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Yesterday, during break, one of my classmates told me that they thought abortion was 'killing' and that they supported a ban on it for everyone. This is my reply.

I don't know where your abortion stand comes from - you say it starts with your faith but can be justified in other ways.

Since you mentioned your Christian faith, I wanted to send you this info from the Skeptic's Bible on abortion:

The Bible says that if a man intentionally injures a pregnant woman and causes her to lose her baby, it does not count as murder.

In the Bible god approved of and caused abortions and ordered the murder of pregnant women.

I don't believe in the Bible. But if I did such verses would give me pause.

Now I know you're probably going to have a different interpretation of some of these verses. That's fine. It's not my job to tell other people what to think and what to believe.

But faith in the Bible seems like shaky ground to develop a ban on abortion - something Christianity wasn't that interested in until relatively recently. In fact, the very idea that a fetus counts as a 'person' is something that nobody in Christianity or science was thinking about until relatively recently.

You said humanists could arrive at a pro-life, pro-ban for everyone position. Many, such as myself cannot and will not. We believe infringing on the rights of women to support anti-scientific, religiously motivated concepts is unfair, unconstitutional, and unconscionable.

You can think abortion is murder - fine. Do that. But if you want to put that into public policy - to use the state to force those beliefs on everyone - that's not ok.

What if atheists were in the majority and wanted to use the state to ban your beliefs?

Earlier, you said you abandoned your belief in what you called socialism because state-owned economics doesn't work.

I believe state-owned beliefs are just as unworkable.

Originally posted to Mikesco on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 10:43 AM PST.

Also republished by Progressive Atheists, Street Prophets , and Pro Choice.

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Comment Preferences

  •  One thing to keep in mind (18+ / 0-) that the Bible paints God as pro-choice.

    In the Genesis myth, simply by planting the tree of knowledge of good an evil elsewhere, he could have avoided all the evil that ever befell the world.  

    ALL of it.  

    Regardless of what you think of Eve's choice in that story--I wholeheartedly approve of it--God certainly stayed out of it and allowed her to make the choice that she felt was best for her based on the evidence she had.

    America, we can do better than this...

    by Randomfactor on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 10:58:59 AM PST

    •  Yeah and then he punished her by (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      making childbirth painful and put Adam in charge of her life. That's not giving someone a choice. That's just plain mean manipulation.

      The lesson of the garden of eden story is that wanting knowledge is wrong.  The other lesson is that this god didn't even know what a snake was up to on his own turf, but he cares for every little bird on the wing!  Ain't "God" great!?

  •  Hats off to your response! (16+ / 0-)

    And thank you for, taking the time to respond and for sticking your neck out there with your response.  We need more of us out there doing just that.

  •  If only rational argument could reach these people (14+ / 0-)

    But it can't. They have faith and faith trump facts, reality, compassion, sanity... Faith is the driver of wars and the justification of inquisitions. It is UNreason, like trying to use facts in an argument with a TeaBagger, it just can't penetrate.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 11:13:04 AM PST

  •  actions, not beliefs (0+ / 0-)
    What if atheists were in the majority and wanted to use the state to ban your beliefs?
    We are free to keep our beliefs. It is actions that get banned.

    i changed two words of what you said below...

    You can think slavery is wrong - fine. Do that. But if you want to put that into public policy - to use the state to force those beliefs on everyone - that's not ok.

    •  The key point here is that we live in a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LadyMiseryAli, Penny GC

      democratic system vs a theocracy.  In fact, those who support a ban on abortions have every right to work with the democratic system of government to attempt to convince enough people of their point of view so that they impose this view on legislative actions.  Just as those who support slavery can try to get their government to allow that.

      But unless you can develop the political inertia necessary to change these things, you're going to hit a gigantic brick wall of political reality, just like the extreme evangelical conservatives have - just like any extreme political agenda does.

      And the God for that, is all I have to say.

      Howard Dean will always be my president.

      by 4democracy on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 11:55:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  yes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eyesbright, carpunder, not a lamb

      It's not beliefs, it is actions.

      I think the author chose the wrong way to express the same thought that I've always had. Instead of "What if atheists were in the majority and wanted to use the state to ban your beliefs" I would have said, if we grant the government the power to determine that a woman must have a child, we also grant the government the power to determine that a woman must not have a child. That opens us up to China's one-child per couple rules.

      The question is not whether abortion is right or wrong, or what one believes, but rather whether the government should have the power to dictate reproductive choices to women. If we give them the power to make one such choice, then we give the govt. the power to make all such choices, even those we definitely don't want.

      "Every Pootie is a masterpiece." - Da Vinci

      by mdsiamese on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 02:24:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Teabaggers have a Fantasy Constitution (5+ / 0-)

    that they keep citing, and fundamentalists have a Fantasy Bible.

    The Bible says that if a man intentionally injures a pregnant woman and causes her to lose her baby, it does not count as murder.

    In the Bible god approved of and caused abortions and ordered the murder of pregnant women.

