The Instigator
topher
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points
The Contender
Leonitus_Trujillo
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

Criminalizing Abortions Is Not Christian Behavior, take 2

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/20/2007 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 853 times Debate No: 710
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (7)

 

topher

Pro

Alright, Leonitus! You wanted it - hear it is.

Since this is an earlier topic that my opponent failed to respond to, I'll just copy my original opening argument:

~

I do not believe that Christians ought to persuade the government to criminalize abortions.

First let me say that I am not for abortions. If someone who had an unwanted pregnancy came to me to and asked, "Should I get an abortion?" I can't really think of a situation where I'd say, "Yes, you should." Abortions are bad news.

But I think many Christians, even though they have the best intentions, miss the reality of the issue. Most women who do end up getting abortions do so because they have run out of options. Most are poor and simply can't afford an abortion!

I truly believe Christians ought to attempt to prevent abortions, but the way to do it is not through making laws. Jesus Christ exhibited a very clear stance on violence. Everything he accomplished, he did in a nonviolent way (including the salvation of humankind!). So why should we threaten violence against women and girls who have had abortions?

If Christian truly want to prevent abortions, the only way that will succeed will be not through criminalization, but through lovingly providing new options for those who have unwanted pregnancies.

~

Also, I'll pose the question to you that you answered on the message board so you can officially answer it: What punishment would be appropriate, in your opinion, for someone who gets an abortion?
Leonitus_Trujillo

Con

It is said in the bible An eye for an eye, and an ear for an ear. Now this is in the old testament and many people say the old testament is not compatible with the new testament. This is illogic they are both combined in one book they are both coherent. The meaning of that is that if someone does something to you, if you are to in a righteous matter seek justice the justice will be equal to what has been committed. Its easier to understand what the bible doesn't say. The bible doesn't say a Leg for an eye, and a thigh for an ear. Rightly so we have to see how we are going to persecute against people who commit murder. Jesus preached love but he also preached righteous anger, which he clearly displayed when he forcefully cast out all the people from the temple of the lord who were using it as a place of personal profit. Jesus is compatible with the law, he wouldn't have been able to work in the ways he was able to work. In fact it can't really be argued that Jesus was killed by the law, instead he was killed because of a deficiency of the law, a situation where the law caved in to the desires of the Jews.
Now getting a bit off of the theological side. I understand that you want to stop abortion through compassion, and I looked at your profile and you are a Christian so I respect your argument a little more. However we understand that abortion is wrong, we understand its horrors and we understand the irreparable damage that is done when an abortion takes place. Most logical people understand that abortion is wrong when the fetus becomes a living organism to them. But many people do not, and the people who do not are the people who will get or advise in favor of abortions. Up to this point abortion is legal up to a certain point, however we know that it is wrong even until before this points. And I am taking this particular angle with you instead of debating whether abortion is wrong in the first place because you have admitted that it is wrong. Now sir , how are we going to tell a person that abortion is wrong and they should not have it, if the law still supports it. Our hands are tied behind our backs, when we can only stop short when words end. That is why abortion needs to be illegalized and in many cases it is illegal and I believe the trend has been to decrease the amount of legal abortions. At first Roe v. Wade made all abortions legal. And then eventually certain abortions were made illegal, and that trend continued until recently where partial even partial birth abortions are illegal now.
As Christian community members we must do everything we can do be supportive of the child and then the mother. But as Christian politicians we need to be supportive of the laws and then their enforcement. The Christian politicians are really backing up the people at home, and I thank them for that.
Now with the creation of laws we need to establish their enforcement, and the crime that is committed when the law is broken. And that is why in the other debate which I won, I believe the law that is committed is a law that has already been established in our society, and in societies around the world, for literally; millennia and that law is murder. If it barks like a dog, and looks like a dog, then we must call it a dog. I cannot call the deliberate destruction of life defiant of the law of the country, anything else but pre-meditated murder.
As one of my heroes once said it is not incompatible in supporting the death penalty and being a pro-life are not incompatible. "There is a real difference in adjudication where someone is deemed guilty after a thorough judicial process ,and is put to death by all of us as citizens under a law. As opposed to an individual making the decision to terminate the life that has never been deemed guilty, because that life was never even given a chance to live free. "
Debate Round No. 1
topher

Pro

Yes, in the Old Testament it says "an eye for an eye," and I agree with you that you can't just toss out the Old Testament. But Jesus mentions this law specifically and says that he's got a new one: "love your enemy."

I interpret it this way: In the Torah, when "eye for an eye" was given, it was to keep escalation from happening. If a guy pokes out your eye, don't kill him - just poke out his eye. In the gospels, Jesus believes that we're ready for something new - don't take revenge at all! Turn the other cheek.

