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The Fourth Commandment

abortionAt the moment here in Ireland our Government is proposing to introduce abortion into our law for the first time even if in very circumscribed circumstances. No option of a referendum on the matter is being offered. Many huge demonstrations against abortion have been held on the streets. I have been looking at what the Christian response should be and this, in short, is what I have found.

What duties do citizens have toward the State?

Every citizen has the duty to cooperate loyally with the civil authorities and to contribute to the common good in truth, justice, freedom, and solidarity.

A Christian (male and female, in spite of words used), should love his homeland, defend it in various ways in times of need, and gladly offer to serve civil institutions. He should exercise the right to vote and even run for office and not shirk the duty to pay just taxes. Nevertheless, within the State the individual citizen remains a free man with fundamental rights; he has the right to offer constructive criticism of the State and its organs. The State is there for the people, not the individual for the State.

When must we refuse to obey the State?

No one may follow orders from the State that violate God’s laws.

We are called to practise only a relative obedience toward the State. “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). If a State should establish laws and procedures that are racist, sexist, or destructive of human life, a Christian is obliged in conscience to refuse to obey, to refrain from participation, and to offer resistance.


I don't know about Ireland but in the USA the law does not say a woman must have an abortion.
The law is that a woman who needs and wants an abortion before the third trimester has the right to have one. It is her medical right to a medical procedure.
The law does not compel.
A Christian who does not approve does not need to have an abortion. Doctors are not compelled to perform them. However if it were a matter of the woman's life and the doctor was the only one available the state might have a compelling interest. Professional responsibility can top personal ethics in certain circumstances.
What seaivy says.

No one is wanting to make anyone do anything.

The fundamental human right for any woman must be my body, my choice and no religious group, Christian or otherwise and no male has any right to control that right in any way. None!
If a Christian woman is living in a country where State and Sharia Law are the legal mainstays, as a Christian, should she be obliged to refuse to obey the laws of the land she is living in and offer all resistance?

Are all people currently living in Ireland Christian?

Please read these (sorry you will have to copy and paste, as I am unable to link in comments) this one is data on abortions in Europe, which Ireland is a part. Take note of items 8, 9, 10, and 11: http://www.euro.who.int/en/what-we-do/health-topics/Life-stages/sexual-and-reproductive-health/activities/abortion/facts-and-figures-about-abortion-in-the-european-region

This one is an essay by an American doctor: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/03/health/views/03essa.html?_r=3&

After you have read these, think back on the first two questions I have asked you, and if you can, remember the statistics I gave you on rape and child abuse in your last post on this subject. Can you honestly tell me that it is a Christian's duty to disobey Jesus who said: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone," and knowingly contribute to the death and misery of other people's lives?

One final question, do the children and grandchildren of victims of child abuse and rape deserve to carry the genetic wound such crimes inflict? http://discovermagazine.com/2013/may/13-grandmas-experiences-leave-epigenetic-mark-on-your-genes#.UdrLw215jCZ
Your linkage system is fine. The articles, unfortunately, are frightening.
The daily medications that I require to preserve my life - and I'm not saying that they make my life easier/more pleasant, I literally mean that without them I will die - woul have a severely teratogenic effect on any embryo/foetus/other name for womb-based life that I carried and if they did go to term, they would die horribly and unpleasantly within hours.
If I somehow survived 9 months without the medications, I carry various mutated gene complex groups that would give them incurable conditions leaving them at best with a pretty hellish life from neurological and physical disabilities, at worst they'd last a couple of years...if, and in pain all the time.
For some reason, I can be given genetic counselling that tells me what I already new, that if I want a child I should adopt unless I enjoy inflicting horrors on the next generation. However, owing to regulations, they could not offer me sterilisation. My partner, being male, got it just by asking. That takes care of all consensual sex.
If I am ever raped and conceive as a result, I need the choice of abortion to be legally and freely available. I fail to understand how condemning a child to live a short life of agony is morally superior.
I agree totally with seaivy. No woman is forced to have an abortion under UK law, but in Ireland women are currently forced to carry a baby to term, even if they have been raped or if their life is at risk. What concerns me is that no one seems to care what happens to that child, left to the care of someone who never wanted to be a mother.

One thing to consider... If God disapproves of killing foetuses, why does he kill so many himself? The number of miscarriages is huge, especially in the early months. Up to three-quarters of all fertilised eggs never make it to a successful pregnancy. One in five pregnancies never go to term. The number of women I know who have had miscarriages hugely outweighs those who have had abortions. I've had a miscarriage myself, in between two successful pregnancies.

I don't actually believe in a god, but I assume that a miscarriage for no apparent reason in an otherwise healthy mother fits the description of "act of God". So why is it OK for God to abort a baby in the early stages, but not OK for the woman who has to live with the thing inside her for 9 months and then rear it for the next 18 years to do it?
Abortion has "two faces".
There is the medically necessary procedure for maternal health or the malformation of the fetus. I include the psychological welfare as maternal health.
There are procedures because of the failure of contraception.

