Beyond the Christianization of Abortion

With all of my heart, I wish everyone was Christian. I wish divorce, drug abuse, alcoholism, spousal abuse, racism, and every sort of the exploitation and moral degradation amidst which we all live everyday was gone forever, burned away in the bright light of God’s infinite, immediate love for each and every one of us.

But I don’t live in a place where that’s what’s happening. I live in this place. This world. This country.

Many in America are, as I am, Christian. Many ain’t. But all we Americans live under the same form of government, one mandated by its defining documents to forever endeavor to strike with us, and for us, the best balance possible between Doing the Right Thing, and Doing Whatever We Want.

We can drive whatever car we want—as long as it’s licensed, and we don’t drive it too fast.

We can make all the money we want—as long as we give the government the percentage it requests/insists upon.

We can have all the sexual congress we want—as long as the act isn’t contingent upon us or our partner getting paid for it. And so on.

And sometimes, of course, those laws get into some zones where it’s naturally difficult to determine where one set of rights and concerns ends, and another begins.

Like with, say, abortion.

I’m against abortion. So are you. So is everyone. The primary reason I’m against abortion has nothing to do with the fact that I’m Christian, and everything to do with the fact that I’m human. Everyone thinks abortion is horrible. Everyone wishes no one ever felt the need to get one. Nobody gets or agrees to an abortion cavalierly; no one thinks of it as just another form of birth control.

Everyone loves babies. Everyone thinks babies are cute. No one wants anyone else to murder babies.

All people love babies. Okay? So could we Christians please stop talking about anyone as if they “support” the murder of babies? That’s beneath us. We’re better than that. And so are the “baby murderers” at whom we keep pointing fingers, waving signs, and screaming.

The tragedy of abortion is the tragedy of abortion. No one who’s ever had an abortion gets too often lost in wondering whether or not it was the right thing to do. For those who have suffered through such an experience, the consideration of its relative moral merits tends to get very quickly subsumed by the visceral, absolute knowledge of how freaking awful is, period. The one thing any woman who’s ever had an abortion knows for sure is that she doesn’t want to have another one–just like she didn’t want to have the first one. So much of the rest is just guys in suits posturing for cameras.

We Christians need to remember that being Christian gives us no uniquely deep claim on abhorrence to abortion. Abortion is as much a “secular” concern as it is a Christian one. When I was a teenager a Muslim friend of mine had an abortion, and the tears her own father cried when he found about it were as real as any that ever fell to earth. Years before I was a Christian I accompanied a young homeless woman to her abortion procedure. She was a Christian. She was also poverty stricken, drug addicted, and the victim of a vicious rape.

Sometimes heaven wins. Sometimes the earth does.

What we have to do is make sure, insofar as we’re able to, that love is always there, if not always immediately victorious.

When it comes to the issue of abortion, we Christians would do very well indeed to acknowledge that virtually everyone agrees on the end we all desire, which is no one ever wanting an abortion, ever. Christians, atheists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, car salesmen, budget analysts, movie stars, my insane next door neighbor with the crazy rottweiler — it’s a certainty that 99.99% of people alive on the planet right now would agree that in a perfect world every baby would be welcomed, loved, cherished, fed well, and dressed in the sweetest little baby clothes ever.

That relative to abortion everyone wants the exact same end — no abortions, ever — isn’t in question. It’s only the means by which we attain that end about which people have varying ideas. But agreeing on the end of our desire for a matter should make for a very definite cooling of the rhetoric of the conversation about the means by which we might most effectively achieve that end.

If we’re really intent upon showing our concern for babies, the first thing we need to do, right off the bat, is to be sure we act like adults.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Hey, Mike. Thanks. I can never tell who's going to read what, when … but … I don't know. I'm not actually a big Let's Discuss Issues guy, but … thought this would be something I'd … um … need to say. Anyway, thanks very much.

  • Paul

    John,

    I'm no Voltaire, so I won't defend to the death your right to say all that, but you may be overstating the case for Senator Obama. According to this article, http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/viewarticle.php… he's not just pro-choice, he is pro-abortion. How else would you characterize someone who states that "the first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act" (known as FOCA). This proposed legislation would create a federally guaranteed "fundamental right" to abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, including, as Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia has noted in a statement condemning the proposed Act, "a right to abort a fully developed child in the final weeks for undefined 'health' reasons." In essence, FOCA would abolish virtually every existing state and federal limitation on abortion, including parental consent and notification laws for minors, state and federal funding restrictions on abortion, and conscience protections for pro-life citizens working in the health-care industry-protections against being forced to participate in the practice of abortion or else lose their jobs. "

    I confess I do not understand his agenda, but Senator Obama is WAY past the point of being "pro-choice"

    I was surprised to find such foggy thinking on your part John, you have a huge platform with this blog, being linked to on various evangelical sites as well as being a published author. I'm just not sure how you can say that Obama's approach is anything that can be confused with a "moral" way to combat abortion. Not only is he a supporter, he is vowing to sign legislation that would implicate those opposed to funding his decidedly "immoral" agenda through our tax dollars.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Thanks, Morse! That's very kind of you to say—especially given the last message I left you on YOUR site. (How's the Bible reading going, by the way? I watched two more of them. Are you through John yet? I'll go see. I'm sure by now you've converted. Cool.)

  • Brian Jonson

    John:

    On what basis do you claim Obama is a Christian?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Brian: Go fishing somewhere else with that bait.

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Ah touche John (re: Brian).

    Loved this post. Have always been a little confused about the whole pro-abortion vs anti-abortion debate. I grew up in a strict religious household so you can imagine what I believed until I began to think for myself. Then a friend of mine was raped, fell pregnant due to it and had an abortion because she couldn't face having the man's child growing inside her for 9 months. This turned my views upside down as I was so anti but really understood her views, she was only 14 after all. Since then I have swung back and forth and today I think I have found what I have been trying to explain to myself. Thank you John, it is not that I hate babies (or even love them more because I may be anti) but rather that it is the personal, heart renching decision of the mother. Even my friend, 14 scared, alone and hurt, cried when she went through it and regretted it after because, as you said, she loved babies. I tell this story to people now who say it such an easy decision. What would you do in her position??

    • Diana

      At any age, carrying to term a child conceived in rape would be difficult. There are some women who have chosen to do so, even with abortion legal–and my hat is off to them–it probably took enormous fortitude on their parts.

      I would worry about a child of mine carrying a baby to term when she's under the age of 15, regardless of the circumstances under which that child was conceived. The physical risks are so much greater with a woman than young–never-mind any of the other considerations. With an older child, I might say "Carry the baby to term and I'll adopt him/her–or at least take care of him/her until you're able and willing to do so."

  • Mark Lattimore

    John, first let me say that I'm quickly becoming a fan of your blog. I hope I express this comment as charitably as I tried to express the last one while completely disagreeing with you. The problem with the abortion debate is how it is framed. You and Mr. Obama seem to center the discussion around the "deeply personal" decision that a woman faces in this situation and the privacy concerns raised by government intrusion into the lives of its citizens. That cannot, however, be the starting point. Government intrudes into our lives all the time. That is simply what laws do. Many of these laws are important, such as ones designed to protect life. Examples are laws regarding assault, battery, murder, even seat belt laws.

    The real starting point in the abortion debate is whether we talking about life when we are talking about babies in utero. If one believes that life does not begin at conception, then moral objections to abortion, for the most part, fall apart and we are left in the realm of personal choice. However, if one believes that life does begin at conception, then the entire landscape changes. Most civilized people agree that taking an innocent life is wrong. If we are talking about life, is there a difference between a woman choosing to have an abortion, or parents deciding to kill (or euthanize, if you prefer) a sick 3 year old child (or what about a perfectly healthy but unwanted 5 year old)? Obviously, the decision to do so would be deeply personal, but does that justify the government's non-involvement? My sense is that American society, by and large, doesn't (yet) have the stomach to let this slide and would cry out for some form of justice.

    I agree with you that the ideal is for there be no need for us to even have this conversation. We effect real social change by changing the minds of the people, not through legislation. However, the goal of laws restricting abortion are not about effecting social change. They are about protecting life. So, as you can see, where you come down on this issue largely depends on where you start — are we talking about privacy or life?

    Finally, an open comment to any fellow opponents of abortion…if you are boisterously picketing abortion clinics, harassing women who are undoubtedly struggling with a life-changing decision, using shock tactics to scare people into making the decision you want them to make, bombing clinics, assaulting doctors, STOP! Aside from your conduct simply being barbarian (and for all of you Christians, sinful) it is ineffective. You are condemning your own cause. You do not win hearts and minds through intimidation. You win hearts and minds by building real love-based relationships and carefully cultivating them.

    Thanks again, John.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Christine: Yeah, that's so difficult. I'm sorry your friend had to go through that, of course. Awful. Sounds like you were a good friend to her throughout, though. Thank God for that.

    Beth: As I said in my post (shall I trust you read all of it?), what I'm doing to stop abortions from happening is voting for the person whom I think will do the most to stop unwanted pregancies from happening in the first place. Thanks for asking, which I know you did in the spirit of Christian love, and not in the spirit of hostile, accusatory self-righteousness.

  • Mark Lattimore

    p.s. If you want to know more about how I feel about the state of the abortion debate in this country, see my entry "Tragically Amused" at http://marklattimore.wordpress.com. It's the third or fourth paragraph, if I recall correctly.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Yeah, Mark, you of course hit the most troubling nail on the head. It's why I want us to put ALL our money, time, care and resources into fighting the CAUSE of unwanted pregnancies, rather than being stuck having to empower our government to simply make criminals out of the women who choose that terrible course of action. That's too easy. I want a deeper committment than that.

    And I do think the privacy issue is a good place to start in this debate; I think it's THE place to start in it. And I'm very definitely a massive fan of keeping church and state separate, which is critical to the proper functioning of a democracy. I get nervous whenever people start pointing to their theology—even if I share that theology—as a justification for laws they want to apply to everyone who shares their belief system AND everyone who doesn't. If you can't base a law on universal morality, then it shouldn't be on the books. That's how I can be PERSONALLY absolutely opposed to abortion, but feel it necessary as a citizen of this country to protect the precious (dare I say sacrosanct?) constitutional rights upon which its founded.

  • bethlambdin

    Yes, you can trust I read all of it(twice actually!) and I apologize that I was not more clear. I was wanting to ask – What you are doing to stop/limit or reduce abortions – besides voting – since it is apparent that the Christian community will remain at odds as to who to vote for with respect to the abortion issue.

    It is something I think all Christians should ask themselves. If we truly believe abortion is horrible then what can we do in our corner of the world to prevent it from happening?

    I am glad you assumed that I was asking (and still am) in the spirit of Christian love and not hostile, accusatory or self righteously.(and I am going to take that comment as sincere and not sarcastic)

  • Just wondering

    John, you made this comment:

    "[W]hat I’m doing to stop abortions from happening is voting for the person whom I think will do the most to stop unwanted pregancies from happening in the first place."

    And since you're continuing the conversation, John, I really want to understand your thinking on this . . .

    How does a presidential candidate — Senator Obama or anyone else — "stop unwanted pregnancies from happening in the first place"?

    • Jeanine Petty

      Unwanted- unexpected pregnancies- have been happening since the beginning of humankind. It is not a complicated equation…….people like sex. In fact are instinctively wired to procreate so as to not become extinct. And, sperm+egg=baby. Hence, pregnancy, wanted or not.

      I was strongly pro-choice, UNTIL I “unexpectedly” became pregnant, and after much agonizing, had an abortion. Which was awful and I deeply, deeply regret even after more than 15 years. If you look into the abortion industry and see what is driving it(I’ll give you one guess1!) and there are LOTS of people who approach abortion very cavalierly and callously….you will become very disturbed and possibly outright angry. And, I have personally known women who approached it very cavalierly, so much so that they could not remember with accuracy the number of abortions they have had and HAVE used it as a method of birth control.

      Mr. Obama is not going to curb the seemingly strong drive people have to have sex, right or wrong, or the freak out factor when the “unexpected” pregnancy occurs.

      In a country where it is not legal to kill a person 1 minute after he/she is born- why can we do it anytime before birth? I have asked myself this question every day for 15 years….

      Alas….unwanted pregnancies are not going to stop happening, and neither are abortions.

      If some people who are NOT finger pointing, sign-waving, and screaming at the baby-murderers, most of whom are already broken hearted, would get down in the trenches and see what is REALLY happening in the abortion “clinics”……these things would not stop but there might be a tiny, tiny bit of change.

      P.S. How many people who have populated the earth were, at one time, “unwanted pregnancies”? Just a thought….

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Beth: So many things in this world are horrible, that every!one—all people, of every or no faith at all–should pick at least ONE thing to help combat, be it poverty or child abuse or elderly abuse or drug abuse or animal abuse or environmental abuse, or what have you. It sounds like you've found the cause that you feel most called to help with. Beautiful!

  • http://ww.sheppardministries.com Greta

    John, you present a tiny wee bit of thinkable thought on abortion in explianing Obama's real stance on it. If only he would say it! I loved your phrasing ' God's immediate love'. You have to have experienced it in order to say it. If only America and the world could grasp the overwhelming truth of it!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Wondering: from my post: "He [Obama] thinks the most effective way—I daresay he believes the most moral way—to eradicate abortion isn’t through laws, but through education."

    • John Parton

      I believe that first of all education is a good thing and think all should get as much education as they can.

      However, education doesn't correct character issues. The difference in the person who robs a liquor store with a gun and the person who embezzles from his employer with a computer is education. They both have the same character issues. I believe the same is true with pregnancies wanted or unwanted.

      I don't think there are many people out there that don't know what causes pregnancies, but as someone else has already posted it happens because of the way we are wired. It happens. The solution to this problem is obvious. We have already been given the answer but the power of emotion often overrides good judgment. I don't think education plays a very big part in that. We have sex education in the schools starting in the very lowest grades, television programs that are filled with sex and violence, movies, etc and everything that is sold uses advertising with a sexual slant. It is these things that I believe lead to unwanted pregnancies and consequently abortions. I am not pro abortion, but I don't judge any woman that has to make that decision.

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    John, you really like stirring the hornets nest don't you LOL. Thank you for your sweet comment but unfortunatly, though I wish it had been different, I was not the best friend she needed. I took the stance of many people posting here, and many more in the church, that she was 'murdering' a child, 'hating' her baby, and, God forgive me, even told her she would go to hell. I did not stop those tears, I caused them and many years later she took her own life because the church she went to, including myself, condemned her.

    My point is not to just share her story but to wake people up. God is about Love and Mercy and Forgiveness. Murdering is wrong, so is lying to your mother, are you going to let the government tell you you can't and monitor you on it, make it illegal to tell lies?? In God's eyes all sin is the same and all sin is just a forgivable. When we ostracise these women, we win nothing. We don't win morally (we have not loved these women), we don't win spiritually (we are not being like Jesus), we don't even win an argument as there is no onclusive answer. All we have done is hurt and alienate women who need us in the time they need love the most. Learn from my friend, I treated her as a religious outcast first, a human second, a friend third. At least now her life will help educate others as it helped educate mine.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Christine: Oh, gosh, yeah, that is so difficult. I'm so sorry all that happened. Terrible! Yikes. Awful. Well. So we grow.

    Someone somewhere along the line back there asked me (I think) from whence came my information about Obama's stance on abortion. A lot of it came from reading this:

    http://www.ontheissues.org/Social/Barack_Obama_Ab

  • Giang Vo

    John,

    Thank you for your thoughtful considerations. I have several questions for everyone who can see my post. I hope my questions can be thought provoking. If it is not the government role to step in the woman's shoes and make a decision for her then I do question is it the goverment role to step in and stop a serial rapist or simply a bank robber? Don't babies inside the womb have rights as much as adults do? When was it ever right right that a mother has the right to kill her 1 day old baby ( i think not)? How is that case different from that of a child inside the womb? If we justify aborting a child with Down syndrome then is it justified for us to kill retarded people (for a lack of a better word) off this planet?

    My questions are not even related to Mr. Obama. This is not about politics, this is about our conscience.

    All goverments are installed by God (see book of Romans). If we have a wicked government, I think that is the just punishment for us a people who are not obeying God.

  • Mark Lattimore

    John, I agree with you wholeheartedly when you say that laws should be based on universal morality. That is foundational to my argument. I hope that we can state as axiomatic that the taking of an innocent life is wrong. This would be a universally moral tenet, I hope. IF, then, you hold to the position that life begins at conception, this universally moral principle comes into play and is, therefore, the proper subject of regulation by the government. Also critical to the proper functioning of a representative democracy is the protection and preservation of the universally held moral principles. While admittedly my belief in the idea of life at conception is informed by my Christian worldview, the analysis that follows is purely non-theological. Everything we reasonably believe about this issue starts with how we feel about the moment when that salmon swims upstream, competes with thousands of others, and ultimately wins the affections of that single mate.

    I'm with you. I don't want the government intruding where it doesn't belong. But the fact is there are places where the government, out of necessity, does belong and one of those is where the life of one person is threatened by the actions of another. So, I leave you with the question, does abortion result in the termination of an innocent life?

    • Diana

      Here's the thing: Criminalizing abortion will not stop it from happening–it will just drive it underground. Women have been aborting babies for as long as there have been pregnancies to abort. Rather than criminalize abortion, why not educate women on ways to prevent pregnancy in the first place (including the best way–abstain from sexual activity–but also the other, less fool-proof ways?) Why not teach young women that they are more than sex and baby-making machines and that they have both the right and the responsibility to say no to irresponsible sex and men who pressure them into that kind of activity? While we're educating people, why not teach men that women are more than sex and baby-making machines and that men are just as responsible for preventing unwanted pregnancies as women?

  • Just wondering

    Okay, I went to do some research. I learned from Obama's website that he supports "The Prevention First Act," and NARAL's website explains that this act "would establish the first-ever federal program for honest, realistic sex education," and would include information for "emergency contraception," informally known as the morning-after pill.

    Help me here: I'm trying to click in and follow the path of the discussion . . .

    So . . . "honest, realistic sex education" paid for by the federal government and taught by public school teachers (and I heard the Senator say once that age-appropriate sex education should start in kindergarten) is "the most moral way" to "stop unwanted pregnancies from happening in the first place"?

    • http://whythulc.wordpress.com Deanna

      I think that's a great place to start. It's not an exhaustive plan, but it's a pretty decent place to start.

      What would you suggest instead?

  • Giang Vo

    I have one additional comment. Why is it that prevention is used as an emphasis to put a shade on the act of abortion. I want to say that this tactic is dirty. Whether there are murders, thefts, abortions or not both education on spiritually and scientifically is always a must. I don't really understand why, on the political arena, pregnancy prevention and sex ed and even rape and incest is used as an emphasis to justify the act of abortion? For example, my parent's failure in teaching me how behave should not take away the fact that I need to pay for my heinous acts that I commited. Emphasis must be put on education. But a crime still must be paid fully.

  • http://www.kellykirbyfisher.blogspot.com Kelly

    I have never understood how people who are so against abortion and fighting for the "right to life" – go out and bomb abortion clinics and assualt people associated with organizations who perform abortions. I mean, if you are so "pro LIFE" – why are you out beating up and bombing other people!

    And for the record, I am pro-choice – and I choose LIFE! As a believer, that's the conviction of my heart.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Just Wondering: Yes.

    Mark: By way of being in my answer to you both exceedingly thorough AND exceedingly lazy (whoo-hoo!), please allow me to direct you to the website below, which is the best repository I know for Obama's views on abortion. As far as I know, I am comfortable with everything Mr. Obama says here:

    http://www.ontheissues.org/Social/Barack_Obama_Ab

  • Christine

    Ahhhhhh…just wrote huge post and it got deleted!!! Anyway, my basic point was, Murder is illegal and that NEVER happens does it?? Is making abortion illegal gonna change that too?? Sex education for children may not be right, but they are gonna do it, have you seen MTV lately?? Do we wnat them thinking it is cool, sexy, fun, riskfree or do we want them thinking, this is gonna make children if I don't smarten up??

