Shane Claiborne reflects on the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Shane Claiborne Roe V Wade Anniversary

On January 22, 1973, the US Supreme Court decided in Roe v. Wade that a mother has the legal right to end her pregnancy up until the point at which the fetus can live outside of her womb. We lament the death of each child lost to abortion. We pray for each parent who has chosen to terminate a pregnancy. And we commit to become a people who welcome life in a culture of death.

It’s worth remembering today and everyday — the lives lost, the dreams vanquished, the wounds suffered from abortion.  And it is also worth remembering that love requires more than ideology… it requires responsibility.  In my neighborhood, being pro-life means we have to figure out what to do when a 14-year-old gets pregnant, and how we can all help bear the weight of that responsibility.

I want to be pro-life like Mother Teresa was pro-life.  She didn’t just wear an “Abortion is murder shirt” and protest outside a clinic.  For her, being pro-life was more than being anti-abortion… it meant coming alongside teenage parents, helping raise kids that no one wanted, and taking in families who had no place to go.  That’s the kind of pro-life movement we’re talking about.  Pro-life from the womb to the tomb.

Related: Shane and Tony Campolo Dialogue on What it Means to be Pro-Life

Incidentally, I recently read a compilation of the words and writing of the early (pre-fourth-century) Christians edited by Ron Sider, entitled The Early Church on Killing.  The early Christians consistently lament the culture of death and speak out —  against abortion, capital punishment, killing in the military… and gladitorial games.  With the exception of the gladitorial games, I found their words profoundly relevant to the world we live in where death is so prevalent.

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Consider these words of Cyprian of Carthage, a third-century North African bishop:  “The world is going mad in mutual extermination, and murder, considered as a crime when committed individually, becomes a virtue when it is committed by large numbers. It is the multiplication of the frenzy that assures impunity to the assassins.”

Let’s renew our commitment today to reduce and eliminate abortion… Lord, give us courage and imagination to do what love requires of us.  May we not be known just by what we are against, but by what we are for.  Make us people who are not just anti-death but who are FOR LIFE.




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About the Author

Shane Claiborne

Shane ClaiborneShane Claiborne is a prominent author, speaker, activist, and founding member of the Simple Way. He is one of the compilers of Common Prayer, a new resource to unite people in prayer and action. Shane is also helping develop a network called Friends Without Borders which creates opportunities for folks to come together and work together for justice from around the world. His most recent book is Red Letter Revolution, which he co-authored with Tony Campolo.View all posts by Shane Claiborne →

  • Frank

    Amen!

    State by state, law by law more innocent lives will be saved.

  • tanyam

    I wish that Christians who feel this way about abortion would simply do their best to help women in difficult situations choose to carry a fetus to term when they choose to. It is when Christians try to change the law, to impose their consciences on women who may not believe as they do that I have a problem.
    Also, every Christian like Clairborne who recognizes and devotes themselves to the suffering must realize they cannot touch every situation. It is wonderful to see them push at the sloganeering of the pro-life movement and advocate for women and children more broadly. But they need to honor the choices of women and admit that this is not yet a perfect world, with perfect choices for all.
    Perhaps one thing we can learn from the early Christian movement is that they did not use raw power and coercion to get their way even on matters they believed strongly.

    • http://thesidos.blogspot.com/ Arthur Sido

      How exactly does one “honor the choices of women” when that choice murders a child?

      • JJT

        2 things…

        (1) A fetus or zygote is not a child, it’s something with the potential to become a child. Same as eggs or sperm.

        (2) Therefore, “murder” isn’t an accurate term to describe the procedure.

        • My Holiday

          At what point does the fetus or zygote become a child?

          • JJT

            When it can sustain it’s own existence independent from the mother. See the SCOTUS’ explanation re: “viability” in Roe v. Wade.

          • Frank

            Why would a Christian take the word of a secular court over the word of God?

            Only one who is selfish.

          • JJT

            The Bible was never intended to be a science book. It says nothing about when life begins. The texts utilized by those who attempt to see it this way take poetic texts out of context.

            Since the Bible is silent on the subject, deferring to the law of the land is a reasonable alternative.

          • Frank

            The bible is only silent to those without eyes to see and ears to hear. God creates life, no man or woman has the right to take it away.

          • JJT

            Frank, it sounds like what you are actually saying is, “If someone doesn’t agree with my interpretation of the Bible then they lack the God given grace to “see” and “hear” it.” I’m sure you are a perfectly nice guy, but I don’t feel comfortable giving you that type of personal authority.

