Saturday, October 27, 2007

40 years of murdering the unborn

Warning: this article contains images which some may find disturbing. Cranmer makes absolutely no apology for publishing in all its ugliness the barbaric and depraved depths to which the United Kingdom has sunk. May the Lord have mercy.

Throughout Scripture, the number 40 is replete with significance. Jesus was in the desert for 40 days, and the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years. Today is the 40th anniversary of Abortion Bill, and it marks 40 years of Britain’s aimless wandering in a moral wilderness.

Cranmer would not like to speculate how many millions of babies have since been sacrificed on the modern altar of Molech (Lev 20:5; Jer 32:35), but he is content that those who were originally responsible for the Bill, those who have since condoned it, and all who have taken the decision to terminate a healthy pregnancy, will one day be answerable to God. And the cries of the unborn infants will then reverberate throughout the heavens, and perfect justice will be done.

So common now is the practice of abortion that the debate has largely ceased being about legalisation (pro-choice) versus prohibition (pro-life). Even the Roman Catholic Church in the UK has changed its previously absolutist position, with Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and Cardinal Keith O’Brien calling for ‘achievable change in the law in the light of advances in medical developments, even if Parliament will not abolish the law’. All that remains to decide therefore, ‘in the light of medical advances’, is precisely a ‘foetus’ becomes ‘viable’; at what stage of development does the ‘foetus’ become a ‘baby’? Is this at 24 weeks, 22 weeks, 20 weeks, or less? We could get lost in the man-made minutiae of what constitutes a zygote, an embryo, or a foetus, but to God they are all babies (Jer 1:5; Ps 139:13), and their life is sacred.

Dawn Primarolo MP, the Public Health minister, is of the opinion that the upper time limit for abortion should remain at 24 weeks because she sees ‘no scientific evidence to support a change in the law’. Is she a scientist? What qualifies her to make this assertion? Who is advising her? How impartial are they? And do they have any interests in maintaining the present limit? The fact is that as many as 42 per cent of children born at just 23 weeks survive at some top specialist centres. And recently-acquired images show the ‘foetus’ apparently crying or smiling at only 12 weeks. There remains an instinctive recognition of humanity in the ‘foetus’ even at very early stages. These facts must at the very least constitute ‘new scientific evidence’ which should cause MPs to think again about whether abortion should be barred after 20, 18 or 16 weeks’ gestation, and even lower.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has made his thoughts on the matter perfectly clear. Or rather, relatively clear - for him. He is of the mind that the ‘spirit’ of the Act is in danger of being lost. Observing that 200,000 abortions were performed last year in England and Wales, and that a colossal third of pregnancies in Europe end in abortion, he notes the ‘shift away from using abortion as a last resort’, in favour of a post-conception contra-genesis, where that genesis is deemed to begin with the first breath. It is perhaps worth noting that in Scripture both the Hebrew word ‘ruach’ and the Greek word πνεῦμα (‘pneuma’) are used interchangeably for both ‘breath’ and ‘spirit’, and that certain passages draw out the correspondence between the Spirit of God and the human spirit (eg 1Cor 2:10-12). There is, however, no scriptural, scientific, moral or ethical justification for the increasingly pervasive assertion that if the ‘foetus’ has not breathed, it has not lived. This belief has led to such appallingly barbaric practices as ‘partial birth abortion’, which George W Bush found so abhorrent he set an example to the Western World by outlawing.

Even the architect of the 1967 Act, former Liberal leader Lord Steel, has said that abortions are being used as a form of contraception. He admitted he never anticipated ‘anything like’ the current number of terminations when leading the campaign for reform. He is not, however, remotely repentant, insisting that he is ‘not convinced’ of the case for a lowering of the maximum time limit.

But to talk of abortion on demand in the UK hardly does the prevalence justice. Setting aside Europe, which constitutes an unimaginable slaughter of meta-Sho’ah proportions, 200,000 abortions in England and Wales works out at 23 babies systematically killed every hour. If one factors in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the NHS terminates the life of a baby and cremates the body every two minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Or, put another way, the state legitimises the murder of a baby every single minute of a working day, and burns the evidence. Such a callous, systematic and efficient slaughter would leave even Hitler and Eichmann impressed. Indeed, having mentioned the altar of Molech, it is interesting to note that the term ‘holocaust’ is derived from the Greek holókauston, which referred to a completely (‘holos’) burnt (‘kaustos’) sacrificial offering to a god. That god is sex. The Western world is obsessed with it.

And now, with the development of drugs to do-it-yourself at home, these figures are quite possibly the last accurate snap-shot we shall be able to take. It is even more scandalous that it is the British taxpayer who pays for 80 per cent of abortions, and that the NHS spends a fortune on keeping premature babies alive which are born within the abortion time limit, but terminates far more viable babies (L. vita life). And the BMA wants to see even further deregulation, and are apparently supported by majority public opinion. They advocate that nurses and midwives should be able to carry out abortions. They also want to scrap the two-signature doctor requirement (- have they learnt nothing from the Harold Shipman case?), and to repeal the ruling that women may have an abortion only if it is in the best interests of their physical and mental health. Even more bizarrely, they also want to end the requirement that abortions may take place only in licensed clinics, opening up a free-for-all for a plethora of enterprising Vera Drakes.

