Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Take on the Election

Thanks to JP Catholic students Molly O'Hare and Joe Connolly I was able to do something with the ultrasound video we have of Michael Jr. We just threw this together... I wish we had some more time to really perfect it, but it makes the point.

Seriously, how can some other issue really trump this?

Of course none can. So, yes, there are other issues--there are many areas in which I disagree with John McCain. But just remember that every 25 seconds another child--just like my little boy--is slaughtered in the womb. No other issue comes close to take the lives of 1.3 million people a year. That actual statistic is outrageous--it's obscene--how can we brush that off? As far as I'm concerned, it is absolutely ridiculous to imagine that any other issue represents a greater evil.

And by the way, not that it is acceptable to kill anyone before that point, but it should be pointed out that already at 9 weeks after conception (first trimester!) a pre-born baby is able to bend its fingers around an object in its hand and feel pain. I mean, we treat animals--skunks!--more
"humanely" than these little children!

How can we do this? How can we look at a little boy in the ultrasound and turn a blind eye? Put simply: how can we vote for someone who supports legalizing killing him on the grounds that "other issues" are more important? And don't tell me we can't legislate morality--we put murderers and thieves on trial every single day.

This is the most important issue in this election. In fact, to make this clear numerous Catholic Bishops have now come forward and stated explicitly--in terms stronger than ever before--that in this election, no issue is more important than defending the unborn. Here are links to their statements:

Cardinal Francis George OMI of Chicago (USCCB president; 15 Oct)
Cardinal Edward Egan of New York (23 Oct)
Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia (USCCB Pro-Life Chair; 23 Oct, 12 Sept)
Archbishop Daniel Buechlein OSB of Indianapolis (3 Oct)
Archbishop Eusebius Beltran of Oklahoma City (5 Oct)
Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe (8 Oct)
Archbishop Charles Chaput OFM Cap. of Denver (18 Oct)
Archbishop Alfred Hughes of New Orleans (11 Oct)
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee (28 Sep)
Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas (8 Sept)
Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio (10 Oct)
Archbishop John Nienstedt of Saint Paul and Minneapolis (19 Oct)
Bishop Patrick Zurek of Amarillo (24 Sept)
Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker (16 Oct)
Bishop Robert Baker of Birmingham (20 Oct)
Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport (USCCB Doctrine Chair; 28 Sept)
Bishop Joseph Galante of Camden (6 Oct)
Bishop Peter Jugis of Charlotte (26 Oct)
Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs (17 Oct)
Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas (8 Oct)
Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo (23 Oct; 8 Oct)
Bishop Kevin Vann of Fort Worth (8 Oct)
Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay (17 Oct)
Bishop Larry Silva of Honolulu (20 Oct)
Bishop Jerome Listecki of La Crosse
Bishop William Higi of Lafayette in Indiana (28 Sept)
Bishop Glen John Provost of Lake Charles (7 Oct)
Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing (22 Oct)
Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison (16 Oct)
Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette (17 Oct)
Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson (15 Oct)
Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix (18 Sept)
Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh (28 Oct)
Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence (29 Oct)
Bishop Michael Burbidge of Raleigh (26 Oct)
Bishop Thomas Doran of Rockford (24 Oct)
Bishop Paul Coakley of Salina (17 Oct)
Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton (30 Sept; 19 Oct)
Bishop Walker Nickless of Sioux City (4 Sept; 23 Oct)
Bishop Timothy McDonnell of Springfield in Massachusetts (3 Oct)
Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo (3 Oct)
Bishop J. Vann Johnston of Springfield-Cape Girardeau (3 Oct; 26 Sept)
Bishop Robert Hermann, archdiocesan administrator of St Louis (17 Oct; 24 Oct)
Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St Joseph (17 Oct; 8 Sept)
Bishop Paul Swain of Sioux Falls (2 Oct)
Bishop Gerald Barbarito of Palm Beach (24 Oct)
Bishop Michael Jackels of Wichita (24 Oct)
Bishop Bernard Harrington of Winona (2 Oct)
Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester (24 Oct)
Bishops of Florida (7 diocesans, 2 auxiliaries; 15 Sep)
Bishops of Kansas (4 diocesans; 2006 statement reissued 15 Aug 2008)
Bishops of New York State (8 diocesans, 11 auxiliaries; 1 Oct)
Bishops of Pennsylvania (7 diocesans, 6 auxiliaries; 10 Oct)
Bishops of Virginia (2 diocesans; 1 Oct)

(Source: Whispers in the Loggia.)

***UPDATE: Bishop Finn Weighs In***

Hear Bishop Finn's interview here. Here's an excerpt:

Chris Stigall: There are Catholics listening right now who are thinking strongly or are convinced that they will vote for Barack Obama. What would you say to them?