            Why don’t you try and dispute my contention that verses which seem to suggest that life begins at conception are poetic rather than literal.

            There are much better arguments out there for your position than the one you are making.

          • Frank

            Its quite sad that I even have to do this.

            Col 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him.

            John 1:1~3
            In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
            through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made

            [Genesis 2:7] And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul.

            Keep making excuses for supporting the killing of over 27,000 innocent unborn, God made children, that are killed each week mostly for human comfort an convenience.

            Yeah keep making excuses.

          • JJT

            It’s not excuses, it’s using reason. For instance, none of the above verses you point out actually state when a human “life” begins. I appreciate that God is the ultimate creator all that is, but I’m assuming you eat meat, kill spiders, use anti-bacterial soap, etc. According to the verses above (and your argument) these deaths are just as awful as the loss of a human life.

            Honestly, it’s sad that you have such a poor foundation for a belief you hold so passionately.

          • Frank

            Quite ironic that you accuse me of having a sad foundation of belief.

            Clearly you have out your faith in man. A losing proposition for anyone.

            Keep making excuses.

          • JJT

            Look up “ad hominem argument” and then come back. :)

          • Frank

            Keep making excuses.

          • JJT

            Well, unfortunately, it looks like our discussion is done. It seems like you don’t want to add anything else.

            I’d just point out that you confidently asserted the Bible specifically undergirded your thoughts on this issue, but could not provide a single text which actually did. That’s not good Frank. It means you need to spend some more time thinking about this. You might not arrive at a different conclusion, but you’ll definitely have a deeper understanding of why you believe what you do.

            Good luck

          • Frank

            You were done before you even started. You just didn’t realize it.

            Keep making excuses its all you are left with.

          • nobodyssister

            Wow. I’m feelin the love o’ Jesus.

          • Frank

            There is no love of Jesus in killing an unborn human child.

          • John

            There are actually a number of places in the Old Testament which point quite strongly to life beginning at birth, with the first breath. Which is why, from a scriptural standpoint, most Jews don’t oppose abortion on scriptural grounds.

            I’ve been thinking lately about a hermeneutic approach which is consistent regarding science. What it would look like sort of seems theologically upside down. As far as my thinking has gone so far.

          • Digger

            John T. Baptist lept in his mother’s womb when Jesus (also in His mother’s womb) entered the womb. That a fascinating story about two masses of tissue.

          • John

            I never used the term “masses of tissue”. I never would use the term. I was referring to Jewish interpretations of when life begins based on the Old Testament. I’m honestly not sure what you’re responding to, Digger.

          • Digger

            John, I did not mean to imply that you used the term, and I apologize for the sloppy writing that led to you infering such. I only used the term because nearly all–but not you–liberals go to great lengths to point out that a fetus is only a mass of tissue. The point I WAS trying to make to you is that the Bible CLEARLY indicates that life exists in the womb. Again, I’m sorry for clouding that point with a sloppy post, and I’m sorry for attaching the “mass of tissue” comment to a reply to your comment.

          • John

            No worries, Digger. No harm done. :)

          • Digger

            Again, we are talking about human life. Only humans are created in God’s image. We must not set aside the opening chapters of the Bible–our very foundation–and have this debate.

          • JJT

            When it can sustain it’s own existence independent from the mother. See “viability” in Roe v. Wade.

          • Digger

            You are using the definition written into the law to defend itself? There is no way you can be beaten if the only valid answer is the very thing your opponents are against. Academically, you would lose points if this were a formal debate.
            According to SCIENCE, which is the god of many liberal Christians, live is defined as an organism that respirates and contains the DNA needed to recreate itself (even if it lacks the ability to perform that recreation, as in a mule.)

          • JJT

            That’s a valid critique. My counter would be that viability pre-existed Roe, my reference to that case was more out of convenience.

            Surely, you realize that “life” as it is being used in the abortion debate doesn’t mean “life” biologically. Or else you’d have to give every organism the same level of care one would a human. Clearly, no one is arguing for that.

          • Digger

            I think life DOES mean life, biologically, and no, I do NOT have to give every organism the same level of care. Only every HUMAN organism. I recognize a difference between humans and all other life. So did God. He brought every animal in front of Adam to show him that he was created differently–in God’s image.
            I honestly do think that biological life is started by God, Himself, and thus, we commit a grievous crime by halting it without cause.

