The president of the ecumenical, progressive Union Theological Seminary in Manhattan, Serene Jones, penned a piece for the far-left website Salon this week arguing that Texas’ tight regulations on abortion are “un-Christian” and that political conservatives are “distorting our sacred text for their political goals.”
“As a Christian, a biblical scholar, and a mother, it is infuriating that lawmakers would twist and distort our sacred text to give the government the power to force women to carry a child to term,” Serene Jones wrote.
“The Bible doesn’t say that abortion is a sin and has no explicit definition of when life begin,” she continued. “The reality is that abortion only became a rallying cry for conservative Christians — and particularly Evangelicals — when Republicans decided it was politically advantageous to do so.”
Arguing that abortion wasn’t of much interest to Christians until the 1970’s, when conservative politicians conspiratorially decided to lure faith-based voters by leveraging opposition to abortion, Jones claims without a single Bible reference that the scripture does not, in fact, support the kind of evangelical pro-life arguments that have led to today’s growing push to abolish abortion and overturn Roe v. Wade.
Roe was decided in 1973 and effectively legalized abortion in the United States, at which point Jones claims that through “careful research,” conservatives “discovered that some Evangelicals were concerned about abortion and could be riled up to fight against it.”
“So, activists made that a core issue, and ignited a national movement to end the practice,” she wrote. “Fast-forward to today, and many Republicans say that their Christian faith requires them to ban abortion.”
She went on to explain that it “is clear” to her that “the Christian faith requires protecting the lives and well-being of women by allowing them reproductive freedom, not taking steps to eliminate it.”
“In the Bible, God consistently tells us that all humans are moral agents, fully capable of making their own decisions,” she continues.
She does not cite any passage of Scripture to support this point, nor any other throughout the whole of the piece, it must be noted.
Jones does, however, point to certain traditional extrabiblical Jewish texts or practices to underscore her claim that when life begins in the womb is defined differently by different faiths and, thus, that women ought to ultimately decide whether it is moral to procure an abortion.
“The bottom line is, no government should have the power to force women to carry a pregnancy to term,” she declared in conclusion.
“Any faith leaders who say otherwise are willfully mischaracterizing the teachings of their religions,” she continued, although she previously characterized the belief that life begins at conception as a “conservative, Christian idea,” further stating such religious leaders are “taking steps that are actively harmful to countless people.”
“It’s hard to think of anything that stands in starker opposition to the compassion that is at the heart of every major faith.”
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