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  [ the actual title of this page:]
This is the 2nd of 6 pages of a website that, prior to July in 2022,
was called "ChristianChoice.org" (and will still work until Nov.) , but
which now answers to the improved name "a-moral-and-Christian-choice.info".

CC_banner.jpg Page B)  The flaws of
the "pro-life" scriptural arguments ( They're nowhere as probative
as pro-lifers have been led to believe
 ! )

[ click here for the other five pages ]
There are kudos re: this article
at bottom of page.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with people believing with all their heart, and soul and mind that a human person begins at conception, if that is what they choose to believe.  It's even alright, in a democracy such as America, for people with such beliefs to promote legislation that would make abortion at any stage of pregnancy and in every instance murder.  But it is wrong to claim the authority of the Jewish or the Christian Bible for such beliefs.  If people want to adopt and promote such "extra-biblical" beliefs,  then they should be honest enough to admit that there is no more support for them in the bible than there is for sending people to hell for playing cards, drinking or smoking in moderation, dancing, or practicing birth control – which   conservative preachers used to do –. They have always had more reasons to send people to hell than Jesus ever gave them!

The fact is that no serious Christian or Jewish authority can legitimately claim that the "pro-life" teaching is taught in any clear or straightforward way in the Bible.  The plain truth is that - – contrary to first impressions - – not one verse in the whole Bible says anything unequivocally clear and direct against abortion, or about the moment in time when a human person begins his or her individual life on earth.  The nearest the Bible comes to helping the Judeo-Christian community settle the matter are a reference to miscarriage in Deuteronomy, one passage in Leviticus in which God seems to recommend abortion, a few Old Testament references to life before birth, and an episode before John the Baptist's birth.
        Keep in mind that the burden of proof is not on those who don't know when human life begins or who don't believe that it begins at conception to prove when it does begin.  The whole burden of proof is on those who claim that the Bible entitles them to demand that every Jew and/or Christian agree with their contention that a fetus is a human being from the moment of conception, and that taking that life from any point thereafter is therefore murder, pure and simple.
        Let's take a good look at each of the biblical arguments in turn.


1 - What does
Luke 1:41–44 prove?

"When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb.  And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry,   'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.   And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?  For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy."

      If you are already convinced of the humanity of the fetus before birth, then these verses may be very compelling for you, but no theologian worth his salt would base any doctrine on such casual references.  Luke is clearly not teaching anything about the nature of Elizabeth's fetus.  The context is clearly about the miraculous nature of Mary's upcoming pregnancy.  Even without this miraculous context, the fact of Elizabeth's interpreting some movement within her womb as a human person "leaping for joy" proves nothing except for those determined to read into a situation much more than is actually stated.

2 - What does
Genesis 25:21–23 prove?

        When I looked them up and read them the way bible literalists do, I discovered that, not only was there a human or two in Rebekah's womb during her pregnancy, but there were two whole nations in that poor woman's womb!

Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived.  The children struggled together within her;  and she said, "If it is to be this way, why do I live?"  So she went to inquire of the Lord.  And the Lord said to her,  "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples born of you shall be divided;  the one shall be stronger than the other, the elder shall serve the younger."

Don't expect literalists to be consistent about this.  While they may admit that God didn't actually mean literally that there were "two nations" in her womb, they insist that he did mean literally that there were two full-fledged human persons in her womb.

Here again, it's easy for those who are already convinced of the humanity of the fetus before birth to find the following quotation very compelling:

3 - What does
{Jeremiah 1:5} prove?

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born, I set you apart." 

Those who take this to mean that one becomes a human being before birth – perhaps even at the moment of conception – are simply overlooking the fact that the first part of the verse makes it clear that what is being addressed here is not our life on earth, but our existence in God's mind, which doesn't simply begin before we are born, but before we are even conceived, and perhaps even before anything on earth came into existence!  Since God knows all things, and has known all things from the beginning of time, surely the verse saying that "he knew us before we were born" (and even before anything came into being on earth) does not prove that we existed before we existed !  Right now, God knows the children who will be born to your great-grand-children.  But does that make those future children living human beings here and now ?