          • Bob

            Are you also saying that a baby once born can also be murdered because a human baby by your definition should be able to sustain itself and we all know it will die without the care of another somebody. If a person is said to be dead by doctors when his or her stops beating for a period of time, should not a child be alive when its own heart is beating?

          • JJT

            Not at all. Again, see the definition of viability laid out in Roe v. Wade.

          • Digger

            For parents who don’t abort their baby, it is a child the very second they discover the new life. For people who do commit abortion, it often is never referred to as a human.
            People like to frame this argument as though, at some arbitrary point during the development stage, the new life changes from one species to another. According to science–biology specifically–it is a human life the moment the egg is fertilized.

        • Better Sex Ed. Saves Lives

          Any distinction after conception and before birth is going to be arbitrary. I have never heard a convincing argument for any single definition being scientifically stronger than another.

        • SamHamilton

          Sperm and eggs are not the same thing as a fetus or a zygote.

        • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

          Murdering a zygote is still murdering a human being.

      • Lamont Cranston

        Women who murder their children go to jail. Fortunately, no child is murdered during an abortion.

        • http://thesidos.blogspot.com/ Arthur Sido

          Sure, if you dehumanize an unborn child by reducing it to a concept like “choice”. The Nazis did the same thing with Jews, it made it easier to kill them. Soldiers often do that in war, as an example calling Vietnamese “gooks” to reduce the natural human aversion to killing. If you can look at a child in the womb and declare that a unique person is not a human being until they travel the birth canal something is deeply wrong with you. I guess just like children killed in drone strikes, aborted human children as just collateral damage in the pursuit of individual gratification.

          • John

            “When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman’s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine.” (Exodus 21:22)

            Scripture does not treat this unborn life in the same way as it treats someone after birth. This is not even equivalent to the modern idea of manslaughter. An unborn child is killed, and there is a fine.

            Is there somewhere else where the death of an unborn child is treated as murder in scripture?

          • Frank

            Exodus 21:22–24 (NKJV)

            22 “If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

            The “harm” indicated in these verses may refer to the child and not to the mother. In the first circumstance, the injured mother gives birth prematurely and no “harm” comes to the child. In other words, the premature child lives. Thus, a fine is levied for causing the premature birth and the potential danger involved. In the second situation, there is a premature birth and the “harm” that follows is the death of the child. Here the penalty is life for life. Therefore, the Bible does not hold that the life of the unborn is less valuable than the life of an adult.

          • John

            Very interesting that your translation uses “premature” and mine uses “miscarriage”. Totally changes the meaning.

            Wish my Hebrew was better………..

          • Frank

            Yeah translations can be tricky to base an interpretation on.

            KJ states it as “fruit depart from her”

            Fruit – Yeled – child, son, boy, offspring, youth

            child, son, boy
            child, children
            descendants
            youth

            Depart – Yatsa’ –
            to go out, come out, exit, go forth
            (Qal)
            to go or come out or forth, depart
            to go forth (to a place)
            to go forward, proceed to (to or toward something)
            to come or go forth (with purpose or for result)
            to come out of
            (Hiphil)
            to cause to go or come out, bring out, lead out
            to bring out of
            to lead out
            to deliver
            (Hophal) to be brought out or forth

          • John

            Thanks, Frank. :)

          • Joe

            As Frank pointed out, the Hebrew is unfortunately vague. I’d guess the next good step might be to seek input from a rabbi or other expert in not only Hebrew Scripture but Hebrew tradition.

          • John

            I just may do that. Sadly, where I live is not overrun with rabbis… But I do have a cousin whose husband’s father is Israeli, and I think quite knowledgeable. Hmmm.

          • http://thesidos.blogspot.com/ Arthur Sido

            You are referencing the civil laws of a nation state handed down from God, the same civic laws for a specific time and place that require a rapist to marry his victim. I am sure you agree that these laws are not binding in the United States. Plucking a verse completely out of its context and clumsily trying to make a point is hardly a valid exercise of exegesis. The Bible states clearly “thou shalt not murder”.

            A human being in the womb is still a human being. Ultrasound technology makes this starkly clear, a large reason why abortionists and their political allies are targeting pregnancy resource centers that provide ultrasounds because a woman in a crisis pregnancy that gets an ultrasound and sees her child is far less likely to then have an abortionist carve that child apart in the womb. If a human being ceases to be a human being because of their location and self-sufficiency then why oppose infanticide after birth or the killing of the elderly and infirm when they become more trouble than they are worth?

