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Responses to A Love for Life Reviews

[1] I want to thank Dr. Yarrrison for my first "pro-choice" review. I wish I had many more. I am confident that this type of dialog will lead us to the truth regarding God's plan for human life. But I do need to correct a few problems in Dr.Yarrison's assertions, however. The first problem is her claim that I do not explain the common pro-choice interpretation of Exodus 21, yet I clearly do on page 2. She also states that I wrote that the Greek version is not the original version of the Bible. Actually I wrote, "the Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew" (p.1). Yarrison seems to believe that this covers the entire Bible. She doesn't seem to know that the New Testament was written A Love for Life: Christianity’s Consistent Protection of the Unborn by Dennis R. di Mauroin Greek, and therefore the word pharmakeia, which is found in Revelation and Galatians, is original. Furthermore, on this subject it appears that she and I are in agreement (much to her protestation): sorcerers made potions, some of these potions were abortive draughts, and this activity was part of the "magic arts" prohibited by the Bible. She also dismisses the other Bible references cited and quibbles over "the many questions that such...claim[s] raise."

[2] What she fails to understand is that all these citations create a picture of a biblical worldview in which abortion simply has no place. Nor is it strange that there wasn't a specific prohibition which used the word "abortion," since the practice itself was unthinkable to the Jewish mind. She also states that "all that Di Mauro does is object to their [pro-choice Christians'] interpretations because they disagree with his own." This claim makes it sound like there was no research to substantiate my claims, only "assertions" as she puts it. Yet a quick look at the extensive references shows just how thoroughly the subject was researched for this volume.

[3] Yarrison also criticizes the tone of the book stating that it was merely written to advance the pro-life agenda. While I made every attempt to keep a balanced perspective, in the process of revealing the outrageous interpretations of many pro-choice clerics I may have appeared to be targeting the opposition. But I don't think I can be held responsible for bias, if, for instance, these ministers erroneously believe that the message of Isaiah 65 is that Christians should actively lobby for worldwide abortion services. Finally, I am in no way claiming that a Christian should be pro-life because that is the majority position, as Yarrison mischaracterizes. I was simply using the statistic to encourage those in pro-life ministry, who live in a society where the pro-life position is often portrayed as being a tiny minority.

[4] I want to thank Rev. Guill for his gracious review. My dependence on Gorman and other respected secondary sources in the early chapters merely set the stage for the main portion of independent research in chapters 7–9, which covers the last forty years of the pro-life movement. One will find a plethora of primary sources in this area, including numerous personal interviews. I also was not trying to say that the CEC was part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. My research on the CEC was merely an attempt to find strong pro-life witnesses within the Anglican tradition. For clarification — this is not my doctoral thesis: that will be forthcoming on the 17th-century debates on the Eucharist in England.

Dennis diMauro
is a doctoral student in church history at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and is active in many pro-life organizations.
© May 2010
Journal of Lutheran Ethics
Volume 10, Issue 5