Generation Y not let them live

gen y.jpgA July 10 article spotlighted not just a dramatic shift in young attitudes toward abortion but why the dramatic shift - incrementalism.

(Generation Y birth years vary slightly to include those born from 1976 to 2002.)

Younger voters, especially women, are embracing a pro-life position in surprising numbers and in sharp contrast to attitudes that held sway 15 years ago, according to a new study....
The study by Overbrook Research, a public consulting firm in Illinois, examines public opinion data from Missouri. With proportions of blacks, Catholics and union members in line with national averages, the state is viewed as "highly representative of the American electorate," the study says.

Over 30,000 survey interviews were conducted in the state between 1992 and 2006. Participants were asked: "On the debate over abortion policy, do you consider yourself to be pro-life, pro-choice or somewhere in between?" Those who gave a definitive answer were then asked how strongly they held their view.

Results in 1992 were largely in step with what study authors Christopher Blunt and Fred Steeper call the "self-interest hypothesis." Women and men under 30 were the most ardently "pro-choice" (39%) and the least likely to be strongly "pro-life" (23%).

Today, by contrast, among the current generation of 18- to 29-year-olds, 36% say they are strongly "pro-life," while just 18% say they are strongly "pro-choice," the study authors said.

The trend was particularly evident among women in that age bracket. 40% identify themselves as strongly "pro-life" and only 20% as strongly "pro-choice."

The data reverses a two-to-one ratio that was evident in 1992, the study noted.

Where previous generations may have been inclined to "divorce sex from its consequences," new voters are entering the electorate at a time when medical advances highlight development in the womb and when public attention is focused on the "gruesome procedure" of partial birth abortion, the authors argued.

Blunt [said]... "Generation Y" voters have a very different frame of reference on abortion now than was evident in 1992.

"The most surprising and compelling findings we have are on young people," he said. "They've grown up with high-quality ultrasound images of unborn babies, and their passage into adulthood coincides with the ascendance of partial-birth abortion as the issue's dominant frame."...

"As grisly details of partial birth abortion procedures replaced confrontational and often violent clinic protests on the evening news, voters seemed to have changed their minds about who the 'abortion extremists' were," they wrote in their analysis.


Overbrook is one of those orgs that is dedicated to wagging the dog or "shaping public opinion" (their own words). However, Blunt seems to have a good statistical backgroung. I haven't read the study yet, but it's available here...

For those of you actually interested in critical reading.

Posted by: Cameron at July 11, 2007 8:53 AM

I would also hazard a guess, that photos of what abortion really is may have helped sway people...The face the truth tours, the trucks, the internet...all of these places give people the opportunity to see the reality instead of the idealism.

While some on here would say that the pictures either have no effect or turn them off because of the "grossness" factor, I believe many, many people see these pictures and face the abortion issue head on for the first time.

Perhaps some of these nineteen year olds were 10 year olds when they saw these images for the first time?

No statistics...just thinkin' out loud.

Posted by: MK Author Profile Page at July 11, 2007 9:17 AM

The concept of the Face the Truth was first conceived by Pastor Matt Trewhella, who in the 1990s began to blanket Wisconsin towns with pictures of healthy fetuses and aborted babies. League National Director Joe Scheidler was invited to one of these Wisconsin tours and was immediately impressed by this new approach of displaying graphic signs without a specific protest target.

Yep, the timing is right...It started in the 1990's (I was camping in Wisconsin at the time and stumbled across one of the first...We went everyday that year...left the campground and followed the caravan) Now, 17 years later the children that would have witnessed these tours are now the adults that are claiming to be pro-life...make that strongly pro-life.

Coincidence? I don't think so.

Posted by: MK Author Profile Page at July 11, 2007 9:26 AM

Interesting stats. As far as I know, my friends are split half and half. The interesting thing is that all the pro-choicers are women and the pro-lifers are men (among my friends).

Posted by: Lyssie at July 11, 2007 9:29 AM

Cameron, thanks for the link to the actual study. I couldn't find it.

Posted by: Jill Stanek Author Profile Page at July 11, 2007 9:43 AM

You're welcome Jill, however there's not much more information there.

Alright Sandy & Val... this is how you criticize statistics....