Now if Jesus thought we were ready for this message of forgiveness 2000 years ago, why are we Christians still trying to take a life for a life? Jesus did not support the death penalty - the proof is in John 8, where Jesus is able to stop an angry crowd from stoning a women who had cheated on her husband. The Old Testament penalty for adultery was DEATH. And here's Jesus saying "you without sin cast the first stone." In this society, the woman deserved to die, and Jesus said no.

So even if you're right and girls who get abortions deserve death (which is very debatable), do you honestly believe Jesus would be first in line to put that girl to death? Or would he say, "Let's help this girl instead of killing her"?

Honestly, I think if a Christian really wants to prevent abortions, they ought to volunteer at Planned Parenthood for at least a year. Then they can look at these girls face to face and tell them the reasons they ought to preserve the baby's life. At the very least, they'd be closer to the situation and be able to look at the situation and see people they know - not faceless women.

Leonitus, I don't think you'd be so eager to put people to death if the person getting an abortion was someone close to you.

Also, I believe this question deserves an answer: What about girls who can't even afford to have their baby? The delivery alone can cost $1000 and many people can't afford that. Abortion becomes the only option for them. Do propose we kill a person because they're poor?
Leonitus_Trujillo

Con

For Reference:
Exodus 21:24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
This is were we get what is called the lex talionis, or law of like for like. You have to understand that In Exodus the Jewish people were receiving their LAWS that would be with them for the rest of their civilization. These laws were not meant to be carried out by the average Joe but instead the authorities. As Adam Clarke writes his commentary of the bible he does some research and finds important incites. The Jews were tacking this law which is supposed to be carried out by the authorities and applying it as the lex talionis principal in their daily lives. As Adam Clarke points out this sows the seeds of "hatred revenge and all uncharitableness." But we cannot believe that Jesus makes the LAW obsolete .
In fact in the New Testament apostle of Mathews here's what we see.
Matt 5:17
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them
He goes further to say in the following verse.
Matt 5:18
I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
Note that he doesn't say that his preaching' s will never disappear, he says the whole LAW will not disappear the same law this includes without exceptions the law that says "eye for eye "
What you refer to as the substitute for the law is found here in Mathews

Matt 5:38-39
"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' 39 But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Jesus is not talking about the law. It wouldn't make sense for him to be talking about the law, a person cannot physically strike the law on the cheek, the law has no body parts. Jesus is talking about you as an individual , this is something to be applied to your personal life. Jesus is fighting against the lex talionis principal that grew from the law, but the law itself he is not fighting. Because as he says in Mathew 5 18 he is not substituting the law, he is fulfilling the law.

So when you say Jesus wants something new I believe you are correct in the sense of its personal application of how we interact with each other. But not something new for the law, Jesus is not trying to change the Law, Jesus is upholding it. He is fighting against a principal that was not meant to be applied in a personal scene and substituting it with love and kindness and affection.
We can be there support to help these women, we can be there to encourage and not only that we should be , but by the god that we all share in common it is our responsibility as Christian community members to do that. But that is not incompatible with the job that Christian POLITICIANS have to do. The Christian politician has to back up the Christian community member at home. The Christian politician cannot sign a legislation saying that abortion is ok while his counterpart in the community is fighting to try to have a women understand that it is the destruction of a human life.
The example in John chapter 8 is not one that should be used to argue against the death penalty. Jesus does not ever address the death penalty in that example. In fact we can conclude that because Jesus supports and stand by the law of the Jews, and the Law of the Jews has within them the death penalty on a variety of counts that Jesus does not wish to replace the death penalty.
But because I cannot leave a gap in my argument I will go through the example of first John.
John 8:6
"They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him"
So we know that this whole thing is set around a trap that some people placed to try to trick Jesus and discredit his ministry.
John 8:4-5
and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?
And of course Jesus is god, he is knows everything that has been going on up to this point, he knows the heart of the women, and the minds of all the Pharisee's. The question is , Is Jesus going to allow this women to die to save himself, worse, is Jesus going to allow the evil plot of the Pharisee's to work? And the answer is no, he gives his very classic answer as found in John Chapter 8 verse 7.
John 8:7 J
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her
And why is that a very good answer? Because the Pharisee's are FULL of sin their plot was busted and they were tainted with it all over, the bible says that everyone in that room left , the oldest people (probably the Pharisee's) left first.

