A friend of mine posted a meme on Facebook that got me thinking. It had a Liechtenstein-esque pop-art picture of a woman in distress, with the caption “Menstruation is abortion!” above the pic. Below, it elaborated: “Every egg is a baby. Stop menstruating, baby killer!!!” [I added punctuation, because these damned kids don’t punctuate, and it’s madness! Chaos and madness!] [and get off my lawn!]
This was obviously a tongue-in-cheek jab at the anti-abortion crowd, and my friend piled on with a comment that masturbating men were equally culpable. This got me thinking. Because here’s the thing: the bible actually DOES condemn both menstruation and male masturbation. Or at least it can be interpreted to do so. Ironically, considering how modern Christians seem to think, the biblical case against masturbation is pretty sketchy. The case against menstruation–you know, that thing that happens to most women on a monthly basis, over which they have exactly zero control–that case is super strong.
Just head on over to Leviticus 15 to see both things mentioned. Verses 16, 17, and 18 are all about men and their dirty, dirty semen. They delineate what a man has to do if he happens to ejaculate: how much he has to wash, what he has to do if it touches any clothing, and how long he will remain “unclean”. If that spooge happens to go into a lady during mommy-daddy fun time? Well, there are whole protocols for that too, ’cause they’re now nasty little monkeys and unclean. UNCLEAN I SAY!
Verses 19 through 30 are all about the woman and her monthly “period of uncleanness,” and, oof! She is filthy! Just disgusting, really. Like, don’t-sit-in-a-chair-that-she-sat-in disgusting. But the Bible isn’t just concerned with how gross it all is. No! She must repent of her nastiness! When she’s finally clean again (seven days AFTER aunt flow stops her visit), she has to bring two birds to the priest to sacrifice, so that God will forgive her for her yuckiness.
So the meme and my friend were right about those issues. But here’s the thing: menstruation and masturbation aren’t bad because they’re de-facto abortions, because the Bible never condemns abortion! Ever! As a matter of fact, the Bible condones abortion, at least in some cases.
For what extreme cases would the Bible condone abortion, you might ask? Rape? Incest? Danger to the mother? Hahahahahaha! Have you even read the Bible? It doesn’t care about those things! No, the case where the Bible explicitly condones abortion is if a husband suspects that his wife’s pregnancy might have happened when she cheated on him with another man.
For proof, check out Numbers 5, which very expressly delineates what a priest can do in such a case. It’s easy, really. Just make the wife drink a potion made of special ingredients (specifically water and dirt), utter some mumbo-jumbo, and boom! If the baby is her husband’s, she’s golden. She’ll have the kid and all will be well. If it was from another guy, ooooh! She’s in big trouble! But also, the pregnancy will be aborted, so the man won’t have to raise some other dude’s kid.
It’s a perfect solution, when you think about it.
And that’s it. There’s no other mention of abortion in the bible.
So… That’s it. Abort all you want—you’re biblically in the clear. Just don’t do anything nasty like emit any fluid from your body. That, my friend, would be a sin.