October 22nd, 2007
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This has so many jokes it’s hard to even start explaining the strip. It’s partly or mostly true, though.
Partly, because the Bible has a fair bit about keeping women under control as well.
Too true to be funny. But it’s damned on point! Definitely a keeper.
This is such a wonderfully compressed indictment of everything wrong with the right-winger anti-abortion stance that it’s just about damned near perfect. Managing to put so many good points into a mere four panels is authentically ingenious. Well done!
Me loves this cartoon strip…
The Bible also says the the life of the flesh is in the blood. A fetus has oxygenated blood running through it! Duh!
Therefore when you abort a fetus you are shedding innocent blood!
600,000 innocent dead iraqi civilians is spilling innocent blood too. But no one seems to give a shit about that.
WordSword, do you think abortion is murder, then?
Would you support the death penalty (or life sentence) as a consequence?
Why or why not?
Congrats, WordSword. You’ve discovered a contradiction in the Bible! It’s full of them. Now which version do you choose? And how do you justify making moral judgments based on the Bible when your good book can’t even make up its own mind?
WordSword: So your bible says different, conflicting things about what life is and when/where it begins … how do you choose which one is the unerrant word of god, and which one can be handily ignored? Just curious….
Close but no cigar… Ex 21.22 says if you cause premature birth w/o serious damage it’s a fine. Ex 21.23 says if it’s serious then it’s the whole eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, etc.
This would also be more of a condemnation of Judaism than Christianity – what with the addition of ‘turn the other cheek’ and all that stuff from the sermon on the mount.
To clarify, the original Hebrew Ã—â„¢Ã—Â Ã—Â¦Ã—â€¢(Strongs 5327) meant to be expelled, brought out, or come out.
The real meaning is that if the injury causes the woman to go into labor and the child be born without harm, the father of the child shall determine the punishment. If the child died, the next verse requires life for life.
However, taking into account the example given by the cartoon as well, the bible then contradicts itself. So which do you believe? This sort of contradiction should not be tolerated in a text that one lives there life trying to abide by. The bible simply allows you to take whatever position is most convenient for you and be in the right no matter what.
That’s not what the Bible says. It indicates that if someone causes a *premature birth* and no harm follows, then a fine. If harm follows (either to the mother or preemie child) then the guilty ones pay eye for eye, etc.
The Truth: Ruining Jokes Since ~4004 B.C.
“The Bible also says the life of the flesh is in the blood. A fetus has oxygenated blood running through it! ”
No, no, no; you’re looking for an evidential, naturalistic validation of the bible, and we all know such things are to be ignored. Whatever chemica-whatsits and glop and goo there is sloshing about it in there, the fetus doesn’t have Life in its blood until it gets the Breath. You can’t see it, you can’t prove it, but that’s just how it is–it’s faith!
“Therefore when you abort a fetus you are shedding innocent blood!”
Oh, heavens no–only if you cut it up.
Boy, I can’t see how to get around WordSword’s impeccable logic. He’s got us all there. Until the next self-styled “interpreter” comes around.
[…] esta graciosa historieta que parece indicar que el aborto no estaba prohibido en la Biblia.Ã‚Â Yo no soy ningÃƒÂºn experto en […]
The Bible tells us all kinds of things, though, doesn’t it? Have a look around Wordswordy person, and let’s see if you’ll obey everything in it.
And while I’m on the subject, learn ancient greek, to make sure you get the original text, instead of all the edited, “cleaned up” versions. I did. So you can, too, if you want to speak with any semblance of authority.
Men equate their power and integrity with the intactness and control of “their” women’s reproductive organs. The more conservative the society, the more this is true, and the more of a woman’s body this hysteria extends to. (Hysteria = identifying with the uterus — look up the history and etymology of the concept of hysteria).
This is a simple observation that can be made after several years of research, which I would recommend to anybody hoping to speak seriously about blasphemy and what the Bible actually does say.
Hmm, we don’t really need to look for an actual instruction, rather we need to think about implications. If it is possible that abortion may be wrong then how do we avoid the occasion of requiring abortion? Either no sex or better contraception. Adults need to educate their children about these choices and the need to think things through before embarking on a sex life.
