Sunday, June 5, 2011

The sliding scale of "personhood": A license to kill?



I love clarity.


For a Catholic and a pro-lifer, the issues of humanity vs. "personhood" are clear: All human beings are persons. No exceptions.


This is a human person.


However, on the pro-"choice" side, the determination of which human beings merit "personhood" is fuzzy, adjustable, arbitrary, relative, and even emotion-based. 


I've always wondered: Why would someone go that shadowy route when we are talking about life and death?


Then a few days ago, I read a comment on Jill Stanek's blog that shocked me with its clarity. A pro-lifer named Lauren stated the obvious:


"It is so clear that someone only questions the personhood of a human she wishes to harm."


That stopped me in my tracks. It's been right there in front of my face all along, but I never really noticed it. Read that sentence again:


It is so clear that someone only questions the personhood of a human she wishes to harm.


So many times I've asked the question of abortion advocates: "If you can't know with absolute certainty when 'personhood' begins, shouldn't you always err on the side of life?" No one has ever answered: "You know, that's a good point! Yes, we must always err on the side of life." It frustrates me.



But of course Lauren's comment makes it clear why I never get that answer. Abortion advocates will not err on the side of life, for one reason: Arguing on the murky, indistinct basis of "personhood" is the only way to justify the killing of a fellow human. There is simply no other reason one would argue it.

Try to think of a time when human beings' "personhood" was questioned for a motive other than using, harming, or killing them. Wasn't it a loose and subjective view of "personhood" that justified slavery? Or the Nazi Holocaust? Or even the killing of Terri Schiavo and others like her? 

In fact, the whole point of questioning the "personhood" of others is to deny them human rights. It's a rhetorical technique used to exclude, not include. 



It's like a sliding scale.




Here's how it works:


If I want to be able to kill the small human early on, like some readers, then I slide the "personhood" marker to the first trimester or so. 


If I want to be able to kill the small human up until the last toe exits the birth canal, like some feminist U.S. Senators, then I slide the "personhood" marker to birth.


If I want to be able to kill the small human in infancy, like some esteemed professors who occupy Ivy League bioethics chairs, then I slide the "personhood" marker to weeks or months after birth.


See how that works? It's easy. License to kill on a sliding scale, depending on my comfort zone. That's the core of the "personhood" debate.


Pro-lifers, please don't be fooled or intimidated. The abortion advocates' "complex, philosophical" discussion of "personhood" is not some high-minded, noble, nuanced, or inscrutable search for what is True about the human person. It's simply a way for one group of humans to dehumanize, oppress and kill another group. These advocates presuppose the good and necessity of abortion, and then they use language manipulation to justify it and cleanse their own consciences.

Pro-"choicers", if what I've written is inaccurate, please show me how. If I'm wrong, then tell me: Why do you debate the "personhood" of unborn humans, if not to have legal permission to kill them? 

There may be a reason that I haven't heard yet. I'm listening.










378 comments:

  1. Interested in reading the comments on this one for sure!

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  2. EXACTLY RIGHT! Keep up the good work Leila.

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  3. I've heard a lot of pro-"choicers" argue that the constitution (specifically, the 14th amendment) grants citizenship (and therefore personhood) at birth and not at any point prior. However, I don't buy that argument because by that logic it would be perfectly legal to kill a non-citizen, and it's not.

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  4. The "viability" argument, in my experience, is the worst offender of this sliding scale. Because viability is ever-changing. Many clinics won't abort after 20 weeks. Except...a baby was just born & survived at 20 weeks. So does that mean that when a baby survives at 19 weeks, we have a week to kill it post-birth?!? Honestly. So incoherent.

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  5. When I was a young adult I used to be 100% prochoice. I'd get into heated arguments with people when they thought otherwise (No, I never got an abortion but do know several people who have). Then I became an adult and got pregnant. I miscarried and what I got from it was that personhood begins when you hear a heartbeat, which I did not hear. It isn't until that first heartbeat that the potential baby starts to flourish. The thing with abortion is that a lot of times when you find out you're pregnant, there is a heartbeat so technically you are stopping a heartbeat, which can only be 'death'. But that's just my personal opinion.
    -Chrissy

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  6. Lauren's are always smart. :) J/K. That is a brilliant statement of total clarity. Thanks for the great post, Leila!

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  7. Miss Leila, I think you're onto something!!

    The abortion advocates' "complex, philosophical" discussion of "personhood" is not some high-minded, noble, nuanced, or inscrutable search for what is True about the human person. It's simply a way for one group of humans to dehumanize, oppress and kill another group.

    Person is after all a Christian term! Something that really can't be understood outside of a context of belief in the Christian God. I'm not saying believers can't understand the term person, I'm just saying that their understanding must place that term itself within the context of Christian belief. The definition of person defies secular ideology because it speaks to an immutable nature.

    The worth of the person, born out of that understanding coupled with the Christian's knowledge of God defies arbitrary valuation because that worth is based on an immutable worth provided by God when He designed that unchnaging nature such that Man could know and love Him.

    These are not things pro-choicers can accept. So why bother talking about perssonhood or when it begins with them? The only reason they bring it up is like you say, to find an excuse to devalue the human life before a certain point.

    Perhaps the tack we should first take is discussing when human life begins? That is indisputable, a human zygote is a human life because it can only grow into a human when kept in its natural habitat. Whether or not it has a heart beat doesn't mean anything. The mother's body doesn't grow the child, it just gives the child the nourishment it needs to grow itself into a human being.

    When that sperm fertilizes the egg, the two become a single creature governed by a set of natural laws that inexorably propel it toward a single destination, adulthood.

    Whether you put the slide at a 4 week old in the womb, or 10 year old pre-pubescent, you've still got a human life, a human creature, one moving toward what we all know and call a human adult. If we can kill a 12 week old child in the womb, why can't we kill a 12 year old?

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  8. Hi Leila,

    There are a lot of personhood arguments out there and I’m not going to argue the philosophical ramifications of personhood (which I think were generally better suited for intellectual fodder than political debate) but I think you’re responding more to the general notion that many people don’t see newly conceived embryos as people.

    I want to you understand that this really has nothing to do with intentional dehumanization so that people can justify murder to themselves, I guarantee its not that strategic.

    It has 100% to do with the fact that newly conceived embryos don’t have bodies, or blood, or brains, or a heartbeat or arms or legs. And some of us find it pretty darn silly that some people think these embryos are as valuable…as you know…real people. This is a pretty natural feeling amoung a lot of people ( even those who are not that opinionated about abortion)

    That is where the spectrum comes in. Because as you know the stage where there is no heartbeat or legs or blood isn’t very large. At some point these things become people…when? Guess it depends on your criteria.

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  9. I keep reading this again and again and chuckling

    Arguing on the murky, indistinct basis of "personhood" is the only way to justify the killing of a fellow human. There is simply no other reason one would argue it.

    It again shows the different focuses of the two camps.

    Pro-life says: baby, baby, baby, baby, baby…. That’s your angle. We get it, but don’t distort the pro-choice side because our side ISNT ABOUT BABIES at all. No one is sitting in a room and deciding how to kill more babies…how to justify killing babies

    Our side is about WOMEN and the basic principle that a woman should not have to endure pregnancy and childbirth for the benefit of someone else if she doesn’t choose.

    The person hood argument is really secondary to our point and I think is meant to distract pro-lifers more than anything else…do we think newly conceived embryos are people. We genuinely do not, but even if they were it wouldn’t change jack about abortion it wouldn’t mean we think women would suddenly have an obligation to remain pregnant

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  10. How lovely that you're pro murder, College Student. I mean, you don't even try to hide behind the old prop of "We're not pro abortion! We're pro choice!" You dive right in and say, "We're pro abortion because it's about women! It's not even about those pesky, defenseless, inconvenient babies!Kill em for their meddling intrusiveness in womens' lives!"

    And here I was gonna drum up something in my comment that we might agree on, but there's no agreeing with that logic. I guess outright killing is allright with you. Sad.

    By the way, all pregnancies will terminate. The question is when? Nine months later or ....? All women endure pregnancy and childbirth for the benefit of someone else! That's called becoming a mother to a family.


    -Nubby

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  11. @College student: "A woman should not have to endure pregnancy and childbirth for the benefit of someone else..."

    Someone else? Haven't you just admitted there is there is another person who has to be gotten rid of that you might live as you choose? By your own statement you don't deny that someone else is involved (the child), you simply reject them and therefore they must die.

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  12. Finally, the logical argument exposing the illogical argument of being pro-choice. Thank you.

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  13. College student, before I go any deeper into this conversation, can I ask you a question that I have asked others and that I have never gotten an answer to:

    Were you conceived?

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  14. Chrissy, thank you for being honest and saying that it's your personal opinion. Because personal opinion in this case is arbitrary. You are still moving the sliding scale to the point where there is a heartbeat. Before that point, you are okay with the killing, since it does not qualify, in your mind, as a person.

    I guess my question to you (and college student) is this: Why will you not give the designation of "personhood" to a human being from conception onward? Again, the only reason I can think of is to be able to legally harm the human whose personhood you are questioning.

    Help me see if there is any other motive possible?

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  15. Let's substitute some words and see if the moral principle is sound:

    "Our side is about WOMEN and the basic principle that a woman should not have to endure {feeding, clothing, and raising her two-year-old} for the benefit of someone else if she doesn’t choose."

    Is your principle still sound? Why or why not? I can tell you that it's easier to be pregnant for nine months than to take care of a small child till adulthood.

    Just curious why you support the WOMAN in the first case, but the CHILD in the next.

    Although, frankly, any philosophy which pits mother against child is a twisted, unsound philosophy.

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  16. "The person hood argument is intended to distract pro-lifers more than anything else"

    Who is trying to distract whom? Pro-lifers can't be "distracted" by personhood because they already believe in the personhood of the unborn. In fact, it is central to our fight for the basic rights of the unborn. If the courts accept the personhood of the unborn, then they must apply all legal rights of a person to the unborn, including the right of due process. And under the concept of due process, you could not possibly take the life of an unborn child until you could prove that the child had DONE something that would warrant the denial of its right to live - that the child was actually guilty of something that would warrant a death sentence.

    I will say that on one matter, you are on to something. Among people who are not fully decided on the rights of embryos, the fact that the embryo doesn't yet look human allows some to believe that they should not have the same rights as those of us who do look human. Certainly the fact that late-term abortion victims look very human indeed was a big driver in the fact that most people are opposed to partial birth abortion - once people were given visual details of partial birth abortion, they found it abhorrent. It is easier for them to tolerate embryonic stem cell research because, visually, it doesn't strike them as even close to the evil of partial birth abortion.

    I see that you were careful to clarify your position on this matter, though. You don't care about arms, legs, or heartbeats. You don't care, you don't care, and you don't care. The unborn child warrants zero sympathy from you, and its humanity or lack thereof is totally irrelevant to your position.

    However, I disagree that it "wouldn't change jack about abortion." Surely it would not change your mind, because you don't care about the unborn. But it changes the argument, and if the humanity, the personhood, of the unborn is accepted by the majority, then abortion will no longer be an evil that is protected by the law. So pro-choicers know that while it doesn't change "jack" for you, it sure does for the law.

    I think of you sometimes and think, that College Student is so on the wrong side of history. Some day, people will look at words like yours and wonder how anyone could be so cold to the unborn. The tide is already turning, and you are truly on the wrong side. I believe that your words will one day haunt you, that even you will find it hard to believe that you could be so cold.

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  17. college student, Sharon has made some excellent points. I truly hope you will answer them.

    And, the very fact that you claim that a woman's "right not to be pregnant" trumps an unborn child's life is, in point of fact, a way that you justify killing babies.

    What do you think "justification" is, after all? It's a way of making something seem "just" when in fact it is not just at all.

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  18. College student, forgive me for yet another comment, but I'm still working out the implications of your words.

    Let's say that unborn humans are Group A, and women are Group B.

    I think you are saying this (correct me if I am wrong):

    Even if the members of Group A are people, Group B still has the right to kill the members of Group A, because of reasons X,Y and Z.

    Is this an accurate model of your principle?

    Thanks!

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  19. Leila- This is one of the best blog posts I've read anywhere in a very long time! Thank you for sharing!

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  20. It's worse than just bad arguments from "pro-choice" people, this is being indoctrinated at the university level. College students don't go to college for the sake of learning anymore (for the most part). They go to do one thing...get a job. And college professors are teaching them that "personhood" is above their pay grade to ever know. They teach kids NOT to think.

    This is the result of a conversation I had with a leading developmental biologist.

    http://www.acceptingabundance.com/2011/05/defending-personhood-better-living.html

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  21. Another question for college student: are you black? Do you have any friends who are black?