Bishop Finn: I would say, give consideration to your eternal salvation.

55 comments:

steph said...

I can't believe supposedly intelligent Americans are actually voting for a right wing warmonger on one issue. Banning abortion will only invite back street jobs. Obama has a far better plan for reducing abortion and he doesn't advocate war in the way McCain does. Obama also cares for the poor - I don't think McCain does. The lives of the born need to be protected at least as much as the unborn.

Peter Kirk said...

Steph said most of it before me: abortion is not an issue in this election! McCain will do nothing at all to reduce abortion. Obama just might do. Why on earth do you ignorant Americans have a knee-jerk reaction that opposing abortion means you should vote Republican?

Anonymous said...

Steph and Peter demonstrate two things: the problem with America today is that idiots like them are voting and two, that people who think they see are really blind. Geez!

steph said...

Neither Peter nor I are American, anonymous. And yes, supposedly intelligent Americans are ignorant. Geez.

JohnO said...

I am an American, just for the record. But I cannot vote for McCain. He does have a better stance on abortion that Obama. There is no question that Obama will allow abortions to happen easier than before. But McCain isn't exactly trying to overrule Roe v Wade. And again, McCain turns into a hypocrite on this issue when it comes to war. He'll save a life in the womb, because life is valuable - but he'll kill a life on the battlefield because oil/American interests are valuable. That clearly places life below his country on the scale. No different than Obama in that case. So other issues are actually on the table here.

I don't understand how we can make any election ever about solely one issue.

Sister Mary Agnes said...

Great video, Professor Barber! I think it is horrifying that Obama has brainwashed so many of his followers into thinking that he is pro life! He has stated that he will readily sign the Freedom of Choice Act. See the following quote from Obama:

"Thirty-five years after the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, it's never been more important to protect a woman's right to choose. Last year, the Supreme Court decided by a vote of 5-4 to uphold the Federal Abortion Ban, and in doing so undermined an important principle of Roe v. Wade: that we must always protect women's health. With one more vacancy on the Supreme Court, we could be looking at a majority hostile to a women's fundamental right to choose for the first time since Roe v. Wade. The next president may be asked to nominate that Supreme Court justice. That is what is at stake in this election.

"Throughout my career, I've been a consistent and strong supporter of reproductive justice, and have consistently had a 100% pro-choice rating with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

"When South Dakota passed a law banning all abortions in a direct effort to have Roe overruled, I was the only candidate for President to raise money to help the citizens of South Dakota repeal that law. When anti-choice protesters blocked the opening of an Illinois Planned Parenthood clinic in a community where affordable health care is in short supply, I was the only candidate for President who spoke out against it. And I will continue to defend this right by passing the Freedom of Choice Act as president."

This quote is taken from Obama's website. The link is here:

http://www.barackobama.com/2008/01/22/obama_statement_on_35th_annive.php

Anyone who believes that Barak Obama is going to work to reduce abortions is not living in reality. Nor is his plan to increase contraception morally acceptable. Statistically contraception has increased the number of abortions, not reduced them. Furthermore, contraception is degrading, especially to women, since it reduces both the woman and them man to objects to be used for selfish pleasure rather than the loving, self-sacrificing human beings they were meant to be.

Dominic said...

Sister Mary is absolutely right. Those who claim Obama has a plan to reduce abortions are deluding themselves in an attempt to justify their position. Obama has repeatedly worked to eliminate every impedance to abortion. Whether in his statement that passing FOCA would be his first priority as president or in his unwavering support of allowing doctors to kill babies born alive after an abortion attempt. Don't believe me? Watch this video - in hisown words.

You can't argue that somehow because McCain is unwilling to set a timetable to leave Iraq he is equally anti-human rights then Obama who is happy to allow the continued abortion of over 1,000,000 babies every year.

Elections are never about one issue, but there is one issue far more important than any other issue. If Obama was against abortion then we could talk about other issues. I can't believe that anyone can honestly watch the video above and say that someone who supports killing an infant that is born alive should be elected as president of a country like the United States.

Michael Barber said...

Thanks for the comments. I welcome a dignified discussion here. But please, let's refrain from name calling. Because someone looks at the evidence differently than another doesn't make a person an idiot. That's unfair.

So let's try to be open-minded and attempt to feel the force of the other person's argument. With that in mind...

Steph, your rationale doesn't make sense to me. You point out that outlawing this brutal practice which kills children will force those who still want one to go to illegal and unsafe places. How does that justify legalizing it? That's a strange argument. By that logic we should also make heroin legal so that people could at least by sure that they are getting a safe supply. I don't think you've thought that one through carefully.

