Yale Divinity Dean: There is “No Biblical Basis” for Abortion Bans

We recently discussed how university presidents and deans have departed from long-standing tradition in remaining neutral on political and legal debates to maintain a welcoming and diverse environment for all faculty members and students. It is becoming more common (indeed expected) for presidents and deans to publicly endorse liberal ideological or legal positions. The latest example is Yale Divinity School (YDS) Dean Gregory Sterling, who issued a statement not only opposing the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade but declaring there is no “biblical basis” for abortion bans.

Of all of the schools in a university, divinity schools are the most likely to have faculty and students who maintain pro-life viewpoints. One would think that a dean would be sensitive to that fact and seek to maintain a more neutral and ecumenical approach across different faiths and viewpoints.

Not Dean Sterling.

Sterling begins with the observation and question: “The decision culminates a decades-long effort by those who identify as pro-life. But is this decision pro-life or pro a particular ideology?”

He then categorically rejects the widespread view among pro-life advocates that abortion is a sin. While recognizing many in his community hold this view, he calls it “simplistic” and without “biblical basis”:

“The pro-life stance is often linked to Christianity and there are many people who are genuine in their faith who will support the Supreme Court’s decision, including members of the YDS community. It is, however, a more complex issue than some acknowledge. There is no biblical basis for the ban on abortion. The only text that deals directly with a fetus is Exodus 21:22–25, and it makes a distinction between the penalty levied on someone who causes a pregnant woman to miscarry versus an injury to the woman herself. The former results in a fine; the latter in the lex talionis (an eye for an eye etc.). In other words, it distinguishes between a fetus and a human being. Simplistic appeals to the biblical traditions are just that, simplistic. Christianity is supportive of human life, but we must work through our traditions with care. It is not at all clear that today’s decision reflects a text like Exodus 21:22–25.”

There could have been a myriad of ways to engage in this debate on the meaning of such passages. However, Sterling felt obligated to speak as the dean in declaring categorically that “There is no biblical basis for the ban on abortion.”

What is equally striking is that Sterling’s interpretation of Exodus 21:22-25 does not appear self-evident. That is not to say that he is wrong, but rather his categorical rejection as dean is questionable from both a decanal and divinity perspective.

Exodus 21:22 addresses the harming a pregnant woman:

“If people are fighting and 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.”

One can clearly read that language to see that, even in an accidental context, the killing of an unborn child was viewed as murder subject to the death penalty. If you cannot accidentally kill a life, even a fetal life, some believe that you certainly cannot do so intentionally.

Yet, one can argue that this passage deals with fatal accidents that injure a woman. It does not address a situation where the woman herself seeks the abortion.

Sterling also ignores other biblical passages that, while not referencing miscarriages directly, are commonly cited as authority for pro-life views. Indeed, the Catholic Church holds the opposing view. Other groups share in that biblical view, including the Southern Baptist Convention, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and the Assemblies of God.

Indeed, early Christian figures affirmed the view that abortion was a sin in their interpretation of this and other biblical passages. This was also evident in 1st and 2nd Century writings like the Didache (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) and Letter of Barnabas. The latter states “Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born.”  Influential writings by St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas reinforced such views.

My interest is less the merits of the debate (which is a legitimate and important debate to have at divinity schools), but the role of a dean in declaring in his official capacity that one side is right or wrong. It is reminiscent of the recent inaccurate and strident position taken by the Hastings Law Dean on the Dobbs decision in his official capacity.  As with a divinity school dean, a law dean should recognize that many of his alumni and students hold an opposing view. Even with the dwindling number of conservative or libertarian professors on our faculties, there should be some small modicum of recognition that other views are still present in the student body and society at large.

For religious people, let alone divinity scholars, there is a rising intolerance at universities. This includes a concern that religiosity itself is under attack as shown in the recent controversy over the selection of an atheist to serve as president of Harvard’s chaplains.

It is the obligation of deans like Sterling to maintain a diverse intellectual environment, including for pro-life scholars in a divinity school. This role is even more important given the growing orthodoxy at most schools where opposing views are actively silenced.

Even iconic liberals have been cancelled in seeking to express pro-life views. A good example of this intolerance was the treatment of my friend, the late and great Nat Hentoff. Considered the prototypical liberal intellectual, Nat also happened to be pro-life despite his atheist views. In a 1992 Washington Post column, Hentoff described how activists would prevent his even leading discussions of the issue.

Nat and I would often discuss what we saw as the rising intolerance on the left and the growth of an anti-free speech movement on our campuses. It has become worse than either of us imagined before his death.

There was a time when it would have been scandalous for a dean like Sterling to use his official position to make such a declaration. Today it is barely noted. Indeed, it is more likely to be cited as proof that pro-life arguments are not just legally but religiously invalid.

Once again, there were a host of ways that Sterling could have framed his message in a neutral and inclusive way. He could have also spoken expressly as an individual and not the Dean. That was clearly not his intention. He wanted to speak as Dean in opposition to the pro-life arguments after the Dobbs decision. He is certainly not alone in this departure from tradition, but it is particularly alarming to see from the head of a divinity school.

163 thoughts on “Yale Divinity Dean: There is “No Biblical Basis” for Abortion Bans”

  1. Did he want to speak as Dean or was he strongly encouraged or even required to do so? I think we often fail to consider that fear can be a motivating factor for academicians employed by interests who have ideologies of their own. In any event he did the best he could, but as Turley points out it was not nearly enough.

