Love Creates Us, or Why People Allow Abortion in the Case of Rape

Valentine’s Day is approaching far faster than single people are stocking up on vodka and Snuggies, so I’m going to add to the general misery and write about Love. I’ll start with two claims that have become relatively controversial in controversially relativistic times:

1. The words “husband” and “wife” are identities. Jack introduces Sally as “my wife” and not as “the woman I call my wife”. Jack is a husband, he is not just called a husband. These terms of love represent who we are, they are not just attributes.

2. You cannot be a husband without a wife, nor a wife without a husband.

This is where the magic happens:

If “husband” is an identity, and I cannot be a “husband” without a wife, then my identity (who I am) is dependent on the love of another. If “wife” is an identity, and a woman cannot be a “wife” without a husband, then her identity is dependent on the love of another.

Love creates our identity (who we are) and binds us inseparably with our beloved, to the point that we would not exist without the beloved. A husband without a wife does not exist. A wife without a husband is a nonentity. Thus a husband and a wife could look in each other’s eyes and say “Thank you for creating me” without fear of idiocy. Husbands are created by wives. Love makes our identity dependent on another.

“Alright,” I hear the cry, “clever wordplay. But not all are wives and husbands.”

All identity is created by love. The identities of “husband” and “wife” are merely good examples of this fact. The truth is actually all-encompassing. Consider how the identity of everyone in a family is created by their loving relation to one another:

You cannot be a father or a mother without a child. Thus, in a typical paradox of love, the child creates his mother, for prior to the existence of the child the “mother” did not exist. The child creates his father in the same way, and none would deny that it is the mother and father who create the child in the physical act of love.

Every pregnancy contains a multitude of births, and the family demands a profound reverence, for by it our identity is formed. Every member creates who-everyone-is. All create all. And it is the same outside of the family.  To “make friends” is statement we should take literally: We make friends, and our friends make us.

Brothers are created by their siblings. Siblings may only call each other “brother” by virtue of their mutual creation of a woman into a “mother”, a mother that could not exist apart from them. Again, love creates our identity and makes it dependent on others.

But why is love necessary? Couldn’t we say that the simple relation between two people creates identity? A mother creates her child. This is a statement of fact. If a child is conceived without love, as in the case of rape, surely he still has the identity of “child” and the woman as his “mother”. This is, after all, the “pro-life” sentiment. How then, can love be necessary in the creation of identity? Identity is just a scientific fact. Right?

If it were this simple — that is, if love was not necessary to establish identity — then the rape victim would feel no anguish in accepting the identity of “mother”. If all that was required to make a woman a “mother” was the physical reality of pregnancy, then it wouldn’t be necessary for a rape victim to “come to terms” with the name. But it is necessary, and there is anguish. Immense anguish.

Clearly, the victim of rape does not claim the identity of “mother” by simply being pregnant. The name “mother” describes the fact of pregnancy, but it is not an identity, in the same way the name “wife” is not the identity of a woman forced into marriage.

Why else would abortion be such a temptation? Why else is “the case of rape” a case many pro-life individuals call a justification for abortion? We have natural sympathy for rape-victims who undergo abortion because we recognize that something more than the reality of pregnancy is required for the creation of identity.

And what’s required is this: an intentional outpouring of love by which a mother claims the child conceived in rape as her own and thereby creates the baby as her “child”, allowing him to create her as “mother”.

This “claiming” is expressed in hundreds of different ways, and there is hardly a testimony without it. “I began to realize that this little life inside me was struggling, too… I was no longer thinking of the baby as the ‘rapist’s’… I now thought of this baby as ‘my baby.’ My baby was all I had.”

This “claim” is more than a change in emotions. It is an act of creative love that defies the turmoil and nonentity of evil. Our identity is dependent on the love of others, as husband is dependent on wife, and thus it is the love of a mother that creates the child and the child the mother. Those who deny that “the case of rape” necessitates a creative act of love for the words “mother” and “child” to mean anything must deny the validity of the woman’s “claim” as anything but a shift in emotion.

So is abortion wrong in the case of rape? Absolutely. The human nature of a fetus exists independently of the mother’s “claim”, and all humans have a right to life. Is abortion tempting in the case of rape? Absolutely, for in the absence of love the “mother” and “child” do not exist as identities. What else is the advocacy of adoption but an implicit agreement that the woman pregnant from rape need not claim the identity of “mother”, but may give her baby to one who can make an identity-creating claim of love?

(Having said all this, I do believe having a baby tends towards a creative act of love. This can be beautiful, as when a mother desires reunion with the child she gave up for adoption, or painful, as when the baby is killed by abortion and the mother, later in life, begins to count the would-be-birthdays. This is love. It may manifest itself as regret, as repentance, as reconciliation, or as bitterness, but it is ultimately a claiming of the child, a gift of identity that makes his existence matter.)

So the complex reality of those conceived outside of love actually proves my point. Love creates our identity and makes it dependent on another.

The question “Who are you?” is only ever answered — if it is to be answered in a way that means anything — with an identity given in love. We are sons, daughters, siblings, spouses, friends, students, lovers — relation, relation, relation. We are our names (I am Jack), and our names are the most telling part of our identity precisely because they are determined by those who create our identity — our family. To answer the question “who are you” is to say “I am made by love, and who I am depends on another.”

If you can understand this in my convoluted prose, you will understand me when I say our being created by love strongly suggests that God exists. I’ll be writing on why this is the case in my next post.

Until next time.

  • Brendan

    First!

  • gfcinthatorder

    Bravo! Very well said. I applaud your wisdom here. I would also remind the populace that there is also the “will” involved here. Clearly a CHOICE to carry out an abortion is the same as saying “this is my will God, hope it’s yours too”. Of course this would only matter if you believe in God in the first place and if you had any Faith in Him. Yes you have to have Trust in Him in order to have Faith in Him!

    • TheodoreSeeber

      Just to be the devil’s advocate, I don’t have to have any faith in God to know that abortion is murder. Ultrasound and Genetic physical evidence is enough.

      • pagansister

        Am so glad for you. (not serious)

  • Laurel

    How can/does this apply when you are talking about children who are abused by a non-loving mother; isn’t she still the child’s mother? Or wives by non-loving husbands; does she have no identity as a wife if he doesn’t love her? How does what you are saying relate to abused children who love parents who don’t love them?

    • http://www.facebook.com/marcjohnpaul Marc Barnes

      Great question. You ask, ultimately, what of failures to love? Now obviously, a failure of a mother to love her child does not take away the objective reality of a mother and a child — that is, of “mother and child” as an objective labeling of the scientific fact that that woman had that baby. Failures to love ARE, however, failures to be who we are. The whole terror of parental abuse lies in that the mother is not being a mother and not treating the child as her child. The woman is not claiming her identity as “mother”, and is not granting the baby the identity of “her child”. Sins against love ARE a destruction of identity. Thus a daughter may disown a mother, or a mother may disown a daughter. No one would pretend that this negates the reality of conception and birth, but it does express the reality that the identities of “mother” and “daughter” are dependent on love. Otherwise such disowning would be meaningless. To refuse to love is to forsake identity in favor of nonentity.

      • KarenJo12

        You said above that a woman who does not love her rapist’s child is not a mother and then immediately turn around here and say that a failure to love does NOT take away the identity of “mother.” You re hopelessly confusing.

        • http://www.facebook.com/marcjohnpaul Marc Barnes

          No, I said that it would. “Thus a daughter may disown a mother, or a mother may disown a daughter. No one would pretend that this negates the reality of conception and birth, but it does express the reality that the identities of “mother” and “daughter” are dependent on love.” But I do agree. I am hopelessly confusing, because I neglected to make a clear distinction between the ontological and the existential.

  • TheEpic95

    Didnt one of the bloggers on ncregister.com say that her husband would end emails with “I love you”, and gmail touht it was his signiture?

  • TheEpic95

    But this is what Ive been trying to vocalize since, like, forever! To become holy is to become what God made you to be, right? So i would say that we are a manysided prism of sorts caked in mud and hidden in dirt, and each time you live out a relation *properly*, loving your son as a son, wife as a wife, boss as a boss, friend as friend, ect. you are uncovering a bit of yourself. Uncovering who you were made to be. And uncovering the surface that faces God allows his light to flow into you, iluming you, but also to flow out of you through the other parts you have discovered and into the people you love, lighting them in turn.

  • Obliged_Cornball

    “..in the absence of love the ‘mother’ and ‘child’ do not exist as
    identities. What else is the advocacy of adoption but an implicit
    agreement that the woman pregnant from rape need not claim the identity
    of ‘mother’, but may give her baby to one who can make an
    identity-creating claim of love?”

    I’m not sure I understand you here. I’m of the opinion that an identity can exist independently of being claimed. If the identity of “mother” for a given lifeform is taken to mean “the biological entity of female gender having produced that lifeform,” where do claims fit into that? I might refuse to participate in the typical set of duties and privileges associated with motherhood, hence failing to claim the identity of “mother.” But this surely does not invalidate the entity because there is no reference to love in its definition.

    • http://www.facebook.com/marcjohnpaul Marc Barnes

      Here we have a distinction between the ontological and the existential. Yes, a mother is “the biological entity of female gender having produced that lifeform” but outside of love, this definition has no bearing on the person who actually is “the biological entity of female gender having produced that lifeform”. It is a label granted by an “objective” third-party, not an identity experienced by the human person. If we are to argue that this existential identity which is inseparable with love does not matter, and that it is really the “objective” view that matters, we must ask ourselves why the objective reality does not inspire “the typical set of duties and privileges associated with motherhood”.

  • choiceone

    You have chosen the name Marc for your identity, and it is a male name. We are both human, so either one of us could have been raped, but unlike you, I was threatened with rape pregnancy. I will not bother you with all the reasons you are wrong in being against the legality of abortion, logically, pragmatically, and metaphysically, though you are. I will merely say that I understood because of that experience, that if I were made pregnant through rape and could not get either a legal or an illegal abortion, I would commit suicide, and I know this because I planned one for the worst case scenario, not because I do not love God, but because I love God more than any of the things or people of this world. And I know, as you do not, that without liberty, there is not even the possibility of love. Life is a distinctly inferior value to liberty, which is why “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” I protect with my life the right of a girl or woman to choose whether or not to continue a pregnancy, because that right, a liberty, is more important than the life of any human being.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Corcoran/819167453 Mary Corcoran

      “Life is a distinctly inferior value to liberty” and “that right, a liberty, is more important than the life of any human being.” Well, shoot, I guess that means kids can kill their parents and teachers for forcing them to go to school? I can kill members of the IRS because I want to be free and not pay taxes? And I guess you would say all the beheadings of the French revolution were totes ok, since they were done in the name of “Liberty”.

      If you truly love God, then you love his commands. I’m pretty sure “Thou shalt not kill” is in their, though I don’t recall the “unless the innocent person you have decided to kill is getting the way of your 100% freedom to do whatever you want”. In fact, I’m pretty sure suicide is just as wrong as getting an abortion. See, you right to liberty ends where another person’s right to life begins. I don’t think killing yourself shows God how much you love Him; I think it’s just a form of running.

      Oh, and I’m a woman, who could be raped and become pregnant, so my opinion is just as valid as yours.

      • choiceone

        I am talking only about a woman’s or girl’s body and its contents, not completely separate bodies such as born children and their parents and teachers (and IRS) agents have. If you can detach the embryo or fetus from the woman or girl biologically and it is still living, then we can talk about two bodies of two people. Otherwise, it’s useless to talk to you about what you said in paragraph 1 of your post.

        You seem to think you know the Bible. Try these sites.

        http://www.beliefnet.com/News/2003/01/The-Biblical-Basis-Forbeing-Pro-Choice.aspx

        http://emerald7tfb.wordpress.com/2011/05/22/abortion-and-judeo-christian-religion/

        http://godswillchurch.com/2012/04/the-bible-is-pro-choice/

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0gEvC78FgA

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2012/10/30/hey-remember-when-evangelicals-were-pro-choice-because-of-the-bible-what-a-difference-30-years-makes/

        http://new.exchristian.net/2012/11/when-god-was-pro-choice-and-why-he.html

        http://www.rcrc.org/

        FYI, in the Bible, neither an embryo or fetus is a person. The Old Testament, including the Torah/Mosaic code, and the Mishnah, the first redaction in writing of oral Jewish law 220 C.E., clarify unequivocally that as long as the fetus is in the woman’s body, it is not a person.

        http://www.rcrc.org/pdf/RCRC_EdSeries_Fetus.pdf

        The word for person in the Old Testament is a “nephesh” or “nefesh,” which implies breath. No one could be a live person without breath, and the embryo/fetus does not breathe. In the Mishnah, there is a law that one cannot perform an abortion and so kill a fetus to save the life of a woman if the fetus has emerged more than halfway out of the woman’s body, but one can do so if it is less than halfway out.

        In the time of Jesus Christ, these were the basic Jewish concepts: before birth, one one not considered a live person in God. Jesus said, “Not one jot or tittle of the law will fail,” so he accepted Jewish law and its definitions. Hence, one cannot argue that Jesus Christ would consider abortion killing – unless the fetus was more than halfway out of the woman’s body.

        A soldier, sailor, or air force pilot who volunteers for a mission in which he knows his chances of survival are close to nothing is choosing a suicide mission. The Vietnamese Buddhist monks and nuns who set fire to themselves in the streets of Saigon in the early 1960s to protest against the corrupt militaristic regime were choosing suicide. The countless women and girls throughout history who stabbed themselves in the heart rather than be subject to violent rape were choosing suicide. When Jesus, who had sufficient means to escape or avoid being unjustly tried, found guilty, and crucified, did not use those means but allowed the injustice, that was choosing suicide, though he knew he would be resurrected. If a woman or girl chooses to continue a pregnancy to term even when numerous doctors have diagnosed her with an imminent threat to her life, she is choosing suicide. Suicide means laying down your own life for something you believe is more important than yourself. We all have something to do it for.

        And, oh, I actually was raped, violently, when young, and threatened with rape pregnancy, at a time when there was no Plan B, no home pregnancy test, and no Roe v Wade. Thank God I was able to demonstrate by Christian prayer that I was not.

        And when I prayed to God and Christ to see to it that no
        woman in my country ever again experience the injustice of a threat of rape pregnancy
        without the safety of mind of knowing that she had a legal means of not
        being pregnant by rape or by non-consent, even if she patronized materialistic medicine rather than spiritual healing, my prayer was answered, by Roe v Wade. Thank God.

        God has answered my prayers not only for myself, but for quite a few
        others across a long life of having a personal, intimate experience of
        God’s liberal benevolence.

        I do not believe God has ever invited you beyond your materialistic, sex-bound horizon – by providing you with beatitude, precognition, spiritual healing of physical illness either as patient or prayer, or the threats of rape, murder, dying by illness, by actual rape, violence, libel, injustice, and despair that necessarily form a prelude to transcendent or spiritual invitations.

        But that said, I do believe your opinion is as valid for you as is mine for me. And that is why I made that prayer answered by Roe v Wade, so that girls and women like you would never have to experience an injustice I did. You will not get God to answer a prayer to allow you to impose an injustice on someone who has prayed not to have that injustice imposed on her, because God has already answered the prayers of the faithful to stop that injustice. Hence, you are free to have and practice your opinion for you, but not to violate the rights of others.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          All that means that you think the children of rape deserve the death penalty. You’re a bigot.

          • choiceone

            I’ve said it before and will again. I know of no pro-choice person who believes it’s okay to kill any born child regardless of how it was conceived. I think it is okay for a woman to have an abortion of any pregnancy, whether there was consensual sex, rape sex, or IVF. So I’m not a bigot about children of rape. I make a distinction between what is inside the woman’s body and what is outside of it. Her body belongs to her and not to you, and I will defend her right to keep you off it and the government off it, and I will defend her right to kick embryos out of it and, equally, her right to keep embryos in it.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Thanks for proving your bigotry against pregnancy in general and against all of the next generation- including your nephew. I wonder if he knows his aunt hates him.

        • anon

          Choiceone, you write, “FYI, in the Bible, neither an embryo nor fetus is a person.”

          ummmm… do these verses below seem like they agree with your understanding?

          New International Version (©1984) Jeremiah 1:5
          “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;…”

          New International Version (©1984) Psalm 139:13
          “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

          • choiceone

            Jeremiah 1: 5 presents the words of the prophet Jeremiah, not everybody.

            As for Psalm 139, you should take a look at how man different translations there are and how they differ, including more literal translations. http://www.hebrewoldtestament.com/B19C139.htm#V13

            I challenge you to go through the Bible from cover to cover with the express purpose of trying to find any clear and unequivocal statement that an embryo is a person. I stand by “nephesh.”

    • Liam Wells

      OK, let me get this straight – you love God more than all the things and people of the world, and yet you wouldn’t trust that His Providence will be there to guide you in the most horrendous of circumstances? That strikes me as very odd, especially considering that God loves life, including going so far as to embrace His own suffering and death and offering it up for the forgiveness of our sins. If it’s good enough for God, why not us?

      But another question strikes me – why would you kill yourself? In the absence of other choices, what is such an act beyond selfishness and nihilism? Are you that against that only choice you didn’t ever mention – life, for yourself and your child? It strikes me as not very libertarian to not even consider such an option. And I want to know why that choice is abhorrent to you.

      And one final thing – I don’t think Marc chose his name. It was given to him, as is most often the case.

      • choiceone

        God did guide me in the most horrendous of circumstances. You are mistaking mortal human life for eternal life. I would certainly have been willing to embrace death by crucifixion. What I was not willing to embrace was rape pregnancy. Because men do not have embrace pregnancy to which they do not consent, we cannot be possibly equal in the sight of God if some of us are required to embrace something worse than death and the others are exempt. And FYI on suicide, I strongly suggest you read the posted reply just above yours. When Jesus, who had the means to escape or avoid unjust arrest, trial, conviction, and crucifixion, did not do that, he knew he was laying down his life and didn’t care. That is suicide even if you have faith you are going to be resurrected. Millions of people do it. But we have the right to do it in equality and liberty, and to lay down our lives for purposes that we believe with our whole hearts, minds, and souls to be right.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          What is more right than giving of yourself to create another human being when called to do so, regardless of the circumstances?