    PLEASE POST THIS TIME!!!!

  • http:fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Burns

    Nicely stated John. Talk about jumping in the deep end though! I predict this entry will top 200 comments.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    So … what are you suggesting? That Obama, for some craven, mysterious, evil, baby-hating reason, LIKES the idea of abortions happening? That he wants as many of them to happen as he can possibly facilitate?

    On a secondary note: No fair simply saying I’ve indulged in “foggy thinking.” If you want me to take your criticism seriously, you’ve got to be more specific than that. Exactly what patch of fog was it you got lost in, again?

  • http://suddenlyatheist.wordpress.com/ morsec0de

    John,

    You’re awesome. Can I say that?

    No one else has put forth my position on abortion so succinctly, until you that is. Thank you.

  • bethlambdin

    John – you write that “Obama simply feels that ultimately, when a woman is struggling to make a decision about whether or not she should have an abortion, it’s beyond the purview of its function for the government to step in and make that decision for her.”

    Why should I, as a woman, have a choice to abort (murder) my child?

    Once they are born, I do not have a choice to starve, mistreat, abuse, not educate or not put my baby in a car seat because we in the USA have decided that these things are wrong. (ie: against the law) The government has made those decisions for me. Why then should the government not decide that abortion(murder)is wrong and make it illegal as are the afore mentioned “wrongs”. Simply because wrongs will still take place is not good enough reasoning to have them be legal.

    Abortion is murder and according to the Bible murder is morally wrong. If we believe the Bible to be our absolute truth, then we too should believe that abortion is morally wrong and should be doing everything we can to stop it.

    As a believer, what are you doing to help reduce/limit are stop the killing of these innocent lives?

    • Mindy

      Beth, I am only now seeing this post and its comments, as I only recently discovered Mr. Shore's eloquent writings. As a fellow woman, but one who believes in choice, I would say that only when you have walked in the shoes – or more so, seen your daughter through a situation in which abortion is being considered – can you judge so harshly.

      I am, like Mr. Shore, anti-abortion. And still, I am pro-choice. I know, from life experience, that sometimes, the option is the only viable one in the life a woman. I am an adoptive mother, and while I am blessed beyond measure with my daughters and we love each other fiercely, I would never, ever suggest that a young woman MUST give birth so that a childless couple can parent her child – one of the arguments I hear repeatedly. Losing your first parents isn't easy. For some, it brings lifelong pain, even if you come into your new family as a tiny infant. The loss felt by both birthmothers, and more importantly, the adoptees who had no choice in their circumstances, is often enormous. Not something anyone can assume is easy, or is some gigantic moral "should."

      Assuming that the aborted embryo or fetus was a baby is a religious viewpoint. It is as valid as the believer believes it to be – but it is not scientifically proven to be accurate. It is not what those of other faiths necessarily believe. It cannot be legislated.

      The effort must be, as stated so beautifully in this blog post, placed on education and services that assist young women – all women – in avoiding the circumstances that leave them pregnant when they are not prepared to parent. And we must stop judging by imposing one set of religious beliefs on all people, because no matter how much anyone wishes it, we are not all the same.

  • Just wondering

    John:

    You feel very strongly about the separation of church and state. Okay, let’s be blunt. In our society, sex is a religion. There are as many views of what is “honest, realistic sex education” as there are interpretations of the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, etc.

    When sex is by nature driven by personal values, how can we possibly expect government-directed, public school teachers to provide value-neutral “honest, realistic sex education”?

    First, by simple virtue of teaching it (in some form) to all ages from kindergarten on up, the government is clearly making kids assume there’s something wrong with them if they don’t try out their sexual knowledge at least by the time they graduate from high school, right? It’s basic logic; would you teach a 5th grader how to drive, but say, “Hold that thought until you’re mature enough to drive at age 16″? And if you’re providing free condoms to those students, they’re even dumber to not take things for a spin early.

    Second, it doesn’t work to say, “Just focus on the biology of it.” That approach makes sexual choices one-dimensional — and does not consider the emotional and psychological repercussions of early sexual activity. And for those kids who are still virgins, why should they have their innocence stolen by graphic discussions and portrayals of various kinds of sex, or be forced to handle condoms in a public classroom? How can that not become a burden for kids who are not emotionally ready to handle the information? It’s like asking an 11-year-old to bench press 250 pounds; they don’t have the maturity or (emotional) strength to do it.

    Having the federal government develop and oversee “honest, realistic sex education” will be opening Pandora’s box, John. The federal bureaucracy has done a crushingly bad job in the simple oversight of something as cut-and-dried and mathematical as the housing market. You really, truly think they can/should handle something as sensitive as “honest, realistic sex education”?

    • Diana

      "Second, it doesn’t work to say, “Just focus on the biology of it.” That approach makes sexual choices one-dimensional — and does not consider the emotional and psychological repercussions of early sexual activity. "

      I experienced 5 different sessions of "sex-education" when I was growing up, between the years of 1978 and 1985. (This was in addition to what I was taught by my mother, my friends, and various different books.)

      Four of them were through the public school–in sixth, eighth, tenth and twelfth grades. These did primarily focus on the physical aspects pregnancy, sexual intercourse, contraceptives, and of course, the joys of the female monthly cycle (mens-stroo-ay-shun.)

      The fifth one was through my church, and focused on both the physical aspects and the emotional/spiritual/moral value aspects. It was my favorite of the five, precisely because it focused beyond the physical.

      Ideally, parents could be trusted to teach their children about sex. But the reality is that way too many parents stick their heads in the sand, believing that their children are sweet, innocent little angels who wouldn't dream of having sex until they're–oh, at least 35–and then, only with their spouses and only for procreational purposes.

      Meantime, kids have friends, friends who will cheerfully share their knowledge of "the facts of life" regardless of whether those "facts" are accurate or not.

      So, the schools are compelled to step in and provide at least the minimum of sexual education so that kids will not end up getting pregnant/impregnating others because they didn't realize that even a drop of semen carries enough sperm to easily impregnate a fertile woman, even if it's her first time having sex and even if the guy pulls out before ejaculating (since usually there's a drop or two of semen on the head of the penis even before the guy ejaculates.)

  • Jessica

    My mom asked me today who I am voting for and when I told her that I wasn’t telling anybody she said, “Hopefully God will forgive you for that.” Seriously? Do people really think that Obama is the antichrist? She actually said that to me.

    I just think it’s insane that I have my ballot sitting on my counter and I still don’t know what box I am going to check.

    I’m going to beat my head against the wall.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Famous television producer and all around techno-whiz Brian Shileds, everyone …

  • Graffight

    oh…i thought i wrote this, but i don't think killing the children is the answer, nor do i think it's by any means OK, i just understand that making abortion illegal isn't going to solve the problem…why don't people talk about that? how do we solve the REAL problem of unwanted pregnancies…like John said…it's too easy to just Ban abortions and expect that to fix our problems…

  • http://http:fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    Bethlambdin said:

    Why should I, as a woman, have a choice to abort (murder) my child?

    I will say it again…how are we supposed to engage such base and simple characterizations? It was the point of Mr. Shore’s essay to demonstrate how ridiculous that argument is! There seems to be an inability on the part of those using the “murder” argument to grasp the complexity of the issue.

    http://discovermagazine.com/2005/dec/fetus-feel-p

  • Giang Vo

    Christine,

    So my next question is based on your argument I guess we should not illegalize murder since making it illegal won't stop all the murders from happening?

  • http://http:fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    @Graffight: You are right in that we need to address the root problem of unwanted pregnancies. It seems the only realistic options we have here are education and contraception. The human animal will have sex…plain and simple. We can speak of abstinence, but it has been shown to be ineffective. Sex is inevitable and making it a 'sin' doesn't help either. Sex is not immoral. Irresponsible sex is immoral.

    Dare I say it in this forum….too often it is the religious (and their religions) that are the greatest obstacle to addressing the root cause of this problem.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Christine: Don't respond. Seriously: don't. I'll delete it if you do.

    Giang: Excellent name! But please, go pick this fight somewhere else. (And … not to pick on your grammar or vocabulary skills, or whatever, especially since I know personally make grammar and word-choice mistakes ALL THE TIME–but, for the record, "illegalize" isn't a word. It should be—I LIKE it!—but it's not.)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Oh, never mind: Christine, answer away.

    Mike: No, you may NOT say that in this forum.

    Ah, what the heck. (And, painfully enough, you're right, of course. Although, to be fair, "religious" is too broad/inclusive a word to be used in your context. It's a particular SORT of "religious" person, 'eh?)

  • Giang Vo

    Hi everyone,

    I would respectfully ask everyone that we should not focus on the semantics of pro-choice and pro-abortion and politics. Let's focus on the issue. I have a simple question for all myself included: Does a child inside a womb have human rights or not?

    Isn’t it funny that when our slightest and insignificant human’s rights are violated we cry foul and wrong. But when the right to live of the weakest and defenseless of all is being violated by the thousands daily and we say it’s a woman’s choice and it's a termination of pain or to save a woman? When was it ever a woman’s right to violate the right to LIVE of the weakest and defenseless of all. To me, it’s no different from murder. Oh yes, it's always our choices isn't it? We can choose to murder people or not, free will right. The question is will there be anyone or anything CHOOSING to stop us?

  • Graffight

    Giang Vo

    No…there are some crimes that are illegal for good reason…in the case of murder, the murder alone is the problem. the difference with abortion is that it's not the overall problem, it's a symptom of the overall problem of an unwanted pregnancy. In order to truly go that rout you would have to make having an unwanted pregnancy illegal and we all know that's not going to happen. I mean seriously we already have an overpopulated prison system that we don't want to pay more tax's for, we have an overpopulated adoption system that we don't want to pay more tax's for…we have a bunch of unwanted children running around that we don't want to take care of, and the best answer we can come up with is make abortion illegal and fill up the prisons and adoption agencies more? seriously…..what is that going to solve…because i honestly believe that if the gov't were to overturn roe v wade the majority of people's activism would stop because at least the children are safe……right?

  • Graffight

    Giang Vo,

    To reply to your second post…Sure the fetus should have human rights, but are you just as adamant about the human rights of the children who grow up in the foster care/pre adoption system, the halfway houses and being tossed from family to family that doesn't want them? I'm all for human rights, but it has to be for ALL humans, we can't forget about these children once they are here like we often do…

  • Graffight

    Giang Vo "Dare I say it in this forum….too often it is the religious (and their religions) that are the greatest obstacle to addressing the root cause of this problem."

    i missed this one, and i totally agree. I think we fall to the make abortion illegal stance because being truly committed to education is too difficult…but it's the only think that will work in the long term. abortion and sex ed are now easy scapegoats because they cover up and imperfect parenting and make it so we don't have to fix the imperfect sex ed in our schools. Christians are also afraid to really hold each other accountable with love instead of trying to impose a blanket solution on all of society that fits our beliefs…i don't believe that is the way to bring others to the truth…it just makes us look bad.

  • http://emphaticasterisk.com Lindsey

    I know a seventeen year old girl whose parents disowned her when she found out she was pregnant, she couldn't get medicaid without legally emancipating herself and had NO idea how she would be able to pay for health care once her dad removed her from his insurance because he wasn't going to "pay for her mistakes".

    The issue of abortion goes FAR beyond what most people discuss- cases like that particular girl are not uncommon, and unless we as Christians are willing to intervene and make it possible for girls to be able to get those babies to term, we shouldn't be allowed to force them into impoverishment in order for the babies to be born. Because, honestly- if you've got a homeless seventeen year old girl who doesn't qualify for medicare and doesn't have insurance and has no idea how she's going to be able to finish school and so on and so forth- is it really good for the baby to be born into that?

    It's about social ethics, not just "religious" morality.

    /off soapbox

  • Giang Vo

    Graffight,

    You are going into practicality of laws and society. I am fine with that. But let's call abortion for what it is, murder. If we all want to justify abortion then that illustrates how depraved we all are. I mean if we are for murdering criminals to make the world a better place then that's our choice. If a woman choose abortion that's her free will, I cannot violate that. But as a person, I feel the pain and obligation to stand up for the weakest of us all and if that results in overfilled prisons and higher tax then I am serious fine with that. But again, I am probably benefiting from this less taxation and less criminals running wild in the streets. In the end, it's all in God's control. But if you are not up for higher tax then that's your choice, but again, let's call abortion what it is with its heinous nature.

    I think I just asked several simple questions. The questions of human rights are not even pertaining to religions or beliefs, it's about the nature of humans. Taking a stand for what you believe is not imposing anything on anybody. We all do that all the time, regardless of religious backgrounds. And dare I say that Christians are not supposed to look good to the world as Jesus promised us two things: a cross to die on and eternal life. This world is not for Christians, it will never be. True Christians will never look popular in the eyes of the world and I am truely fine with that.

  • Graffight

    i think you misunderstand what I'm saying when i say it makes us look bad…I'm speaking directly to those who hold their position only because of their religious beliefs, thinking that somehow if we make the wrong decisions illegal people will make the right ones.

    Secondly, no this is not all under God's control (though God does and can use anyone he chooses to), God put us in control of the earth it is our job to put him in control of our lives…if there are more criminals and unwanted kids on the streets it's because of US…not because God wants it that way.

    If you stand for human rights as you say, your primary focus should be stopping unwanted pregnancies, not making abortion illegal. Yeah a fetus is defenseless but so is the 14 year old who didn't have a father who looked to a man/boy who didn't have her best interests at heart to fill that void…who made the mistake of getting pregnant because she didn't have a mother who was home enough to build that character in her and doesn't have the means or desire to take care of another child. or even worse the girl was raped by the man who was filling that fatherless void…who's to say that little and also defenseless girl should have to go through that struggle and who's to say that the government should be making that decision for her and her family. Are You or any other anti abortion activist going to care for EVERY one of those children born into that situation and make that child feel wanted and loved? Like i said before making abortion illegal isn't going to get the results that i hope we are looking for. not only do i not want a defenseless child to be killed i also don't want children to live a life of being unwanted and probably continuing the cycle that created them in the first place…it sounds REALLY bad, but at least i know that in heaven those children are loved and wanted, and if you really want to get super religious about it, are those children really being killed?

  • Graffight

    oh…who cares if I or you or we are ok with paying more tax's. throwing money at the problem doesn't make it better…if that is what would happen it would take an investment of TIME, not money it would take an investment of LOVE, not money. Seriously there would have to be HOMES for these kids…people are gung-ho about spending money to fix the issue, but where are these kids going to go? Who's going to take care of em certainly not the people who are imposing this law…they can't take care of what they have now…so your solution is to make the prison system bigger? make the adoption system bigger? who is that helping?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Lindsey: Extremely good, as always. Well said. Thank you, as ever.

  • Graffight

    i quit…I'm getting to wound up :-)…I truly believe that this issue is too big for government to make the blanket decision about it…personal choice and education is the only way to make a Real Lasting change…that's why i am also supporting Obama Sorry for monopolizing your blog John :-)

  • Giang Vo

    Graffight,

    I apologize for misundertanding your point about "making us look bad."

    I said, In the end, it's all in God's control. That means that eventually God will control it. We have freewill, but let not be mistaken that in the end, God will control it whether we like it or not.

    "If you stand for human rights as you say, your primary focus should be stopping unwanted pregnancies, not making abortion illegal." I do focus on both isssues as I said a couple of posts earlier. You asked me if I care for all those children. Of course not. Again, your point is about practicality and my point is about the truth of abortion. But let's call abortion for what it really is. If we all truly want to solve problems, we should attempt to educate people about pregnancies, premarital sex and consquences and many other educational topics. If you want to be practical, I have several questions for you: How about educating people about the heinous nature of abortion so that women don't go to that stage in the first place? I don't see many educating women about the nature of abortion. Tell me if I am wrong? WHy does it always have to be sex ed? why not abstinence? Why not educating our kids about not hanging out with those of the opposite sex without parental guidance? How about people aborting a child simply because it's a female and not a male??? I have a whole list of other educational topics that we should consider? Again, I have to stand for what's true. But let me end by saying that that practicality will never be an excuse to not standing up for the truth. If there are not those who stand against abortion then I am sure you can guess the consequences of legalized abortions everywhere and at any stage of pregnancies.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Graf: No worries. Thanks for drawing down this thing you're doing with Giang; I was just about to ask you to do that very thing. You did great. (And, Giang, you too, of course, made many a fine point.) Bu you know how it is; I have to be alert to not letting this forum for discussion become too clogged up with any two or three people who, after a while, are bound to end up not really doing much besides chasing their own tails around. So, thanks.

  • bethlambdin

    We (my husband & children)are willing & wanting to invest time, love and money to adopt children. (and would prefer an "unwanted" child from a crisis pregnancy or a child with disabiliites or of color) We have been "trying" for 1 year and 2 weeks and are still waiting. Perhaps someone on this forum has a connection for me. I have read several comments that seem to indicate some may be connected to women/teens who do not want or can't raise their child or know of adoption agencies with children just waiting for a family. We have an approved home study, a grant and have saved/raised several thousand dollars.

    If you would like more info about us & our family – email me at beth@bethlambdin.net

  • Mark

    "he doesn’t think that ultimately it’s the government’s job to invade so deeply into the lives of its citizens that it essentially robs from them the power to make up their own minds"

    So your point is that government shouldn't invade a woman's decision about abortion.

    Just thinking out loud…Are there other personal decisions in which government is not letting us make up our own minds? Are they invading too deeply and robbing our power in any other areas?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Say, Mark, you know—and this is really just a hunch here, but what the heck—I think it's just possible that you already HAVE an answer to the question you're asking me. If so, share!

  • anita

    So that whole "I'm taking a break from blogging" was just an emotional ploy used to play with our emotions, wasn't it? Given the subject matter of this post, I now realize there are far wider ramifications to why I continue to refer to you as Torch Boy. Your motto should read, "Lighting another person's pants on fire, one Christian at a time…" As to the the topic at hand, I'm with you on this one John and appreciate you articulating it as well as you did.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Yeah, the break thing kind of floundered. It started when I asked what was so simple it didn't feel like a post at all: "Whaddya think of the debate?"

    THEN people were being pretty clear about saying, in effect, that no Christian could vote for Obama.

    So then that … didn't work for me. So then I felt I had to answer that.

    And now here we are.

    PLUS I'm now officially missing the little poodle I had to give back to its now faux-owner about a half hour ago.

    Anyway, right. My break broke.

  • FreetoBe

    Very good post, John. I agree, and will be happy to "borrow" your reasoning when "debating" with others in my church and at work. I live in one of those "red" states and hope that the media eats its words when this state turns blue on election day.

    Sorry your break broke. Sometimes it seems like just the idea of a vacation can refresh, na?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Yes, you're exactly right. Just thinking I WAS going to stop for awhile seemed, in some way, to sort of refresh me.

  • John

    Quoting an article also found on Christianity.com:

    [Hi. John Shore here. Originally commenter "John" cut and pasted here the entirety of the text of a recent article by Robert P. George, a professor at Princeton (who, according to Wikipedia, "is a leading voice for social conservatism within the secular academy, and, in addition to scholarly work, is involved in pro-life and pro-family advocacy.") This morning Ray Pritchard, a fellow blogger of mine on Crosswalk.com, posted a link to that article, entitled, "Obama's Abortion Extremism" on his latest Crosswalk blog post (which he may have meant as a response to my latest post—the one for which this is the comment stream).

