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Abortion in the Bible

Hey, let's piss people off by talking about abortion and the Bible. 

I'm an atheist, but I grew up in a Christian family and a Christian church, and I can speak Bible when they speak Bible. They usually don't like what I say, though, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Some of my freaky Christian friends and family are very much against abortion, because the Bible tells them it's wrong, it's evil, it's murder, it's a sin, and everyone involved is going to Hell.

I like to ask, Where in the Bible does God tell you that abortion is wrong, evil, murder, or a sin? The correct answer is, nowhere.

Sometimes, they'll answer with Jeremiah 1:5. That's the closest the Bible comes to an argument against abortion. It reads: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

Taken at face value and in context, God is saying that he always had great plans — for Jeremiah, the one and only person he's talking to in that verse.

Even putting all my ordinary skepticism aside, I don't think that verse means God has similarly great and detailed plans for you and for me and for every zygote, every fetus, and every human ever born or never born.

And you'll perhaps notice, even the most-cited Bible verse against abortion ... isn't against abortion, or even about abortion. It mentions a pregnancy, but not abortion.

There's very little mention of abortion anywhere in the Bible, which tends to blow Christians' minds.

The Bible, and especially the Old Testament, is full of God's crystal-clear no-misunderstanding rules against worshiping any other God, and against stealing, against murder, against blasphemy, against tattoos, against mixed-fabrics, against eating shellfish, and of course against homosexuality, and also against women's rights, and against myriad other things. God has a thousand rules, and he doesn't mince words about his rules — so it's odd that there's nothing in the Bible that unambiguously condemns abortion.

There are even a few references making it clear that, to God, ending a woman's pregnancy is no big deal.

In Exodus 21:22-25, the Bible says that if a pregnant woman is injured and miscarries, the compensation should be financial. This is in the Old Testament, where the punishment for murder is always invariably death — so this means that the fetus is not a person. Killing a fetus is more like breaking a vase.

In Numbers 5:11-31, there's a disgusting purity test to determine whether a woman is guilty of adultery. The test is supposed to abort the fetus if she's guilty of extramarital sex, so very obviously, the implication is that a fetus has no inherent right to life.

In Hosea 9:10-16, God punishes the Israelites by having pregnant women deliver stillborn babies, and having fetuses die in the womb. God Almighty performs abortions, and sure as hell doesn't object.

In Deuteronomy 28:18 and :53, God goes on at some length about the assorted punishments for disobedience, which include "cursed shall be the fruit of your womb" and "you will eat the fruit of your womb." Eating fetuses? Yum. No recipe is included, but to me this suggests that the Christian God doesn't give a good God damn about the fate of a fetus.

And with that, I sincerely hope I've infuriated a few clueless Christians, most of whom have never read their good book. Have a blessed day, everyone!

 

itsdougholland.com 

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