Tuesday, May 14, 2013

If Gosnell is guilty of murder, when does life begin?

The monstrous case of Dr Kermit Gosnell, largely censored by the mainstream media, is at last making the headlines. His abortion house of horror, which earned him almost $2million a year, has been found by a jury to have been a literal slaughterhouse, where babies (aka 'late-term abortions') were born breathing and whimpering, clinging desperately to life, but were surgically dispatched with a quick snip to the back of the neck. And bags and bottles were found filled with foetal remains, including severed feet. On this conveyer-belt of death, one baby was delivered healthily at 30 weeks; another was born in a filthy toilet. They all went the same way - a pair of scissors in the back.

And now Dr Gosnell he has been convicted of the first-degree murder of three babies, and the prosecution is seeking the death penalty. For some reason, he was acquitted of murdering a fourth. Perhaps he or she didn't whimper loudly enough. But in the potted highlights of three snipped spines, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that this man was responsible for thousands of perfectly legal abortions performed over a career spanning 30 years.

Not everywhere has a 24-week limit - the threshold at which the Pennsylvania and UK legislatures determine the existence of human life. Across Europe, the upper limits are: France 12, Germany 12, Italy 12, Belgium 12, Bulgaria 12, Denmark 12, Czech Republic 12, Greece 12, Hungary 12, Luxembourg 12, the Netherlands 13, Poland 12, Slovakia 12 and Sweden, the most ‘liberal’, 18.

Places like Pennsylvania and the UK are the exceptions. Yet if it be murder to snip the spine of a baby born at 25 weeks, why is late-term abortion, or 'partial birth abortion' not always murder? Is it that a pair of scissors in the back of a visible neck is more of a grim reality than slicing up the unseen baby in the womb?

Some 200,000 abortions are routinely performed in England and Wales every year. How many of these are quite bloody and gruesome affairs which go completely unreported? There has been an undeniable shift away from using abortion as a last resort in favour of a post-conception contra-genesis, where life is now deemed to begin with the first breath. If you can legally kill a baby that has not breathed, why not one that has just whimpered for 20 minutes or so?

It is perhaps worth noting that in Scripture both the Hebrew word ר֫וּחַ (‘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 is the belief that leads to such practices as those performed by Kermit Gosnell.

George W Bush found 'partial birth abortion' so abhorrent he set an example to the Western World by outlawing it. President Obama takes a slightly different view.

Setting aside Europe, which constitutes an unimaginable slaughter of holocaust proportions, the 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 British state legitimises the murder of a baby every single minute of a working day, and then burns the evidence. Such a callous, systematic and efficient slaughter would impress even Adolf Eichmann.

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. Gosnell is the price we pay for that obsession.

And now, with the development of drugs to do-it-yourself at home, these figures are quite possibly a gross underestimation. 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. 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 baby 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'. As former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams once pointed out, it is 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.

Gosnell's snipped spines we see: NHS severed hands, feet and eyeballs being sucked down a tube we do not. The nation cries out for a latter-day Shaftsbury or Wilberforce in Parliament who will bang on about this barbarism ad nauseam, day after day, week after week, until something is done about it.


Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Amen to that Cranmer - with the caveat that we don't call them "foetal rights" but "unborn rights". Part of the problem is the dehumanising of the unborn child.

You'll notice this in all the secular, liberal media. An unwanted child is a foetus. A wanted child is a baby or unborn child.

The BBC's reporting of this case is a fine example: "A second foetus was said to have clung to life for about 20 minutes."!!! Can you imagine them reporting on a case involving a premature baby and mentioning how the foetus was kept alive in an incubator!

14 May 2013 at 09:51  
Blogger bluedog said...

You make a very compelling argument, Your Grace. There will be consequences, without doubt.

14 May 2013 at 10:14  
Blogger Flossie said...

That is nothing, Rebel Saint. The New York Times' reporting of the verdict went to extraordinary lengths to avoid using the word 'baby', preferring 'fetus', even when referring to 'Baby D', who was still a 'fetus'.

This dehumanisation is surely the result of decades of brainwashing to convince mothers that their babies were merely clusters of cells, to enable them to kill them without guilt. We now know better, of course, thanks to technology, but continue to cover our eyes and our ears.

Look how Nadine Dorries was vilified when she attempted a modest reduction in the age at which an abortion could be carried out.

When, oh when, dear Lord, will we as a society realise the extent of this evil, and put a stop to it?

God bless Cranmer for continuing to publicise this abomination.

14 May 2013 at 10:14  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Well done your Grace

Keep up the good work

I was particularly interested in the stats from all the other countries.


14 May 2013 at 10:23  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

My views on this will be no surprise to Your Grace. Murder.

Now, I'm going to bring the wrath of every one of your communicants down on me, by asking them to petition the State Governor of Pennsylvania not to impose the death penalty.

Pro life is pro life. If our stance is worth anything, then all life is sacred. Even the life of a mass murderer such as Dr Gosnell.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta travelled to America to speak against Roe v Wade, the law that legalised abortion in America. That is well known. What is less well known is that it is not the only time she involved herself in the American legal process, and all her other interventions were attempts to have the death penalty rescinded for murderers on Death Row in many other states.

Let us show Dr Gosnell what pro-life really is. And let us pray for the prison chaplain who will have his care.