          • John

            Arthur, I’m going to ignore the hostility in your argument. I’m not quoting out of context, but if you read the discussion between Frank and me, there are some arguments over translation.

            I mentioned somewhere else, I find it strange the use of science in Christian circles as a sometime ally sometime enemy and the need for a hermeneutic which is consistent regarding science.

            I am not a proponent of abortion. What I am looking at is the scriptural support for each position, particularly in the OT.

    • SamHamilton

      Perhaps one thing we can learn from the early Christian movement is that they did not use raw power and coercion to get their way even on matters they believed strongly.

      Would you apply this admonition to other public policy issues Christians care deeply about (poverty, sex slavery, creation care, death penalty, etc.) or just to abortion? Christians are constantly trying to impose their version of right and wrong through law on other people. As are non-Christians. What’s wrong with this?

      • tanyam

        What makes this not a “gotcha” question is that the early church didn’t act as an instrument of the state. Christians did not serve in the military or police, so no, they didn’t use anything other than their witness to convince others to behave as they thought right.

        • 22044

          While we have an opportunity to take our faith to the public square, we ought to do so.
          The abolitionists in the UK & the US during the 19th century thought that way, and the civil rights activists of the prior century did as well.
          I love the early church, but there is an opportunity today that iit did not have.

          • tanyam

            It had the opportunity to align its interests with the state, and it refused. (Moreover, when the devil asked Jesus to turn stones to bread, or take over all the kingdoms of the world he could have, but didn’t.) “Opportunity,” it may be argued, has tied us up in power games, and killed our witness.

          • 22044

            Interesting, but you didn’t address my examples.
            No one is asking the church to co-opt or fuse with the state.

        • SamHamilton

          I’m not trying to play “gotcha,” but trying to get you to think through the logic of your statement. Should we model their example or not?

          • tanyam

            That’s a little condescending, but okay. See below, but to recap: There were lots of abolitionists. Some tried to convince — by preaching and example — owners to releast their slaves. They also raised money to purchase freedom for many. Others were willing to go as far so to advocate Civil War to press their cause, or at the very least to see emancipation as something they wished the state would impose by threat of violence, ie, jail.
            So it seems to me that Christians who oppose abortion can preach all they like. But when they want the state to impose their case, they’re doing something else. You don’t have to agree with me. But you can wonder which would be more effective of a witness for your cause.

          • SamHamilton

            I apologize I came across as condescending. I totally get what you’re saying when it comes to the debate over abortion. Changing hearts and minds won’t just happen with legal changes, which is why the pro-life cause has, for years, been expanding its efforts beyond attempts at statutory changes (pregnancy centers that assist low-income mothers, encouraging and promoting adoption, advertisements to help people better understand what goes in during an abortion and promote life, etc) . But I think giving up on statutory changes would be disastrous for the movement. Giving up on trying to influence the government would mean eventual full-throated state support, promotion, encouragement and funding for abortion. Interestingly enough, I never hear anyone who supports abortion rights telling Planned Parenthood to stop focusing on the law and instead just try to change hearts and minds.

            But I’m still curious, would you attempt to persuade Christians who feel strongly about other causes, such as the ones I mention above, to abandon legal efforts and instead work to change things in non-coercive ways?

          • tanyam

            Let’s say I’m leaning in that direction. It is a very strict Anabaptist way of thinking about the state and the use of power.
            And look, I don’t agree with you on the issue of abortion. So there’s that. But I think you’d generate much less resentment, and a second look, if you didn’t reach for the levels of power, including violence and shame, to control people. If you lived in a fully loving, supportive, joy filled way — then let’s say I was facing a tough pregnancy. If I could count on you to walk me through it, to catch me when I fell, — to provide for me and my family, and not merely lecture me, or to limit my choices by fiat — I would quit resenting you and fighting you with all the power I had.
            There is the much more painstaking work of winning hearts and minds –and there is control. Which method did Jesus favor?
            Finally, don’t forget, even if you make abortion illegal in this country, you will not stop women from having them. Rich women will fly to where they need to, poor women will do whatever they can. Women have been truning to plants and herbs and everything else since time began. It is minds you want and need to change.