  2. Gregory Sterling just shot his career to hell.

    The word “womb” appears in the Bible at least 69 times, per Strong’s Concordance

    http://strongsconcordance.org/results.html?k=womb&p=1

    Then there is the salient passage Sterling ignored, which says a lot about his scholastic preparation:

    During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah,
    where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
    When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit’s
    cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.t
    And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord* should come to me?
    For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
    Blessed are you who believed* that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

    – Gospel of St Luke 1:39-45

    Finally, a non-scholastic, non Academic Dean, showed tremendous chutzpah when she lectured the President and Vice President of the United States, and 4,000 others in attendance, at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC, on February 5, 1994. Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta is literally unrivaled in her deeds and love for Jesus Christ. Her words below were prescient.

    …if we can accept that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?

    1. When dealing with pro-abortion Christians I like to ask them 1 question – If they believe it’s my body, my choice, would they approve of Mary aborting Jesus in her womb?

      1. And what do you ask of pro-choice people who aren’t Christian, or do they simply not matter to you?

        1. I don’t ask them anything, they are not of any concern to me. My view of them is best stated in 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 ‘For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so they may believe the lie, in order that judgment may come upon all who disbelieved the truth and delighted in wickedness.’
          I consider them beyond hope and I allow them to go in their ways.

    2. And that hasn’t happened since. Maybe because Mary was filled with Holy Spirit. Also, the Biblical Greek word for womb simply means cavity. Stop making it something holy in itself. As Kesis said “the spirit gives life; the flesh is of no use at all.”-John 6:63

      1. I do T know how Jesus got turned into Keisis. Oh well… Jesus’ words are recorded at John 6:63

        1. Maybe it happens because I’m trying to comfort my dog from the sound of fireworks while typing. My apologies for the typos.

  3. Things are so bad for the Democrats that even Somali immigrants are rejecting the Progressive agenda.

    Here is a video of Progressive icon Ilhan ‘I didn’t grow up in Westchester like my BFF Sandi Cortez, but we still share the same worldview’ Omar getting booed offstage by a crowd of Somalis at a concert in Minneapolis last night:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AA-2-1Lcd4k

    Soon, Pelosi and the Democrats will be impeaching Trump because he didn’t build the wall high enough!

    1. Not surprised given that not all citizens in Somali have the same rights and autonomy as others. This is the same hatred & vitriol the religious right and now SCOTUS upholds for America. They don’t comprehend that what goes around comes around. Or as Jesus put it, “To the extent you measure out to others it will be measured out to you.” It’s just a matter of time. Unlike Jesus and his apostles who simply preached the gospel and didn’t attempt to run ahead of God and were persecuted for it, the religious right is seeking to make a vision come true like Israel did for which it was conquered by another nation.-Daniel 11:14

  4. This does not surprise me in the least. Although Yale, Harvard, Princeton and most of the other Ivy League schools were founded to teach Christianity, they ceased being Christian a long, long time ago.

    1. They’ve always taught the how to manual for maintaining power over the masses in pursuit of capitalism. All organized religious institutions maintain their supremacy over the flock for the same ungodly reasons as the secular world. “The love of money is the root of all evil. “ I will never forget Billy Graham saying capitalism is next to godliness. Nothing could be farther from the gospel Jesus preached.

  5. The hypocrites on the left yell about abortion as if they care. They don’t, especially those that yell the loudest.

    “”She had a baggie full of pills,” Lamb recounted. “And so we started saying, ‘Hey, what are these pills?’ And she says, ‘Look, when I was going across the border, I knew I’d get raped multiple times. So these are the morning-after pills.'”

    Her answer — and the fact the baggie was already missing some pills — was enough to stun even the most grizzled of law enforcement veterans painfully aware that the open border Biden has ushered into existence over 18 months has lured hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants on perilous treks in the hands of criminal cartels, for which rape, extortion, indentured slavery and deadly journeys inside sweltering trucks or along raging river waters have become the price of admission.”

    Add to that our American youth dying of Fentanyl (100,000 deaths in the past year and climbing)

    The left’s policies amount to mass murder and enslavement.

    https://justthenews.com/government/security/rape-extortion-death-migrants-paying-inhumane-price-reach-bidens-open-border?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

    1. The true faithful have no allegiance to the left or the right. They seek truth in all things. And they keep on the watch for the day of their Lord’s coming. They do not try to force their beliefs on others through human governance knowing full well that is exactly what killed their Lord. Jesus, aka the Living Word of God, was condemned by believers declaring they have no king but CEASAR. Such betrayers of His Word are the religious right who look to human governments to punish others whom God and His Christ freely forgave of all sins past and present. It’s the same story only this time it’s the Church instead of Temple. Do not be fooled. God is not one to be mocked. And they are despising his loving kindness for all because they, neither do they enter the kingdom of god, they are preventing others from entering. They set up a a wall between God and those they condemn, unknowingly they condemn themselves. What good is it to gain the world’s favor but lose your soul in the process?

      1. Kidrambler, I do not dispute your personal beliefs but see leftism today promoting its own faith where the state replaces God, and no one questions the state. Scientific evidence is not a necessity where religion is involved.

        The words, “The true faithful might mean only those that believe as I (you) do.” If you set the definitions, you can create whatever conclusions you wish.