So your argument that the women deserved to die is pretty harsh, even by the standards of two thousand years ago, she was tricked by the Pharisee's to trick Jesus. If anything the Pharisee's deserved to die, and Jesus was very candid in letting them now that, and letting them know they were damned.
So to your question of would Jesus be the first in line to put a women who commits abortion to death? To that I say this. Jesus would have never been a Judge here on Earth, he would not have been a policemen a, Mayor , Governor, Magistrate, or anything like that. Jesus was born to Earth with a mission to die on the cross so our sins can be forgiven, and in the process fulfilling the prophesies and the Law. .
To take Jesus out of his role of being our savior where grace is unending , and throwing him in a situation that he was never destined to be is unfair, and is similar to what the Pharisee's tried to do in John chapter 8, and that is not something that Jesus appreciated then, nor something that Jesus would appreciate now.
The truth is that the government believes that their just powers are derived from all of us as citizens for the purpose of protecting our rights. And the rights that the government has sworn to protect --- as said in the constitution are god given. Among those rights, Are LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We have many more rights, but those were the most important ones that were specifically put in the beginning of the beginning of the Just laws that govern this nation. And at the Beginning of the list of rights is the first, the right to Live. And so to protect that right for everybody , that god given right , we must use the law, and this is something that Jesus would be and is in favor , and that is the function of government.

I would have wished to finish in those words but I will answer your question regarding the women who cannot afford to have a baby, getting an abortion instead. I would like to condemn that act as a very corrupt act. In my opinion destroying another human being on the basis of finances is just utterly horrible , disgusting and repulsive. Many Democrats including the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi want to spend money on funding abortions. I say instead of spending government money on destroying life we should spend money on preserving life. Our financial situation is something that fluctuates constantly, and we shouldn't decide if an individual has his rights because his family has money, and take away his rights because his family doesn't have money. That is not something this country has stood up for and that is something we have always fought against.
Debate Round No. 2
topher

Pro

It's an interesting strategy to differentiate between Laws and Jesus' words - as if Jesus' words are merely advice.

Jesus said he came to fulfill the law. "Turn the other cheek" is a fulfillment of "eye for an eye." Moses got us as far as taking revenge within reason, but Jesus got us all the way there: to refusing to take revenge at all.

You said: "So when you say Jesus wants something new I believe you are correct in the sense of its personal application of how we interact with each other." But you disagree that this new sense of love applies to politics or government? I believe that is where it is needed the most! I believe that another world is possible where ALL life is valued. This would mean no abortions, yes. But it would also mean no death penalty - and no war!

I see that you find the life of a fetus to be infinitely valuable. But what about the life of the person having an abortion? You say she should be killed. This is an inconsistent ethic of life. The ethic of Jesus is one of a person who forgave even the murderers being hung on the crosses next to him. You say that it is the job of a Christian politician to criminalize abortion and make the penalty death. I believe the job of a Christian politicians is to save lives and make life better for everyone - the way Jesus did.

I don't see how you can possibly assert that Jesus is not addressing the death penalty in John 8. THEY ARE ABOUT TO STONE A WOMEN TO DEATH. How is that NOT about the death penalty? She is about to get punished for something that in Jewish Law gets the death penalty.

Leviticus 10:20 - "If a man commits adultery with another man's wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death."

The people in this account lived by this law. Jesus could have said, "Go on! Stone her!" and no one would have batted an eye. But instead, Jesus brilliantly diffuses the tense situation and saves the women's life - the life she should have lost, according to the law. If Jesus were following the letter of the law (as you're suggesting concerning "eye for an eye") he would have threw the first stone himself. But he's not. He's following the spirit of the law which says, "love one another."

Shouldn't we as Christians love young girls with unplanned pregnancies by helping them through their situations? Or shall we threaten them with death?

You say that Jesus would never sentence someone to death, simply because he was never a judge, executioner, governor, etc. But here we see the Pharisees asking him point blank - "Should we kill her?" Jesus says, "If you've never sinned, go ahead and kill her." Effectively, only someone without sin can condemn another person.

And what about the people who ARE in these positions? The word "Christian" literally means "like Christ". CHRISTIAN leaders are called to make decisions the way Jesus would, to the best of there ability. So where ever you have a Christian judge, a Christian executioner, and so on, you have Jesus faced with this decision on whether to kill or not kill.

I should clarify my closing question from last round. When I said that the person in question could not afford a live birth, I meant she simply COULD NOT AFFORD IT - that she doesn't even have enough money. It would be impossible for her to fund the birth. She doesn't have the family, her family doesn't have the money, and Christian groups are too busy protesting abortions to help her raise the money. If there is no way she can afford the live birth and is FORCED to get an abortion, what do we as Christians do? Kill her, or find the NEXT girl faced with this awful decision and give her the love, support, and financial means to make the right one?

