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Sunday, June 12, 2005

Comments

Jacqueline

Grace,

Personal revelations of Jesus are not favor but a trademark of a believer. We are called to have a relationship with Christ. Reading someones' biography and actually knowing them are two separate things. You can read someone's biography or autobiography and they not know you. You know someone by spending time with them and communing with them. You know Jesus like you know Oprah. Imagine going to her door and asking to come in her home and she says, "Go away, I don't know you." Do you think telling her that you know about her childhood and career and that you took a swim because she suggested it will encourage her to let you, a stranger, in her home? That's God at the judgement seat. Scripture says, that people will cry "Lord, Lord" and say, "Didn't we not do things in your name?" and He will say, "Depart from me, I never knew you." So, Grace, approaching him and saying that you are a Christian because you were baptized in His name or ordained in His name and know about His life is irrelevant. He makes it quite clear that you have to know Him. "My sheep hear my voice," he says. Hearing God and communicating with him is a mark of every beleiver, not the favored.

Now, in order to be able to communicate with him, you have to accept Christ's death and ressurecion as a payment for sin, recognize that you are a sinner, and repent and turn from sin and self. When you do these things, the channels of communication open between you and God, the Holy Spirit enters in and You meet God. Then you daily fellowship with Him. This is not my opinion, but the Bible that you also use as an authority to justify what you want to justify "Abortion isn't mentioned directly, it must be okay, then!". It is mentioned- abortion is killing and we're told not to. Now, it's not possible to understand the Bible without holy spirit revelation, so I can understand why you would disregard anything you don't like.

Although you don't know Him, you got it right about Him wanting us to help the poor and needy- not KILL the poor and needy. Unborn babies are the poorest and neediest of all. Killing the children of poor people the 'reduce the ranks of the poor and needy' can be extended. We can totally elimate the poor and needy by killing the born ones. Would you advocate that?

Yes, I believe that God does weep over "dismembered babies" as you called them. But what disturbs me is that you would call them what they are: dismembered babies, and still support the dismembering of babies. This issue can easily transcend religion or spirituality- I've focused on that because you announce your Christianity/ordination- but this is really a human rights issue. The dismembered babies are humans and should have the right to NOT be dismembered.

Consensus is irrelevant. The Bible doesn't contain a clause indicating that the truths expressed in it will change based on public opinion. If murder became socially acceptable, it would nonetheless be immoral. Right is right and wrong is wrong. These don't change.

Grace, regardless of you political/ideological beliefs on any issue, I would encourage you to consider what the Bible says about being a believer. It's not baptism and ordination although those can be a part of it. It's obtaining salvation and communicating with your savior. That's what matters.

-Jacque

Scott

I am struck at the many ways used to justify the murder of your fellow human beings. I cannot help but to think on the many many instances that such inhumanity has been demonstrated thoughout mans recorded history. I am sure that there were just as many if not more good reasons for slavery.

As long as there were people willing to make the claims, there were people willing to accept them as legitimate reasons.

Grace

I certainly do not look upon abortion as a virtue. I wish there were no need for it. I would never have one myself. But I'm lucky enough to be married, employed, middle-class, in good mental and physical health, with a supportive family and a husband who doesn't hit me. And I recognize that I DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO FORCE MY MORAL CHOICES ON OTHERS, especially those who don't share my religion. (I have spent years throttling my voice in an attempt to foster Christian unity. At the risk of sounding shrill and un-Christian, I refuse to do that any more. It is not God's will that women be passive, silent breeding machines in a patriarchial system of dominance.)

As for what it takes to be a Christian ... simply another place where we disagree. I am a Christian because I was baptized. Jesus has never favored me with a personal revelation. What I know about Christ I know from the Bible. The Bible never mentions abortion. The Bible says a lot about helping the poor and needy. One would assume from that that one should try to avoid increasing the ranks of the poor and needy. Would that abortion were unnecessary because women never were raped, or couldn't access emergency contraception because of stupid pharmacists, or never had their husband's condom break the night after he lost his job. Guess what, we live in an imperfect world. We have to make choices. Abortion is a horrible choice to have to make. But to tell women they can never make it is to tell them that their moral decision-making has no value.