14 May 2013 at 10:30  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

I also direct your readers to this


This is written by the attorney who represented Mother Teresa, and he says it all a lot better than I can.

14 May 2013 at 10:38  
Blogger Bob Hayes said...

A powerful and thoughtful article on a shocking state of affairs. Thank you.

14 May 2013 at 11:06  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Disturbing to read, but a good article.

The long term effects on the mothers' mental health are another unquantifiable cost, ironic when mental wellbeing is often cited as the reason for an abortion.

Desperately sad situation. Wilberforce and Shaftesbury had some frame of reference with a widely accepted Christian view of a creator and the resultant implication of a concept of Justice. That has gone - can it be rebuilt? This article helps confront the consequences of modern society's assumptions, and I suppose that's all we can do - join the dots?

I neither have the backing of someone like Pitt, nor the title of Anthony Ashley-Cooper. I do have a Father who is more powerful than both, though, so will petition Him.

14 May 2013 at 11:49  
Blogger Preacher said...

Excellent Dr Cranmer.
The wholesale slaughter of unborn babies has surely been a contributory factor in opening the floodgates of sexual experiments among the young & vulnerable. Successive governments answer? Tell them the all the details from a younger age, with explicit books, photos & diagrams of a sexual nature. Normalise all sexual activity regardless & let them choose what to do.
Modesty & morality are no more, in particular among many of the girls, as the modern miss is told, "You have a right to enjoy yourself as much as the boys. If it feels good, do it!" & the lads take advantage of the situation with no thought or care of the consequences & head for the hills at the first mention of pregnancy. Failing that, their main advice is "Get an abortion, it's your fault, you told me you were on the pill".
As you rightly say this case is the tip of the iceberg, awful as it is in it's brutality, the same is daily allowed in the clinics & our hospitals. The only difference is that it wears the mask of respectability.
The dehumanising of humanity goes on. One day their will be an accounting, then the tears will flow for the evils committed but too late I fear.
Meanwhile, it's up to those with the compassion for the unborn & their mothers who are as much the victims as their murdered babies, to stand up & be counted, ridiculed & pilloried certainly, but nothing of worth was ever won without a fight.

14 May 2013 at 11:53  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Britain lost 850,000 in World War One. France lost a million, and reputedly took twenty-five years to recover. But 200,000 abortions a year in Britain: that's a million casualties in about the same timescale.

Without wanting to introduce a red herring, there must be implications for immigration.

It's not just that Britain has 62 million people: it's the make up of the population. There are more over sixty-five in relation to those under sixteen than at any other time in history. Not enough young people.

If Britain can't produce enough young, then it must import them. That's the issue: quite apart from the ethical implications of His Grace's article above.

14 May 2013 at 11:55  
Blogger Peter D said...

Sister Tiberia
You'll not attract the wrath of this blogger for your views on the death penalty. (A different topic for a different time, perhaps.)

Today, let's pray for the souls of all innocent infants murdered, both legally and illegally.

14 May 2013 at 12:04  
Blogger Philip said...

Excellent piece, may it be widely read.

14 May 2013 at 12:07  
Blogger The Explorer said...

You can say not enough young people. Alternatively, you can say too many old people. Our society is creating issues for itself with the vulnerable at both ends of the spectrum.

I'm not trying to get away from the point at issue: all these things are related.

14 May 2013 at 12:11  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The justification of abortion has never depended upon a consistent definition of human life. It depends upon a consistent understanding of human autonomy. Life after all is a continuum. Any boundary between life and some hypothetical condition of 'non-life' is therefore going to be arbitrary by definition. A boundary set at 24 weeks is arbitrary. A boundary set at first breath is likewise arbitrary. Nothing occurs at either boundary to establish some ontological change that moves the child from non-person to person.

The boundary instead facilitates the autonomous choice of the adult. It is a legal boundary only. Before this date, the adult may set aside the obligations of parenthood. If such a legal boundary is not put in place, then parenthood becomes an imposed obligation of sex, and this is what so offends the autonomy of adults. "Why should I be responsible for a kid just because I have sex?"

Animals know to care for their young. But we kill them lest we have to share our time and money with them.


14 May 2013 at 12:19  
Blogger Peter D said...

"We must do everything to protect the development of your baby."

Pregnant woman

"No smoking or drinking - this will impede the growth of your child. I shall be giving you regular breathalyser tests to check for carbon-monoxide and alcohol."

Pregnant woman

"But your baby has the right to grow properly in your womb and we'll be checking your diet too."

Pregnant woman
"But I want an abortion.

"Oh, that's fine. Why didn't you say sooner? We can arrange for the feotus to be terminated easily .... no risk to you and no-one need know. It wont feel a thing."

14 May 2013 at 13:02  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Well said Carl.

14 May 2013 at 13:04  
Blogger IanCad said...

Bless You YG,

There is either reverence for life or indifference to it.
Christ died that we may live.
Our souls are precious, every one.
I am likely preaching to the choir.

Our wicked government, in league with the avaricious education industry are prime movers in this genocide.
It is policy to insist that the young get an education, and, if possible, a university one at that.
Career first and then perhaps a partnership and a baby. Years of broken relationships, abortions and STD's; then ending up too old to breed.
It is completley backwards!

