Weekend question

weekend question.jpgI received this message from E. D. on Facebook:

A story for you, because you inspired me to it.

I work in a call center for prescription meds. A woman called thinking we were her health care, and she asked if abortions are covered.

I didn't tell her we were not the right company, I just said, "I'll take your baby."

She said, "What?"

"I'll take your baby and adopt it for my own, please don't kill your daughter."

She got mad and said,"Lady, I don't need no preachin'. Just give me the information."

So I said, "Well, you'll have to call a different number," and then I gave her the number of the local Care Net crisis pregnancy center.

I figure if Rahab was honored for lying to save the Israelite spies in Jericho, then I can take liberties with the truth to save a life, too.

E. D. is right. Throughout the Bible people were blessed for lying if to save lies. There was the aforementioned Rahab; there were the Israelite midwives; there was Jonathan and Michal who lied to their father and king, Saul, to save David's life; and there were the wise men, who God Himself told to disobey King Herod and leave town without saying where baby Jesus was.

Do you agree or disagree with pro-life tactics such as E. D. described?


I actually cringe to read this. I think the lady's heart was in the right place, but I think using these sorts of tactics are ultimately harmful to the pro-life cause. They give the other side ammunition to say "look, they're liars!" and give women reason to distrust pro-lifers.

We have the truth on our side, I don't think we need to resort to lies.

Posted by: Lauren at March 28, 2009 12:03 PM


These biblical examples of people who lied to save lives requires very specific exegesis and it is very easy to cross the line into heresy regarding this subject.

I'll will post my comments here this weekend, however, I warn all Christians on this site to be mindful of your pro-death audience who think anything justifies the means when it comes to their pro-abortion agenda and their rabid hatred of God and Christians.

Commenting on this subject can fall into the classification of tempting Christ, i.e., attributing evil to God, so I would be very, very careful and thoughtful about this.

God's reputation is a stake here.

Posted by: HisMan at March 28, 2009 12:10 PM

Well I don't see that ED lied. He told her he was willing to adopt her baby. No lie there. Then he gave her the phone number of a crisis pregnancy center where she could get free and confidential help and abortion information.

Posted by: Maria at March 28, 2009 12:12 PM

I agree, Lauren. If you want to sincerely help someone, alienating her doesn't seem like a very promising tactic. I think ED could have been more helpful and less deceptive. Like this ...

"I don't have that information. You'd need to contact your insurance company for that. I DO have a number for a 24 hour crisis pregnancy line where someone is available to talk with you right now. May I give that to you?"

Posted by: Fed Up at March 28, 2009 12:17 PM

HisMan, I'll be interested in your analysis.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at March 28, 2009 12:18 PM

Maria, it was my understanding that ED gave the crisis pregnancy center's number, but represented it as a place where the woman could get more information about her insurance coverage.

I would support ED if she said something honest like "I don't have that information, you need to call the number on the back of your card. Also, here's a number of an organization who might be able to help you as you make your decision..."

Like I said, the truth is on our side. I don't think it is wise to begin lying.

Posted by: Lauren at March 28, 2009 12:18 PM

Fed up, it looks like we're having a similar thought process!

Posted by: Lauren at March 28, 2009 12:20 PM

i agree - that there might be a better way to handle this sort of call. eg call the number on the back of your card or a Community/Crisis Pregnancy Center to see if they accept your insurance. my 2¢

Posted by: TotaTua at March 28, 2009 12:23 PM


I look forward to it.

Right now I have to go do a pizza party for our soccer league outreach, i.e., inner city kids who weren't aborted by their parents and somehow despite their tough circumstance have more fun than any kids I know on the face of the earth (Robert Barger are you listening), so I won't be posting on this until later tonight.

I am sure there will be many things to learn on this subject.

Posted by: HisMan at March 28, 2009 12:24 PM

I had one phone call when I worked L&D at a Catholic hospital from what sounded like a scared teen. I told her we were a Catholic hospital, we didn't perform abortions, but here was a number for someone who could help her figure her situation out and gave her a CPC number.

I don't think I lied about anything... but then, the question was a little different, too.

Posted by: Elisabeth at March 28, 2009 12:30 PM

God's reputation is a stake here.

HisMan, perhaps I'll learn something new when you post. I hope so. Bottom line for me though is that the Lord already told us who is the father of all lies (John 8:44)

Great minds think alike, Lauren ;-)

Posted by: Fed Up at March 28, 2009 12:31 PM

We have the truth on our side, I don't think we need to resort to lies.

Posted by: Lauren at March 28, 2009 12:03 PM

THIS. 100%.

How is this situation any different than the mantra I often hear on this site and others; "Planned Parenthood Lies to Women?"

I do not think stooping to this level of lying is either appropriate or necessary.

Shame on this person.

Posted by: Jerimiah at March 28, 2009 12:36 PM

I do not think we should lie. I think it gives fuel to the "pro-choice" criticism of pro-life tactics. I believe we should be more upright and honest, even to a fault. Remember, if we live blamelessly, when we are accused by our enemies the way we live our lives will prove that the accusations are false. If we are known to be liars, then that hurts our testimony. I think that the suggestions that the other commenters have given for a more honest way of handling that phone call are good.

With that being said, I completely understand that this person had good motives. I just think we need to avoid a "the end justifies the means" methodology if the "means" includes anything unGodly, such as dishonesty.

Now, if someone approaches us asking about abortion, and we are really and truly willing to adopt the child (and have already discussed this with our spouse, and have the legal/financial resources ready to complete the adoption procedure), then that's another story. If it is an honest-to-goodness offer to adopt, then that is good. Otherwise, we shouldn't lie.

Posted by: army_wife at March 28, 2009 12:40 PM

Sounds like the "tactic" she used was to give a lot of good advice and offer help.

