Un-be-liev-a-ble. Jesus would be O.K. with abortion. Not only that, Jesus's position on abortion would be even "more radical" than Barack Obama's! That was the wild, and patently false, assertion from Barack Obama supporter Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, a guest on Wednesday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC (8/13/08). (Dr. Hill appears regularly on the program.)
Dr. Hill, an Assistant Professor of Urban Education and American Studies at Temple University and self-described "hip-hop intellectual," was defending Senator Obama's unwavering history of championing the right to terminating unborn humans through all nine months of pregnancy.
Dr. Hill reveals a mind-blowing ignorance of first-century Jewish and Christian teaching. That Hill would air such a preposterous assertion on a national television program is brazen, to say the least.
First-century Jews were unequivocally anti-abortion. (Note to Dr. Hill: Jesus of Nazareth was Jewish.) For example:
-- The Sentences of Pseudo-Phocylides (written between 50 B.C. and A.D. 50) says, "A woman should not destroy the unborn babe in her belly, nor after its birth throw it before the dogs and vultures."
-- The Sibyline Oracles includes among the wicked those who "produce abortions and unlawfully cast their offspring away" as well as sorcerers who dispense abortifacients.
-- Josephus (first-century Jewish historian) wrote, "The law orders all the offspring be brought up, and forbids women either to cause abortion or to make away with the fetus." A woman who did so was considered to have committed infanticide because she destroyed a "soul" and hence diminished the race.
(Source, including more citations: "Answering the Theological Case for Abortion Rights" by Scott Klusendorf.)
Most notably, the earliest Christian writings reveal that the earliest followers of Jesus were universally against abortion:
-- The Didache ("The Teaching of the Twelve") may possibly be the earliest Christian document not found in the Bible. It has been dated as early as 50 A.D. It says: "The second commandment of the teaching: You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not seduce boys. You shall not commit fornication. You shall not steal. You shall not practice magic. You shall not use potions. You shall not procure [an] abortion, nor destroy a newborn child."
-- The Letter of Barnabas has been dated as early as 70 A.D. It says, "You shall love your neighbor more than your own life. You shall not slay the child by abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born."
(In addition, several verses in the Old Testament uphold the dignity of the unborn. For example, in Jeremiah 1:5, the Lord tells Jeremiah, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." In Amos 1:13-14, the shepherd Amos prophesied, "Thus says the LORD: For three crimes of the Ammonites, and for four, I will not revoke my word; Because they ripped open expectant mothers in Gilead, while extending their territory. I will kindle a fire upon the wall of Rabbah, and it will devour her castles amid clamor on the day of battle and stormwind in a time of tempest." (See also "Abortion in the Bible and Church History" by Randy Alcorn))
If anyone ever needed an example of how callous and clueless so-called "progressive" pundits can be when it comes to the topic of Christianity, Marc Lamont Hill's performance on Wednesday's The O'Reilly Factor (8/13/08) could very well take the cake.
From Wednesday's The O'Reilly Factor (8/13/08):
O'REILLY: ... Barack Obama has been the most progressive voice in the country, more than Barbara Boxer, more than Nancy Pelosi, in supporting abortion on demand, whether it's in the third trimester, whether it's partial-birth abortion. No matter what it is, he says, "Yes." So - How do you reconcile finding Jesus with the being the most pro-abortion politician in the country? Don't you want to know that?
HILL: I think he's made that very clear. In fact, he's probably been most clear on that point. There are different schools of theological understanding, many of which believe that the Bible is not something that should be read fundamentally, but --
O'REILLY: The question is simple. (crosstalk) Would Jesus be as progressive on abortion - does he believe Jesus would, based upon his knowledge of theology - as he [Obama] is?
HILL: Absolutely. I think, absolutely.
O'REILLY: You believe Jesus would say, "Partial-birth abortion: No problem"?
HILL: I think Jesus would be even more radical than all the candidates who are --
O'REILLY (incredulous): On this issue?
HILL: On this issue and on all these other issues. I think a fundamentalist understanding of the pro-life/pro-choice debate is misguided and actually misses the point. And I think Barack Obama understands this kind of thing -- (inaudible) close to the center --
O'REILLY (incredulous): That would be a stunning dissertation if the Senator would give it. And I would absolutely want to hear it.
HILL: And I think he would. I think he will!
O'REILLY: Let's wrap this up ...