Newcomer to your great website, I gotta say, this shit is HIGHLARIOUS!
Keep it up guys/man/whoever, I love it!
that is stupid. how does abortion being wrong have anything to do with controling women? killing babies is wrong, whether they are born or partly or not at all. i dont think it is funny to joke about it, and i find this tasteless.
Lets get the real quote from Scripture:
Exodus 21:22 If men strive, 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 womanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, 24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
Notice if the child departs (is caused to come out of the womb)
there is a price to pay. But if any mischief (damage) it is life for life, eye for eye, and burn for burn. So if the child is cut up as in some abortions the cutter should be cut. If it is burned as is often the case with a chemical
then the burner should be burned. Looks like the death penalty to me.
You have no argument but a strawman you set up to misquote the Bible.
I’ve gotten a paper cut, guess i’ve shed my own innocent blood…
I assume it’s innocent, because what did my blood ever do to any of you :-p
21:22 If men fight and hit a pregnant woman and her child is born prematurely, but there is no serious injury, he will surely be punished in accordance with what the womanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s husband demands of him, and he will pay what the court decides.
21:23 But if there is serious injury, then you will give a life for a life,
22Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“And in case men should struggle with each other and they really hurt a pregnant woman and her children do come out but no fatal accident occurs, he is to have damages imposed upon him without fail according to what the owner of the woman may lay upon him; and he must give it through the justices. 23Ã‚Â But if a fatal accident should occur, then you must give soul for soul, 24Ã‚Â eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25Ã‚Â branding for branding, wound for wound, blow for blow.
Wordsword – so, by your logic, if you abort the fetus prior to vascularization (i.e. when there is no oxygenated, or other, blood in the fetus) it wouldn’t be shedding innocent blood?
So I guess you’ve got a month or so after fertilization to abort?
It’s not that clear that Exodus 21:22 is about miscarriage. It seems vs. 23 is about miscarriage, and it stipulates a penalty of life for life. See the following, from the NASB (a literal translation):
Exodus 21:22-4 If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
Ex 21:22 “Ã¢â‚¬Å“And in case men should struggle with each other and they really hurt a pregnant woman and her children do come out but no fatal accident occurs…”
There are two key elements present here.
He must be “fined” or “beaten” only if they hit the pregnant woman by accident, meaning that no one tried on purpose to kill her or the child, and if no fatal accident occurs, meaning that the child lived after the accident.
It says at Ex 21:23 “But if a fatal accident should occur, then you must give soul for soul…”
Umm, since about half of all pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion, with the zygote being flushed from the womb before the woman even knows she’s pregnant, the whole “life begins at conception” argument starts to reek more and more of bullshit, doesn’t it?
Fucking nitwits. Stop trusting the word of some 6,000-year-dead asshole for advice on living in the modern world.
Stop using religion for fun.
I have always loved all the Jesus and Mo comic strips – until this one. Not all people who are anti-abortion are religious nor are they anti-female. I’m a female atheist, but I am anti-abortion except in the cases of maternal health, fetal health (not eugenics, but such as if the baby isn’t developing a spine), or rape. I just think that it shouldn’t be used as a form of birth control.
Sex education needs to be revised. Abstinence only education doesn’t work. It would be nice if it did, but we have to work within the confines of reality and not what we WISH was reality. Teens are having sex. Heck, PRE-Teens are now having sex! So, we should at least be teaching them to be responsible. And no, that doesn’t just mean “here have a condem – be safe.” That means teaching them the good, the bad, and the ugly of ALL of it. Not just what SOME people want them to know.
However, back to abortion – as a woman who has suffered three miscarriages in her lifetime and will likely never be able to have a child, I find it truly heartbreaking that women are throwing away so many children each and every day. I would love to be able to have children of my own, but that will probably never happen. However, I fully intend on adopting if I cannot have children.