Posted by: truthseeker at March 28, 2009 12:43 PM

I actually took the adoption offer at face value. I thought the lie came from misrepresenting the CPC as someone who could help the woman figure out her insurance situation.

Posted by: Lauren at March 28, 2009 12:43 PM

Truthseeker, the problem I have with the adoption offer is that IMHO ED comes across as selfish instead of motivated to assist the caller.

The caller's first response from ED is "I'll take your baby." The caller is obviously not sold on adoption at this point. By not starting from the caller's frame of reference and introducing "me" instead of "you" as the focus, ED comes across as having her own agenda, even if her offer is sincere. Just my 2 cents.

Posted by: Fed Up at March 28, 2009 12:54 PM

That is the impression I got as well, Lauren.

Posted by: Jerimiah at March 28, 2009 12:54 PM

Planned Parenthood lies to women.

Posted by: Carla at March 28, 2009 1:02 PM

Fed Up, I don't have as much of an issue with the adoption offer. If legit, I think ED may have been trying to offer help and adoption was the first thing that came to mind.

However, I definitely think you're right that it was perhaps not the best way to handle things as it didn't consider how to best help the woman.

Something like "I don't have that information, but I would really like to help you. What do you need?"

Posted by: Lauren at March 28, 2009 1:03 PM

Would you also say that this person lied to the woman by giving her a number for a CPC instead of the information she was asking for?

Posted by: Jerimiah at March 28, 2009 1:05 PM

That's true, Carla. That is why we need to remain firm in the truth.

Posted by: Lauren at March 28, 2009 1:07 PM

Jerimiah, yes I would. Unless she specifically said that she did not have the insurance information and was instead giving her the number of a crisis pregnancy center, it seems to me she misrepresented the CPC as the insurance company. I would consider that to be a lie.

Posted by: Lauren at March 28, 2009 1:11 PM

Yes. ED lied. A child's life is at stake. There is a greater good that ED was after. Saving a child and it's mother from the horror that is abortion.

I would have kept this woman talking and then asked her if she would like the number of a CPC.

I have seen people on this board that have offered to take any child to save it from abortion. Bethany comes to mind. :)

Posted by: Carla at March 28, 2009 1:30 PM

I would have kept this woman talking and then asked her if she would like the number of a CPC.

EXACTLY, Carla. What ED did was manipulate that call to happen at a time when the caller was likely not receptive to the conversation.

I have seen people on this board that have offered to take any child to save it from abortion.

I do not mean to disparage anyone who makes the offer, Carla. I apologize if I offended anyone. My criticism was that ED's offer comes across as lacking generosity of spirit because it's stated in terms that are me-focused not you-focused.

I understand that ED was probably caught off guard and had to think on her toes. I don't mean to condemn her. But I do hope she'll handle similar calls in the future differently.

Posted by: Fed Up at March 28, 2009 2:03 PM

I like the fact that we do not need to lie when we have the truth to operate on. The truth is a little slower, and it is, I can imagine a desperate circumstance that E.D. found himself (or herself?) in. A life was at stake, and while I do not condone his actions, I do say that we cannot right or wrong him when he was in a position of this child's life being in danger. Again, I don't condone lying but I do feel that the situation was one that he acted quickly on and one that he had good motives on.

The important thing to take away from this is remaining calm, focused on the real issue, and what we can do to break the blasted stigma heaped atop crisis centers for women so that that woman would have had no trouble finding one and going to it in the first place. :)

Posted by: Vannah at March 28, 2009 2:20 PM

For a more contemporary example I recommend Corrie Ten Boom's 'The Hiding Place'.

Hiding Jews from the Nazi's was a 'dangerous thing to do' as Corries father was cautioned by a concerned clergyman, 'you could go to prison'.

Once the German soldiers came to their home and asked Corries sister where they hid the Jews.

Corries sister who could/would not tell a lie, told the soldier they were under the table (which as technically true, because they were under the floor under the table). The soldier pulled up the table cloth and looked under the table, but finding no Jews he left.

Corrie's conscience was not so constrained. Not only did she lie when to tell the truth would be to put innocent peoples lives at risk, she used stolen ration cards to provide food for her guests.

Pray that you are spared from being placed in a situation where your 'truthfulness' would put an innocent person's life at risk.

The 'enemy' will use your own conscience as a weapon against you.

satan is diabolical, after all.

Let your yes be yes and let your no be no and do not be anxious and fret about what you would say in such a circumstance. HE has promised to give you just the right words as HE measures right.

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at March 28, 2009 2:22 PM

Sojourner Truth.

I wonder if she ever 'lied' or 'deceived' to protect runaway slaves from the slave catchers?

I wonder if she ever killed one of their pursuers?

I know she threatened to shoot escaped slaves whose fear jeopordized the saftey of their fellow escapees and the rescuers.

You go girl.

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at March 28, 2009 2:31 PM

Fed Up,
I did not think you were disparaging in your comments. No worries. :)

Posted by: Carla at March 28, 2009 3:37 PM

This is my opinion:

The 9th Commandment is "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. (Don't lie about your neighbor). (Something that happens a lot on this site by the way).

Keep in mind that all commandments were given to benefit us and benefit our neighbor and for our mutual protection. The commandments are not gods in themselves.

The 4th Commandment is: "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy."

Luke Chapter 6 demonstrates the principle that the letter of the law is never more important than the spirit of the law clearly: "1 One Sabbath day as Jesus was walking through some grainfields, his disciples broke off heads of grain, rubbed off the husks in their hands, and ate the grain. 2 But some Pharisees said, “Why are you breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath?”
3 Jesus replied, “Haven’t you read in the Scriptures what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He went into the house of God and broke the law by eating the sacred loaves of bread that only the priests can eat. He also gave some to his companions.” 5 And Jesus added, “The Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath.” 6 On another Sabbath day, a man with a deformed right hand was in the synagogue while Jesus was teaching. 7 The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees watched Jesus closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath.
8 But Jesus knew their thoughts. He said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” So the man came forward. 9 Then Jesus said to his critics, “I have a question for you. Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?”