          Oh yeah, other human beings don’t deserve the right to be born. Just you.

          And they wonder why pro-lifers treat pro-choicers like spoiled brat little children.

          • choiceone

            You are assuming that women who get pregnant are all called to create another human being. Whatever happened to testing the angel? You merely assume that God makes all zygotes and Satan makes none. That is your belief. It is my job as a citizen to prevent you from imposing that belief in our laws because there are many people who do not agree with you.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Pregnancy is the calling to create another human being. God makes all human beings, Satan creates nothing, he only destroys. Kind of like you.

          • choiceone

            I question the claim that pregnancy is the calling to create another human being. And if it were already a human being created by God, how could pregnancy be the calling to create one? God is the truth and makes the truth. Satan makes illusion and lies – the word from which the name came, shaitan, means libel, false witness – which obscure the truth. We don’t need to create the truth, only to demonstrate it. But the real God has nothing to do with physics, chemistry, and biology: the real God makes spiritual Man, in which male and female are equal. A woman can be impregnated against her will, and a man cannot be: what does sex have to do with our being in God’s sight, seeing as how in that sight we are equal?

        • Liam Wells

          God did guide you? OK, but it doesn’t seem like you’d trust him through this awful and tear-filled valley. I’ll pray that you never go there, but if it should happen, and you abort, you are saying “God, I DO NOT trust in your guidance or creativity! This child was created by you, but I do not trust that there might be some good that can come of this!”

          And don’t deny it – that is exactly what you are saying.

          To choose instead to trust God is indeed to do something that puts one on a different level to others, including men and women who do not go through such a horrific occurrence, but it is not an inferior level. It is a superior one. Our sufferings, endured for the love of others and of God, are meritorious for our salvation of those around us. The Lord endured suffering for love of others and God, and thus merited the salvation of all the elect who would choose to recieve it.

          As for martyrdom and suicide, I’ll leave you to Chesterton (http://lewiscrusade.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/g-k-chesterton-on-suicide-versus-martyrdom/), noting that you would destroy your own life to destroy another. That you would conflate them reveals your own lack of love for the Lord as He is. You domesticate Him, turn Him into an invisible friend, and that is truly sad.

          Now, if you would indulge me I do have a question I would very much like to see answered. Apart from the moment of conception, what is, objectively speaking, the difference between the child conceived in rape, and the child conceived in marriage? What changes, scientifically and biologically, between the two?

          • choiceone

            Actually, in that circumstance, I would merely have opted to eliminate myself from the universe rather than tell a lie with my body and have everyone in the universe claim the lie was true. I do not use the objective empirical evidence of the senses as a criterion for what God made, because Christ changed the evidence of the senses. Just because something appears to exist does not mean that it has substance in God. The world is not evidence of God.

            It is hard for people who have never faced a real crisis of conscience to grasp that the idea of suicide ironically gives hope because it means alternatives, and therefore liberty, always exist, which is evidence that the Spirit of the Lord has to be present.

            If the Divinity that is the ground of your being is not an invisible friend, He must be an invisible enemy, and I do not believe God is my enemy. You are free to worship a God, to bow down to a ground of being, who decrees that rape victims give birth to the children of their rapists, but I do not and will not, and I would not blaspheme the name of my God by claiming that He does that.

            I do not think there is any scientific or biological difference between rape pregnancy and any other kind, between a rape embryo, which is conceived in mortal fear, and an embryo conceived in immortal love. But I do think there is an absolute difference in the ontic or ontological status in truth. To me, a consensual pregnancy has substantive being in truth and a non-consensual one does not. One is real, the other a mirage. If the woman chooses to continue a rape pregnancy, she is consenting to it, and that makes it a consensual pregnancy, i.e., substantive. If she does not choose to do so and you force her to, that makes it fake, a lie that Satan made. And that Satan is then you, for you are responsible for making a lie that slanders her.

          • Liam Wells

            “I do not use the objective empirical evidence of the senses as a
            criterion for what God made, because Christ changed the evidence of the senses. Just because something appears to exist does not mean that it has substance in God.”

            Existance is binary, my dear. You either exist or you don’t. There’s no in-between, no half-and-half. It’s all or nothing, and there’s no other choice.

            Take your pick. (I hope you’re not Irish ^_^)

            “The world is not evidence of God.”

            St Thomas Aquinas is not impressed with your theology.

            “The idea of suicide ironically gives hope because it means alternatives.”

            Not all alternatives are acceptable or even worth considering. Though “I had no choice” is a common catchphrase, insofar as it goes, it is something that is absolutely never ever true. For anyone.

            “To me, a consensual pregnancy has substantive being in truth and a non-consensual one does not. One is real, the other a mirage.”

            Considering that you previously asserted that your physical senses do not give you accurate and trustworthy information (at which point I must ask how you can attain any knowledge), this statement is hardly surprising, though no less disturbing. It’s the next sentence that gets me…

            “If the woman chooses to continue a rape pregnancy, she is consenting to it, and that makes it a consensual pregnancy, i.e., substantive.”

            So, you’re saying that a woman who continues a pregnancy conceived in rape turns the actual rape into a consensual act of sex, thus post facto legitimising the crime and eliminating, after the historical fact, the sin?

            Sin and evil don’t work that way – believe me, I know. There’s no post facto legitimising. Sin is objective, just like a rock is objective. Both are quite painful when kicked.

            “If she does not choose to do so and you force her to, that makes it fake, a lie that Satan made. And that Satan is then you, for you are responsible for making a lie that slanders her.”

            Terribly sorry, but the cosmic order isn’t quite like that. Satan is not like God – St Michael called him out on that. Satan is vastly inferior to God, and his opponent is not God, but St Michael the Archangel. It was a war between angels, which angels fought and won for the Lord. It was their struggle, and God let them struggle that they might have the greater glory for it. See my previous post regarding suffering and glory.

            Another thing – life is an objective binary occurance – you’re either alive or you’re not. Now, you assert, contrary to the observable facts, that a child conceived in rape is initially not alive at all, while a child, in exactly the same development trajectory, is alive. This doesn’t jive with a binary option, because a binary option accepts no exceptions. It is or it isn’t. There’s nothing else to say. And from the objective standpoint, that child is alive, and you admit as such. It is only subjectivity, which is prone to error (for no man or woman is fit to judge his or her own case), that keeps you from accepting the objective truth in this regard.

            And much as I’d love to have an angelic nature, I’m afraid I can’t be Satan. I need (and like) to sleep, and I like going on holidays. ^_^

          • choiceone

            “St Thomas Aquinas is not impressed with your theology.”

            That’s right, and I’m not impressed with his theology. When a man takes vows of celibacy, he is or should be renouncing all interest in the sex organs of other persons and their contents. Any man other than one to whom a woman gives permission to have an interest in hers shouldn’t be even thinking about them – they are her private property and she has the legal right to use deadly force if necessary to prevent people from penetrating them, both for sexual and medical purposes. St. Thoma Aquinas should not ever have said anything about embryos, because God did not make them the business of any human man.

          • Liam Wells

            Le sigh.

            Your statement was that “The world is not evidence of God.” Given that St Thomas Aquinas generated 5 different arguments that use the world’s existence to deduce the existence of a Creator, and is extremely famous for the five arguments, I was referring to that in reply to your statement which I have just requoted.

            As for preventing rape – I would concur (though I question the need for deadly force). However, the child is no invader – half the “raw material” (as it were) is already contained in your ovaries.

            And au contraire, God did indeed make the embryo an interest of the man, given that we’re there at the start, and are expected to be there to provide when the child emerges into the world. Marc has actually gone into this in another article. Enjoy: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/?p=2659

          • choiceone

            Sorry, I don’t buy the argument that the Creator made the world we perceive with mortal senses. As far as I’m concerned, an immortal Creator who makes a universe, a world, and a Man, male and female, in his image and likeness, makes only an immortal one – there can’t possibly be any death in it. Except for certain bacterial forms, all the live forms in the mortal universe and world die and do not get resurrected after several days except Jesus Christ. The evidence of the mortal senses suggests that every ordinary person who dies has no immortal life at all. I don’t accept the argument that evidence of mortality is evidence for immortality. If I think that, in the real universe, those who appear here to die nonetheless have immortality without ever having mortal children, and I certainly do, my evidence for that is not based on the mortal senses.

            The embryo or fetus is either a unique person or it isn’t such a person. If it is a unique person, it has no right to be inside any woman’s body unless she explicitly agreed to that particular person’s being inside it. When a woman has sex, she consents to one particular man putting one particular body part in one particular place in her body for a limited time. His born children don’t get to share in that consent, so why would a zygote, who does not even exist yet, get that consent. If it is part of the woman’s body, she has the right to do with it what she wants – use her own life and body to develop it until it becomes a unique person or decide not to and end the pregnancy.

            You do not have the right to know that a woman is pregnant – you have no right to force her to take a pregnancy test nor a right to see the results. In fact, she has the right to stay in her home, not go to the doctor, and, if she has the means, have her necessities of life delivered to her door and pay for them by credit/debit card or check in advance for the entire nine months. Furthermore, she has the right, if she has the means, to leave the country and never come back.

            The only way you could legally access the information during those nine months or if she left the country is if you married her. But she has the right never to marry. So if you expect to have any relation to that embryo, you have to marry the woman first. And if you marry her in a Christian ceremony, you take a vow to love, honor, and cherish and, forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto her. That forsaking means does not mean just not having sex with others. It means putting her first, before all others, including your own children, and that is the reason why the court can force you to testify against your children if they are accused of crimes, but you cannot be forced to testify against your spouse. So in any pregnancy that threatened the well-being of your spouse, you would have to choose the well-being of your spouse above the life of that embryo or fetus unless your spouse said otherwise. If you can’t hack that, don’t get married.

          • Liam Wells

            Your objection to God’s creation of the material universe is, on the surface at least, reasonable. Indeed, death does seem to put the lie to the claim that the universe was made by God, for it would have been made perfect. This is perfectly logical, and prior to the Fall, was actually the case.

            When we sinned, however, we broke the communion we had with God. When you actually look at the creation of the world, God built a Temple and placed us (humanity) in the Holy of Holies to be His priests. Our sin broke that original intent, and as such all of creation was affected by it. (I would actually recommend the book Genesis to Jesus by Scott Hahn for more information on this).

            God wasn’t kidding that the day that we sinned, we died. Sin is an absence of what ought to be there, and what ought always to be there is indeed life. That we live in a world in which we sin and suffer necessarily means that our physical lives, much as they ought to be here forever, aren’t actually here forever.

            But we are human – if we were just a soul trapped in a body, we’d be angels. If we were just bodies, only animals. But we are body AND soul, and therefore, at the end of time, our bodies will be returned to us, and we shall be made complete.

            As for the manner of treating a woman… I’m not entirely sure that we even see sex in the same way. You see, I think you’re actually getting it all the wrong way around. You say that sex occurs, and then marriage follows, but it’s precisely the other way around! You see, sex is meant to be the fulness of that image of God in which we are created. Don’t you think it interesting that Genesis so labours the point insofar as God says (to Himself) “Let US make man in OUR image” and that it is then narratted that “God made man in His image, MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM” (emphasis mine). Our natures as male and female aren’t accidental – we correspond to two components of the Blessed Trinity, the Father and the Son. The love of the Father for the Son (and vice versa) is pure, complete, totally self-giving and utterly exclusive, and that love is the wellspring of the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, who corresponds to the child.

            What you propose, first of all, violates this image (for it views a man as a threat, when he shouldn’t be. Who’s to actually blame for that perception, true or false, is irrelevant. The ideal man is not a threat to any woman – He’s been crucified, in point of fact), precisely by getting the order wrong and presuming the ideal situation is not communion but conflict.

            And secondly, even within a marriage, for the wife to say “I will destroy the fruit of our love” gives the lie to her love (just as any man who said that would give the lie to his love). It actually says no love exists.

            And finally, what actually makes something a part of one’s own body? I certainly wouldn’t call a tapeworm a part of my body, though it undeniably lives there. And yet, I would call a transplanted organ a part of my body, because it not just resides in me, but is necessary for my continuing life. I would therefore make bold to suggest from these considerations that the child is not a part of the woman’s body, but to the contrary, the woman is part of the child’s body (as indeed she genetically is! Flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone indeed!). There’s a surprising thought (and if you’d believe it, I wasn’t even really writing to that point. The Holy Spirit is amazing!).

            If I might give a final word – you’ve been very combative and aggressive in your tone (and if I have been, then please do forgive me), and I can tell from your attitude towards this issue and the related issues of marriage etc that you view men as a threat. While it is true I am a man, I can assure you I am no threat. My language tells you I don’t live in America (I am in point of fact Australian), and my own arguments preclude me from being a threat to you. Otherwise, I am a hypocrite, and rightly condemned. So please, I want you to stop viewing me as a threat, some other thing, a boogeyman. Mark’s big on this with his rage against the labelling.

            I am who I am, and I try to conform myself to He Who Is. I am not here to threaten you. I am not here to browbeat you. I am here to love, from halfway around the world, to open yourself up and stop viewing other men as a threat. Why you do that, I don’t know, and I’m probably not the one to tell either. But tell God. He is the Perfect Man, in Christ Jesus, and He won’t condemn you for your mistrust and fear. He wants to bring you out of fear, and so do I (but I can’t do it – only He can).

            I doubt you’ll agree with me on this topic when you read this. But talk to God, not about abortion, but about men. He’s a Man who was true to His Word, and still is. If there’s any man I’d trust, it’s Him.

            And if you can’t make bold for that, try Mary. A mother’s love is beyond what I could ever imagine.

            I leave you with love.

            Pax – L. Wells

          • choiceone

            I’m sorry if I left you with the wrong impression. The only thing I care about in the issue of abortion is that abortion remain legal in the US and remain or become legal elsewhere because female persons should have equal rights and that includes the right to control their own bodies in accord with their consciences and freedom of religion.
            As for your philosophy, I think it’s perfectly okay as long as you do not try to impose it via secular human legal systems on anyone else.

            Actually, I’m not concerned about whether sex or marriage comes first as long as both are completely voluntary and do not occur because of adults preying on minors.

            When I was rapedas a young woman, I did not take that as God telling me I had to be prey to male lust for the rest of my life or follow a calling of sexuality, which parenthood is. I chose a life of celibacy, no marriage, no sex, because it makes much better sense to me, given what God created in Genesis 1 – Genesis 2 has never made any sense to me. You can’t be truly open if you are actively sexual, since marriage requires that you discriminate against other sexual seekers. The only way to remain open in impartiality is to say an absolute no to all sexual seekers. Friendship seems to me a million times more spiritual than marriage, but I understand that lots of people disagree. Whatever floats your boat.

            Since I’m a little old lady now and therefore can’t be forcibly impregnated by any male rapist, I am without fear of anyone as regards myself. I can take walks in the middle of the night even here in the US as I was able to do as a young woman only in Tokyo, which was the safest megacity in the world then. So I’m only concerned for all the young women today who are vulnerable to that particular illusion of forced impregnation.

            Peace and love to/for you – choiceone

          • Liam Wells

            I can’t actually give words to my admiration that you’re able to talk about your past experiences like that. It does confirm my suspicion that you see men as predators – such a reaction is completely understandable under the circumstances. I can’t remember where I saw it, but the rise of abortion, contraception and divorce has all been linked philosophically to women seeing men as a threat. And such a view is not entirely without foundation – men certainly did act as predators, and this was the way to, as it were, even the power spectrum.

            I disagree with both the actions of the men that led to the perception, and the response of women. I can only speak for myself in that I would treat a woman with respect and honour as a daughter of God. It’s the litmus test really – remind yourself that she (or he) is a daughter (or son) of God. If you realise the full that this accords to another, and you see you’re not living up to that dignity, then the way you’re treating someone is going wrong somewhere. That’s how it was explained to me, and I’m starting to see its full implications.

            I might also give you a pointer on celibacy and parenthood – Mary, Mother of God, managed to combine both within her person in the perfection of each state. She was a vergin, and thus perfectly celibate, but she was also a mother, and the perfect mother too. Of course, we fall short, but I think it’s worth noting that celibacy and motherhood should not be viewed as mutually exclusive. It’s the great Catholic Both/And.

            But you’re absolutely right – a celibate life opens one up to love everyone. Hence so many nuns and monks and priests, and the view that a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life was a superior vocation than that of marriage, for the love was universal. Such a state emphasises philia, the love of friends, as opposed to eros, the love formed around the sexual union, and storge, the love of family and the familiar. The latter are by their nature more limited in scope, whereas the former is, as you rightly point out, broader in the scope of its love. And as Christians, it must all be coloured and permeated in agape, the Divine Love.

            If I might try and draw it all into a neat bow, Love is the source of Life. The love of husband and wife creates the life of the child. The love of friends can restore and enhance the lives of that circle, however large or small it be. To destroy life is to destroy love. To give life is to give love. You have experienced the destruction, and that makes it hard to give yourself in love. I can understand that, though I do not believe it wise or virtuous. To love is to live, and I fear you may limit your own life by your attitudes towards others as threats to your own life. Our Blessed Lord said “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” You can kill me, but that’s it. That’s the limit (some limit, eh?). I can love you, and fear the one who can condemn me to Hell, or I can hate you, and fear the one who could save me from it.

            I will pray a Rosary for you tonight, and myself too. God only knows I need the help, same as you.

            God love you – L. Wells

          • choiceone

            Actually, it’s not hard to open up about any experiences one has had – I am surprised you would think so. I have a different philosophical view, and I hope you do not find it in any way insulting, for I do not intend that.

