Atonement and the Undoable

Note: This is a re-post of an earlier post. I hope you enjoy reading it again.

Forgive

Eve Tushnet and a friend went to see a presentation at the Jewish Community Center in Washington, DC. The presentation was designed to prepare people for the High Holy Days.

Since the High Holy Days are about repentance, it tracks that the presentation was on atonement. However, Eve finished the evening more bemused that enlightened. As she put it,

All of the stories were interesting and for the most part well-told–but literally none of them followed the form I was most hoping for: “I sinned, I realized I was wrong, and I made amends, here’s how.” Several of the stories explored related questions of conscience: Ritija Gupta turned the story of how a bad-girl friend persuaded her to steal sixty cents’ worth of beads, at age seven, into a sharp little parable on how we misunderstand the gravity of our actions, condemning ourselves for peccadilloes while assimilating huge ongoing sins into our sense of what’s normal and acceptable. The host, Amy Saidman, did a funny shtik about the war between “Citizen Amy,” whose conscience would never allow her to damage a car and not even leave a note, and “Spray-Tan Amy,” who can’t stop because she is receiving an award that night, who is special and above the rules.

… The most powerful story came from the most intensely compelling storyteller, Colin Murchie. He’s someone I’ll be looking out for at future Speakeasy events. I don’t want to tell his story for him, but it was about a night when he was forced to completely reassess the motives which had led him to become a volunteer firefighter in a very tough Maryland suburb.

Based on Eve’s description, I would say that one reason the stories didn’t lead to atonement is that they weren’t about serious sin. I understand why, or at least I think I do.

The evening wouldn’t have been entertaining if the story tellers had talked about their adulteries, abortions, shoplifting and the night the guys all got drunk at the fraternity house and passed the girl around. If the wife-beater among them had confessed to beating his wife, and the woman who was sleeping with her husband’s best friend had told all, the evening might have ended early.

But the truth is that the first requirement for atonement has to be an action that wounds someone else.

Let me give you an example. Back in my misspent youth, I was the NARAL Director for Oklahoma. I referred women for abortions. I helped organize the first abortion clinic in Oklahoma and got it up and running.

In short, I helped kill people.

Lots of people.

Helpless little people that I denied were people while I was advocating for their deaths.

Now there’s something that needs a little atonement.

But how? How does anyone atone for so heinous a crime?

For those of you who are reading this with baited breath, waiting for me to give you an answer, I’ll cut to the bottom line: You can’t. You can not atone for sins as black as the ones I’ve committed.

Can’t do it.

Nothing you can do, nothing you can say, nothing, but nothing, but nothing will ever make right again what you have done wrong.

But if, for reasons that confound all comprehending, God still loves you, even after what you’ve done; if He welcomes you home to Him with joy that defies your ability to find words to describe it, and if He then puts you back into the same place where you committed some of your worst sins in the past –

– If He does all that, then, just maybe, you get the chance to … not do it over, because nobody ever gets the chance to do anything over … but to do it again, and this time to do it better.

How does an adulterer atone for his or her adultery? By being faithful to their spouse.

How does a wife-beater atone for beating his wife? By loving her the way God intended.

But even this kind of living atonement cannot undo the harm you have done. One of the hardest penalties of committing grave sin is that you can’t un-sin it. 

You can’t unadulter, unbeat, unrape, unkill anyone.

Without Jesus Christ you are stuck there in the pit of your sin and remorse forever. You will be a murderer/adulterer/liar/beater all your days. This is why I sometimes get so impatient with people who come on this blog and demand that the Catholic Church change the rules to tell them that their sins aren’t sins. They never do this about eating too many cookies or being a volunteer firefighter for the “wrong” motives.

Nope. They’re ok with those things and the Church’s teachings about them.

It’s the biggies that get them on here demanding a hall pass to heaven. They want the Church to tell them that their adulteries, abortions, disordered sex and lying, cheating ways are not a sin. They claim that anyone, anywhere, who says otherwise is “judging” them.

There are days when I want to put my arms around these lost souls and hug them. There are other days I want to ask, Are you kidding? Where do you get the arrogance to do these things and then demand that the Church — the Church — say that they are not sins?

Do you know what saved me?

The knowledge that I had sinned.

Without that, I would still be lost.

As for atonement, that came long afterwards, when I was mature enough in Christ to survive it. Atonement for me was being given an extra measure of forgiveness I most assuredly did not deserve. God put me in the place and almost coerced events so that I would be given the opportunity to pass pro life legislation. Atonement for me was being pilloried by pro abortion people. I was forced (against my will, I have to admit) to suffer public hazing for the babies.

It was that suffering, that character assassination and constant emotional battering, that finally set me free.

God forgave me, and, after a period of intense grief, I realized that I could not refuse His forgiveness by hanging onto my grief any longer. To do otherwise would be to say that my sins were greater than His mercy.

But it was the atonement — which in my case amounted to a kind of social death — that finally set me completely free of my sins.

I could not undo what I had done. I could not unkill those I had helped kill. I was powerless to rewind the havoc I had wreaked with my sinfulness.

But God could heal me of this grief, and He did. He gave me the chance to suffer just a bit, and the suffering cleansed me in my heart and mind.

I read somewhere — I think it was In This House of Brede, but I’m not sure — that atonement is really at-one-ment. That is a beautiful thought, and I think a true one. Atonement heals the person who atones and allows them to fully rejoin the human race, including those they have harmed, with a renewed self and a new purpose.

Now I, the former advocate of abortion, champion the unborn. I moved from who I was to who I am, from my then to God’s now. In the process, I found a wholeness and forgiveness that only someone who has gone to Jesus in the hopelessness and desperation of knowing that nothing they do can ever undo what they have already done can understand.

None of this belongs in a play, of course. At least not an entertaining one.

But it is the truth.

  • Larry Thomas

    Thank you for sharing, Rebecca Hamilton! May God continue to bless you and to strengthen you.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    God bless you. There but by the grace of God go I. I was pro-abortion in my youth, but thank God i never had the opportunity to encourage one.

    • Victor

      Right is Right and wrong is wrong! Good is Good and bad is bad! Ignorance is Ignorance and sin is sin!

      GOD (Good Old Dad) please let U>S (usual sinners) know the difference and again for Heaven sake won’t you teach all of your new sinful children to know the difference like you did in the past with Manny.

      Me, myself and i , sinner that “I” am ask this in the name of our “Mother”, “Father”, “SON” and “The Holy Spirit”.

      Amen!

      • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

        Thank you Victor. Let’s pray for Rebecca. Her journey must have been way more difficult than mine.

        • Victor

          (((Her journey must have been way more difficult than mine.)))

          GOD only knows Manny but you are right when you say let’s pray for Rebecca and……

          AND YA SAY VICTOR! WE WANT YA TO STOP “IT” NOW!>

          Listen folks, as they say in French, “Colin The Bin”, you’ve got to stop listening to these little retardos who don’t know what they’re talking about cause this is the twenty first century and if “IT” feels good go for “IT” cause there really ain’t not any one-men, “I” mean one-ment like this Jesus.

          What more can we 96% of this godly flesh do to help these so called four per sent age of Victor’s body cells
          who chose to continue to believe in these imaginary mother, father, son and so called holy spirit of our Kingdom now?
          We godly cells have challenged these so called imaginary 4% gods of our flesh that Victor think exist but they just keep ignoring U>S (usual sinners) and we gods won’t believe Victor when he says that “IT” is that imaginary lamp, “I” mean lamb of god disguised as clouds who keep taking away his sins while pup pets, “I” mean human being keeps praying and….

          END YA SAY sinner vic?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIMX72tFlh4

          Go figure brothers and sisters in Christ now! :)

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw-PiTkBpJA
          Keep UP the good words and works Rebecca.
          Peace

  • Bill S

    If I were to give my own definition of sin, which would be only one of many, it would be a concept that was passed down through the Jews to the Christians and used by the Catholic Church to assist people in maintaining an accounting of their misdeeds and bad thoughts visualized by black marks on an eternal soul.

    To me, that is what a sin is. I choose to no longer live by that visualization and accounting system.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      Amazing how you manage to get everything wrong. Everything.

      • Bill S

        You don’t agree that sin is just a religious concept? You think that if I am not a practicing Catholic, it is still a sin for me to intentionally not go to mass on Sunday? You think that if a gay married couple convert to episcopalianism that they still have to regard their marriage as sinful? It’s all a state of mind, Fabio.

        • FW Ken

          No, behaviors are sins or they are not. How anyone regards them doesn’t negate or validate them. The concept of “sin” does have religious roots, but the root meaning is that of “missing the mark”. That certainly has secular applications, although they are more commonly called “right” or “wrong” than “sin”.

          • Bill S

            “No, behaviors are sins or they are not.”

            Only within the confines of a particular religion. It is not a sin for you to eat pork because you are not a practicing Jew or Muslim. The list of examples of things that are not sins for those who don’t practice the Catholic faith is almost endless. Abortion, contraception and gay marriage top that list.

