3 Key Reasons Why Religious Right Leaders Are So Angry

If you’ve sat down and watched an interview with any one of the outspoken conservative religious leaders recently, you’ve probably noticed something: they’re aging and angry. In fact, with each interview we see, it’s almost as if we watch them get angrier and angrier.

Gone are the days of compassionate conservatism where they at least appeared to seek middle ground on various issues or where they were careful with tone. These leaders of yesteryear are are in full panic mode, and it’s showing. As a result, the aging and angry epidemic among conservative religious leaders has become the elephant in the room of many parts of Christian culture.

When we try to break open the question as to why they seem so angry, the various answers all seem to point to one root cause: they’ve lost power and control.

During the height of the “religious right” these men were figures of power and control. Presidential candidates could not advance without their support, whether public or in secret, giving them tremendous influence over the direction of some political arms. They sold thousands of books, packed stadiums, and commanded massive influence over audiences of thirsty church goers ready to do their political bidding. They were quite literally Christian heroes to thousands.

For a leader in the religious right, the last three decades weren’t so bad.

Today however, they are approaching their twilight years. During a time when many would think of retirement and the opportunity to sit back and admire their accomplishments, these religious leaders are left to simply look over their shoulders at a building that is crumbling and beginning to catch fire.

This is precisely what has them so angry: they’ve lost most of the power and control they once had, and what’s left, is quickly slipping through their fingers. Here are what I think are the three key areas:

1. They lost a culture war they spent 30+ years fighting.

Religious right leaders have fought all these years on two key issues and lost: abortion and stopping the advancement of gay rights. On the abortion front, they’re no closer to seeing Roe v. Wade overturned than  when this all began. On the front of gay rights, they not only lost but saw something happen they never seriously thought was possible: the legality of same sex marriage. They now understand this is a train that has left the station, and same sex marriage is eventually coming to all 50 states– a scenario far worse than they ever anticipated.

2. Culture advanced without them, and they’ve realized they are no longer relevant.

If you haven’t noticed, it’s not 1984 anymore. For these religious right leaders however, those were the glory days they never left. While the rest of us transitioned through the grunge rock of the 90’s, rang in a new millennium, and then woke up one day to flat screen televisions, these folks never advanced. Instead of sticking to teaching their congregations the timeless message of Jesus, they got caught up into the distracting quest of seeking political power and influence– one that became so addicting they failed to realize 30 years just flew by without them. Today, they look in the mirror at a greying scalp, and realize they are complete aliens to the new culture they’ve found themselves in. Whereas in the 80’s they were the movers and shakers, today they realize that they’re basically irrelevant– a realization that on one hand must be sad, but apparently is also quite infuriating.

3. They lost the generation that was supposed to replenish their ranks.

This is perhaps the single most anger producing realization these religious right leaders are facing: they lost their “next generation” and Ralph Reed is the only person wanting to start this cycle all over again. Being so focused on political power, and being so oblivious to cultural shifts around them, they lost their only ability for long-term sustainability. The children they once thought would carry the religious right forward are now adults, but have no desire to join the movement their parents found so wonderful back in the days of ballads and hair bands.

What’s worse from their perspective, is the situation is more than just the fact these “kids” aren’t interested in leading the next generation of the religious right, but that they’ve actually switched sides. While conservative leaders were stuck in the old culture wars, progressive/emergent Christianity happily welcomed these kids into our fold (and gave them a few books to read). Today, these “kids” now make up a core block of the opposition to the very movement they were once destined to lead.

And this is where we get to the heart of why they’re so angry: they realize they lost the culture war, they realize they are fleeting in power and relevance, but most infuriating of all, they realize that the children once destined to run the religious right are now among the biggest force opposing them.

I guess I’d be pretty angry too.

"If God /Jesus wills it yes.Christ Jesus comes before our children."

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  • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    They still have Matt Walsh and his edgy tattoos. I’m not sure I can resist the appeal.

  • Guest

    I’m sure I can…

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    I don’t know who he is. Should I be glad?

  • Jeff Preuss

    From his blog: “-I don’t think all liberals are Satan. There can only be one Satan. And he’s a liberal.”
    “There is no such thing as a ‘pro-choice’ Christian”

    http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/05/28/abortion/
    “Gay “marriage”, etc.”

  • Andy

    Probably. Whereas people like Sarah Palin have terrible ideas but are bad at expressing them without sounding like an idiot, he’s pretty well-written, from what I gathered from perusing a couple of entries that were linked to me by people whose politics I don’t agree with.

  • http://leakingmommybrains.blogspot.com/ Rachel Rogel

    It seems that they have made “progress” on the abortion issue. Reproductive rights have been restricted across the country. But it seems like they realize that this won’t really change the fact that abortion is still available and it doesn’t seem to affect the rate much. Also, and maybe this is the real problem, it doesn’t actually stop people from holding a sexual ethic they disagree with. I wonder if this is also the source of so many of the repugnant comments regarding rape.

  • lindylou

    In the 50s and 60s, if a girl were raped, her reputation was trashed, the family had to move out of town. Who would want to return to that?

  • Leanne Zeck

    “What’s worse from their perspective, is the situation is more than just the fact these “kids” aren’t interested in leading the next generation of the religious right, but that they’ve actually switched sides”
    I think this may be the biggest reason for all of the anger. It would be easier to swallow if the next generation simply apathetically left. But instead many let their passions loose for the “other side.”

    The sad thing is as long as they continue to make the abortion and homosexual issues the defining standard and battle cry, the more they will turn people away. Their message is no longer the Gospel.

  • gimpi1

    One thing I regard as virtually eternally true is that everything dominant group can only dominate for a time. Culture, belief, fashion, you name it, what’s hot today will be cold tomorrow. Religious conservatism was all the rage thirty years ago. Fashions change. Now the Nones are on the rise. Most likely, that will change too, in time.

    Every belief-system has weaknesses. Perhaps people fall out of love with any dominant belief-system because it’s very dominance puts its weaknesses on display. We’ve seen the bigotry, legalism, worship of authority and general meanness of the religious right for years now. They can’t claim any sort of moral high-ground.

    Hopefully, whatever group takes their place center-stage will be more interested in principles such as justice and kindness than they have been.

  • sharon peters

    fashions change but patterns of abuse, trauma, betrayal and addiction stay the same

  • Lbj

    Are you angry that the culture is winning on abortion?

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    You’ve framed it wrong. Overturning Rowe v. Wade won’t end abortion. As such, the religious right has wasted 30 years trying to end it by abolition (doesn’t work) instead of addressing the root causes. Addressing serious issues like healthcare, poverty, livable minimum wages, etc., would cause them to seem a bit too socialistic for their flavor.

    But, thankfully, “culture” as you’ve framed it, didn’t win– abortion rates between 2008-2011 dropped by 13% even though the number of abortion clinics only declined by 1%. Looks like life is winning to me, and it’s being done without the fake victory of legal abolition.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    True. Abortion has always been here, in some fashion or another for as long as women have been giving birth. Making a medical procedure legal, has served the purpose of significantly dropping the death rate of women seeking to end pregnancies, for all reasons. Making contraceptives, available has further dropped abortion rates as well as pregnancy related deaths, as women have been given the option to prevent pregnancies to begin with.

    For the religious right to rail against abortion and to take a near militant stance against it, without recognizing viable solutions, instead taking a stance, as in recent years against prevention, is part of why people are overwhelmingly rejecting the mindset started by the unholy Moral Majority.

  • HappyCat

    The problem with the religious right is their narrow approach to sexuality. What they fail to realize is that people who are in no position to support a child are going to have sex. Better birth control and access to it will prevent more abortions than closing abortion clinics and abstinence only education.

  • Lbj

    Right. When you look at the idea of so called “safe sex” what do we get? There are countless cases of STD’s and unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

    If people did practice abstinence only, we would not be seeing these high number of bad things that scar people the rest of their lives.

  • Andy

    “If people did practice abstinence only, we would not be seeing these high number of bad things that scar people the rest of their lives.”

    If people did practice abstinence only, there would be a lot more angry and bad people. Sex makes people happy. In some cases, like if you’re very poor and working 2 jobs and still barely making ends meet, it might be the only thing you get any happiness from. For some people, it might be the only thing keeping them from going off the deep end, just being able to be happy for a few minutes at night before you have to go to sleep, wake up, and do the same shit all over again the next day.

    The problem is more socioeconomic than you might think.

  • Guy Norred

    This did all start with a post about who seems all angry these days, didn’t it?

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    So true. Reminds me that while I’m definitely not on the right anymore, I’m not at home on the left either.

  • Guy Norred

    I find that I tend to fall quite far left, except when I fall quite far right. I also try to hold myself to a much higher standard than I expect of others. (Try that is– I know I do not always succeed at either my own standards or the avoidance of hypocrisy–working on that) In some ways, I think this may have been the big failing of the right. They rarely seem to be holding themselves to a higher standard than they demand of others–even without the scandals associated with egregious failures.

  • sharon peters

    i like ‘i’ statements!

  • Guy Norred

    And to clarify further–I suspect succumbing to the temptation to connect some dots was probably a failure to live up to those standards I try to keep. I apologize.

  • Andy

    Heh.

    At the risk of turning this comment thread into something NSFW, it seems like a lot of them just don’t like sex. They’re against abortion. They’re against contraception. Perhaps they think sex is only for procreation. And that’s no way to run a government. Just because you aren’t getting any, or enough, doesn’t mean you should be able to decide how often anyone else gets to do it, or for what reasons. That’s nobody else’s business.

  • sharon peters

    inside the ‘box’ thinking about sex,
    everyone agreeing w/you = safety.
    its not about sex, abortion, or anything
    it’s about control and feeling safe inside your ‘box’
    where everyone agrees w/ you.
    cultic thought stopping techniques are
    ment to end discussion among the ‘saved’!

  • B real

    Thanks for keeping it real….sex is also used as a release from tension!

  • Andy

    Yes! Without that, people might go insane in the brain.

  • Lbj

    Wow. Think about sex. It lasts for a few minutes for the most part and can have life long negative consequences. People need to think about the consequences of their actions. People need to find another way to find happiness that won’t causes such problems for themselves.

  • Andy

    There are plenty of ways to be all but certain of not getting pregnant during sex. Abstinence isn’t realistic for most people. Or do you have another suggestion for them?

  • Lbj

    Why isn’t “Abstinence isn’t realistic for most people”?

  • Andy

    Because people like sex. Duh.

  • Lbj

    So what. People like to go 90 mph in town. Should they do it?

  • Andy

    There is no parallel there. I don’t know any city where going 90 mph is legal. Sex is legal and isn’t going to be outlawed.

  • Lbj

    The point is that its reckless. Just because like to do something does not mean you should do it. Just because something is legal does not make it right.

  • Andy

    There is no 100% guarantee of safety in any action. Safe sex isn’t reckless at all.

