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Bible: Life Begins at First Breath

by Erin Nanasi

The pro-fetus brigade that is the Republican party is screaming, drooling and rabid about life beginning at conception. They get right in our face, or type at you all in caps, that GOD’S own book, the bible, says life begins at conception. Guess what? It doesn’t.

My good friend, Sheila, is smart, wise, funny and driven to expose lies on the right. She gave me a bit of an internet slap in the face a few days ago when she reminded me of a little passage in Genesis about the breath of life. The passage reads that God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and it was then that the man became a living being.”

The bible actually has quite a lot to say on the subject of the breath of life. Here are a few more passages that illustrate when life begins.

Job 33:4-“The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”

Ezekiel 37: 5&6- “Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I shall lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

And here’s a little gem about causing a miscarriage:

Exodus 21:22- “If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is a miscarriage, and *yet no mischief follows: he shall surely be punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.”

*Other translations write this as no harm comes to the mother.

According to the bible, life begins when the first breath is drawn. According to Exodus 21:22, if a man hurts a woman, causing her to miscarry, the punishment is not the same as if a man murders another man. Also in Exodus 21:22 it says “Whoever strikes a man so that he dies must be put to death.”

The punishment for murder is much different than the punishment for causing a miscarriage in the bible. So, why does the pro-fetus brigade believe life begins at conception, when their own holy book says quite the opposite? Why is abortion murder, when their own book punishes a person who causes a woman to miscarry with a veritable slap on the wrist?

One thing I have been told is that a fetus breathes while in the womb. Um, no it doesn’t actually. While in the womb, a fetus receives oxygen from the umbilical cord, and the first breath is not taken until birth. You know how the OBGYN makes the newborn cry? That’s usually the first breath. While floating in amniotic fluid, the fetus does not breathe. It’s liquid.

We see billboards all over our county that read “My heart beat 17 days after conception!” and “I can dream!” First, a fetal heartbeat cannot be detected until, at the earliest, 5 ½-6 ½ weeks after conception, and only via ultrasound. Second, “directly measuring the brain activity of a human fetus in the womb is impossible” according to an article at Science Daily.com. Researchers have noted REM-like stages, but to actually measure dreams is not possible.

Huh. The bible says life begins with “breath,” the first breath is taken AFTER being born, fetal heartbeats are detected much later than the pro-fetus brigade claims and it’s impossible to measure the brain activity of a human fetus in the womb. It seems, at least to this pro-choice mother, that the pro-fetus brigade has absolutely no frigging idea what they’re talking about.

Thanks to Joe Schwartz.net. Science Daily.com, The Mayo Clinic website, Open Bible.info, Med Help.org and Sheila F.W for contributions and my Internet slap.

In case you missed it: Being Pro-Choice is Not Being Pro-Abortion

This article was originally published on May 9, 2012.  It is still relevant today.

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Posted by on September 19, 2019. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION,HERESY. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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138 Responses to Bible: Life Begins at First Breath

  1. Red Reply

    April 30, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    Life begins at conception. It’s laughable every time atheist liberals try to spin Bible verses in order to suit themselves.

  2. George E. Reply

    February 8, 2020 at 9:00 am

    This writeup is emotionally biased, as the author forgot to do his homework. In the passage mentioned, it says “If men strive and hurt a woman”, which means that if men are fighting and ACCIDENTALLY hurt a woman with child, to use the Biblical term. The Bible in fact does not say that people who kill ON ACCIDENT should be killed.

    Joshua 20:1-9 ESV / 39 helpful votes
    Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Say to the people of Israel, ‘Appoint the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moses, that the manslayer who strikes any person without intent or unknowingly may flee there. They shall be for you a refuge from the avenger of blood. He shall flee to one of these cities and shall stand at the entrance of the gate of the city and explain his case to the elders of that city. Then they shall take him into the city and give him a place, and he shall remain with them. And if the avenger of blood pursues him, they shall not give up the manslayer into his hand, because he struck his neighbor unknowingly, and did not hate him in the past. …

    Therefore, the emotionally made assumption for your argument is false, and consequently you have not shown as you emotionally assumed that you had that the Bible considers fetuses not to be alive. Quite the contrary, the Bible repeatedly uses the term “woman with child”.

  3. Glenn Geist Reply

    September 21, 2019 at 8:19 am

    It’s like archaeology – layers of ruins built on ruins. I believe in breathing though.

  4. Michael John Scott Reply

    September 20, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    “It thus has no soul of its own until it’s independent of its mother.” That would assume I believe in the existence of a soul, which of course I don’t.

  5. Glenn Geist Reply

    September 20, 2019 at 9:24 am

    2012! I hesitate to mix in with such a collection of fools trying to protect their foolishness and at this late date, but one think I notice is that not one of you biblical bullshitters reads Hebrew.

    The word translated as “soul” in biblical Hebrew is נֶפֶשׁ and pronounced Nefesh. Nefesh or sometimes written Nephesh means breath or something that breathes. It’s used to describe YHWH breathing his essence into a lump of red clay, after which Adam is alive.

    The many examples illustrate the ancient idea that life IS breath. A foetus does not breathe – only it’s mother does. It thus has no soul of its own until it’s independent of its mother.

    Then again, basing anything on “the Bible” as the Christians call it, is giving universal authority to an edited and redacted and biased rendition of ancient political and mythological texts written by people more ignorant than any living person today. Biblical literalism is a mental disease that must be maintained by delusion and dishonesty. Give it up.

  6. WARNING Reply

    March 4, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Atheist eye’s rarely leak to drain the swelled head that can be seen against life. When they see a child of God they get excited as they lift up their abortion tool named cursing to cut them down. We are just a blob of mess to them that deserve a trashcan end.
    Abortionist has knives, Atheist has cursing, both cut to destroy the unborn or the born again being so dull compared to their superior sharp intellect. I see folks here stand against these heartless bully’s and I salute you.
    Atheist, Abortionist, Homo’s and Lesbians, It’s a shame that you love wasting life…
    I have no hate for no-one as those who hate condemns me to have. Those who condemn me as hate is blinded by hate first.

    • Bill Formby Reply

      March 5, 2014 at 12:08 am

      You fool. Do you not realize that you are actually debating something that began only because Emperor Constantine decided to make Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. Except for that you would have been a Druid.

      • Jess Reply

        March 5, 2014 at 6:32 pm

        Bill, this is that moron that James got into it with a long time ago and the comments piled up to like 3 maybe 400. Kept changing his name to make us think he was all these different people with the same attitude.

      • Peter Everts Reply

        March 7, 2014 at 9:42 am

        Well said, Bill. Not only can’t these delusional folks spell, they don’t think at a level much above amoebas.

    • Jess Reply

      March 5, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      Hey it’s nice to see you again weejee, GeeMee, reborn to warn, JimMissy, JimIssy, Jimm&Missy or whatever your name is today. I totally remember you and all your sockpuppets from an atheist post a while back with the style. It’s not nice to try and fool people, specially us smart, liberal, homo loving, atheist wasters of life. James will probably be along shortly but till then, I am off to eat a bowl of alphabet soup and no doubt I will shit a better argument than you will ever make, to try for forced birth with women as hosts because your buybull says it is so.

      • Michael John Scott Reply

        March 6, 2014 at 3:43 pm

        Yep. Troll. Just spammed it like I did four or five of its clones on other threads. You nailed it Jess.

  7. Abra Reply

    March 3, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Adam was not created in a womb. In order for him to not just be a body, he needed his heart and brain to start working. He needed to start breathing to be alive. Babies in the womb breathe, just not with their lungs yet. And do you seriously believe that your soul flies into your body when you breathe in? Really? And there are MANY verses about pre-born babies being human. And the verse about a man causing a woman to have a miscarriage should actually be accurately interpreted as causing the woman to give birth early. Then if harm is caused, etc… Using the Bible to justify the slaughter of babies is sickening. An ameba cannot think because of what it is. An embryo cannot think because of how old s/he is.

