Abortion in the First Degree

So the following was occasioned by Donald Trump beclowning himself on the abortion issue, but it is not about that particularly. He said, remember, that women who get abortions should, were the practice to become illegal, receive some sort of punishment. He held to that position for about ten minutes, but it was long enough to get this particular issue on the table. I responded to that situation here, and some conversation about my statements followed — on Facebook, Twitter, and here. But more needs to be said about it.Abortion Penalties

So the question is this. Should women who procure abortions be charged with anything? Should there be any penalty? Ever?

That question in turn divides into two questions. First, are we in the pro-life world proposing any penalties for women now or in the foreseeable future? The answer to that question is no, for reasons I addressed in the first post.

But the second question concerns an ideal biblical republic, and involves the logic of the thing. If abortion is murder, then who is the murderer? And even if the murderer is the abortionist, on what grounds could we possibly say that the mother can never be complicit?

So say that all this postmillennialism stuff is true, and a thousand years from now we have believing magistrates, a faithful people in the main, biblical laws, and all those unfortunate people who were born with a critical spirit have no scope for their blogging talents. Everything in the civil realm is exactly as it ought to be. What would the case be then? Could there be any penalty then? The answer here is of course, but it is an of course that requires very careful exposition. If we argue in favor of governing by slogan, it just shows that we aren’t prepared to govern anything. Biblical law is the absolute truth of God, but that doesn’t mean that it is assembled out of two by fours.

First, we should start with what abortion is. It is the unjust taking of a human life. A human egg fertilized with a human spermatozoon will live forever, and the egg and the sperm that never united will not live forever. All such life should be protected by the laws of the nation.

I know this, but I do not know it because I can see it with my eyes. Nevertheless, I do know this, believing it to be the case. That means — it follows necessarily — that if I deliberately took such a fertilized egg that was in the laboratory and washed it down the sink, I would be guilty of murder, pure and simple. I would be sinning against light. This would be true because abortion is murder. This is true even though I could not tell the difference (at sight) between a fertilized human egg and a fertilized egg of some other mammal.

This soul who will live forever is barely visible to the naked eye. Issues like knowledge, recognition, awareness, and intention clearly enter into how we might assign degrees of culpability in cases like this.

So what is murder? Our laws differentiate (rightly and biblically) between different kinds of murder/manslaughter. One law in Deuteronomy makes a distinction between manslaughter and premeditated murder — “That the slayer might flee thither, which should kill his neighbour unawares, and hated him not in times past; and that fleeing unto one of these cities he might live” (Deut. 4:42; cf. Num. 35:11,15,25; Ex. 21:13). There is premeditated murder (hated him in times past) and there is accidental manslaughter.

“And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live: Whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past; As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live” (Deut. 19:4-5).

Manslaughter might be negligent manslaughter, where there is some degree of culpability. What do you do when the man with the ax was warned a couple times by the dead man that the ax head was loose? And there are other cases where the person who took the life of the other person was not culpable — it could have happened to anybody. Nevertheless he is still responsible, since he is the one who has to flee to one of the cities of refuge.

What we have here is the matter of intention, and intention is all bound up in how much you know. In our current abortion procedures, the woman has to give her consent, but what is she consenting to? That varies according to knowledge and intention. Some mothers are as guilty as the doctor is because they know, and some women are being lied to.

Suppose we were to imagine a trial in which the prosecution had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the woman in question knew that her aborted child was a distinct human life, created in the image of God, could he do it? In some cases he could, but I am convinced that in many cases he could not reach the biblical threshold for conviction. He would have trouble reaching that threshold because this entire topic has been covered over with massive lies for more than a generation. The reason that the pro-abortion forces fight applications of ultrasound technologies to this issue so vigorously is that they know (and they are right in knowing) that there are many women who would not do it if they saw what they were doing. If increased knowledge would affect behavior, then decreased knowledge affects the degree of complicity.

Note that I do not say that it removes complicity. Many women know that they are doing something unnatural and wrong, and they are responsible for what they do know. Moreover there is the additional culpability that comes from not really wanting to know more in order to preserve some degree of deniability. That happens also. But remember the prosecutor. Under biblical law, he has to prove more than the victim is dead and that the accused had something to do with it. He also has to prove a host of other things involving knowledge, awareness, intention, and so on.

Suppose that in our ideal biblical republic, we had a sensational case involving frozen embryos. This is a thought experiment so you need to forget for the moment that there will be no frozen embryos in our ideal biblical republic. But suppose we had them. A man and his wife had the embryos “done up.” Their relationship went south after that and they got divorced. The man married again, and his second wife discovered that wife number one was going to have one of the embryos implanted and was going to carry it to term. In a fit of jealous rage, she breaks into the laboratory and destroys the embryos. Okay, what’s the charge? In my thought experiment republic, the charge would be murder. All the elements are there — intention, knowledge, recognition, etc.

Here is another supposal. If you say that intention, recognition, and knowledge play no role in this, and that a culpably ignorant woman who takes a “no pregnancy pill” deliberately is guilty in the same way and to the same degree as someone who murders her grandmother for her money, you are not yet done. You cannot stop there, pleased with your consistency. What about the women who would never take an abortifacient deliberately because they are ardently pro-life? But suppose they did take some kind of hormonal birth control about which there was some debate, but the woman was only dimly aware of the debate. For her it was simply “birth control.” Now suppose a few years go by, and the debate is then conclusively settled — the substance in question was in fact an abortifacient and the results are acknowledged by everyone. Do you round all these women up and charge them with negligent manslaughter? If you would, remember what a biblical prosecutor would have to do.