I say cut the education budget and help those trying to raise a family if we feel that the state should have a part in this.

14 May 2013 at 14:09  
Blogger Dr Evil said...

Foetus or baby, it's all murder.

14 May 2013 at 14:20  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Well said indeed, Carl: as per usual.

Following on from your last sentence, I suppose that in the animal world the primary purpose of sex is procreation, and the process has been made pleasurable to ensure that it happens. That once applied, I think, even with humans.

The hedonistic strain in the modern Western world seems to have taken a different line. The primary purpose of sex is pleasure: with pregnancy an occasional, unwanted by-product.

I remember an earlier post of yours elsewhere, in which you said governments would feel the need to step in when the population fell below a certain point. Today's discussion is another manifestation of that previous debate.

14 May 2013 at 14:23  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


In the middle ages they often killed people who had done gross crimes slowly over several weeks or months

As a Christian you could say that they were doing them a favor

More time to repent?

CS Lewis is scathing of the option that you suggest.

"My contention is that this doctrine, merciful though it appears, really means that each one of us, from the moment he breaks the law, is deprived of the rights of a human being. "

For the rest of the essay



14 May 2013 at 14:36  
Blogger David B said...


Foetus or baby, it's all murder. "

No it ain't. However if the pregnant mother of a foetus with no brain in El Salvador dies for lack of an abortion, then that would, I would argue, constitute murder by those who prevent life saving surgery.


14 May 2013 at 14:55  
Blogger The Gray Monk said...

Thank you, Your Grace. In Chinese belief, life begins at conception, and that is the belief of other cultures as well. There will always be arguments for abortion, the most telling will always be those with a medical reason, and by that I do means something that threatens either the life of the mother, or which may result in a child unable to live or function. As you rightly say, our world has come to worship the sexual act, does not accept the natural result and so indulges in what you rightly describe as genocide.

One can only hope that Gosnell and those who collaborated with him are exceptional examples of human depravity, and not the tip of an iceberg being kept afloat by those who see a baby or an abortion as a "right" to accept or reject.

All we can do now, is pray for the innocent dead. Even Herod's reported massacre of the innocents in Bethlehem pales into insignificance against the legal slaughter you report and hope there are no more Gosnell's enriching themselves by this murder.

14 May 2013 at 15:19  
Blogger Peter D said...

Archbishop, you said ...

"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. Gosnell is the price we pay for that obsession."

I'm not so sure the god being worshipped is sex. Rather I believe it is individual man and his 'right' to think and to act as he chooses. The price we pay for this goes way beyond the Gosnell's of this world.

God revealed His name as: "I Am that I Am", or "I Will Be What I Will Be". Man, is his pride, has inverted the meaning of the Tetragrammaton and is worshipping himself. He knows of no authority outside of himself.

14 May 2013 at 15:23  
Blogger Nick said...

One thing that makes this kind of butchery worse than what the Nazis did is the cloak of calm "professionalism" and justification worn by those who champion abortion. These people are insensitive to the carnage they coolly advocate.

They have convinced themselves, and much of society, that abortion is fine and acceptable. Its not really a human after all.

we can but hope that the outcome of this grisly case will be greater awareness of the horror of abortion, especially late abortions.

14 May 2013 at 16:04  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David B (14:55)

The instance you cite makes a compelling case for abortion in certain circumstances.

However, undercover research by 'The Daily Telegraph' (in Feb/March 2012, I think it was) exposed 'gendercide': abortion because you don't like the sex of the foetus. Or abortion because the pregnancy interferes with holiday plans.

What's your take on instances like those?

14 May 2013 at 16:12  
Blogger Albert said...

Excellent article, which on several points exposes the utter intellectual incoherence and moral degradation of the so-called pro-choice lobby.

14 May 2013 at 16:30  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Congratulations on this excellent article Your Grace.

It is indeed sobering to be told that with 0.8 million British killed in WW1, over 4 years, and 0.2 million abortions performed annually, abortions are wasting human life at about the same rate, yet the post -60s sexual revolution mass murder is all so quiet and mostly accepted by the population. Indeed it is applauded by the media.

As Albert says, we suffer as a society from utter intellectual incoherence and moral degradation. Sooner or later it must be faced up to and rectified.

14 May 2013 at 17:20  
Blogger non mouse said...

All that strong sun in Fla causes cataracts and blindness, eventually - among other things.

Your Grace, however, shines the cold light of the English day - to bring out the truth about the dark side of humanity.

Mind you, I merely skimmed the gist of it. I have to sleep at nights and not sleepwalk/run, so I gave up unnecessary and unpleasant detail somewhere between Quatermass and the Moors Murders; I even skip over them in Beowulf and Chaucer!

14 May 2013 at 17:22  
Blogger Jumbo Driver said...

Sorry Sister Tiberia but the counsel of Mother Teresa is as nothing compared with the counsel of God.

• 'Moreover you shall take no ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death, but he shall surely be put to death... So you shall not pollute the land where you are; for blood defiles the land, and no atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it.' Num. 35:31-33

If he is not executed the land will be polluted. So says God, not me.

The scriptures further tell us that if we do not execute the murderer, in accordance with God's command, the blood of the victim will be on our heads.

God has not changed. The Catholic church supported the death penalty for centuries. In fact they practiced it. Has the RC church changed because of secular influence? Clearly it has.

