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How God Treats Babies and Fetuses in the Bible
October 4, 2019
by William P. Meyers

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Adam and Eve

According to the Bible, God created the world and its creatures, which was good. Then he created Adam and Eve, the first humans, and that was his first mistake. He was not used to dealing with mistakes. Adam and Eve had sex and questioned God's authority by eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. So God kicked them out of paradise. If God had wanted babies to populate His world He would have made giving birth a pleasurable thing, but instead He made it painful. Eve was probably pregnant with Cain when kicked out. Somehow humans survived, but God made no effort to help them take care of their children. In fact, He started His long history of punishing children for the sins of their parents.

Noah and the Flood

Men and women multiplied upon the earth, but God did not like how they behaved. God decided to kill them all except Noah and his family. "And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things . . . Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark." He flooded the earth, killing men and women, young and old. He drowned children, male and female. He drowned female pregnant women. Because God did not like babies, children, fetuses or pregnant women. There is no other explanation.

Sodom and Gomorrah

God also destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, "and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities." Again, no sparing of pregnant women, fetuses, or children.

Egyptian First-borns

When God was mad because the Pharaoh would not let the Jews leave Egypt, he could not just change the king's mind. No, instead he ravaged the land, and "it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle." Note that fetuses are not mentioned, nor how old a "firstborn" had to be before exemption from God's cruelty.

Invasion of Palestine

Even when he had the Jews wandering around, before they conquered Palestine, God liked to kill children, or order children killed. Sihon king of Heshbon learned God's policy [Deuteronomy 2:26-35]: "And the Lord our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. And we took his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain."

Much later God is still ordering the deaths of pregnant women, babies and children, for instance in Samuel 15. "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not: but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling."

Paul against Sex, Babies and Marriage

The New Testament, with its Jesus stories, is often contrasted with the mean-spirited tribal God of the Jews that the Old Testament promotes. But in addition to the love talk and the Good Samaritan story there are darker parts of the Gospels and other books of the New Testament. In Luke 19 Jesus says "But those mine enemies, which would not that I reign over them, bring hither and slay before me."

Jesus speaks out against marriage and sex: "They that shall be accounted worth to obtain heaven, and the resurrection of the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage." In Acts 5 the Apostle Peter has a married couple, Ananias and Sapphira, murdered for their money.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, we learn that the Apostle Paul is against sex, marriage, and the creation of children. He advises avoiding fornification. "I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to burn. . . He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord, but he that is married careth for the things that are of the world." These passages were often quoted by the Roman Catholic Church to justify the celebacy of priests.


The God of the Bible strangely told Jews "though shall not kill" not long before he issued the order "kill them all." He has a long track record of killing children or women, or pregnant women, so presumably He does not care about killing fetuses. In the New Testament, He, or at least Jesus, recommends against sex and pregnancy. Christian women should not have children, as it shows they are sinners who are not eligible for heaven or the resurrection of the dead. Abortions are okay, despite the misinterpretation of the Bible by right-wing Christian preachers.

In contrast to the Biblical view, in my opinion killing men, women and children is not okay, no matter what religion or ethical system you subscribe to. But I have no ethical problem with inducing a miscarriage or performing an abortion.

[Note. No anti-Semitism is implied by my quoting the above stories. To a Modern person, the old God was a petty tribal god, not too different from other tribal gods, saying don't kill your own tribe member, but it is okay to fight with other tribes.]

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