  8. WARNING Reply

    March 3, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    This MadMike future SadMike worships death so it is no surprise that he honors abortion. Death to God, Death to Christianity. He will face God one day and the sorrow he places upon us he will not escape the great sorrow of everlasting shame. That’s a promise folks. He is a very foolish and stupid man. Satan was lifted up in pride and his followers of one third of the angels was cast out of heaven. This SadMike is now collecting followers to be cast out into outer darkness with him.
    This SadMike laughs at all God sends that man can be set free of eternal damnation. He has focused on counterfeits like static on a radio station and overlooks the small still voice of God. Now he goes out full of static to add to the static already out to drown out God.
    Believe me folks, you wouldn’t enjoy being where this SadMike is heading like Satan was cast out to. Hell was made for Satan and it’s Demons. This puny guy’s Static is nothing to trade God off for. You all will be intruders in Satans place with SadMikes Static. Not good to listen to a madman that you see this evidence in his cheap name.

    • Peter Everts Reply

      March 4, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      There is no (are no) god(s). People who believe there is a poobah somewhere who created everything and affects reality are delusional. There is no cogent argument to refute this. Keep you superstitions and god driven hate to yourselves. Oh, when you die you rot or get burned up and are over. Get used to it.

  9. Robert Hart Reply

    February 8, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    “It isn’t until delivery when it takes it’s 1st breathe is it alive.”

    Right. So, heart and brain functions have nothing to do with life. Do you realize how ridiculous that is?

    • tdg Reply

      February 8, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      The Bible doesn’T mention the brain and heart funtions only that God breathed the breath of life into the FORM OF DIRT and it became alive. So in a way the heart and brain functions were compared to a pile of dirt so imo according to what I understand the Bible to read. People are adding to the word of God by talking about anything else but what His book says literally. B4 the breathe man was a pile of dirt.

  10. Anonymous Reply

    January 26, 2014 at 12:11 am

    Even with all this back and forth scientist agree that a fetus doesn’t breath inside the womb. It isn’t until delivery when it takes it’s 1st breathe is it alive.

  11. Anonymous Reply

    December 31, 2013 at 8:40 am

    This is what happens when you don’t research your “proof text”. The phrase in Genesis is Hebrew is נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים (nishmat chayyim). The Hebrew word typically translated as “spirit” in English is רוּחַ (ruach). Additional breath, life, soul, are often used almost interchangeably. This isn’t talking about the inhalation, but the beginning of existence.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      December 31, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      Interesting theory. Thanks.

    • Anonymous Reply

      January 26, 2014 at 12:37 am

      So in essence there isn’t existence without breath. An life is void without breath.

  12. Richard Anderson Reply

    July 25, 2013 at 4:11 am

    RELIGION……..Together We Can Find A Cure.

  13. Peter Everts Reply

    July 11, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    The ignorance of Biblical history and the origins of the Christian “Bible” by believers is sad and frustrating. Find out where you book came from and how it came to be before extolling it as “written by god”. It was written by numerous men who believed in magic, that the Earth was flat and that the Sun revolved around it. Christianity is no more the “truth” than is Islam or Judaism – all are founded on ignorance of science and biology, geology and astronomy. Were there a “god” he/she/it is an asshole based on human history and this god’s supposed power to intervene in human affairs.

  14. Amy Reply

    July 7, 2013 at 5:25 am

    A finger never becomes a baby, so I don’t think that can apply to the argument, but that’s just my opinion and hardly an expert one at that.

    If one is to apply scripture to an argument, it is probably best to use the original translation and study much deeper, such as reading the entire section that is related to the scripture for context. I would also think that it would be best to determine the meaning of the Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic words and phrases that were used. Another thing to consider was whether or not something was God’s law or man’s law. Just because it is in the Bible, doesn’t mean it was approved by God, ordered by God, or justified by God. Consider also whether or not a certain law still applies today. While the ceremonial and civil laws appear to have been done away with with the new covenant, the moral law still stands and was, in effect, made even stronger by Jesus, who stated that even hating one’s brother was tantamount to murder.

    Christians are certainly not perfect, and there is a failing in the church today of watering down the gospel to make it more palatable to new believers and or to try not to offend people. There is also a failing of really studying the Bible, the correct translation, etc. Christians can also go overboard, misquoting scripture and speaking for God. The truth is, Christians are all in various stages of their understanding of the Bible, and if they don’t go to the correct source, they can give a lot of wrong information, and that has severely hurt our credibility, and rightly so.

    There are really only a few Christians out there (and this is only my interpretation, and I could be wrong, of course) who truly know the Bible. Christians have always disagreed with each other in certain things. Even among the apostles. But yet they all risked their lives and were killed (or in the case of John, exiled) for standing up for their faith in God, because they believed in his truth. Pretty radical.

    To determine when life begins, should we consult the wisdom of humans? We can argue until we’re blue in the face and we can try to legislate morality, but the ultimate authority is God. Anything else that is not based on that is just opinion. And no human opinion is of more value than any other human opinion. How could it be?

    While it hurts, I’m ok with people hating on me for stating my views. Jesus did say we would be hated in his name, and even moreso than he was. And he was crucified. But I don’t think it is ok to lash out with hateful speech and wish people to hell. That’s not godly at all and would certainly break the heart of Christ.

    Of course I don’t believe the Bible was written by mere man. I do believe it was divinely inspired, even if just going off of the evidence of things unseen, such as the incalculable amount of stars written about(back when there was no knowledge to support a larger number of stars than what could be seen) or the knowledge of land formations and life on the ocean floor that were not discovered by modern science for hundreds upon hundreds of years. How could mere man have known such details?

    It’s quite fascinating, and I’m certainly no expert, but it is enough to get me to really begin studying the Bible and praying to God for wisdom in such things. And I do think all people should do this before trying to support or shoot down any argument.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      July 7, 2013 at 7:18 am

      Thanks so much for offering your viewpoint, and while I disagree with the concept of “divine” there is much food for thought in your words.

  15. rachel Reply

    April 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    sir the real translation for Exodus 21:22-23 states, “If men struggle with each other and 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 . . . .”  This strongly indicates that the Mosaic Law viewed the unborn as persons worthy of the same protection and rights as adults…. do you really think if the husband saw another man make his wife go into premature labor that he would be cool with it, and it says if anything else happens, like the baby dying, thrn a life for a life.

  16. Tim Reply

    March 13, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Jeremiah 1:5
    I knew you before I formed you in the womb. Yes that is talking about a prophet but if he forms one he forms all. If he knows us before we are born then to the creator there is a life, a soul there.

    Leviticus 17:11
    Life is in the BLOOD
    You can’t tell me no blood is flowing from mother to the baby for months even days after conception.

    • Asiren Reply

      March 13, 2013 at 8:52 am

      If God is all-knowing, then surely he knows everyone before they are even conceived, and after they die. The statement is therefore useless as an argument for life at conception. God knows which eggs will get fertilized, which embryos will fully develop, which lives will be lived. A life must then be seen as a whole, from birth till death. If a child is still-born, is there anything to “know”? Is there life without conciousness? You might be able to mourn what could have been, but you can’t know what never was. And if the embryo never develops, never matures, the person never was, and therefore God could never have known them, and knew from the beginning that they never would.

      As to “Life is in the blood”: The whole point about the baby having an umbilical cord is that the mother’s blood DOES NOT flow into the baby. The foetus side of the placenta actually has the same DNA of the foetus, and the large surface area with the mother is where the transfer of air and nutrients takes place. The blood from the mother could not go directly into the foetus as if the two have different blood types (Mother AB and foetus A, for example) then one would wreck havoc with the other’s circulation. (In my example, the foetus would clot and die.)
      Also, if life is in the blood, are blood donations all alive? I think not.

  17. Fear God Reply

    February 7, 2013 at 9:16 am

    The three passages do not support what the author of the article is saying.

    Job 33:4-“The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”

    Commentary: The Spirit of God hath made me – Another plain allusion to the account of the creation of man, Genesis 2:7, as the words נשמת nishmath, the breath or breathing of God, and תחיני techaiyeni, hath given me life, prove: “He breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives, and he became a living soul.”

    Ezekiel 37: 5&6- “Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I shall lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

    Commentary: No created power could restore human bones to life. God alone could cause them to live. Skin and flesh covered them, and the wind was then told to blow upon these bodies; and they were restored to life. The wind was an emblem of the Spirit of God, and represented his quickening powers. The vision was to encourage the desponding Jews; to predict both their restoration after the captivity, and also their recovery from their present and long-continued dispersion. It was also a clear intimation of the resurrection of the dead; and it represents the power and grace of God, in the conversion of the most hopeless sinners to himself. Let us look to Him who will at last open our graves, and bring us forth to judgment, that He may now deliver us from sin, and put his Spirit within us, and keep us by his power, through faith, unto salvation.

