The One Thing We Can Agree On

Written by Drew on August 27th, 2008

There have been a number of statements made by liberal politicians lately that suggest that the religious world is still struggling with the issue of abortion. Barack Obama’s projected confusion was reported on Truth and Repose last week. And now Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, a devout Catholic, states that after 2,000 years her church has not been able to come up with a definition of when life begins.

Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl strongly disagreed:

Wuerl pointed out that the Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear, and has been clear for 2,000 years. He cited Catechism language that reads, “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception … Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.”

Pelosi’s not backing down. She can’t, really, without creating a major disturbance in her political party. But that doesn’t change the fact that she’s wrong.

The consensus reaches into Protestant churches as well. In his commentary on Exodus 21:22, John Calvin wrote,

…the unborn, though enclosed in the womb of his mother, is already a human being, and it is an almost monstrous crime to rob it of life which it has not yet begun to enjoy. If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, because a man’s house is his most secure place of refuge, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy the unborn in the womb before it has come to light.

Martin Luther spoke out against abortion on numerous occasions. For example, he said, “Surely at such a time [conception], the order of nature established by God in procreation should be followed.”

Even the existentialist Christian philosopher Karl Barth condemned the practice, saying, “The unborn child is from the very first a child. It is still developing and has no independent life. But it is a man and not a thing, nor a mere part of the mother’s body…. He who destroys germinating life kills a man….”

Speaking of the millions of abortions that had been carried out in the U.S. since 1973, John Stott, the most prominent spokesman of the Anglican Church, said,

Any society which can tolerate these things, let alone legislate for them, has ceased to be civilised. One of the major signs of decadence in the Roman Empire was that its unwanted babies were ‘exposed’, that is abandoned and left to die. Can we claim that contemporary Western society is any less decadent because it consigns its unwanted babies to the hospital incinerator instead of the local rubbish dump? Indeed modern abortion is even worse than ancient exposure because it has been commercialised, and has become, at least for some doctors and clinics, an extremely lucrative practice. But reverence for human life is an indisputable characteristic of a humane and civilised society.

James Dobson, a leader of the evangelical movement in America and founder of Focus on the Family, called the millions of abortions since Roe v. Wade “the biggest holocaust in world history.”

Most importantly, the Bible condemns the practice, arguing that God creates life in the womb, not outside of the womb (Ps. 139:13-14). This is so clear that theologians and church leaders who can agree on little else join hand in hand against those who promote this grievous assault on the unborn.

If politicians like Pelosi want to promote abortion in this country, let them. We have the First Amendment. But it is absurd for them to think that believers will sit silently as they are forcibly rallied to their bloody cause.

 

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