Why is it that if you are an atheist, people assume that you should believe in abortion? Even forgoing the whole philosophy of when life begins, it is unsavory at best. I also don’t know why is is associated with feminism. The right to abortion isnt like the right to an education or a job or right to own property. In the vast majority of cases, abortion is about convenience. The sex was consensual, if not the consequenses (in most cases, excluding rape). It’s not like we force all women to have sex and thus their only choice is child rearing or abortion. And men should have some say too. It is true that the womans body bears the discomfort and pain of actual child bearing, but the child and it’s genetic material are half of the fathers.
In what evolutionary sense could it possibly be adaptive to proceed with abortions. Are we really at the point where we feel the need and right to ‘cull’ our own population?
I think this community sometimes gets caught up only in taking the exact opposite of what the Religious Right says, just because they are so narrow minded and stupid. But this issue really should be debated among intelligent people as a complicated issue, not in black and white, or in terms of “Jesus said…” or “Jesus was a dumbass.” What benefits to society do abortions really provide? Is it a right or a convenience? And where do we draw the line? Sperm? Cells? or something that is enough of our likeness to merit some care?
I just want to hear some real thoughts from the left too.
Surely what is right for the individual woman is simply right? After all, a mother’s ‘instinct’ is supossed to be pretty empathic isn’t it? As a man, I find having a black and white opinion on abortion impossible. Surely as a woman, this is exasperated even more so? Black and white never works in real life, and in my opinion wisdom has to be found on each and every occassion. Doesn’t the bible also say (and I am no expert) ‘judge not lest he be judged’. Never a finer piece of wisdom written I reckon….
I’ve never had a bible tell me anything, it just sits there quietly in the drawer of the little table next to the bed in the No-tel Mo-tel.
On the other hand, in the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers Comics, I got an education that has proved to be perfect for me. I can draw strength from the knowledge that “Weed will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no weed.” Simple and to the point, it will stand the test of time. Now, if they had only taken the time to list those numbers for the chapters and verses, you’d see some real explanations on the way life is.
It was Freewheelin’ Frank who long before 9-11 suggested taking a bomb on a plane. The way he explained it, since the chance that there would be two people taking a bomb on a plane was next to none, you’d be safe. This is stronger logic than anything I’ve ever heard the bible thumpers say when they knock on my door early on a Sunday morning.
Otherwise, it’s the Flying Spagetti Monster for me.
I agree with Amanda and Brian. There is no link between being an atheist and being anti-aborton. I am both of those things. Morality has nothing to do with God and abortion is essentailly a question of morality. It is possible for abortion to be wrong for reasons not found in the bible. It is also possible for abortion to be wrong without having to equate it to murder (after all killing adult humans is not always human). It is also possible for abortion to be wrong without excluding the possibility of exceptions (speeding is wrong, but we can all think of exceptions to this general rule). It is also possible for very early abortions to be Ok but late abortions to be wrong.
The existance of God is a black and white issue (he either exists or not). Abortion like any moral issue is much more complex.
[…] More in this great blog […]
abortion is the choice of the mother until the foetus has a nervous system,
morality is determined (in the real world) by avoiding physical or psychological suffering.
a woman, who is pregnant, and does not want to be, (by rape, mistake or whatever does not matter!) SHE will ALWAYS be more important than a pre-nervous-system fetous,
if the embryo can’t suffer, becouse is not developed enough, (on the first 2 months) then it can be aborted.
suffering is the only thing that matters in reality. That’s how I see it.
Bronze age mythology has nothing to do with what is moral or not.
[…] Lo que realmente dice la Biblia sobre el abortowww.jesusandmo.net/2007/10/22/women/ por kurtinaitis hace pocos segundos […]
[…] comic’s take on abortions and religion. (via Pharyngula). local […]
NRSV also translates as miscarriage, suggesting that the question of harm is concerning the condition of the pregnant woman, not the miscarried fetus.
ESV goes with ‘her children come out’, but it should be noted that there’s a footnote on the passage: “or: ‘…so that her children come out and it is clear who was to blame, he shall be fined as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he alone shall pay. If it is unclear who is to blame…'”
In which case, it’s not an issue of harm at all, but of whether he’s at fault for it or not. Though the penalty for being unsure seems to suck in that case.