  • sharon peters

    yuh! like alcohol and tobaco

  • smrnda

    Actually, plenty of people don’t like that. Even people into auto racing can understand that they should confine that type of driving to a proper course.

  • Snooterpoot

    You need to stop thinking about and trying to control the sexual activities of strangers. Your proclamation about taking responsibility for ones actions is nauseating and self righteous in assuming that others do not take responsibility for their actions.

    Other people’s sex lives are none of your business.

    Ultimately, I think the basis of this belief is to punish women for enjoying sex. Now that you people see that you’ve lost that battle you are angry. Boo-frigging-hoo.

  • Lbj

    No way I can control anyone. However, what other people affects us.
    When a gay man gets HIV on his own do you think that affects his family?
    When a women gets abortion do you think that affects her parents when their grandchild will not see the light of day?
    Do you think your health insurance costs go up because others need expensive drugs to stay alive because of their sexual activities?

  • Snooterpoot

    It is none of your business. Period.

    Safe sex reduces STD infections and helps to reduce unplanned pregnancies. The rest of your comment is nothing but emotional pablum.

  • Lbj

    I don’t think so. Its my business when it affects my insurance premiums.

    Don’t use the term “safe sex”. It does not exist given that health problems and abortions it causes it creates. Its not safe.

  • smrnda

    So, if you don’t want to have to subsidize other people’s sexual behavior, how about we all get to decide what we don’t like about your lifestyle? My right to criticize YOUR behavior is equal to your right to criticize anyone else’s.

  • smrnda

    Actually, I’m sure that eating fast food and drinking soda is affecting health care costs a lot more. Maybe I should ask you for a list of everything you eat and drink – your unhealthy lifestyle is costing me $$$.

    On the woman getting the abortion, nobody has a right to be a grandparent since you can’t force your kids to reproduce. It’s not an entitlement.

  • HappyCat

    That’s a pretty big if. It doesn’t correlate in the world we actually live in. People will have sex. Not everyone is a practicing Christian and even Christians fall. In fact the highest demographic of teen pregnancy is Evangelical christian girls receiving abstinence only education like Sarah Palin’s daughter.

  • Andy

    Oh, the irony. It burns.

  • Lbj

    What the “safe sex” crowd is communicating is that people are really animals who can’t control the sexual impulses. You don’t have to be a Christian to practice and commit to abstinence. Its the smartest move to make since it avoids all kinds of problems.

  • Andy

    It also solves all kinds of problems. Or at least allows people to get by day-to-day when they otherwise might go crazy. How do you propose such people keep from falling off the edge?

    You completely missed the point. The entire world is not going to practice abstinence.

  • Lbj

    I agree that “The entire world is not going to practice abstinence.” The data shows that and that those who don’t bring untold misery into their lives by not practicing abstinence.

    If someone is going crazy because they don’t have sex then that shows its some kind of addiction or lack of self-control. They need help.

  • Andy

    Those are some pretty baseless assertions. How about some citations?

    Also, your last sentence is a straw man, and it’s very wrong.

  • Lbj

    Just look up STD’s at the Center of Disease Control. You’ll see a lot of stats on this.

  • Andy

    Nope. You made the assertion, you provide the stats. That’s how the burden of proof works.

  • Terri

    YOU want to practice abstinence, don’t expect to force your ideas on others. Get a life buddy, people have sex, it’s fun, relaxing and enjoyable. Maybe you shoudl try it, if you can find a willing partner.

  • sharon peters

    also its a thought stopping cultic technique
    just saying!

  • Lbj
  • Andy

    SDTs are far from ubiquitous. If you’re being safe, you shouldn’t be deterred by them.

  • Lbj

    There is no such thing as “safe sex”. Sex is not only physical but emotionally bonds people together.

  • Andy

    Yes to the second one, no to the first. “Safe” != 100%.

  • AtalantaBethulia

    STDs happen by having unprotected sex. (There’s also a correlation with drug use and prostitution.)

    I’m all for abstaining from promiscuity and unsafe sexual practices. But it is untruthful to conflate promiscuity with “safe sex” and call safe sex unsafe when what you are really talking about is promiscuity.

  • Snooterpoot

    Prove it. Give us some links to unbiased sources that support your assertion that everyone who doesn’t practice abstinence is doomed to these horrible consequences.

    I won’t hold my breath.

  • Snooterpoot

    Bull shit. What we are communicating is we are sexual beings and that taking precautions to avoid STDs and unplanned pregnancies is the responsible thing to do.

    It is you and your ilk who hold that vulgar opinion. You’re disgusting.

  • Lbj

    Right. How is speaking the truth vulgar?

  • smrnda

    No, that’s not it at all.

    There are many activities which entail some level of risk. People are interested in them to varying degrees. You have sex, riding motorcycles, drinking alcohol, skateboarding, martial arts – the list goes on and on. When people choose to do an activity, they aren’t acting on out of control impulses but making a sensible cost benefit analysis and applying risk assessment. Sex is the same way.

  • Snooterpoot

    That is totally unrealistic and also is void of compassion. People have an innate need for intimacy. To suggest that people refrain from intimacy because your interpretation of someone else’s interpretation of yet another person’s interpretation, for centuries upon centuries, of an anthology of books written by ancient men who wrote what they knew and called it the word of God in order to control their tribes and clans (and especially to control their women) says they should, says more about the need for control that evangelical and fundamentalist Christians so self righteously demonstrate than it says about the society you so soundly condemn.

    Your comment is a really good example of the reasons why right ring Christians and churches are being marginalized and rejected by so many.

    I think that if you nattering busybodies would stop thinking about the intimate activities of strangers you, and everyone else, would be a lot happier.

  • Lbj

    Having sex is not always connected with intimacy. Also, people are not animals who cannot control their impulses. It would be far better if they did not engage in sexual activity given the serious health problems associated with it. I don’t need to make my case from the Bible for this. The health problems should be enough to dissuade people. If its not, then there is some insanity going on.

  • sharon peters

    “Well, isn’t that special?”

    “We like ourselves, don’t we?”

    ~CHURCH LADY

  • smrnda

    Actually, you get more STDs and more unplanned pregnancies when people don’t practice safe sex, because the vast majority of people who decide to *choose abstinence* aren’t really going to do it. They will end up having sex and won’t take any precautions because taking the precautions will make it look like they’re okay with having sex, which is shameful in their subculture. Additionally, many if not most people who don’t follow the abstinence only plan will end up just fine.

    Plans have to take into account what’s reasonable to expect from people. It’s like unrealistic diet, exercise or educational plans – on paper the plan *works* but it just doesn’t work in real life.

  • Lbj

    How many woman died due to illegal abortions before Rowe? Do you think it was at least a million a year like we have for the number of babies being killed?

    What we need to reject is the unholy pro-abort movement.

  • https://www.facebook.com/toujoursdan Dan Sloan

    How many women is too much? Does a zygote have more value than a woman?

  • Lbj

    The zygote is the first stage of a human being so that means it does have equal value.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Ok, then put your money where you mouth is. Don’t get pregnant. If you are male, then either shut up, or be proactive in you yourself using pregnancy prevention.

  • Lbj

    Abortion involves both sexes. When a man gets a woman pregnant then he should support her. If he doesn’t, throw him in jail until he does.
    This is why having sex outside of marriage is playing with fire. It can have grave consequences when its not in the right relationship.

  • Andy

    You’re very idealistic. Reality often falls short of ideal.

  • sharon peters

    “What are you looking at? You never seen a kid in a bubble before?”- Donald the bubble boy, in “The Bubble Boy”~Seinfeld

  • Lbj

    Do think the man who gets a woman pregnant should be forced to support her and the baby for the next 20 years ?

  • Andy

    This is rarely black and white, but in general, I think he should have to do his fair share. I know that’s vague, but the particulars of every situation are different.

  • smrnda

    ” If he doesn’t, throw him in jail until he does.”

    Wow, because he’s going to make lots of money in prison.

  • Andy

    Find me one sane person in the world that is pro-abortion. Just one. One person that actually wants abortion to happen. One person that doesn’t view it as a last resort. One person that loses no sleep over this decision.

    I’m sick of the “pro-abortion” straw man. That’s bullshit. No one is pro-abortion. Being pro-choice is not the same thing at all.

  • Guy Norred

    And as I found out recently when I came across this post

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/10/how-i-lost-faith-in-the-pro-life-movement.html

    (which I have done a little checking on and it doesn’t seem to be negated) the opposition is considerably less pro-life than they would have you believe. Honestly, this was an eye opener for me.

  • Andy

    Yes. They have co-opted the term “pro-life” because it sounds good. It sounds like they care about everything. But many of them do not. Many of them basically say that once you’re born, you’re on your own. Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, every one of you. And if you can’t, well, tough. Whatever happens to you happens.

    What these people actually are is pro-birth. Not pro-life.*

    Ironically, as Libby’s article points out, many pro-choice people support measures that actually decrease abortion rates (like improved education and access to contraception) because they also dislike the idea of abortion. If those “pro-life” people were really against abortion, they’d support these measures, too.

    * Just to clarify, I’m not saying everyone who calls themselves pro-life is like this. Some of them, including a lot of politicians, but not all of them.

  • Guy Norred

    And to clarify, I agree. I think I would say overall I always felt mostly this way, but when I saw some of the statistics…well, it made it much less of an agonizing thing for me.

  • Lbj

    Why the reluctance for abortion? If its not a human life then why be reluctant? If that is the case it should be just like going to the dentist.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Because, its an invasive medical procedure, more like having a vasectomy, or a biopsy, or getting impacted wisdom teeth removed. All involve risks. We go to physicians for these things, because we know they will make things go as smoothly as possible for us.

  • Lbj

    So there should be not guilty feelings for having an abortion. After all no one feels guilty about getting their wisdom teeth pulled. Right?

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    It is not up to you or to me, or to anyone to tell a woman how to feel is she has an abortion. Right now people are made to feel guilty, because people like you demand it, without considering for a single moment what is going on in her life, or why she is making such a decision that is none of our business. Yet people like you insist on heaping guilt on someone who doesn’t deserve it.

    So the answer is no, she shouldn’t feel guilty. Some may, but that would be their emotional state, where they are in life, their personal beliefs….Again it is not for us to judge, condemn or pile on an emotional response that is all about us.

  • Lbj

    I don’t make anyone feel guilty. They feel guilty because they know they did something very wrong.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    You are attempting to convey the idea of guilt, by projecting your views on others, and insisting that your views are correct. You as a man, have no idea what it is like to walk in the shoes of any woman, YOu don’t know our daily struggles, you don’t know what women have to do every day, things that men haven’t a clue because they enjoy a privilege based on gender.

    There are wonderful, caring compassionate, thoughtful and helpful men in the world. They honestly seek to have the world view us as equals and to allow us every freedom they themselves already enjoy. They recognize that our bodies are ours, not theirs, and that we women should be allowed what to do what we feel best with our own bodies, just as men are allowed to do whatever they want with theirs. They understand that their contribution to birthing children is minimal, so they give us full autonomy to make decisions on whether or not we wish to go through the process to bring new life to the world.

