Abortion: murder, or chicken dinner?

I know I’m probably preaching to the choir, but I just had to say this out loud.

There’s an article circulating in which pro-abortion activist Jessica DelBalzo loudly proclaims that she loves abortion.  I can’t quite bring myself to link directly, but you can find it easily enough on google if you want to read the whole column.

A few excerpts are enough to convey her viewpoint:

“I love abortion. I don’t accept it. I don’t view it as a necessary evil. I embrace it. I donate to abortion funds. I write about how important it is to make sure that every woman has access to safe, legal abortion services. I have bumper stickers and buttons and t-shirts proclaiming my support for reproductive freedom. I love abortion,” DelBalzo declares.

To put an even finer point on it, she goes on to say:

Suggesting that abortion be “safe, legal, and rare,” and crowing that “no one likes abortion,” accomplishes nothing for women’s rights. Pandering to the anti-choice movement by implying that we all find termination distasteful only fuels the fire against it.

I just want to say that she is absolutely right on one point.  The pro-choice camp is divided, and a large number of them don’t seem to know on which side of the fence they really belong.

If abortion takes a human life, it’s murder and we should all be appalled at every instance.  It should be illegal under any circumstances.

If abortion takes a non-human life, it’s no more “a necessary evil” than sitting down to a chicken dinner.

Which is it?

Comments

  1. I’m not looking to change anyone’s opinion here, (one way or another) and I’m not stating that I necessarily agree with the opinions I’m about to link to; however, I thought it some people might find it useful/interesting to read a pro-choice Christian’s point of view on the matter. I think educating oneself about on all viewpoints is beneficial. So, I only ask that no one go to the blog with the intentions of attacking/harassing the blogger, as they don’t do so on other blogs. (Do unto others as you would…and such.) http://occasionallyamusingmind.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/being-pro-choice-as-christian-8-reasons.html

  2. Moriah Hunt says:

    oops, I meant ” how can even evil people say such as that” sorry for the error!

  3. Moriah Hunt says:

    Did she say ” …love abortion ” ? I cannot fathom how anyone evil or not could say such as that!

  4. I am the father of 5 beautiful children, our youngest was an oops, but how can someone not be fully in love with the life they have created from the very second they know she/he is on the way to the outside world. My little princes is is 4 years old now and when I tell her I love her, she responds with “I love you more”, and I say “yes, but I loved you first.” and at age 4, she understands that I loved her before she came out of her mommy! She knows that you was a person even before she was born.

    This is a really good read!:
    “The inalienable right to life possessed by every human being is present from the moment of initial formation, and all human beings shall be entitled to the equal protection of persons under the law.” Learn more at: http://www.personhoodinitiative.com/about-personhood.html

  5. Well said (your original post, that is!).

  6. KimC,

    In the interests of honesty, you need to acknowledge that murder is murder, and is forbidden by the Sixth Commandment, with no exceptions.

    Homicide is a type of murder, but it is still murder.

    Abortion, self-defense, capital punishment–it’s all murder, and (if you believe the Sixth Commandment) and it’s all wrong. YOu cannot pick and choose the ones you want to murder, and say that some murder is OK and some is not.

    You may feel murder is justified in some cases. But the Sixth Commandment says it is not. Thanks.

    • Kath, you’re wrong. The Hebrew word used in Exodus 20 is very different from most other words for killing in the Old Testament, and refers specifically to wrongful, illegal killing. We can’t pick and choose, and the Bible specifies that certain types of killing are permitted and even required. We can’t redefine the terms to suit ourselves. God gets to define, and it’s our job to obey.

      • Kim,

        I have a lot of respect for you and your opinions, but I think you might be wrong in this. We DON’T let the Bible specify what is right because we don’t have a government that is in constant contact with God and seeking his will on how to atone for sins or deal with disputes (as they did in the old testament). And not on that, but Christians pick and choose all the time what we will and won’t do. I’m guessing you don’t ceremonially sacrifice all of your first born animals, and even if you did it wouldn’t be as it should according to the Bible. It’s all based on how we read certain passages and choose to apply them to our life (hopefully with God’s guidance), but there are many ways in which what is “normal” in Christian groups isn’t necessarily Biblical.