Foremost, Blunt does not provide his materials and methods, which makes it impossible for anyone to verify his result. This is surprisingly elusive for someone with such a strong background in statistics. Also, there are no standard deviations/errors reported... in other words we don't even know if the differences/parity he found are significant. There are only a few sub-group n-values (see foot notes), and one has to sift through the entire document to find random sample population numbers, but never enough to actually consider the power of any the reported statistics. Finally, the charts are curiously organized, almost counter intuitive, as though he's trying to exaggerate or hide something.

Compared to other statistics, what is readily apparent is that his sampling is biased... which is probably why he doesn't elaborate on survey methods. For example, he claims that 39% of his respondents are Catholic, where as most other polls indicate that MO is about 19%-22% catholic. For some reason, Blunt finds twice as many Catholics as anyone else. Hardly sounds "representative." This is probably why his "religiosity" chart illegitimately makes it impossible to determine what percentage of his respondents go to church weekly, almost weekly, etc... instead he polls within groups, and it feels like he's answered that concern, but he hasn't... he's just shown that people who go to church more are more likely to be pro-life (no duh!).

To summarize, looking at his data... I would not be surprised if there really is a "shift" in attitudes per his claim, however his surveys likely exaggerate that shift. Finaly, he states clearly within his paper that he has not asked if they think abortion should be illegal, and he fairly points out that many people who identify as pro-life, do not want abortion made illegal.

Posted by: Cameron at July 11, 2007 10:35 AM

I think it's easier to take a weaker pro-choice view when you don't think the essence of the "right" to abort5ion is in jeopardy. In other words, if today's generation thought that all abortions might someday be illegal, they'd be much more worried about the ban on partial birth abortion, and other restrictions as the start down a slippery slope. Since they feel that first trimester abortions will always be available, they're okay with some restrictins around the edges. If all abortions are in danger of being outlawed, I think you'd find a very different reaction to all restrictions.

Thus, the older generations who remember pre-Roe, are the ones most dogmatically opposed to any "state intereference."

Posted by: Hal at July 11, 2007 11:30 AM

Just curious...

Can anybody catch the mistake in my analysis?

Posted by: Cameron at July 11, 2007 11:42 AM're proud that you exposed graphic pictures to small children and the trauma, not a well thought out and informed opinion, shaped their viewpoint?

Posted by: Erin at July 11, 2007 12:05 PM

The only other problem I can find (besides the ones my dear Cam pointed out) is that it only examined one state: Missouri. What about the other 49 states? It doesn't represent the country just that one particular state. Doesn't sound like a valid study to me.

Posted by: midnite678 at July 11, 2007 1:26 PM

The change has NOTHING to do with incrementalism Jill. It has EVERYTHING to do with showing the public what abortion is - the violent slaughter of a human baby.

Nowhere in that article or in that study do we see the change attributed to the passing of incrementalist laws (also known as regulating murder) which you and the lawyer groups promote such as the parental notification, fetal pain awareness or the navel partial birth-abortion manual that the Supreme Court voted for recently.

The youth care about images, not congressional legislation and court decisions.

This is why with the $1200 rebate I am receiving in the mail soon ALL of it will go to buy big signs of aborted babies to show the public during demonstrations.

Showing the truth about abortion is the most effective. The effect that Missionaries To The Preborn has had on Wisconsin's amount of abortions is excellent evidence of that with the number of abortions dropping 41% compared to 14% for the nation during the same time period. Hear the evidence here in this interview with Matt Trewhella.

Posted by: Zeke13:19 at July 11, 2007 2:47 PM

Zeke said, "Nowhere in that article or in that study do we see the change attributed to the passing of incrementalist laws (also known as regulating murder)"

The Partial Birth Abortion Ban, my friend. You couldn't possibly have read the article before posting.

Posted by: Jill Stanek Author Profile Page at July 11, 2007 2:53 PM

The mistake I made was reading one of his charts wrong (go figure).

"For example, he claims that 39% of his respondents are Catholic,"

Nope.. it says 39% of catholics identified as prolife. Sorry!

I tried to compare this to other available versions of this statistic, thinking it would be well documented... and it is. However, the statistic is all over the place depending on who when and were, ranging from 16.5% to 66% of catholics identifying as pro-choice or apparently opposed to a ban on abortion. In my opinion, his 39% is probably OK. So I have to come up with another example/evidence to support my perceptions of bias... which isn't hard.