            • FW Ken

              Nonsense. The universe is designed a certain way and when we buck that design, we face destruction. Morality is not “religious”. It’s objective. I recognize that offends the narcissism that informs western culture, but history confirms it.

              • Bill S

                Wow. You’ve got a very inaccurate idea about how the universe is “designed” and how we face “destruction” if we “buck that design”.

                Your morality is 100% religious. Otherwise, you wouldn’t view homosexual acts as immoral.

                • FW Ken

                  You are missing the point (deliberately, perhaps). What I think is right or wrong, or you think is right or wrong, is beside the point. Reality exists independent of our opinions. Abortion is murder or it is not. Same-sex marriage is a socially aberrant act, or it is not. I may be wrong, or you may be wrong. But something is right.

                  As to facing destruction if you buck the design of the universe, try jumping off a tall cliff. Gravity exists whether you believe it or not.

                  • Bill S

                    Murder is the premeditated and illegal killing of a human being. In cases where an abortion is legal, it is not murder. Murder, by its very definition requires an illegal act.

                    Same sex marriage is not “a socially aberrant act”. If it were, it would be illegal like murder. Society is well on its way to accepting gay marriage. It is the Catholic Church and certain other churches and religions such as Islam that have a problem with it.

                    Not every act that you think bucks the design of the universe leads to destruction. Defying the Law of Gravity may be one act that does, depending on the particular circumstances such as walking off a cliff without a parachute and with no deep water below. We buck gravity all the time without being destroyed.

                    • FW Ken

                      Clearly you are unable or unwilling to follow a rational train of thought and prefer to play word games. Have a nice day.

                    • hamiltonr

                      That is one of the problems with trying to reason with atheists Ken.

                    • Bill S

                      I think that reasoning with atheists is a good mental exercise and that you should allow more comments from atheists to be published.

                    • hamiltonr

                      I allow tons of comments from atheists to be published. I think your objection is that this is not an atheist blog. If that is true, there are atheist blogs where they do nothing but bash Christians and high-five one another right here on Patheos. You might try some of those and see if talking endlessly about one topic and congratulating one another on being so very “bright” can sustain you intellectually.

                      As for “reasoning” with the atheists on come onto this blog, it mostly involves circular arguments in which they just keep repeating the same things that they say when they’re high-fiving one another.

                • Athanasius De Angelus

                  I don’t know if you are an atheist or a troll. However, homosexual acts is immoral because the act MISUSE the instrument that God has set up in our bodies. The sex act can cause a life with an Eternal Soul. But with two homosexuals the sex act can not cause a life, and here lies the MISUSE of God’s system.
                  Homosexual attraction is a mental disorder, that’s all.

                  • pagansister

                    ADA, Bill S is no troll. He is a man with a different opinion many times, but no troll. :-)

                    • Bill S

                      Thanks pagansister. But admitting I have a problem is the first step to recovery. I’m Bill and I am a compulsive obsessive atheist Internet troll.

                    • pagansister

                      Do you belong to “Atheist Internet Trolls Anonymous, better known as “AITA”? :-)

                    • Bill S

                      Yes. I’m in a 12 step program.

                    • pagansister

                      OK!!! Way to go!

                    • FW Ken

                      Perhaps you should call your sponsor before you post. :-)

                  • Bill S

                    Your argument is like FW Ken’s. You have this idea that we are designed for a certain purpose and it is this awful, disordered and terrible thing to “buck” that design. In your mind, it may be. In others, including mine, it is not. We buck Nature’s designs all the time without undesirable consequences.

                    • FW Ken

                      I said nothing about a “purpose”, “awful”, “disordered”, or “terrible”. Please don’t lie.

                    • Athanasius De Angelus

                      God’s Design not nature. Unless you’re talking about the god of random mutation. Oh by the way, the “theory” of your so-called “clown” evolution is being demolished right now:

                      “Meyer (Darwin’s Doubt) demonstrates, based on cutting-edge molecular biology, why explaining the origin of animals is now not just a problem of missing fossils, but an even greater engineering problem at the molecular level….An excellent book and a must read.” (Dr. Russell Carlson, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Georgia and technical director of the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center)

                    • Bill S

                      I have read Darwin’s Doubt by Meyer. I have also read Signature in the Cell. If there is an intelligent designer it most certainly is not the Judeo-Christian God or the Muslim Allah or any of the pagan gods. I just call it Nature.

                    • pagansister

                      Mother Nature is pretty cool. She runs a great show with periods of harshness —-floods, hurricanes, tornadoes etc. Always advisable to stay on her good side. :-)

                    • Bill S

                      Spoken like a true pagan. Given what the Bible and the Church have done to hijack the name of God, I much prefer to credit everything to Nature, or as you call it, Mother Nature.

                    • pagansister

                      Thank you, Bill S.! :-) I prefer Mother Nature, since life is given by WOMEN! Peace.

                    • Bill S

                      You know, technically, there were no mothers until the evolution of sexual reproduction less than 3 billion years ago.

                    • pagansister

                      Well Darn, Bill! Oh well. Think I’ll continue to use the name anyhow—but thanks for pointing that out. :-)

                    • Bill S

                      I use “Nature” and “Mother Nature” interchangeably myself. This whole thing is about myths and metaphors anyway. Like the Pearly Gates…METAPHOR, people, really.

                    • fredx2

                      Life is given by women in conjunction with men, remember.

                    • Athanasius De Angelus

                      “We buck Nature’s designs all the time without undesirable consequences.”

                      Oh really Bill S.? Oh so people can do SODOMY style without “undesirable consequences”? You must be a joker! Or you are into promoting illnesses and death.
                      I pray that you are just uneducated that is all!

                      Why don’t you get a little education before shooting off your mouth:

                      It is “…estimated 90% of men who have sex with men …engage in receptive anal intercourse.” -WebMd.com

                      “The anus lacks the natural lubrication the vagina has. Penetration can tear the tissue inside the anus, allowing bacteria and viruses to enter the bloodstream. This can result in the spread of sexually transmitted infections including HIV. Studies have suggested that anal exposure to HIV poses 30 times more risk for the receptive partner than vaginal exposure. Exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV) may also lead to the development of anal warts and anal cancer. Using lubricants can help some, but doesn’t completely prevent tearing.” – WebMd.com

                    • Bill S

                      I’m not sure if by giving medical information you are suggesting that homosexual acts should be made illegal or if the information should be made available to gays so they can decide for themselves what sexual activities they should avoid. If it is the former then you are way out of line. If it is the latter, that is fine. Every person is responsible for his or her own health. Churches and governments do not control how people look after themselves. Does the Church condemn smoking or any other unhealthy behaviors? Why should it get involved with what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms?

                • markkrite

                  As opposed to your view, Bill, that homosexual acts are…….virtuous? Is that your view, Bill? So if one gets the AIDS virus or Gay Bowel Syndrome as a result of homosexual acts w/another with or w/out “protection,” that would be the ‘fruit’ or ‘fruits’ of a virtuous act? Really, Bill? Wow, so WHAT planet did you say you’re from? The planet “Bill,” where up is down and wrong is right? I’ll pray for you too, Bill, maybe the HOLY SPIRIT can straighten you out. And I’m totally sincere about that, NOT patronizing you. GOD BLESS ALL, MARKRITE

                  • Bill S

                    That comment is just your best attempt to combat homosexuality in defense of the position taken by an institution that is incapable of changing with the times. Being in denial, you look at that liability as its greatest asset. So come up with your best AIDS and Gay Bowel Syndrome arguments to continue to deprive gays the rights that the rest of us have conceded to them.

          • pagansister

            Thanks for the explanation of the meaning of “sin” in a religious sense and the root meaning. Interesting.

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          No, it is a sin for you to go to Mass at all.

    • fredx2

      Sin is something that ultimately makes your life worse.

      For example, you could eat a huge apple pie all by yourself. It would taste good and fulfill some desire of yours. But ultimately, doing so makes you fat, slow, and unable to live life to the fullest.

      That’s sin,.

      • Bill S

        I have no problem with that concept of sin. In fact, in that there is such a thing as sin, that’s essentially what it is. I do it all the time but I don’t feel the need to go to a priest for forgiveness.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    I think I now understand much better why you are still a pro-life Democrat. Thank you for that.

  • FW Ken

    I was raised on the notion that “atonement” is in fact “at-one-ment”. Whether that’s linguistically correct, it’s true enough. Through the Passion of the Lord Jesus, we are reconciled to God, make one with Him.
    An open Speaker’s Meeting at an AA group can be a wonderful time to hear stories about how bad it was and how God brought about reconciliation and healing.

    • Bill S

      Faith in God brought feelings of reconciliation and healing. There’s a big difference.

      • FW Ken

        Feeling a little shaky in your disbelief, are you, Bill? You are by now aware that your opinions have no credence to rational people (you know, the one’s who aren’t consumed with hate for Christians, and Catholics in particular). I’m sorry you aren’t man enough to stick with a decision for or against Christ, but trying to make yourself feel better by denigrating the joy of others is simply evil.