    Mr. George's article can be found at the url below. (For what it's worth, when Ray first posted his link to that article, it went, instead of where he meant it to, somewhere else entirely. I left a message on Ray's blog informing him of that mistake, which he promptly corrected.)

    Mr. George's article (which was too long to run here) can be found here:

    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/viewarticle.php

  • http://oppositerule.govindapeacefarm.com Paul H.

    How can Christians consider themselves pro-life and yet maintain so many big slaughterhouses? Americans, mostly Christians, unnecessarily kill and eat 10 billion animals each year. So brutal!

  • Christine

    John: So glad I only read this this morning as I didn't even get a chance to comment and believe me I would've!! Oh what the heck…..

    Giang, not murder should not be made legal but maybe we should look at the social reasons, the aspects that make murder a feasible option in people's eyes before we completely condemn them to a system that they may never escape. Why is it that some country's have an extreme murder per capita rate and some don't?? Why is it that some ethnicities are more repesented in prison than others?? Why is it that violence is more premanent in poorer areas?? THESE should be addressed and maybe we can stop this from happening as much. Also, you argue that abortion is a black and white case. Not even murder is considered black and white in the courts. There is 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree, manslaughter, intention to cause pyhsical harm etc. The entire situation is taken into account, not just the death of the person.

    The same should go for abortion. Hypothetically, if you are a grown woman who can support herself but has a lot of unprotected sex, gets pregnant and then has an abortion because she 'can't be bothered' having a child, then I have NO sympathy whatsoever. But the circumstances of children, rape victims, people with diseases (ie HIV), social issues (money, home etc) NEED to be taken into consideration before we condemn these women and charge them for making a decision that they really may not have wanted to make but felt they had little choice.

    To say that God does not agree with murder is again contextual. Yes he does not believe in taking innocent lives, but look at the old testament where he tells Joshua to kill every man women and child in the city?? Again, it is the context that needs to be taken into account as that would these days be seen as a war crime.

    Jesus I believe would not have told a woman that she was wrong and murdering her baby. I believe he would have sat with her, talked to her, cried with her, prayed with her and tried, with love and compassion, to help her come to a conclusion that she was happy with. That after all is what free will is about.

    Phew, what do you reckon John, will you delete this or keep it :)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Sorry, “Just Wondering,” but there are just too many holes in what you’ve said for me to even know where to start with it. I don’t even ALMOST think sex is a religion; that strikes me as an absurd proposition. And all that stuff about how teaching kids about sex equating encouraging them to HAVE sex. It’s just … too logically scattered. Sorry. But thanks for writing! It’s clear you’re passionate!

  • http://www.todayscoolnews.com Brian Shields

    I’m going to start with a very controversial and provocative statement. I never thought I would see a time in this country, with the challenges it faces right now, that John Shore would be on Facebook! That could turn the entire economy around right there. Woot Woot!

    Okay, enough levity here. John, another thought provoking post, with even more thought provoking comments to follow.

    Much of the abortion discussion focuses on the life of the fetus but what gets left out is the other life at stake here, the life, and yes the health, of the mother. To watch John McCain in the last debate smugly dismiss women’s health by saying that opens the door to just about anything from what he kept calling the “pro-abortion movement” was very telling to me about how absolutist positions can get in the way of simple HUMAN decency.

    Don’t forget, it wasn’t that many generations back that giving birth was a life threatening experience, that death in childbirth was common for women. Why is it the government’s role to force a woman to suffer severe disease and disability to give birth to a child? Sounds like the sort of thing that would happen in the worst police states, not even a post-Patriot Act U.S.A.

    Now, personally I believe privacy rights should extend beyond the uterus to include your brain chemistry, but that’s opening up quite another can of peas.

    Thanks for the facebook add, John.

    • Jeanine Petty

      I can't help but comment about the women's health issues AFTER abortion….it leaves many devastated…..physically, emotionally, spiritually.

  • Mark

    Actually, John, my mind is sadly blank right now. It really is a question.

    Are there other personal decisions where government invades and makes decisions for us that we want to make for ourselves? Just curious as to what anyone thinks.

  • Graffight

    The main problem i have with the whole anti abortion stance is that many people are so firmly anti abortion, but fail to think about the life of the child. People put so much of their strength into making abortion illegal and little to no effort into making the other options more attractive. Some people absolutely cannot take care of a child…some people absolutely SHOULD NOT take care of a child. I’m firmly against abortion and i don’t believe it should ever happen, but i can’t help but sympathize with a woman who chooses to have one because she knows that the life of the child may be lived in a system that is not set up for that child to succeed.

    But i believe that abortion is a symptom of the over all problem and not the problem itself. I agree with John: Education is the only way to really make a significant change…as the saying goes “he who’s mind is changed against their will is of the same opinion still” meaning the abortions won’t stop, just like criminals don’t stop after being jailed….for a lot of crimes, criminals are MORE likely to commit another crime because they are unable to successfully reenter society with that criminal record. The entire system is messed up, and putting the proverbial “banhammer” on abortion is not going to get the results people are looking for—it’s just going to cause more underground and self abortions, and a lot more unwanted kids to fill up the already overfilled adoption agencies…i don’t see many of the anti abortion activists also being the ones who adopt a whole bunch of kids…

    i don’t know, man, it seems like people don’t think their position through…what is America going to do with all those kids, because the unwanted pregnancies aren’t going to stop without education, it’ll just be illegal to have abortions….like i said abortion is the SYMPTOM, not the problem.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Nice, Graffight. Thanks for writing what you have here.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Speaking of the government invading and making massively important decisions for all of us that we'd definitely have preferred to make for ourselves, I've HEARD it's possiblefor the entire executive branch of OUR government—and this might just be one of those rumors you pick up sometimes on the Internet and whatnot—to embroil our whole country in a WAR that none of us ….

    You know what? Never mind.

  • Christine

    I would like to add, just to mix it up a bit, this question that was just sent to me in an email.

    There is a young lady with syphillis. She has 8 children, 2 were deaf, three were blind and one was menatlly handicapped because of her disease. She is pregnant with her 9th child. Would you suggest she get an abortion??

    If you answered yes, you just killed Beethoven.

    Makes you think.

  • http://http:fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    Just to put gasoline on the fire; Creighton University did a study of prosperous democracies which clearly showed that those societies with the LEAST religion had the LOWEST levels of teen pregnancy and teen abortions and sexually transmitted disease.

    http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html
    It is better (graphically) summarized at:
    http://tinyurl.com/jpfkk

    The graph cited is about half way down.

    So I stand by my earlier statement John…."too often it is the religious (and their religions) that are the greatest obstacle to addressing the root cause of this problem."

    [important emphasis on 'too often']

    You responded with

    "“religious” is too broad/inclusive a word to be used in your context. It’s a particular SORT of “religious” person, ‘eh?"

    I think I already know the answer, but maybe the commenters here can tell us just what sort of 'religious' person are we talking about? Maybe they can then help us figure out a way to mitigate the problems they cause.

    [Yep. This will see 200 comments easily]

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Christine: It doesn't make me think. I hate Beethoven.

    • Diana

      You're terrible! ;-D

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Kidding!!!

  • Mark

    Fair enough. War-duly noted.

    Is that all that government needs to butt out of — abortion and war? Everything else government does is cool? (BTW, I'm not being sarcastic. I'm just too tired to think.)

    • Diana

      "Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do" by Peter McWilliams. That will give you food for thought–probably more than you want!

  • Christine

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! You always make me laugh!!

  • http://http:fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    @Christine: They may have also aborted Hitler or John Wayne Gacy.

  • Christine

    Mark: marriages, churches, prayer in schools, (in NZ) dress codes (only in certain places), (again in NZ) the Treaty of Waitangi, oh so many to count

  • http://http:fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    You left yourself so wide open, but I won't go there. :-)

  • Christine

    HAHAHAHA that's what all my friends say too :) you should check out my blog which looks at the strange and mysterious ways God works in my life (yes shameless pitching here)

    http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.c

  • Christine

    HAHAHAHAHAHA yeah I've been told that before. I reckon that if we can explain it and understand it and it makes sense then we probably haven't got the whole idea. If God is bigger than me then his ways are WAY beyond whatever I can comprehend

  • Christine

    check out my blog one day if you like (shameless pitching)

    http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.c

  • FreetoBe

    @Christine– von Beethoven was one of 7 children, his mother had TB, not syphilis, and Ludwig was one of 3 children that survived (considering that most babies died before they were 2 years old at that time in Germany, he was lucky). This is documented history in Germany (where I studied for a number of years) and the email that you received can be verified at http://www.snopes.com/snopes.asp

    That email has been around for a number of years and is full of falsehood. I hope you check the rumors you receive with this website–they have a history of checking for accuracy.

  • http://http:fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    @Christine: No. Seriously. We non-believers don't have the comfort of thinking that Hitler "got what was coming to him". Seeing everything as God's "strange and mysterious ways" is ceding responsibility for making this world a better place. I find your position quite troubling.

  • Candace

    MFVTB wrote "Seeing everything as God’s “strange and mysterious ways” is ceding responsibility for making this world a better place."

    No it isn't. There's no mandatory leap from point A to point B there. In my reading of what Christine writes here, it sounds to me as if she feels acutely a responsibility to do what she can to make this world a better place. She simply acknowledges (as do many, if not most, believers) that she isn't God and may not in fact know everything or have the power it takes to change everything about this world to match her views and preferences.

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    @Candace: Thank you, couldn't have said it better

    @FreetoBe: Thank you for clearing that up, I hate getting historical facts wrong and should have looked it up before posting but had literally received 5 mins before and thought it was interesting. Despite the problems with it I thought it was a good way to maybe open the eyes of people who say that abortion is ok. However, if you have read my other posts, I am actually not of this opinion myself, was just adding to the conversation.

    @Mike: I totally agree that Hitler got what was coming to him, and as a believer, know that he will get even more of what's coming to him for eternity. I was not justifying what he did. It was evil and wrong and there is no way that anyone should EVER treat ANY human being (or being, animals included) with the contempt and hate that he showed. I was however saying that God can make good out of what we deemed irreprable. Out of the holocaust came greater global awareness for the struggle of certain cultures, an greater understanding and appreciation of human rights, it brought together people against a common enemy. Though it is sad that it took such evil to start these things, we can say that human's will always manage to pull through. I believe that God gives us that strength. Seriously man check out my blog and hear my story and you might understand where I am coming from on this.

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Oops sorry Mike: I meant I agree with other Christians. I guess that the biggest thing I have learnt in being a Christian, and I believe others will back this up, is forgiveness. I DO NOT IN ANYWAY condone what he did, but he isn't here, we can't prosecute him, we can't change the past. What we can do is forget our anger, not the injustices, and use it to make sure it never happens again. Any sin is forgiveable to God, not nessicarily to man, but history is history, the future is what we should look to.

  • Jim

    I'm surprised that there hasn't been any debate about whether the human life begins at conception or at birth. I'm talking about the soul, not just the biological life. There are several places where the Bible talks about God breathing the breath of life, that makes it sound like the actual soul is imputed to the biological life when the first breath is taken. Maybe it's not murder to abort an embryo that wouldn't be able to exist outside of it's mother's body, because it hasn't had the soul breathed into it yet. There's a passage in the Old Testament law that says if two men are fighting an injure a pregnant woman, causing her to lose the baby, the husband should be paid for the loss, but if the pregnant woman is killed, the offenders should receive capital punishment for their crime. That makes it sound like the life of the mother is of more value than the life of the fetus.

    Anyway, why is there never much discussion about whether or not abortion actually is murder? Why isn't there any discussion about the fact that maybe it's only murder if the fetus is old enough to live outside the womb? Everyone just says, "Yes, it absolutely is murder."

    • http://none Don Rappe

      OK, here two years later I second this motion.

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    I think the law in the Old Testament is because if you kill the mother there are no more babies!! Kill the baby, hey more can be made. Crass by today's standards, but understandable.

    I haven't entered into this one Jim as I am not sure what to think on this one as who can define when the soul is born in a person?? I this argument did start I would remain silent. However, as a mother who lost a baby prematurely, I like to think that my baby is with God even though they weren't born. Whether they are or not I don't know it just brings me comfort

  • http://www.1truebeliever.wordpress.com wickle

    John, this is a great post. For the record, I am pro-life and I am among those concerned about Sen. Obama's opposition to BAIPA.

    That being said, I appreciate the comments from several people above asking why professing pro-lifers don't protect all life. It's a great point, and that very issue caused me to rethink a great many of my political positions.

    In my view, that gives a good explanation of why someone might back Sen. Obama. Yes, Sen. McCain (today) claims to be pro-life, but he also sings about bombing Iran. Sen. Obama is pro-choice, but prefers diplomacy to warfare and thinks that we should provide health care. At least, we should consider the idea that either major candidate has problems with what I'd call pro-life positions, and either has some pluses.

    Oh, any by the way, John, you're obviously not really a Christian.

    (Just kidding … you get it, right?)

  • Giang Vo

    John,

    "Excellent name! But please, go pick this fight somewhere else.

    Hum, i didn't pick it up earlier, but I thought I was being respectful and trying to ask a few questions. If you think this is a fight then I guess there is a victor and a loser. But dare I say that the losers are the unborn children not me, not you John.

    By the way, illegalize is a word. Check it out here: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/illegal
    Yeah my grammar is pretty bad considering I type straight from my thoughts and not revising my writing. Thanks for the advice, I'll try to do better next time.

    Anyway, those who are for the truth will see it. Thanks John for allowing me to post on your blog.

  • Giang Vo

    John,

    "Excellent name! But please, go pick this fight somewhere else.

    Hum, i didn't pick it up earlier, but I thought I was being respectful and trying to ask a few questions. If you think this is a fight then I guess there is a victor and a loser. But dare I say that the losers are the unborn children not me, not you John.

    By the way, illegalize is a word. Check it out here: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/illegal
    Yeah my grammar is pretty bad considering I type straight from my thoughts and not revising my writing. Thanks for the advice, I'll try to do better next time.

    Anyway, those who are for the truth will see it. Thanks John for allowing me to post on your blog.

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Ah Giang why does there have to be a winner and a loser?? Not all fights or arguments or discussions or differences of opinion, or whatever you wanna call it, have to have a winner and a loser. Aren't we just here to swap ideas?? Or am I in my own little reality and shouldn't be here because I am meant to be turning people to my view point. *Sigh* and I was just beginning to enjoy a little debate about icky topics

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Ah Giang why does there have to be a winner and a loser?? Not all fights or arguments or discussions or differences of opinion, or whatever you wanna call it, have to have a winner and a loser. Aren't we just here to swap ideas?? Or am I in my own little reality and shouldn't be here because I am meant to be turning people to my view point. *Sigh* and I was just beginning to enjoy a little debate about icky topics

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Giang: Hey! It IS a word. I looked it up in the American Heritage Dictionary–the online version, anyway–and they said it ISN'T. But you win, for sure. Awesomeness.

    Anyway, yeah, I didn't mean to sound too harsh to you. I was just sayin … time to sort of shut down that line of exchange. It was getting a tad … repetitive. You understand.

    Wickle: Well said; well thought. As usual. You rock.

  • http://http:fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    Oh C'mon! Nobody looked at the links?!?! If the real solution is to not have teen/unwanted pregnancies and the least religious societies have the fewest teen pregnancies, then how does this group respond.

    http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html
    It is better (graphically) summarized at:
    http://tinyurl.com/jpfkk

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Ok Mike, read the link. Here is my thoughts.

    a) they are saying that America is a Christian country. Now, sorry to all the people who are going to yell at me for this, that is simply not true in the sense of what being a Christian means. I would say that today, America is one of the most irreligous countries, not the most religous. The value system etc that was once based on Christian thought has been warped beyond what a true Christian life means or even recognises.

    b) New Zealand (my country) says politically that it is not religious, we do not teach religion in schools etc. We are meant to be tolerant to all other religions (whether we are or not is entirely different matter). We are also near the bottom of the list. BUT this in itself is misleading as this is the stance of the politicians NOT the stance of the majority of the country who are, not dividing religions here, religious.

    So therefore, the argument that religion does help shape the moral structure of a country is correct on that count. What you need to look at is the religious polls in the countries (ie how many affliate themselves to a one god or another) NOT what the country claims itself to be

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Ok Mike, read the link. Here is my thoughts.

    a) they are saying that America is a Christian country. Now, sorry to all the people who are going to yell at me for this, that is simply not true in the sense of what being a Christian means. I would say that today, America is one of the most irreligous countries, not the most religous. The value system etc that was once based on Christian thought has been warped beyond what a true Christian life means or even recognises.

    b) New Zealand (my country) says politically that it is not religious, we do not teach religion in schools etc. We are meant to be tolerant to all other religions (whether we are or not is entirely different matter). We are also near the bottom of the list. BUT this in itself is misleading as this is the stance of the politicians NOT the stance of the majority of the country who are, not dividing religions here, religious.

    So therefore, the argument that religion does help shape the moral structure of a country is correct on that count. What you need to look at is the religious polls in the countries (ie how many affliate themselves to a one god or another) NOT what the country claims itself to be

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Ok a couple of links to back up point a)

    http://mercyman53.wordpress.com/2007/12/27/is-ame

    http://www.cuttingedge.org/articles/p210.htm

    http://www.illuminati-news.com/christian-nation.h

    I mean if America was really really a Christian (in the true meaning of the word) why do so many people not want prayer in schools, bible study in schools etc or will campaign for their right to do things that are inherrently non-christian in principal. Just throwing out there people from an non-American viewpoint. Please don't ban me John :(

  • Candace

    Well, not like I didn't pretty much know it already, but the fact you reference that study tells me a lot about the "quality" of your thinking, Mike. That guy won't (can't) even cough up his data for independent verification.

  • Candace

    Well, not like I didn't pretty much know it already, but the fact you reference that study tells me a lot about the "quality" of your thinking, Mike. That guy won't (can't) even cough up his data for independent verification.

  • Candace

    Not only that — he makes the same mistake you often do. Correlation is not proof of causation.

  • Candace

    Not only that — he makes the same mistake you often do. Correlation is not proof of causation.

  • http://oppositerule.govindapeacefarm.com Paul H.

    How can Christians be considered "pro-life" when they maintain so many big slaughterhouses? Is it not brutal, unnecessarily killing more than 10 billion animals each year just in the USA alone? The Bible clearly indicates that eating animals is not what God wants us to do, and that we will be held accountable for the killing. In Heaven even the lions will live in peace with the lambs. Is it not so? So why not please God now by stopping so much unnecessary violence? Don't kill the fetus, and don't kill the harmless animals. What is the difficulty?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Christine: I haven't been blocking you, but WordPress has held a few of your recent comments in Moderation Needed Land because they've contained more links than it's … comfortable with.

    I'm going to go unlock those comments, so they'll show up here. After I have, on your next comment put the url of your blog, and then I'd ask that you and Mike (and Candace, and whomever else would like to go) maybe take your line of engagement over to your blog. Why not? You're clearly speaheading and providing the primary content of the exchange; seems to me it should be on you blog, no? So. Do it. Perfect. Have fun.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Christine: I haven't been blocking you, but WordPress has held a few of your recent comments in Moderation Needed Land because they've contained more links than it's … comfortable with.

    I'm going to go unlock those comments, so they'll show up here. After I have, on your next comment put the url of your blog, and then I'd ask that you and Mike (and Candace, and whomever else would like to go) maybe take your line of engagement over to your blog. Why not? You're clearly speaheading and providing the primary content of the exchange; seems to me it should be on you blog, no? So. Do it. Perfect. Have fun.