        For instance, most of us feel it is ok to eat pork, shelfish, etc. And we certainly don’t pay 5 silver shekles for each of our first born children. Nor does our government seek justice according to Biblical standards (old or new testament). We pick and choose all the time. It is just up to each of us to determine whether the thinks we choose are the things God is leading us to. But to say it doesn’t happen is just untruth.

        And I’m frankly quite surprised that someone who feels so strongly that our country is being led in a very un-Biblical manner would still use terms such as illegal. Illegal/legal in our country is not the same as illegal/legal in the Bible and I think we need to be VERY careful in how we use that terminology. Also, just because a judge sentences a man to be put to death, does NOT mean that he was led to do so based on Biblical principles…nor does it mean that the man is being put to death for Biblical reasons. And the method of execution is certainly different. I mean, it seems as if you are comparing apples to chickens in this regard. I think this is the danger we get into when we start using Old Testament scripture to support a mandate or behavior. I do think the Old Testament is important to know! And that it offers guidelines of how we should live life, but to make decisions solely based on the Old Testament leaves out a LOT because so much of it was voided with the sacrifice Christ made no our behalf. I think all Christians (myself included) would do well to focus a little more on what Christ taught in the New Testament than to be legalistic over some points from the Old Testament.

        Bri

        • My point, exactly. People pick and choose what they believe from the Bible all the time. Most Biblical scholars (the honest ones, anyway) will be the first to admit that it’s not even sure that the modern-day translation of the Bible is accurate.

        • Bri,
          To quickly reply to your points:
          We don’t pick and choose from the Bible, we strive to apply all of it to our lives. Much of the Law in the Old Testament was fulfilled ceremonially in the death of Christ – sacrifices, for example. It has not ceased to apply or expired or been voided; it has been fulfilled.
          There are also laws of separation, that were specifically to distinguish the Israelites from the nations around them. We are not Israelites, so most would agree that those laws don’t apply to us.
          Many people disagree about whether Christians ought to follow the dietary laws today, but I still think there is a right and wrong answer to that question, though we may get the answer wrong. It’s not simply a matter of opinion.
          But the 10 Commandments and the accompanying case laws which give us concrete examples of how to apply those 10 commandments still have very direct application in any culture and time. These are the basis for moral law, and without them we flounder about with no standard of right and wrong but whatever feels right to the majority this year.
          II Timothy 3:16 says that all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness. Those words were written before the New Testament was completed or canonized. Those words referred to the Old Testament, though of course they apply to the entire Word of God. We cannot properly understand or interpret the NT without the full context of the OT.

          I understand and think I agree with you about the ambiguity of the word “illegal” but am curious as to why you objected to my use of the word. Where do you think I used it inappropriately? I said in the post that all murder (i.e. taking of human life that is not Biblically justified) ought to be illegal. I also said in a comment that the Hebrew word used in Exodus 20 is very different from most other words for killing in the Old Testament, and refers specifically to wrongful, illegal killing. I think those are the only 2 times I used the word.

          Finally, when I say I believe capital punishment is a legitimate reason for taking human life, I mean that in a Biblical context: capital punishment in our country is only used for those convicted of premeditated murder, and only for very few of those. This is well within the Biblical use of capital punishment, and I think you could make the case that it’s a far more merciful sentence than life in a cage, even when that cage seems more comfortable than we think they deserve.

