The odds are, you’re about to get triggered. Good. It’s been a slow few years with nothing to get your heart rate up, and I’m here to help. You’ll get your metabolism so high reading this post that it’s practically a diet plan. That said, if you couldn’t tell by the title, this post’s about abortion, God, public policy, human stupidity and other stuff you probably have a strong opinion about. Don’t blame me if you read any further. I honestly don’t care.
Well, there’s a lie. I care about everything, but what I care most about right now is intellectual inconsistency, especially when it’s applied by powerful people to control other people’s lives. In this case, if that was too abstract for you, what I care about is the completely inarticulate Christian argument against abortion being used as a tool to control women’s bodies and access to healthcare. I have nothing against Christians, just stupid Christians, and I know you’re not one of those, so relax. This probably isn’t about you.
Enough preamble. Here are the facts. Most of the arguments used the Pro life groups in opposition are either complete nonsense or blatant lies. For instance, it may be true that you can hear a baby’s heart rate on week X or they feel pain by week Y, but it doesn’t matter. All the definitions of “life” and “human life” and so on are just distractions. The only thing that matters to Christians, scripturally, is the point at which a bunch of human cells is defined by God as human, and the only thing that matters in that case is when that group of cells has a soul. Everything else is irrelevant.
Why? Because being Pro Life is about being Pro Human Life, and that means human biological entities that have been ensouled. Animals don’t matter, and human bodies without souls are abominations, so the only rational thing to care about is human beings with souls. And that means that only “point” at which a human being can be said to exist in a biblical sense is when the fetus is ensouled. If the fetus makes it to eight months and fully capable of living outside the womb, but has no soul, then abort the little horror. There’s no reason for a Christian to care. It’s not even abortion; it’s waste disposal.
I’ m not trying to be callous, but this is the honest truth of it. Arguing about when a baby feels or thinks or opens its eyes is all a humanist distraction, like a magician waving its hand so you’ll look away from the rabbit. Ensoulment is all that matters. To a Christian, it’s murder to abort a baby after ensoulment, and irrelevant beforehand. So when a Christian says life begins at conception, what they really mean is that ensoulment happens at conception. If it doesn’t, their arguments against abortion make no scriptural sense.
So, let’s take them at their word or, at least, assume they’re aware that this is the logical foundation of the entire Pro life movement. Human life begins at conception, simultaneously with ensoulment, and thus abortion is morally equivalent to murder. So what does this really mean?
Well, for starters, it helps to understand that life after conception is like Russian Roulette; you may get out of it alive, but that’s by no means certain. According most studies, which are admittedly imperfect, more than half of all human conceptions will end in a failed pregnancy (death, spontaneous abortion, miscarriage, etc.) way before liberal atheist Feminazis get all crazy with coat hangers.
The next thing to understand is that God has a plan for you. He has a plan for every ensouled fetal human. Which of course means that God’s plan for more than half of all human beings who have been gifted souls is to die well before birth. Thus, God’s plan is to kill more than half of all human beings who have ever existed or ever will before they ever get out of the womb.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Leading to the inevitable conclusion that God is the greatest abortionist who has ever existed, or ever will. He is the Thanos of the unborn.
Okay, stop screaming at your computer. Let’s back up and go through this in careful steps to understand (a) that this is the only logical conclusion given actual facts and Biblical reality and (b) why things don’t actually have to be this way.
Fact: Christians Aren’t Pro “Life”
No surprise here. Life, writ large, includes far more than human beings and many Christians don’t give a flying forneus about animal life (or, at least, not as much as they care about human life). Kill it. Eat it. God created it so we could exterminate it, or Shepherd it really, really badly.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:28
In other words, it’s human life that Christians care about, right?
Fact: Christians Aren’t Pro (Soulless) Human Life
Which just means that Christians care about ensouled human beings, not those without souls. This is a weird academic argument given to Christians, the definition of human includes the existence of a soul:
…the soul is a unified, immaterial mental substance that is fully present throughout the body, including the brain. We can therefore rightly think of a human being as an ensouled body. Answers in Genesis
But to be thorough, it’s important to note that if a human didn’t have a soul, the arguments of the Pro Life movement wouldn’t apply. Are there any such cases? No idea. If your ultrasound comes back with horns, you probably get a pass.
Fact: The Bible Doesn’t Define the Timing of Ensoulment
You can read a lot about the history ensoulment and abortion on Wikipedia and elsewhere, but what you’ll quickly notice is that all arguments and edicts are based on assertions, not scriptural statements. For a time, Catholics applied Aristotelian thinking that the quickening around thirteen weeks showed that the soul had entered the fetal body. Thus, ensoulment, occurred roughly at the end of the first trimester; however, there is no Biblical support of any particular timing.
Christian philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas (1224–1274) adapted largely to his views and because they believed that the early embryo did not have a human soul, they did not necessarily see early abortion as murder, although they condemned it nonetheless. Wikipedia
The only reason this matters here is that it means the Pro Life argument against abortion is based on a set of (perhaps valid) assertions on the timing of ensoulment, and thus a belief, not on anything literally stated in the Bible.
