Saturday, July 19, 2008

Support Yourself, PP!!!

I don't understand this at all. It's bad enough PP is getting an exemption for baby-killing. Why is my tax money going to support it, especially when the other two thirds of their income is staggering? There's nothing about their operation that is deserving of either.

UPDATE:

What a great story! I wonder why, however, PP closed the gates on this truck. Did they feel it's presence would hurt profits?

87 comments:

4simpsons said...

I'm encouraged that people are speaking out against the evils of PP. Why would we give them any money? They don't take any responsibility for the STDs and pregancies (that is always the fault of abstinence programs and not the programs they've spent over $1b on, right?). So if they haven't accomplished anything, drop them. I wish all voters would view PP's sickening "Teenwire" website, where they teach kids about the smorgasbord of activities that the kids should decide when they are ready for, including oral, anal, fisting, rimming and who knows what else.

Sick.

Marshall Art said...

Just like with the Gay/Straight Alliance, their claims of concern for the youth of our country is just a load of crap. They are only concerned with pushing their agenda. Imagine a funeral home teaching about the joys of driving at high speeds. Anything that encourages kids to engage in any kind of sexual activity will raise the likelihood of more of them needing the only services for which Planned Parenthood really exists, that being abortion. I had forgotten about that "Teenwire" site and would have otherwise said that PP wouldn't be as bad if they actually counselled confused pregnant girls, but they only guide them toward abortions, so they can rot before I'd OK any funding for them with tax dollars.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

The reason Planned Parenthood can receive federal grants for education is because those grants come with all sorts of reporting requirements. When an institution applies for a grant, it has to state in very specific terms what the grant is to be used for, and create a budget that delineates the spending (I know because I had to write a grant proposal once, for state monies in the Commonwealth of Virginia; it's a tiresome process in which I had to figure out the cost of what are known as "office expendables" like paper clips and staples). When a grant is given, there are stringent reporting requirements, usually quarterly, in which budgeted versus actual expenses are compared, and the projected success or failure of the use the monies is measured on a metric that is approved beforehand.

Planned Parenthood does not receive any federal money for performing abortions. That happens to be against the law since the early 1980's.

They do not kill babies. They perform abortions. There IS a difference.

They also provide sex education and materials, contraception control and information, family planning counseling, and a variety of other services. Since it is a non-profit institution, it cannot support itself (or didn't you know that?). If the federal money is available for the some of the services Planned Parenthood provides, and it meets the requirements under law for those grants, I'm not sure what the fuss is about, except for Rep. Bachmann to get in the news for something other than trying to tongue-kiss President Bush (after the 2007 State of the Union, she was so attached to the President, the Secret Service actually intervened).

Marshall Art said...

Way to cast aspersions.

There IS no difference between abortions and killing babies. Abortion IS killing babies and other human beings at earlier stages of development. The tax money is going to an organization that engages in this practice. It's typical for libs to quibble over the details to get the desired results, but the bottom line is that my tax dollars are paying for the selfish killing of innocent human beings. And since the tax money comprises only third of their vast income, they don't need the tax money. They certainly spend a lot in salaries and lawyers and as I said, all that alleged sex ed is mere window dressing and a ploy to encourage sexual activity that WILL end up in more abortions being desired.

This is basically like the government encouraging promiscuity. It is offering, through this heinous BUSINESS a variety of strategies for engaging in sexual activity while providing the means by which one can abdicate their responsibilities. You think this crap is worthy of your money? Fine. Send it directly. I'd rather my money not be used in this manner and I don't appreciate it being appropriated for it without my consent. PP isn't concerned with crisis pregnancies except to help make them happen. They're in it for the buck.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

People are going to engage in sexual activity whether the government encourages it or discourages it. Shoot, during the high point of the Middle Ages, when Christianity ruled the west, even kings and queens went about fornicating and adulterating to their hearts content. Ditto popes and cardinals.

Sex, like fecal matter, happens.

It is far wiser for the government to make sure independent institutions get information and material in to the hands of those who can use it for their own, and society's, benefit than to simply shout "No!" to those who won't hear it. Shoot, I won't hear it.

4simpsons said...

"They do not kill babies. They perform abortions. There IS a difference"

They kill human beings, without anesthetic.

"Since it is a non-profit institution, it cannot support itself (or didn't you know that?)."

Really? CareNet is a non-profit institution and we get zero gov't funding. Oh, and we help save lives (now and for eternity!) instead of destroying them.

If you think PP is such a swell organization, I'm sure they'll cash your check. But there is no reason for our gov't to fund them.

4simpsons said...

P.S. Planned Parenthood used to be pro-life. I wonder what scientific advances convinced them to change their position? Couldn't have been ultrasounds, because they make the pro-life case even stronger.

Ya think it might have been the money?

4simpsons said...

Yes, PP does keep the abortion business legally separate from the rest. I'm friends with one of their volunteer "deathscorts" and he confirmed that a while back.

But if that is the case, why not spin off the abortion biz? They could remove the criticism (well, at least the pro-abortion part, though not the corrupting minors part).

There is obviously a big between the two that they don't want to give up. Encourage teens to have sex and make money on the abortions. Evil, but effective.

Marshall Art said...

"People are going to engage in sexual activity whether the government encourages it or discourages it."

Thanks for the news flash, Geoffrey, but that doesn't mean I have to subsidize it.

And it really doesn't matter how many people are gonna do it, nor who those people are. No government, particularly with my money, should be financing bad behavior. I prefer the government support higher expectations, not enable low expectations.

You're perfectly free to send your own money to such heinous organizations. After all, you support the "Infants Aren't Persons" candidate, don't you?

Anonymous said...

And dont you support the Viagra candidate?

Nice responses Marshall. Keep up the whining.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Who is this "infants aren't persons" candidate? I defy you to find not only those words, but any context where any major party candidate said anything like that.

As for keeping them separate, and spinning off abortion services from the others - Planned Parenthood exists as a comprehensive, non-profit agency providing a range of family planning services. "Spinning off" makes no sense.

I detest repeating myself, but for the sake of clarity I shall do so. Planned Parenthood is not subsidized by the government. It applies for government grants under the rules set forth qualifying an agency to receive those monies, and the grants are awarded on the merits. These are specific grants, publicly available for inspection (as all dealings with federal monies should be), and are neither perpetual nor in violation of any law.

As to whether or not a person's tax money should be used in violation of that person's personal moral code, if you are willing to do what some Quakers do, and refuse to pay taxes because some of the money goes to the military, and pay the price by going to jail, then go for it. There are many things the United States government does of which I do not approve - from the failed "abstinence only" sex education to buying weapons for wars that will never be fought with adversaries that no longer exist - but that is part of being a citizen of the United States. One compromises on these things as best as one can.

Cameron said...

"Who is this "infants aren't persons" candidate? I defy you to find not only those words, but any context where any major party candidate said anything like that."

Arguing that a fetus is not a person is the fundamental building block upon which most pro-choice platforms are built. It takes some serious heavy lifting to allow for a fetus to be a person, but then allow you to kill it anyway.

It also takes some serious heavy lifting to stake out a definition of personhood which leaves out a fetus but that doesn't also leave out an infant. A point of which Yale's chief ethicist, Peter Singer, is vividly aware.

Anonymous said...

Whoever anonymous is, is the real whiner. Why not just go away. Whine where you can get those in agreement with you? Mom2

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Peter Singer isn't a Presidential candidate, and a fetus isn't an infant.

I find Peter Singer to be a hypocritical buffoon, and I for one do not take him seriously at all. I know there are those who do, especially among animal rights activists. Yet, since Singer has defied his own teaching, going to extraordinary lengths to give aid and loving-care to his seriously ill mother, he is not to be taken seriously.

I'm still waiting.

4simpsons said...

"Planned Parenthood exists as a comprehensive, non-profit agency providing a range of family planning services."

Yes, if crushing and dismembering your unborn child = family planning. By that definition I suppose infanticide and euthanasia are family planning services as well.

"a fetus isn't an infant."

Uh, yeah, and an infant isn't a toddler. A fetus is a human being at a particular stage of development, just as in infant/toddler/teen/etc. is a human being at a particular stage of development. Human beings have intrinsic worth and should not be destroyed by their parents at any stage.