          • Kim, thank you for standing firm on this issue.
            Bri, there is clearly a difference in the Bible between murder (premeditated or otherwise) and “killing”. We must be very careful when we read the books of the law for this reason. For example, adulterers and fornicators (those who had s*x outside of the bounds of marriage) were to be stoned to death for the same reason that those who were ceremonially unclean were to be placed outside the camp (Numbers 5:1-4): God was there in the midst of the camp and His perfect holiness would destroy the people if sin was found among them. This is also the reason that the high priest was only allowed to go into the Most Holy Place ONE day out of the year–on the Day of Atonement, when the people had spent the previous day in rest and heart-searching, on pain of banishment or death (see Leviticus 23: 29, 30) , and only after having sacrificed a number of animals to remove the sin of the whole camp–only on that one day could he enter that inner sanctum sanctorum, and even then he might die if there was an unconfessed sin in the camp.
            The ceremonial laws were for the protection of the people, both from the holiness of God and from the filth of certain animals. God does not do anything arbitrarily. There is a reason that nearly all the animals listed as unclean in the Bible are scavengers (including pigs, I’m afraid, though I do not believe this is a salvation issue). These animals eat nasty things, and do nasty things. Just as He did not arbitrarily choose which animals were clean and which were unclean, so He did not arbitrarily choose punishments for the sins of His people.
            There were groups of people living around the Israelites who were so wicked that God ordered his people to “totally destroy” (Heb. ‘cherem’) their cities. This meant that everything in the city was to be killed and the city burned to the ground. Capital punishment was indisputably part of God’s plan for His people, not because He is a cruel murderer but because He is a just and holy God. He is also a merciful God. The story of Rahab, who was no less a sinner than the rest of Jericho (one of the cities that was to be totally destroyed, and never rebuilt), is testament to this. So is the story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-12. But the mercy of Jesus in this story does not mean that the death penalty for sin was abolished in the New Testament–Ananias and Sapphira attest to this. There are sins which are worthy of death. This is not eternal condemnation–only God can determine the heart of man, whether it is good or evil–but it is temporal condemnation. The murderer is not allowed to have a place among the living because he has betrayed his own kind. Even if this was done in a moment of anger and the person is sorry for his sin, he has still committed a sin against mankind. To punish this sin is commanded of us. Not that it is an easy decision–I would not want to be on the jury responsible for a death sentence any more than April in a preceding comment–but it is sometimes required. (Disclaimer: I am not saying that we have the right to take these matters into our own hands.)

            Bri, because you have said that your belief on capital punishment grew from talks with pro-choice people, I feel I must give an argument that addresses a secular viewpoint.
            Not all killing is murder.
            I do not believe that homicide is murder. No one can say that a person who has a sudden seizure while driving and inadvertently kills another person as a result has committed murder. A person could not even be convicted on this score, though they might have to go through some investigation as a result. Killing a person while driving drunk could get a conviction for homicide.
            In order to be classed as murder in the courts, the killing has to be intentional and not in self-defense. There are different degrees of murder based on the circumstances, but murder is always the intentional, deliberate killing of an innocent human being.
            Abortion is murder because it is the intentional shedding of innocent blood. Capital punishment is the intentional shedding of guilty blood. There is a big difference.

        • I’m sorry, I have to chime in again.
          Bri, what Kim is espousing here is not legalism. Legalism is trusting in the law to save you from your sins. In the Old Testament it was required to do all of those ceremonies in order to preserve you from your own sin in the presence of a holy God whose presence burned up all sin. Sin cannot live in the presence of God. When God chose to live with the Israelites and guide them personally, He had to provide a safeguard so their sin would not destroy them. This was the purpose of the laws of ceremonial cleanliness and the sacrificial system.
          When Jesus died on the cross, His blood was the antithesis to all the millions of sacrifices that had been offered for the sins of the people. They sacrificed lambs because they were looking forward to the time when their sins would be forever washed clean by the blood of God’s perfect Lamb, and God saw their sacrifices and forgave them because of what Jesus was going to do. We no longer sacrifice our animals because we don’t have to! It would be worse than useless for us to continue to sacrifice animals for our sins. As Christ said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” When Jesus died, he fulfilled the sacrificial portion of the law. When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, God came to live among us in a form that would continueto guide us but would no longer require us to keep the laws of ceremonial cleanliness in order to preserve ourselves from destruction.
          We are still required to endeavor to keep the law, but our transgression of the law is now covered by the sacrifice of Christ. His grace, His righteousness, is our salvation. But the law is necessary to make us aware of our sin.
          Also, as an aside, in Kim’s response she quoted II Tim. 3:16, “All Scripture….” In New Testament times, “All Scripture” WAS the Old Testament. The New Testament was not yet in existence, though the writings we now call the New Testament were beginning to be circulated. So, Paul was writing to Timothy of the OLD Testament, in its entirety. I believe that the New Testament is also for our use in this way, now, but was not considered scripture at the time.

          • Alice,
            Thank you for taking time to compose these answers. Well done, and I appreciate your input very much.

    • @Kath
      Actually, it’s the other way around. Murder is homicide (killing of man) but homicide is not murder. It’s all in mathematics–sets and subsets. All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.

      Murder = the unjustified and unlawful killing of a fellow human being

      Homicide = killing of one human being by another

      Which means, as Luke mentioned above, that in this country, abortion is not legally classified as murder.