But even more, the argument that Obama is going to reduce the number of abortions is naive, wishful thinking, or simply the result of misinformation. You clearly must not know that Obama has said that the first thing he would do as president is sign the "Freedom of Choice Act"! FOCA would eliminate all restrictions on abortions such as parental notification.

So you're just wrong there. Obama will NOT reduce abortions.

Look, I'm serious when I say there's a lot I don't like about John McCain. But we're talking about the real murder of children--and it happens every 25 seconds in America.

All destruction of human life is wrong--no doubt about it! In abortion we're looking at the greatest evil--the taking of an innocent, defenseless human life. And no war kills 1.3 million people in a year! Put another way, that's 3,700 every day! That's carnage like nothing brought about by the Iraq war.

We should improve the lives of those who live in poverty but we can't put that desire above saving people from out-and-out slaughter!

And don't say McCain won't be able to do anything about it. Everyone knows the next president will make significant appointments to the supreme court which could in effect lead to the overturning of Roe vs. Wade and allow many states to put an end to abortion. That's a big deal.

Sorry, no other issue compares to this one. There are other concerns--I certainly share them. But defending little boys and girls who are in the position my son was in 4 months ago--that comes first.

mrw650 said...

Voting for Obama will INCREASE abortions. Any politician who thinks it's OK to leave infants born alive in a botched abortion to die in a dirty hospital closet deserves to have that done to him or her, gasping for breath, unable to move, when they're old and helpless. With Obama's universal health care plan that's a very real possibility. Only the healthy need apply. Old? Young and deformed? Autistic? Handicapped? You don't deserve to live. Here's your shot, buddy, quick and cheap. You'll never get well, you're a DRAIN on our precious government resources!!!

If Obama doesn't value an unborn baby's life, will he value YOURS??? Or once he gets your vote, you'll be trash to him like the human remains in the closet or hazardous waste container?

Those who vote for death will get death in return. That's called KARMA.

Funny how those who believe in the law of Karma, what goes around, comes around etc. don't seem to connect as to exactly how and in what form it will come back on them.

mrw650 said...

Obama doesn't care for the poor. He doesn't even care for his own flesh and blood. He has an aunt living in public housing in Boston and a half-brother in Kenya who lives on $12 a year in a rundown shack. He acknowledges these people in his autobiography!

For someone who makes millions, Obama is all words and no action, especially when it comes to his own family. He says in a speech "I am my brother's keeper" well he sure hasn't DONE anything concrete in the way of relief or financial help to prove that!

All show. No stay. No results. Call me if you need me.

Do we need a President like that???

Tim A. Troutman said...

Peter & Steph - incredibly bad logic. Why do we oppose abortion and have a "knee jerk reaction" to vote for someone who also opposes abortion? This is easily the dumbest question I ever heard.

Peter Kirk said...

Tim, the problem is that McCain doesn't oppose abortion. Michael wrote:

Look, I'm serious when I say there's a lot I don't like about John McCain. But we're talking about the real murder of children--and it happens every 25 seconds in America.

Indeed, but McCain won't do anything about it. He has no plans to reduce that number of abortions. So why vote for him? If you can't stomach Obama, stay at home on election day.

Anonymous said...

While there are varying opinions on when a fetus can feel pain, I have found no credible source that suggests a first trimester fetus can do so. To "feel" pain requires not only that the nerve center of the brain/body be complete, but also that sentiency occur, otherwise there is no "knowing" no "awareness" of any sensation, good or bad. The old "Silent Scream" video and claim have been debunked again and again (google: silent scream + debunked), yet this lie just keeps resurfacing and spun in the way it is above. For a group claiming the moral high ground, you are clearly not above lying and mispresentation of the facts.

I would also posit that you cannot be pro-war, pro-poverty and pro-death penalty and still claim to be "pro-life".

Michael Barber said...

Peter,

Of course McCain can make a difference on abortion. First off, Obama will increase the number of abortions by signing FOCA, which removes some limitations which are in effect. Second, by appointing strict constructionist judges to the Supreme Court McCain can help the court move toward repealing Roe v. Wade which clearly went over the line. Even Ginsburg now admitted that recently!

Anonymous (if that is your real name),

If you believe it has been debunked that unborn children can feel pain you've swallowed too much of the pro-abortion lobby's propaganda. Infants during the first trimester respond strongly to stimulation--I saw it on multiple ultrasounds before the birth of my son. Of course, that doesn't fit well with the pro-abortion lobby.

But even IF a child couldn't feel pain--does that make it okay to kill him or her? The fact that you had to harp on this question shows just how weak the pro-abortion argument is.

