Thinking more about the passages in Exodus 21 mentioned in the last post, it seems unreasonable that the Biblical writer (Moses) would anticipate only a premature birth, given the medical treatment available hundreds of years before Christ. A premature birth would occur only in a few occasions when the woman was in her eighth or ninth month and if the injury from the striving men was not too serious. It is much more likely that in most cases the child would be still born, and that therefore the “mischief” that might “follow” would be the death of the woman from the assault and the consequent miscarriage, not the death of the infant who had been born prematurely. It is more likely that a woman in the early stages of pregnancy who miscarried would not die, than that a woman in advanced stages who miscarried as a result of injury would not die. To me the right-to-life interpretation is too strained to be the correct one. In addition, infant mortality was high in those old days, so that the death of an infant would not be as unusual as it is today. But the wording is ambiguous; I think my interpretation is the correct one, but it is impossible to be sure.
Another issue that bothers me is the self-righteousness of the evangelicals and their bragging about how much they pray. The self-righteousness was on display yesterday on ABC this week with the head of Focus on the Family. When George Stephanopoulis asked him whether he would like to apologize to Sen. Leahy for saying that Leahy hated God’s people, he said no, that he stood by his statement accusing Leahy of hatred of God’s people. When Stephanopoulis asked him if this was Christian, he said Stephanopoulis could not teach him about being a Christian.
I found the head of Focus on the Family to be very un-Christian. Today’s op-ed in the New York Times by Gary Hart explains well why the so-called Christian conservatives are not Christian. He misses one point, however, from the Sermon on the Mount. The evangelical Christians talk about how much they pray. See, for example, yesterday’s New York Times Magazine. Jesus said (Matthew 6:6):
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
I really question whether any of these so-called evangelical Christians has read the New Testament.