4 - What does
{ Psalm 139:19 }  prove?

        Likewise, Pro-life people who read "You knit me together in my mother's womb,"   are convinced this proves that God completes our creation while we are still in our mother's womb.  That may be one way to understand those words.  But anyone who wishes may also take the words to mean that we come into existence as a bunch of tissues woven together in our mother's womb with some kind of divine knitting needle.  But where does anyone derive the right to deny that this verse may be saying nothing more than 'God is responsible for the way a human being's body develops in its mother's womb'?  The verse says nothing about when God infuses that fetus with the human soul which is what makes it a distinct human person.

5 - What does
{Exodus 21: 22–25} prove?

The following may be the bible passage that comes closest to addressing the abortion issue, and the crucial question of the debate at that, i.e. the nature of the human fetus:

"If men struggle with each other and (one of them) strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely 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."

THIS is the way the conservative Christian opponents of abortion understand this passage:

"If men struggle with each other and (one of them) strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury (to the fetus), he shall surely 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 (to the fetus), then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life (of the fetus), eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise."

THIS is the way most Jewish scholars and more liberal Christian supporters of choice understand this passage:

"If men struggle with each other and (one of them) strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury (to the mother), he shall surely 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 (to the mother), then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life (of the mother), eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise."

may be the bible passage

"Premature delivery" didn't have the same meaning 3,000 years ago that it does today. Then, it meant certain death within minutes, or hours at most. So how could a fetus born prematurely not suffer any injury, or additional injury? Upon reflection, the phrases "yet there is no injury" and " there is no further injury" can't relate to the fetus, which is already sure to die. The injuries in question must, therefore, have to do with the mother.
        And "he shall surely be fined as the woman's husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide" spells out the penalty for killing a mere fetus, as opposed to killing a human being.
        If then, Exodus 21: 22–25 is "the word of God", the bottom line is that, unlike the loss of the mother' life, for which the penalty would be the life of the one responsible for the loss of her life, the penalty for taking the much less significant life of the fetus is merely paying a "fine".
        Here is a great article on the views of Jewish scholars on this controversial passage : https:/www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-fetus-in-jewish-law/

6 - according to {Numbers 5: 11–31}

        "The Lord" appears to be instructing the clergy to use an abortifacient drink as a means of exposing a wife's infidelity. How could he do that, if God views abortion as inherently evil?

"The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:  'Speak to the Israelites and say to them: If any man's wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him, if a man has had intercourse with her but it is hidden from her husband, so that she is undetected though she has defiled herself, and there is no witness against her since she was not caught in the act; if a spirit of jealousy comes on him, and he is jealous of his wife who has defiled herself; or if a spirit of jealousy comes on him, and he is jealous of his wife, though she has not defiled herself; then the man shall bring his wife to the priest.  And he shall bring the offering required for her, one-tenth of an ephah of barley flour.  He shall pour no oil on it and put no frankincense on it, for it is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering of remembrance, bringing iniquity to remembrance.
        Then the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the Lord; the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel, and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water.  The priest shall set the woman before the Lord, dishevel the woman's hair, and place in her hands a grain offering of remembrance, which is the grain offering of jealousy.  In his own hand the priest shall have the water of bitterness that brings the curse.  Then the priest shall make her take an oath, saying, "If no man has lain with you, if you have not turned aside to uncleanness while under your husband's authority, be immune to this water of bitterness that brings the curse.  But if you have gone astray while under your husband's authority, if you have defiled yourself and some man other than your husband has had intercourse with you," let the priest make the woman take the oath of the curse and say to the woman "the Lord make you an execration and an oath among your people, when the Lord makes your uterus drop, your womb discharge; now may this water that brings the curse enter your bowels and make your womb discharge, your uterus drop!" And the woman shall say, "Amen.  Amen."  Then the priest shall put these curses in writing, and wash them off into the water of bitterness.  He shall make the woman drink the water of bitterness that brings the curse, and the water that brings the curse shall enter her and cause bitter pain.  The priest shall take the grain offering of jealousy out of the woman's hand, and shall elevate the grain offering before the Lord and bring it to the altar; and the priest shall take a handful of the grain offering, as its memorial portion, and turn it into smoke on the altar, and afterward shall make the woman drink the water.
        When he has made her drink the water, then, if she has defiled herself and has been unfaithful to her husband, the water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain, and her womb shall discharge, her uterus drop, and the woman shall become an execration among her people.
        But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, then she shall be immune and be able to conceive children.  This is the law in cases of jealousy, when a wife, while under her husband's authority, goes astray and defiles herself,  or when a spirit of jealousy comes on a man and he is jealous of his wife; then he shall set the woman before the Lord, and the priest shall apply this entire law to her.
        The man shall be free from iniquity, but the woman shall bear her iniquity."
        In this instance, should the priest and husband be excused of the "murder of an innocent child" because God put them up to it?  If so, what kind of God recommends such murders in order to expose the adultery of their mothers (while doing nothing comparable about the sins of the missing fathers and/or unfaithful husbands)?         7- according to {Ecclesiastes 11:5 } (NRSV)         (For those at least who accept the book of Ecclesiastes as part of their bible), this is the Bible's bottom line on the nature of the "pre-born":