And by the way, I am against the death penalty, I hate poverty and was firmly against going into Iraq.

And by the way, according to the Bureau of Justice, 42 people were executed last year in the US. Did I mention that 1.3 million children were aborted the same year?

Carson Weber said...

Bravo Michael!

mmi said...

It has been spoken that, "if you are faithful in little and/or small things, then you will be faithful(can be trusted) with bigger things." (paraphrase) In essence if you are concerned about the most helpless... an unborn infant, than you will be dutiful to watch over the cares, wants, needs, and desires all. This is a good guideline to follow to determain the character of an individual you've never encounted personally-someone who is known to you only through tv, the news, and infocommerials. Michael, that was great, thanks

Anonymous said...

Michael Barber:

Sorry - movement does not equal response/awareness (appearances can be deceiving). In early stages of pregnancy, all fetal movement is reflexive. It can't be otherwise since there is not yet the capacity for cognition. For cognition to occur he cortex (gray matter covering the brain) must be present, as well as myelinization (covering sheath) of the spinal cord and attached nerves, which is not the case until later in pregnancy. This is why the fetus cannot feel pain. There is an in-depth, scientific debunking of your claims by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists at the below link:

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/issues-action/abortion/anti-choice-activity/reports/facts-speak-louder-than-silent-scream-6136.htm

The point of development does matter to me, yes. I find the idea that a fertilized egg be equated with a fully developed "born" baby to be ludicrous in the extreme. The born and the unborn are not equal, scientifically, legally or any other way. Would you advocate penalties for pregnant women who smoke, drink, don't eat properly? Are you out in the slums making sure pregnant women without funds are getting good nutrition and have decent living conditions (toxins of all kinds are found in higher concentrations in the inner city)? Perosnally, I am pro-born. Once your out in the world, you've got my support for the full range of civil rights. But until then, the decision of the "born" one (i.e., the woman)should control.

steph said...

Oh I've thought about it very carefully Michael Barber. And I don't think much of your characteristation of my 'rationale'. I am not advocating killing children. Your analogy with heroin is weak and not appropriate. Obama's plan for reducing abortion includes education, contraceptives, assistance for mothers etc. He WILL reduce abortion You are wrong, and we are not talking about murdering children except for the many children murdered in Bush's wars. Abortion is about the unborn foetus. I do not condone abortion but do you think victims of incest and rape or mothers at risk of their life should go through a nine month pregancy to bear a child? There are other issues in this election. Both sides are capable of accusing each other of naivity, wishful thinking and misinformation. Your son was the product of a loving relationship. Your wife was not raped, and her life was not threatened by the birth. Let's just hope that your son doesn't go to any wars.

Peter Kirk said...

Maybe "McCain can help the court move toward repealing Roe v. Wade", but will he? Has he shown any indication that he even desires this outcome? I suppose your best hope is that McCain is elected and then dies quickly, so that Sarah Palin appoints the kind of judge you want. But it is ironic that you would trust her to do this more than your fellow RC Biden.

Michael Barber said...

Steph:

Planned Parenthood makes a huge profit doing abortions. Doesn't that make you skeptical of the studies they cite? Follow the money behind these studies and you'll see there's a huge conflict of interest in them.


Peter,

Thank you for your comment. I read your blog from time to time so I know you're a reasonabe guy!
:)

I agree: the question is what will McCain do? The fact is, his voting record has been very solid when it comes to opposing abortion--though his stance on embryonic stem cell research would seem to clearly violate the prolife principles he claims. Nonetheless, McCain says he is prolife, that he will appoint strict constructionist judges and--with the exception of the vote on stell cell research--has consistently voted against abortion for decades.

Obama however will sign FOCA and I know what his record is on abortion--it's terrible. In fact, he voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Against--which virtually all other pro-abortion Democrats opposed because it was clearly so extreme (e.g., H. Clinton, J. Kerry, T. Kennedy, etc.). It's not a question of whether or not Obama will reduce abortions--it's actually a question of how much the abortion rate would increase under his policies.

So in the end I have to say honestly that I don't trust either one of them. (Put not your trust in Princes!) In fact, I don't trust any politician!

In the end I'm voting AGAINST the guy who supports FOCA and by voting for the guy who has a solid prolife voting record and says he will be a prolife president. That's all I've got to go on. I can't see the future. That seems like the only reasonable way to go.

God bless and thanks for engaging in the discussion.

Michael Barber said...

Oh, as for Biden. He says that he believes abortion is murder but uses the "we can legislate morality" argument which I think is specious and rings pretty hollow to my ears. Murder is wrong. Period.