Put it this way: the overwhelming majority of people agree that murder is wrong. Therefore, murder is illegal. However, since 40% of American women seek abortions during their lifetimes, there is clearly no such moral consensus about abortion. You are free to believe that Jesus spends all his time weeping over dismembered babies. I prefer to think that our Lord and Savior doesn't have quite such a one-track mind, and to get on with the business of trying to make the world a better place, including reducing the NEED for abortion.

linda  Shown

I guess this woman of 41 ... this woman of "courage and good humor"... doesn't have the brains to know that unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy. And where's the father? In this "good ole USA", she can kill the consequences of her stupidity and her bed hopping. Too bad if the unborn baby has permanent consequences. "This is what it's gotta be:" DON'T GET IN A SITUATION WHERE YOU CAN GET PREGNANT...BE UNSELFISH FOR A CHANGE!!

Christine

The seven deadly sins are not biblical. It's traditonal and not based in scripture.

Jacqueline

Grace, if you don't have your own personal line to Jesus, then you are not a Christian. My relationship with Him doesn't make me prideful- it's open to you, too if you choose to accept it.

Regardless of the situations of a child's conception, the question remains: Do you think Jesus agrees with burning an unborn child with saline or dismembering him while alive? That is the issue. If you are a Christian, and you indeed seem prideful about your ordination, then surely you can ask your savior what He thinks about this. You will stand before Him after death and He will either praise you (Well done, good and faithful servant) or say "Depart from me, I never KNEW you." If you don't know Him personally, you can't be with Him in Heaven for eternity. This is His word that says so. I encourage you to get to know Him and ask Him his opinion on killing those that He has created.

My point regarding the fornication was that using one sin to escape another is not acceptable. You look upon abortion as a virtue- like disinfectant to a cut, when really it compounds the issue rather than resolving it. It's like David having that affair and killing the woman's husband to cover it up- That is what you advocate. I was not condemning anyone but echoing God's word on not fornicating and killing. If you want to call me prideful, you may do so. This doesn't change the fact that right is right and wrong is wrong.

Your ordination will not save you and it does not justify opinions you hold that are contrary to God's law. If you indeed are secure in your faith, then surely you can pray and ask God how he feels about killing unborn babies.

Grace

Well, if you have a personal direct line to Jesus, there's no way I can really argue, is there?

However, I just want to point out that in the traditional theology of the church, lust may be a deadly sin, but it is the least of the deadly sins (the others being anger, envy, gluttony, avarice, sloth, and the first and basic sin, PRIDE). We, as a society, obsess WAY too much time on people's behavior in the bedroom and WAY too little on their behavior in the other arenas of life. I, being riddled with anger, envy, and pride, am a far worse sinner than a generous, humble, peaceful woman who happens to have committed fornication a few times.

Here are the latest stats about abortion, which bear out the pattern on this blog that many, many women who need abortions are wives and mothers:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/18/AR2005071801164.html

Jacqueline

Grace--I don't have to pontificate on Christ's view of abortion based on His actions in scripture. While scripture offers significant insight into who He is and how He'd have us live and is VERY explicit on not killing our own babies or anyone else, I actually know Him personally. And through Him, I know my Father in heaven. My Father, alike in all ways to my savior, HATES the shedding of innocent blood (the unborn's innocent blood is shed during an abortion). He commands us not to kill and tearing the limbs off of babies until their heart stops and they die counts as killing.

My God loves me and all women. He has given me great capacity to make choices, both good and evil. That does NOT mean he sanctions evil choices. When most abortions are a consequence of fornication which is directly forbids, you think that it's okay to escape the consequences by killing the unborn baby. That's like a person robbing a store and the killing the witness so they don't have to endure jail time. I have the choice to rob the store (fornicate) and the choice to abort (kill). Because I can do something does not make it right. Suffering the natural consequences of my actions is not cruel- and encouraging me to compound that problem with an additional sin in the name of compassion is not compassionate. Especially not for the child being killed.