It is unclear in the English translation what is being referred to as far as the ‘harm coming to it’ – the pregnant woman, or the child who comes out.
Well said Tim.
Unusual number of replies here. Abortion is a sensitive subject it seems. I think it was Bill Clinton who said that abortion should be safe, legal an rare.
If abortion is wrong, why would it be ok in the case of rape? Is it always ok to kill the child of a rapist, or is abortion only ok if you agree with the woman’s reasons? If the latter is the case, how can you think that your position is about anything but controlling women?
[…] this is what the abortion debate is all […]
Turns out banning abortion simply pushes it underground. Number of abortions performed does NOT drop when it is outlawed, but number of deaths of women who have them goes way up.
Well, author did a good job didn’t he? That is, if he wanted to stimulate discussion anyway.
Abortion, miscarriage, the coil (which is supposed to stop a fertilised egg embedding in the wall of the uterus), all controversial, all bad for the health, all a matter for weeping. [Yes, even miscarriage is controversial, they try and make you feel guilty in a hundred subtle ways; you could have done this, you might not have done that, if you had…. if you hadn’t….
Control is a big factor in human relationships.
With all these atheist anti-abortionists speaking up, I want to raise my hand as a pro-choice Christian. I think abortion is generally a bad choice, but I don’t think it is a choice anyone makes lightly. It is not my place to dictate to ANY woman (not even my wife) what she must do regarding a pregnancy. If the child isn’t wanted then it’s better that it not be born. Seriously.
With respect to this cartoon, Ex 21:22 is talking about premature birth, not miscarriage (let alone abortion). And the following verses are pretty clear about the law if the child dies. To claim this is biblical support for abortion is a little… odd. Abortion is OK as long as the baby survives?? Come off it.
And to say that Gen 2:7 gives the “biblical definition of life” is drawing a ridiculously long bow.
There are contradictions in the bible – but this isn’t one of them. I don’t accept that these laws apply to me (under Ex 21:17 I’d have been put to death long ago!) – but they are consistent. That religion is used as a tool by men to control women is a valid point but it’s undermined by the 1st 3 panels.
Not your best work.
For those leaving messages using the bible to support death for all instances of abortion: Your god performs millions of abortions every year. If you claim your god to be omnipotent, then he must take full responsibility for his actions, including miscarriages. So in your support for the death penalty for abortion, you implicitly support putting your god to death, and this is a very rare case in which we are in full agreement. DEATH TO GOD!!!
Biblical law was the method of social control of the times. It isn’t relevant to associate the death penalty for causing miscarriage in this day and age. It isn’t relevant to take the bible literally, we are not a nomadic society and the old testament is not so fantastically relevant to Christianity anyway. Individuals must decide what they choose, individuals have always decided what they choose, no one does something without first deciding to in some way or another. Having said that, one must realise that if one is totally controlled by another it might feel as though there is no choice, but there is. The consequences may actually be worse if deciding to ignore the controller or controls is the choice taken, but there is always a choice.
Well said Tie.
I find myself agreeing with the Cartoonist here. Which is probably not surprising seeing as though I am pro-choice. I must add however that, the point here is not whether or not abortion is right, it’s whether or not it’s legitimate to use the bible to explore this (rather too important a) topic.
And due to the extremely polysemic nature of the text (bible) the text becomes esentially redundant (neutrosemic, as they call it).
That’s my 5c anyway.
I think it’s pretty clear from the biblical passages that the “mischief” referred to is mischief done to the woman, not the foetus. I mean really, in Biblical times, how likely is it that *any* premature baby would have survived, much less miscarried ones induced by violence? The “mischief” that follows is almost certainly related to the subsequent death of the mother, and so naturally would carry the biblical death penalty.
Here’s a thought; life doesn’t start, it continues. Like energy cannot be created, only converted man and woman create sperm and eggs. These are single celled life forms, which combine to become multi-celled life forms, which develop into increasingly complex multi-celled life forms until they can be recognised as human.
