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Abortion, the Bible, & America
Why we are not winning the abortion battle
& what to do about it...

Expanded PDF book version (about 118 pages)
now on sale at www.emmausmall.org

See also Encouragement for Pro-Life Action

Click here for PDF version of same summary article below - 2-page legal size - copy & distribute

F. Earle Fox

A. What is abortion?

[Note: this talk was given first at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Placentia, CA., 10/23/10.] 

Abortion is the termination of the life in the womb. As the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision made clear, if it can be proven that that entity is indeed a person, a human being, then Roe would be overturned. The judges recognized in theory, at least, that in law, an unborn person requires the same protection as a born person.

That being the case, the question as to whether the entity in the womb is a person, a human being, is the key question before us. Most persons who oppose abortion agree that if the entity in the womb is not a person, then there is no reason to oppose the "killing" of that entity. It would be the same as trimming one's finger nails. Just a lump of flesh.

Something is killed in an abortion. Is it a human being - or just a lump of flesh?

This issue is not my subject, but here is a quick summary of my reasons for believing that the entity is indeed a person. We know that the entity is a being, a separate being from the mother. We know that the mother is a human being. That means that the entity is not a donkey being, not a frog being. It must be a human being.

Furthermore, after conception, there is no point which can reasonably be specified at which one can say, "Here! at last! We have a human being!"  There are different points in the life of the entity, such as implantation, birth, or the first breath. But at none of these points does anything happen which could reasonably be said to change its status from being a lump of flesh to becoming a person.  That leaves us with conception, the beginning point.

Only three things need to happen after conception for the entity to emerge into adulthood -- time, food, and TLC (tender loving care).  The growth is, from conception on, determined by the genes, which are instructions given by some mysterious, unknown Intelligent Designer, pointing the entity on into adulthood, and identifying it as a unique human being.

That being the case, there is one, and only one, Christian position on abortion -- we are required to protect the lives of babies in the womb from conception on -- just as we would protect the life of an adult.   "A person's a person, no matter how small," said Horton the elephant. 

B. The Authority Issue

The issues are moral, they are political, they are legal. How do we take care of such an issue as abortion, how can we find principles that cover all three areas in a unified manner? That is my task -- to show these unifying principles.

Each of these areas indicates an area of authority. We have moral authority, political authority, and legal authority. In my usage, at least, moral authority has to do with the basic distinction between right and wrong, political authority has to do with legislatures, the ability to write laws which obligate and command the citizens, and legal authority has to do with executives, the ability to enforce those laws.

It is said that one cannot legislate morality. The truth of the matter is the exact opposite. Morality is the only thing we can legislate and enforce.  Every law passed is passed on the basis of some group of legislators arriving at agreement that this version of the law is the "right" one.  Some of the legislators, of course, might have only a pragmatic notion of "right and wrong", not a moral notion.  But that only shows that they do not understand legislation and civil government.

Civil government works only because it has the "right" to command other persons.  It can thus write laws and command citizens to obey them.

One asks, then, from where do they get such an authority to command other citizens to obey these specific laws?

William Blackstone was the preeminent legal scholar in England at the time of our war with King George III, one of the first to sum up the centuries of development of English Common Law into a systematic body.  He wrote in his Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-69)...

"This law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original."

Blackstone was read by probably every founding father, and his books may have been the most widely read by them other than the Bible. His principle stated above was not in contentious public debate in either England or America.

Furthermore, it is a logical fact that only the Creator of something can give that thing its reason for existence. It is also a logical fact that our reason for existence is the only possible basis for a moral order. If there is no Creator God, then there is no moral order. If there is such a Creator, then His expressed will becomes our moral order. That principle was agreed upon on both sides of the Atlantic.

No one has shown those principles to be defective, despite the monumental attempts of secular interests to do so. [See The Law & the Grace of God at http://www.theroadtoemmaus.org/EM/ShpMl/Law&Grace/00Law&Grace.htm  ]

That implies that the source of civil government's authority to command its citizens must be the law of God. There is no other ultimate source of authority which can give authority to a government (or to anyone else).

It also means that the so-called "positivist" law, reinvented in the 1800's, which was really a copy of the old pagan law, actually was no law at all. It was merely an imposition of force on an ignorant and unsuspecting population, which had assumed that if civil government commands us, we have an obligation to obey.

God tells us to obey our rulers, but only on the basis that they are His ministers, not making up their own laws. Many rulers do not know that they are the ministers of God, and believe that they can make up their own laws as they go, so it is up to us, the people of God, to "go, and make disciples of all nations", teaching them whose ministers they are, and that they are to administer the laws already given by God, not make up their own.

C. Consequences

Our secularized America, of course, rejects this, but that does nothing at all to change the matter. With no God, there is no law, only power struggle. We are bound by the law of God, not by the law of politicians who are either ignorant of God or in rebellion against Him. We are to obey our rulers -- unless they command something clearly contrary to the will of God.

That has important consequences for the abortion issue.

First, it means that no government has authority to make laws permitting the taking of a life without due process of law to convict the person of a capital crime -- which, in any event, can hardly apply to infants in the womb.

It means also that any Christian person must refuse to participate, and must resist such taking of a life.

That principle is built right into the foundation of American government. We read in the Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

This is a reference to the Biblical doctrine of Creation, the same doctrine of Creation to which William Blackstone referred in his assertion that the law of God trumps all human law.

According to that doctrine, all persons are created in the Image of God, and therefore possessing the same value, rights, and freedoms. We stand equally valued before God, and we therefore stand of equal value before any civil government. The unborn child has the same claim to protection of life and limb as any born person. That is, civil government has the same obligation to protect the unborn child as any born person. Without the right to life, all othr rights are useless.

