Author’s Note: The following column is based on a new book, The Faith: Given Once, For All, by Charles Colson and Harold Fickett.
There was a time when the important question of “when life begins” was in dispute. Now that films like “In the Womb” have become widely available to the public, visual evidence forces reasonable people to answer that question by moving further and further back towards the moment of conception. I believe that since conception is the moment when one’s genetic endowment is established, that is when one’s life begins.
But, of course, for feminists, the debate on abortion involves more than just the question of when life begins. It also involves the question of whether there is a right to life once it begins. Fortunately, our Founding Fathers settled that issue long ago by stating the following:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
That this view of the sanctity of life was inspired by the Bible is now lost among many self-proclaimed liberals. Much of that has to do with the work of propagandists like Christopher Hitchens – a man who asserts falsely that Christians supported slavery until it became unprofitable. He ignores (intentionally, I believe) the contributions of Christians like William Wilberforce and John Wesley. Without them slavery’s demise would have been long delayed.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Galations 3:28 that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This is a quote that planted a seed of sedition in Western culture, which makes it so easy to understand why Wilberforce did what he did. It also makes it difficult to understand the fierce anti-Christian rhetoric and actions of those who claim to be “liberals” and “human rights activists.”
Before the Bible was written, women were deemed inferior to men throughout the world – just as they are today throughout the Islamic World. But the early Christian church stood up for women as no other institution had before. The church denounced divorce, incest, adultery, and polygamy. Christian men were expected to be devoted to one woman within the framework of lifelong marriage.
But, nowhere was the defense of women greater than in the early Christian opposition to abortion and infanticide. In the Roman Empire – not to mention China and India – female babies were sacrificed while the lives of male babies (seen as future warriors) were preserved.