"You do not know (i.e. NO ONE knows) how the breath
comes to the bones in the mother's womb."

(or according to the Roman Catholic Revised Standard Version:)
"You do not know how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child."

8 - why doesn't "God's word"
clearly condemn abortion ?

        Whenever I hear fellow Christians asserting with absolute certitude that God or Christ could not possibly condone abortion, I ask them the following:
        If you really believe that God is all-knowing and that the Bible is God's Word, how can you possibly explain the fact that neither the God of the Old Testament, nor Jesus, nor anyone else in the New Testament used even one of the 31,173 verses of the Bible to do what crusaders like you are striving to do in God's name, namely, to try to prevent as many as possible of the millions of abortions that have been taking place throughout the world every year not just in recent times, but even in Jesus' day and in Old Testament times?  (You may only have learned about this tragedy recently, but the world has known about abortion from ancient times on.)   Do you imagine that God and Jesus have been totally mute on what you view as the most important moral issue of all time because :

  1. "God's Word" was not written for 21st century America, but only for
    "the Holy Land" and for "the old days"?
  2. God (and/or Jesus) didn't know what you are so sure that you know, i. e. that
    a human being's personhood begins at the moment of conception?
  3. God didn't know that abortions have been performed from ancient times
    (mostly by means of abortifacient herbs #2 )?
  4. God didn't know or care that, without clear condemnations of this practice,
    billions of innocent human beings over the centuries would be killed and
    billions of adults would be murderers themselves, or accessories to murder?
  5. God didn't have the courage it takes to wage war on popular sins?
  6. God was squeamish about sex and uncomfortable talking about it?
  7. God and/or Jesus are in effect nothing but lifeless dummies, requiring
    "Christian Conservative" ventriloquists like you to speak for them?

The only answer I ever get to these important questions is the very inadequate one that the Bible's commandment "Thou shalt not kill" is all that is needed.
        Yet, the same bible that quotes God himself as commanding "Thou shalt not kill" also quotes him unhesitatingly killing all kinds of people, and directing his followers to do likewise, as we show, using the bible's own passages, at at our WhatKindOfGod.org site
        So, how do we know that "Thou shalt not kill" covers this very unique situation of terminating human pregnancies, (but doesn't apply to the killing of animals at will, or to the killing of people we don't approve of, in war and prisons)?  Didn't God know how ineffective that vague command would be, if it was intended to cover unborn fetuses?  Why did God spell out in excruciating detail so many far less important commandments in the Bible, and then run out of breath, so to speak, when it came to the often tiny, easily overlooked victims of abortion?
        If it's against God's plan for fetuses to die before birth, and if killing them is just as much infanticide as killing a baby after it is born, then how can an omnipotent and all-knowing God allow (according to the best scientific estimates) some one third or one fourth of all the "babies" conceived to be killed in the womb by natural abortions (or "miscarriages"), many of them too early to even to be noticed by the naked human eye, but certainly known by an omniscient God? Some of these happen before the first missed menstrual period and usually are not clinically recognized.  Spontaneous abortion typically is defined as a clinically recognized (ie, by blood test or ultrasound) pregnancy loss before 20 weeks' gestation."   See medical resources like www.emedicine.com/emerg/topic5.htm.