Yes, Singer is a hypocritical buffoon, but unlike pro-legalized abortionists who use the phony personhood argument only up to delivery he is at least consistent in his buffoonery.

If you want to use the personhood arugment to support abortion, then be consistent and support infanticide. Or skip the personhood approach and take the anti-science route and deny the humanity of the unborn.

Or do the right thing - and the Christian thing - and be pro-life.

4simpsons said...

"from the failed "abstinence only" sex education"

Abstinence works - http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2007/09/17/abstinence-still-the-best-option/

Even by Planned Parenthood’s own stats they are a dismal failure at contraception for youths. Overall failure rates for contraceptives (mainly the pill and condoms) are “only” 1 in 8, but things get ugly when you look at sub-groups:

"A poor cohabiting teenager using the Pill has a failure rate of 48.4%. You read that correctly: nearly half of poor cohabiting teenagers get pregnant during their first year using the Pill.

Over 70% of poor, cohabiting teenagers using condoms, will be pregnant within a year. By contrast, the middle-aged, middle-class married woman has a 6% chance of pregnancy after a year of condom use.

Planned Parenthood and its allies in the sex education business have had conniptions over federal funding for abstinence education. But at least abstinence actually works. If you don’t have sex, you won’t get pregnant. It works every time."

Very few people get pregnant from accidental in vitro fertilization.

---
Re. Quakers - there is a "slight" difference between the military (a clear responsibility of the Federal Gov't) and the perversions of PP (not a clear responsibility of the Federal Gov't).

4simpsons said...

Marshall can clarify, but I assume that he was referring to Obama's inexplicable opposition to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act - http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2008/06/20/the-audacity-of-being-an-abortion-survivor/

Obama is super-duper-pro-abortion. What a truly demented individual.

Marshall Art said...

Neil,

You are correct, sir! Barry had problems with the BAIPA due to a belief that it could be used to thwart other abortions, even though the authors made plain, and made it even more plain in later refined versions of the bill, to prevent that possibility. In any case, during arugments regarding the act, Barry did make the comment that for the child who survived an abortion, he had a hard time granting it personhood status, or words very close to that effect. Search "Jill Stanek" and I'm sure you'll find the specific wording. At this point, I can say that when I first heard the quote, I was stunned that a half-black man would ever in a million years dare to suggest that any living, breathing, BORN human being might not be a person. A more shameful irony I've never encountered. I'll try and find the comment as a free service for Geoffrey. But it's one of the many heinous facets of the Obama history that his supporters gleefully overlook.

Marshall Art said...

anonymous,

"And dont you support the Viagra candidate?"

I did support Bob Dole. What does he have to do with anything?

Nice comments, anon. Keep trying to be clever. I believe in you. I know someday you'll succeed. So far, you just suck.

Cameron said...

My point is that to argue for abortion, you either have to grant that the fetus is a person, but that it's still okay to kill it, or you parse out some other definition of personhood that excludes a fetus. The problem is that those definitions also exclude infants, children, the mentally handicapped and the elderly. Peter Singer's views may be detestable, but they're accurate. And, as Democracy Lover has noted, at least he's consistent.

Which, by the way, he is, even though he "allowed" his Alzheimer's stricken mother to live. In an interview he said his sister strenuously objected to her death. And it's also noteworthy to point out that he doesn't think all non-persons like his mother should be killed, just that they can be killed if it would please the caregiver.

Marshall Art said...

Mom2,

Don't fret, Ma. Some of my visitors require extra patience.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

We've gone 'round and 'round regarding the personhood of the fetus and as scientifically literate as you are, you failed to provide any support for your position that wasn't subjective personal opinion. I don't see the need to begin again, unless you've since found something new to offer.

Personally, I don't believe that PP has any so-called family planning services that don't lead to more abortions. It's their business and they aren't going to do anything to prevent the need if that prevention is 100%.

As for being subsidized, I don't care if they don't technically fall under that definition. My concern is my tax dollars going for such heinous Mengele-type procedures. Bachman's argument is that they AREN'T eligible for the monies they receive from the feds and as her business dealt with such matters, it's likely she's more "tax literate" than you are. In any case, there are also other charges that have been leveled regarding other practices of PP, including knowingly accepting donations made with the condition that the money be used for aborting the babies of blacks only. There is a PSA that is being run on a radio station or two in my neck of the woods that speaks of this (and I heard details of this incident elsewhere) and other shameful practices.

And it's not only my personal moral code that is ignored by the granting of these tax monies, but the obvious fact that the money isn't needed for them to run their butcher shop. It's like the farm subsidies going to farmers that don't need the money. This point should scream into your liberal wheelhouse easily, the thought of giving money to the wealthy. I realize that not every handout will be in line with my ideology, but with enough people of good moral fiber, ethically strong vision and willingness to do the right thing, such pathetic practices will have to find their own way without my help.

"...adversaries that no longer exist"

Like who? Injuns? How can you predict what enemy we might face in the future? You darn well know that, unless a Dem is in office, any failure to accurately predict a tragedy or conflict will be laid at the feet of the government. Having the best state-of-the-art weapons is a good expenditure of tax dollars, and a primary function of the federal government. That is, it's their job.

Anonymous said...

Good job Marshall.
It seems Conservatives need a lesson about their own nominee. Why am I not surprised.
Mom2

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

First of all, I would like to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed this exchange because it has stayed on topic, not devolved to name calling on either side, and actually moved forward. I thank both Neil and Marshall for that. It should be obvious that we differ on the issue of abortion, but we are dealing with the issue, not calling one another names. This is nice. Disagreeing? Obviously! Being insistent on one's position? Of course! Being nasty and vindictive (and, yes, I am obviously including myself here)? No!

I suppose the position doesn't have the merit of some kind of ethically pure, absolutist stance, but abortion on demand is currently legal in the United States under certain regulatory restrictions. People disagree on a philosophical level with the whole question of the status of a fetus. OK. Then, don't have an abortion, and make sure those under your legal care don't, either.

I guess the counter-argument is that, since one believes a fetus to be a fully-realized human being, with all the basic rights inherent therein, that is not enough. Yet, other than working democratically to change the law - what choice exists? Bombing abortion clinics, as was done by Operation Rescue in the early 1990's certainly was a deterrent to their spread, but it didn't change the law. Even having a Republican majority in all three branches of the federal government didn't really change anything all that much.

4simpsons said...

"Then don't have an abortion, and make sure those under your legal care don't, either."

I am surprised you used that argument. Slave owners used that as well ("Don't like slavery? Don't own one"). They also used the "they aren't fully human" and "they couldn't survive on their own" arguments as well. I am not implying that you are pro-slavery, just that the bad argument you used is very old and has been used to justify other atrocities.

You could fill in anything in that blank: "Don't like murder? Fine, just don't do it yourself."

"Even having a Republican majority in all three branches of the federal government didn't really change anything all that much."

People are sinners by nature, so it may never change. That doesn't mean it isn't murder and that we won't keep protesting it and educating people about it. Every life saved is valuable, whether Roe v. Wade is overturned or not, and every woman spared the lifetime of anguish and guilt over killing her unborn child is worth it.

I'm glad you see that you are relying on a philosophical argument and not a scientific one. I just find it odd that Peter Singer et al take the philosophical argument to its logical conclusion and you do not. A brief trip down the birth canal doesn't change any of the false "personhood" reasoning.

4simpsons said...

P.S. I 2nd the thoughts on the non-name-calling/vindictiveness part.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

In many ways, Neil, I can echo most of the sentiments in the following bit from your most recent comment:
"People are sinners by nature, so it may never change. That doesn't mean it isn't murder and that we won't keep protesting it and educating people about it."

Why do I not follow Peter Singer to "the logical conclusion"? Because I do not believe it is the logical conclusion. I haven't dealt with the science here, but it is important. An fertilized egg goes through various stages before implanting in the uterine wall. Once so ensconced, it becomes an embryo, until about the 12th week, when, while hardly ready to compete in the Olympic trials, it roughly resembles a human being, complete with beating heart.

Yet, it is about the size of a nickel, is hardly fully developed, and there are still developmental issues that can only be detected after the 12th week, which can be addressed through termination if a doctor considers it a viable option, especially to protect the life and health of the mother.