It is unacceptable that Parliament should decide that it is acceptable to undertake scientific enquiry in the absence of ethical considerations. Cranmer accords with the Archbishop of Canterbury that we need to return to the 1967 default position that abortion is a profoundly undesirable thing, and that a universal presumption of care for the foetus from the moment of conception should be the norm. Since the age is obsessed with ‘rights’ – of man, woman and animal – there needs to be a codification of 'foetal rights'. It is, as the Archbishop states, ironic that ‘the pregnant woman who smokes or drinks heavily is widely regarded as guilty of infringing the rights of her unborn child; yet at the same time, with no apparent sense of incongruity, there is discussion of the possibility of the liberty of the pregnant woman herself to perform the actions that will terminate a pregnancy’.

This calls for tough decisions, since no solution is without cost. The nation cries out for a latter-day Shaftsbury or Wilberforce who will bang on about this in Parliament ad nauseam, day after day, week after week, until something is done about it. Or are all Members now so utterly subject to the Whips; poodles before the rottweilers; selected, micro-managed, and programmed to remain ‘on message’, and not to alienate any possible voting constituency?

Of course, if people were not so fickle, feckless, immoral and irresponsible, there would be no need for abortion at all. But if it were not available ‘on tap’, would not people be obliged to alter their behaviour?

46 Comments:

Anonymous billy said...

I've sent a link to this to each of my four children.

I once attended a natural abortion of 20 something weeks and it was a baby that I was looking at in the bowl.

Women, however, must have the right to do as they will with their bodies, including murder.

27 October 2007 at 00:43  
Blogger Homophobic said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 October 2007 at 01:06  
Blogger Wrinkled Weasel said...

Yes, the images were disturbing, most of all, that of Dawn Primarolo flogging the pro-choice agenda.

Thank you for showing this. I dare say that if all the women who "have a right, etc." saw this or saw the real thing they might think again.

Abortion is murder.

27 October 2007 at 01:27  
Blogger Homophobic said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 October 2007 at 01:36  
Blogger Homophobic said...

"a colossal third of pregnancies in Europe end in abortion"

Isn't Europe facing a demographic crisis of existential importance? Is Molech is eating it's own children?

Like Carthage, abortion will have to go. Cranmer is right to point out these children are sacrifices to sterile sex. They are sacrifices to the vain cult of lifestyle, careerism, comercialism and visceral sensuality of every vapid variety.

Yeah, Molech eats its own children.

In materialism there is a mad indifference to real thought. By disbelieving in the soul, it comes to disbelieve in the mind. And it exchanges the truth for feeling; and the self-assurance of having found truth is exchanged for a mindless pageant of the world (multiculturalism).

27 October 2007 at 01:39  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Hmm... Interesting post Your Grace. While it is true if one builds more motorways, more cars find their ways to fill them, I am not sure the same is true for abortions. It is the sense of morality of the times that might alter the current statistics.

I don't think anyone ever argues that abortion is a good thing. It is considered to be better than the alternative. Your post earlier this week spoke of councils crying out for foster families. If we ban abortion, does this mean that we force the mothers to keep their children? Or do we simply add these poor souls to the councils' already lengthy lists?

You speak of the majority of public opinion being supportive of abortion and wanting it to be more accessible. Well, either you believe in democracy, or you do not. Or are we saying we only believe in democracy when the public chooses what we want? Of course, the Pro-Life lobby did a lot to keep Bush in power in America. Should the opposite not be allowed to happen here?

27 October 2007 at 11:33  
Anonymous bob said...

You speak of the majority of public opinion being supportive of abortion and wanting it to be more accessible. Well, either you believe in democracy, or you do not. Or are we saying we only believe in democracy when the public chooses what we want?

The more essential question is whether abortion is moral or immoral. If it is immoral then even the democratic will of the people cannot make it moral.

27 October 2007 at 12:11  
Anonymous Sir HM said...

My mother (dead now) terminated her sixth pregnancy. There is absolutely no doubt anywhere in my rather large family that it saved her life. She would otherwise have committed suicide - with the side effect of also killing the foetus.

Don't say she could have got "help". There is NO meaningful help for poor people in this country. None.

Perhaps Bob might care to hold a moral discussion around this unfortunate woman?

27 October 2007 at 12:43  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Sir HM
Hard cases make bad law - and they have.

27 October 2007 at 14:21  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

Instinctively one is revolted, but I think many liberals pride themselves on being superior to their instincts. Not wise. They are there for a reason, just as reason is. As Europe slaughters members of its own race, it happily imports outsiders and assists them to breed. The liberal suicide cult doesn't want to leave anything to chance.