This situation is especially troublesome for Catholics who, for centuries, were taught by their childless, celibate clergy that the best that babies and fetuses could hope for in the hereafter, if they died without the benefit of a good Catholic baptism, was an eternity in the state of "Limbo".  Since that has been the fate of the majority of children in the underdeveloped parts of the world throughout history as well as today, and it is estimated that for every human pregnancy that produces a live baby, one and perhaps even two pregnancies are aborted spontaneously, according to the Church there would have been destined to be many more souls in "Limbo" for all eternity than in heaven and hell combined.  Of course, they have been forced to finally abandon this ridiculous teaching of theirs on Limbo, ( as we explain in detail at our about "Limbo.html"). And in a few hundred more years, they may be forced to abandon their untenable positions on homosexuality, masturbation, birth-control, abortion, and any number of other issues as well.

what starts each human person's clock ticking?
conception, viability, or birth?

As for the question of when a human fetus becomes a human person, in the absence of any clear biblical or other theological proof, Christians – along with people of other faiths or no faith – are entitled to chose between liberal, or conservative beliefs in this matter for themselves.  So those who want to make the pro-life stance a principal tenet of their faith are entitled to do so.  And they should be respected, just like any other people of faith, so long as they show the same respect for those who don't share their faith.  But, since Jesus clearly condemned those who would burden others "with impossible demands that they themselves  don't even try to keep," what is Christian about condemning others for a sin the Bible itself does not even recognize? 
        The fact of the matter is that conservative Christians who believe that human personhood begins at conception have no right to force that belief on fellow Christians, let alone on those who do not share their Christian faith!
        Far from having any right to burden others with their beliefs, all that such people have, is an obligation to carry all of the burdens which that belief imposes on them.   When pro-life people become aware of a mother's intention to terminate a pregnancy, and are convinced that a human being's life is at stake, such people do not have a God-given right to force that mother or anybody else to believe as they do.  But they do have an obligation to act on their beliefs themselves.  What they should learn from God's Word is not a right to obligate others, but a responsibility to obligate themselves.  They should themselves offer to take and raise any and all of those whom they view as imminent murder victims .
        After raising our first five children, my wife and I adopted first one, then another, then another, until we had taken full responsibility for five children that others had brought into the world, three of them severely handicapped.  We can't help but wonder why more middle-class Christians like ourselves, who claim to revere the same Scriptures as we, are not doing as we have done.   No one likes abortion, but since it might be said "abortion you will always have with you," we need to deal with it.  Why are those Christians who insist on viewing abortion as a tragic victimization of innocent human beings, so obsessed with reading between the lines of the bible and imposing on others what they think the Scriptures should say, instead of attending themselves to what those Scriptures actually do say on its lines?
        Take the following passages, for example:

According to {Matthew 25:34-46} 

"Then I, the King, shall say to those at my right, "Come, blessed of my Father, into the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world.  For I was hungry and you fed me; I was thirsty and you gave me water; I was a stranger – and you invited me into your homes; naked and you clothed me; sick and in prison, and you visited me."
        Then these righteous ones will reply,  "Sir, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you?  Or thirsty and give you anything to drink?  Or a stranger, and help you?  Or naked, and clothe you?  When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?"
        And I, the King, will tell them, "When you did it to these my brothers you were doing it to me!"  Then I will turn to those on my left and say, "Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.  For I was hungry and you wouldn't feed me; thirsty, and you wouldn't give me anything to drink; a stranger, and you refused me hospitality; naked, and you wouldn't clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn't visit me."
        Then they will reply, "Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?"  And I will answer,  "When you refused to help the least of these my brothers, you were refusing help to me." And they shall go away into eternal punishment; but the righteous into everlasting life."

According to {1 John 3:17-29 }

"But if someone who is supposed to be a Christian has money enough to live well, and sees a brother in need and won't help him – how can God's love be within him?   Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions.  Then we will now for sure, by our actions, that we are on God's side, and our consciences will be clear, even when we stand before the Lord.  