Fact: The Bible Says Nothing Whether Babies Go to Heaven or Hell
Go ahead. Look. Not there? Could all those unborn babies really be burning in the hell of your loving God? That’s just terrible. Maybe it’s just the Muslim ones.
In all seriousness, there are some very strained arguments that the Bible implies something that might be true about going to heaven, but you’ve really got to reach for it. Fortunately, it doesn’t matter; let’s just assume ALL unborn deaths result in an ascension to heaven. It’s happier to think that way, makes lo logical difference to this discussion, and it’s funny to think that almost everyone in heaven is the result of a non-Christian conception.
Fact: Most Conceptions Don’t Become Live Births
As anyone who’s ever taken middle school sex education in Finland knows, the first manifestation of a spermy-eggy meetup is a zygote that, if it’s lucky, becomes a blastocyst that embeds in the woman’s uterine wall and gets busy multiplying until it’s promoted to an embryo and then, finally, a fetus. Here’s a chart:
No reason for the chart, just wanted a graphical break. What you’ll find if you do more research on post-conception mortality are studies showing that conceptions have between 22% and 78% chance of making it to a live birth, with many providing an estimate of something under 50%.
In this graphic about fetal viability, for instance, you’ll see a note in the middle there that the survival rate of the unborn is only 50/50 around 24 weeks — meaning that the chances of a non-viable pregnancy before that period is more than 50%. I have no interest in or qualifications to argue if more of less than half of all conceptions make it out alive, so for simplicity, I’m assuming it’s half. If you have better data, let me know.
Conclusion: Nobody Kills Babies Like God Kills Babies
That might be unnecessarily inflammatory, but it’s also true. If you aren’t a Pro Life Christian, then losing more than half of all conceptions is just the natural cycle of life. It’s sad, but it’s not an intentional thing; it’s something that happens to you, not something done to you.
However, if you are a Christian, and you believe that God endows every conception with a soul, then you also have to believe that God’s plan for more than half of all human beings is to create them, ensoul them, kill them and then send them to either heaven or hell depending on what your random interpretation of nonexistent scripture. The afterlife is just chock full of the unborn. I wonder if they just float around like lint making everybody sneeze.
It doesn’t matter where the unborn end up; it just matters that God kills them (that’s what it means when your plan for them is to create them and then let them die). So, in a very literal sense, God is the greatest abortionist who has ever existed. Just think of the billions of unborn He’s killed over time. It’s staggering.
I know what you’re thinking; it’s not abortion if God does it. It’s not murder if God drowns them. It’s not abortion if God terminates them. Whatever makes you feel better, but really, why not own it? You believe that life begins at conception. You believe that God has a plan for every life. You can’t deny that most or much of such life dies before ever reaching fruition, as God knows it will (in fact, this holocaust of the unborn is God’s most frequently executed life plan). You can’t get away from it. God. Kills. (Most) Babies. It’s undeniable.
Christians have every right to believe these things of course–a heaven full of unborn zombie zygotes cells makes as much sense as platypuses–but dinner conversations must be awkward. You know, lots of pregnant pauses. I just think if you’re going to believe batshit crazy stuff about unborn human beings in order to control the lives of actual born human beings, you should own it. You’re not Pro Life, you’re Pro Whatever Life God Hasn’t Already Exterminated.
This may be hard to stomach, but it’s important you try. Atheists try talk about the logical absurdity of the Noachian Deluge, so you build an Ark in Kentucky just to show them how wrong they are. Why stop there? Embrace the fetal apocalypse as yet another sign of God’s love.
Here, I’ll help with the marketing. Let’s start with better t-shirts:
My God Kills More Babies Before Lunch
Than Your Abortionist
Does All Year Long
Or if you’re feeling really edgy:
Sodomy Isn’t a Sin in Iran
Because There Are Already Too Many
Muslim Babies in Heaven
Ain’t that the truth?
Fact: It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way
God doesn’t have to be an abortionist. More precisely, you don’t have to believe that ensoulment begins at conception (the Bible doesn’t say anything about it) and thus you don’t have to make God an abortionist. It’s your choice. But if you choose to believe in God the Abortionist, then you have to honestly accept that your God is a genocidal murderer who’s plan for much or most humanity is a pre-birth death and an eternity of brainless existence in a largely non-Christian heaven. Is that really your vision of a loving God? And if so, doesn’t that say more about you than Him (or Her)?
This polemic isn’t going to change anyone’s mind, of course. Nothing changes minds except near-death experiences, brain damage and money. I just wanted to actually write down the full list of inane nonsense you have to own if you actually believe that meaningful, ensouled human life begins at conception. Because if you honestly believe everything above (and aren’t too cowardly to admit you do), then you’re freaking insane. And crazy people shouldn’t make public policy. You should make Jello and maybe paper mache, but not babies and dear lord not actual laws.
I agree completely with your post. However, I believe you missed an important opportunity to goad the Fundamentalists even more. Supposedly, Adam and Eve were made to suffer and die because Eve ate the forbidden fruit. OK, so God wants to punish people. Why can’t God give infants a pass? Why can’t He allow every conception to be born as an absolutely perfect baby? In fact, it God were to do this starting tomorrow — every baby born perfect — He could prove His compassion for life and give a powerful demonstration of His existence.