"...the barbaric and depraved depths to which the United Kingdom has sunk."

I agree with the sentiment but not the form. It's barbarous, not barbaric. Barbaric refers to barbarian art and so on (e.g. barbaric splendour).

27 October 2007 at 14:25  
Blogger Wrinkled Weasel said...

I have been looking up the Greens.

This is what The Green Party have to say about fox hunting:

"Most people have little doubt that hunting a sentient animal to a slow, desperate death with a pack of dogs is cruel and morally wrong."

and..

"Real Progress towards a better society means respecting the right of animals not to suffer."

But on abortion it's a different story:

"The Green Party will not support any change to the current laws on abortions which would aim to make it more difficult for women to obtain them."

and

"..the ultimate decision about whether or not to terminate a pregnancy should always lie with the pregnant woman"

So that's abortion on demand then and be nice to foxes, whose rights seem to exeed those of unborn human beings.

WORDS FAIL ME, but this is a genteel blog, so I shall stop there.

27 October 2007 at 15:16  
Blogger Shug Niggurath said...

The pro-choice lobbies (I'm loathe to blame a particular 'government' because they all have their supporters and dissenters on this issue) use the argument about survival rates in premature deliveries without making the converse argument that aborted foetuses are not the same as premature deliveries - these pregnancies would continue with the same statistical breakdown - some to 40 weeks, some to 36, 41 whatever.

So that argument is not an argument, it's a delimiter.

We have the most efficient contraception in the history of mankind and yet we still need to have abortion, and worse, abortion on demand to satisfy a lobby group.

Unless there are 200,000 women being raped or in danger of death if pregnancy continues the pro-choice lobby have no rationale for their stance.

But how are the pro-life lobby portrayed in the msm? As wild eyed religious maniacs. Not all, probably not even most of this group are fanatical about religion, and certainly some are not religious at all. More appalled.

27 October 2007 at 16:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

''You speak of the majority of public opinion being supportive of abortion and wanting it to be more accessible. Well, either you believe in democracy, or you do not.''

I would hazard a guess that most people in the UK would be in favour of the death penalty, for paedophiles at least, so therefore you either believe in democracy or you do not...

27 October 2007 at 16:10  
Blogger Dean McConnell said...

"There is, however, no scriptural, scientific, moral or ethical justification for the increasingly pervasive assertion that if the ‘foetus’ has not breathed, it has not lived."

I am amazed what people argue to justify error. Why would anyone think a baby is not "alive" because it is not yet using its own lungs. Obviously it is metabolizing and growing, moving and experienceing. Unborn babies "breath" through the exchange of blood in the umbilical cord.

The same people who doubt God's power to resurect the dead have no trouble believing a baby is dead and spontaeously becomes "alive" at after birth? Of course babies are alive from conception. It is so clear, scientifically, as well as otherwise that living humans produce iving egg and spearm that unit to create a living child. If that life ends only God can restore it.

27 October 2007 at 17:47  
Anonymous Sir HM said...

If there is such a thing as a "Right to Life", why is it that everyone dies?

27 October 2007 at 18:06  
Anonymous Sir HM said...

A living thing is conceived; a bit of time passes (perhaps as little as a week for a spontaneous miscarriage, possibly twenty weeks for a deliberate termination, maybe 80 years for someone lucky enough to get that long), it dies. After dying is Death. Death is total oblivion: non-existence; and is the mirror-image of Before Conception, which is also Death.

Any other belief is just wishful thinking based on fear of personal oblivion.

Prove me wrong.

27 October 2007 at 18:11  
Blogger Homophobic said...

"Right to Life"

Because "rights" - contrary to the Antichrists in America or the UN might think - are not god given nor and they "universal" nor are they "inalienable". They are declarations of sovereignty towards other people. (That's why they call them "human rights" now)

Anyone who claims that rights are "universal" or "inalienable" and beyond discussion is either a mendacious liar or an astonishing intellectual mediocrity.

"Any other belief is just wishful thinking based on fear of personal oblivion.

Prove me wrong."

Okay, what if I said conciousness is to a certain unknown extent independant of physical causation? It's not much I grant you but it's a start.

27 October 2007 at 18:46  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Bob - True.
Anonymous - Indeed.

So maybe the problem is with democracy?

Perhaps His Grace and his communicants have far more in common with the Islamic way than it would first appear...?

27 October 2007 at 18:53  
Anonymous Sir HM said...

"Okay, what if I said conciousness is to a certain unknown extent independant of physical causation? It's not much I grant you but it's a start."

Not a very good start.

Evidence? Even a trace of evidence?

Does empty space have consciousness? Because that's the logical conclusion of such a claim.

27 October 2007 at 18:58  
Blogger Laban said...

Thank you, your Grace. I called my post on the same subject 'Forty Years of Hurt'.

The strange thing is that the people who campaign against smacking children are the same people who campaign for killing them.

