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If you have a child—or are on Facebook—you know how stunning ultrasound images are. In the 1950s, Ian Donald, a professor of midwifery in Scotland, took the "echo-sounding" used in Glasgow shipyards for metal inspection and began ...

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James Cowles

January 24, 2014  11:10am

@ Thomas Gary ... Right on all points -- except the one about me being a bit crazy ... 8-) ... Seriously, I just study history, a discipline that seems to have escaped the notice of most conservative evangelical, especially Reformed, Christians. What I see in history is that, at the INCEPTION of any progressive social / political movement -- you mentioned several -- churches have ALWAYS enlisted the Bible in opposition. Once the movement gained traction, however, and public opinion began to shift in the movement's favor, the church jumped on the bandwagon. Then, once the movement was well established, the church indulged in some pretty shameless revisionist history to make it appear as though the church had supported the movement all along. That is true whether "the movement" refers to abolition, civil rights, women's suffrage ... etc. You are wise to be equally cautious about church opposition to gay rights. In a generation or so, the church will revise its history there, too.

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Thomas Gary

January 23, 2014  8:55pm

I see the little guy in the photo & my heart is filled with love & memories of my son as a child. A good approach might be a hybrid - focus on values but don't claim solid truth in some scientific ways (science measures things). Though I think James gets a bit crazy, he has good points about religion in a modern, pluralistic, secular society & gov't. Beaty article about past reforms is slippery. Bible usually quoted for slavery, against women voting, against birth control so women wouldn't die so young. Women having good jobs over men also fought against by Bible quoters. Women running for office also Bible thumped against. Still happening. A woman running for office in Texas is being knocked because she's done so many career things that she has to be a "bad mom". Would they say that a guy was a "bad dad" for the same reason? No. Bible thumpers are pushing "bad mom". Show the babies in the womb. Show their vulnerability and humanity. Don't say they are persons as cells. Confuses some.

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James Cowles

January 22, 2014  11:31am

"" ... the pro-life movement must continue to wield philosophy, law, religion, and history to argue the personhood of the unborn child." VERY true & I agree. But the hard part, which no one -- myself included -- has so far figured out how to do, is how to combine "philosophy, law, religion, and history" in such a way as to craft & "sculpture" an argument for the human-ness of the fetus that is (a) RELIGION-NEUTRAL & therefore (b) CONSISTENT with the "establishment"-clause requirment that the civil law be impartial as to religion. Most of the time, pro-lifers take the easy way out by either saying (1) "My denomination's interpretation of the Bible is the RIGHT interpretation & therefore should be written into the civil law" (even if they were right, that "therefore" would be an ENORMOUS stretch) and / or (2) "Of COURSE the fetus is human because it has the right proportion of the right chemicals". There's a LOT more homework to do than either (1) or (2).

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James Cowles

January 22, 2014  9:05am

" ... the pro-life movement must continue to wield philosophy, law, religion, and history to argue the personhood of the unborn child." I wholeheartedly agree. Unfortunately, I've list count of the number of times I've debated this issue on the pages of "CT" -- I'm pro-choice -- and all my debate opponent talks about is embryology, neonatology, genetics, biochemistry, etc., etc. as proof of the human-ness of the fetus, as if being human is merely a matter of having the right collection of chemicals, whereupon I, an atheist, have to remind her / him, a Christian, of things like spirits & souls. It's good to know that at least one Christian still believes in the latter.

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Sarah Smith

January 21, 2014  3:59pm

@Roger. Gun ownership is not a sin in and of itself. Abortion and homosexuality are. People can be godly and own guns. People cannot be godly while performing abortions or practicing homosexuality. I don't think there is any inconsistency. I think you have a critical spirit disguised as a critical mind.

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Roger Morris

January 21, 2014  2:38pm

If American Christians spent the same time and energy on fixing up their country's woeful and regressive gun ownership laws as they do their "pet peeves" of abortion and same-sex marriage, others would take them more seriously. Surely a commitment to the sanctity of life includes trying to prevent unnecessary gun deaths in American schools, movie theatres, family homes, etc? Anyone see the inconsistency here?

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Tim Fall

January 20, 2014  10:55am

Interesting connection between advances in pre-natal medical knowledge and eugenics, Katelyn. Knowledge improves and positions rely on that knowledge, but the positions do not really shift based on the knowledge. Some abortion opponents latch on to the intricacies revealed by ever-improving ultrasound technology as the proof needed to convince others of the person-hood of a baby in the womb, while others see this improvement merely as a better means to decide whether to abort or not. Tim ( Ultrasound and God's view of us all: http://timfall.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/gods-ultrasound/ )

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Displaying 1–7 of 7 comments.

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