McCain picked the wrong woman


We need judgment and wisdom in a vice president of the U.S., as well as in a president.

Judging from this open letter to Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. John McCain picked the wrong woman.

So we do get to talk about your policies. And we do get to talk about hypocrisy. You asked us to repect your family’s privacy, but you won’t respect my family’s privacy to make our own decisions!

“Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that, as parents, we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned,” said Palin, 44, and her husband. “We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents.” They asked the media to respect their child’s privacy.

How come she gets to make a decision but the rest of the girls and women in America don’t! You won’t even let me learn in school about all the decisions I might need to make!

McCain could have used a woman like FrecklesCassie. Alas for McCain, she’s about 20 years too young.

Maybe he should have waited. At a minimum, he should have shopped around for someone with more common sense.

72 Responses to McCain picked the wrong woman

  1. lowerleavell says:

    Ed,

    If you’re going to accuse someone of coming down on the side of rapists then you really need to demonstrate how. I would advocate a very long prison term and castration myself. How is that coming down on the side of rapists? I think we need to make rape such a stiff punishment that it would stop a majority or rapists (though obviously you can’t stop anything 100%). Saying that a woman should consider the life of even a child conceived by rape is coming down on the side of the rapist? No, it is coming down on the side of the child and the mother’s concience. Again, as I’ve said, I would never force it on a woman because it is morally gray…enough, but I would hope the hearts of the American people would change that rape would become a thing of the past (wishful thinking) and that women would not have to make a decision, and that women who do face this decision, will think of their baby (because it IS their flesh and blood too.)

    As I’ve said before, I agree that a woman has the right whether or not to get pregnant, but once there is a life in her womb, the question is this, does she have a right to end that life? No, obviously I’m not saying a man has the right to insist on abortion.

    I’m sorry for your jaundice. You should spend more time in the sun and hopefully it will clear up (or more appropriately, spend more time in the Son). :-) Once again, as a Christian, I would challenge you to come up with a Scriptural defense of abortion. Your misguided OT defense does not hold a drop of water in support of abortion. I just don’t understand how you read your Bible and maintain this conclusion? How can someone who advocates the Christian faith also advocate the death of the innocent? Ask yourself, whose work are you doing in advocating this? God’s? How?

    I am also challenging you again on your definition of when life starts. You never defended your position against the problems that I stated about vitality. You cannot reconcile abortion if you admit that the child in the womb is human life. I still am just completely flabbergasted how a person claims to know Jesus (a Christian is someone who is “Christ-like”), can go completely contrary to His words and character in advocating the killing of the innocent as a “choice.” You are advocating a Jesus that is NOT the Jesus of the Bible, which, according to 1 John 4, is the very definition of a false teacher. Let me know here Ed, am I debating a fellow sheep, or a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

    I am yet to understand how saying that a woman does not have the right to end the life of another is “anti-woman” and “anti-rights”. Not everything is a right, as you have demonstrated with the speed limit laws. Until you clearly demonstrate how abortion is a right, and does does not equal murdering of the innocent (which I think in previous posts I’ve demonstrated how it IS), then you have no cause to say that someone who is pro-life is “anti-woman.”

    We’re talking a life and death issue here Ed. This isn’t just a matter for blog chats – if I’m right, you’re advocating the death of millions of babies, just so you can appear to be “pro-woman” so your party can get votes. Are you ok with that? If you’re right (and I hold no breath that you are), and I’m wrong, the worst thing that will happen is that some children will face tough lives instead of no lives and women will give their undesired children up for adoption to loving families. It is a tough debate, but even if those who were pro-life were unsure, it would be better to preserve life for inconvenience than to face God and find out “oops. it was murder.” It is not my last defense, but I do believe Pascal’s Wager would be appropriate, if absolutely nothing else. Any way, this is a serious issue, not a simple debate.

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  2. Ed Darrell says:

    I’m not advocating a right to rape. I merely note that this is the only occasion upon which you’ve come down against the rights of the rapist, an inconsistency that seems to be explained by the fact that the women were the rapists — which keeps perfectly consistent your advocacy against the rights of women, if I understand your view.

    I thought the issue was a woman’s right to decide to carry a child or not. On that issue, you’ve finally come down for the choice of the woman — but now you seem to be backing off. Are you arguing that the father has the right to insist on abortion?

    I’m reading all your posts with a greatly jaundiced eye. I’m waiting for any glimmer of a chance that you’ll come down in favor of a woman having rights at all. The Lot case would be such an example, but now you waiver.

    Joe, you can insist that you’re not anti-female, but in practice, in every case you seem to come down on the side of vitiating the rights of women. Every case.

    That’s not a pro-life pattern, merely anti-woman, or anti-rights.

    And to try to bring this back around to the original post, your position doesn’t differ from Gov. Palin in any way I can determine. She’s every bit as anti-woman as your position.

    McCain would have done much better to choose Cassie. Cassie’s not old enough, but seems better qualified in every other way, particularly in judgment.

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  3. lowerleavell says:

    What? Are you serious? Are you advocating that women have the right to rape? Women have a right to choose, even to the point of getting a man drunk and raping him? Please tell me that’s not what you’re saying. That would be bordering on lunacy.

    No person has the right to rape another individual! In rape, it is always the victim’s rights that should be the most important, whether man or woman. I thought I’d stressed that in my extra long post on rape. Stop the rapists and you have no issue of abortion in rape situations.

    I hope this is sinking in with someone else, because you aren’t seeming to read my posts with understanding Ed. In rape, it isn’t about “choice” either male of female. No one has the right to choose rape. Period.

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  4. Ed Darrell says:

    Joe, I merely note that, so far, in each example you give but this one, you take the choice away from the woman. The woman’s rights are removed every time.

    Finally you come up with an example where the women chose, and you claim they shouldn’t have it because of rape? So in rape, you choose the male’s rights over the woman’s rights every time, even if she is the rapist?

    I’ll trust God, too. Nowhere does God say women have no rights.

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  5. lowerleavell says:

    I seriously hope you’re not saying that if a girl wants to be pregnant she can get her dad drunk and sleep with him. You didn’t notice that this was rape – only of a male? Of the girl’s father no less? Them wanting to be pregnant doesn’t give them the right to rape for it, does it? If you say, “yes”, is there any end to a woman’s choice?

    My only point is that God can take something from a bad situation and use it for good (i.e. Ruth/David/Jesus). Joseph said this of his brothers selling him into slavery. It was a horrible thing what they did, but he said that the Lord intended it for good – it ended up that Joseph saved the lives of his family, as well as all of Egypt because of it. This is the kind of character I am advocating. Not to say what happens is good – evil should be condemned as evil – but trusting that God is greater than the evil.

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  6. Ed Darrell says:

    I think you’re confusing things, Joe. In the example of Lot’s daughters, the daughters made the choice. In that case, you’re making an argument for women having the choice.

    What confuses you and makes you think Lot’s daughters didn’t want the pregnancy?

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  7. lowerleavell says:

    One other Biblical example, if I may:

    In the example of Lot’s daughters getting him drunk so that they could get pregnant with his child, one of their sons from that incident was named Moab. I don’t know if that name rings a bell, but there is a famous person in the Bible what was a Moabitess – Ruth. Ruth is the great-grandmother of King David, as well as a direct ancestor of Christ. So again, even in this difficult, sinful situation, would abortion have been the solution?

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  8. lowerleavell says:

    I think the answer is that the Father was seen as the protector of the daughter’s virginity. Apparently, even beastiality was thinkable, but not raping your own daughter. Deuteronomy 22 talks about this, and also the protection of a woman accussed of not being a virgin at marriage. It was the father’s responsibility to produce proof that she was indeed a virgin. If it was true that the girl was a virgin, the new husband would have to pay a fine to the girl’s father for humiliating her unjustly.

    The Old Testament also records (does not advocate, merely records) Lot’s daughters getting him drunk so that they can get pregnant with his child. Both children’s descendants became thorns in Israel’s flesh.

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  9. Ed Darrell says:

    You’re right. Odd. A ban on sex with the son’s wife, no ban on sex with the daughter. Another weirdity.

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  10. lowerleavell says:

    Actually, the law is in Leviticus 18:15, “‘Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife; do not have relations with her.” (NIV)

    The Bible doesn’t call it incest. The Bible doesn’t really call it anything – it just says not to do it!

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  11. Ed Darrell says:

    While it is not rape, I want to remind you that Jesus had a prostitute and incest in his family tree: Tamar and Rahab.

    I think if you check Deuteronomy or any of the other listings of the 613 laws, you’ll find that relationship between Tamar and her father-in-law is not incest. In fact, under Bible definitions, father-daughter sex isn’t incest.

    We need to be careful about what we claim as moral foundations, and how morality changes over time.

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  12. lowerleavell says:

    Ed,

    Here’s the moral dilemma about rape. On the choice side, with rape, a woman did not have a choice. She was forced into something that she never chose to do, and so the baby is not her choice, but was forced upon her. So, why should she be forced to bear the burden of someone else’s heinous sin? That is logical and morally understandable, so that is where I pause in rape victims.

    On the flipside, and why this is a dilemma, is asking, do two wrongs make a right? Other people’s sin affects us every day. I had an acquaintance in high-school whose sister was brutally murdered in a robbery. She lives with the murderer’s sin, every day. How about those who are victims of a drunk driver? Again, they are directly affected by the other person’s sin. Things I do not choose are thrust upon me often, and it isn‘t fair. For example, I have no choice in this 700 billion dollar bailout, but it is being chosen for me, and I will have to reap the consequences of someone else’s decision. The same goes for the Iraq War, our country’s out of control spending, and on and on and on. But, in all those things, it is not acceptable to let someone else’s sin, mistakes, what have you, cause me to sin, because I am responsible for myself, not them. Since I disagree with a lot of the government’s wasteful spending, do I stop paying taxes? No, I have a responsibility to God and country. Even if I don’t like it, I do the right thing. So, the question then in a rape victim’s case is this, what is the right thing? She is not responsible for what was done to her (and I am absolutely irate over people who blame the woman). She does not deserve a child to be thrust upon her without her consent. Even if she gives it up for adoption, she does not deserve to have to go through the pain of pregnancy and labor. It isn’t fair to thrust that upon her or ask her to do something that she didn’t choose for herself. But again, what is the right thing to do, regardless of someone else’s barbarism?

    Is the right thing to end the life of the baby? While obviously the father has no claim on the child, the child is still 50% from the mother as well. The child did not choose its parents, or its mode of conception. While rape is a horrible thing, is the baby the punishment, or can it be a good thing out of a horrible situation? It depends on how you view the child. As you’ve said, no child should be unwanted. For my wife and I, we believe that if someone raped my wife and she got pregnant from it, we would have the child, and I would adopt it as my own. How could I not? It would be part of my wife and I love my wife dearly. I asked her opinion on this subject and as a mother of two kids, she strongly stated that she believes she would keep the child. Ed, be thankful that you are not discussing this with her. Against her, you wouldn’t stand a chance! She is an amazing debater and I lose to her regularly. :- )

    I think I know what you’re doing here though in asking about rape and focusing all your attention on rape victims. The reason is because if here, why not there? If it’s ok in rape, why not any unwanted pregnancy? I mean, if a woman is using a contraceptive, she’s not making the choice to have a baby, right? So, since it wasn’t her choice to get pregnant, she should be allowed to terminate her pregnancy, right? And even if she wasn’t using a contraceptive, should she be burdened with a child for the rest of her life? Therefore, abortion is the only compassionate thing to do. I don’t think I’d like to fall for that today, thank you. I think that’s why there is no one working together on this issue. I think the pro-life movement would probably concede abortions for the life of the mother and possibly for rape, IF that was the only agenda on the minds of the pro-choice movement. But, choice is the main goal – not just choice in life and death and for rape. The idea is that no one has the right over a woman’s body in any situation, and so abortion should be legal regardless, as long a woman wants it, she should be able to get it. Rape is just the flagship of a much larger abortion armada. On the flipside, I think those who are pro-choice would be willing to conceded partial birth abortion, and maybe one or two others, if that’s all that the pro-life movement wanted. But obviously, it is not. We would like to see children welcomed into this world – loved and brought up as someone special. Don’t we teach our students and children that everyone is special? Isn’t it kind of hypocritical to then abort a child?

    While it is not rape, I want to remind you that Jesus had a prostitute and incest in his family tree: Tamar and Rahab. Tamar tricked her father-in-law into sleeping with her, and Rahab was a Canaanite woman who was a prostitute. Both are direct ancestors of Jesus. I’m sure glad they didn’t abort their children! Also, people thought Mary had committed either adultery or had been the victim of rape, since she and Joseph were married well after her virgin pregnancy began. So, I think women can rest assured when wondering if God understands what they’re going through.

    Ok, for an official Joe position on rape abortions and passing laws. I know this will change everything in America, so hold your breath! : – ) I believe that passing laws by itself won’t change people’s hearts. Jesus said that if you hate, you have committed murder in your heart. If you lust, you have committed adultery in your heart. What needs to change is the hearts of the American people. They don’t need laws imposed on them against their will (like active judges striking down the will of the people). They need to bring the laws up themselves and vote on them because their hearts are in the right place. If America is given the case against rape abortion and does not believe it to be valid, my heart mourns, but I could not impose that law where it is not in line with the hearts of the people. Whether we like the moral compass of this nation or not, the laws of the nation should accurately reflect that compass. One reason I am a pastor is because I believe it is far more important to share Jesus with someone than to share why abortion is wrong. A person’s greatest need is a relationship with Jesus Christ and the assurance of a secure destination with Him in heaven – not that they need to be a Republican (don’t get me started on Republicans!). I know it is an audacious statement to make, but I believe that only when a person comes to Christ, and lives the way Christ intended, is their heart where it needs to be.

    But I want you to understand, that most importantly, more than even the consideration of passing laws against rape abortion, I believe we should crack down on rapists, castrate them, and put them away for a very long time. Again, I do not blame a woman for the dilemma of whether or not to abort a child, I blame the man. No case is more obvious than rape. Men should be disgraced by incest, rape, and adultery. Men need to be taught why rape is horrible, and there needs to be much steeper punishments for raping a woman. Many men still haven’t gotten the message that women are equals and should not be mistreated, in any way. Many women have not gotten that message either, and continue to put up with horrible situations. Women are valuable, and should be treated with respect! If we eliminated rape, the idea of rape abortion wouldn’t even be an issue. Again, God needs to get hold of the hearts of the men of this country!

    If there are any ladies contemplating abortion, I would recommend the book “The Atonement Child” by Francine Rivers. It is a fiction work, but beautifully illustrates the dilemma that we are talking about here. It’s about a woman in a Bible college who is raped – she loses her fiancé, gets kicked out of the college, and she and her parents struggle with what to do with the baby, of aborting it or not. It’s a powerful book!

    By the way, regarding those pregnancies that miscarry, that you say are 40-60% that are spontaneously aborted: in a courtroom, there is a big difference between accidental death and premeditated murder, is there not? And yes, I believe in miscarriages, doctors SHOULD do everything they can to save the baby. Don’t you? If I’m not mistaken, I had thought that doctors DO do everything in their power to save the baby. Miscarriages and abortions are two different things. One is voluntary, the other is not.

    And yes, I do believe that abortion is murder – it is the willful termination of another human being without consideration of their will. Are you saying that the unborn child isn’t a human? Are you sticking to your definition of life beginning at viability?

    No, I am not familiar with Freakonomics stuff.

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  13. Ed Darrell says:

    Probably. If the drop means more wanted babies, good. If the drop means women are simply scared off of abortions, and they don’t want the babies they feel they are being forced to bear, it bodes ill for us all.

    You’re familiar with the Freakonomics stuff, I’m sure:
    http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/09/11/abortioncrime-where-do-ideas-come-from/

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  14. lowerleavell says:

    Real quick:

    The last statement of the article you quoted stated:

    “The states with the most active pro-life laws have seen the biggest abortion declines,” he said

    I’m glad that the abortion rates have dropped! Surely, both you and I can agree that this is a good thing.

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  15. Ed Darrell says:

    As I said, I believe that these programs would best be run by faith based organizations, not Big Brother. I would advocate privatizing the help of young mothers and their children.

    Saw an article today that said an unspoken problem right now is that hundreds of churches are in default on their mortgages. The banks haven’t foreclosed out of deference to the churches, but foreclosures may be imminent as part of the bailout.

    In Bush’s America, the faith-based community is no better prepared to provide extra funding for humanitarian purposes and disaster relief than are others in need of humanitarian aid and other disaster victims.

    Most abortions in the U.S. are had by mothers these days. Quite contrary to the claim that these abortions are had lightly or cavalierly, they are had by women who know the score. They have children, they are unwilling to have another, unwilling to bring a baby into such a world. If we wanted to reduce the numbers of abortions, we need to make sure kids have a loving family capable of raising them to come into. Our failure is not in depriving women of their rights to abortion, but in depriving already-living children of their rights to life, thereby encouraging more abortions.

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  16. lowerleavell says:

    You said, “A phrase written by a slaveholder, who understood that platitudes, even grand ones, have real consequences, and are ideals, not always suitable to be used as laws. Abortion was legal in 1776, by the way. No woman, though denied other rights of citizenship, was regarded as too petty to have the rights of reproductive choice.”

    This statement is a half truth. Abortion wasn’t in the same demand as it is now. From what I quickly researched, none of the founders were really clear on the subject one way or the other – which indicates there wasn’t anyone protesting the status quo. What would that status quo have been? The English Common Law which states that abortion before any signs of life were shown was a misdemeanor (because it could have been an accident), after then first few months, when it was apparent that the woman was pregnant, it became a felony, punishable by jail time. So, can you find documentation stating that the English Common Law wasn’t practiced by the colonials regarding abortion? There are a miriad of other things we could probably think of that were legal back then that we wouldn’t think to legalize now. I’ll be meth was legal too. Who cares it didn’t exist – they still didn’t have laws against it! Non-issues are rarely put into law.

    You said, “Unless she gets pregnant, in your view. Then she is less than equal, and may not control even her own body.”

    No, a pregnant woman should be afforded the same respect and value that all human life should be given. Her own body, I’m fine with. The body of the baby insider her body is what we’re disputing

    “Balderdash. Not only are there not enough such programs, those we have are grotesquely underfunded. The Republican platform calls for such programs to be suspended for women who do not have all their visa papers perfect. Come back when you get that statement closer to reality, please.”

