The commentaries about Pete Buttigieg and his use of the Bible to defend abortion on demand keep sparking reader response. One letter from someone who describes himself as a “pro-choice Christian” caught the attention of my writer/researcher Laura Ainsworth, who would like to take a more scientific approach in answering him…
From Joseph (an excerpt):
I am a pro-choice Christian. I know some people question my being able to say I am a Christian.
Not everyone in America believes in God. How can we as Christians call them out? To them they are not sinning. They feel life and death are just that. Do I have the right to beat them with [the] Bible?
Thanks for your letter. It is true that not everyone in America believes in God, let alone in every word contained in the Bible. And some people –- agnostics –- believe in moral principles but just aren’t sure there’s a God, at least in the sense we think of as God. It doesn’t help to quote Bible verses to them to convince them of when life begins. Even Christians differ on their exact interpretations of that.
For example, among our reader responses was a note from a scientist, also a Christian, who observed that life begins BEFORE entrance into the mother’s womb, as all the DNA of the new person is contained in the embryo before then. He would say Buttigieg’s pastor brother-in-law was incorrect for not going far ENOUGH.
For agnostics and atheists, the question becomes a legal and ethical one, as in, what do we as a society consider to be so damaging to another person that we are going to make it illegal? The Bible says “Thou shalt not kill,” but if someone doesn’t believe in God or the Bible, should he or she be able to go out and kill with impunity? NO, of course not. And by making murder, or murder-for-hire, or manslaughter, or negligent homicide illegal, we do not “beat them with the Bible.”
Likewise, if science has determined that a baby at a certain point in gestation has the capability to survive outside the womb, should someone be allowed to take that life? What about the ability to feel pain as one is being dismembered? What about brain activity? What about a heartbeat? What about being a unique combination of genetic material?
This is where even thoughtful individuals disagree, but we as a society must come to some agreement in the law, just as we do about circumstances in which other types of killing (as in, self-defense, defense of property, war, etc.) are justified. Right now, as much as the left likes to consider itself compassionate, it takes some real, barbaric coldness (or else some determined “science-denying”) to push abortion on demand as a solution, especially the mid-to-late-term kind, especially if they have ever seen a high-resolution sonogram.
One thing I’ve always thought --- and have written about in this forum before --- is that non-believers, if they’ll just think about it, have another reason not to choose abortion. They believe that the “gift” of life is just a random thing and that existence involves beating astronomical odds. If an innocent baby is aborted, the thinking of a believer might go, God will take that little soul into His arms. But an atheist will think it’s been deprived of life FOREVER. What a thing to do to someone! An agnostic will think it’s PROBABLY gone forever. So wouldn’t an atheist or agnostic have a really hard time with abortion, too? For a different reason?
You see, Joseph, I have just argued against abortion without bringing the Bible into it at all.