My point is not that biblical law is inadequate for these “modern” situations. My point is simply that biblical law does not allow for trial by slogan.

Now when you have a third trimester kid who has everything an American kid ought to have except a ball cap and skateboard, and you have doctors who have done graduate level studies in prenatal growth and development, and they cut such a baby up in order to sell the parts, and they do so precisely because they are human parts, do I have a problem saying that they are guilty of murder simpliciter? No problem whatever. That is abortion in the first degree.

But compare this to a frightened teen-aged girl who is told that this thing that is happening inside her is “just a clump of cells” and she looks it up and sees only a clump of cells, and she vaguely recalls a sermon she heard once where some preacher said “personhood” happens “sometime” later. If she goes ahead and gets the abortion, the loss of life is no less real. It is no less a tragedy, but the degree of culpability for the mother is significantly less. It has not vanished, but it is less.

Note that none of this means that I am admitting of degrees when it comes to the need to defend human life. I am simply talking about who should be charged. I am an abolitionist. Abortion needs to be against the law across the board. Abortion is not okay just because an abortifacient pill is sold to an ignorant woman by a smiling pharmacist. Abortion is never acceptable because the action took place in a well-lit Walgreen’s and not in Gosnell’s shop of horrors.

Such things must be against the law, period. And if against the law, there must be penalties. But against whom, and on what basis?

And one last thing. Where do ideal biblical republics come from? They come from evangelism, reformation, and revival. There would be no way even to discuss such things with profit without a massive cultural consensus. That consensus will in fact happen, but it will be the gospel that does it, and not law. One of the most glorious verses in the Bible speaks to this issue wonderfully. “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith” (Rom. 4:13).

Not through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

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Frank_in_Spokane
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Frank_in_Spokane

I trust that this question does not constitute thread-jacking, so here goes: “What we have here is the matter of intention, and intention is all bound up in how much you know.” Does the Bible indicate that there are varying degrees of culpability based on mental ability / maturity? IOW, is an adult with the mental capacity of a 7 year old not culpable for committing murder (say he was manifestly angry when he killed the victim) because of his diminished mental capacity? How about a 14-year-old with the mental capacity of a 14-year-old? And should a teen-aged murderer who… Read more »

John Barry
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John Barry

Not mental ability or maturity, but *knowledge* and *intent*.

Doug rightly connects these with the degree of guilt.

As an aside, how he holds to the doctrine of original sin perplexes me.

Somehow the unborn child is also guilty, but for some other reason.

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

1. So, how should a Christian politician answer the Matthews question?

2. On the off chance that you’re right about post-millennialism, isn’t a thousand more years of this bloodshed just about the most pessimistic thing you’ve ever heard of? Lord, have mercy, and may the killing stop sooner than that.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

wtrsims
Member

But why is it that a mother may not know that the child she is aborting is anything more than a “clump of cells” but the doctor always knows? Can you prove that the doctor indisputably knows that what he or she is doing is in fact murder and yet does it anyways? Why do you get to assume that the doctor always and necessarily knows better? Why does the mother get the benefit of the doubt for perhaps believing a lie but you don’t afford the doctor the same, though it’s just as probable that they too are merely… Read more »

Daniel Woodworth
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Daniel Woodworth

In theory, I suppose it would be possible. In practice, I’ve never seen a scientist or doctor who didn’t believe that life began at conception.

wtrsims
Member

You’re implying, though you’re perhaps leaving room for some plausible deniability, that ALL scientists and doctors believe that life begins at conception, and even if that is true that’s not the point at hand.

How many of those doctors or scientists believe that those living cells actually and at that very moment compose a person? If the mother can get away by believing that her child is merely a clump of cells, then why does the doctor not receive equitable treatment for believing the selfsame thing?

Daniel Woodworth
Guest
Daniel Woodworth

I’m quite confident that anyone with a knowledge of embryology knows that a human being comes into existence at conception — that is, that life begins at conception.

Clarence
Guest
Clarence

My, you have quite the misplaced confidence then. There are plenty of scientists who hold that HUMAN life does not begin at fertilization. I don’t blame them, because if human life begins at fertilization or even the early stages of implantation than God is the biggest abortionist of all. As someone who is not religious, I can make a case for HUMAN life (and hence the State having an interest in protecting said life) beginning when there is brainwave activity. Or when, absent modern medical science, the purported ‘infant’ or ‘baby’ human could , with a healthy mother , under… Read more »

Daniel Woodworth
Guest
Daniel Woodworth

You are rather badly mistaken. I would challenge you to find a single embryologist who believes as you say, let alone “plenty.” The fact is, there is no debate among rational, honest people that a new human life begins at conception.

Clarence
Guest
Clarence

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/embryology-and-abortion.87033/

Gosh,. that was hard. It’s nice you think you know every embryologist in the entire USA and how they feel on abortion. And please don’t consider yourself ‘rational’ if you take the Bible as literal truth. By definition you have faith, and faith is neither rationalism, nor is it science.

P.S. Note I said scientists, not just embryologists.

Daniel Woodworth
Guest
Daniel Woodworth

Yes, I realize you said scientists. That was a dishonest attempt on your part to shift the discussion away from embryologists, who I’d mentioned, to scientists in general, who don’t necessarily have any firsthand knowledge. I ignored your petty dishonesty, rather than call you out, because it wasn’t important.