James 2: 14-17's
advice for opponents of abortion :

        "My brothers, What good is it to profess faith without practicing it? Such faith has no power to save one, has it? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and no food for the day and you say to them, 'Good-bye and good luck! Keep warm and well fed,' but do not meet their bodily needs, what good is that? So it is with the faith that does nothing in practice. It is thoroughly useless." [New American Bible ]

Prolife? look at the fruits
according to {Luke 10:25-37}:

"One day an expert on Moses' laws came to test Jesus' orthodoxy by asking him this question: "Teacher, what does a man need to do to live forever in heaven?"  Jesus replied, "What does Moses' law say about it?"  "It says," he replied, "that you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul,and with all your strength, and with all your mind.  And you must love your neighbor just as much as you love yourself."  "Right!" Jesus told him.  "Do this and you shall live!"
        The man wanted to justify himself {i.e. his lack of love for some neighbors}, so he asked,     "Which neighbors?"  Jesus replied with an illustration: "A Jew going on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho was attacked by bandits.  They stripped him of his clothes and money, and beat him up and left him lying half dead beside the road.   "By chance a priest came along; and when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by.  A temple-assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but then went on.   But a despised Samaritan (a foreigner) came along, and when he saw him, he felt deep pity.  Kneeling beside him the Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them.  Then he put the man on his donkey and walked along beside him till they came to an inn, where he nursed him through the night.  The next day he handed the innkeeper  two silver coins and told him to take care of the man.  "If his bill runs higher than that,"  he said, "I'll pay the difference the next time I am here."   Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the bandits' victim?  The man replied, "The one who showed him some pity."  Then Jesus said, "Yes, now go and do the same."

Passages such as these are what moved my wife and me to adopt our five children.   Instead of being in the front line of those condemning others for the practice of abortion, we believe the Bible's teaching should lead the clergy to be in the front line of those offering to save "baby human beings,"  by taking and raising them themselves?  Although celibacy bars the Roman Catholic clergy from marriage, it doesn't bar them from parenting children that others have procreated but don't want to raise. Why do so many Roman Catholic bishops and priests expect lay men and women to do what they conveniently avoid doing themselves?  It's no excuse to claim that they cannot combine their profession with child-rearing.  Men in every other profession and trade manage that responsibility?   The clergy of every other denomination do it.  And even the Catholic clergy did it for ten centuries!  How many clergy and other "pro-life" champions are leading the way by volunteering to take the most unwanted of babies:  the severely handicapped, "crack babies," the victims of AIDS, and the like?

Isn't it curious how prosperous "Conservative" Christians, who vehemently resist most every tax-funded program to help the needy, are such enthusiastic supporters of the "pro-life" cause?   They want to make endorsement of this non-biblical belief the touchstone of Christianity, and want to see every fetus come to term, no matter what the cost is GOPCaresIfYou'reaFetusto someone other than themselves !  And these very same people resent immigration, welfare, nutrition, head start, guaranteed health insurance for everyone, universal employment, minimum wage, civil rights for all, and even housing and education programs for those very children, once born.  What is so different about this one cause, that it enables the well-to-do, who resist just about every other form of biblical compassion, to embrace this one?  Could it be that it costs them nothing?  They get to be held up as morally upstanding people by coming out in favor of imposing on others, burdens which the Bible does not impose on them.

Considering what 1 John, Ch. 4, v. 20 says, i.e. : 

"Those who say, "I love God" and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen." It might likewise be said that "Those who say, 'we love embryos', whose humanity they cannot see, while not being concerned about their brothers or sisters, whose humanity cannot be denied, are liars."