14 May 2013 at 17:38  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Article: "Not everywhere has a 24-week limit [...]"

Indeed. Though there are many more variants and differences than the list which follows that siggests, and it is very selective. For example "the Netherlands 13" has a similar clause to the UK allowing women in distress to have one later.

In Spain, it is 22 weeks if the resulting child would suffer severe mental or physical disability. In Finland, it is 24 weeks if there is foetal malformation. In Cyprus, it's 28 weeks for much the same reasons as the UK.

14 May 2013 at 17:49  
Blogger JamesB said...

My mind flipped on abortion when I worked as a Hospital Theatre Orderly in 1980 in Southport, Lancashire, the day the surgeon removed a kicking baby, 12-14 inches long, by her leg after hysterotomy, (just like a caesarian section, but intending to kill the baby).
I'd been in theatre for many Caesarians, a most wonderful experience seeing a live baby lovingly rescued out of the severed womb.
This time the same surgeon snipped the umbilical cord, laid the still moving baby in a kidney dish, a nurse covered the baby with a green cloth, and carried the baby carried out into the sluice, where she was left to die. I was in shock, and still reel at the memory.
This was the same place I'd watched in distress as tiny feet, hands, ribs were sucked by the euphemistic 'Vacuum Aspiration' into a glass jar.
That day I was so revolted, I changed for ever, and demurred from assisting with 'TOP's' again. (This is how the 'list' sanitised these ops, they weren't called abortions.
It's not only American Dr Gosnells who do these dreadful things, sacrificing our children on the altar of free sex.
They're not shown on TV, videos refused as part of Sex or Ethics Ed. in schools: hidden, are we ashamed, shamed, fearful of the truth?
Time to change.

14 May 2013 at 17:52  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

That’s an excellent determinable spirit Archbishop. Keep chipping away. Take a leaf out of the homosexualists’ strategy. Demand, then DEMAND then D.E.M.A.N.D !

It will start to happen. It really will. Questions will be asked in high places. "Why are we aborting ourselves out of existence", that kind of thing...

14 May 2013 at 18:43  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Sister Tiberia: That's why I don't use the label pro-life, because I'm not. The execution of murderers is mandated in God's word in numerous places. Not to mention the killing of enemy soldiers in war. Murder is what is wrong, and Gosnell should pay for his murder, both his born and unborn victims, with his life. That is the duty of the state. The duty of the church is to bring him to repentance in his remaining time on Earth.

We shouldn't compare being opposed to the murder of an innocent baby with being opposed to the execution of a guilty man.

14 May 2013 at 18:45  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Nobody has ever said the death penalty isn't mandated. And don't blame the Catholic Church for my views, the Catechism actually does allow the death penalty. But I say with Blessed Mother Teresa that nothing precludes the asking of mercy, no matter what the law says.

Lets face it, there will come a time where every last one of us is likely to be profoundly grateful that God's mercy and love are greater than His justice.

14 May 2013 at 19:02  
Blogger Peter D said...

Thomas Keningly
"The execution of murderers is mandated in God's word in numerous places."

Mandated or mandatory? They are not the same thing.

14 May 2013 at 19:24  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

I really hesitate to suggest this, but a key factor in the anti-slavery campaign was creating awareness of what actually happened to the slaves in all its inhuman detail. This is far more difficult, as mothers make the choice here and would face the guilt if convicted in their consciences after the event. As Christians we know how unpleasant it is to face truth about ourselves - in this case it can unhinge people.

However, to what extent does that important factor hamstring the effort to change outlooks? This blog and the comments on it are the closest I've seen to the diagrams and manacles that were painstakingly collected by the anti-slave trade campaigners.

Your Grace, if you knew a modern day Shaftesbury, how would you suggest he or she balanced the horror with sensitivity but worked towards a result?

I confess that apart from a few talks in churches (both Anglican and free), I don't know what faces the anti-abortion movement has in the UK. I know of good pre and post abortion counselling, but not much else apart from news of placards and vitriol.

The statistics are stomach churning. Sacrificing children to idols has a Biblical history of God's governmental consequences. Grace has come, but government does remain, and nations are judged.

Shaftesbury's comment has been repeated to me since I was small, ‘there is no real remedy for all this mass of misery but in the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Why do we not plead for it every time we hear the clock strike?’

That didn't stop him alleviating the misery while he waited.

14 May 2013 at 19:37  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
This is so unimaginably awful it must be read wider. Can it be syndicated or at least put on 'Mail on Line'. This must be pursued.

14 May 2013 at 19:47  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

"As former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams once pointed out, it is 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."

Good point there and it shows the hypocrisy of the situation.

14 May 2013 at 19:49  
Blogger bluedog said...

Hi Hannah, completely off-topic but you really should read 'The Revenge of Geography' by Robert Kaplan, who served in the IDF. Down-loadable through K*ndl*.

14 May 2013 at 21:38  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The Inspector is rather intrigued as to the calling of the death penalty in this disgusting case.

Two great factors happened in the mid 1960s which account for the evil in which we live today in our ‘liberal’ society.

First, the prescribing of the contraceptive pill to women who were not married. Second, the abolition of death by hanging in the UK. Everything else, including abortion and what is now the apparent greatest level of human worth, homosexuality, has followed on from that...

