Letters to the Editor

Popes, saints, church fathers all found Bible-based reason to oppose abortion

To the Editor:

In his column “Evangelical doesn’t have to mean ‘pro-life’ ” (4/11), Jonathan Dudley provides incomplete and misleading evidence for the Christian historical and Biblical opposition to abortion. Dudley contends that Pope John Paul II did not find a Biblical prohibition to abortion, despite the late pontiff’s encyclical “Evangelium Vitae,” which provides the pre-eminent Biblical commandment against abortion, “Thou shall not kill,” as proof enough. Dudley incorrectly reads the Church Fathers as ambiguous regarding abortion, while even a cursory glance at Tertullian’s “Treatise on the Soul” reveals, “Life begins with conception because we contend that the soul also begins from conception.” St. Jerome opposed those who “murder human beings almost before their conception.” Saints Basil, Hippolytus and John Chrysostom all articulated moral opposition to abortion by AD 400. The Didache in AD 70 definitively states, “You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.” Traditional Protestants, Roman Catholics and evangelicals have clung to this Biblical and historical Christian opposition to abortion. Contrast this with the largest pro-abortion bloc among contemporary Christianity, the Episcopal Church in the U.S., which has distanced itself more and more from these foundations in Scripture and tradition.

Stephen Schmalhofer ’08

April 11

Contrary to editorial’s portrayal, Univ. does enforce intellectual property laws

To the Editor:

In the editorial “Creativity, not threats, will benefit RIAA,” appearing in the edition of April 5, 2007, the News suggests that Yale University responds ineffectively to the illegal downloading of music though its network, giving the students a mere “slap on the wrist” for such violations. We strongly disagree with the implication that Yale quietly yields to such conduct. Yale’s policy on appropriate use requires that its students respect the intellectual property rights of others and adhere to the law. In instances where illegal downloading comes to Yale’s attention, the consequences for the students involved are serious, proportional and, in the case of multiple violations, progressive.

The editors and others are free to question the reasonableness of RIAA’s legal tactics and criticize its business model. However, the University in no way supports or condones illegal file-sharing. Students not only put themselves in legal jeopardy if they flaunt the law, but also undermine the values and culture of the University, which after all, is a place where creators of intellectual property are nourished and encouraged.

Philip Long and Dorothy Robinson

April 11

The writers are the University’s general counsel and director of Information Technology Services, respectively.