  7. The issue of abortion has been heavy on my mind the last few months. We receive a college newspaper because my husband is a task-force worker, and the week of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade this paper published an opinion debate on the abortion issue. I did not like the article. I felt there was an inexcusable amount of fallacious logic, as well as poor argument, but the article did get me thinking.
    I took a wonderful course in college from a godly man that dealt with the issues of life, and during this class I came to see for the first time the reasons to be completely pro-life. My professor talked about the “bright line” where on one side is non-humanity and on the other is humanity. People say that it is not clear when the developing child becomes human: some say birth; others, when it could survive outside the womb; still others, implantation or conception. Now, forgive me for arguing from a non-biblical perspective here, but this is the best way I know to make my argument. It is all a matter of technology, and I hope you will see why.
    150 years ago, most babies who were born before about 36 weeks did not survive. The age of viability was very near full-term because we did not know how to keep them alive. As technology has improved, we have been able to keep babies alive who were born at earlier gestational ages. I believe the current age of viability is about 22-24 weeks, under the right circumstances. It is likely that we will eventually be able to keep babies alive who are much less developed. I think anyone would agree that the ultimate in antenatal technology would be a machine that could take an embryo and simulate the womb environment to produce a full-term baby in due time. This is currently stuff of science-fiction only, but we could not get any better than that. In that case, the earliest you could take the embryo would be at the moment the egg was fertilized. Before that point, no life would be produced because there would not be sufficient genetic material to create a human being. An egg is not a human–it can only survive for 1-2 days after ovulation. Sperm are not humans–they can survive a little longer than eggs (in the right environment), but alone they will die in a matter of days. It is only once the two meet that they have any hope. True, the zygote they form is not hardy, but under the right conditions (right now, inside the lining of the mother’s womb) they can grow and develop into what we would recognize as a human.
    I don’t want to get into the moral issues behind such technology. To me, however, it is clear that from the moment of conception taking any action to deprive the embryo of life is homicide or murder, BECAUSE it is a human being–albeit at a very early stage of development.

    I heard this woman’s statement on the radio and was speechless at her forthrightness. I cannot imagine anyone saying they loved genocide or war or infanticide. We live in a bizarre age.

    • Alice,

      I don’t think it odd to use this logic when speaking with someone who is pro-choice. Specifically if that person is not a Christian. I think we forget sometimes and have expectations for all people that fall in line with our Christian beliefs. But we really shouldn’t be surprised when the world is worldly (or when non-Christians act in “worldly”/non-Christian ways).

      I admit that some of my position on capital murder is in regards to discussions I’ve had with many people who are pro-choice. Because we support murder of criminals, then we should support murder of babies in the womb (this is the argument I’ve heard from others…not my position). But when I’m discussing this with someone who is pro-choice and they ask me “well what about criminals?”…I can clearly answer that I also don’t support that. That hits them somewhere special b/c they rarely have had an argument after that point. Just another example of being sure we are explaining things in a clear/logical way in addition to any faith-based reasoning we have.

      I’ll be sure to remember this argument…very clearly put and easily understood 🙂

      • Thank you. I believe that God brought this to my mind, and everyone is free to use it! It is so important that those of us who are pro-life be able to present to those who are pro-abortion or unsure a clear argument stating the time at which life begins. There are too many even pro-lifers who are easily swayed because they do not have a clear idea in their own minds.

        As for capital punishment…see my books below. 🙂

  8. Kat Menard says:

    I did read the linked article a few days ago when Lila Rose first linked to it, and while her views on abortion were very disturbing, her views on ADOPTION made me ill and angry. As an adoptive mother, the idea that choosing or encouraging adoption as a choice was somehow against women’s rights is bizarre. And her assertion that any adoption where a child was outside its “real family” was mentally damaging made me so angry–for my daughter and so many others who by this woman’s logic should not exist since their birth (and by her standard only fit) parents could not raise her. To me all of this arguement goes against all that we fought for in the American revolution–we fought to have the right to exist as an individual. We used to believe that the person had worth apart from their social standing, where they came from, or who their parents were. This article suggests that the only worth an individual has is in what worthiness is in their parents–if your parents are unworthy, then so is the child. Frightening, really.