Consider his "religiosity" chart. This is the first and only statistic I've ever seen suggesting an upward trend in church attendance over the last decade or more. All other studies show a downward trend in attendance in most or all sects. Again... he doesn't appear to have representative sampling, and increasing religiousity in later surveys is a clear indication of sample bias at one end or the other of his period.

Posted by: Cameron at July 11, 2007 6:25 PM

If only 39% of Catholics identify as pro-life the game is over.

Posted by: Hal at July 11, 2007 6:34 PM

"However, the statistic is all over the place depending on who when and were, ranging from 16.5% to 66% of catholics identifying as pro-choice or apparently opposed to a ban on abortion."

any pro-choice Catholic is a fraud, a Cafeteria Catholic. Yes, unfortunately there are too many of them because of wimpy priests and bishops who are bullied by liberals.

This is not the teaching from Rome.

Posted by: jasper at July 11, 2007 8:40 PM

I would like to note that that 'teaching from Rome'
recently said that if you aren't Catholic, you get the big H. And no one answered my question.

Posted by: Erin at July 11, 2007 9:36 PM


I can only speak for myself...'re proud that you exposed graphic pictures to small children and the trauma, not a well thought out and informed opinion, shaped their viewpoint?

Proud? No. Satisfied? Yes. If less babies die because children, who understand instinctively that abortion is wrong, had to view some harsh reality, then I am okay with it. I think they see much worse on any given night of television.

Posted by: MK Author Profile Page at July 11, 2007 9:42 PM they don't. The kind of graphic imagery in many of the abortion signs would never make it onto television and would warrant an R rating by MPAA standards. Showing children pictures of a gunshot victim or a body being autopsied makes no difference in their minds- it's still a level of graphic that they don't understand and merely traumatizes them. They don't 'understand' that abortion is wrong- they 'understand' that they see something scary that they don't like- and they'd react the same way to a picture of a life-saving surgery.

Posted by: Erin at July 11, 2007 10:14 PM

"I would like to note that that 'teaching from Rome'
recently said that if you aren't Catholic, you get the big H. And no one answered my question."

I missed your question Erin, was it in this thread?

Posted by: jasper at July 11, 2007 10:21 PM

@Erin: I read that today too...I just rolled my eyes. I don't believe there is a Hell, but in the event that I'm wrong (though I don't think I am) and I am in fact sent to Hell for being liberal, pro-choice and Deist then so be it. I'll suck it up and take my eternal punishment as I will have apparently deserved it.

Posted by: Rae at July 11, 2007 10:34 PM

what did you read today Rae if I may ask?

Posted by: jasper at July 11, 2007 10:44 PM

@Jasper: That Pope Benedict declared that if you do not follow the 'One True Church' aka the Catholic Church, you cannot attain salvation.

Posted by: Rae at July 11, 2007 11:05 PM

"I would like to note that that 'teaching from Rome'recently said that if you aren't Catholic, you get the big H"

Could you show me your source Erin?

Posted by: jasper at July 11, 2007 11:12 PM

That's not what he said Rae. where did you read that from...

Posted by: jasper at July 11, 2007 11:16 PM

Here is proof Jasper.

Posted by: Rae at July 11, 2007 11:20 PM

Rae, Erin,

He did not say that people from other churches could not attain salvation. Why are you lying about my church?

Posted by: jasper at July 11, 2007 11:30 PM

@Jasper: I'm not lying. He said that by not being Catholic, they are not truly becoming one with Christ and are therefore not fully reaching salvation...ergo they go to Hell.

Posted by: Rae at July 11, 2007 11:34 PM

No, he did not say that Rae.

It reaffirmed Catholic teaching that the Catholic Church is the one, true church of Christ, even if elements of truth and Christ's saving grace can be found in separated churches and communities. The most ecumenically sensitive part of the new document was its assertion that while the term "sister church" can be used to refer to any of the Orthodox churches, a Christian community born out of the Protestant Reformation cannot be called "church" in the way Catholic theology defines the term.

Posted by: jasper at July 11, 2007 11:48 PM

Plus, nothing in the Catholic teaching has changed.

