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Sun Mar 11, 2012, 11:09 AM

The ‘biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal

The ‘biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal
By Fred Clark, February 18, 2012 7:04 pm

In 1979, McDonald’s introduced the Happy Meal.

Sometime after that, it was decided that the Bible teaches that human life begins at conception.


.................

That year, Christianity Today — edited by Harold Lindsell, champion of “inerrancy” and author of The Battle for the Bible — published a special issue devoted to the topics of contraception and abortion. That issue included many articles that today would get their authors, editors — probably even their readers — fired from almost any evangelical institution. For example, one article by a professor from Dallas Theological Seminary criticized the Roman Catholic position on abortion as unbiblical. Jonathan Dudley quotes from the article in his book Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics. Keep in mind that this is from a conservative evangelical seminary professor, writing in Billy Graham’s magazine for editor Harold Lindsell:

God does not regard the fetus as a soul, no matter how far gestation has progressed. The Law plainly exacts: “If a man kills any human life he will be put to death” (Lev. 24:17). But according to Exodus 21:22-24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense. … Clearly, then, in contrast to the mother, the fetus is not reckoned as a soul.


Christianity Today would not publish that article in 2012. They might not even let you write that in comments on their website. If you applied for a job in 2012 with Christianity Today or Dallas Theological Seminary and they found out that you had written something like that, ever, you would not be hired.

At some point between 1968 and 2012, the Bible began to say something different. That’s interesting.

The Rest:
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2012/02/18/the-biblical-view-thats-younger-than-the-happy-meal/

31 replies, 6100 views

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply The ‘biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal (Original post)
kpete Mar 2012 OP
xchrom Mar 2012 #1
CJCRANE Mar 2012 #2
obxhead Mar 2012 #3
saras Mar 2012 #15
obxhead Mar 2012 #30
Cirque du So-What Mar 2012 #4
Ilsa Mar 2012 #5
kristopher Mar 2012 #6
whopis01 Mar 2012 #28
Scuba Mar 2012 #7
patrice Mar 2012 #10
patrice Mar 2012 #11
patrice Mar 2012 #12
patrice Mar 2012 #13
starroute Mar 2012 #8
patrice Mar 2012 #9
JHB Mar 2012 #27
patrice Mar 2012 #31
patrice Mar 2012 #14
TPaine7 Mar 2012 #16
patrice Mar 2012 #18
patrice Mar 2012 #17
swimboy Mar 2012 #19
bhikkhu Mar 2012 #20
annabanana Mar 2012 #21
StarsInHerHair Mar 2012 #24
annabanana Mar 2012 #25
surrealAmerican Mar 2012 #22
_ed_ Mar 2012 #26
surrealAmerican Mar 2012 #29
niyad Mar 2012 #23

Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 11:14 AM

1. du rec. nt

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 11:23 AM

2. The original Biblical interpretation is consistent with both Judaism and Islam

which hold that the sanctity of the mother's life is more important.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 11:29 AM

3. Religious books always say what the religious leaders need them to say.

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Response to obxhead (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 01:31 PM

15. That's a human universal - it's not restricted to religion

 

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Response to saras (Reply #15)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 12:19 PM

30. No it's not restricted to religion, but

the great "bound in stone" religious books have been changed to fit the needs more than any other documents of power.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 11:31 AM

4. K & R for making a salient point

I will have a field day the next time I encounter a fundie spouting the 'life begins at conception' line.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 12:06 PM

5. 2 out of 3 versions I read

used modern speech and basically suggested that the woman's husband could have the offender put to death if a prematurely born infant dies. The older language was more vague and used the term "mischief", which I interpreted to mean intention to harm.

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #5)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 12:21 PM

6. text of all versions

http://bible.cc/exodus/21-22.htm

A few for reference:

New International Version (©1984)
"If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows.

New Living Translation (©2007)
"Now suppose two men are fighting, and in the process they accidentally strike a pregnant woman so she gives birth prematurely. If no further injury results, the man who struck the woman must pay the amount of compensation the woman's husband demands and the judges approve.

English Standard Version (©2001)
“When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"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.

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
If men strive, and hurt a woman with...

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Response to kristopher (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 11:14 AM

28. I think you are cutting the texts short...

I realize that you were showing the translation for exodus 21:22 only - but the instructions given in the bible don't end there. They continue through exodus 21:25. When you include the rest of it, the meaning appears fairly different (at least to me). Don't get me wrong - I am not anti-choice and certainly am not advocating against abortion rights. I am just pointing out that the quote made in the original post ("But according to Exodus 21:22-24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense.") isn't all that clear to me based on my reading of the verses. In fact it looks like an assumption made be reading only as far as the parts for which you provided translations. It really depends on how one interprets the "but if there is serious injury" / "but if there is further injury" line alongside the premature birth. It isn't clear to me whether or not the further injury means to the mother or to the fetus / prematurely born child.

In any case I don't believe that any of these texts/translations should be used as the basis or justification for any law in our country.

Here are the extended versions:

New International Version (©1984)
"If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

New Living Translation (©2007)
"Now suppose two men are fighting, and in the process they accidentally strike a pregnant woman so she gives birth prematurely. If no further injury results, the man who struck the woman must pay the amount of compensation the woman's husband demands and the judges approve. But if there is further injury, the punishment must match the injury: a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot, a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.

English Standard Version (©2001)
“When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"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, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
If men strive, and hurt a woman with...