One rests his case...

14 May 2013 at 22:32  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Slight shift to the topic of the death penalty and its justification by Jumbo driver. This split personality of Christianity really gets to me.

I thought that as far as Christians were concerned the Jewish law had been over ruled by the "New" Testament- we did have one Roman Catholic here who called the written Torah (to him the 'Old Testament') 'barbaric' when discussing homosexuality and the death penalty, which apparently (wrongly) Judaism is suppose to advocate.

Furthermore, I thought this is why your religion doesn't follow Kosher food laws etc. It seems you don't want to be constrained in eating habits, but pick random bits up when it is convenient?

14 May 2013 at 22:45  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

David Kavanagh. Best stick to Judaism, and leave Christian issues for those who accept the Christ, don’t you think ?

14 May 2013 at 23:03  
Blogger Albert said...


One way of thinking about it is this. The Torah can be divided into three categories: moral, ritual and ethnic. The latter two no longer apply (the Temple no longer exists and the sacrifices have been fulfilled in Jesus, meanwhile, the stipulation that Jews be distinct from the Gentiles has been fulfilled in the Gentiles coming into the people of God. Moral law however, remains. This does not mean however that the punishments have to be meted out - Jesus showed that in the case of the woman caught in adultery (and as you imply, it is to misunderstand the nature of the law in the first place).

14 May 2013 at 23:08  
Blogger Albert said...

Just to clarify: in saying the latter two no longer apply, I mean, they no longer apply in the light of Jesus - i.e. from a Christian point of view.

14 May 2013 at 23:12  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi David,

I have to admit I feel the same way. I have done some reading on this and apparently it comes down to Thomas Aquinas who broke our written Torah into moral, ceremonial and judicial, with only the 'moral' aspect of the Torah being relevant to Christians, I guess at least Catholics and Orthodox. I think this is why there seems to be a confusion among Christians there.

(I am not sure if Protestant Christians see things the same way, best ask Carl Jacobs).

14 May 2013 at 23:25  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Inspector,

"Best stick to Judaism, and leave Christian issues for those who accept the Christ, don’t you think ?"

LOL! Except in a couple of threads Jews have been said to be "replaced" by the Church and that Old Testament laws were no longer valid.

Indeed a couple of months ago you said you didn't see why the 'Old Testament' should be included in the Christian Bible and called it 'the Jew book' or something like that. Now here you are on this thread advocating the death penalty, following a post from someone who was quoting from 'a Jew book'.

I am sure you'll show us the bit in the non-Jew books of the Christian Bible, or perhaps the 'New Testament' where the death penalty is justified or indeed commanded.

Clearly the 'Jew book' isn't relevant to you, so I guess you will have to fish in the New Testament for specific justifications.

The Catholic David mentioned was, I think, John Magee. I think another example was Jesus and the women caught in adultery verses the terrible Jewish idea of stoning/the death penalty.

So, for obvious reasons I would like to read the New Testament justification for the death penalty, which you cheer with abandon.

14 May 2013 at 23:34  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi BlueDog,

I shall of course get that book to read.

14 May 2013 at 23:35  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Hannah and Albert,

It seems you are explaining this in the same way, but in different ways. So I appreciate that. I will have to ask my Baptist friend about the Protestant view.

14 May 2013 at 23:52  
Blogger david kavanagh said...


Why of course I am happy to leave Christian theology to Christians.... But you can see why I asked the question. The poster Jumbo whatever, said G-d didn't change.

Other Christians say G-d did change with the coming of Jesus and the Torah isn't relevant anymore. I was just trying to understand the different viewpoints.

I enjoy an ecumenical dialogue, so I can at least understand the Christian POV.

15 May 2013 at 00:03  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...


On the capital punishment thing, Paul writes that Christians are to respect the state;

3 For rulers are not a terror to a good work, but to an evil [one]. Dost thou desire then not to be afraid of the authority? practise [what is] good, and thou shalt have praise from it; for it is God's minister to thee for good. But if thou practisest evil, fear; for it bears not the sword in vain; for it is God's minister, an avenger for wrath to him that does evil.

Wherefore it is necessary to be subject, not only on account of wrath, but also on account of conscience.

I would trace the concept of man administering capital punishment back to Genesis 9:6, where the idea of basic government was set up. The law came long after, and the New Testament says that by law came knowledge of sin, and condemnation of everyone. Christ died to redeem us from the curse of the law, sacrificially taking the penalty God must give. The system of feasts and offerings point to what he would do, and Daniel points to Messiah being cut off.

That God uses base Gentile powers is evident from the captivity, and that fourth beast of Daniel (Rome) was still in power when Paul wrote. Christ's ministry was not to condemn but to rescue, but God clearly allows order to be maintained and holds people responsible for the positions they hold.

Government is a different concept from Grace. in the former I take the consequences of my actions during life here (and some have been glad to do so once their consciences were convicted). In the latter Christ took the consequences for me - and without it I would be separated from God forever.

Not sure whether that helps - would be interested to hear Carl's view.

15 May 2013 at 00:07  
Blogger david kavanagh said...


I think Inspector has his own views which sometimes differ from the conservative Roman Catholics here, towards a more Anglican view.