I find it interesting that in the thread you linked to, only one poster actually argues against the self-evident fact that life begins at conception, and none of them purport to be embryologists. I was expecting you to try, at least.

Clarence
Guest
Clarence

Some of them ‘purport’ to be studying embryology.
Which is more than you ever seem to have done.
Do you have a rational argument about this?
Or are you just going to thump your Bible and demand that I submit to your personal testimony which you back by absolutely nothing?

If so, we are done here.

Daniel Woodworth
Guest
Daniel Woodworth

Since you seem to have become confused somewhere along the way, I’m going to repeat my challenge and leave it at that:

Please give an example of an embryologist who believes that human life does not begin at conception.

Once we have that, we can continue the discussion.

Clarence
Guest
Clarence

I consider I have already done so.

Daniel Woodworth
Guest
Daniel Woodworth

You linked to a discussion between medical students, none of whom claim to be embryologists.

Clarence
Guest
Clarence

Some of whom claim to be studying embryology. And obviously coming to somewhat different conclusions based on said studying.

Sharon Diehl
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Sharon Diehl

I have given Daniel quotes from developmental biologists, who have stated that embryos are not “human beings”. None of these religious folks accept science…maybe they are all young earth creationists. What I’m concerned with is how you develop. I know that you all think about it perpetually that you come from one single cell of a fertilized egg. I don’t want to get involved in religion but that is not a human being. I’ve spoken to these eggs many times and they make it quite clear…they are not a human being.–Dr. Lewis Wolpert, developmental biologist, author of “Principles of Development”… Read more »

Clarence
Guest
Clarence

You mean Daniel, surely.
As I am not religious and am not arguing that a zygote is a person.

Sharon Diehl
Guest
Sharon Diehl

Yes…corrected! I shouldn’t stay up so late.

I Art Laughing
Guest
I Art Laughing

Don’t care about scientists. What does the Bible say? If that isn’t your authority you probably came in the wrong door.

Sharon Diehl
Guest
Sharon Diehl

The bible is just one religious tome among many. There is the Bhagavad Gita, the Tao-te-ching, the Talmud, the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Dasam Granth, the Tripiṭaka, the Book of Mormon, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Take your pick.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Noooo, seriously? I had no idea. You’re kidding, right? Then why aren’t all those in the nightstands at the Motel 6?

Sharon Diehl
Guest
Sharon Diehl

“More hotels are checking out of the Bible business”

It is difficult to gauge how many of the country’s 53,000 hotels still put Bibles in the rooms because most major hotel franchise companies let individual hotel owners and managers decide whether to make the Scriptures a standard amenity.

But a recent survey by STR, a hospitality analytics company, found that the percentage of hotels that offer religious materials in rooms has dropped significantly over the last decade, from 95% of hotels in 2006 to 48% this year.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hotel-bibles-20161204-story.html

I guess people are going to have to bring their own reading materials.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Your attempt to blame God fails, for every HUMAN life ends in death and the death of every HUMAN is in His hands..

But, accepting your premise that there is no God, then by the internal logic of your argument, killing you is morally acceptable since there exists at least one person who thinks killing you is justified. In the grand-scheme of things, you are a nothing.

In the Christian view, you are created in His image and precious to Him, despite your deplorable lack of moral imagination.

Sharon Diehl
Guest
Sharon Diehl

Human embryos are not “human beings”. What I’m concerned with is how you develop. I know that you all think about it perpetually that you come from one single cell of a fertilized egg. I don’t want to get involved in religion but that is not a human being. I’ve spoken to these eggs many times and they make it quite clear…they are not a human being.–Dr. Lewis Wolpert, developmental biologist, author of “Principles of Development” I’m also confident that the freshly fertilized zygote is not human, either. There’s more to being human than bearing a cell with the right… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Newborn babies also used to have a “high failure rate”. Especially prematurely born babies. So is the test of the moral right to kill based on the proficiency of the medical technology available? And newborn babies don’t respond particularly differently to speech than pre-born babies the same age, so that argument for birth being the cutoff line is fairly week as well. There have been highly regarded secular bioethicists (Peter Singer comes to mind) who found the idea of a cutoff line for moral worth at birth to be frankly unsupportable. So where do you draw the line? And what… Read more »

Jane
Member

“Human embryos are not “human beings”.

Don’t force your religion on me. Science says that the developing offspring of a human can only be a human. Any proposition about which humans possess certain metaphysical characteristics is purely a religious one.

Stop opposing human rights.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

She has a master’s degree in biology. If I showed her embryonic cat to identify, I guess she couldn’t?

Sharon Diehl
Guest
Sharon Diehl

Several years ago, there was “The Elephant Fetus project”, in which an embryo/fetus image was presented to anti-choicers in the gestational range of 8 weeks. Outrage ensued as to the poor aborted “human” fetus. However, the joke was on the anti-choicers because the fetal picture was that of an elephant fetus–all vertebrate embryos in early stages look alike. Anti-choicers claim to be such experts on human development and often invoke images of embryos and fetuses as to why they should be given personhood status–upon an elephant and a cat, apparently.

https://humanwithuterus.wordpress.com/tag/elephant-fetus-project/

Christopher
Member

Falsely identifying a non human embryo as human doesn’t help you, you’d need them to identify a human embryo as not human to make your point.

Sharon Diehl
Guest
Sharon Diehl

No, dear, the experiment demonstrated that anti-choicers cannot discern between a human embryo and an embryo from another vertebrate–yet the “human embryo” is supposed to be “magical”!

