Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: Response to Sept. 4 letter

Monday, October 26, 2020

The writer of Sept. 4, 2020 editorial states: “God hates the killing of innocent life in all stages.” He is only partially right. The words of the Psalmist “You knit me together in my mothers womb” points out that God was active in the womb forming King David and by implication, all babies. However, we cannot overlook some of God’s other actions!

In forming his OT kingdom, he deemed it necessary to have women killed! Some must have been pregnant! Genesis 6 reports the drowning of all except Noah’s family. To possess the Promised Land, God commands Israel to destroy seven nations “totally…and show no mercy” (Deuteronomy 7:1-2). In Numbers 31, God has Israel avenge the Midianites by killing everyone except “virgin females” whom the men can divide among themselves (vs 15-18). Worshipers of a false god (Deuteronomy 17:2-5) are to be stoned to death. As punishment, God threatens Samaria’s women will be “ripped open” (Hosea 13:16). Read also Exodus 32, Deuteronomy 6:10-11, Numbers 3:15, Jeremiah 19:8-9. Some of these destroyed women were surely pregnant with child.

Thus, in the Old Testament, God who “knits” the baby, also destroys babies carried by mothers who are rebellious, or who do not worship him, or who stand in the way of the Israelites reaching the Promised Land. God has given us two precedents: caring for babies and destroying babies.

Since we are left with these precedents, making mature decisions is on our shoulders. First, we need to be sexually responsible and not have unwanted babies – men included! Secondly, if there is a pregnancy, we should honor the mother’s right (not politicians’ right) to make decisions about her body. Third, adopting families in need of help should be provided emotional, medical, and financial assistance. Finally, if there is an unplanned pregnancy and abortion is chosen, we should give those making this difficult private decision the same understanding we give God for his actions reviewed above.

Al Peuster
Retired Lutheran Minister and Marriage and Family Therapist
Former Saline County resident