I think Cressida and Peter/D have often been in conflict with him on some issues. So I wouldn't see his view as the 'standard party line',

e.g.'The Jew book' reference: if Christians did away with the written Torah or 'the old testament' their whole claims and justifications would be greatly diminished.

So if I take my ecumenical hat off, then I should be saying to Inspector, carry on old bean...

15 May 2013 at 00:16  
Blogger Ian G said...

The Almond Rod has blogged on a follow-up video to this horrendous story. There are two videos. The bad one and the antidote/comment.

The bad one details more evidence that Gosnell was not just a 'one-off'.


15 May 2013 at 00:21  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Here we go again...

Hello beloved Kavanagh Jews everywhere. The Inspector would very much like to not concur with your views, but fears he’s going to be strung up as an Anti-Semite (again).

So, in the meantime, may your vengeful and bitter g_d of the OT (...or whatever you call it...) go with you...

Avi, where are you when you’re needed ? A fellow can always have a discussion with you !

15 May 2013 at 00:25  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Inspector,


15 May 2013 at 00:32  
Blogger Peter D said...


Now, as explained previously ..... oh, never mind .... I give up!

Welcome back with your weird and whacky take on Catholicism. Trust you had a good holiday.

Any amourous encounters with Irish colleens to report?

15 May 2013 at 00:34  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Rasher Bacon,

An interesting response and contribution to this thread on the death penalty issue. Although granted, it isn't the main thrust of the thread. So back to the topic at hand, I guess.

15 May 2013 at 00:35  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Anyways, I trust that Inspector had a nice holiday in Ireland and is now refreshed to come back and 'evangelize' pink news and share with us his usual venting of fury against gays etc... It wouldn't be the same blog without him.

15 May 2013 at 00:42  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


The OT cannot be separated from the NT. Together they constitute one revelation of One God. The Book of Genesis is just as much Scripture as the Book of Matthew. The words of Jesus in the Book of Matthew have neither more nor less authority than the words of Moses in the Pentateuch. In fact the division between Old and New is largely functional. It does not indicate some ontological difference between the two.

Yes, Protestants divide the law into ceremonial law and moral law. The Lord Jesus perfectly fulfilled the ceremonial Law for us, and that has been set aside. The moral law is still the moral law. We are not free to sin that grace may abound. What has changed is our relationship to God. We have become adopted sons and daughters. This means we are no longer held to account for eternal punishment because of the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. The Law holds no sting because the law can no longer condemn us before God. Our indictment has been nailed to the Cross.

Instead we have entered into a relationship whereby God works to conform us to the image of His Son. In other words, He treats us as legitimate children. We are free to approach the Throne of God and say "Abba, Father." Sin no longer leads to eternal death. It leads to discipline. Possibly harsh discipline. Exceedingly harsh discipline. But that discipline is the very evidence that God loves His children and has not abandoned them. God is not interested in making us happy. He is interested in making us Holy. God does not overlook sin. He acts as Father to correct it.

You can't play games with God. He doesn't overlook and He doesn't forget.


15 May 2013 at 00:43  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Peter D. Hardly “weird and whacky”. The Jews are the first recorded people to say there is only ONE God. Good for them. But THEIR take on him – a deity nightmare !

This man repeats his position. God sent us the Christ, in the form of a Jew. Christians accept the Christ. Now, answer this, where does the OT god come into it ? You can’t have a vicious God and a nicey God in the same frame. Either the Christians have the nature of God wrong, or the Jews do. And no tricks, mind !

15 May 2013 at 00:48  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Inspector,

Carl Jacobs seems to have answered your queries in his post to David....

15 May 2013 at 00:51  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


OIG is not known for is rigorous orthodoxy.


15 May 2013 at 00:57  
Blogger david kavanagh said...


Thanks for the crisp explanation as ever, which seems to cement the explanation of Hannah and Albert. So it seems that Christianity (less Inspector) as a religion agrees broad outlines of why certain parts of "the law" were carried over to Christianity and others were not.

That does make something logical as I was beginning to see as a deliberate 'pick and choose' policy coming on...

15 May 2013 at 01:00  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


The king/state/whatever is given authority to reward good and punish evil. It has the authority to kill in the exercise of this responsibility. It's important to understand that the Sermon on the Mount is not a treatise on Government. The Christian turns the other cheek. The officer of the law does not. He arrests the criminal and puts him in prison. The difference is found in different responsibility and authority.

It is Paul who confirms the right of the state to punish with death when he says that the state does not bear the sword in vain.


15 May 2013 at 01:05  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl. Your post at 00:43 – Elegant. One needs to get his head around the full implications before responding...

15 May 2013 at 01:12  
Blogger CSPB said...

What is the difference between between murdering the child in the womb and ripping its head off

Abortionist twisted heads off living babies, say nurses

15 May 2013 at 02:57  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...


Amen to that lot, brother (01:05 and before).

Back to the land of Nod...

15 May 2013 at 05:05  
Blogger IanCad said...

Carl, @ 00:43.

So very important and well put.

The notion that the New Testament replaces the Old has worked much evil.
You can't have the one without the other. To attempt to do so perverts the entire body of scripture.

The old saying: "The New Testament is in the Old concealed, the Old is in the New revealed." still has merit.