    The Republicans have problems with people crossing the border for free healthcare. We do a lot for the rest of the world, but the American taxpayer has a hard enough time paying for our own healthcare let alone for the healthcare of the world. These neighbors of ours should be responsible for helping their own citizens.

    “Because you’re trusting Big Brother both to take away the rights of the mother, and to take care of the mother, though there is no demonstrated competency of Big Brother at either task.”

    As I said, I believe that these programs would best be run by faith based organizations, not Big Brother. I would advocate privatizing the help of young mothers and their children.

    I actually liked your link. You didn’t link the first page of the article, but on the first page it says, “There’s an impetus in the Bible toward the protection of the innocent, protection for the weak, respect for life, respect for God’s creation.” That is what I am advocating in this discussion.

    As I’ve said countless times, the Bible can only mean what it meant. As in Psalm 139 where it says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Is it just saying that God’s chosen people are cool? Or is it saying that life, even in the womb, is special to God?

    You said, “Join us in educating people how to avoid pregnancy in sex, you’ll get some credibility with me. This is a spun way of your saying, “Sex should be punished, and pregnancy is one way of making sure the punishment sticks.” At least, that’s what I hear.”

    I would join you in educating people how to avoid pre-marital sex, if that was your desire. You’re statement reveals your colors, that you want to teach people how to have sex without any responsibility or consequences. The “free-love” crowd is now teaching the next generation. It’s very sad.

    Pregnancy is the nature of cause and effect. You step in front of a bus, there will be consequences. You have pre-marital sex (even with contraceptives), you may get pregnant. Abortion makes the choice to have sex even easier for teens who don’t know any better and don’t know the pain (physical and emotional) and consequences of abortion. Read some testimonials. How many of them are from teens who had pre-marital sex and just didn’t want the baby?

    You said, “And, of course, this statement is accurate only if there is no pain and no emotion involved in an abortion. You assume that to be the case, but I don’t buy it.”

    The earlier the abortion is performed, the less the physical pain and emotional attachment to the baby. The farther along the pregnancy, the more difficult the abortion gets, I would imagine.

    You said, “I’m saying you have to deal with the conflicts.”

    That’s fine – dealing with the conflicts is the responsible thing to do. That’s what I’m advocating. Let’s have the discussion on the rights of a pre-born child (the term fetus is so impersonal). Let’s discuss the rights of a mother. There are conflicts here – for sure. But just a sweeping, “let’s legalize abortion under any condition at almost any term” is not the answer.

    You said, “You can’t claim to respect the woman’s rights when you ask that all protection of her rights be removed.”

    I think that almost anyone would agree that the life of the mother should be taken into consideration and protected. She has the right to life. What I’m trying to nail down here is that you keep crying foul to her rights being violated, but you have not really specified here what those rights are in regard to pregnancy. Does she have the right to survive a pregnancy? If at all possible, yes! Does she have a right to consideration if she has been raped? I believe that is morally considerable. Does she have the right to terminate the life of another under any circumstance since it is her body? What is your answer? Is there ever a time that you’d say abortion is ever wrong? I imagine you’d say when a mother wants the child and is forced, but any others?

    You said, “No, I merely note that you ask the same sort of government intrusion into personal privacy that only one other government on Earth asks.”

    The decision to end another person’s life is not a matter of personal privacy. Post-modern thinking cannot work when other people’s lives hang by your decisions. There should be laws that protect from abuse, which is what we do not see in our current abortion laws – and abuse of the system is rampant. Again, at least 93% rampant.

    You said, “We have a higher standard in America, or have had, based on that line in the Declaration about unalienable rights. You’re proposing to eliminate that idea, for fertile women. I want to know on what legal basis, and you’re balking.”

    What unalienable right is broken in advocating the survival of a child?

    I said, “Don’t I have the right to kill another human being? No? Then you are infringing upon my rights and putting me in slavery!”

    You said, “Where do you base a right of murder? You’ve gone ’round the bend with this argument. The premise is absurd, if not insane.”

    I agree – murder is not a right. I totally agree, “the premise is absurd, if not insane.” So, why are you advocating the right of a woman to terminate her baby, simply because she doesn’t want more kids? You have to understand my point of view – I’m seeing your advocating of women’s rights to abortion as “absurd, if not insane.” There is no question of murder, after the baby has passed through the birth canal – why is there a question before?

    You said, “Let’s put it this way: We’ll grant the baby full rights — but they must be exercised outside the woman’s body. Isn’t that fair? You’re assuming the baby is alive and viable, when its existence is wholly dependent on another. If you can figure out how to get that fetus out without harming it, be our guest.”

    That’s horrible Ed! I can’t believe you’d even suggest that! So, in your line of thinking, as soon as the baby can survive on its own, it can have rights? You’ve just killed my 2 year old (and possibly my 5 year old) who could never survive without help in our world. Sure, maybe they’ll get help from someone else, but according to your definition, they are still parasites to our society. (they’re definitely consumers, that’s for sure!) So then are those who are living in assisted living, are they not? Are you sure you don’t want to rethink your definition of life? You know you’re taking Hitler and Stalin’s position here, right? Again, dependence on another for survival doesn’t mean that life does not exist.

    You said, “You’ll also assume responsibility for supporting it, right? Oh, that’s right: It loses those superior rights once it’s born.”

    Ideally, the mother would assume those rights, but yes, I would be willing to assume the life of an unwanted child if God opened the doors. As I mentioned, my wife and I have already discussed this and are open to the possibility, as are thousands of other couples just like us, if the government would make it not cost an abhorrent amount of money just to go through the adoption process. I know couples who cannot get pregnant who would love to adopt. I know couples who have regretted the husband getting a vasectomy too soon and would like another child. I think if you really knew the hearts of the American people, we’d find homes for these children who are “unwanted.” I would also be willing to shell out a few more bucks a month in taxes to take care of these kids too, if that is the only other option.

    You said, “And please, demonstrate to me how God is not okay with killing children, especially in the light of the OT commands that children of conquered peoples should have their heads dashed on stones.”

    I assume that you are referring to Psalm 137:9 where it says of Babylon, “Happy the one who takes and dashes your little ones against the rock!” You take the whole story out of context, Ed. God is worth defending, even against someone who claims to be a Christian. If you serve Jesus, you serve that same God of the Old Testament too. So, to give some context, let me explain this and another example that usually gets brought up. The Babylonians had killed the Israelite’s children in this manner when they took Jerusalem, and the Edomites were in their cheering section. The Psalmist is saying that justice is coming because what they did to Israel would be done to them. This is actually a prophesy that was fulfilled when the Persians did exactly to Babylon what the Babylonians did to Israel.

    The other example of God’s judgment is with the Canaanites. I am confident that they had repeated offers to repent of their sin, and turn to their Creator, or there would eventually be consequences. Again, I believe the Canaanites did the same thing to those who had come into the land before them, and so they were punished the same way. Since things haven’t changed a lot in the thousands of years, they didn’t listen to God and didn’t come to Him. So, the consequence that was forewarned (so they knew what would happen and still didn’t repent) was that they would be killed. And it happened. God is a God of love, but is also a God of justice and holiness. He said if this, then that, and yet people are surprised when God keeps His word.

    This post is way too long and I’ve got a lot of other things to do today. Thanks for the discussion Ed! I don’t expect a reply to everything. I just want you (and those reading) that there are good reasons for a pro-life position which should be considered, ESPECIALLY, from someone who claims to be a Christian.

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  17. Ed Darrell says:

    There is a pattern emerging of distorting my positions. I don’t know if it’s intentional or not, but it’s happening a lot. Now, in addition to being a communist advocate of slavery, I know condone rape as well? Is that what you really think? Again, as I’ve said several times already, you’re talking about 1% of abortions as your main line of defense of the other 93% (the other 6% being health issues)! As a pastor, I would probably counsel the adoption of the child, but I understand and appreciate the moral dilemma of a rape victim getting pregnant, and I also understand that some good people fall down on the other side of the issue. I recently read a story of a woman who was date-raped by a drunk boy, had her parents force him to marry her to avoid prosecution (they were both minors), he abused her to try and get her to miscarry, and she delivered a brain damaged child (as a result of the abuse). Yes, I understand that there are cases like these where there is a moral dilemma regarding what to do, but you cannot use this kind of case to justify the other 93% of abortions that have absolutely nothing to do with rape, and nothing to do with the health of the mother or the child. Those are the abortions that I strongly protest to.

    The answer I’d like to hear is, “Rape cases are different: Under Biblical law the rapist did not have father’s rights, and so I can see no Christian reason to force a woman to carry a rapist’s baby — of course abortion would be supported.” Don’t tell me how small is the percentage of women who would be forced to bear the stigma — any percentage is far too many. This moral blindness on the part of anti-choicers is indicative, I think — it’s symptomatic.

    Date rape is not so rare, nor are the cases where a rapist is let off the hook if a marriage can be arranged. That is still the law in Italy, and it is only NOT the law in the U.S. because enough women have stood up for their rights. I would have hoped it would be rare in the U.S. today, but that was before I worked intake for Legal Services. I’d find at least a case a week. I hesitate to think how many cases there are in Texas, let alone the entire nation.

    But I want to be clear: Any law that does not allow abortion in case of rape, no questions asked, is tantamount to war crimes. I do not plan to sit by and watch my nation take that inhuman path. You think I’m calling you communist merely because the policies you advocate are similar in legal grounds to the policies of the Communist Chinese — and I have to say you either don’t understand what communism is, or you don’t understand what pregnancy is, or you’re intentionally missing the point.

    At a minimum, then, the moral stand is to allow abortion in all cases of rape, and incest (which is generally statutory rape at least), and in any case where the life of the mother is compromised. Since abortion opponents generally won’t allow that, I think that their motives are less than honorable, and certainly deserve questioning, in addition to no action on their proposals to ban.

    “The other 93%?” My experience in the law is that the rape and incest numbers are much higher than 7%. But let’s assume it’s that low.

    For 93% of these women, you think their rights should be terminated in favor of new, never-before-implemented right to life for a fetus, a right never recognized by scripture or by law.

    Your sole justification is your claim that abortion is murder. If we accept your definition, then we have a serious problem with the 40% to 60% of pregnancies that are spontanously aborted. Under any scheme granting rights to those fetuses, how can fail to do everything possible to stop those spontaneous abortions? If we do anything less, we’re treating the women who want abortions unfairly, aren’t we? It’s as if you value the unwanted baby over all others — an altruistic position, perhaps, but one untenable in law and medical practice, I believe.

    But we’re not there yet. You’re still not saying you WON’T support the war-crime analogous position of no abortion in case of rape.

    It’s a dramatic case, but it’s a valid one. I’m probing to see if there is any occasion upon which you grant a pregnant woman the rights other citizens enjoy of control of their own bodies. You’re reluctant to grant that, but you complain when I call it for what it is, anti-women’s rights. Can’t have it both ways.

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  18. lowerleavell says:

    You said, “Here’s a real question you need to consider: Joe, can you advance a plan to save ectopic pregnancies without killing the mother? How do you distinguish between the ectopically-planted egg and any other?”

    Again, I would not find it easy to be in this situation. With many of these cases, there is no chance for the baby’s survival. In a case like that, you either have one dead person or two. To preserve life, it is better to have the one than none at all. However, again, you are not accounting for 93% of abortions. Are you ignoring them and hoping the issue goes away, I’ll forget about it or something like that? When are you going to address the vast majority of abortions? If 93% of abortions are worth defending, then defend them without falsly using rape and health as an excuse.

    You said, “She’s asking for the rights of a woman to be suppressed in favor of the rights of the baby the woman carries. The question she’s really asking is, “Why should a woman have a right to choose to have a baby?””

    In her case, there was no rape, health issues, or anything else, except two 17 year olds who wanted to have sex with no consequences, and so they tried to abort her. She is asking, “Who was fighting for my life and my right to exist?” not, “why should a woman have a right to choose to have a baby?” You’re asking your question backwards. You’re not asking the question “why should a woman have a right to choose to have a baby?” at all. No one argues against a woman choosing to have a baby. Shoot, I know people who have 13 kids (they are financially able and absolutely love being parents – I don’t understand having that many, but God bless ‘em – they have great kids!). The real question is, “what right does a woman have to choose to STOP having a baby, even though the life in the womb has begun?”

    You said, “You say Sarah has no rights in the matter. Interesting case, if you can make it. I don’t think you’ve bothered to think this through.”

    I don’t really remember saying that. Having a child is not an issue. If a woman wants a kid, it’s pretty easy to get one if she is physically able. But on the flipside, no one was there telling Sarah, “No! Abort Isaac! You’re too old to have a baby! You’ll be dead in a few years and it wouldn’t be fair for the child to not have a loving mother. Besides, it’s not safe to have a baby at your age!” You tell the Jewish people that she should have had a right to do that. I’m sure not going to!

    You said, “And yet you flippantly keep asserting that the rights of the mother are trash, and that those who stand up for the rights of the mother are callous and flippant.”

    I never said that the life of the mother is trash. The mother’s life should be guarded and treasured. I said that she does not have the right to end the life of another human being, just because she doesn’t want it.

    I said, “Yes, that is to be applauded to think of the mother’s life, and her life while pregnant and after the birth of the child, but why is no one on your side standing up for the life of the baby?”

    You said, “I find that last sentence offensive in the extreme. I think only an analogy can express it. Your claim is like this: “Why do you only stand up for the rights of rapists and war criminals?” Your claim is equally off the mark and ill-informed, completely failing to understand the basis of the claim of a right for choice.”

    I can only go by your words, forgive me. If you are standing up and defending the rights of the child in some way that I was unaware of, forgive me. I have not found those words on this discussion however. I’m trying to defend a mother both the mother and the child. Rape is abominable and should be a war crime – I agree. As I said before, if I had my way, they would be eunichs.

    “Every child should have a right to be a wanted baby, Joe. You can’t measure the pain of unwanted babies, either to the baby or the parents, on any scale we know”

    I agree with you that baby’s should be wanted. Yet those who are not wanted by their biological parents may have the opportunity to find acceptance in the arms of other loving parents, like my grandpa, my aunt, and four of my cousins. All from mothers who chose life, even though they were in no place to have a child. Again, I would advocate adoption programs that would make adoption easier and more affordable. Yet you are advocating throwing out a child like throwing out a pair of old unwanted socks because a woman should have the right to choose. Just because a child is not wanted does not mean it shouldn’t have the right to exist. As a Christian, you should know that even if the parents do not love the child, God does. He places great value and worth on people. If He values them, that should be enough to allow them to exist.

    “This is why I don’t like these discussions — anti-choicers are generally so cemented into their anti-women, anti-rights world-view that they regard any opposition to their stand as “tantamount to murder.””

    That’s not a cemented statement? Again, resorting to name calling does little to move a discussion forward.

    “We can’t reason people out of positions they didn’t get to by reason.”

    You’ve said that before. Is it completely unreasonable to consider a baby in the womb alive and valuable?

    You said, “Let me ask you fundamental questions: Is a woman alive? Is she life? If not, when does her life end? Upon what basis do you insist that the most sacred rights of Christianity, the choice to have a child, be denied a woman?”

    Have I advocated denying the privilege of being a mother to any woman? In your statement, “the choice to have a child”, you’re leaving the words, “or not” out. Why? No one is saying a woman cannot have a child.

    “How do you justify oppressing women and forcing unwanted children on them, and how do you justify forcing a child to be born to parents who don’t want her?”

    No one forces an unwanted child upon a woman. Again, adoption is a viable solution. Yet, in the video you watched, do you think that she would have rather been aborted than to have the life she leads, even if her parented didn’t want her? Absolutely not! I personally know someone whose mom tried to abort her; she survived and turned out fairly normal. She had to live with the pain of knowing that she wasn’t wanted by her mother all of her life. Yet, when asked if she would have rather have been aborted what do you think she says? Absolutely not! Emotional pain is no reason to terminate life, otherwise, you are advocating the abortion of countless children around the world each year. As Christians, our responsibility is to love them, and let them know that God loves them too. God said in 2 Corinthians 6:18, that if we come to Him, He will be a Father to us, and we will be His sons and daughters. He does not say, “hey, if your parents don’t want you, I don’t want you either and I think you should be die!” How horrible!

    You said, “We have about 25 million children in the U.S. right now that have no health care. At the risk of fuzzing the issues, why do you choose to defend those who are not born against the rights of those who are alive and suffering now? If we can’t take care of these 25 million kids, what right does the state have to insist more kids be heaped on that pile of suffering?”

    So, you would advocate the killing of all of these 25 million kids because they are suffering from no insurance? I’m guessing not. Even a rough life is better than no life at all. Should they have insurance? Absolutely. Just because I’m advocating a pro-life position doesn’t mean that I haven’t advocated insurance for kids. We’re just not on that subject right now, are we? But just because they don’t have insurance doesn’t mean that their lives are not valuable.

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  19. lowerleavell says:

    This is a really long post, so I’ll post it in sections.

    You said, “This from a guy who thinks its not barbaric to force women to bear the children of their rapists? Spare us, please. You think it’s fine to practice what is, under U.S. law, the equivalent of a war crime so long as it’s against a woman, while claiming greater rights for an unborn baby.”

    There is a pattern emerging of distorting my positions. I don’t know if it’s intentional or not, but it’s happening a lot. Now, in addition to being a communist advocate of slavery, I know condone rape as well? Is that what you really think? Again, as I’ve said several times already, you’re talking about 1% of abortions as your main line of defense of the other 93% (the other 6% being health issues)! As a pastor, I would probably counsel the adoption of the child, but I understand and appreciate the moral dilemma of a rape victim getting pregnant, and I also understand that some good people fall down on the other side of the issue. I recently read a story of a woman who was date-raped by a drunk boy, had her parents force him to marry her to avoid prosecution (they were both minors), he abused her to try and get her to miscarry, and she delivered a brain damaged child (as a result of the abuse). Yes, I understand that there are cases like these where there is a moral dilemma regarding what to do, but you cannot use this kind of case to justify the other 93% of abortions that have absolutely nothing to do with rape, and nothing to do with the health of the mother or the child. Those are the abortions that I strongly protest to.

    “In short, it’s just one more case of where you choose to oppress women and force them to suffer. It’s not even a question of degree of suffering — just make the woman who had sex suffer. I can’t condone such schemes.”

