Where's the birth certificate

Free and Strong America

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

With Friends Like These,,,,,,

While surfing the net yeterday, I came across this article which gave me pause. Read this excerpt for yourself...

"While evangelical and Catholic leaders have been working tirelessly in recent weeks to make sure any health care bill does not include federal funding of abortions, leaders of the nation's mainline denominations have been doing just the opposite, even going so far as calling abortion a "God-given right."The Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church's General Board of Church and Society all are members of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, a pro-abortion rights organization that took part in a Dec. 2 "Stop Stupak" rally in Washington D.C., urging the Senate not to include the pro-life Stupak amendment in its version of the health care bill.The United Methodist General Board of Church and Society -- the denomination's lobbying arm -- even sent out an alert after the health care bill passed the House, calling the bill itself a "major milestone" but lamenting passage of the Stupak amendment, which it saw as "a tremendous setback for access to comprehensive reproduction health coverage." The amendment passed the House 240-194 and prevents the government-run public option from covering elective abortion and also prohibits federal subsidies from being used to purchase private insurance plans that cover abortions.The four previously mentioned denominations all have pro-choice positions of varying degrees, but their leaders' stances on abortion in the health care bill have surprised even some seasoned observers.

And here I am, all this time wondering about opposition to the pro-life position from secular and irreligious people. how can an organization that even vaguely identifies itself as "Christian" even bother to condone such a practice, never mind aggresively lobby in favor of it? No wonder they are losing numbers in droves as this study out yesterday makes achingly clear.

27 comments:

Tracy said...

I just don't understand how any person can look at the facts about human conception and development in the womb, and think abortion is OK. It's murder - pure and simple. As a culture we are way more concerned about taking care of animals than we are human life (please don't misunderstand me, I do not think animals should be abused and myself have a much loved and spoiled dog we got from the local animal shelter). Truly the enemy has blinded our eyes. It makes this even sadder when my brothers and sisters in Christ have been just as blinded.

GCT said...

I'm sure they're not real Scotsmen either!

Where does the Bible ban abortion? Are you aware of the history of abortion in Xianity? I'm guessing the answer to question 1 is that you have some texts that you think you can interpret to fit what you want them to say, and the answer to the second is that you erroneously think the church has always opposed abortion. Correct?

GCT said...

Tracy,
What facts are you speaking of? AFAIK, there's no fact that indicates that an entity with personhood is unequivocably formed at any discrete time. Would you rush into a fertilization clinic to save embryos that are frozen if the clinic were on fire? If you favor illegalizing abortion, what should the penalty be for a woman that undergoes an abortion?

JD Curtis said...

Where does the Bible ban abortion?

The 6th Commandment Thou Shalt not Kill

there's no fact that indicates that an entity with personhood is unequivocably formed at any discrete time

Of course you are going to ave your own opinion GCT. We all do. However, many Christians cite the first chapter of Jeremiah Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

This would indicate that God knows us and establishes a relationship with us before we are even born. Amazing, isnt it?

JD Curtis said...

Not that I believe that you have all of the time in the world GCT, but when you ge a chance, check out the secular humanist and atheist/agnostic arguments for the defense of life. I often find those to be more compelling than ones based on religion.

Also, check out the what if Jesus had Never Been Born? thread. It took me awhile but I answered your last question.

feeno said...

GCT, love black touchdown Jesus guy.

No where in the Bible is a pregnant person mentioned where the woman isn't carrying a babe or child? We use words like embryo or fetus to disconnect us from words like baby or little one.

Peace, feeno

GCT said...

JD,
"The 6th Commandment Thou Shalt not Kill"

You are aware that you are misquoting, are you not? It's though shall not murder. This is quite a different concept from not killing, and it renders the abortion discussion far from moot. Of course, even if it were that one should not kill, I guess you'd have to extend that so far as to not scratch itches, right? Every time you do that you kill living cells that are fully human in makeup.

"Of course you are going to ave your own opinion GCT."

Opinion? There's no factual point here and it is opinion. That's the point!