Right to choose opponents seem to place all abortions in the second category.
This would seem to be an area where both groups could work together.
Improved and widespread knowledge of contraception would seem to be a worthwhile effort.
If there is no unwanted conception there is no abortion.

As to Catholic view point on contraception.
In 1968 the papal commission found that there would be no objection to contraceptive practices. However, Paul VI could not accept this voice of the Spirit.
The teaching of the church is that the Spirit speaks not only in the magisterium but also in the voice of the people of God. If most Catholic women are using contraceptives is that not the voice of the Spirit?
Isn't it time to work together for the good of God's people?
And there are plenty of churches that are pro-choice. What makes the Catholic church so special that we all have to follow its teaching.

That teaching is based on the idea that the soul enters the fetus when the zygote is formed (which, I'm afraid, suggests that the theologians think the soul is contained in the sperm, a belief that persisted in Europe until the later Middle Ages.) However, as no one has ever been able to produce evidence that there is any such thing as a soul, and all the evidence from cognitive science suggests otherwise, the point it moot.
Even with the "It's all in the sperm" theory ensoulment didn't take place until "quickening".
Biology and theology are not equal partners.
Forget all the "religion" and see what real science and photography have to say about the unborn.


Edited at 2013-07-08 18:49 (UTC)
When the fetus is either already dead or sure to die soon, and without the abortion the mother will die (leaving her other children orphans) -- do you STILL oppose the abortion?
I don't know why you bother.
Women tell you their stories.
You don't listen.
This is all futility.

you have chosen to friend mostly women and the women you have chosen to friend are mostly what could best be termed 'liberal and liberated intellectual professionals' if not, like myself, even further to the left both religiously and politically.

I don't think you are going to win on this debate! :o)
In haste....

I think the anti-abortion side is very wrong, almost evil. But I do admire you for continuing to argue your side in spite of all the strong opposition you're getting here.

There seems to be a custom building in Live Journal, of not having two sides to an issue in the same discussion. It turns into a pile on by one side (usually by the side that the journal owner agrees with). Or the journaler stops comments or erases the whole entry.

Bravo to you for hosting a two-sided discussion, even when you are the only one on your side.

this I heartily agree with.
I propose that the best way to prevent abortion is through ready availability of safe and effective birth control and sex education. Fewer unplanned pregnancies mean fewer abortions. Also, working to make rape seem like something that a man would really not want to engage in.

You are not going to have more abortions in Ireland than you did before, you are going going to have more safe and legal ones.

My mother had several abortions in her life... none of them were legal.
Yes. A child should be wanted, not the unfortunate result of sex for pleasure. There is the small word: NO.
That discussion is certainly going on elsewhere. Those of us of European origins and residence (I'm a Brit) and used to good healthcare free at need remain horrified at the stories we hear from that side of the pond.

As I said elsewhere recently, with a US style healthcare system, I'd have died shortly after birth or committed suicide in my early teens.
For any and all taking part and still reading, I have this to say--I might not agree with our dear gentleman's arguments, but I am looking behind those arguments at a man who, after a long life of being told things of "absolute truth," still questions.

Can you not see how he's trying? He opens these debates because he wants to know more. He "friends" women who will argue with him instead of those who will repeat all his beliefs back to him. His years of life demand he stick to what he's always known, but he LISTENS. He hears, and even if the stubborn refusal to go against all he's believed to be right and true still won't let go, he understands more than he's willing to admit to. If he didn't, he'd spout instead of invite discussion. If he didn't, he might just stay mum.
I appreciate what you say. You are most likely right.
He has chosen independent liberal women as friends.
He has not deleted any comments.
And yes, years of training forms a person. It is a part of one's way of looking at the world.
I do apologize for perhaps a hasty judgement.
Woman like, I would appreciate the comment "i hear you" . But, I've known men long enough that I should know not to expect it.
I am a bit frustrated that issues I have raised have not been answered. But, it is his site and he can choose what to be involved with.
This is the most stimulating site on my L J Friends page.
For that I am thankful!
I have made a long post about the logic of this question at my LJ.

Basically, in a case where the mother's life is in danger, we have a clear fact-based duty: to save her. Her danger is undisputed, and the surgery/abortion is also the clear treatment. These are facts.

On the other hand, the capability and 'right' of a fetus/fertilized egg is a matter of opinion, ie guesswork at best, or emotional projection.

Even when the mother's life is not in danger, still the bad effects on the family are facts; the 'unborn child' is opinion.
PS. The link is http://bemused-leftist.livejournal.com/132084.html,
"Arguing with the Rationalists and the Catholics, both"