In reality, there is nothing “magical” about human embryos. You however, view an implanted embryo as too “magical” for a woman to be allowed to remove it. Yet you are just fine if the embryo miscarries and loses its “magic” because of the will of a “magical” invisible supernatural being that you believe in. But nooooo, the woman herself is not allowed to perform this “magic! How illogical of you magical-thinkers.

Christopher
Member

“No, dear, the experiment demonstrated that anti-choicers cannot discern between a human embryo and an embryo from another vertebrate”

Not quite, it demonstrated that they veiwed all vertibrate embrios as human. In order to demonstrate that no embrios are ‘magical’ you need a false negative for a human embrio.

Jane
Member

No, pumpkin, the experiment demonstrated nothing other than that you had a bunch of people who were not deeply familiar with vertebrate embryology. Since when is the lack of ability of people to visually identify objects not commonly seen except by experts a benchmark of anything? Anything AT ALL?

If someone gave you a bunch of seeds and you couldn’t identify them, would that mean that you weren’t morally entitled to make a distinction between grapes and hemlock?

Well, poopsie, I imagine you think it does mean that, so I suppose the question is moot.

Sharon Diehl
Guest
Sharon Diehl

Are you people young-earth creationists? Because you don’t appear to be able to grasp fundamental concepts.

Sharon Diehl
Guest
Sharon Diehl

Science is not religion. How funny that you don’t recognize that you’re the ones attempting to force your religious beliefs onto the female populace.

Jane
Member

No, sweetiepumpkinsugarcakes, there is not an iota of science behind the proposition that a human embryo is not a human being. That is purely a religious proposition. Scientifically, the offspring of a human is, and can only be, a human.

I know this might be hard for your sweet little head to think about, but DO try: would you care to share the repeatable, testable, falsifiable, and measurable process by which you determine that a human embryo is not human? I can recommend some great wrinkle cream for your forehead when you’re done.

Sharon Diehl
Guest
Sharon Diehl

Honey, women don’t give birth to puppies or wallabies. Sane Americans recognize that there is a moral and ethical distinction to be made between the termination of a pregnancy and the wanton killing of a living, breathing human being. You must have missed the post listing our major medical associations that support abortion as reproductive health care for women. Sane Americans know that while a woman’s fertilized egg or blastocyst is genetically “human,” the resemblance to a person, i.e., a human being, ends there. I repeat: every fertilized egg, i.e., embryo, is not a sacred human being; 60-80% of embryos,… Read more »

Christopher
Member

“Sane Americans recognize that there is a moral and ethical distinction to be made between the termination of a pregnancy and the wanton killing of a living, breathing human being.”

So the baby isn’t human til it starts breathing?

“Denying women access to abortion is about power and control.”

And the demand for access to abortion is about having no natural effects from your actions.

John
Member

Physicians are required to take basic science courses in embryology. As someone who has participated in these courses they cover life from conception through the first mitotic changes through the development of the neural system as well as the development of other organ systems. It would be impossible for someone to graduate from an accredited medical school and not understand that the “clump of cells” is not human or at the very least in 9 months becomes a fully formed baby.

wtrsims
Member

As I said to katecho, the question is not whether or not those cells are human, because they certainly are and of course no doctor is expecting a dog to be birthed. The question is whether or not, on the basis of that medical training, they hold that those clump of cells are a person whose existence should be considered as such, and therefore not murdered as that is what it would be If the mother who also knows, even without any “accredited medical school,” that the “clump of cells” that carry her DNA and are fed through her body… Read more »

I Art Laughing
Guest
I Art Laughing

The Church had better start doing a better job of educating these poor misguided women then, we wouldn’t want them to be committing their sins in ignorance.

wtrsims
Member

Is it possible that a doctor be honestly deluded by the abortion narrative so as to only be “negligent”? If Australian bioethicists can ask why newborns are afforded any more rights than the abortable pre-born child by merely a change in location, can an abortion doctor who dedicated his or her life to what they thought was the championing of women’s rights and the protection of women’s lives not also be as innocent as the ignorant, and perhaps gullible, mother? Why do we get to be partial? I mean, the doctor thought that they were only removing a clump of… Read more »

Mark Hanson
Guest
Mark Hanson

But over time, the abortion doctor sees what he has done – the results laid out on the table. Chances are no woman who has an abortion ever does.

wtrsims
Member

And you can prove that? Is what you’re saying an objective piece of evidence?

David Keys
Guest
David Keys

This might interest you – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-35962134

First conviction ever (although can’t quite tell if that is in Northern Ireland or in the entirety of the UK) under a 150 year old statute against ‘procuring your own abortion by using a poison’. Sentence was a three month suspended sentence.

Smithborough
Guest
Smithborough

This offence in this statute applies only to Northern Ireland as it has been amended in the rest of the UK. It is not the first conviction ever, just the first in recent years. The statue states that procuring abortion is a felony with life imprisonment as a penalty, so a very lenient sentence.

David Keys
Guest
David Keys

You’re quite right that it isn’t the first ever (I read the piece wrongly and indeed a moment’s reflection would have cast doubt on it!).