10 He looked around at them one by one and then said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! 11 At this, the enemies of Jesus were wild with rage and began to discuss what to do with him."

And this scripture comes to mind:

2 Corinthians 3:5-25 "5Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, 8will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! 12Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. 14But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

And then this scripture:

Galatians 2: 17-21, 17"If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

My conclusion is that the keeping of the commandment is never more important than a life. Keeping law should never be considered as a way to holiness and salvation. God always commands us to choose life, not just the life of the mother but all life, including the life of a baby in the womb.

If a person has to lie to save a life out of love, be it the life of an innocent baby in the womb or of a born person, then that lie is not a sin.

It would seem then that to put keeping the commandment over saving a life would be sinful.

Pray about it and ask the Spirit to lead you since this is just my opinion based on scriptural evidence.

If a lie is done with male-intent and results in the harm of anyone then it is a sin.

And finally these gems:

John 15:17
This is my command: Love each other.

2 John 1:6
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

John 15:13
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Thanks Jill for keeping His commands by sticking to the truth that abortion is a lie; a lie that results in death and not life and is motivated by hate no matter how it is disguised as truth and love.

Posted by: HisMan at March 28, 2009 4:09 PM

If a person has to lie to save a life out of love, be it the life of an innocent baby in the womb or of a born person, then that lie is not a sin.

HisMan, my concern isn't whether ED was sinful. That's God's domain, not mine. My question is whether dishonesty was the most effective means of preserving the life of the baby and sparing the mother from the effects of abortion.

Consider Mt 22:36-39. Would I want to be manipulated into calling a CPC hotline because I thought it was my insurance company? Would I want someone to assume I'd decided to have an abortion just because I was finding out if I had coverage? (Impossible to tell if the caller had decided on abortion for certain from Jill's post)

Seems to me that love of neighbor calls us to rise above manipulation and deception in dealing with pregnant women who may be considering abortion. However if the caller was on the verge of hanging up, maybe this was all ED could think to do at that moment. I don't know. I wasn't there.

Posted by: Fed Up at March 28, 2009 5:17 PM

Dear Fed up, I tottaly agree with you, these tactics, could dammage our cause, just like some one shooting George Tiller twice in the arm. We don't need the pro-abortion people to discredit us, because we're discrediting ourselves, when we do these sourts of things.

Posted by: RJ Sandefur at March 28, 2009 5:52 PM

I understand that ED was probably caught off guard and had to think on her toes. I don't mean to condemn her. But I do hope she'll handle similar calls in the future differently.

Posted by: Fed Up at March 28, 2009 2:03 PM

I think she probably was caught off-guard. However, it takes experience to know how to deal with things like this.
At least her generous heart shone through with an offer to take the baby.

Posted by: angel at March 28, 2009 6:21 PM

It's very noble sounding to say "ED shouldn't have lied"...

If you were a Jew sympathiser in Nazi Germany, hiding Jews in a hidden room in your house, would you answer "yes" to the Gestapo's question as they knocked at your door, "are you hiding Jews?"

War often involves (requires) the use of deception and trickery. Gideon (doing as God commanded him), "lied" when he organised his 300 men so that it appeared as if it was actually 300 comanies of men, and thus terrified and subsequently destroyed the enemy.

This curse of abortion is surely a spiritual war, and I am not 100% convinced that lying is never an option in the situations some of us find ourselves in.

Posted by: Andy Moore at March 28, 2009 7:30 PM

Fed Up:

Every believer must seek God's will in prayer about each situation they find themself in.

The motive of the heart should never be to do anyone harm but always to save lives.

Posted by: HisMan at March 28, 2009 7:43 PM

Its a tricky issue for sure, but ultimately it is bad for our cause. The difference between all of the other issues and abortion is that the debate is laregly an issue of character. I would argue that she did the moral thing, but not the most beneficial thing for the character of the pro-life movement.

Posted by: Oliver at March 28, 2009 7:59 PM

Andy, it's not simply a matter of nobility. It's a matter of figuring out what is best for the pro-life movement. Does lying benefit the pro-life movement, ultimately?

If lying does not ultimately benefit the pro-life movement, do we see an end to abortion?

More specifically, does this particular lie benefit the mother or the child? I don't think so.

Posted by: Lauren at March 28, 2009 8:48 PM

I agree with those who have said that they would have told the woman "I don't have that information, but I have a number for a crisis pregnancy helpline if you are interested in free information." Something to that effect.

But angel is right...when you're caught off-guard, it's difficult to know how to respond.

When women used to call my CPC and ask "Do you do abortions?" The answer was always "No. However, we offer free information on the different types of procedures, possible abortion risks, and fetal development."

Most of the women stayed on the phone for several minutes, talking about their situations, and they would often make appointments to come and get more information.

When you know a woman is considering abortion, it often causes a feeling of panic, especially when you've not spoken to someone in that situation before.

I remember one client who decided to choose abortion anyway after receiving counseling and information. She came in several months later with two young teenagers and said, "You were honest with me when I came here and I appreciated that. Can you please tell these girls how not to make the mistakes that I did? Tell them that they can abstain." I was amazed. She came back SPECIFICALLY because we had been completely truthful with her.

Posted by: Kel at March 28, 2009 8:48 PM


- but your approach has an element of pragmatism in it too, doesn't it? - "does lying benefit the pro-life cause" - well surely the quesiton is rather "is lying for the pro-life cause sometimes the right thing to do".

And I'm not sure. It's not an easy one and there isn't a very clear cut answer. But I'd prefer to err on the "it's sometimes ok" side.

Thanks for raising this subject Jill!