My personal position is this - it is a category mistake to call an unborn fetus a "baby" in the same way it is a category mistake to call an egg a chicken. It's that simple. While I would never want anyone to abort a fetus after the 24th week, since such tend to be highly regulated and are rare, I don't get too "het up" about it. There isn't much I can do about making others' moral choices, so I do what I can within the sphere of my own control.

Yes, I am pro-choice, and no, I do not believe a fetus is a person, but the issue is complicated, as I see it, and I try not to call abortion "murder", a fetus a "baby", or judge harshly those who make a different life and moral choice than I would or would advocate. I am very critical of many of the arguments pro-choice proponents make, and have been very clear about that on several occasions - the race and class bias inherent in many such; the paternalism that is, in many ways, as bad as the paternalism I see on the pro-life side; and ignoring the fact that many abortions occur for simple reasons - gender selection being the worst such offense.

Yet, I am pro-choice, but in a minimalist kind of way. My reasons are my own, and I do not subscribe to any particular philosophy or view.

Thanks, Neil, for echoing my sentiments. I think we need more, not less of this kind of thing. We will never agree - unless it's on that particular sentence - but we can, at least, exchange views in a deep and more full way without calling each other names or disparaging either the religious or moral position of the other.

I want to a bit of an aside here (hope I don't wear out my welcome, Marshall!) and say that I think there is a bit too much of the echo chamber on the internet. I enjoy a good, heated discussion with those with whom I differ, same as anyone else. Sometimes, yes, I have allowed my anger to interfere with my better judgment, but that hardly makes me unique, and I will not say that such will never happen again.

I think there is a difference between having a serious, heated discussion in which tempers flare on occasion, and sitting down and just saying "You're a liberal!" or "You're a conservative!" How does that play out in what we believe and how we live?

I am constantly amazed at the tolerance so-called religious conservatives have for public figures whose personal lives are a disgrace (Newt Gingrich, Ronald Reagan) while there are many liberals who are called out for being against "family values" but are exemplary family persons - and, yes, I would offer the Clinton's as a great example, because, whatever Bill Clinton's failings as a husband, he and Mrs. Clinton worked out some kind of modus vivendi and are still together, and I do not think anyone could say anything disparaging about the way their daughter, Chelsea, has turned out (perhaps despite her father's foibles?). As both of you gentlemen, Neil and Marshall, are married and parents, I need hardly remind you that being each of these is difficult; doing both, and doing both even partly right some of the time sometimes seems insurmountable. I think all three of our wives deserve some kind of praise just for sticking with us! I do not judge a person to be "pro" or "anti" family because of a particular political position he or she takes; that's kind of silly. The proof of being "pro" family is in the pudding, as it were. What's your family status like, that kind of thing.

By the way, Neil, in all seriousness, I wanted to say I liked your family photo. As the wife of and parent two a lovely wife and two beautiful daughters myself, let me just say I hope you know how lucky and blessed you are.

OK, I think we've had enough gushy stuff. Can we argue some more now?

4simpsons said...

"Why do I not follow Peter Singer to "the logical conclusion"? Because I do not believe it is the logical conclusion. I haven't dealt with the science here, but it is important."

But Singer's position is philosophical, not scientific. Jumping back and forth confuses the issues. If your philosophical view is that they aren't "persons" and that it is ok to destroy human beings that aren't persons yet, then it seems the burden of proof is on you to clearly define when personhood begins. For Singer's definition is is clearly at least months after birth (e.g., the self-awareness criterion and such).

". . .it roughly resembles a human being, complete with beating heart."

Agreed, but scientifically speaking it was a human being before that.

"Yet, it is about the size of a nickel, is hardly fully developed, and there are still developmental issues that can only be detected after the 12th week, which can be addressed through termination if a doctor considers it a viable option, especially to protect the life and health of the mother."

But does size confer worth? Don't we typically afford more protection to the small and weak, not less?

Will you please clarify what you mean by "developmental issues?" If you mean ectopic pregnancies, then by all means abortion is the route to take.

If you mean Down Syndrome or something similar, that is a different story. We shouldn't kill humans with disabilities inside the womb any more than we would those outside the womb. The humans already exist, so we aren't "preventing" disabilities by performing abortions, we're destroying the disabled humans (if that wasn't what you meant then please ignore the soap box).

"My personal position is this - it is a category mistake to call an unborn fetus a "baby" in the same way it is a category mistake to call an egg a chicken."

I agree with your comment about the category mistake, but not with the chicken/egg analogy. You are right: A fetus is not a baby. A baby is not a toddler, and so on. But they are all human beings at a particular stage of development and have the inherent worth that comes with being human.

"While I would never want anyone to abort a fetus after the 24th week, since such tend to be highly regulated and are rare, I don't get too "het up" about it."

Why the 24th week? Some have been born earlier and survived (not that survival outside the womb is a valid test for the morality of abortion - babies don't survive without care). Wherever you draw the line you end up with something morally benign on one side and capital murder on the other, so I think great care must be taken to justify the murder / not murder line.

"There isn't much I can do about making others' moral choices, so I do what I can within the sphere of my own control."

Agreed, but with respect to public policy I assume you support laws to protect human beings outside the womb. So the only question is, "What is the unborn?"

"Yes, I am pro-choice, and no, I do not believe a fetus is a person, but the issue is complicated, as I see it, and I try not to call abortion "murder", a fetus a "baby", or judge harshly those who make a different life and moral choice than I would or would advocate. I am very critical of many of the arguments pro-choice proponents make, and have been very clear about that on several occasions - the race and class bias inherent in many such; the paternalism that is, in many ways, as bad as the paternalism I see on the pro-life side; and ignoring the fact that many abortions occur for simple reasons - gender selection being the worst such offense."

With all due respect, I don't see how you can hold those views simultaneously. If abortion is morally benign at whatever stage you consider it to be so, how can the motive be relevant? If it isn't destroying an innocent human being, why would it matter if "it" is being destroyed for being black, or female, or potentially gay, or for economic reasons, or romantic reasons, etc.?

=====

I can see how people would be cynical towards those with pro-family views who don't live it out consistently (e.g., Newt & Co.). But again, I try to remember that we are all sinners in need of a Savior and that covers people on boths sides of the political spectrum.

So if someone is a bad father then that is a problem for that family, but if their public policies result in the legal destruction of millions then I have a bigger problem with that.

"By the way, Neil, in all seriousness, I wanted to say I liked your family photo. As the wife of and parent two a lovely wife and two beautiful daughters myself, let me just say I hope you know how lucky and blessed you are."

Thanks, I appreciate that and am glad you are enjoying your blessing as well. I am truly blessed more than I could have asked for and way more than I'd ever deserve.

Nothing like living in a houseful of women, eh? One of my dogs is (sort-of) male, but that's about all I have in this house.

"OK, I think we've had enough gushy stuff. Can we argue some more now?"

Yeah, that's enough XOXOXO for now! Seriously, thanks for the charitable dialogue. Catch you later.

Peace,
Neil

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I'm not sure how you don't understand how I hold certain complex moral and life choices together. Everyone does! I choose 24 weeks for the simple fact that doctors are increasingly capable of getting a fetus delivered at the 24th week to survive. It is arbitrary, but so are many other decisions we make in life. Since I do not view a fetus as worthy of the same moral concern as an infant, I fail to see why my decision, as arbitrary as it is, is difficult to square with my overall position on abortion. Again, it's a complicated issue, and in the end, as I see it, an intensely personal one, between a woman and her doctor.

BTW, I am not yet sure how I feel about parental notification laws. On the one hand, as a parent, it seems highly bizarre that a doctor could remove a fetus from my doctor without my consent, yet I need to sign for the treatment of a hangnail. On the other hand, there might be cases where parental notification may result in all sorts of other problems - domestic violence being a sad reality. Since the Supreme Court, unfortunately, called abortion a "right", it becomes difficult to get around and talk about it in a clearer way (I'm a pro-choicer who doesn't like Roe).

Anyway, I have to head off to work. I hope my position, as muddied as it is, is more clear now. I try not to be an absolutist about this, or anything else. I try to see how complicated the issue is, and reserve the right to criticize those who might otherwise agree with me for their less-than-par arguments. I also reserve the right to hold my views as my own and not buy in to anyone else's views.

4simpsons said...

"Again, it's a complicated issue, and in the end, as I see it, an intensely personal one, between a woman and her doctor."

