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Tag: abortion

The Single Issue Voter

Posted by – 10/22/08

The discussion over the so-called single issue voter in this election cycle has certainly created tension within the church. The label describes a person who seemingly applies a litmus test on abortion to candidates to determine which candidate for whom they’ll be voting. A theologian and pastor I greatly respect, Greg Pinkner, argues that it is a prioritized issue rather than a single issue for voters. I’d excerpt his argument, but that would give away its brilliance. I strongly recommend you read it.

Why take the chance?

Posted by – 9/19/08

I’ve been running a poll for the last several days asking folks about their certainty on when life begins, in the spirit of the question Rick Warren asked at the Saddleback Forum.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

The point here being that if you’re unsure about when life begins, why chance it? I wonder, what allows pro-choice people gloss over even the possibility that they’re killing a human being in favor of a woman’s desire to not have the baby? It seems that unless the person in favor of abortion can definitively say that life doesn’t begin until birth, that person’s argument could also be used to support post-birth abortion.

This is why Warren’s question was so important, and why Obama wriggled his way out of any kind of substantive answer (per the usual). Your stance on abortion should naturally flow from your answer to this question. If life begins at birth, then you can make the argument that abortion is ok. I’d definitely disagree with you, but my disagreement would be on the basis of when life begins, not on whether or not a woman should be able to “choose.” But if your answer is anything less absolute than “at birth,” you’re going to have a real hard time convincing most people that abortion isn’t murder.

Now, about my thoughts on when life begins. Me? I’m not absolutely positive when the soul enters. That certainly is beyond my current understanding. But because I’m not positive, I cannot support the act of extinguishing the life of a fetus. And there are a few more questions I would ask of a person that is positive life doesn’t begin until birth:

  1. If a fetus isn’t living, then why must a medical professional intervene in a somewhat violent manner to abort the child?
  2. If a fetus isn’t living, how can a doctor perform surgery on it and change the potential outcome of the fetus’s existence?
  3. If a fetus isn’t living, why is there a heart beat (as early as five weeks into the pregnancy mind you)?
  4. If a fetus isn’t living five minutes before birth, why is it suddenly living immediately after birth?
  5. If a fetus isn’t living, how is it that a mother’s actions during pregnancy, such as drug use, can have potentially disastrous effects to the unborn fetus for his or her entire life?
  6. If a fetus isn’t living, why do we charge a person who kills a pregnant woman with double homicide?

I know these aren’t big “gotcha” questions. They’re not meant to utterly stump anyone. But they are meant to make you think.

I’m not against women’s rights. But aborting a fetus isn’t a right. It’s been promoted as one, but that doesn’t make it so. It would be the same as me killing my (hypothetical) 3 year old child and saying that I did it because it was my right and, as it turned out, I just wasn’t ready to have a child. The rest of society would most likely disagree with me. So I’m not worried about being seen as rejecting a right which does not really exist.

I think the strong emotional support for abortion is indicative of a society that highly values selfish individualism and minimizes responsibility. Why do you want to stick a young girl with a child she’s not ready for? Well… I don’t want to. It’s just a natural consequence, and we can’t be making up rights just to alleviate ourselves of responsibility. Stuff happens, and just because the gravity of it is immense, that doesn’t mean we get a pass. If we’d realize that everything isn’t about us, and start accepting that sometimes life turns out differently than we’ve planned, we might be able to see things a little differently.

It’s amazing to read some on the left raking the Palin family over the coals for having a set of values and actually living up to them. But the same people would have just as easily derided the Palins as hypocrites had things gone differently. Some people are just so disgusted when Christians set high standards and then have the audacity to live up to them.

All in all, most reasonable people should be able to understand this. I’d much rather err on the side of caution than to discover one day that I’d been a proponent of killing the unborn simply because I could not see past a sophomoric demand for a self-contrived right. There is simply a much larger burden of proof required to be pro-choice than there is to be pro-life. Either that, or just a willful ignorance and an infantile, selfish demand that screams “mine!”

You have GOT to be kidding me

Posted by – 9/10/08

And more from the well-spoken left:

South Carolina Democratic chairwoman Carol Fowler sharply attacked Sarah Palin today, saying John McCain had chosen a running mate “whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion.” 