    Exodus 21:22- “If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is a miscarriage, and *yet no mischief follows: he shall surely be punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.”

    Commentary: And hurt a woman with child – As a posterity among the Jews was among the peculiar promises of their covenant, and as every man had some reason to think that the Messiah should spring from his family, therefore any injury done to a woman with child, by which the fruit of her womb might be destroyed, was considered a very heavy offense; and as the crime was committed principally against the husband, the degree of punishment was left to his discretion. But if mischief followed, that is, if the child had been fully formed, and was killed by this means, or the woman lost her life in consequence, then the punishment was as in other cases of murder – the person was put to death.

  18. Fear God Reply

    February 7, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Scientifically speaking abortion is the taking of an innocent human life, which is murder.

    How can I say this? If you do a tissue sample of the fetus you will find that the fetus is human (DNA, ect.) You can observe the cells multiplying. Life. Human life.

    Now that we have proved that abortion is murder from a scietific viewpoint, what does the Bible say?

    The Bible says the fetus is a baby, a human life, and that God knows the baby in the womb of the mother.

    Psa 139
    1 O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
    2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
    3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
    4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
    5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
    6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
    7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
    8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
    9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
    10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
    11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
    12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
    13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

    Job 10:18 Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me!

    Judges 13:1-7. In essence we see that Manoah’s wife is told not to drink wine or strong drink because the child she was carrying in her womb was a Nazarite. The law applied to the unborn child in this case. The unborn child obviously is alive or it would not be required to keep the law.

    Luke 1:44, “For lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” This is Elizabeth speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and gives a human attribute to the child in her womb, John the Baptist

    This is the same word (brephos) Luke uses in Luke 2:12,16 “Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” Luke 18:15,16 meaning infants and 1 Peter 2:2 “newborn babes.”

    Genesis 35:16-26. This passage deals with Jacob and his wives going to Ephrath from Bethel after they had left Padanaram. The statement in verse 26 says they were all born in Padanaram. But if you will notice one of them was obviously born after they left and were
    between Ephrath and Bethel, that one was- Benjamin. Why would the writer of Genesis makesuch an bvious “mistake”? If the time element is looked into, you can see that Benjamin
    was conceived in Padanaram but literally born in the promised land. This shows what God thinks of the place to start counting a life.

    Genesis 25:22-26 and Hosea 12:3. These verses show that the struggling in the womb was not just two “appendages” bumping into each other.

    Second Samuel 11:5. This verse, along with countless others, Says she was “with child” not with “appendage

    The apostle Paul was separated for God while in the womb of his mother.

    Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,

    Proverbs 6:16-17″The Lord hates hands that shed innocent blood.”

    Children are a blessing from God, not a curse.

    Genesis 25:21″And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebecca his wife conceived.”

    Genesis 33:5″The children which God has graciously given me.”

    Psalm 127:3 “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward.”

    This society has an improper attitude towards children ,sacrificing them to the god of convenience.

    2 Kings 17:16-20″And they forsook all the commandments of the Lord their God…. And they burned their sons and daughters as offerings….Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them out of His sight.”

    • Asiren Reply

      February 7, 2013 at 9:44 am

      Whoa whoa whoa, that’s glossing over the major point of your argument a bit quickly!

      If you chop a finger off, you have human DNA (the COMPLETE sequence, as in the fetus), cell division (skin/blood cells regenerating), respiration (the muscles converting O2 to CO2 to generate energy).

      Given the right support (such that the womb might give the fetus: a source of warmth, energy, oxygen, waste disposal, etc), the finger could survive indefinitely.

      I wouldn’t call chopping someone’s finger off murder though…

      So, back to your “scientific” definition, please.

  19. Craig Reply

    January 25, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    If it weren’t so tragic, it would be almost hilarious how someone that does not know the Creator attempts to interpret His Word. Way off, and very, very sad. The breath that created man as a soul comes from the Father, not from man. But you won’t understand any of this until you repent. I would suggest repentance in order to understand His Word, as He has commanded it for anyone who wishes to be saved and have a future.

    • Asiren Reply

      January 25, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      Ah, another believer of The One Truth, of a loving God who condemns the majority of life on Earth for not believing. Who condemned those that came before Him by not giving them any path to heaven.

      And quality circular argument there: If you don’t understand it “correctly”, you obviously don’t believe. If you believe, then you must understand it correctly. See comment above of Devil twisting the words of the Lord.

      If you can’t defend your point other than “But my faith…” then you have no point.

  20. Robert Hart Reply

    August 23, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Perhaps the ridiculous Bible interpretation in this essay was meant as satire. If so, I can excuse it. But, sadly, some people are silly enough to take it seriously, which is quite inexplicable in any case.

  21. dave Reply

    June 14, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Robert, Yes many do exist and I include myself among them! Thanks.

  22. Robert Hart Reply

    June 14, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Dave: You left out a very real category, namely religious people who love science – maybe even religious people who are scientists. Many, many do exist.

  23. dave Reply

    June 14, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Some people in this strand seem to assume that religious people are not pro-choice and that religious people are sanctimonious. While I agree there are way too many sanctimonious people in religion, there are an equal number of arrogant agnostics making assumptions about people based on little info except what they see when the sanctimonious ones set the tone in the media (and then filter all religious people through that assumption). One, not all religious people are sanctimonious. Two, not all religious people are anti-choice. Three, biblical interpretation is one way that some shape and filter their worldview in our culture. Dismissing it because you use another filter does not deal with the reality that this is seen as one valid way of discerning what is helpful in our world. I am a trained engineer, a pastor and a progressive Christian. There is much from each aspect of our lives that contributes to us being whole. Anyone in this site who chops out a part of the way we think and make decisions is acting in a less complete way than they should. That is true for religious people who ignore science. That is true for rationalists who ignore spirituality. The world is too complex to allow ourselves the luxury of shutting out insights from others just to defend our own peace of mind – whether that peace of mind comes from an agnostic who ignores the spiritual side of life or a religious person who ignores insights from the sciences. And both name calling and imposing our beliefs as legislated realities on others is the sad consequence of such small-mindedness from either end of the spectrum.

    • Erin Nanasi Reply

      June 15, 2012 at 11:41 am

      And four, you will notice that I categorized the people to whom this piece is directed quite clearly. If you look back on articles I have written, at no time do I ever state all Christians are fundamentalist, or pro-life or conservative or hateful. However, if religious people want to be seen as something other than Charles Worley or John Hagee or Maggie Gallagher or Bryan Fischer, it’s your responsibility to change the message, not ours. I started out as a Catholic, left that mess a long time ago, and am now an agnostic, specifically because of the incredibly hateful, violent and downright evil things self-righteous, self-proclaimed Christians have said and done to myself,my family and our friends. Fundamentalists, pro-“life” supporters and right wing Christians seem to have left the message of Jesus in the dust.

  24. Robert Hart Reply

    June 8, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Ashley J.

    Obviously you are not a medical Doctor or Biologist either. And, it is distressing that anyone would defend Literalist Fundamentalism as the approach to reading ANY literature.

  25. Ashley J Reply

    June 8, 2012 at 9:03 am

    I’m a Christian and the author is correct!!!!! Life begins at FIRST BREATH. The Bible also tells us to not try to “interpet” the word of God as it says exactly what God intended for it to say. So often we change the word our God to fit our way of thinking and that is WRONG. We are to change our way of thinking to fit the WORD. Thank You for actually reading the Bible and not allowing others to tell you what it says….

  26. Robert Hart Reply

    June 7, 2012 at 1:03 am

    Sorry to rain on your parade, but this is some of the worst “scholarship” I have ever seen. And, it is not particularly good biology either, and completely out of step with modern medicine (no doctor will say life begins at birth; that is completely absurd). For example, the creation of Adam is depicted in the Bible as a singular event, and no general principles could be drawn from the mythological setting of a man created as full grown, certainly none that are moral or ethical in nature. The classic line in Genesis 9: 6 (“Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man…”) is actually “Whoever sheds the blood of Man (i.e. human being) in man…” (…dom H’Adam b’Adam). It means the blood of a human being while still in Man – i.e. still inside another human being, i.e. still in the womb. You are getting this from me, a Hebrew scholar myself who doesn’t need translators. Here is a far better article that explains one of the same passages far better: http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=20-01-038-f

    And, remember that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit in his mother’s womb. If someone wants to justify abortion, the Bible is not the tool to use.