And, aside from all the rhetoric, look at that little boy in the video above. That's what this is all about--these are human lives. It's not convenient. It's not a trendy issue. But it's the truth: abortion kills little babies. That's terribly, terribly evil. I just can't overlook it.

And this is NOT about party lines. If there was a pro-life Democrat and a pro-abortion GOP candidate I'd vote Democrat in a heartbeat. It's not the only issue, but for, it's the first issue. For me, it's about putting "the least of my brethren" first.

Of course, because of the system we have this is now a "political issue" aside from everything else which means politicians use it to get votes--on either side.

I hate politics...

"Thy Kingdom come!"

Sister Mary Agnes said...

AND little Michael Junior recognized his daddy's voice and stopped crying minutes after he was born. If it wasn't a little human being who learned to recognize his daddy's voice while he was still in his mother's womb, I don't know what it was.

steph said...

I have no idea what Planned Parenthood are Michael. Here, if abortions are performed they are done by a doctor funded by the government. We don't have organisations that profit from abortion.

You didn't answer my question about victims of rape and incest and women at risk. I don't approve of abortion but I don't think it should be banned either. That creates more problems than it solves.

And you don't think McCain would pose a greater threat to the life of your son and the lives of others than Obama?

Of course I'm not a 'reasonable person' to you because I don't have a blog and I disagree with you.

Bernadette said...

hi, Steph,

i hear ya. okay, so, case scenario: innocent niece is violently raped by insane uncle. UNCONSCIONABLE. UNTHINKABLE. SICK. CRIME!!

therefore... why would we wish to ADD MURDER to the list of horrors already committed?!?

would KILLING an **innocent baby** make the other crimes somehow disappear? no. murder would only add *another* grave offense to the pile, and, in the long run, make the victim feel even WORSE!!!

not to be hard on Steph. maybe this is so obvious to me because i am a woman and a mother, by God's grace.

Michael Barber said...

Steph:

I apologize for offending you. I can see how you might have taken my comment to Peter as a sideswipe at you. Know that it really was not intended to sound that way. I do read Peter's blog from time to time and I do enjoy it. Whether you have a blog or not doesn't matter to me. But the truth is I don't feel like I know you like I do Peter. Anyways, I apologize. You sound like a perfectly reasonable person as well.

I'm sorry that I assumed you knew about Planned Parenthood as well. Yes, Planned Parenthood is a the largest provider of abortions in the US and makes a HUGE profit from the practice.

They have also donated hugely to Obama's campaign and you know why--they know that his signing FOCA would mean MORE abortions and thus more money for them.

As for victims of rape and incest. The issue is difficult to talk about because I have some close friends who have been victims--including one just recently. It is very emotional. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, the origin of the pregnancy does not change the kind of life growing inside the victim's womb. It's still a human life. We need to care for such women and often them help. But I don't think we help them by killing another human life.

And it's not the mother's body--look at the fertilized egg: it has its own DNA. It is a new life. It grows inside the mother's body, but it is not the mother's body. So, while I agree that a woman has a right over her own body, that right does not extend to the new human life.

God bless and, seriously, thanks for the discussion.

Anonymous said...

http://www.abortionfacts.com/testamonials/testamonials.asp

Holy Innocents said...

Thank you Michael and Kim (and Michael, Jr.). We have posted your video on our HOLY INNOCENTS web site.

Holy Innocents said...

www.holyinnocentslongbeach.blogspot.com

steph said...

How about the 12 year old rape victim? Does she have no rights over her body and mind? How about the woman living in poverty with not enough food to feed herself and her other children? Is she guilty of starving her unborn child? Banning abortion is idealistic and unrealistic. Nobody has set up safety nets for the explosion in unwanted children and children for whom there is inadequate care, support for mothers at risk before and after pregnancy, sex education, free contraception, medical care etc. What about the explosion in population, the extra pressure on medical services, and the planet generally? I would never have an abortion, I don't condone them - I would embrace pregancy if I could get pregnant - but I can't condemn those who find it necessary to abort in the first weeks of conception.

Voting for McCain (and God forbid, Palin) would result in increased poverty (due to ever increasing gap between rich and poor), less ability to cope with the explosion in population (remembering that most unwanted children are born among the poor), plundering of the planet (due to McCain's ignorance on the environment), foreign aggression and war.

steph said...

How will you deal with more than 1.3 million unwanted children a year, the extra strain on resources, the increased poverty and lack of free medical care, child abuse and all the other problems that would arise as a consequence of banning abortion? Banning abortion is short sighted and selfish. Remember not everyone is as privileged as you. Mind you McCain's next war could eliminate half the population.

Kim said...

Steph,
All the issues you mentioned, even the concerns about dealing with unwanted children have nothing to do with how the question is answered: when does life begin?

