That kind of crap really makes my blood boil, it does, and not just because I’m firmly pro-choice. Leaving aside my views for the moment, this is more evidence that the anti-choice movement was and still is driven by sectarian, dogmatic principles. Because, honestly: how is this billboard not shameless religious propaganda? It consists only of a Bible verse (actually, only part of a verse, more on that later), and is signed “God”—though that bit seems to have been plastered over by some anarchists. It’s the arrogance I cannot stand, of people who’re so sure they know the mind of (their) God; their presumption as they cheerfully insult non-Christian believers, moderate Christians, and atheists; their cowardice, as they hide behind their holy book and three-letter deity, instead of owning their positions and thinking for themselves; and their self-delusion, if they believe this particular quote has any relevance whatsoever to anyone outside of their movement.
(To be fair, this eyesore is marginally less boneheaded and blasphemous than those other “God Speaks” billboards, if only because it quotes actual Scripture instead of just making shit up and putting words in God’s mouth. The question of whether said Scripture is itself made-up shit is not one we will address at this time.)
Just for fun, let’s take a closer look at the Bible quote and see what, if anything, the hell it has to do with the abortion debate. The reference (in case it’s not clear) is Jeremiah 1:5. Here are the first five verses from Jeremiah 1 (New International Version):
1The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin.
2The word of the LORD came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah,
3and through the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile.
4The word of the LORD came to me, saying,
5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Seen in context, this looks more about some prophet saying how special he is, and not much about how wrong it is to abort fetuses (at least those that won’t grow up to be Old Testament prophets). So I have to wonder, why did they pick this verse? Is Jeremiah 1:5 the best Biblical support the anti-choice movement can come up with? Well, yeah, it kind of is. Good thing they had that cutesy widdle baby and teddy bear to give people warm fuzzies and distract them from the lack of message.
Because I’m feeling especially mean (and I want to show off my mad photoshopping skillz), here’s another heartwarming Bible verse. There’s lots more where those came from. Exactly why do they call it “The Good Book”?