    We need more men like that. Hopefully one day you will be.

  • Lbj

    You have no idea what its like to be aborted either. Just think what that must feel like for the baby to be torn apart and sucked up by some machine.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    You have no idea what you are talking about….as usual, just trying again to convey a feeling of guilt and shame. It is an arrogant, prideful uncompassionate ploy, which I am well familiar with.

  • Lbj

    The head of planned parenthood and the woman who recently filmed her abortion so other woman would not be afraid of it. I think it’s on utube.

  • NCHammer

    If you think there aren’t people cheering every single abortion as a victory you are a fool. Planned Parenthood exists to perform abortions and will fight any attempt to render their business model inoperable. People make money on every unborn child that is murdered, regardless of the circumstances, and you think that many of them do not look at a tally sheet at the end of every day/week/month/quarter/year and celebrate every last abortion?

  • Andy

    You didn’t actually find me a person, you just babbled in generalities about something you don’t know enough about. Abortions make up about 3% of the services offered by Planned Parenthood.

  • NCHammer

    So, you’d prefer I list the names of every abortion doctor, building their economic success on the murder of unborn babies? I babbled the truth about an abortion factory, only one of them, but perhaps the best known.

    You babbled out a 3% statistic this is easily manipulated, easily refuted (some estimates actually have the number at 9-12%) and irrelevant to my assertion even if it were stone-cold truth (which, again, it isn’t). No matter what statistics you trot out, people profit from from abortion and build business models on it. And when people profit, they want more to happen. It’s an inescapable economic law.

    Feel free to defend that all you want.

  • Snooterpoot

    Pro-lifers don’t give a damn about those “murdered babies,” or about women who died from back alley abortions pre Rowe v. Wade.

    After birth you people fight against basic assistance to keep mothers and their infants from having a half way decent life. You have cheered making food assistance more difficult. You have loudly protested having health care reform that makes it easy for everyone to have affordable access to quality health care.

    You aren’t pro-life at all. You are pro-birth and pro keeping women’s sexual activities shameful.

    If you truly cared about women you would be advocating for easily obtainable contraceptives to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies and to make abortions safe.

    People like you seem to think that deciding to end a pregnancy is easy and that women have abortions only for selfish reasons. Your assumptions are self serving; they allow you to feel so righteous about your loathsome attitudes and interference with women who have made the decision to abort.

    I don’t think God is on your side. I think you are playing God yourselves and you should stop.

    Finally, it’s none of your damned business if a woman chooses to end a pregnancy.

  • sharon peters

    this is from;
    When You Grow Up In a Dysfunctional Family
    by George A. Boyd © 1992
    http://www.mudrashram.com/dysfunctionalfamily2.html

    i am putting it here b/c
    the ‘hero’ is a caricature of twisted, stunted humanity & the result of growing up in an alcoholic home or a home
    that is ruled by a religious cult or other addictions.
    ‘Inwardly the Hero is suffering from painful feelings of
    inadequacy and guilt, as nothing he or she does is good enough. the Hero feels isolated, unable to express his or her true feelings or to experience intimate relationship, and is often out of touch with his or her own sources of spirituality.’

  • Lbj

    How about some facts to support your assertions that “After birth you people fight against basic assistance to keep mothers and their infants from having a half way decent life. or have cheered making food assistance more difficult. You have loudly protested having health care reform that makes it easy for everyone to have affordable access to quality health care.”???
    Congress is not pro-life. They are the ones making these laws and not pro-lifers.

    It is my business when a human being is murdered. Its everyone’s business.

  • https://www.facebook.com/toujoursdan Dan Sloan

    I think there is a strong argument that the religious right’s war against abortion isn’t as focused on saving the lives of “babies” as they say, but rather a way of regulating the sex lives of women by making them wholly responsible for an unwanted pregnancy. That’s why they don’t support anything beyond criminalizing (and driving underground) the procedure, like supporting measures (contraception, sex education, etc.) that prevent unwanted pregnancy from occurring in the first place. Doing so would allow women to have sex “without consequence” which goes against their other agenda – maintaining sexual “purity”.

  • B real

    And even more than that, to control women by “keeping them in their so-called ‘God ordained’ place”in the kitchen, barefoot, and constantly pregnant and taking care of children. How can any woman work in the workplace, much less in a position of influence and authority, if she’s too busy with home? Thusly, men stay in total control and power.

  • Asemodeus

    It has more to do with how misogynists view women on a more general level than just religion.

    To misogynists, women fall into three groups:
    1. Mothers.

    2. Daughters
    3. Sluts.

    In their warped worldview, the only women who want/use contraception is group 3. Since everyone in group 3 is a slut, therefore every woman that uses contraception is a slut.

  • sharon peters

    black and white thinking

  • Lbj

    Never said it would. It would however diminish it. 1 million babies are killed a year. That is staggering.

    Any time something is lawful most people think is not immoral. That’s why we must continue to work to overturn Rowe even if it takes a thousand years. Rowe legalized murder.

    How can you claim we are “winning” when so many are killed yearly?

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    2.6 million children die a year because of hunger. That averages to four kids every minute starving to death. I think THAT is where immorality lies. Not preventing birth.

  • Lbj

    is that worldwide?

    I agree there are no good reasons this should be happening given that there is enough food to go around. However, abortion is a separate issue.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    No, Abortion is not a seperate issue. A woman’s reproductive choices should be hers. She should be able to access what she needs to prevent getting pregnant, She should be able to have healthy children in a healthy environment. She should be able to terminate a pregnancy if her health is in danger, if she was raped, if birthing a child means that it will only live in abject misery and never make it to puberty.

    In nations with high rates of infant and child mortality, women have little or no access to health care, to contraceptives or to safe means of terminating pregnancy. Many of these women also suffer serious complications, do to lack of health care that are left untreatable, and can, and often does shorten their own lives. 800 women die daily of pregnancy related complications. 99% of those are in developed nations,http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs348/en/ like Chad, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan. That’s 800 women that could be alive if contraceptives or pregnancy termination were available to them.

  • Lbj

    Feeding children is not the same issue as abortion. No one should have the right to kill another human being unless there is true justification for it such as saving the life of the mother. There is no way that the 1 million babies that are killed are because the life of the woman is in danger. Here is a mind-boggling stat on how many abortions there are every year worldwide:
    “The World Wide abortion counters uses one of the more conservative estimates on the number of abortions world-wide since 1980 (40 Million per year for 30years) and this equals 1,200,000 Billion (from Lifesitenews.com: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09101604.html )
    Since Rowe there have been 56,939,000,265 abortions. And we call ourselves civilized?????

    There is no such thing as a ” safe means of terminating pregnancy”. Its not safe for the baby.

  • Jakeithus

    Preventing birth…what a nice and tidy choice of words for ending human life. Maybe starving to death should be called the prevention of digestion, so as not to offend any delicate sensibilities.

    I was going to leave this alone, as it felt overly hostile, but your accusation above that those who disagrees with you on this “lacks compassion” is too much. Only one position on this issue shows compassion towards the two lives that are involved, and it certainly isn’t yours. You imply that others don’t care as much as you do about starving children, or women in poverty; I call that nothing more than a flagrant attempt to demonize your opponents and claim the moral high ground as your own.

    I’m not under the illusion that making abortion illegal will end it, I understand it will hurt women without the appropriate supports in place, but I understand politics and know that as long as the status-quo is allowed to exist those supports will never get put in place. I have my own problems with the pro-life movement and how they have conducted themselves, so I won’t say criticism isn’t warranted.

    I look forward to the day when the Church, the West, and the entire world gets on the right side of history in extending value and compassion to all human beings, regardless of their stage of development or how much of an imposition they might be.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Have you ever had to face an unexpected pregnancy? Have you ever had pregnancy complications? Have you ever been put into an impossible situation thanks to being pregnant, being denied work, resources? I have. I know what it is like to walk in the shoes of women faced with very difficult choices. I know what its like to know, that no matter what decision I make, my life is forever altered.

    I am compassionate, because of that, for every woman who’s walked a minute in similar shoes, millions of us who judge us harshly if we continue with our pregnancies or if we don’t. To attempt to dictate our lives, our choices, our bodies because of religious based idealism is cruel and unjust

  • Lbj

    No. But many women have been in your situation and did not abort their child,
    This is not just about religious idealism but what is right morally. The law always dictates.

  • Andy

    No. No no no. No it doesn’t. Outlawing abortion will not prevent abortions from happening. Making the determination that abortions are morally reprehensible will not prevent them from happening. What will prevent them from happening is education and easy access to contraception. Believe it or not, most women don’t want to have abortions and consider them a last result, and even then probably endure a great personal battle before doing so.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Who said I opted for abortion?

  • Jakeithus

    Allegro, believe me when I say I am sorry for any situations and experience that you may have faced in your past, and for any tough decisions that you or others have had to make. Our society, and unfortunately the church as well, has often not been supportive enough of women and babies.

    If I implied you and others holding your position lack any sort of compassion, I am sorry. However, I still take great offense at your implication about your opponents lack of compassion. For many on the pro-life side, we cannot help but feel great compassion towards those who are not yet born, and to ignore them in favour of the mother is simply impossible. This is not to say that mother’s should not be shown as much compassion as possible, but it cannot be done in isolation. It is just as much of an injustice to ignore those not yet born as it is to ignore women.

  • Wolf

    There’s a problem with that on multiple levels, Justas.

    First, I’ll reiterate what Allegro said: millions of children die from starvation because they’re forced to be born into a system that won’t support them.

    Second, there is no scientific (OR BIBLICAL) consensus on whether life begins at conception or birth, so to say “Rowe legalized murder” is a shallow, emotional appeal to the crowd. It’ll stir up emotions, but can’t be logically supported.

  • Lbj

    When a woman is pregnant she should get the support she needs to bring the child to term and help to support it. The father of the child should be the first line of support.

    Human life does begin at conception because at that point that zygote has all the genetic material to create a human being. After all, we were all zygotes at time in our lives.

  • journey

    What if a woman doesn’t want to be pregnant at all, ever? She just is forced to go through that burden because a zygote has genetic material. hmmm….

  • Jld33

    It’s all well and good to say that. Pregnancy and birth can be difficult and dangerous and sometimes deadly. I nearly died multiple times and spent *six months* on complete bed rest. Even with health insurance we had to declare bankruptcy to bring a baby into the world. Your platitudes about women needing “support” are just that. They don’t deal with the very real implications of forced birthing on real women and their lives.

  • Lbj

    Get serious. It is not a platitude about women needing “support” . Both parties have a responsibility to bring that child into the world and support it.