        • Bill S

          After making one of my comments, I thought about whether or not I should be bursting your bubble. From what I’ve read, you seem to be living a good Catholic life with a child on the way and all. I’m sorry if my debating with you has seemed like an attempt to rob you of your joy. It was not my intent.

          • FW Ken

            Wrong person. I’m an old bachelor. As to living a “good Catholic life”, I’m just a “practicing” Catholic, hoping I get it right some day. And there’s not much chance you will burst my bubble; I’ve tried enough on my own and haven’t succeeded in almost 50 years.

            • Bill S

              What about:

              FW Ken • 5 days ago −
              “Our little 22 week old fetus continues to come along well, which makes this whole issue rather acute for me.”

              • FW Ken

                It’s the child of a younger friend.

  • pagansister

    IMO, and it is just that, there is no such thing as “pro-abortion”. That is what those that wish to make abortions illegal in this country again like to call a person who is for giving a woman a choice as to whether to carry to term or not. For the probably 100th time, I feel there should be a 12 week limit for that choice. (not talking about medical circumstances that might dictate an early delivery later in a pregnancy, not a “late term” abortion). Having known women, a couple in my family group, who chose to terminate, I wouldn’t have wished them a choice of having to leave the country for a safe termination or carry. When I was growing up, that is what those women who could afford to do, had to do. (their reasons known to them only, but some were medical). Those that came from lesser means, either found someone who would do it back alley or attempted it themselves. Rebecca, you changed your mind from being an advocate. You are happy with your decision, as you explained so well above. Currently I have no reason to change my mind in wanting choice to remain legal.

    • FW Ken

      It has always been my policy to call each side of the debate by their preferred names: pro-life and pro-choice. However, the antics at the Texas Capitol some weeks ago have me re-thinking my policy. I’ll probably continue this nomenclature, but it’s getting harder as time goes by.

    • peggy-o

      I respectfully disagree. It is a pro abortion choice to take that life no matter how heart breaking the circumstances. A 10 week old life is just as precious as a 22 week or 2 year old. I’m sure Rebecca thought she was helping women at the time. But she has shown us the damage with some of our IMO,s and remedy when we follow God’s truth instead.

      • pagansister

        No problem with you disagreeing. I see things differently and do not consider myself as “pro-abortion”. I would definitely prefer no woman choose to terminate a pregnancy. However, as a woman it is not my place to pass judgement on those women who find it necessary. If they do find it necessary (and hopefully after they have checked out other choices) then it should be available in a safe, clean environment with skilled professionals. My limit, 12 weeks. I do not consider it sinful to be “pro-choice” or those that assist women who chose to terminate “sinful”.

        • Athanasius De Angelus

          It is a wicked sin to kill a child and to be pro-choice is sinful.

          Doesn’t matter how many weeks, because life begins at conception. Your words do harm to the unborn child. Your words are evil and you are promoting EVIL.

          Here is Christ’s words:

          “Whosoever shall receive one such child as this in my name, receiveth me. And whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.” – Mark 9:36-37

          Since you won’t receive a child at conception to 12 weeks then you are PERSISTING IN SIN and promoting evil!

          “He who persists in sin, REBUKE him in the presence of all.” – 1 Timothy 5:20

          • pagansister

            You are entitled to your opinion and I to mine. If you consider my pro-choice “sinful” so be it. As to me promoting “evil”–again, your opinion, which you are entitled to. Sorry, but the verses you posted do not speak for me, as they do for you. Blessed Be.

            • Athanasius De Angelus

              Oh so your mouth isn’t SINNING when you’re promoting the destruction of the baby at conception to 12 week?
              Oh you are wickedly Blind!

              • pagansister

                No, my mouth isn’t “sinning” when I feel that a woman has the right to terminate a pregnancy before 12 weeks. You do get carried away with your vocabulary, ADA. “Wickedly Blind”? Really? :-) Must say that is original.

                • Athanasius De Angelus

                  Were you not once a 12 weeks old in your mother’s womb?
                  Well your mother gave you a chance at life didn’t she?
                  So why are you promoting EVIL through abortion?
                  You are wicked and blind! Since your name is “pagan” so are you a witch?

                  • pagansister

                    Right now all I can do, ADA, is grin at your latest comments. I usually find that people on this site are polite and avoid name calling, even when they disagree with a point of view. Apparently you feel that your “words” are going to get me to change my point of view. You are not succeeding. So—yes, I was obviously born. I don’t remember being 12 weeks in the womb. My mother planned and had me and wasn’t in circumstances of needing to stop the pregnancy. If she had felt it necessary, I wouldn’t be writing to you, would I? No, I’m not a witch (sorry). As to wicked and blind? You seem to like saying that and I expect believe it. I disagree, but you know that already. One other thing—I DO NOT PROMOTE ABORTION. I feel a woman has a right to deal with a pregnancy in her own way. I would always prefer it never happen. I wish you peace.

                  • hamiltonr

                    Athanasius, don’t get personal. Focus on the issues, not the person. It will make your witness for life much more effective.

                    • Athanasius De Angelus

                      Sorry, promoting CHILD KILLING is personal to me! When will this killing ever stop? Will we have to go to the March for Life, every year for the rest of our lives? You talk nice to these pro-choice people, they don’t change. You’re mean to them and they don’t change. We can’t reason with them, WHY? Because they don’t believe in God, they don’t believe in Heaven or Hell. They don’t care about killing, period! We are now becoming animals, we are in an impossible situation!

                • Athanasius De Angelus

                  “I feel a woman has a right to deal with a pregnancy in her own way.”

                  Sooooo, you support her decision to destroy her baby in the womb if she chose to do so?

                  “From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.” – Psalm 22:10

                  Your words will condemn you pagansister on Judgement Day.

                  • Bill S

                    Wow. I just looked up some of your other comments to see if it was just me that you have a problem with. I guess it is not. You really can’t understand that it is up to the woman and not you, the Church, the government or anyone else.

                    • pagansister

                      Bill S. You’re not the only one—as you discovered. :-)

                    • Bill S

                      Saint Athanasius was the zealot who fought the heresy of Arianism which suggested that Jesus was not on the same level as God the Father (can you imagine?). ADA apparently shares that enthusiasm.

                    • pagansister

                      That may explain a lot. :-) Thanks Bill.

                  • pagansister

                    ADA, as far as I’m concerned I am done attempting to discuss this with you. You have read my view point(s), and I have read yours. Your responses are to toss Bible verses at me and name call. We do not agree and we never will, however I do have respect for your view point in spite of the fact I’m headed for hell ( a place I do not believe in) on —judgement day ( a day I don’t believe will happen). In all honesty—I really do wish you the best. I’m happy just as I am—Spiritual—and free to be so.

        • Gail Finke

          You may not see yourself as pro-abortion, but you are. No neutrality is possible when it comes to this issue. Abortion kills a human being, and either it’s all right with you to kill, or it isn’t. Saying “I wouldn’t kill, but other people can if they want to” is saying it’s all right with you to kill. It took me a long time to understand that simple distinction, but once I did it changed everything. It’s not all right to kill an innocent person. The reason, the method, and the person doing the killing are all secondary to this main point. Why do you think it’s not your business to judge? You — like all of us — judge what’s right to do every day. Is embezzlement okay with you — maybe not for you, but for someone else who feels the need to embezzle? Is carjacking okay? Is robbing a bank okay?

          • pagansister

            As I said above to someone else, you are most certainly entitled to your opinion and I to mine. I do not consider my self pro-abortion, you do. That’s life.

        • peggy-o

          I am glad you are on this site because Rebecca is passing on real truth and age old wisdom not opinion. I care and pray for you and your family members who’ve made that decision. The One who creates us does judge us and sin whether we believe it or not does harm. Ii hope you will reconsider and journey closer to the fullness of truth and care on life issues.

          • pagansister

            I have always appreciated that Rebecca allows me to comment on her site. Thank you for your polite response. Even folks who do not agree should be civilized in their conversations, and you are an example of one of many on this site who are “nice” even though they disagree. :-)

            • peggy-o

              I totally agree. We should be civil. I really try to be as I have appreciated people’s kindness with me as I came full circle on this issue. We’re so quick these days to label and name call and that’s not productive nor very Christian. I am glad you are here despite the differences.

              • pagansister

                Thank you, peggy-o. As I already said, I appreciate being able to comment on this site. Not that you are interested and you may have read this somewhere else, but my last 10 years of teaching, before retiring, was in a Catholic elementary school –pre-K to 8th grade. Me? I taught kindergarten. Those were happy years with wonderful people. I don’t always agree with the RCC, but whether it comes across or not, I do have great respect for it and those that adhere to it’s teachings. :-)

      • Bill S

        You know, the development of a human embryo and the development of a fish or mammal embryo are very similar in the beginning. It is only when the brain of the human fetus gets so large that it must leave the womb to develop further as a newborn infant that we start to differ from other mammals who are born more fully developed but with relatively smaller brains. It is only the size of our brain that differentiates us from other animals. Yes, the potential is there for us to grow into rocket scientists. But, at twelve weeks, we haven’t become anything yet.