    • Well, technically, the American Revolution secured the individual rights of white, land-owning men only….

  9. But murder isn’t “illegal under any circumstances.” That’s why we have courts. Self-defense cases and such are a reality. And so are situations like the incestuous rape scenario of that 9 year old girl. There is much gray between murder and a chicken dinner. Similarly with war, there are questions of fighting for justice or being a conscientiousness objector. For my friends who raise these horrible situations as reasons for allowing abortion, I always try to remind them: Yes, but we–like murder cases–need to start with the idea that it is wrong… and then work from there in extreme situations. And that is what is so horrifying about the idea of celebrating or “embracing” abortion: it is wrong.

    My two cents.

    ~Luke

    • Luke, murder is defined as the unlawful killing of another person. Self-defense may be categorized as homicide but not murder. I agree that there are absolutely legitimate (i.e. Biblical) reasons to kill another person: just war, self-defense, and capital punishment come to mind.
      I also agree that we must start from the clear cases and proceed to the less clear, rather than trying to make rules from the exceptional cases. That’s poor logic and leads to very bad conclusions.

      • Good point! But this just muddies the water even more because abortion is legal… therefore, not murder at all! That’s why, as we both agree, we need to turn this whole thing around so abortion is again illegal, and then encourage our courts to work on the less clear and truly horrible situations. Thanks for replying!

        ~Luke

  10. Michaela says:

    I wonder if it’s wise to step in, but I feel like my position should be a part of the conversation.

    I am pro-choice. I think that the woman you mention is disturbed or extremely misled, that her opinions are gross and wrong, and I fall into neither of your postulated camps, but I am firmly pro-choice.

    I should state first: probably the most important point on which my beliefs divide from yours is that I’m also not a Christian, and don’t believe in an immortal soul that differentiates humans from all other life. This for me is not up for discussion, as is the opposite not up for discussion for you. Therefore, I know I am not convincing you or any of the Christians posting here, and that is alright, I am not trying to; I am simply trying to explain my stance as I feel the misconceptions about the opposite camp are too prevalent and harmful on both sides. I also strongly believe that as I consider your stance, you ought to consider mine, and that any single religion or belief set should not be a basis for legislation.

    So for me, a fertilized egg is a fertilized egg, not a full fledged soul that is equal to any other human. As the embryo grows, becomes a fetus and later a baby, it steps and grows closer and closer to humanity. It develops the ability to think, learn, feel, and suffer. There is no cut-off point that I can specify in which it is more human than not, and therefore abortion becomes murder… it’s a gradual progression from black to white, all shades of grey. Any cut-off date people could make for abortion being a medical procedure (that stops the potential development of a not yet present human) vs murder is arbitrary, like most of our lives’ decisions are. Therefore, everyone should be able to make an (informed) choice of when the line lies for themselves.

    But ultimately, it isn’t even that line that’s most important to me in this debate. What matters more is that a woman has the right to her own body. Nobody can be forced to donate organs, or have their body provide life support for another human being; nobody argues sanctity of life to force people to give a kidney or become a live dialysis machine, for example, and yet people are dying every day for want of it. That is because your body is your own and you get to execute the autonomy of it. I see no hypocrisy in lauding and praising the givers, the ones who donate their organs and bodies, the women who carry pregnancies to term even despite health risks and harms to themselves; and saying that nobody should be forced to do this. Yes, people are selfish. People choose to not give themselves, not carry pregnancies that I might feel they should, people make stupid choices and do things I see as wrong. Still I feel that the decision should be always everyone’s own, as I would never want anyone to make it for me.

    I do believe that abortions should be safe, legal and rare. In a perfect world, in the world I want to live in, children would always be born both healthy and wanted, but here and now they aren’t. For myself, I want children desperately. I believe I would make a good mother, and that I would give myself completely to them. There still are certain diagnoses that would lead me to terminate. Not Down’s, but Edward’s, or Potter’s: disorders that would lead to the baby’s life being short and painful. Ectopic pregnancy. This would not be like sitting down to a chicken dinner, it would be heartbreak, pain, tears and loss, and yet I believe with all my heart it would be better than the alternative, and I believe with all my heart that the decision would be mine and mine alone, or of those I chose to share it with – spouse, doctor, and so on.