    Having seen what Biblical scholarship says, whether the poor scholarship of Erin Nanasi or the good scholarship W. Ross Blackburn, I will demonstrate what a theologian does with the texts. When Genesis tells that God breathed into Adam the breath (or spirit – ruach) of life, and Man became a living soul (nefesh), the subject is not the birth of an individual, but the creation of the human species. The meaning is that the life was spiritual, that the human race derived its life and being from the Spirit of God. But, in Leviticus 17:11 we see that “the life (or soul – nefesh) of the flesh is in the blood.” There the subject is atonement, salvation from sin and death. The meaning is that in the Fall into sin and death, our life source became lower and earthly, and we have yet to be restored to the life that comes from the Spirit. This then goes into a discussion of Christ and the resurrection. That is how a theologian comments on the texts, rather than manipulating them in a “proof text” manner to provide a legalistic justification for killing our own brand of non-persons.

    • Ringo Reply

      June 8, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      Mr.Hart: The creation of Adam, the Eve thing with the snake, Leviticus, flesh and blood, all bullshit. As to the author’s “scholarship” what the fuck are you reading? This isn’t some university dissertation or thesis. This is a website that contains information for all of us, not just the so-called scholars such as yourself. So, let’s put Jesus, his Pappy, and all the silliness that goes with the myth of religion, and think rationally. A baby cannot breathe in the womb. The baby’s life is directly dependent on the mother’s life. She is its life support system. When the baby is born and takes its first breath it is alive on its own. It is its first breath of its life and when it becomes its own human being. The religious claptrap that goes with life at conception and all of that is nonsense…plain nonsense. So please don’t strut your intellectual elitism, just talk straight like I do:

      There is no god…the idea is ludicrous

      There is no heaven, hell, or purgatory (if you happen to be catholic)

      There is peace in Atheism and torment in religion

      See..straight talk. Thanks and have a nice day … oh I do admit I found your comment very informative. I don’t have to believe to appreciate.

    • Erin Nanasi Reply

      June 14, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      You’re interpreting. Which is what all religious zealots do. And that’s fine, but when it crosses the line from YOUR beliefs to attempting to change laws that affect OTHERS based on religion, we have a problem. You are free to believe, as much as you are free to be sanctimonious, and I am free to be agnostic and pro-choice and enjoy the fact that Ringo dealt with you far more effectively than you think you dealt with me.

  27. Aubrey Reply

    June 6, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Kevin, I like your reply. Dave, no, I don’t stand alone on my interpretation of the Bible. Asiren, while we could both grow old picking versions of the Bible that support our views, I still believe that the Bible as a whole does not support “life at first breath”. I can have my beliefs and you can have yours. Just putting this out here: why not take the “better safe than sorry” approach? The Bible’s difficult to interpret, and science doesn’t have the answer yet, either. Erin, you should stick to underwater basket weaving. I mean that nicely. 🙂 No, really, I do.

  28. Anonymous Reply

    June 4, 2012 at 12:05 am

    It very sad when people don’t get the facts correct.

    Exodus 21:22-23 states: And in case men should struggle with each other and they really hurt a pregnant woman and her children do come out but no fatal accident occurs, he is to have damages imposed upon him without fail according to what the owner of the woman may lay upon him: and he must give it through the justices. But if a fatal accident should occur, then you must give soul for soul.

    -So killing an unborn child would have resulted in that person death. Accident or not.

    • Asiren Reply

      June 4, 2012 at 10:03 am

      Once again, please see previous post above as to “correct” meanings and translations of the bible. Other translations use either the terms “miscarry” or “lose her fruit”.

      Also, people seem to forget that neonatal care would have been non-existant back in the days of Exodus: The baby either takes its first breath and latches onto the mother’s breast, or it dies. There was no incubator, no oxygen tank, no intravenous support. If it’s premature, it will most likely die within a day.

      So, premature birth/miscarriage would nearly always result in the death of fetus/baby. Which would be make the point of Exodus 21: 22-23 odd for putting the emphasis on the exceptional circumstance as supposed to the probable. (That “No fatal accident occurs” to refer to the fetus as well.)
      Whereas if the death is solely in reference to the mother, then the phrasing and emphasis actually make sense and posit a probably situation.

      Not that it matters to an Anon poster. Doubt you’ll even read this reply. But it’s worth a try.

  29. dave Reply

    June 3, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Aubrey, I am sorry to jump in on this but there is almost universal agreement, including in Jewish Law, that the death in the text you refer to is that of the mother. The death/stillbirth/miscarriage of the child does not bring the same punishment. This is a relatively well discussed passage in Jewish Law by this point, and although you would like to interpret that the death could refer to the unborn child, there is no precedent for this in any scholarship with any credibility. I won’t add the “friggin’ idea” comments here – they are not helpful. But in this interpretation, you seem to be standing alone. The text refers to the death of the mother. Sorry.

    • Melusine Adams Reply

      October 28, 2020 at 9:00 pm

      She is not a mother until and unless she has a child.

  30. Kevin B Reply

    May 31, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    If one were to read the actually chapters in which these few sentences were extracted from the bible, you’d know that the subject matter at hand was not “when does life begin?” “Proof texting” is a practice usually reserved for Christians who try desperately to prove a point by cherry picking verses of the bible in hopes of developing support for their ideas. Even among other more intelligent christians this practice has been found lacking, and is discouraged. To see it done as a criticism of christianity itself comes across as being just as weak and ultimately unsuccessful.

  31. Shirles53 Reply

    May 10, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Everybody in the world knows Jesus is Lord and the book is his and it says that the baby is life when concieve not on breathing. I hate athiests and want them all in hell.

    • Asiren Reply

      May 11, 2012 at 2:16 am

      Sweetheart, there’s so much wrong in your short post, I’m pretty sure you’re trolling, but I’ll bite.

      That there are other religions in the world must mean there are people who don’t “know” Christ is “the Lord and saviour”. By definition, a Muslim, Jew, Buddhist or Hindu disagrees with your “absolute truth”.

      And good work following the teachings of your Lord and savior! What happened to “love thy neighbour” or “forgive those who trespass”?

      Ah, the joys of cognitive dissonance…

  32. E in MD Reply

    May 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Jeremiah 1:5
    “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

    Yeah but he’s talking about Jesus there. Even if he weren’t, no crap he ‘knew thee’. The Christian God is supposedly omniscient and omnipotent so of course he ‘knows thee’. He also knew at the beginning of time that X fetus was going to be aborted as well and if he wanted that fetus not to die there’s absolutely nothing us weak little humans would be able to do about it.

    Same argument with contraception. If God wants you preggers, a condom ain’t going to stop him.

  33. E in MD Reply

    May 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    You’re also forgetting Leviticus and Numbers wherein a baby isn’t worth anything until after it’s been outside of it’s mother for a month.

    Leviticus 27:6 And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver.

    Numbers 3:15 Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them.

    ergo, a human less than a month old is worthless

    and I find it amusing when Christians (Much like Anonymous above) say “Well that’s a literal interpretation.” You’re right. But it’s amusing that after so many Christians thumping the rest of us upside the head with your holy book and telling us that there IS NO interpretation only the Word that some of you would say that.

    Sorry Christians, this is what your book says and your book doesn’t agree with you on this position. So either you reconsider your position or you admit that you aren’t following what’s in your book. I don’t see what the big deal is, I’m sure most of you eat shrimp and shave and probably have tattoos, all of which are prohibited by the Bible as well.

  34. Buzzcook Reply

    May 10, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Most xtians point to this verse Jeremiah 1:5
    “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

    Basically you can make the bible agree with just about any position you choose to take.

    A popular pro-choice chapter is Numbers 5 in which priests preform an abortion on unfaithful women.
    5:27 And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.

    The Skeptic’s Bible http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/ is a good place to start.

    It won’t change any minds though. It will score some internet debating points.

