Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors


Rick Warren, Abortion and the Holocaust

posted by Brad Hirschfield

Rick Warren’s beleifnet.com interview is a must read, both because of the wisdom it contains and a rather horrific analogy made by him in which he compares any position on abortion other than his own, to holocaust denial. I assume that this was more gross misstep than gross insensitivity, but it needs to be mentioned and it needs to never happen again. But before I detail the problem, let me assure you, that my critique is not born of any ill will toward Rick Warren. In fact, I hold him in the highest regard.
Reverend Warren’s claim at the start of the Saddleback Forum that church and state ought be separate, but not faith and politics, is one with which I strongly agree and have written about elsewhere. Suffice it to say that I believe that the separation of church and state is one of the great ideas of the modern world. It attempted to end the thousands year old tradition, among all three Abrahamic faiths at least, of people using state power to kill other people in order to make God happy. But the idea that faith should be separated from politics is one of the worst expressions of “baby-out-with-the-bathwater” thinking that has come along in almost as many years. Instead of killing people for God, we tried to kill God for people, only that has worked so well either.
We have managed to kill as many people over the last two hundred years, without God in the mix, as we did in the thousands of years before. So maybe we need to try something else. Instead of killing off either God, or those who don’t share our beliefs, perhaps we should reintegrate the two in a healthier way. That is what I find so useful about Rev. Warren’s comment.
And while there are many specific policies about which he and I might disagree, Warren’s commitment to nurturing civil discourse around the most divisive issues in our society, is a service to us all regardless of the faith we follow or the political agenda we might have. In fact, it’s his desire to lead in this area that makes his comments particularly egregious.


Speaking with Dan Gilgoff, Reverend Warren commented:

If they (Evangelicals, among whom Warren counts himself) think that life begins at conception, then that means that there are 40 million Americans who are not here [because they were aborted] that could have voted. They would call that a holocaust, and for them it would like if I’m Jewish and a Holocaust denier is running for office. I don’t care how right he is on everything else, it’s a deal breaker for me. I’m not going to vote for a Holocaust denier….

WRONG, WRONG WRONG Reverend Warren! And here is why.
First, to suggest that the debate about when life begins is the same as a debate about whether or not 12 million human beings were murdered by the Nazis is just nuts. Not because one would be nuts to assume that life begins at conception though. It would be nuts because the question of when life begins is a real debate not only among people in America generally, but among Christians who share a commitment to scripture. Does Reverend Warren believe that there is room to debate the factuality of those 12 million dead? And if he doesn’t believe that there is room for civil debate around when conception begins either, then perhaps the Saddleback Forum was the sham that many liberals have, in my opinion until now, unfairly branded it.
Does he believe that anyone who interprets scripture differently from him actually denies, not a doctrine of the faith, but a matter of historic fact? If that is the case, then he must also believe that those who attack and even murder doctors and nurses who perform abortions are in the right, much as I hope he would agree that the soldiers and partisans who fought the Nazis were morally justified in that fight. If that is not his position, and I do not think it is, then he must pick a better metaphor for those who do not share his views on abortion.
Finally, by assuming that only Jews would be offended by a Holocaust denier running for office, Reverend Warren suggests that the Holocaust is primarily a Jewish problem. And while there is plenty about which to object concerning the way that many Jews have tried to own the Holocaust as a uniquely Jewish event, suggesting that any person of conscience could tolerate a holocaust denier in public office insults us all.
Does one have to be African to be concerned about Rwanda or Darfur? While the primary target of Hitler’s genocidal aspirations was certainly the Jewish people, no sane human can tolerate a telling of history in which that war is denied — not if we hope to avoid a repetition of such events in the future.
So speaking of events to avoid in the future, how about putting comparisons between holocaust denials and competing views of when life begins, on the list?



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Itzme

posted August 21, 2008 at 11:10 am


I have enjoyed your column very much.
While I do disagree with Warren about the issue of choice, I can understand that for him a baby is a person and in fact is the same as you and I in terms of rights. In his mind a person is a person no matter how small and should be defended no matter what, and I can understand for him it would be a dealbreaker.
I do however have to disagree with you about your saying because he does the above he much also agree that those who kill abortion providers are in the right. Except for the lunatic fringe no leader has said that those who murder for the abortion cause are justified, and it is warping the argument to equate that argument with those who would kill Nazi’s.



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marcus

posted August 21, 2008 at 11:38 am


Warren clearly identified the group of people he was speaking for. For this group of people there isn’t any debate about when life begins but it is settled for them, that life begins at conception. Competing views of when life begins among some American’s has no influence on their beliefs. Warren is obviously not attempting to speak for people who don’t share his viewpoint on abortion. In this context, I don’t find his comparison inappropriate. Nor do I believe he’s implying that no one, other than a Jew, would be horrified about the Holocaust. Instead I believe he’s saying he could no more vote for a candidate who was pro-abortion as a Jewish person could vote for a candidate who denied that the Holocaust ever happened.