Posted by: Andy Moore at March 28, 2009 8:54 PM

Andy, yes of course my response has as a pragmatic side as well. I mean, there are obvious situations in which lying is the morally preferable action to take. Like people have mentioned before, it is better to lie than to tell the truth if you are hiding Jews in your attic in WWII.

The question really is a very pragmatic one. What is the best for the individual woman, what is the best for the movement as a whole, what is the most moral act to choose from, ect.

I think we should refrain from lying unless the truth would expressly condemn another to death. I'm sure there are exceptions to that rule, but I think it is a good general guideline.

I think the pro-life movement is better served with honesty than even well meaning deceit.

Posted by: Lauren at March 28, 2009 8:59 PM

There's a reason why so many here are concerned about how lying affects the pro-life movement. Though I bristle at lying, I don't want to get on my holy-roller and say, "Jerk, E.D. I would never lie." But I've never been in a situation where a young life was in danger and I could potentially say something to seal that child's fate or save that child's life. That's hard to judge and I'll let God be the judge of his actions.

By the way, am I the only one who notices that we are concerned about our movement's image? Let's pray to God that that child's life was spared. But let's also pray that we as pro-lifers focus on the movement's purpose than the movement's image.

Posted by: Vannah at March 28, 2009 9:05 PM

Vannah, the movements image affects its purpose. If we are seen as a bunch of lying, cold hearted, women-hating, radical, backwards people, who is going to listen to us?

I think that our actions should build us a solid reputation that will in turn help people to be more receptive of the pro-life message.

We should absolutely focus on purpose and on saving every life that we can, but we have to be mindful of how our actions reflect upon the movement as a whole.

Posted by: Lauren at March 28, 2009 9:10 PM

I would lie to save a human life. And I don't really care what the pro-abortion people think or say about us. It is God's approval I want, not the pro-aborts. I would be careful not to lie unnecessarily. I might have handled this particular situation differently.

Posted by: Darlajune at March 28, 2009 9:13 PM

Darlajune, you are setting up a false dichotomy. The siutation is not that either A) we lie and the child lives or B) we tell the truth and the child dies.

Instead the question is should we lie in order to achieve a potential benefit? I don't think so. In this particular case the lie could just as easily turn the mother's heart more solidly to abortion. Yes, the truth might also have this affect, but at least when we are truthful we can stand on the ground of honesty.

As for public perception, it is not only the hardened pro-aborts who will judge us for our lies. Women who are perhaps considering abortion may be less likely to seek advice from a group they believe to be invalid.

Posted by: Lauren at March 28, 2009 9:30 PM

As for public perception, it is not only the hardened pro-aborts who will judge us for our lies. Women who are perhaps considering abortion may be less likely to seek advice from a group they believe to be invalid.
Posted by: Lauren at March 28, 2009 9:30 PM
I agree.

Posted by: Kel at March 28, 2009 9:34 PM

Oh, I agree with you, Lauren! See, as much as I tell people who I know this (and as much as they ignore me), am I the only one who noticed that the "pro-choice" movement is based more off of degrading pro-lifers rather than defending abortion? They never talk about "abortion helps this" or "abortion helps that." And abortion doesn't help anything, so I wondered how they've gotten by all of these years. But I suppose that if we had as much money as the pro-choice movement and if we used their tactics- don't defend abortion, just make it look as though the entire group of people fighting it are misogynistic nutjobs- then we could have as much power as they have. It's just...this is about helping the young and the underdog, not about gaining social control. If we keep that in mind, no matter what they say to try and crush the ideal and the pursuit of equal rights, Lauren, they can't beat us. Hooray for that :).

Posted by: Vannah at March 28, 2009 9:37 PM

Vannah, you've just described the liberal mindset in general...attack the messenger, because you have one heck of a time defending your actual message.

You are very perceptive. :)

Posted by: Kel at March 28, 2009 9:54 PM

What would you think if the person was asking about adoption and she gave the person the number of a health clinic instead have a bias against adoption.

Posted by: Yo La Tengo at March 28, 2009 11:09 PM

Firstly, I think that most if not all crisis pregnancy centers have an adoption contact for women who don't wish to raise the baby. Second, I'm not sure who is actually biased against adoption since it's both pro-choice and pro-life. And, third, I'm also not sure why E.D. would lie about an adoption phone number.

Yo La Tengo, uh, I wasn't sure what you were asking, so this answers it, right? :).

Posted by: Vannah at March 28, 2009 11:54 PM

hmmm... In the Bible, Rahab wasn't actually honoured for lying - she was recorded as one of the people who "had faith". I understand the sentiment though - If I was in that position I'd be hard put to know exactly what to say. I do think though, that you can tell the truth in such circumstances but do it in a way that the people you're talking to won't be immediately turned off by what you're saying.

Posted by: Anonymous at March 29, 2009 12:39 AM


Two posters here in another news article replied that we are ALL LIARS. One was Asitis, and the other was Lauren?

Since we're all liars, it then ends up on why and what you for you lie.

Afterall, a lifetime thief, is one of the few human beings that God(Jesus) actually said was going to Paradise with him.

"I didn't tell her we were not the right company",

That's true, she is not the "right company", a insurance company.

She failed to inform.

A lie would have been to decieve her(the lie) and stating to her, she was a representative of the insurance company, and procede to inform her abortion is not covered.

Posted by: yllas at March 29, 2009 2:06 AM

yor bro ken, 2:22p: Excellent insight. I often think of Corrie and Betsie, the 1st who could lie and 2nd who couldn't.

I could, and so I'm glad to read HisMan, 4:09p's assessment of Scripture, with which I concur.

Andy Moore, 7:30p: also excellent.

I think one absolutely can conclude the Hebrew midwives lied and were blessed for their trump decision to do so to save lives.

Moses' parents disobeyed Pharoah to save his life.