Be careful in your "enlightened" analysis of Palin’s child

Posted by – 8/31/08

Those who know me are aware that my family has been blessed with Rebekah, the third of four children. Rebekah’s a smart, sneaky, hilarious young woman who is nearly 22 years old. Rebekah also has Down syndrome. It’s all caused by an extra 21st chromosome. Rebekah has more of something than most of the population, and it causes her to be slower both mentally and physically, but honestly, most of the time I forget. To us, she’s just Rebekah. And you’d better watch out, because she’s fully aware of people’s perceptions about her, and she’s more than willing to use it against you in one of her many sneaky attempts to get something out of you. She’s quite skilled in the appropriation of a Krispy Kreme and Diet Coke from a kind lady on any given Sunday morning at church, despite everyone’s awareness of her diabetes.

Growing up with a sister with Down syndrome seems quite normal to me. I can’t imagine anything else, and my parents have been absolutely wonderful in their raising of her. Unlike some other families we know, my parents disciplined Rebekah when she did something wrong. They didn’t let her get away with very much; at least, not any more than the rest of us got away with. Rebekah’s grown into a quite intelligent young woman who, despite her faults, does know the difference between right and wrong. Our family just doesn’t accept the idea that we’re unchangeable products of our environment. And Rebekah’s “affliction,” as I’ve seen Down syndrome referred to as of late, wasn’t a death sentence. She doesn’t have a horrible life. In fact, she seems to quite enjoy herself. For her, Prom came and went with zero drama. And if every girl there had been wearing her dress, too? She’d probably have been ecstatic: “Look at all my prom dress buddies!”

Get to know her, and you’ll notice something right away. Rebekah’s got too much love for others to not share it. The beginning of the Sunday morning church service doesn’t seem to be enough to get Rebekah to stop giving hugs and greeting everybody. Her friends have the diversity progressives can only dream about. She really couldn’t care any less about the color of your skin. Her best friend Keila is black. And she doesn’t seem to notice. She just knows that Keila is a lot of fun, and she wants to go bowling with her and the rest of her friends every Saturday at 2:00. (I normally get a text from Rebekah every Saturday around 3:30 to let me know her score. She can, and routinely does, trounce me. Without bumpers. Also, I now refuse to play Scrabble with her. There’s another example of using perceptions of her against you. Her vocabulary is surprisingly sharp.)

She’s clearly had an impact on the people in our community. Our parents arranged for us to each receive a book of congratulatory and encouraging notes from friends and family upon graduation from high school. Rebekah’s was at least three times the size of the rest of our books.

I write this because since the Palin nomination, there have been a slew of self-aggrandizing pundits that are sudden experts on a life with Down syndrome. And while the best of them are trying to be gentle with it, their choice of words shows how they feel about it. To them, hearing that you’re going to have a child with Down syndrome is terrible news. It means your life, and the child’s life, will be fraught with endless doctors visits and complications. It means you’re going to have a “retard” that won’t ever live up to your expectation. Your child will never be the sports star. He or she will never be very smart. It’s going to be so very hard, so why don’t you just abort the baby, right? It’s compassionate, really, because that kid’s life would just be so awful. Not even a life, not one worth living anyway.

It actually turned my stomach to write that, even with tongue firmly planted in cheek. This is the aggregate argument I’ve heard from the progressive left over the last two days. And it makes me so very sick. How dare you claim the right to decide someone else’s life for them? I thought being a progressive was all about creating maximum opportunity for individuals! Killing a living person certainly crushes that dream. Do you think I’m lying? Testing for Down syndrome has gotten more accurate and better at the earlier stages of pregnancy, and a recent study estimates that 91-93% of prenatal Down syndrome diagnoses end in abortion, with various other prenatally diagnosed diseases resulting in abortions to a lesser extent. (This, combined with the startlingly low rate of rape/incest/health-of-the-mother abortions, which sits somewhere at a measly 2-3%, should really be the death of the Pro-Choice movement for most reasonable people. If it’s not for you, grab a look at this chart, and I shall enjoy hearing your argument that abortion somehow isn’t post-coital birth control.)

In a piece written in the Washington Post several years ago about her experiences with a Down syndrome child, Patricia Bauer wrote:

In ancient Greece, babies with disabilities were left out in the elements to die. We in America rely on prenatal genetic testing to make our selections in private, but the effect on society is the same.

Maybe it’s the disgustingly high level of self regard we have as a society that enables justifying the abortion of any baby who might prove to be less than perfect. Our lives are so great, we think, that anything less would be “suffering.” And that is, in fact, the term that is used. And it is used by people who speak with authority in an attempt at compassion, but these fools clearly do not have love for any of these Down syndrome kids. How do I know? Because they observe from a distance. They do not speak with the experience that says, “I have intimately met some of them, and now I realize that they are people, too.” They speak with a ignorant arrogance.

