Would Martin Luther be Pro-Choice?

One of the arguments for pro-choice is the ability to prevent the birth of children that would be drastically malformed. While reading a certain book, I can across this recommendation from Martin Luther,

Eight years ago, there was one in Dessau whom I, Martinus Luther, saw and grappled with. He was twelve years old, had the use of his eyes and all his senses, so that one might think he was a normal child. But he did nothing but gorge himself as much as four peasants or threshers. He ate, defecated, and drooled and, if anyone tackled him, he screamed. If things didn’t go well, he wept. So I said to the Prince of Anhalt: “If I were the Prince, I should take the child to the Moldau River which flows near Dessau and drown him.” But the Prince of Anhalt and the Prince of Saxony, who happened to be present, refused to follow my advice. Thereupon I said; “Well, then the Christians shall order the Lord’s Prayer to be said in church and pray that the dear Lord take the Devil away.” This was done daily in Dessau and the changeling died in the following year.

We know better than to assume that a malformed child is inhabited by the devil — most of us do, anyway — but what do we make of the moral character of this man Luther?

Post By Joel Watts (10,049 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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