        Your reply is to a news story showing what leftist policies are doing and demonstrating the inhumanity of such policies. The left is promoting death and a hellhole on earth.

        1. Oh ye of little faith. No state can replace God. No, rather what religious conservatives want to protect is the showy display of one’s faith. That coach who prayed on the football field was not obeying Jesus. Jesus said do not pray as the Pharisees who like to pray in public places to be seen by men, but instead go to your inner room and pray in secret, and your Father who looks on in secret will repay you.

          1. “Oh ye of little faith. No state can replace God.”

            God may not be replaced, but those on the left have locked the basement door after hiding God there.

            Your attack against good people is not the type of love Jesus promoted. Maybe you are a pseudo-Gnostic who believes that materialism was created by an evil being, and from there you are expounding your own personal religion. That is fine with me. I’m conservative, so I turn the other cheek.

            1. The left are preaching god. It is your people who are relying upon the state to persecute All who don’t conform to your faith. In so doing, you have stumbled all those from even hearing the gospel’s message. Your pride and arrogance will be your downfall. You preach condemnation. But the ministry we were handed was the “ministry of the reconciliation” through Christ. You seek the State to punish unbelievers just as the Catholic Church started in the 3rd Century A.D. Your religion is filled with pedophile priests and those who hid theses priests because saving their man-made institution was more important than cleaning their house. And I will never forget the Catholic Priest who sold raffle tickets at my grandfather’s funeral. All of you loyal know no shame and refuse to humble yourselves before God and His Christ. I recall two teenagers who lived near us broke into the local The Knights Of Columbus building and came out with KKK robes they found there. My mother had four kids by the time she was 22 yrs old. She confessed to the priest she was taking the newly available birth control. He told her to quit taking it and say however many prayers. She said she couldn’t stop the pill. So the older priest sent a younger priest to study with her to strengthen her faith while my father was stationed in the Air Force overseas. The younger priest took my mother to be a loose woman and tried to have sex with her. At that point my mother left The Church. She never told my dad because he was a devout Catholic til death and would believe a priest before he’d believe her. I myself left The Church when I couldn’t accept their doctrine when I was studying for my Confirmation. Despite telling my catechism instructor (the first time it was a man rather than a nun) four times that in the Bible Jesus said something different, he leaned in my face and said “It’s doctrine and we accept it.” I never went back. No man supersedes Jesus’ words to me. I attempted a few other Christian religious groups but, ultimately, they all wanted me to obey them. I have been cleansed of such organized control and profiteering for twenty- four years now. “Christ set us free, so that we should remain free. Therefore stand fast and do not let yourselves be fastened again in a yoke of slavery.”-Galatians 5:1 “Once you seek to be reckoned as upright through the Law, then you have separated yourself from Christ, you have fallen away from grace.”-5:4

              1. Apparently this never made it through the first time.

                “The left are preaching god.”

                I can see that,if you see Stalin, Mao, and Hitler as Gods. You can make up whatever you wish.

                You are the one doing the preaching and shouting while you do so. It is OK for you to shout. That is why God created noise reduction ear muffs… and you thought they were for ear protection when shooting or using heavy equipment. He recognized your type and saved people from your screams.

                ” You seek the State to punish unbelievers”

                You are really screwed up. I want the state to do as little as possible. You want a lot of little Stalins running around.

                “I myself left The Church”

                Are you asking us to present you with a medal?

                ” ultimately, they all wanted me to obey them.”

                Did they want you to obey or leave them alone?

                1. What God do you worship? Even atheists cannot separate from God. “God is Spirit” “God is Love” “only God is good” Ergo, God is the Almighty Spirit of Love and Goodness. Through Jesus’ shed blood God initiated the New Covenant based not on Law but on forgiveness of sins. It is the Left who unwittingly serve God because they have compassion and mercy upon all those the Religious Right judges and asks human governors to punish them. It is the Religious Right who despises God’s love for all sinners whom God mercifully forgives even while they are yet sinners. Why do you, on the Right, hate God’s way and truth and life, all the while lifting up the only two groups Jesus reserved his ire-false teachers and the rich man?

          2. Rippleton: For leftists the state can act like a God. We see that on a regular basis. Just listen to the acceptance of leftist policy based entirely on FAITH. The coach did what his heart told him while you do as your master tells you.

            Your faith does not sound like an Abrahamic Religious faith. It sounds forced and disingenuous.

  6. As academically interesting as many of the comments above are, Professor Turley is drawing attention to the head of the Yale Divinity School and the questionable certainty of his statement ‘there is no biblical basis.’ Really?

      1. The discussions of the Bible on this blog have demonstrated that the Bible considers the pregnant mother to be carrying a living person with the standard penalty for taking the child’s life. “An eye for an eye.”

    1. I’ll reiterate the irony that the Christian Conservative Justices ruled as they did because the Constitution does not explicitly mention abortion; and yet those same Justices hold to a belief not explicitly stated in the Bible. Prof. Turley can share links to interpretations but none explicitly state that belief. This, Prof. Turley is equally wrong for his stated perception of Yale’s Divinity School Dean. Besides, I thought universities were supposed to expand students thinking abilities, not coddle their egos. I think he protests too much. Perhaps he does so because he likes to pontificate. I have no problem with that. But over the years I have observed Mr. Turley’s biases.