If it begins at conception, then no excuse can exist for destroying a human life...at least in a civil society.

Since people who are pro-life are convinced that life begins at conception, you can hardly call them unintelligent for their stance on abortion. After all, if, though holding to a conviction that is a human life, they didn't oppose abortion, then they would be cruel, heartless and inhumane for allowing it to be destroyed.

Pro-abortion people become so angry with pro-life people because they don't recognize that if a person believes it is human, there can be no excuse for destroying it. No matter how emotional the argument becomes (rape, incest, 12-year olds, etc) a human life is a human life, and therefore must be given priority over any other consideration, even the inconvenience of a 9-month unwanted pregnancy. Pro-lifers have integrity, if nothing else!

For people who are pro-abortion, there seems to be some confusion in their argument. They say they don't condone it, or themselves would never have one, but they don't believe we should tell others what to do with their body...my question is: if you don't believe it is a human, then you should have no need to qualify your feelings on abortion. If it truly is a blob of tissue that isn't alive, then there should be no need to try and reduce the number of abortions...and pro-abortion people should feel no restraint in saying "it doesn't matter how many abortions people have...since, after all, they are just removing lifeless tissue."

The fact that so many pro-abortion people feel the need to qualify their position, and appeal to extraordinary arguments like rape and incest, should be an indication that they feel that there is something unique and special about that "embryo" or "fetus."

So the issue is: if it is a baby, then no degree of inconvenience should trump the dignity of that person in a civilized society.

If it is isn't a baby, then it doesn't matter how many abortions anyone has, since it's just a blob of tissue.

Let's get past talking points and emotional appeals and ask: when does life begin? When does it become a human person?

steph said...

That's your label - pro abortion - not mine. I never called anti abortionists unintelligent either. You think I don't have integrity? That's rich.

I haven't addressed the issue of conception because we just don't know. Peronally I don't think that in the first few weeks we are dealing with a 'baby'. I would never have an abortion (unless I was raped and the abortion would be immediate) because I want a baby and would have the support to give it a good life.

You never addressed my questions.

steph said...

And the point of my original comment Kim, is that to make this a one issue election is short sighted. People who don't want abortion, including myself, should be making this a better world for young mothers, reducing poverty to allow them to raise their children, addressing child abuse, increasing awareness about sex and contraceptives to prevent unwanted children and ensuring that they have access to free medical care. Banning abortion won't fix it.

steph said...

Kim- As I mentioned labels, I think pro life is a very inappropriate label for most pro abortionists who don't seem to include lives other than the unborn.

Kim said...

Steph,
I think the issue of whether or not it is a life is too easily skipped over.
"We don't know" is the answer most people give. Well, how do we know anyone is alive? How do define any human being? Why not use the same criteria for defining life for the unborn?
"We don't know" so let's not investigate and just assume it's not a human being.
A person lacks integrity if they have reason to believe the unborn are human beings and fail to speak out and stop their destruction. I don't think it should be legal to kill a five year old, or a fifty year old because they are humans. Same logic follows.
If there was a presidential candidate that thought that anyone under the age of five were eligible to be destroyed...I wouldn't vote for him no matter what his positions were on any other policy. No matter what magical solutions he had for the economy. There have been many terrible leaders of nations that were great at other areas, but refused to grant the dignity of personhood to certain groups. I wouldn't vote for them either and I don't think either would you.

Since I am firmly convinced by things I would be happy to discuss (none of which have to do with "religion," so this is not a theological answer) that a human being is a human being at conception, I simply cannot see the destruction of the unborn as any different as someone who feels it's ok to kill 5 year olds whose parents don't want them, or 5 year olds who have an illness, or 5 year olds that are poor. Would you call me narrow minded because I wouldn't vote for a person if he thought it was a good thing for 5 year olds to be killed?

Steph, I'm being consistent in my ethics. You can't call me conservative, or judgmental, or even insensitive, if I don't believe a person should be intentionally killed no matter what the circumstances.

People oppose abortion not because they aren't aware of economic issues, or that there are many difficult situations that people face. But if a civil society legally allows the destruction of human beings for emotional or worse, economic reasons, then we cease to be civilized. People oppose abortions because they have been convinced they are human beings, and those human beings need someone to defend them against those who deny their personhood.

steph said...

You still haven't addressed my questions.

However I accept you believe conception is the beginning of the human being. I don't and I think the evidence suggests it isn't a human being. Neither of us can prove what we believe.

