HERE’S A TOUGH QUESTION, as far as Bible experts are concerned.
Some Christians admit that they have no idea when life begins.
But many others say they’re sure it starts at conception. And they’ll take their case to court if they have to.
Tyndale Publishing, a conservative Christian book publishing company, is actually going to court over this question.
In covering their employees with healthcare insurance—as ordered by the new healthcare reform— they don’t want to have to provide contraceptives that include the morning-after pill or the week-after pill.
Mark D. Taylor, company president, interviewed last week in World magazine, said that by refusing to comply, Tyndale will be subject to fines of up to $100 per day per employee. With 260 employees, that’s $26,000 a day or $9.36 million a year.
So they joined a list of Christian organizations that have filed suit against the mandate.
Here’s one of the most popular go-to Bible passages for Christians advocating that life begins at conception:
“The LORD gave me this message: ‘I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations’” (Jeremiah 1:4-5 New Living Translation).
Two counterpoints that scholars make:
- Read literally, life begins before conception.
- Jeremiah wrote this as poetry. We shouldn’t read science into poetry. And the point he was making is that God had a plan for him, not that God puts a soul into a life at or before conception.
The question I’m wondering about isn’t whether or not life begins at conception. Bible experts are severely split on that one.
Here’s what I’m wondering.
Given what many would agree is the commendable plan of providing affordable healthcare to everyone, someone is going to end up imposing something on somebody, it seems to me.
- Should employers or any other insurers be allowed to impose their beliefs onto the health of their employees?
- Or should the government, elected by the majority of voters, be allowed to impose the majority view on employers and other insurers?
- Or should employees be allowed to impose their healthcare wishes on whoever is providing their healthcare services?
I guess a fall-back option would be to let money call the shots. Whoever has enough money to get what they want will get what they want. The rest will get what they get.
My head is spinning.
Wow, Steve! You certainly don’t shy away from controversy!
One other thing to consider: Prior to the invention of the microscope (and the discovery of the ovum) most people believed that the man provided the entirety of materials of life and the woman merely provided the receptacle and womb.
In other words, life began in the testicles — a concept that even Roman Catholic church today uses as a reason to ban all forms of birth control!
Stephen M. Miller
That’s interesting, Steve. I didn’t know about that.
About the controversy thing, I know lots of folks shy away. But these questions are part of our life. So we should probably talk about how the Bible and our faith informs the debate–or doesn’t.
I have no intention of pointing people in one direction or another. Often, I’m as perplexed as the next guy. But I see value in comparing notes.
Peace to you, my friend.