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    One of the ones locked has my url on it already lol. And sorry John, didn't mean to hog your post, just a subject I happen to be passionate about. Won't do it again promise :)

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    @ Paul H: Please read Acts 10:13. I think that clearly shows that God is not against us eating animals

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    @ Paul H: Please read Acts 10:13. I think that clearly shows that God is not against us eating animals

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    OK, again: Not really on topic. Chrsitine: Off to your blog! Paul H: Stop talking to us about whether or not we should be eating animals. Great topic for a conversation—but not the conversation we're having here.

    You kids. Don't MAKE me come back there….

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    OK, again: Not really on topic. Chrsitine: Off to your blog! Paul H: Stop talking to us about whether or not we should be eating animals. Great topic for a conversation—but not the conversation we're having here.

    You kids. Don't MAKE me come back there….

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com skerrib

    Ah, Paul? God said it was OK to eat meat after the flood. Not that we HAVE to eat meat; just that it's OK (Gen 9).

    As to slaughterhouses though…I can totally agree with you that if we're going to eat them, let's try to ensure we're doing so responsibly (humane killing and all). OK I'm done with that.

    And as to the post itself…good points. This is why the issue is not as clear-cut for me as it once was. My personal hangup with abortion itself is that my mom was the result of an unplanned pregnancy…her birth mother gave her up for adoption. Would she have done the same thing post Roe v Wade? I can only hope so.

    But admittedly, that's a personal situation. And like John said, I think we can all agree that less-to-no abortion is better. The question is whether to ignore it by making it illegal, or to take a non-legislative route and minister to pregnant ladies in love.

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com skerrib

    Ah, Paul? God said it was OK to eat meat after the flood. Not that we HAVE to eat meat; just that it's OK (Gen 9).

    As to slaughterhouses though…I can totally agree with you that if we're going to eat them, let's try to ensure we're doing so responsibly (humane killing and all). OK I'm done with that.

    And as to the post itself…good points. This is why the issue is not as clear-cut for me as it once was. My personal hangup with abortion itself is that my mom was the result of an unplanned pregnancy…her birth mother gave her up for adoption. Would she have done the same thing post Roe v Wade? I can only hope so.

    But admittedly, that's a personal situation. And like John said, I think we can all agree that less-to-no abortion is better. The question is whether to ignore it by making it illegal, or to take a non-legislative route and minister to pregnant ladies in love.

  • http://http:fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    Candace said:

    That guy won’t (can’t) even cough up his data for independent verification.

    and

    Not only that — he makes the same mistake you often do. Correlation is not proof of causation.

    You should look at it again. The summary links right back to the original Creighton University study (and I also provided the link). We should note that Creighton is a Christian university too. As to your latter quote; the summary states clearly:

    The question is one of causation, and there is no clear answer. Whether religion leads directly to dysfunctionality, or religions merely flourish in dysfunctional societies, neither conclusion from this study flatters religion.

    It all feeds back to my core contention that religion appears to have no role in providing a solution of teen pregnancy or teen abortions…and it seems to hinder addressing the real problem (and John concurs to a degree). Creighton is a Christian university and it could safely be argued that, if the study had any bias, it would be in favor of God belief.

    So back to the top…

    1)John beautifully states what EVERYONE believes…that abortion is a bad thing.

    2) The root cause of the problem is unwanted pregnancies

    3) Abortions are the symptom.

    4) Education (beginning early) and contraception minimize unwanted pregnancies

    5) Religion, demonstrably, brings nothing to the table to address the problem.

    So let us abandon the "it makes God mad" arguments and instead focus on how to effectively minimize unwanted (primarily teen) pregnancies…and secular societies seem to do this much better. In the end, there will be fewer abortions regardless of which side of the supernatural fence you are on. That would make everyone happy, wouldn't it?

    We can then discuss whether it is better to force a child into foster care, addiction, disability, abuse, or poverty…or to kill a semi-formed organism with no consiousness, no ability to feel pain, no hopes, no aspirations, and no loved ones to mourn. It is uncomfortable to speak of these things in such harsh terms, but that is what grown-ups have to do sometimes.

    • Diana

      "5) Religion, demonstrably, brings nothing to the table to address the problem."

      Disagree. It may not always bring the right things to the table, but it does bring things to the table.

      My religion (Christianity) has taught me that all life is to be valued–not just fetuses, but the women who bear them, the men who sire them, and the children (and eventually, adults) whom they become.

      It has taught me that mere physical well-being, while important, is not the only factor in valuing life–lives are to be valued and cared for emotionally, mentally and spiritually, as well as physically.

      It has taught me that I, personally, am responsible for the well-being of those around me. Yes I am my brother's (and sister's keeper), yes I am to love my neighbor as myself, yes I am to treat the least of these as if they are God incarnate ["That which you have done to the least of these, you have done also unto me."--Something Jesus said many, many times--and since Jesus is God Incarnate (according to Christian belief) that means I am to treat others as if they are God Incarnate, as if I am "entertaining Angels unaware"]

      So I disagree with you on your fifth point. But I do agree with you on your other points.

  • http://http:fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    ooops! You kicking us off this thread only appeared after I posted and refreshed. Still I tried to bring it back to the central theme of your excellent essay.

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com skerrib

    Candace—hahahaha! Guess I should've said "minister, in love, to pregnant ladies." Ah, grammar…

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com skerrib

    Candace—hahahaha! Guess I should've said "minister, in love, to pregnant ladies." Ah, grammar…

  • Dan Harrell

    John, I have never had the abortion issue framed so well for me. Last Saturday I was speaking with a friend about the issue and he said that when he was young and unmarried, a girl he was seeing became pregnant and had an abortion. It was only later he discovered he was the father. He was devastated.

    In my sixty plus years I have lived through the time before Roe v Wade and all the times after that decision. I have known women who aborted and who were troubled by the decision forever after. I always wonder how America would be now if we had those 45 million babies living today.

    I don’t want to go back to risking the health of the mother, or making abortion the province of the wealthy, who can afford to travel to Mexico or Europe, but instead I want to make sure all babies are welcomed and loved. I’ll let God judge and punish in his wisdom. He is so much better at it than I am. Christine’s last paragraph about what Jesus would do seems to be what some of us are missing.

  • Christine

    @Mike: Had anyone told the mother of Hitler to abort him?? If they had then pity!!! But if not, Beethoven is a real life story that’s why I used it.

    Actually, if Hitler hadn’t have happened a lot of what we know now about Human Rights and stuff would never have been thought about so………even though bad it has had positive repercussions (I am opening myself up here aren’t I?)

  • Candace

    It tickled me, skerrib. You know how you get punchy sometimes and "see" a perfectly normal sentence in a funny way? I've worked 30 hours out of the last 48, so my brain was juuuuust mushy enough to get a good chuckle :-)

    John, this is a really good post. I'd be commenting more substantially if it weren't for the avalanche of feelings I get buried under every time I try.

    All I can say is that I personally don't feel wise enough to say whether abortion should be legal or illegal. Honestly. I don't claim to know how God feels about the issue either. But I will say that I have been through it personally. And it felt, to me, like killing someone. But it also felt like I had no choice. And I wish there had been a law against it because, while my parents had no qualms at all about making me kill my child at the age of 16, they would not have broken the law had one been in place. Upstanding, law-abiding, upper-middle-class bastions of the community that they were. No, no can't break any laws, can we?

  • http:fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Burns

    @Christine: I will say, though, you sure take “strange and mysterious ways” to a whole new level.

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Sorry Daddy :(

  • Candace

    AND to pregant ladies who aren’t in love, too. ;-)

  • Candace

    AND to pregant ladies who aren’t in love, too. ;-)

  • Candace
  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Hey all feel free to use my message board, links are above (way above as they were sent ages ago but only just unlocked) or John may get mad and I don’t want him to come back here!!!

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Hey all feel free to use my message board, links are above (way above as they were sent ages ago but only just unlocked) or John may get mad and I don’t want him to come back here!!!

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    And Mike, waiting on my message board on the last post I did will be a message for you on your last post :)

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    And Mike, waiting on my message board on the last post I did will be a message for you on your last post :)

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com skerrib

    Candace, back in my teaching days I knew a few highschoolers in the same situation–feeling like there was no other option. It's just really, really hard…thanks for sharing your experience.

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com skerrib

    Candace, back in my teaching days I knew a few highschoolers in the same situation–feeling like there was no other option. It's just really, really hard…thanks for sharing your experience.

  • FreetoBe

    But Candace, I was on the other side of the law–illegal to abort, unless you went to Mexico. So I had no choice, and my parents made all of my decisions. I would not want my 15-16 year old daughter to go through what I did: shame, disinterest, fear, no adult help, put away from the family, trying to hide. I gave my child up. I will always have those scars, just as you will always have your scars. Did you receive any kind of information for pregnancy prevention? We didn't. Just a lot of "don't"s. That's why I think Obama will be a better leader, because he wants to educate, not just legislate.

    Anyway, Candace, I'm so sorry for that for you. May God continue to bless you.

  • FreetoBe

    But Candace, I was on the other side of the law–illegal to abort, unless you went to Mexico. So I had no choice, and my parents made all of my decisions. I would not want my 15-16 year old daughter to go through what I did: shame, disinterest, fear, no adult help, put away from the family, trying to hide. I gave my child up. I will always have those scars, just as you will always have your scars. Did you receive any kind of information for pregnancy prevention? We didn't. Just a lot of "don't"s. That's why I think Obama will be a better leader, because he wants to educate, not just legislate.

    Anyway, Candace, I'm so sorry for that for you. May God continue to bless you.

  • http://rightplaceandtime.blogspot.com/ Colleen

    Heartfelt words John for a complex issue. Scanned most of the entries and one thing we can all agree on is that abortion is painful and a symptom of a bigger social illness. When woman make the decision to abort it is usually because they have no vision of motherhood, feel pretty much abandoned and ironically without choice. Abandoned children having abandoned children. On some level they may feel they are saving the child from a life of pain, because that may be all they ever knew in their childhood. Minors may be doing it to protect their own dysfunctional parents, thinking it would kill them to learn how their daughter failed so utterly and how the love and acceptance she longs for will be pretty much impossible to obtain if they ever found out. As I said, it's a symptom of a bigger problem. However, re a minor who needs help with a pregnancy; almost every state in the US has free maternity services and Medicare for children born to unwed single mothers or crisis pregnancies (broad term that can apply to just about any uninsured or underinsured individual).

    More free services:

    1. http://www.birthright.org/ (is an international organization that can provide resources for expectent parents and help people file for public assistance.

    2. Look in your phonebook for Pregnancy Resources for community support and services.

    3. Free or Reduced Healthcare Services for Children:

    There are many states in the US offering free or reduced cost healthcare services for children. It generally includes free immunization and other "healthy" care services. This national website also has a toll free number that links to local services 1 877 Kids Now or 1 877 543 7669.

    Link: http://www.insurekidsnow.gov/states.asp

    Consider supporting one of your local centers. You can donate diapers, cash or volunteer to help those who are facing or recovering from a crisis pregnancy. It doesn't end after the abortion. Post abortion counseling is also an essential part of the prevention and recovery process.

  • http://rightplaceandtime.blogspot.com/ Colleen

    Heartfelt words John for a complex issue. Scanned most of the entries and one thing we can all agree on is that abortion is painful and a symptom of a bigger social illness. When woman make the decision to abort it is usually because they have no vision of motherhood, feel pretty much abandoned and ironically without choice. Abandoned children having abandoned children. On some level they may feel they are saving the child from a life of pain, because that may be all they ever knew in their childhood. Minors may be doing it to protect their own dysfunctional parents, thinking it would kill them to learn how their daughter failed so utterly and how the love and acceptance she longs for will be pretty much impossible to obtain if they ever found out. As I said, it's a symptom of a bigger problem. However, re a minor who needs help with a pregnancy; almost every state in the US has free maternity services and Medicare for children born to unwed single mothers or crisis pregnancies (broad term that can apply to just about any uninsured or underinsured individual).

    More free services:

    1. http://www.birthright.org/ (is an international organization that can provide resources for expectent parents and help people file for public assistance.

    2. Look in your phonebook for Pregnancy Resources for community support and services.

    3. Free or Reduced Healthcare Services for Children:

    There are many states in the US offering free or reduced cost healthcare services for children. It generally includes free immunization and other "healthy" care services. This national website also has a toll free number that links to local services 1 877 Kids Now or 1 877 543 7669.

    Link: http://www.insurekidsnow.gov/states.asp

    Consider supporting one of your local centers. You can donate diapers, cash or volunteer to help those who are facing or recovering from a crisis pregnancy. It doesn't end after the abortion. Post abortion counseling is also an essential part of the prevention and recovery process.

  • http://oppositerule.govindapeacefarm.com Paul H.

    John,

    I know better than to bother folks with off-topic discussions, but in fact there is an important relation between these subjects. The issue lies in the question of how to know if there is a soul present in the body, which would reveal when life begins in the body.

    Atheists say there is no soul, while Christians usually say that humans have a soul but animals have none. Forget the atheists for now. We have to consider the symptoms of the soul. Humans feel pleasure and pain, and animals feel pleasure and pain. Why should Christians feel that God does not mind us causing pain to any living creature? Animals and human beings share all the characteristics of life. The symptom of the soul's presence is that there is life in the body. The proof that there is a soul in the fertilized egg is that it lives and can grow. When the soul has gone, a body is dead. The soul itself is the life in the body. If there is no soul in the body of an animal, then by what power does it move and grow? How does it live and experience the world?

    The essential difference between animals and humans is that humans can achieve the perfection of life, understanding God. But can a fetus understand God? Maybe someday, but as a fetus it cannot. Why not kill it then? Yet we agree it is wrong. Christians say God has given us dominion; but dominion does not mean the right to unnecessary killing. The Bible declares that God has said, “Thou shall not kill,” though it has become popular to say the commandment is, “Thou shall not commit murder.” Therefore if a king wants to kill a man for food, it is not murder. If the king wants it, it is lawful killing, as the king makes the laws of the kingdom. Do you see how the standard Christian logic is flawed?

    Someone mentioned God permitting eating meat in Genesis after the Flood. Of course, when the land was soaked, farming was difficult; but moreover God was disappointed, finding little good in mankind. At least that's the Bible's story. So he said eat what you want, but you will be held accountable. Is that a good Christian standard of conduct? Sometimes when I was a kid, my mother would get angry with me and say, “Do what you want,” although it clearly didn't please her. If you defy the good advice of authority and “Do what you want,” you reap the consequences. That is exactly the situation presented after the Flood. You are free to kill animals, obviously, but it is sinful and you will have to suffer the consequences in due course of time.

    Someone has brought up the tempting of Peter in Acts 10:13. This is not permission for free killing. For me to get into that is beyond the scope of this comment, but there is a good explanation given at http://all-creatures.org/discuss/svtacts10.1-11.1… A Christian says he has got a soul, but an atheist claims to have no soul. Why not kill the atheist for food then? An atheist, rejecting God, is lower than an innocent animal who cannot understand God. If God is actually encouraging Peter to kill and eat any kind of meat, then the Christians should kill all the atheists and eat them. Why not? Probably some would like to do that, but we would do much better to minimize the violence.

  • http://oppositerule.govindapeacefarm.com Paul H.

    John,

    I know better than to bother folks with off-topic discussions, but in fact there is an important relation between these subjects. The issue lies in the question of how to know if there is a soul present in the body, which would reveal when life begins in the body.

    Atheists say there is no soul, while Christians usually say that humans have a soul but animals have none. Forget the atheists for now. We have to consider the symptoms of the soul. Humans feel pleasure and pain, and animals feel pleasure and pain. Why should Christians feel that God does not mind us causing pain to any living creature? Animals and human beings share all the characteristics of life. The symptom of the soul's presence is that there is life in the body. The proof that there is a soul in the fertilized egg is that it lives and can grow. When the soul has gone, a body is dead. The soul itself is the life in the body. If there is no soul in the body of an animal, then by what power does it move and grow? How does it live and experience the world?

    The essential difference between animals and humans is that humans can achieve the perfection of life, understanding God. But can a fetus understand God? Maybe someday, but as a fetus it cannot. Why not kill it then? Yet we agree it is wrong. Christians say God has given us dominion; but dominion does not mean the right to unnecessary killing. The Bible declares that God has said, “Thou shall not kill,” though it has become popular to say the commandment is, “Thou shall not commit murder.” Therefore if a king wants to kill a man for food, it is not murder. If the king wants it, it is lawful killing, as the king makes the laws of the kingdom. Do you see how the standard Christian logic is flawed?

    Someone mentioned God permitting eating meat in Genesis after the Flood. Of course, when the land was soaked, farming was difficult; but moreover God was disappointed, finding little good in mankind. At least that's the Bible's story. So he said eat what you want, but you will be held accountable. Is that a good Christian standard of conduct? Sometimes when I was a kid, my mother would get angry with me and say, “Do what you want,” although it clearly didn't please her. If you defy the good advice of authority and “Do what you want,” you reap the consequences. That is exactly the situation presented after the Flood. You are free to kill animals, obviously, but it is sinful and you will have to suffer the consequences in due course of time.

    Someone has brought up the tempting of Peter in Acts 10:13. This is not permission for free killing. For me to get into that is beyond the scope of this comment, but there is a good explanation given at http://all-creatures.org/discuss/svtacts10.1-11.1… A Christian says he has got a soul, but an atheist claims to have no soul. Why not kill the atheist for food then? An atheist, rejecting God, is lower than an innocent animal who cannot understand God. If God is actually encouraging Peter to kill and eat any kind of meat, then the Christians should kill all the atheists and eat them. Why not? Probably some would like to do that, but we would do much better to minimize the violence.

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com fvthinker

    Test. Please delete this post

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com fvthinker

    Test. Please delete this post

  • Candace

    Thanks for your comments, skerrib and FreetoBe. I appreciate your thoughts. This topic has been heavy on my heart and mind, for sure.

    It's so dense and weighty. Truly a life and death discussion. And my own thinking about it is more nuanced than ever since coming to know the Lord.

    In this we have a lot to address. The two scenarios I am going to (perhaps artificially) parse out are: What do I feel should happen prior to an existing pregancy (education, guidance, contraception, etc.), and what we face once there IS a pregnancy. I'm going to talk about the latter first.

    Of all the positions reflected in the comments section, Mark Lattimore's most closely parallels my own. A concept he doesn't directly refer to, but which is meaningful for me, is this: Given an existing pregnancy, what is the most likely outcome if there is no interference? The most likely outcome, unquestionably, in the case of a confirmed pregnancy is that there will be, after the given span of time, a child born.

    Being a person of science, I have to be honest with myself. Very soon after implantation, we are – in fact – no longer talking about a pluripotent mass of indeterminate cells. Very quickly – before the mother even misses a period – there is a heart pumping blood, arm and leg buds, the precursors to eyes and ears, a brain stem. Any sane and rational person with functioning eyeballs, looking at an ultrasound at 10 to 12 weeks, will see a human being.

    Unless someone acts to deliberately halt this developmental process, in half a year (give or take) a new human being will enter the world. Life. If a person deliberately acts against it, entering the womb with knife and vaccuum, then that life ends. I do not see how we can get around that. Only by deceiving ourselves. However, a lie does not change the truth.

    That is where I will leave it because, as I said, I do not feel wise enough at this point to say any more than that. But I am onboard with Mark in that the whole conversation changes depending on whether you frame the debate around "privacy" or "life". I frame it around life.

    For a long time, all of my life up until the last year or so, I militantly based my views of abortion on privacy and rights, but deep inside, all along, I had this dead place in me that told me otherwise. From talking with and reading about other women who have been through it, I strongly suspect that this dead place inside is universal among those touched by abortion. Some will argue vehemently against it and be just as strident as I was before my conversion. Others will acknowledge the truth of it because they've healed enough that they don't need to defend against it anymore.