    I don’t believe that abortion is necessary evil. We might not agree exactly on the exact notion of evil, but here is what I see as evil: when people set out to cause suffering, when they torture and destroy for their own pleasure. If I believed eating a chicken was evil I would eat tofu (instead I believe that modern mainstream production of chicken meat is evil, and eat less of it, and buy local, free range); I disagree with the concept of “necessary” evil, I believe that an oxymoron. Choosing the least bad of your option isn’t evil, it’s what we have to do throughout our entire lives. Abortion is a sad, heartbreaking, and deeply upsetting option, but I still believe that it should remain an option.

    • Michaela,
      I think you hit the nail on the head when you introduce your position by stating your belief that humans have no eternal soul. If we are nothing more than highly evolved animals, there is no particular reason to value our lives and the lives of our children much above other animals. In that paradigm, maybe an abortion is more like a dolphin or monkey dinner than a chicken dinner, but it’s still no great moral problem. Sure, something died – but it was weaker, less intelligent and less developed than me, so it’s just survival of the fittest.
      In a Christian worldview, human life is valuable because God created us in His image. We honor Him by valuing His image in each of us. We don’t rank the value of a human life by intelligence, number of friends, or earning potential. Each of us was created in the image of God with an immortal soul, and to murder a human is to attack and dishonor the very image of God.

      • Michaela says:

        Kim,

        I couldn’t possibly disagree more. I think you, in fact, unknowingly hit the nail on the head and clearly illustrated my point about the gross misconceptions on the opposing sides on the fence. That’s a great lot of assumption you made about my views and beliefs and a lot of words you are putting into my mouth simply because I am not a Christian. Sadly, you are hardly alone in this prejudice.

        I could turn your words at you and say: because you only value humans for their closeness to God, you have no value and appreciation for what I believe the tenets of humanity: kindness, compassion, empathy, love, imagination, dignity, curiousity, creativity, humour, wonder and awe, many and many more. Because you cannot and won’t recognize these fundamental aspects of humanity, your morals are coming from outside of you, they’re hollow and fragile, you’re fundamentally moral-less, you’re simply a robot following rules that your creator gave you.

        The above paragraph is not true. Just to be clear: I am demonstrating a straw man argument as what it is, to hopefully show you what your comment above came across as, how it made me feel. I don’t believe that of you and definitely don’t believe that of anyone simply because they have faith and I don’t. Please then do me the same courtesy.

        I do think that we are, in fact, highly evolved animals. Since you opened that can of worms: I believe that we have all evidence pointing out to the existence of evolution and the truth of the survival of the fittest. But what IS the survival of the fittest? A mechanism that was and is at work in nature as long as it is mindless. It’s not a moral guideline, and it definitely isn’t what determines right or wrong. It exists the same way that rain exists, gravity exists, sun exists. It does not follow that we should go and get wet in the rain, fall to our deaths or burn in the desert sun. It does not follow that we should value other human beings by their success in this natural process which we, as a society and community, managed to overcome, because we choose to love and care for those who aren’t the fittest anymore. We choose to value differently.

        As I said, we are highly evolved animals, and somehow during the process, we acquired all that I listed (and all that I failed to list) above. You call it soul and I call it humanity, and we only disagree on its meaning. I am in awe of the world. I live in it and study it and am constantly amazed and awed by its complexity, its incredible beauty. I fully believe that something as insane and marvelous as the human race, its mind and heart evolved through a random process. Evolution and design-less origin of the universe and humankind may be incompatible with your faith and you church’s teachings but please don’t assume, say or even claim that it’s incompatible with morality or humanity.

        • Michaela, I think our clashing worldviews are going to keep us from making any progress here, so I’m going to close our discussion. This is my blog, so I get the last word. I hope you’ll understand. 🙂
          You object to my moral standard because it comes from outside myself. I object to yours because it comes from you. In your world, everyone’s standard is totally subjective. You have no claim to superiority over the psychopath who takes joy in brutality, because you have no more foundation for your morals than he does for his.
          Christians believe in an unchanging God as the source of our standards. Those without God must rely on their own fallible intellect or emotions, and those around them. Morality is whatever is approved by the masses, or it’s all in your head. Those are the only choices you are left with, and neither is pretty.