That begs the question. A woman and her doctor can't conspire to kill a toddler. Again, the real question is whether abortion kills an innocent human being. If it doesn't, no justification is necessary, and no criticisms of the motive would be relevant.

I'm definitely in favor of parental notification and did a bit on it here - http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2006/07/13/parental-notification-laws/ .

I agree with your abortion / hangnail illustration.

The typical argument put forth by those opposing these laws is that the girls might get abused if the parents were notified. But using that reasoning, teachers couldn’t send home progress reports, report cards or disciplinary notes because the parents might abuse the children. Police couldn’t even arrest teens who committed crimes.

Of course, I’m against child abuse and think it should be punished. But the risk of it is hardly an excuse not to have parental notification laws.

It is simply insane that the gov't could take one of my daughters to have a dangerous medical procedure and to kill my grandchild without my knowledge.

Marshall Art said...

I am soaked with tears. That was just so freakin' beautiful. I can feel the love.



--------end sarcasm-----------



It is on purpose that the term "baby" is used so "liberally" by pro-lifers. To insist on constant use of proper clinical appelations keeps the discussion too...clinical. It is important for the pro-life side to impress upon the listener that we are talking about people being put to death, because that is what is being done.

Conversely, the pro-abortion side resists the use of such terms because of that effect. They don't want the fetus viewed as a person, nor do they want to be reminded of it themselves.

I have long agreed with the parallels drawn between abortion and slavery for the reasons Neil mentioned. It's an apples and apples comparison for sure. Both are denied their humanity for the same type of arbitrary reasons.

I don't find the issue complex whatsoever and I do believe in absolutes (the Lord certainly does), particularly where human life is concerned. As Neil said, if we're not talking about people, then no justification for abortion is required.

Do you view a toddler with less moral consideration than a teenager?

Giving tax dollars to Planned Parenthood is harmful to our society. What's the tote now? 50 million aborted since Roe? That's 50 million people contributing to our society, such as Social Security which is hurting for lack of doners. 50 million more Americans to shore up our fertility rate. 50 million more heads, as in, two are better than one. Millions of women not thinking of the child they almost had on every anniversary of the event. One could be a cynic and speak to the possible criminal element that never lived, but at worst it would match the current demographic, which means more good guys. Simply put, it is wrong for the feds to give our tax money to an organization with so many negatives, and no positives.

4simpsons said...

"I don't find the issue complex whatsoever and I do believe in absolutes (the Lord certainly does), particularly where human life is concerned."

Good point. Virtually all the nuances Geoffrey mentioned fall into the psychological complexity category. Abortion situations are psychologically complex, to be sure. But morally speaking they are quite clear. It is immoral to destroy and innocent human being. I just addressed that topic here - http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=140 . It is very useful to make that distinction so the pro-legalized abortionists can't pretend we're uncaring about the women.

"That's 50 million people contributing to our society, such as Social Security which is hurting for lack of doners. 50 million more Americans to shore up our fertility rate. 50 million more heads, as in, two are better than one. Millions of women not thinking of the child they almost had on every anniversary of the event. One could be a cynic and speak to the possible criminal element that never lived, but at worst it would match the current demographic, which means more good guys."

Those are some good practical concerns that aren't talked about much. I should blog on those someday. Amazingly, some pro-legalized abortionists have advanced the argument that abortion may reduce the % of criminals. I don't think their data was sound, but it would be fun to debate it with them. Again, if abortion kills an innocent human being, they are advocating capital punishment for those who might be criminals. But I doubt they are for CP for those outside the womb.

The Social Security and other issues are significant.

4simpsons said...

Sorry, bad link on the last comment - http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2008/07/17/morally-complex-vs-psychologically-complex/

Mark said...

I fail to understand GK-S use of the word, "Complicated" to refer to the abortion issue. It isn't complicated at all. Pro-choicers want to murder babies and pro-lifers don't. Where is the complication?

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Mark fails to understand my use of the word "complicated". I shall explain. Precisely because I do no think - not believe, but think based on scientific evidence - that a fetus is a human being, and therefore either legally or morally of the same worth (remember, please that "person" is a legal term here, not necessarily a philosophical one; the latter means, classically, a being with a center of consciousness; by that definition, there are many walking, talking adults who aren't persons), I do not see the issue in the same way as you gentlemen do. I see it as an issue, partly, of health care, partly of giving free rein to moral choice for individuals, partly of women's freedom, and partly not all that important in the grand scheme of things. Precisely because different human beings can differ on the fundamentals of the issue, this particular tie, in my book, goes to the runner.

That is to say, if we valorize (sorry for using the big word, Mark) the fetus (or, indeed, the fertilized egg), we miss the fact that there are differences, scientifically, legally, and morally between the various stages a developing zygote/embryo/fetus passes through. We miss the fact that there are cases where abortion is a necessity. Finally, we become incapable of discussing the issue without using morally loaded terminology such as "baby-killer", "murdered babies", which silence any reasoned discussion of the topic.

Now, you gentlemen believe in all sincerity that it is perfectly acceptable to use such terminology, because you think that abortion is the murder of a human being. Do not be surprised, then, that those who differ with your points of view do not feel it possible to either listen to your arguments, or have a serious discussion of the issue. No one, except perhaps a sociopath, would want to be caught supporting the murder of human beings. The deliberate insertion of morally, legally loaded terminology in to the abortion debate in effect ended such debate. Those who take the absolutist position on either side have the field, which makes only for shouting matches, accusations of bad faith or moral blindness on both sides, and the status quo remaining, roughly, what it has been for thirty-five years.

I do not believe in absolutes, but that hardly means I do not have moral views that I dedicate my life to. I think our public discourse is harmed by the insertion of moral absolutes - and I mean any that come from any political ideology whatsoever (yes, the political Left is chock-a-block with people making all kinds of Final Pronouncements on all sorts of topics; it makes me cringe).

Because you gentlemen do accept the reality of absolutes, and in the specific case of abortion feel it necessary to inject the vocabulary of such absolutes in to the discussion, I think it only fair to say that such discussions will be short. I have been pretty clear, and much more thorough in presenting my views here, because (a) I haven't been attacked personally, nor have my arguments been dismissed; and (b) I believe we are taking each other seriously on a topic to which you all assign great importance and that I feel is far more marginal, but nonetheless a good source for discussion. I'm not sure what else I have to say on this topic that I have not already said, so I shall only end with a big thank you for the space to do this.

I hope we can do this again some time.

Marshall Art said...

"I'm not sure what else I have to say on this topic that I have not already said..."

What you have not said is what that scientific evidence is that supports your position. It's the only thing I've been waiting to hear about it.

Your legal definition of the word "person" is one of many for the word, and as such is not only a legal one. But that's semantics. The word has been used in this discussion in the same manner it was used in referring to black slaves, as one of worth, one's personhood.

The various stages of development you've mentioned do not include any that represent the "beginning" of one's total worth as a human being on par with yours. Our "argument" is that that same level of worth is part of the package created when the two parts of the parents were joined as one. This admission of each individual's worth in no way affects our understanding of the differences between those various stages any more than one's age affects our understanding of the various stages yet to be experienced by the zygote once it has matured enough to exit the birth canal. It is all part of the same chain of stages under which we will all have gone by the time we die.

The argument is that any moral, ethical or legal versions for when one's humanity is to be acknowledged has been based on subjective reasoning and not science, since the science agrees with our position, as explained and presented in an earlier debate on the subject at this blog.

As to the subject of absolutes, if none exist, then each of us has the right to decide our own. You would have no real standing in arguing against anyone's view should they not favor your humanity. Or your family's. Or anyone else you might hold dear.

4simpsons said...

"Precisely because I do no think - not believe, but think based on scientific evidence - that a fetus is a human being"

Your position before was the philosophical personhood argument, which is flawed. Now it is a scientific claim, which is even more clearly flawed. Please review this in any embryology textbook. To deny that a human being is not killed during an abortion is simply anti-science - http://abort73.com/index.php?/abortion/medical_testimony .

"I see it as an issue, partly, of health care, partly of giving free rein to moral choice for individuals, partly of women's freedom, and partly not all that important in the grand scheme of things."

What if the unborn is female? What about her freedom? I'm still curious as to how you can say abortions for gender selection are bad if they are below your made-up line.

And if you really think 24 weeks is the line, what do you do to oppose those abortions after that period?