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friedrich

posted August 21, 2008 at 12:03 pm


There is a qualitative difference between a life that has been lived and is full of experiences and memories and relationships, and one which has none of those things. Abortion, while tragic, pales in comparison to the untimely death of the person who has lived and loved.
Which really shows the fundamental confusion that is inherent in their perspectives. Abortion is wrong, but the casualties of war, both in uniform and out, are seen as incidental, merely unfortunate. No crime is committed against G-d when a child dies as the result of a strike by U.S. bombs or U.S. sanctions, only when a mother cannot muster the resources or the courage to raise him. Killing is always fine and good, as long as we are the ones doing the killing. -that pretty much sums up this great failing.



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Matt

posted August 21, 2008 at 2:07 pm


I don’t think there is much there.
I think Brad is stretching for something that isn’t ther.



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Brian Horan aka New Age Cowboy

posted August 21, 2008 at 2:35 pm


Does part of Rick Warren’s Evangelical empire include services for adoption, or services to get kids out of foster care? What percentage of Saddleback assets is devoted to these two causes? Does Saddleback provide services like prenatal care to poor expectant mothers? What’s their position on federal funds for health-care for poor kids (Conservatives in the Senate vote those sorts of things down)?
I grew up Evangelical and don’t know any ‘pro-life’ folks that have adopted special needs kids INSTEAD of having there own. If Evangelicals want to compare pro-choicers to holocaust deniers… well, they would be considered worse by any objective standard. They have ‘special knowledge’ and they’re sitting on their hands.
I think anti-choice folks aren’t just willfully ignorant – they’re willfully hypocritical. Unlike Jesus, I think Evangelicals enjoy casting stones quite a bit.
I’m also starting to think Mr. Warren is a boob.



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Tom

posted August 21, 2008 at 5:47 pm


Rabbi Hirschfield,
Are you not aware that at President Ahmadinejad’s conference there were Hebrews in attendance who are anti-zionists who were at odds with the popular historical account of the Holocaust? The same as ‘Christians’ being at odds with each other as to when life begins. All pastor Warren was trying to do (I believe) is to draw parallels between how Pro-lifers feel about the abortion and how Hebrews feel about the Holocaust. The Holocaust against the Hebrews ended 64 years ago while the Holocaust against the unborn continues till this very day.
The median is day 44 for electrical activity being detected in the brain of an unborn fetus, and day 52 for various movement including but not limited to frowning, squinting, brow-furrowing, head turning, stretching, etc. Even if only 70% of abortions were committed after this time (a very conservative estimate), that’s still well over 30 million babies aborted between now and 1973 who exibit obvious signs of life.
Enjoy your blogs and your insight Rabbi Hirschfield; just happen to disagree in this instance.
P.S. Let the ‘pro-choicers’ familiarize themselves with the various abortion procedures and diagrahams at various times of pregnancy; then we can have an intelligible discussion as to who’s ‘willfully ignorant’ and who’s ‘willfully hypocritical’.



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Rob

posted August 21, 2008 at 7:09 pm


Rabbi, I have a sincere question I never see addressed surrounding this issue.
Suppose, for a moment, human life really does begin at conception. I remember something in a haf-Torah reading that suggests it might even begin “before,” but suppose it begins at conception. Then are there never situations where one human life must be favored over another, and the child is not favored?
Thank you for helping me understand.



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Malachi Hamavet

posted August 21, 2008 at 10:20 pm


Players on both sides of the abortion debate may never agree on when life begins. But even if everyone were to agree that life begins at conception, trying to draw symmetry between the death of an embryo or fetus and the holocaust is specious. Even if a fetus has facial expressions, and there is electrical activity in the brain, and so on, it does not know fear. It is not aware of its own existence. It cannot feel the terror that people felt when they entered the cattle cars or the gas chambers. Even if life were being destroyed in both cases, abortion is not meant to terrorize the unborn. It is not willfully cruel.
The word ‘holocaust,’ regretably, has become a cheap way for adding moral legitimacy to any cause. Saying the other side is perpetrating a ‘holocaust’ automatically puts one in the right and stifles debate. If we are to talk these things out, it would be best to not employ such loaded language.



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theONE

posted August 21, 2008 at 11:27 pm


It is interesting that when a scientist looks at the unborn of any species besides human, a DNA test is sufficient to determine what species it is and the fact that its cells are dividing defines it as alive. Why is it when we talk of humans we try and cloud the issue by saying it is not a human (DNA EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY)or it is not alive (CELLS ARE DIVIDING) when it is an unborn human? Can anyone actually be so deceived as to really not know that it is a human and it is alive at conception? That basic “common” sense, not based on any religious views should frame the questions. Then it is up to a persons “religion or lact there of” to determine if it is OK to kill the human.



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Ron

posted August 22, 2008 at 1:08 am


I believe that in the Torah, the ancient Hebrews determined a baby was a human being when it took its first breath.
interesting that so many want to define life at conception. there is a long period when the “baby” isn’t viable and could not survive outside the womb. To me, it’s simply another attempt by specific religious groups who are trying to redefine and determine the laws and beliefs for every citizen.
Personally, for this religious group, MYOB!