    Every aspect of children involves suffering. Raising a child from a newborn to adulthood can be defined as suffering. Watching them leave the house to go have their own life is suffering. Maybe we should mandate the extermination of all children to save their parents from suffering and pain. Would that make you happy? There is also suffering in abortion. As you said, many times is it not an easy decision. I’ve been reading stories of those who have had abortions and regret it. Here are some of their stories. They are heartbreaking.

    geocities.com/pregnancyhelpnow/risks_of_abortion.html

    I’ve also been reading stories from those who are “pro-choice” who have had abortions. Even among those there are many who have a lot of sadness, but even those who did not morally struggle I find equally heartbreaking. In this discussion, not having suffering may not be an option regardless of which side of the issue you fall on.

    You said, “Much in medicine is “barbaric.” When one gets surgery, one must sign a release form, granting permission to the physician.”

    Equating abortion with just any other surgery, or chemotherapy is not accurate. There is a big difference, and everyone knows it, including you. I’m not just saying the methods of abortion that are performed are barbaric, I’m saying abortion itself is barbaric, which I was hoping you’d see by the life of a woman who survived.

    Again, you call me an “anti-choicer.” Does this enflamed rhetoric help anything? For the second time, please use rhetoric that actually advances the discussion. Name calling is cheap talk. But, I suppose I’ve already been called a communist, slave driver, etc. so, what’s one more label?

    You said, “I’d have a lot more sympathy for the anti-choice position had the anti-choicers earlier come around to supporting two ideas in pediatric medicine: First, that babies below the age of about 6 months (not fetuses — babies) can feel pain, and so would need pain-killing medicines during and after surgery; and second, that babies are human lives worth saving an investing research monies in, so the creation of an infant-tailored heart-lung machine would be worthwhile. I confronted both of those issues on Senate staff barely two decades ago — and frankly, it is still extremely difficult to get support for pediatric medicine that recognizes children are not mere homunculi, and therefore there is need for research into pain mitigation for children.”

    It sounds like you and I are on the same side of this issue. Believe it or not! :-) I would hope that those who were opposed were simply arguing that it wasn’t the government’s job to provide healthcare as opposed to advocating that the child didn’t actually NEED healthcare, pain medication, etc. If they thought that children didn’t feel pain, they’ve either never had a child or they’re parents with short memories. I would agree with you here.

    You said, “Your argument is this: The pain imagined for the fetus trumps the pain and rights of the mother. What’s the legal basis for that? What’s the moral basis for insisting the mother has no right to her own life and pain mitigation?”

    I didn’t say that. You sound like I’m saying that I’m against epidurals and anything but a natural birth. Not at all! I would hate to be in the position of a fallopian tubal pregnancy or something like that, where it would be impossible to bring the child to full term without killing the mother. In those cases, I believe you have a moral case to argue, but again, we’re not talking about 93% of abortions here, are we? A baby’s pain doesn’t TRUMP a mother’s pain, but I’m asking that it’s life doesn’t get extinguished simply because the biological mother doesn’t want it because there are many other adoptive parents who would.

    You said, “Oh, so you’ll accept the advances of modern medicine if you think they’ll benefit your argument that women lack rights, but not otherwise? Until 1980, a baby under 7 months gestation had very little chance to survive. I think viability is a valid demarcation for when a life with rights begins (since even the sperm and the unfertilized egg are, by your loose definition, “alive”).

    I am all for the advancement of modern medicine. I’m very thankful for it because many of my relatives would not be alive today if not for the advancement of medicine. Abortion is not an “advancement of modern medicine.” Abortion is diametrically apposed to the Hippocratic Oath, both ancient and modern. The aim of medicine is to preserve life, in the best manner possible, not to take it away. In the traditional Hippocratic Oath, you will find this statement, “I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.” nlm.nih.gov/hmd/greek/greek_oath.html.

    I appreciate you stating your position on when life begins. As I’ve said before however, even a newborn cannot survive on its own. I know a few teenagers that I wonder about their viability as well. Surely, dependence does not dictate when the life begins, does it?

    You said, “You say not at conception for everything except oppressing women. I think those are invalid distinctions. I think that any proposal that oppresses a woman must meet a higher standard, not a lower one.”

    I’m trying to understand how abortion elevates women? From my perspective, it teaches them that their unique capability for delivering a child is not special or valuable. It teaches them that they can be used for sex and then pressured into terminating the life inside them because the “father” doesn’t want it or is in no position to support the child. Instead of supporting, helping, and taking care of the love of his life, the man abandons the woman and leaves her with no viable alternative. To me, I implicate men with the crime of abuse and abandonment more than the woman for aborting the child. IMHO, abortion lowers women to a level of abuse not seen for centuries! And women think it’s a matter of their rights? They’re being used by politicians and by shallow men. This is why the message of Christ is so important for women. You have value and worth – so much so that God has said that there is no difference between nationality, race, financial situation, gender, etc. – everyone who is in Christ is equal. Jesus treated women with respect and dignity in a culture that degraded them to property. Women, your bodies, and the little person you carry, is of more value than the men who would rape, abuse, mistreat you, and cause you to desire to abort the precious child in your womb that you alone have been entrusted with. Don’t cheapen your amazing, unique body, by aborting the whole life-giving process just because of an inconvenience.

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  20. Ed Darrell says:

    Ed said, “Yes, I watched the video. What was it you thought I should get from it?”

    1) How barbaric the practice of abortion is – in saline abortion, the baby is burned to death, inside and out.

    This from a guy who thinks its not barbaric to force women to bear the children of their rapists? Spare us, please. You think it’s fine to practice what is, under U.S. law, the equivalent of a war crime so long as it’s against a woman, while claiming greater rights for an unborn baby.

    In short, it’s just one more case of where you choose to oppress women and force them to suffer. It’s not even a question of degree of suffering — just make the woman who had sex suffer. I can’t condone such schemes.

    Much in medicine is “barbaric.” When one gets surgery, one must sign a release form, granting permission to the physician. Otherwise, anyone who took a knife to you, even with the aid of anesthesia, would be liable for assault and battery. Medicine is much about the mitigation of such barbarities, with difficult tradeoffs made all the time. Cancer chemotherapy is, in short, poisoning of the patient. The hope is that the cancer cells will die before too much damage is done to the patient’s non-cancerous cells. If that happens, the patient might live.

    I’d have a lot more sympathy for the anti-choice position had the anti-choicers earlier come around to supporting two ideas in pediatric medicine: First, that babies below the age of about 6 months (not fetuses — babies) can feel pain, and so would need pain-killing medicines during and after surgery; and second, that babies are human lives worth saving an investing research monies in, so the creation of an infant-tailored heart-lung machine would be worthwhile. I confronted both of those issues on Senate staff barely two decades ago — and frankly, it is still extremely difficult to get support for pediatric medicine that recognizes children are not mere homonculi, and therefore there is need for research into pain mitigation for children.

    Your argument is this: The pain imagined for the fetus trumps the pain and rights of the mother. What’s the legal basis for that? What’s the moral basis for insisting the mother has no right to her own life and pain mitigation?

    2) That the baby is a life – that a baby that is only 2lbs can survive and have a life – she would have had a completely normal one if the abortion hadn’t given her cerebral palsy.

    Oh, so you’ll accept the advances of modern medicine if you think they’ll benefit your argument that women lack rights, but not otherwise? Until 1980, a baby under 7 months gestation had very little chance to survive. I think viability is a valid demarcation for when a life with rights begins (since even the sperm and the unfertilized egg are, by your loose definition, “alive”). This isn’t a medical question so much as a legal one, and you’ve already answered most of it: When do legal rights attach to a fetus? You say not at conception for everything except oppressing women. I think those are invalid distinctions. I think that any proposal that oppresses a woman must meet a higher standard, not a lower one.

    Here’s a real question you need to consider: Joe, can you advance a plan to save ectopic pregnancies without killing the mother? How do you distinguish between the ectopically-planted egg and any other?

    3) To hear the question, “Where were the people fighting for my rights as a woman?”

    That’s not the question she really was posing, though, was it. She’s asking for the rights of a woman to be suppressed in favor of the rights of the baby the woman carries. The question she’s really asking is, “Why should a woman have a right to choose to have a baby?”

    It’s a grand question, one that reaches to the depths of Christian faith — think of Sarah’s inability to have a child for example, and how that entire story affects the rise of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. You say Sarah has no rights in the matter. Interesting case, if you can make it. I don’t think you’ve bothered to think this through.

    4) To see the heart of those who are pro-life. It’s about the fundamental belief that life is sacred and not to be taken flippantly.

    And yet you flippantly keep asserting that the rights of the mother are trash, and that those who stand up for the rights of the mother are callous and flippant. You take this stand with such bellicosity that you’ll side with war criminals and rapists against women.

    Got a mirror?

    You are telling me that it is not being taken flippantly, but you have yet to challenge the statistic that only 7% of abortions are for either rape or medical conditions. Why are you ONLY concerned with the mother?

    Why should a woman not have a right to choose whether and when to reproduce? Why are you ONLY concerned about suppressing the rights of women to reproductive choice?

    Yes, that is to be applauded to think of the mother’s life, and her life while pregnant and after the birth of the child, but why is no one on your side standing up for the life of the baby?

    I find that last sentence offensive in the extreme. I think only an analogy can express it. Your claim is like this: “Why do you only stand up for the rights of rapists and war criminals?” Your claim is equally off the mark and ill-informed, completely failing to understand the basis of the claim of a right for choice.

    Every child should have a right to be a wanted baby, Joe. You can’t measure the pain of unwanted babies, either to the baby or the parents, on any scale we know.

    But you seem completely oblivious to the difficulties of determining life, pain, and rights around unborn babies. This is why I don’t like these discussions — anti-choicers are generally so cemented into their anti-women, anti-rights world-view that they regard any opposition to their stand as “tantamount to murder.”

    We can’t reason people out of positions they didn’t get to by reason.

    So, let me ask you a fundamental question: Is an unborn baby alive? Is it a life? If not, when does life begin?

    Do you seriously think those questions have bright-line answers?

    Let me ask you fundamental questions: Is a woman alive? Is she life? If not, when does her life end? Upon what basis do you insist that the most sacred rights of Christianity, the choice to have a child, be denied a woman?

    If it is, how do you justify killing it? You still haven’t answered that question, considering Lisa jumped in and answered it. It’s called the sanctity of life – that is why those who are not pro-choice are passionate – it’s a life.

    At what point does a woman’s sanctity of life end for you, Joe? At what point does the fetus’s rights trump the rights of the mother? How do you justify oppressing women and forcing unwanted children on them, and how do you justify forcing a child to be born to parents who don’t want her?

    We have about 25 million children in the U.S. right now that have no health care. At the risk of fuzzing the issues, why do you choose to defend those who are not born against the rights of those who are alive and suffering now? If we can’t take care of these 25 million kids, what right does the state have to insist more kids be heaped on that pile of suffering?

    I give the same outrage to those who are killing in Darfur, those who are crusading in the name of Jesus or Allah, those who are killing to resurrect the USSR – it doesn’t matter – murder is atrocious because it violates the sanctity of life! It’s the fundamental command of “Do not kill!” I thought we lived in a country where “all men are created equal.” Why does a birth-canal change that?

    Because we lack better legal means of distinguishing such rights. Your method requires that we trample most of the rights of the possessor of the birth canal. You’ve not bothered to try to justify that murderous action, but instead keep calling abortion, which is not considered close to murder in scripture, as murder.

    If your position requires you to twist scripture, shouldn’t you at least consider what’s at stake for all parties?

    Regarding illegal immigrants and detainees, they should have the same rights afforded to all mankind. A US citizen has special rights granted because of their citizenship, but again, we declared in our Independence that “all men are created equal!” We cannot lose that…at any stage or position of life. No person should be without the rights afforded to all mankind.

    A phrase written by a slaveholder, who understood that platitudes, even grand ones, have real consequences, and are ideals, not always suitable to be used as laws. Abortion was legal in 1776, by the way. No woman, though denied other rights of citizenship, was regarded as too petty to have the rights of reproductive choice.

    As a Christian, the example of Christ comes to mind – where He treated sinners, tax collectors, and Samaritans, on the same level as the religious and political leaders of his day. We should follow His example and treat all mankind with equality.

    Unless she gets pregnant, in your view. Then she is less than equal, and may not control even her own body.

    You said, “You want to call the fetus a human only if it detracts from the rights and privileges of the mother, and not for the benefit of the child itself.”

    So, not only are you a masterful speech-writer, an amazing teacher, and a great bureaucrat, but you are a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart as well? You assume too much Ed, and you assume it wrongly. Those who are pro-life care deeply for the life of both the mother and the child. Again, all mankind is equal.

    Except for pregnant women, in your view. Their rights are subservient to an entity that cannot survive without her.

    I agree that we should have programs that help a pregnant teen, or one who is in poverty, but as I’ve already stated, we DO have such programs in place already.

    Balderdash. Not only are there not enough such programs, those we have are grotesquely underfunded. The Republican platform calls for such programs to be suspended for women who do not have all their visa papers perfect. Come back when you get that statement closer to reality, please.

    Even my wife and I qualify for state assistance (which we don’t need) if we decide we want another baby. That would be both pre-natal and post-natal care. The only hole I see is that adoption programs are not sufficient – adoption is too hard and too expensive. My goal is not to rip those public programs away (even though they would probably be better done privately by faith based organizations). How is it that you get the thought that I’m just out to be cruel to the mother and don’t care a wit about the child? I have no political points to score. I’m not a politician running for office. I score no points from my base for being pro-life. I’m pro-life because it’s the right thing to do. This isn’t a political debate, though many have made it so. It is a moral debate with political implications.

    Because you’re trusting Big Brother both to take away the rights of the mother, and to take care of the mother, though there is no demonstrated competency of Big Brother at either task.

    Biblically, the Jewish nation DID consider the life of an unborn child. Look at Exodus 21:22-24, “”If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot…” (NKJV)

    Harm for the mother, not harm for the baby. What happens if the baby is killed, but the mother otherwise unharmed? No eye for eye, no tooth for tooth. Even then they recognized the difficulty of granting all rights to an unborn baby.

    See a somewhat thoughtful discussion here: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/13/weekinreview/13luo.html?pagewanted=2

    This passage doesn’t differentiate between the life of the mother or the child – it merely says “if any harm follow” – then whatever happens to the woman or child would happen to the offender – eye for eye, tooth for tooth, etc. Even if the mother and child survived, a fine would still have to be paid for the pre-mature birth. The Old Testament protected the unborn child AND the mother.

    I don’t think a careful analysis would say that the passage talks about harm to the child at all. In that time, a premature birth meant death of the baby. That death was not regarded as a murder. It was regarded as depriving the father of property, if the husband wanted it so regarded.

    I’m not saying that we stop giving a woman the right to choose whether or not to start a family. But a woman needs to know if she engages in sex, the possibility for getting pregnant is real, even with contraceptives.

    Join us in educating people how to avoid pregnancy in sex, you’ll get some credibility with me. This is a spun way of your saying, “Sex should be punished, and pregnancy is one way of making sure the punishment sticks.” At least, that’s what I hear.

    With abortion in the picture, it’s the closest thing you can get to sex without consequences possible. And you wonder why pre-teen sex is so huge these days?

    And, of course, this statement is accurate only if there is no pain and no emotion involved in an abortion. You assume that to be the case, but I don’t buy it.

    You said, “if we assume that a fetus has rights, all we do is set up a great conflict of rights.” Why should possible difficulties make an unborn child not a life? Just because it has implications doesn’t mean it is or isn’t true. If life is worth defending, then the conflict of rights is worth engaging.

    I’m saying you have to deal with the conflicts. You keep assuming there is no woman involved, and you assume the oppression of the woman who is really involved without any sort of balancing of her rights against her baby’s rights. If you were proposing to deal with that conflict, you’d have a lot more respect for the careful balancing act done in Roe vs. Wade, which is all about the rights you claim to wish to honor, while calling for their suspension and oppression, and calling for the vitiation of the decision itself.

    You can’t claim to respect the woman’s rights when you ask that all protection of her rights be removed.

    It’s really amazing how you label me. Now all of a sudden I’m a communist who wishes to put women into slavery!

    No, I merely note that you ask the same sort of government intrusion into personal privacy that only one other government on Earth asks. It’s the same coin, two sides. You also assume that our government will never make the turn China’s has. You have more faith in such a claim than I — we’ve witnessed a dramatic turn to the Communist Chinese positions on many other rights, such as habeas corpus, religion, speech and press, and search and seizure. I think you’re not seeing the whole picture.

    Isn’t posting the speed limit at 65 m.p.h. a form of driver slavery then?

    No. Driving fast is not a right.

    Rules of law are not enslavement – it is a willful giving up of our rights so that all things can be done decently, morally, and in order. All laws are, ranging from speed limits and traffic signals to murder and rape. According to Scripture, “All things are lawful, but not all things are expedient” (good for us). So, imposing laws are willfully giving up anarchy in favor of democracy. Speed limit laws, laws against murder, laws stating that women can vote, etc. are not enslavement. Neither is imposing laws protecting the life of children. I do not think it should be government forced, but should be put on ballot propositions for voters to decide, without the interference of legislatively active judges. If it fails, it would be an accurate representation of the moral condition of our country. If it passes, then it is obviously not slavery, but a willful choice.

    We have a higher standard in America, or have had, based on that line in the Declaration about unalienable rights. You’re proposing to eliminate that idea, for fertile women. I want to know on what legal basis, and you’re balking.

    Why is the life of the baby worth more than the life of the mother? Since when does a minor child get such expansive rights? Why would you propose such rights for an unborn baby, then drop the rights after the birth canal? There are so many hypocritical ideas wound up in your claim it’s difficult to sort them out.

    Comparing those who advocate protecting life with those who mandate abortion as law is detestable. They are polar opposites with no comparison, and to propose that argument is shamefully hollow.

    They have the same legal basis. You keep pretending there is no such thing as law in this issue, but that’s not the case.

    Don’t I have the right to kill another human being? No? Then you are infringing upon my rights and putting me in slavery!

    Where do you base a right of murder? You’ve gone ’round the bend with this argument. The premise is absurd, if not insane.

    This is your argument for abortion? You cannot make this argument until you adequately define when life begins. You haven’t even made the attempt.