  35. Aubrey Reply

    May 10, 2012 at 12:07 am

    I want to start by saying that I am pro-life when it comes to my morals, but pro-choice when it comes to politics. I think every woman should have sovereignty over her own body, keeping in mind God’s love for all His children, born and unborn. This article is the biggest stinky load of crap I’ve heard in a long time, and it makes me angry that the author would not only write about something she obviously has no clue about, but also MISQUOTE the Bible in one of her main arguments. The other ones are weak at best as well.

    Here’s the accurate Bible quote of Exodus 21:22-23 “Now suppose two people are fighting, and in the process, they hurt a pregnant woman so her child is born prematurely. If no further harm results, then the person responsible must pay damages in the amount the woman’s husband and the judges approve. But if any harm results, then the offender must be punished according to the injury. If the result is death, the offender must be executed.” I consulted 3 different translations, and nowhere does it talk about the woman miscarrying, just about delivering prematurely. Then it says if the injury results in death, then the offender must die also. It doesn’t differentiate between who dies, mother or child.

    Job 33:4 doesn’t sound like an argument that abortion is okay to me, more like a profession of faith so Job will respect and listen to the speaker. Ezekiel 37:5-6 refers to God telling Ezekiel to command bones to come to life, and so they did. They weren’t born and therefore don’t have anything to do with informing us of when life starts in the womb (or out of it). Jeremiah 1:5 says “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” I knew” YOU”, not “a cluster of cells that would become you but only after you prove that you can live on your own”.

    To turn the author’s words back on her, it seems, at least to this pro-life mother, that the pro-choice author has absolutely no frigging idea what she’s talking about.

    • Erin Nanasi Reply

      May 10, 2012 at 7:55 am

      Every theologian I read or spoke to confirmed that “harm” punishable by death in relation to the passage in Exodus refers to the mother. I didn’t write about Job, a person who commented on the article wrote about Job. As to the Ezekiel passage, as usual, a fundamentalist interprets what is a passage about life beginning after breath to mean whatever you want. So, since you’re a woman, you must spend 7 days out of the month in a tent, never cut your hair and have been a virgin when you were married? See, as an agnostic and someone who believes the bible is just a collection of stories written by man, I don’t have to take it for anything other than that: a myth. You, on the other hand, are commanded by God to take everything in it literally. And both you and the other fundamentalist commenting on this article have proven with your comments that you interpret it to fit whatever you are arguing for or against at any particular time.

      • Aubrey Reply

        May 14, 2012 at 9:30 pm

        I would love to take a more direct look at your sources. I looked a couple of them up. You took your version of Exodus 21:22-23 from joeschwartz.net, right? Well, he misquoted the Bible. Why did you just rely on him to get it right instead of going straight to the Bible itself? You are undermining your own point of view by misquoting. It doesn’t say “miscarriage”, it says “deliver prematurely.” Show me how you can tell that Ex. 21:23 refers only to the death of the mother and not to the death of the child. I’m not convinced, but I’m willing to get as much info as possible. The verse you quoted in Job is spoken by a visitor to Job. In my understanding, he is professing his faith to Job so that Job will respect and listen to him. But that is only what I got out of it; obviously you got something entirely different. Same thing with the Ezekiel verse. I guess my point here is, we both already leaned a certain way before coming across these verses, and our inclinations color our translation. It’s pretty obvious from the hateful way that you refer to us believers that this article was written for other non-believers to spread hate and not understanding. Perhaps you don’t have to take the Bible literally, but how does being inaccurate prove your point? Why not instead quote correctly and then provide interpretation/clarification with sources specifically cited? That would make you more credible, if not actually convince me.

        • Asiren Reply

          May 15, 2012 at 3:20 am

          Which “Straight to the Bible” are you talking about? The Hebrew or the Latin? But you’re still quoting English? I’m picking and choosing versions, admittedly, but so are you. Multiple translations are available at http://www.biblegateway.com and here are a few.

          Various translations have different phrasing.
          Douay-Rhiems (1899 American Edition):
          If men quarrel, and one strike a woman with child, and she miscarry indeed, but live herself: he shall be answerable for so much damage as the woman’s husband shall require, and as arbiters shall award.

          King James Version:
          22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

          American Standard Version:
          22 And if men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart, and yet no harm follow; he shall be surely fined, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

          Luther Bibel 1545 (German):
          22 Wenn Männer hadern und verletzen ein schwangeres Weib, daß ihr die Frucht abgeht, und ihr kein Schade widerfährt, so soll man ihn um Geld strafen, wieviel des Weibes Mann ihm auflegt, und er soll’s geben nach der Schiedsrichter Erkennen.

          Biblia Sacra Vulgata (5th Century):
          22 si rixati fuerint viri et percusserit quis mulierem praegnantem et abortivum quidem fecerit sed ipsa vixerit subiacebit damno quantum expetierit maritus mulieris et arbitri iudicarint

          So, in the older translations (into English), it is either translated as “miscarry”, as in a unsuccessful pregnancy, AND mention the harm is specific to the woman, or the loss is phrased as “her fruit”, which hardly implies that the fetus is considered a person.

          I add the German translation as that also shows specifically that the harm is to the woman, as well as using the phrase “fruit”.

          The 5th Century Latin version, possibly the oldest and most “original” that I might comprehend, even uses the word “abort”.

          So, which “real” version of the Bible are you quoting from?

          • Aubrey Reply

            May 15, 2012 at 9:29 am

            Thank you, Asiren, for your thorough research and cited sources. It’s too bad Erin couldn’t be bothered to support her article as well as you are doing for her. You have given me something to think about.

    • Asiren Reply

      May 10, 2012 at 9:39 am

      Everyone here realises that The Bible as we all know it is a translation of a translation of texts that were finally recorded after generations of being verbally handed down, right?

      Things might possibly have been lost in transition (ya think?), not to mention some possible editorial bias over the millenia, yet here you are, all discussing it as a concrete, infallible document.
      (It’s the Word of God, fine. But it’s the Word of God With Hundreds of Generations of Meddling of Man!)

      The Constitution was written in English, less than 250 years old, and people still have different interpretations of it!

      The whole “Na-ah. That’s wrong. This is what the Bible really means” arguement is pointless!

      • Erin Nanasi Reply

        May 10, 2012 at 9:52 am

        My point is that when it suits them, fundamentalists take the bible verbatim, and when it doesn’t, it’s open to interpretation. I don’t think the bible is anything but a collection of stories written by men.

        • Asiren Reply

          May 10, 2012 at 10:14 am

          I completely understand, and find it equally amusing/disturbing that fundamentalists get upset when the Bible is being quoted back at them with a different interpretation. If you get too good at the arguements they’ll pull the “The devil twists the word of the Lord! You are a tool of the devil, I shall listen no more!”

          Damned if you read it, damned if you don’t.

          • Erin Nanasi Reply

            May 10, 2012 at 11:09 am

            YES YES YES! We’re all heathens! Which means tomorrow is naked bingo night, BYOB (bring your own bible). See ya there! 🙂

        • Peter Everts Reply

          February 8, 2014 at 6:15 pm

          Indeed it is.

    • tdg Reply

      July 11, 2013 at 1:47 am

      If God forms us all out of dirt then he would know us plus if everything to be was already know by God as his Master plan for us then yes he did know us.

      Some people who were more “famous” or useful, prob did get more “attention” when God created or planning out their role (to come) in the world so that doesnt mean they were alive just because God knew these thing. God Know everything…right?

      The most plainly written scripture that no pro lifer can explain is from Genesis”

      “He “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and it was then that the man became a living being”.

      NOSTRILS not some unknown gaseous exchange or umbilical cord this or that. It is plain as day. Most of the other examples given here can be interpreted either way. But explain away the “Word of God” in Genesis. How will pro-lifers spin this one.

      There was a few times in history where MEN took it upon themselves to take out parts of the original Bible and translate it so We can never really know What was in it that is not now. Meanings of words and phrase were lost in the translation of it and MAN put there own meaning of them. Is there any other books or references to back up the pro-life ideas about when life started …no!

  36. Dan Bradford Reply

    May 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Life is not defined by breathing. Many forms of life do not “breath” in the way that you and I do. Fish, plants, microorganisms. They all are alive. The obvious difference is that these other forms or life are not human. It is the human life that is at issue in the abortion question.