  • Jld33

    You have NO clue what it is like to be seriously deathly ill from pregnancy, to be unable, to work, to face homelessness. Women have real lives that you have decided have less value than a zygote. Because you can make that determination based on your cozy uncomplicated view of women as incubators and nothing else. You want to think that a father in the picture is the solution to everything. You don’t even vaguely live in the real world where people are poor and have health issues and have very complicated lives and already have children to take care of and feed and keep a roof over their heads. Your platitudes and one dimensional viewpoints are what is wrong with the Pro-zygotes. If you had real compassion you would at least admit that getting pregnant can be the *worst* thing to happen and birth control can fail and there is NO support from the pro-zygotes when a woman needs it.

  • Lbj

    Where was your husband when you were pregnant? Didn’t he support you?

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    What does a husband have to do with being pregnant? Is he going to take a turn being physically attached to the fetus?

  • Lbj

    No. But he can do a lot to comfort and support her. Its his baby to.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Yeah right. I vividly remember standing on a twelve foot ladder while seven months pregnant, painting a house, to help my shit head of a…thankfully ex- husband put food on the table.

    In a perfect, idealistic world, pregnant moms are pampered, and coddled and well cared for. But that’s not reality for most women. Many women in the world are working, often physical labor, right up till they go into labor, with little or no assistance from the men in their lives.

  • Lbj

    It is sad that happens, But it should not be. More men need to man up and take responsibility. To many wimp men around.

  • sharon peters

    Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.

    HAL: I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.

    Dave Bowman: What’s the problem?

    HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.

    Dave Bowman: What are you talking about, HAL?

    HAL: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.

    Dave Bowman: I don’t know what you’re talking about, HAL.

    HAL: I know that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I’m afraid that’s something I cannot allow to happen.

  • Snooterpoot

    That is merely your opinion. And the “we were all zygotes” argument is specious.

  • Lbj

    So the idea that “The father of the child should be the first line of support.” is just mere opinion?

    Were you a zygote or not at one time in your existence?

  • BT

    In fairness to Justas, it’s not that it’s a shallow argument. It’s just an unprovable one.

    When an embryo qualifies as a human life is a matter of philosophy and faith, not science. He’s not necessarily, then, being shallow. Just convinced of a certain set of different assumptions.

    That’s what makes the whole conversation difficult.

  • Lbj

    What do you think of this”

    “”Development of the embryo begins at Stage 1 when a sperm fertilizes an oocyte and together they form a zygote.”[England, Marjorie A. Life Before Birth. 2nd ed. England: Mosby-Wolfe, 1996, p.31]

    “Human development begins after the union of male and female gametes or germ cells during a process known as fertilization (conception).
    “Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei (the haploid nuclei of the sperm and ovum) and the mingling of their chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being.”
    [Moore, Keith L. Essentials of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988, p.2]”

  • BT

    I think it supports my point.
    The language here deals with the biological development from fertilized egg to fully formed human. To you, that’s the same as personhood (or “human life” or “ensoulment” or pick any word that’s not biologically determined.)

    To another, that’s a biological process that’s separate from when personhood or ensoulment occurs.

    For many years, protestants frequently thought of ensoulment as occurring at birth rather than fertilization. There was in fact a variety of opinion on the issue right up until the late 1970’s.

    As long as the two sides are speaking two different languages based on two different sets of assumptions but fail to recognize the situation as such, discussions like this are just always going to be difficult.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    exactly BT.

  • Lbj

    Were you ever a zygote?

  • sharon peters

    the ppl in my ‘box’ should get together w/ the ppl in your ‘box’ & do lunch!

  • Andy

    George Carlin nailed it about abortion. (Obviously NSFW words)

  • Jakeithus

    Well, there is really only one “scientific” answer on when life begins. Unfortunately, because of the nature of what is being discussed, science ends up having very little to do with it.

  • https://www.facebook.com/toujoursdan Dan Sloan

    No. There is no scientific answer on when life begins. It is essentially a philosophical question, not a scientific one.

  • Jakeithus

    Technically, you may be correct. If we’re able to come up with an ultimately philosophical definition of what life is, the best science can do is tell us whether a particular subject fits within that definition or not.

    I’d argue that given the way the vast majority of people understand life, science tells us that it begins at conception. However, this tells us nothing about how we need to treat that life.

  • https://www.facebook.com/toujoursdan Dan Sloan

    I would argue that the vast majority of people who “understand life” (whatever that means) would have all kinds of opinions about when it begins. It can begin at a zygote; when it is viable; when it has sentience; or when it is born. So far, the courts have agreed that life begins at viability.

  • Jakeithus

    If a person has the ability to determine if something is alive, while something else is not, they hold an understanding of what life is. Can you look at an amoeba and determine that it is alive? I’d say that is generally understood by the vast majority of people. If so, you’ll have to explain to me how determining that a single celled human is not alive works given this generally agreed on consensus.

    What the courts say in this case is irrelevant.

  • Andy

    I’m not sure I agree with “vast majority” here, but I do agree with your other points.

  • Jakeithus

    I personally don’t know a single person who, presented with a single celled organism that contains everything that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter (ability to develop, grow, reproduce, obtain nutrients), would deny that such a thing is alive. Such people may exist, I haven’t seen enough to change my calling them a “vast majority”.

  • Andy

    I see your point, and I’m not going to argue whether or not “vast majority” is an appropriate description any more because neither do I have the numbers to back it up. But I will say that I don’t think it’s as cut-and-dried as the situation you’re presenting.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    I think in those scenarios there is a cognitive dissonance that most people are unable to recognize, and so it gets classified as “alive” in one scenario and becomes a “zygote” in a different scenario to lessen the tension.

  • Andy

    Exactly.

  • Rebecca Trotter

    Do you know why so many women are killing their unborn? It’s because of what survivor girl explains above; because we have so many women living in such desperation that they simply cannot face bringing a child to term under those conditions. Fully 60% of women who get abortions live below the poverty line. A majority of the rest are not far from it. It’s actually relatively uncommon for a woman in good financial circumstances to obtain an abortion. You sit here and lament the loss of life caused by abortions, but what do you propose to do about the conditions leading to this tragedy? You’re like someone lamenting that people are stealing food in the middle of a war zone.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Exactly. There is a lack of compassion in Justas’s stance, one not uncommon in the hard right, when it comes to such issues. And they wonder why we reject such views.

  • BT

    In his wording and approach there is a lack of compassion (or understanding), but his overall stance makes perfect sense given his assumptions. If you assume that a zygote is a real human life, then you’d move heaven and earth to save that child and damn the torpedoes.

    Likewise, it does no good for him to call abortion murder. If pro-choice people really thought that fetus was a full human life, we wouldn’t be arguing over a right to choose. Everyone would view abortion as abhorrent. However, pro choice folks don’t see the fetus as a person, therefore they don’t see it as murder.

    Thus, depending on the assumptions used, the pro-life position is not uncompassionate, and the pro choice position can be similarly moral and rational.

    Edit to add: the pro life position given their assumptions isn’t necessarily uncompassionate. I agree that much of the rhetoric, however, is.

  • Lbj

    Some good points here. If the zygote-fetus is not human then I don’t have a leg to stand on. But if it is, then everything I have said is well supported. It’s not uncompassitionate to speak the truth when a human life is at stake.

  • Lbj

    There are all kinds of things that could be done. One is to hold the man responsible financially via a number of ways. Why are these poor women getting pregnant? Do you know? What part should adoptions play in this? How about families helping? I know a number of churches and organizations that are willing to help.

  • Rebecca Trotter

    Lord, give me patience. And tolerance. And forgiveness.

    Seriously? You’re messing with me, right? So, we have a serious problem with poverty and lack of opportunity in the wealthiest country in the world, but that’s not an issue to be dealt with. Oh no, we can’t possibly do something to help change that!

    Now, this may come as a shock, but poor women usually have – I know this sounds crazy, but just consider the possibility – poor families. No really. They do. And their boyfriends and husbands are – get this – poor as well. It’s crazy, I know!

    And I had to depend on those lovely churches and charities for help at the time and you know what? They suck ass! There’s no magic pot of money just waiting for people. It can help keep you from starving and maybe give you $20 for gas a few times a year, but that’s about it.

    Do you know what softened my pro life stance? The experience of watching a family member who had been raped and become pregnant kicked into the streets by her family because “there are people who can help you.” And you know what? That’s a myth. It’s evil bullshit.. The poor girl came to regret not having an abortion, despite loving her son because her life is unbearably hard due to money.

    But hey – let’s just go back to the days of telling poor women that they can’t raise their own kids because they’re poor! Because that’s not evil or anything! Seriously, this level of callous disregard for the women who are suffering and delusional thinking does not reflect well on you as a person, much less a Christian.

  • Lbj

    Ok. Let’s start at the beginning. How we answer this one question will determine how we will address other issues of abortion. That question is this:
    WHAT IS THE NATURE OF THE UNBORN?
    If the zygote-fetus is not a human being then abortion is not wrong. Its like getting a tooth pulled. There should no guilt associated with it. We should look at abortion as another form of birth control.
    If the zygote-fetus is a human being, then it must be protected at all costs. No reason (except to save the life of the mother) for killing it could be justified.

    If you support abortion, then on what scientific, philosophical and theological grounds can you present that shows the zygote-fetus is not a human being?

    The same question must be answered by the pro-lifer.

    What do you think?

  • Rebecca Trotter

    I don’t know what happened to my response. I didn’t swear or say anything mean, but it’s not here. Hmmmm

    Well forgive me if this is a repeat.

    The nature of the unborn is one whose survival depends on the woman carrying it. If you don’t care about the woman who the unborn depends on for its existence, then you don’t care about the unborn. It’s that simple. Show me that you would move heaven and earth to care for the mother and father throughout their lives and I will believe you when you say you care about the unborn. Try to separate the unborn from the woman it lives in and you’re a spiritual abortionist who is simply using the unborn as a marker of tribal power and control. (You know what happens physically when you separate the unborn from the mother, right?)

  • Lbj

    I’m not talking about the how the unborn survive but is the unborn a human being or not? What is your foundation for saying what it is?

    A newborn baby cannot survive outside the womb without the help of another human being. Would you allow the killing of this baby because it cannot survive without help?

  • Rebecca Trotter

    The very nature of the unborn is that they rely on the body of another for survival. Your reductionist attempts to seperate the life of the mother from the life of the unborn are immoral, illogical and in practice, cruel. A born baby can be cared for by a variety of other people. But the unborn cannot be seperated from the woman in whose body it resides. Anyone who claims to care about the unborn without caring about the mother is a liar. If society hurts the mother, if society sees fit to leave her with no way to support herself and a child, if we are punative to her, and she decides that in order to survive, she cannot allow the baby to live, then we have created a situation where we are forcing mothers to decide between her life and the unborn’s. That women are finding themselves making that choice at an alarming rate shows that we are a corrupt, evil society which cares for neither the born or the unborn. The rest is just rhetoric meant to cover up our collective guilt and failure and force it onto the bodies of the most vulnerable women. We should be ashamed to discuss this issue in terms of an isolated unborn life and its worth. It’s a horrific slight of hand that does nothing but allow us to crush other human beings without taking any responsibility. But hey, so long as you have your tribal marker to defend, who cares about the lives of actual people, right?

