May 26, 2012 | 5 Comments
Recently, Jared asked:
The curious thing is that I can’t recall finding anything specifically related to birth control in my readings of the New Testament. Exactly what theological justification do anti-abortion activists cite? Something in the New Testament? Something in the Old Testament? The Ten Commandments, particularly the one that says “thou shalt not kill?”
A valid question, Jared. Let’s discuss.First, regular commenter R. Mowat notes that “[t]here is a lot of Christian belief and practice that is not explicit in the Bible itself. Indeed, this is a key reason why there are so many different Christian creeds and denominations.” This is significant; many people (myself included) do not see the bible as the absolute, 100% accurate word of God. The bible was written by humans who are (as argued in the Bible!) fallible. It’s neither perfect (as written/translated) nor exhaustive. What it truly is is a tool through which we hope to discern the message of God.
One needn’t even be acquainted with the Bible to be a Christian. God can speak to everyone, and he doesn’t assign a summer reading list.
But, let’s get back to the Bible itself. Jared is correct to point to ‘Though shalt not kill’. I’m not going to argue that abortion is murder, but if you believe (as the standard pro-life argument assumes) that a fetus is a person, then that commandment would apply. Of course, that’s an Old Testament thing, and if we’re looking for an explicit Christian thing, we’d probably want the New Testament to back it up.
In the New Testament, Jesus says something to the effect of ‘that which you do to the least of my children, you do to me’. So, again, let’s take as given that a fetus is a person. Can you think of someone who is more “least” than a fetus? A person who cannot survive unattached to another person would be the very type of person Christ was compelling us to care for.
Of course, if you’re not going to sign on to the fetus-as-a-person argument, then none of this would be persuasive, but that just brings us back to the elemental difference between pro-lifers and pro-choicers.
Oh, and I generally hate writing about abortion.