Here's more:

“It follows that these separated churches and communities … are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation,” the congregation said. “In fact, the spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church.”

The doctrinal congregation made clear that Vatican II did not modify but rather clarified and made explicit what may have been uncertain or unclear in the field of ecumenical relations. “The Second Vatican Council neither changed nor intended to change” Catholic doctrine on the church, it said, “rather it developed, deepened and more fully explained it.”

It said that the Second Vatican Council was clear in stating that Christ’s church “subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the bishops in communion with him.”

Posted by: jasper at July 12, 2007 12:00 AM

Okay, I apologize for the misunderstanding, thanks for the clarification.

Posted by: Rae at July 12, 2007 12:13 AM

Pro-choice Catholics should be excommunicated. Have a big excommunication ceremony.

Posted by: SoMG at July 12, 2007 1:03 AM

Erin, 10:14p, said: "They don't 'understand' that abortion is wrong- they 'understand' that they see something scary that they don't like- and they'd react the same way to a picture of a life-saving surgery."

Yes, they do understand, Erin. When you tell kids what abortion is, they are automatically repulsed. They understand it better than many adults.

And kids react to the signs as their parents react. I know many, many well-adjusted children who attend pickets with their parents from infancy. Believe me, they grow up pro-life. I've never known one grounded like that to change.

Posted by: Jill Stanek Author Profile Page at July 12, 2007 7:26 AM


Children don't have the ability to go into denial mode. They can't consciously rationalize something to fit their world view. They call it like they see it. They see dead babies. You see dead blobs. They see two eyes and tiny fingers and button noses and you see blood and gore. That's why you are able to convince yourself that you didn't do anything wrong. Not so with a seven year old.

We aren't showing these pictures to get them to kill their brothers and sisters. We're showing them in hopes that they will grow up and NOT kill their own children.

I understand that you have just had an abortion. I understand that this might be a little raw for you. But even a 4 year old knows the truth about what was done to that little, tiny being you were carrying. That's just the plain facts. If it's hard for you to face them, so be it. But there are many people who are willing to look at the truth head on and face it. Including children.

I'm not advocating targeting them specifically, but if incidentally they see these images? Well, fine. Maybe one child somewhere will blow out his birthday candles, sit on Santa's lap and have Good Night Moon read to them because an 8 year old got the message.

I mean basically, you ended the life of your child, the child that you and Dan created, without one iota of regret, and you're complaining that we're being cruel to children?

I cannot think of anything harder, requiring more courage or more admirable than a woman realizing what she has done by having an abortion, admitting it and speaking out to other women in the same situation. The guts it takes to truly face up to the truth of abortion after you have had one is one of the most amazing things to me. I don't know if I could do it.

I have seen parents bring their 3 and 4 year olds to the abortion clinic while mom kills their sibling. MANY MANY TIMES. We actually make and hand out baskets of toys to the kids that show up. That's how many do. So please don't tell us how horrible we are. We are saving lives. If there is a little unpleasantness occurring in the process, that's just the price that has to be paid. We're not the ones creating those images. You are. I can't wait til the day when we no longer have to use such tactics. But until people like you realize the horrors of what you are doing, you don't leave us much choice.

Posted by: MK Author Profile Page at July 12, 2007 7:50 AM

MK, excellent, excellent post.

Posted by: Jill Stanek Author Profile Page at July 12, 2007 8:25 AM

*headdesk* I give up. You're confusing brainwashing with giving children good information and then letting them decide for themselves. It's fine, perfectly fine, to show a child age-old material, and expose them to more mature graphics as they age. It's fine to let them know your opinion on an issue from as soon as they can understand it. Those children may grow up pro-life, Jill- but they probably don't grow up well balanced. I'm not saying you have to be liberal to be balanced by any means- but I am saying you have to have a firm grasp of both sides of the world. This is why I don't consider many people who grow up in an extreme Christian household balanced- they've never known or taken the time to try to understand how other people can believe just as passionately as they do on different subjects.

Posted by: Erin at July 12, 2007 9:16 AM

Erin, we have two different worldviews.

My worldview says there are clear rights and wrongs, and my job is to teach my children the difference and advocate the former.

Your worldview says there are grays, that rights and wrongs are relative. You advocate "giving children good information and then letting them decide for themselves."

