Dinner Topics for Thursday
Bible Stories: Shiphrah, Ancient Activist on Infanticide Prevention
And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. ~Exodus 1:15-17
Symbolism: The Oath, a Serpent, and a Staff
American Right To Life’s The Bible and Abortion article documents that 3,500 years ago the Mosaic Law in the Hebrew Scriptures recognized the unborn child as a person. More than a thousand years later Hippocrates, considered the father of medicine, also acknowledged the immorality of killing an unborn child. The single serpent on a staff is the most popular medical symbol in the world. Many claim this symbol originated not in Scripture but with Greek mythology and as associated with Hippocrates. However, biblical influence on the Greek culture greatly predates Hippocrates, as Robert Johnson wrote, “Ancient Greek religion, what we call mythology, tells the same story as the Book of Genesis, except that the serpent is the enlightener of mankind…” And during the Exodus:
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.’ So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.” –Moses, Numbers 21:8-9
A millennium after Moses, and 2,400 years ago, Hippocrates held to a Greek religious belief which recognized the serpent on a staff as a symbol of medicine. If the time frames were reversed, and Hippocrates predated Moses, no one could doubt that secular archaeologists would insist that the Bible copied the pre-existing symbol for medicine from the Greeks. But since the actual time frames give precedence for this symbol by more than a thousand years to the scriptures, secular historians deny the evident source of the snake and staff symbol for the restoration of physical health.
The Bible records that the Fall and the curse of death occurred after mankind was tempted by a serpent at a tree (Gen. 3:1-4). Then in the fullness of time Jesus Christ “Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24), “having become a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13). The symbolism pointed to the actual historic crucifixion and explains the Apostle Paul’s words to the Galatians that, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree).” Also, the Hebrew terms for sin and for sin offering in the Bible are the identical word, for Jesus is the sin offering (Heb. 10:10) who became “sin for us” (2 Cor. 5:21). That is the ultimate meaning of the serpent being lifted up. For all who looked to it, that is, to Jesus who became sin for us, could be saved. As Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32). For the Lord said:
“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” –Jesus Christ, John 3:14-16
And back to Hippocrates who wrote in the Hippocratic Oath, “never do harm,” and “I will not… cause an abortion.” Medical schools still commonly administer the pledge but sadly, in pro-abortion cultures, they have removed the promise to not kill an unborn child. For as mentioned at Abort73.com, the original oath has been “replaced by vague generalities… and fails to list any of the prohibitions against euthanasia, abortion, and sexual relations with patients (which was prohibited in the original).” So as the American Medical News reports, most doctors who take a modern oath, “the taking of the oath is not… meaningful… but just something that happens” whereas, “Physicians who said religion is important were more likely to say that their medical school oath was influential than were less-religious doctors.” And the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network comments, “of course! When the oath you take doesn’t really say much of anything, it can’t be of much use as an ethical guide.”
Abortion Facts and Timeline
History has shown that changing people’s attitudes is much easier if verbal engineering precedes social engineering. When scientists want to do something the public abhors, they simply change the terminology. They either use a euphemism or use technical jargon that nobody really understands.
The practice of changing the meanings of words and phrases, in an effort to change the way the public views the issue of abortion, has added to the confusion.
Abortion rights advocates refer to themselves as ‘pro-choice’ but have been labelled as ‘pro-abortion’ by their opponents. Those opposed to abortion call themselves ‘pro-life’ while their opponents call them ‘anti-choice,’ ‘anti-abortion,’ and even ‘terrorists.’
The foetus (the Latin word for ‘young one’) has been variously termed: ‘unwanted pregnancy,’ ‘product of conception,’ ‘sub-human,’ ‘non-person,’ ‘parasite,’ ‘sexually transmitted disease,’ feto-placental unit,’ ‘blob,’ ‘unborn baby,’ ‘pre-born baby’ and even just ‘baby.’
Euphemisms for abortion include: ‘women’s health care,’ ‘termination of pregnancy,’ ‘women’s reproductive rights,’ ‘the right to choose,’ and ‘procedure.’
Then and now: 1871 to 1970
Dr Wilkie then contrasted the AMA’s attitude on abortion from the 1870’s to 1970:
What is abortion?
1859 – “The slaughter of countless children; such unwarranted destruction of human life.”
1871 – “The work of destruction; the wholesale destruction of unborn infants.”
1967 – “The interruption of pregnancy; the induced termination of pregnancy.”
1970 – “A medical procedure.”
What should the ethics of abortion be?
1871 – “Thou shalt not kill. This commandment is given to all without exception. It matters not at what stage of development his victim may have arrived.”
1967 “This is a personal and moral consideration, which in all cases must be faced according to the dictates of the conscience of the patients and her physician.”
Who should perform abortions?
1871 – “It will be unlawful and unprofessional for any physician to induce abortion.”
1970 – “Abortion should be performed only by a duly licensed physician.”
Who are doctor abortionists?
1871 – “Men who cling to a noble profession only to dishonour it, false brethren, educated assassins, modern Herods, the executioners.”
1967 – “Conscientious practitioners, conscientious physicians.”
What should be done to physician abortionists?
1871 – “These men should be marked as Cain was marked; they should be made the outcasts of society.”
1970 – They should be permitted to perform as long as they take place in an accredited hospital.”
How did the AMA deal with doctor abortionists back in the 19th century, when it was first formed?
According to W.Brennan, in 1871 the AMA recommended dealing with medical abortionists in the following manner:
“These men should be marked as Cain was marked; they should be made the outcasts of society. Respectable men should cease to consult with them; should cease to speak to them, should cease to notice them except with contempt. Resolved, that we repudiate and denounce the conduct of abortionists, and that we will hold no intercourse with them professionally or otherwise, and that we will, whenever an opportunity presents, guard and protect the public against the machinations of these characters, by pointing out the physical and moral ruin which follows in their wake.”
The gradual change in Germany from the 1920s into World War II
Dr Leon Alexander, a psychiatrist at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, interviewed the Nazi doctors involved in euthanasia and medical experiments on prisoners. In 1949, he wrote on the lessons to be learned.
The acceptance of the attitude that there is such a thing as “a life not worthy to be lived” is what led to the Nazi doctors acceptance of euthanasia and medical experiments on prisoners.
“The beginnings were at first a subtle shift in emphasis in the basic attitude of the physicians. It started with the acceptance of the attitude, basic in the euthanasia movement, that there is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived.”
“This attitude in its early stages concerned itself merely with the severely and chronically sick. Gradually the sphere of those to be included in this category was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted, and finally all non-Germans. But it is important to realize that the infinitely small wedged-in lever from which this entire trend of mind received its impetus was the attitude towards the non-rehabilitable sick.”
(L. Alexander, “Medical Science Under Dictatorship”, New England Journal of Medicine, Vol 241, July 14th, 1949)