In fact, interestingly, a little investigation shows that somebody was convicted in England for three and a half years in 2013 under s58 OAPA 1861 (R v Catt (Sarah Louise) [2013] EWCA Crim 1187), although the first instance judge had given her eight years before it was reduced by the Court of Appeal.

prolixusk
Member

The logic of Pastor Wilson’s argument is one I doubt he would choose to duplicate in other scenarios. Imagine a man is so deep into some white supremacist cult he genuinely believes that blacks are a different species and relative to himself a kind of animal. Suppose truly believing all that he kills a black man and he’s charged with first degree murder. If his defense attorney is able to prove at trial that the defendant genuinely believes the lunatic views that he based his actions on, does Biblical law mean that it’s unjust to convict him of murder and… Read more »

Coyote287
Guest
Coyote287

Your argument can potentially let the abortionist off the hook too. If you have a very young embryo which is in fact a person, the abortionist may not realize that it is a person, because “this entire topic has been covered over with massive lies for more than a generation.” The left says it isn’t a baby till it’s born. Perhaps he believes this bull. How can a prosecutor know?

Coyote287
Guest
Coyote287

As for the birth control. Yes, there is a possibility that some birth control methods are abortifacients. Some definitely are. Take the morning after pill, for example.

Even in this case, though, nobody actually knows if a murder occurred. That doesn’t excuse people from using them, but it does make charging them with murder a little difficult. In these cases, it would be better to ban them and prescribe a fine for their illegal use. It’s like drunk driving. The potential for manslaughter is high, but a DUI doesn’t carry the same sentence as vehicular homicide.

Katecho
Member

Is Barnabas going to accuse Coyote287 of squirting squid ink because he said “manslaughter”, and because he said charging with murder would be difficult?

KP
Guest
KP

No, because Coyote’s point is very clearly that charging with murder would be difficult because of the problem of evidence.

Katecho
Member

Indeed, but Wilson already made that point, very clearly. He wrote: What about the women who would never take an abortifacient deliberately because they are ardently pro-life? But suppose they did take some kind of hormonal birth control about which there was some debate, but the woman was only dimly aware of the debate. For her it was simply “birth control.” Now suppose a few years go by, and the debate is then conclusively settled — the substance in question was in fact an abortifacient and the results are acknowledged by everyone. Do you round all these women up and… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

As human beings, we like tidy boxes to put our opinions, rationalizations and protests in. We come unglued when the answer to life’s biggest questions is not black or white. The issue of murder or crime in general is a perfect example of how we need to depend on Scripture for answers and not our emotional struggle that often leads us astray.
This article aptly demonstrates the process we must go through if we are to give an answer of the hope within. Good job, Doug.

yom24hrday
Member
yom24hrday

Yes I agree great article.

insanitybytes22
Member

“That consensus will in fact happen, but it will be the gospel that does it, and not law”

Ah, just lovely. Wilson does not disappoint. Ironically his very words create that culture of life and delivers that measure of grace that allows women to feel the sense of conviction that now suggests “what have I done, I was so deceived, so wrong here, I’ve committed murder.” That is the kind of grace that wins hearts and minds, that becomes salt and light out in the world, that changes everything.

Clarence
Guest
Clarence

Which is why this has just been such a successful strategy for you people over the past 40 years. Perhaps you ought to try some actual social shaming.

Femghazi
Guest
Femghazi

However, men must serve their time in prison or be executed, right? No grace needed!

Bike bubba
Guest

One thing that strikes me is that if we had a Biblical republic, the presence of the child would generally be evidence of an unlawful relationship that would need to be dealt with. Yes, a few married women abort their husband’s children, too, but the vast majority are single women who ought not be making the beast with two backs.

It is also worth noting that if we do indeed believe in male headship–and I do–we ought legally place the higher culpability on the man. So if, rhetorically speaking the woman gets ten lashes, the man gets 39.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

It is also worth noting that if we do indeed believe in male headship–and I do–we ought legally place the higher culpability on the man.

Really? So any man walking down the street has authority, or headship, over any and every (unmarried) woman walking down the street?

I thought the biblical teaching was that the husband is head of the wife, but you seem to be saying that every man is head of every woman (who’s not married).

Jerrod Arnold
Guest
Jerrod Arnold

Hey Bürgermeister, It’s pretty clear within the context of his statement that he was referencing the man who did the deed with the woman to make to baby in the first place. Not all men and all women.

Unless “walking down the street” is a sexual euphemism I have not heard yet. Kids these days…

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

Really?

So having sex with a woman makes you her head?

Marrying her isn’t required?

IOW, that was my point:

Two people, not married to each other, or anyone else, decide to have sex.

This results in a pregnancy.

And, according to Bike Bubba, the man bears about 80% of the blame, while the woman bears only about 20%.

I see.

But Judeochristians aren’t radical feminists or anything like that; that’s just crazy talk.

Jerrod Arnold
Guest
Jerrod Arnold

I guess “walking down the street” was a sexual euphemism after all… I don’t know Bike bubba, but it seems evident he is talking about male headship in the sense of responsibility. Perhaps that is a loose way to speak about it, but I got the point alright. It would go something like this. “Don’t forget it takes two to tango, and if we are going to go after the woman for it then we should also go after the man.”

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

“Don’t forget it takes two to tango, and if we are going to go after the woman for it then we should also go after the man.” Except he said nothing like that. Instead, what he said is that the man should be punished about four times as harshly as the woman is punished. It is also worth noting that if we do indeed believe in male headship–and I do–we ought legally place the higher culpability on the man. So if, rhetorically speaking the woman gets ten lashes, the man gets 39. I don’t know Bike bubba, but it seems… Read more »

Jerrod Arnold
Guest
Jerrod Arnold

Yeah and you said “any man walking down the street” and ” every man is head of every woman (who’s not married)” which is a complete mischaracterization of what Bike Bubba said. At the absolute most literal interpretation of his post you could say that he thinks any man who has a baby with a woman out of wedlock has some sort of headship over her. So you are holding him to a standard of accuracy higher than you hold yourself since you later “clarified” by saying something different. For instance this, “IOW, that was my point: Two people, not… Read more »

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

At the absolute most literal interpretation of his post you could say that he thinks any man who has a baby with a woman out of wedlock has some sort of headship over her.