    Let’s put it this way: We’ll grant the baby full rights — but they must be exercised outside the woman’s body. Isn’t that fair? You’re assuming the baby is alive and viable, when its existence is wholly dependent on another. If you can figure out how to get that fetus out without harming it, be our guest.

    You’ll also assume responsibility for supporting it, right? Oh, that’s right: It loses those superior rights once it’s born.

    Shylock gets his pound of flesh only if there is no blood involved; we’ll offer the same sort of solution to the baby: Life, but not at the expense of the mother. Once we liberate it from the womb, the kid is on her own. What’s unfair about that? You offer the video of a woman who made it, right? That proves the system would work, right?

    I am willing to change my position if 1) you reasonably demonstrate how an unborn child is not a life until birth, and 2) you demonstrate how it is ethical to end a helpless life. As a Christian, you would also need to 3) demonstrate how God is ok with someone taking the life of an unborn child.

    You show me how a one-week fetus lives without a parasitic relationship with its mother, I’ll grant you the argument that there is a basis of rights. Absent that, we must balance rights of the mother in there somewhere. Your equations work only if we oppress the mother at every turn. I find such oppression unacceptable.

    You show me how it is ethical to end a woman’s rights.

    And please, demonstrate to me how God is not okay with killing children, especially in the light of the OT commands that children of conquered peoples should have their heads dashed on stones.

    You do know too that this discussion ties in with our evolution debates, right? You believe we are the product of chance – that we are of no more value than a pond of muck and algae.

    I know that your position on the medical part of abortion is as poorly informed as your anti-evolution arguments, and that they bring out in you the unthinking, unreasoning person who ignores the science and philosophy, yes. Evolution is not a chance process, but you claim it is, though you know better. Evolution makes a great case against abortion, but you prefer not to address it because it requires that we recognize that natural abortion is common — and in fact, that complicates your case for life, which you hope to avoid completely.

    I’m not sure this is a good time for you to bring up the issue of evolution. You know that many creatures in nature can choose to abort? You know that many creatures in nature can choose exactly when to become pregnant, and that some can choose which of many mates gets to fertilize the eggs, well after the copulation?

    You are aware that between 40% and 60% of all human conceptions abort spontaneously, right?

    Evolution and abortion are similar largely in the amount of ignorance required to take a firm stand against science, and against women, in both cases.

    From Scripture, I see a human as being the only thing that God directly breathed life into, we are fearfully and wonderfully made, something to celebrate and value. A human is someone that God is intimately acquainted with even in the womb. God calls life valuable – so much so that He was willing to die for us out of His love for us. From my understanding, you couldn’t place any more value on a life than that.

    Why do you exclude women from that equation? Is there a scriptural basis for that?

    What are you doing to defend those lives that God loves besides advocating their demise?

    The only demise I work for is the demise of ill-informed, crude arguments like that one.

    You cannot side with war criminals and rapists, and claim to be doing the work of God, in my humble view. Abigail Adams urged, vainly, to John Adams, “Remember the women.” Why do you think we should ignore her advice now?

    Like

  21. lowerleavell says:

    It was just me…after I posted that last tidbit, it updated the posts to what it actually is. My bad.

    Like

  22. lowerleavell says:

    Ed, your “freshly scrubbed” comments thing says that you posted again since I did, but I don’t see it on here. Is it just me?

    Like

  23. lowerleavell says:

    Ed said, “Yes, I watched the video. What was it you thought I should get from it?”

    1) How barbaric the practice of abortion is – in saline abortion, the baby is burned to death, inside and out. 2) That the baby is a life – that a baby that is only 2lbs can survive and have a life – she would have had a completely normal one if the abortion hadn’t given her cerebral palsy.
    3) To hear the question, “Where were the people fighting for my rights as a woman?”
    4) To see the heart of those who are pro-life. It’s about the fundamental belief that life is sacred and not to be taken flippantly. You are telling me that it is not being taken flippantly, but you have yet to challenge the statistic that only 7% of abortions are for either rape or medical conditions. Why are you ONLY concerned with the mother? Yes, that is to be applauded to think of the mother’s life, and her life while pregnant and after the birth of the child, but why is no one on your side standing up for the life of the baby?

    So, let me ask you a fundamental question: Is an unborn baby alive? Is it a life? If not, when does life begin? If it is, how do you justify killing it? You still haven’t answered that question, considering Lisa jumped in and answered it. It’s called the sanctity of life – that is why those who are not pro-choice are passionate – it’s a life. I give the same outrage to those who are killing in Darfur, those who are crusading in the name of Jesus or Allah, those who are killing to resurrect the USSR – it doesn’t matter – murder is atrocious because it violates the sanctity of life! It’s the fundamental command of “Do not kill!” I thought we lived in a country where “all men are created equal.” Why does a birth-canal change that?

    Regarding illegal immigrants and detainees, they should have the same rights afforded to all mankind. A US citizen has special rights granted because of their citizenship, but again, we declared in our Independence that “all men are created equal!” We cannot lose that…at any stage or position of life. No person should be without the rights afforded to all mankind. As a Christian, the example of Christ comes to mind – where He treated sinners, tax collectors, and Samaritans, on the same level as the religious and political leaders of his day. We should follow His example and treat all mankind with equality.

    You said, “You want to call the fetus a human only if it detracts from the rights and privileges of the mother, and not for the benefit of the child itself.”

    So, not only are you a masterful speech-writer, an amazing teacher, and a great bureaucrat, but you are a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart as well? You assume too much Ed, and you assume it wrongly. Those who are pro-life care deeply for the life of both the mother and the child. Again, all mankind is equal. I agree that we should have programs that help a pregnant teen, or one who is in poverty, but as I’ve already stated, we DO have such programs in place already. Even my wife and I qualify for state assistance (which we don’t need) if we decide we want another baby. That would be both pre-natal and post-natal care. The only hole I see is that adoption programs are not sufficient – adoption is too hard and too expensive. My goal is not to rip those public programs away (even though they would probably be better done privately by faith based organizations). How is it that you get the thought that I’m just out to be cruel to the mother and don’t care a wit about the child? I have no political points to score. I’m not a politician running for office. I score no points from my base for being pro-life. I’m pro-life because it’s the right thing to do. This isn’t a political debate, though many have made it so. It is a moral debate with political implications.

    Biblically, the Jewish nation DID consider the life of an unborn child. Look at Exodus 21:22-24, “”If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot…” (NKJV)

    This passage doesn’t differentiate between the life of the mother or the child – it merely says “if any harm follow” – then whatever happens to the woman or child would happen to the offender – eye for eye, tooth for tooth, etc. Even if the mother and child survived, a fine would still have to be paid for the pre-mature birth. The Old Testament protected the unborn child AND the mother.

    I’m not saying that we stop giving a woman the right to choose whether or not to start a family. But a woman needs to know if she engages in sex, the possibility for getting pregnant is real, even with contraceptives. With abortion in the picture, it’s the closest thing you can get to sex without consequences possible. And you wonder why pre-teen sex is so huge these days?

    You said, “if we assume that a fetus has rights, all we do is set up a great conflict of rights.” Why should possible difficulties make an unborn child not a life? Just because it has implications doesn’t mean it is or isn’t true. If life is worth defending, then the conflict of rights is worth engaging.

    It’s really amazing how you label me. Now all of a sudden I’m a communist who wishes to put women into slavery! Isn’t posting the speed limit at 65 m.p.h. a form of driver slavery then? Rules of law are not enslavement – it is a willful giving up of our rights so that all things can be done decently, morally, and in order. All laws are, ranging from speed limits and traffic signals to murder and rape. According to Scripture, “All things are lawful, but not all things are expedient” (good for us). So, imposing laws are willfully giving up anarchy in favor of democracy. Speed limit laws, laws against murder, laws stating that women can vote, etc. are not enslavement. Neither is imposing laws protecting the life of children. I do not think it should be government forced, but should be put on ballot propositions for voters to decide, without the interference of legislatively active judges. If it fails, it would be an accurate representation of the moral condition of our country. If it passes, then it is obviously not slavery, but a willful choice.

    Comparing those who advocate protecting life with those who mandate abortion as law is detestable. They are polar opposites with no comparison, and to propose that argument is shamefully hollow.

    Don’t I have the right to kill another human being? No? Then you are infringing upon my rights and putting me in slavery! This is your argument for abortion? You cannot make this argument until you adequately define when life begins. You haven’t even made the attempt.

    I am willing to change my position if 1) you reasonably demonstrate how an unborn child is not a life until birth, and 2) you demonstrate how it is ethical to end a helpless life. As a Christian, you would also need to 3) demonstrate how God is ok with someone taking the life of an unborn child.

    You do know too that this discussion ties in with our evolution debates, right? You believe we are the product of chance – that we are of no more value than a pond of muck and algae. From Scripture, I see a human as being the only thing that God directly breathed life into, we are fearfully and wonderfully made, something to celebrate and value. A human is someone that God is intimately acquainted with even in the womb. God calls life valuable – so much so that He was willing to die for us out of His love for us. From my understanding, you couldn’t place any more value on a life than that. What are you doing to defend those lives that God loves besides advocating their demise?

    Like

  24. Ed Darrell says:

    You’re proposing an argument that is simply not tangibly possible. Again, we respect those who are not citizens as fully living, fully functioning, and we grant them the rights as human beings. We don’t kill those who come into this country illegally, do we? No! They’re human beings for Pete’s sake – with the same rights and priveledges affording to all mankind.

    I think one could make a great case that we don’t respect the rights of illegals, and yes we kill several thousands of them annually — mostly not by design, but I don’t think illegal aliens make a case that all fertilized eggs have rights. Our nation is engaged in a great effort to deny that claim directly with regard to illegal aliens, and with regard to people the Bush administration regards as threats to the national security.

    The more fundamental issue is the confusion of a human not dependent on another for life with an unborn child.

    But they don’t have social security numbers (at least real ones). Having or not having a S.S. card doesn’t make you living or dead. The US department of Social Security cannot bestow life or take it away. It’s a number for tax priviledges and responsibilities. I’m all for granting a baby in the womb rights and legal protection, on the same level I would say we would protect any person living in the US.

    But you wish to treat them as illegal for purposes that would confer advantages to the mother. Lisa’s point is brilliantly made, by you. You want to call the fetus a human only if it detracts from the rights and privileges of the mother, and not for the benefit of the child itself.

    Why else would we charge someone with two counts of murder who kills a mother as well as an unborn child? The baby didn’t have a social security number.

    Biblically, we don’t charge a person with two counts of murder for the murder of a pregnant woman. Under OT law, a fetus is the property of the father, to be sacrificed if the father sees fit, to be stoned to death if unruly for several years after birth, and for the father to be compensated as for a lamb if accidentally aborted.

    Legally, in the U.S., some states have laws that allow a charge of murder for the death of a wanted fetus — but not all, and not a majority.

    Lisa’s point is that you’re willing to bring down the hammer of Big Brother on a woman who is pregnant but wants an abortion, while you are unwilling to extend the hand of Big Brother to help that same woman bear the child, or help the child once born.

    Funny how that works.

    The reality is that, if we assume a fetus has rights, all we do is set up a greater conflict of rights. You’re proposing that we remove a woman’s right to privacy by fiat, because she is pregnant. You’re proposing that we remove a woman’s right to choose to have a family. You assume the government would always choose to have the baby alive, but recent experience with China tells us a government, once it has the right to choose family plans for its citizens, may choose to stop the birth of the baby even at some hazard to the health of the mother. Either way, the mother’s rights go out the window. I’m sure you’ve never thought of it in this fashion before, but I think it’s a good sign to slow down when one finds oneself on the same side of the human rights debate as the Peoples Republic of China.

    You’re advocating a form of slavery on women, Joe. How open are you to changing your position?

    Like

  25. Ed Darrell says:

    Yes I watched the video.

    What was it you thought I should get from it?

    Like

  26. Ed Darrell says:

    No, Joe — we’re testing at school, and I’m on a rescue and recovery mission to Wisconsin. Hold tight.

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  27. lowerleavell says:

    Ed, did you watch the video?

    Like

  28. lowerleavell says:

    Lisa,

    Sad that you didn’t watch the video. It’s just a woman at a pro-life rally giving her story. No propoganda beyond what happened to her, and how she views the sancity of life.

    Sorry you were offended by the term “pro-abortion.” Not trying to offend with labels, If you are not pro (for) abortion, what label would you prefer to describe being in favor of a position? “Pro-choice” is the most common label. Is that what you prefer?

    Well, I’m sorry that you are not having an open mind to changing your position. Not even watching the video, because it’s “propoganda.” This is why many people are “pro-choice”, in my humble opinion – they just don’t want to think about what they are advocating, because most people who study with an open mind are sickened by what takes place. Many who are “pro-choice” are unwilling to sit and have a long term discussion on the ideals for and against abortion. That’s a shame. Hopefully someone else is reading this with an open mind.

    It’s funny (well, not really funny, but sad) that we have no problem regulating smoking and the freedoms and rights of others in regards to what they do with their own bodies, but when it comes to something like abortion we give an almost carte blanche to the practice. It’s insane. Oh, yeah, smoking affects someone else! Hmm…I wonder if there are any similarities with abortion…

    What you are arguing from is a post-modern philosophy of standing by your own beliefs, but unwilling to impose your beliefs on others. But why are you uncomfortable with abortion? If the fetus isn’t really worth defending, why COULDN’T we be like, “Yay! Abortion is awesome!”? If we are harming nothing, why do we need counselors, papers, etc. all trying to sooth our fears and consciences? If it just a highly evolved fish-like creature, then why couldn’t we kill it, just like we do cattle? It’s just a blob of flesh after all and isn’t important. It is because the child in the womb is alive, plain and simple – and we all know it. Some of us just think it’s ok to take that life. Rarely do I find a person who says that the child is not a life.

    I for one think murder is wrong. Maybe I’m weird, but if someone killed my wife and kids, I would want that person in behind bars! In your line of thinking, let’s asume you think murder is wrong as well. Wouldn’t it be wrong of you then to impose that standard on everyone else who doesn’t believe murder is wrong? I mean, murder takes place every day in the US. Some people must think it’s ok, or else they wouldn’t do it. And yet you say, “If it [people adverse to abortion] were 1% of people, I wouldn’t change my position.” When DO you have a right as an American to say, “no, what you’re doing is wrong and should be stopped?” If not abortion, why murder? Why robbery? Why rape? Why anything? Why do we have rules and regulations at all?

    Why then, may I ask, would you never get an abortion? Why are you personally pro-life? If you can’t say it is right for you, regardless of your circumstances, why would it be right for someone else?

    Yeah, you’re right that an early miscarriage isn’t seen as much of a tragedy to many, many people. I think I understand why, but it still should be sad. I think it is a question of attachement. I think that’s why so many people have abortions, and why even if a mom decides to let her baby live, doctors encourage them not to see the baby if they give them up for adoption – attachment. If you’re not attached to something, it’s easier to discard it – the same is true in abortion.

    We already give pre and post-natal care for people who cannot afford it. Churches and families also help out. No differences is policy needed.

    You’re right – it is a responsibility and sacrifice to bear the load of the pregnancy — especially the labor! Dude, I could never do that! That’s what makes being a mom that much more special, and much more of a big deal! That child in your womb is counting on you 100% for it’s survival! How horrible it is when a mother says, “no, I don’t want this responsibility – don’t want my parents to find out – don’t want my husband to find out I cheated – don’t want the financial burden of another kid- etc. and so, even though the child is hanging onto life for nine months only be the goodwill and love of the mother, they kill the baby! If you are a mother, let me just ask you, how can a woman do that???

    Like

  29. Lisa says:

    didn’t watch the video, don’t feel like watching propoganda.

    Just a couple random thoughts in reply, and then I’m basically done with this discussion.

    I don’t care how many people are personally averse to the idea of getting an abortion as a percentage of the population, If it were 1% of people, I wouldn’t change my position.

    I AM NOT PRO-ABORTION. What a horrible, hate-mongering label to use. If someone were pro-abortion, they would walk about going “Yay! Abortion is awesome! Everyone should get abortions!! I’m going to get pregnant JUST so I can get an abortion!” Come on.

    I have no objection to people getting more sympathy for late-term miscarriages and stillbirths, vs. early miscarriages. I simply used the illustration of the scenario that an early miscarriage isn’t seen as much of a tragedy to many, many people.

    I truly do not want fetuses to get social security numbers. But if life begins at conception, and a little embryo should have the same rights and protections as any other living person, and if it becomes illegal for me to terminate a pregnancy that I do not want, then there should be tax benefits for me, as the parent who is now pregnant with that little baby. It’s not like the financial burden of parenthood doesn’t start until the baby’s born. Prenatal care is expensive. Prenatal vitamins are expensive. Cribs and baby clothes are expensive. Expectant women may miss work because of more severe pregnancy symptoms (e.g., many women are stricken with severe nausea and vomiting through much of their pregnancy). And it’s not like the BABY gets the tax benefits once he is born. Child tax credits and deductions are for the parents, not for the baby.

    Once a baby is born, it does need constant care. But it is inaccurate to assume it has to be the mother who provides this care. A father can provide it. Grandparents can provide it. Adoptive parents can provide it. If a woman has severe nausea while she’s pregnant, or needs to receive cancer treatment, or just does not want to be pregnant, she CANNOT hand the pregnancy over to someone else. It is she, and she alone, who shoulders the burden and responsibility and sacrifice of the pregnancy, whether the pregnancy was intentional, or accidental, or forced.

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  30. lowerleavell says:

    youtube.com/watch?v=Cg_zhEIpTjs&feature=related

    You guys HAVE to watch this video! It is the story of a woman who survived saline abortion. Let me know what you think.

    Like

  31. lowerleavell says:

    Lisa,

    You’re proposing an argument that is simply not tangibly possible. Again, we respect those who are not citizens as fully living, fully functioning, and we grant them the rights as human beings. We don’t kill those who come into this country illegally, do we? No! They’re human beings for Pete’s sake – with the same rights and priveledges affording to all mankind. But they don’t have social security numbers (at least real ones). Having or not having a S.S. card doesn’t make you living or dead. The US department of Social Security cannot bestow life or take it away. It’s a number for tax priviledges and responsibilities. I’m all for granting a baby in the womb rights and legal protection, on the same level I would say we would protect any person living in the US. Why else would we charge someone with two counts of murder who kills a mother as well as an unborn child? The baby didn’t have a social security number.

