Okay I'm supposed to be writing a paper right now so I have time
Number one. There is no scientific consensus on "when life begins" because the question of "when life begins" is primarily a spiritual/theological question, not a scientific one. Really all depends on what we mean by "life," the various beliefs on the existence of a "soul," etc.
There IS scientific consensus on when ~pregnancy~ begins, and that is when a fertilized egg (sperm cell + egg), called a zygote, implants on the uterine wall of the person with a womb. Pregnancy does not begin when fertilization occurs, because:
It's not possible to know the exact numbers, but some estimates are that up to HALF of zygotes fail to implant on the uterine wall and therefore get re-absorbed by the body without the womb-owning person ever even knowing that conception had occurred. guttmacher.org/gpr/2005/05/im…
So pregnancy begins when the zygote implants on the uterine wall. If the zygote does not implant on the uterine wall, there is no pregnancy, and a lot of times that just happens. The body just ~does~ that sometimes, all on its own. All good so far?
Now going back to the soul question. If pro-lifers truly believe that "life begins at conception," and if half of all conceived zygotes fail to implant and are re-absorbed by the body that's *does the math* millions and billions of human souls that exist for a few hours and "die"
NOW. If pro-lifers really believed that each and every one of those zygotes was a human soul as they claim, then they would be fighting for free birth control for every person who can get pregnant because birth control in many cases stops ovulation. No egg, no zygote, no soul.
But that's just run-of-the-mill "pro-life" hypocrisy in general. Let's talk specifically about Shane Claiborne and this twitter poll.
First, running a poll like this with as big of a following as Claiborne has is downright irresponsible. It's like a running poll asking people to vote on whether they think COVID is a hoax or climate change isn't occurring, as if those positions are scientifically legitimate.
Second, the Christian supremacy is just LEAPING out. Other religions and specifically Judaism have LONG had broad, diverse, theologically informed understandings of at what point in a pregnancy "life" starts. And again that's a theological question not a scientific one.
Third, folks like Claiborne are fond of calling themselves "consistently pro-life," right? They're like, "I'm anti-war and anti-death penalty AND anti-abortion! I'm consistent!"
The thing is, being anti-choice is quite literally not being pro-life. I don't desire to "reclaim" the term "pro-life" because it's been bastardized beyond redemption imo but good god, anti-abortion policies harm human lives deeply, measurably, widely, and gruesomely.
Do some research. I'm not making a claim about "when life begins" because my personal theological framework does not allow for fundamentalist certainly about such immense questions, but check out the CONSEQUENCES of these theologies. Sit with questions. The discomfort.
As a side bar, I wanted to make a comment about this tweet which I'm so glad was brought up

YES. So sometimes zygotes implant somewhere that is not the uterine wall. They're still not called a pregnancy until that implantation occurs, but that does happen. An ectopic pregnancy is not a viable pregnancy — and moreover, they are extremely dangerous to the pregnant person.
So EVEN IF a pro-life person decided that life begins at implantation rather than conception, what about ectopic pregnancies? It's okay to have an abortion in that instance? Even though the implantation has already occurred? What determines who gets an exception?
It all falls apart when you start to think about the actual human beings who need abortions and not the fabricated scare-statistics the pro-life movement peddles. So often theoretical children have been used as excuses to screw over the people standing right in front of us.
Shane Claiborne's Twitter poll cannot possibly be answered and any book that pretends it can will be theologically, scientifically and morally bankrupt. Now find your local Planned Parenthood & make a donation in honor of our "consistently pro-life" friend plannedparenthood.org/health-center
My apologies for any typos, I can’t spell when I’m angry or basically since like month three of the pandemic

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More from @emilyjoypoetry

9 Oct 19
All this Ellen talk has got me thinking about the other day when I was being interviewed by someone who was coming from a more conservative theological viewpoint and they asked me what it would take for me to be in community with people I disagreed with theologically.
And I said to them listen, I am constantly in community with people I disagree with theologically. In both directions. I’m close friends with atheists and I’m close friends with people who take the whole fucking nicene creed extremely seriously.
Where I run into problems with people is when it gets to matters of human dignity and civil rights. My life is not a theological issue. My personhood is not a theological issue that exists to be agreed or disagreed with. I reject the premise of questions that start there.
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16 Jul 19
Okay #BachelorNation. My name is Emily Joy, I'm a lesbian with an unhealthy obsession with this show, I have a degree in philosophical theology & apologetics from Moody Bible Institute, and if you're wondering what the fuck is going on I'm here to break it down. #TheBachelorette
In last night's episode @AlabamaHannah referenced the biblical story of the woman caught in adultery & the words of Jesus when he said, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone." The story she's referring to can be found here in the gospel of John: biblegateway.com/passage/?searc…
Now a couple interesting things to note: 1) unlike a lot of other Jesus stories, this one is found *only* in the gospel of John & not the others, and 2) there is good scholarly consensus that this bit of John was added later and was not a part of the original text of the gospel.
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15 Mar 19
So I see that thanks to some high profile shares another article about p*rnography is making its way around the #ChurchToo tag and I just want to take a moment and state that for the most part, right now, I am deeply unconcerned about the “role” of p*rn.
First off, people, mostly men, with power have been grooming, abusing and assaulting people with less power since long before the invention of internet p*rnography and second off, p*rn tends to function as something of a scapegoat for conservative Christians. #churchtoo
If the problem is p*rn, then the problem can’t possibly be our homophobic, white supremacist complementarian theology, you see. The problem is always “out there” and not “in here.” #churchtoo
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7 Dec 18
I like to think that the fact that evangelical Christians assume that the opposite of purity culture is a 24/7 lascivious sexual smorgasbord says more about them than it does about any of us lol
I have THINGS TO SAY about this and about the idea of pleasure as a useful moral guide but I just got home and I am very hungry so I need to make soup first
Okay I made soup and yes it is as delicious as it looks and I thought about this while I was making it and here is the thing:
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22 Oct 18
Joshua Harris is apparently discontinuing publication of I Kissed Dating Goodbye & its followups (including Boy Meets Girl which I would argue is maybe worse). Great. Eventually maybe I won't have to keep buying every copy I find in a thrift store so no one else does.
Let's take a look at his "explanation" (I won't call it an "apology" since that implies genuine repentance and a good faith effort to do something to fix the actual problem at hand but okay)… Link here or in the pictures below joshharris.com/statement/
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11 Sep 18
IDK who it was at @vicenews that greenlit whatever the hell I just watched but this is one of the most simultaneously laughable and dangerous things I've seen lately. This is evangelical ego-stroking at its finest.
First off, Matt Chandler was a "rising star" ten years ago and he's done nothing since then but put out a handful of shitty books regurgitating standard evangelical theology for people who already believe it
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