For the first time since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month, football analyst and outspoken Christian Tony Dungy has addressed the abortion debate on Twitter. Dungy, a Hall of Fame NFL coach, has previously been vocal about the issue while encouraging healthy debate.
Dungy’s abortion-related tweets over the weekend came in response to questions and challenges from others on the social-media platform.
Tony Dungy Challenged About When Life Begins
New Yorker writer Adam Davidson, who describes himself as “an atheist Jew,” challenges Dungy about when exactly life begins. The “idea that life begins at conception,” Davidson writes, is “a brand new idea, made up in the 1970s. In the bible and for nearly all of Xn history, life was thought to begin sometime in the 2nd trimester.”
In response, Tony Dungy encourages the journalist to read Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:13-16, and Genesis 25:23—“then see what you think.” Davidson later tweets: “I have learned that it’s not as productive as I hoped to try to convince evangelical Christians that they are applying inaccurate and anachronistic readings to the bible.”
Someone replies that the biblical phrase “before I formed you in the womb” is “prior to conception,” so the verse “is not stating that life begins at conception.” Dungy counters that the wording indicates that “God formed the baby, not man.”
Another person tweets that the verses “deal with the foreknowledge of God,” while “the issue is how far the states are going with their abortion laws.” That person adds that after years of studying the Bible, “the one thing I’ve learned about God is how merciful he is. I just believe he will be merciful to that young woman or girl who can’t carry a rapist’s child.”
In rebuttal, Dungy writes that Scripture goes beyond God’s foreknowledge of us to “God seeing us in the womb, working on us in the womb and knowing us in the womb.”
Tony Dungy: ‘Why Not Focus on the Baby?’
Others joined the conversation, with one person wondering why Dungy is “siding with people from 2000 years ago who also had the belief that if you were sick it was most likely due to the fact that you had sinned.” Dungy responds that he’s “basing my opinion on what God said, not what people want to advocate.”
When asked why he’s not focusing on the woman, Dungy, a father of 11 including eight adoptees, counters, “Why not focus on the baby? Does that life mean anything?” Someone else cites a woman’s “right to privacy afforded to her by the 14th amendment,” saying Scripture-followers can’t take that right “from their neighbor.”