    You yourself have stressed the headache and impossibility it would be to give out social security numbers, medicare, citizenship, etc. for a baby still in the womb. How could you even give a baby a name if you didn’t even know its gender? If you’re going to tell me that “I can’t have it both ways…” you are going to have to tell me, “why?” Trying to twist a position just to have a come back in a discussion, even if you don’t hold the position yourself isn’t really beneficial to the discussion. It’s simply not tangibly possible to grant citizenship to children in the womb. However, there is nothing that hinders anyone from declaring the life in the womb to be alive, kicking, and separate from the life of the mother (which it is, separate blood, DNA, everything).

    Babies need their mothers after they are born too, don’t they? Sure, the cord is cut, and someone else could provide for them if the mother chooses not to, but the baby is still dependent on someone else for survival. Society could still say, “it’s our bodies. We can do whatever we want with our bodies.” Yes, do what you want with your own body, but don’t do what harms the other residence inside it. Why do they prohibit pregnant people from going on rollercoasters? It’s her body isn’t it? Oh, it would harm the baby. Why does this discussion break down from abortion to murder immediately after passing through a birth canal? The baby is still alive regardless of its location. I seriously do not understand this line of thinking. From someone on an pro-abortion standpoint, can you guys help me understand?

    Regarding life support – again, this is a place where I’ve been there as families agonize over this decision. I lost one of my best friends at 19, and had an awkward conversation with her as she struggled for life in ICU. We were planning on going to each other’s weddings (she was just about to get engaged, and so was I). Anyway, I’m just saying that many people understand the dilema. It is not an easy decision to understand that the body is artificially being maintained and that the brain has ceased to function. Many families aren’t ready to accept it for several days, or even longer.

    The parallel between life support and the womb break down pretty quickly, when compared with abortion. Again, the statistic is something like 6% or so of abortions that are performed because of medical complications. So, 90% of the time or more, the decision to have an abortion is not based on what is best for the baby, but what is “best” for the mother’s financial, comfort, and social situation. Can you see those kinds of practices protected after birth? I can understand the dilema in ICU, but the parallel with abortion would be the same as not even waiting until ICU – or even life support. Why is killing a 5 year old wrong, if you can’t afford to keep him anymore? Why is killing a 2 year old wrong if he’s interfering with your dating life (social status)? I can understand the dilema in ICU, but not when the child is perfectly healthy. It’s murder, plain and simple. Agonizing over ending a life that is already gone, is a far cry from ending a life that hasn’t even had the opportunity to live. Ending a life that suffered greatly because of either a medical condition, a car accident, or some other horrible thing that is out of our control, is a far cry from ending a life that is developing, getting ready to learn how to cry, to smile, to love, to laugh, to say “I love you Mommy and Daddy.”

    Through this discussion, I’ve been kissing my children goodnight a little bit more sweeter, hugging them a little bit more, telling them I love them a little bit more, because I understand more than ever now that not every child is given that opportunity. My children are a precious gift. Some children’s mothers are even more interested in their own financial well being, their own social status, than the life of the precious gift in their womb. It’s heartbreaking. They don’t know the gift that a child really is to this world.

    I had thought that Christians believe life begins at conception, but apparently you can still name the name of Jesus and believe in abortion (i.e. Ed Darrel and Barack Obama). I’m glad that as a “science worshipper” you understand better than many “Christians” what our theological position SHOULD be. Thanks for clarifying in a way that I never could.

    Anyway, to answer your question…I don’t know. I have no clue how a soul works, especially in a twin. A soul is not a physical attribute and so it is impossible to measure, anymore than tracking sin in the heart. I cannot speak of things that I do not understand.

    “Seeing as I am an evil, soulless, areligious heathen, religious arguments won’t work on me. I worship at the altar of science.”

    I respect someone who is honest about their positions. I’ll be praying God works in your heart on these issues, but I respect you for being honest. :-) Abortion/life is not a religious argument. If it were, then so also would be protecting all life – even our planet for that matter. It is a moral argument. For a Christian, it is impossible to distinguish between the two, considering our morals are held to a higher standard from the Bible (not just murder is wrong, but hate as well – not just adultery is wrong, but lusting and coveting is wrong as well). Above that, we are compelled not just to abstain from morally wrong practices, we are compelled to actively love our neighbors as ourselves, and to treat even our enemies with love and kindness. This is the morality of Jesus’ teaching. Those who claim to follow Jesus and do not follow His teachings (crucaders, whitch hunts, heretical burnings, etc) do more damage than anything else could, to the cause of Christ. Those who do not hold to the standard set by Jesus on the sanctity of life, confuse more people about Christianity than anything else. Both are equally sad.

    Anyway, you said, “I don’t feel like I have the right to force how ‘I’ feel on other people. Not to be too strong in saying this, but is it about how you feel? Our feelings cannot dictate our actions, otherwise I wouldn’t be leaving for the office after I get done writing this. :-) I feel like being lazy today, but my feelings don’t dictate who I am or what is right or wrong.

    But you’re not alone. Many women however feel as you do – I could never do it, but I don’t want to take away another woman’s choice. I actually wonder if a poll has been done to find how many women would never get an abortion, and appreciate the life of an embryo as compared to how many actually do not and get abortions. With those plausible numbers in mind, I would wager that it is far more than 50% of Americans who are uncomfortable with abortion. Add to that the number of women who have had abortions and regret it, and I believe society as a whole DOES value the sanctity of life, but are simply unwilling to pass their views onto someone who does not. If even these people would just speak up and vote accordingly, we could eliminate a majority of abortions that are simply for convenience. ease, finances, and social status.

    Yeah, I understand what you’re saying about miscarriage. Yet, my question is this – as a pro-abortionist, why would people be afforded more sympathy for a late term pregnancy miscarriage? Isn’t it not a life until it’s born? Or are we simply more attached to the life that is already there, when we can start feeling it kick and move in the womb? Is it harder when we’ve heard the heart-beat, felt the hick-ups, looked at the ultra-sound, and planned the nursery? The life is there – whether the Mom loves the life or not…

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  32. Lisa says:

    Nope, sorry. If the government decides to legislate that I can no longer control what goes on in my own body, based on the religious doctrine that life starts at conception, then as far as I’m concerned that means that the embryo in my uterus has as many rights as people already alive, then it should get a social security number and I should get tax benefits. You can’t have it both ways… you can’t claim a “life” doesn’t count toward citizenship. You want to consider the embryo or fetus as an individual, but don’t want to grant other legal protections or rights?

    Regarding life support, if we pass a law requiring a certain number of hours or days on life support, who’s paying for this? Let’s say the time period is a week… now all of a sudden insurance companies and Medicare are forced to pay for brain-dead people to all sit on life support for a week, regardless of viability? Yeah, that will do great things for the cost of health care.

    For the record, I’m fine with the way things are. Medical decisions in the hands of doctors, babies getting social security numbers at birth, and control of my own body before the baby is born.

    Speaking of which… Christians believe life begins right at the moment of conception, yes? A soul is, what, like infused into the zygote the second the little sperm wiggles its way into the egg? OK. So what happens if that zygote goes and splits, creating identical twins? Does another soul show up? Does that one soul get divided?

    Seeing as I am an evil, soulless, areligious heathen, religious arguments won’t work on me. I worship at the altar of science. Regardless, while I am pro-choice in general, I am pro-life for me. I seriously don’t think I could ever have an abortion. I just don’t see it as a choice. But – BUT – I don’t feel like I have the right to force how *I* feel on other people. And society as a whole simply does not value the life of an embryo the same that they do a full-term baby. I have suffered a miscarriage, and while people are generally supportive, there’s a pervasive belief that it’s a temporary pain, that everything will be better once you’re pregnant again. I’ve known a couple women who have lost their babies very late in their pregnancies, and they are definitely afforded more sympathy and deference. And, certainly, that is how it should be.

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  33. lowerleavell says:

    abortionstate.blogspot.com/2008/05/salaries-for-abortionists-and-their.html

    It is very hard to find statistics on abortionists salaries, but from what I could find, abortionists do quite well for themselves. I mean, there is always a better paying job, but those who are abortionists are not exactly hurting for cash.

    Also, from what I researched, PP had a profit of $59.5 million dollars in 2000 (how’s that for a non-profit organization) and has drained $2.2 billion dollars of tax dollars in the past 15 years. I’m sure you’ll compare this with Iraq spending, but I’m just saying that it is not accurate to say that “no one profits from abortion.”

    I so love the “anti-choice, anti-family, propoganda” rhetoric. Does anyone still fall for that stuff? Please Ed, I thought we were having a serious discussion here, not a playground spat of words. I’ve purposefully not used the words “anti-life, pro-murder, pro-death, etc.” because they do nothing to promote a healthy discussion. I’d appreciate if you’d do the same.

    Again, what is the percentage of abortions are we talking about that involve rape, incest, or molesting? 1% or less. We can examine those cases, fine, but I’d sure like to get your defense of abortion for say, a woman who has an affair and gets pregnant. How about even less justifiable, with a married couple that just decide they don’t want more kids? Let’s deal with these 90% + cases of abortion that have nothing to do with the health of the baby or the rape of the mother. You want to justify all abortions based on a handful of cases where it may be ethically questionable. It’s dangerously close to a bait and switch.

    What bothers me is that there is no one on your side standing up for the life of the baby. We stand up for whales, owls, salmon, wolves, etc. (which many conservatives including myself think we should stand up for) but where are the libs who are standing up for babies? Chirp, chirp, chirp. We’re still waiting.

    I know what Jesus would say and do in this case since he told us:
    “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” – Matthew 18:6 (NKJV)

    Jesus uses strong words here. Have you ever seen a millstone? They’re huge! In this particular case, this guy who raped his step-child needs to be in jail! Ultimately, he will be judged by God, but in the meantime, that guy should be in jail. Call CPS and get that guy incarcerated! She’s got his DNA in her womb to prove anything needed. He should be castrated if I had anything to say about justice. The Old Testament carries the death penalty for the man who rapes someone. There is no defense for it. You’re asking me to condone sin? These are character attacks here, my friend. No, I do NOT take the molester’s side.

    By even contemplating the life of the child in this child’s womb, is seen as siding with the molester? How?

    Let me say this about Jesus and His character, as you ask me, “what would Jesus do?” I’m not sure about your Jesus, but the Jesus I serve loves the little children. Can you really see Jesus taking this 13 year old by the hand and dragging to the abortion clinic to end the life of the child in her womb? For the life of me, I can’t see Jesus doing this. Can you? Even though it wasn’t true, Jesus was treated as someone who was born by a woman out of wed-lock, who either had pre-marital sex or was raped. I think He understands what the 13 year old girl is going through.

    As long as we’re talking about Christ and Christianity; what would be the Scriptural verses that would defend abortion? I’m curious, as a Christian, how you can justify abortion from the Bible. I know your pragmatic assessment, but how about your Scriptural assessment? I’m most curious to hear this.

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  34. Ed Darrell says:

    It’s useful to see the full text, the full context of the Planned Parenthood statement:

    If I Have an Abortion, How Will I Feel Afterward?

    A range of emotions is normal after an abortion. There is not one “correct” way to feel. Some women feel anger, regret, guilt, or sadness for a little while. For some women, these feelings may be quite strong.

    For some women, having an abortion can be a significant life event, like ending a relationship, starting or losing a job, or becoming a parent. It can be very stressful and difficult. Other women have an easier time after abortion.

    Serious, long-term emotional problems after abortion are about as uncommon as they are after giving birth. They are more likely to happen for certain reasons — for instance, if a woman has a history of emotional problems before the abortion, if she doesn’t have supportive people in her life, or if she has to terminate a wanted pregnancy because her health or the health of her fetus is in danger.

    Ultimately, most women feel relief after an abortion. Women tend to feel better after abortion if they can talk with supportive people in their lives.

    It doesn’t look to me as if they say anyone takes it lightly.

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  35. Ed Darrell says:

    No one profits from abortion. It’s these fantastic claims that make me wonder about the veracity of anything from the anti-choice, anti-family planning side.

    The hypothetical teacher driving a kid for an abortion: A thirteen year-old girl raped and impregnated by her stepfather, who threatened to kill her if she told anyone — she confides in the teacher, who drives her to a legal facility for a safe abortion. You take his side? You think he gets to dictate her life? Are there other cases where you favor child molesters over the child?

    The only thing that stops that from being a war crime is that there is no real shooting war. It’s still a sin — and I cannot imagine how you condone it. The teacher should have taken it to court — but in a world where the guardian must be notified of such proceedings, and on the 4th day of the 15th week of the pregnancy, what would Jesus do? Side with the child molester?

    Do you have any indication that Planned Parenthood is inaccurate in their statement? If you were thirteen and being raped by a family member, how do you think you would feel when the crime and shame were expunged from your life?

    Remember when you wondered about when a pregnancy is punishment? This is the case.

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  36. lowerleavell says:

    I was referring to those who say, “It’s my body – I’ll do what I want!” I was also talking about politicians who use seem to care less about the life of a child and all about whether or not they will get a vote.

    What I am talking about is not the ones agonizing over the decision to get an abortion or not – it is those who profit by it. It is those who say “ultimately, most women feel relief after an abortion.” At least they admit that some women struggle with anger, regret, guilt, etc.
    plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/pregnancy/abortion-21519.htm#feel

    It is also teachers who drive their students out to get an abortion without even consulting a parent. It is teen boys who threaten to break up unless they get an abortion.

    These are the ones I am saying take abortion flippantly. This is not fiction. It’s real, tangible life and death.

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  37. Ed Darrell says:

    t’s an amazing responsibility to carry a child in your womb. Something not to be taken lightly or flippantly – which has very much become the case today.

    Here’s the problem. This statement is largely fiction. Certainly it is no more true that women who consider abortion take the decision lightly, than it is that people who have children don’t care about them.

    There are exceptions, but it’s not the general rule.

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  38. lowerleavell says:

    Lisa,

    Thanks for your input!

    It’s important to distinguish between when life begins and when citizenship begins. I’m sure everyone would agree that it is not plausible to give citizenship to every child that is in the womb. If we did that, every pregnant foreigner who traveled through the US on vacation would be able to have their child granted a social security number.

    Actually, it may be something to consider to allow a bried period of bereavement for those who miscarry (with a doctor’s statement affirming the misscarriage). Having been through two such cases, it sure would have been beneficial to my wife and I. I don’t think it should be federally mandated though. Also, there is the aspect of a medical leave for a woman who miscarries, but the emotional strain is rather tough, I assure you.

    I am all for giving a woman control over her own body, as long as she is not affecting the life of another individual. However, the life within her body is not hers, and thus whatever she does ceases to be about just her. Drug babies, and children of alcholics suffer because of their mothers’ choices. I didn’t make women this way – but it’s an amazing responsibility to carry a child in your womb. Something not to be taken lightly or flippantly – which has very much become the case today.

    Thank you for your answer on when you believe life begins. So, are you saying that we should impart social security statues on a fetus of 6 months, or do you agree with me that birth is the proper place to grant citizenship? However, just because someone isn’t an American citizen doesn’t mean they are not alive, wouldn’t you agree?

    My question is why don’t we make it so whenever someone falls into a coma that requires life support, even for a few days, we can pull the plug? I mean, if we’re going to protect the ability of families to decide whether or not they want to let someone go, why not make buffer the law a little bit to make it so they can let them go when it’s not so morally gray? Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? It’s the same argument I’m getting from Ed for partial birth abortion and live birth abortion.

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  39. Lisa says:

    lowerleavell —

    Since you believe life begins at conception, and any abortion is murder, I’m sure you will also agree that a woman having a miscarriage is just as much a tragedy as a still birth, or the death of a baby after it is born healthy. As such, I’m sure you’d also agree that the child tax credits and deductions would start right when I get a positive pregnancy test, not based on when the baby was born. So if I have three miscarriages in a year, I can claim three kids that year on my taxes? Naturally, it only follows logically! And of course, every embryo would get a social security number too. I’m sure the Social Security Administration has the capacity to handle this. And OBGYNs aren’t nearly under enough financial pressure, I’m sure they won’t mind all the paperwork they’ll have to do to vouch for every single pregnancy so that the parents can receive their due tax benefits. And I’m sure it’s part of the Republican platform, right next to the Pro-Life stuff, about how they are for federally mandating that employers provide the same benefits to parents mourning a miscarriage that they do for employees who would lose a child, in terms of bereavement leave.

    It amazes me that when the anti-abortion talk happens, there’s never talk of expanding benefits and rights; it only centers around the restriction of a woman’s control of her own body.

    As for your question of when life begins… I’ll answer it. To me, it’s the same criteria as when a life ends. If someone is in an accident, or has a catastrophic stroke, it is very easy to extend their life for a very long time with life support equipment. This equipment keeps their heart beating. When do we decide to pull the plug on the life support equipment? When the person stops producing meaningful brain waves. In a fetus, these brain waves don’t start until the sixth month.

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  40. lowerleavell says:

    You guys keep on pounding on Palin. For a lot of people, it’s backfiring. Keep it up, and thanks!

    You have a problem with giving an illustration of a “what if” with Beethoven that is an urban legend, and then you quote Rosanne as an authority on Palin? The lady who degraded our anthem and country to the point of lunacy? You’re right, it’s not funny.

    (By the way, are you going to cite your source on plagiarism?) :-) Just kidding.

    Ed, I know about Beethoven’s life. I’ve been playing the piano for 21 years and I love to play Beethoven. I was aware of some of his history before posting the quote, though I wasn’t aware of his birth order, when his mom got the TB, and how extensive his dad was on drinking (I thought he was a drunk.) I should have put a disclaimer on it and put it through snopes before posting it, but I didn’t. Urban legends should never be in an illustrations book, though I didn’t get it from Illustrations Unlimited. Maybe if I keep looking I can find where microwaves give you brain damage and plastic water bottles cause cancer. :-)

    Apparently Dawkins talks about this illustration in his book “The God Delusion” as well. Interesting.

    Sadly, this discussion is detracting from the main point of anything with substance. If you want me to apologize for the illustration, I will be glad to do so. Some basic tenants of “what if their parents decided to abort him” were there, but beyond that, the illustration should be dropped completely. I agree with you.