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marcus

posted August 22, 2008 at 3:25 pm


Good grief Malachi… If abortion is the taking of life, then it is inherently all the things you’ve stated that it isn’t. It is cruel by its very nature and a willful decision for many who choose it. Why would the pre-born struggle as they die in the saline solutions of some abortions and attempt to move away from the invading instruments in others if it’s not a terrorizing act? Abortion on demand is not about facial expressions, life experiences, viability or personal choice. It concerns two things that must be answered: 1) Is abortion the taking of a human life. 2) Is the taking of innocent human life murder. If abortion is the murder of innocent human life then it is not “loaded language”, to call it a holocaust of horrific proportions.
Ron…If we don’t have human “life” at conception, then what do we have? It’s very easy for us to discard our children when we define them as something other than human. At what point do we go through a stage where we’re something that isn’t human life? How does location determine my humanity? We cannot coherently believe that it is all right to abort a baby a few weeks before birth, but as soon as the baby is born everything should be done to keep it alive. Does appearance determine my humanity? Please define the points in our lives where we are not human? It cannot be argued rationally that we are ever anything but unique human life from conception to death.
On the subject of abortion on demand, we certainly do want those who are pro-life to mind their own business, and to be silent, the implications are too horrible to contemplate if they are right.



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Charly.00

posted August 22, 2008 at 5:17 pm


It seems that we are enamored of a God that routinely disposes of about 25% of newly formed fetuses. Perhaps that God can handle the ‘recycling’ of souls that didn’t make it into the world we know.



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marsh

posted August 22, 2008 at 9:11 pm


Rev. Warren used the Holocaust as an analogy. What he was saying is that if a candidate had a sound fiscal policy, a solid energy plan, great ideas about foreign policy but advocated Holocaust denial and active persecution of the Jews, for him that would be a deal breaker.
As a Roman Catholic, the Church teaches that it is gravely sinful for anyone to support abortion in anyway. The Church also teaches that as Catholics our consciences, in light of Catholic teaching, must form our choices in the voting both. If a candidate is great on 99% of the issues but advocates pro-choice that is a deal breaker. It is called one of the five non-negotiable issues. (Abortion, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Euthanasia, Cloning, and homosexual “marriage.”
So, in defense of Rev. Warren, I will not “vote for a holocaust denier.” There have been many candidates who have run for office on a segregation platform. George Wallace was one of them, so was robert Byrd maybe they had some good ideas about some things, I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter how good their ideas on those issues are, they have that pesky problem of discriminating against people based on the color of their skin. Once again, a deal breaker!



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Kitty

posted August 23, 2008 at 5:19 am


From what I read, no one was saying that a human zygote/embryo/fetus was not human.



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Kitty

posted August 23, 2008 at 5:24 am


Certainly life begins at conception, but about half of those “lives” never go any further, completely due to natural causes.
Abortion is not a holocaust. A holocaust (THE Holocaust) was the systematic attempt to completely eradicate people of certain ethnicities and religions. Abortion does no such thing. No one ethnicity or religion is being targeted by abortion, nor is the human race in danger because of these abortions. The population continues to grow exponentially in spite of the fact that some women continue to seek abortions.



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Bev.

posted August 23, 2008 at 1:02 pm


Yup, get out the old philosophy books – on LOGIC – and it is fasle comparison between the Holocaust and abortion. Systematically destroying every person of one race (or faith) is not the same as one individual making one decision to not give birth.
I wish everyone would get their priorities straight.
While some citizens of this great country seemingly seek to control individual behaviors – abortion, smoking, drug using, drinking, to name just a few, we are killing the environment and our earth.
While we talk ‘nice’ and imagine we’re morally superior, we allow child abuse, homelessness, nasty nursing homes, children and the elderly without health care, wars that cost BILLIONS of dollars, tear up every thing, maim and kill thousands, and destroy millions of lives. We allow or participate in racism – still. We watch the children in Africa try to survive without food, parents, simple medications and simply medical procedures.
I grew up in a Catholic environment that was FOR something – LOVE of GOD and extending that love to His other children – and all life.
I do not see that these pro-lifers are really extending love – they are 1) trying to control others, 2) seemingly forgetting all the other huge humanitarian issues, 3) being illogical.
The saddest thing I think is that I can not see Jesus walking around attacking abortion clinics or trying to pass a law to outlaw abortion. He was a Healer, not a controller and not a big ego saying “look how righteous I am”!
People who claim to follow Jesus really need to LIVE what they believe and what He taught.



