A Social Justice and Faith Webzine



by Joanna Manning

In an ideal world, there would be no war and humanity would live in peace. In an ideal world, there would be no abortion. Every sexual relationship would be loving, mutual and consensual, and every child would be wanted. But we do not live in an ideal world, and as a result, both war and abortion have been part of human history since before the dawn of the Christian era.

     The earliest Christians, who gave their lives as martyrs rather than take up arms in Rome’s wars, did not hold similarly strong views on abortion. But although it is only since 1869 that it has been forbidden under any circumstances by the church, the injunction of the fifth commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ has since then been applied to abortion under all circumstances, and with the utmost rigor.

      The teaching that permits the taking even of an innocent life in a just war has a long history, dating back to the time of Augustine in the fourth century.
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