Rahab lied to save lives - and was blessed to be placed in Christ's lineage.

Jonathan and Michal lied to the man who was both their father and the king to save David.

And God Himself instructed the wise men to directly disobey Herod the King and sneak out of town rather than tell him where Jesus was.

By the rules of some here the midwives should have told Pharoah the truth and been killed themselves and replaced by killers. Rahab should have coughed up the spies. Jonathan and Michal should have handed over David. The Underground Railroad was wrong, as were Jew hiders during the Holocaust.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at March 29, 2009 5:52 AM

Jill you've pointed out that yes, in some cases it might be correct to "lie".

For example, suppose I lived in China. I am pregnant with my second baby (not allowed). The police come by to interrogate me about my family but know nothing about my family. They ask me "How many children do you have?" I could answer that I have one child growing in my belly. This answer might just satisfy them. It's not an untruth - for in fact, I do have one child growing in my belly. It is suitably vague.

If they asked me "How many children do you have at home?' I would lie to save my unborn baby because any woman in China knows that she would be immediately arrested and undergo a forced abortion. The lie might just buy me enough time to go into hiding and save my baby.

Is the lie sinful? I don't think so.

Where's Bobby when we need him?

Posted by: angel at March 29, 2009 8:06 AM

The Bible is very clear on the subject of lying. There is no controversy whatever among Christian groups that lies and deceit are sinful. The same cannot be said for abortion.

Secondly, the woman at the call center has a duty to her employer and to those who call, and misleading a caller or misrepresenting her employer's policies are a form of dishonesty and infidelity. If she is unable to respond to customer inquiries in the manner expected by her employer, she should quit her job. If she is unable to respond to other people with empathy even when they disagree with her, then she needs to re-examine her life.

Posted by: Charles at March 29, 2009 8:31 AM

ED did a great job on the phone. Second guessing from armchair analysts, after a snap decision, is pretty useless.

Some people are legalists, and they actually support the practice of gratuitously killing humans through their legalism.

They obey their government when it tells them to do wrong, and they condemn others to death by conveying the cold hard "facts".

They're just following orders.....

Posted by: KB has a baaad blog at March 29, 2009 8:38 AM

Charles: "The Bible is very clear on the subject of lying."

Im not sure that you speak from a position of any experience here Charles. Have you read the Bible? There are several instances in which lies and violence have been the moral answer. Even Jesus destroyed public property.

Charles: "If she is unable to respond to customer inquiries in the manner expected by her employer, she should quit her job. If she is unable to respond to other people with empathy even when they disagree with her, then she needs to re-examine her life."

Snazzy parallelism aside, your comments again are empty. You have oversimplified the issue in order to make the criticsm stronger.

Lets take point one. She cannot obey her employer, so she should quit her job. If you consider that she is saving a human life, certainly you would agree that she should specifically NOT quit her job, as she is in the position to continue to save lives. Wouldnt you agree that an undercover police officer in the mafia is justified in disobeying his mafia boss?

Second point, she is unable to empathize with others with whom she disagrees so she should reexamine her life. Imagine the call was placed 200 years ago and the class was advice on how to castrate a slave. Would you not agree that empathy with the slaver would in fact be the unethical decision? Would you not agree that emapthy with a child rapist would in fact require one to reexamine his/her life?

Heres a better question though, are you only full of empty platitudes or do you actually have anything of substance to contribute?

Posted by: Oliver at March 29, 2009 10:40 AM


I don't think you read my post where I gave numerous scriptures pointing to the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law. The letter of the law kills, but the spirit gives life. I agree, we should not lie ever. Yes and it is vrey dangerous to believe that lying is OK, it isn't. However, there are certain circumstances where telling a lie to save a life is justified.

I don't think any Christian here is advocating lying. But in the context of saving lives, there are some circumstances where the life of a person is more important than keeping a law and Jill pointed out examples where this was the case. In other words, the motives and intents of their hearts were correct. I would rather be judged based on my heart than on my behavior. Or, given the opportunity to save a life over keeping a commandment and then having to answer to Jesus about that? I'd rather save a life than go to Jesus with my chest puff out and say to Him, "See Lord, how great I am, I kept your commandment, but, yep, the baby in the womb died." He will answer, "Apparently you never read the parable about the rich young ruler who thought the way to eternal life was by keeping commandments. No kudos here my son. Thinking this makes you more of a liar because you can't eep the commandments, you should have relied on my grace and death on the cross and saved that baby. What, you don't trust my death and resurrection?"

If you want to be justified by keeping the law go ahead, you will lose because you can't keep the law.

As far as our image regarding pro-aborts. C'mon, they want to destroy us and if they could they would. They could care less if we are perfectly moral. 50,000,000 dead unborn children is proof of this. We should individually live our lives as followers of Christ and then let the Holy Spirit convict individuals of their sin.

We would get more respect from pro-aborts if we would give everything we had, including our very lives, to the cause of the unborn.

Posted by: HisMan at March 29, 2009 10:55 AM

Again, I don't think the examples you mention are analogous to this particular situation. It was not a case in which a lie would certainly save a life, while the truth would certainly condemn the child to death.

The lie could very well condemn the child to death.

Posted by: Jill at March 29, 2009 10:58 AM

Buh? I have no idea why the post at 10:58 posted as Jill. That was me. Sorry for the confusion.

Posted by: Lauren at March 29, 2009 11:09 AM

The quote of the day is very prophetic.

Gee, this sounds like one Barack Obama, a potential anti-Christ candidate.

Oh, by the way, the Notre Dame thing is just practice for Him to desecrate the Temple. He also loves to stick it in God's face, it's so, so obvious. Catholics are being so, so used.

Let's also not forget the Temple configuration of his Democratic National Convention speech.

The guy loves adulation and worship. It is a substitute for a drug addiction. It will only get worse.