    • markkrite

      Sorry, pagansister, all your obfuscating, rationalizing etc., cannot conceal the fact that EACH legalized abortion (murder) SNUFFED OUT the existence of an UNREPEATABLE HUMAN BEING, and that fact alone TRUMPS every obfuscation, rationality, or whatever soothing word you choose to employ to paper over the murder of an innocent, defenseless human being, UNREPEATABLE, once again. I’ll certainly pray for you that you will see the light in this regard; and the study of newer medical disciplines of fetology and embryology SHOULD help you to lose the fogginess that you seem to have over the UTTER WORTH of each conceived human, I’ll pray for that for you too. GOD BLESS ALL, MARKRITE

      • pagansister

        You are certainly entitled to your opinion and I to mine. Hope your day is going well.

        • FW Ken

          The problem with the my opinion/your opinion thing is that in this case, the consequences of our opinions is dire. If your opinion is correct, PS, then my opinion would strip women of important rights that give them equality in the work world (if that’s what they want) and even threatens their lives.
          If my opinion is correct, then your opinion is killing millions of human beings, and threatening women’s lives.
          So it’s important what opinions we promote. One or the other is correct, and both have important ramifications.

          • pagansister

            Think I have repeated myself enough, FW Ken. All opinions, no matter what they are, have consequences.

            • FW Ken

              Which is why opinions, at least the ones that matter, need to be backed up with rational argumentation, or at least an authoritative source.

              • pagansister

                Whether this will make sense to you or not, I don’t know. The only source I have for my reasoning is—life experiences. No, I had no reason to terminate my only 2 pregnancy’s , but a couple of family members did choose to do so. Medical reasons being one for one of them. Both able to do so (as previously mentioned) well before 12 weeks. I backed both of their decisions. (one discussed it with me, the other didn’t). I have known other women outside my family group who have ended a pregnancy. So, my opinion is based on “life”.

                • FW Ken

                  I think we all tend to do that. It’s human to look to your own experiences, and I would never claim to be other than formed by my own.

                  Part of my experience involves working with people who have made very bad choices that have destroyed their lives and the lives of their families. Not to mention the lives and families of victims. If I were not a Christian, it’s likely I would still believe in right and wrong as absolutes. One of my absolutes is the value of human life. It’s a scientific fact , as I read it, that human life begins at birth. Therefore… you know the rest. But that’s not an altruistic position only, since history tells us that denigrating the humanity of anyone threatens us all.

                  I don’t expect to convince you, only to demonstrate that personal experience is a very limited way to drive public policy.

                  • pagansister

                    I do understand where you are coming from. I was raised, as you may remember from some of my previous posts, Christian. So I have had that influence in my life—a very sheltered one until I married, actually. I can agree that perhaps personal experience is a very limited way to drive public policy—but right now—that is what am using. (obviously). Thanks for the conversation—

  • FW Ken

    This seems on topic to me, but maybe not. The advantages of moderated comments, I suppose. :-)

    Anyway, the coroner’s office called Sunday and told me they had found a friend of mine dead in his house on Saturday. I’ve known him for more than 20 years, and he comes from a time when I was pretty wild and estranged from God. He’s the only friend I have from that era, mostly because he has supported me when I moved back towards God and because he trusted me to tell him the truth about things. And the truth is that he was a pretty bad person. He was hateful, possessive, vindictive, and sometimes just plain mean. He danced at the edge of criminality, yet never went to prison. But the last few years, he tried. For four years, he cared for his mother, fading into Altzheimer’s. After her death, he came back here and made several efforts to be more honest in his business. Imperfectly, but he tried. I think he knew death was coming; the last two or three months, he went back to the Episcopal Church, made confession, received Communion, and was active with his parish. They called me today and asked for an address to send condolences. The woman who called said “I really believe God was calling him”. It reminded me of my own priest’s oft repeated statement: we are wanted in heaven.

    All of which is to say that however badly we live (and I’ve done my share), there is Atonement, first in the blood of Christ, whose death satisfied the justice at the heart of the universe, then by the grace that calls us and re-makes us. This is why it’s so hard to separate yourself from the Church. It’s a truism that at the end, we call for a priest. I’ve seen it.

    • peggy-o

      Wow FW Ken what a good friend you are! Having been where you were with fallen friends and coming thru a falling away as Rebecca has, I agree that folks really do want truth. They also appreciate credibility in an honest witness and consistency over hypocrisy even tho they might disagree along the journey.

    • Sus_1

      I’m sorry about your friend. Thank you for sharing this.

      • FW Ken

        Thank you. It really want a surprise. He was a brittle diabetic who didn’t take care of himself. But it’s a good reminder that God, though a gentleman who doesn’t impose himself on us, is nevertheless a persistent gentleman.

    • pagansister

      Condolences on the death of your friend. It is never easy to hear about the passing of a friend, but when it is totally unexpected it can be harder, I think.

    • Gail Finke

      Something about your comment really struck me — the last bit about atonement coming first from Christ. As Rebecca said in her piece, we cannot undo what we’ve done — and really, we can’t ever atone for even one serious sin. And that, I think, is part of the mystery of the cross. Christ is the only one who can atone, although (because?) he is innocent. All we can do is accept that atonement and begin anew. Easy to say and hard, hard, hard to do.

      • hamiltonr

        Profound thoughts, Gail. Thank you.

  • MeanLizzie

    Remarkable honesty, thank you, Rebecca. And it is a good recollection of what John Paul II meant when he mourned that the world had lost its sense of sin. If you don’t know you’ve sinned, how can you be rescued from it?

  • Stevelsn

    Beautifully written. When my son died several years ago I was forced to recognize how poorly I had performed as a father. The finality of it, the absolutely unchangeable nature of the past, (there are no do-overs) and my failure, my sin, I’ll repent of all my life. I cannot undo, either, what I have done or failed to do. But I think you are right that at some point you must accept God’s mercy and gratefully and humbly ask his aid to do his will. Go and sin no more. (Still easier said than done)

    • hamiltonr

      Steve, Susan Lepak, who is a good, dear Catholic friend of mine, once said to me, “Don’t you know the babies are praying for you from heaven?”

      That comment helped me so much.

      Now, I’m saying it to you: Don’t you know your son is praying for you from heaven?

  • top8305

    My Sister in Christ Rebecca,

    As did Paul after his great sin, you have repented, our God has forgiven you in Christ Jesus and the Paraclete and your witness before God’s entire Creation, faithful or stiff-necked, is Pleasing in His Sight. May God Bless you always in His Perfect Merciful, Just Love.
    For us who have partaken in, abjectly repented of this abomination, we Praise God for His abounding Merciful Forgiveness, and beg to do His Will, through Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Isaiah 41
    [11] Yes, all shall be put to shame and disgrace
    who vent their anger against you;
    Those shall be as nothing and perish
    who offer resistance.
    [12] You shall seek but not find
    those who strive against you;
    They shall be as nothing at all
    who do battle with you.
    [13] For I am the LORD, your God,
    who grasp your right hand;
    It is I who say to you, Do not fear,
    I will help you.
    [14] Do not fear, you worm Jacob,
    you maggot Israel;
    I will help you—oracle of the LORD;
    the Holy One of Israel is your redeemer.*
    [15] I will make of you a threshing sledge,
    sharp, new, full of teeth,
    To thresh the mountains and crush them,
    to make the hills like chaff.
    [16] When you winnow them, the wind shall carry them off,
    the storm shall scatter them.
    But you shall rejoice in the LORD;
    in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.
    [17] The afflicted and the needy seek water in vain,
    their tongues are parched with thirst.
    I, the LORD, will answer them;
    I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
    [18] I will open up rivers on the bare heights,
    and fountains in the broad valleys;
    I will turn the wilderness into a marshland,
    and the dry ground into springs of water.
    [19] In the wilderness I will plant the cedar,
    acacia, myrtle, and olive;
    In the wasteland I will set the cypress,
    together with the plane tree and the pine,
    [20] That all may see and know,
    observe and understand,
    That the hand of the LORD has done this,
    the Holy One of Israel has created it.

