April 28, 1976
Reference John Rhea’s letter (April 16) on when life begins: Benjamin Franklin, writing to a French colleague wrote, “He who shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of they world.” Now I appreciate Mr. Rhea„ quoting from that most “primitive” of all Christian documents, the Bible, for,” he apparently seeks to introduce Christian principles into the abortion debate.
However, it’s a shame he did not look a little deeper into that ancient record. If he had, he would have seen clear ands unequivocal documentation that to the Christian mind the fetus does indeed have a soul. His vulgar comparison of a fetus to a pumpkin shows only his ignorance of the very book (Luke) to which, he makes reference.
Luke the physician (Colossians’, 4:14), is quite precise about medical and theological matters. It is, therefore, no coincidence that the good doctor gives us the finest narrative concerning the; conception and birth of Jesus Christ. In that narrative we have the announcement of the conception of Jesus to Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, with these words following that announcement: “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby (John) leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit” (1:41). Here is the plain statement that a six-month-old uterine baby (1:26), is alive, soulful and cognizant.
Even more powerful, though, is the physician’s account of the conception of Jesus. In Luke 1:35 we read, “And the angel answered and said to her (Mary), The Holy Spirit will come upon you; and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, and for that reason the holy one conceived shall be called the Son of God.” Here at the very conception of Jesus we have Biblical evidence that the uterine Jesus will have a divinely holy soul from his physical conception onward.
One can, of course, disregard the Biblical evidence concerning fetal life. But, if one does introduce Biblical statements relating to abortion, one ought to handle the material with consistency an integrity.