You say "if a civil society legally allows the destruction of human beings for emotional or worse, economic reasons, then we cease to be civilized". If it votes for McCain it is inviting destruction through war, increased poverty, not to mention the starving in other nations, no free health care, unwanted children and their suffering through poverty and child abuse and more. These things are immoral in anyone's eyes. Abortion is not necessarily immoral in the eyes of other perfectly rational people with integrity who don't believe that conception is the beginning of a human being.

I can hardly believe Bishop Finn, a Christian, threatens Christians with their eternal salvation on the basis of their vote. It's astonishing.

steph said...

Fundamentally Kim, because of different personal beliefs about conception, it is a personal issue. Banning it will encourage back street jobs by those who believe differently from you. There is more than one issue involving life in this election, and life that is of the born and undeliable human being.

Matt said...

Steph - the value of human life isn't up to one's personal belief. Killing children is intrinsically evil, regardless of an individual's refusal or inability to accept it as such. Abortion is hardly a "personal" issue, any more than the Holocaust was.

McCain is hardly a perfect candidate (although I find your wild claims that he would somehow bring war, poverty, starvation and even child abuse laughable). I'll proudly vote for him today, though, since he doesn't represent the simple, avowed evil that Barack Obama does. I'd love to have a president who makes Europeans feel good about my country, but never at the price of millions of childrens' lives.

Kim. said...

Steph,
Is the humanity of a 5 year old a personal issue or a public one? Can I personally define what constitutes a human so as to kill someone of any age or situation in life? Or is that liberty to personally define human life available only in regards to the unborn.

If it is a person, then we shouldn't use the argument of backstreet jobs as an emotional appeal to make it legal. If unborn children are children, then we shouldn't make it easier for them to be killed!

Fact: Obama is not anti-war. Obama wants war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Maybe you didn't see the debates.

Also, I never touted McCain as the apex or morality or being pro-life. I am voting for him principally as a way to vote AGAINST Obama.

Obama's health care plan is unrealistic and a similar plan fell flat on it's face in Hawaii. http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/10/17/hawaii.health.ap/

I want all people to have health care, but I don't think he can accomplish it with his proposals. A candidate can say all sorts of promising things, but if the plan is flawed, I can't vote for an empty promise.

McCain doesn't cause child abuse. Horrible parents cause child abuse. It's not true that only children who were "unwanted" or in poor families are abused. Even parents who didn't plan on having a child know better than to abuse a young one. Child abusers have something more wrong with them than just not getting the abortion they wanted. Rich, well-to-do families abuse children as well. Children are abused because their parents are sick. There are many parents who are poor who don't abuse children. Abortion does not reduce child abuse, it reduces children.

Kim. said...

How about the 12 year old rape victim? Does she have no rights over her body and mind? How about the woman living in poverty with not enough food to feed herself and her other children? Is she guilty of starving her unborn child?
A twelve year old rape victim. First, she needs counseling, help and outreach, not abortion. How is a painful, dangerous and threatening medical procedure going to help her? Having an abortion could sterilize her for her whole life. Can you really say carrying a baby to term and giving the baby to a family who has the maturity and resources to raise the baby and care for it is not safer for her than the detrimental affects of abortion? Do think abortion is easy on a woman’s body? Pregnancy is taxing too, but at least a woman’s body is made to carry a baby. It’s not made to terminate a pregnancy partway through, scraping the insides with metal instruments! And the emotional side-effects of abortion? Do you think those are easy? Should that be presented as a real solution to her “problem.” That’s na├»ve.

There are many expectations in civilized society that even when it was inconvenient, we still act with regard to others in society, even if it has an impact on us.
She has rights over her body, but (if you’d be willing to discuss personhood) if it is a baby, someone should act with regard to that person as well. Why does it seem like that baby is maliciously stealing rights from that woman’s body? It’s a baby for crying out loud! It can’t live without that body! A baby needs its mom! People go further out of their ways for stray dogs than they do for babies. I’ve been pregnant. It’s not easy, but the “inconvenience” of pregnancy is a small price to pay to give 9 months of your life to someone who needs you. People sound so altruistic and caring and make those who oppose abortion insensitive and cold. Sorry, it’s insensitive and cold to say I won’t endure a little nausea and swollen feet to allow another person to live. And that’s assuming it’s 9 months of discomfort. Some parts of pregnancy are uncomfortable, but much of it isn’t uncomfortable, but even rewarding and invigorating.
What about the explosion in population, the extra pressure on medical services, and the planet generally? Along that line of argument, that we should destroy a group of people because of the population explosion and the pressure on medical services.Well, let’s base our morality not on personhood but on the inconvenience to the rest of society. With that rationale, let’s go after the criminals and kill them first and let the innocent, unborn babies live! Criminals are, as you say of these unborn, “unwanted.” We put them away to keep them from society and they just sit in their prisons tapping our resources. If we make a morality on that regard, let’s start with people who have actually harmed society, not little ones who haven’t even made their debut yet.
See how that line of reasoning doesn’t work? A person is a person. Criminals are still people and we can’t eradicate them, we find a way to provide. If an unborn baby is a person, we find a way to provide, not rid the world of them to solve the problem.
But, the population explosion is a myth. The mortality rate is higher than the birth rate in many civilized countries because of abortion. Not smart civics to destroy the generation that is supposed to support an aging population. That’s bad economics and that leads to poverty, especially of the aged.
Your arguments are compelling only if it’s a blob of tissue, but fly out the window if it is a person. You can’t avoid the question. Is it a human life? If it isn’t than the worst can accuse me of is being cautious and consistent. If it is, then if we want to be a civilized society, we have to defend the life of humans, from conception, to natural death.