    Ok, back to the issue. There is one main problem with your approach to abortion, Ed. You are a pragmatist who is all about the statistics. The problem is that the means do matter. Even if making murder legal lowered the number of murders, it would still be wrong to make it lawful. Even if making rape legal lowered the statistics, it is wrong to condone rape by making counselors and doctors available to help potential rapists decide whether or not rape is right for them.

    The argument has always been about a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body. I’m sure your first inclination with murder and rape is that someone else is affected and so it doesn’t apply. However, in the issue of abortion, someone else IS in the picture – the baby. From the pro-abortion side, all I ever hear is the rights of the mom, the health of the mom, and the convenience of the child. Rarely is the child’s life really considered. When a mom may lose her life by carrying a baby full term, that is one thing, but how often in abortion is that statistic shown? It is the excuse for abortions – not the reason.

    Obama hit the nail on the head when he said that he didn’t want his daughters “punished” with a child if they messed up. Abortion is the means to throwing responsibility to the wind in sex. Why not have pre-marital sex? He’s got a condom on. I can just get an abortion if I get pregnant. It doesn’t matter.

    I was having this same discussion with someone in their 60s the other day and he was telling me that when he was in school there was only one girl in a school of 2,000 that got pregnant out of wedlock. Do we see those statistics today? Um…no. Hmmm…what changed?

    You said, “even the Bible says that labor is a punishment.” And yes, I have talked with women who were pregnant and didn’t want to be. I was not the main counselor though – I was just a friend. In one case, our whole church rallied behind this girl, loved her and her family unconditionally, and tangibly helped her. Yes, labor is a punishment – just ask my wife. But the labor is the punishment, not the child. Even if the child is a burden, is that the child’s fault? When did it become ok for us to take a life simply because we were irresponsible? In Phoenix they prosecute parents who leave their children in the car – they prosecute parents who let their kids drown in pools because of negligence. But somehow, while that baby is still dependent on its mom’s placenta for survival it somehow becomes a choice? When a mom has a baby and then drops it into a dumpster, that’s considered murder – yet if she’d done it 20 weeks earlier, it would have been perfectly ok with our society. Why? What makes the labor process the giver of life?

    “When was the last time you heard preachers preach on the joys of out-of-wedlock pregnancies. Seriously Joe: if every pregnancy is a gift from God, then out-of-wedlock pregnancies should be treated as gifts. Can you seriously say that your congregation does not condemn the pregnant woman? Shame may be the chief driver of abortions in America.”

    As far as our congregation goes, we haven’t had this as an issue yet since I‘ve been a pastor. As for the church in Phoenix that I came from, yes, in every case, the un-wed mother was not condemned. One thing was required for the church to give her support – she admit that she was wrong in engaging in pre-marital sex, and she seek to restore her relationship with God. If she repented and sought forgiveness, she was welcomed with open arms. If not, she still would have been loved and encouraged to come back to God. In one case, the church even through a baby shower for her when she decided to keep the baby. Why? She and her parents needed love and support – she had confessed her sin – it had been dealt with. Her actions were never condoned, but she was loved and supported. We never stop loving someone just because they do something wrong, do we? Does God? Then either should we.

    I am aware of how difficult it is for a teen to keep a baby and try to have a financially productive life. If a mom is unable to take care of her child, then is adoption really so horrible? In many adoption cases, the mother is even allowed to visit the child and be a part of his/her life if she chooses. If it were me, I would rather wonder what my child was up to and what he would become, then wonder if I did the wrong thing for terminating it’s existence just because I was scared of responsibility. In cases of adoption, neither the teen nor the baby need be condemned to a life of poverty.

    If you want to talk changes in policy – we really need to make adoptions cheaper! My wife and I have talked about possibly adopting someday, but there’s just no way on God’s green earth we could ever afford it! There are countless loving families who would take US children in if it didn’t cost tens of thousands of dollars just to get through the process. So, instead of taking care of America’s own first, parents are forced to adopt overseas. This should change.

    On the Denmark thing – again, this discussion goes beyond statistics and into condoning infanticide. Even if it reduced the rates of murders, would you legalize murder? I very much disagree with the pragmatic philosophy of “the end justifies the means” which you are advocating. As far as sex education goes on abstinence, I’ve already stated my position, so I don’t think we need to revisit that one.

    “Is there any phrase in English sadder than ‘unwanted child’?” Yes – it is “murdered child.” I would rather a child wonder who his real mom is who gave him up to a desiring family than to be dead.

    I’m glad that rape is now considered a war crime. Now if only the UN will follow through with it…Hmmm…Maybe they should go back and legalize it and hope it will lower the statistic.

    Abortions in rape instances is always the defense. You are the statistician – you tell me what percentage of abortions are because of rape? According to “abortionno.org/Resources/fastfacts.html” rape only covers 1%, of all abortions. Only 6% are the result of health problems. 93% of abortions are given as social reasons. I did double check my source, and it does seem to ring true. Again, I may be wrong – you’re the one who is good with statistics. Is this accurate? If it is, then I believe you are definitely majoring on the minors here!

    I recommend you go to the abortionno.org site. Be prepared because they give real pictures and videos of abortion that is graphic. But I think you need to understand just how barbaric and inhumane this stuff is that you are advocating.

    Another problem I have with your post is looking at this “problem” from a financial perspective. Again, I think adoption can alleviate a lot of that problem, but even if the problem were there – a lack of finances doesn’t justify killing an innocent child. When my wife and I got pregnant with our first, I was making around $600 a month (neither my wife nor I couldn’t find a job for months after we got married). Didn’t exactly have insurance either. While we weren’t totally stopping the process, we weren’t really expecting to get pregnant either. I was only 20 when she got pregnant – she was 18. We’d only been married seven months or so. What should we have done? Aborted the baby? I mean, we weren’t old enough, we were just starting out, we were trying to afford college, and we definitely weren’t financially able to handle the child, let alone our marriage and college. Boy – if aborted him, I never would have known this brilliant little boy that God has entrusted us with. He is so fun, and so smart! You know how they talk about the kid who could have been aborted who could have cured cancer? Well, my kid has that potential, I think – of course I’m biased, but he is smart! I can’t even imagine if we had killed him before even knowing him… No, it should never be a financial decision, or a decision of convenience – from the side of the state or from the side of parents.

    I’ll agree – a ban on partial birth abortion is an attack on Roe v. Wade. However, live birth abortions (or infanticide as they used to call it), and partial birth abortion is a buffer that those who are pro-abortion should be ashamed to defend just so that Roe v. Wade will be protected. That is inexcusable and barbaric! What’s the next buffer that will be defended – murdering troubled children going through their terrible twos? Now that’s a stage that’s not convenient! Come on!

    Obama chose compassion? Allowing a child (even a brain damaged one) to simply die in a soiled linen closet is compassionate just so Roe v. Wade will have a comfortable buffer? How is that compassion?!

    As far as brainless babies go, my wife’s uncle was a triplet who was brain-damaged by his two brothers in the womb. She actually got pregnant with him while she was pregnant with twins. He lived into his thirties but was always in a vegetative state. This issue is close in my family.

    I’ll ask you the same question that Obama was asked at Saddleback – “when do you believe life begins?” – Is it above your pay grade as well? He simply was asked for his belief and perspective – he refused to give an answer. What is yours?

    I’m not saying that “pulling the plug” should be left to the state. I’m saying that protection of the life of the baby should be just as important as protecting the life of the mother. If it is an “either the mom’s life or the baby’s life”, it is something that is up to the couple, but that‘s a different matter and is very rare. My dad counseled a family who was considering abortion because they were told the baby would have severe brain damage and have severe down syndrome. They went ahead with the pregnancy and determined to love the child. Even if he was brain damaged the determined he was still a gift. The child was born perfectly healthy with no brain damage at all. It was a faulty reading. That doesn’t always happen, but how many babies are aborted who aren’t even given the chance to have any life at all?

    I have to agree with Steve Forbes on this issue. Overturning Roe v. Wade alone is not the answer. You are right – abortions will still happen. What we need to do is pray for the hearts of the American to change and understand that abortion is wrong. Changing a law doesn’t change hearts. That’s one reason I’m a pastor and not a politician.

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  41. Ed Darrell says:

    Joe, is there anything here Rosanne Barr has wrong?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/roseanne-barr/sarah-palin-and-the-women_b_124548.html

    When our comediennes understand policy better than our politicians, it’s not funny.

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  42. Ed Darrell says:

    BTW, the Beethoven comment is an urban legend – some of it is true, some of it mixed in the historical order. You should get the point – every child is a gift.

    I get the point, but it’s not the one you wish to make. While I’d agree with a claim that every child is precious, the claim that abortion shouldn’t be legal because Beethoven wouldn’t have been born is a contemptible distortion of history, law, and medicine.

    Beethoven was the second born, not fifth. His older brother died a few days after birth.

    Beethoven’s father was a successful if middling singer. When Beethoven was born, his father was a drinker, but not alcoholic (some accounts credit the father’s drunken return in the evenings, with friends, with boosting young Ludwig’s musical skills; from a very early age, his father would get him up to perform for musician friends, astounding them with the lad’s musical ability).

    Beethoven’s mother died of tuberculosis when he was 16, nearly 17. Considering that there were no antibiotics to control the disease in those days, it’s unlikely she could have survived seven pregnancies and 16 years, had she had TB when she was pregnant with the famous young Ludwig. So far as I’ve been able to discover on short notice, none of Beethoven’s siblings was either blind or deaf — only three survived to adulthood. Those kinds of odds were not uncommon in that day.

    Abortion was legal.

    There are problems with the way the story is presented, as if it had been given as a hypothetical at a distinguished medical school — the anti-intellectualism drips from the story, but let’s leave that aside.

    Doctors generally don’t play God. There are enormous legal and medical ethics problems with the story as presented. You run down the ethics of physicians in retelling it, which is not a good idea, I think. In your work as a pastor you probably have reason to work with a number of physicians — does that sound like any of the people you know?

    It’s a story of the sort Jack Chick would tell — distorted science, distorted history, distorted law, all with a convenient conclusion that brutalizes the true moral issues in medical care decisions. Seriously, if you don’t want to be thought of as a Jack Chick sort of guy, don’t use Jack Chick sort of tactics. You don’t like Chick? That’s among the best pieces of news I’ve gotten on you.

    You know, making abortion illegal ultimately is a slam against women. It’s a claim that women take these issues lightly, that having a child is a serious issue only theologically, and not medically or economically or in reality, and it’s a statement that says we cannot trust women to choose wisely when they have the facts. The use of scare tactics, including the entire campaign against what is known as “partial-birth” abortion, only reinforces that view to me.

    There are serious issues of health, medicine, law, rights, psychology — all of which can be addressed with fact. Instead we get an emotional campaign on a seldom-used technique and false stories imagining things that never were, stories that demonstrate bad faith in the discussion.

    None of us would be here if our parents didn’t choose to have children at some level, Joe. You’re assuming abortion is a preferred, happy decision, and the only thing keeping people from aborting every baby is a law.

    Prior to Roe v. Wade abortion was legalized in a dozen states, and more than 20 others were expected to legalize it soon. It’s interesting to see how the anti-abortion arguments rose after that decision. I wonder where they were before?

    Abortion was outlawed in the U.S. because too many women were dying. Now anti-abortion people appear not to worry about the women at all. Interesting shift.

    [That hoax Beethoven story can be tracked back to a pastor’s sermon helps book, Illustrations Unlimited, by James S. Hewett, published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1988. It’s attributed to somebody named Terrence Patterson. It’s troubling that such a story, unsourced and uncited, would be foisted on preachers working on sermons. The recent rumblings in preaching circles about plagiarism should alert preachers to the point that people rely on their citing things accurately, and getting the facts accurate.

    If we’re making policy on human reproduction on the basis of hoax stories in preacher’s sermon kits, why shouldn’t we assume that the policies will be at best, no better than the falsehoods on which they are made? Do preachers have an obligation to be at least as honest as journalists?]

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  43. lowerleavell says:

    BTW, the Beethoven comment is an urban legend – some of it is true, some of it mixed in the historical order. You should get the point – every child is a gift. Even in the case of an unmarried teen, you don’t shun the poor girl, you help her. If she is obviously not financially able to take care of the child, adoption is readily available. Since my Grandpa was an adopted, and my aunt was an adoption from an unwed mom, and several cousins are adopted from an unwed mom, this is a family discussion for me. I wouldn’t be here if my great-grandma had aborted my grandpa. 40,000,000 Ed. I’m sure all 40 mil. of those abortions are the result of rape and birth defects.

    Don’t get me started on that Chick guy now. Is that really what you think of me Ed? Thanks a lot! :-) Next you’ll say I believe you have to be saved out of the King James Bible and can only be Baptized in an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church, Praise God, AMEN!

    Like

  44. lowerleavell says:

    I’ll have to respond to this fullu on Monday or Tuesday. I’m just glad that othersare reading these posts though to see just how far some people take their stands on abortion. Wow! I wouldn’t have guessed this extreme from a professing Christian! Dude!

    I love your passion Ed, I really do, but most only take the moral gray area of abortion so far as a “what if I was raped” scenario – you’re taking that point and running with it to use inconvenience as justification for extermination, even to the point where you’re defending allowing babies that may or may not die, a cruel, painful, horrible death. Oh, and it’s more human to simply kill them off then let them have a meager life? What’s next? Euthanasia? Keep going – justifying killing Jews (or whoever else is seen as inconvenient by whoever is in charge) is in this line of thinking somewhere down this less than 100 year road through history of getting rid of the unwanted.

    I thought I remember hearing something on this blog about those who forget the past…Just didn’t think it would be forgotten THIS fast.

    Like

  45. Ed Darrell says:

    Joe said:

    By the way, here is Obama on abortion:

    “Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old. … I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”
    – Quoted by Patrick Buchanan

    Punished? A baby is a punishment?

    Have you ever counseled women who were pregnant and didn’t want to be? Joe, even the Bible says that labor is a punishment. If you check out the materials offered by the abstinence-only advocates, it becomes clear that they regard pregnancy as punishment — just punishment for having sex, regardless the condition.

    Don’t believe me? When was the last time you heard any preacher preach about the joys of out-of-wedlock pregnancies? Seriously, Joe: If every pregnancy is a gift from God, then the out-of-wedlock pregnancies should be treated as gifts. Can you seriously say that your congregation does not condemn the pregnant woman? Shame may be the chief driver of abortions in America.

    I worry that you’re blinded to the realities of life in America. A pregnancy to a teen generally reduces the lifetime earnings of the woman, and in study after study, we find that unwanted pregnancies often doom women to lives of poverty. From my view as a teacher, I must remind you that when a woman is doomed to poverty, so are her children.

    And while we’re contemplating the issue, have you seen the recent comparisons of rates of teen sex and teen pregnancy, internationally? The U.S. leads in rates of teen pregnancy and rates of abortion. Denmark leads in rates of teen sex, but is way down on teen pregnancy (they teach birth control in their national curriculum, and especially the use of barrier methods — condoms). Abortion rates? Abortion is free and legal and available by mandate of the legislature there in Denmark — but abortion rates are about half the rate of the U.S. Are you really worried about abortion? We know the effective methods for reducing abortion rates, and we know that “abstinence-only” education increases abortion rates, unless it’s coupled with straight talk on sex and contraception. Abstinence only curricula in the U.S. are generally scientifically unacceptable, and every one I have looked at carries gross disinformation on contraception.

    Should pregnancies be considered punishment? No. Especially, they shouldn’t be used to punish kids who err and have premarital sex. Is there any phrase in English sadder than “unwanted child?”

    P.S.: The U.S. just two months ago finally got the UN Security Council to agree that rape can be a war crime. In Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur, Congo and other places in the past 20 years we’ve seen an epidemic of rape used as a tool of war, and as a means of genocide. For example, in the former Yugoslavia Christian soldiers would kill the men, then rape the women to impregnate them with children of their sons’ and husbands’ murderers.

    While that’s a war crime, a lot of U.S. people claim to be opposed to allowing abortion in such a case. I would regard a barrier to abortion as accessory to genocide, which is a war crime under international law. I think international courts would agree, and I think U.S. law against war crimes is also consistent with that policy.

    These are not easy issues. I think the long, cold, obtrusive and unhelpful nose of the government should stay out of it.

    <blockquoteCompare that with Palin with the birth of her son Trig, who they knew would be born with mental disabilities:

    “We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives.

    “We have faith that every baby is created for good purpose and has potential to make this world a better place. We are truly blessed.”

    To Palin, even a baby born with “special challenges” is a “gift.”

    It may be best to keep Palin’s case out of it. Her behavior in the 24 hours prior to the birth of Trig were criminal, in my view, risking Trig’s life certainly. Palin kept the pregnancy secret, she said fearing the reactions of others (there’s that punishment issue rearing its head again, even in your example). I don’t think we know what was going on there. Now that it’s politically useful, she calls the pregnancy a blessing. I see unholy use of the baby as a political point.

    A baby can be a blessing indeed. There is a national group that promotes the adoption of Down’s Syndrome babies. Those are special parents, and it’s touching to sit across a table from them at a hearing and have them testify to how they are blessed.

    But any sociologist can show you the figures that show unwanted pregnancies damage lives. I doubt that you preach in favor of single-mother families, or single-parent families in any case.

    It’s painful to be in the policy meetings where policy makers decide to cut medical care for handicapped kids. Sometimes such actions doom the kids to death. Not every handicapped child comes to a family with the money and emotional stability to give her the love she deserves, or even the basic care she deserves.

    What about those families? Is it your policy to punish the family with that baby — is it your policy to punish that child with that family?

    If you oppose such punishment, then we need millions more in programs to care for those kids and allow them to develop. Forcing them to be born into a life of pain and suffering and premature, painful death, is not a holy choice, I think.

    Obama also opposed legislation that would make live birth abortions (or just leaving them to die- also called infanticide) illegal.
    worldnetdaily.com/index.php?pageId=37080
    blogsforjohnmccain.com/obama-supported-right-live-birth-abortion-illinois

    Obama is also against a partial birth abortion ban. He believes it is an attack on Roe v. Wade.

    It is an attack on Roe v. Wade. The people who propose to ban partial birth abortions have long records of voting against the programs to provide adequate and humane care to the babies that result. I regard that as a form of torture.

