RICHMOND, VA, June 24, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/
-- In a contentious argument, it helps to have the big guns on your side. In the abortion debate, the biggest gun of all -- the word of God -- is frequently invoked to support the claim that the Bible abhors abortions.
Human life begins at conception, the syllogism goes, abortion is the termination of a human life, ergo, abortion is murder, and the Bible prohibits it. Not so fast, says L. A. Washington, in The Human Life Equation (Lucid Logos, paper, $9.95), her brilliant new biblical exegesis that sets conventional wisdom on its ear.
"I have no problem with one side or the other quoting the Bible in this debate," says Washington, an attorney and former Republican candidate for public office. "But if you're going to arm yourself with the Bible, it behooves you to know what's actually in it." In The Human Life Equation, Washington trains her lawyerly mind on both the Old and New Testaments and comes to the somewhat surprising conclusion that nowhere is it written that life begins at conception. "Quite the opposite, in fact," she says with the air of an author knowing she's inviting trouble. "The Bible clearly makes the case that the body is just a body until some of God's spirit enters and animates it. That happens with the newborn's first breath. If you read the Bible carefully, it's hard not to conclude that abortion only stops the creation of the vessel for human life, and not life itself. The Bible is surprisingly indifferent to the developing body in the womb. Abortion is not prohibited in the Bible -- either directly, or indirectly."
Scholars are calling Ms. Washington's analysis "honest, readable, and reliable." L. A. Washington is "animated by a deep respect and thorough knowledge of the Bible," says W. Sibley Towner, Professor Emeritus of Biblical Interpretation at Union Presbyterian Seminary. The Human Life Equation is written "without shortchanging or ignoring any of the relevant biblical data. Like the good attorney she is, [Washington] has assembled all the evidence and was led to affirm that the Bible does not equate abortion with murder."
The genesis, to use a biblical term, of The Human Life Equation can be traced to Washington's unsuccessful bid for public office in 2008. "I was a novice, running as a Republican and was asked by Republican leadership about my position on abortion. My position was that abortion was legal in this country and I had no intention of trying to change that. You should have heard the gasps." Washington's position was that life is a blessing and while it's preferable for women to put unwanted children up for adoption, the government had no business interfering with a citizen's reproductive choices. It was a tough balancing act for a "pro-family" candidate.
Especially when one of the primary arguments against her was based on a mistake -- the claim that the Bible posits that human life starts at conception. "It was something that needed correcting. My methodical legal training was the perfect tool."
The result, The Human Life Equation, is a cogent, well-researched analysis that literally quotes chapter and verse in making the case that the Bible doesn't say what most people think it does when it comes to abortion. "As a candidate I had to be coached how to handle the abortion question in a more palatable way. Fortunately, I no longer have those restraints."
Logical, well-reasoned, and easily accessible for the lay reader, The Human Life Equation is a welcome addition to the abortion debate. Not that Ms. Washington is expecting to change everyone's mind. "Entrenched positions have a way of staying entrenched, even in the face of new evidence to the contrary," she says with a smile. But for intellectually honest people willing to examine their assumptions, The Human Life Equation is an excellent place to start.
L. A. WASHINGTON has been an attorney, author, and educator for more than twenty-five years. She is a graduate of the College of William & Mary in Virginia and the University of Virginia Law School. At the tender age of nine, Ms. Washington began reading the red-letter edition of the Bible that her grandfather, a prominent Methodist minister, gave her. In The Human Life Equation, L. A. Washington has combined her legal research skills and her love of the Bible.
For more information, please visit www.lucidlogos.com
Media contact: Victor Gulotta
Gulotta Communications, Inc.