Holy Innocents said...

Just yesterday, I had the opportunity to talk to an Arican-American women who was coming to our local abortion mill with her 15year old daughter. She was bringing her for a pregnancy test. This poor young child had been raped. We told her about the verifiable history of our local Long Beach abortion mill founded by the racist Edward Allred. We suggested that she go to St. Mary's Hospital instead, where her daughter would be treated with dignity and where there wasn't filth everywhere. She agreed.

Then I asked her, "What if your daughter is pregnant?" The mother responded, "If my baby is pregnant, that child inside of her has a right to live. We will love that child and take care of it."

The daughter chimed him: "There's no way I'm going to abort my baby."

Steph ought to stand in front of an abortuary for a little bit and her eyes just might be opened.

steph said...

Holy Innocents. Well that's wonderful. Honestly wonderful. But not all young women feel the same and have the same support.

steph said...

What about the emotional and physical effects of the twelve year old having a baby. Of course she should have help and counselling whatever she decides.

I did not say McCain causes child abuse. However more unwanted children with parents who shouldn't have children will increase child abuse and doesn't address existing child abuse.

I have already told you Kim that I don't think the unborn foetus in the first few weeks is a person but the mother is.

Don't name call Kim. I am not naive.

steph said...

I did see the debates Kim. I don't like alot of Obama's rhetoric on foreign intervention and changing the world. We don't like that sort of imperialistic talk and I am a pacifist. But he is alot better than McCain.

You seem to have deliberately misunderstood my comments on conception.

steph said...

Matt: A reason I don't want McCain is because the majority of the rest of the world want Obama. We might respect America if it elects Obama but hatred will continue with McCain. My claims are not "wild". He is far more ready to pull the trigger than Obama - fact. His tax system favours the rich at the expense of the poor. Increased population will also increase povery. He does nothing to combat starvation in other countries and doesn't address global climate change (mind you no American candidates seem to) and he doesn't address the problems caused by banning abortion including unwanted children and child abuse. If you listen to the rest of the world Matt, you wouldn't be proud to have McCain. McCain to us represents someone who is far to willing to use aggression in international relationships whereas Obama is far more likely to use diplomacy.

Of course killing children is intrinsically evil. So is war. The unborn is not a child.

steph said...

Congratulations America!!!

Anonymous said...

Steph -

War is not intrinsically evil. Diplomacy didn't stop Hitler. And when does a child become a child? At birth? Surgically-born children "become" human based on when an operation is scheduled? Putting issues like climate change on par with human life is appalling.

I wish you could look beyond skin color and facile idealism.

Anonymous said...

Steph is a Obama operative.

Anonymous said...

CORRECTION:

Steph is an Obama operative.

steph said...

err.. yup, you caught me out. Must be because I'm not american eh? (thank God) You need to get your head out of the sand anon.

Kim. said...

"The unborn is not a child."

Prove it.

Joan said...

err ... yup?

You are pathetic, Steph.

steph said...

Kim: that's the point isn't it - we can't "prove" that an embryo is yet a "child".

I'm glad America didn't let one issue allow the far worse option of McCain and his dimwitted Palin. It's disappointing though, that as the world breathed a sigh of relief and congratulated Obama and looks forward to a better more grown up America and the resolving of its two unwinnable wars, McCain supporters booed at the name of Obama and members of the Christian Right are calling for his impeachment. Not a good look internationally "United" States of America.

Thank you all for such a scintillating, civilised conversation. I really wanted to be able to like America after the election of Obama. It's hard when we see all the right wing reaction.

steph said...

Joan - how would you respond to anon's accusation?

steph said...

Just in case any Christians think that the bible doesn't condone abortion:

http://exploringourmatrix.blogspot.com/2008/11/vote-bible.html

http://bryansthoughts.wordpress.com/2008/11/06/the-bible-and-abortion/#comments