"Precisely because different human beings can differ on the fundamentals of the issue, this particular tie, in my book, goes to the runner."

Why not err on the side of life? Who said it was a tie? If the majority of people wanted to reinstitute slavery I'm pretty sure we'd both oppose that.

"That is to say, if we valorize (sorry for using the big word, Mark) the fetus (or, indeed, the fertilized egg), we miss the fact that there are differences, scientifically, legally, and morally between the various stages a developing zygote/embryo/fetus passes through."

Keep going . . . fetus/infant/toddler/teen . . . you've yet to demonstrate that the unborn aren't human. She is a human zygote, a human embryo and a human fetus.

"We miss the fact that there are cases where abortion is a necessity."

But we don't miss that fact. When the life of the woman is at stake the pro-life ethic concedes that point.

"Finally, we become incapable of discussing the issue without using morally loaded terminology such as "baby-killer", "murdered babies", which silence any reasoned discussion of the topic."

I can't recall using the term baby-killer, though killing an innocent human being seems to qualify as murder in my dictionary. Why does an accurate description of the procedure mean it can't be discussed? I realize pro-legalized abortionists like to avoid the terms, but that is the challenge of debating.

"No one, except perhaps a sociopath, would want to be caught supporting the murder of human beings."

Well, get ready to insert a punchline, because the state of California calls it murder - unless the mommy pays for it:

CALIFORNIA CODES
PENAL CODE

187. (a) Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a
fetus, with malice aforethought.
(b) This section shall not apply to any person who commits an act
which results in the death of a fetus if any of the following apply:

(1) The act complied with the Therapeutic Abortion Act, Chapter 11
(commencing with Section 25950) of Division 20 of the Health and
Safety Code.
(2) The act was committed by a holder of a physician's and surgeon's
certificate, as defined in the Business and Professions Code, in a
case where, to a medical certainty, the result of childbirth would be
death of the mother of the fetus or where her death from childbirth,
although not medically certain, would be substantially certain or
more likely than not.
(3) The act was solicited, aided, abetted, or consented to by the
mother of the fetus.
(c) Subdivision (b) shall not be construed to prohibit the
prosecution of any person under any other provision of law.
------

There you have it: California is sociopathic. They clearly define killing a fetus as murder unless the mom is the instigator.

"The deliberate insertion of morally, legally loaded terminology in to the abortion debate in effect ended such debate."

With all due respect, I think that is a cop-out. Pro-legalized abortionists often try to claim we're anti-women, that we are forcing our religious beliefs on people, etc. They are baseless ad hom attacks. Do I say, "Gee, we can never debate this. I'm going home." Not at all. I refute their poor reasoning and get back to the issue at hand: What is the unborn? If it isn't a human being, do whatever you like with it. If it is a human being, don't kill her.

"Those who take the absolutist position on either side have the field, which makes only for shouting matches, accusations of bad faith or moral blindness on both sides, and the status quo remaining, roughly, what it has been for thirty-five years."

I don't see how taking a position in and of itself is guilty of anything. That would apply to people absolutely opposed to slavery or murder outside the womb.

"I do not believe in absolutes, but that hardly means I do not have moral views that I dedicate my life to. I think our public discourse is harmed by the insertion of moral absolutes - and I mean any that come from any political ideology whatsoever (yes, the political Left is chock-a-block with people making all kinds of Final Pronouncements on all sorts of topics; it makes me cringe)."

Yes, you are absolute about not having absolutes. Been down that road with you so I'll give that a pass ;-).

Again, thanks for the candor and the discussion and I agree that it is good to discuss this without getting personal. I do hope that you meditate on the science and consistency questions I raised above.

Peace,
Neil

4simpsons said...

"I see it as an issue, partly, of health care, partly of giving free rein to moral choice for individuals, partly of women's freedom, and partly not all that important in the grand scheme of things."

Sorry, just re-read that part. Each element is invalidated if the unborn are human beings:

It isn't health care for the unborn, it is being destroyed without anesthetic.

We don't give free rein to destroy other human beings.

Women aren't free to destroy human beings.

And if 3,500+ human beings are being destroyed every day in the U.S. then seems to be of the utmost importance. In fact, if that isn't important, what is?

Erudite Redneck said...

Wow! This was a wonderful thread, right up until 9:05 a.m. That comment, fortunately, appears to have been a mere heart fart (not a brain fart, but one originating solely in emotion.)

And I now recloak.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Coda -

I was puzzled by ER's comment, and so I went back and found the reference. I stopped reading Mark's comment when he said that he didn't understand the whole "complicated" thing. I didn't read the whole comment, so I missed that he believes that pro-choice folks want to kill babies.

I have attempted to present, in good faith and as honestly as I can what I feel about abortion and why. I have not impugned the good faith of anyone. I have not claimed that your position is morally reprehensible. Yet, here is Mark cutting through the Gordian knot of reality with his insistence that pro-choice people want to kill babies. A statement like that, while no doubt reflecting his views on the subject, ends any attempt at discussion. I respect the position you gentlemen have taken, and shows that respect by presenting, as honestly as I can, my own position even as I knew you would disagree with it at pretty much every point. That is what I mean by "reasonable people can disagree" - we are disagreeing, we are admitting that disagreement, and we are acknowledging that in presenting different views there is no attempt to either disparage the views of another or persuade another to change. I for one have no illusions about that.

Yet, there is Mark, insisting that the pro-choice position is tantamount to intentional infanticide. Since I am pro-choice, yet anti-infanticide, that would seem to discredit the argument. Except, of course, for Mark, there is no difference, in law, in theory, in moral deference between a fetus and a child. Thus, my position, from Mark's point of view, becomes incoherent. He refuses to consider the possibility that other people hold different views. Since those differences are a priori morally repugnant, so are those who hold them.

Anonymous said...

Good job Marshall.
It seems Conservatives need a lesson about their own nominee. Why am I not surprised.
Mom2>

Some coward thinks they are being cute again. That is not my post and I hope Marshall has a way of checking out who is using my tag deceitfully. The real Mom2

Marshall Art said...

Mom2,

Why not just go back to using your moniker? BTW, you always "sign" your comments, so no one is confusing you with that clever fellow.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey and ER,

Let's be fair, here. Mark is obviously passionate about the issue. Considering the issue is a debate about whether or not a person is a person endowed by his/her Creator with the unalienable right to life, the opposing position would indeed be repugnant to him, as it is truly to me.

To put it another way, review your last comment (Geoffrey) and replace "fetus" with "black man", or "abortion" with "slavery". I have little doubt you'd be arguing against slavery with the same passion and impatience as does Mark over abortion. Indeed, you are arguing in favor of abortion rights with the very same mindset as those who argued in favor of slavery and the worth of the black population.

Make no mistake, however. I have no doubt that you do not view your position as morally reprehensible. It is our contention that if you are truly facing the facts of the situation, you will eventually experience a paradigm shift, an epiphany and see the moral quality of the pro-abortion position for what it is: morally reprehensible.

Continuing in the spirit of fairness, I resist saying that anyone "wants" to kill babies, but for sure they're reserving the right they wrongly feel exists. This whole issue is a result of moral decline regarding sexuality and the insistence that we are somehow superior to ancient peoples and sophisticated enough to engage at the slightest whim. But the only way to treat it like the cheap form of recreation they've made it, is to also make insignificant the consequences of the actions. But, to state that I know when this attitude is a conscious decision or a culturally conditioned state of mind is something I'm not equipped to judge. In either case, a denial of specific facts is necessary to maintain the attitude and I believe it's necessary to continue throwing logs on this fire until only denial is left and the knowledge of that forces the pro-choicer to see the light. Lives hang in the balance.

mom2 said...

Marshall, that anonymous did sign it Mom2. That is what I'm saying, I did not post that comment, but it has Mom2 as the sign off. I will have to go back to my blogger identity and the only reason I quit is because my computer is used by another family member and it was sometimes hard for me to remember to see whose name was signed in. Mom2

4simpsons said...

If abortions weren't related to sex then there is no way they'd be legal. Everyone would oppose them and we wouldn't be having this discussion. There would be no "personhood" arguments and no debates about their humanity.

However, abortions are the birth control of choice for millions - or at least the fallback solution - so that is why the PP types fight so strenuously for them. It is just a facet of the sexual revolution.