You and I heartily disagree. You will pass on moral relativism to your children, I will (have, actually) pass on Judeo-Christian values to mine. I'm "extreme" for that? Those values boil down to the Old Testament's 10 commandments and the New Testament's 2 greatest commandments. Which of those are extreme?

You say children of pro-lifers "don't grow up well balanced" if presented with a strong pro-life ethic. Let's be honest, Erin. Actually, what you want are children who grow up and think what you did was ok. That's what you're seeking. That's what you're calling balance. You don't like people thinking you killed your baby.

Posted by: Jill Stanek Author Profile Page at July 12, 2007 9:53 AM

Morality IS relative. Since the beginning of time, acceptable behavior has fluctuated and been judged by the context of the society it is in. A hundred years ago you would never have been considered a moral woman for running a blog like this. There are civilizations all over the world that accept different versions of right and wrong because of what THEIR traditions tell them. It's impossible to impose a rule that is universally right. COMPLETELY impossible.

Posted by: Erin at July 12, 2007 10:18 AM

No, morality is NOT relative. For the past 6,000 years, the same Judeo-Christian values have been taught from generation to generation.

Even in cultures unaware of the God of the Bible, values are the same. The basic sense of what is right and wrong is instilled in humans. It is wrong to kill. It is wrong to steal. It is wrong to commit adultery. It is wrong to be jealous. We should respect our parents. The Golden Rule. Etc.

Re: your example of me/my blog to demonstrate something that used to be wrong but is now right... As an aside, and I don't mean to venture off on this point, this is solely an outgrowth of Judeo-Christianity. Only women in Western, Democratic, Judeo-Christian countries are treated with respect, certainly not Middle Eastern or Eastern women, where religions teach women are subordinates.

But back on point, you're more describing cultural norms, not the same as right and wrong. In America, it is wrong to eat horsemeat, for instance. In Europe it is not.

Posted by: Jill Stanek Author Profile Page at July 12, 2007 10:58 AM

In the Old Testament, people are told that slavery is good and well, women should never be preachers, that homosexuality is wrong, and eating shellfish is punishable by death. What makes certain of these things still wrong and some of them all well and good now?

There are several cultures in the world where free love is a very responsible cultural tactic that considereably widens populations. Morality is always based on a type of 'Darwinism' for lack of a better word- people adapt behaviors that are best suited to the promulgation of themselves and their offspring. Don't kill, because it narrows the gene pool. Do not steal, because it will set society against you and make your life situation difficult. See my point?

Posted by: Erin at July 12, 2007 11:35 AM

In the old testament the word "slavery" simply meant menial worker. It did not have the same connotation that it does now.

Posted by: MK Author Profile Page at July 12, 2007 11:42 AM

So the Jews in Egypt weren't slaves like we think of it. They were just menial workers. That's why Moses wanted them to be free so badly...

Posted by: Erin at July 12, 2007 11:44 AM


You actually bring up a good point. Morals are relative. That is why we, as Christians, allow and subject ourselves to a higher authority. We know that when left to our own devices we will naturally revise moral systems to bring ourselves the least unpleasantness and most pleasure.

So we turn to a supreme authority. That way if there is any question we can go to a trusted source.

Jill is right on the money...the ten commandments and the golden rule are pretty much all we need. And those have not changed in 6000 years. The Catholic church is the same. What was doctrine 2000 years ago, is doctrine today. We recognize that change is our enemy. To adapt to the world is to lose the whole point of our faith. Jesus knew what he was doing when He said He was building His church on a rock. Immovable, eternal, unchangeable.

We accept this. You don't. You are a moral relativist, and as such, your morals with change with the wind. What you value today is not what you will value tomorrow because you morality is subjective. Ours is objective.

Posted by: MK Author Profile Page at July 12, 2007 11:49 AM


Hey, talk to the people who work at walmart or anywhere else that they are treated poorly. The Egyptians were not subject to the same laws as the Jews (moral relativism), and obviously God did not approve of their methods. I assumed you were talking about the Jews and slaves.