Let's talk about the leading opponents of birth-control & abortion, the Roman Catholic hierarchy

Most people would agree that today's "pro-life" movement is the fruition of the teaching of some of the most Conservative of Roman Catholic Popes.  Many people mistakenly believe that the Catholic Church has always believed that human life begins at conception, which is what drives the church's opposition to abortion in any and all circumstances and to every form of "artificial" birth-control (because these all involve termination of the life of a fertilized egg).  The truth is that the church has see-sawed over the centuries between belief in human life beginning at conception vs. its beginning at the time of "ensoulment" at some unknowable later stage of pregnancy.
        Since the Catholic Church has played such a prominent role in the promotion of the current radical "pro-life" position, we believe it deserves special attention from everybody effected by its teaching whether they be Catholics or not.  We have a lot more to say about/the-history-of-the_RCC's_abortion-teaching.

regarding others who claim to base
their views of abortion on the bible:

As a life-long devout Christian, and a Bible-guided clergyman all of my adult life, I wish that the Bible were more helpful in resolving these questions.  But the Holy Scriptures simply don't resolve every moral issue, and they certainly don't address the crucial issues involved in the morality of abortion, as these pages of mine show.
        Jesus said that the Father didn't even share all of his knowledge with him, about the timing of the end of the world, for example.  Unlike the rest of us who have no direct line to God, some people claim to have special knowledge of God's mind.  But, in truth they don't have any more access to God's mind and will than you do. 
        In this connection, whenever self-assured preachers go around accusing others of "murder", I can't help but wonder if Jesus is saying, "There you go again!"  How similar this scenario is to the one related in

{ John 7:53–8:3-11 } 

Jesus&Adulteress "As Jesus was speaking, the Jewish leaders and Pharisees (i.e. the leaders of the "religious right" of that time) brought a woman caught in adultery and placed her out in front of the staring crowd.  "Teacher," they said to Jesus, "this woman was caught in the very act of adultery.  Moses' law says to kill her.  What about it?"  They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger.  They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said,   "All right, hurl the stones at her until she dies.  But only he who never sinned may throw the first!"  Then he stooped down again and wrote some more in the dust.   And the Jewish leaders slipped away one by one, beginning with the eldest, until only Jesus was left in front of the crowd with the woman.  Then Jesus stood up again and said to her, "Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?"  "No, sir," she said.   And Jesus said, "Neither do I.  Go and sin no more."

( Given the number of conservatives who write to me in order to emphasize the last words, maybe the story should have continued : "One of those shamed by Jesus was close enough to hear what he said to her and ran to catch up with the others and said to them. 'Guess what Jesus said to her after you left. Maybe we'll get a chance to stone her after all, if she falls into sin again!'  And they all agreed to keep a close eye on her."  If such people hadn't missed the point of this story, they would realize that "Go and sin no more" applies to their judgmentalism as much as this woman's adultery. )
        Jesus elaborated on this theme in this other familiar passage:

According to   {Matthew 7:3-5} 

"And why worry about a speck in the eye of a brother when you have a beam in your own?  Should you say, 'Friend, let me help you get that speck out of your eye,' when you can't even see, because of the beam in your own?  Hypocrite!  First get rid of the beam.  Then you can see to help your brother."

When the religious zealots of our day throw stones at women who don't feel obligated to complete their pregnancies, aren't these men doing exactly what Jesus condemned?  Even though the woman had been caught "in the very act of adultery" (a serious biblical sin), Jesus condemned those who wanted to throw stones at her, not only because they were sinners, but because they were overlooking their own sinfulness in their zeal to condemn someone else's.
        We can only guess what Jesus wrote in the dust, but it surely shamed the holier than thou finger–pointing men rather than the woman "caught in the very act of adultery".   But what I have found, in a very extensive study of every instance in the four gospels where Jesus showed which kinds of behavior bothered him enough to make him speak his mind about them, is that Jesus had much, much more to say about the sins of clerics than those of "the faithful" , as I show in this very careful and unique study of the Gospels : 

Since there is next to nothing in the Scriptures to justify condemning a woman for the premature termination of a pregnancy, but literally scores of passages condemning the sins of clerics, what would Jesus say about all of the male clerics pointing accusing fingers at women today?  All we need to do to find out, is to read what Jesus said . . .