15 May 2013 at 07:53  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Carl Jacobs.

Thank you for an explanation of the relationship between OT and NT which certainly accords with this Low Anglicans, protestant understanding of the nature of the one, continuing and unchanging God and the distinction between moral law and ceremonial law. It is all very satisfying theologically I find.

And Jews continue to be the choosen race but many have not, yet, recognized Jesus Christ for what, we as Christians, can see that he truly was and still is. One of the most interesting talks I ever attended was given by a representative from the "Jews for Christ" group who explained what it felt like, based on a factual and theological background, to change from being a practising Jew to becoming a Christian. The relationship between many of our festivals and their Jewish antecedents came alive.
Greetings and very best wishes to all Jews reading this blog.

15 May 2013 at 08:03  
Blogger Silurian said...

Surely the question here that has to be answered is why is the Church of England almost continuously silent on the matter of abortion?
It's mighty fine having an anonymous blogger writing a few lines about it but when was it last served up as a sermon or raised by a Bishop or the Archbishop of Canterbury himself?
Rest assured that on the day of judgement there are many in the C of E, hierarchy and laypeople, who will be squirming for answers when called to account for their silence!

15 May 2013 at 09:26  
Blogger Peter D said...

Inspector said ...
"Peter D. Hardly “weird and whacky”. The Jews are the first recorded people to say there is only ONE God. Good for them. But THEIR take on him – a deity nightmare !

Oh dear. It was God who revealed Himself to the Jews - they didn't just say it! Were you asleep during religious study or being wilfully ignorant?

"Carl. Your post at 00:43 – Elegant. One needs to get his head around the full implications before responding..."`

Indeed you do; indeed you do.

carl jacobs said...
"OIG is not known for is rigorous orthodoxy."

A touch understated for you, Sir.

15 May 2013 at 12:36  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Peter D. Theologians have spent a couple of millennia trying to reconcile the OT and NT Gods. Yet here you are today, an amateur, having achieved just that with no loose strings hanging. Magnificent achievement !

15 May 2013 at 14:28  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

David B

"However if the pregnant mother of a foetus with no brain in El Salvador dies for lack of an abortion, then that would, I would argue, constitute murder by those who prevent life saving surgery."

The latest stats I have seen is that less than 0.5% of abortions are carried out because of continuity of the pregnacy would kill the mother

I would be happy to keep this option provided the other 99.5% were made illegal!


15 May 2013 at 16:06  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

A doctor friend of mine who ran a family planning clinic in a poor area of inner London had some very pithy views on the whole subject of abortion. And heaven knows her views were worth listening to. She'd spent thirty years trying to ensure that the young women in her care managed to get to the age of 21 without having had an abortion. She considered it a triumph if this aim was achieved.

But her views were simple. She used to say that the best way to lower the abortion rate was simply to make contraception legal, safe, cheap, easy to get hold of, and as near to foolproof in action as it was possible to get. Then to make abortion legal, safe, and very difficult to get. In other words, if you can't change human behaviour then make sure the "easy" option is to prevent the pregnancy in the first place.

She wasn't a Roman Catholic, didn't like the RCC very much (I believe she was Greek Orthodox), and was the nearest thing to a mother that literally hundreds of teenage girls in that area got. Bless her. Heaven only knows how they're all managing now she's finally retired.

15 May 2013 at 16:39  
Blogger Ivan said...

The OT aside from echoing the promise of the future salvation of mankind, is also the record of the Jewish people as they rose from a primitive tribal existence to national and ethical consciousness. As with all such records it contains material that has little relevance to any soteriology. While it has great passages that form an indispensable part of the literary heart of the European languages, the writers being honest men, had no time for bowlderising events and motives of the major actors. Jews, Christians and Muslims all claim descent of a kind from Abraham, but that father of the nations was caught out by Pharaoh for passing off his wife as his sister. There is no greater cad in the Bible than Jacob, who made off with his brother Esau's inheritance and following up that success by making off with Laban's daughters. The misadventures of the protagonists make for a racy read, but what has all this to do with Christos Pantacratos?

Readers were apt to get ideas on reading the Old Testament, that were foreign to the intent of the Apostles, and it is partly on account of this, I suppose, that made the early church wary of self-styled preachers. If I am not mistaken, St Augustine went so far as to declare that the he would not accept Scripture as true, unless affirmed so, by the Church.

The Catholic Church, spiritualised the experiences of the ancient Hebrews, giving them a tendency to foreshadow the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. The blood on the lintel in Egypt is now the Blood of Christ. Forty days of flood and forty days of wandering in the desert during which the Israelites found no oil, is echoed in Jesus' temptation in the desert. Even such trite incidents as that of the wily Joseph, hiding a golden cup in his young brother Benjamin's effects, gain a mythic significance as the cup of suffering borne by Jesus, with a dreamlike connection to his earthly father, Joseph.

15 May 2013 at 17:16  
Blogger Peter D said...

Inspector said...
"Peter D. Theologians have spent a couple of millennia trying to reconcile the OT and NT Gods. Yet here you are today, an amateur, having achieved just that with no loose strings hanging. Magnificent achievement !"

Well, theologians haven't, now have they? You give it away by referring to the "OT and NT Gods". One God, Inspector. And no difficulty that I'm aware of in reconciling the God of the Old and New Testaments.

