Quote from Deitriech Bonhoeffer on Abortion

I got an email today from a web site organization that does research into the resistance to WWII Germany, mainly focusing on Deitriech Bonhoeffer.  You can see the web site at http://germanresistance.com/…

I thought I would share the email content with you:


The issue of abortion is again prominent in our current political situation. It was addressed decisively by the Lutheran pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 – 1945) who lived during the period when the National Socialist Party of Adolph Hitler ruled Germany (1933 – 1945) and was executed for his involvement in the resistance to Hitler. Although his opposition to National Socialism is well known and admired, his opposition to abortion is not widely known. It provides substantial support for confessional Lutherans.

Here are his statements on abortion as found in his book Ethics:


Destruction of the embryo in the mother’s womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed upon this nascent life.  To raise the question of whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue.  The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of its life.  And that is nothing but murder.


A great many motives may lead to an action of this kind; indeed in cases where it is an act of despair, performed in circumstances of extreme human or economic destitution and misery, the guilt may often lie rather with the community than with the individual.  Precisely in this connection money may conceal many a wanton deed, while the poor man’s more reluctant lapse may far more easily be disclosed.  All these considerations must no doubt have a quite decisive influence on our personal and pastoral attitude towards the person concerned, but they cannot in any way alter the fact of murder.


Miscellaneous Thoughts in Trying Times

I have been way too busy to be writing a lot.  Still WAY too much stuff to do…  But hey – it can all wait for tomorrow!  

FINANCIAL TURMOIL:  So we finally get to get a sense about how fragile the house of cards is that we are building!  Blame it on the bankers.  Blame it on the government.  But don’t forget the blame that goes to all those who decided they just HAD to have that grand castle of a house without the means of paying for it.  Yes, there are some who are hurting through no fault of their own, but what a bunch of irresponsible whiners others of us are!

ELECTION:  My only fear is not so much that Barak Obama will be defeated November 4th, but that he will be defeated for wrong reason:  his race.  I am interested to see how America votes and will be very pleased if he DOES get elected (not, by the way, because I will necessarily vote for him!)  I am just suspicious that all those folks who SAY they are going to vote for him in public will end up (in the cloister of the ballot box) following that evil racist instinct we all have – and vote for McCain because he is white.  If so, it will be a cheap and illegitimate victory for McCain.

THE CATHOLIC LETTER ABOUT ABORTION AND CHRISTIAN DUTY TO VOTE AGAINST IT.  Actually I have not read the whole letter that was published by our local Catholic Bishop, but only read many of the articles and letters in the paper concerning it.  The basic reasoning that is laid out is that the sin of abortion trumps other (sin-clouded) issues such as the question of whether the war was just or what is the best way to deal with poverty, medical insurance or the economy.  Does this stance have any validity?  Would we in the Lutheran Church have any such similar train of thought and practice?  And then would we be so brazen as to suggest that political leaders should not present themselves at our altar if they publicly and actively support abortion rights?   And the most humble answer to these questions?  YES!  (However we would have a differently nuanced approached to how we deal with the issues at hand.) 

Attending questions:  Does the church deal differently with political figures than with “regular” members who might vote “for” abortion?  What about political figures who are “members” of churches who go on at the mouth about how they are “good Catholics” – but then are thoroughly convinced they can speak (often falsely) about what a “good Catholic” believes?  Is Holy Communion and church membership a right or a privilege?  

SARAH PALIN, THE WAR, AND THE WILL OF GOD:  Much ado has been made of an old video of Governor Palin commenting that her prayer was that the war was the will of God.  For some people this was a sign that the lines between the state and religion were too blurred and that we certainly don’t need a religious nut in the vice presidency.  But when all the dust settles, I wonder what citizen would not want their leader to be understanding that there is a God that they are accountable to and that has a path for them to follow for the good of all mankind?  Sure, this prayer can be abused, no doubt.  But I would want to have a president who has this kind of prayer on his/her lips every minute of every day than any other.

AND ON THE ASSEMBLY OF GOD CHURCH, OF WHICH MRS. PALIN IS (WAS?) A MEMBER OF….  My two oldest daughters just came back from the Friday night Youth Night at the Greenridge Assembly of God.  They were rather… how shall I put it… WILD with excitement!  And so the question is:  how come our church can’t be like that?  How come it has to be so BORING?  Actually my girls are so great and they aren’t even as hard on me as they could/should be.  But it DOES beg the question:  What is WRONG with this sort of wild party like atmosphere that they create at the Assembly of God church?  What WOULD Jesus really think of it?  WOULD Jesus have anything to say on the subject if we could ask him?  The problem for us is that there just isn’t much in Scriptures at ALL (specifically) to make a judgement on it. So, IS there something wrong with it?  Well, the simple answer is no!  There is nothing we can point to in scripture to say “this is wrong.”  There is every evidence that the Lord would have us be happy and have a good time.  But, as much as I would secretly (and sinfully) lust over throngs of kids crashing the church doors every Friday night, I am just NOT very convinced that these kinds of activities are the actual foundation on which to build the Christian life.  The hormonal, loud thumping, thrill a minute kinds of enticements are fine for what they are, but in the long run, unless there is ALSO the solid, profound, sober discipline and nurture, our children will not very often be better off because of it.  All I see around in our youth is the addictions of the thrill.  I am not sure that imbibing in the thrill is what is going to edify our faith when our lives hit the fan.  But that doesn’t excuse “boring” worship -and I know I am probably the worst offender of the sin of leading boring worship services.  We need the solid food of God’s Word, His Uplifting Promises, true measured thought, repentance and forgiveness of sin – ALL WRAPPED UP IN A BEAUTIFUL AND ENGAGING WORSHIP!   May the Lord help me!  

But, you know… it helps if the congregation sings, participates, and is eager to worship!  PLEASE HELP ME!  SING!  LAUGH!  Every Sunday is THE DAY OF THE LORD!  PRAISE THE LORD, INDEED! AMEN! ALLELUIA!