    Because according to the Supreme Court's decision in the "Dred Scott" case, about 150 years ago, humans with black skin were not persons...

    They were property.

    Of course, this is now considered a "travesty"...

    But 150+ years ago a very great number of educated academics held this belief and advocated for it...

    Babies as young as 20 weeks gestation are now living outside the womb, we have pushed that boundary back at least 8 weeks in the years since "Roe v. Wade"...

    As an attorney, I am confident that in 150 years American will look back on it's history of abortion with the same disgust as it did it's history of slavery...

    As a mother of 6 (soon to be 7, adopting soon!), I pray this cange of heart will happen much sooner!

    Carla
    www.bringinghenryhome.blogspot.com

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  22. Giuseppe,
    You stated, "If we can kill a 12 week old child in the womb, why can't we kill a 12 year old?" I think you should read some of Peter Singer's work. I am pro-life, but Singer is not a monster, and he delves into his reasoning on this. I respect him, although I do not agree with him on many things. He is not moralizing in a vacuum either, as he has experienced considerable loss in his life, and this informs his philosophy.

    He has very thoughtful sentiments on many topics like, charity for the poor and abuse of animals, and he lives what he preaches. As Leila has noted before, he is very logical in his views, and he is willing to thoughtfully engage with his opponents in a calm, respectful manner. BUT...I do NOT agree with his assessment of the validity of killing some newborns or handicapped persons, however I do think he has advanced the debate over the ethics of killing a fetus in the earliest stages. I myself think this is where the debate should live--discussing the ethics of killing (and he does view terminating a pregnancy as killing and does not try to cloud this with fancy words like the Planned Parenthoods of the world)a fetus pre 12 weeks.


    At this time, I myself think that the science of the mind/consciousness and the body is so undeveloped, that it is impossible to know when personhood begins. Therefore, we should ERR ON THE SIDE of thinking of all fetuses as persons who have the right not to be killed. But, I am willing to say, that if I was given the chance to run into a burning building and save, either a petri dish full of ten embryos that were frozen at 10 days of development say, or a single 26 week old fetus, I would not hesitate to save the 26 week old first. Why? Because the 26 week old fetus is CLEARLY a person...the embryos are valuable, but not so clearly "people" to me. However, it is right for the church to still maintain her views that an embryo is sacred, because we just do not know when personhood begins.

    Also, I think abortion utterly damages those who perform it. It is an assault on the humanity of the woman and the doctor. Also, if abortion were OFF THE TABLE...I think you would magically see millions upon millions of people get more responsible about their sexual behavior.. but I do not think abortion is so necessarily tied to contraception. I think they are two different things.

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  23. Our side is about WOMEN and the basic principle that a woman should not have to endure pregnancy and childbirth for the benefit of someone else if she doesn’t choose.

    I'm pretty sure I've read what you're response will be to this before, and probably just as incredulously as I did then, but, Seriously?!?!?!

    Less than 1.5% of all abortions cite the reason as being from rape or incest. Biologically sex leads to babies, whether you use contraception or not. So the choice has already been made by the woman who chooses to have sex, knowing that the consequences of that choice may potentially result in a child. Every choice has a consequence. Denying that this one does, because you think you're taking preventative measures is only lying to yourself about how biology works.

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  24. Yes Leila I was conceived.

    “Why will you not give the designation of "personhood" to a human being from conception onward? Again, the only reason I can think of is to be able to legally harm the human whose personhood you are questioning. Help me see if there is any other motive possible?”

    Again, there’s really no pro-murder propaganda going on. I keep saying this and people just keep calling me a baby killer so I don’t know if we are getting anywhere.

    You all seem to be omitting the very important fact that SOMEONE HAS TO CARRY THE CHILD.

    "Our side is about WOMEN and the basic principle that a woman should not have to endure {feeding, clothing, and raising her two-year-old} for the benefit of someone else if she doesn’t choose."

    Generally speaking women do not have to do these things. Women you have children that they cannot or do not want to take care of can put them in foster care or up for adoption.

    Again, you seem to think the fact that the fetus is encapsulated in the woman’s body is irrelevant. I disagree. A lot.

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  25. College Student, you said, "Generally speaking women do not have to do these things. Women you have children that they cannot or do not want to take care of can put them in foster care or up for adoption."

    Precisely. Don't you see how that applies to the unborn as well?

    A child is not "encapsulated" in a woman's body. A child growing inside a woman's womb is a natural occurrence, resulting from an action that the woman participated in. You're not seeming to understand basic biology. I'm still baffled.

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  26. College Student
    Again, you seem to think the fact that the fetus is encapsulated in the woman’s body is irrelevant.

    Again, more than 98% of the time, it's her own actions that put that fetus there. If you can't accept the consequences of your own actions, then you should make different choices.

    It utterly bothers me when pro-choice people (and I used to be there not all that long ago) say "It's about the Women." What is pro-woman about telling a woman that they can or should be able to do whatever they want whenever they want. But then, they're told that they are too weak, too stupid, and unable to deal with the consequences of their actions. "So here, we'll take care of it for you, because obviously you can't handle it yourself and you shouldn't have to."

    I'm stronger than that. No I'm better than that. As a woman, I'm fully capable of handling the consequences of my actions. That's the difference between being a child and being an adult. It's recognizing that there are consequences for every action and "Womaning" up and accepting and facing those consequences. It's a childish view to believe that one can ignore and dismiss consequences simply because "I don't want to deal with them."

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  27. And, the very fact that you claim that a woman's "right not to be pregnant" trumps an unborn child's life is, in point of fact, a way that you justify killing babies.

    My mistake I was using the connotation of justify to mean ‘something you tell yourself to make yourself feel better’ instead of the meaning ‘to explain’

    “I think you are saying this (correct me if I am wrong):

Even if the members of Group A are people, Group B still has the right to kill the members of Group A, because of reasons X,Y and Z.

Is this an accurate model of your principle?”

    No Leila, the principle is that if Group A and Group B are people, and Group B can only survive by placing undue demands on Group A, Group A may have a right to withholds those resources.

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  28. How am misinformed about biology? I know how babies are made, no disagreement there.

    “If you can't accept the consequences of your own actions, then you should make different choices.”

    SO this is where I need clarification. Isn’t the way the baby is conceived irrelevant according to you? Don’t pro-lifers not care if the baby was conceived in love, or lust, or manipulation or rape, don’t you think the “mother” still has an obligation to continue the pregnancy regardless?

    Thus doesn’t your argument the fetus has rights no matter what and not, the fetus has rights because the mother made it?

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  29. Great post, Leila. Wow. It really exposes the issues in the "personhood debate."

    College student: an embryo does have a body. When the sperm and egg unite to create a completely unique combination of genetics, a physical human body is there. How do you think scientists can even study conception and fertility if there is no body? How do you think clinics can freeze embryos if there is no body to freeze? Just because it's tiny doesn't mean it's not a physical body. And that body, with it's unique set of genetics, will grow and develop if uninterrupted from the point of conception onward.

    Even if you could successfully argue that an embryo doesn't have a body (not sure how that's possible) most abortion occur after the baby has developed the things you listed: arms, legs, heart, brain, etc.

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  30. I love your blog and thank you for this. We will do anything to anyone when we falsely rationalize that something is an apparent good.

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  31. College student, you've been sold a lie. If abortion were illegal, you would loose absolutely zero rights. To think you need to depend on the government to save you from motherhood is slavery in disguise.

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  32. Gotta run, haven't read past Mary's comment, but I am chilled by it. Mary, Singer is logical, but he is a proponent of pure evil. It is the "banality of evil" as they call it. Lots of purely evil ideas have been propagated by seemingly "nice guys". And that makes evil more acceptable. His philosophy is "maximize pleasure, eliminate net suffering" and to get to that point, you have to kill a lot of people. Chilling, horrifying.

    And, if you don't think abortion and contraception are connected, please explain the post I did on "Contraception Leads to Abortion". Please, someone with your perspective must at least show how my facts can be refuted. It has to be more than a feeling or opinion.

    Back later….

    As far as saving an embryo or an older person, please please please read the following, especially the comments. I think you will see a whole new perspective and it might not be what you think….

    http://www.acceptingabundance.com/2011/05/save-embryo-or-save-woman-how-mother.html

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  33. One more quickly...

    college student, you do realize that pregnancy is a passive state. You don't actively "do" anything to keep the baby alive. And the uterus has only one function: To grow a baby. The baby is in the right place, you don't have to do a thing, actively, to keep this child in your uterus.

    But you do have to actively do something to kill it and take it out. You have to willfully choose to kill an innocent person. We normally call that murder.

    Is your freedom to do exactly as you please justification for killing an innocent person who is exactly where she was designed to be?

    Where have we come to?

    It's all very sad. Be back in a bit....

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  34. Yep, WAY easier to just be pregnant for 9 months than have to care for a small child (or educate an older one). Way, way easier. In fact, pregnancy in an of itself is so much LESS of a burden than having a job, paying taxes, or eating right to stay healthy, that I wonder why we don't spend time making the government take over those aspect of life, too.

    Oh wait. Maybe we do.

    Regardless, I'm wondering something. Say a bird built her nest in the wheel of your car. She built it, laid eggs, and was incubating them right there in your wheel well. Would you destroy the nest, because you needed your car to drive to work? What would happen to the eggs? Would they "survive"? Would you feel bad for the mother and all her wasted effort, and would you feel a little sad that none of those eggs would get to hatch and be little baby birds? Or would you not care, because you hadn't given the bird permission to build her nest there in the first place?

    And these are just birds. Potential omelets, potential McNuggets, potential feathered hats, potential bone meal for cows. Would you have felt bad at all?

    So then. Would you feel bad for destroying the planenta and embryo in the womb? Or would you not bat an eye, since it hadn't asked permission to be there in the first place?

    If you felt bad for the potential McNugget, why didn't you feel bad for the "potential person"?

    And if you felt bad for both, why?

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  35. And for the animal lovers out there, I'm not an inveterate nest-killer. In fact, we left our back door unused for MONTHS one spring since a mother wren decided it was simply the only respectable place to raise her family. Life deserves a chance to develop, wherever we find it.

    Unless it's a roach. In my dresser. I do not advocate equal rights for roaches. (Feel free to assault my logic on that one, but I'm not backing down.)

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  36. SO this is where I need clarification. Isn’t the way the baby is conceived irrelevant according to you?

    Let me answer your question with another question.

    Is the humanity and/or personhood of the unborn child determined by the manner in which s/he was conceived? Put another way, are children conceived via rape non-humans, or non-persons, whereas children conceived by a married couple automatically are humans/persons?

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  37. Isn’t the way the baby is conceived irrelevant according to you? Don’t pro-lifers not care if the baby was conceived in love, or lust, or manipulation or rape, don’t you think the “mother” still has an obligation to continue the pregnancy regardless?

    Thus doesn’t your argument the fetus has rights no matter what and not, the fetus has rights because the mother made it?


    Again, I state that less than 1.5% of all abortions cite the reason as being from rape and incest. So, aside from that. YES, this is exactly what we're saying. If you CHOOSE to perform an action that has inherent consequences, regardless of your motivation at the time, then YES, you should be held responsible for those consequences. This is the case in EVERY thing, not just sex and babies, but every thing in life. It's called being an adult and taking responsibility for you actions, at all times. If you choose to have sex, regardless of whether or not you're in love, or your just lusting after someone, or using someone, or you find yourself in a position where someone's using you (why would you even put yourself in this position?) then you need to suck it up and accept the consequences.

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  38. And the kicker is that a woman essentially invites a child into her womb when she consents to the biological act that begets life (referring to the vast vast majority of non-rape victims who procure abortions). Yes, people contracept, but sex makes babies. No matter how much we attempt to stifle it, it is still a biological possibility that ought to be recognized and accounted for before a decision is made to have sex.

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  39. While I was commenting other comments came up addressing things I wasn't trying to address...

    joanna-well stated. :)

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  40. For those who haven't come across College Student before, just know that she is rabidly ideological. She has no concern ffor the unborn (slice 'em, dice 'em, vacuum out their brains, whatever). She supposedly cares more about women than you do (yes, in a very paternalistic sense), yet her heart holds virtually no concern for the post-abortive mother.

    Yes, she is very honest about it all, but such coldness eventually defeats itself. Most women would not align themselves with that level of callousness, and I believe that is why we are making headway in the battle for the hearts and minds of our nation.

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  41. I'm sorry if I'm coming off a bit strong. This is normally NOT my personality, but I've had a rough week with friends not liking me being the tiniest bit controversial, so I guess I'm thinking "Go for broke." :)

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  42. I want to speak a word in defense of College Student: She has come a long way in some of her understandings of things since the first time she commented here. After many weeks of commenting, she had a breakthrough of understand that we Catholics believe that sex is all about life and that life and love is what we live for. She said (if I remember correctly) that she had never in her life been taught, or even heard, that life was about anything other than getting a high-paying career and making material gains. And that any baby who interfered with that was an intruder.

