Thursday, June 28, 2007

So Now What?

It was a hard fought battle, but I think everyone survived. I think it's pretty clear that I've covered all the bases regarding the beginning of human life and personhood. New fighters may engage, but please read through the many comments to avoid rehashing that which has been settled. Any real evidence in support of a counter argument will be greatly appreciated (but probably exposed as more subjective opinion).

So the question is, what now? I've done nothing but articulated the pro-life position and in a manner that suggests I know what I'm talking about. Not hard, really. It's so obvious to anyone who looks objectively. I suppose it would begin with a repackaging of the facts as presented and a better marketing approach than what has been used thus far. That's the first step in changing hearts and minds; presenting the facts in an easy to understand and indisputable manner. And present them without question to people in power. Eventually, enough people will begin to understand that which they didn't even try to understand. Some will experience an epiphany or a paradigm shift and they will no longer be able to see the issue as the so-called "pro-choicers" insist it be seen.

For the pro-choicers, their claims must be vigorously refuted. The issue has never been about controlling women, as too many want you to believe, but about saving lives. And it's about personal responsibility and dealing with the consequences of one's actions. Not killing them.

And it's about prevention. How do we prevent a pregnancy. It's awful. It's agregious. It's unthinkable. But the best way is something sure to cost the lives of millions due to it's stress and impossibility. It's the most dreaded and hated method of all. Yes, my friends. It's

ABSTINENCE!!!

Oh yes, it's that bad. It will be so terrible. People will be walking along and just drop dead because they haven't done the nasty in two months. Sex is like air, water, sustinence.

But truly, people have satisfied themselves with half measures and the psycho need for sex has driven them to create pathetic and misleading arguments to assuage their guilt and abdicate their responsibilities. But just imagine what the world would be like if folks stopped lying and controlled their urges! Wow! Delaying self-gratification for the good of the self and one's community! What a concept!
For the young, education. Not the how to, but the what if you do. They especially have to understand what happens and what the product of their actions really is. They must know the "A" word is the only sure way to prevent, not only pregnancies, but all the STDs that are now rampant amongst their older brothers' and sisters' peers. And teach them character and virtue and honor and maturity. And that'll be even harder without religion.
But for the politicians, hammer 'em. Let them know that their position on abortion affects your vote. Let them know that if they claim to believe as you do that they'd damn well better prove it if they're elected.
For parents, encourage them to be parents. This "kids are gonna do it anyway" crap has to stop. It doesn't work that way for 90% of 'em. Kids need and want parents, so parents have to lay down the law and enforce it with extreme prejudice. Lives are at stake here.
For the spineles, the weak-willed, and the totally selfish and uncaring, for all those who insist that sex is what makes the world go 'round, get out there and develop the 100% effective contraceptive. And not a "birth control" pill that only prevents a normal birth but doesn't prevent a conception, which is what a "contraceptive" is supposed to do. If you can create that foolproof method that's as effective as abstinence, you'll be rich and you can pretend you're really responsible.

9 comments:

blamin said...

Marshall,

Isn’t it funny (not) that the only 100% effective method is derided by so many?

I know this is off subject and may not be the time nor the place, but I truly value your opinion.

At least once, maybe more, the bible refers to an “idol which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk”.

After contemplating that verse, I can’t help but think of television. I think of all the people that spend hours every day entranced in front of the boob tube, much of the time being bombarded with garbage. I know I’ll have a revolt on my hands, but I’m thinking of severely limiting this “tool” in my household.

I’ll probably get a lot of derision for this question, and I’m sure many will defend the tube, but the more I think about it the more I believe TV is a negative force in most of our lives. I know it has its plusses, but I wonder if that isn’t a “mechanism” to justify the prominent place in our lives. I also realize that just about anything can be “bad” if used in excess, but it just seems to me that television is kind of foisted upon us.

What say you?

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Abstinence is indeed the only effective birth-control measure. It is also the only effective measure for avoiding sexually transmitted diseases.

The urge to procreate, however, or at least to perform the act that potentially leads to procreation, is the strongest urge we have - stronger than the desire to eat, sleep, even stronger than the desire to keep our sanity. Absent serious discipline, the urge to abstinence is an urge to either guilt, masturbation, or mental breakdown.

