Viva Voce
Somewhat Rambly at Times, Though...
Pretzel Logic at Its Finest 
25th-Jan-2011 03:15 pm
elle4life: (pretzel)
After doing some thinking on where I do want this blog to go, I'm settling on mostly a snarkish sort of direction from a pro-life perspective. After Gingi Edmonds vanished from the web there seems to be an opening in the pro-life blogosphere for a snarky sort of blog. Of Gingi was a bit more insane than I'd like to be, so you won't see me ranting in quite the same fashion she did.

To that end, I was looking around for something to commentate on (always a plus), and discovered this entry on the [community profile] pro_choice comm here on Dreamwidth. Since that entry is a repost from a personal blog, I've decided to look at the original blog-posting as well as what was posted to the comm.

So, let's have a look.

Pro-Choice: A somewhat Christian position

Oh dear...

...let's consider the question of the demonised induced abortions - the ones where the woman is old enough, the foetus is viable, but the woman can't handle pregnancy and wants it terminated. If you remove any religious aspect from it, I'm not that sure what the argument against choice is. An embryo at that stage isn't a person; I'm not sure it's even alive by a sensible definition.

Yes, O Wise One, explain how every embryologist and biologist in the world is wrong about the definition of life and when it begins! We mere mortals and small thinkers await the dispensation of your thoughts!

However, people bring religion into it. I'm going to speak only about Christianity here, because they're the most vocal in my cultural context, and because I am myself a Christian, and therefore can speak about Christianity with more authority and knowledge than I can about most religions.

O RLY? That's interesting, because the title here is "a somewhat Christian position." And then the comments section in your personal blog features you claiming that the souls of prophets are different from those of "regular people," and that the Old Testament is more mythological than it is historical, and that every one of Paul's epistles doesn't actually count as scriptural, and that God maybe is not actually omnipotent...

I will admit, I do not have an Elector Detector on me at this particular second. But the "authority and knowledge about Christianity" on display here leave a very great deal to be desired.

The thing is, the question of when the soul is formed/attached/however it works is one that, strictly speaking, only God can answer. It is beyond the scope of we mere mortals.

So...we should assume it is present at the earliest possible moment, in order to prevent any accidental murders due to the fact that we simply can't know when a person does or doesn't have a soul, right?

Oh, right. Logic. I should've known that would have no place here. Carry on.

I admit, I haven't memorised the full text, but the only point I know of where this question is addressed is Genesis 2:7:

then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

If you take the Bible literally, which fundamentalists claim to do, then a living being is formed when the first breath of life is taken. Not breathing yet? Not alive. Not a soul.

Hmm. I haven't memorized the full text, either, as it happens. Which is why, when I want to know what that full text says, I hop over to Blue Letter Bible and do a search. Because I'm not intellectually sloppy.

*searches word "womb" in ESV*
"Did not he who made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?" Job 31: 15.
"On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother's womb you have been my God." Psalms 22: 10.
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." Psalms 139: 13-16.
"Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb..." Isaiah 46: 3.
"Listen to me, O coastlands, and give attention, you peoples from afar. The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name." Isaiah 49: 1.
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1: 5.
"In the womb he took his brother by the heel, and in his manhood he strove with God." Hosea 12: 3.
"For he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb." Luke 1: 15.
"And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit..." Luke 1: 41

So...not just the one verse, then. And I haven't done searches on "pregnant" or "with child" yet.

OH HO! But wait! Tricksy sami is too clever for us! The souls of prophets are different in nature from those of the rest of humanity because "there's mystical things happening there" (No, really. She really says that in the comments on her blog). But for the sake of lulz, let's play by her rules. We'll toss the Jeremiah verse, both Luke verses, and the one from Isaiah 49. She also thinks the Psalms 139 passage doesn't count since it's just describing biology rather than "ensoulment" (whatever that is), so we'll toss that one, too, along with Job 31. Heaven forbid we not give this a fair shot...

This still leaves (*counts*) three verses that either imply, or say outright, that the unborn are people one way or the other, plus however many verses you'd find doing those other two searches.

Hmm... We will add "comprehension of Biblical teachings" to that list of things her "knowledge and authority on Christianity" have room for improvement in.

I don't know that this is, in fact, the Truth of the beginning of a person's life. I can't know. I'm not God, and I don't speak for God, not really - I can say what I believe to be true about God, but that doesn't have to mean anything to anyone, especially if you don't worship my, or any, god(s). More than that, I don't want to. I have my own beliefs about my God and other gods - I feel less than obligated to explain my faith.

"So rather than assuming, to be on the safe side, that a soul is there right from the start, I'm going to assume it's not there until the Magical Substance of OXYGEN!!!1! can be located inside someone's lungs! If that means some people are murdered because of ignorance...well...tough."

Also, feeling less than obligated to explain your faith pretty much disqualifies you from teaching anyone else how to practice theirs. Like...ever.

The rest of the entry is the usual slurs. Mysogyny, "anti-choice," blah, blah, blah. But my favorite part is waaaay down at the bottom of the comments.

At some point I'll get around to writing the second half; I don't actually think it's compatible with Christian faith to be anti-choice, but that argument is an awful lot more complicated.

Yeah, I'll bet it is. It would have to be to twist the Bible's teachings so far around as to be saying the exact opposite of what they really say.
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