The point is that he’s a radical feminist. Two people are equally to blame for an unwed pregnancy, but he says that whatever punishment the woman gets, the man should get four times that.

But Judeochristians aren’t radical feminists or anything like that; that’s just crazy talk.

Jerrod Arnold
Guest
Jerrod Arnold

Maybe that was one of your initial points to me. It certainly wasn’t an expressed point in your post to Bike Bubba.

Jerrod Arnold
Guest
Jerrod Arnold

Nor was it a point I was taking issue with in my initial post.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

You might want to go hang out with “A” dad.

Jerrod Arnold
Guest
Jerrod Arnold

Whatever you say Bürgermeister. Do you think “A” dad would listen to some “garbage” reformed hip hop with me?

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

Yeah, I’m pretty sure he would.

Jerrod Arnold
Guest
Jerrod Arnold

I just want you to know that you will always be welcome to join us.

Clarence
Guest
Clarence

Nailed it.

Bike bubba
Guest

Wow, with exegesis like that, maybe you should cross the Tiber and let someone else handle the heavy lifting for you. Reality here is that when a man approaches a woman to have relations with her–to uncover her nakedness as the Hebrew says–he is saying in effect that he wants some of the privileges of marriage. Hence headship and the greater responsibilities of the man apply in a way that they would not in a random meeting of people walking down the street.

Breathtaking hasty generalization on your part, though.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

Reality here is that when a man approaches a woman to have relations with her–to uncover her nakedness as the Hebrew says–he is saying in effect that he wants some of the privileges of marriage.

Here’s another reality – when the woman takes off her clothes and climbs into bed with the guy, she’s also saying in effect that she wants some of the privileges of marriage.

Yet you say the man should be punished four times as harshly as the woman.

Aren’t you late for your N.O.W meeting?

Bike bubba
Guest

Well, what does the Scripture say? Seems to me that it’s harsher on the man who seduces a girl than it is on the girl who is seduced. I’m no feminist by most definitions (there are many kids of feminism, really), but if the feminists argue for greater responsibility on the part of the man, that’s one thing they’ve got at least partially right.

KingAlbert
Guest
KingAlbert

This is where we lose: we divide ourselves. We accept the defensive posture that the cultural consensus is against us/God and therefore, we cannot engage the issue with black and white moral clarity. We dream up what if’s and work the pretzel until the person who declares a clear moral standard is discouraged from proceeding. We’re not going to “work the system” or disguise our intentions (like the serpent). We’re coming in the front door waving the flag and sounding the trumpets! This will be met by the cultural consensus negatively, and we give up, attempting to protect what we… Read more »

Len
Guest
Len

One thing that always seems to be missing from any discussions regarding the socially acceptable sins of such things as abortion, blasphemy, homosexuality and adultery is why God at one time considered these to be so heinous that the death penalty was specified. It seems like this is where the discussion should begin, but it seems that no one is willing to do this. Are we afraid that if we find out that He was justified in His assessment of these sins we might then be forced to do something about them? Or is it easier to simply give some… Read more »

KingAlbert
Guest
KingAlbert

From http://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-do-protestants-protest/ “What Do Protestants Protest? Sadly in our day, not much of anything. … We protest that Rome is not catholic, that she in fact shuts out the saints. We, however, are catholic, embracing all those who turn to the living Christ alone. We protest that guarding, defending, proclaiming justification by faith alone is not sectarian, narrow, nor divisive. It is instead a fulfillment of the command that we contend for the faith (Jude 3). We protest against squishy, feel-good ecumenism that imperils souls, that buys the love and respect of men and sells the wrath of God. We… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

“That consensus will in fact happen” … “in the main” = kinda sorta.

That is the awesome postmillential hope — a semi-utopian segment of the future, with about nothing of the present or past.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

AKA La-La Land

Doug Shuffield
Guest
Doug Shuffield

We tend to immediately jump to murder in these types of discussions. Let’s talk about lesser charges. Shouldn’t a mother at least be charged with endangerment of a child?

ashv
Guest
ashv

Up until last week I thought I understood the “pro-life movement” but clearly I misread what was going on. How is it not just another victim/identity-politics group at this point? How is “Only punish the abortionists” substantially different in viewpoint from “Teach men not to rape”? At this point I have a hard time taking abortion seriously as a significant political issue, it’s only the tail end of a long train of deeply wrong beliefs about men and women, and I don’t even know if we can see the front of it from here. (Some candidate mistakes to consider: “Marriage… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

I share your surprise. The “pro-life” political crowd blew an uncertain trumpet. Heck, they didn’t even attempt a ‘charge’ but did their best to apologize for being pro-life. Some blinders fell of my eyes too. It was sad.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

So say that all this postmillennialism stuff is true, and a thousand years from now we have believing magistrates, a faithful people in the main, biblical laws, and all those unfortunate people who were born with a critical spirit have no scope for their blogging talents. Everything in the civil realm is exactly as it ought to be. What would the case be then? Could there be any penalty then? The answer here is of course, but it is an of course that requires very careful exposition. Very careful exposition, indeed. Exceedingly, excruciatingly careful. It takes very high levels of… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I wish you would clarify your views on this. I understand that, primarily for demographic reasons, you do not believe American Christians should be trying to end abortion. But do you see abortion as the taking of human life?