We know all fauna need oxygen, in whatever form that may come. In the absence of gas they must get it some other way; most likely through water. The human body is mostly water (can’t remember the percentage) so at no stage is the breath of life actually lost.
With this is mind, shouldn’t the anti-abortion morons get up in arms about the millions of sperm that are lost during both attempts at and the act of conception? Be it by evolution or grand design that effectively amounts to the spark of life being lost by not fulfilling it’s purpose.
Apologies; bad punctuation above may have made it seem like I was saying only born-again religious types create sperm/eggs. 2nd line should read “Like energy cannot be created, only converted, man and woman….”
In response to Dave B. – The reason I include rape as an exceptions is because a woman who became pregnant through rape didn’t have a choice in the matter. She didn’t choose to have the sexual intercourse which led to her pregnancy. So, she should have some choice in this matter.
However, I would NEVER recommend an abortion for a rape survivor. I have found through personal experience that losing the baby doesn’t help.
I became pregnant by my rapist when I was only 14. I never once considered aborting my child. She was the one thing that was helping me get through the pain of my rape. I had a purpose to keep living and not give in to my suicidal desires. Unfortunately, my rapist found out and didn’t want there to be any evidence of what he’d done to me. I ended up so badly beaten that I lost my baby and my uterus is so permanently damaged that I will probably never be capable of having children.
However, not all rape survivors may react as I did. Hence why I believe she should have the choice in the matter – with NO pressure from anyone. I remember being pressured by Planned Parenthood after my rape to abort my child. Thankfully, I was strong enough to stand by my convictions. Unfortunately, not all rape survivors might be that strong when faced with people telling you how this “sac of cells” is going to “ruin your life.” SHE should have the choice in this with no scare tactics from people on EITHER side of the debate.
My thoughts on all of this an atheist can be anti-abortion and that, like anything in life, its not black and white. There are several shades of grey. As someone earlier said – speeding is wrong, but sometimes there are good reasons to do so (ie, taking a very sick loved one to the hospital). Its the same with everything that can be considered “wrong” – including abortion.
The question of whether abortion should be legal or not for me boils down to what society is willing to do to women to prevent them from harming their fetuses. How exactly does society intend to force a woman to behave in such a way that no harm will come to the fetus? Should a woman be locked up to prevent her from getting access to substances that could harm the fetus? Should she be strapped to her bed to prevent her from jumping up and down or punching herself in the stomach? Should drinkers and smokers be placed in protective custody (protective of the fetus, that is) when it becomes known that they are pregnant? Does it plan to conduct a criminal investigation in each case of miscarriage?
If society is not willing to do these things, how does it intend to enforce a ban on abortion and endangerment of the fetus?
@ # r00db00y slim :
Sperm and eggs are not single celled life forms. That is a bad analogy. To be ALIVE, an organism must exhibit the following characteristics (on wiki) :
1. Homeostasis: Regulation of the internal environment to maintain a constant state; for example, sweating to reduce temperature.
2. Organization: Being composed of one or more cells, which are the basic units of life.
3. Metabolism: Consumption of energy by converting nonliving material into cellular components (anabolism) and decomposing organic matter (catabolism). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.
4. Growth: Maintenance of a higher rate of synthesis than catalysis. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter. The particular species begins to multiply and expand as the evolution continues to flourish.
5. Adaptation: The ability to change over a period of time in response to the environment. This ability is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism’s heredity as well as the composition of metabolized substances, and external factors present.
6. Response to stimuli: A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism when touched to complex reactions involving all the senses of higher animals. A response is often expressed by motion, for example, the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun or an animal chasing its prey.
7. Reproduction: The ability to produce new organisms. Reproduction can be the division of one cell to form two new cells. Usually the term is applied to the production of a new individual (either asexually, from a single parent organism, or sexually, from at least two differing parent organisms), although strictly speaking it also describes the production of new cells in the process of growth.
Also, under this definition, fetuses could be construed as not being life because the don’t carry out reproduction or homeostasis.