Many incorrectly assume that the slavery in the Old Testament was like the modern western slavery of the 1700's and 1800's. Western slavery primarily benefited the rich, but Israelite slavery primarily benefited the poor. You see, slavery was almost always voluntary...the basic types of "enslavement" are known as self-sale, family sale, and indentured servitude. These relationships were usually initiated by the slave as a remedy for poverty.
Poor families would sometimes sell their children as slaves. Were this situation like modern western slavery, we could justifiably condemn the practice...but the reality is that this was of great benefit to the child.
Slavery contracts often emphasized that the slave agreed to work in exchange for economic security and personal protection. While modern western slaves were forbidden to own property of any kind, Hebrew slaves could take part in business, borrow money, and buy their own other words, they were free to "buy out" the contract they'd made. They were also able to own property, pay betrothal monies, and pay civic fines. Slaves could appear in court as witnesses, plaintiffs, and defendants.
Many ancient near-eastern slaves were able to buy time off as well, paying a fixed fee called a "quitrent" to their owner. This bought them a year where they didn't have to work. The amount paid was roughly equivalent to the average annual pay of a hired worker, regardless of whether he was free or a slave.

Posted by: MK Author Profile Page at July 12, 2007 12:00 PM

OK, slavery argument accepted. How about the fact that you're supposed to stone people who plant more than one plant in the same field? Or people who eat shellfish? What has always baffled me is that certain rules laid down in Leviticus no longer apply, but others are clung to. That's my problem.

Posted by: Erin at July 12, 2007 12:09 PM


Your discussion of children being sold into slavery reminds me of how my desperately poor great grandmother was forced to disperse her several children to different families, where they had to work for their keep. While she certainly didn't sell them, her children had no choice but to be sent to these families, and to work as they were ordered. You might consider it indentured servitude. To my great grandmother it was her only hope of feeding and providing for her children. My great aunt had to work the fields in Florida during the summers, in unbelievably hot weather. Her sisters also worked long and hard for the families that sheltered them.
This was a common practice for poor families here in the US as well as, I am sure, in other parts of the world when people simply could not provide for their children.

Posted by: Mary at July 12, 2007 3:04 PM

Jill, you are assuming that if there was not discussion about one of the many partial-birth abortion procedures that the youth would not have seen what abortion looks like and know that there is a baby being murdered in the process.

That doesn't follow. The mainstream media does not show what that one procedure looks like.

Its because of the work of those who go out and show the truth on the streets (like Scheidler with his Face The Truth Tour) that youth today are apalled by abortion.

Even still, the views and beliefs of the youth are fickle and subject to change. With many having experienced more than a decade of public school programming with its Godless curriculums, their rationale for holding their views is usually poor making it easy to change their views later on.

Posted by: Zeke13:19 at July 13, 2007 9:05 AM

there is all sorts of very powerful pain,

I have this good friend who had 5 children, some of these are the result of her being a hooker. The two oldest(girls) left as 18-19 yr olds. The oldest boy at 17, decided to abandon his home/mother/poverty for a rich lawyer/a new basketball/ new sneakers. Her daughters have since reconciled, but her oldest son to-this-day has never said a word to her.

The pain continues ..........

Posted by: John McDonell Author Profile Page at July 13, 2007 9:09 AM

However, pro-lifer rarely ever change their positions. I haven't met any anyway. It is pro-aborts who change their minds and those who didn't have any opinion to begin with.

Posted by: Rosie at July 13, 2007 4:58 PM


I'm no biblical scholar but my understanding is that many of the laws put forth in Leviticus were not about right and wrong but about what was good for the people. Eating certain animals, dealing with bodily fluids, or drinking animal blood...all of these and others were because people of that time couldn't understand "germs" and "disease" the way we do. We do now so we don't need God to threaten us with punishment to keep us from eating parasite infested pork...Our pork is clean now. But back then, eating pork could have meant the difference between life and death...

Someone with better biblical knowledge could probably explain better, but here is what wikipedia has to say...

The book is generally considered to consist of two large sections, both of which contain several mitzvot, and thus the work constitutes a major source of Jewish law.

