I am indebted to Fr Patrick McCafferty and to Donald Gale who, on successive days (Write Back, August 9/10), confirmed that God was responsible for the spontaneous abortions which occur in relation to fertilised eggs.
Fr McCafferty stated what I presume to be the Christian position when he said: "God is the creator and author of life. From Him every life originates and to Him every life belongs and returns. God alone has the power, the right and the authority to give life and to take it back as He wills". Not much room for doubt there.
Donald Gale, as pointed out by your correspondent Free Will (Write Back, August 15), asserted that "personhood extends back in time, even before conception".
Based on these two statements and extending the impeccable logic Free Will applies to this situation, God has decided how every death has occurred since personhood began. For example, in wars, famine, pestilence, earthquakes, crime and all other disasters, as well as death due to spontaneous abortions, abortions, suicide, genocide, fratricide, age, infirmity and disease. Yet, God is not guilty of the murder of one of them.
Such conclusions are unavoidable, given the apparent pre-destinatory perspective of both Mr Gale and Fr McCafferty. Thus, it is all right for God to do as He wills, according to some fore-ordained plan and spontaneously abort foetuses.
But if a woman undergoes an abortion, for example, following a rape, or where there is a fatal foetal abnormality, she is a murderer. Yet, she will be acting out what God had pre-destined her to do. The mind boggles.
I can only conclude that God has different standards for His own behaviour than those He applies to human behaviour. The common name for that is "hypocrisy", for which his son, Jesus, called out the Pharisees and referred to them as "whited sepulchres". In this respect, God and His son don't appear to be on the same page.
name and address with editor