    The Word of The Lord
    Thanks be to God

    Oh God hear our prayer
    And let our cry come unto Thee

    To Jesus through Mary

  • markkrite

    It was a wrenching story you told, Rebecca Hamilton, and certainly for you a profound blessing from Almighty God to be free from the wretchedness of your prior life. It also reminded me again of the earth-shaking reality of Bl. JP II’s passage in one of his books, about the UNREPEATABILITY of each unborn human conceived in His Image and likeness. It’s staggering for me each time I recall his word for EACH OF US ever conceived in our mother’s womb, UNREPEATABLE. There will NEVER be another like us born ,because each of us is UNIQUE, ONE-OF-A KIND, NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN. And so the colossal truth about legalized abortion (murder) suppressed by NARAL, PLANNED PARENTHOOD, et al, is that each soul brought into existence through fornication, adultery, even rape, has SPECIAL ETERNAL VALUE because each is CREATED, ONCE AGAIN, IN THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS of God. What more to say? None of our tiny sisters and brothers should EVER have to go through the searing violence of being TORN APART in our mother’s womb, it’s utterly INCONCEIVABLE that any civilized nation would EVER allow such a procedure. And yet…….it’s happening each and every day here in the land of the free, home of the brave and throughout the world; UNREPEATABLE BEINGS are being pound and ground OUT of existence through the INSANE BELIEF that NO woman s/be denied her “rights of free choice.” In the words of the late great Pope Paul VI, paraphrased, “the smoke of satan seeped into American life @ the passage of Roe V. Wade. May Our Holy Lady of Divine Grace pray assiduously for us, we are SO in need of it. GOD BLESS ALL, MARKRITE

    • Bill S

      “each soul brought into existence through fornication, adultery, even rape, has SPECIAL ETERNAL VALUE because each is CREATED, ONCE AGAIN, IN THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS of God”

      That’s one fanatical way of looking at it.

      • Athanasius De Angelus

        There is nothing “fanatical” about this. A child should NOT receive the Death Penalty (abortion) just because their parents were evil. God can bring good out of evil. Bill S. you need to grow up!

        • Bill S

          To say that a woman who has been raped or has otherwise had sex with a man whose child she does not want to bear cannot even take a morning after pill or immediately get an abortion is fanatical. To establish some restrictions and requirements such as in the new law in Texas that sets the limit at 20 weeks is not fanatical. I’m just referring to the extremists who are mostly driven by religious fanaticism.

          • Athanasius De Angelus

            Again, the death penalty for the child of a raped victim? No you are the one who is fanatical, BECAUSE you are into KILLING. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot are all materialists. These evil killers are into KILLING people. Thus, since you Bill S. are into killing babies in the womb just because their parents were evil, then I would say that you are the fanatic materialist!

            • pagansister

              A man who impregnates a woman thru rape is NOT a parent. He is a rapist. The woman (the victim!!) should not have to carry to term a reminder of the RAPIST. Morning after pill prevents that possibility. But I’m sure that is evil too. But no pregnancy, no possibility of abortion—though I’m sure you can’t see that.

              • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                How simple life is when you start making false assumptions. “A rapist is not a parent.” All right, let’s think about it. Say that a man starts raping his wife after marriage. That, by your definition, makes him not a parent. So what about the already-born children of that marriage? Should they be lined up and shot? If you say no, then I want you to show me where the difference is with your claim: because that claim contains another false assumptions – children that have “no parent but a rapist” should die so the mother can feel better about it. But even if you reject the logical result of your two assumptions, can’t you see that you are granting the rapist father a free pass from his responsibilities? Suppose the woman divorces him, as we should expect; or, if she is a devout Catholic, legally separates from him. If he is “not a parent”, what call do the children have on support? In the end, you are REWARDING a criminal for his crime, by taking away a whole set of burdensome responsibilities from him – and criminals are criminal BECAUSE they don’t want responsibilities.

                I know you are not a baby, Pagansister, but sometimes you make me feel you must have lived a sheltered life. When I was about sixteen, I think I thought as you did,and then I started meeting and hearing about real people and their real experiences. One case I met when I was 27 did much to change my understanding: an Irish abortion supporter brought up the case of a twelve-year-old girl who had been raped and rushed to Britain for abortion because, and I quote, “she could feel this monster growing inside her.” To the abortion supporter, this was the last word and obviously justified it all. But to me, the story told something different altogether. I know a thing or two about having nightmares and horrors in my past. I know they don’t go away, and the best thing you can do with them is learn to live with them and perhaps find a little wisdom in thinking about what happened. The worst is to shove them away, remain unreconciled, and thus leave them to fester as a constant, hidden source of bitterness. (“Is that why you….” Yes.) Now this girl could not undo the nightmare, but instead of doing anything to deal with it, she was adding – and being encouraged to add – another layer of nightmare to it. It was only in her mind that the thing growing inside herself was a monster; in reality, the first thing she would have seen had the baby come whole out of the womb instead of in bloody little pieces, would have been – a baby. As it is, as her benevolent helpers made or let her do, she carries for the rest of her life this Ripley-from-Alien nightmare vision of life growing within her as monstrous, alien, and vampiric. There’s a nice base to build an adult life from. And since then I have met or heard from literally dozens of women who say the same thing: “The only good thing I got from rape is my baby”. It’s only a monster when it is unborn.

                • pagansister

                  12 year old pregnant child? No morning after pill then, right? Giving birth at 12 can be dangerous. Even though she was able to become pregnant, giving birth is another thing—but won’t go into that now. I also expect this was before the ability to detect a pregnancy very early—and one had to wait until 1 or 2 missed periods? All I can say is that the people who helped her were doing what they thought was the best thing. Unfortunately, (what year was this?) she probably ended up with perhaps a late term abortion (after 12 weeks IMO) and that was tragic and I don’t agree with them. Yes, that could have caused her nightmares and effected her later life. I totally agree. Your arguments are legit, and I understand them. I feel,however, that a woman shouldn’t be required to carry a pregnancy to term if raped. Now the husband who rapes? No, of course one shouldn’t shoot the other children if there are any (who we assume might have been conceived in love). Fabio, that is bazaar! But— all rapists are NOT married to the woman—and those that are? Getting into marriage rape is another whole ballgame. A rapist(stranger) who attacks a woman isn’t a parent…he is a criminal. The husband rapist should “pay financially” for a possible child and for any children he may have previously made in love. If the married woman carries to term—and has the courage to leave him, he being the rape “father” should also pay for the violently conceived child. (however the husband rapist is also criminal). I’m not sure any of the above made sense. And you’re right—I’m not a baby. Way beyond that. My life has long ago stopped being sheltered—the first 17 were (except when it came to religion, as I was beginning to question my Methodist upbringing) then I married at 19 3/4. Fabio, I’m not sure I addressed your usual well written post. I’m sure you’ll let me know. :-)

                  • Athanasius De Angelus

                    Why are you blood thirsty? It don’t matter period, if the Child came from an evil person, that CHILD SHOULD NOT GET THE DEATH PENALTY!
                    Give the baby up for adoption!

                    • pagansister

                      Finished discussion with you, remember?

                    • Athanasius De Angelus

                      Why did you lie about the MORNING AFTER PILL?

                      It is an abortifacient. “In some cases, the pills prevent ovulation, but in other cases they inhibit implantation of an embryo. In cases in which an embryo cannot implant, the drug acts as a chemical abortifacient..”-http://www.christianliferesources.com

                    • pagansister

                      See above.

                  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                    Not as simple as that. First, a lot of rapists are known to their victims and a lot of rapes are attempts at a relationship gone wrong – misread signals, drugs or dope, or even mere stupid anger. But even if the rapist is a complete alien, by killing the child you remove his responsibility for it, which is presumably what he wants. He should be made to pay alimony till the child is adult, without any visitation rights unless both the mother (or the person in loco parentis) and the social workers on the case agree.

                    Athanasius, as usual, argued the matter as badly as it could possibly be argued, but the point is that once you have a “fertilized egg”, you have something that has, scientifically and philosophically, the status of a human being. A human being is not an unchanging fact, like a mountain; he/she is a process, with a beginning and an end. The end is death. Until that end, we say that it is not lawful to kill him/her for any reason except an extreme emergency: war, extreme need in self-defence, extreme need in law enforcement, and, in certain circumstances, possibly, the death penalty (I am against it in any situation except treason in wartime or a Nuremberg-like punishment of political mass murderers).

                    Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt do no murder. A lot of people have woven elaborate sophistries about the two different possible translations of the Fifth Commandment, but I find its dictates really very simple either way. And all the legitimate reasons to violate it have this in common, that they are not rights but emergencies, You can kill if your life is threatened and you have no other way to defend yourself; you can kill if you are enforcing the law and your opponent is violently and murderously resisting it; you can kill if your country is under attack and calls on you to fight as a soldier. You can kill, in other words, only to prevent an equal or worse evil. In normal life, without extreme emergencies, killing is the ultimate wrong. Full stop, period, no exceptions.

                    Now if the prohibition on killing extends across human life to its end (so that, for instance, you are not allowed to shorten the sufferings of an unpopular aunt whose incurable disease is eating up the inheritance you had been counting on – which is what euthanasia is usually about), it also must extend to its beginning. And where is the beginning? Certainly not the moment when the baby;s wet and bedraggled head makes its appearance above the mother’s womb; what you have there is already the result of a long process, and under current circumstances a baby can be kept alive out of the womb for a remarkably long period anyway. Contrary to the beliefs of astrologers, there is no special magic about birth, which can be accelerated and delayed to almost any extent today. No, the point at which it is not lawful to kill is the earliest point at which we can say: here we have the process called a human being taking place, that process which, without violent outside intervention, will result in a child, then an adult, then an old person, and eventually end in a corpse. I know that a lot of pregnancies naturally end prematurely. So what? Babies die. Children die. Teen-agers die. Young people and middle-aged people die. An awful lot of people die, in fact – I’m told it’s quite common. The point is that we should not kill them.