          • SamHamilton

            I lean in that direction too when it comes to most public policy issues, but not when it comes to what are basic issues of justice (in my opinion). But it’s rare to meet someone who supports abortion rights because of a concern about Christians using state power to coerce other people into doing things their way and also is willing to apply that theological outlook to other areas of justice for the voiceless.

          • tanyam

            You have the causality incorrect. I don’t support reproductive rights “because” of a concern about state power. But if I thought abortion was always and forever wrong, I would want to check my tactics, in advocating for my position, against the tactics of Jesus.

          • SamHamilton

            That was sloppy writing on my part. I should have written that it’s rare to meet someone who opposes other Christians using the power of the state to restrict abortion and also is willing to apply that theological outlook to other areas of justice for the voiceless.

    • Prairie Wind

      The abolitionists had the same problem as pro-lifers. Some sought change through legislation and “imposing their consciences” on others. Some sought to work through teaching and lecturing, others working on the Underground Railroad, etc. There were splits in the movement over HOW to implement a positive change. Today, pro-lifers face similar difficulties. There ARE thousands of crisis pregnancy centers and volunteers workers throughout the nation trying to follow Clairborne’s admonition to help those in need giving FREE health care, guidance, baby goods, adoption counseling, etc — trying to walk with the woman through her pregnancy. Others choose the legislation route. Tanyam — I do feel uncomfortable with the wording, “honor the choices of women and admit this is not yet a perfect world.” I can just hear slave owners voicing similar things — “honor my choice to own a slave.” In both cases, a human life is at stake, not just a difference of opinion.

    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

      The choice to murder, is not a choice I can agree with, even if all you are murdering is a zygote.

      • tanyam

        Yes, and I see above that you don’t think contraception “is compatible with welcoming life.” So, because you have these beliefs, you would like to control the decision of every single woman who actually has to live with what you agree or disagree with. If you believed just the opposite — that every woman should be required to use contraceptives, and every pregnancy ended by abortion, I suppose that is what should instead.
        The question remains, why do you get to make this decision for every woman, based not on what she believes, but on what you believe.

  • dougstratton

    It seems that the best studies have shown the most effective means of reducing the rates of abortion is clear. It is reducing poverty through quality education and community development. Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life and have life abundantly.” That is full life from conception to resurrection. Unfortunately, Legislation does not do much to accomplish the goal, We know that availability of medical care, contraception and education does impact the number of abortions. Let’s put our attention there!

    • Frank

      Stopping the killing is the priority as we work on the other things.

    • SamHamilton

      Has there ever been a time when medical care, contraception and education have been more widely available than today?

      • John

        Perhaps there is some relationship between the kind of sex education, gender relations, attitudes toward life generally, dominance of religion in day-to-day life. Dunno. 22% of American pregnancies end in abortion. Germany’s rate is 14%. Why? I don’t know, but there must be a cultural reason. Austria has a 3% rate. Greenland’s is over 50%. If we want to stop it, maybe we should look at how other countries obtain much lower numbers.

        • SamHamilton

          That’s a good point John. We can certainly look to other countries that have lower abortion rates for guidance.

    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

      If life begins at conception, with that “spark” of decaying zinc oxide, then contraception that denies implantation is a form of abortion.

      What we want isn’t just prevention of abortion, it is welcoming life abundantly- contraception is not compatible with welcoming life.

  • Laura O’Brien

    My prayer for the church is that we can reach a time when through education and awareness there will not a need for abortions. It seems to me that we are entering the conversation of pregnancy a little late in the process. Granted, abstinence would be the best form of pregnancy prevention, however, the just say no to sex program doesn’t seem to be working.

    • Frank

      Jesus’ churches job is not to affect external circumstances but to change the heart. The test of a heart given to Christ would be to not kill an unborn child even if it economically, socially, emotionally and intellectually makes sense. That’s the problem with these modern day Pharisees, they are only concerned with the external.

      • Digger

        A better way to phrase the issue is to say that they do not trust God; and they don’t trust God because they do not know God. The do not know God because they do not read and believe His word to us–the Bible.

      • DB

        Is that a literal or metaphoric heart the church is supposed to change?

        • Frank

          Is that a literal question? I hope not for your sake.

          • DB

            Yes. Literal question.

          • Frank

            You do understand what Jesus means when he talks about the heart?

          • DB

            I understand it to be the mind. So changing the heart is metaphoric. Correct?