Posted by: HisMan at March 29, 2009 11:25 AM

Jill Stanek @March 29, 2009 5:52 AM By the rules of some here the midwives should have told Pharoah the truth and been killed themselves and replaced by killers. Rahab should have coughed up the spies. Jonathan and Michal should have handed over David. The Underground Railroad was wrong, as were Jew hiders during the Holocaust.

Lauren @ March 29, 2009 10:58 AM Again, I don't think the examples you mention are analogous to this particular situation.

I'm with you Lauren. There are times when we know that dishonesty will save lives and is therefore absolutely the right thing to do. In the examples cited, the "liar" knew what would happen if she or he told the truth. ED didn't have that knowledge, so it's not a fair comparison.

ED didn't know whether telling a lie would save the caller's baby. It could have. Or it could have backfired and made the caller more resolute to have an abortion. So the comparison with the other examples fails, at least for me.

Put yourself in the caller's position. If someone wants YOU to consider a different option than the one you're leaning toward, are you more inclined to give it thoughtful consideration if you're treated honestly or if you're manipulated?

That's why I referred to the passage from Matthew above. I think it's a good guide. All of the examples Jill cited demonstrate love of neighbor, and were therefore the correct action. I'm not sure that withholding the truth from the caller (misrepresenting a CPC hotline as her insurance phone number) was love of neighbor, but I appreciate that she did what she thought was best at the time.

Posted by: Fed Up at March 29, 2009 12:20 PM

Do you agree or disagree with pro-life tactics such as E. D. described?

Completely disagree. CareNet, Heartbeat International and other PRCs work hard to provide complete, accurate information in a trustworthy atmosphere. There is no room for shadiness or deception whatsoever.

E.D. did CareNet no favor in pulling that stunt. Although there is no actual affiliation, particularly if the number was misdialed or misinformed, the end result is it looks like CareNet was part of the charade.

Reputations are built slowly and with complete integrity.

Carla - great advice, but handling is critical, you can't be evasive - just candid and caring.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at March 29, 2009 4:00 PM

I have a question for Jill, and for others who approve of ED's lies:

If it is acceptable to lie to save an unborn baby's life, what it is NOT acceptable to do? Is it ok to cause physical harm to a person if it means an unborn's life is saved? How about killing a person, if it means many lives are saved? Where do you think the line should be drawn? Which of God's commandments are acceptable to ignore?

Posted by: Jerimiah at March 29, 2009 4:31 PM

E.D. did CareNet no favor in pulling that stunt

I thought the same thing, Chris.

Posted by: Fed Up at March 29, 2009 4:38 PM

I agree with those who think that E.D.'s techniques were a bit murky and perhaps counterproductive to the pro-life cause.

Seeing as how the lady was already angered by E.D.'s 'preaching', I can only predict that she was infuriated when she realized she was intentionally given the wrong number. I predict that she will now tell this story for years to come as an unflattering example of pro-life behavior. It seems condescending to use deceit in an attempt to influence her decision. That seems to convey that she cannot be trusted with the truth and is beneath "gentle instruction" (I'm no bible scholar, but I know that's in there somewhere) and must be tricked into considering pro-life resources. She may have been very receptive to hearing another point of view if she felt treated with respect and honesty, but E.D. assumed the she was not. Since a life genuinely is at stake, more care should be used when speaking to the person who will decide if that life will continue. Like others have said, I think honesty and kindness are the most effective in situations like this.

I'm not trying to totally hate on E.D., although I'm obviously very critical of what she said to the lady. I understand that she was caught off guard and that she had good intentions.

Posted by: Janette at March 29, 2009 6:20 PM

I have a question for Jill, and for others who approve of ED's lies:

If it is acceptable to lie to save an unborn baby's life, what it is NOT acceptable to do? Is it ok to cause physical harm to a person if it means an unborn's life is saved? How about killing a person, if it means many lives are saved? Where do you think the line should be drawn? Which of God's commandments are acceptable to ignore?

Posted by: Jerimiah at March 29, 2009 4:31 PM

None of God's commandments are acceptable to ignore. God see's inside and knows your intentions. If you lie to save a life or to practice compassion it is not the same as lying to advance personal gain.

Posted by: truthseeker at March 29, 2009 10:28 PM

Jill & Company, I've read all the comments and must say that this is been an interesting and, for the most part, edifying discussion. I'm a regular reader though I seldom comment.

I'm wondering if E.D. has been reading today, and in the case that he/she has done so, a thought I'd like to leave with this person is this: E.D.. the *next* time you get a phone call such as you recently had, please rethink using the phrase "...kill your baby." While this is undeniably true in most abortion procedures, this phrase is almost guaranteed to elicit a negative, hostile reaction and what you want at that moment is for the woman to *hear* what you will next say, rather than just react to it.

I thought your initial words of "I'll take your baby!" were great; it certainly grabbed her attention, but I think a softer way speaking of options other than the death of her baby would have had a greater, more positive effect on her. Thus, a quick "Oh I don't have any abortion clinic numbers, but why not call this number......they can give you much better information than I can..." Something like that.

Posted by: Maura at March 30, 2009 1:53 AM

I think it is so hard to figure out how to love and reach a woman who is willing to kill her own child.

If saying that I would take her child, and pleading with her not to take that child's life, is seen as "preaching," what could have reached her? How do you show love to someone who is interested in doing something so depraved? What would actually get through? Probably nothing, I am guessing. But I don't know how a heart could ever change save through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Lies probably don't work, and do give power to the opposition. The obvious example: You are a doctor. The patient asks for a pregnancy test, saying that if she is pregnant she will need an abortion. You administer the test, and discover that she is pregnant.

If you tell her she is not pregnant, she won't get an abortion, right? So why not lie?

It won't work.

That's the reason not to lie; because it won't work. They'll figure out what happened, sooner or later.