I agree with you that governments shouldn't fund abortions. That money would be better spent helping young women go through prenatal care, give birth to the baby, and find suitable parents to adopt the child. Unfortunately, that is time-consuming and expensive, and many lawmakers find it easier to support a women's right to choose an abortion. And many young women make this decision as well. Not because they have no respect for human life, but because they're scared, poor, and unable to find any other option.

Unfortunately, the only other option (on the political spectrum) besides the Pro-choice crowd, is the Pro-LIfe crowd, who care unendingly for the life of the fetus, but through their negligence show little to no care for the young girl in question. They want to bring punishment to the girl in hopes that it will discourage others from getting an abortion. If they succeed, it will only push more girls into ILLEGAL abortions - which are much more dangerous and could kill both the fetus AND the girl!

If the criminalization of abortions is ineffective in preventing abortions and actually endangers more of the young women who are looking for them, what good does it do? Isn't it just a hollow "moral victory" that the Pharisees were looking for when they brought the adulteress to Jesus?

I ask you Leonitus, as a Christian who believes in a life-affirming, life-changing God who came to earth as a human being to die so that no one else would have to pay for their sins, wouldn't it be better to reach out to these girls, help them in their time of need (like Christ did for us) than it would be to threaten them with punishment?
Leonitus_Trujillo

Con

Leonitus_Trujillo forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by topher 9 years ago
topher
Hmm... I think I see our difference on this issue, sparked by your phrase "the battle of abortion". I guess I don't see it as a battle... BUT if it were a battle, I see you as being of the position that the way to win is to make laws against abortion. I see winning the battle as obliterating the root causes of abortions, the primary of which is POVERTY.
Posted by Leonitus_Trujillo 9 years ago
Leonitus_Trujillo
I never said that I respected his argument soley becuase he was christian.

First you have to read the title. He is assertaining that Criminalizing abortions is NOT christian behavior. IF an atheist would have been taking the Pro side of the argument I would been a bit more than just skeptical.

The fact that he was chrsitian gave him the sort of background in the chrsitian texts that would have made his argument from my view point more respectable.

and Topher I think I was so ticked I deleted My argument.

But the core of it was this.

The laws that Moses gave us, were given to him by GOD.
Jesus was GOD so all his teachings where given to us by GOD.

God Gave us the Law God Gave us Jesus, and god is not schizophrenic, and he does not contradict himself. So I am affirming that while Jesus's teaching is not advice it is the core of Christianity, it does not replace the law, that calls for righteousness and compensation, and the proper execution of the law.

Because the United States has a representative government the laws are determined by the people, and if the Law fails to recognize crimes, that is a reflection on the People. We cannot win the battle of abortion at home, if we don't start the battle in D.C..
Posted by topher 9 years ago
topher
Leo, you should post your response here in the comments! I'm interested in what you have to say.

Also, to Answermate: Yeah, I did sort of mean the argument to be from a Christian viewpoint. Sorry if that made you feel annoyed or un-included. I do disagree with Leo on that point of respecting someone solely because they're Christian. Perhaps what he was saying was taken out of context.
Posted by iq_two 9 years ago
iq_two
Personally I am pro-choice but I find this debate interesting. I think the pro argument doesn't apply so much to passing laws about abortion as to taking action such as bombing abortion clinics- then your argument would apply. However, I like what was said about people should volunteer at a Planned Parenthood before passing judgement, and then at least would see the women who chose to get abortions, or not to, as people they know and not just faceless women.
Also, you said that the only options on the political spectrum are pro-choice and pro-life. This is untrue; many people oppose only some abortions, such as late term or partial birth abortion, and even most propsed anti-abortion laws make exceptions for rape and incest. And the majority of people who are pro-choice are not actually pro-abortion, we just believe that women should have the choice to have an abortion.
Posted by Leonitus_Trujillo 9 years ago
Leonitus_Trujillo
crap. I had my argument on a word file, but I waited until I came home from work to post it and I just missed it. Crap that sucks. For the record I didn't fall off the face of the Earth.
Posted by anwermate 9 years ago
anwermate
this debate is annoying for several reasons, mostly being that every argument is based completely on christianity. im all for everyone having their own moral standpoints based on religion if they want, but when every argument made is backed up by; in order to be a good christian we must do something this way, its annoying. but whatever, i guess your basing your args on morals via religion, so its still okay although irritating. have your own opinions and whatever but please dont treat your view as the best and only way to view the world from. like from the first speach from military kid: "you are a Christian so I respect your argument a little more". wow sweet, im not christian, therefor what i have to say has less merit? anyway its your choice to do what you want concerning religion and whatnot, but it annoying me, and i have nothing better to do than type this.
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