The Internet Times Supplement

Pro-lifers

In Life & Style, Politics, Religion on January 26, 2009 at 3:46 pm

My wife was listening to a radio show about Pro-lifers (really they should be called ‘Anti-abortionists’). A caller made a wonderful comment “If an anti-abortionist goes to a restaurant I hope they order eggs instead of chicken”. Personally, I think pro-lifers should rename themselves to “Anti-Abortionists” OR be active in stopping war, standing up against the death penalty and other associated ‘life’ issues i.e. PRO-Life.

There are many changing opinions regarding this but overall I think they should come clean with exactly what their campaigning is all about instead of hiding behind poorly interpreted Bible quotations (here and here). A relatively ‘good’ example of this excerpt below from here. The associative ‘proof’ is unproven and the literal translation (using a range of dictionaries) is “Why then did you allow me to be born? I wish that I had died and no-one had seen me”:

The first passage to be sited is Job 10:18, “Wherefore then hast thou brought me f orth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me. ” This passage shows without a doubt that Job believed he had a spirit inside the womb. This proves that the unborn child is alive. Since “the body without the spirit is dead, “‘ then the spirit is essential to life. The unborn child has a spirit so he has life. What kind of life? Human life, that’s easy. If it was a dog, it would be dog’s life, since it is a human we are discussing, it would be human life.

The interpretation of “giving up the ghost” as being evidence of a spirit has many counter entries in the Bible which show the generic understanding of this being the physical evidence of death NOT life. The actual definitions as they are currently generally understood are best shown in these two examples below

Ghost (from Anglo-Saxon gast, from a root word seen in Icelandic geisa, to rage as fire, and Swedish gusa, to ferment): a visible spirit, a disembodied spirit, an apparition.

Spirit (from Latin spiritus, from spiro, to breathe): the vital or essential part of anything; a supernatural existent life.

Many Biblical quotations (some sound practical advice e.g. drinking alcohol while pregnant) have little regard for the relevance to modern day and discard much of what is known in science. The phrase is ‘cherry-picking’. The Bible consists of the writings and interpretations of word of mouth of many people over a great deal of time. As a result it is (like all writing in general and other religious tracts) full of inconsistencies and contradictions. If many of its quotations were taken literally there would be many moral and social issues – the courts would be very busy. Stoning anyone? Eye plucking? The Catholic Church has a rather good site that lays out (fairly well) what their position on the abortion issue (and many others) is… here.

My favourite for the depth it goes into the subject is here. The Skeptics Annotated Bible…

I actually like the approach taken with AskMoses… here. Very pragmatic in its ‘case by case’ advice.

The Pro-Life ‘Sidewalk Counseling‘ … “instead of educating them about the facts we engage them” is intrusive and preys upon people who are making a fairly major decision that will affect their life. For me, the morals of using this approach are questionable.

Here is an example of some advertising. Here is another. The coat-hanger image is wonderful.

This is a huge and far ranging subject with some heated opinions on all sides. I believe strongly that women should have the right to decide how they want to live their lives and whether or not a pregnancy is terminated. Those who base their beliefs on their interpretation (or that of their church) of words written a long time ago regarding what life is should keep out of it until they have empirical evidence based on fact. See this here.

And, as a footnote, why Sarah Palin should NOT be in a position of power here (or anywhere for that matter), here (wonderful – apparently terrorists have few career opportunities and “I am lost in a blizzard of words”), here, here (my favourite) … and obviously countless more

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