  7. The recent decision, in reality, had little to do with abortion, but was deeply rooted in the 10th Amendment and States rights. Why we would care what a rebel divinity school faculty lounge denizen would opine is beyond me. The real question that must be addressed to what is left of our common core of moral values in this nation is: When does life begin. Now that is going to be a tough nut to crack.

    1. That’s right, short of a civil war, slavery, diversity [dogma], human rites (e.g. elective abortion), etc. will remain viable under a layer of privacy, euphemisms, and a nominally secular ethical religion of equity and inclusion processed under politically congruent constructs (i.e. democratic/dictatorial duality).

      The Court reversed the precedent of the Twilight Amendment (i.e. emanations received from the penumbra of the Constitution), thus mitigating the progress of dysfunction, corruption, and other mischief realized with its liberal excess. Demos-cracy is aborted at the Twilight Fringe. Democracy dies in darkness.

    2. There is no agreement among biologists about when life begins. Here’s a discussion from a developmental biologist of the various biological views: https://web.archive.org/web/20030511191256/http://www.devbio.com/printer.php?ch=21&id=162

      But even if you think that a human being is created at fertilization, it has no rights, as it isn’t yet a person, and rights are attached to legal persons, not living entities that aren’t persons.

      And even if you think that the state has an interest in the embryo’s life, the state cannot use a woman’s body against her will to protect the embryo’s life, any more than the state can take your blood against your will to save an actual person’s life, or even take your organs after you die to save the life of a person needing an organ transplant.

      You highlight states’ rights, but you are silent about people’s rights.

      “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

      “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated”

      “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

      “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

      If you’re now going to complain that the word “abortion” doesn’t appear, then keep in mind that lots of words don’t appear in the Constitution. For example, “privacy” doesn’t appear, but you still have a right to privacy. The phrases “Electoral College” and “congressional districts” do not appear, yet they’re required by the Constitution. The list of words that don’t appear in the Constitution is long, and that does not imply that the Constitution says nothing about the underlying concepts.

      People have a right to bodily autonomy. Women should not be forced into involuntary servitude in service of an embryo.

      1. So when big goobermint demanded you take the big pharma poison – where’s my bodily autonomy to say NO and carry on. Joey’s peeps are still pushing the big pharma poisons , and now to even small children full and well knowing its useless and causes more harm than covid itself. Imagine a constitutional amendment that says “shall not be infringed” and it is thus infringed greatly…oh wait yeah that unconstitutional move(s) has happened already. Being there is nothing at all in the constitution about abortion or anything to be construed as such you are off your rocking chair to assume it is somehow a right. SCOTUS addressed this flawed ruling and correctly kicked it back to the states. Now if we could get SCOTUS to trash all the infringement of the shall not be infirnged amendment that would make more sense legally and morally.

        1. It’s not illegal not to be vaccinated, and lots of people refused to be vaccinated!
          Because their bodily autonomy protects that right of refusal.

      2. Since there is no “agreement among biologists about when life begins,” one can say life begins at 40 and kill anyone below 40 without consequences.

        Leftistism leaves everything open to interpretation. The whacky and hypocritical nonsense lacking logic ingrains itself into the brain. They want to feel good, so they rid themselves of historical context and morality. What remains is pure BS.

      3. All I am saying, if you didn’t jump to ready-made tropes, is that, according to our constitution, it has ALWAYS been the concern of each state as to how to deal with these issues; when does life begin, who has primary concern, the unborn or the mother, the right of the father in terminating a pregnancy etc. Getting the constitution aright is what was important, let each state sort the rest out.

        1. I didn’t jump to “ready-made tropes.”

          You said “The real question that must be addressed to what is left of our common core of moral values in this nation is: When does life begin. Now that is going to be a tough nut to crack,” and I pointed out that this is not a factual issue where everyone is going to agree. There is no “nut to crack.” There are multiple competing biological arguments about what stage makes most sense for a definition, and which of those one finds most compelling depends on values in combination with facts, not on facts alone.

          You’re now claiming “according to our constitution, it has ALWAYS been the concern of each state as to how to deal with these issues,” and you totally ignored the contradicting text from the Constitution.

          You apparently have no interest in having an actual discussion.

          1. They don’t have any interest in an honest discussion. Anyone who can accept a church dogma as a mystery will believe whatever they are told to believe.

      4. That is a very chauvinistic attitude. Down right self-centered too. Very, very few deny abortion as a remedy for rape, incest or the eminent life of the mother, but it should NEVER be used as casually as a birth control method, I would hope that women are smarter than that, but then 48% 0f them voted for biden, so who knows. Follow the money on this, as they say.

        1. So because some persons abuse a right, we should ban that right for everyone else? “Because of the increase in iniquities, the love of many shall wax cold, but he who endures will be saved.” Let’s not provide welfare to poor people because some will take take advantage of the system. Yes, there will always be abuses. We shouldn’t allow the abusers to stop others with a real need. “God is love…. Fear restrains perfect love.” “Love never fails.” Anything less than love causes contentions among men.

      5. What are your thoughts on this new life being the creation of two people, not just of the woman? That new little life is half of the man’s, since his sperm contributed half of the baby’s genetics and began its life. Are we erring where Solomon did not in far too many circumstances?

        1. Actually, that “new little life” is not “half of the man’s.” He donates half the cellular DNA, but the woman contributes 100% of the mitochondrial DNA, and functioning mitochondria are necessary for the cell to live, and she also donates all of the rest of the cellular structure and mechanisms required for cell division. If you have nothing but cellular DNA, half from the man and half from the woman, that is not even a cell, much less alive.

