Christianity’s Pharisees Rule The Court and The Womb
By Lee Salisbury, Axis of Logic
In a 1968 symposium sponsored by the Christian Medical Society and the flagship magazine of evangelicals, Christianity Today, evangelicals refused to characterize abortion as sinful, citing “individual health, family welfare, and social responsibility” as justification for ending a pregnancy.
In 1971, delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, passed a resolution encouraging “Southern Baptists to work for legislation that will allow the possibility of abortion under such conditions as rape, incest, clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother.” The convention reaffirmed their belief in 1974, one year after Roe, and again in 1976.
In 1973, Wallie Amos “W.A” Criswell, President of the Southern Baptist Convention 1968
to 1970, said: “I have always felt that it was only after a child was born and had a life separate from
its mother that it became an individual person, and it has always, therefore, seemed to me that what is best for the mother and for the future should be allowed.”
What changed the Evangelical bible-based position of love, grace, mercy and tolerance? The immutable bible didn’t change, but evangelicals did! Evangelicals who formerly condemned heretical Catholicism suddenly joined ranks with the Roman Catholic fabricated “Personhood” dogma that “life begins at conception” embracing the politically saleable “Pro-Life” label. Bible-based theology be damned, political power prevailed!
Evangelicals knew neither Jesus nor His apostles Peter, John, James, or Paul ever once spoke about, let alone condemned, abortion! Abortion was a non-issue. The Baptist God was omnipotent. Possibly the aborted fetus/embryo soul returned to God. If “all things are possible with God” who is to say aborted souls do not return to God? Since the bible never once called abortion a sin, the Baptists were on a solid biblical foundation.
Popular opinion and potential for political power changes minds. From a Christian perspective, at Jesus’ trial, it was the demands of the crowd that demanded Jesus’ crucifixion. The bible-believing Pharisees turned Jesus over to Pilate. What accusation are today’s Christian fundamentalists promoting? “Abortion is murder!” Pretty clever! With a Roman Catholic Supreme Court overturning Roe, do the Pharisees get to impose their theologically fabricated dogma on all people regardless of their religion? Forget the 1st Amendment. Now, under the guise of saving babies’ lives, state and church are one!
Pro-Lifers proclaim “life begins at conception.” Does “embryonic” life equate to “human” life? Contact any life insurance company and tell them you want to buy a $100,000 life insurance policy on your yet-to-be-born human baby. The first thing they’ll ask is “what is the baby’s date of birth?” You’ll answer the baby hasn’t been born yet. The Insurance Company will tell you “Sorry, we’d love to sell you that policy, but we only insure human beings.” In real life, embryos are not humans.
When did Adam become a human? “And the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:6) Adam became a living being when he could breathe. Breathing is prerequisite to becoming a human being.
It is estimated that some 30% to 40% of conceptions end in a stillbirth or miscarriage. According to the bible, God designed woman’s body. A miscarriage is an abortion. Abortion is normal. God is Pro-abortion! But predictably, our Pharisee minded Christians ignore that fact.
Pro-Life states prohibit a woman’s choice, criminalize abortion and require a pregnant woman to give birth. Isn’t it amazing allegedly “individual responsibility-minded” Republicans make such demands without demanding any responsibility or recompense by the responsible male? Pro-Lifers provide no provision for the mother and child’s health, nutrition, housing, or the child’s education. If the state demands the birth of the child, a genuinely Pro-Life position ought to at least post a $300,000 bond. The pregnant woman’s life is in jeopardy, but the inseminator male walks away scot-free. Now we have the essence of Catholic/Trump-styled religiosity.
Among the 34 OECD advanced nations the USA has the second highest infant (age zero–one) mortality rate, the second highest child (age one–five) mortality rate, and the highest maternal mortality rate. Why does the U.S. rank so poorly among all nations? In addition to the fact that we do not have “Medicare For All,” we have a religion-dominated populace that obstructs at every turn organizations such as Planned Parenthood that provide women’s reproductive healthcare.
Do Americans consider abortion moral? According to Pew Research, after more than four decades since Roe v. Wade passed in 1973, 61% of Americans support a woman’s right to abortion and even 48% of Roman Catholics support abortion rights.
How about Europe? Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Norway, United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Ireland, Italy, and Portugal are all Pro-Choice. Further, Israel and Canada not only consider abortion a woman’s right but subsidize the cost. Why the difference?
So what is the Republican plan to “Make America Great Again”? Is it the principles of the “Enlightenment” that inspired our Founding Fathers with separation of church and state? No, Republicans follow the dictates of their fundamentalist base which seeks to make America a theocracy, by merging church and state, taking us back to the Christian “Dark Ages.”
But there is a deeper reason for the Catholic-inspired Pro-Life movement: Domination of males over females.
Consider the revered Roman Catholic patriarch Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274): “Every woman is birth defective, an imperfect male, begotten because her father was ill, weakened or in a state of sin when she was conceived.”
Or how about Protestantism’s revered theologian Martin Luther (1483–1546) “If a woman grows weary and at last dies, it matters not. Let her die from bearing, she is there to do it.” For Christian fundamentalists, women are mere incubators.
Pro-Life operates under the guise of concern for children’s lives, when in fact Pro-Life is really about dominion over women, a foundational doctrine promoted throughout the Bible.
“Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.” (1 Corinthians 14:34)
“Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” (Colossians 3:18)
“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” (Ephesians 5:22-24)
“For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” (1 Timothy 2: 12-15)
“A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.” (1 Corinthians 11:7-10)
What could be more clear? The ages-old male superiority dogma is foundational to the Catholic Church. The Evangelicals have bought in hook line and sinker. Our corrupt Supreme Court are their tools. Eliminating Roe v. Wade makes abortion a crime. According to Clarence Thomas next will be criminalizing marriage equality and women’s use of contraceptives.
“If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.” —Author unknown.
Lee Salisbury, formerly an evangelical pastor and Christian Conference speaker in the USA, Europe, and Africa 1972–1986. Lee is co-founder of the Critical Thinking Clubs of Minnesota, Inc., 2000–present.