If you indeed KNOW Christ, ask Him specifically if He thinks it's okay to burn little babies with saline solution. Ask Him if he likes it when unborn babies are torn into pieces with a suction machine. Ask Him if he loves the people He knits together in their mother's wombs- those He fearfully and wonderfully makes. Ask Him is they matter to Him as much as the woman that has made the choice to become pregnant by their actions (own free will). 99% of abortions, the woman had consenual sex. 88% of the time, that woman is unmarried.

God hates killing. When He told us not to, I think it's implied that WHERE the killing occurs is irrelevant, on a plane, in a train, in the womb or in the crib. THOU SHALT NOT KILL. Pretty straight-forward. God does say that the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. You're trying to be tender and merciful to pregnant women in your own understand, but you are really being cruel to unborn babies and the women that will have to endure the emotional pain, physical complications and spiritual implications of that choice. Certainly it will not heal the pain you have endured.

Grace

Thankfully, my denomination has room for the idea that women are fully functioning people capable of making their own moral choices.

Of course I intend to make sure that kids and teens at any church I work for have the capability to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy, and also a moral framework that allows them to view abstinence until marriage as the best choice.

However, the larger issue is the question of how you approach Scripture and the figure of Christ. Abortion, of course, is never mentioned in Scripture. The issue simply doesn't come up. Psalm 139 is moving and beautiful, but doesn't directly speak about abortion. Of course you can make the argument that God prefers more human life above all else. As it happens, I don't buy that argument. I think that the proliferation of human life on this planet is damaging God's good creation as we consume resources far faster than they can be replenished. Of course abortion is not the best solution to this problem, birth control is, which is why it makes me foam at the mouth when people who claim to oppose abortion are also against birth control. However, as long as women are desperate to spare themselves and their children the poverty and suffering of having too many children to care for, there will be abortion, whether it's legal or not, and so it should remain legal. Meanwhile, those of us in a position to do so should work to make it rare, through education and contraception.

As far as Jesus, the Christ I worship is one who stands with the poor, outcast, and suffering. To me, this includes women who are demonized by self-righteous bigots when they make difficult choices. Jesus says a lot about helping the poor, and he is portrayed in the Gospels as taking women seriously. I think he would be in favor of the kind of social safety net that religious conservatives in this country refuse to countenance on the basis of semantics. Because of course avoiding "socialism" is more important than creating a society where we really care for the sick, the hungry, the naked, and the prisoner, like our Lord told us to do. A society where maybe women wouldn't have to choose abortion because they would have what they needed to support their children. And where they would be taken seriously and given the education and equipment to have only as many children as they wanted.

Because, as Bill McKibben points out, the command to "be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it" is the only one of God's commandments we've actually FULFILLED. It's OVER. We can check it off the list and move on to loving our neighbor and letting the birds and animals be fruitful and multiply, as they were also commanded. Human overpopulation leading to the extinction of other species does not, as far as I can discern from Scripture, rejoice the heart of God.

Christine

Grace- I am disturbed that you would have any spiritual authority when you support practices cleared condemned by God. No one can have the Holy Spirit living within them and support burning or dismembering an unborn child- something that happens upwards of 80% of women that are not married (sex out of marriage is another act clearly against God's commandments). Where in all this fornication and killing to you find yourself at all living your life according to the scriptures? Ordained by men is one thing- ordained by God is another. If you have a relationship with God He would surely tell you that He wasn't kidding when He said not to kill and to keep His commandments. A relationship with Him is the only way to escape penalty of sin so I hope you know Him. If you do know Him, then you know better than this.

Christine

If you doubt the validity of pictures of aborted babies, please pull out an anatomy textbook on fetal development and examine the pictures. Then pull out a National Abortion Federation handbook and examine abortion methods like ripping the childs limps of then crushing it's skull. Imagine what that unborn baby would look like after that happens, and you'll find that it's strikingly similar to these pictures that you claim are fake.

Soren K

I still can't get the link to the poor baby picture to work, but my guess is that it is like these pictures:

http://www.lifeandlibertyforwomen.org/truth_about_photos.html

Grace

Thanks Soren; one would hope that would be obvious, but apparently it's not, as I've had to argue elsewhere in this blog ...