According to   Matthew 23:1-14, for example:

"You would think these religious leaders and these Pharisees were Moses, the way they keep making up so many laws! . . .  It may be all right to do what they say, but above anything else, don't follow their example.  For they don't do what they tell you to do.  They load you with impossible demands that they themselves don't even try to keep."   (This wouldn't have to do with things like birth-control, abortion, clerical celibacy, perpetuating male dominance over women, would it? ). . . 
"Everything they do is done for show . . .  They act holy by wearing on their arms little prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and by lengthening the memorial fringes of their robes.  And how they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the reserved pews in the synagogue!  How they enjoy the deference paid them on the streets and to be called 'Teacher' and 'Master'!  Don't ever let anyone call you that.  For only God is your Teacher and all of you are on the same level, as brothers.  And don't address anyone here on earth as 'Father,' for only God in heaven should be addressed like that.  And don't be called 'Master,' for only one is your master, even the Messiah. . .  Woe to you, Pharisees, and you other religious leaders.  Hypocrites!  For you won't let others enter the kingdom of heaven and won't go in yourselves."

Are these words of Jesus nothing but a quaint "dead letter", now that we call our houses of worship "churches", instead of "synagogues", and "reserved pews in the synagogue" have been superseded by ornate thrones in basilicas and cathedrals?


How can anyone read Jesus' demands that his disciples shun titles of honor, and never suspect that if Jesus considered "Father" and "Teacher" objectionable, he would explode over "Monsignor" (which is French for "My Lord"), "Your Excellency", "Your Eminence", "Your Holiness", "The Holy Father", "Supreme Pontiff", and perhaps most presumptuous of all, "Vicar of (i.e. stand-in for) Christ", the equivalent of "Vice-Messiah" !   Before tackling the specks (or whatever) that is in the eyes of others, particularly women, and doing so much reading between the lines to do it, shouldn't the clergy start by noticing what Jesus had to say to clergymen themselves right there on the lines?
        A billion or so people on earth look to the Roman Catholic hierarchy for moral guidance.  Recent books, by Roman Catholics John Cornwell and Gordon Zahn, raise some serious questions about the leadership their church has been getting from the pompous, autocratic, aristocratic, Roman Pope and bureaucratic Curia, a leadership which exemplifies the very opposite of what Jesus instructed his disciples to be and to do.  Get a taste of what these scholars have uncovered at www.CatholicArrogance.Org/RCscandal.html.
        At the very time the celibate hierarchy of the R. C. Church claimed to know with absolute certainty that married couples who practiced birth control, or abortion, and young men or women who masturbated would surely burn forever in hell (for sins not even identified as transgressions in the Bible),  these self-proclaimed "men of God" could not figure out that God might want them to tell those under their moral guidance that it was a much more serious "mortal sin" for Roman Catholics to work (in any number of ways) for a regime that was engaged in the mass-murder of many millions of Jews, not to mention many Poles, Roma, handicaps, gays, liberals, socialists, communists and Jehovah Witnesses !
        How sad that many of the "faithful" are so misguided that they believe the claims of such "men of the cloth" to speak for God !

But what about the RCC's
"sacred tradition"?

        One way the Church tries to get around the fact that neither the Bible, nor Jesus, ever said a word in condemnation of abortion, is to point out that several of the most revered early teachers and clergy of the church opposed abortion. They call such teaching "sacred tradition", which they hope that people of faith will view as rivalling "the Holy Word" of the bible in value and authority. See what a mistake this may be at Christian-choice_E.htm .


#2 Herbally-induced abortions

People of faith should know that in his infinite wisdom, God knew that herbally induced abortions were a common practice from the earliest days of the Bible.  Abortion was widespread through much of the ancient world.  A wild herb called silphium, a variety of giant fennel, was so effective that during Greek and Roman times that it was harvested to extinction.  That plant could not be cultivated, and grew only in the deserts of Libya.  God also certainly knew that abortions would become more and more common as medical knowledge progressed over the centuries.  If God views abortion as murder, why wouldn't he have made that clear, instead of allowing so many to become either needless victims on the one hand or unwitting murderers on the other? See much more about this at http:/www.libchrist.com/other/abortion/ru486.html .
        Not only did they not view early abortions as being abortions, but many prominent Catholics saw nothing wrong with compiling lists of known abortifacient herbs and discovering new ones. For example, in her treatises, the 12th century abbess and later saint Hildegard of Bingen recommended tansy as an effective abortifacient. (and) In the 13th century physician and cleric Peter of Spain wrote a book called "Thesaurus Pauperum" (literally Treasure of the Poor) containing a long list of early-stage abortifacients, including rue, pennyroyal, and other mints. Peter of Spain became Pope John XXI in 1276.
        [ from https:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_abortion ]