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 01:01 PM

7. Sometimes when you talk to God, He straightens these things out....

...but mostly he just tells you that being anti-birth control is the path to the Presidency.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 01:19 PM

10. "God" being ineffable, you could look to our teacher Lord Jesus who showed us that YOU CHOOSE and

stake not only your very life, but also you own soul on the outcome, even though you may not "know" exactly what that is.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 01:24 PM

11. Speaking of God speaking, if you look to Jesus you might ask why he said "Eli Eli lama sabachthani!"

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Response to Scuba (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 01:26 PM

12. Do only those with whom we agree acquire Luther's primacy of individual conscience?

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Response to Scuba (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 01:27 PM

13. And being pro-War isn't? Are we that selective? nt

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 01:11 PM

8. Fred Clark always has sensible things to say

Don't just read this one entry as ammunition -- follow the blog.

Clark is a true progressive from an evangelical background who is doing his best to rescue Christianity from the fundies, and though he may not succeed, the results are always fascinating.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 01:15 PM

9. Would be interesting to corelate the rise of Robert P. George at Princeton with this timeline. nt

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Response to patrice (Reply #9)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 10:13 AM

27. it is also interesting to corelate the GOP-conservative wooing of fundies with this timeline...

That was when conservatives were looking for issues to split labor away from the Democratic Party, and abortion made a nice issue with which to do that along womens- and sex-issues while putting a compassionate face on it (just think of those poor innocent babies) rather than as simply moral scolds. All they had to do was sell the fundamentalists on a "catholic" issue.

The Moral Majority was formally initiated as a result of a struggle for control of an American conservative Christian advocacy group known as Christian Voice during 1978. Robert Grant, Christian Voice's founder, stated in a news conference that the Religious Right was a "sham... controlled by three Catholics and a Jew." Paul Weyrich, Terry Dolan, Richard Viguerie (the Catholics) and Howard Phillips (the Jew) left Christian Voice. During a 1979 meeting, they urged televangelist Jerry Falwell to found Moral Majority (a phrase coined by Weyrich). This was also the beginning of the New Christian Right.

Establishment and organizational activity
Falwell and Weyrich founded the Moral Majority in June 1979. The Moral Majority was a southern-oriented organization of the Christian Right, although the Moral Majority’s state chapters and political activity extended beyond the South. After the Moral Majority’s establishment, the state chapters grew quickly, with organizations in eighteen states by 1980. The variety of resources available to the Moral Majority at its founding facilitated this rapid expansion, which included Falwell’s “Old Time Gospel Hour” mailing list. In addition, the Moral Majority took control of the “Old Time Gospel Hour’s” publication, Journal Champion, which had been distributed to the show’s donors. Falwell was the organization's best known spokesperson throughout the 1980s. By 1982, Moral Majority surpassed Christian Voice in size and influence.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_Majority

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Response to JHB (Reply #27)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 12:27 PM

31. Here's the Catholic intellectual piece that goes with Weyrich, Dolan, Viguerie.

It's either the foundation/backing for them or an extension of their work, depending upon when Robert P. George & Natural Law entered the arena:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002380888

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 01:31 PM

14. Speaking of jobs > Yes, what you say about religion CAN get you fired. At will employment is legal

DISCRIMINATION.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 02:33 PM

16. If the fetus has a soul at conception, then some people have 1/2 a soul and some have 2.

 

A single fetus can split and become two, or a pair of fetuses can merge and become one up to 14 days after conception.

Logically, that would mean that some individuals are walking around with 2 souls and some with half a soul.

Maybe that explains multiple personalities and sociopaths?

LOL

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Response to TPaine7 (Reply #16)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 02:36 PM

18. More examples of how "natural law" doesn't work very well at all. nt

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 02:35 PM

17. Oh crap, my apologies, all. That's the rhetorical "you" of course.

Gotta run, now!

TTYL.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 03:02 PM

19. A lot of these issues strike me as umbilical.

It's the evangelicals own fault that their positions are regarded as specious and disingenuous.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 04:24 PM

20. I wish I could recall the exact source, but "the soul enters the body with the first breath"

was what I learned somewhere along the road in my early catholic education. This was back in the 70's, with an order with Irish roots.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #20)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 04:32 PM

21. Don't spirit and aspiration share some root?

And didn't Adam live when God breathed the spirit into the clay?

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Response to annabanana (Reply #21)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 11:25 PM

24. Genesis2:7

& the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground & breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, & man became a living soul." Luckily I had a Bible nearby

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Response to StarsInHerHair (Reply #24)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 08:39 AM

25. Well OK then!

What's their beef?

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 07:27 PM

22. According to Jewish tradition ...

... a baby is not completely a "person" until eight days after he or she is born. If they should die before that time, they are not mourned the way an older child would be.

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Response to surrealAmerican (Reply #22)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 09:58 AM

26. That's just as absurd as the view in the OP

I can't believe we're turning to Bronze Age mythology to answer a question like, "when does life begin." The people who wrote the Old Testament were so stupid that they didn't even know the world was round. Why would they have anything to say about modern life?

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Response to _ed_ (Reply #26)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 11:18 AM

29. The point I was hinting at ...

... (although, perhaps too subtly) was that the "at conception" opinion is no more biblical than the "at eight-days old" opinion.


When a person becomes a person is, at its core, a philosophical question. "When life begins" is a scientific question, but it's not exactly relevant here.


... and bronze age people were no less intelligent than we are. Technology, science, and cultural sophistication are not the same thing as intelligence.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 08:03 PM

23. k and r--I would point this out to the fundies around here, but I do my best never to have to

encounter them.

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