And, feel free to cite Jeremiah and then tell me how it means that fetuses have personhood and how it proves it. If you want to rely on your religious beliefs that's fine, but you cede the ability to tell others how to form their opinions, since we can all fall back on preconceived beliefs.

"Amazing, isnt it?"

Not really as that verse can be interpreted to mean that god simply knows all that will happen, so he already knows that you will come about and become who you are. It doesn't really speak to abortion.

Finally, I'm shocked, just shocked that you've mentioned no word about the historical aspect of abortion in your own religion. You are aware that it was not frowned upon until relatively recently are you not?

feeno,
"No where in the Bible is a pregnant person mentioned where the woman isn't carrying a babe or child? We use words like embryo or fetus to disconnect us from words like baby or little one."

No, we use those words as descriptors to indicate the scientific understanding of the entity in question. The word "embryo" has a specific meaning, as does fetus that are descriptive.

feeno said...

GCT

Yes Sir, your right, I should have just left that part out. But the Bible does always refer to them as babies, and nothing else.

I'm not sure about the Church and it's stance as recently changing. I don't really know. As long as I have been alive I'm pretty sure it's always been a really bad thing.

Usually some church types who go the political route and want to get votes will just defend the side that will help themselves out more than the rights of the baby.

Dueces, feeno

GCT said...

feeno,
Here is a good summation of the stances of the church over the years on abortion. There's also Biblical passages that one could cite, like some rules in the OT about treatment of pregnant women and all that, but the point is that it's not so cut and dried. Yes, for as long as you or I have been alive abortion has been a no-no in Xianity, but that has not always been the case. And, the current anti-choice movement was not a big deal until about 100 years ago.

I would like to open up my questions that I asked Tracy and see if anyone would like to answer them. Would any of you rush into a burning fertility clinic to save the embryos there? What should be the punishment for a woman who gets an abortion?

Tracy said...

First off, when it's all said and done, I must follow my conscience vrs church history.

Second of all, GCT - look in a biology text and you'll see all the formation that is taking place in the womb - it's incredible!

Third - Feno & JD already pointed out that a)Bible texts always refer to babies, b)You've got the Jeremiah text plus Psalm 139.

As to your question; I most likely would not charge into a burning building to save embryos.

GCT said...

Why wouldn't you? If you believe all those embryos are little babies, why would you not try to save them? I think just about anyone would answer as you did though, because we implicitly understand that there is a difference between an embryo and a human being.

I fail to see what the relevance is of "formation taking place in the womb." At some point we all had tails while we were in the womb. So what?

And, I'm completely unconvinced by arguments to the Bible text, as that only reinforces the idea that you are trying to enforce your religious beliefs on others.

Lastly, what should be the penalty for a woman that gets an abortion?

JD Curtis said...

Why wouldn't you? If you believe all those embryos are little babies, why would you not try to save them? I think just about anyone would answer as you did though, because we implicitly understand that there is a difference between an embryo and a human being.

This is simply a reducto ad absurdum. That there is life in those cells is something we can debate until the cows come home. Efforts to save them would be made by the fire department. How many vials could you carry out at one time? What are the survivability rates once removed from controlled-climate, sterile laboratory conditions? Try a different tactic G.

JD Curtis said...

And you still havent addressed the atheist/agnostic/secular humanist arguments that I linked to above.

GCT said...

"This is simply a reducto ad absurdum. That there is life in those cells is something we can debate until the cows come home."

No, we can't, because there is life in those cells. What we are debating is whether that life is human persons or not. You are contending that it is, but you would not help them? Why not? This is an inconsistency in your position.

"Efforts to save them would be made by the fire department."

Yet, you conceivably might charge into a building to save a small child. Odd that.

"Try a different tactic G."

I feel no need to, because it's quite plain that you are applying your religious beliefs inconsistently.

And, what should be the punishment for a woman who gets an abortion?

"And you still havent addressed the atheist/agnostic/secular humanist arguments that I linked to above."

I didn't realize that you were awaiting a response. The second link was a bit of a mish-mash of op-eds, so I'm not sure what you want me to address. As for the first:

"An infant, unlike a comatose person, has never performed a personal act. Is the infant, then, a non-person? Only if a non-person can become a person. However, if that is possible, then why do other non-persons, such as trees and ladybugs, never become persons?"