            “Those who marry and are given in marriage are not worthy of that world and the resurrection of the dead,” and “When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage.” These are not words attributed to a disciple, but to Jesus Christ. Later in the New Testament, one finds, “A man who gives his daughter in marriage does well, but a man who does not give his daughter in marriage does better.” And “The married woman cares for the things of her husband, how she may please her husband . . . the unmarried woman cares for the things of God, and how she may please God.”

            The Gospels and later New Testament make it clear by this that married bliss is radically different from single bliss. I was aware of these passages from the time of my confirmation classes and had thought about them long before I grew up, and was puzzled. When I was a child, our society privileged marriage above singleness, especially for women, and sought to socialize every girl to want to get married and be a housewife and mother. We were warned that we should not get fat or no man would marry us. Virginity was often lauded not for its spiritual meaning, but along with superficial looks as something valuable for attracting a husband. The entire society made it a virtue for girls to be good at cooking, housework, childcare, to like babies, be good looking, and thus be “marriageable.”

            Meanwhile, like many parents, mine also wanted us to be intelligent, study hard, learn many things, get good marks, discover our innate talents find the paths of activity that seemed good to us, and follow them.

            For men, there was no contradiction between the latter and marriage. It was assumed that for them vocation and marriage were separate. But for women, marriage and motherhood and housewifery were treated as a vocation. And I had no interest in giving up the study hard, learn, make use of your innate talents, go where it seems good to you part. As high school and college girls, we all felt the inherent conflict between the ideal of fulfillment as a woman and the ideal of fulfillment as a person, and many of us saw the former as a sacrifice of those aims and even vocations other than marriage and motherhood to which we, as persons, felt called. Many parents wanted girls to have fulfillment as persons only so long as it led to marriage, and many men wanted women to have that fulfillment, but expected women to give it up for them without giving up anything comparable themselves.

            And so those passages in the New Testament were of continuing interest, especially in relation to Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. For in the Man in God’s image in the former, there is no inequality of male and female, but Adam and Eve are hierarchically related. Eve has the first husband in the Bible, and she is told that he will rule over her.

            There are female persons who are called to marriage and motherhood, of course. But God only offered Mary the opportunity to give birth to Jesus after she was formally betrothed, and all other pregnancies in the Old Testament and the Gospels which are specifically credited to God occur only to married women. These women had already agreed to take a husband and thus a role subordinate to a man’s, not a role of equality as in Genesis 1.

            That there is a great difference between the love of children and parents, a wife who takes wife-motherhood as a vocation and a husband with a vocation separate from marriage, and the love of equal friends. Parents have to privilege their children and children their parents, and spouses have to privilege one another, above others in the world. But in so far as we are equally children of God, we do not privilege one above others.

            If I gave you the sense that I took all men as predators, I regret this, for I have many men friends. Such relations were difficult to maintain in youth. I was not bad looking and attracted them in ways I did not intend. For it is the way of the world to try to draw women into marriage. But when we choose marriage, we choose to tell God that He need not decide whether or not we are worthy of the resurrection of the dead, for we are making the decision ourselves.

            If we marry, are we dead? When we rise from the dead, we will not marry or be given in marriage. If we marry and perceive a conflict between pleasing our spouse and pleasing God, it will be because we have not chosen marriage absolutely, where the spouse gets priority. The truth is, I could not possibly have made that choice absolutely.

            It took a great determination to choose a path other than marriage as a female person, because society and many men and others, too, push for women to choose marriage and motherhood and try to discourage any other path. It is in that context that men can seem like “predators” – rape and assault are not necessary. Unless one wants to privilege marriage and motherhood as one’s vocation above all other paths, men seeking women to marry or just to romance are a distraction. Their interests can conflict with a path one feels called to.

            So I think you have misunderstood as lack of love a love that simply was not related to marriage or sex or sexual reproduction or the privileging of a spouse or child. I agree that life comes from love, but I also know that true life cannot come from false love and vice versa. God is Love and Truth indivisibly. And in the presence of that God, I just don’t see female persons as subordinate to male persons or obeying male persons, or as privileging some over others as marriage and parenthood call them to do.

            My path has been like the one Robert Frost did not take – for it is impossible to travel two paths at the same time. If you are married, it led to experiences you probably can’t even imagine, but not outside of love, just outside the carnal version. It led to friendships and being able to help others sometimes in ways that being married or uncelibate could not.

            You may think mine was not a wise path or a virtuous one. I understand that. If you are married, like most married people, you are probably convinced that marriage is superior to being single, despite those verses from the New Testament. And if you are a priest, like most priests, you are convinced that single celibate females should take a vow to the church be under the authority of priests.

            But for me, true love is the friendship of equals.

            I wish you love, peace, and truth.

            choiceone

          • Liam Wells

            With regards to your experience, I just imagined the intensity of them as being something that you would prefer not to bring up. But I underestimated your strength of character, and so I stand corrected.

            Secondly, I am actually a celibate lay man. Not married, not a priest. We’re all called to a vocation, a state of life through which we will most profitably relate to our Lord. If that, for you, is a lay celibate life, then that’s what you were made for. Some people are called to maintain that, and the societal pressures the other way are an impediment to that fulfilment. I trust to your judgement on the matter, and trust that you have found your vocation.

            Insofar as marriage is dissolved upon death, that is indeed true. When the promise of marriage is made “until death do us part”, then the marriage ends with the death of one or both spouses (priesthood, however, is never dissolved; you’re a priest for all eternity). However, you should not deny its value, for God describes His relationship with His Church (and earlier with Israel) in terms of Bride and Groom. Again, however, if it’s not your vocation to marry, then that is not your vocation, and you are well and truly right to not marry (this is where the idea of the Tertiary came in – they were lay people, men and women, who would live lives of prayer and service, and bind themselves to a community of monks, nuns and/or priests). And so that love, that philia which I spoke of, the love of friends (which is different to storge, as you rightly said) can always be lived within the rhythms of the Catholic life.

            And you basically admit that it was the attitude towards masculinity that prompted your own view – you essentially said that women were told to fulfil two ideals as children, and then give one up as an adult, while men could still have both. And you’re right – it’s ridiculous and unfair. It was wrong. And as I said, it’s what led to this nasty backlash by women with contraception, the mentality of which leads to abortion, and divorce, and many other things. Not all at once, and for each woman, in varying degrees (in your case, for example, divorce is off the table since you never married). It is this poor idea of masculinity you reacted to, and so I probably shouldn’t have said “men” but rather “men who subscribe to this masculinity” (there are others out there, as I’m sure you’re aware).

            But I’d like to focus a bit on this: “I agree that life comes from love, but I also know that true life cannot come from false love and vice versa.”

            Now here, I have some experience that is relevant. I’m a fairly smart guy. I’m good at maths, thoroughly enjoy physics and know my theology, a smattering of poetry and a broad slip of history. My brain is big. And it really showed in my relationship with God. I did things because it made intellectual sense, not because I loved God, but because I knew God (and not an intimate knowing, but a general, descriptive, scientific knowing). I was a tick-a-box Catholic, largely, and I was always going to hit a wall in that mindset. I would never be able to love God as God through this means.

            It was, to tell the truth, an inauthentic love. But it led me to a more authentic love.

            What I described was where I really started. I’ve moved a little bit past that now, as I have realised that it isn’t enough to simply be intellectually correct (and for you and I to agree intellectually). That isn’t the unity God desires. He wants us to love each other, to will the best of all those around us, and do something about it. The inauthentic love of descriptive knowledge led to the authentic love of active knowledge and action. Without the inauthentic to start me off, I couldn never have achieved the authentic.

            It’s like this conversation. It started very inauthentically – we called each other names, and argued intensely on an intellectual basis. Now? It’s a personal relationship. I know things about you that don’t just help me descriptively know you, but actively know you. It’s a big difference, and something that I know might be a bit confusing. But let me give another example.

            Sam Clear went for a walk around the world to pray for Christian unity. While he was in South America, he came into a village that was so insular that no one in the village would talk to anyone from outside of the village. A man lived in this village with his wife and children, and approached Sam and offered him a place to stay and managed to get some food.

            Here’s where it gets sad – the man was leaving the next day to get a bus to the city so he could find work, since he was an outsider and no one in the village would talk to him. The food that he had gotten the previous night he’d had to beg for, and the only people who had actually given him anything were his in laws (his wife was from the village). He didn’t want to leave, but the lack of active love on the part of the villagers forced him to.

            So Sam walked on, and came across a Dominican priest. After telling him about his walk around the world, and of this man’s story, the Dominican said “I don’t much care for your intent, and I don’t think God does either.” And he explained exactly what I said above (in fact, that’s where I got it from) – it’s not enough that we agree with each other. We have to love one another. Love is an active knowledge. Agreement is a descriptive knowledge.

            So, I would dare suggest that what you call inauthentic love is not something to be ignored. Rather, it is something to be purified into active love, active knowledge. To love is to will the best for the beloved and do something about it, and it’s not a finite thing. If there is inauthentic love, a purely descriptive love, we have to transform that into authentic and active love. It’s not something you really think about. It’s just something you do. It’s like picking up something that a child dropped – either you do it or you don’t. The key is being willing to charge in first and lead by example.

            If you’re interested, you can listen to Sam’s story here: http://cradio.org.au/talks-and-resources/pub-talks/guinness-and-god-canberra/gg-for-christian-unity/. I do recommend it. If nothing else, it is quite funny. ^_^

            God love you.

            L Wells.

          • choiceone

            I’m not sure I grasp what you said about masculinity and attitudes toward it. For women, the fact is that ideals for realizing one’s potential as a person and for producing and raising children as a woman are potentially in conflict unless identical. This has less to do with men than with what women know about being women. Men come into the situation as potential distractions from one ideal.

            One’s calling as a person may, of course, require having a body unchanged by typical changes resulting from pregnancy, but women can often pursue their calling and have and raise children, too, if they have sufficient resources. Female CEOs, professors, lawyers, scientists, and other professionals just hire nannies for their children and cleaning ladies for housework and send laundry out. But for the woman without the income needed for all that extra help, or for, say, a prima ballerina, a conflict develops between her calling as a person and either pregnancy itself or the role of mother. Even some female CEOs and other professionals have tried and seen that one cannot “have it all.”

            At the same time, though, a woman who pursues motherhood as a calling has her own problems. If she “gave up” a certain potential for her own personhood to have a child, she often hopes that her child will have it instead. It is remarkable how often a child does become what the mother would have if she had not had a child or, less often, what a father would have if he had not needed to support his family. But in truth children have their own potential and should be free to fulfill that.

            If the woman truly wants to “give up” that potential of her personhood, because she would rather have the child, there may be wistful regret, but not much. But if that potential is forcibly taken away rather than freely given, no matter how much satisfaction a woman finds in the sacrifice, it isn’t fulfillment because it isn’t really even her sacrifice. That is why so many girls and women who have unwanted pregnancies see them as the death of their personhood and even their soul.

            What I meant by false love is not just a lesser sort of love, but not-love. Your experience of knowing God only intellectually was not false love. It was just the shallower version of what could and apparently did become deeper. The earlier version not inauthentic; it’s just shallower. And indeed, both versions are still yours, the development arising from your unique inner person.

            When a woman’s calling is taken away and a child is substituted, something different happens. She can often intuit that the right to personify that calling has been taken from her and given to her child as an extension of her. And that is not a deeper version of the same thing. Nor is it her “crucifixion,” as it would be if she herself chose consciously to lay down the right for the sake of another. It is more like a “reincarnation” of part of her inner person in another outer person, an alienation of part of her.

            I have actually seen this happen with some women. Sometimes, I have tried to advise them that it need not be that, that they can in fact still follow that calling and have the child, too, and have even described in detail the practical ways they could make that happen. But some women intuit through their tears that having the child means another outer person is getting what was inherently their own potential to personify. In short, it is a kind of jealousy. I won’t say that it is selfish. I know of women who put their own aspirations on hold for their husbands, for a child, for their husband’s aspirations, waiting for their own day, only to get pregnant again.

            To be sure, such women can adapt and love the new child and not regret having it. But they nonetheless carry a shadow of regret and sorrow that they are women at all, that they ever agreed to marriage or sex, that life itself is not fair. If they are Buddhist, they may want more firmly to be men next time around. If they are Christian, they may just resign themselves and make the best of it. But that is not experiencing a child as a blessing – it is an experience of loss.

            I just cannot think that is what life should be for any person. One should incarnate those potentials that call one in one’s own personhood. A child can then be received properly, as someone unique to be cherished for its own and different inner person. Each then can fulfill his or her personhood and soul. We can all be brothers and sisters reflecting God rather than children replacing people whom blind nature has pushed into parenthood. For me, there is a big difference between blind nature and God: blind nature, being force, pushes, but God, being Love, leads.

            Well, I seem to have sidetracked myself from crisp direction to all your points, but please do not mind.

            Peace and love,

            choiceone

          • Liam Wells

            Ah, OK, I think I’m seeing what you’re saying a bit more, so allow me to illuminate my point about the poor example of men.

            Men, as you are undoubtedly aware, do not give very much biologically when it comes to procreation. We’re there for the fun part, and are somewhat removed from the rest of childbearing. When the child is born, the father can become more involved, but in the past few men did. The man didn’t give himself to his wife and his children, but rather would come home from work, complain, and then shoot off to the pub for a drink with his friends.

            It seems like the good life, doesn’t it? Men have it easy. And so the question naturally became – why can’t women have that?

            With the rise of contraception and societal acceptance of abortion, women have largely said to themselves that they can have what they see men as having – free sex, lots of booze, etc, etc.

            I say no, though. I say no to abortion and to contraception because they are rooted in this bad idea of “the good life”. And I say no (at least in theory) to that “good life” for a man too.

            We, as humans, are not made to simply do it our way. We’re not made to be what we want to be. Rather, we are made to love, to give ourselves wholly to our beloved, and to become what we were made to be (this is the true idea of vocation). This is why I have put much down to the failure of men – we didn’t give ourselves in love, and the attraction of such a failure drew women into that lifestyle as well.

            It’s the desire that all reach their fullest potential, and if I may propose a point you may not have thought of, neither nor I chose whether we would live or not. We had no choice in whether we were conceived in rape, in love, in marriage or otherwise. We never had a choice in accepting that gift. The only choice we have is what to do with the gift given to us.

            God has revealed to us that the way to use that gift of our own life is to give it away to others. The most naturally intimate way to do that is in marriage, as the two become one flesh. The most supernaturally intimate way to do that is service to God through the fourteen works of mercy (as done by priests, monks, nuns and all the others).

            Life is only 10% what happens to us. The other 90% is how we think about what’s happened to us. The woman who sees her calling in giving herself to others as a celibate woman, and is raped and conceives a child ought not to get an abortion, for she carries within herself one to whom she can give herself. Love never has enough to love, and that’s why it hurts. Marc’s always on about this – it’s infinite, pointing to eternity. There’s never enough love, and never enough to love.

            So I cannot concur with your view. It is illogical from a proper understanding of what it is to be human. Your view, derived as it is from the inferior understanding of humanity that you recieved from society, though deplorable, is understandable and not something that you are fully accountable for. Others didn’t teach you what you ought to have been taught, and didn’t set the example that you ought to have been set.

            I propose a reevaluation of your view of humanity, and that does necessarily mean that will not answer every one of each other’s points ^_^. But regardless, I would highly recommed reading Section One of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It moved me to tears when I first read it years ago, and I doubt I could do much better here than simply point you to it. http://www.vatican.va/archive/compendium_ccc/documents/archive_2005_compendium-ccc_en.html

            God love you,

            L Wells

          • choiceone

            I understand your view, but I cannot concur with it. I do not think we were made to give ourselves completely and in carnal intimacy to people. Though there was a sort of selfish aspect of the bad model men developed, the good men’s model was able to transcend the carnal and banal realities of the average woman in the average life. Immersion in physical drudgery and bodily comforting to the sacrifice of intellect and higher horizons reduces one to carnality, flesh, touch, gravity pulling one down to the dirt and all that is the opposite of spirituality.

            I have never been the sort of snob not to get my hands dirty – I can do any work if necessary. But I do not prefer the vulgar over the fine, for that is preferring to live as any animal. We were meant for finer than that. God said, “Go where it seems good to you,” not “Go where it seems bad to you.” This is sufficient to show that God did not intend us to do things that disgusted us.

            One thing the Gospels reveal is that Jesus was not carnally intimate with anyone and he gave what was useful to others – health, ability, sanity, life with awareness, demonstrations that defied gravity pulling us down. .He said that man had no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends – he did not suggest that we had to lay down our lives for those incapable of knowing our worth as friends. So I have always wondered why it is that so many people demand that we do the latter.

            I do not believe that God ever made a pregnancy in which the genes of a woman and her rapist are forced into unity, that he would force that on a woman and force her body to grow it into a child and force her to give birth to it like a mindless broodmare. I am innately incapable of attributing to God what is the pleasure of carnal people whose moralities would force that on her like permanent soulless carnality. And unlike you, I think I was taught well, by those who reflected the love that is God in their respect for the dignity of what God does make. I am not and could never be a Catholic.

            For me, love means that you are never overly critical of those less privileged than yourself. Instruction is to be
            positive when it is given to children, those with less education, those in poverty, etc. But that need not be the case with those who have the edge of status or wealth or privilege. And it may be in-between with those who have equality. You speak to me suggesting I have no proper
            understanding of what it is to be human, that my understanding of humanity is inferior and deplorable.
            But you see, I believe that it is you who were not taught what you ought to have been taught and didn’t set the example that you ought to have been set.

            The Catholic church has taught by example that a priest’s sexual violation of small children or his rape of women is a minor forgivable mistake compared to a woman’s unforgivable use of deadly force to stop a rape or a rape pregnancy. Your church would ex-communicate a mother who protected a nine-year-old rape victim from permanent physical damage by a rape pregnancy. But I would ex-communicate a pope who collaborated in hiding a case of sex abuse of a single child. That is an unbridgeable difference, like a wall permanently dividing two different sides of creation between which communication is utterly impossible.