    She has come a long way. She only knows what she has learned. I hope and pray that someday (esp. as she gets older and has a family) what we have said here will trigger in her a deeper understanding of her own dignity and that of others. I just want us to plant those seeds for her. Remember what it was like when you were in college? For me, not such a good and moral time….

    Anyway, I absolutely appreciate everyone's comments here. Even if they seem strong or difficult, we all have strong emotions over the fundamental truths of life. But let's all remember that (esp. me!!) that we need to have patience with one another. I remember when the scales fell from my eyes on many issues. I am glad God was patient with me.

    This is not a call to stop asking the hard questions of college student or anyone else. We need to ask the hard questions. But I want her to feel welcome and loved, because she is. It must be hard to face the "firing squad", so to speak.

    I have more to say, and I will do that when I get back from yet another child's activity. :)

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  43. I guess my point is, there have been liberal commenters much older, more educated and seemingly more "mature" than college student, yet they have fled at the mere hint of a difficult question. By contrast, College student has stuck around to try to have the dialogue. That alone gives her points in my mind! :) :)

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  44. I have to wonder: just why are you so very concerned about whether or not a hypothetical woman you know nothing about terminates her two or three pregnancy?

    -because your Church officials presented their interpretation of the Bible in which it is your moral duty to defend "those whose voice goes unheard"?

    -and why is it your moral duty? Because your interpretation of the Bible includes the idea that sin and evil is part of the world courtesy of a story about two naked people in a garden who ate an apple (who may or may not have had dinosaurs around watching them eat the apple....as the museum of creationism likes to display this piece of 'history')

    -any why do you care so very much about this particular sin that people commit? As opposed to adult murder, theft, corporate misdeeds, etc.? Because your spiritual leaders tell you that this political argument is a moral argument and one that will dictate whether or not you personally get into heaven.

    But there are so many moral arguments in the world. Wouldn't it be amazing if pollution and air/water quality was a politicized moral argument for you as well? Speaking up for those who have a marginalized voice in their communities? Imagine how quickly we'd all be driving electric cars, using products that don't contain chemicals and watching levels of cancers decrease all over the world. Because there a lot of lives at stake when it comes to tending to the entire population of the earth.....

    -Anonymous

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  45. By the way: A truly "pro-woman" position never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever pits a woman against her own child.

    Never.

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  46. Anonymous,

    Let's reform your question in a couple of different contexts:

    "Just why are you so very concerned about whether or not a hypothetical person you know nothing about kills his two or three slaves?"

    "Just why are you so very concerned about whether or not a hypothetical woman you know nothing about abuses her two or three children?"

    "Just why are you so very concerned about whether or not a hypothetical person you know nothing about kills two or three homeless people?"

    Etc.

    As for me, I'm very concerned whenever someone's basic right to life is being taken away, and when innocent human beings are being murdered. In abortion, both happen.

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  47. Anon, first of all, Catholics don't "interpret" the Bible. The Bible is part of our Sacred Tradition, and the Church has taught the same Sacred Tradition from the time that Jesus founded His Church. The Bible is a written part of that Tradition.

    You are confusing us with the Protestant paradigm.

    Second, please don't confuse two issues.

    Care for the environment and not killing the innocent unborn are two different issues.

    Distinct, separate issues.

    Would love if you would comment on the actual post and the questions posed there?

    Gotta run, but I will be back….

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  48. Also, anonymous, the overpopulation nonsense is refuted here: http://www.pop.org

    Do you realize that birthrates are falling in an alarming rate in most developed countries, and those countries are on track for an economic implosion unless birthrates increase?

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  49. (who may or may not have had dinosaurs around watching them eat the apple....as the museum of creationism likes to display this piece of 'history')

    Have you confused this blog with the "Little Fundamentalist Protestant Bubble"? ;)

    You might not be very well-versed in Christianity. We can help you with that here.

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  50. ...the principle is that if Group A and Group B are people, and Group B can only survive by placing undue demands on Group A, Group A may have a right to withholds those resources.

    Group B placing "undue demands" huh? "Undue" meaning "unwarranted or inappropriate"?

    This might be snarky, but maybe pro-choicers need to take a sex ed class if this is their argument. Anyone and everyone understands that sex will result in pregnancy. No non-surgical contraceptive is 100%. Therefore, pregnancy after sex is actually DUE, WARRANTED, and APPROPRIATE.

    So, we could say that the pro-choice argument is more accurately like this: if Group A and Group B are people, and Group B can only survive by placing REASONABLE and EXPECTED demands on Group A, Group A may have a right to withholds those resources, leading directly to the death of those in Group B.

    And is "withholding resources" really an accurate term? I mean, let's be honest, getting pregnant isn't like having a stray dog show up at your door. You could "withhold resources" and the dog would starve to death, but that's hardly the same as putting a bullet in his head.

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  51. Also, Anonymous, perhaps you aren't aware that abortion is NOT a religious issue. It's a human rights issue. For example, see http://www.SecularProLife.org.

    Have you confused this blog with the "Little Fundamentalist Protestant Bubble"? ;)

    Hahaha, I'm so tempted to start a parody blog right now... ;) So much potential satire, so little time!

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  52. Peter Singer's having problems with utilitarianism and objective morality...

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/06/singer-in-state-of-flux.html

    Basically he is realizing that utilitarianism and atheism cannot provide any reasonable argument for protecting the planet because there is no reason to care about future generations if that's the basis of your ideas.

    Yep...I believe we believers have been saying that for a while.

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  53. "-any why do you care so very much about this particular sin that people commit? As opposed to adult murder, theft, corporate misdeeds, etc.? Because your spiritual leaders tell you that this political argument is a moral argument and one that will dictate whether or not you personally get into heaven."

    Anonymous, those other sins you mentioned happen to be illegal. We're fighting for what's right in a very misguided world because if we don't speak up, who will? Should the Jewish Holocaust have been allowed to continue on forever because we shouldn't care what other people do to certain groups of human beings? If slavery were still a continued, legal practice in the States, should we shut up about it and accept it?

    No spiritual leader of mine has ever implied that abortion is an issue I must fight for in order to attain Heaven, but I'm glad you're so informed on what we believe.

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  54. college student:

    The unborn child has a right to life because it is a human person.

    The mother has no right to kill the unborn child because the willful killing of the innocent is murder, and is never morally permissible.

    I hope that clears up any confusion.

    Two issues:

    1. All human persons have a right to life.
    2. No human person has the right to kill another innocent human person.

    Hope that helps. It's an issue of human rights.

    When we say "but the mother chose to engage in sex and sex naturally produced babies", we only say it because you keep insisting that somehow the baby just dropped into her uterus from a parachute somewhere, and she is dealing with an agressor who has invaded her uterus "uninvited". That is the only reason we keep coming back to: Biology tells us that sex makes babies.

    For us, it's hard to believe that you would put that reasoning out there, that the baby has "no right" to be there (as if he chose to be there!). We are somewhat incredulous. So, we are not arguing from that point, but trying to address something that you keep bringing up.

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  55. PS: My comment directly above was in response to this, from college student:

    “If you can't accept the consequences of your own actions, then you should make different choices.”

    SO this is where I need clarification. Isn’t the way the baby is conceived irrelevant according to you? Don’t pro-lifers not care if the baby was conceived in love, or lust, or manipulation or rape, don’t you think the “mother” still has an obligation to continue the pregnancy regardless?

    Thus doesn’t your argument the fetus has rights no matter what and not, the fetus has rights because the mother made it?

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  56. Also, why do you put the word "mother" in quotes? Don't you think a pregnancy includes both a mother and a child?

    You admitted (thankfully) that you were conceived. But I must ask: In whose womb were you conceived? In the womb of your "mother" or your mother? Was she your fake mother at that time? Or was she your real mother?

    Thanks!

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  57. Also, if abortion were OFF THE TABLE...I think you would magically see millions upon millions of people get more responsible about their sexual behavior.

    Mary, by the way, I absolutely agree. If you take away natural consequences (and the natural consequence of sex is babies!), then you get into all sort of horrific trouble. I would go a step further back and say that if contraception were off the table, sexuality would suddenly be used much more morally and responsibly, too. Like, a lot more. :)

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  58. [She has come a long way. She only knows what she has learned. I hope and pray that someday (esp. as she gets older and has a family) what we have said here will trigger in her a deeper understanding of her own dignity and that of others. I just want us to plant those seeds for her. Remember what it was like when you were in college? For me, not such a good and moral time….]

    I agree 100% with Leila. The fact that she is even questioning or posting here shows that God is working on her and with her. Sometimes it takes awhile and we have to be patient, loving, and understanding.

    I have three boys and I can't imagine life without them. I also have friends who have chosen the path of abortion. I have seen them struggle with themselves over that choice - not being happy EVER like they once were. It is very sad. Unfortunate that these women can't see into the future and see that the choice of abortion will actually hurt not only their baby, but their heart and souls as well.

    I went to the pediatrician with my 7 year old the other day. There was a teenage boy, and two girls in the waiting room. They were discussing sex, drugs and partying. Then another girl came out from the parking lot. The one friend said, "Well what did your parents say?" The girl said, "My Dad keeps saying abortion. abortion."

    Then the pregnant girl's parents came in and the Mom started saying to her daughter, "You need to stand up for yourself and tell him (the boyfriend) what it is you want to do. It is YOUR life!" The Mother looked very evil in that moment - scared, posessed, adamant that her daughter would not be carrying the baby to term. All the while the girl and her boyfriend held hands. I did not say anything to that family in that moment - I just held my son and cried inside. I also pray that they can choose life regardless of how tough it is in the moment.

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  59. Today, roughly 3000 babies will be dimembered and throw into garbage disposals or tossed into the garbage dump, literally. All in the name of choice.
    More tomorrow and the next day and the next.

    How one can think this leads to freedom is beyond me.

    One lady's post I read somewhere a while back said she cannot look at ground beef without thinking of her abortion. This was decades later. This has haunted her, as it haunts so many many others. There were many other things she could not bear to see, hear or smell, all reminders of the act she did under the banner of choice.

    All under the guise of freedom to choose.
    Sounds to me like it robs one of freedom, rather than hinders it. Sounds like it also robs them of joy, solitude and peace.

    Sounds like a mental and emotional prison to me.

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  60. Anonymous, what a heartbreaking story!! Sigh... It's all so unnecessary. I will pray for that girl, her baby, and her family. :(

    College student, let me revisit what I wrote before: I asked if this was your position:

    Even if the members of Group A are people, Group B still has the right to kill the members of Group A, because of reasons X,Y and Z.

    You had an answer, which amounts to this:

    Even if members of Group A are people, Group B still has the right to kill the members of Group A, because of reason X, which is that "the people in Group A are putting an undue burden on the people of Group B".

    Is that accurate?

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  61. sorry that was me as 12:16

    -Nubby

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  62. Okay, so hypothetically we make abortion illegal...

    What do we do with all these babies that are not wanted by their mothers? Could the adoption process even keep up?

    Who deals with keeping the disabled children
    alive in wheelchairs with tracheotomy and feeding tubes?(Who pays for that, too?)

    Who makes sure every child of rape and the mother who must carry and birth her rapist's baby are both mentally and emotionally cared for? (we're doing a pretty dismal job with caring for our soldier's mental health already)

    Who provides the mental and emotional care for the women who must carry and birth babies who will not be viable outside the womb? Those women would be forced to watch their baby struggle and die within the first hour of life. Not many women are strong enough to handle that.

    And who takes care of the children who will be motherless because they couldn't abort the fetus that was indeed placing too much stress on their body? This includes women who must forgo cancer treatment because they are pregnant.

    And what of the 14 year old girl who is carrying her father's or uncle's baby?

    I know in your made-up world women grow spiritually when they are gracious enough to carry a child of rape or have to watch their baby die gasping in their arms because it's defects were too great. I know in la la land, a fetus never threatens it's mothers life - there is always a miracle. But in reality, there is a heavy emotional and physical toll to be paid for unwanted babies.

    Not to mention the babies pay, as well, when it doesn't work out for them - if they don't get adopted by wonderful people and live happily ever after. If they end up having to hear the news that they are their grandfather's son or their dad was a rapist.If they have to live their short days out in pain and not ever know WHY it hurts so bad.

    So please let us all know how you are going to fund all of this and take care of all the women out there (and the families they leave behind). When you have a real working solution for us (here and now, not in heaven), then maybe we'll consider it.