Humans can not breathe through water. It wouldn’t matter if our bodies were 99.9% water. Also, all fauna don’t need oxygen (or at least not all the time. Check out the MMDR where mammals go for extended periods without oxygn or anaerobic organisms.)
I would have to say that I am pro-choice. No one should be allowed to tell me that I have to remain pregnant if I get pregnant and no one should be allowed to tell me that I have to have the baby.
What some have failed to notice is that this strip is about religion, and abortion is just an instrument to point out how silly some religious people are. It doesn’t help when someone like wordsword points towards other verses, it just proves the point.
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If you do not like abortion, don’t have one.
THE GOVERNMENT does belong being involved in a woman’s decision about her own body, in the privacy of her doctor’s office.
Remember coat hanger abortions?
Aside from the debate about what the ancient Hebrew ( a language long dead by the time of Christianity, much less now) may have meant to those who spoke it in terms of miscarriage or premature birth, the next verses in Exodus very clearly show that the Hebrew god didn’t care a bit about fully grown and self-aware people forced into a lifetime of bondage (not the good kind).
Elhoim was very obviously a vicious git who is so unwholesome that anybody adopting a morality based on his “teachings” is very likely psychotic.
como se les ocurre decir que el aborto es bueno, el unico encargado de dar la vida es Dios y por lo tanto tAMBIEN de quitarla, un hombre no puede decidir sobre una mujer, y si la mujer lo decide atengase a las consecuencias. pero Jesucristo es nuestro redentor, el nos perdona nuestros pecados si haY VERDARERO ARREPENTIMIENTO, ASI QUE ENTREGALE TU VIDA A JESUS QUE EL HARA EL RESTO
Whatever you say, whatever you do, whatever you think.
ABORTION IS THE WOMENS OWN CHOISE
I don’t think a guy named Jeebus with a holy bible, God, Abraham, or some men with tÃƒÂ¼rban/white capes should decide wether a woman should abort, not abort, or just go die. The women should themselves take this choice, and without people running around messing “ITS WRONG LOL! LYK IN DA BIBLE!”.
The Bible/Koran/Whatever doesn’t litterally say that ABORT IS WRONG, but it can be seen that way. It’s the same as the anti-gay movements. It doesn’t stand anywhere that it is wrong, but still people say “OMG! LOL IT CAN BE READ LIKE THIS LOL, THINK NOW! GOD CREATED……” It can, it says with other words, it fucks you up.
Bravo on the cartoon!
Scholars agree that the verse in Exodus is NOT speaking about a fetus being expelled by violence and surviving. Like that was even a possibility back then. It’s death is taken for granted, and the penalty of eye for eye only concerns what happens to the woman suffering the miscarriage. The fine is simply the payment for losing the future offspring.
Here’s some major scholarly opinion on the subject:
Abortion as such is not discussed in the Bible, so any explanation of why it is not legislated or commented on is speculative.
A key text for examining ancient Israelite attitudes [toward the fetus] is Exodus 21:22-25: â€œWhen people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the womanâ€™s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine. If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.â€ Several observations can be made about this passage.
The Hebrew text at v. 22 literally reads â€œand there is no harm,â€ implying that contrary to current sensibilities, the miscarriage itself was not considered serious injury. The monetary judgment given to the womanâ€™s husband indicates that the womanâ€™s experience of the miscarriage is not of significance, and that the damage is considered one to property rather than to human life. This latter observation is further supported by the contrast with the penalties for harm to the woman herself.