A related question that I ask Christian pro-life advocates is "Why are you transforming an issue which is not even mentioned in the Hebrew or the Christian Bibles into the single most pressing moral issue of our time? And by the same token, just because Conservative Republicans may be willing to work with you when it comes to the abortion issue, how do you, as professed "Christians", not recognize that it's the liberal Democratic party that is always siding with the poor, the homeless, the uninsured, the underpaid, and minorities of all kinds, as Jesus Christ instructed his followers to do, over the constant objections of the conservative Republican Party?

Testimonials received by the author re: these pages
"Subject: Re: Abortion pages
      "This web site is fabulous - a real find and a great help with these issues!  Thanks so much for all the obvious time and attention that you have put into this.
      I'm sending a link right now to my pro-life girlfriend, who to her credit will NOT be voting Republican this year!  But I'm sending it anyway.  She's a devout Episcopalian and I'm sure she'll be surprised at the dearth of Biblical back-up for her postiion.
      I'm also sending a link for your site to my brother-in-law in Ohio, who thinks that liberals take money out of his pockets to help undeserving people who don't have the character to help themselves!
      Again, thanks for your contributions to this liberal-conservative issue -
      Proud to be a Liberal."
[ An attorney in Virginia ]

"I can't stop crying.  I thought I was the only one who believed the way you do, I was raised a Baptist in the Bible belt, and I've stopped going to church more times than I can count because I couldn't reconcile the differences I saw in being "Christ-like" and being a Christian.  I read John 4 over and over again about the woman at the well.  Jesus transcended racial, sexist, moralist taboos to tell her, "I have something you need."  That's my Jesus.  That's my Savior.  That is the person I've dedicated my life to following.  May God richly bless you for filling such a need for everyone like me.  I'll visit your website again, just as soon as I can quit crying long enough to read it.
      Thank you from the bottom of my heart."

Subject: Liberals Like Christ
Dear Ray,
      " I have to say that, as someone who was raised evangelical Christian but is agnostic now, Ray's site is about the only interpretation of the New Testament that would have a chance of bringing me back into the fold.
      Ray, your astute and perceptive critiques of the way the religious right has hijacked Christianity are dead-spot-on.  I recommend your site to anyone who has an interest in Chrisitianity and politics.
      You also answered a question for me a while back in a very detailed e-mail.  Not many people would do that for a stranger.  Keep up the great work! "
- Dave,  Cleveland, Ohio

Subject: Pro choice
      "Your pro choice argument is among the best ive seen so far. I had no idea that Hilter was against abortion ! Lol lol lol. I guess this fact effectively renders Ray Comforts 180 movie as pure garbage. Lol; now that's funny. The thing is I am a follower of Christ who has recently switched from a pro-life position to a pro-choice position. This is no small feat considering I very rarely switch positions on anything. Anyway I been scanning the mobile web ever since in order to sharpen my arguments for the pro-choice position.
      Yours are the best arguments I have seen. Thank you so much.
      In Christ,   Josh "

Here's a letter from someone who trtied in vain to HURT my feelings: From: Kevin Craver (???@nsu.edu)
To: Ray@LiberalsLikeChrist.Org
April 18, 2002' Subject: Liberals page
     "I hate liberals that love fags like you.  you twist the bible to meet your own needs instead of taking it as it is. (so we have a bible-lover here!). You're in favor of gun control and pro-choice.  I truly hate fag lovers like you.  I laughed at Matthew Shepard.  stupid faggot.  just like you liberals are.  _uck you fag lovers.  _uck your gun control and _uck your existence."
        If you want to check out the way I respond to such misfits, see the bottom of Ray-Dubuque's-testimonials-page

(There are 150 or more such kudos on other topics,
or about Ray's sites in general, on his Testimonials page.)

[ click here for the other five pages ]