They are dead wrong.
Thirteen clergy from six faith traditions filed a lawsuit against the State of Missouri on January 19, claiming that the state’s ban on abortion constitutes an imposition of a Christian belief and thus violates the separation of church and state. The clergy members also stressed that the abortion ban violates their religious beliefs.
I will get to a couple quotes from these religious leaders in a moment, but here is what the Missouri ban, House Bill 126, says:
“In recognition that God is the author of life and that Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution of Missouri provides that all persons have a natural right to life, it is the intention of the general assembly of the state of Missouri to [grant]: (1) Defend the right to life [to] of all humans, born and unborn [and to]; (2) Declare that the state and all of its political subdivisions are a ‘sanctuary of life’ that protects pregnant women and their unborn children….”
The bill goes on to state that, “no abortion shall be performed or induced upon a woman, except in cases of medical emergency.”
God bless the people of Missouri and their stand for righteousness.
By enacting the abortion ban, the lawsuit claims that legislators “imposed their preferred religious doctrine on everyone, forcing the citizens and taxpayers of this State to fund the establishment of that doctrine and to obey it regardless of their own faith and beliefs, and irrespective of the resulting grave harms to those seeking abortion care.”
As for the “religious leaders,” they clearly showed their willful ignorance of the Bible.
Rabbi Jim Bennett, head of Congregation Shaare Emerth, Creve Coeur, said, “Deeply rooted in Jewish scripture and tradition is the understanding that the life, safety, and well-being of a mother have priority over that of an unborn fetus. Missouri’s state-sponsored bans on abortion are based on one narrow Christian view of abortion, which is wholly inconsistent with Reform Judaism.”
Rabbi Andrea Goldstein, also with Congregation Shaare Emeth, said, “My faith demands safe, equitable access to all forms of reproductive care, including abortions.”
The Rt. Rev. Deon K. Johnson, Eleventh Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, said, “I believe that abortion, which is based in reason and science, is not incompatible with scripture and is supported by my faith.
Rev. Jan Barnes, with the United Church of Christ, said, “Missouri’s abortion bans legislate a religious view of abortion that is entirely at odds with my religious beliefs and the reproductive counseling I’ve offered as a United Church of Christ minister.”
The Bible does teach that life begins at conception.
Bible aside, the science is clear, human life begins at the time of conception. From the moment fertilization takes place, a baby’s genetic makeup is already complete. Its gender has already been determined, along with its height and hair, eye and skin color. The only thing the embryo needs to become a fully-functioning being is time in the womb to grow and develop.
God reveals to us in His Word that not only does life begin at conception, but He knows who we are even before then. The Jewish scriptures (Old Testament) state, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you (Jeremiah 1:5).
In a prayer, King David said this about God’s role in our conception: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb . . . your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be,’ (Psalm 139:13, 16).
Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but when churches and synagogues spout religious nonsense that is contrary to their own founding documents (the Bible), someone needs to call them out.