It isn't about women's rights, or the pro-aborts would protest the fact that virtually all gender selection abortions are done to unborn females.

Geoffrey even seems to have a problem with gender selectin abortions, though I'm still interested in how he reconciles that with the rest of his views.

If it is morally neutral to destroy a human being at 20 weeks for being unwanted, or potentially gay, or having Down Syndrom, or whatever, why would it be even 1% immoral if the motive were her "wrong" gender?

Marshall Art said...

Mom2,

Having unknowingly posted several comments under my daughter's name, I know what you mean. I've since tried to make it a point to check if she's signed in before I post anything. But every once in a while...

4simpsons said...

Marshall, your sign in problem reminds me of a little misunderstanding that happened to us.

One of the girls wanted to ask one of the guys guest-dancing in their Nutcracker ballet to be friends with them on Facebook. Friendly teenager, but a little confused and very out of the closet and proud of it. I visited with him some because I was in the first part of the performance as a "party dad" (long story).

So my daughter makes the request, then it was like, "Uh, honey, that was my login." D'oh!

The kid was thinking, "Uh, Daddy Simpson wants to be friends?!"

We sorted it out the next day and all had a big laugh about it.

Mark said...

Excuse me, Mr. Effete elitist superiority complex snob GK-S, But I am well aware some demented people hold views about baby killing that differ from mine. The Nazi's for instance. Saddam's goons, for another. Nice class of people you identify with there, boy!

It doesn't make it right, or moral. And just because some elitist activist Justices manufactured some percieved "right" in the Constitution that isn't even in there to make killing babies legal, it still doesn't make it right.

Are't you glad your mother didn't hold the same views as you? Of course, by your convoluted logic, because you are a barely sentient human being yourself, one might make a logical argument for aborting you albeit a little late.



I resent your insinuation that I need to use a dictionary to understand your wording. I never use a dictionary. My vocabulary is quite extensive, thank you.

Unlike you, I don't feel a need to impress people with my intellect. Not that I haven't ever tried that. Years ago, before I wised up, I used to try to impress people with my genius IQ (That's right! I have a genuis IQ) but I found it only alienated people away from me. They thought I was a show off and a boor. Much the way I think of you, in fact.

Sorry, Art, I know you deplore personal attacks on your blog but this guy shed first blood. Usually I ignore insults from this guy, because I feel trading insults with jerks like him is tantamount to fighting an unarmed man. But he shouldn't be allowed to wield a weapon. He'd probably only end up hurting himself.

GK-S, if you ever used your head for something other than a hatrack, you would have to logically admit that abortion is killing babies, and, by association, so is supporting it. In law, which you are so quick to cite ad nauseum, an accomplice to murder, before, during, and after the fact, is regarded as just as guilty as the perp who wielded the weapon. If you stand by and approve of killing babies, you are just as guilty as the murderer who committed the act.

Why don't you just crawl back inside your mother and abort yourself, you unadulterated whelp of a whore?

Mark said...

Sorry, that should have read, "you unreconstructed whelp of a whore".

Mark said...

As for ER, the only reason he attacks me is because he knows my arguments are perfect and unassailable and my logic is flawless. He can't argue with solid logic so ad Hominen attacks are his only recourse.

Kind of like the child who argues, "oh Yeah? Well, my dad is bigger than your dad and besides, you're just an old poopy-face!"

Marty said...

I really have a problem with the term "pro-life". It seems to me that it only refers to those who are against one thing - abortion. It's ok if you support the death penalty and war. But how is that position pro-life? It just doesn't seem consistent to me.

I support giving women and girls the resources they need to keep their babies when a crisis pregnancy occurs. I support open adoptions.

But I also support health insurance for all, adequate housing for all, clean air and water, a living wage. I could go on and on.

Aren't those all pro-life issues, including the death penalty and war?

Marshall Art said...

Mark,

I understand your passion, but I must insist that you restrain yourself from getting personal. If you feel victimized in kind, retaliate with reason and logic. One never knows who is reading without ever posting, and the message is the thing. It's always the thing.

Let us all be more magnanimous.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

"I really have a problem with the term "pro-life". It seems to me that it only refers to those who are against one thing - abortion."

That's because the term was adopted by anti-abortion proponents. It is specific to the issue.

Yet in a more general sense, as you suggest, there are other areas that can suggest one is or isn't totally "pro-life". For the subject of capital punishment, it's been explained how a pro-life anti-abortion proponent can still be pro-CP without being inconsistent, but I don't want to stray from the topic.

The same is true for war. To say one is pro-life while the same one supports a given war simply means to examine the war and why it is supported. To kill while being pro-life is not the same as being pacifist. There are times when taking up arms is appropriate, whether for war, or for self-protection. Intention is the key.

Neil's blog, 4Simpsons, has covered this "disparity" well. Check it out.

4simpsons said...

"But how is that position pro-life?"

Capital punishment recognizes that the greatest crime is to take the life of an innocent person. There is nothing inconsistent with it and the pro-life ethic.

4simpsons said...

Marshall, we were leaving comments simultaneously. Here's the link - http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2006/10/05/pro-capital-punishment-pro-life/

Thanks!

Marty said...

I will take a look at 4simpsons post, but not tonight. I've heard quite a few arguments on your postion, but I've never been convinced as yet.

Perhaps there will be something new there I've not heard. I'm willing to give it a read.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Wow, Mark, you manage to violate Godwin's law and expose your inferiority complex all in one comment! Yes, as a liberal effete snob, I obviously am in bed, politically speaking, with Nazis and fascist dictators everywhere. I'm glad you finally called me out.

I was teasing you a bit, because in the past you have complained that you do not have the same education as I do. It was meant as light-hearted fun, no more and no less. Apparently your sense of humor, like your sense of political proportion, is missing just a bit. Laugh at yourself a bit, Mark. I do.

Having been born in 1965, the abortion option wasn't open to my mother. Also, since my parents wanted five children, and I was number 5, I don't think she would have exercised the option had it been open, even though both my parents were past the age of 40 at the time.

You apparently missed the point of my comment, which was your position, by not allowing for any differences to be held honestly and thoughtfully, has created the mess we're in in re any public discussion of abortion. Had you understood, you may have noticed that I said that I am not in agreement with the court in Roe that abortion is a "right". Had you read all my comments in full, you may have noticed that I am uncomfortable with the practice in a variety of situations, as well as with much of the pro-choice rhetoric for the exact same reasons you seem to toss my way - it is elitist, and racist, and class-biased as well (can't have all those poor, dark-skinned folks out-producing us in children now, can we . . .).

Yet, I am pro-choice. I disagree with the contention that abortion is the murder of a human being, and have yet to come across a convincing argument to the contrary. This doesn't mean I like it, or believe it should exist without restriction or regulation. I also find the kind of absolutist position you present as part of the problem rather than part of any serious solution. Since you refuse to honor the possibility that differences of opinion on this issue stem from serious moral considerations (because different people have different moral calculi, not because you are moral and they aren't), I doubt whether your shrill attack on me would be heard by others who might otherwise be open to hearing a differing opinion.

Different people hold different ideas. Different people make different moral and life decisions. These differences sometimes are extreme - Nazis and Stalinists on the one hand, libertarians and liberals on the other - and not based on reasons the other could fathom. In America, we tend to exist in a mushy middle, which is, for the most part, a good thing. To paint with the broad brush all those who disagree with your position on abortion as immoral monsters ends any attempt at either understanding or even serious discussion.

This doesn't mean your position is wrong, or anti-democratic, or anything else. I am just offering my view as to why I believe the kind of over-heated rhetoric you use in your most recent comment doesn't move anything forward.

Mark said...

Oh, I get it. The old, "I was just joking" line.

That's reminiscent of John Kerry's gaffe, calling the troops in Iraq stupid (in so many words). When he was called on it, he simply said. "it was just a joke" and apparently, that was enough for the news media. They accepted it and the whole matter was dropped. Except I doubt the troops accepted his insincere apology.

Of course, you must recognize that my comments to you were just a joke, too.

Let me enlighten you, Geoffrey. Jokes are funny. Your joke was not funny. It was an insult.

I tell you what.

If you agree to stop insulting my intelligence, I'll agree to stop insulting your condescending, elitist, nose-in-the-air attitude.

Again, sorry, Art, but he did draw first blood.