    Moi

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  63. One my truest friends was a product of rape. She's now a grown healthy woman who has adopted five kids from the "system". She also loves God, has zero malice in her and is all around a great person to know.

    I think you underestimate resiliency in the human person, when it is given a chance.

    Snuffing someone's light isn't the answer.
    Those 5 kids would've perhaps never been adopted if my friend was aborted since she was a product of date rape.

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  64. Moi, this is where love, charity, forgiveness and redemption come in. The virtues.

    If we want assurance that there will be no suffering or heartbreak in this world, we can have none. Not any of us. The only way to avoid suffering is suicide or murder. Is that what you are proposing?

    Instead of proposing suicide or murder, we Catholics propose virtue. Loving others, caring for others, living lives of goodness, forgiveness, generosity.

    If you believe the lie that "pro-lifers only care about the fetus" then I beg you to read a previous post I wrote. I welcome your feedback on it:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/03/pro-lifers-love-fetus-but-they-dont.html

    I hope I will hear from you again. Normally, when I give such evidence, I don't hear anything from the one making the original accusation.

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  65. And I'll add to Leila's comment that we propose virtue on a local scale. This means if we take care of each other locally, then there'd be less and less dependence on big gov to do anything for us.

    There's an old saying that's not in the bible but it does reflect Catholic virtue - "Charity begins in the home". If we, as humans, start there, we'd solve a large percentage of problems.

    Charity means giving self for others. It doesn't mean living in "lala land". It means real sacrifice and loyalty.

    -Nubby

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  66. Moi, one more thing:

    What of the emotional toll of the 50+ million dead babies and their mothers (many of whom suffer for the rest of their lives)? What of that toll? Does that concern you as much as the other scenarios you mentioned?

    Ours is not a "made-up world". It's reality. I have known two sets of parents, personally, who have birthed, held and loved their "incompatible with life" babies, rocked, kissed, baptized, stroked, until the child died naturally in their parents' loving arms. That is the world I live in and that all people should desire. To think that a violent dismembering death is a better way to love that child? I'll never understand it. Is that the world you want?

    A world without abortion? What would it be like? Well, the blood of over 50 million dead children would not be on our hands, nor on the conscience of the (usually coerced) mothers who consented to their deaths.

    We would not have a society which pits the interests of women against their children.

    Will you answer the main premise of this post, and tell me if this is a true statement:


    "It is so clear that someone only questions the personhood of a human she wishes to harm."

    Thank you.

    And, woman-to-woman, you seem to be in pain. If you have an abortion in your past, you (or anyone reading) can go to Silent No More for support, understanding and healing. There is so much love, support and help out there. So much.

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  67. @moi

    I am always puzzled by this argument from pro-choicers...I may not have all the answers, but I certainly know killing somebody to prevent the potential of suffering is not a good answer.

    What if I proposed we end world hunger by killing all the impoverished people who can't afford food? :\ Sounds ridiculous, but that's exactly how your argument sounds to me! Maybe there's something I'm missing?

    Just because children with tracheotomies and feeding tubes are costly doesn't mean they don't deserve to live. Just because babies are not wanted doesn't mean they deserve to die.

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  68. Well said, eliz.erazo.

    Moi, I direct you to this post, which describes only some the work pro-lifers are currently doing to help so-called unwanted children.

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  69. PS: The 50+ million members of our own human family who have been killed by abortion, our brother and sisters, is a number from the U.S. only, since 1973. The world wide numbers are staggeringly higher.

    We may ask: "Who is my neighbor?" Such a question is the measure of a nation or a peoples. When a Catholic is asked, "Who is my neighbor?" we answer inclusively: "Everyone." The unborn is my neighbor. We don't exclude the unborn from our obligations to our neighbor. Do you?

    If so, that is a world I don't want to live in, because it's brutal, violent, exclusive and unforgiving.

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  70. Why do so many people use this ambiguous term "we", as in "we can't take care of these women who suffer from being raped," and "we can't take care of these babies with birth defects," or "we can't even take care of the soldiers....". Who is "we"? The "government"? If I know a mother who needs help, I should help her. If I know a soldier who needs help, I should try to help him. And so should you. Is it right to kill someone or allow someone to kill someone because there aren't enough government programs to help them when they need help. That sounds rather ridiculous to me. Suffering is not going to go away. None of us is going to be able to plan a life without suffering, without having to stand up to the plate and put someone else and their problems before our own, without pain, worry, fatigue, etc. It sounds like some folks, though, they speak with a soft, sensitive, rather whiny tone, think they can have such a me-first attitude that they will run over anyone who gets in their way with a bull-dozer. Even if it's a tiny little baby.

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  71. "It is so clear that someone only questions the personhood of a human she wishes to harm."

    SHE wishes to harm? Interesting.

    People harm other people all the time without calling into question their personhood. So, no - it is not a true statement.

    No, Leila - I have never had an abortion. I am not a broken woman in any way shape or form.

    When I ask these questions, you all get your hackles up and make some broad assumptions about me, so that I become in effect "less of a person" and more of a sad product of misguided ideology. You do this so you feel more righteous, in spite of some of the logical and ethical issues with being pro-life in all cases.

    The fact is, while you are a loving and charitable group of ladies (or at least you claim to be), we are talking about a lot of children to take care of. You speak of some utopia where neighbors take care of eachother, but as I see it most people don't want to pay for everyone else's choices. You don't like government dealing with all these kids on welfare, but their neighbors can't afford to pay their way. This is not the world in which you speak - so yes, it is la la land.

    Who pays for the counseling, the meds, the surgeries, the lifetime of keeping an invalid?

    It would be a wonderful world if suffering was a badge of honor and a lesson in life. Sometimes it is. But sometimes, it is just suffering.

    Your friends held their dying infant. Fine. Some women do not want to do that. They cannot do that without suffering greatly (and not for the greater good Catholic kind). They can break Leila and lose the quality of their life. So the question becomes this: what is more important, the health of the woman and quality of her life - or an unconscious being never to know the difference?

    This world was created billions of years ago. We were all dead for billions of years and it was no big deal. Life is only important to the living.

    What of the women who will die? You ignore that consequence and pretend a fetus never threatens the life of a mother.

    What of all these babies? a few local charities cannot support them all.

    I am only asking you to address the real implications of everyone having their unwanted babies and what we are going to do with all of them. Are you personally going to pay the family of the woman whos pregnancy killed her because she chose a life - hers - and you wouldn't let her? Are you paying for the hospital bills of the invalids? Of the profoundly mentally disabled? Because your law would force all of those children into this world.



    Moi.

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  72. And Sandy - it is easy for those who've had just regular suffering to call other people selfish.

    Here is where I am coming from. My sister's child has major disabilities from birth (strokes). Trach tube, gastro tube. Violet lies in bed or is propped up in a wheelchair most of the day. Violet cannot speak, she cannot communicate. My sister and her husband have to change her tubes and bags, rotate her around so she doesn't get bedsores, bathe her, dress her and watch her non-stop because she has just enough use of her arms to knock the trach out at random moments. She is 24 years old. They never were able to have another child because Violet takes all their attention. My sister is old beyond her years, depressed, haggard and has confessed she wishes the good lord would take her to end this miserable life. My sister and her husband's marriage is a shell. They never go out, they are in crushing debt and under forclosure right now because Violet's bills are astronomical.

    The neighbors don't have $20,000 a piece to give so that Violet may go on. And should they, even if they did? Take money from their children's college fund so that the "poor girl" down the street can continue to be kept?

    You think what I say is awful, but you aren't living it. Again - sometimes suffering is just suffering.The charity of your neighbors can only go so far.

    If you are going to insist upon all these children flooding America, you need to know how all of this can feasibly work. And you better know a thing or two about REAL suffering before you insist upon others to go through it.

    Moi

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  73. Moi, I am very sorry for the suffering of your sister and her child. But are you seriously suggesting that pro-life families do not know suffering such as that? Do you want me to tell you stories from the pro-life families who suffer terribly from such things?

    I hope this is not a competition about who suffers more, with the only "prize" being the right to kill the unborn.

    Is that what you are saying? That killing the unborn undesirables will end suffering?

    Do you know how much suffering can come after a healthy child is born, just by one accident, or one disease which surfaces later? How is it that we have come to a point where the solution for suffering is killing those who might have or cause suffering?

    I seriously don't want to live in that kind of world….

    (PS: Do you know Miss Gwen, by any chance? ;) )

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  74. Moi, I forgot that Miss Gwen does not have a sister, so you are not she.

    You didn't answer my question. I didn't ask if people harm people without calling their personhood into question. I asked if this was a true statement:


    "It is so clear that someone only questions the personhood of a human she wishes to harm."

    The term "she" was used because it is a direct quote from a commenter who was talking about a woman who was defending abortion. So, the proper pronoun is "she" in this instance.

    Also, are you saying that the 50+ million aborted babies are all like Violet? Or that Violet should be or should have been killed for her defects? I'm trying to get at what your guiding moral principle is here.

    I know emotions run strong when suffering is involved, which is precisely why we have to have clear moral principles which guide our lives no matter what storms come.

    Thanks.

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  75. No, Leila - I have never had an abortion. I am not a broken woman in any way shape or form.

    I am relieved you didn't have to go through the agony of an abortion and its aftermath. Many on this board have, and we have heard from them their heartbreaking stories. Do you think that abortion contributes to making someone a "broken woman"?

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  76. By the way, the biggest indicator of who will be poverty-stricken and need government assistance is not race or religion or political party. It's single motherhood. Meaning, the breakdown of the family is the primary cause of poverty. If we built up families again, we would have lot of extra resources to care for the invalids you speak of.

    How about help us restore marriage and family? How is the left helping ensure that a child is born to a married mother and father? Most social problems stem from a breakdown of the family.

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  77. And I honestly, for the life of me, don't get how it's "self-righteous" to say that we must not kill innocent people, and society must not sanction the killing of innocent people.

    Sorry, I don't get it.

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  78. They can break Leila and lose the quality of their life. So the question becomes this: what is more important, the health of the woman and quality of her life - or an unconscious being never to know the difference?

    God is there to pick them up! The human spirit has overcome every adversity! What is more important: The quality of a woman's life, or the state of her soul? I would rather die a thousand deaths than kill an innocent human being. Nothing can justify it, and the sin would be mine. I am not hear to judge any specific person (I cannot judge anyone's heart…that is God's job alone), but that is my Catholic belief. We must be willing to die rather than commit a mortal sin, especially against the least of our brothers and sisters.

    Do you want a world where "quality of life" trumps the right to life itself? I've seen it played out in history and it's an ugly thing.

    We were all dead for billions of years and it was no big deal. Life is only important to the living.

    We weren't dead. We didn't exist until we were conceived. But are you saying that the people we kill shouldn't mind that we kill them? Follow that through to its logical conclusion.

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  79. It would be a wonderful world if suffering was a badge of honor and a lesson in life. Sometimes it is. But sometimes, it is just suffering.

    Moi, you probably missed the post I did on the meaning of suffering way back when. It might help clear up our perspective:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/10/suffering-catholic-style-part-two-of.html

    Thanks!

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  80. What of the women who will die? You ignore that consequence and pretend a fetus never threatens the life of a mother.

    I know of one such woman going through this as we speak. Perhaps I can get her to post anonymously.

    Also, I have to get technical here (sorry). An unborn child is not a pathology so cannot threaten anyone. There are some rare conditions which are pregnancy-related that might threaten the life of the mother. Those conditions should be treated, absolutely! But we don't kill a person (who is not an aggressor!) in order to treat a condition. It's the moral principle of the ends don't justify the means.

    Anyway, I am sorry if I seem insensitive. I truly am not. I have seen good Catholic and Christian families suffer every kind of atrocity and not do something that would endanger their souls or the souls of those around them by example. It is hard to be a Christian. Virtue in adversity is damned hard. I won't deny it. I've seen it, time and again. But it is worth it. Because it doesn't make us become something we don't want to be, and it doesn't make us defend the indefensible.

    God will take care of outcomes. We simply serve the good.

    Blessings!

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  81. Moi, I have a sister with rett syndrome (but I am not Miss Gwen either, just Chelsea).

    I hope that your sister has explored all for the options for help. My parents get a check each month for her care, and free schooling, and her heath care is covered by insurance. I think that both me and my brother probably cost my parents for then my sister.

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  82. Leila, you seem to know much about you commenters, I am impressed.

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  83. Moi, these are emotional and difficult issues for both of us. I get emotional when I hear what amounts to, "We need to be able to kill people in order to avoid great suffering."

