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Shouldn’t Christians be Encouraging Women to Have Abortions?

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Okay, I don't really think that Christians should be encouraging women to have more abortions. I don't think anyone should be encouraging women to have more abortions. The fewer abortions, the better. But I believe that Christians (or more specifically right-wing fundamentalist Christians) are trapped in a logical conundrum that maybe someone could explain to me.

These folks are against abortion. They are pro-life. They want every baby to be born. And once these babies are born, they want them to believe in Jesus, so that they'll be saved and go to Heaven. Say Amen.

Now if you've ever worried about what happens to the unborn "babies" who are aborted, you can relax. Christians will assure you that their souls will get a free pass into Heaven. (As well they should, for cryin' out loud. They didn't even have a chance to commit their first sin.) So even though they didn't get a chance to experience life on Earth, at least they'll spend eternity in Heaven. Say Amen.

So here's my question. What is the ultimate goal for Christians? Is it not to have as many souls as possible enter through the Pearly Gates? The more the merrier, right? In fact, I suspect that Heaven may have some kind of electronic counter that counts the souls as they enter The Kingdom.

Now let's assume that Christians get their way and abortion becomes illegal. Anybody who gets pregnant will be forced to have the baby, regardless of the circumstances. We'll have a surge in population as millions of babies will be born. And, according to Christian theology, it's unfortunate, but not all of those babies will grow up and find Jesus, and millions will have to spend eternity in the fiery pits of Hell.

Do you see where I'm going here? By outlawing abortion, Christians will have condemned millions of babies to Hell. For forever. And that's a long time. If, on the other hand, those millions of babies who ended up in Hell had been aborted, their souls would have caught a ride on the Heaven Express and would be partying with the angels above. Say Amen.

So who's better off? A baby who gets aborted but spends eternity in Heaven, or a baby who is born and lives a long and fruitful life on Earth, but alas, ends up catching brimstone in his teeth because he guessed wrong on the religion question? If you're a Christian, you're probably going to assert that your eternal life in Heaven is much more important than this silly little life we struggle through here on Earth. So how come you wanna force all those babies to be born and end up in Hell? Forever!

Feel free to take a moment to ponder.

Wouldn't everything make more sense and be much less complicated if we could just put the kabosh on this whole idea of an eternal soul? We could just focus on living a joyous and humane life on a planet on which we are all lucky enough to live; looking for ways to minimize abortions while allowing women and their doctors to make informed decisions about pregnancy. 

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About Doug DeLong

  • amarjit

    LESSONS FROM GOD ; What happens to a Baby’s Soul after Abortion or Miscarriage
    (Please think about this then read the following)
    One fine morning at home, I was chanting mantras when Sai Baba appeared and said ” come with me”, we reappeared in a Gurudwara (temple) with my wife also sitting next to me in the temple Hall.
    Babaji looked at us and said ” I have brought someone to meet you”
    I said, “Baba ‘who have you brought”
    Baba said ”Come, meet your other daughter”
    I was totally confused ”Baba you are mistaken we have a daughter we do not have another, ”
    ” AHA,! said Baba ” She is your other daughter, do you not, remember the trauma your wife suffered during miscarriage 15 years ago?”
    I replied, “Baba, why have you brought her to see us”
    I saw this girl standing next to us tall and very serene as if she had been touched by the hand of GOD!.
    Baba spoke ”
    When the mother has a miscarriage or Abortion it is not automatic that the child’s soul ascends, If the parents are constantly immersed in prayers then God intervenes and send Angels to take the Baby soul to Heaven/appropriate place, if not in prayers — then the Baby soul can be trapped in Limbo, becoming a BHOOT/Spirit , and normally attaches itself to it’s mother where it is home!
    From the mothers body the Baby soul may cause untold Trauma to its Mother/father and all around. Many times the Soul has no idea that its body/temple has died! The soul watches everything the parents do and interferes with their emotions. Amarjit, this is why its important to immerse in God prayers always.
    God has acknowledged your prayers & Devotion & intervened to take your baby soul Home!”.
    Baba took hold of our daughters hand and the gates of Heaven opened and he disappeared with the Angels.
    Its only when the Hand of God touches us we realise there is more to life then what we perceive.
    We should open our senses and allow our Inner Godhead to awaken.
    Baba says “I am God, You too are God but you fail to recognise this!
    With Miscarriage and Abortions invariably the baby soul stays within the mothers Womb where it was conceived as it is home to it.
    The mother has no idea why she has gone into depression after miscarriage or abortion. She has no idea it could be the Traumatic Soul stuck to her.
    From the womb the Baby Soul then may choose to cause a lot of suffering to her host/ ie Mom and people around. If the baby Soul becomes possessive of the Mother then it will invariably become very jealous and act accordingly with the people attached to MOM!