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Ron

posted August 23, 2008 at 1:42 pm


Marcus,
“If we don’t have human “life” at conception, then what do we have?”
What is the reason for defining life at conception? Who does it truly serve? One can say that life begins at conception but that doesn’t alter the fact the baby/fetus cannot survive for many months on its own. It isn’t viable outside the womb and wouldn’t live.
“It’s very easy for us to discard our children when we define them as something other than human. At what point do we go through a stage where we’re something that isn’t human life?”
The fact that some women choose to end their pregnancy, for whatever personal reasons, doesn’t mean that we discard our children. Such a comment generalizes all women who choose to have an abortion, saying that they’re discarding the child. Each situation where an abortion is performed is unique unto itself, meaning the reason it was done and is no one else’s business. That woman has to deal with the consequences of her decision, however that may be. This country does not need religious police to say what she can or cannot do simply because it may offend their beliefs. Sorry, your beliefs stop at her nose. The Middle East has plenty of Religious Police who tell everyone what they can or can’t do. That is exactly what I see the RR attempting to do here. They and they alone want the right to choose what others can do. If it goes against your beliefs, I’m sorry but don’t have one and don’t stand there telling others what they can or can not do. Our Constitution protects individual choice, whether or not you agree with how that choice is made.
The reason I made the comment about ancient Hebrews not viewing the child a human being until it takes its first breath is that the RR likes to quote the Old Testament as fact but ignores the historical basis of it. If it doesn’t fit their agenda, they’ll ignore the facts to come up with their own conclusions to support their reasons.
Which again leads me to say, MYOB. No woman or person, including myself, needs to be told what we/I can do because it may offend the RR. People don’t need a religious big brother telling us what we can have solely based on their beliefs. This is simply another situation where the RR is attempting to assert control over others. After all, that’s what they’re all about…Power and Control over others. Bush talks about the Taliban over in the Middle East, funny, there’s no mention of said group here in this country seeking to do the very same things for the very same reasons. However, they are not called the Taliban here, they’re call the Religious Right!



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LAURA MUSHKAT

posted August 23, 2008 at 2:11 pm


Being Jews I think we are more SENSITIVE to public and private talk pertaining to the Holocaust-except for gays and gypsies and others who were also targeted and feel that people ignore their involvement. That is how I interput the interview part where he talks about that. He was not stating that others do not care about what occured during th Holocaust. Nor did he seem to be saying that about how people feel about deniers in the same way. Those who were set up for being killed off during this time SHOULD be more sensitive then others on the subject. I think you missed the boat on this one Rabbi!
As for his opinion on pro-lifers being Democrats I have known a few who are and those who consider being pro choice being pro-life as well. I know because I am one of them!! Possibly because I am practical about why people have them.



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Julie K. T. M.

posted August 23, 2008 at 4:37 pm


To one who reads:
The issues of abortion and the Holocaust are two extremely different issues.The Holocaust should make more people think than apparently do because besides Jews there were also Catholics,Gays, Free-Masons,the disabled, gypsies and those who protected them who were destroyed in the concentration camps and the killing fields and ghetto’s.
The issue of abortion is one in which big people kill little people because of some excuse that they make up. It is true that some of the woman did not want to have abortions but allowed it or went along with it anyway.What “choice” does the child (that is involved have). All his (or hers) rights have been taken away from him (or her)-forever!.
Especially bad is taking U.S.A. tax payer’s money to pay for these horrific murders.
There are some things that these two issues have in common: death, absolute control, and selfishness.



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colin

posted August 24, 2008 at 11:04 am


just looking at the word “holocaust” itself, the word means a burnt-offering to God. The modern Jewish definition originally came from the idea that the people who died were sacrificed (martyred), a definition meant to honor their deaths, as well as to provide a moral framework for understanding God’s plan in allowing it to happen. Ironically, the first idea of sacrificing oneself as an offering to God is generally a Christian concept, and the second idea is more or less a concept to advocate Zionism.
Please show me how abortion provides these things. How do we honor the deaths of our sacrificed unborn children? How does abortion fit into a moral framework that includes God’s plan for mankind? These definitions of holocaust are not what the author meant, I assume.
But there is a third definition of holocaust, which is the one most used by most people, especially many Jews who don’t have much knowledge of Torah/Talmud/etc. and really don’t care about the origin of the term holocaust. Instead the third concept is defined as a mass killing of unspeakable violence, where humanity does cruel things for its own selfishness against other humans, even breaking commandments of the Torah(see the mitzvah related to Molech and immolating your children).
That definition also describes abortion, and if you are operating under this third definition, you simply cannot exclude anyone, otherwise you would be claiming that only Jews are human and everyone else is not, even those souls who were “formed in the womb,” as Jeremiah puts it, until they were suddenly taken away from God’s plan for them, “plans to prosper them.”
So dont you dare try to own the word holocaust, a word used long before 1945, because the Jewish people are not the only human beings (see the table of nations in Genesis), not the only souls that God cares for (see Jonah), and certainly not the only ones who are persecuted, tortured, and killed for simply existing in the way God created them.
So in this case, the word holocaust is quite appropriate, a term that belongs to all who suffer at the hands of selfishness, greed, and the other sins of man against man.



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D

posted August 24, 2008 at 11:54 am


The real problem here is the equivocation of the word EVIL. The evil that was done to the Jews during the holocaust and the “evil” that takes place during abortions is COMPLETELY different. The “real” holocaust of the Jewish people concerns an unpresidented evil of malice – a pure evil. I do not think it is fair to even compare them. Compare the evil represented in the movie Schindler’s List, how the Jews were treated so totally inhumanely; and the evil of a mother who is scared and commits an abortion out of ignorance.
I’m not saying abortions are “ok,” but to compare the evil of an abotion to the kind of evil that was committed against the Jewish people is philosophically inaccurate, and quite simply an equivocation of rhetoric.