    But I truly hear what you are saying about your sister. She does need relief, and help. If you email me privately, and tell me which diocese she is in, we can make sure she has as much private help as possible. People and churches and private charities can and should help. Also, with someone like Violet, that is where the government should step in to help with expenses. She is helpless, and we need to help those who simply cannot help themselves. That is what makes a society civilized and decent. If she is not getting checks for her care, she should be. Again, I would love it if you would email me privately: littlecatholicbubble@gmail.com

    Blessings to you!

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  84. "What of the women who will die? You ignore that consequence and pretend a fetus never threatens the life of a mother."

    "I know of one such woman going through this as we speak. Perhaps I can get her to post anonymously."


    Hi Leila
    Hi Leila

    I think I might be the woman you are referring to that has her life in danger because of pregnancy.
    Or are there are few of us you may know? :-)

    I don't have time to read all comments and so
    I may not give a satisfactory answer to you or to the woman who brought up the scenario of someone's life who is in danger because she is pregnant. But I will do the best I can to answer from the situation that I'm in right now.

    Because I had a severe heart attack that left some damage on my heart a year and a half ago, I was warned time and again by over ten doctors (this is when I was in the hospital, multiple doctors came to see me) to not get pregnant again for many reasons. One, I may have another heart attack. Two, I may have another coronary dissection. Three, the pregnancy might damage my heart so much that I may die an early death. I recently saw my OB who has given me a 50% chance to survive this pregnant. Kind of like flipping a coin!

    He claimed to a pro-life doctor but talked alot about abortion with me and "alternatives". He told me that I was in a severe enough position where the Catholic Church would say that having an abortion is justifiable. (Though I found out by my family and Leila, that that is very untrue.)

    It's hard for me to come up with proper terminology for this without sounding like I'm pro-choice. I say "I CHOOSE to have this baby" but then I make that sound like I have considered the alternative of abortion, which I have not.

    One thing over these past few weeks that has really struck me (which may seem obvious to all of you but for me, it really hit me between the eyes) this baby has no chance of survival without ME. The Mother. I have a chance to live either way,(one being 50%)but without me, his chance of survival is 0%.

    Does this answer anyone's question? I doubt it has changed anyone's mind. Because for many, they still believe that there is a choice. But for me, I truly see now that the baby's life is TOTALLY and completely dependent upon my own and I have absolutely no right, no matter what the consequence to take that away from him.

    Leila, when I came upon the comments, I was going to actually ask you a question, but out of all 92 comments, that was the first comment that I saw, so I felt I had to answer.

    I'll ask my question another time!

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  85. Becky, bless you. Thank you. And you know we are praying for you. I wish I could hug you through this screen.

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  86. This is my second time here. I don't know Gwen. I have not commented before.

    My sister does have some money coming in (sorry all of you anti-govt money folks), but it is still steep. We all help her out as much as we can and more. We all love Violet. But does she love us? Does she even know what's going on? Or does she just exist in a state of discomfort, sometimes pain, occasionally suffocating and not know who she is or why she feels this way?

    We have a fundamental 1difference. I do not believe god is going to repay my human suffering in heaven. While it is debatable whether a soul exists, I don't believe mine is going to be judged or taken care of in the afterlife. I am not going to get a pat on the back for living by the Church's rules nor am I going to receive 72 virgins or the reigns to Santa's sleigh.

    I believe this life is a gift. It is all we have. It is a nanosecond of consciousness within this bubbling stew of life. Why we have it, I don't know.

    The only reward for suffering is personal growth and strength for this life - here. I would never judge someone for aborting so they may live or because they couldn't bear to have a stillbirth or their father's baby.Or frankly, a child like Violet. I say that for Violet herself, too. She gets to live life feeling like crap for decades and then one day it's done.

    If someone aborted me I wouldn't know it, so it wouldn't matter. Life only matters to the living.

    Many religious folks invoke Pascals' wager or say what's the harm in living "good"? But if god doesn't exist, or doesn't exist in the way you think, to have us sing his name for all eternity, there is harm. You've wasted your life suffering.

    I can see why you loose challengers though, because not only do you disagree with other people - you pretend their plight doesn't exist, is unnecessary, or they are selfish.It gets very tiring trying to explain oneself to fundamentalists. You have to take the hardline. And that's fine - it's your prerogative - but I don't have as much time as you to be on the blogs all day long.

    Moi

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  87. Sorry for all the typos! Kind of distracted by my 18 mo old here.

    One more thing--I suppose I sound a little dramatic but this is a highly emotional situation. I already have 4 young kids and most people do not support me having this baby. What I should say is, most people do not understand. They don't think I'm a hero, they think I'm stupid. They don't think I'm doing the right thing, they think I'm not considering the children I do have.

    But more than anything, I know this baby is human, a person, and is living within me. In or out of the womb, I could never kill my child. Could you?

    I have four living children and I hate to think that they may be without a mother. There hasn't been a day when I haven't cried at the thought that someone else may take my place. But I have a child to tend to now--the one whose life depends on my own. It's actually an honor to be pregnant you know, every mother is a hero.

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  88. Moi, I fear you have not read all my comments. My fault, as I kept commenting. If I were an atheist, I wouldn't care a bit about taking lives. We would do what we must to survive. All is chance and chemicals anyway, if there is no God.

    If someone put a bullet through the back of your head, you wouldn't feel a thing and you wouldn't know you were dead, just like an aborted child. But do you think that should be legal? I don't.

    Catholics are not fundamentalists, by the way.

    Anyway, I hope you read through the rest of the comments. And, life is good. All life. And God is good and can be trusted.

    Blessings to you, my friend.

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  89. "Becky, bless you. Thank you. And you know we are praying for you. I wish I could hug you through this screen"

    Thanks, Leila! I think we're all commenting at the same time here!
    And now, I really do have to go, my toddler is tearing up the house!

    Thanks for the prayers, keep 'em coming please!

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  90. This string makes me want to talk of human dignity (all of us!)

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/02/human-dignity.html

    And true love, which we all desire, and were made for…

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/01/is-christian-love-gibberish.html

    Violet's life is as dignified and meaningful as mine, or yours, or anyone's. She was made for love and made to love and be loved. For eternity. There is nothing else. Love is ultimately all there is.

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  91. Oy Vey,

    I got a lot here


    But I must start with this

    Leila said
    She (me) said (if I remember correctly) that she had never in her life been taught, or even heard, that life was about anything other than getting a high-paying career and making material gains. And that any baby who interfered with that was an intruder.

    I don’t know whether or not you intended to make my upbringing seem vacuous or you think this was how I was raised. Regardless, I was taught that life was about finding a path that works for you and seeking happiness fulfillment and purpose. I was taught to treat other people well and to try to make the world better than how you found it. I was taught to get an education make a boatload of money that should be used to make sure my family’s needs are fully taken care of and if possible to help as many other people as possible…. so just so we’re clear about my upbringing

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  92. college student, in no way was I meaning to diss your upbringing. I was relaying what I remember you saying. I will try to find the exact comment….

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  93. College student, you wrote this, just FYI:

    College Student has left a new comment on your post "Answering "L": The Culture War and more":

    Light bulb,

    In all the comments I’ve witnessed the ones about education and early marriage are the most telling to me and I think I am finally able to understand your position

    I was raised in the education comes first model (maybe this is the liberal paradigm, not entirely sure). Nothing Nothing, Nothing could come before attaining my education. Many adults on this page have commented that they don’t think higher education is necessary. I have never ever heard an adult say that before.

    Because education and career come first, it would never occur to me to transfer or leave school altogether for a boy, even if I wanted to marry him. It seems unfathomable to do so at this young age. I frankly didn’t know it was an option. I do know of a few associates who are engaged in my year (none of whom were waiting for marriage and all who are on BCP) and I would never think to be happy for them, because again getting married this young seems insane.

    I am not saying whether or not that is the right attitude to have, but I wanted to express the mindset in case it would be helpful to share.

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  94. Leila said

    Is your freedom to do exactly as you please justification for killing an innocent person who is exactly where she was designed to be?

    Ok this ‘designed to be’ thing, is silly, yes silly. My uterus was designed to hold a baby, yet my uterus is empty. My breasts were designed to hold milk, yet my breasts are milk less.

    Am I doing something wrong because I am not using my body for what it was ‘designed for…’ doubt it

    People are essentially designed only to reproduce. But we do a hell of a lot more than that. This ‘designed to be’ business is silly and proves nothing…. Our bodies decay as we age; they were designed to do that. WHO CARES…we should not submit to osteoporosis because our bones were ‘designed to decay’ nor should we marry off 13 year olds because they are ‘designed to reproduce’ The biological reality of something does not mean we should necessarily adhere to it.

    The fact that something is natural doesn’t give us any indication to whether or not we should do it

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  95. And you wrote this, too… which I thought was actually really cool (if a bit inaccurate)

    College Student has left a new comment on your post "Answering "L": The Culture War and more":

    Leila,
    Absolutely. I am finally beginning to understand the Catholic worldview.

    Before I didn’t understand how and why a whole group of people could be so obsessed with such un-important and personal things such as sex and homosexuality-but it is because Catholics see the PURPOSE of LIFE differently from other people.

    Please correct if me I’m wrong, but I’m gathering that one of the main purposes of Catholic life is to make more life. If that is your number one goal (aside from elevating Christ) you are going to organize your life entirely differently! Education will not be the most important thing; career will not be the most important thing.

    In your teenager years and young twenties you will prepare yourself not to be independent but to be interdependent on your spouse, your major goal in life or one of them will be in finding a spouse and you will spend most of your life with them creating as much life as possible. I am going to ponder on this for a minute but could someone tell me if this is right. If so I have many more questions for you! I think i am finally getting some clarity

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  96. Glad you found my comment,

    that doesn't AT ALL translate to life is ALL about material gains though....

    I was taught that you should get an education and a job and be an adult and be married before you have a baby...pretty standard stuff

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  97. Am I doing something wrong because I am not using my body for what it was ‘designed for…’ doubt it

    Ugh, no! Why would you think we said this?

    And, bones were not "designed" to decay. That is the effect of the Fall.

    Are you saying that you don't believe that an unborn child grows in a uterus by design? Is it a coincidence, then, that babies grow in uteruses?

    Do you really believe babies have "intruded" into the womb?

    I fear we are talking past each other.

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  98. @ moi, you say life only matters to the living. I am curious to know what you mean by "living", since a fetus is biologically alive. Also, you say that life is a gift - do you mean all life or only the life deemed worth living according to arbitrary standards of suffering?

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  99. College Student, what is the function of a woman's uterus?

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  100. Bethany said
    : If you choose to have sex, regardless of whether or not you're in love, or your just lusting after someone, or using someone, or you find yourself in a position where someone's using you (why would you even put yourself in this position?) then you need to suck it up and accept the consequences.

    • Okay a Google search of pregnancy side effects generates this: exhaustion, nausea and vomiting, weight gain, abdominal cramps, yeast infections, acne and mild skin disorders, skin discoloration (chloasma, face and abdomen), mild to severe backache and strain increased headaches, difficulty sleeping, and discomfort while sleeping, increased urination and incontinence, bleeding gums, pica, breast pain and discharge, swelling of joints, leg cramps, joint pain
    Shortness of breath, developing gestational diabetes, higher blood pressure, infection including from serious and potentially fatal disease
(pregnant women are immune suppressed compared with non-pregnant women, and are more susceptible to fungal and certain other diseases), extreme pain on delivery, hormonal mood changes, including normal post-partum depression, continued post-partum exhaustion and recovery period, death.

    So you think that when a woman consents to sex she consents, implicitly to bearing a child and with it the aforementioned risks, which includes, high blood pressure and death?...i mean she knows sex creates babies and that pregnancy has risks right?

    I for one, think that’s a lot to consent to in the name of natural consequences simply because you let some dude put his penis in you.

    When you put your body though pregnancy and childbirth you are RISKING your health. This cannot be done implicitly because a condom broke or even because you didn’t wear one at all, it must be done ACTIVELY you must willingly and actively accept these positional effects to your life and your body.

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  101. “Are you saying that you don't believe that an unborn child grows in a uterus by design? Is it a coincidence, then, that babies grow in uteruses?”

    Nope its by design.. I am just saying this design doesn’t give us any indication to whether or not, it’s a good or bad thing.

    Also you don’t think our bodies were designed to eventually age die to make way for new humans?

    “Do you really believe babies have "intruded" into the womb?”

    Not at all Leila. Just because of the existence of rape I don’t think penises don’t ever belong in the vagina. Penises were made for vaginas but they don’t always belong there, case and point being when women don’t want them there….same thing…

    Joanna said
    “College Student, what is the function of a woman's uterus?”

    To grow babies… we have been over this…. What does this function have to do with anything?……my uterus isn’t growing a baby. But I think you’re probably ok with this

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  102. So you think that when a woman consents to sex she consents, implicitly to bearing a child and with it the aforementioned risks, which includes, high blood pressure and death?...i mean she knows sex creates babies and that pregnancy has risks right?