          1. Still the creation of two people.

            “the woman contributes 100% of the mitochondrial DNA, and functioning mitochondria are necessary for the cell to live, and she also donates all of the rest of the cellular structure and mechanisms required for cell division. If you have nothing but cellular DNA, half from the man and half from the woman, that is not even a cell, much less alive.”

            Then, that little bundle of potentiality is alive.

            “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.”

            What, then, are the reasonable nuances in judgement we ought to cautiously consider?

  8. Life is a continous thing that has been continuing continuously for billions of years. How can it be implied that life is interrupted by non-life from conception to birth, and then life resumes again at birth? That makes no sense

    1. In Stork they Trust… to deliver the fetus (technical term of art for social distance), baby at the time of coincidence (i.e. life deemed worthy of life, a life more profitable in whole than in parts, a life not classified under diversity [dogma] (i.e. color judgment, class-based bigotry) but as an individual).

    2. Who says that an embryo isn’t alive?

      Most of them die of natural causes prior to birth though.

    1. Oh the irony for those religious justices believing you can ban abortion because the Constitution doesn’t explicitly state it, but then believe the Bible teaches against abortion without explicitly stating so. Hypocrites! Offspring of vipers!

  9. Technically, that’s true. A murder is a family of crows. A pride is a family of lions. A pride parade is family of lions, lionesses, and their unPlanned (i.e. living) cubs playing in gay abandon.

    murder

    “unlawful killing of another human being by a person of sound mind with premeditated malice,” c. 1300, murdre, earlier morþer, from Old English morðor (plural morþras) “secret killing of a person, unlawful killing,” also “mortal sin, crime; punishment, torment, misery,” from Proto-Germanic *murthran (source also of Goth maurþr, and, from a variant form of the same root, Old Saxon morth, Old Frisian morth, Old Norse morð, Middle Dutch moort, Dutch moord, German Mord “murder”), from suffixed form of PIE root *mer- “to rub away, harm” (also “to die” and forming words referring to death and to beings subject to death).”

    Murder is an ethical, legal (i.e. religious or behavioral protocol) term of art. Murder under the Progressives’ Twilight faith and Pro-Choice ethics has been granted safe sanctuary under a principle of privacy (i.e. if you can get away with it). Elective abortion is a premeditated act, an affirmative action, a human rite performed for social, redistributive, clinical, and fair weather causes to relieve a “burden” assumed by choice: sex or abstinence, prevention of conception in depth, adoption, compassion, or an equal right to self-defense through reconciliation. Perhaps the social progressive can expand the scope of self-defense to be equitable and inclusive.

    That said, elective abortion is a wicked solution to a hard problem: keep women and girls affordable, available, and taxable. There are diverse precedents where demos-cracy is aborted at the twilight fringe.

  10. Why not just nuke the Russian forces out of Ukraine and be done with it already? Do they want to end this or don’t they. There IS a way to end it, but they don’t want to use it. Politicians are not very good at using every means at their disposal to solve problems. They are afraid of hurting someone’s feelings.

    1. Abort the Kiev, military, paramilitary axis and save the Ukrainians after eight long years of war, denial of basic services, abortion fields, and disenfranchisement. A Summer after the Slavic Spring in the catastrophic World War Spring (WWS) series from Tripoli to Kiev to Kabul.

    2. If you think not starting a nuclear war is about hurting someone’s feelings… let’s just say that ignorance left me dumbfounded. Julian Assange explained that the war is never meant to be won because it is merely an excuse to transfer taxpayer funds to specific corporate entities. Defund and disband Wall ST. and the need for war will cease. Then maybe we can start caring for one another rather than bombing others.

  11. Why oot just nuke the Russian forces out of Ukraine and be done with it already? Do they want to end this or don’t they. There IS a way to end it, but they don’t want to use it. Politicians are not very good at using every means at their disposal to solve problems. They are afraid of hurting someone’s feelings.

    1. The Hebrew is more accurately translated: You shall not murder. Abortion isn’t murder.

      1. Taking a life without cause?

        Sinners sin because they rationalize.

        Abortion conflicts with all of Jesus’s teachings.

        Most of all the taking of innocent life.

        1. I’m not Christian, and the Old Testament — the source of You shall not murder — is a Jewish text. Abortion does not conflict with Jews’ religious beliefs.

          1. But, the Old Testament recognizes that someone killing the child within the mother is killing a human being. The penalty is “An eye for an eye.”

            1. No.

              Once again, the “eye for an eye” refers to killing the woman, not the fetus. Bad English translations lead people to misinterpret the meaning.

  12. “ there is no “biblical basis” for abortion bans.” Translation: “We know better than four centuries of Jewish scholarship.”

    1. “four centuries of Jewish scholarship” doesn’t argue that abortion bans are just.

      Jews have filed a legal suit against the FL abortion ban, arguing in part that “In Jewish law, abortion is required if necessary to protect the health, mental or physical well-being of the woman, or for many other reasons not permitted under the Act. As such, the Act prohibits Jewish women from practicing their faith free of government intrusion and thus violates their privacy rights and religious freedom.”
      https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/22060281-complaint-ldor-va-dor-vs-state-of-florida-final?responsive=1&title=1

      1. Florida law, all state laws, allow for saving the life of the mother. As has been the case since the time of the first Greek medicos

        1. Yes, women and men have an equal right to self-defense through reconciliation. The social progressives need only to expand the scope of self-defense to be equitable and inclusive of human rites. That said, six weeks to baby meets granny, in state, if not in process. A human life evolves from conception. Civilized societies discourage homicides, the performance of human rites, for social, redistributive, clinical, and fair weather causes.