          The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” ~Psalm 14:1

  11. Of your five related posts, three were for posts about chicken dinner. 😀

  12. April – I do agree with all of your statements about the “benefits” that are given to people serving life in prison. BUT I think that is an argument against our current prison/legal system than an argument for the death penalty.

    I’m not trying to be argumentative, just giving my two cents and hopefully giving everyone something else to think about (as I’m doing with the information you all have provided).

    You mention the punishment in the Old Testament…but in the Old Testament people were also stoned for adultery, women made permanently infertile for cheating on a husband, and a whole host of other punishments that we no longer cling to. Why, then, are we clinging to these punishments since Jesus has died as our atonement for sin? Does that not also apply to murderers?

    One other thought. Do you believe there is a(re) perfect judge(s) in our country? I think, as Christians, we would all say no since all people are imperfect and commit sin. So then do we have the right to allow imperfect, sinners to murder other men? These people are committing murder, they are taking a life (it’s still murder even if you think it’s justified). So my issue is that I don’t support murder no matter how it is done.

    That being said, if I am missing something else in the Bible (primarily I’m looking for something in the New Testament)…*please* let me know! I certainly want the Bible to be my standard for this opinion and don’t want to just go off “feelings” or outside information! Thanks!

    P. S. In my opinion, people in prison (regardless of a life sentence or not) should be required to work…hard. I see no reason why prisons shouldn’t be mostly self sufficient (raising and butchering their own animals, cleaning clothes, working on roads/paved surfaces, making repairs, growing other foods, etc.). The idea of a “chain-gang” still seems like a great way (in my opinion) to make prison a MUCH less attractive option. And, if you’re interested in how that would work, the state of Oklahoma (until about a year ago) raised and processed almost all of the meat consumed in the prison system…so it can be done.

    • Bri, I posted a reply above that may answer a few of your questions. I would also like to add that while Christ has paid for any sin so confessed, it is a reality of life that the spiritual repentance for any sin does not negate the physical consequences. For example, we don’t sin so that grace may abound (cf Romans 6).

      It is the government’s God given role to mete out punishment to murderers, not an individual’s role. Romans 13:1-5 speak specifically to this. The phrase “does not carry the sword in vain” is not referring to the Roman jail system. Scripture speaks universally to the Church, so I would understand the Romans passage to indicate that you abide by the judicial system of the government under which you live.

      My brain is so fuzzy from pollen that I hope that came out right.

  13. That makes me physically ill. Something is wrong with that woman.

  14. Totally preaching to the choir, but it is nice to know other people see this discrepancy. I was speaking to someone about Abortion during that whole Komen controversy. I was told that because I applauded Komen’s initial move, and hoped they’d find another outlet for the funding and other ways to help women receive mammograms without providing funding to a pro abortion entity, that I was not pro life at all. Apparently I valued “globs of tissue” more than women struggling against breast cancer. I had to walk away from the conversation, as I was so angry.
    This whole thing is very inflammatory because there are two ways of seeing it.
    Either it is wrong,
    Or it is admissible to kill an innocent human life out of selfishness and then explain it away as being “better for the baby anyway.” Or whatever other reason there is that justifies it. Both sides vehemently defend a “right” to “live freely” and those who advocate abortion do not want to acknowledge, or recognize the personhood of the baby, as that would paint them as guilty.
    So frustrating.

  15. As an ex-feminist, it has been my experience that most pro-abortionists hold both positions. It is a human child, that child is murdered, and that is a necessary evil no worse than eating a chicken dinner. Women who have had an abortion don’t always think that way, but vocal supporters in the abortion camp usually do. It is the pinnacle of the selfishness that dominates our society. Everybody does what they want, and if anyone gets in their way, that person must die. After all, the number one cause of death of pregnant women is homicide.

  16. Preaching to the choir 🙂 I was just in a discussion with two co-workers on Friday (stemming from the great new movie “October Baby”). One co-worker was saying that partial-birth abortion was wrong, but she was fine with the morning-after pill. Boy, was she surprised when the other co-worker and I started explaining why the morning-after pill and birth control pills are abortifacients, murder, and therefore wrong.

  17. I’m curious as to your stance on right to life with regards to the death penalty? I believe (this is just my opinion and probably isn’t a really popular one) that if I believe in the sanctity of life, that includes ALL life. I do not support the death penalty because of this belief. Primarily I feel that God is the ultimate giver and taker of life and it is not our place as imperfect human beings to take away something that we cannot give back. But I’m curious as to your opinion based on your Bible study/convictions? Would you mind sharing?