    So, from the prevention side of things. I am horrified to the very core at what young people are being told about themselves (ALL people, but it's especially affecting the young), and about sex, and about love, pretty much every hour of every day. They are awash in dysfunctional, soul-killing, unhealthy and untrue images and ideas spawned by (and eagerly gobbled up by) a culture that is grotesquely over-sexualized, to the point of leering, slobbering caricature. How anyone grows up sexually/emotionally healthy is utterly beyond me. And turning sexual/moral education over to auspices of the state is NOT THE ANSWER.

    I am starting to get wound up, so I'm taking a bit of a break here. But I'd like to ask now — does nobody see any connection between the devaluing of unborn life in our society and the devaluing of life in general at all ages and in all respects? It's all a system, folks, and where we go wrong in any regard, we go wrong in every regard.

    Ok. Sorry so long, John and blog readers. I may or may not continue my thoughts here. But I definitely will not if I get the word from John that he'd prefer I didn't.

    Again, thanks ladies for your thoughts. And free, my heart goes out to you as well. God bless you. I hear what you are saying, I really do. Don't take anything I have said as devaluation of your experience, please?

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    Candace, you seem to conflate sexuality and morality. Sexuality is natural and the most fundamental urge for the human animal and any other sexual species. We (as a species) will have sex, no matter what…no ifs ands or buts. Just like you can't say that the urge to eat when hungry is immoral, you cannot say the desire to seek sex is immoral.

    That said irresponsible sex is immoral. Be it through the violence of rape, the transfer of disease, unwanted pregnancies, emotional trauma, etc.; these are societal ills that perpetuate through ignorance and irresponsibility. It is only through comprehensive and early education can we address that ignorance. (Irresponsibility is another matter)

    'Just saying NO' in this context is demonstrably ineffective.

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    Candace, you seem to conflate sexuality and morality. Sexuality is natural and the most fundamental urge for the human animal and any other sexual species. We (as a species) will have sex, no matter what…no ifs ands or buts. Just like you can't say that the urge to eat when hungry is immoral, you cannot say the desire to seek sex is immoral.

    That said irresponsible sex is immoral. Be it through the violence of rape, the transfer of disease, unwanted pregnancies, emotional trauma, etc.; these are societal ills that perpetuate through ignorance and irresponsibility. It is only through comprehensive and early education can we address that ignorance. (Irresponsibility is another matter)

    'Just saying NO' in this context is demonstrably ineffective.

  • Candace

    I profoundly, viscerally, emphatically and likely eternally disagree with you, Mike. No surprise there, though, eh?

  • Candace

    I profoundly, viscerally, emphatically and likely eternally disagree with you, Mike. No surprise there, though, eh?

  • Candace

    Ooops, forgot to answer Free's questions. Thinking back, I think I did know how to prevent a pregnancy, but it didn't seem "real" to me. I was a pretty lost kid. Started drinking and drugging in my very early teens. So there was a disconnect between information and action, in more than just that context.

    Yes, the list of "don'ts" was very long, varied depending upon mood, and was presented independent of any reasons "why not?" beyond the traditional "because we said so" backed up by "if you do, we'll make you wish you were never born."

    Course, I had started wishing I was never born at about 5, so that held little threat.

    Anyway, in theory I hear you on the education vs legislation deal. I just don't see that educational role being appropriately filled by Big Brother. The government manages to screw up pretty much everything they touch. And if I was a parent, I would already be homeschooling as it is.

  • Lori

    Here was Obama’s reply to one question on a questionnaire about abortion:

    Does Sen. Obama support continuing federal funding for crisis pregnancy centers? Why or why not?

    No.

    So besides his vow to remove restrictions on abortions and his voting record–always for abortion and against life-saving-measures for survivors of abortions–he’s going to cut off all funding for the organizations that help women in crisis pregnancies keep their babies. How can you possibly believe he’s not for abortion?

  • Autumn

    Just one issue I have with Obama is that he voted against extending medical care to babies that survive an abortion attempt. He's against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act brought before the U.S. Senate – not one Senator voted against it, not even those that are Pro-Choice! All I have to say is what a cold-hearted bastard. In regards to abortion – he claims is not necessarily for abortion, but if we didn’t have abortion rights, women would get unsafe abortions. As if to say that abortions are safe in general? Ummm, NO… but I understand, I get your point.

    I don't agree with him supporting partial-birth abortion. His wife has sent out letters supporting partial-birth abortion claiming it is a "natural medical procedure." Partial birth abortions are disgusting and horrible. My eyes are honestly welling up with tears because I just read about the procedure again. If you don’t understand how this procedure is done, read the article linked below. Please note the part giving a doctor’s professional opinion on how often and why this procedure is done (because it’s not for life-saving medical reasons as Michelle claims it is):

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/ISSUES/PARTBIRT.TXT

    http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/pba/pbafact10.html

    Read Obama’s view on the Born Alive Infant Protection Act: http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/2008/08/baipao

  • Autumn

    Just one issue I have with Obama is that he voted against extending medical care to babies that survive an abortion attempt. He's against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act brought before the U.S. Senate – not one Senator voted against it, not even those that are Pro-Choice! All I have to say is what a cold-hearted bastard. In regards to abortion – he claims is not necessarily for abortion, but if we didn’t have abortion rights, women would get unsafe abortions. As if to say that abortions are safe in general? Ummm, NO… but I understand, I get your point.

    I don't agree with him supporting partial-birth abortion. His wife has sent out letters supporting partial-birth abortion claiming it is a "natural medical procedure." Partial birth abortions are disgusting and horrible. My eyes are honestly welling up with tears because I just read about the procedure again. If you don’t understand how this procedure is done, read the article linked below. Please note the part giving a doctor’s professional opinion on how often and why this procedure is done (because it’s not for life-saving medical reasons as Michelle claims it is):

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/ISSUES/PARTBIRT.TXT

    http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/pba/pbafact10.html

    Read Obama’s view on the Born Alive Infant Protection Act: http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/2008/08/baipao

  • http://http:fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    @Candace: It is no surprise that you disagree with me. The 'likelihood' of 'eternally' disagreeing with me is outside the scope of this thread though. :-)

    In another of your responses you don't think "Big Brother" [the state] should be the one that does the education. Ignore the fact that the state has primary responsibility for guaranteeing the education of our youth; to whom would you like to cede responsibility for education in the matter of sex education? The church?

    Religious education is demonstrably abysmal on this topic. The fact is that the most secular societies have starkly lower rates of teen pregnancy, teen abortions, sexually transmitted disease, and more. Primitive avoidance of natural facts of biology…dogmatic dismissal (in some cases) of contraception…conflation of basic sexuality with morality…over-reliance on abstinence…these are hallmarks of a worldview that are self defeating in wanting to address these issues where secular nations do so well.

  • http://http:fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    @Candace: It is no surprise that you disagree with me. The 'likelihood' of 'eternally' disagreeing with me is outside the scope of this thread though. :-)

    In another of your responses you don't think "Big Brother" [the state] should be the one that does the education. Ignore the fact that the state has primary responsibility for guaranteeing the education of our youth; to whom would you like to cede responsibility for education in the matter of sex education? The church?

    Religious education is demonstrably abysmal on this topic. The fact is that the most secular societies have starkly lower rates of teen pregnancy, teen abortions, sexually transmitted disease, and more. Primitive avoidance of natural facts of biology…dogmatic dismissal (in some cases) of contraception…conflation of basic sexuality with morality…over-reliance on abstinence…these are hallmarks of a worldview that are self defeating in wanting to address these issues where secular nations do so well.

  • http://suddenlyatheist.wordpress.com/ morsec0de

    "Just one issue I have with Obama is that he voted against extending medical care to babies that survive an abortion attempt. "

    Autumn,

    Have you avoided reading anything but right-wing sources? It has been stated, over and over just in this blog, that Obama opposed it because there are already laws on the books to protect those babies.

    It's like judging Obama for voting against a bill to outlaw killing teenagers…when killing teenagers is already illegal!

  • ann

    Mr. John Shore.

    I'm not an American, so have the privilege of watching this all debate from the outside. but I am a human being and a christian and I have to say: you are a rude, deceitful manipulative person. religion aside, you present interesting and legitimate arguments and in the same breath display such prejudice, ignorance, condescension and disrespect. it makes me very sad.

    the way you mix the church-state separation (which is a very good point, good for you) with the actual opinion of the candidate, who as was shown here by many posters will not be separating his tendencies from what your children should be taught about sex or, should you (with your tax money) pay for these abortions and other examples shown here – is just infuriating.

    you have managed to disregard any logical, moral or sincere attempt to have any sort of discussion. you have very craftily offended anyone you could slap a stereotype to and call it a day.

    after reading almost all of the comments on this page i really think you should just stop. and take some time.

  • ann

    Mr. John Shore.

    I'm not an American, so have the privilege of watching this all debate from the outside. but I am a human being and a christian and I have to say: you are a rude, deceitful manipulative person. religion aside, you present interesting and legitimate arguments and in the same breath display such prejudice, ignorance, condescension and disrespect. it makes me very sad.

    the way you mix the church-state separation (which is a very good point, good for you) with the actual opinion of the candidate, who as was shown here by many posters will not be separating his tendencies from what your children should be taught about sex or, should you (with your tax money) pay for these abortions and other examples shown here – is just infuriating.

    you have managed to disregard any logical, moral or sincere attempt to have any sort of discussion. you have very craftily offended anyone you could slap a stereotype to and call it a day.

    after reading almost all of the comments on this page i really think you should just stop. and take some time.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Mom? Is that you?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Mom? Is that you?

  • Drew

    I want to thank you for putting my exact views into words. I find it ironic (or is it just sad?) that the party so often calling for smaller government has no problems being the most intrusive when it comes to personal decisions.

  • FreetoBe

    @ Candace: I happen to agree with a lot of what you say. And I would add that the symptoms you so eloquently state are obvious to anyone who would care to look at our society. And I would say that education is the initial and lasting key to making sure our children care about themselves, develop respect for themselves, learn to discern truth, etc, etc. Education should start at home; but, dysfunctional children raising dysfunctional children are not going to even begin to know where to begin that education. I believe that every parent is RESPONSIBLE to train up a child in the way it should go; but what if the parent doesn't know, doesn't know where to find out, is not able to run her own life, let alone guide and teach a brand new person? What if the parent doesn't care? Should we not educate the child at all? Or teach it some things but not others? At least we, as a society, should give that child information so that she has the opportunity to learn responsibility, especially if her parent is not and doesn't care to learn. Educational opportunity, I think, is important. Since the "gubmint" already provides/guarantees that opportunity, it is not a stretch to think that education should include pregnancy prevention.

    I know that you are answering from your heart. I understand and appreciate your experience and pray God continues to bless you, and continues to comfort your heart–you seem to have had a very unhappy beginning :( Thank God the end with be so awesome!

  • FreetoBe

    @ Candace: I happen to agree with a lot of what you say. And I would add that the symptoms you so eloquently state are obvious to anyone who would care to look at our society. And I would say that education is the initial and lasting key to making sure our children care about themselves, develop respect for themselves, learn to discern truth, etc, etc. Education should start at home; but, dysfunctional children raising dysfunctional children are not going to even begin to know where to begin that education. I believe that every parent is RESPONSIBLE to train up a child in the way it should go; but what if the parent doesn't know, doesn't know where to find out, is not able to run her own life, let alone guide and teach a brand new person? What if the parent doesn't care? Should we not educate the child at all? Or teach it some things but not others? At least we, as a society, should give that child information so that she has the opportunity to learn responsibility, especially if her parent is not and doesn't care to learn. Educational opportunity, I think, is important. Since the "gubmint" already provides/guarantees that opportunity, it is not a stretch to think that education should include pregnancy prevention.

    I know that you are answering from your heart. I understand and appreciate your experience and pray God continues to bless you, and continues to comfort your heart–you seem to have had a very unhappy beginning :( Thank God the end with be so awesome!

  • FreetoBe

    OK last sentence "the end will be so awesome!

    (((stupid keyboard))))

  • FreetoBe

    OK last sentence "the end will be so awesome!

    (((stupid keyboard))))

  • http://megaloi.blogspot.com Redlefty

    I felt like I was reading myself with this article — thank you for stating the position so clearly. I can’t read all the comments right now but you’ve got quite the dialogue going, and I look forward to reading more.

    Thanks again.

  • http://megaloi.blogspot.com Redlefty

    I felt like I was reading myself with this article — thank you for stating the position so clearly. I can’t read all the comments right now but you’ve got quite the dialogue going, and I look forward to reading more.

    Thanks again.

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com christine.batchelar@

    Wow John, ann REALLY didn't like you!!! And would just like to say I have been SOOOOOOOOO very good at not hogging it this time – I think kudos are to be expected and rained down on my head.

    That said, I agree with Mike on the fact that the church has done a SHOCKING job on eductating on sex and I totally disagree with its millennia old stance that sex is bad. Sex is good, sex is fantastic!! God created us to have sex and to enjoy it!! But (again agreeing with Mike how on earth did that happen lol) irresponsible sex is not immoral it is plain wrong in the fact that it isn't you that ends up being the only one hurt. What irresponsible sex is is a matter or debate (some would say outside marriage, some would say other things).

    Mike start saying something I disagree with, this alternate universe is creeping me out!!

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    HAHAHAHA put name in wrong slot (hey if anyone wants to email me LOL!!!!)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Drew: Thank you very much. Lovely.

    Christine: No, I think it's safe to say that Ann isn't my #1 fan, I was going to delete her comment—it's so vitriolic and mean-spirited—but then I figured, what the heck. Might as well share the … well, hate.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Drew: Thank you very much. Lovely.

    Christine: No, I think it's safe to say that Ann isn't my #1 fan, I was going to delete her comment—it's so vitriolic and mean-spirited—but then I figured, what the heck. Might as well share the … well, hate.

  • http://megaloi.blogspot.com Redlefty

    Autumn, SB 102 was only a definition bill in the Illinois State Senate, and a redundant one at that, as morsecode noted. Those babies were already protected under an act called 720 ILCS 510/6 (you can google it and see section 2 for the relevant info).

    There was no need for SB 102 in the first place. If they want to take on Roe v. Wade, fine, but do it directly and honestly, not by trying to sneak it into a definition bill.

    And like others have said, if things were going to change legally, it would have already happened during the six years that Republicans had the White House and both houses of Congress. Yet they did nothing. So to assume that Republicans would do anything about it if elected again, and that the law would actually make a signficant impact on the number of abortions… well, that's a lot of assumptions with little to no supporting data. Based on studies of other countries, legality impacts abortion about as much as it impacts drug use.

    Given that, I'll be focused on the present and at the local level, where there are plenty of pregnant teens and confused families trying to make an incredibly difficult decision.

  • QM

    Morsecode, Redlefty, etc.

    Even though it would be great if it were that simple, the whole business with Obama and the exact language and intent of the abortion bill in Illinois versus the federal version cannot be solved by presenting your sources as unimpeachable, while attacking the sources of others.

    Just relax and accept the fact that all news and media depictions of the wording at stake will have a bias. Your chosen sources for information may have a liberal bias, and those you attack may have a conservative bias.

    I imagine if you respond to this, you will defend the veracity of your facts above all, but it's only the shading you have chosen to believe from the candidate you are trying to support.

    Just say what you want and let it be.

    It's hard to hear people claiming the high road here when there is no high road on this post, or any of the political blogs so far. They're all pretty discouraging. Those who think they are most enlightened are just as muddy from the unkindness.

  • QM

    Morsecode, Redlefty, etc.

    Even though it would be great if it were that simple, the whole business with Obama and the exact language and intent of the abortion bill in Illinois versus the federal version cannot be solved by presenting your sources as unimpeachable, while attacking the sources of others.

    Just relax and accept the fact that all news and media depictions of the wording at stake will have a bias. Your chosen sources for information may have a liberal bias, and those you attack may have a conservative bias.

    I imagine if you respond to this, you will defend the veracity of your facts above all, but it's only the shading you have chosen to believe from the candidate you are trying to support.

    Just say what you want and let it be.

    It's hard to hear people claiming the high road here when there is no high road on this post, or any of the political blogs so far. They're all pretty discouraging. Those who think they are most enlightened are just as muddy from the unkindness.

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    @QM: point A) hear hear!! No one source is infallible

    point b) I think no discussion that gets ideas out there and broaden the minds of people is discouraging. Yes some people do stoop down into the mud every now and then but it is because the issues hit close to home. I feel that the majority of the posts have been people merely trying to help others see the other side of the story, not just a one dimensional view. Yes, there is no high road as there is no answer, but does that mean everytime there is a sticky issue or a personal one people should not discuss it??

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    @QM: point A) hear hear!! No one source is infallible

    point b) I think no discussion that gets ideas out there and broaden the minds of people is discouraging. Yes some people do stoop down into the mud every now and then but it is because the issues hit close to home. I feel that the majority of the posts have been people merely trying to help others see the other side of the story, not just a one dimensional view. Yes, there is no high road as there is no answer, but does that mean everytime there is a sticky issue or a personal one people should not discuss it??

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Faith: What I wouldn't want then is the same thing I don't want now: I wouldn't want the government to have the power to tell your future woman what she MUST do, one way or the other.

    • Diana

      There is that!

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Amen

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Amen

  • Faith

    The government wouldn't tell her what to do.

    The future pregnant woman would (as is true today):

    1. Have the baby if she wanted, OR

    2. Legally show up to a facility to end her responsibility to parenting. But just a technicality — instead of an abortion procedure, it would be a medical adoption before birth (at any time from conception on). She would probably sign papers to terminate parental rights at that moment.

    It could feasibly happen in the very same room where the abortions once were performed, same personnel, and the woman walks out the same day.

    Your thoughts?

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Wouldn't that create huge problems (as happens today) if the mother then wanted to reneg on her first thought of not having any rights?? What if the mother wanted in 10 years to see the child or the child the mother?? How would the courts deal with that as genetically it would be the mothers and not the parents? It is easy to say you don't want the child if you KNOW you won't see them again, quite another if they are still out in the world somewhere, alive and well.

    I think this creates more ehtical debate than abortion does!!

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    Wouldn't that create huge problems (as happens today) if the mother then wanted to reneg on her first thought of not having any rights?? What if the mother wanted in 10 years to see the child or the child the mother?? How would the courts deal with that as genetically it would be the mothers and not the parents? It is easy to say you don't want the child if you KNOW you won't see them again, quite another if they are still out in the world somewhere, alive and well.

    I think this creates more ehtical debate than abortion does!!

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    Christine: It's too late…I now own your SOUL!!!! [diabolical laughter] :-)

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    Christine: It's too late…I now own your SOUL!!!! [diabolical laughter] :-)

  • Candace

    Faith, this is a very interesting contemplation you present. The scenario would be more akin to adoption, emotionally, for the woman involved. So the question then becomes, to which potential path would this woman "opt in" – having an unplanned child and keeping it, or giving up a child to be raised by others? Each choice having its own fallout.

    Or — and here's where it gets even more interesting — the (possibly more attractive option, to some) of nixing the future child altogether, thinking that then one would experience no fallout at all (which I suspect a lot of women think will be the case when they have an abortion – back to the status quo; no harm, no foul, like nothing ever happened. Of course it doesn't actually work that way.).

    Thinking about it the way you present it adds a dimension. For sure.

    Other imprtant considerations impinging on this debate (in my opinion) are: What about the fathers? I no longer subscribe to the notion that they have no rights or stake in this issue.

    And what about the privilege we all have to learn by experiencing the natural consequences of our actions? This isn't a popular notion any more. At every turn we seek to be buffered from the reality of our own bad decisions. And increasingly we look at that protection as a "right". We are becoming more and more spoiled as a result, and more stupid, and less likely than we ever were to GROW UP.

