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Religion is what keeps the poor from killing the rich

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Where it is a Duty to worship the Sun, it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the Laws of Heat-
John Marley

One man's theology is another man's belly laugh-
Robert Heinlein

Pope Benedict XVI recently told Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House and one of the most prominent abortion rights politicians in America, that she must reject abortion and become anti-abortion.  Unlike George W. Bush, Pelosi seemed to ignore that demand while still expressing pride in her religious heritage and "great joy" that she met Pope Benedict.

In 1960, JFK had to reassure US voter's worries about the Pope having too much influence in American politics.  Today, we have five US Supreme Court who are Catholic,  very, very conservative and right wing.  Things have changed.

This is not the first time that Benedict has intruded in American politics.  Near the end of the 2004 Presidental campaign, the Vatican announced that no Catholic should vote for Kerry because he supported abortion.  That statement came from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith- formerly known as the Holy Office of the Inquisition.  Yes, that Inquisition.  Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI, referred to in the Vatican press as "the Pope's enforcer" and "God's rottweiler".  Some say he's the 'evil Pope', some say he's laid back, mild and humble.  His shades and red patent leather Prada shoes belay that humble image.

Ratzinger was also in the Hitler Youth in 1941, as all 14 year old Germans were forced to do.  There have been a lot of questions about Christianity and Naziism.  They are important questions and observations.  The belt buckles of the enlisted men in the German Army said "Gott mit uns"- God is with us.  Germany has been a Christian country for centuries.  There were Catholic Germans and Protestant Germans.  The Protestant were much more traditionalist and militant.  Then there was the German Christian Church, the Nazi's own church with their imagery and ideology.  Millions of Germans belonged to that church with its Nazi Protestantism.  German Imperialism, fueled by Nazi power and Christianity, was on the move again.  The Train was moving.  Fascism, Christianity, Anti-Semitism, Capitalism plus a hatred of Bolshevikism and Communism were the engines on that Nazi Train.  German Christianity would never be the same again.

It's popular among Christian apologists to claim that Hitler and the Nazis were all consequences of atheism, secularism and liberalism.  That wasn't the reality.  Hitler regularly proclaimed his faith in God; Nazi ideology was committed to supporting Christianity (on Nazi terms, of course).  The actions of Hitler and the Nazis were about as "Christian" as the actions of people during the Crusades or the Inquisition.  People can't imagine Christians doing the horrible crimes of the Nazis, but it's true.  Hitler explicitly appealed to Christianity on a regular basis and that's part of why he was so popular.  He was most popular among conservative Christians seeking a restoration of  "traditional values, Christian Nationalism, anti-communnism and anti-semitism".  Christians may not like acknowledging that Nazi actions had anything to do with Christianity, but Germany saw itself as a fundamentally Christian nation and millions of German Christians enthusiasticlly endorsed Hitler and the Nazi Party believing they showed both German and Christion ideals.

Fast forward to 2009.  As far as abortion ideas (or culture war ideas), Pope Benedict has no special information; his views are just his opinion.  When Benedict talks abortion, he means that life begins at conception.  It's a very political viewpoint.  The Biblical view of when life begins, birth or conception, seems to favor birth.

The Bible often identifies life with 'breath", (Gen. 2:7) suggesting that life begins at birth, not conception.  In Job 33:4 it states: "The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.  Ezekiel 37: 1-14 suggests that which is consistent with Genesis 2:7.  Adam did not become a "living soul" until the "breath of life" entered his nostrils, after his body was formed.  There are other examples, Joshua 10:40, 1 Kings 15:29 and many otheres where "breath" is treated as a synonym for "life".  In Biblical terms, it seems clear that life begins at birth, not conception.  

Jewish law and Jewish Biblical scholars traditionally consider that life begins at birth.  That's good enough for me.

If life begins at birth, then there can be no death or killing of a human being.  Life begins when a human being first draws a breath outside of Mom's body.  Until then, it's just a Potential inside Mom and definitely not separate.

In my opinion, right wing views of abortion are really not about "saving a baby from death".  They're about demonizing liberals and their worldview.  The debate is framed and made to seem that liberals actively seek abortions as a means of birth control.  Liberal mothers are shown as the type of mother who would kill her own children for convenience.  Right wingers say this shows what kind of people liberals are; the liberal agenda is corrupt, their viewpoints are rediculous and they should never have any political power because they would destroy America from within with loose morals, ethics and decay.  Right wingers and conservatives actually believe this.

Oh, what an argument liberals and conservatives have about when life begins.   It goes on and is usually a right wing smoke screen to cover their grab for power.

Pope Benedict should go out into the sunshine and look at his passport to see his Birth Date.  It's just like all the passports in the world; there is a birth date, not a date of conception.  Everyone marks their life by date of birth, not date of conception.  Everyone.  Imagine what this says about abortion.

Belief that a human being then exists at the moment of conception is a faith, a wishful thinking, definitely not backed up by the Department of Licensing or the Passport Office.  I like it that way.

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I'm a retired Union stagehand living in Seattle.

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