    **As I reread this I realize it might sound very confrontational…I promise I don’t mean it that way…I’m genuinely just interested in your opinion :).**

    • katherine nguyen says:

      I believe that we get our moral standards from the Bible. Scripture never condones MURDER but there are many time in the Bible where God requires death as the punishment for something someone has done.

      • However, it also requires stoning, and a fair number of other practices that are now considered in poor taste. How exactly does one decipher which parts to live by and which parts to ignore?

        The U.S. is one of the few countries in the Western world that still practices capital punishment. The Vatican doesn’t even allow it. Personally, I find it embarrassing that my country of origin is near the top of a list populated by countries like China and Iran, when it comes to state-sanctioned murder

    • My only argument there is that the Old Testament clearly states that the punishment should fit the crime. Death for death. I know that the death penalty is distasteful, it is certainly the hard choice, but do we reward a murderer by putting him in prison, feeding him three meals a day, giving him access to cable television, a bed, air conditioning and heat, allowing him to enjoy the art and culture of a complete library, pay for him to have access to the supplies needed to earn a college degree for free? I would not ever want to be on a jury panel that decides a murderer is eligible for the death penalty, but would I do it…yeah. I do believe we need a justice system to make that choice, while what we currently have is a legal/court system. I believe we should exhaust every option to make sure that the person in question is guilty, but ending his life sends him to the only person who can decide his eternal fate. Which is the real judgement.

      • Katherine Nguyen says:

        I agree April, thanks for saying what I was trying to say but couldnt get out as well as you did.

      • Just to clarify a bit, the Old Testament is pretty clear about not everyone who killed was to be killed themselves. There were criteria that had to be met to be eligible for the death penalty: intent, weapon(s), circumstances, etc. There also had to be TWO witnesses to the crime before a capitol punishment could be carried out. For those whose crimes did not meet the standard for capitol punishment, there were three cities of refuge which operated under guidelines of whom could remain and for how long.

        For further reference, see:
        Genesis 9:5-6
        Exodus 21
        Numbers 35, especially v. 30
        Deuteronomy 19:1-13

    • An infant cannot choose to sin or not sin and therefore cannot be deserving of punishment by death or other means. An adult however has the capacity to choose to commit a crime and can therefore be deserving of a suitable punishment, including the death penalty.

    • Bri,
      As others have answered, the Bible is clear that there are times when we *should* kill. The death penalty is not a pleasant thing, but God commands it, and even the death penalty demonstrates the sanctity of human life. One who murders another human who is created in the image of God has attacked the very image of God and stolen the life of another, incurring a debt he can never repay.

    • Bri, I didn’t think it sounded confrontational at all, and I hope this doesn’t come across that way either, just thought I’d share my thoughts based on my study and understanding of Scripture. This is why I believe the Bible supports the death penalty in certain cases: While I think there is definite guidance and wisdom to be found in the Old Testament especially the Law on the subject (though it’s clear from Genesis 9:6 that mans responsibility in the matter predated the Law), the way I am convinced it is still for today is from Romans 13:4. This also explains how it can be right even though God is the one to give and take life. This passage clearly indicates to me that God delegates part of the authority to end a life to the government as His representative on earth for punishment of those who do certain wrong things. So, while as individuals we do not have the right to end a life, the government (and by extension us we we represent the government on a jury or as a judge, etc.) has the responsibility to do so. Hope this makes sense.

  18. You’re definitely preaching to the choir here. As the mother of an almost two-week-old, I cannot fathom the killing of a helpless innocent human life. Our baby was in the NICU for several days, and my husband and I overheard bits of a discussion about another baby’s foster mother. It brought tears to my eyes. Sadness that a mother could give up her baby, but joy that she chose to do the (undoubtedly) hard thing and bear the baby.

  19. Does she love war and other forms of killing, too? Don’t even tell me war is a necessary evil sometimes or you will (somehow) fuel the arguments against it.

    The logic. My brain is about to explode with the inconsistencies of her argument. At least most pro-choice people can trot out some “a woman’s body should be her own to do as she pleases with” argument or… something vaguely resembling a rational thought.

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