Doctors used to call them “mongoloid idiots” and recommend locking them up in a mental institution. Now we’re so progressive, once prenatal tests reveal the “affliction,” we just kill them. You know, to save them from that horrible life they’ll surely have. Or is it to save ourselves from having to pour our lives into someone else? Tell me, how many kids with Down syndrome have you met that are suffering? I haven’t met any. And I’d wager that if you could actually come up with one example, their suffering would be the result of external factors rather than through mental or physical health complications.

Of course having Rebekah in the family has required extra effort! But her presence in my life has only added to my joy. My mother didn’t know Rebekah had Down syndrome until she looked at my sister’s eyes. But I am so very glad my mother didn’t listen to the “professionals.” A life where my experience with my sister consists of routine visits to some institution is wholly unimaginable to me.

So put your money where your mouth is; being enlightened means actually being even better informed. At least find a friend that has someone with Down syndrome in their family and talk to them at length before letting that overwhelming sense of always-rightness roll you right into making ignorant comments about a real person’s life.

UPDATE: It’s good to see that some pro-choice people are speaking out against the vitriol coming from the eugenics crowd:

Half the comments on Palin and her son Trig from etherpeoples seem to imply she is some kind of religious nutbar simply because she chose not to terminate her pregnancy. Or that she undertook her own misery in order to adhere to a misogynist value system.

Are we seriously not going to entertain the notion that she just plain wanted to complete her pregnancy and raise a child with Down syndrome? Seems perfectly rational to me.

UPDATE II: From a forum post I found here, another personal story about a fella with Down syndrome:

When I was thinking of Trig, I was reminded of an encounter I had a couple of weeks ago on the Delta Shuttle from Washington to New York. It was a mostly empty plane, but I went all the back to the very emptiest part of the plane to spread out and enjoy he quiet. And there was a man sitting in the very back row who immediately piped up, “Hi. I’m Ian. Would you like to sit next to me?”

He was a guy with Down syndrome, maybe in his twenties. I declined the offer, but we struck up a conversation. He was going to New York for a family celebration, including for his birthday. I told him I had a birthday coming up too and he lit up and came over to vigorously shake my hand in congratulations — more delighted by my birthday than his own.

When the plane began to fill up a woman and her daughter came all the way to the back with a huge bag. I began to wonder to myself if I should offer to help them with it, when Ian popped up, told them he’d get it, and lifted it up and shoved it in the overhead compartment. When two men came down the aisle with a box they weren’t sure would fit overhead, he intervened and told them it would — “trust me” — and put it up for them.

He chatted amiably with his neighbors during the flight, and when we landed was up out of his seat first thing to help that woman get her bag down.

From this brief encounter, I dare say Ian is friendlier, better adjusted and more considerate than about half of the people on the streets of Manhattan or San Francisco on any given day. Yet most of those people are perfectly unperturbed by the elimination of babies with Down syndrome in the womb. To hell with them. God bless Sarah Palin for bringing Trig into the world, and may he shower those around him with as much sunshine as the gentleman I met on that flight.

Reprint: My Vote…

Posted by – 1/22/08

Reprinting this from a note a friend of mine wrote. She does a beautiful job of coherently laying out her case for support of a presidential candidate.

My life has been surrounded by political arguments lately.

A lot of people believe I am voting for a kook who wants to legalize everything that Christians see as wrong. I just want to take a second (maybe more) and explain why I am voting for Ron Paul.

Let me start off by stating my big issues. They are abortion and the economy. It’s one thing to say that, as president, you will “fix” these two things. It’s another to have proof that you have tried. I am not talking about attending pro-life rallies or cutting taxes a few times. I mean definitive evidence that what you are saying can be backed up. Otherwise, you are lying to me. Ron Paul’s congressional voting record and his personal life cannot be denied. He is known as Dr. No in Congress because he votes for what he believes, even if he is the only no. And he believes in cutting spending, drastically, to get us out of debt.

For him, everything goes back to the economy. And truthfully, everything does. Illegal immigration, abortion, health care, the war…it all affects the economy. What really woke me up was when I realized where our economy is heading. It’s not just about the numbers. It’s about my convictions.