    With an Abortion / Miscarriage while it may be argued that the foetus has no soul in it in the early stages, it was shown to me by Baba that the foetus can be classified as a Phantom Living organism of the Mother similar to ‘ The Phantom Limb’.
    So Aborting the foetus is similar to that of having a trauma when you loose part of your body, say the Limb , Kidney etc. The very fact of removing this living organism causes Untold trauma especially in the Mother.
    Our body is the temple of God ‘Do not defile your Temple’.
    Being born as a woman conceiving Wow, Men find it hard to understand why their women behave strangely.
    Meditate on this – for approx 9 months the Mother has 2 soul within her body hers and the baby’s.
    The baby’s mind can also influence the mother during this period!
    Case Study :
    My first teaching from Baba happened at a friend’s house.
    We were praying and suddenly I saw inside his mothers womb a baby soul due to an old miscarriage some 40 years previously.
    I asked his Mother to ask God to release this soul to Heaven.
    She became nasty and I was asked to leave immediately!
    Nowadays I have to be very careful how I word myself.

    Case Study
    I was praying with a woman who had gone into depression and ill health when suddenly Sai Baba showed me in her womb was a dark energy. I spoke to this energy and it manifested to 2 Aborted souls which the mother had inside her for over 9 years!.
    The souls were jealous of each other and fighting each other inside her womb giving her health and emotional problems within her family. Baba took the souls away after we prayed for their release their Karma to be forgiven . The lady since has changed for the better.
    Case Study
    Another lady suffering from Weakness/Emotional problems had darkness attached to her breast.
    When I spoke to this darkness it turned out to be an aborted baby soul which was sucking her mothers breast for milk , energetically and draining Mom of all her energies.
    Baba then took away this soul as well. She has changed for the better since with Gods Grace.
    If the women dies with the soul still stuck with her then this becomes a Karmic issue. If say the women is reborn as a man or a woman in the next life this trauma still follows the person reincarnated.
    We have seen sometimes the energy becomes absorbed into a Karma Issue or in some cases the Soul waits for the rebirth of the soul it was attached to and as soon as it reincarnates it attaches itself to this Soul , the new body may not be a women it could be a man.
    This Karma can be released thru mantras, prayer deep devotion to God or Sadhanas like Vortex , or the Grace of your Guru.

  • So a “loving” god doesn’t allow the young ‘uns to be burned and tortured forever in hell (good to know), but he doesn’t have a problem with burning and torturing billions of adults for the sin of choosing the wrong religion (or choosing no religion)?

    You’re right. That sounds like a horrible god.

  • Darryl

    First of all, babies or young children don’t go to hell. For catholics to believe that, they must be following all the other garbage that was instilled in their religion. Worshipping Idols (images of Mary), praying the rosary (not in the bible) worshipping Mary, who was a virgin and is long dead, and did eventually have sex to produce Jesus’s brothers. Calling their preists father when Jesus strictly said call no man father except your father in heaven. Baptizing gets you in to heaven? Must have missed John 3:16. Anyway, the loving God does not allow anyone under the age of understanding or choice to go to hell. To do so would be a horrible god to serve.