          • Frank

            No not exactly. The heart is the center of our being. A symbol of the inner person, the deepest thoughts, the deepest feelings, the deepest intentions. So yes its not a change in the physical heart but I think its incomplete to reduce it to metaphor.

            Greek word is Kardia.

            the centre and seat of spiritual life

            the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours

            of the understanding, the faculty and seat of the intelligence

            of the will and character

            of the soul so far as it is affected and stirred in a bad way or good, or of the soul as the seat of the sensibilities, affections, emotions, desires, appetites, passions

            of the middle or central or inmost part of anything, even though inanimate

    • Digger

      I wish you had worded your post just a tiny bit differently. I am tempted to say that your prayer is answered, because there is no NEED for abortion today, but I know that would be a tad snarky.

      • SamHamilton

        Yes, good point. It’s up to Christians to come alongside of people who are pregnant and think there is no other option.

  • Digger

    I liked the article until the death penalty was brought in to cloud the issue. Liberal Christians cannot seem to debate the abortion issue with bringing in the death penalty as though that were some sort of defense. Comparing the lives of 100 people per year who have had a shot at living peacefully, and instead chose to murder other humans, to 1,000,000 people per year who have not had a fair shot at life, and who have done nothing wrong is disingenuous and quite distasteful in my opinion. In fact, I find it gross.

    • DK

      Since DNA testing started it has been discovered innocent people where killed via the death penalty…oops…

      • Digger

        name them

        • Joe

          Carlos DeLuna
          Ruben Cantu
          Larry Griffin
          Joseph O’Dell
          David Spence
          Leo Jones
          Gary Graham
          Claude Jones
          Cameron Willingham
          Troy Davis

          It’s hard to get a posthumous exoneration, since from a practical standpoint it helps nobody. That said, DNA evidence has led to the official exoneration of an average of 18 people each year from 2000-2009.

          • Digger

            Troy Davis was not proven innocent via DNA–the evidence against him was overwhelming, despite the absurd liberal uproar. It is lunacy to believe the entire US judicial system would have allowed his execution if DNA had proven his innocence. I haven’t checked the rest on this list but I doubt very much I’ll find one who was found innocent via DNA. Not a single person has been exonerated after their execution between 2000 and 2009, and you claim 180 people have? Your facts are 100% wrong.

          • Joe

            You’ve declared my facts 100% wrong after checking only one of them. Interesting.

            And I said that 180 were exonerated by DNA, not exonerated posthumously by DNA. Please read more carefully.

          • John

            Not to mention the expense. Not to mention looking stupid, and morally bankrupt. Not to mention being guilty of murder.

            Can’t imagine why they aren’t more diligently looking into it. Or course, maybe Digger is right, and the human criminal justice system, run by fallible, fallen humans, is perfect, and never makes mistakes in capital cases.

    • SamHamilton

      I don’t think Shane was bringing up the death penalty to defend legal abortion. I think he was using it as an example of a way our society doesn’t respect life. I don’t think he was saying the two were equivalent in every way.

    • http://ourgirlsclub.blogspot.com/ Ginny Bain Allen

      So many defenseless, precious, vulnerable, INNOCENT babies sent to DEATH ROE! :(

      • Digger

        I like that; might have to acquire it for my own use!

  • 22044

    Science supports the pro-life view.
    Here is Dr. Ben Carson on the subject: http://www dot washingtontimes dot com/news/2014/jan/21/a-physicians-view-on-the-sanctity-of-life/

    (replace each “dot” with a “.”)

    • Frank

      Some highlights:

      Most of us instinctively want to protect helpless creatures and sometimes go to great lengths to do so. The television commercials about abused animals are very poignant and as a society, we sometimes delay or cancel large construction projects to protect an “endangered” insect, amphibian or fish. Yet many of us turn a blind eye to the wanton slaughter of millions of helpless human babies who are much more sophisticated than some of the other creatures, when nothing is at stake other than the convenience of one or both parents. I am not saying that we should abandon our efforts to save baby seals and a host of other animals. Rather I am saying shouldn’t we consider adding human fetuses and babies to the list?

      Watching the human fetus develop is awe-inspiring. In less than three months from conception, the little hands and feet are quite recognizable and distinct facial features characterize cute, but very tiny human beings. From Day One, neurons of the brain are proliferating at a rate that will yield a staggering 100 billion neurons by birth. In a matter of nine months from conception, we have a living, breathing, eating, vocal human being who just two months later is socially interactive.