    • Bill Formby Reply

      May 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm

      You know Dan, part of the problem with the pro lifers is that you folks keep discussing life by what God meant and the truth is that none of you know for sure what he said or meant because he never actually wrote any of this down. All you have are the writings from people who say this is what God said or meant and you accept it on faith. Now you people killing people, I mean actual unquestionable people, like adults you know, based solely on faith not facts. Strange way to show how your savior loved everyone.

      • Peter Everts Reply

        June 4, 2012 at 9:38 am

        Well said. The hypocrisy of religions is legion.

    • Erin Nanasi Reply

      May 9, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

      Holy thing. Yeah, preach it, Dan. Here’s a thought. Tell me why the punishment for causing a miscarriage (or as the pro-fetus brigade calls it, MURDER) is a fine while the punishment for actually murdering a person is death? And then tell me if when your wife is menstruating, you shove her into a garden shed for a week, if you don’t eat shellfish, don’t ear wear polyester and when the Sabbath is.

  37. Dan Bradford Reply

    May 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    “Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,
    before you were born I set you apart;
    I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. ”
    Jeremiah 1:5 NIV.
    For those who chose to cite these other verses in their argument against right to life: consider this verse from Jeremiah. Would God have “known” someone who wasn’t alive? Would God have “appointed” or “set apart” a collection of cells that wasn’t alive? Be careful when you try to use the Bible in your arguments. It can backfire.

    • E in MD Reply

      May 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      1:4 Then the word of the LORD came unto —> me <—, saying,
      1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

      It especially backfires when you forget to add in the previous verse wherein Jeremiah is talking about a personal experience. Just because the lord came to Jeremiah and said that he had known Jeremiah before he was born doesn't magically transition to YOU or anyone else.

    • Peter Everts Reply

      February 8, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      Except there is no god. Fool.

      • Dicaron Reply

        January 28, 2018 at 6:04 pm

        There are a huge number of contradictions in the bible.

        Your god is not pro-life by any means.

        Numbers 5:11-21 The description of a bizarre, brutal and abusive ritual to be performed on a wife SUSPECTED of adultery. This is an induced abortion to rid a woman of another man’s child.

        Numbers 31:17 (Moses) “Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every women that hath known man by lying with him.” In other words: women that might be pregnant, which clearly is abortion for the fetus.

        Isa 13:16 Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.

        Numbers 31:17 (Moses) “Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every women that hath known man by lying with him.” In other words: women that might be pregnant, which clearly is abortion for the fetus.

        Hosea 13:16 God promises to dash to pieces the infants of Samaria and the “their women with child shall be ripped up”. Once again this god kills the unborn, including their pregnant mothers.

        2 Kings 15:16 God allows the pregnant women of Tappuah (aka Tiphsah) to be “ripped open”. And the Christians have the audacity to say god is pro-life. How and the hell is it that Christians can read passages where God allows pregnant women to be murdered, yet still claim abortion is wrong?

        1 Samuel 15:3 God commands the death of helpless “suckling” infants. This literally means that the children god killed were still nursing.

        Psalms 135:8 & 136:10 Here god is praised for slaughtering little babies.

        Psalms 137:9 Here god commands that infants should be “dashed upon the rocks”.

        Judges 11:30-40 Jephthah killed his young daughter (his only child) by burning her alive as a burnt sacrifice to the lord for he commanded it.

        Exd 12:29 ¶ And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that [was] in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

        Exodus 20:9-10 God commands death for cursing out ones parents

        Lev 26:29 And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.

        I Kings 16:34 Laying the foundation for a city using your firstborn child and using your youngest son to set up the gates.

  38. Jen Reply

    May 9, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Okay, I had to put my two cents in here (or “sense” depending on how you look at it).

    As to the above mention that fetuses do not “breathe” in the womb, but get their oxygen through the umbilical cord… I have reason to know for a FACT this is true. My youngest daughter was anencephalic. When I went into labor with her, as is standard with most of these pregnancies, there was a huge over-abundance of amniotic fluid which meant my waterbag had to be pinpricked and VERY slowly drained prior to delivery, to prevent the possibility of it breaking on its own and tearing loose from the wall of the uterus. When they were done, I got to watch my little girl move, kick, wiggle around for a few minutes before I was too busy pushing to pay attention any longer. However… the moment I delivered and the cord was cut – all movement ceased. She simply didn’t have enough of a brain to run the equipment needed to breathe on her own. And she was listed as “stillborn” – because the obvious signs of life BEFORE my life-support system was taken from her did not, and DO not, translate as “life”. You do not have a “live birth” if after said birth, the child cannot breathe on her own.

    These people are idiots who have not one clue what they’re talking about. Period.

    • Dan Bradford Reply

      May 9, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Jen. I am sorry to learn of this sadness in your life. However, I am not certain what point you are making. If your daughter did not develop enough of a brain and was stillborn then that would in no case be called an abortion like is being referred to by the pro-choice advocates. That simply was a still birth. But the fact that she was alive before birth and was moving around indicates something special was going on that simply could not continue after she was separated from your umbilical cord. Again. I am sorry for your loss and for the pain you feel. I respect your courage in participating in this discussion.

      • Jen Reply

        May 10, 2012 at 7:31 pm

        Read up, Dan. The “personhood” crowd would, and DOES, consider even MY case to be not an allowable exception. The viability of the fetus is a complete and total non-issue as far as they are concerned… if your belly swells, she’s going to be a person and that’s the end of it. Even if she won’t. In many of those same states, and I’m seriously not kidding about this, I could have been arrested and jailed for the “crime” of what was essentially a miscarriage (albeit a late-term one) – because these people believe that ANYthing that goes wrong during a pregnancy that results in anything but a live birth is due to some malicious wrongdoing on the part of the gestational vessel… oops, sorry, I meant the mother. Or human being, if you prefer.

        I know I sound bitter, and I apologize… but I am. You see, because of that fluid issue I discussed, a late-term abortion was something my doctor said may become necessary to save my life. But even THEN, 16 years ago, and even in a state that is NOT currently in the headlines for anti-choice legislation, it had to be put before a board for their approval before my own doctor would be allowed to save the life of a mother of three other children. These people either don’t consider the ramifications of the laws they pass… or they simply don’t care. And if it’s the latter, well… “pro-life” may be the biggest misnomer to ever be uttered.

      • Melusine Adams Reply

        October 28, 2020 at 8:48 pm

        Anencephaly is inconsistent with life, and it’s one of the few fetal deformities that don’t show up on screening until late in the pregnancy. It is an example of a situation

        Forcing a woman to go through childbirth when the baby is not going to be able to survive is cruel. Anencephalic infants do not have sensory abilities, including the ability to feel pain. This is an example of a situation where abortion should be permitted even in the third trimester.

  39. Dan Bradford Reply

    May 9, 2012 at 11:56 am

    It always is a mistake to attempt to use excerpts from the Bible as evidence in political disagreements. That is not the purpose of the Bible. The Bible basically a handbook for the conduct of persons who hope to adhere to the Judeo-Christian faiths, beliefs, and traditions. Indeed, those very believers have never agreed among themselves on what the Bible says or means. For non-believers to attempt to use Biblical passages as argument is simply a useless waste of time.

    • Erin Nanasi Reply

      May 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      You might want to tell the millions of preachers, bishops, politicians and hate mongers masquerading as Christians that the bible is more of a “guideline.” They don’t seem to agree, even though they, like you, pick and choose what is literal and what is interpretive. If you’re correct, then one would hope when your wife becomes pregnant, the day she pees on that stick, you run right out and get a social security number for the 4 cells knocking together. And claim it on your taxes. Oh, and let the census know.

      • Dan Bradford Reply

        May 9, 2012 at 3:38 pm

        Erin. You tell them. They won’t listen to me. As far as my children, they all got social security numbers as soon as the law required. And I claimed each of them as dependants on my tax return as soon as I was legally allowed to do so. The census? I really don’t know if the census bureau is interested in unborn children. If so, I suppose that will be included on the questionnaire. But as soon as my children were born, the Bureau of Vital Statistics was notified.

        • Erin Nanasi Reply

          May 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm

          Jen, I am so sorry you went through that. I am so sorry that you had to live what we are debating.