27 October 2007 at 20:36  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Laban: what an excellent point!
Another interesting juxtaposition: our enlightened governors treat smoking as almost a capital offence, while effectively encouraging promiscuity in children, with all its attendant ills.
SirHM: are you one of those people who accuse religious people of having an "imaginary friend"? I do hope not.

27 October 2007 at 20:46  
Blogger Ttony said...

Well said, Your Grace!

27 October 2007 at 20:55  
Anonymous Sir HM said...

Little black sambo

No, not really, or at least, not out loud. If believing makes the thought of Death easier for you, then I'm pleased for you. You will probably approach death more easily than I will.

You believe what you believe and I believe what I believe. You don't force anything on me and I wont force anything on you. This is the source of my personal dispute with Islam - a dispute I don't have with Christianity, or any of the other beliefs available around the world.

27 October 2007 at 20:58  
Anonymous the last toryboy said...

I'm loathe to comment on this one, not being a woman, and so definitely being an unlikely candidate to need such a procedure.

As an atheist talk of God and souls and such doesn't have any bearing on my views on the matter, and I certainly don't think it should on the law either.

As a libertarian I think if the procedure is available it should be made available, so I am ultimately pro choice. Its the womans body and its her decision. If you like to think in religious terms, its also the woman concerned who is going to burn in hell at the end of the day.

I think having a bunch of old men like most of us dictating to women what they can and cannot do on this subject is not exactly on. I wonder if you did a poll of all women as opposed to a poll of all men, what the results would be.

27 October 2007 at 23:03  
Anonymous Liz said...

Let me put a real face to the discussion (scroll to bottom):

http://www.thephonicspage.org/Other/aboutus.html

28 October 2007 at 00:06  
Anonymous Liz--with the link said...

I've made it a bit easier to see the link to a real face you can put to the discussion, it should be in the link from my name this time.

28 October 2007 at 00:09  
Blogger Homophobic said...

the last toryboy said...

Govinda Jaya Jaya
Gopala Jaya Jaya
Radha-ramanahari
Govinda Jaya Jaya
Nrsingadeva Jaya Nrsingadeva

Gaura Gaura Gaura Hari
Gaura Hari
Prabhupda
Govindam


No moral judgement is required, practice yoga! and dissociate yourself from the awful things that are to come.

28 October 2007 at 03:05  
Blogger Johnny Norfolk said...

And these are the same people that have banned fox hunting as cruel. They care for animals more than humans.

28 October 2007 at 07:57  
Blogger botogol said...

His Grace has let slip his normal standards. I visit this blog for intelligent exploration of religio-political topics not covered well elsewhere. Not for shock-pics.

Perhaps his grace did, indeed, have something erudite to say. I haven't read it. The pictures were rather distracting.

28 October 2007 at 16:20  
Blogger Sam Tarran said...

"Dawn Primarolo MP, the Public Health minister, is of the opinion that the upper time limit for abortion should remain at 24 weeks because she sees ‘no scientific evidence to support a change in the law’"

I should think the gruesome pictures themselves quantify as "scientific evidence".

We're studying abortion and abortion law in school at the moment. Thanks for the insight, Your Grace.

28 October 2007 at 16:57  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Botogol.

His Grace refers you to the preface, and notes the pressures upon your good self to 'dumb down' for the benefit of your own readers. A picture really does paint a thousand words.

28 October 2007 at 18:20  
Anonymous Alexandrian said...

I have always been puzzled that the anti-abortion position is seen in the west as being a position largely limited to religious believers.

Even more puzzling is the fact that vocal opponents of abortion in the west mostly are religious believers.

I happen to be a Christian, but it was not anything that I heard from the pulpit or anything that I read in the Bible that convinced me that abortion was the taking of a human life - it was simply what I learned in secondary school biology.

I remain baffled that so many apparently decent non-religious people can adopt a pro-choice position.

29 October 2007 at 09:23  
Blogger AethelBald, King of Wessex said...

A fertilised embryo is a baby and millions of them get flushed down the toilet every year as a result of normal sex because they fail to attach. Should we attempt a rescue? We may well have the technology soon.

In evolutionary terms, infanticide and abortion are indistinguishable. They are tools that are used by parents of many species in the interest their individual self-propogation. Yes, I'm talking about killing babies or lion cubs after they've been born. It happens.

My point being that there is no certain moral ground to stand on and that the evil of abortion (and it is evil) is just another intractable problem that has to be resolved by grinding it out democratically. The fact that we probably agree that infanticide should be illegal is just a sign of our times. The fact that some of the advocates on each side appear sanctimonious is probably indelible in the human condition.

29 October 2007 at 12:43  
Anonymous The recusant said...

Thank you for this horrific post Your Grace, what an appalling situation we have that should necessitate it.

