Position:Republicans are unbiblical on abortion

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Position: Republicans are unBiblical on abortion

Evidence:

  • Biblical passages which directly disagree with Republicans
  • The few, small quotations used by Republicans do not support their position.
  • The Bible has comlpetely and utterly different priorities from republicans, focusing much more of other issues (and republicans disagree with the Bible on those issues as well.)

BIG DISCLAIMER:

The following Old Testement quotations are intended to expose the religious right as unbiblical hypocrites. The quotations do not represent Democratic opinion, secular or religious.

Christian Democrats believe in the New Testament. See: New Testament Democrats.

I think it's just as well the religious right does not actually take the Old Testement word-for-word.

Contents

Biblical Law on abortion

Moses had his priests perform abortions

[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers%205;&version=31; Numbers 5:11-28]

In this situation, a man, if he suspects his wife is an adulterer, can take her to a priest where she will be given a medicine ("bitter water") which aborts the fetus. If she is guilty of this trespass, "may he make thy thigh to rot, and may they belly swell and burst asunder. Let the cursed water enter into thy belly, and may thy womb swell and they thigh rot." 15:21-22 King James Version

The New International translates this in a way that makes it hard to understand. Things suddenly get clearer by looking at the alternative translations in the footnotes:

Numbers 5:21 Or causes you to have a miscarrying womb and barrenness

Numbers 5:22 Or body and cause you to be barren and have a miscarrying womb

Numbers 5:27 Or suffering; she will have barrenness and a miscarrying womb

Here is the whole thing in NIV, with the footnotes placed in the text:

The Test for an Unfaithful Wife

   11 Then the LORD said to Moses, 

12 "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'If a man's wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him

13 by sleeping with another man, and this is hidden from her husband and her impurity is undetected (since there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act),

14 and if feelings of jealousy come over her husband and he suspects his wife and she is impureā€”or if he is jealous and suspects her even though she is not impure-

15 then he is to take his wife to the priest. He must also take an offering of a tenth of an ephah of barley flour on her behalf. He must not pour oil on it or put incense on it, because it is a grain offering for jealousy, a reminder offering to draw attention to guilt.

   16 " 'The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the LORD. 

17 Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water.

18 After the priest has had the woman stand before the LORD, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse.

19 Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, "If no other man has slept with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you.

20 Butif you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have defiled yourself by sleeping with a man other than your husband'"-

21 here st is to put the woman under this curse of the oath-"may the LORD cause your people to curse and denounce you when he causes you to ' have a miscarrying womb and barrenness.

22 May this water cause you to be barren and have a miscarrying womb "

     " 'Then the woman is to say, "Amen. So be it." 
   23 " 'The priest is to write these curses on a scroll and then wash them off into the bitter water. 

24 He shall have the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse, and this water will enter her and cause bitter suffering.

25 The priest is to take from her hands the grain offering for jealousy, wave it before the LORD and bring it to the altar.

26 The priest is then to take a handful of the grain offering as a memorial offering and burn it on the altar; after that, he is to have the woman drink the water.

27 If she has defiled herself and been unfaithful to her husband, then when she is made to drink the water that brings a curse, it will go into her and cause bitter suffering; she will have barrenness and a miscarrying womb, and she will become accursed among her people.

28 If, however, the woman has not defiled herself and is free from impurity, she will be cleared of guilt and will be able to have children.

Biblical Law on Fetuses

Exodus 21:22,23 is the only passage that refers to law regarding fetuses.

Here it is in the poetic King James:

22 If men strive [fight], and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay [a fine] as the judges determine.

23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, 24Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Other versions translate "her fruit depart" as "miscarriage". The New International Version translates "no mischief" as "no serious injury".

Here's the NIV with the footnote placed in the text:

22 "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she has a miscarriage but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows.

23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise."

In short: a man who assaults a woman causing miscarriage can be sued in the civil courts.

Moses considered a fetus human he would call for the death penalty - "give life for life", as he does with the death of the mother in verse 23. He would not call a miscarriage "no serious injury" nor would he punish the man who assaulted her with a mere fine.

Republicans try to misinterpret "no serious injury" as refering not to the mother, but to a prematurely-born baby, but how can a newborn lose a tooth?

Considering this it also goes without saying that Moses would have never considered a stem cell to be a human.

Judicial precedent: executing the pregnant

Genesis 38:24:

24 About three months later Judah was told, "Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of prostitution, and as a result she is now pregnant."

     Judah said, "Bring her out and have her burned to death!"

What about the fetus?

Here's the full chapter.

Old Testement: Life begins one month AFTER birth (!)

In Leviticus 27:6 a monetary value was placed on children, but not until they reached one month old (any younger had no value). Full Chapter

Likewise, Numbers 3:15:

"Count the Levites by their families and clans. Count every male a month old or more."

Luckily fundamentalists don't actually take the Bible literally (as they claim), or they would have bumper stickers claiming "life begins at one month after birth" and would consider infanticide to be acceptable!

Biblical commentary on abortion

Solomon: "Better the miscarriage"

King Solomon said for some it might better to be aborted:

Ecclesiastes 6:3-5

"If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, however many they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things, and he does not even have a proper burial, then I say, `Better the miscarriage than he, for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity; and its name is covered in obscurity. It never sees the sun and it never knows anything; it is better off than he.'"

Ecclesiastes 4:1-3:

"Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them. So I congratulated the dead who are already dead more than the living who are still living. But better off than both of them is the one who has never existed, who has never seen the evil activity that is done under the sun"

-That's right, the religious right is also unbiblical on Euthenasia.

Job: "I should have been...from womb to tomb"

"Why then hast Thou brought me out of the womb? Would that I had died and no eye had seen me! I should have been as though I had not been, carried from womb to tomb."

-Job 10:18-19

"Or like the miscarriage which is discarded, I would not be, as infants that never saw light. There the wicked cease from raging, and there the weary are at rest. The prisoners are at ease together; they do not hear the voice of the taskmaster. The small and the great are there, and the slave is free from his master."

-Job 3:16-19

Jesus: "It would be better for him if he had not been born"

Matthew 26:24

24The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born."

Republican Misinterpretations

The basis of republican opinion is that the Bible somewhere claims life begins at conception. Even their favorite quotes don't say this.

In some parts of the Bible God is said to have personally created a particular person in the womb, such as Psalm 139:13-16.

But according to Genesis, God was involved in the creation of every living thing. God also makes rats in the womb - so what? God creates everything, even things that aren't alive at all. The republicans are talking minor bits of rhetoric and misinterpreting them to contradict the rest of the Bible.

Luke 1:39-41:

"And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:"

This is a miracle - we're talking about Jesus here. The next time the Bible says you'll see Jesus, he won't be born, he'll come out of heaven with a sword coming out of his mouth. (According to Revelations)

Every sperm is sacred

Jeremiah 1:5

"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee" - Note: BEFORE. Perhaps even before forming thee as a sperm in the testicle, but it doesn't go into that much detail.

Anyone who takes this to its literal conclusion should be reminded that millions of sperm die in every testicle in the world every day. That means every wet dream is worse than the holocaust!

Well, not really, because republicans quote this out of context. Here's the rest of the sentence:

"5 "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." 

Jeremiah 1:5 is not addressing the reader, it is addressing Jeremiah, a prophet, and the Bible also says there will be no more prophets.

Full Chapter

That Other Moral Issue

If someone wants to be biblical, they should prioritize what the Bible prioritizes. Both the Old and New Testement are constantly outspoken on economic inequality and poverty for just two examples - and on the Democratic side of the debate, to boot.

See Also

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