I truly believe that the society of debt and wealth we live in is a disgrace. People live far above their means. As a Christian, I look around and see plenty of places our money could be better spent. But, we have created a society of faceless giving. The government takes care of the poor, the ministries in churches take care of the poor and hurting. So we give our chunk of change to Uncle Sam and we put our dollars in the offering plate and we feel good. There is no face to our giving. So, we build our big houses that we can’t afford, and we drive our big cars that we can’t afford and do not need. And we feel okay. This is a big problem in America. Greed, wealth, and the need to get ahead.

And our government does it as well. We borrow money from China at a rate of $1.5 — 3 billion dollars a day. Yes, billion. Yes, each day. From China. A communist country who has been accused of some horrible humanitarian atrocities. Who aborts more babies each day than any other country. Who has enormous leverage in Sudan because of their investment in Sudanese oil fields (and could help to end the crisis but won’t). As a Christian and a human being, borrowing money from this country is bad on many levels. Borrowing money like this from ANYONE is.

Ron Paul is one of the only candidates that directly addresses this issue. Many of them say they will cut spending and lower taxes, but when I took a look at their track records, few can compare to Ron Paul’s stance on this issue.

A lot of Christians won’t vote for Ron Paul because he “wants to legalize everything” from gay marriage to prostitution. Not true. He wants to live by the Constitution and not federalize these issues. Christians seem to believe that if we do not force everyone to live by our beliefs, then we will no longer be “a Christian nation.” The only thing stopping us from being a Christian nation is our own failure to be what God called us to be and do what God called us to do. He never says to make sure gay people can’t get married.

Instead, he tells us to love our neighbor. He tells us to take care of the oppressed and the poor, the widows and the orphans. If Christians spent more time loving people instead of telling them what they are not allowed to do, we could get a lot further. Making certain things illegal does not mean they go away. If something is not infringing on the rights of others, it shouldn’t be a federal issue, it’s a states issue. Making it a federal issue does not change hearts and minds, Jesus does. This “Christian nation” is in our hands, not the governments’ and governing by the Constitution will keep it that way without running over the rights of others.

How “Christian” is a nation that kills unborn babies, borrows money from a humanitarian horror of a country, and has hundreds of military bases worldwide so that we can intimidate everyone and keep them in line. The world knows us through two things, military presence and Hollywood…not very “Christian” things to see.

Somehow the Christian vote means voting for someone who can say everything just right, keep our troops in Iraq, and keep gay marriage illegal. In Isaiah 1, we are warned against leaders who “accept bribes and seek out gifts” but this never comes into play when deciding who to vote for. Ron Paul is KNOWN for not accepting bribes and gifts. Lobbyists are fiercely hoping he will not get elected.

I believe America is heading into a dismal state. There are already parts of the Constitution that we blatantly ignore. What happens when we ignore freedom of speech or religion? You may laugh and say that will never happen, but I am not so sure.

We are sacrificing the Constitution and freedom to keep a few key “Christian” issues. We are no longer the country we used to be. We are weakened, spread to thin, and in debt.

For goodness sake, our LIGHTBULBS are going to be outlawed! The signers of the Constitution are rolling in their graves I am sure. The government has no right to do this, not according to the Constitution. We are blatantly not living by the Constitution. When sworn into office the president is swearing to “uphold the constitution”.

Let’s elect someone who won’t lie to us their first day in office.

Responsibility isn't sexy

Posted by – 5/27/05

Found this as the description for one of the groups for Belmont’s student network, TheFacebook.com (not sanctioned). The group is titled “Students for Sex!!!”

We go to Belmont University and we acknowledge the occurance of sex on our campus, regardless of policy! Our school doesn’t offer birth control or STD testing, and we’re pissed. We believe this policy has the potential to hurt students who are sexually active. Sexally active students, without convenient access to birth control, are at risk for STDs, including HIV/AIDS. They also risk unwanted pregnancies and, potentially, abortions that result from them. Join this group today if you want to voice your opinion AGAINST the abstinence only agenda of Belmont’s Health Services and want to encourage a policy that promotes safe and responsible sexual behavior, for those who have chosen to be sexually active. We want to encourage the administration to provide birth control in a variety of forms including: condoms and the pill. We encourage affordable STD tests, including the new 20-minute, saliva test for HIV/AIDS that costs under $20 from Orasure Technologies.