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David Altschul

posted August 24, 2008 at 12:02 pm


Reverend Warren’s abusive misappropriation of the Holocaust mantle is an example of the simple logical fallacy called “assuming as true what has not been proved.” If life does NOT begin at conception, no Holocaust here. To give a clean example of the fallacy: In 1973 I moved to a community in which people believed Jews had horns and tails. (Really.)
I guess if I met Rev, Warren there he’d have said, “C’mon, show us the tail you’ve got. we KNOW what’s true.”



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David Altschul

posted August 24, 2008 at 12:04 pm


Under Federal rules for the Food Stamps program, a pregnant woman is eligible to get food for one person. any “life begins at conception” advocate who is not lobbying every day to get this changed is total hypocrite.



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Lamp Post

posted August 24, 2008 at 12:07 pm


Colin, Excellent post. In my reading and understanding of the Scriptures, Exodus 21:22-24, makes a clear picture of God’s protection of the unborn, referencing “woman with child”. The penalties are severe and protects both the mother and ‘child’. If such severity was imposed as punishment for what could perhaps be an accidental abortion, how much more will be required for the intentional and selfish destruction of God given ‘life’?



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deb #1

posted August 24, 2008 at 12:54 pm


I can’t help but wonder how the 6 million (plus) Nazi victims would have voted.



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Rober Moseley Sr. of Calvert County,Md.

posted August 24, 2008 at 1:03 pm


Abortion is evil in it’s own right. It’s a form of genocide self-inflicted. anything else is not called abortion.Fact is the unwilling ending of a pregnancy is not considered an abortion but something else which escapes me for the moment.Any woman can tell you that as many diseases will cause it. Shame on you for even putting them in the same catagory as most women that loses a child that way is very upset ,even to a point of devestation or depression.



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Anonymous

posted August 24, 2008 at 1:07 pm


So in devastation it should have been an “a”. I’m not perfect, The Lord is still working on me.
Bob Sr



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Anonymous

posted August 24, 2008 at 1:10 pm


So I missspelled Devaststion. May you do better when you pas your 82nd birthday 10 Months.
Bob Sr. of Calvert County Md.



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Anonymous

posted August 24, 2008 at 1:14 pm


Another iTem a baby bon dead is not an abortion un less murdered.It is classed as “Stillborn”. At least you could make a study on what you are writing about.
Bob Sr of Calvert County ,Md.



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Jeannie Taylor

posted August 24, 2008 at 3:50 pm


The Holucaust was a terrible tradegy. No one has the right to kill another person. I don’t care what race you are. God will judge all people one day soon.



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Gill Duffee

posted August 24, 2008 at 6:21 pm


Rabbi Hirschfield, it seems to me that you have missed Mr. Warren’s point. From where I sit and read his comments, he is stating the view of many evangelicals that the sheer number of human lives lost to abortion is a tragedy even more devastating than the well-documented, lamented, and undeniably historical holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany. For an evangelical who is committed to the sanctity of human life, any potential leader’s perspective on abortion that does not see it as a tragedy of holocaust proportions is in fact a ‘deal-breaker.’
Nowhere in his comments (and I have read the entire interview via Christianity Today’s provided link) is there anything to suggest that an objective debate concerning the beginning of life is in any way comparable to a debate on the historical existence of the death camps of Hitler’s Third Reich. (And while there are many opinions on the subject of life and conception, ask any competent embryologist for their opinion. In my opinion, informed opinions generally hold up better over time in the face of reality than do opinions arising from emotional, irrational knee-jerk prejudice. But that’s just an opinion from an itinerant Celtic evangelical.)



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Marian Neudel

posted August 24, 2008 at 6:58 pm


“Another iTem a baby bon dead is not an abortion un less murdered.It is classed as “Stillborn”.”
As I understand it, the standard medical locution for any fetus which is dead when it leaves the womb is “abortion.” There are “spontaneous abortions” (what non-doctors usually call miscarriages or stillbirths) and “elective abortions” (what non-doctors usually call abortions.) But they’re all “abortions” of one sort or another to a doctor.



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glory

posted August 24, 2008 at 8:10 pm


Nice blog Rabbi, I love what you had to say… extreme comments like the one Warren made, no matter what you believe, are the kind of comments that make it so difficult to be heard or to hear others. We are all made by God, in God’s image… making no one any better than anyone else. And one of the main issues this country’s politics were created on was freedom of religion… so please, is anyone else tired of hearing this, “my religion is more true and better than your religion”? Regarding “scriptures” Yehuda Berg in his The 72 Names of God book tells us that (according to Kabbalah) the Bible is code to be cracked and release the awesome spiritual forces into our souls… and not to be taken literally resulting in a ‘fruitless symbol of religious tradition instead of the awesome instrument of power it was meant to be.’ Come on folks. And one more thought to share… in this “quest” to define when life begins I haven’t heard Evangelicals value the rights of the woman at all, like she doesn’t exist as a human being, even as if now that she has become pregnant her rights are null and void and the baby’s rights are above hers… I’m not here to define when life begins, the baby is within the woman’s body, the baby is a bunch of cells living and multiplying within HER body; I had a friend who had a bunch of cells living and multiplying within HER body called cancer – she had the right to do what she chose with HER BODY; I came back from a trip with a bunch of cells living and growing inside MY body called a parasite – I had the right to choose what to do with my body… the woman has rights to do what she wants with her body. Period. I not only want to ask what would Jesus do, but what would Ben Franklin do? I don’t believe either one of them would set up a law to take away a pregnant woman’s rights.