Les said...

"Again, sorry, Art, but he did draw first blood."

This coming from the guy who accused me of being the moral equivalent of a murderer. Incredible.

"Oh, I get it."

No, you really don't.

Marty said...

Ok I've read 4simpons post "Pro-capital punishment=Pro-life".

Nope. I'm still not convinced.

There is also an inconsistency in the pro-abortion folks who are against the death penalty.

Here's where I stand on the issue. Let there be no doubt. And I will not be moved:

Taking a human life is wrong. Period. Whether inside the womb or out, innocent or not.

"Thou shalt not kill".

Don't think it could be much clearer than the sixth commandment.

So... if I am going to ere, I will ere on the side of life in ALL circumstances.

Marty said...

One other thing. From 4simpons post:

"Capital punishment is pro-life in that it regards the taking of innocent human life as the greatest crime, and thus deserving of the greatest punishment. It also recognizes the deterrent effect as well as the prevention of future murders (executed criminals hardly ever kill again). Therefore, it seeks to preserve additional innocent lives. This is consistent with the pro-life view that abortions are permissible if the life of the mother is at stake."

I don't see the consistency at all. And I would suggest to you that saving the life of the mother over that of the child is not a "pro-life" stance.

I was born in a Catholic hospital. My parents had to sign a paper that if something happened during my birth and one or the other life had to be saved, it would be my life that was saved and not my moms. My mom's life would have been sacrificed for mine. And she would have gladly done it.

4simpsons said...

"Don't think it could be much clearer than the sixth commandment."

Thanks for giving the other piece a read. I think you are missing the point of the 6th commandment: That was about taking innocent life.

Capital punishment was God's idea, which means it was Jesus' idea.

There are a lot of ineffective arguments against capital punishment.

4simpsons said...

"I would suggest to you that saving the life of the mother over that of the child is not a "pro-life" stance."

It isn't usually a coin flip. Think of ectopic pregnancies. If you don't do an abortion, both may die.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

I applaud your mother's decision to sacrifice herself for you. Valerie Bertinelli did a made-for-TV movie on that very topic, wherein she played an expectant woman who's life was at risk should she go to term. Her character chose to risk death in order to save her child's life. (I don't know how it ended since I didn't actually see the movie. I only know that it was made, Bertinelli was the star, and that that was the subject of the film.)

But not every woman has the courage to take that chance and it IS a self-defense issue. Self-defense is never murder and I don't think even "turn the other cheek" can be taken that far. I don't see how anyone can hold a woman responsible because she feared for her own life, and I don't see how it's ethical or moral to force such a woman to take that risk.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

Regarding capital punishment, my comments from Neil's post "Abortion and Capital Punishment":

"You seem to miss the point. How much do you cherish the life of the murdered if you let the murderer live out his days? Do you really think letting a guy cool his heels while his victim rots is somehow justice for the victim? Does that show that you value the life of that victim? Of course to execute an individual seems to suggest that life is not valued, but that is only true if one ignores the crime and the victim who suffered and died."

Marty said...

"Thanks for giving the other piece a read."

You're welcome.

"I think you are missing the point of the 6th commandment: That was about taking innocent life."
"
Ok. That's your interpretation.

"Capital punishment was God's idea, which means it was Jesus' idea."

An eye for an eye, tooth for tooth. Hmm. Seems to me Jesus had another idea regarding that. But if you want to comfort yourself thinking otherwise, be my guest.

"Self-defense is never murder and I don't think even "turn the other cheek" can be taken that far"

Same answer as above.

"Think of ectopic pregnancies. If you don't do an abortion, both may die."

Yep these situations can get a bit sticky.

"How much do you cherish the life of the murdered if you let the murderer live out his days? Do you really think letting a guy cool his heels while his victim rots is somehow justice for the victim?"

In this case the victim is dead. Nothing can be done to bring him/her back. I believe in restorative justice". And that can still happen between the victim's family and the perpetrator.

In Bertinelli's movie the baby dies.

Marshall Art said...

Les,

Here's something I'm not sure YOU get.

There is a distinction between an ad hominem remark such as, "Bucky is just a liberal ass-wipe", and the characterization of someone who's position on a topic leads to a logical conclusion in the mind of an opponent.

If we leave aside the debate as to when life begins, that is, when one becomes a person, and just focus on the fact that some truly believe that one is always a person equal to any other walking around adult human being, then it would be an honest, as well as logical, conclusion that anyone who takes the life of an unborn, regardless of the stage of life that unborn one has met, is no different than one who takes the life of any other walking around adult human being. Each has met the criteria which qualifies one for the label "murderer". There was malice aforethought. There was no threat by the victim to the one who took its life.

So how could a pro-lifer, like Mark for example, NOT regard a supporter of abortion rights as a co-conspirator in the deaths of every unborn child taken in this manner, and be consistent and honest in his position? The question then is, is one like Mark simply trying to hurt your feelings by the use of the label, or is it more of a warning or alert that it is your support that labels you thusly since that is what abortion is?

Once again, I say this not as part of a debate regarding the beginning of personhood/humanity, but only to put things in their proper perspective. In may be that Mark means to insult. I don't know, you'll have to ask him. But the above explanation is where I'm coming from when such a term is suggested.

I also want to say that I've rehashed your color spectrum analogy and I find it wanting. If one compares the gradual transition from one stage of fetal development to the next, right on through adulthood to the gradual transition of one color to the next on the spectrum of light, one can only conclude then, that each is part of the whole. That is, each gradual stage of color change is merely a part of the same spectrum, as each stage of human development is part of the same human being or person. Thus, your analogy works better for my side of the argument than yours. Thanks.

4simpsons said...

"Ok. That's your interpretation."

Words mean things. Are you denying that God said that murder deserved capital punishment? See Genesis 9.

"An eye for an eye, tooth for tooth. Hmm. Seems to me Jesus had another idea regarding that. But if you want to comfort yourself thinking otherwise, be my guest."

Please show me the verses where I'm wrong and the context, and how that relates to capital punishment.

Les said...

And it would appear that YOU still don't get something either, Art.

Mark can fight for the pro-life position all he wants. But let's assume the pro-choicers are right and personhood does not begin the moment an egg is fertilized - an opinion held by millions. If that's true - without any hidden motives or agenda whatsoever held by those who share that opinion - then obviously there is no "murderous" behavior in play. There's no malicious intent to end a human life. Abortion is viewed as nothing more than a medical procedure. While this position may be wrong, Mark has no basis in calling those who hold this position murderers, nor does he have any basis in essentially calling those of us who defend the legality of the practice murderers. I'm not going to argue over the biology in play here, because this issue has been argued again and again and again with neither side proving their case, and they never will. Same data, different conclusions.

Like the color analogy...

You've decided to make the scope of the analogy the entire color spectrum, whereas I might simply be looking at any ONE particular color and merely wondering if it's orange or if it's yellow. Seems to me we'd both be using the exact same data to support our own arguments, so thank YOU for revisiting my old analogy and helping strengthen MY case.

By the way, Cubs are goin' down.

Marty said...

"Words mean things. Are you denying that God said that murder deserved capital punishment? See Genesis 9."

In Genesis 9 what I read is "I will require a reckoning". I being God. You and I are not God. We don't have the power to give or take life. IMO

"Please show me the verses where I'm wrong and the context, and how that relates to capital punishment."

Uh...how about this one: "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord'"

Marshall Art said...

Les,

You're changing the game. I chose to make my point from the pro-life perspective without any determination of whether that perspective is fact or not. The pro-lifer believes their argument is right and that the facts support them and from there we look at whether the use of the term murder is legitimate. Naturally, if their perspective is proven wrong, which it can't be because it isn't, and the pro-aborts are right, which they can't be because their not, then of course the term "murder" would not apply.

As for not proving our case, it's been proven for a long time, but some people deny the biological facts, insert their subjective starting points where they find it most suitable, and carry on as if they've a legitimate argument based on something substantial. The idea that we can't know when along the developmental stage one has all the value of any other born human is just plain goofy and I can't believe anyone who expects to be taken seriously could support that so-called reasoning. The truth is that the pro-abort side hasn't made ANY case that intelligently refutes the pro-life side based on science.