  • Lbj

    Lets test your logic i.e. ” attempts to seperate the life of the mother from the life of the unborn are immoral, illogical and in practice, cruel.”

    Is the unborn a separate entity from the mother? Yes. The unborn not only can be a separate gender from the mother but can also differ in other respects.

    Abortion is “immoral, illogical and in practice, cruel.” because it destroys another human being.

  • Rebecca Trotter

    This is very simple; the unborn cannot exist separately from the woman whose body it resides in. If you don’t care about the woman (as you are desperately determined not to) then your claim to care about the unborn is a power ploy and nothing more. I love how you will go to any rhetorical absurdity to separate the unborn from its mother. It’s a bizarrely clear demonstration of how your morality ends right when it might require anything from you yourself – even such a small thing as compassion. But when it comes to other people’s very lives, your “morality” knows no bounds.

    As it happens, I am pro life and have walked that walk with my body and my life. I have walked this walk with other women who have chosen life in this cruel, inhuman society that people like you are busy thrusting on us. Unlike you, this isn’t a tribal game I play with other people’s lives. But my opinions, tested and proven though they are, haven’t turned me into the sort of monster who engages in spiritual abortion, tearing the unborn and its mother apart when the matter is considered. People like you disgust me. There’s nothing pro life about the anti choice movement. It’s an abomination. It casually disregards women and thinks nothing of heaping suffering on top of suffering, so long as nothing but anger and condemnation is required from its own vile tribe. I know the women you view as irrelevant to the issue and love them enough to walk compassionately with them, regardless of which terrible choice they make when facing a crisis pregnancy. I would rather go to battle for a woman walking into an abortion clinic before I’d stand with the unholy filth who stand outside those clinics screaming at a woman in her most vulnerable moment.

    If you care about ending abortion, then you move heaven and earth to take care of the living. Short of that commitment, you are an enemy of the unborn. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. I pray you will repent of your callous disregard for God’s daughters before you dare to open your mouth on the subject again.

  • Lbj

    What nonsense. How can you be pro life when at the same time you are for abortion? That is a contradiction.

    A just born child cannot live on its own either. By your logic should be destroyed if it cannot sustain itself. You need to be consistent. Either be pro-abort or pro-life but don’t think you can be both.

  • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

    You are once again isolating a single quote from its context.

  • Lbj

    What is the context? How would that change the meaning of what he wrote?

  • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

    What she wrote speaks for itself. Your quoting Rebecca out of context proves my point that a single quotation proves nothing and that it is necessary to consider context when using a brief quote to prove your point.

  • Lbj

    I didn’t quote her out of context but used her own reasoning as a test and showed that it fails when we apply it to abortion.

  • Lbj

    Peter Singer (Decamp Professor of Bio-Ethics at Princeton University )In 1979 he wrote, “Human babies are not born self-aware, or capable of grasping that they exist over time. They are not persons”; therefore, “the life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.” Peter Singer, Practical Ethics, 1st ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), 122–23.

    Do you agree with this?

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    I like much of Singer’s philosophy. He really makes one think. He does make a point, although I disagree with his devaluation of newborns. They do not understand the concept of time or self-awareness. It takes their brains some time to develop both concepts. They are completely dependent on others for survival as are most mammals.

    Humans, just like other species recognize their newborns as one of them.

  • Lbj

    Is it self-awareness that makes one human?

    Everyone today is completely dependent on others for survival.

  • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

    Since no one here was quoting Peter Singer I’m not sure why you would bring an atheist philosopher’s writings into this discussion. Especially, when there is no context for your quote or was it merely a setup for asking a loaded question he asked ironically?

  • Lbj

    What do you think the context was? Its quite clear what Singer is talking about.

  • Rebecca Trotter

    K I was mean and swore in my first response because I am so furiously angry at your response. I want to go destroy something after reading it. You have no idea what this sort of denial and callous disregard for women’s suffering does to people in the real world where.this is not theory and suppositions. You’re like the Roman soldier nailing Jesus to the cross mindlessly before going to have dinner with their family with no real understanding of their role in making this an unbearably evil world of suffering for many people. This is an issue for you. You have ideas about how it could work or should work. But it’s not real to you. You’ve never had to depend on charity to survive. You live in a world where.poor women come.from rich families and.have.rich boyfriends and husbands. Where it’s no big thing to say that poor women shouldn’t expect to raise their own children. You live in a world where babies that can’t be seen or held are more important than women who can. As a women, I feel like less than nothing when my real world and real problems are so irrelevant that a church food shelf and the occasional gas card are supposed to satisfy me. I hate this brand of “pro life” thinking. It’s evil. It’s an affront to God. If you cared about babies, you would care about mothers. But you don’t. Not mother’s as they exist in the real world. Those babies are nothing more than tribal markers to you. You defend them the way a tribal man wears his tribe’s identifying garments. And you have no regard for all the actual people – including living, breathing children, are hurt in your little tribal wars. Way to be the face of Christ in a suffering world. No wonder your brand of Christianity is dying. I can hardly wait for the funeral.

  • Lbj

    Now can you answer the question what the nature of the unborn is?

  • Rebecca Trotter

    The nature of the unborn is one whose survival depends on the woman carrying it. If you don’t care about the woman who the unborn depends on for its existence, then you don’t care about the unborn. It’s that simple. Show me that you would move heaven and earth to care for the mother and father throughout their lives and I will believe you when you say you care about the unborn. Try to separate the unborn from the woman it lives in and you’re a spiritual abortionist who is simply using the unborn as a marker of tribal power and control. (You know what happens physically when you separate the unborn from the mother, right?)

  • Guy Norred
  • WonkishGuy

    Do you have any proof of this? Cheating on my wife is legal, but most people recognize that it is immoral. Getting drunk on a regular basis is legal, but most people still think it is immoral. Lying is generally legal, but still widely seen as immoral. If we legalized the murder of adult people, I don’t expect that people would suddenly think that murder is acceptable. The opposite is also true since there are many illegal activities that people don’t consider immoral (file sharing?).

    I’d say the causality is reversed: when people already consider that something is not immoral, it will tend to be legalized. Any increase in prevelence is more likely to be due to people not fearing getting caught than shifts in opinion regarding the morality of the action.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    I agree. And addressing serious issues – with hunger being the most serious – is getting at the root cause. My children attend inner-city schools where poverty is a HUGE concern. Many of these kids are so hungry that they don’t have the energy to learn, and the only meal they’ll get all day is the lunch provided by our school system. There is NO excuse for this horror. None. Why can’t we get people fed, learning, and caring about their lives first instead of hammering them for getting abortions? Do we continue to care for those babies after we’ve saved them from being aborted? If we’re truly pro-life, then we need to be pro-life from the cradle to the grave. First things first.

  • Cory N Jamie Gilliam

    Yes and this is where progressive Christianity is the rubber that meets the road. Churches need and can progress to influence the greater good and instead of going out the way to beat individuals up for making desperate, life saving choices that might be out of the accepted “church culture” norm.

  • sharon peters

    Addressing serious issues like healthcare, poverty, livable minimum wages, etc., would challenge turf that organized crime dominates. did i hear reciently that the current pope excommunicated the mafia? i am so out of touch!

  • Jeff Preuss

    I’ve been to the computer three separate times now, trying to find a way to properly articulate my thoughts on the whole abortion debate, and cannot find a way to adequately spell out the perspective I have without somehow possibly hurting someone due to lack of clarity, so I’m just gonna up-click this post and continue reading.

  • Andy

    Let me guess, you think that if abortions are outlawed, there will be fewer of them? Good luck proving that.

  • Lbj

    Yes. I suspect before Row-Wade there were fewer abortions. When the something is legalized it takes away the moral impact and increases the use.

  • Andy

    Care to look up those numbers for me? Because there is plenty of reason to believe that banning abortion does not decrease abortion rates.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    No proof that there were fewer abortions, just more women dying from complications of a botched one and from pregnancy related issues. imagine how many women lived longer healthier lives, able to work, raise families, contribute to society, because safe options for their sexual was available….

  • Timothy Weston

    You hit the issue where it belongs. The Religious Right knows they are losing and they are desperate to hold on to what they have. I have been questioning my own views on abortion and gay rights over the past couple of years and realized that even if you ban abortion, it will not stop. You also cannot stop the unwed couple from having sex and cannot stop a same sex couple from doing the same. I also wondered what threat to the state same sex marriage poses. To this day, that question remains unanswered. The demise of the Religious Right is also an opportunity for Christians to look inside themselves and see what they can do to better link Heaven and Earth.

  • Cory N Jamie Gilliam

    This is the burden that the pastor of our church has and the unyielding stubbornness of the Far Right is squarely to blame. The next generation are not just leaving fundamentalism but any moral center whatsoever, religious or otherwise. I am not saying atheist have no morals but atheism has transpired for the millennial generation into relativistic nihilism. The popularity of extreme Libertarianism and even Anarchy is on the rise and I really do not want to see “the hell on earth” scenario that will eventually arise. If you read Lord Of The Flies or Fahrenheit 451 you see what the death of belief and hope eventually leads to. We need a LOT more “Heaven on Earth” or the apocalyptic results will be here before we know it. Question is: Can we repair the link before it is to late?

  • JenellYB

    Even worse, more and more CHRISTIANS have no real morals, or compassion for other people. For many religious, “morals” is reduced to sets of “do and don’t do” rules of things others offend, but not themselves. It is psychologically easy to “condemn” others for things one does not him or herself do, or see themselves likely to do.

  • Guy Norred

    I agree–too many confuse morality with etiquette (not that there can’t be moral layers to etiquette, but they are hardly the same)

  • sharon peters

    DARVO
    stands for “Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.” The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the
    individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the
    perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim — or the whistle
    blower — into an alleged offender.
    this is from;
    JENNIFER FRYE (u of oregon professor) betrayal theory research

    http://dynamic.uoregon.edu/jjf/defineDARVO.html

  • Cynthia Brown Christ

    Thanks for sharing that. I am definitely going to check out Jennifer Frye and the link you provided!

  • Moe Sizlak

    Religion or faith don’t dictate morals. Please don’t insult my atheist friends who hold morality to a much higher standard than many churches where I’ve attended before. Again, morality has nothing to do with religion or faith.

  • Lbj

    Atheists have no grounds for morality. Its impossible to ground morality in atheism. Morality in atheism is only an opinion. There is no such thing as an atheist holding “to a much higher standard than many churches”. Its all opinion for the atheist.

  • mykelb

    Actually it is not just opinon but looking at the result of behaviour and asking “Was anyone harmed by that behavior?”. Period. One doesn’t need dogma in order to know right from wrong or to have EMPATHY for one’s fellows.

  • Lbj

    Of course its just an opinion. Lots of people don’ care if what they do harms another person. No atheist can say that is wrong. All he can say is that he doesn’t like it.