I wonder what the Episcopal Diocese in my state, which just moved me forward in the ordination process, would think of the accusation that I require an exorcism!

Soren K

Hi christine

I Think there must be some misunderstanding. This blog is about abortion, not infaticide.

Christine

No- I was calling Demons, Demons.

I do maintain that you must be full of demons to support the murder of helpless babies.

Grace

Christine, are you calling pro-choice people demons?

If so, that's really remarkably offensive.

Soren K

Uhm Christine - the link to the picture doesn't work.

When I tried googling for it I got something that looked like a fetuse between a couple of men - was that it?

/Soren

Christine

Wow. That stopped the conversation dead in its tracks. Nothing like some truth to make the demons flee.

Christine

Shedding some light on this topic:


http://photos1.blogger.com/img/241/5903/640/poorbaby.jpg

amantha

Folks, nonprofit does not mean that the organization cannot make a profit. What it does mean is that profits are put back into the organization and that stockholders or board members do not get paid.

NJ

Women choose abortion for many reasons. Yes, we should have better support for poor women who want to have babies (and not that religious-biased crap). But it really burns me to hear the old "you had sex, now deal with the concequences" argument. What exactly do you say to someone like me? A pregnancy for me would never be "just bad timing". I'm happily childfree and intend to stay that way forever. In your world, should women like me just be sterilzed (and all the complications that go with that) or just not have sex until after menopause?

DP

Harriet, et al:
I looked up Planned Parenthood on Charity Navigator (an organization that evaluates the efficacy of various charities) and found that, indeed, PP did make a "profit" in 3 out of the last four years. Profit is in quotes because all it means in this case is that more money was taken in than was used for that year. The profit is reinvested for years in which expenses outweigh revenues. In 2004 PP's expenses increased and so they had a slight deficit.

Charity Navigator rates charities on their overall efficiency, including the percentage of funds that go to program activities (that is, what the charity is supposed to be doing) versus how much goes to administration, fund raising, etc. PP's overall rating (for the national organization) is three star (out of four) and 79% of funds collected are used for program activities. As a comparison, the Central Indiana Pregnancy Crisis Center, a religious-based "abortion alternative" organization which also made a substantial profit in the last four years (total revenue in 2004 was TWICE total expenses), has an overall rating of two stars and uses only 66% of funds it receives for program activities. Concerned Women for America, another organization with more income than expenses over the past four years, has a one star rating and uses 69% of its funds for program activities. The Family Research Council, which also turned a profit in each of the last four years, has a two star rating but actually uses 82% of funds it receives for program activities. All in all, it looks like a lot of "pro-life" charities are ripping off their donors...or at least giving them less for their money than they should.

sail

Jacqueline,
Why arent you promoting the great success stories of Mississippi. There is only 1 abortion clinic left functioning in the state. Women with money go out of state. Poor women have the babies and ditch them or try the old folk tales and mess up their bodies. You have no reasonable alternative to abortion when it is made illegal. The abortions still occur and they are even messier than your sucked out babies. There are some real horrific pictures of women bleeding to death from the old days.

sail

Jacqueline,
I had irregular bleeding and went to the ER where fortunately they found out I was not miscarrying. If I were miscarrying, you pro-lifers would have me bleed to death rather than have a D&C on a pregnancy that would have been 2 weeks old. That's what physicians used to do before abortion was legalized. I am a 47 year old married woman.

Jacqueline

One more important thing and I'll excuse myself from the discussion...

Clue #1: The child being simply sucked out of the womb; Did you know that after the child has been sucked out, his/her body parts go through a strainer and the abortionist must reassemble the child's parts back together to make sure everything is accounted for? If one arm or leg of the baby is left in the womb, a serious, life-threatening infection could result. I would encourage you all to find a manual from abortion providers describing all the abortions and seeing exactly how horrific they are. There is nothing simple about it.

If you aren't killing anyone, whose arms and legs are those? Because most women leave the abortion clinic with their own arms and legs intact. It's your body, you say? Those arms and legs weren't yours!

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