Furthermore, when a study of abstinence-only sex education was finally commissioned and released the findings were that, like every other program the Bush Administration endorsed, it had the exact opposite effect of its intended consequences; sexual activity, and the resulting pregnancies, etc., actually increased among those who received abstinence-only ed., as compared to those who received comprehensive sex education.

Since most on the religious right frown upon masturbation (all those hairy palms, and seed spilled upon the ground), and since even mentioning the word in public discourse gets so many people irate (I still don't know why), one wonders where we are to go from here. It is one thing to expect and teach a certain level of discipline and self-control in these matters; but, as Paul said, we all fall short of the glory of God. . .

I think it is a worthy goal to insist upon abstinence before marriage. I think there are many good, sound reasons for remaining abstinent. The problem, of course, is that the head, heart, and gonads rarely communicate; also, no matter what one's will power, the urge to succumb at some point becomes overwhelming. I know there are examples of those who manage to arrive at the Maui Hilton with their chastity intact; the very fact that they can be pointed to is an indication of their exceptional qualities.

Nice segue, by the way.

You know, on a personal note, I have had mixed results linking to and commenting upon the blogs of those to my right. On the one hand, I have developed a good relationship with a guy in Wisconsin with whom I disagree. Then there's a guy in Idaho where the relationship started out snarky, but we occasionally find areas of agreement. On the other hand, there was a guy in CA with whom I tried, and failed, to connect. He would have preferred to win every argument, even those where he didn't participate, rather than simply enjoy the give and take, and learn from one another.

I really like you, Marshall, because you are earnest, honest, sincere, and you never let yourself get bogged down in personal attacks. To use a phrase I hate, we can disagree without being disagreeable. I hope we can keep this up for a long time.

And don't give up on me. There's always hope, you know.:)

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Sorry, I forgot one thing. Dang it. You might want to enable comment verification - the whole type-in-the-squiggly-letters thing - it keeps comment spam to a minimum. You may not have a problem now, but you will.

Marshall Art said...

Blamin,

Yer right, it's not funny.

The tube as a false god. Seems like it gets worshipped, doesn't it? I understand Medved doesn't have a tube in his house. It'll probably be somewhat like quitting tobacco. It'll really suck at first, but they'll become accustomed to not having it around. How long it sucks will be dependant upon whether or not they're getting their fix from somewhere else.

But the tube as a god. I think the real deal is one of the seven deadly, namely, "sloth". Trouble is, we could probably say the same about blogging. I know I've spent an inordinate amount of time blogging. But then I KNOW I'm lazy. Right now, however, I'm using the excellently convenient excuse of needing knee surgery, which I'll be having on the 13th of July. (My 3rd) But once I'm healed, I've got to get back on the bench and lose this gut. I've sessions at the dojo paid for, but I can't risk further damage. I'm jonesin' and getting fatter. But hey, at least I'm not watching too much TV.

I have to admit that the wife and kid don't spend too much time in front of the tube. My wife works too much. My kid doesn't but she likes music, video games, playing outside with her friends. THEN she parks it and watches. We just today picked her up from Camp Timber-lee in East Troy, WI. It's a Christian camp (Jesus camp *snicker*) and there was no TV for a week for her. She survived nicely. Don't think she missed it.

Maybe you could unplug it for a couple of weeks and see how it goes.

Marshall Art said...

Geoff,

I have to disagree with you opinion of the strength of the sexual urge. Here's a test: Have your wife assume an inviting pose while lying naked on your bed. Invite a friend who is much bigger and stronger than you to stand behind you (blind folded, of course) while the Mrs. commences with the come hither. Your friend will have his hand on your shoulder and when he feels you make your move toward the bed, he's to cover your mouth and nose until you just about pass out. This test will demonstrate that the urge to live is superior to the urge to get jiggy. You could alter the test by not eating for a month and putting a cheeseburger on the nightstand next to your wife, or to have people constantly keep you awake for over 72 hours and see if she can keep you awake for some nooky. In short, I dispute the notion that the urge to get it on is so great. It's strong, sure, but hardly unconquerable. I once was in a pool naked with the married chick from next door. (She was naked, too.) We were doing the touchy-feely and swappin' spit and she was more than ready. I elected to put my pants back on. Just like being hammered from too much John Daniels, I seem to understand right from wrong at all times. I'm of the opinion, that everyone else can as well. I went to Catholic elementary school and I guess it's always stayed with me.