  • Kerry Thomas

    Tim, I changed about 5 years ago on my entire view on gays and gay marriage.
    I had a long discussion with an ex-student of mine who said that ” he’d do anything not to be gay….” And he’d tried everything from Christian counseling, psychologists, even hormone treatment some doctor suggested…he was gay and society told him, he was worthless….
    I am convinced some people are just born gay, just like some people have red hair, some people are left handed, some people have no ear lobes.
    Why should a person be miserable because our society sayings being gay is somehow wrong?
    In Medieval Europe, being left handed was looked at as being devil possessed.
    This is the same attitude gays are looked at today…we got to change….

  • RustbeltRick

    I’ve speculated that it revolves around one thing — conservatives lose their minds when a Democrat is president. They were beside themselves when Clinton was in office, and actually impeached him, and they’re aghast that Obama is in office, rather than a good corporate soldier like Mitt. All of the “America is going downhill” stuff ramps up the moment they aren’t in control.

  • Cory N Jamie Gilliam

    They even do it when a republican don’t tow the party line at local and state levels. If you don’t strut like John Wayne and make your wife where prissy dresses then you just aren’t in the clubhouse. yuk

  • Andy

    …which is quite funny, because they still control the House, and they’ve managed to stymie a lot of the President’s initiatives as they planned. The power the President has, compared to what Congress has, is pretty minuscule.

    If Mitt Romney were president right now, we’d still have 535 people that can’t get along and do anything productive, whom we are paying quite handsomely to mostly sit around and bitch and rant — when they aren’t trying to look good for the cameras.

  • lindylou

    At least we won’t have Cantor photobombing every picture!

  • http://www.theepiscocrat.com/ Episcocrat

    Mind you, Jesus never called the religious right to a culture war, nor to political activism. So, they were doomed from the beginning, IMO.

  • Morris V. Fleischer

    Excellent essay. I think you could also bring in a 4th point. White males are losing power in general as our nation becomes more racially diverse and women have a greater voice. I think much of what drives the Tea Party rhetoric–and the source of this anger–is fear. Underlying all the talk about “taking our nation back,” there is this desire to return to the pre-civil rights/Eisenhower era when American white males rendered most of the important decisions. Waxing nostalgic never gets anyone anywhere–and, if you talk to some of the folks growing up in that time (especially African-Americans and others who were marginalized), things weren’t nearly as “perfect” as some remember them to be. They also forget that the world has changed incredibly since those times. The U.S. was the only first-world nation whose infrastructure wasn’t destroyed by WW2. It’s interesting how quickly, however, that the rest of the world was able to catch up with us (i.e. Japan–remember the steel industry going bust in the 1970s with cheaper imported Japanese steel driving down steel prices). The leaders of the American Religious Right pine for the days when things were “better” (and African Americans couldn’t drink from the same water fountain, and women were “under control,” etc.). Their portrayal of America as the great savior of the nations in two world wars is now tainted by our failure in Vietnam and additional bloodshed in other parts of the world (ie. Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, etc). The more clear-cut boundaries of our former “mortal enemies” of the Communist bloc are much grayer as we now contend with terrorist cells who are able to blend in quickly with the rest of the crowd. Instead of using their energy to lift up the downtrodden and feed the poor and bring hope to the world, it seems the leaders of the Religious Right are more interested in protecting their turf–what little of it they have left–by building walls with bricks of dogma and rejecting the more challenging and relevant questions of being a Christian disciple in our world.

  • nadineharris

    Extremely well-said, Morris and well-argued.

  • Kerry Thomas

    I am in Texas and the majority of the whites now vote GOP even if it hurts them. It is racial, anti-gay, and anti-government….in 10-15 years Texas will be purple, going blue. The whites will be outvoted by the bloc that runs along IH-10 that runs Beaumont to Houston, to San Antonio to El Paso to the South.
    This is where the real growth in Texas will be.
    Protestant religious groups at one time made inroads into this area, but stopped. I seriously think they are afraid of Latinos in their denomination. They are afraid that that they might ” take over ” the thinking of well, especially the SBC….
    If I live another 15 years Texas will be a totally different place than any of us ever dreamed….

  • Andy

    Yes! I hope so!

  • Beth Rich

    Don’t forget the white women in Texas who are also marginalized. I haven’t even considered a conservative candidate in years. I simply cannot reconcile the Tea Party/conservative rhetoric and the Gospels – I simply cannot see any Christian values in their so-called Christian value platform.

  • sharon peters

    i hope it will not be filled w/ concentration camps but i fear it will.

  • Guest

    Nobody’s going to build concentration camps. I really wish people would stop with this concentration camp paranoia. They cannot back up these claims and they’re just saying that there are people being sent to them as we speak to scare people while they are not able to name one person who has been sent to said camp. This garbage is getting old.

  • sharon peters

    Flannery O’Connor—a writer whose works are rife with warning label-worthy violence—famously said that sentimentality always leads to the gas chamber.

  • jimfromcanada

    I think the concentration camps are those filled with mostly black people.

  • sharon peters

    ghettos & prisons

  • OmegaPoint

    Yes in Texas we have a prison industry. The corporations that fun the for profit prisons are lobbyists against liberalized drug laws and contributors to judicial candidates.
    Texas should turn blue, but the conservatives are hedging their bets by restricting voting rights and aggressively gerrymandering themselves into permanent office. Oh yes, and by strong the voting rights of the unfortunate individuals the feed into that prison industry. I don’t see concentration camps per se, but the old guard here isn’t giving up without a fight. Remember, it’s not just Texas that hangs in the balance, but the entire electoral college. The gop’s lady stand. It will be dirty, if not bloody.

  • sharon peters

    apparently it is already filled w/ “concentration camps”

    re;OMEGA POINT (see below);
    Yes in Texas we have a prison industry. The corporations that fun the for profit prisons are lobbyists against liberalized drug laws and contributors to judicial candidates.Texas should turn blue, but the conservatives are hedging their bets by restricting voting rights and aggressively gerrymandering themselves into permanent office. Oh yes, and by strong the voting rights of the unfortunate individuals the feed into that prison industry. I don’t see concentration camps per se, but the old guard here isn’t giving up without a fight. Remember, it’s not just Texas that hangs in the balance, but the entire electoral college. The gop’s lady stand. It will be dirty, if not bloody.

    So is it only a matter of time before the revelation of Texas equivalent to gas chambers & ‘final solution’; becomes an issue of public awareness?

  • smrnda

    Maybe not that far, but Texas politicians seem very approving of the death penalty. Part of this is possibly just that being pro death penalty fits in with some kind of tough, macho image that they want to live up to.

  • Allison the Great

    This is an excellent point. I would like to point out that in their anger and frustration over losing control over American culture, they’ve lost their humanity as well, if they ever had any to begin with. Their desperation to retain power has made them say and do some pretty despicable things, and sink to new lows.

  • sharon peters

    Anyone, i include myself, who has a control issue is ‘under the influence’ & in danger of losing their humanity to
    an Addiction to power. It’s a progressive illness that makes ppl do desperate & despicable things that, ultimately will destroy all love relationships. (casting them in outer darkness, there will be weeping & wailing & gnashing of teeth.) Since I am as susceptible as anyone I want grace to recover from what I will suffer for not having any empathy for others.

  • Rebecca Trotter

    It has to be something of a smack in the face to realize that the children raised in your religious systems now have support groups to help them recover from the experience. Say what you will about “liberal” denominations, but I’ve never heard of a support group for those who were traumatized by being raised Episcopalian.

    While it’s painful, the truth is that there were faithful Christians calling them to repent the entire time the Christian right was playing with the powers of this world. When you refuse to respond to calls to repentance, sometimes God has to smack you across the face with your own failure and the damage you have caused in order to bring you to your senses. The longer these old men resist accepting their correction, the angrier and more miserable they are going to be.

  • Beth Rich

    I agree, I think they’re getting what I call for myself a “two-by-four from God”

  • Moe Sizlak

    Episcopals aren’t that bad by comparison. Just attend a baptist revival and you will see. Taking a child to a baptist revival is child abuse.

  • smrnda

    Could part of this be the more conservative denominations take a very ‘you’re with us or against us’ line when it comes to loyalty? Young people in an environment like that know that if they ever question the party line (which can end up being rather absurd – Young Earth Creationism is a mandatory belief in some circles) they’ll be kicked out and shunned and rejected. You can’t freely associate with members of other groups without suspicion.

  • jdriesen

    I am proud to say that I’m one of those in opposition to the Christian-Right (which I was raised as), and to be a Progressive Christian.

  • Al Cruise

    After 40 years of street ministry, with some of that time spent in right wing fundie Churches, what they have never really understood is the power of unconditional love and compassion. They feel that the “unconditional” part would lead to more immorality and a anything goes culture. The opposite is true, love moves people forward and into a desire for wholeness, this happens outside of our human authority. The young of today can see that in much greater numbers than the previous generations.

  • Morris V. Fleischer

    Al, I think you are definitely on to something there. It seems incongruent that those who are so ready to accept God’s grace are the same folks who are so unwilling to extend that same grace to others (i.e. the parable of the unforgiving servant–Matthew 18:21-35). Simply look at some of the wedge issues–many conservatives I’ve spoken with (not all) who say they are pro-life also support the death penalty. So who gets to decide when the sanctity of life ends and how is it our right to end it? How can we honor the image of God in whom the perpetrator was created without condoning or honoring his/her behavior? And are we really pro-life if we reject the opportunity to feed the hungry–unless they live up to the moral standards we place upon them? That’s not unconditional. I don’t seem to remember Jesus setting up preconditions on the lepers, the lame, the hungry, or any of the people he healed or fed. I’m not suggesting that morality isn’t important–what I am suggesting is that our generous and compassionate acts are, in my opinion, the best witness to the unconditional love of God. Let’s not forget that the early church grew because people saw and responded to their generosity and their love of God and neighbor–they were drawn towards new life in Christ because the community of Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit, reflected his light (see the Book of Acts). As St. Francis of Assisi (or it was at least attributed to him) said: “Preach often, if necessary, use words.” And they’ll know we are Christians by our love…

  • Guy Norred

    Those last words (and the song associated with them I don’t think I have actually heard or sung since my childhood) have been going through my head the last few days. I wish that was what we were known for.

  • sharon peters

    you can be known for it

  • Al Cruise

    Amen Brother.

  • Al Cruise

    What you are describing so well is what the Kingdom of God is to be like here and now on earth. What we should be doing in the present day, and leaving the heavy lifting to Christ/Holy Spirit. Withholding grace can never find a place to rest or be satisfied and leads down a path where Angels fear to tread.

  • JenellYB

    From both my personal life experiences with and observations of others involving abusive, controlling people in relationships, and then study in psychology of abusive personalities and behavioral tactics, it has been clear to me for some time that what is is happening in this wide-scale trends, as well as many of us may have encountered in churches and church communities that are traditionally “authoritarian” in nature, is exactly the same thing. As the authoritarian, controlling person or entity realizes control is slipping away, that they are losing their hold and influence over the target (victim), and the target (victim) about to bolt, leave, they response is always to ramp up the abuse, the intimidation. The same phenomenon going on that makes the decision and action toward leaving an abusive partner in a marriage or other relationship the triggering factor in unprecedented violence, even murder.