            For me, love means at the very least that you never betray the trust of a child. An embryo or fetus does not trust at all, as it lacks the mind and awareness underlying trust. But a born child has trust, and love means you never betray it. Love means you never rape, for rape, unlike killing, is an absolute crime, in that it can never be committed in self-defense.

            So I frankly think it is your view of humanity and that of your church that needs reevaluation.

          • Catherine

            I think its very interesting that you bring up marriage, active love, and Sam Clear in the same post. Did you know that Sam abandoned his wife after only a year and a half of marriage, despite her desperate pleas to stay and her trying everything thing she could to be the wife he wanted her to be?

    • http://www.facebook.com/sean.minturn Sean Minturn

      I think this might be the best definition of sociopathy that I’ve ever read.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      What a selfish, sociopathic point of view.

    • wineinthewater

      Where there is no life, there is no liberty. Even if liberty were the superior value, liberty cannot exist without life. Therefore, in order to protect liberty, you much first protect life.

      • choiceone

        You do not offer any evidence that liberty is dependent on mortal life at all. Do you think that, when the mortal life an innocent little girl of 4 dies, she just stops existing? Do you think she has an existence in which she has no liberty? Where is the proof? You are just giving an opinion, and a highly questionable one.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          If you have no life, how can you have liberty? The burden of proof is on you.

          But better yet, if your liberty is dependent upon others dying, of what worth is that liberty at all?

          • choiceone

            Your liberty already depends upon the dying that people did in the Revolutionary War. The liberty of African-Americans depends upon the dying that people did in the Civil War. The right to vote, for women in the US, depends upon the suffering that women endured by having rocks thrown at them while they spoke publicly for their cause.

            Mortal life is life that ends. But why should that mean the end of existence? Numerous people have clinically died and been revived, and quite a few have had experiences while clinically dead, and in those experience, though they were on a different plane of existence, were not in a state of slavery, involuntary servitude, or immobility. I’m so tired of arguing with materialists like yourself.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            My liberty comes from God alone, not the government.

          • pagansister

            And?

  • http://www.facebook.com/balf11 Brian Formica

    This is one of the few times I’ve really disagreed with you, Marc. You can say of your wife “this is my wife” as easily as you can say of your doctor “this is my doctor”; are these not *what* we are? The identities of husband and wife are not so much part of *who* we are since they are not permanent. I speak not of divorce (annulment) but of heaven, where people are neither married nor given in marriage.

    Maybe it’s the language you used, maybe you meant something else, but red flags went flying up when I read the paragraph about dependency and existence (“A husband without a wife does not exist”, “Thank you for creating me”, etc). The label, the title, is dependent on another. Not the person in question. Perhaps I wouldn’t have had such an issue over this if it weren’t for my previous concern.

    • http://www.facebook.com/marcjohnpaul Marc Barnes

      I understand the concern, but I disagree that “wife” and “doctor” are only labels. Both are vocations. Both exist as identity. A doctor is not a doctor (in the manner I believe you’re speaking of when you say doctor) without a patient. Thus a doctor depends on others for existence as a husband depends on a wife for existence (as husband). And this title — “doctor” — ceases to be a mere “label” as soon as love is involved. Love of the individual patient, love of the practice of medicine — love incorporates the mere label into the existential reality of the human person, so the doctor does not say “I am a doctor” as he might give a characteristic — “I am hungry” — but as he gives an identity. Surely this can be seen if we consider a doctor who does NOT have love. To perform a job without love is to always consider you are “not being yourself”. To hate being a doctor is to consider “I am not meant to be a doctor. This is not my true self. I’m meant to be a musician, etc.” Without love, our practices are not a part of our identity. We “go through the motions”. With love, our actions become part of who we are, we find our vocations, and thus our identities. It sheds a little more light on the words of St. Paul: Without love I am nothing. Now as to marriage being a impermanent identity. I agree. I need to think about it more though, especially on the point of whether identity requires permanence.

      • choiceone

        Since no one is capable of love when forced to do something with his/her own body against his/her will, why would you want to force a woman to continue a pregnancy against his/her will?

        • TheodoreSeeber

          Because it is the right thing to do, not that a liar like you would know what the right thing to do is.

          • anon

            Play nice, Theo! We are expressing our opinions. Let’s not judge, lest we be judged.

        • anon

          Love *IS* an act of the will, choiceone. It involves choosing a path that is for the best of the other; sometimes at the expense of oneself. Its called sacrificial love. Just look at the Cross.
          And no one is forcing the woman to not abort. She has her free choice to do as she wills. But if she wants to abort why remain Catholic and want Sacraments since she definitely does not see eye-to-eye with Catholic teaching. Its all or nothing for a practicing Catholic (aside: I love that about the CC!). One cannot pick and choose what to follow and the Church will never change its stand on abortion. The woman is free to find a more sympathetic Church that supports her decisions.
          As a Catholic, I will always have compassion for her and would attend to her needs. But her asking to remain Catholic when going willfully against its moral teaching, it makes no sense to me.

          • choiceone

            Love is not an act of the will, and genuine love is not sacrifice: it is spontaneous, not an effort.

            The cross? Jesus knew in advance that he would be resurrected, as he heard God tell him so – did you miss that passage? And he said, “Greater love hath no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends” and “Ye are my friends if he do whatsoever I command you.” One lays down one’s life, one goes through crucifixion, for one’s friends, those who behave as friends. But an embryo is just unknown potential, and frankly, its objective empirical behavior is not that of a friend, of someone who knows one’s worth – some embryos actually cause choriocarcinoma in the womb. You ask of women a great deal more than Jesus would – as is so typically human.

            But I completely agree that, if a Christian believer does not agree with Catholic teachings, that person really ought to recognize that he or she is Protestant. I have never been against the Catholic church demanding whatever it wants of its followers except one thing. It demands that its followers use their political position or power to try to change law in the US and elsewhere to reflect Catholic doctrine.

            To me, no church or religion or sect has the right to violate the principle of freedom of religion. As long as some sects of Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Taoism and some people who do not want to participate in organized religion support a woman’s right to choose to continue or end a pregnancy, the Catholic church its active attempts to get US law changed. And I’m not budging on this, because that freedom is fundamental. You do not force people to worship a God they cannot respect.

  • Patrick Schultz

    Fantastic piece, Marc! The Communio school of theology beautifully articulated…B16 would love this : ) Being-in-relation, existing-from-and-for, I am my relationships!

  • Pattrsn

    “Why else would abortion be such a temptation?”

    Because she has no desire to be pregnant? And abortion is the only way to end a pregnancy? It really isn’t that complicated.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      Desire shouldn’t enter into valuing other people’s lives, but considering that you don’t understand that abortion is murder and assign no value to other people’s lives, I’m not surprised at your sociopathy.

      • Victo

        I think it would far fetched to call Pattrsn a sociopath. While we may disagree with her/him, It is necessary to stay calm and civilized. It would be a shame to call each other name and block ourselves from having an interesting conversation. I can imagine that your comment translate your frustration with this debate, but just as you, Pattrsn deserves respect. I hope you won’t take my comment the wrong way. Lent is soon. Let’s take it as an opportunity to be more generous to each other. As for the subject of this post, I do admit that it both shakes me and sadden me. As a woman and a Christian, my first concern is how we can stop rape. Yes, it does sound extremely optimistic, « rape will happen anyways ». But I’m ready, if I can do anything, to help built a society where women, children and elders will have no fear to be attacked by some vicious individual. It will probably take bravery, courage, sweat, tears, goodness and creativity. I’m ready. I’m young and I’ll be though if needed. It would be a dream come true to hear about a decrease of violence against anyone. And I do believe in it.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          My comment comes from Pattrsn’s comment below that abortion isn’t murder. That is a sociopathic opinion that should be exercised from society anywhere that it occurs; it shows great hatred of children and the process by which we were all born.

          The fact that it is quite common among women of a certain age to despise pregnancy, and by extension human life, does not make the philosophy itself any less sociopathic. It is a mental illness that has taken hold quite strongly, and needs to be responded to just as strongly.

          Yes, we should be generous with our mercy; but I draw the line at lying to do so.

          I completely agree that you are right that I am closed to “interesting discussions” with such people- but I’d point out that is what Project Rachel is for. There is but one unforgivable sin- and murder isn’t that sin. Neither is rape.

          I’d be all for welding the rapist away in a steel cell with a treadmill built into the floor and food only given priced in killowatts, with half the resulting energy sold to support the child and mother (or children and mothers for a serial rapist). THAT would result in less violence. Of course, I’m pretty much for a similar punishment for deadbeat dads.

          • Pattrsn

            Abortion is murder? That is a sociopathic opinion that should be exercised from
            society anywhere that it occurs; it shows great hatred of women and a desire to control the reproductive process.

            The fact that it is quite common among men of a certain age to despise woman’s bodily autonomy, sexuality, and by extension human life, does not make the philosophy itself any less sociopathic. It is a mental illness that has taken hold quite strongly, and needs to be responded to just as strongly.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Control of the reproductive process is usually just code for feeding poor people and minorities poison to eliminate their fertility. Abortion is the result of such so-called control. But what we’re really talking about is eugenics and bigotry.

          • choiceone

            No, that isn’t what we are talking about. We are really talking about some born persons trying to use the force of human (not Divine) law and the physical force that underpins its enforcement to prevent other born persons from being allowed to control what is inside of their body boundaries and to restore their own immune systems to normal functioning to protect them against viruses and infections. Because when you make anti-abortion laws, that is exactly what you are doing. And that comes from having a rapist mentality.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            “No, that isn’t what we are talking about.”

            Says the liar.

            “We are really talking about some born persons trying to use the force of human (not Divine) law and the physical force that underpins its enforcement to prevent other born persons from being allowed to control what is inside of their body boundaries and to restore their own immune systems to normal functioning to protect them against viruses and infections.”

            Nobody has that level of control to begin with, it is a physical impossibility.

            “Because when you make anti-abortion laws, that is exactly what you are doing. And that comes from having a rapist mentality.”

            And you have a human sacrifice mentality. I will forever reject your kind of bigotry. Good thing it has no survival value- as proven by the Shaker Cult in the 1800s.

          • choiceone

            Nonsense. If your immune system stops functioning normally and ceases to protect you against viruses and infections, you can either go to a spiritual healer or a medical doctor. Why would you deny this right to another person?

            You are the bigot. You are bigoted against women. You do not believe they have the same rights as persons that you do. Yet before God, we are supposed to be equal.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            You are just a liar who will say anything to add more bodies to the 56 million human beings already killed by abortion.
            I don’t have the right to say what happens with my body- why should you?

          • choiceone

            In what way do you not have the right to say what happens to your body?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Every way. God alone has that right. If I have a heart attack tonight, I have no control over it.

            But hey, just keep lying for the sake of the genocide.

          • choiceone

            You are out of your mind. When we cannot move or use our bodies in accord with our consciences, they are under the control of Satan. It is Satan who makes our bodies behave as we would not have them do. Only error bullies and pushes. God leads.

          • pagansister

            A god who purposely had his child hung on a cross to die is in control of your life? That’s scary.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            You’re a genocidal maniac who will say anything to keep the genocide going. No different than Hitler

          • choiceone

            You are a deluded person who imagines that abortion is genocide. And FYI, Hitler did not believe in the right to choose. He wanted some groups to die out, and therefore actively advocated abortion for those groups, but in his regime, so-called Aryan women could not have abortions and were pushed to have as many babies as possible.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            You have made it quite clear in this conversation that you want every pregnancy to end in an abortion. You don’t support choice any more than Hitler did- you’re just a liar who will say anything to keep the genocide going. 55 million and counting dead from your politics.

          • choiceone

            You must be out of your mind. I support a woman’s or girl’s right to choose to continue a pregnancy as unwaveringly as I support the right to choose not to do. If a little girl of even 10 were pregnant and her parents and doctors wanted her to have an abortion because it was quite likely that she would die if she continued the pregnancy, and that little girl wanted to carry the pregnancy to term, I would support that little girl’s right against all the coercers. Period.

          • Victo

            I do not want you to lie or diminish your values as a way to enter a conversation Theodore. I would not desire to do so myself. But it’s the internet. How can we really let ourselves being so impulsive on a virtual platform ? It’s not of any use and I do believe it is unhealthy. I just hope we can use our energy for a better cause.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            I’m just as impulsive on this subject in real life. I am absolutely certain of my conviction that pro-choicers are nothing more than bigots in disguise- and should be treated no differently than the KKK or white supremacist skinheads. Read some Margaret Sanger and you’ll quickly see why Planned Parenthood only puts clinics in minority and poor neighborhoods.

            There can be no discussion with such people, they are utterly irrational and have NO sense of the worth of human life at all. Perhaps GK Chesterton’s solution in ManAlive might get through to them- but likely not.

          • choiceone

            We pro-choicers are absolutely certain of our conviction that anti-abortion zealots are nothing more than bigots in disguise – and should be treated no differently than the Taliban. And FYI, the reason PP often puts clinics in minority and poor neighborhoods is because they need the lower cost of birth control that PP provides. In the small city where I live, PP is not in a minority neighborhood, however. It’s in a major downtown area. And no one pickets there, because we don’t have anti-abortion zealots with bad manners and nothing better to do with their time.

            There can be no discussion with anti-abortion zealots, they are utterly irrational and have no sense of the worth of HUMAN life at all.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            “We pro-choicers are absolutely certain of our conviction that anti-abortion zealots are nothing more than bigots in disguise – and should be treated no differently than the Taliban.”

            I already know that you don’t want people with opinions different than you to live- just like Obama and his drone war.

          • choiceone

            I have nothing against your living. All I care about is that you stop bullying people and trying to use the laws of my country to force women to continue pregnancies against their will.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            You’ve already stated that you are against people like me living- so why pretend? You’re against all pregnancy and for 100% abortions, because pregnancy is too dangerous for any woman to consider bringing a child to term. Achingly clear, the lies you will go to in support of your continued genocide.

          • pagansister

            Temper, temper, Ted. choiceone is not for 100% abortions, she is for “choice”, a word you do not seem to understand.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            You have already proven that you hate the poor, hate minorities, and hate children, and are willing to lie to support your position.

          • pagansister

            Is the pot calling the kettle black, Theodore Seeber? That would be “yes” :-)

          • choiceone

            I think that your opinion and that of other anti-abortion fanatics is sociopathic, and I know many, many people who agree. We all think you have a mental illness.

            Because you hate the liberty that allows a woman to control her own internal body and to keep or get out of her body what she does not want to be there, we all would actually like it if you would choose to move to a country that equally hates that liberty, say, a South American country where a rape victim can be forced to continue a rape pregnancy. There are so many of them. But in this country, abortion was legal until quickening in every one of the original 13 states at the time they became the United States.

            We all think that you are committing the unforgivable sin.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            “I think that your opinion and that of other anti-abortion fanatics is sociopathic, and I know many, many people who agree. We all think you have a mental illness.”

            The truth isn’t democratic.

            And any version of liberty that includes the right to murder another human being, is an irrational definition of murder.

            In addition to that, if stating my opinion is the unforgivable sin- how much more are you doing so by claiming that some people don’t deserve to be born?

          • choiceone

            No person has the right to keep a body part inside the body of another person against that person’s consciously expressed will. No person has the right to attach himself/herself biologically to another person against that person’s consciously expressed will. No person has the right to the use of any other person’s bodily organs, tissue, or blood, or the contents of any other person’s blood, against that person’s consciously expressed will.

            So in the case of a pregnancy that the woman does not want, the embryo is either another person who does not have the right to be inside of and biologically attached to the woman, who is a person, and she has the right to remove it, or the embryo is part of the woman’s body, and she has the right to remove it. No zygote/morula/blastocyst/embryo/fetus has the right to be born.

            Gestating and giving birth to us is a favor our mothers have done for us, not a duty, just as it is a favor God has done for us, not a duty. They did not have to. We owe our mothers undying gratitude for it, and apologies for any inconvenience, sickness, pain, or suffering we may have given them in our mindless unborn state. And a person who can’t understand that is spoiled, rotten, selfish, ungrateful, and a detriment to the human race.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Yes, you’ve made it abundantly clear that you are against choice, and you want to see every pregnancy end in abortion.

          • choiceone

            Pro-choice means supporting the choice of the woman or girl and not other, meddling outsiders to whom this is not a matter of conscience. I want every pregnancy a woman wants to continue to term in as harmonious a way as possible, and I want every pregnancy a woman does not want to disappear into the nothingness from whence it came. You, on the other hand, sound like a man who would rape a woman just to make her pregnant and one who would be willing to put her in a straitjacket and a padded cell, force-feed her, and put a barrier between her teeth to prevent her from biting her tongue to escape this violence – all just so you can pull a baby out of her.

          • Good Catholic GIrl

            Your imagination has run wild by accusing Theodore of being a willing rapist. I may not be thrilled about all of his posts but really, this last post of yours is nothing less than toxic.

          • pagansister

            Theo doesn’t understand the word “choice” relating to women and their reproductive rights, choiceone.

          • choiceone

            I know.

        • Pattrsn

          Oh he can call me what he wants, I don’t really care. In fact I bet that I meet Theodore’s definition of a murderer too.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            That could be the source of your bigotry? That instead of accepting your own sin as a sin, you’ve decided that some human beings just don’t deserve to live?

          • Pattrsn

            Nope, never felt that about any human beings. Why don’t you give me your definition of murder and I’ll tell you if I’ve performed it or not.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            I’m not talking about feelings, I’m talking about facts. You have already stated your support for murder in the form of abortion. The fact that the human being is a fetus is immaterial to the fact that you want them dead because you are a bigot.

          • Pattrsn

            I don’t desire the death of anyone or anything, I just want women to have the right to have control over their own bodies

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Control is an illusion. None of us have control. Not men, not women.

