Spectacularly Trivialized: Teen Mom 2 and Abortion as Entertainment

About thirty years ago in his signature work Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman warned that the encroaching entertainment industry threatened to undermine society’s ability to deal with fundamental issues. American culture, Postman argued, had become so dominated by triviality and hyper-emotionalism, spread through television, that even the weightiest of issues and the most sacred of topics are trapped in absurdity, divorced from reason. Such is certainly the case with season 5 of MTV’s Tee … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Patriotism and Christian Engagement

Maybe this is always the case, but it seems like there are a lot of things happening in the public sphere right now that affect Christians deeply (e.g. the DOMA decision, the Texas abortion bill, the alleged beating of Christian protesters at a gay pride rally, etc.). Thankfully, these events  have also spurred many thoughtful believers to ask how to engage passionately in political discourse without transgressing the bounds of neighborly love. On July 4, the folks at Resurgence published this p … [Read more...]

Dear Dr. Gosnell

Dear Dr. Gosnell,It's hard to know where to begin. I even struggled with the salutation. I wasn't sure whether to call you a "doctor" or not. But then, it struck me that you really are a doctor: Kermit Gosnell, MD. That makes what you did worse—more confusing, more disgusting.What I refuse to call you, or anyone who does the same work you do, is an "abortion doctor." That phrase makes no sense to me. Doctors sustain life; they heal people; they cure disease. You treated human life like i … [Read more...]

Planned Parenthood, Infanticide, and the Return to Paganism

"We believe that any decision that's made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician."Normally it isn't terrifying to hear the representative of a medical organization say something like this. In most circumstances, I'd love hearing about a less bureaucratic approach to medicine and health care decisions. When the representative is from Planned Parenthood, and the "decision" in question is whether to save the life of an already-born-and-on-the-table baby or kill it, it s … [Read more...]

Unplanned Pregnancies in the Military on the Rise

The epidemic of sexual assault on women in the military has far-reaching effects beyond just harming the victim. It damages the military's reputation, discourages potential female recruits from joining, and creates an atmosphere of hostility and repression. Perhaps the most conflicted consequence of sexual assault is the potential for unwanted pregnancies.In CNN's article on a recent study, authors Dr. Daniel Grossman and Kate Grindlay note that the 11% unplanned pregnancy rate in the … [Read more...]

The Still, Small Voice that Doubts Roe v. Wade

Around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade last week, the New York Times' "Motherlode" column ran a piece by freelance writer Christina Loccke about how becoming a mother caused her to question her firmly-held belief in abortion rights. She believes in a woman’s right to choose but when one of her friends, also a mother, told her she was planning an abortion, part of Loccke wanted to say, “Don’t do this. Please.”In describing her emotional turmoil, Loccke writes, “My choice was either to be true t … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: A Sexy Celebration of Roe v. Wade?

What happens when the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) asks actor Mehcad Brooks (USA Network's Necessary Roughness, HBO's True Blood) to send "Happy 40th anniversary" sentiments to Roe v. Wade?This video happens.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEMnyiDKUJIFor me, the creep-o-meter is off the charts. And I’m not alone, as outrage is building across the Internet. Interestingly enough, pushback isn’t only coming from pro-life supporters; pro-choice supporters have also voiced their dis … [Read more...]

Science Can Both Solve and Add to Our Moral Conundrums

Ah, good ol' science... With it, we make incredible advances that aid and benefit our lives immeasurably even as we wander into one moral quagmire after another. We increase our understanding of the world around us even as we are tempted to play God in ways that ought to make us shudder. Two recent articles serve as a perfect showcase for that particular dichotomy.First, the good: 2013 could be the year that the stem cell controversy goes away. Though stem cell research has been touted by m … [Read more...]

Hobby Lobby, Contraception, and the Morning After Pill

You've probably heard about the contraception controversy in the Obamacare mandate, i.e., that companies who have health plans must include coverage for contraception in those plans. Many churches and religious organizations cited this as an infringement on their religious liberties, and they've been granted an exception to that particular clause. However, corporations and private businesses have not been granted that exception, and some Christian-run stores, such as Hobby Lobby, are challenging … [Read more...]

The Lost Women and Children of the Abortion Debate: A Pro-life Response to Walsh, Akin, and Mourdock

A staunchly pro-life critique of the recent flippancy of abortion rhetoric by pro-life candidates Joe Walsh, Todd Akin, and Richard Mourdock. I’m going to tell you something that I haven’t, until now, told many people. Between my two pregnancies, I had a miscarriage. I was not trying to conceive at that point, but one week I started feeling more tired than usual, and I started vomiting at regular intervals throughout the day. I wasn’t sick, per se, but every day at 10am, I puked. I tried to go f … [Read more...]