          Dan-Explain something to me. Why is it that fundamentalists pick and choose which parts of the bible are “literal” and which can be ignored, changed and twisted? And, why is the punishment for causing a miscarriage a monetary fine and the punishment for murder is death? If you’re right (and you’re really not), shouldn’t it be the same? Oh, and just to get your blood pressure really going, President Obama just endorsed marriage equality. WOOT!

    • Peter Everts Reply

      May 10, 2012 at 10:35 am

      So…the Bible says kill your children if they disobey. Says nothing about the unborn.

    • Ex-Canuck Reply

      May 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm

      For BELIEVERS to attempt to use “Biblical passages” as argument is simply a useless waste of time…

    • Peter Everts Reply

      June 15, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      Your handbook says to kill disobedient children among other nasty, ignorant crap. Pickin’ and choosin’ I see.

    • Peter Everts Reply

      February 8, 2014 at 6:09 pm

      And kill your children if they disobey – have you read the f-in thing?

  40. Dan Bradford Reply

    May 9, 2012 at 11:46 am

    The human fetus/embryo still is a living unborn human baby. It is not dead, so it is alive. thus living. It is not a bunch of cells, nor is it like an appendix or any other organ. It is a developing human. At what point does it have self-awareness? No one knows. If that instant is ever discovered, then there might be a debate about the period prior to that self awarness. Neither the slap on the bottom nor the cutting of the umbilical cord can be expected to have some magic that suddenly makes the baby a self-aware human. If it is self aware at birth, then we must assume it is self aware prior to birth. It is a human baby.

    • Dianne Reply

      May 10, 2012 at 11:39 am

      Thanks for your thoughtful and intelligent response. It is much needed.

    • E in MD Reply

      May 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      It is a potential human. An acorn is not an oak tree.

    • Neeq Reply

      June 8, 2012 at 6:09 am

      “It is not dead, so it is alive” Are you implying that if something is not dead then it must be alive?? Viruses cause all sorts of damage to our bodies and they’re also undetected to the naked eye. They can penetrate our bodies and release segments of DNA that can result in death….. yet you can’t kill a virus because it’s not alive, but that doesn’t mean its “dead”. You can chop off one of my fingers, but that doesn’t mean the finger “died”. My finger isn’t dead right now, but it still moves, blood pumps though it, yet it’s not “alive”.

    • Peter Everts Reply

      February 8, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      Of course it starts out as a bunch of cells – a blastocyte. Learn or be ignorant – your choice.

    • Dicaron Reply

      January 28, 2018 at 6:00 pm

      A human fetus is only potential life, not a human life as yet. It is not legal entity until birth and its first breath.

      A zygote does not even remotely look like a human and cannot be distinquished from a pig fetus without scientific knowledge. A newborn is also not self aware and cannot distinguish itself from it’s mother

      Sometime between 15 and 24 months, children take a large step in self-awareness.

    • Bill Formby Reply

      September 20, 2019 at 5:58 pm

      Yep, just as ones brain is alive unless we separate it from the body. A fetus lives and breathes through the blood of the mother. Nothing actually lives on its own in an embryonic state.

    • Melusine Adams Reply

      October 28, 2020 at 8:32 pm

      The issue is not whether it is human, but whether it qualifies morally and legally as a *person*. Even if it did (which it does not), it would not have the right to use a woman’s body to live off of in a parasitic fashion. It is her decision, not that of the government or religious extremists, whether she wishes to go through the hardships and dangers of pregnancy and childbirth. Her bodily integrity would come before any alleged “right to life” of the fetus.

  41. Raeann Reply

    May 9, 2012 at 10:50 am

    The point I took from this, anonymous, is that at the first breath, no matter whether we are fish, fowl, human or other, we are able to live independent of our mother’s body, and therefore are officially alive. A human cannot be forced by law to donate organs to keep another human being alive, so why should a woman be forced by law to use her body to keep another human being alive? And I wholeheartedly agree also that the pro-lifers skew, or even outright falsify information in order to further their unfounded beliefs.

  42. Anonymous Reply

    May 9, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Alas (??!), this is true. We are not fish–but we do share common things with fish and all of God’s creatURES–we live, we breathe…

  43. Anonymous Reply

    May 9, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I respectfully disagree with your very literal and bounded interpretation of what “breath” and “breathing” is or what may have been a very open and non-literal Biblical description of such. We humans only show how flawed and limited we are in our thinking (and ensuing actions) when we try to superimpose our singular interpretation onto such a universal document as the Bible. I submit, that “breathing” can be anything which supports life through a process of gaseous exchange. Need we be reminded that fish “breathe” via water and are very much alive as they do this?!

    • Anonymous Reply

      May 9, 2012 at 9:27 am

      Alas…we are not fish.

      • Dianne Reply

        May 10, 2012 at 11:34 am

        Kind of irrelevant. You miss my point.

        • Erick Reply

          August 23, 2012 at 2:04 am

          The only “point” I see you trying to make is that you’re trying to redefine what “is” is.

          Universal document? You blurt this crap out seemingly in utter denial of the fact that men wrote the bible; men with absolutely no understanding of human development whatsoever. Zero. None. Every word scribbled hundreds of years before the introduction science.

          When these ignorant men repeatedly wrote, “breathing”, and “breath”, that’s exactly what they meant; it’s all they knew.

          Any gaseous exchange… lol… there’s some flawed human thinking going on alright… I’m with you there.

    • Erin Nanasi Reply

      May 9, 2012 at 11:16 am

      But fundamentalists CLING to the literal interpretation of everything else in the bible! Your comment proves that fundamentalists pick and choose what they follow from the bible. GAYS ARE EVIL! “Breath of life,” nah, that’s not to be taken literally.

      • Dianne Reply

        May 10, 2012 at 11:52 am

        Says who? You? Do you attempt to speak for all of us? By the way, I am not a “fundamentalist” anything (I soooo hate labels–they tend to pit us in a senseless and endless battle of “us” vs. “them”). I barely consider myself a Christian. But thanks for throwing in a word or two on by behalf, as flawed as is your (rather pretentious) judgement to think you know what I think and believe.

        • E in MD Reply

          May 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm

          Says all of the fundamentalists who keep trying to run the lives of the rest of us. Who am I supposed to listen to? Westboro Baptist Church? Or some wishy washy Christian like yourself?

      • Anonymous Reply

        September 20, 2012 at 11:39 am

        Surely you did read the next couple verses of Exedous 21 that state the punishment of a miscarriage that results in harm to the fetus/ baby that is caused by man. In case you didn’t…
        23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
        I appreciate your effort to support your argument, but let’s use all the evidence.

        • Asiren Reply

          September 24, 2012 at 11:31 am

          And your comment might not have come across as completely pointless if only you had learnt to spell “Exodus” correctly.

          And of course, the “eye for an eye” superceeds “turn the other cheek” from the New Testament.

          Or does it?

          But again, replying to Anon, so I might as well be A-gone…

        • Dicaron Reply

          January 28, 2018 at 5:46 pm

          The punishment for the death of a fetus is not the same as for a man.

          Numbers 5:11-21 The description of a bizarre, brutal and abusive ritual to be performed on a wife SUSPECTED of adultery. This is considered to be an induced abortion to rid a woman of another man’s child.

          Numbers 31:17 (Moses) “Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every women that hath known man by lying with him.” In other words: women that might be pregnant, which clearly is abortion for the fetus.

    • Kerry B Reply

      May 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm

      “We humans only show how flawed and limited we are in our thinking (and ensuing actions) when we try to superimpose our singular interpretation onto such a universal document as the Bible.”

      Talk about delicious irony. Maybe you “pro-lifers” could stop and think about how you’re trying to impose your interpretation of your “universal document” on the rest of us?

      • Dianne Reply

        May 10, 2012 at 11:55 am

        Well that is a little “pot-calling-the-kettle-black”-ish on your part. You have no problem imposing the label “pro-lifer” on me, without knowing a single thing about me.

        • Erick Reply

          August 23, 2012 at 2:12 am

          You’ve written quite enough. It’s painfully obvious “who” you are.

    • Anonymous Reply

      May 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      From Anonymous- “We humans only show how flawed and limited we are in our thinking (and ensuing actions) when we try to superimpose our singular interpretation onto such a universal document as the Bible.”