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Chana Silverman

posted August 24, 2008 at 9:16 pm


I agree with this article. The souls of aborted babies get another chance. They simply return to heaven to await another opportunity to take a human form. That is if you believe the soul is transmitted at conception. There is still much controversy even in Judaism as to when the soul enters. Many Jews believe the souls enters when the newborn takes his first breath. (G-d breaths a soul into a human being).
Do we honestly know? Abortion can be murder, depends on the circumstances. If the unborn fetus is a “Rodef” (look it up) than its existence is danger to the Mom and if the Mom’s life is in danger of being lost the unborn babe must go.
To equate abortion to the Holocaust of the Jewish people is comparing a life being snatched away before birth and a life already here with purpose and emotions and knowledge being tortured and tormented before being murdered, how can that possibly be the same. It is not a good thing to kill unborn babies, and very sad. but it is not the same at all.



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Mother of 3

posted August 24, 2008 at 9:34 pm


Ron, you sound like a robot.
If ever you incarnate as a woman in a future life, go and have an abortion then suffer the heart-ache for the rest of your life knowing you have murdered a human life.
Signed Mother of 3.



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joyce

posted August 24, 2008 at 10:39 pm


Courage:
I am one of “those women” whom everyone speaks, at age 20 I had an abortion by the inspiration of the father of my child. Not knowing much about life at all, it seemed the best thing to do since this “man was a thug, and would never work a day in his life. So lets discuss the “women”, we (and i speak for many), have suffered terrible shame, hurt, loss, and great mistrust since our encounter with SIN, Thank God for a forgiving and healling Jesus who has set us free. But how many knows of the hardships that follow this horrible procedure? Seems like a lot of men discussing a womens issue? No men to have suffered from the moment of a terrible decision. So open the forum to What if i had to make that decision, or what if I was ask to murder”? I can tell you it is a moment never forgotten and always devestating. NO WAY ANYONE CAN CONVINCE ME IT WASN’T A CHILD IN ME! Also, the old addage of law and womens rights is old and quite frankly, well stupid, after all many women rights groups as i was growing up told me “you don’t have to marry, freedom, peace, love baby! Well now where are we, our children are left at home, both parents working, economy worse then when we did not work, they are spoilled and they are told they have more rights then their parents! Enough of this, I am an educated women, nurse 30 years, plus have a degree in Administrative Child Development, and have a husband, plus TWO VERY BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN, ONE A PILOT THE OTHER A MODEL! So, life begin @ creation and God created it all, so for all the nay sayers, your day is coming when you will meet Him face to face and I can only PRAY for your souls to meet me there. WE MUST VOTE OUR HEARTS AND SEARCH DEEP, WHAT IF IT HAD BEEN YOU ABANDON BEFORE GIVEN A CHANCE? We would have missed you terribly!
May the Lord Bless you and keep you in the palm of His hand, and may His light shine upon you and give you GRACE. HE SAID’ “IF YOU ARE ASHAMED OF ME BEFORE MEN THEN I WILL BE ASHAMED OF YOU BEFORE MY FATHER” which is it?
God Bless Everyone and thank you Saddleback Church for your giving and sacrafice to bring forth a much needed discussion.
Joyce



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Janice

posted August 25, 2008 at 1:58 am


Oh come on, Glory! I liked the rabbi’s blog too, but your comments were totally insensitive. My parents both had cancer, in fact it killed them. I’ve had intestinal parasites *and* I’ve lost a baby. So, what are you saying? I should have reacted to these events all in the same way?



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DOT

posted August 25, 2008 at 9:32 am


Life does begin at conception. Read the old testament passages.
My daughter was away at college, had 2 weeks left, then summer
vacation, and on to her junior year. What happened was extremly
hard on us. She was raised to go to church, pray, read the word,
and we were against abortion. Well she was with another student
went off campus, and someone put some GHB in her drink. she
was then raped, AND GOT PREGNANT. She did not tell us for months.
But she did not have an Abortion. 6 years have gone by.. I have
a beautiful grandson named CALEB. He is normal, healthy, and i
pray he will grow up to serve the Lord in Ministry. What the enemy
meant for EVIL, gOD turned it around for good. mY DAUGHTHER
could of had an abortion.She chose not too. God is still in control
of this Universe. GODS Blessings to you all i LOVE THE JEWISH
PEOPLE, THEY ARE THE CHOSEN, Im just adopted, and grafted in
Ha, Ha. DOT