    Joe, the procedure was developed for late-term discovered cases of hydrocephaly, where the baby had no brain and no chance at any kind of a life. There are conditions where it is harmful for the mother to carry such a child to term. The incidence of such abortions was minuscule. There is no other medical procedure that is currently banned by law even when it is in the best interests of the baby and the mother.

    “Partial birth abortion” is pure politics. Obama voted the compassionate way, the way supported by science and compassion, in my view.

    Having been in on a few of the early meetings where this procedure was targeted as a good political football and a wedge to overturn Roe v. Wade, and having simply read the news coverage of the issue, I find it difficult to believe that anyone would fail to understand this is only a bullet aimed at the current law.

    Life and death decisions are made in hospitals every day, Joe, on tougher cases. This abortion procedure was developed and used mostly for cases where the birth would have been damaging to both mother and baby, and where the baby had little to no chance of survival. It was used in a handful of cases. A ban on the procedure affects a small number of families, but I have no doubt that it affects them negatively.

    Nowhere can you find one iota of concern for the partially born baby, or the pain that is caused by plunging scissors into the baby’s neck and having it’s brains sucked out.

    See what I mean by political? In a case where there is no brain to suck out, there is no brain sucked out. But you can’t resist the grisly detailing to turn stomachs.

    How many brainless babies do you have in your congregation, Joe? Have you ever seen this stuff in real life? When the babies don’t die, they are doomed to a life of institutional care, with hopes they don’t die of bedsores. Some states probably still have rooms dedicated to the care of these kids — the oldest I was aware of at the hospital in our county in Utah was 30 years, never conscious a single moment.

    How many of these kids are alive in your state? Do you know?

    Once again, this is a political battle, and Obama is on the unpopular, but correct side. It takes guts to stand up for physicians and parents against a lobby that claims all this is is a procedure that sucks brains out of babies. Nuance is lost in such language, and so is justice. Mercy is also lost, I believe.

    I think you don’t know enough about the procedure or the conditions for which it was developed to talk about it.

    All he is concerned with is that he protects a woman’s right to choose, even on something as barbaric as partial birth abortion, which, from what I understand, is a 3 day procedure and does virtually nothing to protect the life of the mother.
    nrlc.org/ABORTION/pba/PBA_Images/PBA_Images_Heathers_Place.htm

    You don’t think that the decision to sacrifice the welfare of all of your other children to care for a brainless baby that will not die is a decision that should be left to the state, and not to the parents? I think the law of unintended consequences should apply here. What is the cost of lifetime care for a brain-dead or brainless baby? How much of that must come from the family, how much from medicaid or medicare? Must the family sell off all of its assets and live in poverty to qualify for assistance to pay for the care? This isn’t care offered at home, generally.

    Why is Big Brother more able to make this decision than a mother who loves her children and family? I don’t understand why you think such decisions should be left to government.

    Are you sure you want this is the right guy to lead this country? Even most Dems are unanimous in protecting children who survive the abortion process.

    Running the nation on reason instead of propaganda? Yes, I think reason should win out over heartless, misinforming propaganda every time.

    Again, Ed, you complain about Bush opening doors for torture? How about opening doors for doctors to lay a live baby where nurses put soiled linens. to die slowly.

    How many cases, Joe? How many cases versus how many hydrocephalics without brains? (Understand that hydrocaphaly can be treated in some cases, and if caught in utero, damage can be prevented — of course, such work requires procedures that anti-choice people call “search and destroy” science, which they propose to ban . . . but what’s a few more brain dead kids if we can score political points agains Roe v. Wade,, eh?)

    From what I understand, sometimes the procedure took up to eight hours for a child to die. This is barbarism, and Obama voted to protect it, all because he says there was no provision for the mother. But if the baby is already born, or even partially born, how does the life of the mother come into play? This guy is barbaric!

    I think it’s barbaric to insist on state control of the family in such delicate things, and especially when the state decision makes no consideration for the actual medical conditions. I doubt you’ve got any idea for what conditions the procedure was developed, how often it was used, or what the consequences are of banning it.

    Decisions without regard to the facts — those are barbaric. They work for barbarians (“kill all the men, rape all the women”), but they are not the stuff of modern civilization.

    By the way, I thought this quote was interesting:

    “A professor at the UCLA Medical School asked his students this question: “Here is the family history: The father has syphilis. The mother has TB. They already have had four children. The first is blind. The second had died. The third is deaf. The fourth has TB. The mother is pregnant. The parents are willing to have an abortion if you decide they should. What do you think?” Most of the students decided on abortion.

    “Congratulations,” said the professor. “You have just murdered Beethoven!” Nothing is so final as murder, even when it is done very early in a life.”

    That’s propaganda worth of Goebbels, Joe, really. It’s a made up story. There is no medical condition in the story that suggests abortion would be appropriate under any circumstances, from a doctor’s viewpoint.

    Now, were the students putting themselves in the position of the mother? Abortion was common in Beethoven’s time — his mother had a choice.

    I suspect that’s a Jack Chick fabrication. I hope you source your sermons more reliably, more accurately, and with more thought to how the story affects the women in your congregation who had abortions, about which you know nothing.

    When abortions are illegal, they don’t go away. In the years before Roe v. Wade we lost about a half-million women annually to botched abortions. A half-million we knew about. More than half of those women were had children. Think of the orphans created, of the families deprived of a mother.

    Now, is your goal to punish kids with pregnancies, or to prevent abortions? Real information can prevent abortions. Propaganda will likely lead to bad decisions, and more abortions. Which way should we go?

    Terence Patterson

    Like

  46. lowerleavell says:

    By the way, here is Obama on abortion:

    “Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old. … I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”
    – Quoted by Patrick Buchanan

    Punished? A baby is a punishment?

    Compare that with Palin with the birth of her son Trig, who they knew would be born with mental disabilities:

    “We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives.

    “We have faith that every baby is created for good purpose and has potential to make this world a better place. We are truly blessed.”

    To Palin, even a baby born with “special challenges” is a “gift.”

    Obama also opposed legislation that would make live birth abortions (or just leaving them to die- also called infanticide) illegal.
    worldnetdaily.com/index.php?pageId=37080
    blogsforjohnmccain.com/obama-supported-right-live-birth-abortion-illinois

    Obama is also against a partial birth abortion ban. He believes it is an attack on Roe v. Wade. Nowhere can you find one iota of concern for the partially born baby, or the pain that is caused by plunging scissors into the baby’s neck and having it’s brains sucked out. All he is concerned with is that he protects a woman’s right to choose, even on something as barbaric as partial birth abortion, which, from what I understand, is a 3 day procedure and does virtually nothing to protect the life of the mother.

    nrlc.org/ABORTION/pba/PBA_Images/PBA_Images_Heathers_Place.htm

    Are you sure you want this is the right guy to lead this country? Even most Dems are unanimous in protecting children who survive the abortion process. Again, Ed, you complain about Bush opening doors for torture? How about opening doors for doctors to lay a live baby where nurses put soiled linens. to die slowly. From what I understand, sometimes the procedure took up to eight hours for a child to die. This is barbarism, and Obama voted to protect it, all because he says there was no provision for the mother. But if the baby is already born, or even partially born, how does the life of the mother come into play? This guy is barbaric!

    By the way, I thought this quote was interesting:

    “A professor at the UCLA Medical School asked his students this question: “Here is the family history: The father has syphilis. The mother has TB. They already have had four children. The first is blind. The second had died. The third is deaf. The fourth has TB. The mother is pregnant. The parents are willing to have an abortion if you decide they should. What do you think?” Most of the students decided on abortion.

    “Congratulations,” said the professor. “You have just murdered Beethoven!” Nothing is so final as murder, even when it is done very early in a life.”

    Terence Patterson

    Like

  47. lowerleavell says:

    Freccklescassie,

    Thanks for the question! I’ll probably answer more than what you bargained for, but this question deserves an appropriate response.

    Hopefully, what I will teach him will be consistent with what I’ve been saying on this thread. Obviously, I’m not a perfect Dad and don’t model or say things 100% right all the time (I’ve yet to find the perfect teacher either). But, these are the principles and things that I want to share with my boys.

    The timing for teaching them about sex does depend on their puberty levels. Some kids are ready to start knowing basic things by the age of nine or ten, while others aren’t ready until a little later. It just depends. We have never told our son that he came from anywhere else but Mommy and Daddy, and that he is a gift from God to us (and he really is a brilliant little boy too! – 2nd grade at the age of 5! – Mom’s side of the family!). :-) He knows he came from Mommy’s tummy and that he is a little part of Mom and a little part of Dad.

    Sex education isn’t just a 10-15 minute talk when a kid turns 12 and then that’s it. It’s not a classroom discussion where everything is cold and sterile and emotionless. It is something that is a continued education from a young child until adulthood. Even now, my wife and I try to make sure our kids see us kissing, cuddling, and holding hands. They need to understand that even though Mommy and Daddy aren’t always perfect, they love each other, are committed to each other, and enjoy each other. Sex isn’t just about the physical act, it’s about the love that a couple has for each other. Sex is simply the ultimate expression of the love that a husband and a wife have for each other. Our children need to understand that without God honoring love, sex is cheapened.

    We do plan on educating our boys in the differences between men and women as well as what sex is, before they become too curious. We also want them to know the things that I’ve been saying on this thread: sex is a gift from God, in its proper time and place. It’s a wonderful thing! Too wonderful to waste on cheap thrills. Too wonderful to carry the baggage from past experiences with other people (good or bad) into the marriage bedroom. It is an expression of selfless love to please your spouse while they please you.

    I will also educate them in how men and women view sex in different ways. Young girls usually think that if they are really “in love” with a guy, they can show him how much they love him by letting him have sex with them. What they don’t understand is that they have just sold themselves to a low bidder when they could have saved themselves for the one who loves them and values their bodies enough to commit their lives to them first. Marriage, along with sex has been really cheapened in our society into a self-centered, “if it feels good, do it”, “if you aren’t going to get caught, do it” mess. Our boys need to understand that in sex, it is completely about loving their spouse, not themselves. They need to understand how to love their wife, in and out of the bedroom.

    I will also let them know the dangers of pre-marital sex, with disease, emotional damage, as well as spiritual harm in their relationship with God. They are already learning these principles as our oldest has already asked Jesus to come into his heart. It is so cute, because it is so obvious that he truly does have a relationship with God (which is available to anyone, BTW). He needs to understand that God placed these boundaries in sex into our lives for our own benefit and that they help us to experience something that is so much better than if he had gotten ahead of His plan for his life.

    He also knows now, and this is reinforced in discussing sex, that even if (and when) he fails at times, Mommy, Daddy, and especially God, will always love him. We won’t always approve of everything he does, but there is nothing that he can do to keep him from being our son, or stopping us from loving him. That includes drugs, pre-marital sex; anything. He has our love. If he fails, he is not done with us, or with God. We can be forgiven by God if we simply acknowledge our wrong doing as wrong, and seek His forgiveness, and reconciliation. The same is true with our boys with us.

    Also, as they approach marriages, I will recommend them Tim Lahaye’s book “The Act of Marriage” as well as several other good books that detail the “how” and reinforce the value of sex. I will also recommend they have pre-marital counseling with their pastor to reinforce what they’ve already been learning through the years. Neither my wife nor I believe they should enter their honeymoon with no idea how to please their spouse with sex, or with anything else. The Bible actually commands husbands to understand their wives (long before women had any value in the culture) and honor them as an equal in God.

    I also want to develop a relationship with them that frees them to ask questions whenever they arise. This is a key part that cannot be in a classroom. A relationship with a teacher can only go so far, but with a parent, the relationship can be very close so that a child can feel free to ask any question without fear of ridicule. I also want them to develop a relationship with mentors that will help them grow into adulthood and maturity. Our oldest already asks us questions out of young boy curiousity, which we answer truthfully, in a way that is appropriate for his age.

    Hope this helps give my perspective a little bit.

    Like

  48. Ed, you should boil these comments of yours into an actual blog post.

    Like

  49. lowerleavell, what are you going to teach them about sex?

    Like

  50. lowerleavell says:

    Would six references to the woman being called “bride, or spouse” work? Those references are in chapter 4:8-12 and chapter 5:1.

    I did a little bit more research on Barack Obama’s stand. I do not think that either side of this issue is very far apart in the teaching of abstinence. He’s a dad of two daughters, so obviously he doesn’t like the thought of his daughters having sex as kids. Here’s his quote in an interview with ABC, “I’ve got two daughters, and I want them to understand that sex is not something casual.” Unfortunately, he never makes the claim that he wants his daughters to wait for marriage. What is far apart between the two points of view is two fold. One, you have taken away the parent’s decision of when their child is ready for the information. Two, both you and Obama have looked at the statistics for those who engage in pre-marital sex, throw your hands up in defeat, and give them the vehicles they need (passing out condoms and feeding their already primed hormones) to engage in safe sex (but sex none the less). It’s like giving a 16 year old a keg of beer, giving him the car keys, and telling him to go out and drink responsibly. It simply is not the right approach.

    In teaching a hunter safety course would you send the kids home with a loaded 308? No! Why not? There’s nothing wrong with shooting a gun. It’s even our Constitutional right! Because there is a proper time and place to do so, and there is a proper maturity level, etc. that needs to transpire before being trusted to handle a weapon. Would you give a kid a cigarette? No? I know of people who do. What is their reason? “Well, I know they want to do it and are going to do it anyway. I might as well help them do it as safely as possible.” It’s insane! Why would we do the same thing with sex?

    My oldest already know some of the dangers of alcohol, drugs, smoking, and using guns appropriately. He’s a little young to know all about sex (age 5). :-) If my kids choose to ignore my teaching, that’s their choice, but they have been informed by their loving parents of the dangers of doing so, and I’m going to do everything in my power to protect them, not be the agent of means.

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  51. Ed Darrell says:

    Solomon and a partner — marriage? Got a citation to that, Joe?

    Please check the transcript of Obama’s speech. He didn’t say anything close to what you allege. He said it’s time for personal responsibility in raising children. Palin ridiculed the idea.

    Like

  52. lowerleavell says:

    E”So, against this evil, Barack Obama urges responsibility, and Sarah Palin ridiculed his remarks.

    Joe, you’re on the wrong side of this issue. Sarah Palin ridiculing a call for responsibility is the opposite of what you claim.”

    Barack Obama advocates safe sex, not abstinence. Again, he is a person who would give the kids a condom, pat them on the back, and say, “go get ’em Tiger!” Well, he wouldn’t actually say that, but he demonstrates the equivalent with his ideals.

    I’m not familiar enough with Palin (and neither is anyone else) to know the ins and outs of her positions on abstinence. If she is advocating ingorance of sex, then that is potentially dangerous. If she is advocating knowledge in its proper time and place and given by the proper person, then I would hope that you wouldn’t have a problem with her stand.

    Like

  53. lowerleavell says:

    Abstinence need not equal sexual ignorance and unpreparedness.

    Songs of Solomon is a book about the sexual relationship between Solomon and his wife. It demonstrates that sex is blessed of God and is to be celebrated, when done within the perameters of a loving marriage relationship.

    Like

  54. Ed Darrell says:

    Since you bring up faith, I’ll respond in this manner. Sex is God’s idea. Its his idea within marriage, ONLY.

    And Song of Solomon? What’s that about?

    I agree that a sexually active lifestyle takes a heavy toll on young kids. That’s why I am completely mystified why anyone would advocate “abstinence only” since every study shows it is the least effective way to get kids to be abstinent — and dangerous, since it leaves them unprepared to protect themselves from diseases.

    Teaching wrong stuff to kids is always a sin. Keeping kids in ignorance must be a close second.

    Like

  55. ncarnes says:

    @ Ed – Since you bring up faith, I’ll respond in this manner. Sex is God’s idea. Its his idea within marriage, ONLY. The reason why, is because it brings emotional and physical responsibilities and consequences. I am not saying sex is a bad thing, but God knew what he was doing, and with the students who I have dealt with, predominantly females, they pay a heavy emotional price when living a sexually active lifestyle. God’s purpose for sex was to make the two one, and when people are going from partner to partner, it is ripping away what God intended to be one, and it leaves scars.

    I teach sex facts to students, but I also teach them that their abstaining from sex comes down to their response to God’s plan for their life. Trust me, they understand safe sex, but they also (from a faith standpoint) have to understand what God’s intended plan for sex is, and then it boils down to them making wise choices and responding to God by abstaining. It all comes down to the students making the choice and trust me, there are many who make the conscience choice to abstain from sex. Those who choose to be sexually active do so by their own choice, and our choices have consequences. STDs are a horrible thing, but so is the emotional baggage these kids are carrying around. I can tell my son not to touch the hot stove eye and give him all of the statistics on minor burns, 2nd degree burns, 3rd degree burns, all of the recovery needed for those things, and despite all of that, if he wants to touch the eye, he’s going to. Too many kids say to themselves, “I won’t get a disease, I won’t get pregnant, etc…” and so they have unprotected sex anyway, despite all of the information from the school systems and the media. That’s how kids think.

    The problem with even abstinence teaching, is from a state level, it removes God’s plan of sex and marriage, so it is flawed in itself. In the end, sex has consequences, both physically and mentally, and those cannot be done away with totally. No birth control is 100% and it definitely will not deal with the emotional scars these kids are carrying around and dealing with on a deep and personal level. Until you are counseling these students, hearing their pain, seeing their tears, and walking along side them and their families, you cannot convince me or anyone else that is in my position we are wrong. I have seen better results with teaching abstinence by keeping God in the picture, but those statistics are not recorded from the Government level, they rate “safe sex” teaching and “government abstinence” teaching. Students have to make their own choices and they are going to.

    Those of us who care for these kids need to think through how we can be more effective. Sure we may not shift on our perspectives, but I think a lot of progress can be made when adults invest in kids lives both on a “secular” and on a “spiritual” level, when we build relationships and invest in kids, they listen to what we have to say and they value our opinions, but when we have a teacher standing in the front of the room who gets a paycheck and has no vested interest in students, it all comes across as information, which does not automatically change opinions and actions.