          That said, there is no mystery in sex and conception. A woman and her male partner have four choices: sex or abstinence, prevention of conception in depth, adoption (i.e. shared/shifted responsibility), compassion (i.e. shared/personal responsibility), and an equal right to self-defense through reconciliation. The wicked solution a.k.a. planned parenthood (for baby) or planned parent/hood (for granny, Whitmer/Michigan, Cuomo/New York) are neither a good nor exclusive choice.

          The Pro-Choice ethical religion denies women and men’s dignity and agency, and reduces human life to negotiable commodities.

        2. Jews don’t believe that the sole exception is to save the mother’s life, as should be totally clear from the quote from the lawsuit.

          1. Are you nuts? A quote from a lawsuit tells you all of that?

            Indeed, you are very shallow.

      2. Reformed or progressive Jews that ignore Jewish law, socially justified under the once State-established Pro-Choice ethical (i.e. relativistic) religion.

      3. Darren, can you take a look. This was posted with the original Hebrew but wasn’t printed. Will WordPress not print things written in Hebrew?
        —–

        “Reposting because the prior posting disappeared.

        And should men quarrel and hit a pregnant woman, and she miscarries but there is no fatality, he shall surely be punished, when the woman’s husband makes demands of him, and he shall give [restitution] according to the judges’ [orders].

        But if there is a fatality, you shall give 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,

        This interpretation faced the test of time and agrees with others containing minor differences but also are time-tested.

        1. Anonymous,

          I tried posting above a sample of Hebrew text and for me it did post. There are several points of possible failure in posting/seeing Hebrew. Basically Hebrew for the most part related to computers at least is a Right to Left reading language. Like others, such as Arabic, users can find problems in highlighting/copying/pasting text from a page having Hebrew if their own operating system is configed for a Left to Right language such as English. Also there could be issues with the web browser the author is using in that it might not be able to encode or understand Hebrew. Many , if not most , websites in the Western European Language use UTF-8 as the characterset set for the webpage. Hebrew uses, if I remember correctly, ISO-8859-8. There could be a problem in that either the web browser misintreprets or simply fails and does not display anything .

          In my test comment I did see and was able to post Hebrew text. If you do not see Hebrew text in my test comment it might be indicative of your browser/ operating system having trouble with Hebrew.

          Wish I could offer you a more accurate and applicable fix for the issue you are experiencing, but that’s all I can do from this stage.

          1. I also noted that in the Hebrew text i posted, it seems to have gotten the text in the correct order but it put a period on the opposite side from the source for which I copied, thus demonstrating the problem with right to left or bi-di languages on left to right systems.

            1. One more test you might do. When you try to highlight to copy some Hebrew text you might try setting your cursor/pointer on the other side of the text and expect the system to go in a strange direction. If it does this then just “go with the flow” and let it go the direction it wants before copying it.

              1. Thanks, Darren. I sent a bunch of messages. I sent the word testimony written in Russian and copied from Google Translate. It did not post.

                I copied Hebrew and English text from a website. I thought maybe there was an incompatibility with the rich text on the web, so for the second posting, I copied it onto an email, formatted it as plain text, and then copied it onto the site.

                None of the Hebrew or Russian responses made it to the blog.

                I sent a third copy with all the Hebrew characters deleted. That response made it on the blog.

                I thought unposted emails that were unexplained ended up in a file you would see. I guess that didn’t occur.

                I saw your Hebrew text, so that makes things even more confusing. I don’t think I used a period after the Hebrew or Russian words.

                Thanks for trying, but I don’t need to use any of those languages, though it is irritating not to know why.

      4. “Jews have filed a legal suit against the FL abortion ban,”

        I think you have said you are Jewish, and a lot of things you say don’t agree with Jewish law or the Constitution.

        The Old Testament is clear and the Constitution provides for states rights. Deal with the State you live in.

    2. Four centuries of Jewish scholarship? One shouldn’t forget that they despised Jesus because they feared losing their status and nation, for which they lost both. I took a reformed Judaism class offered by a local Jewish rabbi. In less than a week I was able prove one rabbinical tradition as a selective yet incorrect teaching. This is why Jesus was critical of following the traditions of men who elevate themselves as lords over the Word of God itself.

  13. I cant imagine any Christian Translation that justifies elective abortions so woman cant graduate a year sooner. Or more time to make Partner

    1. When there is no law, no sin is committed. This is the foundation for the New Covenant based on forgiveness. “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” Who has the right to create laws which ultimately place a stumbling block through punishment before those whom Jesus preemptively forgives? Our ministry is one of reconciliation not condemnation. “You cannot be loving God whom you cannot see if you don’t love your brother whom you can see.” They don’t see the unborn, so their imagination runs wild with interpretations made by false preachers. By tearing others down they subconsciously feel self-righteous. It is self righteousness because their pursuit of punishing others does not originate with God.