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Chana Silverman

posted August 25, 2008 at 9:45 am


I am thankful for all praying people. I am thankful for all repenting people because they are trying to make the world a better place by taking personal responsibility.
To me, the debate here is: if comparing abortion to the holocaust is a fair and moral thing to do. I can see one comparison, and it is this:
In both cases there is a lack of respect and awe for human life.
When we lose the respect for life we are disrespecting the Creator of life.
“Because of my own personal problems I cannot see MY life with this baby so it must go. I matter and this unborn life is less.”
Let us be careful in our religious zeal we do not see the woman who has made the choice to abort her pregnancy as less, but one we all have failed – society has failed – religion has failed – and she has failed herself – in one way or another.
If a woman has made the choice to abort because her own health issues prescribe it, she is making a choice forced on her, and she needs all the loving kindness and support we can give. Her heart may be as broken as if the child had been born and then died. It may not be the will of G-d she should sacrifice her life for another.
In the holocaust lives where sacrificed without right or reason other than the diabolical delusional exalting of self over others who where considered “less”.
In our own religious convictions and personal relationship with our Creator let us all be careful we do not look on the faith of another as “less” because they are not “doing it” the way we are. We are only responsible to judge ourselves in this area.



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Joe

posted August 25, 2008 at 12:33 pm


I hate abortion but I also do not tolerate crime and Thugs on the streets who were unloved as children… How many pro-life folks have actually done something about the problem? Less than 1%! Half the homeless are foster kids who timed out with foster parents who were in it just for the money. No plan and no track for the kid to run on which is why a religious upbringing is so important and I don’t care which one as long as it teaches to love your neighbor as yourself.
Next time your in Borders, take a minute, well maybe fifteen and just read the chapter on crime & abortion in Freakonomics by Steven Levitt. You will learn a great deal that you do not know now and it will affect how you think we should deal with the abortion problem.



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Alfred

posted August 25, 2008 at 12:38 pm


The holocaust is and always will be a stand alone event. Many menatally deformed Germans and elderly Germans were killed before the extermination of the Jews began by Hitler, however when we think of the holocaust, it is a purely Jewish event that is processed. Any attemp to relate it to anything else will end up disastrously. Abortion like the holocaust must be allowed to stand alone as an intolerable and unconscionable thing. I am also concerned about the number of Christians who come to this site attempting to teach the Jews about the bible. How totally misguided that is. Your bible teaches you that the Jews are your light, why are you attempting to enlighten them, ignorance maybe? May G-d help us all.



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eastcoastlady

posted August 25, 2008 at 12:43 pm


Some of the comments here are just too much, pretending to try to sound compassionate, while in actuality, are simultaneously judgmental.
To the poster who talked of having pity and compassion for women who had abortions out of ignorance – it’s ignorant itself to classify women who have abortions as “ignorant”. The women I knew who had abortions had them with eyes wide open, knowing full well what they did, and made the best decisions they could at the time. They both live with neither guilt nor shame, as it should be.
To the poster who talked of women living in shame and guilt having had an abortion – it’s sad you continue to feel that way. Lift your head up and realize you made the decision that you thought was best at the time.
Having abortions is in no way comparable to the Nazi Holocaust. Whether or not the zygote or embryo is “alive” at conception misses the point. Is it a human being with a soul, or even a human being without a soul at some point (accounting for those who don’t believe in an afterlife, who are certainly as important as those who believe in G-d)? Who takes priority? How do you determine all the in-between issues you find?
I recall a TV news special several years ago where, among other women, there was an Orthodox Jewish woman who had what’s known as “selective reduction” because she was pregnant with four embryos and the doctors told her that if she reduced the number of embryos down to 2, they’d have a much better chance of survival. She stated on TV that she saw her act of selective reduction (letting the doctors reduce the number of fetuses) as saving two of her kids, rather than as killing two of her kids.
My parents were both Holocaust victims and both lost all their families. I would never, ever, ever equate having an abortion with what was done to them, their families, and the 11 million other Nazi Holocaust victims. It’s in no way the same and it’s a smokescreen, a red herring, an attempt to put even more emotion on the abortion issue than there already is.
Some women feel the resonsible thing to do is to end their pregnancies, no matter what the reason. Whether or not it’s abused should not take over the woman’s right to choose, because it’s the woman who is ever the one responsible for what comes after.
Those who keep their pregnancies going, fine. That’s your choice.
Don’t try to make your choice the rule for everyone else.
And Rick Warren’s comparison is insulting and fallacious.



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Lucy

posted August 25, 2008 at 2:31 pm


I agree completely with Eastcoastlady. I also suspect that many of those who are so virulently anti-choice are more interested in controlling women than they are in “babies” and “families.” I see few of them out there helping unwanted children who end up in the foster care system. (I use anti-choice here not as a euphamism but because few of us are actually pro-abortion; I would much rather see teens remain abstinent, and adults in appropriate relationships using reliable birth control until such time as they wish to have children.) I am sorry, but I place more value on the life, health and future of the woman than I do on an embryo that has existed less than 12 weeks.
If abortion is banned, many desperate women will die trying to end unwanted pregnancies. Few women who are raped would want to carry a resulting pregnancy to term and to expect her to would be to force her to go through the rape over and over again for nine months. Women are sometimes exploited in other ways as well, and occasionally, abortion is the only choice for the particular woman. Sometimes that “woman” is a young teenager who has been taken advantage of by a friend or even a family member. I find it interesting that women who have abortions are often called “irresponsible,” or even “murderers.” Remember, right from the beginning, there was also a man involved. I suggest he also bears culpability for the unwanted pregnancy. Unfortunatley, in the end, only the woman is forced to live with the consequences. Abortion is never “good” and it is not an experience I would want to have. But I know that sometimes, it is necessary