I've seen reports of studies that dispute what you've said, though I've seen or heard about yours as well. My take has always been that it's not possible for abstinence programs to fail if kids are abstaining. No program can alter kids notions by themselves. They need support, follow-up, reminders and constantly so, from adults. It might have been you with whom I've had a recent conversation about the old days. I maintain that when the adults, or more precisely, society has chosen to support one behavior and denigrate the other, the kids will meet the expectations put upon them. Of course there will always be the wise ass, but in general, the kids rise to the expectations and develop the proper values and character.

I recently sent an email to Obama and Durbin regarding refunding Bush's abstinence programs. At this time they are set to vote against the refunding (what a surprise) and each has responded with actual responses (a real surprise) and not some form letter email. It's obvious that they support the Planned Parenthood idea of pregnancy prevention and the porn industry's notion of STD prevention. I plan to email them back and particularly Obama since he thinks he's worthy of the presidency. If he thinks he's leadership material, this is a worthy area to lead and to encourage all adults to return to those bygone eras where those higher expectations were the norm.

Sidebar: I really was impressed that these dudes took the time (or their agents, but the point is it wasn't a form letter). Durbin even offered the weekly breakfast for any of his constituents who are in Washington. I would definitely partake if I was in DC. What a blast it would be to sit with them and give them the feedback they need to get! Then, I'd only have to worry about not blowin' chow after his responses.

Regarding your final comments, consider the sentiment reciprocated. I enjoy the give and take and you are always welcome. There are other sites where Blamin and I can take snarkiness to extraordinary levels when we get the urge. In fact, he and I "met", along with Les at a site where the host had to engage a profanity filter. As I recall, it would replace the F-bomg type words with wussy alternatives. People got around it by using differing spellings and hyphens and such, but the point is, it was a slugfest and I found it to be a scream. It was the most raucous conservative site I've ever visited, but still, the host wouldn't ban any lefties. At least I don't recall him doing so. I've seen too many lefty sites allow total disrespect to rightwingers and then ban the rightwingers. I visited a site called "Levellers" and got banned for simply being the me you see here. The host, who I think is a minister, but in any case deep into liberal Christian theology, emailed me to tell me my comments were to long and that I was mean.

Here, you'd have to be pretty nasty before I'd ban ya, and even then, I'd likely just let you continue to make a fool of yourself. I don't think I have to worry about that with you in the least. I can take a few well placed shots, and I think ER can attest to that. My intention is to be a more frequent visitor to your place, but thus far, your posts have touched on things on which I'm not up, so to speak. My theology is based on mostly my study of Scripture, and listening to people more than reading them. Not a conscious decision, just worked out that way thus far.

I would also request you not give up on me, either. Though my thread on the start of human life might lead you to believe otherwise, I remain open to persuasion. So far, however, most of what I hear I've heard before is such that I have already considered and come to a conclusion. I continue to await new angles to digest on any topic. Frankly, I often wondered what I'm missing that I seem so contrarian. My wife says I just like to argue.

But anyway, as if I haven't gone on too long as it is, I don't see any reason to think that we won't be disagreeing agreeably for quite a while.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Marshall, you say:
"My take has always been that it's not possible for abstinence programs to fail if kids are abstaining."

There is no connection between the premise and conclusion here. The whole point of abstinence-only education is to teach young people that abstinence is the only way to go. Thus, the test of the success of a-o is whether or not, after having taken the course, young people actually do abstain. The only accredited, vetted, peer-reviewed study (which is the only way to judge these things) concluded that not only were they unsuccessful, young people who took a-o were actually more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors.

Of course, this is not an argument against abstinence; it's not even, really, an argument against abstinence-only sex education. It is an argument against the way the curriculum is currently constructed, which, to my understanding, is heavy on the bad stuff, light on putting it all in context (hormones, drives, healthy alternatives like mutual masturbation). I am not against teaching abstinence as part of an overall strategy of teaching young people about sex. I am against bad pedagogy that actually limits information leading people to make bad choices.

While I admire your strength of character in re your married next door neighbor, I have two comments. First, I do believe that making out while naked with another naked person who is married is already over the line. That's just me; other people draw the line elsewhere, but if I found out that my wife had been boxing another guy's uvula, I think I might be a tad upset about it, even if she assured me she showed enough restraint to stop short of intercourse.