  • Wouldn’t everything make more sense and be much less complicated if we could just put the kabosh on this whole idea of an eternal soul?

    Or could the “eternal soul” be a form of energy which recreates upon exit from the human brain? I somehow can’t believe that our brains are not populated with some kind of karmic (cosmic, spiritual) energy.

    We could just focus on living a joyous and humane life on a planet on which we are all lucky enough to live; looking for ways to minimize abortions while allowing women and their doctors to make informed decisions about pregnancy.

    Is that not the central message preached by Christ? The core message amongst the oldest of testaments (take your pick from a variety of belief systems), God gave humankind free will. It is God’s directive that free will not be interfered with even in Divine emergencies. It is up to humankind to work out the details of community.

    Say Amen.

  • Natalie Riney

    “What is the ultimate goal for Christians? Is it not to have as many souls as possible enter through the Pearly Gates?”

    The ultimate goal for Christians is to give glory to God, which we do in this life. That privelage is denied to those humans we abort.

  • October

    Doug, I did a search on with key words “abortion heaven soul” and yes, almost all protestant Christians believe that a child who dies before it can be born goes to heaven. And yes, you are right on target. It is a contradiction that I am currently trying to get input on from friends and family who are anti-abortion. I don’t think the contradiction can be reconciled. I suspect many will avoid the discussion altogether.

  • Baronius

    Doug, I’m not a fundamentalist Christian, but I think most of my argument would stand – and I don’t think it’s unclear or knotty. If you view the question from a strictly biblical standpoint, you’d have to say that the Bible doesn’t clearly state that all unborn children go to Heaven. It says that there is a path to Heaven, through Jesus Christ and baptism. So it’s entirely consistent to oppose abortion biblically. There are disagreements about the appropriate age for baptism.

  • Did you two know, BTW, that the mid-western states were the longest holdouts when it came to burlesque, long after it came into disuse in places like NY or Chicago.

    My last visit to Des Moines in the late 70’s – a 30-minute stopover at the Greyhound station – was most memorable: a little burlesque club with B-girls and the whole shebang, and a round of drinks.

    You won’t get that anymore by traveling by Greyhound or Trailways. Times have definitely changed.

  • Ain’t that something, Jet, Doc. Gay marriage in Iowa of all places. Pretty soon, it’ll be as popular as the apple-pie.

  • I know, Jet, I know. I’m going to hell. Or possibly Des Moines.

  • just as the idea of gay marriage is slowly getting acceptance (look at Iowa, for instance)

    Indeed. I read somewhere that the Iowa state legislature is actively looking at ways of making their state more interesting. Currently, two options are on the table:

    1. Keep being flat.
    2. Legalize gay marriage.

    Conservative lawmakers favor the first strategy, but Democrats fear that it would do little to attract the gay dollar to the Hawkeye State.

    Said state Senator Hank Straight-Ninekids-Yepcompletelystraight (R-Cedar Rapids): “We’re not totally against gays in Iowa. I myself have recently sponsored a bill to mandate the raising of toilet stall partitions nine inches off the floor in men’s restrooms at all airports in the state. But there are limits to how accepting Iowans can be.”

  • Doug #25,

    I believe it’s a bogus political issue; but the fact that some want to make it a political issue is something you can’t stop, nor can you dissuade them from doing so by the kind of argument you’re using. I think time will cure all wounds; and just as the idea of gay marriage is slowly getting acceptance (look at Iowa, for instance), it will happen eventually with the abortion issue.

    Meanwhile, a Church edict (from Vatican, e.g.) would go a long way to tone the debate down. Another possibility – some linguistic discovery (Wittgenstein called it a “grammatical remark”) which will clarify and/or dismantle the pro-choice vs pro-life debate.

  • Jordan @ #14, Baronius @ #17:

    Hasn’t it also historically been a school of Christian thought that a child has no soul until it is born – that the soul enters the body with the child’s first breath (hence the term ‘spirit’)? In which case the question of whether an aborted, miscarried or stillborn fetus goes to heaven, hell, limbo or Bakersfield doesn’t even arise, because the person never actually existed.