      1. If there is no law and no sin committed what need is there for forgiveness. Jesus said ‘I have not come to abolish the law,and the prophets, I came to fulfill them’ – Matthew 5:17.
        What’s more you would nullify our love of Jesus ‘For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments’ – 1 John 5:3,4 and
        ‘If you love me keep my commandments’ – John 14:15
        Jesus by his sacrifice freed us of the condemnation of the law, but the law itself remains Jesus in the sermon on the mount says ‘Until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle shall pass away from the law’ – Matthew 5:18.
        The laws Paul referred to as being a stumbling block are Jewish laws of. the scribes and Pharisees.

        1. That there no need for forgiveness because Jesus covers over any misstep we might take. His love causes us to try harder but we will never measure up perfectly. That’s why it’s called grace. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of god.” Jesus fulfilled the law because it’s purpose was to make sins manifest until the Christ so we would understand why we need God’s mercy in the first place. My issue is the judgment with which the religious right passes off as saving a life. Jesus said stop judging. Paul said if you force anyone to follow what you say when they don’t have faith in it you have stumbled that person. Paul added within that context, Let each one be convinced in his own mind because before his master each one stands. By seeking manmade governments enforce your personal faith you are sinning. You have made yourself lord over them and that defies the faith that Jesus is Lord.
          “Let he who has no sin cast the first stone.” You are not without sin for The Word says “There is no man who does not sin,” and yet you are casting judgments against others. Jesus said, “He who judges without mercy shall have his own judgment without mercy.” That is the paradox the religious right finds itself in.

          1. Kidrambler:

            “My issue is the judgment with which the religious right passes off as saving a life. Jesus said stop judging. Paul said if you force anyone to follow what you say when they don’t have faith in it you have stumbled that person. Paul added within that context, Let each one be convinced in his own mind because before his master each one stands. By seeking manmade governments enforce your personal faith you are sinning. You have made yourself lord over them and that defies the faith that Jesus is Lord.”
            *****************************
            Funny, Jesus had no such compunction driving the moneylenders out of the temple in a decidedly judgey fashion. Whips as I recall. He also had no problem judging the two thieves on the adjacent crosses. He then famously charged his disciples with the power to bind and forgive sins “in all the nations” which involved judging of the highest order given the Heavenly Manifest which has precious few names with reservations there. Again, more judging since “small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

            So maybe get another theology book before spouting the New Age Christianity you’ve developed. The Right seems to have it more “right” than you about saving babies. As for manmade governments, no less than Jesus himself understood what was Caesar’s and what was his. He didn’t say to ignore manmade governments. You might want to learn the same lesson: Matthew 22:15-22 (KJV)

            1. Provide your scriptural basis for your perspective. I recall Jesus saying he did not come to judge the world but minister and save all that was lost. Jesus didn’t condemn or judge the money changers he threw out of the Temple Courtyard. He threw them out because they were turning God’s house into a place for robbers. Jesus reserved his ire for only two groups of persons, as do I, the moneychangers and false preachers. I think it’s sad, or as Revelation says it, they think they are rich but they are pitiable, poor and naked. Rather than believe 2nd Cor. 5:15-20 that “….God is not reckoning to men their trespasses….” the religious right is nothing more than a viper pursuing a ministry of condemnation rather the ministry of God and His Christ.

  14. To be clear, Turley is not presenting the original text of Exodus 21:22-23, which is in Hebrew. He is choosing a particular English version, the New International Version. Different English versions have different English meanings.

    Any serious scholar would recognize that the text is translated in multiple ways and would look at various translations along with the Hebrew, and would also attend to the meaning of the Hebrew at the time the text was written. More to the point, what is described is not an abortion with the consent of the woman; if anything, it is more analogous to fetal homicide laws.

    Once again, Turley, despite being a professor, fails to act like a scholar in his discussion.

        1. ROFL that you don’t recognize that Exodus is part of the Old Testament and was written in Hebrew. Of course Turley is talking about the Old Testament when he quotes Exodus.

          Instead of demanding a “true translation” from me, learn Hebrew and read it in the original.

          As for the multiple English translations, if you’d bothered to click on Turley’s link, you’d have found that the Bible Gateway site provides a few dozen English translations from different English versions of the Bible, underscoring that there is no single version of the text in English.

          And no, we are not talking about “Christianity and the New Testament.” You may want to talk about that, but I am talking about the text of Exodus in the Old Testament, and Christians don’t control its interpretation, “retard.”

          1. Old Tesatament is NOT, Christianity.

            But the diversion of painting pro life supporters as religiously driven agenda item. is just that. Diversion.

            SCOTUS has pointed out, the Constitution enumerates specific limited powers to the Federal Govt. All else is up to the People, or the States.

            You would much rather mindlessly argue religion (the diversion). than institute change through constitutional pathways. (hard work)

            1. I’m discussing this column, “retard.”

              As for the Constitution:

              “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

              “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated”

              “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

              “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

              If you’re now going to complain that the word “abortion” doesn’t appear, lots of words don’t appear in the Constitution. For example, “privacy” doesn’t appear, but you still have a right to privacy. The phrases “Electoral College” and “congressional districts” do not appear, yet they’re required by the Constitution. The list of words that don’t appear in the Constitution is long, and that does not imply that the Constitution says nothing about the underlying concepts.

              People have a right to bodily autonomy. Women should not be forced into involuntary servitude in service of an embryo. You cannot even be forced to donate blood to save someone’s life, which is extremely simply, safe, and brief, but you think it fine and dandy for a woman to be forced to donate the use of her body for 9 months.

