Monday, July 05, 2010

Day Off

Monday, July 5, 2010 -- Week of Proper 9, Year Two
Independence Day (transferred)

Today's Readings for the Daily Office
(Book of Common Prayer, p. 975)
Psalms 1, 2, 3 (morning)       4, 7 (evening)
Numbers 32:1-6, 16-27
Romans 8:26-30
Matthew 23:1-12

the readings for Independence Day, p. 998
Morning Prayer:  Ps. 33;  Ecclesiasticus 10:1-8, 12-18;  James 6:7-10
Evening Prayer:  Ps. 107:1-32;  Micah 4:1-5;  Revelation 21:1-7

I'm taking a day of vacation today, so I'm not writing. 

Here are the readings.



At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Mitch Singleton said...

I'm not sure there is any difference between murder of an adult and an unborn child, especially a late-term abortion. Abortion on demand to correct a lack of responsibility seems more narcissistic than loving - if that is the final measure of religion.

At 10:25 PM, Blogger Lowell said...

Thanks for commenting, Mitch. I find my own thinking is not as clear as yours. I don't sense a moral equivalent between a living, breathing, thinking, conscious human being -- our wives, let's say -- and certainly an early term fetus. A miscarriage and my wife's death seem like very different losses. The times when I have supported families pastorally when they have lost even a late term pregnancy, it is not the same loss as the death of an infant who has been alive and living with the family for a while.

I don't know how to make these judgments, but my gut and intuition tell me they are not equivalents. Logic has a stronger claim -- if left to grow, the fetus would become a fully conscious human, therefore the unborn child has equal rights. The logic is strong, but the intuitive sense is not as strong.

I know I am troubled when women are forced by law to bear a child that they do not wish to bear. Ideally every child would be wanted and welcomed generously. We don't live in an ideal world.

Since I'm guessing your comment comes from the Tuesday reading about the Torah provisions for murder and for manslaughter, it is interesting to see that the Torah has a different standard of punishment for an accidental miscarriage than for an accidental death (manslaughter). "When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman's husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine." Exodus 21:22 Had the injury accidentally killed the wife who was not pregnant, the one responsible would have had to flee to a city of refuge or face an avenger's death. In the Torah the death of a fetus is not equivalent to the death of a person. I know it is problematic to base moral judgments on ancient Torah laws, but it is an interesting distinction.

My sense is that very good people with loving intent find themselves coming to different conclusions when thinking about abortion. "Let all be fully convinced in their own minds," might be good advice from Paul (Romans 14:5) I believe that those who seek to protect all human life, including unborn life, do so from benevolent motives.



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