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

Sometimes, yeah. Certainly late term abortion is clearly taking a human life. But do I call abortion “murder” across the board? No. Like Doug’s example of washing a newly fertilized egg down the sink being murder. That, to me, seems borderline crazy. Clearly it’s nothing like partial birth abortion. And it’s even crazier to say that washing a newly fertilized egg down the sink is murder, while insisting over and over that women who take off their pants, climb up on the abortionist’s table, and spread their legs so the abortionist can do his thing, generally don’t know what they’re… Read more »

adad0
Member

“Jesus personally slaughtered tens or hundreds of thousands of Egyptian babies in a single night.”????? (Not just babies, all first born males of both men and cattle of all ages. No girls. Second sons never had a better night! ; – ) Also, unborn babies can’t be firstborn, until they are born.) Exodus 11:5 Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. With regard to accuracy, somebody… Read more »

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

So no babies died that night?

The Lord didn’t smite tens of thousands of babies that night?

Wow.

Did I say anything like “Jesus personally slaughtered tens or hundreds of thousands of Egyptian babies AND ONLY BABIES AND NO OTHER EGYPTIANS in a single night”?

Do you also post as Dunsworth?

adad0
Member

“Not just babies,”

“Every firstborn son in Egypt will die,”

” all the firstborn of the cattle as well.”

Read more, smoke less, or Press 1 for Hebrew!

Do you understand yet?

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

DID I SAY JUST BABIES?

CAN YOU EVEN READ?

adad0
Member

“Jesus personally slaughtered tens or hundreds of thousands of Egyptian babies”?

“Every firstborn son in Egypt will die,” = accurate account, as in….

With regard to accuracy, somebody here needs to “Press 1 for Hebrew”! ; – )

Do you understand yet?

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

Good job!

Keep posting stuff like this.

It makes you look like a really deep thinker.

adad0
Member

Well, aparently we can’t all be as awesome as you! ; – )

Ilíon
Member

????
Jesus *is* Jehovah.

adad0
Member

Or “The Lord”. No dispute here.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

But compare this to a frightened teen-aged girl who is told that this thing that is happening inside her is “just a clump of cells” and she looks it up and sees only a clump of cells, and she vaguely recalls a sermon she heard once where some preacher said “personhood” happens “sometime” later. If she goesahead and gets the abortion, the loss of life is no less real. It is no less a tragedy, but the degree of culpability for the mother is significantly less. It has not vanished, but it is less. I think that a big part… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

The clump of cells argument is deadly in its effectiveness. Because most abortions occur so early on, it is very easy for today’s young woman to believe in the lifeless clump. As more abortions occur in the very earliest stages (i.e. hormones to bring on late periods, abortion drugs given at the first missed period), it is going to be more important for people to learn to see pregnancy as a continuum. I believe that girls can say, with what they believe is a clear conscience, abortion at 18 weeks is killing a baby, but a handful of pills you… Read more »

katie
Guest
katie

Speaking of the horse’s mouth, this is anecdotal and not at all “real research,” but here are two perspectives from women who’ve had abortions. The first is those who are left with guilt and regret (although many, in their own testimony, say they knew what they were doing, and did it anyway):

http://www.abort73.com/testimony/

And then there’s this kind of woman, with full knowledge but who experiences no regret:

http://www.salon.com/2013/01/23/so_what_if_abortion_ends_life/

katie
Guest
katie

My bad, the author of that second piece speaks hypothetically of her having an abortion.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

One last thing for now. Even if Doug is right, I’m not sure presenting women as, by default, ignorant of their situation is a good strategic move. If we learned nothing else from the Todd Akin fiasco we learned that the ladies do NOT like it for a man to presume to school them on how babies are made. Progressive feminists (i.e. those who we most need to come over to our side) will enjoy women being given the victim status against powerful male oppressors, so check on that aspect. But if we come across as patronizing about reproduction and… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Doug, I wonder if you are equivocating on intention here? There is intention in the sense there was no intention to do something you know and there is intention in that you do intend to do something you don’t know. The man with the axe has no intent on doing anything to the victim all. He had no malice and did not want an axe anywhere near the man, or probably near anything but a tree. The girl who does not intend on murdering her baby does intend on removing the tissue. She is trying to do something, she is… Read more »

Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
Guest
Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

Ah yes, as we all know, women are small children who cannot be expected to understand complex moral ideas like “It’s wrong to kill someone else.”

I Art Laughing
Guest
I Art Laughing

The Republic of God is within you? God has a vote on women who kill their unborn children, and His is the only one that matters. It’s a sin, it’s a crime against God, His Christ and nature. Women who do this thing are culpable whether sinful men acknowledge it or not.

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

The second “here” is missing its link status.

jamesbaker11
Guest
jamesbaker11

Who says all humans live forever? That is unbiblical. Eternal life is a gift that not all receive according to the scriptures.

Femghazi
Guest
Femghazi

Over a billion souls world wide have been murdered by these women and you still think they have no idea what they are doing? Lol! Talk about a joke.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

I think both Wilson and Trump are muddled on this one. Trump, I’m not surprised, since he has a demonstrated habit of speaking loudly on things of which he has little knowledge. Wilson is another matter entirely, as he has a reputation for thoughtful engagement. As I see it, there are four motivations for punishment: (1) JUSTICE: wrongdoing acquires a moral debt. Punishment is one way society collects on that debt. Compensation and restoration are often more constructive, but they cannot be applied to all situations. (2) RETRIBUTION: Some moral debts can only be paid in kind. This is related… Read more »

Pedat Ebediyah
Guest
Pedat Ebediyah

Such a thoughtful post.