                    And the process known as a human being begins with fertilization. Millions of sperm cells and thousands of eggs never become human at all, but once one of them has fertilized another, then, unless nature or crime stops it, the process called human being will take place. And since the human being is human at all points of the process up to the point of death, so too he/she is human from the moment the process starts.

                    Athanasius finds this obvious, as I do, and due to his unfortunate temper he surrounds this statement of the obvious with violent and unintelligent mannerisms. I ask you to ignore them and focus on the concept of human being.

                    • pagansister

                      Good Morning, Fabio. Repeating an above question—ever think of becoming a “man of the cloth?” :-) Prefacing this with my contention that the morning after pill could/would prevent the need to consider termination. If, however, a woman carries a pregnancy started by a rape, by a stranger, my guess is that it could be nearly impossible to get any kind of child support—blood from a turnip type situation. (which sometimes is true of divorce situations). Obviously some men could financially pay, and should as part of the consequences of the rape. (if in prison for the rape, however, paying could present a problem). Also the “excuses” for rapes are numerous. Again I repeat myself (sorry Rebecca) but I’m not against inflicting the death penalty in certain criminal situations. Euthanasia is a whole different discussion, which as you mentioned, sometimes is used for financial gain. The circumstances you mentioned in which taking a life can be considered legitimate(war, self defense etc. ) I agree with. Though you haven’t changed my mind on the time line I hold to allow legal termination of a pregnancy, I do respect your beliefs on this issue, as well as others on this blog, I just respectfully disagree. One other question, if I may. Do you have a problem with the use of the morning after pill? Asking this realizing the Church’s position on ABC. I find it it better to prevent even the possibility of a pregnancy in some cases, but especially in a rape situation. Thanks Fabio for your civility.

                    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                      Well, obviously, since the morning-after pill destroys fertilized eggs, that is human beings in their earliest stage, I have to condemn it.

                    • pagansister

                      “——-I have to condemn it”. I respect that. At least you are civil in your statements, proven here and in other posts as well.

                    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                      As i said somewhere else, you be nice to me, I be nice to you; you be nasty to me, and you get to find out yourself what it’s like.
                      Oh, and to answer your previous question, I have on occasion considered taking vows, but I have come to the conclusion, one, that I felt a vocation to marriage (it didn’t work out, but I was serious about it, and I still am – and it would not be right to take vows with a mental reservation “in case I meet D—— again); and, two, that I was not made for discipline and I pity the poor bishop who had me under him.

                    • pagansister

                      Thank you for answering my question, Fabio. Maybe you will meet D——again someday. :-)

            • Athanasius De Angelus

              Pagansister,
              (answering your comment below)

              So freakin’ what, again, the child in the womb has an eternal soul should not get the death penalty. The woman can give the baby up for adoption. You should not add violence (rape) upon violence (death of a child). Your way is stupid, half of that baby is from the woman, by bring good (giving life to the child) out of evil (the rape). The woman is acting Christ like. Christ sacrificed His own flesh to redeem us.
              But of course you are a Pagansister (pagan) who doesn’t understand this, you are into KILLING the innocent child in the womb!

              • pagansister

                I have already posted that I’m through discussing things with you for the reasons I stated below. The morning after pill doesn’t cause an abortion—it PREVENTS the possibility of a pregnancy. Bye.

                • Athanasius De Angelus

                  Why did you lie about the MORNING AFTER PILL?

                  It is an abortifacient. “In some cases, the pills prevent ovulation, but in other cases they inhibit implantation of an embryo. In cases in which an embryo cannot implant, the drug acts as a chemical abortifacient..”-http://www.christianliferesour…

                  • pagansister

                    Done, Done & Done

                    • Athanasius De Angelus

                      Ah, don’t have a comeback for the lie that you’re promoting!

                    • pagansister

                      Do you not understand the word “DONE”? Apparently not. (and I do not lie).

            • Bill S

              If I had a daughter who was raped or made a mistake and if someone like you tried to tell her that she can’t even take emergency contraception or have an early term abortion, I would tell you where you could go. And I would probably tell you that you are a misguided religious fanatic.

              • hamiltonr

                Bill, don’t go to name-calling by innuendo.

                • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                  It’s not innuendo, Rebecca – Bill said, and meant, that anyone who regards every human being as God’s special creation is a religious fanatic (because of the consequences in the matter of abortion). And he seriously imagines that he is the one who is showing compassion to rape victims, because to him a child is a “punishment”. As he is not very familiar with the human race and does not pay attention to what his neighbours say and do, he has never heard how many times a rape victim will say: “My baby is the one good thing I got out of this nightmare”. Kill the baby and, even if you are lucky enough (by your idea of luck) to have a woman who is insensitive to abortion and who will not have nightmares about unborn children, you will certainly NOT have removed the nightmare of rape from her; you will only have taken away anything positive and life-affirming that she might have got out of it.

                • Bill S

                  Sorry. Some people are fanatical about their views. The commenter referred to me as a materialistic fanatic and maybe that is true as well.

              • Athanasius De Angelus

                No, if you are into KILLING then YOU are the fanatic. Why do you even need to kill when you can give the baby up for adoption????
                Oh you love to see BLOOD Don’t you Bill S.?
                You are Blood Thirsty!
                Are you a Dracula?
                You are just a dense little clown materialist, who is into killing!

                • hamiltonr

                  Please don’t make statements about the other commenters on this blog. Just stick to the issue itself. Treat other commenters with courtesy and respect.

                • hamiltonr

                  Do not call people names on this blog. You can make your points without that.

                  • Athanasius De Angelus

                    Talk to pagan about her calling me “obnoxious” when she can go Scott free (def.:To completely get away with something, like murder.) defending and supporting the destruction of the unborn at conception to 12 weeks. That is unfair!

                    • hamiltonr

                      I agree there has been some name calling going both ways.

                      Everyone: Stop this, or I’ll start deleting all of you.

                    • pagansister

                      No problem.Rebecca. I like discussions with people who disagree other peoples’ views with civility. Thanks for your patience with all this.

                    • pagansister

                      Smiling. If I look up “Scott free” will I find that definition? Have a good one, ADA.

                • Bill S

                  So if a woman is raped or makes a mistake and has sex with someone whose child she has no intention of having, she shouldn’t take a morning after pill. That’s basically the extreme that you are taking this to. Like pagansister, whom you also harassed, I am done discussing this with you.

                  • Athanasius De Angelus

                    Well I’m not done discussing with you. If you want to go to hell, I’m not going to stop you. Yes I do believe in heaven and hell. However, it is WRONG for you to promote HELL. The “morning after pill” is an abortion pill, again you are into the killing. Why not adoption, hey that is a new concept!

                    • hamiltonr

                      Athanasius, gently please.

                    • pagansister

                      Rebecca, I will be right up front here. If ADA was the only representative of a person following the Catholic faith I had met, I would be totally turned off. I’d be running in the other direction as fast as I could go and the respect I have for those that follow your faith would never happen. I’m glad you are (so far) letting him post—but he is so over the top it is unreal. He doesn’t seem to understand that insulting folks is NO way to “win them over to his point of view”.

                    • Athanasius De Angelus

                      Yeah, like you calling me “obnoxious” when you are obnoxious with your promotion of death for the unborn at conception to 12 weeks! Now promoting evil is obnoxious!

                    • pagansister

                      Not worth responding to. Done.

                    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                      Athanasius, I, like Rebecca, am on your side, and I am regarded as a tough debater. But I have to tell you to your face that I have never seen a debating style more calculated than yours to make your opponent hate and reject you and any truth you may be carrying. Remember you are dealing with agnostics and atheists. THEY DON’T BELIEVE IN HELL. Threatening them with Hell will do nothing to change their minds, but it will help them despise you. Yes, Bill is a nuisance and something very close to a troll; but this sort of outburst just confirms him in his superstitions. Debate your opponents on their grounds,

                    • pagansister

                      Maybe ADA will listen to you, Fabio, as he doesn’t seem to listen to Rebecca. His being obnoxious wins no one over and is a horrible way to represent anything, religion included. As to agnostics and atheists, you’re right of course. I’m one of those that doesn’t believe in a literal place called hell. Many times that place is here on this planet. It doesn’t have to be an after death destination threat by a religion in an attempt to cause folks to behave or think about their behavior.