              A loved one died while waiting for an organ transplant. It’s not even legal to remove viable organs from a dead body to save someone’s life. Women should not have less bodily autonomy than men and dead people.

              1. The Federal Govt has no power concerning abortion. The People have the ultimate authority. Such as deciding when the State Govt can protect life.

                The debated is about life, not elective medical procedures.

                Things like electively selling a kidney is against the law, Like prostitution or using illegal drugs. Your bodily autonomy is yet another diversion

                Protecting life.

                1. If the state can demand that a woman host an embryo against her will to save its life, the state can demand that you donate some of your bone marrow to save the life of someone who needs a bone marrow transplant to combat leukemia. The latter is unconstitutional. So is the former.

                  The state can’t even force you to donate blood to save someone’s life.

                  This is not about life, no matter your proclamations. This is about whether a woman has bodily autonomy, per the Constitution’s protections of people’s rights against state or federal restrictions.

              2. Also, it is my understanding that the importance of the Old Testament law was strictly for fulfilling the Covenant between God & Israel to produce the Messiah. If one is Christian, they are to do away with laws having to do with punishment and exalt in the New Covenant which is all about forgiveness of all sins. “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us; but not for us only but for the whole world.” These so-called moral pursuits seeking Caesar’s punishments for not towing their line is no different than those crying out to Pontius Pilate “WE HAVE NO KING BUT CEASAR!” Thereby they put the Christ, aka the living Word of God, to death all over again. “There is no man who does not sin.” “Let the one without sin cast the stone.” That is the hypocrisy of the religious right, be they Catholics or Evangelicals. If God could not create a perfect nation with His own Mosaic Law, the religious right in presuming they need to are blasphemously claiming to be greater than God Almighty.

            2. BTW, this is yet another example of you making an outrageously false claim — “we are not talking about old testament” — and then running away from admitting your mistake. You take the childish, cowardly route instead.

              1. The lefts argument centers on Christians.

                But like I explainied. You are intent on the endless debate about Religion.

                The debate, here and now, is Constitutional Power.

                But you insist on diverting to how many angels are dancing in the head of a pin.

                Do the work at the State level, A short study of history will show you it takes about 50 years. Govern by the will of the people, not the whim of a judge or two.

          2. Sorry, forgot the / in the close-bold. The bold text should have ended at “I.”

          3. I note the provision of the Hebrew text and English translation earlier. If one searches the Internet for well-established translations that have stood the test of time, that translation represents the others even when minor changes exist.

    1. “ To be clear, Turley is not presenting the original text of Exodus 21:22-23, which is in Hebrew.” Any lay person who understands how to use a Strong’s Concordance can look up the original language and their meanings.

      The NIV translation is a superior translation of the Bible over the King James version and represents some of the latest scholarship in translating the ancient Biblical languages.

      “ The NIV was created as a modern translation, by Bible scholars using the earliest and highest quality source manuscripts available, into broadly understood modern English.”

      Wikipedia

        1. And the flawed wikipedia is full of leftwaffe babllese….. To cite it as a reliable source always gives me great laughter. You may as well allege truth to anything biden says…it will also trigger great laughter as well. !!!.

      1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Why_Wikipedia_is_not_so_great

        In particular, the text you quoted is not linked to any references. It’s the opinion of a random Wikipedia editor.

        If you look at some of the references, you’ll find that the NIV is an evangelical version. Again: you seem to want everyone to default to a single Christian translation of a Jewish text. I refuse to do that. I’m not Christian.

        As for “Any lay person who understands how to use a Strong’s Concordance,” since I’m not Christian, I’ve never used it, and having spoken more than one other language, I’m not interested in word-by-word translations, which often results in an inaccurate translation, as many words have more than one meaning and must be understood in context.

  15. “Indeed, it is more likely to be cited as proof that pro-life arguments are not just legally but religiously invalid.”

    That is the ball game right there. Modern progressives argue almost exclusively via appeals to authority. “A Yale divinity dean agrees with me, so I’m right and you are wrong.” “Trust the science.” “Seventeen intelligence agencies determined…”. “Fact checkers have given that three Pinocchios…”. It has gotten to the point that I automatically reject all appeals to authority and assume they are wrong.

    Find a respected institution, kill it, skin it, and wear its skin suit while demanding respect.

    1. tommylotto: And they’re very selective about the authorities they use. Most often it’s just another liberal who echoes their POV. Of course, to them, the US Constitution isn’t “authoritative” unless it, too, echoes their views. This is the moral and legal relativism the left wallows in.

      1. To be fair, giovon1, both the right and the left are relying upon interpretations of scholars. The left relies on secular scholars and the right relies upon religious scholars/priests/pastors etc. For me,the bottom line is where does my compassion for humanity lie. I can Bible thump with the best on the right side because they are just followers of false preachers. Meanwhile, Wall Street uses these divisions to ransack our nation. Jesus threw the moneychangers out of the temple courtyard and the religious right restored them to it. And for what? All in the work of judging others. Something Jesus could not have been more clear about doing. They think their responsibility is to save others because they lack faith that Jesus already saved it.

    2. “Modern progressives argue almost exclusively via appeals to authority.”

      As opposed to what — appealing to the authority of God?

  16. “Judeo-Christianity” is ridiculous on its face. Now an atheist rabbi is telling Christians how to be Christians.

    Sounds about right.

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