REV. PAGET: Supreme Court vs. the Supreme Word

Our congregation recently commemorated Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. It is a special day set aside to remember and reflect on the Jan. 22, 1973, Supreme Court decision that legalized the killing of unborn children by abortion.
Jan 26, 2014

In the past 41 years, the lives of more than 50 million unborn babies have been lost.

Abortion is by far the most divisive issue in our nation. It has become such a volatile topic that it’s nearly impossible to discuss it in a public forum without quickly collapsing into an argument, shouting match or personal attack. Watch for comments following this opinion article’s publication and you’ll understand what I mean.

It’s impacted our political system to the point where state and national party positions are routinely constructed on pro- or anti-abortion platforms. Consequently, voters will measure a man or woman’s potential candidacy for elected office not on leadership qualifications or workable solutions for good government, but on where he or she stands on abortion.

The noise and rhetoric from both sides of the issue obscures the fundamental reason as to why abortion is wrong. It’s not just the fact that the lives of innocent children are unjustly extinguished on demand. Nor is it the question of protecting the constitutional rights of women to make choices about their own bodies. Yes, the Supreme Court of the United States may have delivered an opinion on these concerns four decades ago, but the supreme Word of God has the final say.

The killing of innocent life, either by abortion or murder, is wrong because human beings are made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). A human being’s value is not determined by gestational age, gender, race, abilities or socio-economic status.

The Bible asserts that an attack on God’s image bearers is an attack on God himself. While this may appear contradictory, human life is so sacred that God commanded that a person who murders another must be put to death (Genesis 9:5-6). His emphasis is on His own holiness and the intrinsic value of man as God’s image bearer.

The circumstances as to how a child is conceived or whether or not he or she is wanted, does not discount the value of that unborn child’s life in the eyes of God. While no sane person would disagree that rape is a horrendous and ghastly criminal act, the innocent child conceived as a result should not have to pay for that crime with his or her own life. 

The failure to severely punish or even execute a rapist lies at the feet of weak governmental policies and an increasingly liberal judicial system. Ironically, the same liberal mindset that procured the victim’s right to seek an abortion for a child conceived in rape is also responsible for the elimination of appropriate criminal punishments — like the death penalty — against those who rape and abuse women. 

The ethics of abortion do not hinge on the reversal of Roe v. Wade or the change of political parties in the White House. It has already been settled by the decree of God Almighty.

Human life is sacred. It was created in the image and likeness of God, and it has eternal value and dignity. God’s supreme Word overrules the Supreme Court of man.

The Rev. Ray Paget is pastor of Grand Haven Community Baptist Church.





Michael Johnson




Beach Gal

Oh, please. I can't even believe the Tribune would print garbage like this. Killing unborn children? How utterly judgmental. And Paget has the nerve to call himself a Christian? Shame on him.

Former Grandhavenite

My advice to anyone who wants to live under a theocracy- vote with your feet! Saudi Arabia and Iran have positions much more in line with your view of the separation of church and state.

Edit: I also find it hilarious that this guy is "pro life" when it comes to abortion, while also being "pro death" on the issue of the death penalty. Let me guess, he's also opposed to physician-assisted suicide. So essentially, if you want to end your own life or that of an unborn clump of cells, he's going to try to force his religious views on you and prevent it. On the other hand, if you're perfectly content to go on living, he's going to pull out all the stops to make sure you're executed. The mental gymnastics of being a far-right religious conservative nowadays must be exhausting!


Well, since an unborn child is simply "an unborn clump of cells" (your words), then clearly you should support a repeal of the Michigan law that provides that a mother or father can collect damages that results from "A person who commits a wrongful or negligent act against a pregnant individual is liable for damages if the act results in a miscarriage or stillbirth by that individual, or physical injury to or the death of the embryo or fetus. MCL 600.2922a

Lanny, jump in whenever you want (apparently those clumps of cells are something more than clumps of cells).

Former Grandhavenite

I skimmed through that court ruling and it's hard to know what to make of it. I think that obstetrician Pastoriza sounds like a pretty bad doctor and should probably be held liable, but it's hard to say without knowing the specifics of the case.

As far as that state law, it sounds like it's possibly designed to increase the penalties for medical malpractice against guys like him. Or, is it more about letting pregnant domestic violence victims collect damages in civil suits against their abuser? Not sure where I stand on that one- I guess I'd have to see examples of how it's been applied to know whether or not I'd want it repealed.


And then there is the issue of the parental rights of the rapist whose crime results in a pregnancy. These parental rights would force the mother-victim to continually confront her attacker in court or throughout the child's life.

Currently, 34 states including Michigan still allow rapists to pursue parental right and have some form of child custody.


Thank you for the invitation, Vlad. I am happy to accept and jump in with a rebuttal to the Reverend's opinion piece.

Rev Paget ~ By your logic, or lack thereof, a pregnancy as a result of a rape should be looked at as the Will of God. Apparently, then, the proper defense of a rapist should be, "I didn't mean to rape and impregnate that woman, it was God's will, part of His plan for her, and me. Don't be mad at me, I'm part of God's plan, be mad at God".

By the same token, you say,: "The failure to severely punish or even execute a rapist lies at the feet of weak governmental policies and an increasingly liberal judicial system. Ironically, the same liberal mindset that procured the victim’s right to seek an abortion for a child conceived in rape is also responsible for the elimination of appropriate criminal punishments — like the death penalty — against those who rape and abuse women". In other words, you are advocating for the death penalty, after just stating, that, according to your personal interpretation, "The Bible asserts that an attack on God’s image bearers is an attack on God himself".

So which is it then - is abortion murder because an image of God (the zygote or fetus) is a life being ended, or is the death penalty murder because it is the life of the image of God being ended? How about war? Think of all those images of God being murdered. I will assume you spoke out against the Iraq and Afghan wars - or at the very least, prayed for the innocent Muslim women and children being killed (images of God).

And then there is the rather hypocritical stance on the 2nd amendment. I don't really like to assume, but I guess you believe we have a Constitutional Right to bear arms - even though many of the guns being purchased in the US are semi-automatic weapons of mass destruction whose sole purpose is to kill lots of images of God in a very short period of time.

You, or members of your congregation, may see the need for better gun public safety to keep our (born) children safe as taking away their freedom to bear instruments of death. But many (born) children are killed, nearly every day, from guns.

But this argument doesn't hold water when discussing the freedom of women to have the choice of an abortion, even for rape. Your argument dictates that this particular Constitutional Freedom is different because it involves the killing of unborn images of God.

And then there is your subtle message that the "liberal mindset" is somehow to blame for all of this, perhaps suggesting that no conservative women ever have abortions, ever get pregnant from a rape, an incest rape, or have a life or death decision to make regarding abortion. And that no liberal women make the decision to carry the baby to term, no matter what.

The next time you write, Rev Paget, may I suggest you address the problem of our increasing numbers of homeless (born) children in West Michigan, children who live in poverty, children who have disabilities - both mental and physical, or those who live in dysfunctional families, or maybe have no family at all.

"Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me".


So if I am getting Rev. Pagets views right, he believes Catholic priests who rape and molest children must be put to death? What about those who cover up the molesting and raping? I have so many questions, maybe I should go have a chat with him.

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