Drorah Oâ€™Donnell Setel, â€œAbortion,â€ The Oxford Guide to Ideas & Issues of the Bible, ed. by Bruce Metzger and Michael D. Coogan (Oxford University Press, 2001)
There is no biblical proof-text against abortion. Deuteronomy 30:19 (â€œchoose lifeâ€) has nothing to do with abortion; it has to do with being party to Godâ€™s covenant with Israel. Psalm 139:13-18 is less relevant to the issue than most people think; a careful reading of that psalm reveals that the â€œmotherâ€ in whose â€œwombâ€ the psalmist was known by God is Mother Earth (notice the parallelism between â€œmy motherâ€™s wombâ€ and â€œthe depths of the earthâ€ in the inclusio of vv. 13-15). Exodus 21 is very difficult, but it certainly does not speak directly to abortion; at most, it relates to an accidentally induced miscarriage, though it may refer to a premature birth. That interpretive decision is crucial, and Iâ€™m not sure how to resolve it. As far as I can tell, the only biblical passage that I know of that directly mentions a practice like we would think of as abortion curses a man who did not practice it on the fetal Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20:16-18). Now, having said that, I hasten to repeat that my general default position is anti-abortion (I am willing to listen to arguments on specific cases, though Iâ€™ve never had any input into a specific case), and I think a biblical case can be made for an anti-abortion position. But it must be a cumulative theological case, not a list of proof-texts–for there are no such proof-texts.
Dr. R. Christopher Heard [Old Testament professor at Pepperdine University, lifelong member of Churches of Christ], â€œIs the Bible Anti-Abortion?â€ at his blog, Higgaion, Friday, November 18, 2005 http://www.heardworld.com/higgaion/2005/11/is-bible-anti-abortion.html
BIBLE VERSES THAT MENTION MISCARRIAGES (â€œUNTIMELY BIRTHSâ€) AND SUGGEST THAT IN SOME CASES â€œNOT BEING BORNâ€ MIGHT HAVE BEEN BEST
Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad. And let that man be as the cities which the LORD overthrew, and repented not: and let him hear the cry in the morning, and the shouting at noontide; Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me. Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?
– Jeremiah 20:14-18
[This is the only Biblical passage that directly and indisputably mentions a practice that we would today think of as â€œabortion,â€ but notice, Jeremiah is cursing a man for NOT aborting the fetal Jeremiah.–E.T.B.]
Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light. There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest. There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor. The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master.
– Job 3:16-19
If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he. For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness. Moreover he hath not seen the sun, nor known any thing: this hath more rest than the other.
– Ecclesiastes 6:3-5
And here’s some further food for thought for anyone who has read and studied the Bible concerning the topic of abortion and how much Yahweh “cares for” the fetus:
HOW PRO-LIFE IS THE BIBLE?
According to the Bible, God Himself is ready, willing and able to abort fetuses:
Their fruit shalt Thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men.
– Psalm 21:10
The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they are born… let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun.
– Psalm 58:3,8
As for Israel, their glory shall fly away like a bird, and from the womb, and from the conception…Give them, O Lord: what will Thou give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts…they shall bear no fruit…
– Hosea 9:11-16
Notice that the prophet Hosea is pleading with his God to punish the Israelites by murdering their unborn babies. The Bible never really provides a logical rationale as to why fetuses, babies, and children must be punished for the sins of their parents and others. Some would suggest that for God to kill unborn babies for their parentâ€™s sins is somewhat misdirected retribution.
Gene Kasmar, WHYâ€¦The Brooklyn Center High School Bible Challenge. Part 1: The Evidence
Every living thing on the earth was drowned [by the Hebrew LORD–which included pregnant women and babies]…Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
– Genesis 7:23
Thus saith the LORD…Slay both man and woman, infant and suckling.
– 1 Samuel 15:3
Joshua destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD commanded.
– Joshua 10:40
The LORD delivered them before us; and we destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones.
– Deuteronomy 2:33-34
Kill every male among the little ones.
– Numbers 31:17
The wind of the LORD shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and…Samaria shall become desolate…they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.
– Hosea 13:15-16
With thee will I [the LORD] break in pieces the young man and the maid.
– Jeremiah 51:22
Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
– Psalm 137:9
According to the Bible, God gave orders to kill children and to rip open the bodies of pregnant women. The pestilences were sent by God. The frightful famine, during which the dying child with pallid lips sucked the withered bosom of his dead mother, was sent by God. God drowned an entire world with the exception of eight persons. Imagine how such acts would have stained the reputation of the devil!