Because trees and ladybugs don't have the biology or undergo the development that "prenates" do. This is not a compelling argument.

"Presumably, there is something inherent in a human infant which differentiates her from other creatures."

No one is debating that "prenates" have human DNA. She seems to miss the part where development comes in though.

"It is in the nature of the infant to develop into a being which can reason and make moral choices -- barring catastrophe, of course."

But, that development is crucial, is it not? Barring that, the clump of cells does not become a person or anything resembling a human.

"The ability to perform personal acts is not added, by some outside force, to the developing infant."

Um, yeah it is. It's added by the environment given by the woman.

"I would argue, therefore, that personhood itself is inherent in the infant."

This confuses potential with actuality and is an invalid argument.

"I was born in October of 1972. That newborn in 1972 was identical (again, in the mathematical sense) to the adult in 2000 who exhibits the ability to reason and make moral choices."

And, this is just plain wrong, unless she thinks that the when she was born she was fully able to reason and be moral. Yet, we develop all through our lives, morally and physically.

"Even before I was able to perform personal acts, I was still the person I am now."

Wrong again.

"Still, abortion proponents have many legitimate concerns. They are enraged that an unplanned pregnancy can mean social, financial, and professional ruin for a woman. They find it unjust that the sacrifices of raising children are borne mainly by women. They're outraged that many women are still uneducated about the way their bodies work, and many others lack access to safe, affordable contraception. They're absolutely right."

And, I agree with her here. Abortion is something that no one wants to go through and is usually the best choice in a field of bad choices. I think we all want to reduce the amount of abortions. What I find ironic is that conservatives think they can reduce abortions by simply outlawing them and never dealing with the underlying problems that create these situations. In fact, they try to exacerbate those problems by pushing for abstinence only education and cutting health care benefits, reducing availability of contraception, demonizing women who engage in sexuality, etc. Anti-choicers are generally not there to save little babies, but to control women. If they really wanted to save babies, they would take an earlier role in helping women not to have unwanted pregnancies in the first place.

JD Curtis said...

I feel no need to, because it's quite plain that you are applying your religious beliefs inconsistently.

G, this is getting beyond stupid and I was hoping you would just drop the subject but here we go.

What is the suvivability of said embryos in a smoke filled room? How much smoke and over how long a period of time can they be expected to survive? Has the fire knocked out the electric power for a time and they are no longer viable? Compare the previous questions to one of saving the life of an infant that can clearly be seen alive inside the burning room and is crying.

It's though shall not murder. This is quite a different concept from not killing, and it renders the abortion discussion far from moot.

Yes, it is better translated "murder". Often times the practioners of your non-theistic religion will demonstrate their lack of understanding in the matter by citing Thou shalt not kill and juxtapose that with the wars fought in the Old Testament as some sort of example of inconsistancy.

From yourdictionary.com, "murder: 1.the unlawful and malicious or premeditated killing of one human being by another". Might you try to explain how the intent of the abortionist is somehow not to kill the baby and he (or she) knew they would be doing as much on their way to *ahem* work that day?

"I would argue, therefore, that personhood itself is inherent in the infant."

This confuses potential with actuality and is an invalid argument


This would have more merit if there was a possibility of the infant to become something other than a human being, like a shrubbery or a mountain lion for example.

I was born in October of 1972. That newborn in 1972 was identical (again, in the mathematical sense) to the adult in 2000 who exhibits the ability to reason and make moral choices"

The ability and potential to make such decisions is something she had in 1972. If she had been born retarded, then perhaps you could make an argument that she did not.

"Even before I was able to perform personal acts, I was still the person I am now."

Wrong again.


Then who was she? Napoleon Bonaparte?

What I find ironic is that conservatives think they can reduce abortions by simply outlawing them and never dealing with the underlying problems that create these situations.

When Poland severely restricted abortions after the fall of communism, what happened? Feel free to look it up online. There was not a spate of "back alley, coathanger abortion".

In fact, they try to exacerbate those problems by pushing for abstinence only education

This article is from just last month.

