Why the Christian Right Is Wrong about Abortion
I learned a dirty little secret in Bible college: It is easier to prove the existence of unicorns by using the Bible than it is to establish the personhood of a fetus. In fact, it is so hard to make a case against abortion using Christian scripture that for decades most Evangelicals did not even try. Instead, their leaders were silent on the issue or told their followers that abortion was part of the larger feminist agenda to destroy families.So what changed?
A deal was made.
We know from those who were present at the birth of the Christian Right that it was actually a series of horse-trades by powerful men in conservative religious groups. Each group came with its own non-negotiable agenda and problems with the agendas of others. Catholics demanded that any alliance they joined must back the Pope’s edict against abortion, but Evangelicals were resistant since there was not enough in the Bible about fetuses to support a ban on abortion. Evangelicals, on the other hand, needed an unfettered capitalist market to perpetuate their dominance, and that ran afoul of the Catholic Church’s teachings about economic and social justice. Catholics agreed to down-play the issue of social justice (which is why Nuns on the Bus is such a problem), and Evangelicals agreed to take an anti-abortion stance despite the lack of Biblical support for it.She goes on to say that many Evangelical Christians lack in 'biblical literacy' (not too surprising when one considers their regular literacy) and don't know that there is so little support in the bible for fetal personhood.
She thinks they can be persuaded to abandon the personhood movement and are, in fact, looking for an 'escape clause'.
The one problem that I can foresee is that the Biblical teaching about personhood does not come in one easily quotable package. But if gay rights leaders could find a way of countering the passages in the Bible which are explicitly anti-homosexual, we can counter the incredibly weak and nebulous Biblical arguments against reproductive rights. It is up to the witty writers of our movement to craft succinct and even humorous arguments that will go viral across social media.
I don't know if we have enough fundies in Canada to make this tactic worthwhile. I've always been told that a basic difference between USian and Canadian fetus fascists is that theirs are predominantly Evangelical while ours are Catholic.
But I know a witty writer who's got the feminist, Christian, socialist chops to pull it off.
Go read the whole thing.
*Lynn Beisner is a pseudonym. Read about her life in 'I wish my mother had aborted me'.
UPDATE: Luna turns in her homework and a dandy read it is too.