Sure I acknowledge the occurrence of sex on our campus, and I’m sure the administrators aren’t blind to it either, but why does the acknowledgment suddenly necessitate a socialist utopia? If people want to have sex, you know what? They’re going to do it. But (and perhaps here’s where we’ve gone wrong) we need to understand that people who feel like they’re old enough to “make love” like it was a pitcher of lemonade on a lazy summer day should have the hoo-hahs to walk up to the pharmacist’s drug counter and say “Trojan ultra ribbed, please.” Frankly, I’m glad my university isn’t shelling out more of my money to worthless programs. Perhaps this policy of abstinence isn’t hurting people; perhaps it’s their tendency to pretend like they’re all grown up.

Saved by the Saint

Posted by – 10/1/04

Thank you! What, you might ask, is dominating the news right now? At this point, after a quite fruitless debate spawning nothing of entertainment value, coverage the mere steaming and possible eruption of Mt. Saint Helens is all the rage. Finally, after months of endless chatter having something to do with Kerry’s apparent appreciation for sandals, we get some news that has absolutely nothing to do with politics (except, of course, that memos were found detailing Bush administration plans to inject a catalyst deep into the earth’s core in order to cause an eruption, kill thousands of people, and allow Bush to appear compassionate towards the people of the northwest… and he made the hurricanes, too).

Needless to say.

Last night the Presidential Debate party was a bit of a dud. I’m not even sure the pizza was worth it. As much as representatives from both parties asked the Belmont audience to please be respectful and not make noise, it sounded like a UT Football game in the dining hall. If there were actually anything important said last night, I’d have to watch the debate again. After the televised debate, they set up a panel consisting of 3 reps from each party to give their take on the debate and then field questions from the audience. The most exciting part of the night was when an audience member asked what was the democratic take on what he felt was the most heinous act of terrorism against this country, partial-birth abortions. Clearly a loaded question. But the surprising thing was that before the moderator could cancel the question for not adhering to foreign policy, one of the Democrat’s jumped up and started hurling insults at the audience member. “I can’t believe you’d ask that! If you think that that has anything to do with foreign policy, then you’re just an idiot!”Planning on running for public office anytime soon there Cicero?

On that topic though, I thought I’d mention how much the two party’s positions surprise me. You’d think with all the liberal push towards any and all human rights that the Democrats would be gung ho about protecting even the unborn’s rights. It makes me wonder if one of the parties will simply take the opposing side of the other party. How do you decide that one is not subject to American laws and protection until they’ve hit air? I was under the understanding that the way we can tell if someone is still living is by checking their heartbeat and brainwaves. Under those criteria, even the unborn pass the litmus test. It’s not because I think women don’t have rights or anything, but why is this a “choice” that they have? What makes that a good thing at all? Perhaps we should extend that right for at least a year after birth, just in case they decide they’d rather not have a child anymore. The argument against letting babies live always seems to include the tired old examples of rape, incest, and danger to the mother’s life. Well sure, I’d agree with that. Most people do. No really, A USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll showed that 55% of Americans approve of abortions only in the cases of incest, rape, or to save the life of the mother. The truth is that the number of Americans that support abortions for any reason is declining.

The sad part about this whole thing is that the argument that abortion should be legal (including partial-birth abortions?) because the woman might have been raped, the victim of incest, or in danger for her own life is the very slimmest of percentages for reasons abortions are performed. I stand by my conviction that most people use abortion to avoid the consequences of poor planning. Consequences are a natural part of life. If something or someone gets in my way of a goal because of my own poor planning, I don’t have the right to annihilate my human obstacle.

  • 25.5% wanted to postpone childbearing. Should have thought about that ahead of time.
  • 21.3% cannot afford a baby. Plenty of people looking to adopt!
  • 14.1% are in a relationship that does not want a child. Adoption, perhaps? Plan ahead next time?
  • 10.8% think a child will disrupt career or education. You can’t just kill someone because they get in your way. Civilized societies generally call that premeditated murder.
  • Only 2.8% abort due to maternal health! That’s hardly enough to generalize and suggest the entire population is at risk!

The most horrifying statistic I discovered was that over 90% of abortions were due to simply not wanting the child! During this unsettling war with Iraq, so many people are demanding to know the burden of proof for invading Iraq. It is no less important to have a undeniable reason for taking a life that lives within you. If you’re pregnant and were not raped, then you’ve committed to this child. Whether you planned it or not, part of the responsibility in having sex is understanding and accepting the ramifications of your actions. Abortion is certainly the most evil form of retreat.