                    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                      Actually, your idea of Hell is not the Christian one – nor the one of Hinduism or most other religions. It may be ascribed to Islam, if you REALLY REALLY don’t like Islam and want to take everything it says in its worst possible light. Christianity, especially Catholicism, is tendentially universalistic; there is an inherent hope (Julian of Norwich said it explicitly, but you can find it in St.Paul if you look) that in the end everything and everyone will be redeemed and taken up. And in both Christianity and Hinduism Hell is not something that God decrees from His own arbitrary decision, but something that people choose for themselves. Please don’t invoke Godwin’s Law, but when Hitler, physically wrecked and exhausted, defeated on the battlefield, betrayed by his supporters, and staring at death and – what was worse – total defeat, took the trouble to write a political testament, immediately before shooting himself, only to prove that he had learned nothing from all his defeats and that he wanted to do nothing but carry his hatreds, resentments and motiveless loathings into death with him, what destination can any surviving part of such a man have? That is, the idea of Hell is simply a by-product of the idea of eternal life, whether reincarnated or not. If you postulate any kind of individual or spiritual survival after physical death, you have to imagine Hell, because it is as clear as the sunlight on your face that some people would simply reject anything even remotely good and decent. And it follows that such men make Hell for themselves. A Hindu would tell you that such a man as Hitler must be reincarnated in the lowest part of the universe because he has done nothing but multiply the mountainous weight of his karma; a Christian would tell you that he has done nothing but reject the goodness of God in every shape that was offered to him, and that to flee from God and from happiness was the destiny he had made for himself. As CS Lewis once said, there are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, Thy will be done, and those to whom God says, Thy will be done. Conscious revolt against goodness in any of its forms is the one thing that God has not created and over which He has no power. (Incidentally, another great Christian writer and wit, Giovanni Guareschi, once said, for much the same reason, that political parties are not creations of the good God.)

                    • pagansister

                      Fabio, have you ever thought of being a man of the cloth? That could have been a sermon. My ideas of what might happen after my energy has left my body is a mixture of beliefs. To complicated for me to try and explain. :-)

                    • Athanasius De Angelus

                      Fabio, Bill is here looking for converts for his meaningless cause. Some of these people who knows might actually work for planned parenthood. Bill and Pagan are looking for weak minded Christians to convert. They can despise me, I really don’t care. Okay perhaps you’re right maybe threat of eternal damnation won’t work, perhaps attacking the theory of random mutation might work. And I did that, and Bill turned around and said that he believe that there is a GOD (surprise!) but he doesn’t believe it to be the Christian God nor Allah. I think he is a major troll!

                    • Sus_1

                      I don’t think Pagansister or Bill are looking to convert anyone to anything. From all of their posts I’ve never gotten the impression they would try to take advantage of anyone weak minded.

                    • pagansister

                      Thank you, Sus_1. I’m most certainly not out to convert anyone! (strong minded or weak minded :-) )

                    • pagansister

                      I have taken rudeness off you until I decided it wasn’t worth my time to even attempt to have a civil conversation with you, ADA. However, let me make one thing perfectly Clear. I am NOT on this site to look “for weak minded Christians to convert.” Your accusation couldn’t be farther from the truth if you tried. Sorry to disappoint. I am on this site to have a serious discussion with intelligent men and women who happen to follow the Catholic faith. There are no weak minded Christians on this site. And truthfully, until you started posting, those I have had “conversations” with have been kind, understanding and perhaps tolerant of my view points, while explaining theirs. Guess there had to be someone to ruin that record. BTW, I do not “despise” you, Why would I? I know you do not represent the many Catholics I have had the pleasure of knowing and teaching with over many, many years.

                    • pagansister

                      One last thing, ADA. I do not work for PP. I’m a retired teacher, the last 10 years in a Catholic elementary school–and yes, they knew I wasn’t Catholic when hired all those many years ago. I taught kindergarten children their faith on their level as well as the usual subjects. The class and I (as well as the whole school) attended Mass once a month.

                    • Athanasius De Angelus

                      Then, I really feel sorry for the elementary school and the kindergarten children.

                    • pagansister

                      More laughing happening here. This being 9/11 I was glad for the chance to laugh a little. Thank you!!!

                    • pagansister

                      Really? I could go on but I do not wish to be rude.

                    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                      Sigh,,,, You are not listening.

                    • pagansister

                      The word “listen: is not in his vocabulary, I fear.

                    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                      One last attempt, and it will not be my insignificant self, but one of our greatest writers (GK Chesterton) speaking of our greatest philosopher. When he stood up to answer Siger of Brabant, he was altogether transfigured, and the very style of his sentences, which is a thing like the tone of a man’s voice, is suddenly altered…. in his last battle and for the first time, he fought as with a battle-axe. There is a ring in the words altogether beyond the almost impersonal patience he maintained in debate with so many enemies. “Behold our refutation of the error. It is not based on documents of faith, but on the reasons and statements of the philosophers themselves. If then anyone there be who, boastfully taking pride in his supposed wisdom, wishes to challenge what we have written, let him not do it in some corner nor before children who are powerless to decide on such difficult matters. Let him reply openly if he dare. He shall find me then confronting him, and not only my negligible self, but many another whose study is truth. We shall do battle with his errors or bring a cure to his ignorance.”

                      The Dumb Ox is bellowing now; like one at bay and yet terrible and towering over all the baying pack. We have already noted why, in this one quarrel with Siger of Brabant, Thomas Aquinas let loose such thunders of purely moral passion; it was because the whole work of his life was being betrayed behind his back, by those who had used his victories over the reactionaries. The point at the moment is that this is perhaps his one moment of personal passion, save for a single flash in the troubles of his youth: and he is once more fighting his enemies with a firebrand. And yet, even in this isolated apocalypse of anger, there is one phrase that may be commended for all time to men who are angry with much less cause. If there is one sentence that could be carved in marble, as representing the calmest and most enduring rationality of his unique intelligence, it is a sentence which came pouring out with all the rest of this
                      molten lava. If there is one phrase that stands before history as typical of Thomas Aquinas, it is that phrase about his own argument:
                      “It is not based on documents of faith, but on the reasons and statements of the philosophers themselves.”
                      Would that all orthodox doctors in deliberation were as reasonable as Aquinas in anger! Would that all Christian apologists would remember that maxim; and write it up in large letters on the wall, before they nail any theses there. At the top of his fury, Thomas Aquinas understands, what so many defenders of orthodoxy will not understand. It is no good to tell an atheist that he is an atheist; or to charge a denier of immortality with the infamy of denying it; or to imagine that one can force an opponent to admit he is wrong, by proving that he is wrong on somebody else’s principles, but not on his wn. After the great example of St. Thomas, the principle stands, or ought always to have stood established; that we must either not argue with a man at all, or we must argue on his grounds and not ours.

                    • pagansister

                      Some folk should read the above, especially the underlined paragraph. Thanks for the above. Though denied by some that there are no grounds for my beliefs, I respectfully disagree. BTW, you are not insignificant by any means. Just my opinion, for what it is worth.

                    • Athanasius De Angelus

                      The same go for you for LYING about the morning after pill. You Don’t Listen!
                      I kept presenting the facts about the morning after pill. That it is an abortifacient but you DON’T LISTEN! The same go for you!

                    • hamiltonr

                      Athanasius, do not call other commenters on this blog liars. They can be mistaken. Your job, as an advocate for life is to convince them, not denounce them.

                    • pagansister

                      May be a hopeless request, Rebecca.

                    • pagansister

                      Laughing.

                    • pagansister

                      Just had a thought—you ADA don’t like the morning after pill, as you would prefer a woman find out she was pregnant, then have a termination—right? I would prefer the morning after pill—no chance of abortion. I have read about the pill, so your attempts won’t change my mind. Now I really am done. If someone was going to change my viewpoint it wouldn’t be you. :-) Blessed be the peace makers—etc.

                    • Athanasius De Angelus

                      I am listening! You said: “Debate your opponents on their grounds..” What ground is that? They have no ground!
                      Pagan and Bill are living in Fantasy Island ground, they make it up as they go through life. And they poison everything around them. This is why the world is in the mess that it is in! Fine you do it your way, I do it my way!

                    • hamiltonr

                      What I meant is debate the issues, not the people. Just keep saying the truth with love. It will catch on, if you do. Voice of experience here.

                    • pagansister

                      Life would be boring if not for a few fantasies.

                    • Bill S

                      No one is going to hell for taking a morning after pill. Get real.

                    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                      Now you’re a prophet? Suppose there was a Hell, how would you of all people be sure of who goes there or not?

                    • Bill S

                      You think there is a God who would send a woman to eternal suffering for taking a morning after pill? How could that possibly be?

                    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                      I did not say what I think. I asked you what your grounds could possibly be for speaking as though you were a prophet.

                    • Bill S

                      You think that by saying that no one is going to go to hell for taking a morning after pill, I am making myself out to be a prophet? Wow! This is all getting way too silly.

                    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                      No, you are getting silly. Which you do every time you don’t want to answer a question.

                    • Bill S

                      I sense a theme here. My opinions are always wrong to you. So, if I say that no one is going to hell for taking a morning after pill, I am making myself out to be some kind of prophet. Well, as you know, I am an atheist and don’t believe in hell anyway, which makes it pretty easy to predict that no one is going to hell for taking a morning after pill. I’m not exactly going out on a limb. Its like saying the Red Sox will never beat Liverpool. I guess I am being silly, now that you mention it. But the whole idea is silly anyway.

                    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                      That’s actually much better and far more dignified. What I objected to – in what I hope was an ironic style – was your presuming to tell us what we should believe about reproduction and about Hell.