    It's a sort of maturational living beyond our means. And it's going to take us down, bigtime, the same way that we are being brought to our financial knees right now due to our stupidity in living beyond our monetary means.

  • Candace

    Faith, this is a very interesting contemplation you present. The scenario would be more akin to adoption, emotionally, for the woman involved. So the question then becomes, to which potential path would this woman "opt in" – having an unplanned child and keeping it, or giving up a child to be raised by others? Each choice having its own fallout.

    Or — and here's where it gets even more interesting — the (possibly more attractive option, to some) of nixing the future child altogether, thinking that then one would experience no fallout at all (which I suspect a lot of women think will be the case when they have an abortion – back to the status quo; no harm, no foul, like nothing ever happened. Of course it doesn't actually work that way.).

    Thinking about it the way you present it adds a dimension. For sure.

    Other imprtant considerations impinging on this debate (in my opinion) are: What about the fathers? I no longer subscribe to the notion that they have no rights or stake in this issue.

    And what about the privilege we all have to learn by experiencing the natural consequences of our actions? This isn't a popular notion any more. At every turn we seek to be buffered from the reality of our own bad decisions. And increasingly we look at that protection as a "right". We are becoming more and more spoiled as a result, and more stupid, and less likely than we ever were to GROW UP.

    It's a sort of maturational living beyond our means. And it's going to take us down, bigtime, the same way that we are being brought to our financial knees right now due to our stupidity in living beyond our monetary means.

  • Candace

    @Free: Thanks again, Free, for your engagement in this. I'm enjoying it immensely.

    Yes, quite a pickle isn't it, when parents fail in their God-given responsibilities to protect and educate? A travesty, really. But the thing about having the state take over that function is that "it" lacks the wherewithal to do the job. And when there is a (perceived) back-up, I feel it lulls even greater numbers of parents into relying on an outside agency to take care of THEIR responsibilities.

    We are forever lowering the bar to accommodate the undesirable situation. How about getting back to a culture where peer accountability and common decency encouraged people to do right, rather than the scenario we have now where if you don't do right, there are a gazillion (less effective and ultimately damaging) nets underneath you?

    I'm not against entities other than parents teaching about biology and sexuality. I AM against them doing so prematurely (like at the age of 5!) and in the amoral and unloving context that the public school system has become. There is no earthly WAY that environment is currently capable of teaching kids why they should love and respect themselves enough to consider physical intimacy a tad more sacred than a handshake.

    You wrote: "I know that you are answering from your heart. I understand and appreciate your experience and pray God continues to bless you, and continues to comfort your heart–you seem to have had a very unhappy beginning. Thank God the end will be so awesome!"

    Likewise are my prayers for you, my sister. Thank God, indeed!! He blesses and comforts me minute by minute, day by day. It's truly miraculous :-) The unhappy beginning has been utterly redeemed, and I can attest to the fact that He DOES, truly, turn all things to good for those who believe and are called according to his purpose.

  • Candace

    @Free: Thanks again, Free, for your engagement in this. I'm enjoying it immensely.

    Yes, quite a pickle isn't it, when parents fail in their God-given responsibilities to protect and educate? A travesty, really. But the thing about having the state take over that function is that "it" lacks the wherewithal to do the job. And when there is a (perceived) back-up, I feel it lulls even greater numbers of parents into relying on an outside agency to take care of THEIR responsibilities.

    We are forever lowering the bar to accommodate the undesirable situation. How about getting back to a culture where peer accountability and common decency encouraged people to do right, rather than the scenario we have now where if you don't do right, there are a gazillion (less effective and ultimately damaging) nets underneath you?

    I'm not against entities other than parents teaching about biology and sexuality. I AM against them doing so prematurely (like at the age of 5!) and in the amoral and unloving context that the public school system has become. There is no earthly WAY that environment is currently capable of teaching kids why they should love and respect themselves enough to consider physical intimacy a tad more sacred than a handshake.

    You wrote: "I know that you are answering from your heart. I understand and appreciate your experience and pray God continues to bless you, and continues to comfort your heart–you seem to have had a very unhappy beginning. Thank God the end will be so awesome!"

    Likewise are my prayers for you, my sister. Thank God, indeed!! He blesses and comforts me minute by minute, day by day. It's truly miraculous :-) The unhappy beginning has been utterly redeemed, and I can attest to the fact that He DOES, truly, turn all things to good for those who believe and are called according to his purpose.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I'm afraid I'm a little behind in the discussions here, but, for what it's worth:

    Redlefty: You da man.

    Faith: My thoughts are it sounds so … well, stupid, that I can't bother formulating an Actual Opinion on it. Maybe I missed something, but … you're talking about making a moral call about a woman who can somehow take an eight-month-old fetus out of her body, and then somehow cram it up into the body of ANOTHER woman, who will then finish the pregnancy and give … faux-birth to that baby? I have no idea what I think about that. I don't think ANYTHING about that, cuz it's so … far outside of any reality in which anything I know about morality exists.

    Candace: I got a bunch of sex-education when I was a kid in public school. We did it in 6th grade, and then in 7th. And then we had a bunch of it in high school. It was fine. We just … learned stuff. It was good—especially the 6th grade stuff, when we knew less. But it was all good. None of us ran around outside and immediately started having unprotected sex, or whatever. If anything, the fact that it was being taught in school made it seem MORE serious to us—more weighty, more important, more complex. It helped us, for sure.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I'm afraid I'm a little behind in the discussions here, but, for what it's worth:

    Redlefty: You da man.

    Faith: My thoughts are it sounds so … well, stupid, that I can't bother formulating an Actual Opinion on it. Maybe I missed something, but … you're talking about making a moral call about a woman who can somehow take an eight-month-old fetus out of her body, and then somehow cram it up into the body of ANOTHER woman, who will then finish the pregnancy and give … faux-birth to that baby? I have no idea what I think about that. I don't think ANYTHING about that, cuz it's so … far outside of any reality in which anything I know about morality exists.

    Candace: I got a bunch of sex-education when I was a kid in public school. We did it in 6th grade, and then in 7th. And then we had a bunch of it in high school. It was fine. We just … learned stuff. It was good—especially the 6th grade stuff, when we knew less. But it was all good. None of us ran around outside and immediately started having unprotected sex, or whatever. If anything, the fact that it was being taught in school made it seem MORE serious to us—more weighty, more important, more complex. It helped us, for sure.

  • Candace

    John, you and I are roughly the same age, and my educational experience was similar to yours. However, we lived in a culture where married TV couples slept in twin beds and if you wanted to advertize a bra on a real live woman, it had to be worn on the OUTSIDE of a dress.

    I don't advocate a return to that extreme, but these days the textile equivalent of a bra, by itself, is considered publically appropriate dinnerwear and –just ask any 13-year-old — sex IS pretty much considered just as casual as a handshake.

    Take that reality and combine it with the fact that teachers will be in general disinclined to go into deeper issues of self-respect and ethics, if not outright prohibited from doing so, and I think the outcome will be entirely different.

  • Candace

    Oh, and though admittedly it is not currently taking place at any and all stages of development the way Faith posited, all she's basically talking about is something that's already happening via egg donation and surrogacy.

    I think the point of her question (Faith, correct me if I'm wrong) was this: If there was, from the point of conception onward, a way to both save the child and allow the mother to avoid pregnancy, childbirth and childrearing responsibilities, how would we then feel about the choice to terminate? When there was a valid way to both protect the mother's "choice" AND protect the baby, yet she chose abortion anyway?

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    I really really don’t understand who you can say in one breath “I hate you” and then “by the way I say that cos I am Christian”. The biggest oxymoron of all time (or is it just plain moronic??)

  • http://thesearethecrazytimes-christine.blogspot.com Christine

    I really really don’t understand who you can say in one breath “I hate you” and then “by the way I say that cos I am Christian”. The biggest oxymoron of all time (or is it just plain moronic??)

  • Faith

    Question, John:

    If, in the medical future, a pregnant woman (at any point in the pregnancy — whenever she decided she didn’t want to parent the child) could have the embryo transported from her body to that of another surrogate mother, would you still feel the same way about abortion rights?

    • Diana

      My answer: No, probably not. But until that happens, yes, I believe in keeping abortion legal.

  • Faith

    Question, John:

    If, in the medical future, a pregnant woman (at any point in the pregnancy — whenever she decided she didn’t want to parent the child) could have the embryo transported from her body to that of another surrogate mother, would you still feel the same way about abortion rights?

    • Diana

      My answer: No, probably not. But until that happens, yes, I believe in keeping abortion legal.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    What Faith is positing is a long, LONG way from anything that's "already happening." She's positing something that can't possibly ever happen. So in order to imagine how I'd feel about the dynamic she described, I'd have to imagine living in an entirely different universe than the one in which I do. So….not a terribly interesting exercise to me, I'm afraid. Too many variables to make it mean anything.

    Also, I don't think I agree with you about how much things have changed, sexually, since I was in high school. Not at the personal level. I would argue that sex is still a huge deal for virtually everyone. Kids have learned to PRETEND it's not, but it is, and I suspect always will be. I was hardly sexually naiive (sp?) when I was in sixth grade and beyond. I mean, like … not. But it was good for me to see my teachers dealing with it: I could see how embarassed they were about it, how awkward. It was just a helpful thing, for a lot of really valid reasons that I know would still be valid today. Not THAT much time has gone by. Sex is sex. It freaks everyone out; it always will. The more you can learn and know about it going in (so to speak), the better.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    What Faith is positing is a long, LONG way from anything that's "already happening." She's positing something that can't possibly ever happen. So in order to imagine how I'd feel about the dynamic she described, I'd have to imagine living in an entirely different universe than the one in which I do. So….not a terribly interesting exercise to me, I'm afraid. Too many variables to make it mean anything.

    Also, I don't think I agree with you about how much things have changed, sexually, since I was in high school. Not at the personal level. I would argue that sex is still a huge deal for virtually everyone. Kids have learned to PRETEND it's not, but it is, and I suspect always will be. I was hardly sexually naiive (sp?) when I was in sixth grade and beyond. I mean, like … not. But it was good for me to see my teachers dealing with it: I could see how embarassed they were about it, how awkward. It was just a helpful thing, for a lot of really valid reasons that I know would still be valid today. Not THAT much time has gone by. Sex is sex. It freaks everyone out; it always will. The more you can learn and know about it going in (so to speak), the better.

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com skerrib

    Public education…fantastic idea, wonderful in theory. I taught in public schools. I loved it. I might go back to it someday.

    One weakness though, especially in regard to things like values & morals & such, is that there are parents who, sadly, DO assume that since it's being taught in school, then they don't need to address it. How many parents are simply too embarrassed to talk to their kids about sex. Mine were. My husband's left the whole thing up to a book. They "just couldn't do it." I think this is a danger with most anything the government provides–we assume it's meant to do more than it does.

  • Paul

    I must admit I got lost in the fog 100 or so comments ago, but I've been trying to catch up. Some well thought out posts on both sides (and some not) but the most telling for me are from those who have been through the heartbreak, I appreciate that kind of transparency.

    I recently returned from a wedding out of state, and one of the highlights was getting to meet a my nephew's baby daughter. She was born 2 months premature as a result of some medical complications her mother was having. She is nine months old now, and though she is very undersized, she was the center of attention most of the weekend – a vibrant happy baby.

    As I was reading through the string of comments, I just kept flashing back to how overjoyed her grandparents and everyone was that weekend to interact with her – she was delivered at an age where it would have been completely legal to end her life, and just a few short months later, she is this fascinating Person.

    I know that we care about the choice of a woman, but who is speaking for the little ones?

  • Paul

    I must admit I got lost in the fog 100 or so comments ago, but I've been trying to catch up. Some well thought out posts on both sides (and some not) but the most telling for me are from those who have been through the heartbreak, I appreciate that kind of transparency.

    I recently returned from a wedding out of state, and one of the highlights was getting to meet a my nephew's baby daughter. She was born 2 months premature as a result of some medical complications her mother was having. She is nine months old now, and though she is very undersized, she was the center of attention most of the weekend – a vibrant happy baby.

    As I was reading through the string of comments, I just kept flashing back to how overjoyed her grandparents and everyone was that weekend to interact with her – she was delivered at an age where it would have been completely legal to end her life, and just a few short months later, she is this fascinating Person.

    I know that we care about the choice of a woman, but who is speaking for the little ones?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Sigh.

    We all love babies, Paul. Everyone loves babies. Babies are wonderful. Pure magic. Everyone loves them. Even those who think it's not the government's place to …

    ooops! off to wife's job!!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Sigh.

    We all love babies, Paul. Everyone loves babies. Babies are wonderful. Pure magic. Everyone loves them. Even those who think it's not the government's place to …

    ooops! off to wife's job!!

  • Faith

    "Faith: My thoughts are it sounds so … well, stupid, that I can’t bother formulating an Actual Opinion on it."

    John, that just doesn't sound like the guy who has written such thought-provoking blogs.

    Guess I thought I was following in your footsteps to try to think outside the box — to imagine ways a tough subject could someday be less tough.

    I really don't know what to say.

  • Faith

    "Faith: My thoughts are it sounds so … well, stupid, that I can’t bother formulating an Actual Opinion on it."

    John, that just doesn't sound like the guy who has written such thought-provoking blogs.

    Guess I thought I was following in your footsteps to try to think outside the box — to imagine ways a tough subject could someday be less tough.

    I really don't know what to say.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Oh, yeah, I see what you mean: that sounds too harsh. I apologize. (For me, the word "stupid" is, like, the ultimate multi-tasker word—but, duh, print on a screen hardly conveys, in this case, the HUMOR with which I meant that word.) I wrote that in too big a hurry, and really do apologize.

    It IS kind of an intersting conundrum; I mean, I see how it is. I only resist comitting to the real time and energy it would take to arrive at a satisfying position on it—beyond the one I've already suggested, which is that, as ever, I'd naturally be against any government intrusion of the sort we've been here discussing—because there are so many REAL issues and considerations we should all be taking the time to parse through.

    I get right up to the part where the woman has within her a baby that's six, seven months old. Then I go stupid. Like, do they induce premature birth? Someone must. So that means someone has SERIOUSLY endangered that kid. And so then I try to imagine a woman who WANTS that premature baby put into her …. and then my brain just goes, "This is … not working." Then I stop thinking about it. I'm sorry. I lack imagination that way.

    Thanks for saying I write thought-provoking blogs, and for forgiving me my all-too-regular bouts of boorishness.

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    @Paul: As John says…we all love babies (teenagers….um….not so much :-) ) Of course everyone loves the the baby. Of course faces light up.

    What follows will CERTAINLY be misconstrued, but is only mentioned to hammer home the point that this is quite complex. I would ask that you google "developmental disabilities premature" (without quotes). It is not a matter of 'getting over the hump' or 'having a rough start'. There are life-long issues that the parents and child will be dealing with. I am not saying they SHOULD have terminated. I am just saying that we should not suggest that there are not long term consequences for everybody. I speak from empirical evidence and personal experience.

    [fyi: One site I found that aggregated some of the studies on the topic is at http://pages.cthome.net/cbristol/preemies.html ]

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    @Paul: As John says…we all love babies (teenagers….um….not so much :-) ) Of course everyone loves the the baby. Of course faces light up.

    What follows will CERTAINLY be misconstrued, but is only mentioned to hammer home the point that this is quite complex. I would ask that you google "developmental disabilities premature" (without quotes). It is not a matter of 'getting over the hump' or 'having a rough start'. There are life-long issues that the parents and child will be dealing with. I am not saying they SHOULD have terminated. I am just saying that we should not suggest that there are not long term consequences for everybody. I speak from empirical evidence and personal experience.

    [fyi: One site I found that aggregated some of the studies on the topic is at http://pages.cthome.net/cbristol/preemies.html ]

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Burns

    On the topic of public education on this matter…I think most all of us here realize the primary burden for our children’s education should fall to the parent. The unfortunate reality is that few of us are prepared to teach our children advanced (or basic) mathematics, literature, grammar, history, geology and (as it relates to sex education) biology/physiology, genetics, disease propagation. To rely on the typical parent to imbue (or at least expose) our children to the depth and breadth of information required would be like asking me to teach Latin…which would consist of “e pluribus unum” (which I would like returned to our currency in lieu of what is there now).

    Every non-primitive society recognizes the need for public education. That said; public education can only pass on facts (or at least the best current knowledge). It is still up to the parents to instill values (though some values are demonstrably innate).

    It is my belief that all children deserve an education that, at least, exposes them to our best knowledge. For instance; to teach a child that the earth is thousands of years old instead of billions of years old is not just incorrect, it is unfair and immoral as this puts that child at a disadvantage in society. Similarly; public education can communicate the facts about sex, the physical process, the biology, disease and prevention, and the monetary cost of of raising a child. Public education is not well suited to tell a child when and why it is wrong.

    @Faith: I am with John. Such bizarre hypotheticals mean nothing.

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Burns

    On the topic of public education on this matter…I think most all of us here realize the primary burden for our children’s education should fall to the parent. The unfortunate reality is that few of us are prepared to teach our children advanced (or basic) mathematics, literature, grammar, history, geology and (as it relates to sex education) biology/physiology, genetics, disease propagation. To rely on the typical parent to imbue (or at least expose) our children to the depth and breadth of information required would be like asking me to teach Latin…which would consist of “e pluribus unum” (which I would like returned to our currency in lieu of what is there now).

    Every non-primitive society recognizes the need for public education. That said; public education can only pass on facts (or at least the best current knowledge). It is still up to the parents to instill values (though some values are demonstrably innate).

    It is my belief that all children deserve an education that, at least, exposes them to our best knowledge. For instance; to teach a child that the earth is thousands of years old instead of billions of years old is not just incorrect, it is unfair and immoral as this puts that child at a disadvantage in society. Similarly; public education can communicate the facts about sex, the physical process, the biology, disease and prevention, and the monetary cost of of raising a child. Public education is not well suited to tell a child when and why it is wrong.

    @Faith: I am with John. Such bizarre hypotheticals mean nothing.

  • saramason

    "Seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness, and all these things will be given unto you." (Matthew 6:33).

    If you seek God's will in any situation and do it regardless of what the consequences may seem to your mind, He will take care of everything you need in the other areas of your life. In other words, Jesus is saying that if we put HIS agenda above our own, He will make sure our good is taken care of.

    So, when it comes to issues such as the aborting of 40 million unborn babies, I may not agree with the pro-life candidate on many other issues such as the economy and taxes and health care. But, I believe (and have seen in my own personal life) that God is always faithful to His promise. And, I believe that He will take care of "all these things" such as our economy, our taxes, and our health care as we seek to fall in line with His agenda.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Amen to that. The problem with that formulation and justification, however, is that it's firmly rooted in Biblical truth. And in a democratic society such as ours, I don't think it's fair or right to make laws grounded in one religious tradition laws for people of ALL beliefs, faiths, and convictions. The separation of church and state, and all that. That's … America, yes?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Amen to that. The problem with that formulation and justification, however, is that it's firmly rooted in Biblical truth. And in a democratic society such as ours, I don't think it's fair or right to make laws grounded in one religious tradition laws for people of ALL beliefs, faiths, and convictions. The separation of church and state, and all that. That's … America, yes?

  • Tammy

    I'm only commenting on this because it is an issue that is close to my heart. I am voting for McCain this year mainly for his stance on how government should be involved in the abortion issue. I know that as a whole, people love babies and hate abortion. Even a teen that is considering abortion hates it. The thing is, most people that are turning to abortion are teenagers. It is a gut-wrenching decision that is not easy to make. What I can't understand is if the government can say that it's unlawful for us to kill other people and even ourselves. How can it not say that it is unlawful to kill the unborn? I know there are arguments that say that if people are not legally allowed to have an abortion, they will turn to illegal or underground efforts to have one. But the legal abortion clinics aren't much better. Kids make mistake's, but a decision to take a life should never have to be one of those.