    Yes, exactly. Can't speak for everyone else, of course, but for me, yes. And the comparison between rape and unplanned pregnancy is simply ridiculous. The two are not even comparable because rape is NEVER a natural consequence of any action on the part of the female, whereas pregnancy is.

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  103. Wow! (Leila, I will respond later!)

    College student, thanks for engaging, but I really do not agree. As inconvenient as it may sound to you and many others, when you consent to sex, you should, in the back of your mind at the very least, be consenting to grow a child in your womb. Sexual reproduction evolved for making babies...period. This is true in the entire Animal Kingdom (unless you are talking about asexual reproduction...but we are not so much like sponges etc.) I think one of the greatest lies of radical feminism was to tell women that sex is not about babies (or should not be about babies at all) (sure it is about more than that, but it is really about procreation at its core). We should be stating this loud and clear in sex-ed courses. Sex evolved to the pleasure-giving experience that it is so that we would "do it" a lot and make lots of babies in a world environment that was very hard to survive in.

    I think contraception in a marriage is fine. In fact, if you are actually engaged, I am inclined to think it is sorta OK...but I think women are totally selling themselves short with their promiscuity because of the other lie of radical feminism: that men and women are the same. This is not true when you look at men and women taken as large groups (not considering individual deviations on the fringe, like feminine men or masculine women). I think most men would not marry if women provide them with easy access to sex. Current research seems to reflect this: http://www.utexas.edu/cola/centers/prc/news/O23571
    The researchers talk about the "price of sex" for males, and how it has gone down considerably. I am speaking as a married woman, with my husband (both pre-marriage and marriage for over 20 years). We had sex before marriage (before engagement) and this was NOT A GOOD THING! It delayed our getting married and having children way too long! We hurt each other along the way. I regret it absolutely. I wanted to believe (did believe) all that feminist crap about men and women being sexual equals and that it was good for women to want easy sex with no strings and freedom just like men, and I wanted to believe that guys would make good on their love and make a commitment even if they were already getting the milk for free, but that is just not true. We wasted YEARS. Don't do that to yourself.

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  104. • Okay a Google search of pregnancy side effects generates this: exhaustion, nausea and vomiting, weight gain, abdominal cramps, yeast infections, acne and mild skin disorders, skin discoloration (chloasma, face and abdomen), mild to severe backache and strain increased headaches, difficulty sleeping, and discomfort while sleeping, increased urination and incontinence, bleeding gums, pica, breast pain and discharge, swelling of joints, leg cramps, joint pain
    Shortness of breath, developing gestational diabetes, higher blood pressure, infection including from serious and potentially fatal disease
(pregnant women are immune suppressed compared with non-pregnant women, and are more susceptible to fungal and certain other diseases), extreme pain on delivery, hormonal mood changes, including normal post-partum depression, continued post-partum exhaustion and recovery period, death.

    So you think that when a woman consents to sex she consents, implicitly to bearing a child and with it the aforementioned risks, which includes, high blood pressure and death?...i mean she knows sex creates babies and that pregnancy has risks right?

    I for one, think that’s a lot to consent to in the name of natural consequences simply because you let some dude put his penis in you.

    When you put your body though pregnancy and childbirth you are RISKING your health. This cannot be done implicitly because a condom broke or even because you didn’t wear one at all, it must be done ACTIVELY you must willingly and actively accept these positional effects to your life and your body.


    Yes. And it's not "in the name of" natural consequences. It IS natural consequences. So if you're not willing to accept them, then DON'T "let some guy put his penis into you". Sex, without consequences (of which there is really no such thing), is NOT a right. Not morally, and definitely NOT biologically.

    So in response to your last paragraph: Don't. Have. Sex. It's called being responsible, and having self-control.

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  105. Leila, I will say that in answer to your statement "It is so clear that someone only questions the personhood of a human she wishes to harm."--that I have no interest in harming frozen embryos in fertility clinics, but I sometimes do question (with thought and tentativeness and wavering) the personhood of those blastulas. Again, in the end, I come down on the side that they must be considered persons because we should err on the side of doing so, but not because I am certain they are persons.

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  106. Just wanted to say two quick things. Wish I could get cut & paste to work but I can't today!

    One, I don't mean to be hard on College Student personally, even if I seem to be! I agree completely that her willingness to stay in the discussion is admirable, and want to say that she is usually very gracious in her numerous responses!

    But College Student, you have settled on an extreme position and it is sad to read your comments. I do pray that your heart is softened to the plight of the unborn. I suspect that you will change your mind the first time you hold one of your own children, if not sooner.

    Also Leila great comments on suffering. We who have the gift of faith are blessed to know that our Savior was intimately familiar with suffering. We do not believe in a savior who leaves us to suffer while He lived in comfort.

    And Moi, just wondering - is that short for Moira? LOVE that name, so much that I have a Moira of my own! I am very, very sorry for the suffering in your sister's family. You may think our faith is a shallow diversion, but there are those who draw great strength from that faith. I pray that your sister and bil and niece will be given the grace of God's peace.

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  107. To grow babies… we have been over this…. What does this function have to do with anything?……my uterus isn’t growing a baby. But I think you’re probably ok with this

    Why do you object to this natural function being utilized if a woman engages in sexual intercourse, which is the act designed to put the uterus to its intended use?

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  108. Mary,

    Take no offense, I do not respect Peter Singer. Regardless of how sound your logical argument is, when you come to the conclusion that murder is okay because the consequences are good, you’re rationalizing murder and basing your argument on the premise that the ends justify the means. This is a premise that simply cannot be respected, nor should we respect any conclusions derived from arguments proceeding from this premise.

    Even if he is honest about not only his utilitarianism, but the final solution to the logic equations of his worldview, that doesn’t change the fact he’s condoning murder. His use of reason is logically consistent only within his worldview, it is not consistent with reality. While he might sound smart and suave and honest using logic well, the fact is that he’s just a consequentialist, and for him the ends do justify the means.

    Here are some quotes from his Princeton FAQ:

    I use the term "person" to refer to a being who is capable of anticipating the future, of having wants and desires for the future. As I have said in answer to the previous question, I think that it is generally a greater wrong to kill such a being than it is to kill a being that has no sense of existing over time. Newborn human babies have no sense of their own existence over time. So killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person, that is, a being who wants to go on living. That doesn’t mean that it is not almost always a terrible thing to do. It is, but that is because most infants are loved and cherished by their parents, and to kill an infant is usually to do a great wrong to its parents.

    I support law reform to allow people to decide to end their lives, if they are terminally or incurably ill.

    Since I judge actions by their consequences, I have never said that no experiment on an animal can ever be justified. I do insist, however, that the interests of animals count among those consequences, and that we cannot justify giving less weight to the interests of nonhuman animals than we give to the similar interests of human beings. In Animal Liberation I propose asking experimenters who use animals if they would be prepared to carry out their experiments on human beings at a similar mental level — say, those born with irreversible brain damage.

    Here’s the thing. I do agree with Singer when he says that ‘because most infants are loved and cherished by their parents . . . to kill an infant is usually to do a great wrong to its parents.” But you know what, it takes three to make a human baby. Even if those two parents don’t want that child, or love that child, or cherish that child, there is a God who does. Quality of life is subjective, the value of a human person is objective. Quality life is no reason to kill yourself or someone else. Prospects, lack thereof, or lack of perspective should also not be a determining factor in whether you kill a human person or not.

    Like you said, you don’t agree with Peter Singer, but respect him because he is patient and calm and respectful when talking about these issues. Him being patient, calm and respectful is him being a decent human being, it isn’t anything special it is just decency. I would extend the same decency to him in a conversation about the sanctity of life.

    You also say he’s not a monster. Well, you're right, to be scientific on this point, he's not a monster, he's only human. His views are quite monstrous though, and no matter the air of tranquility he brings to the debate, it cannot be forgotten that he is very ready to condone the sacrificing of babies to the modern Moloch because the consequences of that sacrifice are good.

    Respect him as a person? Of course, just as much as I respect an 11 week old fetus. Respect him as a thinker, and respect his thought, his ethics, his reasoning, his experiences, his tranquility? Absolutely not.

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  109. I said this:
    So you think that when a woman consents to sex she consents, implicitly to bearing a child and with it the aforementioned risks, which includes, high blood pressure and death?...I mean she knows sex creates babies and that pregnancy has risks right?




    And the general response was


    Yes, exactly.

    Again I think the idea that consent to sex means consenting to the possibility of death is a little silly to me….

    This is also a side note to me that tells me even if I did believe that fetuses had more rights than regular people to physically drain the nutrients from their mothers’ body and use them against their will. I could never get on board with your euphoniously dubbed ‘culture of life’


    The world you speak of has implications so horrible I thank God; we don’t live in that world. A world where women must consent to endanger their lives every time they have sex. Where sexuality has no intrinsic place in a woman’s life, but of course has a firm place in a man’s life. How ironic that both of our sides think our opponent exploits women, your utopia seems utterly oppressive to me.


    I have complained my fair share about the hook up culture, but it seems I didn’t know how good we had it, the inverse is far far worst

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  110. While he might appear to move the debate forward with his ethics, the fact is his ethics are only the practical application of the logic behind "the ends justify the means." With him and his ethics the debate does take on the appearance of sophistication, but you're still arguing with someone who believes the ends justify the means. He's just framing the debate in a way that sounds a little less self-serving than "I kill my baby because I want a career."

    Meaning, the more academic you are the more you'd probably prefer to talk with Singer rather than with a mother of three who has just decided she doesn't want any more because it'd be too difficult, or the woman who puts herself and her career first. In the end, forgive me for being simplistic, but their arguments all boil down to the same starting premise, the ends justify the means.

    NB: I think we need might be operating under two different definitions of the term respect, by the way.

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  111. I sometimes do question (with thought and tentativeness and wavering) the personhood of those blastulas. Again, in the end, I come down on the side that they must be considered persons because we should err on the side of doing so, but not because I am certain they are persons.

    Mary, I can respect this. You are erring on the side of life. I respect that you aren't certain, and I respect that you still give the new human being the benefit of the doubt.

    PS: Do you agree with college student and me on the question of conception: Were you conceived? I was. College student was. That was when I started my life. Maybe that will help you be more sure. You existed at conception. It was you, not someone else. Not something else. You, Mary started out your life as a spot smaller than this period. That is awesome!

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  112. College Student, I find your world equally sad. A world where a woman has to have sex to be happy? If, God forbid, something happened to my husband that rendered sex impossible between us, I would not immediately divorce him and find the nearest man to screw so I could be happy. I would honor my marriage vows, and him, and make the sacrifice to live without sex.

    Nothing in this world is without risk. I drive 90 miles per day. I'm currently pregnant with baby #4. I'm more worried about getting into an accident than I am about dying in childbirth, and I have MUCH higher odds of dying in a car accident than I do dying in childbirth.

    However, I have to work to support my family, and I had sex with my husband knowing full well that a pregnancy could result.

    I know the risks, and I accept them. It's called being a responsible adult. If you aren't prepared for the risks of a certain activity, then don't engage in the activity. It's that simple.

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  113. typo! I meant, "NB: I think we might be operating under different definitions of the term respect.

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  114. I'll begin with honesty: I don't have time to read the 116 comments preceeding mine. I have read through some however. Looking at the larger picture of our society, we have seen society unravel due to a transformation away from having absolute moral standards and towards becoming a culture of moral relevance. This has led to a re-interpreting of society's rules to focus on a person's rights rather than their well being. AND THAT traces directly back to the legalization of abortion. It was precisely at the point of legalizing abortion that we separated rights from the well being of the citizen; ceased to interpret law within its spirit; planted the seed to absolve citizens of an obligation to care for one another; to be their brother's keeper. From that moment forward, we see the focus on individual rights being legally protected even when those rights are harmful to the individual (i.e. abortion, euthanasia, states usurping parental authority over their children). Now logically, rights should only exist as a derivative of the human's well being; it seems insane to think that rights could exist separately. Even more insane to think rights would have greater legal priority than the human's well being. Yet that is where our country stands today.

    And while perhaps the blatantly pro-abortion woman is the stereotype we cling to in this battle, I believe the larger number of women who claim "pro-choice" state they would not have an abortion themselves but wouldn't want to limit someone else's right to do so. It is their collective cowardice and apathy that have driven our society to this insane state, one in which by protecting rights we have lost many more than we have protected. Food for thought :>)
    Debra

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  115. Again I think the idea that consent to sex means consenting to the possibility of death is a little silly to me….

