense of the death of that the aborted baby. I believe it is possible to love both the mother AND the baby and to demonstrate that love to both, not at one’s expense over the other.

    Comment by Jacke — August 16, 2005 @ 9:33 am

  31. even with the Roman Catholic Church guidelines on abortion, the
    Majesterium and authority combined with purported revelations of the Mother of God, Our Lady of the Roses, none of this can match the compassion of the Father who looks done on his children…and does not lash out in hatred as the Church and many priests have written.

    He understands that choice also is a way to avoid evils of society. I do not believe that there are agencies that really would care for all the children had they not been aborted and I wonder would happen to the Afro American, Mexicans and Indian children who would be last on the list for adoption not to mention the severley handicapped, who would become wards of the state.

    A mother who aborts, may also do so to protect it from a world that really does not welcome it.
    A fanatic pro life Catholic said to me, “it’s their fault, they had sex and need to take responsibility for it. Even if willing, many are not equipped anyway. Abortion is a choice also about responsibility for no one, like that self rightoeus pro lifer will lift a finger to care for your child.

    Comment by Vince — September 21, 2006 @ 5:27 pm

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