The first part Leviticus 1-16, and Leviticus 27, constitutes the main portion of the Priestly Code, which describes the details of rituals, and of worship, as well as details of ritual cleanliness and uncleanliness. Within this section are:

* Laws regarding the regulations for different types of sacrifice (Leviticus 1-7):
o Burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, and thank-offerings (Leviticus 1-3)
o Sin-offerings, and trespass-offerings (Leviticus 4-5)
o Priestly duties and rights concerning the offering of sacrifices (Leviticus 6-7)
* The practical application of the sacrificial laws, within a narrative of the consecration of Aaron and his sons (Leviticus 8-10)
o Aaron's first offering for himself and the people (Leviticus 8)
o The incident in which "strange fire" is brought to the Tabernacle by Nadav and Avihu, leading to their death directly at the hands of God for doing so (Leviticus 9-10)
* Laws concerning purity and impurity (Leviticus 11-16)
o Laws about clean and unclean animals (Leviticus 11)
o Laws concerning ritual cleanliness after childbirth (Leviticus 12)
o Laws concerning tzaraath of people, and of clothes and houses, often translated as leprosy, and mildew, respectively (Leviticus 13-14)
o Laws concerning bodily discharges (such as blood, pus, etc.) and purification (Leviticus 15)
o Laws regarding a day of national atonement, Yom Kippur (Leviticus 16)
* Laws concerning the commutation of vows (Leviticus 27)

The Bible contained insights regarding burying human waste and handling the dead. Many of which like quarantine and sanitation, had not been practised or understood until the late 1800s and were not recognized until 1865 by Joseph Lister. See also Ignaz Semmelweis.

The second part, Leviticus 17-26, is known as the Holiness Code, and places particular, and noticeable, emphasis on holiness, and the holy. It is notably more of a miscellany of laws. Within this section are:

* Laws concerning idolatry, the slaughter of animals, dead animals, and the consumption of blood (Leviticus 17)
* Laws concerning sexual conduct (including some that are often interpreted as referring to male homosexuality), sorcery, and moloch (Leviticus 18, and also Leviticus 20, in which penalties are given)
* Laws concerning molten gods, peace-offerings, scraps of the harvest, fraud, the deaf, blind, elderly, and poor, poisoning the well, hate, sex with slaves, self harm, shaving, prostitution, sabbaths, sorcery, familiars, strangers, and just weights and measure (Leviticus 19)
* Laws concerning priestly conduct, and prohibitions against the disabled, ill, and superfluously blemished, from becoming priests, or becoming sacrifices, for descendants of Aaron, and animals, respectively (Leviticus 21-22)
* Laws concerning the observation of the annual feasts, and the sabbath, (Leviticus 23)
* Laws concerning the altar of incense (Leviticus 24:1-9)
* The case law lesson of a blasphemer being stoned to death, and other applications of the death penalty (Leviticus 24:10-23), including anyone having "a familiar ghost or spirit", a child insulting its parents (Leviticus 20), and a special case for prostitution (burning them alive) (Leviticus 21)
* Laws concerning the Sabbath and Jubilee years (Leviticus 25)
* A hortatory conclusion to the section, giving promises regarding obedience to these commandments, and warnings and threats for those that might disobey them, including sending wild animals to devour their children. (Leviticus 26:22)

These ordinances, in the book, are said to have been delivered in the space of a month, specifically the first month of the second year after the exodus. A major Chiastic structure runs through practically all of this book. For more detailed information see the article on Chiastic structure.


Posted by: MK Author Profile Page at July 13, 2007 7:18 PM

I also found an article that separates these laws into ritual law (laws specifically for priests), social law (things the people should do or don't do) and moral law. I don't believe the moral laws have changed. I think the social and ritual laws have.

Not picking and choosing.

Posted by: MK Author Profile Page at July 13, 2007 7:28 PM

There's a term for this morality stuff: natural law. Basically, it doesn't matter what culture or tradition one lives by, there's universal wrongs and rights. These absolutes are engraved on the human heart. Most people on this planet believe it is wrong to kill an innocent person. Most believe it is wrong to take something that does not belong to them(aka stealing). Most believe that lying is wrong, so we see laws against fraud worldwide. To assert that it's completely impossible, well, that's impossible!

Erin, many threads ago I recall that at one point while you were pregnant, you momentarily entertained names for your baby, but then you snapped out of it. May I ask what were some names you were considering? Did Dan know of these names? Did he contribute to the naming?

For me, naming the baby has been a tricky but fun process. At times exasperating since I like unique names and my husband prefers traditional ones.

Posted by: carder at July 15, 2007 11:16 PM