Back to your analogy---

No, I'm looking at it just as you want me to and what I see is that just like it might be hard to determine where one color ends and the next begins, it is likely difficult to know when one stage of development as totally ended and the next begun. But in each example, it's not the transition that matters since all the transitions are a part of the whole spectrum/human being. This is why the only possible tack for pro-aborts to take that keeps them out of this debate altogether, is to deal with the only acceptable line of demarcation, that being the point of conception/fertilization. Prevent that, and you're golden. You haven't killed anybody and all you have to be nagged about is the promiscuity, which, without the conception leaves no third party that didn't get a vote.

The Brewskies will falter.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

What you read in Gen 9 was incomplete:

"And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.

Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man."


And of course we know that death was required for a number of infractions in the OT. And your other quote is certainly how each of us must act, but not governments. There is a distinction. Thus, your verse doesn't relate to CP.

4simpsons said...

Marty,

I 2nd what Marshall said about Genesis 9. Gotta keep reading.

Re. your Romans 12 passage about vengeance, that is for individuals. Keep reading into chapter 13 and you'll find this: "Romans 13:3-4 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."

"I'm not going to argue over the biology in play here, because this issue has been argued again and again and again with neither side proving their case, and they never will."

Les, the humanity of the unborn is a scientific fact. Check the embryology textbooks. That is why the pro-aborts have shifted to the elusive, philosophical "personhood" argument instead.

Peace,
Neil

Marty said...

"And of course we know that death was required for a number of infractions in the OT. And your other quote is certainly how each of us must act, but not governments. There is a distinction. Thus, your verse doesn't relate to CP."

Yes it does, for me personally, in how I view life and death issues.

I like what my church states in it's Social Principles regarding the Death Penalty:

"We believe the death penalty denies the power of Christ to redeem, restore and transform all human beings. The United Methodist Church is deeply concerned about crime throughout the world and the value of any life taken by a murder or homicide. We believe all human life is sacred and created by God and therefore, we must see all human life as significant and valuable. When governments implement the death penalty (capital punishment), then the life of the convicted person is devalued and all possibility of change in that person's life ends. We believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and that the possibility of reconciliation with Christ comes through repentance. This gift of reconciliation is offered to all individuals without exception and gives all life new dignity and sacredness. For this reason, we oppose the death penalty (capital punishment) and urge its elimination from all criminal codes."

From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church - 2004

4simpsons said...

Thanks for the Book of Discipline piece. I'm a "bad Methodist" in that I don't agree, but I wouldn't leave over it.

"When governments implement the death penalty (capital punishment), then the life of the convicted person is devalued and all possibility of change in that person's life ends."

This is self-refuting argument. If you take the killer's spiritual issues into account (e.g., chances at eternal life) then the crime itself has just gone up in magnitude, because the killer may have taken away the victim's chance at salvation. I trust God to work it all out, though.

Marty said...

Well, the Social Principles aren't binding 4simpons.

"I trust God to work it all out, though."

On that we can agree! :)

May the peace of Christ be with you.

4simpsons said...

"May the peace of Christ be with you."

And also with you! Thanks for the charitable dialogue.

Les said...

"The pro-lifer believes their argument is right..."

But you do realize that "believes" is the operative word there. I believe the Brewers are way cooler than the Cubs, but I don't expect to ever be able to prove that belief. Therefore, I'd never make a blanket statement about the mindset, motivations, or morality of those who may disagree with me.

"No, I'm looking at it just as you want me to..."

Oh yeah? Let's go way back and look at the comment of yours that brought about the analogy in the first place:

"My point was and is that if there is no definitive point beyond conception that science can determine to be the beginning of 'personhood', then we must acknowledge that one's personhood began the instant that person came into existence."

The key portion of that statement is "no definitive point". If I were to ask you at exactly how many nanometers the color orange actually becomes orange, you wouldn't be able to give me an absolute answer. There's an estimated range, to be sure, but the exact range is open to interpretation. By your reasoning, we'd call all colors orange. Also by your reasoning, we'd call all live human cells persons. I'm just not in agreement with that. Yes, the natural end result of a fertilized egg is a new human being. But the bun's gotta stay in the oven for awhile in order to cook. When I want roast chicken for dinner, I put the uncooked chicken in the oven and wait for it to cook to the point where it won't kill me if I eat it. All the ingredients are already there the second I put it in the oven, but it ain't quite the same thing after cookin' for an hour and a half.

4simpsons said...

Les, the fetus is a human being at particular stage of development. If not destroyed, it will progress to baby, toddler, adolescent, teen, etc. It has inherent worth at each stage. And even if we didn't know that life begins at conception (see the embryology textbooks), wouldn't you want to err on the side of life?

Marshall Art said...

Les,

"I believe the Brewers are way cooler than the Cubs, but I don't expect to ever be able to prove that belief."

First of all, such a belief is just plain silly. Secondly, as refers to the topic, the belief doesn't involve loss of life for a whole class of human beings. The fact that human life is central to the belief means exactly that the person holding the belief justly demands consideration. I refer again to the slavery issue. The personhood of a black man was not questioned by some (paralleling the pro-lifer), but was by others (equating to pro-choicers). Certainly those in favor of emancipation were unwilling to allow slavery to continue for the benefit of those who felt differently. They thought of the people, the blacks, in the same way that the pro-lifer regards the unborn.

In other words, it's not as if the issue is three-piece suits, wherein one person thinks it looks great and the next doesn't like vests. It's far weightier than that and to the pro-lifer, there's no such thing as, "well, some people don't think they're killing human beings, so we'll just do nothing about it." To the pro-lifer it's exactly like standing by and doing nothing if the neighbors are being put to death. By doing nothing, or by supporting the mythical "right to choose", one is a co-conspirator, one is aiding and abetting, and like driving the getaway car, one is just as guilty as the perpetrator.

Naturally, from the other side, this is ridiculous because the other side takes the position that they aren't killing a human being. But to take offense when accused by the pro-lifer, as if the implication was made simply to insult is totally unjustified. Instead, understand where the pro-lifer is coming from and that it's not about control, but preservation of innocent life.

As far as proving our position, it's been done. The problem is waking up the other side to the reality, to show they are only denying the facts, which is the case.

"Also by your reasoning, we'd call all live human cells persons."

I don't know how anything I've said should have led you to think that. I've been pretty specific about stating that we're talking about a fertilized ovum and every stage of development thereafter. What is required for the development to proceed at each stage (bun in the oven) is irrelevant. At your present stage, you need nutrition and protection against the elements and at your present stage, you provide them for yourself. That wasn't always the case. When you were in single digits, the folks provided. When you were in negative digits, only mom did. We all go through each stage in the same way.

Mark said...

Art, rather than allow myself to be drawn into another ad hominen insulting argument which serves no useful purpose, I have expounded and expanded my position on abortion over at my own blog.

That way, if some abortion rights extremist wants to make his point, he can do so over there and I will handle it in my own way. Thank you.

4simpsons said...

"I believe the Brewers are way cooler than the Cubs, but I don't expect to ever be able to prove that belief."

That is an opinion.

That the unborn is a human is a scientific fact.

Marshall Art said...

"That is an opinion."

And, as I said, a silly one.:)

Les said...

"... so we'll just do nothing about it."

So NOT calling one's opposition "murderers" is doing nothing? Please. A position can be argued - much more credibly, I might add - without the accusatory theatrics or hyperbole.

"I don't know how anything I've said should have led you to think that. I've been pretty specific about stating that we're talking about a fertilized ovum..."

Ah. So you've defined the scope of the discussion. Kinda like you decided the scope of the orange analogy should be "color", not just "orange". See what I mean? Same data, different perspective.

"Instead, understand where the pro-lifer is coming from and that it's not about control, but preservation of innocent life."

When did I ever say anything about control? You must have me confused with someone else. Hi. I'm Les.

And by the way, I DO understand where one particular pro-lifer named Mark is "coming from". He's coming from the position that I'm no better than a murderer. F**k that.

Cameron said...

"I believe the Brewers are way cooler than the Cubs, but I don't expect to ever be able to prove that belief."

Especially since they just lost 2 straight to the Cubbies...

Les said...

"Especially since they just lost 2 straight..."

Hey - winnin' ain't got nuthin' to do with cool. Drago beat Apollo. Didn't mean he was cooler. Not by a long shot.

Go Crew!

Cameron said...

Now the Brews are communists?!