          • pagansister

            Control is an illusion? Seriously you believe that? MAN, you need help!

          • Good Catholic GIrl

            But there is more there than just the woman’s body. There is another person involved. Maybe the pregnancy was a “mistake”. Do you make other people pay for your mistakes or do you take the responsibility?

          • Pattrsn

            “There is another person involved.” Except to me a person is more than just a collection of cells. A fetus/zygote/blastocyst isn’t a person it’s still part of a woman’s body. It doesn’t become a person until it becomes an individual, after birth. And even if you did consider the fetus/zygote organism a person you’d still have to argue that it has the right to the use of another person’s body against that person’s consent.

          • Good Catholic GIrl

            It doesn’t become a person until after birth? So it would be acceptable to abort at 8 months?

          • Pattrsn

            I would imagine birth would be more likely at 8 months. I would have to say yes, but is this anything but a purely hypothetical question? Are there abortions at 8 months outside of the feverish imaginations of anti-choicers?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Read Doe Vs Bolton- the Supreme Court granted abortion rights, for any reason, up through and past birth.

          • Pattrsn

            Good for them, but does it happen.

          • Good Catholic GIrl

            As disgusting as it is, late term abortions are allowed.

          • anon

            troll some anti-abortion sites and watch some abortion videos. You will see the ‘zygotes’ feeling pain much earlier than 8 months.

          • Pattrsn

            Oh yeh, that moronic doctored video ‘the silent scream’. I’m not surprised there are idiots on anti-choice sites convinced by that crap.

          • choiceone

            Not that I have heard of.

          • choiceone

            Thank you. You are not alone (even on this site).

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Then why bring murder into it at all? Or control for that matter, since NOBODY actually is able to control their own body?

          • choiceone

            I am controlling my body right now. Humans can control their bodies. They have control over their elimination processes. They have control over their legs and can walk. They have control over their arms and legs and can move them or not at will. They can stay awake for tremendous periods of time to study for a test or perform a job. They can learn to swim. They can exert control over their breathing and heart rate. They can learn to talk and type. Actors in the theatre have been known to be able to postpone symptoms of a cold, even laryngitis, for the duration of a performance. I won’t say we can’t do it without God. But our fellow human beings are not God, and they do not have a right to control our bodies against our will.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Oh, really? So you have 100% control over all the cancer, all the DNA, all the viruses currently attacking you, whether or not you will be in an earthquake tonight, if you get hit by a drunk driver or shot by one of Obama’s drones?

            You have no control, and you will say anything to support your lies, because you are a liar.

          • choiceone

            I did not say I had 100% control over my body. But cancer, DNA, and viruses are not currently attacking me, and I do not live in an earthquake zone, though I did for a stretch of time and still rather wish I had stayed there. I am pretty careful about walking in or across the street, and I have joined no organizations or socialized with members of one to get my name on a list of enemies of the US government. However, I admit that it is much more difficult to have control over health matters once mom and dad are not there, as their prayers were always pretty efficacious for me.

            But you seem to have such a thing about all this lack of control that all I can do is make a suggestion. If you have what seems to be an insurmountable health problem, try visiting a Christian Science reading room and getting a copy of a current Christian Science Sentinel and finding a good C.S. practitioner. Results vary, but there always are some. I have found that C.S. spiritual healing is pretty good, and since most denominations don’t even try to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, it’s worth a try.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Unlike you, I know I have no control over the universe. Thus I don’t need to kill people to support my lack of control.

          • choiceone

            The issue is not having control over the universe. The issue is having control over one’s own body, so that it can act in accord with one’s conscience and one’s good purposes. Jesus Christ demonstrated that the lame could walk and the blind could see and the crazy could be sane, because that sort of control over oneself is what God wants us to have. God does not want us to be unable to control our individual bodies. We are here to bear witness to the truth, not some mindless materialistic universe that defeats it.

          • Victo

            My point is that we shouldn’t let’s us act this way. Spitting our venom and all. There’s no point. Only deception, sadness and anger. And I’m saying this as a really easily angered person (can you say « angered » in english ? eh). I know it’s everywhere on the internet, but if I come across a discussion such as this one I do think it can beneficiary to stay posed. My comment could be addressed to you as well. I do not want to enter into some virtual battle. And I do not wish to you or Theodore any misery.

        • choiceone

          Why exclude men? Men can also be raped.

          Stopping a rape pregnancy is stopping the rape in process, as it can remove all traces of the rapist from the woman’s body if it is done early in a pregnancy. Trying to prevent a woman from stopping a rape pregnancy is aiding and abetting the rape, because the rapist’s chromosomes are in the woman’s body against her will.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            No it can’t. Adding murder to a rape can’t erase the memory of the rape. In addition, killing the innocent child for the crime of the father erases evidence of the father’s guilt, and thus, actually releases the rapist from his duty to the child and mother.

          • choiceone

            You are assuming the embryo is a child, a terminology that is not in my dialect of English, and that it is innocent. It is innocent only in the way that a legally insane rapist is innocent – it is committing crimes without knowing that is what they are.

            But where I live, a person who believes he/she is being threatened with rape or sexual assault or abuse or actually is being raped or sexually assaulted or abused is legally allowed to use lethal force if necessary to prevent/stop the rape or sexual assault/abuse, and a third party is legally allowed to use lethal force if necessary to help prevent/stop it. There are also other circumstances in which the law allows lethal force if necessary in self-defense even if one does not believe there is a threat to one’s life, e.g., if some medical doctor is illegally experimenting on one or threatening to perform illegal surgery, etc.

            The embryo is not being punished for the rapist’s crime. The embryo is continuing the crime, as an accomplice, admittedly a legally insane one. It carries chromosomes from the rapist. When it penetrates into her flesh, chromosomes from the rapist are penetrating into it. Later, it leaks the rapist’s chromosomes into the blood of the woman. And if it is allowed to stay in the woman and she gives birth, so many of those chromosomes enter her blood that they stay there for decades, and some of them may make her liable to even potentially lethal diseases decades later.

            What duty does a rapist have to the rape victim except to stay away from her? Any self-respecting rape victim wants nothing from the rapist and would refuse it if it were offered. She wants every part of that rapist out of her body, which is why rape victims take hundreds of showers and scrub their skin raw, and some go to a doctor to have a D&C even though they are not pregnant – they want all the sperm out. They want the chromosomes out.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            So basically you’ve redefined the language in a lie to support your genocide. Redefining all pregnancy as so dangerous that it should be avoided at all costs.

            I get it. You have a phobia, and you’re willing to support a genocide to feed it.
            Does your nephew now you hate him?

          • choiceone

            All pregnancy involves a risk of danger, and because of that fact, every woman and girl has the right to decide whether she wants to take the risk for a particular pregnancy. I would trust her more with this decision than anyone else. I can’t believe you imagine that I hate my nephew. My sister wasn’t able to get pregnant for ages. I prayed and within a couple of weeks she got pregnant. My nephew came as an answer to my prayer, too. And FYI, he’s pro-choice and thinks anti-choice people are a bunch of fascists.

      • Pattrsn

        I don’t understand that abortion is murder for the simple reason that it isn’t. Not sure why you think I don’t assign value to other people’s lives, I certainly assign value to the life of the woman suffering with an unwanted pregnancy.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          You don’t understand it because you’re a liar and a fraud who doesn’t understand that fetuses are human beings too.

        • Good Catholic GIrl

          If it’s not (premeditated) murder, than what is it? If you “assign value to other people’s lives”, why not to the unborn child? Imagine if your mother decided that hers was an unwanted pregnancy and decided to abort YOU. Pretty horrible to contemplate, isn’t it? At what point in the pregnancy did you become you?

          • Pattrsn

            “If it’s not (premeditated) murder, than what is it?”

            Abortion.

            “If you “assign value to other people’s lives”, why not to the unborn child?”

            I do, I assign it the same value as the person who’s body it is a part of assigns it.

            “Imagine if your mother decided that hers was an unwanted pregnancy and decided to abort YOU”

            Bit late for that now, but then I’ve been born.

            “Pretty horrible to contemplate, isn’t it?”

            No, more like pretty silly. Do you wake up in the middle of the night panicking with the fear that your parents might not have had sex the night you were conceived? Of course you don’t it’s ridiculous, the probability of any of us existing at all is absurdly small, and the fact that you exist means that others don’t because your mother’s pregnancy made their conception impossible.

            “At what point in the pregnancy did you become you?”

            It took decades to become me, and in many ways I’m still becoming me.

          • Good Catholic GIrl

            No matter how you look at it, even if in a purely clinical way, abortion is murder. If you don’t believe abortion is murdering a human being, it is still murdering a form of life.
            I’m silly? You “assign value to other people’s lives”? My goodness! Pity the person to whom you do not assign much value!
            How nice to know you’re still evolving as we all hopefully are.

          • anon

            so, isn’t the zygote ‘becoming’ its ‘me’? From the time of conception, it is ‘becoming’. It is a separate ‘me’ from the mother from the time it was conceived… so, why does it have lesser rights when in the womb? I do not understand your logic…

          • Pattrsn

            Like I said before, even if you could classify a bunch of undifferentiated cells as a person, you’d still have to prove that it’s ethical for one person to parasitize the body of another against their will. In other words what your asking for is to give a proto person or a potential person more rights than an actual person, simply because of some archaic religious dogma that says that women should suffer for sex.

          • pagansister

            If a persons mother “aborted” them, then there would be no “them” to contemplate it and they wouldn’t be commenting.

          • anon

            and such a loss to lively discussion (such as this) that would be. You are here because you were not aborted. Please give the same chance and choice to the child in the womb. As Pattrsn said above and applied to himself – allow the child to still become ‘me’

          • pagansister

            I have 2 children, planned, wanted,loved and raised. I have never been the victim of a rape. Fortunately I am also old enough to have seen Roe V Wade made into law. For those women who have been violated, and become pregnant, I’m glad they have a choice to continue or terminate. With the help of a morning after pill, there isn’t a choice to be made, because she doesn’t have to wait to see if the rapist impregnated her. A better alternative than waiting.

          • anon

            It is still expulsion of a embryo, pagansister. From the vatican.va site – “Morning after pill has a predominantly “anti-implantation” function, i.e., it prevents a possible fertilized ovum (which is a human embryo), by now in the blastocyst stage of its development (fifth to sixth day after fertilization), from being implanted in the uterine wall by a process of altering the wall itself.”

            Meanwhile, do read this on Roe v Wade -
            http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/two-women-legalized-abortion-in-america-now-both-of-them-want-it-reversed

            I am glad you have 2 children who are wanted and loved. They are blessed to have a loving mother. But for those children that are unwanted – even in their fertilized ovum stage – being unwanted does not make them any less love-worthy (the love-as-an-act kind Marc always talks about). Thanks for your comment!

          • Good Catholic GIrl

            But it’s good to know that “they” weren’t aborted, whether I like them and their opinions or not.

      • choiceone

        You have no way of knowing whether or not Pattrsn values other people’s lives, because you equate a person with a mindless embryo. That is sociopathy.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          “Person” is a legal fiction used to justify bigotry. Wall-Mart is a person.

          That’s why I said that Pattrsn doesn’t value other HUMAN lives. An embryo is a human being whether it has a mind or not.

          Your justification is equivalent to that which the Nazis used to exterminate those they considered to be “feebleminded”, and I would consider THAT the real sociopathy.

          A human being is still a human being even if it has no mind that you can recognize.

          And it still comes down to you people who think you’re for choice, forcing your choice onto other human beings who have no say in the matter.

          Let me know when any of you actually bothers to grow a conscience.

          • choiceone

            The expression “human being” is a bit different from “human,” and an embryo does not have a life because it is only living as an extension of the woman’s body. A zygote/morula/blastocyst has its own life, because it can be grown in a petri dish in complete physical and biological separation from the bodies of the woman, the scientist who observes it and puts nutrients in the petri dish, etc. But an embryo does not have such a life. By definition, a live human embryo is biologically attached to the live body of a woman who is a human being completely physically and biologically separate from the bodies of other human beings. But we attach “being” to “human” just as we attach it to “extraterrestrial being.” it implies the demonstrated capacity for mental activity.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            More lies from the liar who supports genocide of the next generation.

  • Claude

    Your semantics amount to a grotesque, romantic perversion. A raped woman doesn’t “create” a baby; a baby is inflicted on her by violence.

    …for in the absence of love the “mother” and “child” do not exist as identities…

    …but merely as realities.

    Maybe you should take a clue from Jesus of Nazareth and attempt to develop a smidgen of sympathy for women.

    • http://www.facebook.com/marcjohnpaul Marc Barnes

      Yes, the physical reality of a baby is forced on a woman. I do not claim that the woman “creates” this baby in its physical reality. I claim that the woman may create this baby in its identity as her “child” and she his “mother” by an act of love, as has been shown in the many, many testimonies of rape victims who “claim” the baby forced upon them as their own.

      • Good Catholic GIrl

        While some raped women may choose to keep the baby or at the very least give birth to the child and give it up for adoption (indeed, if I were in that position, there is a good chance that I take the pregnancy t term because I abhor the very idea of abortion in virtually all cases), I don’t think a man can truly understand what it is like to go through a pregnancy. Heck, I don’t think a man can even understand what it’s like to have a menstrual period. The average pregnancy can take a toll on a woman’s health and just about every part of her body and then there are the compromised pregnancies that threaten the life of the mother and child. It’ s much more than having a big belly and swollen feet. When a woman chooses to have a child with her husband, she accepts everything that a pregnancy entails because she and her husband look forward to having a baby but when a woman is raped, she endures all of the physical aspects and well as the mental anguish of being reminded every single waking hour (and perhaps in nightmares, too) of the rape and the rapist. Can you even try to put yourself in a woman’s place who is going through this horrible ordeal? And what if the woman is married? Her husband would have to accept the fact that his wife is carrying the child of her rapist. There are too many aspects to the horror of rape than to assume the woman can bond with the child of her rapist.

        • http://www.facebook.com/marcjohnpaul Marc Barnes

          Ah, I see the issue here. I apologize for not being clear. I do not “assume” the woman can bond with the child of her rapist, if by “bond” you mean create identity through an act of love. While there must should always be an aspect of love (even if that love is only the recognition of the human nature of the fetus) this need not be a claim to the identity of “mother”. As I said in the post: “What else is the advocacy of adoption but an implicit agreement that the woman pregnant from rape need not claim the identity of “mother”, but may give her baby to one who can make an identity-creating claim of love?” My argument is not that women MUST make this identity-creating claim of love. My argument is that women who choose to be a mother to the child cannot do this WITHOUT this act of love.

          • KarenJo12

            Actually, you are exactly arguing that a woman MUST always make the “choice” to love her rapist’s baby because you believe she should be prohibited from making any other “choice.” A the very least you will compel her to endure 10 months of agony in pregnancy.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            The idea that pregnancy is equal to agony, is a definition that is against humanity.

          • Pattrsn

            Guess you’ve never been pregnant

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Been through that with my wife, of which I am of one flesh. I saw no disease in it, though there were complications of disease attacking the pregnancy- and I am the father of a special needs child as a result.

            Your bigotry against some human beings is already noted.

          • Pattrsn

            “of which I am of one flesh”

            Do you have any idea how creepy that sounds?

            “Your bigotry against some human beings is already noted.”

            Note away my good man note away.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Yes, I am well aware of the feminist lesbian hatred for anything resembling sacramental marriage. Thanks for pigeonholing yourself as a bigot so succinctly.

          • choiceone

            There are huge numbers of heterosexual women in the US who are not married and do not want to be. This is not about lesbianism.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            But it *is* about the utter rejection of traditional sacramental marriage, and with it, the family structure that makes cultures successful (as opposed to family structures that make cultures fall into demographic decline).

            I actually do blame easy divorce for this. But it is pretty easy to see that hatred of the next generation and hatred of men is involved as well.

          • choiceone

            Every woman who refuses to get married, including all Catholic nuns and Buddhist nuns, is rejecting marriage. So what? Did Jesus marry? Do Catholic priests marry? God allows marriage, but God certainly doesn’t demand it.

            And why do you suppose this is hatred of the next generation? I love my nephew. I love all the students and clients I have had in this life, who were all younger than I am. Most of my friends are half my age or less. Why would I hate them? Why do you suppose this is hatred of men? Many of my friends are men. I just don’t have sex with them. What is so important about sex?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            If you loved the next generation, you’d help create it, instead of fighting to make sure they all die before birth.

          • choiceone

            No, you are not one flesh with your wife, even though, because she has some of your chromosomes in her blood, she is one flesh with you. Pregnancy is not something you go through with anyone else. Like birth, death, pain, fear, joy, and beatitude, it is something an individual experiences alone except for God. Other people do not share in the actual experience.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Any lie to make sure the genocide continues.

          • randomanonuser

            Theodore, you are not “of one flesh” with your wife. Acknowledge that you cannot seriously think you are outside of a metaphor you are using to describe that when you see your wife in pain, you feel pain.
            The difference between your pain and her pain is that yours is mental and her’s is physical. And she did go through agony. How can you say she didn’t..? I guess what you’re really saying is -that she didn’t go through agony because to her all the pain was worth it.- And for her the pain was worth it because (doing a lot of assuming about you here) she loved you and loved the child she wanted to have with you…
            What about a girl who hated the man that raped her and was terrified about being pregnant? What thoughts would help her through the agony of pregnancy? Like the author of this article said, for some girls they find love for the baby just because it is a baby.
            If I were a girl, I think there would be a high chance I’d want to get an abortion. If pro-lifers/catholics/people that aren’t me and don’t have to go through the agony of pregnancy that you have already acknowledged exists told me I couldn’t, then I would be filled with hate for them. I’d still be experiencing the agony of pregnancy, but I wouldn’t have the sources of emotional happiness your wife had when she was having a baby

          • David

            Guess you’ve never been in agony

          • Pattrsn

            Guess you’ve never had to make sense.