    This is also a side note to me that tells me even if I did believe that fetuses had more rights than regular people to physically drain the nutrients from their mothers’ body and use them against their will. I could never get on board with your euphoniously dubbed ‘culture of life’


    The world you speak of has implications so horrible I thank God; we don’t live in that world. A world where women must consent to endanger their lives every time they have sex. Where sexuality has no intrinsic place in a woman’s life, but of course has a firm place in a man’s life. How ironic that both of our sides think our opponent exploits women, your utopia seems utterly oppressive to me.


    I have complained my fair share about the hook up culture, but it seems I didn’t know how good we had it, the inverse is far far worst


    This leaves me speechless. Seriously, reading this makes me not even know where to begin or even to try. I just don't even know how to respond, as it's like we live in two different realities. I hope you will stay tuned for a book review that I will have coming up in a few weeks. Our worldviews are so different, and it's for very definable reasons. But it's hard for me to even write this blog sometimes, when I know that this is the mindset out there, especially on the secular college campus. It's hard for me to read.

    Anyway, anyone else can engage College Student on these points (and I welcome it!) but for me, I think I have reached a point of clarity and I can't add anything to it. I will let the readers decide which worldview makes more sense to them.

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  116. This is also a side note to me that tells me even if I did believe that fetuses had more rights than regular people to physically drain the nutrients from their mothers’ body and use them against their will.

    But I just have to say after reading this: those nasty, selfish little fetuses must be pure evil. Thank God we don't have to put up with their nefarious, conniving ways. Death to those little snakes for using and sucking the life out of their innocent, unsuspecting hosts! 50 million is just a start! They had it coming...

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  117. Where sexuality has no intrinsic place in a woman’s life

    ????????????????

    Sigh.

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  118. College student, as you often do, you are leading up to a clear and defined "line in the sand" between your worldview and the worldview of most of us here. That's a good thing; it allows clarity between us.

    From my view, the view of the Church, and the view of most of the women (and men!) who comment here, fertility and its acoutroments (ie the equpiment that makes it possible) is not a pathology. Fertility is not a disease. Fertility is a gift. That does not mean that a woman's "worth" is determined by her child-bearing status; for example, I as a single woman do not have children, but I am just as feminine and dignified and valuable to God (and others, I hope!) as my friend Sandra, who has eleven children.

    And because we celebrate fertility as natural and good and beautiful, the consequences of fertility, while not always pleasant (I get cramps too! Ugh! or the side effects of pregnancy you listed, etc), is not a problem to be "fixed" but part of who we are, just like how other natural processes are sometimes accompanied by discomfort (ie, teething children have pain when their teeth come in. I had "growing pains" in my legs when I was a teenager and grew six inches in one year. Etc. Natural processes, but ones that aren't entirely fun).

    Fertility is not a disease. That's what we believe.

    Contrast that to what I believe is your paradigm (correct me if I'm mistaken): fertility is an unhappy accident foisted upon women by a vengeful God or vengeful evolutionary process designed to prevent us from having any fun.

    Is that correct? If so, we have an impasse of worldviews. One side believes fertility is natural and good, the other side believes fertility is a pathology to be suppressed.

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  119. I have complained my fair share about the hook up culture, but it seems I didn’t know how good we had it, the inverse is far far worst

    Yes -- marriage, and virtue, and intact hearts, and true love, and faithfulness, and awesome, committed sex without chemicals and barriers, and babies who are loved and welcomed, and intact families -- yep, that sounds like a hell on earth. Blech, who would want that?

    I would much rather go back to the hook-up culture in college, where me and my friends could get used, discarded, risk diseases, cry all the time (as your friends do, like you told me), be ever ready to have sharp implements forced into my womb to kill the intruder that started growing. Man, those were the days! I didn't know how good I had it. It's what every girl dreams of for her life. Sigh.

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  120. That implies, by the way, that I had an abortion. I did not. I was lucky to never get pregnant. But I did go to the most depressing clinic on the face of the earth once to get a pregnancy test. I didn't realize at the time that it was an active abortion clinic. The silence in that waiting room and the darkness, the stricken faces of the women… I will never forget it. It was like hell. It was the epicenter of the Culture of Death. shiver.

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  121. You also say he’s not a monster. Well, you're right, to be scientific on this point, he's not a monster, he's only human. His views are quite monstrous though, and no matter the air of tranquility he brings to the debate, it cannot be forgotten that he is very ready to condone the sacrificing of babies to the modern Moloch because the consequences of that sacrifice are good.

    Respect him as a person? Of course, just as much as I respect an 11 week old fetus. Respect him as a thinker, and respect his thought, his ethics, his reasoning, his experiences, his tranquility? Absolutely not.


    Guiseppe, thank you for this. Exactly.

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  122. I'm sorry, I think I need to back away for a bit, as I am getting sarcastic. I truly don't know how else to respond. Maybe a good night's sleep will help?

    Deb and Maggie, thanks for the great points! And everyone else! Good discussion. And if I can get myself together enough, I will comment calmly soon. :)

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  123. Meghan had a comment that would not post for her. She emailed it to me and asked me to post it, which I happily do, in two parts. It is for Moi. Thank you, Meghan.

    Moi,

    I am a mother today because another mother was brave and did an amazing selfless thing: she THOUGHT about her child and placed her child above her own needs, and despite the fact she lived in the country that is highest in abortions in the world, she placed her child out of LOVE in an orphange. That little boy is my life today. I am honored, humbled and grateful each and every day that I have this amazing little boy in my life. For you to even dare say something so uneducated as "could the adoption system keep up" is maddening. Do you know: for every ONE infant placed for adoption in the US, there are roughly 32 qualified waiting couples to adopt that child? YES the adoption system could keep up. Trust me, with 1 in 6 couples battling infertility, you'd be hard pressed to find infants not being adopted. Please note: I am not referring to waiting children in the US Foster Care system.

    Second, you have the nerve to mention this:

    Who provides the mental and emotional care for the women who must carry and birth babies who will not be viable outside the womb? Those women would be forced to watch their baby struggle and die within the first hour of life. Not many women are strong enough to handle that.

    I handled that. My husband and I struggled to get pregnant. We finally did through the right combo of injectable fertility drugs and other meds. We were so excited. Devestation hit when we were only five weeks pregnant- I had a hemmorhage. The bad news kept on coming- by the 14 week appointment she had six conditions that made her "incompable with life." Six. All I did was cry. I didn't even know what to do. My husband held me as I cried for hours. He cried too. Our hearts were breaking into a zillion pieces. We carried on thinking we'd pray for a miracle. I mean, after all, in the media ALL you hear are miracles (so and so was told to abort and voila her baby is fine!). The OB said to abort. She was not going to be viable out of the womb. We loved her. We weren't going to kill her. I cannot tell you how savvy the medical community is at explaining away "mercy killing" like they are. We moved on. At the 20 week appointment, we confirmed we were having a girl. I was basically told again to abort, or else. I was almost flat out denied medical care because "it wouldn't help to continue a course of prenatal care anyway." Yes, that happens. Doctors can throw their hands in the air and move on. By the 26th week appt, our little girl had not grown any more than a 16 week fetus. She was dying, but yet, she was stil living. I cherished the time with her. My husband and I took maternity photos, talked to her, sang to her, and would lay in bed and night and feel her move. It was bittersweet. It hurt. Yes, it hurt. It still hurts. I have tears running down my face right now recalling it. Our sweet baby girl died. She died five weeks after that appointment. We saw her on ultrasound on Monday of that week alive and well, and on Thursday morning, she was no longer with us.


    Continued on the next comment...

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  124. Meghan's comment, continued:

    I endured fourteen hours of labor and another 30 minutes of pushing to deliver her. The emotional toll was insane. We were mad at God, we felt hurt, forgotten and angry. But we didn't have to make that decision to kill her. We were able to hold her, kiss, take pictures with her and love her. That's a chance no abortion clinic would have allowed us. We were able to have a funeral for her and bury her. Would we choose that path? No. Would we wish it on anyone? No. My long winded point is that it happens. It's life. It is painful and real. Who supports those people who go through this? Their family and their friends, their churches, and even complete strangers. I cannot even begin to recount the outpouring of kindness and love poured out on our sweet baby girl. Further, there's a non profit ministry called Be Not Afraid that supports women carrying to term.

    Please don't reduce humans to this level of not counting. Our daughter counted. She was "trash" to so many and we were so encouraged to kill her. But, we did not. We aren't saints, and I'm not strong. I did what any mother would. You want to believe that if women like me just aborted, we wouldn't remember. We wouldn't suffer as much but you are dead wrong. I thank God I was able to see my baby girl and that I left it up to Him when she left this earth. I truly would be in a mental ward if I didn't get that chance to love her.

    Lastly, please know that we are so disordered in our world that we think of mercy killing as ok for babies. I mean if the baby is going to die anyway we can then help it along. I dare say that is normal- If you have strep throat, you will die anyway without antibiotics. Should we let you? We also fail to remember it is no longer about us when we have a child... that includes from the moment of conception. Our son's birthmother understood that. She wasn't ready to raise a baby, so she did the best and most selfless thing she could: She thought for him instead of her. God bless her.

    Lelia: I apologize for my long comment. I usually don't get so emotional on posts, but I am so tired of the world's view that "giving up" a baby for adoption is second best (and the term is placing a child, not giving up) and that all the babies that are going to die anyway don't count. Thanks for letting me share. I hope you will let me comment in the Bubble in the future. I'll try to keep it shorter and sweeter.

    Meghan

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  125. College Student- do you think that when a woman consents to sex she consents to an STD?

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  126. @ Moi

    I would love to see on what you are basing your broad sweeping claims about the dangers of illegalized abortion. As Joanna says, you are more likely to die driving a car than having a baby.

    Mortality rate for live births (2004): 13 per 100,000.
    Mortality rate for driving a car (date, recent): 109.6 per 40,000.

    This has been the case for some time, and since before abortion was legalized.

    Also, you said, I can see why you loose challengers though, because not only do you disagree with other people - you pretend their plight doesn't exist, is unnecessary, or they are selfish.It gets very tiring trying to explain oneself to fundamentalists. You have to take the hardline.

    We loose challengers because they refuse to read the arguments, or notice the compassion. We don't pretend anything, we talk about the facts, and what we think about the facts. Often times what we think is based on a broad prior experience. So, there was concern you might have had an abortion because of the way your writing style was read, well guess what . . . many of the women on here have read people who have said similar things to what you say, have written in a similar style, and it turned out that several of them had had abortions, and that fact played into the way they wrote. Forgive these women for inferring from past experiences of actively engaging their fellow woman (or even maybe from themselves), and then learning from that experience.

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  127. That is lose challengers, and "about the dangers of a world with illegalized abortion."

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  128. “Yes -- marriage, and virtue, and intact hearts, and true love, and faithfulness, and awesome, committed sex without chemicals and barriers, and babies who are loved and welcomed, and intact families -- yep, that sounds like a hell on earth. Blech, who would want that?”


    So we agree that this (most of this) is beneficial and good for both individuals and society, but we disagree wholeheartedly on how to achieve this. Nothing about a ‘no sex before marriage’ culture or a ‘lets only have sex when we want to conceive’ necessarily achieves any of these things Leila.

    Red states, which teach abstinence before marriage have higher teen pregnancy rates, earlier marriage rates high divorce rates and lower incomes than blue states. I think its overly simplistic to think ‘lets get rid of sex before marriage (as if we could) and then think marriage will suddenly become a pillar again and families will be saved.

    I cringe at the world you describe for many reasons. The main reason is that when ‘no sex before marriage’ attitudes reign, it just means people get married earlier, which means people get married which less education, they start having children they can’t afford, do jobs they hate because they get paid. More often the woman has to forgo her education and her career, she becomes dependant on her husband financially and cannot leave him if she so chooses. Nothing about this scenario is ideal not to women, not to men and not to families.

    I would much rather a system where people come into their own first. Where they become educated, travel the world, find their passion in life, date a few other people, become successful on their own and then pick a mate, to share the life they have already made. No because they are so horny they are blinded by their hormones, and not because their girlfriends got pregnant so they ‘had’ to marry them under duress, but because they loved each other and could truly pledge themselves to their spouses and family because its REALLY what they want, not because of some accident or mistake

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  129. College Student- quick thanks again for staying in the game. You help me examine my own beliefs. But...you said, "Again I think the idea that consent to sex means consenting to the possibility of death is a little silly to me…."

    To this I say, (particularly in the westernized world, and particularly when you are having sex under the age of, say 40) you should realize that each and every time you get in a car, you are consenting to the possibility of death. I believe the stats. are actually worse for driving.

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  130. Whoops...Sorry Guiseppe...I didn't read your car comment before I rudely repeated you!
    Sorry!

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  131. Maggie, no I don’t think fertility is pathology. Generally speaking fertility is a good thing, but I don’t pretend it is a good thing for every person at every stage of life.