    Like

  56. lowerleavell says:

    Ed,

    I’ll have to try and find time to respond tomorrow, but just for tonight, I want to alert you that it may not just be about an “either, or” scenario, but rather a “C” option. Perhaps “abstinence only” programs don’t work because that’s all they are teaching and leaving out an important part of the message (which includes the special gift and treasure that sex really is) which doesn’t help children prepare for life. On the flip side, it’s easy for a thinking person to see how the current “sex education” programs are actually making things worse as well. Perhaps it has helped on the physical consequences side, but it does not help on the emotional and spiritual damage that is done to those who engage in pre-marital sex. You seem to be saying that since “safe sex” has higher statistics then it should be adopted. I’m saying that perhaps neither one is good enough and that a better aproach should be considered.

    I do not believe that this discussion is in the same category as drivers training or the like. Sex is the most intimate, emotional, personal, and almost spiritual thing in the entire world and should not be cheapened, but rather glorified by a loving parent who can make their child the most comfortable. They should see the example of loving parents who have a healthy marriage and make it obvious that they love each other. They should have a desire to wait for marriage, because they have the example of their parent’s strong relationship to show them the value. Is this being done? Tragically, less and less. But…it is also being done more and more in evangelical circles, which is very encouraging.

    Frecklescassie,

    Hey, I really appreciate your posts and your spirit!

    Those who are teaching that “crossing the street” is “wrong and dirty” are simply incorrect. If they are Christians, then they obviously haven’t spent time in the Songs of Solomon or even Proverbs which says that the marriage bed is not defiled. Paul actually commanded married believers to have sex with their spouses so they wouldn’t be distracted and tempted elsewhere.

    But I must tell you, until there is a walk sign at the cross walk, it is illegal to cross that road. Why? Because it’s dangerous and irresponsible. There is a proper way of doing things. Current sex education is giving kids a hand held stop sign and sending them out into the freeway expecting them to be safe. Does the stop sign help? Probably. But it would be a lot better to cross at a well marked legal crosswalk.

    I’ll have to respond to the rest tomorrow when I get a chance.

    Like

  57. It’s like if my mom never ever taught me to look both ways before I cross the street and just told me instead that God doesn’t want me to cross the street because it is wrong and dirty. I bet I wouldn’t have been anywhere near as safe when I got to 7 or 8 and crossed the street on my own.

    Like

  58. Ed Darrell says:

    at is why 1 in 4 young teenage girls have an STD based on recent statistics and a large majority of those have been in our safe sex education classes.

    Then they’re not in the U.S. Only a tiny handful of states have bothered to reject the federal funding for abstinence only. The highest pregnancy rate in the nation is right here in Texas, home of abstinence only. It doesn’t work here. It doesn’t work anywhere. And pregnancy rates under abstinence only are significantly higher than any state that offers “safe sex” education, if there is one.

    You don’t get as many STDs if you’re using condoms. When the abstinence only partisans do their presentations, telling kids that condoms are as good as worthless, years of education go out the door.

    I’m sure that abstinence would be a good idea. But federal studies have shown, annually since 1983, that the best way to get kids to be abstinent is to give them the facts, including especially the facts about condoms and how to use them. The studies have consistently demonstrated for the past 15 years that unmarried, minor teenaged women who are sexually active, frequently stop having sex when they get the information about how to use condoms properly. I cannot understand how anyone would advocate less than the best for our kids — you want abstinence, but you advocate a program that has 50% failures, and is less effective than “safe sex” education in every study ever conducted?

    If reason won’t sway you to policies that actually promote abstinence, shouldn’t faith?

    Like

  59. The statistics prove that safe sex is better than abstinence only.

    Like

  60. ncarnes says:

    @ frecklescassie – So its ok for Obama to bring his family on stage every time he and his wife spoke and to have his daughters play a roll in the DNC, and its ok for Joe Biden to use his family at the DNC and to bring them on stage, yet Sarah Palin cannot?

    All children should be off limits, especially if they are underage and not injecting themselves in the campaign. If a candidates spouse wants to get involved and stump for their spouse, then they are free game, that goes for the Republicans and the Democrats.

    @ Scott777 There is no difference in a woman being an executive for this Country and having children and a man being an executive for this Country with children. Spouses play an equal role in the raising of children. Until you are a parent, you will not understand that. Your argument is sexism.

    @ Everyone else…And for the “safe sex” versus “abstinence” argument, I can say with absolute fact and truth, for every 1 teenager that has been taught abstinence and ended up getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant, I can give you at minimum 3 who got pregnant or got someone pregnant under “safe sex” teaching. I work with teenagers on a weekly basis and have seen it and dealt with it beside families too often. That is why 1 in 4 young teenage girls have an STD based on recent statistics and a large majority of those have been in our safe sex education classes. My wife was on birth control when she got pregnant with our first two children, you cannot prove that safe sex is better than abstinence.

    Like

  61. ALSO … I don’t want Sarah Palin to hide her children. But if she wants to bring them on stage all the time then she can’t say that talking about them is off limits. And if she wants to talk in public about abortion and sex education, then those are topics that are open for talking about her also.

    Like

  62. When I was five, my mom did not want me to cross the street by myself. But she taught me to look both ways and cross at the corner just in case I ever did cross. And guess what? One day I did. My kindergarten teacher taught me to look both ways also.

    I am not saying they shouldn’t teach us abstinence in school. I am just saying that shouldn’t be ALL they teach us. Of COURSE we should wait, but some kids won’t. And some may get raped and should know about Plan B. And some may get married a week after high school ends and then they will have sex, but they may not be ready to be parents.

    Are you in favor of teaching teenagers all the other things we need to know to be safe adults? Driver education? How to use a checkbook? How to dress for a job interview? How to write a college essay? Guess what? I am going to have adult relationships one day too! Maybe just one after I get married, but I need some sex ed for that one as well.

    Like

  63. Ed Darrell says:

    Joe said:

    This isn’t just about the religious community, but all communities of all faiths. The problem isn’t just with the religous groups. People need to understand that sex is not just a physical act but a deeply emotional (especially for the woman) and very intimate expression of love. Just like about everything else in our society, it has been cheapened to a purely physical act, which it is not.

    I’m running out of time again, and this is way shorter than your post deserves, but I do want you to consider this: The religious community that advocates keeping kids ignorant about sex and contraception is doing better, but not better than good education, which more in the religious community favor (even Catholics). Abstinence only education wouldn’t be offensive if it were not for the censorship of good information, which is dumb from any Christian theological perspective — there is simply no good, Godly reason not to tell the truth to children. The abstinence only movement has been particularly nasty in putting out false information, potentially fatal information for kids, and that is evil, I believe.

    So, against this evil, Barack Obama urges responsibility, and Sarah Palin ridiculed his remarks.

    Joe, you’re on the wrong side of this issue. Sarah Palin ridiculing a call for responsibility is the opposite of what you claim.

    So, on one hand we have Democrats who urge telling the truth to kids, and on the other hand, Republicans who say we should lie to them, and who fund programs that lie to kids on public money; on one hand we have Obama urging personal and parental responsibility, and Palin ridiculing the idea on the other hand.

    And then we have Joe, who urges responsibility, but claims to be for Palin.

    You can’t reason a guy out of a position he didn’t get to by reason.

    Like

  64. Ed Darrell says:

    Who said anyone had a problem with a strong, married mother? You’re talking about a party that put a strong, married mother in as the first Speaker of the House, the first female candidate for national office, as senator from Maryland, as the first all-female senatorial team from California and Washington. You’re talking about the party that put int he first strong, married mom as secretary of state.

    What I’m curious about is why you think Palin is a “strong, married Mom,” and why you think that trumps all other qualifications for the job, when McCain’s party has been claiming for years that women ought to get out of the business altogether.

    It’s really humorous seeing all those Ann Coulter fans — remember her line about how the vote should be taken from women? — now scrambling to claim motherhood as a qualification, when it’s been a point of ridicule for them for 30 years.

    Humorous and distressing — most of them don’t realize the flip-flop they made. It’s not as if they thought about it.

    Like

  65. scott777 says:

    The McCain campaign slogan is “Put your country first”. Sarah Palin won’t be able to do that, seeing as she has a 17 year old pregnant daughter, and young children. Vote for Obama everybody!

    Like

  66. oneaglewings says:

    Seems you have a problem with a strong, married, mother? She is EXACTLY what he needed!

    Like

  67. lowerleavell says:

    Hey Ed, thanks for getting back to me!

    This isn’t just about the religious community, but all communities of all faiths. The problem isn’t just with the religous groups. People need to understand that sex is not just a physical act but a deeply emotional (especially for the woman) and very intimate expression of love. Just like about everything else in our society, it has been cheapened to a purely physical act, which it is not.

    The religious community is doing a better job. Many in “fundamentalist” circles at least are realizing (some better than others) that sex is a gift from God for marriage and there are some really good educating books being published. Tim Lahaye put out a great book as far back as the 70s (a big deal in those days of fundamentalism) on teaching couples the art of sex, in detail. Many are learning the “how” in pre-marital counseling with their pastors or other counselors. So, while there is definitely a lot of room for growth, there is a major shift of attitude on the topic of sex within the Christian community. Sex is not evil or a taboo subject. It is a gift from God to those who are married (if you don’t believe me, check out the Songs of Solomon).

    Again though, this is a basic matter of parents raising their kids. It is a parents responsibility (not even their pastors) to make sure their child is prepared for life, and all that involves, including sex. What is next for the public school? What kind of a partner to look for? Next they’ll be telling parents what they can and cannot feed their kids….oh wait, that’s already happening! My bad. Big brother is getting a whole lot bigger these days…

    Parents truly have fallen down on the job, that’s for sure, but that’s another discussion.

    We are starting this discussion with two different presuppositions. You are starting with the presupposition that kids are going to have sex no matter what you teach. Even if you teach abstinence until marriage being the safest (and morally highest) way to go, you don’t think it is possible for this to ever be achieved. So, why try? Why not just give the kids what they want and help them do it safely?

    I’m starting with the presupposition that abstinence is not only possible, it is physically, emotionally, and spiritually (for those who care about that sort of thing) beneficial to wait until marriage. Even at the worst, our society teaches us that we should at least wait until we find someone we “love.” Sex is a wonderful thing and should not be taken lightly or flippantly.

    I’m not saying that society or even public schools should should ignore sex or ignore the questions that our young people have about them. I’m saying that they SHOULD be educated in sex. Treating it like it doesn’t exist or like it’s evil and taboo does nothing to help kids. They need to understand the differences between a man’s body and a woman’s, etc. They need to know why sex is so valuable and worth waiting for. They need to anticipate it and look forward to it and understand delayed gratification. This aspect is best taught by loving parents. Even if this type of sex education were taught in school, I think I’d have a lot less problem with sex education! But our kids are learning 1) if it feels good, do it, 2) selfishness is more important than love, 3) instant gratification of hormonal urges (i.e. no self control), and 4) that sex is cheap.

    Again you said, “Do you want your kids to be misinformed so they get a deadly disease when they slip (and they will)?” You’re presupposing that they will. But that aside, kids do need to know the risk that they are taking if they do partake in pre-marital sex. While “safe sex” is safer, it is not safer than abstinence and not even the issue. Presupposing failure is no way to encourage our youth to succeed, but rather will ensure the next generation’s collapse. If my son ignores my teaching and has pre-marital sex, do I want him safe? Yes, I love him. But, I’m not going to rush out and give him a condom, teach him how to use it, and pat him on the back and tell him to go for it! I’m going to teach him that sex is a gift, that it’s worth waiting for, and teach him how to use a condom not so that he can keep from getting AIDS, but to keep from having a honeymoon baby. :-)

    I can imagine this logic if we’re talking about under-aged drinking, smoking, or drugs. Why don’t we just say, 16 year olds are going to get drunk anyway, why don’t we just educate them and buy them a keg so they can learn to drink safely? Why don’t we say, 12 year olds are going to smoke weed anyway, why don’t we teach them how to do it safely and go out and buy them some weed? What is our nation’s answer? Just say “no!” Drug and alcohol abstinence is not even widely disputed, even though kids do drugs, smoke an drink. Why? Because marijuana is harmful in many contexts (although if it was ONLY used medicinally, I might be able to understand it). Beer drinking is harmful in many contexts and kids need to know that for them, it is best to wait until adult-hood and to teach them delayed gratification, moderation, responsibility and self control (or even better, drink Pepsi!) :-). Sex is harmful in many contexts (not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually. Kids need to be taught that it is a beautiful thing, but in the proper context.

    Palin’s child messed up and got pregnant. Again, let’s equate this with drinking. You catch your 17 year old drinking and driving. What do you do? Toss them the keys and say, let me teach you how to safely drink and drive? No! You love them and help them recover from their mistake. You teach them responsibility and self control. With sex, we’ve thrown the keys at the kids and said, “go for it!” and blessed them for potentially destroying their futures. What kind of generation are we to do that to our children?!!! Shame on us!

    Abstinence only works 50% of the time because this issue is far greater than just sex. We give kids everything they want, teach them no responsibility, and then try to say they should be responsible in sex? It just doesn’t work that way. Consistency is critical with children.

    Even in the best of families (maybe even Palins) personal responsibility is a matter of choice. You cannot force a child to listen to their parents or even their teachers. This one is not Palin’s fault, but her daughters own choice. Her daughter, because of her loving family, has since chosen to do the right thing. Even though she has fallen, she received love and support from her family to help her get right back up again. We’ll never be completely free of pre-marital sex, but that doesn’t mean we should rush out and endorse it either.

    Palin’s policies are a completely different matter. W’ got off easy? Wow, what channel of news do you watch? What blogs have you been on? W’ could cure cancer and I’m sure it would hurt his poll numbers! Poor guy! He can’t do anything right these days.

    Like

  68. Ed Darrell says:

    My experience in a deeply religious community was that about 10% of parents actually bothered to teach their kids about sex. My high school had the highest pregnancy rate of any in the nation the year I graduated — in a small, religious town, in a larger religiously-oriented state. I’m amazed that anyone thinks parents will teach what they should. This is a simple public health issue, isn’t it?

    The data from the federal level indicate my experience is not unusual.

    Worse, my experience with the “abstinence only” instructions offered by churches is that they are counterproductive. They spread dangerous misinformation, such as the claim that condoms don’t prevent disease, that condoms frequently break, and that condoms have “microscopic holes” that pass viruses.

    Dude! Abstinence only education is about 50% effective under the best of circumstances,with church-going kids. Education in how to use condoms is more effective in promoting abstinence than abstinence education is. Do you want your kids to be misinformed so they get a deadly disease when they slip (and they will)? Or would you rather give your kids the information they need to save their lives and improve the chances they will be abstinent?

    Now, why would you deny that same information to 90% of your kids’ friends, knowing that puts your kids at risk?

    Condoms are more than 90% effective in preventing the transmission of HIV in couples where one partner is already HIV positive. Nothing else comes close. Condoms generally are about 95% effective in preventing pregnancy when applied correctly. Couples educated in condom use apply them effectively about 99% of the time. Only birth control pills and sterilization is more effective. I’m letting you off the hook on the effectiveness of abstinence. If no sex occurs, of course, it’s effective. Teaching for abstinence is the worst method we have of actually doing something to promote abstinence.

    Palin’s getting flack because of her hypocrisy on her family, and the weird stuff surrounding them — same as Jimmy Carter got for having a beer drinking brother, same as Richard Nixon got for having a black sheep brother — W got off easy because reporters like his dad. Palin’s not getting anything no one else got — and she’s not getting anything like the insults John McCain delivered to Chelsea Clinton, in remarks that were sexist, insulting and incredibly crude. McCain can’t complain, or shouldn’t (one more bit of hypocrisy).

    No one’s urging anything about Palin’s daughter. It’s obvious to everyone else, however, that in the Palin family abstinence has worked with only 50% of the women there As public policy, it’s a failure. That’s why she’s getting flack.

    Making mistakes is one thing. Demonstrating remarkable poor judgment another. With government money, she’s advocating bad policies. Not a good sign.

    Like

  69. lowerleavell says:

    Dude! I usually shy away from political stuff on blogs, but this really isn’t political, it’s a moral issue.

    I really am amazed that you all think that those who hold to abstinence until marriage believe that there should be no sex education. That’s simply not true. What IS true is that most who hold to abstinence believe that it shouldn’t be the government’s responsibility to teach 9-12 year olds, but it should be their parents. I want to be the one who talks to my boys about moral issues. When did it become the government’s responsibility to become our children’s parent? I think it’s because today’s parents were educated by the people who told them that the governement should parent their kids and so the parents have relinquished control. We’re in a really sad state here in this country!

    By the way, teaching abstinence is not full proof (and either is a condom). You all seem to want a perfect 100% abstinence statistic. Even in the case of Palin’s daughter, personal responsibility is still key. Even in sex education, you can teach safety all you want, but if it isn’t put into practice there is nothing that the teacher can do. The same is true with teaching abstinence. Abstinence CAN work. It’s not impossible. It worked well for my wife and I and hundreds and thousands of other kids who are growing up today who have made the decision to wait. It just means that you have to have a little morality and personal responsibility in your life. Dude! We can’t have that!

    It’s also amazing that Palin is getting flack for having her family at the speech! What would they be saying if they weren’t?! “She’s hiding them! She’s ashamed of them!” It’s insane!

    Palin is not a hypocrite. She and her husband merely gave her daughter the choice to listen or go her own way. Unfortunately, her daughter messed up. Does that mean we throw her daughter under the bus? No! Does that mean that we throw in the towel and say that abstinence doesn’t work? Well, it only works when it is practiced. This is one thing that you have to understand about today’s conservatives. You all are making Palin’s daughter into something political. Conservatives are rallying behind her, loving her, and supporting her. She is human, after all, and is capable of making mistakes. I’d like to echo some famous words about another woman who was caught in a similar situation, “You who are without sin cast a stone at her first.”

    Like

  70. Ed Darrell says:

    I’ll be 17 by election day this year.

    We only need to wait 18 years, then. McCain could have done a lot better, Cassie, if he had patience, or the common sense your post shows.

    Like

  71. mpb says:

    Hey, I’ve been accused by Alaska state of being too thoughtful; does that count? Plus, I was elected chair of the Senior Advisory Board of Bethel [token youth], a city a lot bigger than Wasilla was (up until the rural economy moved from here to Wasilla). And executing 250 undergrads in a large lecture is more than the Wasilla employees in toto.

    Freckles, too bad the voting age will just miss you this go ’round.

    Like

  72. Thanks for linking to me!

    I’ll be 17 by election day this year.

    Like

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