The RCC has not changed its position on abortion; check the Catechism of the Catholic Church (#2258-2262; 2268-2279) Article 5. It is evident from the Cardinal(s) letter this weekend that, in the full knowledge this atrocious law will not be removed from the statue books, they have decided to work to reduce as far as possible the death toll and seek to address the causes. You can legitimately argue that they should not pursue this line as it appears to weaken their opposition but it is not a lessening or change in the Churches position on abortion

Sir HM, failing the Parousia happening in your lifetime, the evidence you seek is simply not available, I suspect you know this, there are no holes to put your fingers in today. If St. Thomas Aquinas' Five Ways is unconvincing have you considered Pascals wager, not preferred but thought provoking none the less. Surely you accept there is more evidence in the conventional scene for the NT than say for the existence of Plato or Aristotle, yet no one questions the existence of these figures from history.

However at least keep an open mind and consider the possibility of God. Your demand for empirical evidence of Gods existence cannot be satisfied but do not let that stop you considering the possibility, after all Did your mother love you? Where's your proof? Is equally valid but just as un-provable.

From the atheistic or pantheistic view I can see the logic in abortion and for that matter euthanasia as a human being in no more that the fortunate accident of evolution. From this position I would open a whole string of abortion clinics, after all it is very profitable, BPAS (euphemism for Mary Stopes Clinics) makes millions out of the taxpayer every year flushing our future down the sluice. Boots make about £15 from every morning after pill (Cost £10 sell for £25) a nice little earner, no wonder they want to hand them out with the Smarties.

One irony of the abortionists's position that surpasses even the religious argument is that it calls in to question the legitimacy of their own existence. If one upholds the right to have an abortion then one must also support the right for others to do the same, even ones own mother and consequently by extension ones whole family, ancestors and progeny. Try telling a relative you would have no problem had their mother got rid of them before birth, and run.

Where is Mr Voyager?

29 October 2007 at 12:52  
Anonymous Anon777 said...

I tried posting a comment in reply to one female pro-abortionist who had commented on Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor's article in the
Daily Telegraph on the subject of the 40th anniversary of the Abortion Act 1967.

Needless to say, they didn't publish my contribution.

Anne on October 28, 2007 2:34 AM "So where did Christ condemn abortion? Or
indeed contraception or homosexuality?. The answer is nowhere."

From the Gospel accounts of His life, during His time on Earth the Lord Jesus Christ was an observant Jew. From what I understand of Old Testament culture, to a Jew of His day the deliberate killing of an unborn child would have been unthinkable.
[Had safe (for the mother) medical abortion been widely available then, the mother of John the Baptist might well have been advised to have a termination owing to the increased risk of abnormalities at her advanced age, and the Saviour Himself would never have made it as far as the manger, never mind Calvary.]

Just because we do not have a record of Him expressly condemning certain kinds of behaviour, it does not follow that He considered them acceptable. In the one recorded instance of His dealing with sexual sin, His words to the woman caught in the act of adultery were "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." (John 8:10-11, NIV.) He forgave the sinner, yes, but with the command to leave her life of sin - in her case, to put an end to the adulterous relationship. I am sure He would have taken the same line with anyone involved in any sexual relationship outside marriage - i.e. outside the lifelong union of one man and one woman.

As for contraception, as an evangelical Protestant I have no problems with the desire of a married couple to control the timing of when to have a family, or to limit the size of one's family to the number of children one can realistically afford to support.

However, that aside, I feel nothing but admiration for Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor and the Roman Catholic Church's steadfast stand against the twisted morality of secular Humanism that considers it acceptable for our society to have slaughtered (for there is no other word to adequately describe it) no fewer than six million innocent human beings since the Abortion Act came into law. If only the leaders of our Protestant so-called churches would take such a principled stand!

29 October 2007 at 13:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 777
I notice you ignored the point I was making in the Telegraph. Christ didn't make abortion a priority. He didn't even mention the practice, though since the dawn of time women have been finding ways of getting rid of unwanted pregnancies, and I'm sure it happened in first century Palestine too. Moreover, Jewish law at the time said that a fetus wasn't even human until 40 days had passed. So if he had wanted to make a point about changing the law to "protect the unborn" he had every opportunity and reason to do so.

Inconvenient as this is for anti abortionists, he didn't. Indeed, as far as the example of the woman taken in adultery is concerned - what that shows is that he thought sexual matters should be a matter for private conscience, not the law. After all, he did stop a bunch of men stoning her to death to enforce the law, didn't he?

But as I say, you ignored the main point of my post in the Telegraph. Christ said nothing at all about abortion (or contraception, or homosexuality). But he did say, repeatedly and unambiguously that people who want to be Christians should sell all they have and give it to the poor. He had no wealth himself and His continually restated message was that Christians should give up their own possessions to benefit others. It was, quite obviously, one of his most important teachings.

So we don't know what he would have said about abortion. But we do know what he said about wealth. Which is why it is curious that so many male dominated church hierarchies put their efforts into campaigning on imposing legal and moral bars on abortion, contraception, and homosexuality issues rather than into giving their (considerable) wealth away and lobbying for others to be made to do the same.