I don't like the experiment you mentioned for a couple reasons. Part of the problem with it is it replaces a broad perspective with personal preference. I know people who would love to see their wives make love to another guy; I might just be one of them (I'm not, as the above probably led you to guess). Speaking broadly about these issues covers a whole gamut of feelings, preferences, etc. Just one example, some wives are perfectly comfortable with their husbands going to strip clubs, even going with them. I would be headed for divorce court if I ever darkened the doorway of such an establishment. Some couples actually have loose rules on extra-curricular activities; I was once propositioned by a married woman who told me her husband was fine with it as long as we were safe. He just didn't want to raise another man's child. I was so creeped out by that I couldn't even look at her for a long time after that.

Discipline, will power, the possibility of exercising restraint in situations that test it are admirable qualities, but they must be taught, and practiced, and affirmed - mostly at home, partly through other socializing institutions such as the church, the school, peer groups, etc. This goes for sex, drugs, a work ethic - we have to actually make an effort to learn to do what's right, especially in situations that force us to make difficult choices.

I have never, nor will ever ban anybody. I stopped linking to that one guy I told you about, but he has commented on my site. I only ask that you keep the profanity to a minimum (I didn't use to feel that way, but I do now), and if you go off-topic, alert me beforehand. I like broad discussions, but try to keep the comments focussed on the topic.

I would like to repeat my advice, by the by. Comment verification is always a good idea. You just started, so it isn't a problem yet, but soon, old posts will be filled with spam that slows down loading your blog, and could present problems because some of the spam comes from questionable sources (porn sites in foreign countries, for example, where the, ahem, age of consent might be a bit lower than here, if you get my drift). Protect yourself as best you can.

Marshall Art said...

Well we agree on a couple of things here, i.e. poor abstinence instruction, the value of abstinence.

My point is that where those studies miss the mark is that where kids got pregnant anyway, it's obvious they stopped practicing abstinence. Abstinence never fails, but people's discipline to practice it does. It's also my contention that parental reinforcement of values and behavioral principles have a positive effect on the attitudes and ability of the kids to maintain discipline and adhere to those values and principles. It's the creation of a value centered and principled atmosphere in which the kids will be immersed.

I refer you to the campaign against smoking. There is a decided atmosphere of the habit as being very nasty, harmful and anti-social that has had a tremedous affect on the numbers of kids who take up the practice. Though it still happens, I don't believe that kids are smoking in the same percentages as when I was young. Fewer people smoke their whole lifetimes. There's a negative connotation that prohibits larger numbers of new smokers.

Society's attitudes about sex can be likewise adjusted. I disagree that things like mutual masturbation are the right course, as it doesn't address the resistance of the urge, it just re-directs it only slightly to an equally weak-willed alternative. The key is to impress upon the kids the benefit and need for avoiding any such contact with each other unless they have taken the vows. It is equally important to return to notions of dress codes, whether by school mandate but even better, by mandate of the parents. It isn't a good thing for a girl to be a slut, though some think that's a badge of honor, nor is it a good thing to dress as if one is. Showing skin, cleavage, pelvis, accentuating female attributes, all arouse the prurient interest. I was in Lake Geneva over the weekend. I saw a young girl, a teenager, walking about in only her very skimpy bikini. She wasn't strutting, only walking with her two friends. She was hot, in the Paris Hilton sense of the word. My dark side immediately had plans for her. No doubt the same was true for many of the men and boys who saw her that day. Such presentations play right into that part of the male psyche.

Likewise, boys must be taught to be gentlemen, not genitalmen, and to treat girls with respect and to ignore the irrepressible urge to consider them in a sexual manner. They must be taught that to see a girl dressed as a slut, and to assume she's as easy as one, is unacceptable behavior and improper thoughts for a mature individual.

More to the point, is that kids need to be taught that they will have these thoughts, desires and urges, but how they are dealt with determines their character. It is appropriate to re-introduce shame into society and freely dole it out to those who act improperly. Some of those would be those you've mentioned, such as guys frequenting strip clubs, those who wish to see their spouses with other people, open marriages etc, etc.

Whether one is religious or not, the fact remains that the promiscuous attitudes rampant in our culture has caused great harm to it. It has been given way too prominant a place and to our great detriment. That people react strongly to such a suggestion only solidifies the truth of it.

