Let's Digress

Let’s Digress About Billboards

Earlier this week, California Governor Gavin Newsom installed pro-abortion billboards in several pro-life states. My own state of Indiana even received one, but it’s not quite as egregious as the ones Mississippi and Oklahoma were given.

The Indiana one simply reads, “Indiana does not own your body. You do.” Beneath that it has the California web address for abortion access information. 

As far as I’m aware, all of the pro-abortion billboards read similarly except for Mississippi and Oklahoma. 

Newsom added a Bible verse for those two states: 

“Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.” -Mark 12:31 

I’m not sure why there was a need to add a Bible verse, particularly that one, but it seems to be severely out of context. I’m also unsure how that verse supports the state-sponsored killing of unborn babies, especially since the same Bible Newsom quotes from is replete with references about everyone being fearfully and wonderfully made, created in the image of God, the sanctity of life, etc. 

For context, here’s what the billboard left out. This is also part of where the whole “Love God, love others” thing comes from, which, last I checked, is the opposite of intentionally killing unborn babies.

“One of the scribes came up and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher; You have truly stated that He is One, and there is no other besides Him; and to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And then, no one dared any longer to question Him.

Mark 12:28-34

Interestingly, this did cause me to reflect on Dennis Prager’s The Rational Bible commentary for Exodus. For those who don’t know, Prager is Jewish. So when it comes to the Old Testament stuff, like the book of Exodus, he’s an excellent source for information. 

In his commentary for Exodus, he has a huge section carved out for the Ten Commandments and their original context. Prager argues that commandment three is often taken out of context.

Exodus 20:7—“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.”

According to Prager, many people often interpret this to mean “don’t curse” and don’t use phrases like “Oh my God.” But the original context was actually closer to “don’t commit evil in the name of God.” Prager continues:

“And who carries God’s name in vain? Any person who claims to be acting in God’s name while doing the opposite of what God wants—evil. Obvious modern examples would include Islamist terrorists who shout, Allahu Akbar (“God Is the Greatest”) when they murder innocent people; or a priest or any other clergy who, utilizing the respect engendered by his clerical status, molests a child…When any person commits evil, it reflects badly on the person. But when a person commits evil in God’s name, it reflects badly on God as well.”

Dennis Prager’s The Rational Bible: Exodus pages 245-246

Abortion is one of the most abhorrent evils of our generation. Governor Newsom justifying the intentional killing of the unborn with a Bible reference gives it a unique level of odiousness and despicability. So, in keeping with Prager’s explanation of the third commandment, I would argue that pasting Mark 12:31 on a pro-abortion billboard might just qualify this as another example of how to violate the third commandment. 


Questions? Comments? Concerns? Opinions? Comment below or shoot an email to Adam@LetsDigress.com! And please, be kind and grammatically decent.

https://twitter.com/GavinNewsom/status/1570457807467708416?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1570457807467708416%7Ctwgr%5E2270568090d7cc3c579cbb42427b54a6b960c10d%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.liveaction.org%2Fnews%2Fnewsom-billboards-pro-life-abortion-california%2F

https://www.bibleref.com/Mark/12/Mark-12-31.html

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=exodus+20&version=NASB

https://www.prageru.com/video/do-not-misuse-gods-name

https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study/what-does-it-really-mean-to-take-the-lords-name-in-vain.html

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