    It is one answer to the conundrum Doug poses. The snag is that if it were indeed the case that an unborn child has no soul, there should be no problem with abortion – which is probably why the Catholic Church dropped the notion a long time ago.

    There’s also the question of whether soul=personality, in which case I’m sure that any mother who’s carried more than one child to term would be able to tell you that every fetus has its own distinct personality, even in the womb.

    And Jordan, what this article is doing in Politics is that abortion is one of the hottest-button political issues in modern America. There’s really not much we can do at this point about the fact that it has very little to do with politics.

    It does get people yelling at each other and thumping the table, so it has that in common with, say, economic theory or the diatribes of Limbaugh.

  • Maybe I wrote this to watch people tie themselves in knots trying to justify their theology. Perhaps another reason was to make the case that the abortion debate is such a difficult and destructive issue in the U.S. because people insist on making it a religious issue.

    Here in Japan, where I’ve lived since 1991, abortion is strictly a medical issue (which isn’t to say that the Japanese don’t recognize the moral questions involved). But Japan is a highly secular nation and demonstrates that there are benefits to being secular. Religion does nothing but get in the way when it comes to solving a nation’s problems.

  • Doug,

    I believe my initial remarks to your article hinted at just the kind of clarification you might be looking for.

    To wit, the positing of “eternal life” as separate and distinct (in the sense of being conceptually disconnected) from the here and now is a bastardization in a way of the Christian theology,
    and that’s regardless of whether one believes in salvation by works of by faith (i.e., the grace of God); the point being that it’s the here and now which serves as the crucible and the test of fire one must go through (the Christians believe) which determines salvation. Hence, separating the life on earth from the Kingdom of God – on the concept level – is a form of cheating. Which isn’t to say that eternal life isn’t the Christian’s ultimate goal, but it’s ultimate within the provided context.

    Which also isn’t to say that God isn’t merciful, in that an infant who died of natural causes prior to baptism would be denied eternal life (some might disagree here); but this isn’t to say that killing that infant (so they might have eternal life)is the same kind of event with the same attendant result. That’s why the latter constitutes a form of cheating (or at least trying to second-guess God).

    It was very clever of you, IMO, to pose this subject matter in the way that you did for the purpose of eliciting discussion; but you do realize of course, that you cannot debunk or altogether discard Christian theology without getting into the nitty-gritty. You can, however, posit the issue “from without” as it were in order to generate the discussion, which is what you did.

  • Roger: In fact, he’s arguing that the very theology is utter nonsense.

    You are correct, sir. But I don’t think I’m buying your argument that you can’t address my question outside the realm of Christian theology. The point of my article is to find someone who can give me some clarification on one particular aspect of Christian theology that seems somewhat contradictory to me. So far, I haven’t heard anything that makes it seem any clearer.

  • leighann

    Following this logic, all christians who believe that children do not reach the age of accountability until a certain age would think that these (chidren under this age) should also be killed in order to go to heaven rather than risk going to hell. I do believe that this was the thinking of the woman who drowned her children in the bathtub in Texas. I saw her in an interview and this is what she said her reasoning was at the time. Insanity.

    A little off the topic I know but it just made me think of her.

  • That’s why I’m ambivalent about “organized religion,” Cindy. There’s too much of a human, control element in the make up. For however well-intentioned the individuals may be, there’s always the possibility of a “power play.”

    But having said all that, spirituality and the right kind of emotional makeup are at a premium insofar as the individuals are concerned. And this presents a dilemma. For it looks as though when all’s said and done, we’re solitary in our finest moments and ultimately, dependent on no one. All the accoutrements of human organization and grouping have very little to do with real faith. They’re hazardous, in fact, to the person’s spiritual health.

  • Cindy

    Their “goal,” I guess, is to ensure that every person in a community is the best person they can be. This is the goal of every religion, I’d think.