It just makes me so frustrated that people can be so callous with the lives of children, especially their own children.

God, teach me to love.

Posted by: YCW at March 30, 2009 11:23 AM

what could have reached her?

YCW, I think Carla hit the nail on the head when she mentioned ENGAGING the woman. When someone is in a difficult situation, the first words out of their mouth aren't always a good definition of the problem.

Take this case for example. That someone inquires about abortion benefits doesn't mean the person is yet totally committed to having one. That someone has decided to have one doesn't mean she really wants one. You don't know what's behind the request for information unless you take the time to find out.

Asking nonthreatening questions or making a statement of empathy can go a long way toward helping someone open up to you further. You can do both of those things without supporting what you suspect is her desire to get an abortion.

Posted by: Fed Up at March 30, 2009 12:11 PM

Jill "The Chinese Eat Fetuses" Stanek advocating the use of deception for the purpose of anti-abortion activism? Why am I not surprised?

Posted by: The Cynic Sage at March 31, 2009 10:10 AM

Women still have a choice in the matter. That woman could have still chosen abortion. Even if she chooses to give birth, that's her choice. The operator might get a fuzzy feeling for pointing the caller in what they felt was the right direction, but the operator totally neglects to take into consideration the woman's autonomy and initiative.

Posted by: Emily at March 31, 2009 12:26 PM

"their rabid hatred of God and Christians. "

this cracks me up. seriously.

Posted by: natasha at March 31, 2009 4:27 PM

You are all to be greatly admired. Taking on the raising of children that other people can't afford to have, are too mentally unstable to have, the ones that were the product of rape that the mother can't bear to look at, the mentally- and physicaly-handicaped children, the babies of mothers who died during childbirth so that they didn't murder their innocent young-- and donating so much money to birth control causes and childhood programs. Thank you all.

...You ARE all doing this, right? I can't imagine that anyone would be so adamantly against abortion without actively helping AFTER the blessed child is born.

Thank you!!!

Posted by: Lirpa at March 31, 2009 6:04 PM

You are very welcome, Lirpa!! Thank you for doing all of the above as well!!

Posted by: Carla at March 31, 2009 7:13 PM

Could you give me the telephone number of that person? I was thinking that I might stop using birth control since I can't afford it. I wasn't really looking forward to an abortion because the clinic's too far away and I can't pay the fees, but since now that person's offering to adopt random babies, I have an option!

Posted by: a woman at April 1, 2009 12:01 AM

For the record, in the example of the pregnant Chinese women, if you aren't up on all the details:

If a Chinese woman "escapes" the abortion, her family,even the entire village, is attacked. Her relatives will be ruined to the point of starvation or flat out killed until she is found and forced to undergo the procedure. THIS is why many woman choose to undergo the procedure, even against their own wishes.

So the question is: Does the life of that unborn fetus outweigh the lives of her village and family? Is it still ok for her to lie and escape? Do you make the choice that loses one life that hasn't even begun, or you do make a choice that costs others their lives? Which sinful act is more "ok"?

As far as the lying issue. God might be the one judging you..but y'know what, you're the example of God. You're the ones saying God is so great and amazing. If you can lie about something else, why on EARTH should I listen to anything else you have to say? Probably more lies. It was the lies of "christians" that drove me from the church and has kept me away ever since I was 12 and found out what a lying, manipulative place it was. Because of this my children are not raised as such, I actively discourage it as a matter of fact, and I turned away and have NO desire to return. That's 6 souls, if all the Bible is true, that "christian" behavior drove from the church. I'm not sure that's what God was after. You might want to give up the lying. Every time you folks lie, no matter what the cause, I know I did right to turn away from such a manipulative bunch of users.

You can flame me, get mad, blame me for it if you like, but it doesn't change the facts. You lying just makes me right, you are just as manipulative and deceitful as you accuse others of being. If you get mad at me for saying it, perhaps you should think who you really should be mad at. No one trusts a liar, so why should they trust folks who lie and promote lying, especially while condemning others for their lies?

Posted by: Jal at April 1, 2009 2:12 AM

a woman @ 12:01:

I know that you are not being serious. In fact, you are probably the same as that toxic Lirpa person above. But I am dead serious that I would adopt any and all of your children to save them from abortion.

If you click on my name, you will reach my blog. Leave me a post with your email address. I won't publish it, but I will send you my phone number.

I think you are not for real. But should you ever really be in the position of having a child you do not want to keep, I'll be around. And I would absolutely adopt him or her.

Posted by: YCW at April 1, 2009 6:16 AM


I do understand how a woman can submit to abortion under those circumstances. We think that the circumstances are at fault. Do you think this is how it ought to be? Are you defending the Chinese system? Because that's pretty sick.

Posted by: YCW at April 1, 2009 6:18 AM

One more time.......... do not let the people, who have zero belief in God-with-moral-expectations, tell you what the commandments (which they do not follow) mean, and how to obey them.

The commandment: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.' has nothing to do with giving up 'facts' that cause a human to be killed.

Stating or implying that abortion is "health care" is bearing false witness against both of the potential victims, mom and baby.

Posted by: KB at April 1, 2009 8:11 AM

YCW, you have a reading comprehension problem. Don't turn this into some emotional attack just because you don't want to address the question. At no point did I indicate I was for or against such a thing. I asked a question and you haven't answered. Circumstances or not, which is the most "ok", because I hear a lot of "NEVER abortion". Circumstances or not, the choice is hers. Does she martyr herself and her child, or does she martyr her village? God told Abraham to kill his own son, and he chose god over his child.

KB, that's just another justification for lying. Whether you are right or wrong in the lying, don't call others liars and condemn others for lying when you yourself advocate lying for what you believe is a just cause. You are no different than they are. It's this face of christianity that drives others away and keeps still others away.