To all the men who want to legislate to make the law prevent women from having abortions I would ask you whether you are also agitating with equal passion for as much wealth as possible to be redistributed through the tax system? Whether you have sold all you have and given it to the poor? If you have then I may listen to your arguments for changing the law on abortion. Otherwise, I'd say follow the difficult teachings of Christ and the priorities he set, not the ones that it is easy and convenient for you, as men, to set for women.

If I may add. Many, many women are increasingly fed up of being treated as incubators on legs. Women see pregnancy rather differently from men - whether they are pro or anti abortion. For they get pregnant. It is something which happens to the whole of their body of which the fetus is part. There isn't this false division between "it" and "me".

Of late the anti abortion discourse has become philosophically dominated by the warped idea that the fetus is a complete, self-contained human being which just happens to be surrounded by another complete (though clearly not self-contained) human being and that somehow the rights of the two are equivalant.

They are not. The fetus has no significant consciousness. It has no hinternland of existence, no "life", no relationships, dreams, ambitions, which will be affected by its existence. if it is aborted, it will not know it hasn't been born.

Which is my answer to all those who say "if I'd been aborted I wouldn't be here". You wouldn't know you hadn't been born so it wouldn't matter. You would be in the same position as the one in ten conceptions which spontaineously abort, or the millions who never get conceived because their putative mother had sex at the wrong time of the month. Indeed, you would join every unborn who isn't born because every woman in the world isn't pregnant every nine months. Though I suppose there are some men who would argue for that as well.
Regards
Anne

29 October 2007 at 18:13  
Anonymous The recusant said...

Ann,

Neither do we have any specific mention by Jesus Christ of wife beating, rape, torture or female genital mutilation, by your line of argument and taking it to is logical conclusion, if its not condemned it must be allowed.

Your reference to the 40 days is very selective; it is mentioned only in the Babylonian Talmud which states that: "the embryo is considered to be mere water until the fortieth day." Afterwards, it is considered subhuman until it is born. Christ was not a Babylonian Jew, he was a Judean and followed the Mosaic Law as taught by the Pharisees in the temple, in this tradition Halacha (Jewish law) does define when a foetus becomes a nefesh (person). "...a baby...becomes a full-fledged human being when the head emerges from the womb. Before then, the foetus is considered a 'partial life.' “

These are a myriad of rules about the status of an unborn baby in Jewish law, mostly concerned about guilt and penalties for causing an abortion and or harm to the mother. You may be getting confused with the 40 day act of ensoulment traditionally the Greek-Christian belief that it is 40 days before the soul subsequently adopted by Muslims.

I notice with most abortion apologists the argument quickly gets muddied, I suspect this is because it cannot stand up to too much examination and truth, you for instance bring in organised religion, misogyny, wymyns rights, homosexuality and a whole plethora of irrelevance about what Christ said or did not say yet you are evidently capable of selecting Biblical quotations. We know however that the Devil can quote scripture and you use it as a bludgeon to beat your opponent.

Let me try to clear up a few points for you though, just so you cannot say you were not told when you have to answer for this life (surely you accept you will have to give an account for your life as you quote so frequently from the scripture of the resurrection). We do know what Christ says about abortion (present tense intended), the Roman Catholic Church teaches it and it has the full authority of Jesus Christ to do so. You may not like it and you are free to reject it but you cannot deny knowledge of it.

In conclusion I offer you a few passages of scripture to contemplate:

And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and made thee a prophet unto the nations. (Jer.1:4-5)

The Hebrew word for 'knew' is quite interesting. Yada (yaw-dah') means to know, to learn, to perceive, to discern, and to experience. It carries more thoughts, but this gives an idea of the strength of what God is saying. He 'knew' and even 'experienced' Jeremiah before the prophet was formed in his mother's womb.


And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written. John 21:25


The Didache: This was a.k.a. "The Teaching of the Apostles," "Doctrine of the Twelve apostles," and "The teaching of the Lord through the twelve apostles, to the Gentiles". It was an important document of the early Christian church. It was written probably during the late 1st century 2 or early 2nd century and although not adopted into the cannon is an accepted source of Christian knowledge

bullet Section 2.2: "...thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill them when born,..."

29 October 2007 at 20:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recusant
Let me put my point as simply as I can, since you have not answered it. Should you follow Christ's priorities or your own? Christ repeatedly and unambiguously told his followers to give away all personal wealth and serve the poor. So as a Christian, why don't you START by giving away all your/the Church's wealth and lobbying for aggressively redistributive taxation?
Why do you think it is that so many Christians prefer to START by concentrating their moral and lobbying forces on the issue of abortion, (and homosexuality and contraception) - about which Christ offered no teachings at all?
Anne
(Apologies for the use of capitals, which I know sounds like shouting, but I can't think how else to stress it. Any suggestions for a gentler way to do so much appreciated.)

30 October 2007 at 13:19  
Anonymous anon777 said...

Anne 29 October 2007 18:13,

Thank you for taking the trouble to respond to my attempted comment following your own contribution to the abortion debate via the Daily Telegraph website.