    Their goal seems more likely to be coercing people into obeying authority. They simply use the ideas of being ‘good’ (something that seems is a worthy inclination of many people throughout history, in contradiction to Mark Schannon’s views) and other ideas like reward in an afterlife to corral and herd people.

    This can be seen in the way the Church and the state acted like one. Besides, they teach people things like (according to Baronius), Christ made the church. Yeah, well, what would you expect the church to say?

    People thus controlled just follow the church dogma. You can see this in how far Catholics and most other Christian stray from the actual teachings of Christ. They follow the dogma no matter what it says and know matter how far it goes. Just like the population of a fascist government–if the church says kill people, they’ll rationalize it–and they do.

  • By his very admission, Doug had taken this discussion out of the realm of any Christian-based theological system.

    I hoped that he wouldn’t, because by doing so, he’s debunking over 2000 years of serious religious thought by giants like St. Augustine, St. Thomas, Kierkegaard and the like. And under the circumstances, you can’t just discuss such serious and life-defining (for Christians) issues as abortion, right to life, and salvation.

    In short, Doug changed the rules of the game and he cannot therefore be debated in terms of Christian theology. He’s debunking it lock, stock and barrel. In fact, he’s arguing that the very theology is utter nonsense.

    So these are the terms in which he’s to be debated. Any other procedure is bound to be ineffective.

  • Doug, FTA: “What is the ultimate goal for Christians? Is it not to have as many souls as possible enter through the Pearly Gates?”

    Not at all. Their “goal,” I guess, is to ensure that every person in a community is the best person they can be. This is the goal of every religion, I’d think.

    Doug, FTC: “Of course the whole thing is ridiculous – which I guess is my point.”

    Oh, never mind then.

  • Baronius

    We Catholics don’t have a set doctrine on the question. Many theologians speculate that the unbaptized who never had an opportunity to choose the Faith don’t go to Hell, but are unable to enter Heaven. They would inhabit a place without suffering, but also without the eternal joy of the presence of God. Theologians call this state Limbo. Dante depicted it as the first ring of the Inferno: a place without screams of suffering, but with sighs of disappointment.

    St. Augustine, on the other hand, believed that unbaptized babies go to Hell. A lot of evangelicals are fans of Augustine, so his thinking on this point might have rubbed off on them.

    Catholics define the soul by its actions: reason, imagination, and will. The capacities of the soul increase as a child develops. The inclination of the soul’s activity towards God increases as a person develops in holiness. The extent to which a person who has lived a long life dedicated to God can enjoy eternal life is greater than that of a soul which was never baptized nor grew to the age of reason. And if that seems like nonsensical theology, it’s worth noting that it corresponds exactly to non-supernatural thinking: an an aborted baby never gets to fulfill his potential.

  • Dave,

    That’s why I specified “right-wing fundamentalist Christians.” I think that particular demographic is probably pretty much in agreement, but who knows? Maybe some of our RWFC friends could straighten us out and tell us once and for all: What happens to the souls of aborted fetuses?

  • Doug, you can’t class all Christians as believing the same thing. While some believe that aborted fetuses go to heaven, I’m not sure that’s a universal belief. Some believe that fetuses don’t even get a soul until the moment of birth. Others hold that all souls are tainted by original sin. There are a lot of sects and they definitely don’t agree on this stuff.


  • Jordan Richardson

    Isn’t it true (according to Christian theology) that an aborted soul will go to Heaven, while the souls of the born may or may not go to Heaven, and therefore all those souls who were NOT aborted and ended up in Hell would have been better off being aborted and ending up in Heaven.

    Ask ten different Christians, you’ll get ten different answers to this depending on their theological understanding and whether or not they believe in original sin or what kinds of atonement doctrines they subscribe to.

    By the way, what’s this doing in politics?

  • Thanks to everyone for your comments. I’ll try to answer your questions.

    Dave: I think I’m with you on the theology. Christians believe that the souls of aborted fetuses will go to Heaven, but once you’re born, you have to find your way to Jesus to go to Heaven (although I believe there is an “age of accountability” clause that gives a child 7 or 8 years to realize what’s going on). Am I wrong about that?