                    • Bill S

                      Yes. I was presuming to tell people that no one is going to Hell for taking the morning after pill. That’s what I do. I presume.

                    • fredx2

                      Bill – if it were proven to you that life actually does begin at conception, would that change your position?

                    • Bill S

                      No. There is nothing particularly relevant about when life begins. If someone who is not pregnant takes a morning after pill and someone who is takes one, it is just plain silly to see any difference between the two actions.

                    • Athanasius De Angelus

                      Oh the morning after pill is an abortifacient.

                      “In some cases, the pills prevent ovulation, but in other cases they inhibit implantation of an embryo. In cases in which an embryo cannot implant, the drug acts as a chemical abortifacient..”-http://www.christianliferesour…

                      The problem with you is you don’t believe that life begins at conception. God create the eternal soul at the moment of conception. The eternal soul has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

                      “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” – 1 Corinthians 3:17

                      Bill, so why would you support the destruction of God’s temple? Why would you deprive the eternal soul of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness on earth?
                      Are you fill with that much hate?
                      Why DO YOU support the violation of the right of the Eternal SOUL happiness on earth?
                      Why are you so cruel?

                    • hamiltonr

                      If I may interject: At the moment of conception a complete, unique and identifiable human being is created. From that point on, any changes are just part of the natural life cycle of that human being. It is wrong to deliberately kill a human being at any point in their lives — from conception to natural death.

                      Human beings are made in the image and likeness of God. It is an offense to God to take the life of any innocent human being at any stage of their lives.

                      Aside from this, it is a practical impossibility to exclude a whole class of human beings as having lives that are not worth living. The moment you do that, you have destroyed the inviolate right to life that under the law that protects us all from the monsters among us.

                      Bill brings up the same arguments over and over. No matter how many times you answer him, he will turn around and bring up the same argument again as if it hadn’t already been discussed many time before. As nearly as I can see, this is characteristic of the atheists who come on this blog, which is one reason why I usually end up deleting their comments. They are boringly redundant and if there are too many of them, they drown out intelligent comments that others might want to make.

                    • Bill S

                      ” God create the eternal soul at the moment of conception. The eternal soul has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

                      So it is this superstition that causes you to oppose the morning after pill? I can understand your predicament but I must respectfully disagree with you.

                    • arb16035

                      If I might interrupt here, it would be helpful to me if there were a lot more certainty about how long it takes for the sperm cells to reach the egg that may or may not be there. Conception begins with the union of sperm and egg so the “morning after pill” would only be abortifacient if that union had taken place. If the “morning after pill” only prevents ovulation, rendering the woman anovulant, and there is no penetration by the active sperm, then as I see it, the “pill” would be contraceptive. The Roman Church wouldn’t support that either but at least swallowing the “pill” would not destroy a conceptus. Maybe there’s some way that physiologist could determine more precisely how long it would take for the respective germ plasms to engender conception and gestation.

                    • Guest

                      That was not the point. It’s you who made the absolute statement that “no-one is going to hell for taking the morning after pill”. You seem very sure of the fact, and I would like to know where you drew such prophetic powers from. I did not say what I think and to ask me what I think when the issue is what you said is a cheap and worthless escape route from the burden of accounting for your own statements.

                    • Bill S

                      ” You seem very sure of the fact, and I would like to know where you drew such prophetic powers from.”

                      I am only stating what I believe. Sometimes I state what I believe as if it were a well known fact. I apologize for seeming presumptuous. So, let’s assume that I am wrong and a woman goes to hell and suffers for all eternity for taking a morning after pill. Am I really expected to love a god who would do such a thing. As far as I am concerned, such a god can kiss my big Italian you know what.

                    • FW Ken

                      No one need go to hell for any reason. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive.

                    • Bill S

                      I refuse to worship a god that would condemn a woman to hell for taking emergency contraception. That doesn’t make me a prophet.

                    • hamiltonr

                      Sounds like your god is Bill.

                    • Bill S

                      Does anyone have the intestinal fortitude to assert that no one is going to be damned for all eternity for taking a morning after pill? Really. We can’t live like this.

                    • hamiltonr

                      Bill, you say you believe we are just material, and that when the material composing us degrades to a certain point, we deconstruct and die. Given that, why do you care?

                      Sometimes, I get the feeling that you believe far more in hell than you do in heaven.

                  • fredx2

                    “Makes a mistake”?

                    How does that happen? Ooops, I just accidentally had sex with someone and I had no control over it?

                    • Bill S

                      People make mistakes. I don’t know why you can’t see having sex without the proper precautions as possibly being a mistake. What is the problem with calling it a mistake?

                    • AnneG

                      Bill, why are you encouraging giving young women a drug that is dangerous, causes neoplasms, disrupts their metabolism by taking over their endocrine system and disrupts their potential reproduction. These dangerous drugs are now available over the counter. Young women are taking them multiple times a year. Why would you encourage that except that you don’t care about women’s welfare and just want unprotected sex?

                    • Bill S

                      Whether something is safe to take and whether the Church has a problem with it or not are two entirely separate considerations. Given that taking a morning after pill after being raped carries a certain risk and not taking it also presents a certain risk, it is up to the woman to decide which risk she is willing to accept. I think it is obvious that there is less overall risk in taking the pill.

                      Should that be a normal, routine method of contraception? That also needs to be evaluated based on those risks.

                    • AnneG

                      Bill, there have been several very serious peer reviewed studies done showing very, very serious side effects from these drugs. I was speaking to you from a scientifically/medical point of view since you reject anything from a philosophical point of view. You are encouraging use of drugs that have very deleterious effects, physically, on these women. Your reasoning seems very self-centered.

          • fredx2

            Bill – do some reading about the children who were born of rape. You will probably change your mind. True, these are hard cases, not easily solved. But do some reading about those human beings who exist because of a rape, and how they feel about themselves, and how their mothers feel about them.

            • Bill S

              It doesn’t matter. If I had a daughter (which I don’t, but if I did) and if she was raped, she would take a morning after pill or go for an abortion, if necessary. I don’t really care about those who have been conceived by rape and who have gone on to have fulfilling lives. Good for them.

              • Nick_from_Detroit

                Bill S.,
                Yes, much better to browbeat your daughter into killing your grandchild than persuading her to consider adoption. How compassionate.

                • Bill S

                  A rape victim should automatically be given a morning after pill to avoid becoming pregnant. I understand that the Catholic Church has a problem with even that, but there are just some situations where common sense must rule the day.

      • Athanasius De Angelus

        There is nothing “fanatical” about it. A child should not receive the Death Penalty (abortion), just because their parents were sinful or evil. God can bring good out of evil, Bill S.

  • hamiltonr

    Thank you Todd.

  • James Patton

    Thank you Rebecca for being a pioneer in Oklahoma for choice. Your contributions will never be forgotten.

  • Edie_VA

    I got “off the fence” on abortion in 1981 when my first child was born at only 31 weeks fetal development. He was a tiny red-head, perfect in every way. He is now a military veteran and engineering student.

    It horrifies me to know that unborn babies exactly his size are aborted for the inconvenience perceived by the pregnant “mother”.

  • 1x2y3z

    One of the last things that St. Therese wrote in he autobiography–and do not forget that she is a Doctor of the Church–was that if she had committed every sin possible, she would still throw herself–full of repentance–into God’s arms. When one cannot undo past evil and when one is repentant, i believe that part of the atonement is enduring the memory of it that never goes away and offering this suffering to God the Father in union with the Passion of Jesus Christ.

  • AugustineThomas

    God bless you for being honest with yourself.

    We have hope that even Hitler can be saved, so those who unknowingly participated in the killing of unborn children almost certainly still have the chance to be forgiven, as nearly sure as any of the rest of us thieves and adulterers and as certain as those of us who repent of our sins and ask Christ for forgiveness.

    His mercy is infinite. It’s bottomless. It knows no bounds.

  • ylarryb

    King David was a holy man of G-d but even holy men sometimes fail. I am sure you know the story of how he lusted after the wife of Uriah and sent Uriah to the front lines where he died in battle. Nathan the Prophet comes to David and with a parable tells David that the sin that he committed was a henous one. David confesses his sin and is truly repentant and in 2 Samuel 12:13 Nathan says to David: “The L-rd has also put away your sin, you shall not die.” There was no blood atonement, not even two turtle doves, nor two pigeons, not even fine flour.

    David repented and God forgave.

  • Ray Glennon

    Rebecca,
    This is one of the most honest and awe-inspiring things I have ever read. It simply takes my breath away. As someone that has gravely sinned and been forgiven, I know that I also can never forget the truth of my misdeeds.

    But there is another more powerful and more awesome truth. And it is simply this, “Jesus Christ loves you (me); he gave his life to save you (me); and now he is living at your (my) side every day to enlighten, strengthen, and free you (me)” — Pope Francis, Evangeli Gaudium

    May the Lord give you peace.

    Ray

    • hamiltonr

      Thank you Ray for this beautiful comment.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X