• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

Yesteryear, When Babies Were Born…

Abortion: Lessons from the Early Church

by MATTHEW HARRISON at REPORTER:

Missouri Synod, Lutheran Church….article sent by Mark Waldeland:

AUGUST 3, 2022

(Unsplash/Bonnie Kittle)

With the overturn of Roe v. Wade, which means the limitation of abortion in many states and the increase in others, it is time to increase the church’s understanding of abortion, including how the Early Church viewed it. I invite you to read and consider the following excerpt from an article written in 1968 by the German/Australian Lutheran historian, Hermann Sasse (1895–1976), a longtime friend of the LCMS. This essay was published in The Lonely Way, Vol. 2 (347–53), which is still available from Concordia Publishing House. It is used with permission. — President Matthew C. Harrison

In almost all cases where we hear of murder [in the documents of the church of the first centuries], abortion is meant. There is from the very beginning a really remarkable agreement within the church that abortion in the sense of willful termination of pregnancy is murder. …This principle contradicts the view expressed in the Roman law: Foetus pars viscerum matris [“The embryo is a part of the body of the mother”]. [In this view] the human person begins to exist with birth, not with conception … [and] the wrong in abortion is not the wrong to the fetus, but rather to the mother or to the father of the unborn child.

From where does the idea stem that the unborn embryo is already a human person whose life is to be regarded as sacred? [Second-century Christian convert] Athenagoras refers to reason. “It would be inconsistent to maintain that the embryo is already a human being and to kill the child after he has been born or to expose a child, because such exposition would be equal to killing him.” … But this [emphasis on reason] cannot be the root of the Christian view of abortion. …

It is the firm conviction of the OT that the embryo in the mother’s womb is a living person. One may think of Jacob and Esau in Rebecca’s womb (Genesis 25), or of Jeremiah 1:[5]: “Before you came out of the womb I consecrated you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” … It is the Christian view, underlying the pertinent passages of the NT (Luke 1:41), and of greatest importance for the understanding of the incarnation of the Son of God. …

In the medieval church, this view was darkened by the reception of Aristotle’s view of the beginning of the animated life of the embryo. He taught “that the future child was endowed at conception with the principle of vegetative life only, which was exchanged after a few days for an animal soul, and was not succeeded by a rational soul till later,” as his followers thought . …

One of the great contributions of Christianity to human civilization was, among others, the restoration of the biblical concept of the sanctity of the life of an unborn child, who is already an object not only of God’s providence, but also of God’s grace. Christianity came into a world which did not recognize this sanctity and, therefore, did not hesitate to destroy such life when this was desired for whatever reasons. The legislation of the Christian nations followed in this the Christian understanding of pregnancy. If in wide parts of our Western world the legislation of the state is being changed so as to correspond with the views held by the majority of the people, who no longer understand the Christian principle, it is up to the church to educate its own members and to uphold in its midst the eternal law of God. …

I give an actual example which may illustrate the problem [of] how the law of the state and the law of the church may be in an insoluble conflict. At the beginning of the third century, Callistus, bishop of Rome, allowed marriages in the church between persons who could not enter a full marriage according to the laws of the Roman Empire. There was no connubium [“marriage”] between persons from senatorial or equestrian rank and persons of the lower castes, such as slaves and persons freed from slavery. Since in the church there were more women than men of the higher classes, a Christian woman could not easily find a husband if she wanted to marry within the church. Callistus declared that such marriages were possible within the church because no law of God forbade them. …

We find here a most illuminating example of the ethical conflicts in which Christian women found themselves 1,700 years ago in the problems of childbirth and birth control. The offspring of their ecclesiastically valid marriage would never be able to inherit their own and their family’s fortune. No public career would be open to such a child. 

And yet they loved their Christian husbands and desired a child, as every healthy woman does, a child who from the very beginning of his existence in his mother’s womb would be God’s beloved child. What terrible conflict! Can we imagine that indeed some of these women succumbed to the temptation of an abortion? Who is here prepared to throw the first stone? … 

What has the church to learn from these centuries when it was thrown into a sex-obsessed world, full of adultery and murder of the unborn? The church at that time did not try to make the world a better place to live in. How could she have been able to do it? This is never the task of the church. [Sasse does not reject or discount the mercy work of the church by stating this.

We live in a world cursed by the sins of many generations. To this world we have to proclaim God’s Word in Law and Gospel, and we have to show how a Christian individual and the Christian congregation have to live and can live so as to be a living witness to the eternal truth of God. As citizens we have to share in the responsibility of making the laws for the state in which we live.

What have we to do?

First of all we have to witness to the eternal truth, which has not been invented by the church, that abortion means to kill a human person. There are cases when a human being has to die in the interest of preserving other human lives. So there may be cases when the termination of a pregnancy is the means of saving another life. These are, however, exceptional cases, carefully to be decided by a jury of impartial doctors. The [63 million cases of abortion in the U.S. since 1973, and 1 billion abortions worldwide are, apart] from the exceptional cases mentioned, mass murder with all the consequences for the nation concerned. This we shall have to tell the world on the authority of the living God.

To prevent this crime and to discourage the terrible practice, a thorough instruction in all matters of sex is required. Such instruction is valueless if it is not based on clear concepts of what is right and what is wrong in these matters. One has not to be a Christian to know that any extramarital sexual intercourse is fornication. One has not to be a Christian to know that the fetus is more than a part of the body of the mother to be removed at will.

It will be up to the church to instruct first of all its own members, married and engaged couples, our young people, and the Christian congregation as a whole. The doctors, lawyers, and law makers who belong to the church, but also others, may benefit from it, as they should share in an enlightened Christian instruction on these problems. 

What we have to give up is the utopian idea that our society will suddenly accept the ethical standards of the church if it will not accept even standards and rules that are written in all men’s hearts. We do not live any longer in a Christian society, if ever such a society has existed. We are in the same position in which the ancient church found itself. But by giving their witness with intrepid hearts, the early Christians made an inestimable contribution to the future of mankind.

Posted Aug. 3, 2022

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