"A little more than two years after launching an initiative to expand True Love Waits throughout Africa, more than 15,500 True Love Waits presentations have been made to African youth, and nearly half a million young people have heard its message promoting sexual abstinence until marriage.

Of that number, more than 200,500 have taken the True Love Waits pledge and nearly 41,500 adults have committed to faithfulness in marriage through the TLW-related True Love Stays.' Link.

But of course you never hear these stories in the MSM. Doesnt fit the template.

and cutting health care benefits

Like abortion procedures? Might you be referring to something else?

demonizing women who engage in sexuality

They should be highly critical of men who engage in such sloppy activities if they arent already.

Anti-choicers are generally not there to save little babies, but to control women

For example?

GCT said...

JD,
"What is the suvivability of said embryos in a smoke filled room? How much smoke and over how long a period of time can they be expected to survive?"

And, if there's a freezer across the street that you can put them into? And, smoke? Really? It's not like the embryos are breathing in smoke.

"Often times the practioners of your non-theistic religion..."

And, I suppose you think not collecting stamps is a hobby?

"...will demonstrate their lack of understanding in the matter by citing Thou shalt not kill and juxtapose that with the wars fought in the Old Testament as some sort of example of inconsistancy."

Actually, one need not use the word "kill" to show the barbarity and evil of genocide in the OT. And, yes, it is inconsistent with what Xians tell us today. If you think otherwise, I have a post series on my blog and you're welcome to argue it there.

"Might you try to explain how the intent of the abortionist is somehow not to kill the baby and he (or she) knew they would be doing as much on their way to *ahem* work that day?"

Kill yes, murder no. Why do you chastize (probably unfairly) others for mixing it up and then turn around and do just that?

"This would have more merit if there was a possibility of the infant to become something other than a human being, like a shrubbery or a mountain lion for example."

Not really. The embryo goes through many stages on the way to becoming a person.

"The ability and potential to make such decisions is something she had in 1972."

That's absolutely false that she had the ability to make moral decisions at the moment of birth or before. She had the potential, but once again potential is not the same as actual. I had the potential to be a famous movie star or sports star at birth, but I'm not either of those now am I?

"Then who was she? Napoleon Bonaparte?"

We continually develop and change all throughout our lives. Who we are now is not the same as who we were a year ago, two years ago, or when we were born.

"When Poland severely restricted abortions after the fall of communism, what happened? Feel free to look it up online. There was not a spate of "back alley, coathanger abortion"."

O Rly?

""A little more than two years after launching an initiative to expand True Love Waits throughout Africa, more than 15,500 True Love Waits presentations have been made to African youth, and nearly half a million young people have heard its message promoting sexual abstinence until marriage...."

And your point is? Yes, studies show that when presented with this crapola, children will make pledges. Studies also show that most of them will break those pledges and that abstinence only doesn't change the rate at which kids have sex. The only potential correlation that I've seen is that states who promote abstinence only have higher teen pregnancy rates.

"Like abortion procedures? Might you be referring to something else?"

No, I mean health care in general. It's the conservatives in government that are opposed to efforts to insure those who are uninsured in this country.

"They should be highly critical of men who engage in such sloppy activities if they arent already."

Or, alternatively, we should be aware the humans are sexual animals and not be critical of anyone for their choices so long as they don't hurt anyone else or violate the rights of others.

"For example?"

The examples are above. Cutting health care for those babies once they are out of the womb and generally not caring once the child is born. It's all a crusade to block abortion and then who cares what comes after that. Conservative Xians were more likely to support war in Iraq and torture, for example.

JD Curtis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JD Curtis said...

Your Polish abortion article is from 2003 and does not provide any sort of verifiable statistics.

"Available data on abortions by region in Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Russia do not show high numbers of abortions close to the Polish border. In Slovakia, the lowest regional abortion rates are along the Polish border. In the Czech Republic, changes in abortion numbers are very uniform across regions from 1992 to 2003. There are no obvious regional trends in Lithuania. Kalingrad has a slightly higher abortion percentage than the Russian average, but the abortion numbers are not sufficiently higher to represent a significant influx of foreigners....

