Hey conservatives, the Bible says when a fetus is alive – and it’s not when you think

This post by John Prager originally appeared at Addicting Info.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has co-sponsored the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which would give fetuses the same rights as human beings. (Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

It seems like a day doesn’t go by that we don’t hear the Right screaming that abortion is wrong because babies are alive from the moment of conception. This line of rhetoric is used to fuel conservatives in their holy war against a woman’s right to choose — a war that recently saw casualties on Black Friday when a Christian extremist walked into a Colorado Planned Parenthood facility complaining about Obama and “baby parts” and started shooting.

But what if life doesn’t begin at conception? What if the Biblical definition of “life” would allow even the latest of late-term abortions? What if right-wing Christians have it all wrong? To figure out if this is the case, it’s best to start at the beginning — specifically, in the book of Genesis. Please turn your Bibles to Chapter 2, verse 7:

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

Since the Bible is the word of God and God is infalliable, anti-abortion fanatics have nothing to complain about. Simply put, life begins when one draws his or her first breath. This, of course, isn’t the only reference like this. Job 33:4 reads:

“The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”

Ezekiel 37:5-6 is also very clear on the matter:

“Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will 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.”

Once again, life begins upon the drawing of the first breath. Of course, there does seem to be some leeway. Leviticus 27 makes it very clear that babies have no value to God until they are one month old. If anything, Christians should only be angry if a child is killed after he or she takes his or her first breath — especially since God gives them a recipe for a magical abortion potion in Numbers 5:11-31:

15 Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it is an offering of jealousy, an offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance.

16 And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the Lord:

17 And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water:

18 And the priest shall set the woman before the Lord, and uncover the woman’s head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse:

19 And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse:

20 But if thou hast gone aside to another instead of thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee beside thine husband:

21 Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The Lord make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the Lord doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell;

22 And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen.

23 And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water:

24 And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth the curse: and the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter.

25 Then the priest shall take the jealousy offering out of the woman’s hand, and shall wave the offering before the Lord, and offer it upon the altar:

26 And the priest shall take an handful of the offering, even the memorial thereof, and burn it upon the altar, and afterward shall cause the woman to drink the water.

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.

28 And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed.

The Big Guy clearly believes in the right to choose — as long as that choice is made by a man. Sure, the potion is magic but it causes an abortion no matter how you slice it.

God even makes it clear that he considers a living, breathing human to be of more value than a fetus in Exodus 21:22, which dictates that if a man causes a woman to miscarry, he should be fined — but if he kills the woman, he will be put to death. If God considered a fetus alive, wouldn’t he impose the same penalty for both?

In short, no one who claims life begins at conception is following the Bible. The Right’s anti-abortion movement is an absolute sham — just like “baby parts” and other misinformation they peddle to appeal to their unquestioning, intellectually-devoid base. Sorry, Christians, God is extremely pro-choice — perhaps more so than any liberal when you consider mass baby killings, genocides, and such.

“God has decreed, for one reason or another, that at least one-third of all pregnancies shall be terminated by a spontaneous abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy and that a number will be terminated after the first trimester,” the Christian Left blog notes. “It would appear that God does not have any more regard for the loss of a fetus than he does for the loss of a placenta or a foreskin despite the fact that these were living tissue as the result of conception.”

Conservatives should probably read those Bibles they use to beat others over the head. They might learn something — and then they can stop shooting up Planned Parenthood facilities, bombing abortion clinics, and generally being awful with regard to women’s bodies.

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  1. When a woman's egg is fertilized it begins to grow. It is human since it holds human chromosomes & DNA. It is human but not a human person. Jewish traditions says it is not a human being till it is born. At birth it becomes a human person. This is the position of Catholic theologians (but NOT the bishops),

  2. Considering that the Bible is simply a book of fables ie a historical novel (fairy tales in historical settings),
    the Bable book is not an authority for anything…..

  3. The use of Genesis 2 verse 7 as a proof text to support the view that life begins at first breath is unconvincing. If the verse is read properly its clear that it is referring to the first man not all of humanity. Adam was not conceived in the womb and born in the usual way. He was created from inert matter and then made alive by his Creator. If we are going to take one part of the verse literally..ie. the breath of life part then what about Adam being specially created by God as a one off event. I’m not aware of other humans being fashioned out of clay. To say that the human fetus is not truly alive is untenable given what we know about embryology. If you read the account of Jesus and John the Baptist it is clear the writer meant to convey they were living persons who could react emotionally to external events.

  4. Of course, Pence is far from the only conservative Christian to be accused of having sold his soul. Trump’s early evangelical supporters were a motley crew of televangelists and prosperity preachers, and they have been rewarded with outsize influence in the White House. Pastor Ralph Drollinger, for example, caught Trump’s attention in December 2015, when he said in a radio interview, “America’s in such desperate straits—especially economically—that if we don’t have almost a benevolent dictator to turn things around, I just don’t think it’s gonna happen through our governance system.” Now Drollinger runs a weekly Bible study in the West Wing.


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