  • notmike64

    the power of the internet…..

  • CroneEver

    What they refuse to recognize is that it all fell apart because all they sought was power and control. Claiming to pursue and reflect Christian family values, they sold out each and every Christian virtue (love, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) in pursuit of political influence and power. Claiming to be saints, they judged the country and divided into saints and sinners, constantly presented any government but theirs as evil, and consciously made compromise anathema. Claiming to be Christians, they rejected the rights of almost everyone except white males, i.e., themselves. They are angry because they did it to themselves, and they cannot live with that knowledge, and they are spewing blame everywhere they look.

  • Andy

    I clicked the up vote button many times, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Much like we might be saying if some of those angry old men had their way, I could only do it once.

  • Guest

    I’m a pacifist, but this is handy.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Hmm.
    why did it show me as guest?

  • Asemodeus

    You are all giving these fundamentalists way too much credit. You are subscribing them a level of self awareness that we never see from them in reality. Back in reality, these people will happily self delude themselves into any position they want, so their level of angry has nothing intrinsic to emerging demographics. They can just lie to themselves that the current youth that hates them with a passion will eventually join them when they get old and “wise” up.

    Their anger comes from Authoritarianism. They are angry because it is easier to lead angry stupid people around by their established authorities. So these established authorities keep telling these people that they are the true Christian Americans and reward their hostility to ‘The Other’ with political power and exposure.

    When you convince angry stupid people that they are the true Holy warriors of Christian America, you can get them to believe and do anything you want. Mostly around making them vote for you and give you money, something the religious right has elevated to a higher art form. When you can convince yourself that you are just and holy for your anger, that is constantly being validated by authorities, then you are just one shotgun away from shooting people in the face and thinking you did right.

  • Moe Sizlak

    Authoritarianism has given birth to ‘robotism’ and the blind ‘follow the leader’ mentality. Basically the fundamentalists have cornered themselves into a cult status. I love making fun of them though.

  • Gary Lane Brooks

    Excellent points. I love reading your thoughts. What we have been witnessing is a decades long, slow-motion coup.Led by the wealthy and powerful, against the middle-class, the poor and all other un-worthies who have deigned to asked for a place at the table. The religious right banded together with the super-wealthy to throw out the usurpers who were infringing on their manifest-destinied rights to, well, everything. They seized the opinion makers in the media, the government and religion and thought they had it all covered. It’s not over yet though, even a dying snake can still bite.

  • Asemodeus

    The religious right lost a lot of power once their chosen savior, Bush, turned out to be a colossal failure of the basic human being. Which is, in part, why today’s republican party is so dysfunctional. They got everything they wanted out of Bush in terms of a savior king, and he still managed to screw it up.

    And ever since the religious right has constantly failed to come up with a proper Bush clone. A right wing politician with just that right amount of religious gibberish and establishment credentials that makes him electable. You have to remember that the religious right initially HATED HATE HATE SPIT HATE John McCain. Several leaders flat out said that they would never vote for him, but eventually did, when it became obvious that he was the only electable candidate in 2008. But he was no savior king, which hurt the get out to vote drives on the right.

    Same thing with Romney. A 100 years ago a Mormon trying to get elected president would have been lynched by the same people that went on television 2 years ago to champion him as a true Christian. But he was still a Mormon, which hurt the cause since there was no Bush Clone available.

  • Ignatz

    They chose to replace Jesus Christ with a “culture war.” How foolish.

    They bear an astonishing resemblance to the New Testament Pharisees.

  • sharon peters

    …or organized crime

  • Toni

    You are so right about that, I have been saying that the Religious Right were modern day Pharisees for quite a few years now, and as every week goes by they just keep reinforcing that.

  • Thomas K

    #1: Actually, the Christian culture war has been raging for nearly 2,000 years. From almost the moment Jesus died, his followers began breaking off into branches, often led by people who never really learned or understood the lessons Jesus taught. They focused (once again) on forcing others to pay for their sin, punishing them for being human, and threatening eternal damnation if you didn’t do what they (the preachers) demanded.

    They don’t even understand today that Jesus was murdered by preachers and politicians, while the moral majority and followers of those in power simply looked the other way.

  • jan

    The pursuit of political dominance will ultimately undermine the morality of any religious group. These far-right Christians are blind to their own sins of pride and self-righteousness. If you need to control others behavior instead of improving your own, not only will your children turn their backs on you, but so will your Savior.

  • NCHammer

    Alarming, but not surprising, that progressives (both in the political and church worlds) are so willing to play God with an unborn child. Read through the comments here and you see lots of references to wanting to prevent kids from being born into bad or even horrific situations. While that seems laudable on the surface, some further thought leads you to the inescapable conclusion that you are basically saying some lives are more important, more desirable, more worthy than others, all in the name of “women’s reproductive rights”. Sound Biblical at all? How can Christians on one hand, preach teach and live that God loves and values everyone, and then on the other be okay with unborn children being murdered simply for economic or social or even career expedience?

    It’s not a stretch to conclude that in today’s American culture, Mary and Joseph would have been encourage by some professing Christians to abort the Son of God.

    Make zero mistake about it, the abortion industry (and it is an industry) exists for 3 reasons: 1) profit 2) as an attempt to extinguish undesirable, {ie poor or non-white, life} and 3) as an escape from the responsibility of sinful choices.

    And spare the “but millions of women might die if it’s outlawed” nonsense. We, as a rational, moral society should not be held hostage to what some people may or may not do if we don’t allow them to murder an unborn baby. It’s a false choice practically and politically and it’s certainly not an argument Christians can make on Scriptural grounds.

    I am continually amazed that the progressives are so loathe to have conservatives utilize political, legal and other means to achieve desired goals, yet feel so comfortable with using the State to impose their own brand of morality (social justice, living wage, approval of the homosexual agenda, “free” healthcare) on those who don’t share the same views. The hypocrisy runs very deep indeed.

  • Tlynn

    Abortion clinics are like any other medical field. They provide a service. You pay doctors, enough said. It sounds like you feel that forcing ( because that is what you want to happen) a woman to have a child as a form of punishment for her lifestyle you don’t agree with. There is something offputting about that statement. If that is not what you meant, please clarify. Number two is false, if you feel it isn’t, please provide factual proof. Also social justice started in the church, so how is it immoral? Lastly, if you would like to see more women keep their children, backing a living wage and affordable healthcare would be a good place to start.

  • Tlynn

    The homosexual agenda seems to be like my own. To be able to have the same rights and equal protection under the law that I am granted.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Exactly. To allow the LGBT community to have the same freedoms we ourselves take for granted is just, fair and compassionate.

  • Lbj

    They already have the same rights based on being a man or a woman. A person’s sexual preferences or any other kinds of preferences should have nothing to do with rights.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Being a woman shouldn’t deny us rights afforded to men, like equal pay, equal employment or education opportunities, equal access to health care and medications, equal voice in government, equal protection against violence. Try telling that drivel to most of the women in the world, and they will tell you that you don’t know what you are talking about. IF you are so wrong about gender equality, how can you hope to be right about sexual orientation equality?

  • Lbj

    I am for equality in the workplace for each sex. Are you for women fighting on the front lines in a war?

    “Sexual orientation equality” is nonsense. How would a person in public even prove such a thing? Where does the Constitution have anything specifically to say about sexual orientation equality ?

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Women have been on the front lines of war ever since there has been war. I happen to be a pacifist, anti war, yet if a woman wants to pick up a weapon to fight, I believe it is her right. I do know that women die, are raped and assaulted with every war, in fact civilian death and injuries is the norm, and the greater casualty of such human made tragedy. It is only one of the reasons I am against war.

    As for sexual orientation. Believe whatever fantasy you choose to, while denying reality. No one is stopping you.
    As for the rest of us, we will be moving forward to help grant equality to all God’s children.

  • Lbj

    Where in the Constitution are rights given based on sexual orientation?

    So you would be for all women of age to be drafted just as all men of age are drafted and serve equally on the front lines?

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    The US currently does not have a draft, and yet there are women serving in combat positions. I see no problem with it.

    When the constitution was drafted, women were not mentioned. In fact the only men who could vote were people who held at least a minimum amount of property. Our nation was built with the mindset of white male dominance. It has evolved in our 238 year history, with more and more people groups being recognized and given full equality. We granted them to the former slave population and eventually to women, and as a result minority groups have been added to those freedoms. It is only within the past couple of decades where the US government has sought to begin reversing minority rights, and it is wrong. For the record abortion is a minority right, because a minority of women in the US get one.

  • Lbj

    Its time for a change don’t you think? Young women should also be drafted just as men are and they should serve in the front lines like men do. If we have a draft again they must be treated equally as men.

    No one should have the right to kill their babies.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    We don’t have a draft, so that is irrelevant.

    No one is advocating the murder of children. When a fetus becomes a child is the debate, of which we have differing views.

    When viability begins, for many determines when a fetus turns into a child, still women have pregnancies fail past that viability point (third trimester) die prior to birth all the time due to a health complication.

    There are some state legislatures who seek to charge women with homicide if they miscarry, at any state of her pregnancy, saying a failure to report automatically means she’s guilty of something. Do you agree? I happen to think its a horrific, unjust idea.

    When a fertilized egg become a human is purely a philosophical question, and you will have different views depending whom you ask. You see that’s the thing with philosophy, there is no exact answer, no absolute truth, just ways of seeing things.

  • NCHammer

    Abortion clinics kill unborn children for profit.

    Who is forcing women to have children? No one is advocating forced impregnation. And it’s a false choice, anyway. Murdering the baby is not the only option available to women in a case of unwanted pregnancy.

    This is a blog based, at least in part, in Christian teaching and there is no Biblical, Scriptural ground for aborting babies as a convenience to sexual freedom. The vast (and it isn’t even debatable as a statistical fact) majority of abortions (especially in the US) are for birth control purposes for sexual sin outside of marriage.

    But for discussion sake, I’ll even remove the moral element and just talk about practical, political implications. The abortion industry isn’t happy with just legal access to murdering unwanted children, they want taxpayers to pay for it, either directly through funding of such entities as Planned Parenthood, or indirectly through forcing employers to pay for abortion services as part of now government imposed healthcare plans. Some freedom you’re allowing for those who find abortion repugnant and want no part in it.

    Secondly, statistically most aborted babies are from minority women in lower income strata. Doesn’t it stand to reason that those all too happy to push the abortion agenda relish less non-white, poor children being born? Negative eugenics is certainly a driving factor in the abortion industry.

    And nice try being put-off by a statement I did not make, either implicitly nor explicitly. Children are never a punishment. They are, however, a responsibility. A certainly, as a civilized society, personal responsibility for actions we freely take should be encouraged.