Robert G. Ingersoll
According to the God of the Bible it was more important to stone a woman to death if she should â€œentice you to follow after other gods,â€ than it was to rescue the life of any fetus she might have been carrying.
It was more important to stone a woman to death the day after her wedding night â€œif she was discovered not to have been a virgin,â€ than it was to wait and see if she might have conceived new life that night.
It was more important to stone a woman to death for â€œadultery,â€ than to wait and see if she might be pregnant.
It was more important to stone a woman to death for â€œfailing to cry out while being raped within earshot of the city,â€ than it was to spare the life she might have conceived during that ordeal, during which the rapist may have held a knife to her throat, or strangled her into silence and submission.
And what about the test of â€œbitter waterâ€ mentioned in chapter five of the book of Numbers? The test consisted of mixing dust from the floor of the Hebrew tabernacle with â€œholy waterâ€ to make a concoction that a woman drank to test whether or not she had committed adultery. If she had, it says, â€œher belly will swell and her thigh will rot.â€ Scholars have pointed out that â€œthighâ€ is a euphemism for sexual organs. So if the woman had committed adultery and had conceived as a result, then the â€œbitter waterâ€ would induce an abortion (â€œher thigh would rotâ€). (I wonder if this means that Bible-believing women who are accused of having affairs ought to swallow some dirt from the floor of their church mixed with â€œholy water?â€ Or better yet, swallow an abortion pill like RU-486 in front of the whole congregation?)
And what about children who â€œcurse their parents?â€ The Bible says, â€œKill them!â€ (Ex. 21:17; Lev. 20:9; Mat. 15:4; Mark 7:10) The Bible does not say how old the child has to be, but it does emphatically state they must â€œsurely be put to deathâ€ should they â€œcurse their parents.â€
Ah, the good old days, when God fearing people had higher priorities than â€œsaving fetal lives.â€ They were too busy stoning whomever enticed them to worship other gods, stoning adulteresses, stoning women who werenâ€™t virgins on their wedding night, stoning women who â€œfailed to cry outâ€ during rape, and stoning sassy children. In other words they were too busy with all of those higher priorities to worry about â€œthe fate of fetuses.â€
Edward T. Babinski, editor of LEAVING THE FOLD: TESTIMONIES OF FORMER FUNDAMENTALISTS
[…] EDIT: Man, the internet is the gift that keeps on giving. […]
“Bible” should be capitalized–it’s a name. But I do agree with the statement made in this cartoon. I think it is ridiculous how people try to connect everything to religion, despite the whole “Separation of Church and State” thing, which I am beginning to think is a Myth. (yeah, “myth” should not be capitalized, but emphasis required it)
Men equate their power and integrity with the intactness and control of “their” women’s reproductive organs. The more conservative the society, the more this is true, and the more of a woman’s body this hysteria extends to. (Hysteria = identifying with the uterus — look up the history and etymology of the concept of hysteria).
The angry commentators on this post are all so original, intelligent and well spoken that I can barely separate you from the conservatives they hate so much.
Seriously guys, you don’t know everything.
With that being said, this is a brilliant comic, even though I don’t agree with the underlying ideology.
The evolution of when a mass of cells becomes a person from a religious standpoint is so extra-biblical as to be laughable.
If a census taken during biblical times would only count infants at least a month old, then the old saw about life beginning at conception (or at 40) is unsupported doctrinally.
No innocent blood there, that baby’s a sinner!!
Uhm.. Technically: In the hebrew understanding, life is defined by blood.
This also creates that basis for the rules for what you may and may not eat (that is, you may not eat things that [still] has blood in it).
Incidentially the word for blood, dam, and the word for Man, adam (that is: humanity, that is: life), are closely related and share the same root.
The logic being: Man(kind) is alive, and has blood. Therefore if it has blood it means it is alive. – The breath of God is the primary cause as for why things *are* alive, but having blood is what, later on, defines things as being alive.
So: Life is defined by blood, not by breath (theologically this means that christians are “born again” by the blood of Christ, not by a holy breath).
Uhm. Good comic though. I’ve been a regular reader for quite a while now.