Posted by: Jal at April 1, 2009 12:37 PM

Jal, what part of "I can understand submitting to an abortion under those circumstances" was terribly unclear? Do I need to give my own, personal answer? How about getting word to the international community somehow? How about saving up every penny until she can get out of communist China? Why does it matter what I think she should do? You will condemn me whatever my answer. One way I prove I am not really concerned about the unborn child, the other I prove that I only care about fetuses and not born people. Either way it isn't my choice to make--thank God!

Your condemnation, however, will come from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, for persecuting those who follow Him and advocating the killing of innocent children--unless you repent of your wrongdoing and trust in His infinite mercy.

You can be free, Jal, and He can give you strength to stand against the evil you are now supporting.

I suggest steering clear of forced abortion in China--doesn't help your case a lot.

Posted by: YCW at April 1, 2009 7:52 PM

Wow, I wonder what else you're willing to lie about.

Posted by: Blargh at April 1, 2009 8:02 PM

What is it that gives people like you the right to interfere with the lives of strangers because you don't agree with the morality of their actions? The decision to abort is never easy. Contrary to the assumptions held by some people, there are legitimate reasons to abort and not everyone who does so does it to avoid the consequences of irresponsible behavior. If this woman had wanted moral advice on the subject, she would have called her pastor, priest, rabi, or shrink. She called you, (mistakenly) because she had already made her decision and wanted to know what the next step was. When will folks like you realize that you have no moral authority over anyone else. Inserting your moral view into other people's lives will not guide them to a closer relationship with god, or whatever it is that you thought you were doing, it just makes hard decisions harder. I hope the organization you work for fires you for this misconduct before you seriously ruin some poor patient's life, if you haven't already.

Posted by: J at April 2, 2009 7:40 AM

Hi J.

"Contrary to the assumptions held by some people, there are legitimate reasons to abort"

Please provide an instance where it is morally permissible to directly kill an innocent human being as a means or an end.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at April 2, 2009 8:23 AM

Also, J, I can't help but realize that your post is attempting to push the moral that it is immoral to push one's moral on another.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at April 2, 2009 8:27 AM

I don't suppose she could have given the woman the info she requested and stopped being a busy body who sticks her unwanted nose into the affairs of total strangers.

Or is that beyond the understanding of you people?

Posted by: Frank at April 2, 2009 10:18 AM

For the last time, a clump of cells/fetus is not a baby. And besides, what if the baby wasn't alive or as a result of a rape? What the hell is wrong with you people thinking that the life of a fetus that isn't capable of being alive outside the body has the same merit as an adult woman?

Posted by: Anonymous at April 3, 2009 1:47 PM

"For the last time, a clump of cells/fetus is not a baby."

Well thank goodness! Did you hear that everyone? Never again will we hear the "argument" that a clump of cells is not a baby!

Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at April 3, 2009 2:14 PM

Lies for Jesus - this is shameful and wicked. As for "morally permissible" abortions - when the mother's physical health is in immediate danger because of the pregnancy, then abortion is justified. When the pregnancy is the product of a rape, then abortion is justified. If nothing else, those two instances are permissible. Surely no-one is arguing that both mother and baby should be permitted to die because abortion is the worse of the two evils? Surely no-one argues that a woman should be forced to carry the child of a rapist because abortion is the lesser of two evils? I can't imagine that anyone who truly calls themselves a Christian; who truly embodies the spirit of Christian love; could hold such monstrous beliefs.

Posted by: Miles Gordon at April 4, 2009 11:15 PM

This person's tactics highlight the main problem with the pro-life movement: Note how they say, "I'll adopt your child," then pass them on to another organization without once thinking about the consequences? Whether they could afford it? If the mother is even healthy enough to survive the delivery? Any of that stuff you're CONSTANTLY told by pro-abortion activists to consider? They ASSUME that this person has not put any thought into their decision, when they are, in fact, the ones guilty of narrow-mindedness and complete, unthinking whimsical fantasies. The primary reasons for abortions are economic in nature, this is true.

However, it is not "so they can pursue the career they want." Think of it this way: A woman has 8 cats. She can't even afford 2. They are literally EMACIATED, and wallowing around in their own FILTH. Should she not have to give that cat up? And if adoption is such a reliable option, then how come orphaneges even EXIST? Shouldn't all those kids have been adopted by the hundreds of good, Christian parents out there, eagerly awaiting a child? Your idealized version of reality does not exist! You question my morality, I question your realism!

That is my problem with the pro-life movement. They don't really think about it at all. They don't HONESTLY care about ANYONE involved. It's all superficial. It's all to make them feel "righteous." ED's high-&-mighty attitude pretty much proves this. Feel free to try to prove me wrong, although I doubt that any of you will try hard enough.

Posted by: Lithp at April 5, 2009 2:34 AM

Everyone is so strongly cleaving to their sides in this argument that everyone's missing something very fundamental.

The woman never said that she was pregnant, let alone that she wanted an abortion.

She asked if abortion was covered. This is a factual question that she may have been asking so that she has the information, not in order to make use of such coverage, if it exists. She may be 100% opposed to abortion herself. She may have been asking because her teen daughter covered under her policy wants to terminate her pregnancy and it was important for her to know if that would be possible.

We don't know.

Neither did this E.D. person. S/he leapt to a conclusion, and used it as an opportunity to further his/her agenda.

Imagine if the customer had called in and asked "is obstetric care covered for my teenage daughter who is on my policy?" and the customer service representative said "abortion is covered, she shouldn't be having a baby."

Same leap to a conclusion, same furtherance of their own agenda, just as troubling.

The lie at the end of the call only compounded the problem. It wasn't a justified lie under any circumstances because E.D. didn't have all the facts. S/he doesn't even know if there is a pregnancy involved here.

Posted by: T.R. at April 5, 2009 10:48 PM