    Roger: Yes, it’s a thought experiment. It’s definitely not a satire. My Preacher and Skeptic blog was just set up very recently, so I’m not sure about the readership. Maybe “very low” would be a good description.

    Jack: Thanks for your thoughtful insult. Sorry you couldn’t find time to address the question at hand. Oh, and by the way, I don’t believe in God, but I do believe in George Carlin.

    Gary: Thanks to you, too, for your participation via insult. If you get around to coming up with an answer to this problem, let me know. You say Christians are working with logic, but that’s my point. They’re NOT. There’s nothing logical about what they believe regarding abortion or most of the rest of their theology, for that matter.

    Anyway, my bottom -line question remains this: Isn’t it true (according to Christian theology) that an aborted soul will go to Heaven, while the souls of the born may or may not go to Heaven, and therefore all those souls who were NOT aborted and ended up in Hell would have been better off being aborted and ending up in Heaven.

    Of course the whole thing is ridiculous – which I guess is my point.

  • What I mean, the idea of “eternal life” derives meaning only from the here and now – the crucible or the test of fire we all must go through. Not to say that (a/c to Christian theology) we must earn to – because it’s a matter of grace – but go through the here and now we must.

    So to take this idea of “eternal life” as a disjunction – separate and apart from the here and now – is, in some sense, either to trivialize it (a very simplistic theology) or to second-guess God. (That’s my initial reaction.)

  • Gary

    Maybe the right wing Christians are involved in a LOGICAL CONUNDRUM, but at least they are working with logic. This anti-logical mishmash indicates you wrote this after a few nights of insomnia and have lost any thread to clarity. Take a Sominex and try again in a few days.

  • Tell you the truth, Dave, I’m not really sure what he’s doing. I looked at his weblog – much of it in a dialog form. You can’t make this kind of argument from within the confines of Christianity and make it stick without doing some violence to key concepts. So perhaps he’s sort of pooh-poohing the whole idea from a non-Christian perspective. I’ll wait for his comments.


  • Roger, I think Doug was trying to make his argument within the confines of Christianity. The whole argument changes if you’re going to address the bogus notion of an afterlife rather than taking it as a given.


  • Clavos

    That comment reads like something a first grader might write.

    But not a first grader in a government school — they can’t write at all.

  • Apparently jack doesn’t know jack about Carlin if that’s his example.

    “His article reads like something a third grader might right.”

    That comment reads like something a first grader might write.

  • Jack,

    I don’t think you’re being fair. Just because it’s so deceptively simple, it can also be misleading. I believe that Doug raises some very interesting questions in this “third-grade essay,” as you choose to call it. And no, none of us get paid for posting on BC.


  • jack

    Is this the type of commentary that passes for intelligent discussion of issues. It’s like a George Carlin schtick. “If God is all powerful, can he a make a rock so big he himself can’t lift it?” His article reads like something a third grader might right. Do people get paid for writing drivel like this?

  • Doug,

    Very nice idea setting up your weblog in a dialog form. I’m curious about your readership.

  • Is this a thought-experiment, Doug? (Not appropriate subject for a satire).

    Many levels of responding here, so let me just tackle one. Dave’s right in that the theology is rather simple. But my argument would not be on account of the “original” sin but rather your positing the notion of “eternal life” (and all its virtues) as though it could be regarded as separate and discrete from the here and now.

    Is it only because you present “eternal life” in this way that are able to set up a false dichotomy/set of choices between (1) “potentially sinful life of the unaborted” and (2) “uncorrupted (because aborted) fetuses.” So that’s just for starters.

  • Wow. I had better read this. If comment #1 is a foretaste, this promises to be an interesting thread.

  • While I sympathize, Doug, I’m afraid your theology is a bit weak. Those babies are born with original sin and will go to hell (where the roads are paved with their skulls) unless they live long enough to be baptized and cash in on Jesus “get out of hell free” deal.