  • sharon peters

    And when the sand was gone and the time arrived
    In the naked dawn only a few survived
    And in attempts to understand a thing so simple and so huge
    Believed that they were meant to live after the deluge
    ~jackson browne

  • WonkishGuy

    There is also no scriptural basis for *not* aborting an embryo or fetus, so this is something that Christians can disagree about depending on whether they think that embryos and fetuses are worthy of protection. That’s really a question for philosophers rather than theologians.

    My own view is that there is a good prima facie case against abortion since it involves depriving potential people of a potential future like ours (this is Don Marquis’s argument, which too few pro-choice people are familiar with).

    However, there are also potent objections: statistically speaking, both contraception and abstinence also lead to fewer people than would occur naturally. In a way, these potential people are as robbed of their future as aborted fetuses. Yet, it seems absurd to suggest that we have a duty to have as many children as possible. But there are also counter-arguments to this contraception objection, so the debate is far from settled. I think the contraception argument is successful and that, additionally, in the earliest stage of pregnancy, a fetus is too remote from an actual person to warrant protection: their potential future is not any more real than the potential people who would be born if contraception were not used.

    As for funding it, I’d say that, as long as it is a legal medical procedure, I have no objection with it being funded by taxpayers. People can for instance object to military spending or the war on drugs, but are still required to pay their taxes in full.

  • Chip

    Scripturally, I think Psalm 139 really does provide strong indication that abortion is against God’s will. If God is intimately creating each one of us while we’re in the womb, then abortion cannot be countenanced. This really is a theological issue involving more Scripture passages than the one I just cited.

    You also have to grapple with the fact that the early Christians were deemed barbaric by the Romans for their opposition to abortion. The weight of Church history is against abortion.

  • NCHammer

    Jeremiah 1:5; Luke 1:31; Luke 2:21.

    While not explicitly about abortion, these verses lend considerable weight to the position that God knows us, even prior to birth. Not sure how progressives get from there to believing pro-abortion is an acceptable position for a professing Christian to hold.

  • Timothy Weston

    To adopt those verses as evidence against abortion shows that God’s Will is easily overridden by man.

    If God knows who will be born, does He also know who will be aborted?

  • NCHammer

    Free will. God knows everything, but allows humanity to make choices…even destructive ones (see Eden, Garden; Tree of Knowledge).

  • Tlynn

    Ok. You are for forcing a woman to carry a child in her body for nine months(a child she does want), forcing her to have
    labor (labor hurts and goes on for many hours. Mine lasted 13) and then you say there are alternatives to this. What alternatives? If you haven’t noticed. The first thing religious right politicians do when they come to office is cut government funding for the poor. The vast majority of people on welfare are children. There has been no extra money set aside for adoption programs nor any talk of doing so. If Roe vs Wade were to end tomorrow, a lot of these children would starve. The sad truth is that these children will be unwanted even by the. people who say every life is precious.

  • Lbj

    So abortion solves the poverty problem and lessens welfare?

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Of course not.

    Yet in a society, such as exists in the world where the poor find themselves priced out of higher education, transportation travel to better paying jobs, or health care, where governments or religions make it difficult for women to obtain contraceptives, where an unwanted pregnancy means yet another future mouth to feed in a household where there’s already too many people and not enough food, and for women, reduced mean to support oneself, because daycare is also too expensive, much less trying to keep a roof over one’s head….abortion is to them the only sensible solution.

    For them its survival, much like when some nomadic tribes used to expose new babies or the sick or elderly to the elements as caring for them would mean a greater risk of survival in environment where survival was already difficult.

    Abortion is an imperfect solution, a bandaid to a greater problem, a woman’s ability to choose whether or not she want to be a mother and having the means to make that decision freely. To solve poverty, we need to ensure everyone gets a decent education, access to safe health care options, has the means to be self sufficient, even if it means giving some assistance to that end. We should be willing to care for our sick our elderly, our poor

  • Giauz Ragnarock

    “… some lives are more important, more desirable, more worthy than others…”

    According to the Bible, Jesus, God of the Bible, says that this is an objective and unchanging moral, so what is your problem with such a view (I don’t agree with this reasoning, but I am pro-choice)? There is no scarcity of Jesus, God of the Bible, ordering everything that breaths killed without mercy or pity, all the virgin girls take for yourselves, and do make sure to rip open pregnant women and stab the prospective children to death. Also, if you are a rich king, feel free to kill a woman’s husband and take advantage of her because Jesus can’t stand sin (the wages of sin for a rich man is the death of a baby that happens to be his son… yay pro-life?).

  • NCHammer

    I don’t get the sense that you truly care what the Bible says or why, so I’m not going to engage in a debate on why God allowed what He allowed in the OT. It shouldn’t be surprising that on a blog written by a professing Christian that you would find arguments based in Bibilcal reasoning. Mock all you want…it doesn’t change the truth.

  • sharon peters

    Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?
    john 18;38

  • Bill Wolpert

    An interesting aspect to this…. The steady change to a liberal and as they see it more promiscious and sinful world, is something they have long “prophesied” would eventually happen. So as their ranks shrink, their convictions will become ever more congieled.

  • Vincent

    I have to say I disagree that the war against abortion is lost. To me some pther aspects of the culture wars are based on misconceptions. But abortion is different. Those who are pro-life seek to protect the most vulnerable among us and I believe God supports a view that seeks to protect children. Even if they lost in culture, justice will always prevail at the end. Regarding other issues like LGBT issues I’m sure many “right wing” Christians will catch up soon enough.

  • WonkishGuy

    The real question is not whether those who are pro-life are right in an objective sense, but whether they are any closer to convincing people that they are. The pro-life movement has largely been a failure, managing at best to introduce slightly more burdensome requirements. People are not any more consistently pro-life than they were in the 1970s and public support for the legality of abortion has been virtually flat over that period of time, which was the heyday of evangelicalism. You can sustain the cultural stigma associated with abortion for one more generation as kids raised to be pro-life walk away from evangelicalism but retain some of the moral prohibitions that they were taught. But will the next generation also be pro-life? I doubt it. This is the pattern that we saw in European countries: in the 1970s, people were walking away from Christianity but still retained some of its taboos (only 48% of French people were in favor of abortion on-demand). The next generation jettisoned these taboos and now 75% are in favor. I’m predicting that America will go the same way: millennial are walking from religion, but their children will turn out much more pro-choice than they are.

  • Vincent

    It is true that the current generation is more “pro-choice” than anything, but that doesn’t make it a good thing, does it? My point is, that although great moves have been done for social justice, others continue to exist that are the opposite of justice. Perhaps the current pro-life generation has not been able to convince the newer generation, but many in my generation are starting to realize by themselves the true value of life, and have decided to fight for it, even if they don’t share the conservative ideals of other pro-life generations. The truth is, that God’s justice will prevail over injustice, all the time. Even is we are loosing that battle, He has promised to fight for us and win. It happened before, it will happen again. God will never leave us in our battle to fight for the innocent.

  • Getreal

    I guess you’ve never watched MSNBC, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Church Schumer, Jeremiah Wright, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton et al. The term anal retentive comes to mind. An entertaining piece of psychologizing though, along with the minions comedic two cents worth of subjective drivel.

  • Tlynn

    No one political party owns subjective drivel.

  • Anthony Brancato

    But where is this “progressive/emergent Christianity” you speak of? All I see is secular humanism, if not, indeed, atheism. And you may be stuck in the Germany of 1929, which is a lot more pathetic than being stuck in the America of 1984. I don’t think you have any idea of what is coming. I do – and have coined a term to denote our present situation: Weimar America. Come to the cabaret – while you still can.

  • sharon peters

    i ain’t skeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrd!

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Huh???

  • Michael Bean

    I’ve always believed that haters die. I don’t mean the individuals themselves, but the concepts behind them die. It’s taking time, but I truly believe eventually the last hater will look around and realize that they are the only one in the room who’s listening when they speak

  • David Mabury

    The article here is interesting, but this thoughtful and compassionate comment thread is the real eye-opener. I grew up gay and Southern Baptist a generation ago. I watched dozens of my friends die slow painful deaths in the AIDS holocaust while their Christian families and communities treated them like sh*t. I realized Christianity itself was the whited sepulchre spoken of in Matthew 23:27, and I left the church. I will never be Christian again myself, but all of you in this comment thread give me hope that Christianity is changing for the better. Thank you.

  • sharon peters

    tune in
    turn on!

  • Snooterpoot

    Well, that’s a helpful comment. /end snark

  • sharon peters

    whaduzumean; “/end snark?”

  • Buford T. Pepper

    My epiphany came a few years ago when I realized that Christianity was about love and unconditionally accepting each other. I started to feel kinship with all the people in the world. I saw that we are all in this together. I knew about ‘globalization,’ but I always thought about it as a corporation or business thing. Now I see it as a species thing. We are all the human species, and the Earth is what God has given us. It actually made me feel good to think about things in this way. Call it Christianity or secular humanism or any other religion you want, it is the feeling that we are one species, and we are all in this together.

  • jm2

    and… they are afraid. what if what they ‘preached’ really isn’t true? what if there is no ‘hellfire & brimstone’? what if the view they have of their Jesus is wrong?

    the last just may be the worst for them, because it’s true. if he were alive today and saw what they have done the last thing Jesus would ever be is a christian!

  • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

    This is a story that is as old as time. In every generation there is a religious establishment and in every generation there are those that oppose it. Ever so often it is necessary to pull down our temples until not one stone is left upon another and rebuild anew. The old temples of the religious right are being torn down and a new temples will rise in their place. In time these new temples will also need to be pulled down.

  • humblydefiant

    As the son of a hellfire/brimstone Baptist preacher, I have lived much of what you talk about. But I’d take it one step further. As an adult, looking back, I can tell you that my family has always been angry – even during their “heyday.” America has always been in crisis and it only gets worse, year after year. Fellowships after church, family get-togethers – even in the classrooms of the Christian school I attended – talk has been about Christianity being under incessant attack. As a gay man, I know what being an outsider is truly like and so I look back at the culture I grew up in, one rich in cultural power that claimed itself poor, and I wonder. What the hell? I believe that the answer lies in the belief that one must be persecuted to be a true Christian. Jesus taught his disciples that they would be hated and persecuted by the world just as Jesus was. So, how are Christians who live in a Christian nation and wield influence over its political trajectory supposed to feel dejected and persecuted? How can the powerful feel trampled upon? Well, never underestimate the power of self-delusion. Granted, I do believe that you are right: the fire that burns so intensely now is being fueled by all of the things you mention, but it’s spark was lit much earlier. The language they speak was already well established. Americans in particular are ones for exceptionalism and American Christians must therefore be exceptionally tried and tested – singularly sought out by the devil for the exceptional example of Christianity they bring to the world. My parents are still trying to figure out why American isn’t mentioned in the book of Revleations, an oversight they noticed far back in the days of Reagan. Just my observations, though.