  • Tammy

    I'm only commenting on this because it is an issue that is close to my heart. I am voting for McCain this year mainly for his stance on how government should be involved in the abortion issue. I know that as a whole, people love babies and hate abortion. Even a teen that is considering abortion hates it. The thing is, most people that are turning to abortion are teenagers. It is a gut-wrenching decision that is not easy to make. What I can't understand is if the government can say that it's unlawful for us to kill other people and even ourselves. How can it not say that it is unlawful to kill the unborn? I know there are arguments that say that if people are not legally allowed to have an abortion, they will turn to illegal or underground efforts to have one. But the legal abortion clinics aren't much better. Kids make mistake's, but a decision to take a life should never have to be one of those.

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    Hear Hear John!! Thank you for invoking the separation of church and state.

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    Hear Hear John!! Thank you for invoking the separation of church and state.

  • http://rightplaceandtime.blogspot.com/ Colleen

    So then if the majority rules, democracy rules? Hmmm what about the words in our our pledge of allegiance. Hey maybe this can be your next discussion to fire up the people.

    FYI link of a nice summary of Obama not pledging the flag vs standing in place during the National anthem controversy. http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/anthem.asp&q

    Quick review:(every new citizen sworn in to the US must know and recite this loyalty plege of alligiance)

    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands: One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

    No wonder those words keep some folks up at night. We are a Republic too! And under God no less…the struggle continues….
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance

    Study up! The test is upon us, Election day draweth nigh. :)

    • http://thefakejohnshore.wordpress.com/ thefakejohnshore

      Snopes.com, dear. Bookmark it.

  • http://rightplaceandtime.blogspot.com/ Colleen

    So then if the majority rules, democracy rules? Hmmm what about the words in our our pledge of allegiance. Hey maybe this can be your next discussion to fire up the people.

    FYI link of a nice summary of Obama not pledging the flag vs standing in place during the National anthem controversy. http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/anthem.asp&q

    Quick review:(every new citizen sworn in to the US must know and recite this loyalty plege of alligiance)

    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands: One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

    No wonder those words keep some folks up at night. We are a Republic too! And under God no less…the struggle continues….
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance

    Study up! The test is upon us, Election day draweth nigh. :)

    • http://thefakejohnshore.wordpress.com/ thefakejohnshore

      Snopes.com, dear. Bookmark it.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    draweth nigh?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    draweth nigh?

  • Mark

    "I’m not in any particular hurry to give the government any more power than it’s already given itself (especially in the last few years) to invade peoples’ personal lives." — John Shore

    Except for the aforementioned abortion, I think you're going to be pretty surprised about how much more the government invades your life.

    Democrats generally run for office because they believe that government's job is to get involved in everything — to solve all issues in society — down to the individual choices we citizens cannot be trusted to make.

    Right now there's a check and balance — Democratic House and Senate, and a Republican president.

    However, with Democrats controlling both houses of Congress and the presidency, I'm not sure that you'll love their far-reaching, government-first policies as much as you think you might.

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    Mark brings up the single best argument for NOT voting for Obama. Indeed, having the Executive Branch and both houses of Congress under the 'control' of a single party does have the chance for abuse. But between Obama seeming far more inclusive the Bush administration and the utter terror I feel when thinking about the combination of Palin, Nuclear Codes, and [her vision of] Biblical Prophecy; it is a no-brainer. I would WAY sooner trust a democratic majority over an end-of-days theologist with nuclear missiles. (There is a 1 in 5 chance or better the Palin will assume the Presidency in a McCain first term)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Oh, sweet. Now I don't have to struggle to articulate it.

    Mike: You're a heathen sinner destined to hell.

    But what he said.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Oh, sweet. Now I don't have to struggle to articulate it.

    Mike: You're a heathen sinner destined to hell.

    But what he said.

  • Mark

    If the Alaskan governor were a man, your comments would probably not have the same tone.

  • Mark

    If the Alaskan governor were a man, your comments would probably not have the same tone.

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    Gotta love ya John! If you are ever in the Chicagoland area, look me up…I'll buy you a drink.

    ….Oh c**p! Do you drink? …I suppose I could buy you coffee, but it wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    @Mark: I don't see anything in our comments that were gender-specific. For my part, ANYONE who subscribes to end-of-days theology is supremely frightening, regardless of gender.

  • http://www.steppingintothelight.net Diane L. Harris

    John, I do believe that abortion is murder. That’s why I’d never have one and would always counsel anyone considering abortion to not make that choice. I do understand, however, that since the victim in the case of abortion lives inside someone else’s body, I can’t force that someone to carry her child to term. That has to be her choice, whether I like it or not.

    I do believe Roe vs. Wade is wrong because it makes the government complicit in encouraging a sin. However, if it’s taken away, abortion must still be decriminalized. We shouldn’t prosecute a woman for abortion or a doctor for helping her, any more than we prosecute the parties involved in adultery. That’s a job best handled from heaven.

    P.S. I’ve posted this article to my facebook profile.

  • http://www.steppingintothelight.net Diane L. Harris

    John, I do believe that abortion is murder. That’s why I’d never have one and would always counsel anyone considering abortion to not make that choice. I do understand, however, that since the victim in the case of abortion lives inside someone else’s body, I can’t force that someone to carry her child to term. That has to be her choice, whether I like it or not.

    I do believe Roe vs. Wade is wrong because it makes the government complicit in encouraging a sin. However, if it’s taken away, abortion must still be decriminalized. We shouldn’t prosecute a woman for abortion or a doctor for helping her, any more than we prosecute the parties involved in adultery. That’s a job best handled from heaven.

    P.S. I’ve posted this article to my facebook profile.

  • http://leeh.wordpress.com/ leeh

    Anyway you spin it my brother, Obama is still pro abortion not pro life. And there is a difference, a very big difference.

  • http://leeh.wordpress.com/ leeh

    Anyway you spin it my brother, Obama is still pro abortion not pro life. And there is a difference, a very big difference.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Who's spinning anything?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Who's spinning anything?

  • Paul

    while reading this totally awesome post, http://theologica.blogspot.com/2008/11/eric-redmo… I ran across this quote from someone who articulates what I have been wanting to say here and failing miserably, so whoever "Roger" is, thanks!

    "As believers, we often get caught up in our passions and fight the war while forgetting the smaller battles that happen every day. Real change is still possible. Maybe we have suffered a setback in the cause for the unborn on a legislative level, but the little battles remain unchanged.

    Our best hope for preventing abortions remains (and always has been) addressing those who go get them. while we don't have the law on our side, we can still talk to the would-be mothers and pray that our ministering to them (not our condemnation) will cause them to turn away from the abortion clinics. We should try to start organizations that can fund research in post-rape/incest counseling that gives an alternative to victims who have gotten pregnant. We should fund more ad campaigns that remind mothers that there are alternatives. We should seek to establish groups that can provide adoptive services for the children and that can provide support to the pregnant mother during pregnancy so she has some incentive to withstand the unwanted pregnancy. while we may not be able to rely on our policy makers, we still have a voice that can (and will) be heard by those who would have abortions. But let us not forget that the voice should always reflect God's love and NOT our self righteousness.

    On a final note, sinners will always sin. While we may make it harder for them to commit certain sins, a person who is dead-set on sinning will do so (look no further than our nation's drug problem for an example). while the stakes are higher (i.e. life & death) in the abortion battle, we would be foolish to stop at thinking that changing laws will stop them. The burden to reach out to the mothers that would engage in them is still there and still ours."

  • Beth Sheets

    John,

    while I do appreciate your time on this subject and even your sentiment about it, I want to give you a little different perspective from someone who has worked with women (often very young women) in "crisis" pregnancies for over 15 years. Crisis pregnancy being defined as one in which the pregnancy is viewed as threat to one's well-being, whether, emotional, physcial, or financial.

    Many women and men do believe that abortion is another form of birth control — I've met them and come along side them after they've had that positive pregnancy test. Especially the younger the person, the more prevelant the thought of "well, if all else fails I can always get an abortion". What a revealing tale about our world — because the "education" our young people are getting is that the fetus inside them is not in fact human, it's only a gathering of cells that could eventually produce a human life – and once again this is not rhetoric, I've actually been present when these "lessons" are being taught.

    Education is such a buzz word these days — who gets to decide what we are educated by? (referring specifically to our youngest members of society in public schools) Who gets to determine what education is? You see, being the age I am (41) and having grown up in two totally different parts of the nation, I received "sex education" in my public schools as did anyone from my generation. The number of undesired pregnancies did in fact diminish, but the number of sexually transmitted diseases and infections increased by a very high percentage. We simply replaced one problem for another. Our young people today, receive "education" about these topics, they are even taught how to put a condom on, so they can be "protected". Our nation's pregnancy rates are climbing again right now and our STD/STI rates are through the roof. Young people today are seeing an increasing number of infections and incurable diseases of the mouth, eyes, nose because the ways the are "educated" to not have sex.

    Education in this area has not saved us from abortion, Std/I's or broken hearts. Education it seems has become the buzz word to make us feel better, like something is actually being done. I agree that education is key — it just must be the right kind of education — not the one the federal government and our public schools have been trying and failing at.

    Whether Obama is conflicted over this issue at all I do not know , but I do think that if he says he is a Christian, then he is duty bound to uphold the truth in scripture even before the convictions of his own thoughts on something. Sometone who has aligned themselves with the number one abortion provider in the world, is not remaining duty bound to the truth of scripture. I do not and will not refer to Obama as a murderer, but he has certainly not done a thing that will slow the progress of the number of pre-birth deaths that take place. And teaching kids how to put on a condom does not work — we've all seen that first hand. Obama may beieve that education will solve this problem to a large degree and he may not believe that government should be involved in these decisions, then the government should not be paying for these decisions. If we (as a nation) are going to stay out of a woman's right to choose, then let's stay all the way out — no more tax funded abortions! You see, does he really believe it, if he keeps transferring our funding to pay for them?

    On a last note — the year before Roe V. Wade was passed there are only about 30 known maternal deaths as a result of underground/illeagal abortion. Since Roe V. Wade, including our most recent years, thre are over 200 maternal deaths directly related to an abortion procedure and I have some researched thoughts as to why this is, but the point being, driving something undergound or making it illeagal again is not a good indicator that it will be unsafe.

  • Beth Sheets

    John,

    while I do appreciate your time on this subject and even your sentiment about it, I want to give you a little different perspective from someone who has worked with women (often very young women) in "crisis" pregnancies for over 15 years. Crisis pregnancy being defined as one in which the pregnancy is viewed as threat to one's well-being, whether, emotional, physcial, or financial.

    Many women and men do believe that abortion is another form of birth control — I've met them and come along side them after they've had that positive pregnancy test. Especially the younger the person, the more prevelant the thought of "well, if all else fails I can always get an abortion". What a revealing tale about our world — because the "education" our young people are getting is that the fetus inside them is not in fact human, it's only a gathering of cells that could eventually produce a human life – and once again this is not rhetoric, I've actually been present when these "lessons" are being taught.

    Education is such a buzz word these days — who gets to decide what we are educated by? (referring specifically to our youngest members of society in public schools) Who gets to determine what education is? You see, being the age I am (41) and having grown up in two totally different parts of the nation, I received "sex education" in my public schools as did anyone from my generation. The number of undesired pregnancies did in fact diminish, but the number of sexually transmitted diseases and infections increased by a very high percentage. We simply replaced one problem for another. Our young people today, receive "education" about these topics, they are even taught how to put a condom on, so they can be "protected". Our nation's pregnancy rates are climbing again right now and our STD/STI rates are through the roof. Young people today are seeing an increasing number of infections and incurable diseases of the mouth, eyes, nose because the ways the are "educated" to not have sex.

    Education in this area has not saved us from abortion, Std/I's or broken hearts. Education it seems has become the buzz word to make us feel better, like something is actually being done. I agree that education is key — it just must be the right kind of education — not the one the federal government and our public schools have been trying and failing at.

    Whether Obama is conflicted over this issue at all I do not know , but I do think that if he says he is a Christian, then he is duty bound to uphold the truth in scripture even before the convictions of his own thoughts on something. Sometone who has aligned themselves with the number one abortion provider in the world, is not remaining duty bound to the truth of scripture. I do not and will not refer to Obama as a murderer, but he has certainly not done a thing that will slow the progress of the number of pre-birth deaths that take place. And teaching kids how to put on a condom does not work — we've all seen that first hand. Obama may beieve that education will solve this problem to a large degree and he may not believe that government should be involved in these decisions, then the government should not be paying for these decisions. If we (as a nation) are going to stay out of a woman's right to choose, then let's stay all the way out — no more tax funded abortions! You see, does he really believe it, if he keeps transferring our funding to pay for them?

    On a last note — the year before Roe V. Wade was passed there are only about 30 known maternal deaths as a result of underground/illeagal abortion. Since Roe V. Wade, including our most recent years, thre are over 200 maternal deaths directly related to an abortion procedure and I have some researched thoughts as to why this is, but the point being, driving something undergound or making it illeagal again is not a good indicator that it will be unsafe.

  • cmaglaughlin

    Concerning to kill or not to kill, IT'S A BABY! It is not a "mistake," as Obama has called "it!" Mistakes are what erasers on top of pencils are for. Don't assume Obama is a Christian. Don't assume ANYONE by just a confession is a Christian. Salvation is of God, not of man, and He chooses His own, His elect, predestinated to be conformed to His image, unto good works. I just can't imagine the Lord Jesus Christ being pro-choice, or silently standing by, as over 4000 babies are slaughtered each day, in America alone. As for activists who "go over line" -If someone came to your door and demanded your children be turned over to "the state" because they were retarded or mongoloid, and that they were "inconveniently" draining the education budget, and knowing if you relented and handed them over, they would be eliminated by having their brains sucked out, arms and legs ripped apart, or left to soak and die in a cesspool of highly concentrated poison, AND DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING except wimp out to political correctness, you would be just as guilty as the the state. So they do it in the womb, What's the difference? It's still a baby. Jesus beat the moneychangers out of the temple with a whip. And they were only cheating His Father's temple out of a fair money exchange. Do you think he would do less, at an abortion clinic? Anyone who voted pro-choice-it would be better they had a millstone hung about his neck and were drowned in the depth of the sea. And I'm not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes.And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes.And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes.And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes. And I’m not racist, either. I voted for Alan Keyes.

      • Diana

        Hmm, DR. Did cmaglaughlin's post set you on fire a little? I'm not sure where I get that impression. It's just sort of a feeling I have. (Not that I blame you, mind you!)

        • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

          "I'm not :insert ism here" because "subject of oppression is my friend/I voted for them/subject is my cousin/I went to hight school with subject" drives me a little nuts.

          • Diana

            Yup. Me too!

      • Robert Meek

        Not a very grown up response. Granted, I don't always do well, myself, but I'm just saying ….

    • Robert Meek

      "Don’t assume ANYONE by just a confession is a Christian. Salvation is of God, not of man, and He chooses His own, His elect, predestinated to be conformed to His image, unto good works."

      Oh, God, here we go.

      Predestination doctrine: God picked me and I'm going to heaven whether I want to or not, and God didn't pick you, so you're going to hell whether you want to or not. That is exactly what this is, and totally false.

      A clear study of more than just that one Scripture about whom God foreknew He foreordained, shows that God, especially in the New Testament, through Jesus Christ, stressed people have a Free Will to choose the Gift of Salvation, or to REJECT it.

      Anything else is just wrong.

      IF we are doomed to go to heaven against our will, then we are mere biological robots that God created for His then it would be perverse entertainment, and that certainly is not the case.

  • Peter Cavaciuti

    Stunned by your lack of knowledge on Obama's views and the his action on abortions.

    Rather that give a long reply I will try to keep it simple.

    1 The groups that Obama has allowed funding to on an international level (esp 3rd World) are not trying to educate abortion away, just provide abortion on demand.

    2 Obama has no reason or motive to support abortion, ,,,,Abortion is an industry, this industry backs him politically

    3 In my country, the U.K. , the more our version of "Planned Parenthood" gets to push its views the higher our unwanted pregnancy rate climbs.

    4 No problem whatsoever should have the solution of "Kill your Child"

    5 Many of these real problems could also be a factor in wishing to "Loose" a child after it is born. In the UK there are already attempts to legislate for post birth terminations.

    and finally as an earlier poster put,

    6 Why impose seatbelt laws for children if its the parents choice – just educate them , I'm sure they'll all use them, and the we won't need to prosecute those who don't as it will not happen – RIGHT, LOL

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      It really is ignorant when someone else has a different perspective as well as conclusion on the belief system of another individual. I wish more people in 'Merica could get us some learnin'!

  • Peter Cavaciuti

    Stunned by your lack of knowledge on Obama's views and the his action on abortions.

    Rather that give a long reply I will try to keep it simple.

    1 The groups that Obama has allowed funding to on an international level (esp 3rd World) are not trying to educate abortion away, just provide abortion on demand.

    2 Obama has no reason or motive to support abortion, ,,,,Abortion is an industry, this industry backs him politically

    3 In my country, the U.K. , the more our version of "Planned Parenthood" gets to push its views the higher our unwanted pregnancy rate climbs.

    4 No problem whatsoever should have the solution of "Kill your Child"

    5 Many of these real problems could also be a factor in wishing to "Loose" a child after it is born. In the UK there are already attempts to legislate for post birth terminations.

    and finally as an earlier poster put,

    6 Why impose seatbelt laws for children if its the parents choice – just educate them , I'm sure they'll all use them, and the we won't need to prosecute those who don't as it will not happen – RIGHT, LOL

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      It really is ignorant when someone else has a different perspective as well as conclusion on the belief system of another individual. I wish more people in 'Merica could get us some learnin'!

  • Elizabeth

    Every time I think I fully appreciate your writing, you blow me away again. Phenomenal post.

  • Elizabeth

    Every time I think I fully appreciate your writing, you blow me away again. Phenomenal post.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      How did you even find this piece? (And thank you, by the way.)

  • Elizabeth

    HuffPo comment activity email. I'm low-tech but resourceful.

  • Elizabeth

    HuffPo comment activity email. I'm low-tech but resourceful.

  • Gina Powers

    Forgive my belatedness (and then I will go ride my bike and get a life, I SWEAR! Wait a minute…)..you're right, John–we are all brothers and sisters. And I'm one of the sisters who "survived" the abortion procedure (it wasn't that arduous, really…physicall painful, but not emotionally traumatic). Speaking as such, I would hope also that those of us who choose/have chosen to take this route will not be persecuted or judged by….say, anyone here. I don't want to start a needless debate on whether or not abortions should be condoned, but let's just say that I hope that anyone who opines here will have sympathy when encoutering a person such as myself. John, no worries; I am not trying to "start" anything…..although I DO have to wonder what your Muslim friend herself felt about her abortion….and one of these days, I look forward to reading why you're not an advocate of premarital sex. Thanks much, guys! Peace….;).

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      I've never written anything (that I know of) to suggest that I'm not (or that I am, for that matter) an advocate of premarital sex. It's just not something I'm aware of ever having written about.

      • Gina Powers

        "I wish divorce, drug abuse, alcoholism, premarital sex, spousal abuse, racism, and every sort of the exploitation and moral degradation amidst which we all live everyday was gone forever, burned away in the bright light of God’s infinite, immediate love for each and every one of us."

        That right there. I'm not trying to give you grief, just pointing it out. Something tells me I'm probably misunderstanding you? Was just curious, thanks!

        • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

          Wow! Good memory! I've cut those two words.

  • Gina Powers

    Forgive my belatedness (and then I will go ride my bike and get a life, I SWEAR! Wait a minute…)..you're right, John–we are all brothers and sisters. And I'm one of the sisters who "survived" the abortion procedure (it wasn't that arduous, really…physicall painful, but not emotionally traumatic). Speaking as such, I would hope also that those of us who choose/have chosen to take this route will not be persecuted or judged by….say, anyone here. I don't want to start a needless debate on whether or not abortions should be condoned, but let's just say that I hope that anyone who opines here will have sympathy when encoutering a person such as myself. John, no worries; I am not trying to "start" anything…..although I DO have to wonder what your Muslim friend herself felt about her abortion….and one of these days, I look forward to reading why you're not an advocate of premarital sex. Thanks much, guys! Peace….;).

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      I've never written anything (that I know of) to suggest that I'm not (or that I am, for that matter) an advocate of premarital sex. It's just not something I'm aware of ever having written about.

      • Gina Powers

        "I wish divorce, drug abuse, alcoholism, premarital sex, spousal abuse, racism, and every sort of the exploitation and moral degradation amidst which we all live everyday was gone forever, burned away in the bright light of God’s infinite, immediate love for each and every one of us."

        That right there. I'm not trying to give you grief, just pointing it out. Something tells me I'm probably misunderstanding you? Was just curious, thanks!

        • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

          Wow! Good memory! I've cut those two words.

  • Gina Powers

    Oh yeah, and as always….OUTSTANDING post, Mr. Shore! Though I have yet to run into any posts of yours that aren't awesome……;).

  • http://whythulc.wordpress.com Deanna

    Wow.

    Honestly, this was not the post I was expecting. I mean, just reading the headline, I expect to be hammered in some creative way about how everyone's! killing! babies!

    I was pleasantly surprised when I read the tag line for the post.

    What I deeply appreciate about this blog post of yours is the respect for other people. My biggest complaint about pro-lifers, is the name calling. Point blank, I don't think abortions are right. I wish they weren't real, I wish they weren't necessary, and I wish all babies could be loved and cared for. But, calling people baby killers? That's not necessary. I'm sure most of the people who hate on them haven't gone through the traumatic emotional decision nor have they woken up after being raped or at 16 and having to decide what to do.

    That also said, I really like the way you approached Obama too. It wasn't all "Because he's the greatest guy in the universe!" and it wasn't "The government is out to kill us!" You were very rational, honest, and I seriously cannot commend you more, sir.

    Thank you for always being here to deliver the frankness and honesty these topics deserve.

  • http://whythulc.wordpress.com Deanna

    Wow.

    Honestly, this was not the post I was expecting. I mean, just reading the headline, I expect to be hammered in some creative way about how everyone's! killing! babies!

    I was pleasantly surprised when I read the tag line for the post.

    What I deeply appreciate about this blog post of yours is the respect for other people. My biggest complaint about pro-lifers, is the name calling. Point blank, I don't think abortions are right. I wish they weren't real, I wish they weren't necessary, and I wish all babies could be loved and cared for. But, calling people baby killers? That's not necessary. I'm sure most of the people who hate on them haven't gone through the traumatic emotional decision nor have they woken up after being raped or at 16 and having to decide what to do.

    That also said, I really like the way you approached Obama too. It wasn't all "Because he's the greatest guy in the universe!" and it wasn't "The government is out to kill us!" You were very rational, honest, and I seriously cannot commend you more, sir.

    Thank you for always being here to deliver the frankness and honesty these topics deserve.

  • Diana

    Thank you, John. This is sensible.

  • Diana

    Thank you, John. This is sensible.

  • Don Whitt

    John,

    Thanks so much for this piece – so very, very well put.

    Our national obsession with fetuses is simply amazing. If only we all loved children as much once they were outside the womb. Our schools would be the best, the children would all be fed, clothed and free of disease and wanted and loved.

    • Gina Powers

      YEEESSSS, Don W!!! This!! Back when I was doing my internship (Juvenile Probation & Parole) for my C.J. degree, I could–and still can't—not BELIEVE the degrees to which parents seem to be soooo ambivilant about the fact that babies DO grow up, and Mom and Dad have to RAISE them into decent humans!! Absolutely, small folk are adorable…..but babies tend to get big REAL quick, and then you're looking at an actual SOUL that doesn't inherently know right from wrong or WHY right and wrong exist. They need to not only be taught, but nutured–and lemme tell ya, I was ASTOUNDED by how many parents out there seem to think that child rearing ends with labor & delivery. My jaw was on the floor most of my internship….and yes, I do understand that many parents today work stupidly long hours, harbor their own issues from their own childhoods, etc.,etc., ETC. But holy crap…deciding to bring a HUMAN into the world is a wee bit more complicated than picking out a pet rock, no?

      • Diana

        Juste un peu! (and that's the extent of my high school French.)

        • Gina Powers

          Sorry to be an ignorant dork, Diana, but…..what? ;)

          • Diana

            Translation–just a little! And you're not an ignorant dork. You probably know plenty of things that I don't.

            But what I was speaking to in particular was: "…deciding to bring a HUMAN into the world is a wee bit more complicated than picking out a pet rock, no?" and my "Just a little!" was intended to be heard as emphatic agreement.

          • Gina Powers

            Ah….thank you, Diana! Last summer around this time, I was stuffing my head with Spanish….but thank you for your kind words! And I am really glad to see that so far, everyone here has been non-judgemental about my original disclosure. Good to know there are still intelligent, compassionate souls out there! ;)

    • Ace

      IAWTC. Strongly. There are a lot of people who will fight to the ends of the earth to save an unwanted fetus, but once that fetus is born and here and needs sustenance outside the womb,that child can go to hell because it's a "drain" on society and all those "welfare queens" too.

      The schizophrenic attitude toward children of some people in this country never fails to astound me. I really find it hard to believe many of these anti-abortion activists actually care one whit about other people's children, they are just interested in telling other people what to do and feeling "righteous".

      The fact is, abortion is very sad, but it happens whether it's legal or not. I wish I could recall where I saw that study showing that the numbers of abortions do not go down much when it is illegal. Anyone that desperate is going to find a way.

      It's also not something that is going to affect *most* people, it's not especially rare but it's not as common as some would have us believe, or we wouldn't have the numbers of poor, unwed and/or teen mothers we do. Plenty of children are born into very not-ideal situations despite the availability of abortion.

      At this point I really believe abortion issue is really just a political red-herring that politicians use to get votes so they can get into office and do whatever they please because they know people will vote them back into office on that sole issue no matter how corrupted they are. Abortion hasn't destroyed our nation, but the farcical debate over it sure hasn't done us any favors.

  • Danielle

    Thank you John. Great post!

    After I finished college, I got pregnant at 24. Not so young, but not yet old enough to truly provide for my child the way I had envisioned. My boyfriend at the time was amazing, so supportive, we got married, and we have a gorgeous little girl now and we are still very much in love.

    During the first month of my pregnancy, friends and family (that were Christian) told me to have an abortion. They said I would ruin my career and life by having this child now, by getting married to my boyfriend. I can literally show you an e-mail from a college friend after I told them we were getting married and having a baby that states: "You are killing your life by having this baby, but having an abortion does not mean you are killing your baby."

    I knew they were wrong. I knew her little blueprint was designed already, and I had to become her Mommy. So I made the CHOICE to have her. I think it is morally wrong and deplorable to have an abortion. I am very proud of my CHOICE. I am pro-family and pro-child. And I am also a Christian who is pro-CHOICE.

    Why? Because I had an education, and a supportive partner, and still my pregnancy was overwhelming, hard to deal with and downright scary. Had I no education and an absentee partner, I don't know if I could have made that decision to bring a child into this world unable to care for him or her.

    I also think it's interesting that the same people who often oppose subsidized daycare, and community programs for women and children are also hard-line pro-life. I think the best way to prevent abortion is also through education, and supporting women and healthy families! For example, maternity leave in the USA is a joke!

    Thanks again for your post about how we can be Christian, think abortion is horrible and wrong, and also believe that it's not the Government who should be telling women to have their baby. They need to decide that for themselves. As Christians, we can vote for and donate to programs educating women and supporting families and make our pro-baby voices heard!

    God Bless!

  • Gina Powers

    "I also think it’s interesting that the same people who often oppose subsidized daycare, and community programs for women and children are also hard-line pro-life. I think the best way to prevent abortion is also through education, and supporting women and healthy families! For example, maternity leave in the USA is a joke!"

    YES, Danielle!! This too! And your story is awesome, you are a brave lady! :)

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/Epistomolus Dennis Dawson

    Funny how we agree on this completely, despite my being destined to burn in hell and all.

    I'm anti-abortion, pro choice.

    Women need financial, educational, and community support to make the rational choice to have a child.

    Until we get that right, we have to offer imperfect solutions.

    I'm also against the death penalty, because I believe that all human life is precious. The value is intrinsic, without any of us having to do or be anything.

    I'm infinitely capable of being wrong about so many things.

    ~D

    • kevin

      Dennis,

      If you are anti-abortion, pro choice,

      And you are anti-death penalty,

      Does that mean you a pro choice for States that want to allow the death penalty?

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/Epistomolus Dennis Dawson

        The only state to which I refer is my own state of mind. Why would an artificial geographic boundary create any migration of my moral center?

  • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ Sylvie Galloway

    An editorial in my local paper dealt with the topic of abortion, and I was appalled by what that writer had to say. http://www.goupstate.com/article/20100725/COLUMNI… I can only hope he was saying a good part of that in jest, because it is a terrible solution.

    Then I read your article John, and I really liked your views. You put the matter of abortion in a completely new light, something that I had not seen before, and I've read several arguments for and against.

    To be pregnant with few options, and none of them real promising is a scary place to be. I've been there. I opted against abortion, my reasoning was that it wasn't exactly fair to have my unborn child pay the price of my screw up. That decision was very difficult because at the time, unwed mothers were much less socially acceptable then today, plus my church was less then helpful, which carried over into how my own family reacted. I gave up a lot, including a big fat delay in getting my college degree, any good job prospects, and my reputation. That child turns 27 tomorrow, he has two sisters now who are…eeek..all grown up too, and that delayed degree is finally in the process of getting obtained.

    I got pregnant because I was ignorant, pure and simple. I didn't understand how easy it was to get pregnant, or where to get options to prevent it. We can do so much to prevent unwanted pregnancies and the abortions that sometimes ensue by education, and compassion.

  • http://marie-everydaymiracle.blogspot.com/ Marie

    LOVE this post. As a mother of three children, I am anti-abortion but pro-choice. I couldn't have said it better. Of course no one is in favor of abortion. Abortion is a terrible thing…but it is a necessary evil to protect women's freedom and sometimes their safety.

    It also is a way to protect children. Because the worst possible evil is when an unwanted child is born into an unloving world.

    The most upsetting hypocrisy for me about Christians who call themselves "pro life" is the fact that they are also often the most adamantly pro-war, pro-guns, and pro-death penalty.

    • Ace

      That's because they get all their political opinions from politicians, the television, etc, and just repeat them like mynah birds.

      Double-think is easy if you don't really think at all.

  • http://marie-everydaymiracle.blogspot.com/ Marie

    LOVE this post. As a mother of three children, I am anti-abortion but pro-choice. I couldn't have said it better. Of course no one is in favor of abortion. Abortion is a terrible thing…but it is a necessary evil to protect women's freedom and sometimes their safety.

    It also is a way to protect children. Because the worst possible evil is when an unwanted child is born into an unloving world.

    The most upsetting hypocrisy for me about Christians who call themselves "pro life" is the fact that they are also often the most adamantly pro-war, pro-guns, and pro-death penalty.

    • Ace

      That's because they get all their political opinions from politicians, the television, etc, and just repeat them like mynah birds.

      Double-think is easy if you don't really think at all.

  • Mindy

    Beth, I am only now seeing this post and its comments, as I only recently discovered Mr. Shore's eloquent writings. As a fellow woman, but one who believes in choice, I would say that only when you have walked in the shoes – or more so, seen your daughter through a situation in which abortion is being considered – can you judge so harshly.

    I am, like Mr. Shore, anti-abortion. And still, I am pro-choice. I know, from life experience, that sometimes, the option is the only viable one in the life a woman. I am an adoptive mother, and while I am blessed beyond measure with my daughters and we love each other fiercely, I would never, ever suggest that a young woman MUST give birth so that a childless couple can parent her child – one of the arguments I hear repeatedly. Losing your first parents isn't easy. For some, it brings lifelong pain, even if you come into your new family as a tiny infant. The loss felt by both birthmothers, and more importantly, the adoptees who had no choice in their circumstances, is often enormous. Not something anyone can assume is easy, or is some gigantic moral "should."

    Assuming that the aborted embryo or fetus was a baby is a religious viewpoint. It is as valid as the believer believes it to be – but it is not scientifically proven to be accurate. It is not what those of other faiths necessarily believe. It cannot be legislated.

    The effort must be, as stated so beautifully in this blog post, placed on education and services that assist young women – all women – in avoiding the circumstances that leave them pregnant when they are not prepared to parent. And we must stop judging by imposing one set of religious beliefs on all people, because no matter how much anyone wishes it, we are not all the same.

  • Diana

    At any age, carrying to term a child conceived in rape would be difficult. There are some women who have chosen to do so, even with abortion legal–and my hat is off to them–it probably took enormous fortitude on their parts.

    I would worry about a child of mine carrying a baby to term when she's under the age of 15, regardless of the circumstances under which that child was conceived. The physical risks are so much greater with a woman than young–never-mind any of the other considerations. With an older child, I might say "Carry the baby to term and I'll adopt him/her–or at least take care of him/her until you're able and willing to do so."

  • http://whythulc.wordpress.com Deanna

    I think that's a great place to start. It's not an exhaustive plan, but it's a pretty decent place to start.

    What would you suggest instead?

  • Diana

    Here's the thing: Criminalizing abortion will not stop it from happening–it will just drive it underground. Women have been aborting babies for as long as there have been pregnancies to abort. Rather than criminalize abortion, why not educate women on ways to prevent pregnancy in the first place (including the best way–abstain from sexual activity–but also the other, less fool-proof ways?) Why not teach young women that they are more than sex and baby-making machines and that they have both the right and the responsibility to say no to irresponsible sex and men who pressure them into that kind of activity? While we're educating people, why not teach men that women are more than sex and baby-making machines and that men are just as responsible for preventing unwanted pregnancies as women?

  • Diana

    "Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do" by Peter McWilliams. That will give you food for thought–probably more than you want!

  • Jeanine Petty

    I can't help but comment about the women's health issues AFTER abortion….it leaves many devastated…..physically, emotionally, spiritually.

  • Diana

    There is that!

  • Diana

    Juste un peu! (and that's the extent of my high school French.)

  • Gina Powers

    Sorry to be an ignorant dork, Diana, but…..what? ;)

  • Diana

    Hmm, DR. Did cmaglaughlin's post set you on fire a little? I'm not sure where I get that impression. It's just sort of a feeling I have. (Not that I blame you, mind you!)

  • Robert Meek

    Not a very grown up response. Granted, I don't always do well, myself, but I'm just saying ….

  • Ace

    IAWTC. Strongly. There are a lot of people who will fight to the ends of the earth to save an unwanted fetus, but once that fetus is born and here and needs sustenance outside the womb,that child can go to hell because it's a "drain" on society and all those "welfare queens" too.

    The schizophrenic attitude toward children of some people in this country never fails to astound me. I really find it hard to believe many of these anti-abortion activists actually care one whit about other people's children, they are just interested in telling other people what to do and feeling "righteous".

    The fact is, abortion is very sad, but it happens whether it's legal or not. I wish I could recall where I saw that study showing that the numbers of abortions do not go down much when it is illegal. Anyone that desperate is going to find a way.

    It's also not something that is going to affect *most* people, it's not especially rare but it's not as common as some would have us believe, or we wouldn't have the numbers of poor, unwed and/or teen mothers we do. Plenty of children are born into very not-ideal situations despite the availability of abortion.

    At this point I really believe abortion issue is really just a political red-herring that politicians use to get votes so they can get into office and do whatever they please because they know people will vote them back into office on that sole issue no matter how corrupted they are. Abortion hasn't destroyed our nation, but the farcical debate over it sure hasn't done us any favors.

  • Jeanine Petty

    Unwanted- unexpected pregnancies- have been happening since the beginning of humankind. It is not a complicated equation…….people like sex. In fact are instinctively wired to procreate so as to not become extinct. And, sperm+egg=baby. Hence, pregnancy, wanted or not.

    I was strongly pro-choice, UNTIL I “unexpectedly” became pregnant, and after much agonizing, had an abortion. Which was awful and I deeply, deeply regret even after more than 15 years. If you look into the abortion industry and see what is driving it(I’ll give you one guess1!) and there are LOTS of people who approach abortion very cavalierly and callously….you will become very disturbed and possibly outright angry. And, I have personally known women who approached it very cavalierly, so much so that they could not remember with accuracy the number of abortions they have had and HAVE used it as a method of birth control.

    Mr. Obama is not going to curb the seemingly strong drive people have to have sex, right or wrong, or the freak out factor when the “unexpected” pregnancy occurs.

    In a country where it is not legal to kill a person 1 minute after he/she is born- why can we do it anytime before birth? I have asked myself this question every day for 15 years….

    Alas….unwanted pregnancies are not going to stop happening, and neither are abortions.

    If some people who are NOT finger pointing, sign-waving, and screaming at the baby-murderers, most of whom are already broken hearted, would get down in the trenches and see what is REALLY happening in the abortion “clinics”……these things would not stop but there might be a tiny, tiny bit of change.

    P.S. How many people who have populated the earth were, at one time, “unwanted pregnancies”? Just a thought….

  • John Parton

    I believe that first of all education is a good thing and think all should get as much education as they can.

    However, education doesn't correct character issues. The difference in the person who robs a liquor store with a gun and the person who embezzles from his employer with a computer is education. They both have the same character issues. I believe the same is true with pregnancies wanted or unwanted.

    I don't think there are many people out there that don't know what causes pregnancies, but as someone else has already posted it happens because of the way we are wired. It happens. The solution to this problem is obvious. We have already been given the answer but the power of emotion often overrides good judgment. I don't think education plays a very big part in that. We have sex education in the schools starting in the very lowest grades, television programs that are filled with sex and violence, movies, etc and everything that is sold uses advertising with a sexual slant. It is these things that I believe lead to unwanted pregnancies and consequently abortions. I am not pro abortion, but I don't judge any woman that has to make that decision.

  • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

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  • Robert Meek

    "Don’t assume ANYONE by just a confession is a Christian. Salvation is of God, not of man, and He chooses His own, His elect, predestinated to be conformed to His image, unto good works."

    Oh, God, here we go.

    Predestination doctrine: God picked me and I'm going to heaven whether I want to or not, and God didn't pick you, so you're going to hell whether you want to or not. That is exactly what this is, and totally false.

    A clear study of more than just that one Scripture about whom God foreknew He foreordained, shows that God, especially in the New Testament, through Jesus Christ, stressed people have a Free Will to choose the Gift of Salvation, or to REJECT it.

    Anything else is just wrong.

    IF we are doomed to go to heaven against our will, then we are mere biological robots that God created for His then it would be perverse entertainment, and that certainly is not the case.

  • Diana

    Yup. Me too!

  • kevin

    Dennis,

    If you are anti-abortion, pro choice,

    And you are anti-death penalty,

    Does that mean you a pro choice for States that want to allow the death penalty?

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/Epistomolus Dennis Dawson

    The only state to which I refer is my own state of mind. Why would an artificial geographic boundary create any migration of my moral center?


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