Other Letters

Goldstein misunderstands Bible verses

Call me pro-life. Call me anti-abortion should that better suit your fancy. Call me a close-minded conservative. I, for one, am not concerned with labels. What I am concerned with is the unfounded accusations Zac Goldstein makes regarding “pro-lifers.” Mr. Goldstein implies in his article appearing in the March 16 edition of The Signal that those opposed to abortion are misguided and manipulative. He goes so far as to quote and paraphrase Biblical passages in an attempt to denounce the view that abortion is condemned by God.

Three verses appear in the article. The first is Psalm 139:13, which as Mr. Goldstein states, “refers to life beginning in the womb, but…” he says, “…it does not say that life begins with pregnancy.” I feel it is beneficial to quote the verse in its entirety and to provide some context as well. It reads: “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.” Shortly following, in verse 16, King David continues his psalm to the Lord and announces “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.” God sees substance in an infant, even before the embryo has developed.

Mr. Goldstein then attempts to reveal an apparent contradiction within the Bible by citing Genesis 2:23. His foundation for this argument is based on the creation of Adam. As is specified in Zac’s article, the selection does indeed declare that God breathed life into the first man. However, I would like to point out the irrelevance of this comparison, as Adam, being the first human being, was never born. The issue of abortion clearly does not apply to his situation. The article’s final Biblical reference is found in Leviticus 17:11. Mr. Goldstein quotes “the life of the flesh is in the blood.” He deduces that no life is found in a being until it has developed a circulatory system. What is not exposed is the context of this verse. The blood referred to in the passage is that of animals, sacrificed to the Lord by the Hebrew people as a penance for sin. The entire verse reads: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” This is a statement referring to animal sacrifice, hardly a substantial argument regarding the value of infant life.

Fortunately, the Bible does offer some clear guidelines regarding the issue of birth and human life found in the first chapter of Jeremiah, verse 5. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you,” the Lord says to the prophet Jeremiah. God recognizes a person’s worth and existence even before embryonic formation. It is quite clear that God values the life of an unborn child as He does any human being. Mr. Goldstein unjustly attacks those who cite faith as a reason for opposing abortion, calling them dishonest and accusing them of “using the Lord’s name for cover.” It is apparent that Mr. Goldstein has used misleading, even manipulative tactics in order to condemn abortion opponents by removing portions of Biblical passages from context and making ridiculous and unfounded inferences.

Mr. Goldstein, you said yourself that you are “hardly what one would call a zealot on this issue.” This issue is close to my heart and as an unapologetic pro-lifer I resent the generalizations you have made, along with your uneducated assertions and judgments regarding my moral standards and their validity.

David Sankey