We cannot document what we cannot observe. I would, however, argue that the annual numbers of abortions by Polish women are significantly lower as a result of the anti-abortion laws. This is based on the following:

1. continued decline in numbers of births;
2. only a slight (2%) rise in miscarriages in 1992-93, followed by continued decline (note that miscarriages are the favored evidence of clandestine abortions in many countries);
3. no increase in pregnancy-related deaths;
4. aggressive actions by authorities to deter illegal abortion;
5. no evidence of abortion tourism in very large numbers.

Certainly the numbers of abortions by Polish women are significantly larger than the number legally performed in Poland (average 635 per year, 1993-2004). Figures of 5,000-15,000 per year obtained abroad are credible. I could believe a figure of 10,000 per year for illegal abortions in Poland, but I doubt that the totals are anywhere near the figures of 100,000+ reported abortions per year as in the late 1980s. Link to cited article.

JD Curtis said...

Re: Poland "Even though there are no statistics produced for cases of illegal abortion, the Prosecutor's Office claims that the number of illegal abortions did not increase after 1993. Of the 33 women who died in 1996 from pregnancy related causes, none are listed as dying from an illegal abortion....Pro-abortionists have claimed that forbidding abortion would drive it underground and women would die. These disastrous consequences have not occurred. Poland, her women and babies are healthier than they were when abortion were legal." Link

GCT said...

Yeah, because no abortions were ever performed before Roe v. Wade, right? Your own article admits that up to 10,000 abortions are performed illegally, yet you also claim that it's not driving women to go underground to get abortions? And, they are benefiting from having countries they can go to (just as German women do). Here in the states, some would be able to go to Canada, but that's about it.

Still, what, beyond your religious beliefs, would you cite as a reason to outlaw the ability of women to control their own bodies?

JD Curtis said...

Your own article admits that up to 10,000 abortions are performed illegally

Not quite. The writer seems to speculate that mathematically, 10,000 would seem like a reasonable number, which is 1/6th of the amount your article cites.

what, beyond your religious beliefs, would you cite as a reason to outlaw the ability of women to control their own bodies?

You are talking about one procedure out of many that a woman could undergo that people (and not just Christians) seem to have a problem with. The premise here is that it is a violent option that destroys one life literally and another figuratively if mental health statistics are to be believed.

GCT said...

What does it matter? Your contention that people aren't going out and getting abortions anyway is wrong.

"You are talking about one procedure out of many that a woman could undergo that people (and not just Christians) seem to have a problem with."

If you were consistent you'd outlaw birth control pills too. Either way, what other procedure would you suggest that retains a woman's autonomy and isn't simply the whim of your religious beliefs?

"The premise here is that it is a violent option that destroys one life literally and another figuratively if mental health statistics are to be believed."

I don't believe those statistics BTW. And, you are once again conflating the words "life" and "person." Masturbating kills life. Walking kills life. Scratching your skin kills life. What we are talking about is whether the life that is ended is a human person with rights that trump the right of the woman to have autonomy over her own body.

GCT said...

JD,
"...if mental health statistics are to be believed."

I should have said that I didn't believe the propaganda that you've found from anti-choice sites.

The statistics actually paint a different picture than what you are saying.

"But a study out this month finds that 80% of women were not depressed after having an abortion. In fact, the rate of depression in the postabortion group was equal to the rate of depression in the general population."

""Most women fare very well emotionally," agrees David Grimes, MD. "It's important to understand that abortion is not a problem, it's a solution. The problem is the unintended pregnancy. When that is behind them they oftentimes will feel much better. But it is well documented that relief is the overwhelming response of most women.""


And, interestingly enough...

"Facing hostile protesters and intimidation in seeking an abortion also may be factors that heighten risk for psychological problems postabortion in some women, she says."

Yes, that's right. The actions of people opposed to abortion may be helping to trigger problems for those women later on. So much for wanting to help them.

JD Curtis said...

""Most women fare very well emotionally," agrees David Grimes, MD. "It's important to understand that abortion is not a problem, it's a solution. The problem is the unintended pregnancy. When that is behind them they oftentimes will feel much better. But it is well documented that relief is the overwhelming response of most women.""

