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The Christian scriptures support family planning techniques such as contraception and abortion.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/22/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,646 times Debate No: 36926
Debate Rounds (2)
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For the purposes of this debate, "God" shall mean the Christian deity. Also, this debate is about the Christian faith, not morality because, as we know, not everything that is written in the Bible is morally sound. So, to the debate:

Many Christians, especially Catholics, believe that contraception and abortion are immoral acts - as Cardinal George Pell told a group of World Youth Day delegates: "abortion is a worse moral scandal than priests sexually abusing young people" (1); but this debate is not about morals, so what does the Bible say about family planning? Christians often point to the following verse as evidence that family planning is a sin:

"But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his. So whenever he went in to his brother's wife he would spill his mess on the floor so as not to give offspring to his brother. And what he did was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and He put him to death also." Genesis 38:9

However, God was not angry because Onan pulled out on his vinegar strokes rather than go off inside her - the ancient method of contraception - it was because he refused to continue his brother's family line, and here are the verses that prove that:

"Then Judah said to Onan, 'Have sex with your brother's wife and fulfil your duty to her as a brother-in-law to raise up offspring for your brother.'" Genesis 38:8

"The first son she bears shall carry on the name of the dead brother so that his name will not be erased from Israel." Deuteronomy 25:6

Furthermore, God even approves of killing foetuses in certain circumstances:

"Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him." Numbers 31:15-17

You see, because some of the women God murdered would have been pregnant, their unborn children would have died with them. Furthermore, God also aborts the foetuses of people he doesn't like very much:

"Even if they rear children, I will bereave them of every one. Woe to them when I turn away from them! But Ephraim will bring out his children for slaughter. Give them, O Lord-- what will You give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts." Hosea 9:12-14

"Yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb." Hosea 9:16

"Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up." Hosea 13:16

"The priest shall say unto the woman, The Lord make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the Lord doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell. And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen. And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people. And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed." Numbers 5:21-21, 27-28

In addition, God also murders newborn babies:

"Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die." 2 Samuel 12:14

Also, God commands that women who have sex outside marriage, some of whom may be pregnant, to be burned to death:

"Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt." Genesis 38:24

So, we can see that, although some of the Bible's teachings may be considered barbaric and immoral in these enlightened times, the Christian scriptures do support family planning techniques such as contraception and abortion.

Thank you.



NT = New Testament

OT = Old Testament

Christianity = NT, Judaism = OT

PRO’s arguments are classic selective misreading of scriptures – what the bible deemed as God’s punishment (annihilation of an extremely immoral society including their offspring), PRO mischaracterized them as God’s support for abortion.

In addition, PRO read into OT scriptures exclusively - His arguments are best suited against Judaism only.

In Christianity, the Bible is a progressive revelation where the NT supplants the OT.

The OT remains important in Christianity but only to lay the foundations for fulfillment and redemption thru Jesus in the NT.

In the NT, Jesus laid out the universal obligation to love ones neighbors including unwanted children.

PRO ignores historical and cultural climate in Old Judaism

Numbers 31 - Onan and his brother’s wife

  • Levirate marriage, where the brother of a deceased man marries his brother's widow out of compassion, is practiced in old Israel. So Onan is married to his late brother’s wife.

  • Contraception/coitus interruptus is not the sin itself but the method by which the sin is committed. The sin is the squander of God’s blessing (bear children) and the refusal to fulfill marital obligations (procreation).

  • God punished Onan for neglecting his marital obligations by practicing coitus interruptus. He married for the sexual pleasures only.

Hosea 9 - Kill every woman that hath known man by lying witah him

  • This does not refer to abortion. Moses discovered that the Israelites had engaged in mass sexual indiscretions resulting to STDs. They were punished (capital punishment) for adultery and prostitution.

Genesis 38, Hosea 9, Hosea 13, Numbers 5, Samuel 12

  • These refer to God laying the punishment Himself for immoral acts, and in some, God annihilating an extremely immoral society (Samaria) in a similar fashion to Sodom and Gomorra.

  • PRO ignored the context around these scriptures and why God laid out the punishment -

    • Blasphemy
    • Rebellion against God thru promotion of immoral acts
    • Adultery and prostitution
    • Mass Incest and Pedophilia
    • Sex with animals
    • Cannibalism

It is true that God’s punishments are harsh but there are
underlying historical precedent. In all of these cases, God sent prophets to redeem the community, however, they remain unrepentant, and since the immorality is entrenched culturally, God saw it fit to end that society’s lineage.