  • DK

    Action speaks louder than words, be a foster parent, dedicate time & energy to the millions of unwanted/neglected children in the U.S. caught in hopelessness & dispair.

  • SamHamilton

    Good stuff Shane. Keep writing!

  • Norman

    45 years ago, before we we met and were married, my beautiful wife had an unwanted pregnancy as an 18 year old …. she chose to carry the baby to full term and the baby was adopted out.

    She was allowed to hold the baby for 1 hour, and then allowed no contact till 10 years ago, when her daughter made contact with her.

    What an amazing journey … she has a beautiful daughter (they are more like sisters), I have a step-daughter (like a real daughter), we have a `son-in-law’ and two lovely `grand-children.’ and a great relationship with them all..

    The Lord has honored my wife’s decision all those years ago (even though it was hard for her) and we have been blessed beyond description ….

    To think what we could have missed out on …..wow!!

    • John

      Thanks, Norman. If the number of abortions is reduced, your story and others like it will doubtless become more commonplace.

  • Ian R.

    “With the exception of the gladiatorial games, I found their words profoundly relevant to the world we live in where death is so prevalent.”

    With the controversies emerging over violence, injury and in particular the mishandling of concussions in pro sports (especially the NFL), I’m not even sure that’s an irrelevant concept in our world. Tangential to the point of the article, admittedly, but something else we should be conscious of as Christians.

  • wjgreen314

    The six week old gestating baby PERSON John Andrew Welden killed was every bit as much HIS as it was his girlfriend’s – he was the biological father. He got a prison sentence of 14 years.

    14 Years in prison for killing his baby is either 14 Years TOO MANY or every time a mother-to-be kills her gestating baby SHE SHOULD BE GIVEN at least 14 YEARS in prison!

    America is perpetuating an evil, Satanic Lie of Horrific proportions. Lady Justice rightly blindfolds herself but in 1973 a post-abortive lawyer thrust Norma McCorvey, aka Roe who NEVER had an abortion is now staunchly PROLIFE, before a 9 man Patriarchy and pussy-whooped them into ruling 7-2 that killing babies in utero is permissible ONLY for GESTATIONAL WOMEN; not all women and never any men! This is gestational sexism and bigotry.

    This forces Lady Justice to raise her BLINDFOLD every time someone kills a baby in utero: IF and ONLY IF the baby’s killer is his/her own mother does Lady Justice pronounce “NOT GUILTY;” but if it is ANYONE other than the baby’s gestational mother she pronounces “GUILTY!”

    It is the equivalent of Schroedinger’s Cat where until we look the cat inside the box is simultaneously DEAD and NOT DEAD: the baby is simultaneously a PERSON and a NON-PERSON until we identify the gestational state and gender of the baby’s murderer! Even Schroedinger’s Cat is just a thought experiment — we don’t actually subject the cat to death like we do 1,200,000 babies/year!

    This is Godless, evil and demonic. And we’ve granted legal immunity from prosecution for 1st degree murder to 56,000,000 women since 1973!

    Facing a 1st degree MURDER charge with Life in Prison for killing his OWN 6 WEEK OLD PRENATAL (ZEF) BABY PERSON John Andrew Welden allocuted to a lesser charge and will spend 14 years in prison.

    Imagine: Facing Life In Prison on a 1st Degree Murder Charge for killing “ONLY” a not quite 7 week old prenatal baby Person in utero! STUNNING.

    This is how we will Collapse Roe: By pointing out that Blindfolded Lady Justice has to keep lifting her blindfold each time someone is brought before her after the killing of a gestating baby between a few weeks old and up to 9 months old. These babies’ PERSONHOOD can not be subject ONLY to the gender and gestational state of their killers.

    It is a travesty of Justice of the most heinous and cruel kind to discriminate against babies’ killers on the basis of their gender and gestational state. Impunity ONLY for gestational women is wrong, bigoted and illegally sexist. Even non-gestational women face 1st degree murder charges for killing in utero 6 week old babies!

    Every baby is either a PERSON from moment of fertilization in a Fallopian Tube or none are; in the same way EVERY man should be prosecuted for homicide for killing a weaker woman or none should!

    lifenews dot com/ 2014/01/27 /man-who-killed-his-unborn-child-by-tricking-girlfriend-into-taking-abortion-drug-gets-14-years/

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