          • David

            your mom

          • choiceone

            To me, rape pregnancy would have been much worse than crucifixion, and if I had been given the choice between them, I would certainly have picked the latter. The idea that you can decide what pregnancy is, when you do not even have the sort of body that could become pregnant, is ridiculous. But if the idea that pregnancy is equal to agony is a definition against humanity, then I must be no longer human, because that is exactly what rape pregnancy is to most women.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            “rape pregnancy would have been much worse than crucifixion”

            You can survive a rape pregnancy. Millions of women throughout the millenia have. So obviously, this is about your emotions rather than fact.

            Who is pounding nails through your hands? Who is stabbing you in the heart with a sword?

          • choiceone

            You are caring about keeping your mortal life going. I cared about not blaspheming the Holy Spirit. If you can’t see that mortal life is less than conscience, I don’t know what to say.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            You blaspheme against the Holy Spirit every time you decide to choose genocide instead of life.

          • NANA

            So a rapist who doesn’t kill his victim it’s such a better person than a woman who choses to abort a rape chils?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            The right to life HAS to come first, above all else, otherwise, none of the other laws count at all.

            The woman who chooses to abort an innocent child, of any sort, is a murderer. There is no way around that.

            I’m not saying the rapist is blameless by any account. But a fitting punishment for rape would be hard labor with 100% of the paycheck going to support the women he raped, and any children thereof.

          • randomanonuser

            i hope you are signed up to be a foster parent

      • Claude

        Pardon if I wrongly assumed your objective is to compel this act of love to spare the child. That itself is not an act of love but of power. For the women who “claim” these babies, godspeed. But there are also many, many testimonies of rape victims who cannot summon love for their rapist’s babies. You might google the Mother Jones photo essay “Can You Love a Child of Rape?” for a start. What of these women? They gave birth but their feelings toward these children vary. Are they not all “mothers”?

        Like the church you apologize for, you diminish the enormity of rape by promoting idealized reconciliation and the notion that aborting a rapist’s child is a grave sin. That is outlandish.

        • http://www.facebook.com/marcjohnpaul Marc Barnes

          I do not promote idealized reconciliation, I note that only love can create the identity of “mother”, for all identity comes from love.

          Yes, all women who bear children are mothers, in the sense that from an outside, objective view they are pregnant with a baby, no matter what the circumstances. But this is an outside, scientific perspective. It is not a personal perspective. It is not an existential identity. Pro-life people who, out of an ill-proportioned opposition towards abortion, wish to impose these identities on the woman pregnant from rape deny the reality of situation and commit a grave injustice. They attempt to convert an outside observation — “that woman is pregnant” — to an existential reality — “that women is a mother to her child, and no mother should kill her child.”

          These are identities created in love, not identities created by the fact of pregnancy.

          Now I agree, the feelings of a woman towards a baby conceived in rape may vary. But love is not a feeling. Love is an act. Women may very well have immense difficulty in raising a child of rape. (Again, I do not argue that they must raise this child.) But the decision to raise a child and to be his mother, no matter how difficult, is an act of love, for it creates identity, it views the baby as another self, and it cares for the good of the other.

          Do not confuse an act of love, which is constantly acted, with a singular change in emotion that makes everything feel “okay”. Such a view would be a perverse idealism, and if I was arguing that women who loved easily create the identity of “mother” and “child” while women who love with indescribable anguish do not, I’d be every evil you currently associate me with.

          • Claude

            I appreciate that you seek to establish identity as a dynamic of love, but even if I agreed with you (I don’t), my point is that your theology distances you from the realities of actual rape victims, which are, after all, not reducible to “a personal perspective” or to a “singular change in emotion” (whatever that is) as opposed to action. Of course feelings, of love and otherwise, and action are fluid and interdependent. Yes, you are not arguing for women to raise their rapist’s children. You are merely arguing that rape victims, if they cannot rise through love to an ontological status you call “mother,” act as proxies for “existentially identified” mothers and bear their rapists’ children!

            So is abortion wrong in the case of rape? Absolutely.

            (I detect a Pauline undercurrent here.)

            Only a view of women as essentially vessels for the generation of life could produce any expectation that women take up this cross to pay for the sins of others.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Human beings are merely vessels for the 4 billion year old DNA that makes them up, male or female, according to the atheistic teachings of evolution.

            But that’s kind of beside the point that a child does not deserve the death penalty for the sins of the father.

          • Pattrsn

            Again you’re confusing me Theodore, you seem to think that abortion happens to a child, which by definition has already been born and not to a fetus/zygote.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            I see no genetic difference between a fetus/zygote and a child. Or for that matter, no genetic difference between a blastocyst and an adult human being. Therefore your definition is not based on science, but on bigotry.

          • Pattrsn

            Is that the sum total of a human being a collection of genetic information? Is every cell in my body a human being?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            The sum total as expressed as a single functioning organism.

            Which is the standard definition of an individual of a species.

            Where did you go to school? I want to avoid sending my child to such a place that doesn’t teach basic biology.

          • Chris

            According to the definition of what? Mirriam-Webster? There is no definition provided for what a child is, that’s the problem. A child is a child from conception, THAT is the correct definition.

          • Pattrsn

            You’re right, some definitions include the organism from conception some define the child as post birth, so each definition is equally correct and equally useless. You still have the problem however of proving that the “pre-birth child” organism has the right to live and feed off the body of another person without their consent.

          • http://www.facebook.com/marcjohnpaul Marc Barnes

            Okay, I’m glad we’ve arrived at the point where we understand each other. Your complaint is not over the idea that love creates identity. Your complaint is that women should be able to abort the baby conceived in rape. I’ll take my exit here, simply because it is not the argument of my post, and I hope others will defend the idea that even the most terrible of injustices inflicted upon a woman should not be met with a terrible injustice inflicted on a human being. Thank you so much for your time and your intelligent conversation. I’ve learnt more and I think I can better articulate my ideas thanks to your help.

          • Claude

            Actually I don’t agree that love creates identity, though it is something to ponder.

            But–thank you for engaging with me and for this gracious response.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Marc, maybe next time then you shouldn’t label it “Why people allow abortion in the case of rape”, if that isn’t germane to your topic.

            I disagree with your premise precisely *because* to me, even the unloved are people. A huge part of the reason I’m pro-life is because of the sad bigotry some people have for genetic diseases in their own children, such as Downs Syndrome, Turner’s Syndrome, and some forms of autism.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          why not abort the rapist instead?

          • Claude

            Reminds me of a story from 2009, reported in The Independent:

            Declaring that “life must always be protected”, a senior Vatican cleric has defended the Catholic Church’s decision to excommunicate the mother and doctors of a nine-year-old rape victim who had a life-saving abortion in Brazil.

            Police believe the girl was sexually assaulted for years by her stepfather, possibly since she was six. That she was four months pregnant with twins emerged only after she was taken to hospital complaining of severe stomach pains.

            Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, the conservative regional archbishop for Pernambuco where the girl was rushed to hospital, has said that the man would not be thrown out of the Church, because although he had allegedly committed “a heinous crime”, the Church took the view that “the abortion, the elimination of an innocent life, was more serious”.

            A rather stark illustration of the church’s position that abortion is a worse sin than rape, even rape of children. Appalling.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Yes, murder is a worse sin than rape. Rape you can heal from. Murder you can’t. It would be obvious if it wasn’t for all the abortionists who are into human sacrifice instead.

          • Claude

            Let me get this straight. You would plead the case before Jesus that this mother and these doctors, who may have saved the life of this little nine-year old girl being wracked by two of her rapist stepfather’s babies, should be denied participation in his mystical body? Good luck with that.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            I don’t have to plead the case at all. It isn’t my sin.

            Having said that, they aren’t being denied life in the *mystical Body of Christ* of which the Church Militant is only one part, and likely a minority part as well.

            Rather, they are charged with a mortal sin, which can be wiped out by either the Sacrament of Confession or the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick in the Church Militant, or by a deathbed conversion and a few thousand years spent in the Church Suffering.

            But I’m not surprised that somebody who thinks that murder is not as serious as rape, wouldn’t know that.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Ah, I see the point in this screed that confused you. Excommunication. It can always be reversed, and it doesn’t even need the Bishop to do it. You can wipe out an excommunication by making a good confession.

          • Claude

            You can wipe out an excommunication by making a good confession.

            That is irrelevant (and I’m not confused). It’s an injustice to begin with that for healing a nine-year old rape victim the mother and doctors are denied communion and the rest of the sacraments. Why should they seek absolution from this moral mutant of an archbishop? I hope they shook the dust off their feet at his door.

            Suddenly you’re legalistic when pressed to justify your position: “It’s not my sin.” I guess you don’t want to go there.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            It is not irrelevant- They should seek absolution because they were involved in a murder.

            I don’t have to justify their murder before Christ, they have to.

            I guess you just want to justify genocide.

          • Claude

            Your pitiless sentiments are repulsive.

          • choiceone

            Yes. You can find numerous sites online where a rape victim will explain how she became completely alienated from a Christian church. One said that her minister told her it was too bad the criminal had not killed her, but only raped her, because if the criminal had killed her, she would have gone to God in purity, but because of the rape, she was soiled. There are other cases of female rape victims who give up church altogether because of the ignorance of the people in charge there. What do these ignorant church leaders have to do with Christ and God? They have usually never had a single experience of any real trial or any real spiritual insight. It doesn’t change your relation to God or Christ, only to ignorant people. They are on the other side of a great divide forever.

          • Claude

            What do these ignorant church leaders have to do with Christ and God?

            Good question. Zealotry deforms their moral sense.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Better than you, who have no moral sense at all.

          • choiceone

            The only sin here is your ignorance.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            I am not ignorant of your bigotry. But keep responding to me and digging yourself deeper into the same hole the Nazis dug for all Eugenicists.

          • choiceone

            I really think you are mentally ill. First, there is objective empirical evidence that a blastocyst/embryo/fetus is not innocent in a way that is different from the way a legally insane rapist, assaulter, or killer is innocent.

            It penetrates the bodily tissue of the woman, takes some of her tissue to make a placenta, directs the placenta to cloak it from detection by the woman’s immune cells to protect itself from them, causes some of the local cells to dies, causes the placenta to produce an enzyme that starves her immune cells of a necessary nutrient so that they will die or go into latency and not attack its implantation in her tissue, leaving her open to attack by potentially lethal viruses and infections, causes the placenta to re-channel her blood, and takes oxygen and nutrients out of her blood. Among many other things. It attacks the very immune system that was designed to protect her from harm. This is why so many women experience morning sickness, which, in extreme form, can cause a woman to lose so much weight and become so ill that she can die from it.

            Some blastocysts/embryos grow too fast and cause the placenta to grow too fast, because of the dominance of the male’s chromosomes on the loci for embryonic and placental growth, and this speed causes a deadly form of cancer in the woman, choriocarcinoma. Her body and her chromosomes do not cause it. In this case, the blastocyst/ embryo is a killer committing matricide, and it can’t be stopped by any means but abortion or hysterectomy. The Catholic church says that abortion is wrong in this case because it is all the fault of the woman’s body and not the embryo/fetus, even though there is objective empirical evidence that it is the fault of the embryo/fetus genetically.

            And I do not think one actually heals from rape. All one can do is transcend the world in which one was raped. One becomes someone else. It’s really more like being reincarnated. I ended up going to abroad, learning a new language and culture, and taking on a whole other identity based on living in a place where the ground had no contiguity with the ground of the state in which I had been raped. You cannot ever go back. The person I would have been able to be was destroyed, and now I am another person. I have no regrets, but neither will I regret leaving the world, simply because that experience occurred.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            You use the word “empirical”, but you clearly don’t know what it means, since you use emotion.

            Pregnancy is healthy. Abortion is not. More women die today from abortions than ever died from pregnancy.

          • choiceone

            This is a lie. A legal abortion early in pregnancy today is approximately 14 times safer than childbirth in the US. And if you do not think childbirth is dangerous in other countries, read this: http://www.thelizlibrary.org/site-index/site-index-frame.html#soulhttp://www.thelizlibrary.org/liz/004.htm

          • pagansister

            Yes, that might be true if a woman has to do the abort herself. Pregnancy isn’t “death free” either.

          • pagansister

            And you know that you can heal from rape how?

          • pagansister

            I remember this—totally awful. How can anyone say it’s OK for a 9 year old child to carry an incest pregnancy/rape to birth?? Certainly the Church should have compassion for the pregnant child. No way should a 9 year old give birth to a single child, much less twins. Outrageous.

          • ariofrio

            May I take up the defense of the Church? I think TheodoreSeeber is doing a very poor job at listening, and a great job at making tangential accusations. I hope I can do better.

            I can understand that you think that abortion is no worse than rape, especially when the abortion is done to end a pregnancy that resulted from rape. You likely either think that (1) the fetus is not a human being like you and me, or (2) the fetus is a human being like you and me, but the mother’s right to bodily autonomy takes precedence over the fetus’ right to life. Is one of these a good summary of the reasons why you support access to abortion?

            Could you take a second to understand me, the Church, and pro-lifers like SecularProlife.org? We think that the fetus is a human being like you and me, through secular reasoning. (I’d be glad to point you to good secular arguments and discuss them if you are interested.) Now, the Church thinks that killing a child is worse than raping a child. Not everyone might agree with that, but I hope it doesn’t sound outrageous. The ending of a life is worse than the harming of a life. Finally, abortion kills an organism. If the fetus is not a human being, then abortion is like killing a cat—no grave moral wrong there, especially if it lifts a great burden from someone. But if the fetus is a human being, then abortion kills that human being—a grave moral evil, by anyone’s standards!

            Also, I had difficulty finding information about why the abortion was considered life-saving: was it an immediate threat, or only a likely threat? This is important, because killing a human being is a big deal, and one must have really good reasons for doing so. “The girl’s immature hips would have made labor dangerous; the Catholic opinion was that she could have had a cesarean section.” The Catholic opinion is that one should try to save both lives. Most people agree that one may never sacrifice someone’s life in order to save another, if both of their lives are not in immediate and/or assured danger.

            (Quick note on sin. You probably know this already, but I find that many people don’t. When the Church says that an action is a sin, all that means is that it’s wrong. Not wrong because of it’s in a list of don’t-rules the Church has written up, but because a reasonable look at the action leads one to believe that it is wrong. I know sometimes Catholics can be legalistic about sin, but it’s a mistake to see sin as a legal code, rather than as a failure to love.)

          • Rivka

            Does anyone know what the opinion of the girl was? That’s the one thing consistently left out of the debate.

          • Good Catholic GIrl

            Because, like abortion, that would be premeditated murder. No one deserves to be murdered.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Good answer.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          Mother Jones magazine is full of writers who are into human sacrifice and genocide. I don’t take what they say as gospel, because the entire magazine is just written by a bunch of Aztecs.

        • choiceone

          Thank you.

          • Claude

            You’re very welcome.

      • David

        Don’t you mean “accept” this baby as her child? We can only rearrange what’s already there.

  • Pattrsn

    “Love creates our identity (who we are) and binds us inseparably with our beloved,”

    Except if you’re gay or lesbian.

    • http://www.facebook.com/marcjohnpaul Marc Barnes

      Why do you imagine that gays and lesbians cannot love and be loved?

      • Pattrsn

        Oh you know, threat to world peace and all that.

        • http://www.facebook.com/marcjohnpaul Marc Barnes

          Ohhh, I get it. Nice.

  • Jessica

    If you people are not interested in THINKING before you react, why do you read Marc’s blog? He writes theological thoughts based on truth that he has observed. He may not always be right, but he’s not the heartless idiot you think he is. The child in the womb is a real person with the right to live. The woman is a real person with a real person growing inside of her, who has to come to terms with the circumstances in one way or another. As Marc points out, recognizing the mother-daughter or mother-son relationship is an act of love that “creates” something that isn’t necessarily a given.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

    This idea that others create our identity is interesting to me, though I’m looking at it from a secular perspective. There is an author, Douglas Hofsteader, who has written quite a bit on the idea of the mental self being born of dynamic interaction with the world around us, particularly the interactions with the other minds we encounter. From his work, though, I find myself thinking that the idea of identity may not be as rigidly linked to others as you have laid it out in your post and some of the comments.

    The example of a doctor, in particular, stands out. Certainly a wish to aid the needy seems to be necessary to motivate someone to learn the skills and seek the qualifications of a doctor. Yet that is not dependent on a _specific_ patient. Nor would I think the doctor would stop thinking of himself as a doctor if there were no patients about. I myself am a writer by trade. If I could not find work writing, and had to take up a sales job, for example, I would still identify myself as a writer.

    Further, I have met childless women who have made their homes safe communal places for the neighborhood children, and consider themselves mothers.

    So while there is much merit in what you have written, I think you have over simplified it.

  • pagansister

    I totally disagree that abortion is absolutely wrong in the case of rape. Many of the reasons have been already been discussed below—–but again, it is so NOT the decision of anyone but the woman involved.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      And thus, my comment above- that some people believe that the children of rape are less than human, deserving only to be murdered for their father’s crime.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

        No, Theodore. The twin ideas that a pregnant woman is not less than human, and so cannot be compelled to give up bodily autonomy, and that not everything with human DNA is a person – that ‘person’ requires more. You wouldn’t consider a molar pregancy or an anencephalic fetus a person, nor do I see you breaking up in tears about the 5-20% of conceptions that naturally miscarry.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          Bodily autonomy is not a good reason for murder. And pregnancy is not equal to disease.

          Likewise I find the legalistic concept of “person”, which apparently includes massive corporations but not some human beings that the bigoted consider to be worth less than other human beings, to be equally abhorrent which is why I base my concept of murder on human beings, not “personhood”.