    Those verses are not in their Fantasy Bible.  
    •  Actually They Have Our Original Constitution. (0+ / 0-)

      The Articles of Confederation, which gave states rights and sovereignty that they don't have under our present Constitution (states now have powers not rights), and the Articles did not recognize freedom of or from religion which is recognized under both our present Constitution and Bill of Rights.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 11:45:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Agree with the above - rationality is only.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC

    to keep yourself sane amidst the regurgitated talking points.  Don't worry about changing their mind, unless you're in a position of authority over them - because that's what they're seeking. They want an absolute definition of external authority so that they feel more secure.

    However, as an ordination candidate, I can give you more scriptural information.  Though there are some who believe in an absolute, literal translation of (the 3rd - 4th order translations of) everything they read in their bible, many others of us believe in the idea of context.

    There are very few Christians, even evangelical ones, who believe in slavery or polygamy, for example - both of which were practiced by the Sons of Abraham without question.  The reason is that the social context has changed.  

    WIth respect to medical practices that now create birth as a choice, whether that choice is due to abortion or birth control, this context has changed as well.  If you believe me that this one, outspoken person, defines the overall opinion of "Christians", then maybe you'll believe Pope Francis:

    "We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time."

    Howard Dean will always be my president.

    by 4democracy on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 11:46:30 AM PST

    •  The reason is that the social context has changed. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Now how did that social context change if the justification for slavery and polygamy came from the religious texts?  Could it be something called rational humanism?   People had to think outside the scriptures to come to these more moral positions, which says a lot about those scriptures, doesn't it?   How do you think Martin Luther King was able to throw his energy behind civil rights?  It sure didn't come from his scriptures. It came from him using his human moral sense and thinking outside the scriptural box.

      PS- I don't care what that Pope says now. If you scratch the surface of his new improved persona, you find the same old Argentinian anti-woman inside.

  •  I don't engage these people anymore (4+ / 0-)

    I'm absolutely not interested in their opinion. I tell them I'm in the pro killing babies camp. Problem solved, they won't talk to me anymore.

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 11:50:49 AM PST

  •  Ask them if they believe in forced organ donation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch, boophus, Penny GC

    McFall v Shimp

    Since a woman is donating her body to keep a fetus alive.

    "Down with sodomy, up with teabagging!" Sign @ TeaBilly rally.

    by pitbullgirl65 on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 11:57:29 AM PST

  •  Government, the courts, and legislation are not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC

    the place to be implementing moral or religious policy, period.  This applies to issue on both the right and the left and everybody would be better off if they followed this principle.

  •  Ask him for his medical and scientific reasons (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for wanting a total ban.

    Because this is a secular country with secular laws.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 12:48:51 PM PST

  •  It's just barely possible that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC

    because the person you're dealing with is relatively young (I'm assuming college age?), you just maybe-might-possibly have made him Think.  

    I also like the fact that before his mind could retreat turtle-like back in to its shell, you hit him with a second bout of logic by appealing to his economics world view.  The longer that mind-turtle stays out of its shell, the wider its eyes will open - and the more likely it will come out to listen next time.

    Well done, Mike, Well done!

    They don't win until we quit fighting!

    by Eyesbright on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 12:51:09 PM PST

  •  Tell your classmate to pick up a bible (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and count how many fetuses "God" killed. Tell him he'll just have to do an estimate on the Flood.

    Then finish it off with a declaration that you think anyone who honors that book ought to be banned from holding office in the US.  (Actually Thomas Jefferson wanted a prohibition on ministers being allowed to hold office, but Madison talked him out of it. I'm beginning to think old TJ was on to something there.).

  •  If abortion is murder (0+ / 0-)

    Then it is first degree murder because it is obviously premeditated, otherwise it's called a miscarriage.  Does your classmate believe in the death penalty?  If so, then every women who commits first degree murder by getting an abortion, and every doctor and nurse and midwife and everyone else who aids this "murder" should get the death penalty or life imprisonment.  Is your classmate willing to hundreds of thousands or even millions of women and others put into prison for life?  Is she willing to have tens of thousands executed every year?  Is she willing to spend her precious tax dollars on all these new prisons?

    If not, then she should tone down her rhetoric.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 03:15:27 PM PST

  •  While I agree with you and with your argument (0+ / 0-)

    it's worth pointing out that there are two schools of thought on the Bible verse that you (and I, and many others) interpret as saying that causing a miscarriage does not count as murder.

    A rough translation reads "If two men struggle, and strike a woman bearing child, so that her fruit fall from her, and no [further] harm follows ..."  It is reasonable to interpret this as meaning that the woman miscarries and the fetus dies, with "no harm" meaning that the woman herself may recover to full health.  But it is equally reasonable to interpret this as causing a premature labor, with "no harm" meaning no harm to the living infant.

    A much better argument against the position that the Bible equates abortion with murder is the fact that Biblical laws regarding death do not mandate (and arguably do not permit) a full burial service and mourning period for a stillborn infant, even one stillborn at nine months.  Unborn babies, while not valueless, were decidedly not valued as equal with living infants.

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