In all of these, PRO is simply wrong to interpret God’s punishment as equivalent to God's promotion or support of casual abortion/contraception as PRO stated in the motion.

PRO is confused between Judaism and Christianity

This debate is about Christian traditions. And in Christianity, God revealed himself thru Jesus with a NEW covenant that supplants the teachings in OT. God thru Jesus is about compassion, mercy, solidarity and forgiveness.

And NT Christian teaching is simple – love your neighbor.

This obviously includes love towards “unwanted” children.
Now, contraception was prohibited in the OT (don’t spill your semen) but there was no mention in the NT.

But to be clear this debate is about Christian scriptures (NT) in support of abortion and contraception as stated in the motion. And just because contraception was not mentioned in the NT, it does not automatically equate into a support.

For the PRO to make a convincing argument that Christian scriptures support contraception and abortion, he needs to derive it from the teachings of Christ (hence, Christianity, duh!) and not misquote Judaism and pass it off as Christian.
Debate Round No. 1


Firstly, I would like to thank DT for accepting this debate.

Next I would like to point out that there is no confusion in my arguments between the Old and New Testaments or Judaism and Christianity: the fact is that the Old Testament is what Jesus Christ preached and, furthermore, Christianity is, essentially, just a sect of Judaism that outgrew its parent religion.

Furthermore, Jesus was born a Jew, lived the life of a Jew and died as a Jew. When faced with personal dilemmas Jesus referred to the Hebrew Scriptures (Matt. 4:2-10, Deut. 8:3, 6:16, 6:13). When teaching, Jesus taught from the Hebrew Scriptures (Matt. 22:42-45). When admonishing, Jesus quoted from the Hebrew Scriptures (Mk. 7:6-13).

Plus, Jesus self-identified as a Jew (John 4:22) and as King of the Jews (Mk. 15:2). From his birth to his last Passover celebration (Luke 22:14-15), Jesus lived as a Jew.

That's right, Jesus not only taught others how to live a Jewish life, he lived it himself. The outward signs of this were such things as wearing tzitzit (tassles) on his clothing (Luke 8:43, Matt. 14:36), to serve as a reminder of the commandments (Num. 15:37-39). He observed Passover (John 2:13) and went up to Jerusalem (Deut. 16:16). He observed Succot (John 7:2, 10) and went up to Jerusalem (John 7:14). He also observed Hanukah (John 10:22) and probably Rosh haShanah (John 5:1), going up to Jerusalem on both those occasions as well, even though it isn't commanded in the Torah.

And Jesus' disciples were Jews (John 1:47, Matt. 20:25-26) and they called Jesus 'Rabbi' (John 4:31) and they sought his knowledge of the Torah and the Prophets (John 1:45).

Moving on, my opponent reiterates the point I was making about coitus interuptus: the Bible does not condemn the practice as a form of contraception.

In fact, nowhere in the Bible is there any condemnation of either contraception or abortion, both of which were practiced in ancient times. This would surely be an extraordinary oversight in such a comprehensive collection of scriptures if these practices were not supported by the clerics who wrote the Bible. After all, every aspect of daily life is prescribed in the Bible: "thou shallt" and "thou shallt not" will be familiar refrains to anybody who has read even small parts of the book.

Clearly, the implication of the lack of condemnation of family planning techniques illustrates that the Catholics have got it wrong again (just like they did with their model of the universe with the earth at the centre and numerous other blunders) and that the Bible supports the practice of contraception and abortion.

Thank you.


DT forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by brian_eggleston 4 years ago
I haven't forgotton this one but I won't be able to post my response until the very last minute...
Posted by brian_eggleston 4 years ago
I see your point, philochristos, but I do not think that we should not confuse religion with morality, as the two do not necessarily equate (many of the teachings of the Bible, Koran and Torah are morally acceptable, at least not in most developed countries).
Posted by philochristos 4 years ago
I'm confused by your statement that this debate is not about morality. Isn't it about Christian morality? If not, then what do you mean by "supports" when you say, "The Christian scriptures SUPPORT family planning"? My impression is that you mean to argue that the Christian scriptures teach that family planning techniques are morally permissible.
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