I’ve been saying for some time – as it concerns abortion (and many other grievous sins) that the problem began long before the problem was manifest.

It’s one’s attitude about this life and the life in the world to come is the true dilemma for people.

Tenacity
Guest
Tenacity

So, the crux of his argument is that women are incapable of being responsible for their actions, including murdering babies, ’cause vagina is a free pass from God according to the churchians. Grow some balls.

wtrsims
Member

From http://thefederalist.com/2016/04/05/why-pro-lifers-dont-support-punishing-women-for-abortion/ For me (as a pro-life woman and mother of four) abortion stories are likewise horrifying, but the effect is somewhat different. Even when the tone is defiant (as in the #ShoutYourAbortion campaign), I feel overwhelming pity for the authors. Regrettably, most women today have a radically underdeveloped sense of the moral importance of fertility and nascent life. It hardly seems possible that abortion-seeking women recognize the hideousness of what they do. Pastors, priests and psychiatrists can help individuals decide how blameworthy they are in particular cases. With respect to the law, though, we should recognize that abortion is… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Speaking of abortion in the first degree, Hillary Clinton commenting on Meet the Press last Sunday: CHUCK TODD: When, or if, does an unborn child have constitutional rights? HILLARY CLINTON: Well, under our laws, currently, that is not something that exists. The – the – the unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights. Now, that doesn’t mean that we don’t do everything we possibly can, in the vast majority of instances to, you know, help a mother who is carrying a child and wants to make sure that child will be healthy, to have appropriate medical support. It doesn’t mean that… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

So why is it that Scott Peterson is on death row for committing a multiple murder? If he had not been charged with the murder of his unborn son, he would probably have looking only at life in prison. Clearly that baby had some constitutional rights or he would not have been protected by law.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

It’s because of feminism – it all comes down to the woman’s feelings. If the woman doesn’t want the baby, then it’s a mere clump of cells, and she’s free to hire someone to kill it. But if the woman wants the baby, then it’s a real baby, and someone who kills it can be charged with murder. If a man’s wife wants to get an abortion, but the husband is against it, there’s nothing he can do to stop her from murdering his child, and if she goes ahead with it, she has done nothing wrong according to the… Read more »

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

Doug needs to contact the Dallas Police Department and tell them to drop murder charges against this dental hygienist who hired a guy to kill her ex-boyfriend’s new lover. Because, since the hygienist doesn’t have an MD degree, and she’s a female, she obviously has no way of knowing what constitutes a human life. And, besides, even if she knew that it was wrong to kill the other woman, she didn’t actually do the killing; she just hired a guy to do it. So, when you stop and think about it, she’s really the killer’s second victim. And don’t even… Read more »

Christopher
Member

Behold, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

LMAO

At least you’ve FINALLY realized that “correcting” me with some crazy, bassackwards comment like, “You should’ve said Doug should contact the DPD and tell them to arrest the boyfriend for the assassination of JFK.”

I won’t go so far as to say that this is an improvement, but at least it’s not the same old same old.

When you quote Shakespeare, you don’t have to try to come up with a logical argument yourself, which always seems to badly trip you up.

And people aren’t sitting there thinking, “What in the world is Christopher Casey babbling about?”

Christopher
Member

“And people aren’t sitting there thinking, “What in the world is Christopher Casey babbling about?” ”

I wouldn’t conflate what you think with what people think.

But I think it’s amusimg for you “BULL Noris PRESS 1 FOR Cosby” to come here saying “I’ll huff amd I’ll puff and I’ll blow your judeochristian house in”

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

LMAO

Wendell Dávila Helms
Guest
Wendell Dávila Helms

If I’ve understood Wilson’s argument, a racist white man could murder a black man, thinking that the black man wasn’t really fully human, and that would be grounds for charging him with less than murder, or to use Wilson’s words, “the degree of culpability…is significantly less. It has not vanished, but it is less.”

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

In fairness, I think Wilson is talking about the problem of assessing penalties in the present day, if abortion were to suddenly be made illegal. Up until now, the government and the courts have been complicit, if not explicit, in assigning nonhuman status to the unborn child. In the case of the racist white man, his private thoughts would not lessen his guilt because the standard is how the law, not the murderer, defines the humanity of the black man. Otherwise, any murderer could use “I didn’t see my victim as human” as a defense. I believe there are girls… Read more »

Wendell Dávila Helms
Guest
Wendell Dávila Helms

I don’t buy any of that, and I don’t think you should either. What was the context of Trump’s remarks? If everyone on the nominal pro-life side is agreeing that the abortion “doctors” should be prosecuted, then the only remaining abortion hit men would be in back alleys… but, further, it’s not as if abortion is going to made illegal and anyone isn’t going to hear about it. It would be huge news. The idea that people would need special instruction to know abortion had become illegal strikes me as absolutely absurd.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I understand your reaction. But, even if it is a very short period between legal prohibition and putting women on trial, I think something would be necessary. Abortion has become deeply entrenched in our society. And, even when it was illegal and when abortion doctors were prosecuted, there was little success in prosecuting women. I was not very much aware of abortion when it was illegal, but I think many providers were not backroom criminals but ordinary doctors who “obliged” their patients. Often, the only evidence against them was the testimony of women who used their services and who ended… Read more »