      Then what the hell are these people doing trying to interpret and impose such assumptions on our laws? If humans do have such a flawed understanding of the Bible, shouldn’t its interpretation be left to the faithful and kept to themselves?

      For example- “Yes hun, we are against abortion but it’s your choice and you’ll have to accept the responsibilities and consequences of such. Your mother has said she will never get one but, she understands what you are going through. The idea of being a mother is scary. We’ll love you and support you no matter what decision you make.”

      See that? To me that sounds like the Christian thing to do but instead we have people screaming “baby killer” and “muderer” at young women who’ve made a very heart-wrenching choice.

      From Anonymous- “I submit, that “breathing” can be anything which supports life through a process of gaseous exchange. Need we be reminded that fish “breathe” via water and are very much alive as they do this?!”

      And you just proved the author’s point, that Christians have no idea what they’re talking about. Breathing involves the respiratory system, not the umbilical cord of a fetus. And yes, there is an actual medical/biological definition of breathing. According to your book (the same Old Testament that talks about gays and not eating shellfish) life does not begin until a breathe is taken and the laws concerning death, murder, and miscarriages clearly back this up.

      • Dianne Reply

        May 10, 2012 at 11:38 am

        I am trying to make the point that superimposing a singular interpretation of “breathing” is an exercise in futility. And by the way, my perspective is not necessarily that of a Christian.

        • E in MD Reply

          May 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm

          So we’re going to sit around and talk about the meaning of ‘is’ next?

    • Peter Everts Reply

      May 10, 2012 at 10:33 am

      Calling the Christian Bible anything other than what it is..a third-rate cobbled translation of third rate non-original manuscripts of superstitious horsepucky written by ignorant yahoos who believed the Earth to be flat and circumnavigated by the Sun is stupid.

      • Erin Nanasi Reply

        May 10, 2012 at 12:43 pm

        Ding ding ding! Well stated, Peter!

      • me Reply

        October 22, 2012 at 2:07 am

        It was the Christians that first said the earth was round, I love you knowledge of history.

        • Peter Everts Reply

          October 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm

          Actually, the Bible says the Earth is flat. What book are you reading? And what Christians are you quoting?

          • Michael John Scott Reply

            October 22, 2012 at 6:51 pm

            You are an idiot. Please stick something very sharp in the sacred ass of Jesus. Thanks.

          • Greg Forest Reply

            February 3, 2013 at 11:47 am

            To be a bit more precise, the bible states that the Earth is round. Not spherical. Round. Like a pancake. This pancake floats on water and the heavens above are supported by four pillars. The canopy of the stars and heaven is actually so close to Earth, it is conceivably possible to build a tower to space and invade the dominion of god and the angels. Creationism? Why not throw in biblical geography too?

            Don’t get me started on mixed fabrics and shellfish.

        • Asiren Reply

          October 22, 2012 at 7:02 pm

          Ah, yes, the 300BC Greek Christians…

          And of course they didn’t ever try to stop round-earthers either. No, Galileo was WELCOMED.

          Change is not necessary, survival is not mandatory.

        • Peter Everts Reply

          April 3, 2013 at 5:13 pm

          You are simply – wrong.

        • Peter Everts Reply

          February 8, 2014 at 6:06 pm

          You are so wrong, your nose must be growing – think biblical times – not Columbus.

        • Melusine Adams Reply

          October 28, 2020 at 8:11 pm

          That’s entirely false. The ancient Greeks figured out that the earth was round long before Christianity even existed.

    • E in MD Reply

      May 10, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      and I submit that you are splitting hairs in order to counteract the cognitive dissonance you are experiencing.

    • john welte Reply

      June 3, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      According to you Anonymous, no one can interpret any part of the bible so why even talk about it? Throw it away.

    • CleanFun Reply

      July 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      I agree completely. And I’ll take it a step further. According to science, the nervous system is complete at 8 weeks. If people don’t understand the implications of that, they need to go back to school. At this point, the heart is beating, the arms and legs are pushing out, and the new life can sense PAIN, heat, wind, etc …

      • Peter Everts Reply

        October 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm

        According to what scientists? The nervous system is nowhere near complete at 8 weeks. Quit making stuff up and get educated or shut up.

      • Dicaron Reply

        January 28, 2018 at 5:52 pm

        The nervous system is not complete at 8 weeks at all.

        “The first half of the fetus’ gestation (the first 20 weeks) is characterized by neuroblast proliferation while the second half of gestation is characterized by “brain growth spurt.” During this latter time, structural growth is marked by glial cell formation (interstitial or supportive tissue of the nervous system), nerve fiber myelination, and arborization (branching) of the dendrites.”


      • Melusine Adams Reply

        October 28, 2020 at 8:21 pm

        This is false. The brain and many other organs are only just beginning to develop at 9 weeks. Brain connexions that are enecessary for sensory input do not begin to form until the third trimester.

    • martin l williams Reply

      May 9, 2013 at 11:15 am

      So you are equating the a fish with a human (created in the image of God.) And the breath of the Almighty which the Holly Spirit with “a gaseous exchange.”How desperate, not to mention insulting to both God and Man. We are his children. Created to share his kingdom and ultimately reign with him. Really? A fish. Obviously you do not believe that God has control over life, and that we can that we do not need the BREATH OF LIFE. You do not believe that he is not necessary in the gift of the life of his children. He is the FATHER of human beings and has the ultimate power over the birth of his children when he gives us that breath of life, and we to become living souls. Without that breath of life we do are not and do not become living SOULS, and thus life in his image. He, and he alone has that power. I believe it is his safeguard and no one can take it from him, (even for the noble cause of heaping guilt and damnation on those sinners (which we all are) who are possibly making a horrible mistake which will most likely cause them pain and guilt for the rest of their lives. No doubt you and all of the other sinless SAINTS feel more righteous that you can cast your stones. How nice for you! Do you suppose that perhaps God might even allow you to be the one to “Cast them into the lake of fire” Are you worthy to do that? I pray that God be merciful on us all. He is in control. I do not judge you either. Perhaps your theology is accurate. May god be merciful and his grace and Love have the power to cover our sin through the FREE gift of the good news. Judge not lest you be judged….Blessings to you!!

      • Michael John Scott Reply

        May 10, 2013 at 9:03 am

        I prefer Unicorns to your merciless God. Unicorns are compassionate, loving beautiful creatures, unlike your smiting, vicious mythological deity.

    • Peter Everts Reply

      May 9, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      The Christian bible is not a “universal document” but a second rate, cobbled together and selective version of some people’s explanation of their being. Your ignorance of the history of your “book” is vast.

    • Peter Everts Reply

      February 8, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      A fetus isn’t viable immediately on conception. The Bible is superstitious horseshit written by men who believed the Earth was flat and circumnavigated by the Sun (among hundreds of “mistakes” in this book. Just as the Quran was written and the Talmud was written by men. Live your life without hate or harm to others (religions want you to kill non-believers – shitheads all)>

    • justaman Reply

      March 2, 2019 at 6:37 pm

      Whether your a Christian, Jew, Muslim or atheist, this shouldn’t be debated as a religious issue which is the first mistake we Christians make instinctively because to us it is certainly is a religious issue. This is simply a moral issue. As a Christian myself, I wouldn’t try to use a religious argument because that is the core of the struggle between the two groups. The question is, if its a law and immoral to abuse an animal with lawful consequence, how can aborting a fetus that has been proven to feel pain and other stimuli be simply a right because of its convenience to the mother. It might be a convenience to drown some cats, but its obviously illegal.

    • Bill Formby Reply

      September 20, 2019 at 5:54 pm

      Question: Fetus get the oxygen from the blood of the mother, Right?

      • Melusine Adams Reply

        October 28, 2020 at 8:23 pm

        She’s not a mother until she has a baby, but you’re right. Indeed, even if it were a moral/legal person

    • Anonymous Reply

      March 5, 2020 at 2:49 pm

      You need to stop talking as you are not aware of the difference between “what IS” and what has the potential to become. Nothing you say has any validity since you are unaware of the difference (Need I say it again?) between what IS and what has the potential to become.

    • malmed Reply

      October 15, 2020 at 2:19 pm


      take air into the lungs and then expel it, especially as a regular physiological process:
      “breathe in through your nose”
      inhale and exhale, respire, draw breath, puff, pant,

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