I was not trying to ignore your point about selling all I have and giving to the poor. I was simply trying to point out that your argument that Jesus did not consider certain sins to be serious simply because a directly attributable quotation of His words condemning them does not appear in the Gospels is based on a fallacy. Jesus believed the Old Testament Commandments were to be obeyed (see Matthew 5:17-20) especially v19 - "Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

You also imply that you will only listen to a man [= powerful person = oppressor?] on the subject of abortion on condition that they have first sold all they have and given it away to the poor.

Refusing to listen to an argument simply because the person of a particular gender putting it forward is not perfectly obeying this particular command of Christ displays an attitude as pharisaical as those you condemn as being pharisaical in their attitude! Not to mention having no basis in logic.

As to myself, I have not done so. Following this command literally is fine for the single and unattached with no-one but themselves to make homeless. For those with a spouse and children it is much more difficult. Might I gently suggest that the command (if it is to be taken literally by every believer - which I dispute) applies equally to women? [To let you off the hook, if either or both of us had done so, we would not be having this discussion, as one or both of us would on the streets, without money and certainly without access to the internet.]

I can see that from your point of view men who get so hot under the collar about abortion are neglecting justice and mercy in their obsession with abortion.

You also state that you and many other women resent being treated by men as an "incubator on legs". I doubt that any man who cares deeply about this subject would wish any woman to feel like this, or to be treated like it. If you as a woman wish to avoid the danger of pregnancy entirely the answer is quite simple: don't have sex. The same applies equally to the man who wishes at all costs to avoid the responsibilities of fatherhood. Entertaining and promulgating the lie that sex is something trivial to be entered into as a form of recreation with any and every person you fancy has only been made possible by the widespread availability of the contraceptive pill. It is true that the man can, and all too often does walk away, leaving the woman with the responsibility of choosing what to do with the unwanted progeny. However, while in this life the man may escape responsibility, according to that same Jesus there will be a day of reckoning on which He will judge all men and women according to whether thay have put their trust in the One who Alone has atoned for our sins, sexual or otherwise.

As to the point at which a human foetus becomes a 'person', you and I will simply have to agree to differ. As a married Christian believer who did not run away from the responsibilities of fatherhood though he would dearly have loved to do so, and who first saw both his children as ultrasound scans in their mother's womb, I am firmly of the opinion that a foetus' humanity starts if not at conception, then certainly at implantation.

Respectfully

John

30 October 2007 at 15:57  
Anonymous The recusant said...

Anne,

I'm glad you kept it simple; we Christians can be a bit dim particularly in not seeing the obvious benefits of killing 6 million babies. I'll answer your questions the best I can, but in return please seriously consider the possibility that abortion in not just the termination of an inconvenient pregnancy but that a human life is being destroyed and that it damages both he child and the mother

Answer 1. Christ's naturally.

Answer 2. You misunderstand scripture, for example in order to be perfect Christ told the young rich man to give away all his goods so he could be totally reliant on God. That perfection is in our relationship with God, i.e. giving everything away is, if you like, a means to an end (and this is the funny bit) not primarily to benefit the destitute, but to rely totally on the Mercy of God and make him the centre of our life putting no others before him. You have unfortunately got the wrong end of the stick, it’s not about being beggared or wealthy it’s about salvation through Jesus Christ. If all we had to do to get to Heaven was to be paupers physically and no inward change of heart you would have a point, its not and I'm afraid you don't.

Christ's references to the poor were the poor in spirit not those who didn't have two shekels to rub together, I am afraid this meaning has been lost in translation from the original Aramaic `ányâ (Hebrew `anî), which means bent down, afflicted, miserable, poor. So as Matthew 6:21 says "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be" states a universal truth. A man's heart will be upon what he treasures most, Christ explained how hard it is for the rich (wealthy) to put God at the centre of their life, so a rich man can be rich and ányâ but as Christ tells us its easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle (another misunderstood phrase)

Answer 3. I don't know how people come to Christianity let alone "so many" (how many is that BTW?) anyway we do know Christ accepted the Torah, he was an observant Jew attending the temple. This means he accepted all the teachings of Deuteronomy and Leviticus (I guess that's where your trouble lies). The same way that you know the Popes opinion on say theft or blasphemy we know Christ's on those difficult moral issues, he did not have to repeat himself. As for Christians not being perfect or obsessed with moral issues, well Christ said he came to heal the sick, next time a Christian bother you ask them what their position is on third world exploitation, arms sales or care for orphans, or provision of education in South America. Is it that you are sensitive to, and just pick up on those issues that impact on your life (don't answer).

The problem with picking bits out of the bible and not studying it is, and I don't mean this unkindly, most reader do not have the ability or knowledge required to understand just what they are reading. The original meaning is lost in modern English and so, as you have done, they draw superficial or quite incorrect conclusion from scripture. This is one reason why access to the written word was restricted to the educated for so many centuries.