          Thirdly, I give to a charity that supports proper and decent Christian burial for those poor miscarried children, so don’t think I fail to shed a tear for them. They deserved life as much as I did- as much as YOU do.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

            Then answer me this question, Theodore. How many people is a chimera?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Chimeras are figments of the imagination. They don’t exist in real life. Attempts to create one scientifically so far have only produced cancer- but I’m against the attempt itself, for the same reason I’m against rape.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

            Yeah, no. You should at least have some idea how pregnancy works if you’re going to be commenting on a thread about pregnancy. Sometimes, two developing fraternal twins will fuse into a single fetus. It is rare, but it does happen. So how many people is the resultant fused fetus?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            What matters isn’t how many people the fetus is, but that you don’t kill any of them, John. Pretty much you’re just trying to continue with the eugenics and bigotry.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

            Theodore, if you’re saying that personhood begins at conception, then it certainly does matter how many people a chimeric fetus is. Because a chimeric pregnancy starts with two successful conceptions. If a chimeric fetus is one person, what happened to the other person? Are they dead? If so, did the surviving person kill them? Did the mother? If the chimeric fetus is two people, does it get two votes when it grows to adulthood? These are non-trivial questions.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            I would rather give the one-in-a-billion chimera two votes, than people like you the right to abort them, yes.
            Seems like a pretty trivial question with little ill effect to me, considering that votes don’t count for anything at all (most countries are really dictatorships and voting and politicians is just drama to keep the population from revolting).

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

            Theodore, I have to say I like you. As much as I disagree with you I have to respect your consistency to your convictions, and that you have taken the time to answer my questions. Many who I have spoken with who oppose legal abortion do not seem to have considered the case of natural miscarriage at all, for instance. Though personally I would think that funding research to reduce the frequency of natural miscarriage would be a better use of funds than funding funerals for someone who holds that position, that is simply my opinion and I admire that you are acting on your consequences of your beliefs in that area. Thank you.

            Though I agree the presence of people who count as two people will not likely impact your life, such a designation would strongly impact such duos. If a crime is committed by that body, which person is at fault, for instance. Do they have to carry two sets of ID? File two tax returns? Buy car insurance for two drivers? Be married to two different spouses?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Why treat them any differently than anybody else to begin with? I don’t treat Trisimony-18 patients differently because they have less DNA, I don’t treat Downs Syndrome patients differently because they have more DNA.

            On the funerals vs research into miscarriages- There is a certain amount of respect for God’s power over life and death in this. Medical interference in that *can* be the hand of God, but I get a bit nervous when we cross from being the instrument of God to playing God ourselves. I also have a tendency to oppose IVF for that reason.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

            I’m just trying to understand what your definition of a person is. If a chimera is two people, why should either of them be treated differently? If they are treated like a single person, doesn’t that go against the idea that the two people that began at the conceptions that resulted in the chimera still exist? Wouldn’t that be treating them as if one of them had ceased to exist?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            I disagree with *any* definition of person-hood that is bigoted against anybody. I also disagree with defining corporations as people.

            Your bringing up genetic defects such as chimeras just shows how bigoted and discriminatory you are, in making excuses for murder.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

            I also disagree that corporations are people, and I agree that discriminating against people based on genetics is bad. So we’re on the same page now.

            And how does asking about the real-world consequences of your position on the lives of real people make me a bigot? I have at no time said that chimeras (and doing more research, I’m finding that at LOT more people than I thought are partially chimeric) are of lower value than other people. So again, you are accusing me of things I have not done, and making yourself look foolish.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Why be bigoted against them at all?

          • John Evans

            It’s not a matter of bigotry, Theodore. In fact, it is the exact opposite. If we are going to legally decide that chimera are two people occupying one body, then we need to figure out how to apply existing laws that apply to people fairly and justly to both individuals in a chimera in a non-discriminatory way. For example, if only one has committed a crime, is it fair to send the innocent one to prison along with their convicted body-sharing partner?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            John, what matters is, are you willing to kill them for being a chimera?

          • John Evans

            Theodore that’s a non-sequitur and does not at all address the questions I have raised. I at no point suggested that chimeric fetuses should be killed for being chimeric, and for you to claim so either shows a failure of reading comprehension or willful deceit.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            One, but with two unique sets of DNA that are *separate from the mother* which is what really counts. Why are you such an idiot to assume any different, unless you are actively *trying* to be an immoral person?

          • John Evans

            I’m not sure why some of my replies to you aren’t showing up. I hope this one will appear.

            In another reply to me you said chimeric infants would be two people. Why can’t you be consistent?

            Anyway, I’m asking these questions to try and understand your position better. If as you say personhood begins at conception, but (as you say in the message before this one) that a chimeric infant is one person – what happened to the second person? Is it ‘dead’? If so, can the ‘surviving’ twin be held responsible for the ‘murder’?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Perhaps they are two in one. But for the purposes of legality, we can treat them as one.

            I have no problem with two in one- after all, I believe in a God who is a chimera- three in one.

          • John Evans

            Theodore, you confuse me again. You have accused me of discriminating against people, but you have just suggested giving what you consider two people only the legal rights of a single person. If the chimera is two people, isn’t it unfair to, say, only give them one vote in elections?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            One. With double DNA, but UNIQUE double DNA.

            Why are you such a bigoted idiot to assume different?

          • pagansister

            Do you consider it “God’s will” when there is miscarriage? How do you give a Christian burial for a 3 month pregnancy?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            The same way you give a Christian burial for a 5 month pregnancy. or a 2 week pregnancy.

          • choiceone

            With a two-week pregnancy, how do you even know about the pregnancy? Do you know how many blastocysts never implant, how many implanted embryos are spontaneously aborted? There is probably not one woman who has been sexually active for even a couple of months who has not spontaneously aborted. Some estimates of the percent of zygotes, morulae, blastocysts, and embryos that never implant or become disimplanted early in a pregnancy are 50% to 75%. The early ones just come out with menstruation and go down the toilet without a woman ever knowing she had them in her.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Or at least, so say the liars.

          • pagansister

            Do you bury the tampon/pad for the 2 week ones?

          • pagansister

            Didn’t say a 5 month term—said a 3 month. I’d hope a woman would carry to term if she was 5 months along.

          • pagansister

            Yes, excellent question below—how do you bury a 2 week old miscarriage if indeed a woman realizes she was pregnant? That is why the morning after pill should always be RX after a rape—then a pregnancy isn’t possible.

          • choiceone

            I’m sorry to say that pregnancy is possible even when the morning after pill is used – it’s preventive efficacy is a probability factor that declines over time, so it is less effective after three days than two, etc. There is no 100% effective product.

          • Pattrsn

            “Bodily autonomy is not a good reason for murder.”

            No, but it is a good reason for abortion.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Abortion is murder. Lying about it doesn’t change that fact. Claiming “bodily autonomy” as you pay a doctor to rip somebody else’s body into small pieces to remove them from your womb is not valid.

            When are you going to get the picture that NOTHING you say will ever lead me to support murder? That NOTHING you can say will ever lead me to take the side that only women are right?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

            Theodore, if a man is dying and needs a liver transplant, and I am a viable donor, can I be legally forced to donate my liver to keep him alive? No. I can stand there and legally watch him die, even though with modern medicine and the regenerative ability of the liver, a liver transplant is likely to not be more than an inconvenience for me. Only I get to decide what I do with my body.

            You’re also badly misrepresenting abortion by talking about chopping up babies. The overwhelming majority of abortions happen very early in the pregnancy, and those that are done late-term are done for critical medical reasons where the mother or fetus or both would not survive otherwise.

            And honestly, I don’t expect you to be convinced. But I think the things I’m saying need to be said, and other people may take something from what Pattrsn and I are saying.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            No, but you should.

            It doesn’t matter what the method is, abortion is always an act of violence that takes a woman from a healthy state, pregnancy, to an unhealthy state; and executes the death penalty against a human being.

            You can’t get around that fact. And I’m not going to let you continue to lie to people- I will answer *every* point you make with a defense of life.

          • choiceone

            Actually, pregnancy is not a healthy state for a woman because the blastocyst/embryo shuts down part of her immune system by directing the placenta to starve her local immune attack T-cells of their necessary nutrient, so that they either die or go into latency to survive. Otherwise, her attack T-cells would continue attacking the placenta and embryo and disimplant them, causing spontaneous abortion. Experiments with mice show that, if the placenta is injected with a chemical agent that can stop its producing the enzyme that catabolizes the nutrient needed by the attack T-cells, the female’s attack T-cells revive from latency and spontaneously abort the embryo in all cases save where the embryo is a result of identical twin inbreeding. The woman’s immune system would do the same, and the exception would be a case like that of Jesus, where the only genetic difference from the pregnant woman would be the sex chromosome, as such an embryo really could be harmless.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            If pregnancy isn’t a healthy state for women, then how does any woman survive childbirth to become a mother? Better yet, why isn’t the human race extinct?

            If what you say is accurate, then there should not be a species homo sapiens. Since human beings exist, you must be a liar.

          • okiedokie

            choiceone, you’ve counseled people regarding pregnancies? you mention having had clients earlier…

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

            You really need to read up more on medical information about pregnancy if you’re universally declaring it to be a ‘healthy state’.

        • choiceone

          Actually, Theodore probably does think an anencephalic fetus is a person.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Yes, I do. And has the right to be born, the same as *everybody else*.

            Anything less would be bigotry.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

            Having had more conversation with Theodore, I’m inclined to agree.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          The other side of the placenta is not the woman’s body. So no autonomy to give up. And yes, I do consider anencephalic fetuses to be people. And molar pregnancies.

          And every miscarriage is a cause for mourning.

          So I don’t understand your point, unless it is to be a bigoted fool.

          • John Evans

            Theodore let me say it is refreshing to communicate with someone who is at least consistent in their beliefs, and has done research into the wide range of abnormal states a pregnancy can take.

            I would suggest, however, that you would not likely find many people who would agree that a non-differentiated mass of cells with no organs or tissues – indistinguishable in character from a cancerous tumour – is a person.

            As for the bodily autonomy argument, it is true that the placenta and its contents are not part of the woman’s body. However that does not remove her bodily autonomy. The pregnancy is in her body and taking resources from her body to survive. As an analogy, I might be in the middle of a life-saving blood transfusion to another, injured, adult. I am the only viable donor around, I have already given my consent, and the injured party will die without my blood. I am entirely within my rights to back out at any point and allow the other individual to die. It’s a jerk move, sure, but there’s nothing unethical about it. My body, my choice. Similarly nobody can demand one of my kidneys or a portion of my liver, even though I can survive without either and the needy person might die without them. An individual owns their own body and no-one can demand of it.

      • pagansister

        You are entitled to your opinion and I to mine, Theodore. I’m sorry to hear of the death of your friend, who chose to have a baby conceived thru rape. The point is: She HAD the choice. It was UP TO HER!

        • TheodoreSeeber

          Choices are mainly illusion. Some people are far more courageous than others.

          • pagansister

            “Choices are mainly illusion.” Really? god, you are really a piece of work.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          And I don’t bother with opinions. I bother only with facts.

          • pagansister

            All of what you say are opinions—-not fact.

      • choiceone

        I have never met any pro-choice person who believed that it was okay to kill any born child, regardless of how it was conceived. All born children are human beings. But while an embryo/fetus is inside a woman, that is completely different. In the case of rape, the embryo/fetus is from its conception as a zygote a weapon of the rapist – it carries the rapist’s chromosomes. It implants against the conscious will of the woman by means of material, physicochemical force. Once it has made a placenta using some of the woman’s tissue against her will and has caused the placenta to re-channel her blood, it eventually puts chromosomes from the rapist into her blood, and does so massively in childbirth, so that she has to carry those chromosomes in her blood for decades, including chromosomes that may make her liable to potentially lethal diseases. They carry on the rape during the pregnancy. Ending the pregnancy can end the rape, if it is done early in the pregnancy.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          “I have never met any pro-choice person who believed that it was okay to kill any born child, regardless of how it was conceived. All born children are human beings.”

          I have. Margaret Sanger advocated the culling of born children. Not to mention Planned Parenthood, which has advocated for partial birth abortion. Plus the Supreme Court, in Doe vs Bolton.

          “But while an embryo/fetus is inside a woman, that is completely different.”

          And we are supposed to take the word of a KNOWN LIAR on that?

          Let me know when you grow enough of a conscience to stop being a spoiled brat.

          • choiceone

            It is you who are spoiled and without conscience. You favor mindlessness over mindfulness, blind material force over reason, and claim you love a person you can’t even know exists unless the woman in whom it may reside tells you of it, but rant hatred and bullying at the woman, whom you can actually see and hear.

      • pagansister

        Never said to murder the “child”, after it is born. I said a woman has the right to terminate before birth—hopefully ASAP after finding out the rapist impregnated her. NOT a child. And it isn’t a “father”. It is a violent sperm provider.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    “If it were this simple — that is, if love was not necessary to establish identity — then the rape victim would feel no anguish in accepting the identity of “mother”. If all that was required to make a woman a “mother” was the physical reality of pregnancy, then it wouldn’t be necessary for a rape victim to “come to terms” with the name. But it is necessary, and there is anguish. Immense anguish.”

    I am currently mourning the death of a close friend who felt that anguish. Thanks to her decision to *be* a mother, she is survived by a daughter, a son-in-law, and two grandbabies- all from a rape that happened 30+ years ago.

    Because of her, because of her daughter- I will always oppose the idea that the children of rape are less than people, deserving only to be murdered.

    • Pattrsn

      Has anyone anywhere advanced the idea that the children of rape are deserving of murder?

      • TheodoreSeeber

        Yes, because abortion is a form of murder (see Evangelium Vitae. Or any number of scientific documents on genetics).

        • Pattrsn

          No it isn’t, it’s abortion, the ending of a pregnancy.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            And by ending the pregnancy, you stop a beating heart of another individual- which is murder.

            If you don’t understand when life begins by genetic science, I suppose you could be forgiven the error; but it is indeed an error all the same to claim that abortion is anything other than the murder of a human being.

            Especially given the amount of propaganda put out by the feminists to the contrary- but false propaganda is still, in the end analysis, false.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

            So you’re cool with abortion before the development of a pulse?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Nope. But I would suppose you are cool with abortion of even grown human beings, so long as they aren’t “persons”. Kind of like Stalin.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

            Theodore, I’ve noticed you’ve been attributing opinions to me that I have never espoused. It is not strengthening your position.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            I’m glad you finally noticed. The point isn’t to strengthen my position though. The point is to show the logical weakness in your position. It does not strengthen my position to show that logical weakness at all, but it does show the weakness of any position that claims that human beings have the wisdom necessary to make decisions about life and death.

            There is a lot of similarity between the philosophies of the Eugenicists. But between them all, is one basic idea: Some lives are not worth as much as others, and human beings are smart enough to decide who is worth something and who isn’t.

            That is an idea I vehemently reject. It is a short step from that idea, to the concentration camps. Or to war.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

            Theodore, if you want to show a logical weakness in my position, you should show a logical weakness in my position. Telling people I hold a position I do not, and then attacking that, is the very definition of the straw-man fallacy, and it makes you look either ignorant or dishonest. I know you are neither, so I’m trying to protect you from accidentally appearing that way to someone observing our conversation.

            And I would suggest that you, yourself, value some lives over others. In a hypothetical emergency situation where you could only rescue one of a pair of individuals, you would make a value judgement – consciously or not – and choose one to rescue. Similarly I do not believe you would feel the same grief upon reading about the death by misfortune of a known violent criminal as you would upon hearing the news of an immediate family member’s death by similar misfortune.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            I do NOT value some lives over others. I would attempt to save both, even if it cost my own life to do so.

            I do not base my morals on emotions or feelings at all, that’s for neurotypicals, and from my point of view, it is what causes most of the injustice in this world.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

            So three should die, rather than one? That doesn’t seem like a good decision making process.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Maybe not from the point of view of “Some human lives should be sacrificed so that I can have more money”, but hey, we’ve already established that you don’t think other human lives are as valuable as yours.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

            I have no idea where ‘make more money’ comes into this, but it is true that I believe there are human beings alive right now whose continued existence only brings suffering into the world. I also believe there are people alive right now who are MORE valuable than myself, who I would sacrifice myself to save.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Nope. But heartbeat legislation is stupid anyway. I am NEVER cool with murder, unlike you genocidal maniacs.

          • Good Catholic GIrl

            I hardly think that all the women who have abortions or are pro-abortion are feminists and it’s unfair to label issues such as this as feminist propaganda. There is nothing wrong with being a feminist; people make it sound derogatory when it’s no such thing. I feel confident that if you were to interview the women in abortion clinics, not many of them would identify as feminists. They are just women who (wrongly) believe that abortion is their government-funded right, which it is not and a viable form of birth control which, of course, it is not.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Feminists of the type I’m talking about are Eugenicists- no different than the Nazis. They tell their lies that abortion is a government funded right and a viable form of birth control- and the ones who have abortions are their victims.

          • pagansister

            Excuse me, Theo, but who are you calling a Nazi? Do you have to be insulting to make your points? Apparently. That is truly sad. IMO, abortion is not to be used as a regular birth control method, since there are much better, and painless options. However, if indeed, it is necessary (in the woman’s mind) once, then so be it.

          • Good Catholic GIrl

            You know, you have a right to your opinions but I find it hard to believe that someone who is supposedly a good Christian (because I don’t know if you are Catholic) can be so full of bile and hate. Please, do be civil to one and all, not just the people who agree with you.

          • pagansister

            Unfortunately for Theo, he has to attempt to prove his “rightness” and the only way to do that is to again, attempt to put down those that disagree. It doesn’t work, but he hasn’t learned that, I guess. His self esteem seems to be boosted by being just plain rude.

          • GoodCatholicGirl

            Makes me wonder if Theodore had a horrible lifestyle in the past and is now reformed. He has the sound of someone who preaches fire and brimstone because they were once “fallen”. I’m sure we’ve all run into the former alcoholic who rails against so much as a glass of wine with dinner or the former overweight person who has to tell you how many calories are in that mouthful of eggs Benedict you just swallowed while they pick at their egg white omelet. While I agree with him that abortion is wrong, I don’t like the way he attacks people. Only a small person tries to make others fee smaller.