Sister Tiberia
"She used to say that the best way to lower the abortion rate was simply to make contraception legal, safe, cheap, easy to get hold of, and as near to foolproof in action as it was possible to get."

I'm not sure it could be made any more accessible than it is. Children are prescribed the pill, get free condoms and now the 'morning after pill' - no questions asked.

"Then to make abortion legal, safe, and very difficult to get."
Well, yes, but once you legalise abortion it invariably becomes abortion on demand and is associated with a 'womans right to choose'. The ground quickly shifts from a physical threat to life to a wider emotional/mental health threat and the flood-gates open.

My answer - the message is the same as the one that should be given for drugs: "just say NO".

15 May 2013 at 17:20  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Dear Ivan

You're right that some remarkably frilly stuff was allegorised back into the OT - the King James Bible even had some strange chapter headings pasting stuff back into the OT that didn't belong. However, salvation history is typified in an amazing way through the feasts sacrifices and types - Joseph being a great example of someone sold by his brothers through envy, but who was used to save those brothers.

Bottom line - NT scripture was written by people who had the benefit of this in Luke 24:

"And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself."

That's not Moses as in a date BC, that's those 5 books. Jesus had a view that the whole of scripture spoke of Him, as Paul confirmed to Timothy - inspired.


15 May 2013 at 18:03  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

I normally am delighted with your comments, however, forgive me if I am wrong, you seem averse to the Old Testament preferring just the New.
If I night refer you to 1 Corinthians, particularly v11,
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

So if the New tells us that the Old is an example for us, then it must surely be relevant. The manner in which wars were raged, for example, can be the way we must resist the wiles of the enemy in our own life.
God bless you and keep up the good work.

15 May 2013 at 18:11  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Peter D. You are of course right. There is no reconciliation. It’s why Christianity relies on the NT, and leaves the OT for, well, let’s call it academic curiosity for want of a better description. Can you see how the ‘one God’ paradox presents itself to men who wish to understand ?

The problem could be one of presentation. Instead of hanging on to the notion that the OT is the very word of God, why not admit that the OT is the chronicle of Jewish history combined with how to be a Jew. There is some very unsavoury writing in that book, but that is not to decry the Jewish people. From the little this man knows of what other peoples were doing a few thousand years BC, the Jews, in his opinion, were no better and certainly no worse than the rest.

15 May 2013 at 18:15  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Peter D

Her point was that you have to have the two - legal, easy contraception and legal, difficult abortion. (It will not surprise you to learn that she was a strong advocate of the contraceptive injection, since it required no ability to count, and was still effective if the girl's judgment was impaired - drugs, alcohol, whatever. She was a realist. She read them the lecture on condoms, and was well aware of the realities.)

But if abortion is easy to get hold of, then contraception alone is not the answer, as the world we're in demonstrates.

Statistically, her practice had one of the lowest abortion rates of any practice in an inner city area in Britain. And it certainly wasn't a function of the ability of the girls to "say No and mean it" - oh, she said that to all of them too. But she prescribed the contraception too.

15 May 2013 at 18:17  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 May 2013 at 19:08  
Blogger Peter D said...

I repeat: " ... no difficulty that I'm aware of in reconciling the God of the Old and New Testaments."

Pointless engaging with you on this subject as we have covered it fully before.

Let's just say if you don't understand the Old Testament then your knowledge of the New Testament will be limited at best, and ignorant at worse. You choose.

Sister Tiberia
Yep, the world is a difficult place. That's why we have to hold onto basic Christian truths. Compassion without a clear moral framework results in an increase in problems, not a decrease.

In the 1960's, because of "compassion", homosexuality was decriminalised; now we're on the brink of homosexual marriage. Because of "compassion", abortion was legalised; now its available on demand. Its the same with contraception and divorce.

Fine if non-christians adopt this approach. We live in a so called liberal-democracy. However, I don't believe as Christianwe we can compromise standards and adjust these to accomodate the world. Helping people avoid the moral and social consequences of their actions or feel better about their behaviour, just doesn't work for individuals or society.

15 May 2013 at 19:11  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Peter D. Good idea - let’s leave it there. Perhaps one day this man will come to a similar depth of understanding on the position of the OT in Christianity that you and that fellow Integrity have.

Meanwhile, plumbing emergency at the Office. Good night from the Inspector...

15 May 2013 at 19:56  
Blogger Peter D said...


Now, now ....

I think you'll find most Christians hold similar positions to myself and Mr Integrity.

Trust the plumbing issues are resolved without too much trouble.

15 May 2013 at 20:35  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

So back to the topic, I'm not sure whether our host deigns to enter these pages much these days, but looking at the helpful Pro Life website, repeal of the 1967 Act is sought.

Given man's pride in his medical achievements since then, is a replacement Bill a better idea?

What ground work has to be laid to reach something that's achievable yet not a sell-out?

Come on, lest we be found to be Sayers and not Doers.

15 May 2013 at 23:50  
Blogger Ivan said...

Dear Rasher,

We are more or less on the same page.

16 May 2013 at 02:53  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Poor old Inspector having to be the Chief Executive plumber at his workplace....

(I trust he got overtime pay?).

Back to the topic. I see the out and out slaughter of life continues and no-one really batters an eyelid. I can't help but think that I and my sister,wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my brave mum and dad telling the medical establishment where to go...

16 May 2013 at 21:28  

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