In conclusion, you objected earlier to what amounted to being treated as an object particularly by men. You position stemmed from the position that men do not understand what it is like to be pregnant which is fair enough as far as it goes but don't fool yourself into thinking that Ann Furedi, (chief executive of BPAS) has any special empathy with female problems, if men could have abortions she would just as quickly trot out tea and sympathy to get their business, because that is what it is. BPAS, a registered charity, receives NHS contracts worth about £12 million annually - about 70 per cent of its funding - to carry out about 35,000 abortions a year for health authorities. (£343 per killed baby, paid for by a grateful nation)

Let me leave you with some thoughts of a great man Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty, it not sentimental

The Most Important Person on Earth

The most important person on earth is a mother. She can not claim the honour of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent that any cathedral-- a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby's body.

"The angels have not been blessed with such a grace. They cannot share in God's Creative miracle to bring new saints to Heaven. Only a human mother can. Mothers are closer to God the Creator than any other creatures. God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation."

"What on God's good earth is more glorious than this: to be a mother?"--

30 October 2007 at 20:17  
Anonymous The recusant said...

O Tempora, O Mores! Tragic, Tragic Day

Dr Evan Harris MP, a prominent pro-choice campaigner known as Dr Death by colleagues. Dr Harris, joint secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Pro-Choice Group, is renowned for campaigning for euthanasia and easier abortion laws.

An honorary associate of the National Secular Society, he has criticised some witnesses to the inquiry for their Christian beliefs.

Labour MP Jim Dobbin, chairman of the Pro-Life Group, said: "The abortion inquiry report is now the Evan Harris report. Anyone who successfully puts forward 126 amendments means that it is essentially his report."

"The narrowness of the inquiry in refusing to consider ethical arguments surrounding abortion is deeply worrying. Abortion is an ethical and social issue as well as a scientific one.

Dawn Primarolo, the Public Health Minister, told the committee last week that the consensus among [Specially Selected] scientists was that there was no reliable evidence to support a change in the law.

31 October 2007 at 11:36  
Anonymous Simon R said...

Yay lets ban abortions, that will stop all the people in this country getting them! I mean its not like they can fly to another country or hell, just go to some dodgy doctor or even do it yourself!

I've got a great idea to cut the number of abortions. Stop teaching Abstinence rubbish and make people more aware of the condom/pill etc. Every study ever carried out has shown if you teach one group the former and another the latter, they will both engage in sexual activity, but the latter will be more likely to be using protection, therefore...... LESS ABORTIONS!!!

(This post was brought to you by the Devil...I mean a secular atheist. And I have never read a Richard Dawkings book!)

31 October 2007 at 17:03  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Simon,

Please give the details of the studies you refer to which show what you claim they do. I want to verify your claims.

We have spent millions and millions in the education budget for the last 20-30 years teaching our young exactly what you suggest. Today we have nurses in schools taking girls to hospitals for abortions without parental knowledge or consent and also handing out condoms. We show the kids how to put them on and even teach about Homo and oral sex. We have constantly fed them a diet of half truths and misinformation based around ‘it’s natural’ and ‘if you feel like it do it’ and other such self indulgent rubbish and are surprised and shocked when we have to deal with the results.
For successive generations supposedly achieving better exam results year on year and this same education establishment has given us the highest rates in Europe of teenage sexually transmitted disease, the highest rates in Europe of teenage pregnancy and the highest rates in Europe of teenage abortions.

Now I don’t refer to some mythical studies, you can check this out freely, do you not think the free love message is wrong (an oxymoron if ever there was one as ultimately its not free and there is self evidently little love involved). Do you wish to condemn generation after generation of our current and future youth just to make today’s hedonists feel less culpable in indulging their passions.

Atheist or not do you not think that perhaps something is wrong?

PS I don’t give a toss if you’ve read Dawkins or not, what you do in privacy of your bathroom is your business.

31 October 2007 at 22:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Despicable and vile practice the numbers of which shame our nation.

22 November 2007 at 14:51  
Blogger Bluey said...

It is never mentioned that in 1967 the head of the Church of England, in her role as head of the government, signed both the Abortion Act and the Homosexual Reform Act.

15 January 2008 at 09:52  
Anonymous Kitty said...

I think the point being missed on why fox hunting is banned is that fox hunting involves pain. Lots of it. While an abortion performed before around 8-10 weeks will not, due to the lack of a nervous system in the foetus. After that. they are injected with potassium chloride for a swift death. You show these images, knowing that they will summon up thoughts of poor little babies in pain. In most cases, THEY WILL NOT.

Going for the shock factor fails on many cases; I'd rather not watch a good deal of surgical procedures being performed, nonetheless they are necessary, being 'gross' doesn't make something inherently bad.

It is even more scandalous that it is the British taxpayer who pays for 80 per cent of abortions

The British taxpayer also pays for a great deal more continued pregnancies and labour, which cost far more than an abortion. Try again.

As Tooley argued in his rather fascinating essay on foetal rights, why should a foetus have rights that it has no interests in, or no capacity to be interested in?

1 December 2010 at 18:22  

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