D. Values, Rights, & Obligations
in the Constitution

Some have argued that the Constitution is not dependent upon the Declaration of Independence, so that we need pay no attention to those values contained there. That is not true.

The subscription clause of the Constitution, the ending where the delegates inscribe their names, reads thusly:

"DONE in convention, by the unanimous consent of the States present, the seventeenth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth. In witness whereof, we have hereunto subscribed our names."

It will be said that the reference to "the year of our Lord" was simply pro forma, and of no substantial meaning. But in legal documents, one assumes that every word written has the natural meaning that would be given to it at the time of writing. "In the year of our Lord..." means just that. We have a Lord, and it is so many years since His incarnation here on earth.

Furthermore, the next clause, "of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth", noting that it was 12 years since American became independent from King George III, says that the Constitution itself recognizes the Declaration as America's founding document, and thus again ties itself to the moral and spiritual principles of the Declaration. In both documents, the founding fathers appeal to the authority and power of God.

E. Is abortion legal in America?

The answer is "no", abortion is not legal anywhere in America -- two reasons.

First, the law of God supersedes any law of man. The government of America cannot make laws contrary to the law of God. No government can. Many do out of ignorance or rebellion, but America was founded on the law of God, not on secular principles -- as was France because of their revolution just a few years after our own. America embraced God, the French rejected God. [See materials by David Barton, at www.wallbuilders.com ]

If, for example, the legislature passes a law contrary to our Constitution, it is in effect no law at all, it obligates and binds nobody, and is as if it had not been written. Just so, any law passed contrary to the law of God is as if it had not been written and binds nobody. Both the President and Congress have the Constitutional authority to make their own judgement on the judgements passed by the Supreme Court. That is part of the Separation of Powers principle.

So, the President should have declared Roe v. Wade unconstitutional and refused to enforce it. And Congress should have disciplined the members of the Court which voted for Roe, likewise declaring their judgement unconstitutional.

Secondly, the Supreme Court cannot make law. It can make judgements about whether persons have broken the laws, but it can give only non-binding opinions about whether a law is constitutional. Its effective authority extends only to the case at hand. The Court did nothing at all to change any law in the land other than to pass a judgement on the parties to the case. The Court is not a legislature. It is unconstitutional and illegal for it to try to be so -- sufficient grounds for impeachment -- which Congress should have done.

[For more on this issue, see http://www.theinteramerican.org/commentary/149-abortion-is-not-legal.html  by Herbert Titus, constitutional scholar.]

F. Where do we go from here?

This is a long-term struggle in which we must rebuild the foundations of Christian civilization, or anything we accomplish will not survive.

1. We Christians must recover our intellectual, moral, and spiritual authority. We must become truth-seekers, and stop being position-defenders. We are to state the Godly case in public, and then get out of the way sufficiently to let the truth and the Lord of truth speak for themselves and defend their own positions [See I Kings 18, Elijah on Mount Carmel]. They can provide their own evidence better than we can. We Christians have all but destroyed the credibility of the Church over the last 200 years, and given God the same reputation. [See The Authority of the Bible in a Scientific Age at http://www.theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/12The/Bbl/AuthBbl01.htm  ]

2. Christian parents must recover control of the education of their children, and no longer give them over to government run schools for mind-control and brain-washing under secular and pagan principles. There are good people, some Christians, in public schools, but any education system run by government will over time, become a propaganda machine to support those in power. When we had a freemarket system of education under the authority of parents and students, we had the best educated populace in the world, by a good margin. Now look at us. [See resources on education at http://www.theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/21PbAr/Ed/00Ed.htm#BIBLICAL%20EDUCATION  ]

3. We must restore Christian family life -- where the husband takes responsibility for the spiritual life of the family, so that we can successfully pass on our faith to the next generations. [See The Truth about Men & the Church at http://www.theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/22SxSo/Fam/Men&Ch.htm  ]

4. We must learn how gracefully and intelligently to state the case for Biblical government [See Why Government Needs God.... at http://www.theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/21PbAr/Pl/Cnst/TheolOfCivilGovt-Outln.htm  ]

5. We must screw up our courage to stand up in public for life. [For other resources, go to http://www.theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/21PbAr/LifHlth/Abrt/00Abrt.htm  ]

We can challenge people with truth and grace. The following might be helpful for someone who thinks abortion is permissible. Response:

"I agree. Abortion is acceptable... if God says that it is OK to take someone else's life to solve your problem."

Do not try to shut them up, do not try to overpower them, invite them to examine the real issue. The effect is almost always helpful and engaging. No matter what "situation" they come up with (incest, rape, etc.), you can give the same response.

There are times when it is indeed permissible to take someone else's life, as when that person is attacking with deadly force. But, that, again, can hardly apply to an infant in the womb. Keep the principle the main issue -- "Yes! if God says that it is OK to take someone else's life to solve your problem...." It puts the burden on them, not on you. Just stick to your point.

If they say that God is irrelevant, then ask them what their own conscience tells them. It again puts the burden on them of providing a reason for taking someone else's life. If they do not agree that the entity in the womb is a person, explain why it must be, and ask them to justify their belief that it is not.

Ask them, If it were proven true that the entity in the womb is a child, a person, would that make a difference to you?

Always be patient and encourage them to tell their position. Show both firmness and compassion toward those who have been involved in abortion.

This is a winnable battle. Truth and the Lord of truth are on the side of life.  

PDF version legal size - copy & distribute
NOTE: Expanded PDF book version
See also Encouragement for Pro-Life Action

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Date Posted - 10/21/2010   -   Date Last Edited - 04/08/2013