You are going to see and hear a handful of scriptures over and over again in the coming years as we engage in the battle to restore women from 2nd class citizenship. The "Christian" Right throws them around all the time. They've cherry-picked a few scriptures and twisted them to mean something they don't. Let's look at some of those scriptures.
The first such passage is found in Psalm 139:13-16:
"For Thou didst form my inward parts; thou didst weave me together in my mother's womb. I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are thy works! Thou knowest me right well; my frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth. Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance; in thy book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them."
All this passage states is that God is directly involved in the creation of a fetus and knows its future. This is useless for the anti-choice position, since God creates all living things, including trees and bugs. Plus, just because God is supposedly omniscient doesn't give fetuses any special status—it simply means God already knows whether they will live or die. It is dishonest to conclude from this verse that a fetus is a human being deserving of more protection than women. The passage is poetic prose that anti-choicers have twisted and trivialized by giving it a literal, objective meaning where there is none.
The second passage used by anti-choicers is similar:
"Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you'..." (Jeremiah 1:4-5)
Unfortunately, anti-choicers usually stop right there, and forget the rest of Verse 5, which negates their preferred meaning:
"...'and I appointed you a prophet to the nations.'"
This passage is specific to one, very special person—Jeremiah the prophet, whom God has called to provide miraculous powers and authority to the world. Since we are not all destined to be divine prophets, this verse cannot be construed as applying to any fetus except the unborn Jeremiah. Again, anti-choicers are being dishonest by pulling this verse totally out of its context.
The third passage quoted by anti-choicers tells the story of Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and Mary the mother of Jesus, while both were pregnant:
"In those days, Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit." (Luke 1:39-41)
This passage simply records a fetus kicking in the womb. We can only wonder in befuddlement why anti-choicers think this would help them. Besides, John the Baptist is yet another divine fetal prophet ordained by God. Since very few of us are chosen by God before birth to herald the arrival of the Messiah on earth, we cannot claim that this passage venerates all fetuses.
Scripture analysis below from "The Bible is Pro-Choice," by Joyce Arthur.
We've been on the front lines of the struggle to take back the definition of our faith from what we classify as a cult since 2009. Right-wing ideology mixed with the Christian faith is misguided and toxic. Whether its adherents realize it or not, they are practicing Objectivism. Their ideology is no different from the 'law of the jungle,' where the strongest and smartest get their needs met, and the poorest, the weakest, and the sickest get what they deserve, which is nothing. On top of that they target and abuse groups that were already oppressed to begin with.
They have all kinds of rationalizations to avoid cognitive dissonance. One of the favorite is, "It's not the government's job to take care of these people. That's the job of the church." The Bible doesn't support this notion in any way. In fact scripture is full of instances where God became very angry when leaders, nations, and citizens ignored their responsibility.
"Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy." Ezekiel 16:49
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About TCL Blog
We’re not about Dogma here. We’re just Christians who think the political and Christian right-wing have their priorities wrong.
Charles Toy is the founding member of The Christian Left. We're sure you will enjoy his passion as well as his wit. Guest bloggers featured often.