A lobbyist with MD after his name. These people lie with alarming ease and regularity.

Did you see the article on the former Planned Parenthood director that quit (Abby johnson)?

"Workers at all Planned Parenthood facilities are forbidden to use the word "baby," Johnson said. During her pregnancy Johnson began to see the disconnect between the philosophy of the ardent pro-choice movement and a woman's choice to carry a pregnancy to term. She quoted a liberal clergywoman as stating, "It's a baby when you decide you want to be a mother." Link

"In the undercover video, when the two women ask a Planned Parenthood counselor if the pregnant woman’s 10-week-old unborn child has a heartbeat, the counselor emphasizes “heart tones,” and answers, “Heart beat is when the fetus is active in the uterus–can survive–which is about seventeen or eighteen weeks.” On the contrary, embryologists agree that the heartbeat begins around 3 weeks. Wisconsin informed consent law requires that women receive medically accurate information before undergoing an abortion....The explanation of “heart tones” is particularly dishonest. The counselor says it can’t be a heartbeat because the baby clump of cells isn’t viable, but that it becomes a heartbeat at 17-18 weeks. But a child isn’t viable at that point, either...“They will do or say anything in order to sell more abortions to more women, whether it is covering up sexual abuse or lying to women about medical facts,” says Rose. “Our team has visited dozens of Planned Parenthood clinics undercover. Planned Parenthood, while claiming to support patient self-determination, operates with an ‘abortion-first mentality.’” Link

GCT said...

"A lobbyist with MD after his name. These people lie with alarming ease and regularity."

OK, so all doctors are liars now. Wow, you're really into this conspiracy stuff aren't you? Nevermind the fact that it's based on actual empirical studies. Oh yeah, you reject the empirical when it doesn't mesh with your beliefs.

"Did you see the article on the former Planned Parenthood director that quit (Abby johnson)?"

I've read that there may be other things going on there. Either way, some of her claims are simply false.

"Then there is the issue of her claim of pressure to increase the number of abortions performed at the clinic as a way of raking in more dough. That allegation contradicts Planned Parenthood's guiding mission, which is pregnancy prevention -- but more important, it contradicts the fact of the organization's business: Only 3 percent of all health services provided by Planned Parenthood are abortion. Of course, Johnson knows this as well as anybody. In fact, she cited this very statistic in one of her radio interviews in September. In response, the host asked: "So, it's really not that much." She responded: "No ... we think 3 percent is a very small amount."" Link

Lastly, so what? Someone changed their mind after seeing something that they didn't fully understand and that's an argument for abortion how? You're grasping at straws and looking for emotional arguments. You still have yet to show why your religious beliefs should trump the rights of women.

JD Curtis said...

Speaking of lies, I'm sure youre familiar with some of these whoppers as related by Bernard Nathanson, M.D., co-founder of pro-abortion group NARAL.

""Knowing that if a true poll were taken, we would be soundly defeated, we simply fabricated the results of fictional polls. We announced to the media that we had taken polls and that 60 percent of Americans were in favor of permissive abortion. This is the tactic of the self-fulfilling lie. Few people care to be in the minority. We aroused enough sympathy to sell our program of permissive abortion by fabricating the number of illegal abortions done annually in the U.S...."Repeating the big lie often enough convinces the public. The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200-250 annually. The figure we constantly fed to the media was 10,000. These false figures took root in the consciousness of Americans, convincing many that we needed to crack the abortion law...."Another myth we fed to the public through the media was that legalizing abortion would only mean that the abortions taking place illegally would then be done legally. In fact, of course, abortion is now being used as a primary method of birth control in the U.S. and the annual number of abortions has increased by 1,500 percent since legalization." Link

GCT said...

So the guy who did the propaganda film "Silent Scream" that gets a lot of stuff wrong is now claiming that he lied about a whole bunch of other stuff? So what if he did? Does it change the fact that women were getting illegal abortions and sometimes getting injured by it? Does it change the facts of the science? Does it make your religious beliefs worthy of trumping the rights of others?