          • choiceone

            Abortion for any reason other than to save the woman’s life or save her from a serious permanent health injury, e.g., permanent paralysis, or in the case of rape is not funded by the federal government (see the Hyde Amendment). Some state governments do use government funds for other abortions, but most do not. No one thinks this is a government-funded right but ignorant anti-abortion zealots. Much of the funding comes from charity organizations dedicated to helping women who cannot afford to pay.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            In other words, Eugenics.

          • pagansister

            Nope.

          • Good Catholic GIrl

            But pro-choice people do seem to believe that abortion is a right. It is not.

          • pagansister

            Yes, this pro-choice person believes it is a woman’s right. However at my age, I won’t need to use it.(nor did I when I was younger). Whether a woman feels the need to take advantage of it is another story.

        • choiceone

          Evangelium Vitae is the same document that erroneously claims that, when a pregnant woman develops choriocarcinoma, it is because of the fault of her body and not the embryo, even though we know that what causes it is too rapid a growth of the blastocyst and the placenta it makes, and that these rates are a function of certain chromosomes in the blastocyst which do not come from the woman. The Catholic church leaders would rather blame the woman for her own illness than the embryo, even though the embryo is at fault and there is objective scientific evidence for this.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Says the liar who thinks that pregnancy always causes death.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501021941 Hannah Russell

    I don’t have time to read all the comments, so I apologize if this point has already been brought up, but I’m confused about your definition of “identity.” There are other identities than “son,” “mother,” “father.” What about “musician,” “pharmacist,” “black,” “mentally ill,” “depressed,” “happy.” People identify themselves all sorts of ways. Identities based on relationship are only one type of identity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steve.martin.10485 Steve Martin

    Man, this stuff is messy.

    Makes me long for the Day when none of this will be even necessary to discuss.

    the Old Adam

  • DISGUSTED

    oBVIOUSLY, this writer is a male chauvenist, misogynist idiot who believes THAT VIOLENT CRIMINAL ACTS ILLEGALLY FORCED ON FEMALES ARE AH, ‘OK’–ESPECIALLY if the female is IMPREGNATED BY THE MALE RAPIST. This misogynist, female hating chauvenist believes that a FEMALE WHO HAS BEEN RAPED AGAINST HER WILL SHOULD/MUST BEAR THE RAPIST’S ILLEGITIMATE BASTARD. WHAT THIS MISOGYNIST, FEMALE HATING CHAUVENIST NEEDS IS A KICK IN THE REAR END FROM THE ACLU AND/OR OTHER ORGANIZATIONS THAT HELP FEMALE VIC TIMS OF VIOLENT MALE CRIMINALS.!

    • TheodoreSeeber

      No, I believe that the rapist should make his child legitimate.

      • Good Catholic GIrl

        Please – there is no such thing as an “illegitimate” child. All children are legitimate because they are human beings. I’ve always thought it was a terrible term.

  • carol

    Obviously, the author of this nonsense is a female hating, misogynist idiot who SUPPORTS CRIMINALS WHO RAPE WOMEN. he aware of the prison terms that males recieve for the CRIMINAL, VIOLENT ATTACKS ON FEMALES THAT THE RAPISTS DON’T EVEN KNOW TO BEGIN WITH!
    A woman has EVERY RIGHT TO TERMINATE AN UNWANTED PREGNANCY FORCED ON HER BY A VIOLENT MALE CRIMINAL WHOSE only THOUGHT IS THE ACT OF CONTROL.
    Given his bigoted, MISOGYNIST female-hating attitude, this writer NEEDS A KICK IN THE REAR END FROM AN ORGANIZATION LIKE THE ACLU!

    • TheodoreSeeber

      We’re already getting that from your genocide.

  • carol

    Obviously, the author of this nonsense is a misogynist, female hating idiot who BELONGS TO A RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION THAT TREATS THE VICTIM OF A VIOLENT MALE CRIMINAL AS less than nothing COMPARED WITH THE RAPIST’S CELL MATTER.
    Not surprisingly the Roman Church HATES FEMALES, DUH!
    AFTER ALL, NOT ONLY does this institution SUPPORT RAPISTS WHO COMMIT VIOLENT, CRIMINAL ACTS AGAINST FEMALES– IT also CLAIMS THAT A WOMAN SHOULD BE LEGALLY forced to bear the results of violent criminal actions!

    UNFORTUNATELY FOR THE RAPIST SUPPORTING MISOGYNIST WHO wrote THIS NONSENSE FEMALES HAVE EVERY LEGAL, CONSTITUTIONAL AND SOCIAL RIGHT TO TERMINATE AN UNWANTED PREGNANCY!

    this rapist-supporting misogynist needs a relty check as to the number of years that male rapists can spend in the pen for their CRIMINAL, VIOLENT, MISOGYNIST ACTIONS!

    • TheodoreSeeber

      Yeah, we hate females so much that we worship St. Mary. Oh, wait…..another liar.

  • carol

    Does the author of this misogynist female hating blog KNOW THE PRISON TIME THAT A CONVICTED RAPIST CAN SERVE IN PRISON? IF NOT, WHY NOT? WHY DOES HE SUPPORT CRIMINALS WHO RAPE AND MOLEST FEMALES!

    • TheodoreSeeber

      I know what the prison term should be: Life under heavy labor with all proceeds going to support the women he raped and their children.

    • pagansister

      Carol, can you use regular size font? It is hard to read your comments. Thanks.

  • carol

    tHEODORE sEEBER WRITE: aBORTION IS MURDER…”
    claiming bodily autonomy as you pay a doctor to rip someone elses body into small pieces to remove them from your womb is not valid….
    Seeber is obviously just another female hating misogynist who believes that HE AND/OR HIS FELLOW MISOGYNISTS HAVE ‘rights’ TO VIOLATE AMERICAN FEMALES’ CONSTITUTIONAL/LEGAL/ RIGHTS OVER THEIR OWN BODIES.,… UNFORTUNATELY FOR SEEBER, RAPE IS VIOLENT, MALE-CAUSED CRIMINAL ACT AGAINST A FEMALE–against HER will……….DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!
    IT WOULD BE VERY, VERY INTERESTING TO SEE SEEBER IN A COURT OF LAW SUPPORTING A MALE CRIMINAL WHO HAD PERFORMED AN ILLEGAL ACT OF VIOLENTLY ATTACKING A FEMALE AGAINST HER WILL and claiming THAT THE FEMALE must BEAR THE RAPIST’S CELLS……
    DOES SEEBER SUPPORT VIOLENT, CRIMINAL ACTIONS AGAINST FEMALE AMERICAN CITIZENS CAUSED BY VIOLENT FELONS…………………

    • TheodoreSeeber

      You hate females too- after all, you’re for aborting female babies.

  • carol

    Theodore Seeber wrote: ‘I disagree with ANY definition of personhood that is bigoted against anybody…”

    DOES THAT COMMENT INCLUDE THE RAPED, PREGNANT FEMALE RAPED AGAINST HER WILL BY A VIOLENT, MALE CRIMINAL…? A VICTIM OF VIOLENT MALE CRIMINAL ACTIONS more IMPORTANT THAN THE FEMALE VICTIMS OF RAPE?
    SEEBER NEEDS TO BE IN A secular CRIMINAL COURT WHERE THE VIOLENT MALES WHO BELIEVE THAT RAPE IS IS ‘OK’ GET THEIR JUST DESERTS. HOW MANY YEARS IN PRISON WILL THESE MALE CRIMINALS HAVE TO SERVE!
    WHY DOES SEEBER SUPPORT CRIMINALS WHO PERPETUATE VIOLENT CRIMINAL ACTS AGAINST FEMALES?

    • TheodoreSeeber

      “DOES THAT COMMENT INCLUDE THE RAPED, PREGNANT FEMALE RAPED AGAINST HER WILL BY A VIOLENT, MALE CRIMINAL…?”

      She’s still a person, and he owes her a living for the rest of her life, even if we have to lock him up and put him to work to provide it. He also owes that child full child support for life.

      “SEEBER NEEDS TO BE IN A secular CRIMINAL COURT WHERE THE VIOLENT MALES WHO BELIEVE THAT RAPE IS IS ‘OK’ GET THEIR JUST DESERTS.”

      I would love to be- especially in a court where the rapist DOES get his full and just deserts, instead of being let off the hook by an abortionist.

      ” HOW MANY YEARS IN PRISON WILL THESE MALE CRIMINALS HAVE TO SERVE!”

      As long as the child and mother lives, or until the rapist dies, whichever comes first.

      “WHY DOES SEEBER SUPPORT CRIMINALS WHO PERPETUATE VIOLENT CRIMINAL ACTS AGAINST FEMALES?”

      Why do you want to let the rapist off with a slap on the wrist and no child support?

      • choiceone

        No self-respecting rape victim would taint herself by using money from the rapist to buy her food or pay her rent. It would be better to starve or be homeless. Do you understand that in quite a few states rapists have “father’s rights” to see the children they procreated if the rape victim chooses to continue the rape pregnancy and keeps the born child? By demanding that the woman give birth, you are saying she has no choice but to be a mother because some guy forcibly impregnated her. It’s just un-effing-believable!

        • TheodoreSeeber

          I don’t know any self-respecting victims, of rape or anything else. Accepting Victimhood, means losing all self respect.

          I’m saying that the rapist should NOT have father’s rights- and should spend every waking moment earning money for the mother and child in slavery.

          • choiceone

            Every victim of a crime is a victim, whether he or she chooses to use the label “victim” or the label “survivor.” How dare you insult those who admit they have to acknowledge the object fact of what has happened to them. In what way does this make them lose self-respect? You apparently need to have an experience of being victimized by others in order to give up your hatred and contempt for your fellow born human beings.

            And whatever the man who raped me did, he certainly did not deserve to be enslaved – no human being does.

      • pagansister

        And the rapist can make enough in jail to raise a child? Really? No. She needs to not have a reminder of the bastard and his deed, thus the choice to continue or not with his “violent donation”. Morning after pills are great. IF she did choose to give birth, why would she want money or any connection to the rapist?

  • carol

    As a civil libertarian, I HAVE TO ASK IF THE ABOVE WRITER BELIEVES THAT VIOLENT, MALE CRIMINAL ACTION AGAINST FEMALES– IE, RAPE– IS A JOKE/ AND/OR PERMITTED ACTION AGAINST FEMALES WHO ARE ATTACKED AGAINST THEIR WILLS…………

    DOES THIS TOTAL IDIOT HAVE any IDEA WHATSOEVER CONCERNING THE GRAVITY OF THE LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLENT ATTACKS BY MALE RAPISTS AGAINST THEIR VICTIMS? IF NOT, why NOT?

    does the above misogynist female hating idiot BELIEVE that female victims of violent MALE RAPISTS ARE legally/constitutionally REQUIRED TO BEAR THE CELLS OF VIOLENT MALE CRIMINALS?

    IT IS not PARTICULARLY SURPRISINGLY THAT THIS MISOGYNIST IDIOT BELONGS TO AN INSTITUTION THAT SUPPORTS MALE CRIMINALS WHO HAVE CONVICTED OF RAPING/MOLESTING INNOCENT CHILDREN; YET, EXCUSES MALE PREDATORS WHO BELIEVE THATE THAT THEY SHOULD BE NOT CONVICTED OF CRIMINAL ATTACKS ON FEMALES

  • Thinkingoutloud

    Bravo man, you have real courage, and real wisdom in your posts. You also have great intelligence to articulate so well. I feel so sad for these feminists lost so deeply that they feel they can justify millions of dead females in the name of protecting women’s rights. Keep up the good work!!

  • David

    Dig: what would happen to a mother if the veil of her feelings and self-identity is removed to reveal the truth of Love and her God-given identy (of original design…human OS 1.0)? Motherhood transcends self-determinism, abortion and denial. And God bestow sanctity to the woman who can forgive the man of whom her son reminds her.

  • Guest

    My sympathy for a raped woman who chooses to have an abortion is not based on some idea about ‘identity’, it’s based on the understanding that rape is a horrifyingly traumatic experience and that carrying the baby to term would mean the woman would have to live with a constant reminder of her rape for nine months at least, making it harder for her to move on with her life.

    There’s also the injustice of forcing a woman to put her health at risk when she had no choice about entering the state of pregnancy- which is still a dangerous state for many women.

    Then there’s the fact that telling a woman how she must use her body, by forbidding her an abortion, would basically be another act of rape. It would be telling the woman that her body, her womb, is the property of another for the duration of pregnancy. It’s denying her her autonomy, which is what makes rape so heinous in the first place.

    As for the rest of your article, it’s a load of nonsense. There are many mothers and fathers who don’t treat their children lovingly but are still parents. There are also human relations that aren’t based on love but are still important- employer/employee, for example. Love is a nice bonus but it isn’t strictly necessary.

  • NewDreams

    I strongly suspect the reason your prose are so convoluted is because you’re writing absolute nonsense. But hey, you’re a Catholic, deeply rehearsed in the act of doublethink. Maybe next time keep your imbecilic ideas to yourself.

  • Babs5

    I haven’t read through all the comments, but I wanted to encourage you to flesh this out a bit more. Having been miserably pregnant 5 times with babies we wanted, it may difficult for you to appreciate how difficult pregnancy can be. A woman coping with rape and an unwanted pregnancy and the trials of pregnancy will probably be tempted to abort, no matter her morality prior to the rape. This is the real problem with society supporting such a thing. Now the victim becomes the perp in a violent act against her own body and an innocent baby. Our society needs to support women as conduits of life in the face of destruction and violent misogyny. Help her reclaim herself and her power through her life giving force. I think Jaycee Duggard is an amazing witness to this.

  • name

    Let them choose. Is it much different than sending me to iraq to kill isurgents for two fuckin years? I aborted the hell out of some insurgent life. But your religion deems this act ok. You people confuse me. Let the damn people choose. I chose. And i dont regret it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10235831 Kristin Stark Curtis

    If a woman chooses to carry a pregnancy to term, it is NOT your business. If a woman chooses to have an abortion, it is NOT your business. If a woman chooses to give a baby up for adoption, it is NOT your business. If a woman choose to scale a mountain and do a jig while picking her nose, it is NOT your business. The biggest downfall of the catholic church and its followers is the inability to keep their noses out of other people’s affairs.

  • Rivka

    I think this article is weird.

  • privacy please

    Marc,

    You claimed that “If all that was required to make a woman a “mother” was the physical reality of pregnancy, then it wouldn’t be necessary for a rape victim to “come to terms” with the name. But it is necessary, and there is anguish. Immense anguish.”

    I would imagine that in a lot of cases that might be true. But not in every case… Even in compassion, one should be careful about generalizing. Some times, even in rape, all that is necessary is the physical reality of pregnancy.

    Unlike choiceone (who really doesn’t know what choice she might ultimately have made and who dealt only with the threat of a rape pregnancy), I actually experienced what you all are calling a rape pregnancy.My experience wasn’t anything like what you imagine.

    I not only experienced a rape pregnancy, I experienced my daughter’s conception. (A talent that apparently runs in my family.)

    Despite the externals, I was spell-bound by her suddenness of being. And I loved her instantly with a stunned sense of amazement.

    I don’t even know how to explain that a truly horrific and violent rape can become mere backdrop to a miracle.

    As a rape victim, I never found it “necessary… ‘come to terms’ with the name” or the idea of motherhood. I did however find it strange and bizarrely uncomfortable to connect my daughter’s conception to the act through which she was conceived. Even today, decades later, I’m not sure that I have ever really connected her to the rapist that violated me.

    Obviously my experience isn’t the norm, but it is the exception that cautions against speaking in generality even about something as rare as rape pregnancies.

    To be honest, I don’t know any other women who became pregnant through rape, so I have no way of comparing my experience to others, but the idea that rape creates a barrier to spontaneously loving your child isn’t necessarily so.

    I know that I seem to be quibbling, but I just don’t think anyone can generalize about any woman’s response to a pregnancy that is the result of rape. Any such generalization is a terribly injustice to both the woman and the child. For some women it probably is horrific, for others the child may be a saving grace. It’s a case by case thing, and no one knows anything about it, until the woman speaks.

  • randomanonuser

    Question for any of these people that would stop a victim of rape from having an abortion:

    So you support this girl who doesn’t want to be pregnant having it anyways
    and giving it up for adoption? ok… What do you do for a living? Are you
    financially, mentally and emotionally stable enough to raise a child?
    (note on the finances: remember, you’re doing this for
    god/ethics/whatever makes you think you can impose your will on someone
    else, so don’t be stingy! you can get a cheaper car and a smaller house,
    don’t you think?) You are? Great. Now go apply to be a foster parent.
    If you say that this baby should stay alive so someone else can give it love
    and nurture it, then I think it is YOUR responsibility to make sure the
    support network exists to receive these children into the world.
    Otherwise, you are being hypocritical and irresponsible with the
    precious life you go to such great length to “protect”

    Oh, and what if this pregnancy would cause her to die, and if she had an abortion she’d later go on to have three kids? What would be her best option? What would you do if you were her?
    *drops mic*

    :edit: to the author- i liked this article and while I disagree with you on some things, what you wrote about the construction of identities was very interesting. I happen to disagree with you that abortion is “absolutely” wrong, and I think that your article deserved a more developed and nuanced explanation of your opinions on the matter, given that it was quite well written up to that point

  • Virginia Smith

    The photograph of the little boy with his pregnant mama’s belly is a copyrighted image and you do not have permission to use it. It constitutes stealing when you use an image without permission or payment. It is not loving. Please remove it.

    Thank you, Virginia Smith

    Here is the original post of this image. http://oldmamadognewtricks.blogspot.com/2011/07/so-i-love-props-of-all-kinds-when.html

  • Collin237

    You’re not following your own logic. You’ve just argued in favor of allowing abortion in the case of rape, because it produces the physical relationships of mother and child without the love that completes them spiritually.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X