September 29, 2007

For Those Who Believe

A couple of commenters to this post threw down the gauntlet in the form of Scripture, presumably in protest to my stance on abortion. Among others, Psalm 139:13 and Jeremiah 1:4 (and 5) were quoted, as well as Psalm 51:5. Here are all three, as found in The Living Bible.

"You made all the delicate inner parts of my body and knit them together in my mother's womb."

"The Lord said to me, 'I knew you before you were formed within your mother's womb; before you were born I sanctified you and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.' "

"But I was born a sinner, yes, from the moment my mother conceived me."

Yes, this is indeed what the Bible says, and it's obvious that, according to Scripture, God watches the development of babies in the womb. I'm sure this is why so many staunch Christians (and other religion adherents) oppose abortion; for those who believe, the notion that from God's point of view life begins at conception settles the matter.

All well and good. Also, frankly, irrelevant. Why? Because the most important part of this sentence is these four words: FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE.

If one doesn't believe, this sort of thing is simply religious tyranny.

Look, you can't have it both ways. People decry the notion of Sharia law in the United States, and rightfully so; the prospect of homosexuals being hung and shot, and women forced into the burqa (or even a mandatory headscarf, for that matter) and denied basic human rights should shiver everyone's timbers. I don't question any sincere Muslim's right to practice his/her religion, but I don't want said religion--which I don't believe in--forced on me.

That being so, why should any Christian think they have any right to force their views on life and abortion on anyone who doesn't believe in their particular religious tenets?

I've ranted about this before, and I'll keep on doing it. I don't give a hang how strongly Mike Huckabee (or anyone else) feels about the right to life. You can certainly be proud of what you believe, and explain to anyone who asks why you feel that way. That's part of 'preaching the Word,' which Christ commanded his followers to do.

He did not command his followers to pass laws mandating Christian behavior. (Or what some people perceive to be Christian, which is usually far from Christlike.)

A great many people in this country simply do not believe the fetus is a person. They also believe the actual person--the woman--should have absolute control over her own body. You may disagree with them, but that doesn't matter; they have as much right to hold that belief as you have to believe the opposite. They don't have the right to force you to have an abortion (a true pro-choicer condemns forced abortions in China, and any attempt on the part of parents to railroad their daughters into an abortion) and you have no right to force them not to have one. Either extreme is denying women their full human rights and making them slaves to their reproductive organs.

If you don't believe in abortion, don't have one. That's it. That's as far as you should go. In other words, your beliefs stop at my mind and body. This would apply to any religion, not just Christianity.

Trying to legislate religious behavior is a losing proposition from the get-go, because if it has to be mandated, it can't be worth much. It also--and I've said this before, too--betrays an extreme lack of faith in this God you claim to believe in. If your deity is so offended by all this godless, baby-killing behavior, then why don't you trust Zie to handle it? After all, Zie could zap all those heathens to dust at any time. It seems to me you should be more worried about yourself and your ticket to heaven (or wherever) instead of trying to force other people to conform to a god and holy book they may frankly think is a load of crapola.

This sort of tunnel vision gives Christianity (and any other religion who practices it) a bad name. In actual practice, if that means that we end up with a secular--or secular humanist--government in this country, so be it. (Actually, that's a joke. That'll never happen in the United States. Depending on your point of view, this is either a good or a bad thing.) This will not shake my faith.

If I don't believe in abortion, I still won't have one.


Rev. Donald Spitz said...

"Against abortion? Don't have one" That's like saying, "Don't believe in shooting babykilling abortionists, then don't shoot one."

SAY THIS PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I am a sinner and am headed to eternal hell because of my sins. I believe you died on the cross to take away my sins and to take me to heaven. Jesus, I ask you now to come into my heart and take away my sins and give me eternal life.

Unknown said...

Reverend sir:

Your logic is torturous and incomprehensible, to say the least. Of more importance, however, is the fact that you as a man have no right to tell any woman what to do with her body.

As for your "prayer," I don't need saving, and since there is no "eternal hell," I'm not going to worry about it.

You are exactly the sort of person I was talking about. If you are indeed a reverend, you should concentrate on your own salvation and mind your own business. God will take care of anything that needs taking care of.

Anonymous said...

First off, the Jeremiah verse applies to a very specific baby, a prophet. This is found evident if people would continue to read the passage, and not cherry pick for evidence.

Furthermore, the Bible has a very different perspective on the value of unborn life than fundamentalist would lead you to believe:

"And if men struggle and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is no further injury, he shall be fined as the woman's husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise."
Exodus 21:22-25

The Bible illustrates that an unborn life and a born life do not equal, for the termination of an unborn life yields a more lenient penalty.

I always love when a fundy tells me that they are anti-choice and pro-death penalty. Especially when they use the "eye for an eye" line. They clearly didn't read the whole passage.

JoshSN said...

We totally need to talk! Very rational thinking detected. I'm an atheist, myself, who believes that we must allow religious instruction in school (Madison in Memorial and Remonstrance, government shouldn't be cognizant of religion, ergo, can't decide what is, or is not, religion in the first place, in order to exclude it from schools).

I found your site here looking for the source of Huckabee's recent quote. I had already gotten past double predestination's impact on it, Beza's belief that not only was life predestined, but that it had all been predestined at the first moment of the creation of the universe (so, everyone was known before, but that doesn't speak to the matter of abortion, one way or the other).

Well, I'll get any replies to this thread by e-mail.


Unknown said...

Well, hello. I've never run across an atheist with your perspective before.

Would you agree with a class in high school covering the main doctrines of the world's major religions, with as many minor ones as could be squeezed in?

See, I think if you're secure in your own beliefs, and know the reasons why you believe as you do, that sort of thing won't shake your faith a bit. It would also be a good idea for believers to acknowledge their particular religion's history, and admit that Christianity (for example) hasn't always been lily-white.

Thanks for commenting.