To say that birth control methods are available only lets kids know that it is expected that they are unable to resist urges and develop self-control. I'd prefer this aspect of sex-ed be kept toward the lower rungs of priority, particularly since they are less than 100% effective for the prevention of conception or STD transmission.

My experiment shows that the sex drive is not the strongest urge at all. As long as one isn't famished or starving, the urge to eat is weak. As long as there are no obstructions to one's air passages, the urge to breath is taken for granted. But sex deprevation does not threaten us in any way. Such a perception is due to the aforementioned improper elevation of the desire by our culture. Procreation is secondary to survival. That was the point I was trying to make.

Diane Tomlinson said...

Why not just codify into law these rules for White Christians and everyone else can do as they please? How is it that your ideals of morality and ethics should be the standard for everyone? Isn't this what the Nazis wanted to do make everyone conform to their ideas of perfect while breeding their 14 year old girls like flies to create a larger population that through its sheer numbers could rule with and iron fist? What kind of America would come out of your fairy taile morality? One that would be easily conquered by the Chinese, al Qaeda or a Boy Scout troop with a good leader.

Abstinence? Don't make me laugh, so i guess you are going to tell me you were ceilbate until marriage? That sir would place you in quite a category of abnornal human beings because even in the so call golden age of conservatism people were screwing like rabbits getting back alley abortions and living alternative lifestyles in the closet. The only difference between now and then is that now we ahve all manner of media to trumpet what was once taboo discussion. That being the case I would say that society changed made up its mind about pre-marital sex, abortion, homosexuality and even civil rights and is progressing forward. You and your kind however are trying to stuff an 800 pound gorilla back into a bottle that the djinn escaped from long ago. Good luck with that little trick Marshall.

Marshall Art said...

Diane,

Welcome to my humble blog. How are things in hell? (She's a demon, everybody!)

I don't know how much you've read of what's been posted on my very new blogsite, but this particular thread needs to be read in light of the previous. Well, actually it doesn't, as what has been said in both is that which everyone knows intrinsically to be truth, but for selfish reasons contort, dismiss or outright ignore.

To answer your Christophobic question, good "White" Christians don't need such a law. Nor, I would wager, do good "Black", "Yellow", "Red" or "Spotted" Christians for that matter. But since you suggested legislation for such a thing, it's pretty obvious that those that would need such a law are those psuedo-sophisticates who have laughingly come to believe they are capable of forming for themselves their own code of ethics, a code that doesn't stand in the way of their orgasms. Because we know just how important orgasms are to that thoughtful group to which I'm sure you include yourself. It's so important that you would redefine what constitutes personhood, so as to avoid the mess and responsibility of facing the consequences of your actions.

One needn't adhere to a religion to be a mature adult. Indeed many who do still struggle with the self-discipline required for maturity. But you would simply cast it off for the sake of your hallowed orgasm. Yeah. You're the type of person I want as a role model for the kids of America.

Now I don't really get how you got to Nazism by my encouragement of personal responsibility, but the type of America that would result? Are you freakin' kiddding me? A country where self-discipline, honor, character, dignity are the rule? How could we not be even more envied by the rest of the world then? You are so filled with your fear of anything Christian, so filled with the worship of the self, that you can't see what is so plainly obvious. But I spelled it all out in the previous post, so you can review.

We've had these discussions before, you and I. You seem to constantly confuse a desire to see all become better people, with some wacky idea of oppressive control. Stop doing that, I know you're not that stupid. I don't hold myself up as perfect or without ever having fallen to temptations. My past is quite checkered. My experiences have shown me just how full of crap society has become regarding sexual issues. But by your comments regarding the difficulty of abstaining, it would only follow that we should give up on that murder thing, and theft, and lying and a host of other ills because look what good has come from our efforts in those areas. Are we to just give in to the fact that no matter how we try, we still have homocides? Abstainance is NOT impossible. It's not even close to impossible. Character is a habit that can be developed with routine effort. The consequences of doing otherwise has had an incredibly negative effect on our culture. You'd have to be an idiot to want to see it continue as it has. How do you describe yourself?

Diane, it's no secret I think you're goofy. But rest assured that I have no problem with your input here. I haven't seen you cross the line at Carol Liebau's blog, so you're cool with me.