Will the real pro-lifers please stand up!

30 05 2019

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I’ve been working on this abortion blog for months now, but in light of recent actions in Alabama and Missouri I’ve decided to start over . . . again.  My goal when I began was to encourage dialogue on the issue, and to offer words that would challenge people on both sides to engage in respectful and meaningful conversation.  But as has become the case so often in recent years, the extremism that has resurfaced on the Right is only legitimized when we credit it as worthy of discussion and debate.  And that I will not do.  Recent talk of ‘human rights’ and ‘heartbeat’ bills are so radically frightening that I refuse to engage in any kind of conversation that will in any way condone or legitimize the absurd!

The Alabama bill bans all abortion except “to prevent a serious health risk” to the woman; and makes performing an abortion a Class A felony, punishable by up to 99 years in prison.  It was approved by 25 white, male, state senators, and sets the stage for a Supreme Court battle to reverse the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision which declared that until the “age of viability” a fetus does not have the same rights as you and I.  The Missouri bill also criminalizes any and every abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected – which is somewhere between 6-8 weeks.  That bill provides for absolutely no exceptions, and was approved in the House by a vote of 110 to 44.

Advocates for both of these bills would have Americans believe that they are “pro” life, standing on the side of morality and upholding the sacredness of human life.  But any in-depth study of the pro-life movement reveals great hypocrisy over both what it means to care for the lives of infants, children, and women; and which ‘heartbeats’ are considered to be sacred.

In fact, there are people on all sides of this issue who value human life, and we all acknowledge the significance of the human heart beat.  The difference however is that we in the pro-choice movement believe that beyond a woman’s ability to have control over her own body, the rights of a fetus and the heartbeat of an embryo are not the same as the rights and heartbeat of those who have been born.  Until a fetus can survive on it’s own, outside of a woman’s body, it is part of a woman, completely dependent upon her, and therefore subject to all the rights and decisions of that woman!  She controls the fetus, and because it does not have it’s own individual identity, while it is indeed living, it’s life is not the same as the life of it’s mother, and thus it is not entitled to the same rights.  It’s really as simple as that.  When it can survive on it’s own, that is a completely different story, as Roe vs. Wade made clear.

Similarly, this notion that the beating heart of an embryo is the same as the heartbeat of you and me, is simply not true.  And it’s not true because we do not have the same hearts.  We will one day, but at six or eight weeks, that is simply not the case.  The ‘heart’ of an embryo has not yet even developed chambers, and thus is not the same as the heartbeat of us who are born.  Again, we pro-choicers acknowledge that one day it will — but that is not the case in the early stages of a woman’s pregnancy.  It’s heart is simply not like the heart of an living adult, and thus it’s heartbeat cannot be equated with the heartbeat of a living adult.

And herein is the issue!  No one disagrees that life begins at the moment of conception!  The question is whether or not that life — a life that has not once taken a breath, that very breath that God used to call humanity into being — is different from yours and mine.  And it is!  In fact it is very different.  Life is NOT life!  The life of a puppy is valuable.  But if I accidentally hit that puppy with my car on my way home from work, I am not going to be thrown in jail for murder.  The value that we place on a puppy’s life is different than the value placed on mine.

Sperm are living.  The plant in my office that I forgot to water last week WAS living.  But those ‘lives’ are not worth the same as mine.  And while neither a puppy, nor sperm, nor potted plants are the equivalent of human beings, the point is that there are different forms of life, with differing value and worth.

Further, because the life of a fetus is not only directly dependent upon, but actually part of the body of another living being, it simply cannot be granted the same rights a living and breathing human being.  The woman in whom the life was conceived has her own rights – rights granted to her by both God AND by our constitution – and her rights must always supersede the rights of an embryo or fetus that is unable to survive apart from her.  She alone is the only one who should be permitted to decide what is done to, in, and with her body.  For while human life may begin at conception, human beings are not human beings until they are able to survive apart from their mother. So until at least until some point in the second trimester, women need to be left alone with decisions that are theirs alone to make.  And to believe otherwise is neither moral, nor ethical.  Those are actually standards that the ‘Right’ gave up several years ago.

All life is from God.  All life is sacred, and good, and beautiful.  But all life is NOT equal.  And abortion must not be used as a rallying cry for those seeking to unite a political party that has lost any sense of cohesion, or for a political party that has lost all sense of morality.

 

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I’m with her

13 05 2019

White House

The time has come for America to put a woman in the White House.

No, we should not elect people to the highest office in the land on the basis of their gender, but neither should we fail to elect people on the basis of their gender!  And that is what has happened in our country for the past 230 years.  Americans have refused to send a woman to the White House simply because she was a woman: and that must change!  So it’s time to elect a woman.

But what if she’s not the most qualified candidate?

First off, let’s stop kidding ourselves into believing that we only elect the ‘most qualified’ candidates to the presidency.  If we learned nothing from the election of 2016, we learned that!  Never the less, as of May 2019, each and every woman who has declared her candidacy for the presidency is as qualified as anyone else.  All of the leading contenders have enough legislative, administrative, international, political, and relational experience to qualify them for the office.  They are visionary, knowledgeable, and charismatic leaders, capable of moving one of the world’s greatest democracies into the next chapter of the American story.  So qualifications are simply not an issue.

But what if she’s not able to handle the pressure of the position?

To this question, I have one response!  They give birth!  My wife and I have begun watching “Call the Midwife” on Netflix, and episode after episode I see women doing the unimaginable — that which women have been doing since the beginning of time — giving birth!  When it comes to dealing with pressure: the pressures of life, of challenges and struggles, of issues facing both local families and the various nations of our world, women are no less or no more capable than men!  And if the women in your life have not revealed this to be the case, then you need to get out and get to know more women!  While I’m tempted to lift up countless studies that reveal this to be true, most people asking this question are likely people who do not want to to believe ‘studies’ – so I won’t go there.  Suffice it to say that fear of women not being able to handle the pressure of the presidency is also a non-issue!

But what if I prefer one of the men who are running?

Mayor Pete is no doubt an attractive candidate; and as a gay man his election would break all kinds of barriers.  Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are about as appealing a candidate as an old White guy can hope to be these days.  And Cory Booker’s “Obamaesque” personality makes him a tempting option as well.  But none of these men, or any of the others running, are any more attractive or appealing than any of the woman running.  Their proposed programs and platforms are not all that different than those of Kristen Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, or Kamala Harris; and each of them would likely surround themselves with some of the very same qualified and capable underlings.  While the American President is certainly more than a mere figurehead, in the end, Presidents can only accomplish what their party allows them to accomplish.  A Democrat is a Democrat!  And so who we prefer, or who we “like”, needs to become secondary to a more important message that needs to be sent to our nation, and to our world.

But what if you I just don’t think a woman can handle the responsibilities of the position?

If you’re honestly asking that question, then all I can say it you shouldn’t even be voting!

“Buts” abound.  I know.  But never the less, the time has come.  And considering the misogyny of the White House these days, who better to take HIS place, than HER!  So that is who I will be standing with — HER!  Whoever SHE is!  The time has come for us to put a woman in the White House.