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glory

posted August 25, 2008 at 6:32 pm


Janice, please read my posting again – my references were not meant to compare any as better or worse, my point was in regards to the woman’s rights and if there is to be an argument about when a baby is alive is really kind of silly because as living cells it doesn’t just come to life one day and then to further state there are several types of living cells within our bodies that we have the right to decide what happens with them… wouldn’t it be ridiculous if our country had rights over our bodies to decide what we did with other living cells (like a cancer or a parasite) in our bodies… it’s an extreme comparison but my point is the extreme arrogance of someone to say they have rights over my body… the mother’s rights over-ride the rights of an unborn fetus.



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Johnny Ward

posted August 31, 2008 at 6:19 am


IT IS CERTAINLY ABOVE MY PAY GRADE ALSO TO TELL YOU WHEN LIFE BEGINS. ARE WE CERTAIN EVEN WHEN LIFE ENDS WITH ALL OF THE TECHNOLOGY THAT WE HAVE. HOW CAN YOU BE PRO-LIFE WHEN YOU ADVOCATE KILLING ANYONE? IT IS ONE THING TO DEFEND YOURSELF. BUT WHEN YOUR ARE THE AGRESSOR, OR DO THINGS OUT OF VENGANCE – THAT IS WRONG. “VENGANCE IS MINE” SAYETH THE LORD. GOD BLESS ALL THAT ARE PRO-LIFE, BUT BE PRO-LIFE AFTER THE CHILD IS BORN. I DO NOT KNOW MANY WHO HAVE HAD ABORTIONS. BUT MAYBE I DO, AND THE WOMEN WOULD LIKE TO KEEP THEIR PERSONAL BUSINESS TO THEMSELVES. THIS IS ONLY HAS BEEN AN ISSUE FOR POOR WOMEN. THE WEALTHY AND POWERFUL DID IT IN THE PAST, AND CONTINUE TO DO IT BEHIND A CURTAIN OF SECRECY.
SARAH PALIN NEEDS TO REALIZE THAT 18,000,000 CRACKS IN THE CEILING WERE MADE MOSTLY BY WOMEN WHO DO NOT AGREE WITH “ANYONE” MAKING DECISIONS FOR THEM.



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Homer Wiggins

posted September 7, 2008 at 12:44 am


What is more precious than life ? Life is a gift from our G-D. The ability to reproduce after OUR KIND is a gift from our G-D.To be created in the IMAGE AND LIKENESS of our G-D ; this is HIS gift to us.
You and I must ask ourselves what we are doing with the wonderful gifts our G-D has given us . If you will follow the heart of G-D , then you will know what to do about abortion .



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JOYCE

posted September 15, 2008 at 1:17 am


FIRSTCOASTLADY
WANTED TO JOT A NOTE ABOUT YOUR RESPONSE TO MY POST, YOU HAVE NO IDEA OF THE HUNDREDS OF WOMEN AND MEN I HAVE GRACIOUSLY BEEN ABLE TO SERVE FOLLOWING THE DECISION OF ENDING A LIFE JUST BEGUN..
YOU OBVIOUS MISUNDERSTOOD THE DISCUSSION OF DEEP CONCERN FOR SOCIETY AS A WHOLE AND OF COURSE I DID EXPLAIN THAT I HAVE NO GUILT DUE TO THE DELIEVERNCE OF HIM THAT CREATED ME AND MY CHILD.
YET AS DISCUSSED, I HAVE NEVER IN 10 COUNTRIES, OVER 25 YEARS MET A WOMEN WHO DID NOT REGRET THE DECISION OR THE AFFECT IT HAD ON HER IN THE FUTURE. I CARRY MUCH LOVE FOR ALL CREATIONS, AND REMEMBER I AM DEALLING WITH THOSE WHO HAVE ALREADY MADE THAT DECISION AND HAVE GREAT REGRET AT CHOICE, SOME WERE RAPED, SOME WERE MALESTED, SOME WHERE JUST MAKING A CHOICE, BUT STILL HAVEN’T FOUND ONE WHO DID NOT REGRET THE ACT OF MURDER. I PRAY YOU ARE NOT THE FIRST, IF SO REDEMPTION IS FOR EVERYONE AND JUDGEMENT IS THE LORDS NOT MINE OR YOURS, I JUST LOVE THEM AS BEST I CAN COMING FROM ONE WHO MADE THE “CHOICE” OR LIVED THE “FORCED”.
GOD BLESS US ALL
JOYCE



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Marcus Marrero

posted June 14, 2010 at 8:25 am


You have done it again! Superb read.



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Torrent Download

posted December 13, 2010 at 2:28 pm


It’s an extreme comparison but my point is the extreme arrogance of someone to say they have rights over my body… the mother’s rights over-ride the rights of an unborn fetus.



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