Abortion Allowed, Not Prohibited in the Bible

Pro-Life Christian fundamentalists hold that abortion, at whatever stage, for whatever reason, is tantamount to murder in the eyes of God. For them the issue is so basic that their elected representatives in Congress are willing to hold up debate on vital economic matters until their demands for disallowing Federal funding for abortion are met.

But the Bible they uphold as the revealed Word of God doesn’t condemn abortion at all. The closest thing to it is the special case in Mosaic Law in which if a pregnant woman is caught in brawl between her husband and another man and is injured, killed or suffers a miscarriage, then the man fighting with her husband is criminally liable. If not, no big deal. (Exodus 21:22.) Fetuses as such had not individual identity, much less legal rights in the Bible. They were merely part of their mothers.

On the other hand, abortion was an accepted collateral damage in Jehovah’s genocidal mandates. In Joshua 6:21 he orders his captain to kill all the people of Jericho, “man and women, old and young,” many of the women presumably with fetuses in their wombs. The only one spared was the Rahab and her family, the harlot who helped Joshua’s spies gather intelligence in preparation for the attack. In Joshua 8:21 all twelve thousand inhabitants of Ai, men and women, pregnant or not, were put to the sword under Jehovah’s orders. And in 1 Samuel 15:3, the prophet Samuel, following Jehovah’s orders, tells King Saul: “Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep and camel and donkey.”

True, the Sixth Commandment categorically states that “thou shall not kill.” But read on and you’ll find plenty of condoned killings throughout the rest of the Good Book. Jehovah The Lord was big on prescribing the death penalty for all sorts of transgressions-- murder, rape, kidnapping, witchcraft, idolatry, treason, sedition, contempt of court, temple desecration, cursing one's parents, pre-marital sex, adultery, incest, homosexuality and bestiality. His allowed methods of execution included burning alive, stoning, hanging, and beheading. Nearly every prophet, priest, and hero of the Old Testament either killed or had somebody killed in the Lord's name.

Interesting that many of the same Christian fundamentalists who abhor abortion nonetheless support the death penalty in criminal cases and have no qualm about sending young soldiers to kill and be killed in pointless wars. Such true believers, like the Lord they worship, tend to think in mysterious ways.

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