    Nicole, no I would not necessarily say that everyone consents to STD’s when they have sex. Most people who have sex are aware of the existence of STD’s and assume the risk when they have sex. However some people are genuinely unaware of the existence of STD’s and it would be impossible for them to consent to something they are unaware of.

    For instance I don’t know if a woman who is married and is sleeping with her husband who cheated on her, consents to an STD…though, I guess you could argue that she did…

    I would generally say people assume the risk when they partake in the act.

    But I don’t think people should have to live with the consequences of an STD just for punishment sake if we have the drugs and technology to treat them

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  132. College Student,

    I can't answer everything here! There's too much. But I did want to speak to the comment you made about abstinence-only education, and how it doesn't work. Because you're right.

    I hate to say it. But you're right. Abstinence-only education in public schools has a dismal success rate, but it isn't because abstinence doesn't work. It's because (a) the school system is secular, and teaches abstinence from a secular perspective; (b) abstinence is not practiced by role models on TV or in the movies; and (c) the MEANING behind abstinence is not taught in schools nor discussed in families.

    Saying "just don't do it" is a stupid and useless way to approach teenagers about sex. I think, way back, you said so. I agree wholeheartedly. There's a whole wealth of understanding about love, life, family, personhood, value, virtue, and faith that needs to accompany "don't do it" in order for it to make sense to people, and in order for them to accept it.

    The education system in this country is woefully broken on just about every score--it shouldn't surprise us that sex ed is just as useless and ineffective. (Also, just to be fair, I need to look up some stats about blue states and what their STD rates are. Because condom/birth control education isn't doing a 100% job on preventing those, now, is it?) What Catholics like Leila and her readers want is a much deeper, much more meaningful, and much more radical transformation of society than merely locking up kids in chastity belts and telling them its good for them.

    Don't sell our ideas short just because they're difficult to realize, or because half-assed ('scuse me) attempts by a secular school system to teach "abstinence" have failed dismally.

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  133. "I would generally say people assume the risk when they partake in the act."

    So why should they not assume the risk of pregnancy? After all, an STD is a disorder...something that resulted from the Fall...something bad, that our bodies were not designed for.

    Pregnancy is ordered, a beautiful thing (even when it's unplanned), something our bodies ARE designed for. So why should people assume the risk of an STD, but not pregnancy? STD's can last a lifetime. Sure, some are treatable, but some aren't even curable. A pregnancy (something that doesn't need to be "cured") lasts for 9 months.

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  134. "And while perhaps the blatantly pro-abortion woman is the stereotype we cling to in this battle, I believe the larger number of women who claim "pro-choice" state they would not have an abortion themselves but wouldn't want to limit someone else's right to do so. It is their collective cowardice and apathy that have driven our society to this insane state, one in which by protecting rights we have lost many more than we have protected."

    Debra, great point. We live in a luke-warm and faithless world. I remember my worldview when I had no faith. I had to be in control of every aspect of my life. We are arguing against this worldview and until College Student or anyone else here who has a similar mindset is able to receive the gift of faith all arguments will mirror this one.

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  135. @ College Student

    To add to what my wife Fidelio said, no red state has a school system that 100% teaches and only teaches abstinence only education.

    Contraception is also big with the majority religion in the country, Protestantism (i.e. big within any of the many thousands of denominations within protestantism). Even if you like the idea of abstinence only in schools, you still have the father at home saying to his son "abstain, okay, but make sure you wrap it if you're going to tap it" or your mother/doctor says the equivelant about oral birth control to their daughter.

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  136. College Student,

    I'm not calling you selfish, nor do I necessarily think you are at heart selfish. I remember a couple months ago when we talked about the selfish nature of the hook up culture, and how women get used up and abused by men who don't a) have to worry about getting pregnant, and b) seem to be somewhat more emotionally detached from sex than the average girl.

    It is a culture that at its root is all about me, me, me. It is about what I want within the context of my own desires, rather than what I want within the context of a community that should be working for the common good. Every man and woman an island in the hook up culture, the contraceptive culture, the abortion culture.

    While what we propose would take time, and would not result in a utopia, it would be a society that discourages selfishness, and the objectifying of other persons. The society wouldn't be based on satisfying passions, it would be based on enduring love, i.e. satisfying responsibilities. True love never comes without responsibility and embracing that responsibility for the sake of the other.

    Even if we can't achieve such a society where selflessness, love, and respect for every human's dignity dominates, we should fight and argue for it because even though it is more difficult at first, working toward a selfless life is a better life, a more considerate life, then wallowing in selfishness.

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  137. College student, I am glad that others have taken the conversation, and I am glad that you have stuck with us.

    I guess my only question to you is: What is your guiding moral principle for life?

    Catholics might say that theirs is something like, "Do what love requires" for example.

    Also, the world you describe is interesting in that it seems to promote a long period of adolescence and play before the sort of yuckiness and drudgery of settling down, marrying, making a home and starting a family. Do you think there has been any downfall to the prolongation of a longer adolescent phase?

    Thanks!

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  138. Just a general thought: You can know something by its fruits.

    If everyone lived according to the Ten Commandments and the Church's moral teachings…. well, life is pretty darn good. No using, no cheating, no lying, no filthy hook-up culture, no dead baby parts thrown in the trash, no broken homes and no single motherhood (eliminating most poverty in the U.S.), etc. Of course it's not going to happen perfectly, because we are sinners and this is a fallen world. But that is the goal: Goodness. If we strive for goodness, and teach our children to good and not evil, we are a better place and we are better people.

    Now, the hook-up culture's "values" and their natural consequences? Using and abusing, objectifying and then dumping women for selfish gratification, diseases, "unwanted" children, 50+ million dead babies (is anyone bothered by this genocidal stat, all in the name of getting that orgasm?). Sobbing college girls (according to college student), loneliness, heartbreak, etc.

    To think a young woman could see the hook-up culture as "how good we have it" and see the culture of virtue, marriage and family as "far far worse" than the hook up culture, well, it just shows that we must love people back to a place of goodness. It's just so sad to me, because I don't know what happens to the heart and soul of a generation who believes that a culture of use, abuse, hedonism and death is ordered and good. We all bought the lie at some point (well, I'm sure some of you didn't), but all I want to do now is say, "Stop!! Don't go down that road! Don't believe that lie! It will kill you one way or another (not all death is physical)!" It's the mother in me, I can't help it. I now have two "college students" of my own. I am feeling very maternal lately. :)

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  139. Fidelio, Mary, Nicole, great thoughts, thank you! Giuseppe, thank you for this:

    While what we propose would take time, and would not result in a utopia, it would be a society that discourages selfishness, and the objectifying of other persons. The society wouldn't be based on satisfying passions, it would be based on enduring love, i.e. satisfying responsibilities. True love never comes without responsibility and embracing that responsibility for the sake of the other.

    Even if we can't achieve such a society where selflessness, love, and respect for every human's dignity dominates, we should fight and argue for it because even though it is more difficult at first, working toward a selfless life is a better life, a more considerate life, then wallowing in selfishness.

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  140. I remember my worldview when I had no faith. I had to be in control of every aspect of my life.

    Manda, this is a great point. I wonder, college student, if you do feel like control over every aspect of your life is an urgently important thing. I have been thinking (and correct me if I am wrong) that you seem to have a very great fear of pregnancy in general. I have a terrible fear of heights and of flying myself. But I recognize that those are phobias (disordered fears). Again, I may be reading you all wrong, but it seems like you are almost phobic about the idea of pregnancy (thus the urgent need for abortion), and maybe even a fear about young marriage. What do you think?

    Also, if you or anyone could tell me: What do you think are the principle virtues of the hook-up culture? And, if you don't think there are any virtues which underly it, then what are its "values"?

    Thanks!

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  141. college student, I know we are asking a lot of questions. You are our "go-to" gal because you are brave enough to stick around, ha ha! I have one more request before I finally start my morning (it's only 8:52 here). Would you read my friend Jen's article, here:

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2010/jan/10012801

    She seems to speak to so much of what you say, and she was on your side for most of her life. (Her normal blog is Conversion Diary, on my blogroll, and she is a blog superstar. My Bubble is a wisp of spittle compared to her wonderful work, ha ha). I am so interested to know if you think she is on to something. Jen is more eloquent than I, by far.

    Thanks!

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  142. Not to pile on College Student because I'm also glad you are here and joining in the discussion but wanted to point out the you can do everything you suggested and live according to Church teachings.

    I married at 29, prior to that I traveled, had my own apartment, earned a graduate degree and agree are the better for it. But none of that required participating in the 'hook-up' culture.

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  143. Joy, excellent point. One of my best friends did not find her wonderful husband and marry until she was 36. The have three great kids (the oldest of whom is my oldest daughters best friend). You can avoid the hook-up culture at any age. :)

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  144. Need to clarify!!! I said that the uterus' only purpose was to "grow" the baby. But the baby grows himself. Here is a more accurate statement (not my own):

    "The sole purpose of the uterus is to home and house the baby, who has no place else to go."

    Can anyone deny this?

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  145. And as someone who got married young (at age 21) I'd like to add that I did complete my bachelors degree, got a job in my field (and excelled at it), didn't have sex before marriage (with anyone) and didn't rush into marriage out of "horniness." And I can say all the same things for my husband, who is only a year older than me. We are both independent, intelligent individuals who would do just fine on our own in the world, but instead, we got married, love and support one another in all aspects of life, and look forward to raising our family (first baby due in August).

    It's a charmed life, and it had nothing to do with the hook-up culture and everything to do with the culture of life.

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  146. Same here, Complicated Life. I did not have sex prior to marriage; I married at 20 (two months before my 21st birthday) and graduated from college with my bachelor's degree when I was 22. I currently work in my field and have 3.5 children (3 + 1 on the way).

    I didn't need the hook-up culture to be happy and fulfilled.

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  147. Meagan (sorry if I'm spelling your name wrong!)

    Just wanted to let you know that your story has not gone by unnoticed.
    I had tears in my eyes, I can't believe the pain you and your husband went through when your baby girl died. You chose to use this cross to make you and your husband holy--and God uses this story to help and inspire others of the value of life.

    Your story is not in vain--I just want you to know that!

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  148. Wow... just read the post about the side effects to pregnancy.

    First... there are side effects to abortion too (and birth control pills and other methods of contraception). Loooong lists of side effects. At the end of the day, we must keep coming back to the same reality in this discussion: Life carries suffering and risks and consequences. If a woman wants to have sex... There. Will. Be. Consequences. And risks. Whether she pops a pill or gets pregnant... we cannot escape this reality. We cannot create some fantasy land of "choice" where sex is somehow in a bubble and the rest of life requires responsibility.

    It sounds to me like some of the folks here have been hurt by men... they feel like pregnancy is unfair and reduce sex to just that moment of genital contact. This is sad for me. One, I relate. I used to feel that way about it. I used to feel a simmering anger towards men and how "unfair" it was to be a woman.

    Little did I know how great being a woman is. What a gift fertility is. What real sexuality is all about - loving as a whole, complete person and being loved by another person who gets excited at the idea of having children with me and who finds my fertility and femininity fascinating and interesting (if at times perplexing :))... not just having genital exchanges with males I have mixed feelings towards.

    It's also worth noting that it's not always easy to be a man either... neither sex gets to experience utopia.

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  149. I, too, am glad that College Student is willing to stick around and challenge us, not to mention willing to be challenged.

    I do feel the need to address this:
    I cringe at the world you describe for many reasons. The main reason is that when ‘no sex before marriage’ attitudes reign, it just means people get married earlier, which means people get married which less education, they start having children they can’t afford, do jobs they hate because they get paid. More often the woman has to forgo her education and her career, she becomes dependant on her husband financially and cannot leave him if she so chooses. Nothing about this scenario is ideal not to women, not to men and not to families.

    Please, please tell me what the simple concept of just not having sex until you're ready to accept the consequences, is such a horrible thing.

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  150. That should read, "why" not "what". Sorry about that.

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  151. And just for the record, for everyone's information:

    Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; gas; headache; heartburn; nausea; stomach pain or upset. Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; trouble breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody or black, tarry stools; change in the amount of urine produced; chest pain; confusion; dark urine; depression; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; mental or mood changes; numbness of an arm or leg; one-sided weakness; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; ringing in the ears; seizures; severe headache or dizziness; severe or persistent stomach pain or nausea; severe vomiting; shortness of breath; stiff neck; sudden or unexplained weight gain; swelling of hands, legs, or feet; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual joint or muscle pain; unusual tiredness or weakness; vision or speech changes; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

    That's the incomplete list of possible side effects from ibuprofen (my favorite non-pregnancy pain reliever). Courtesy of drugs.com

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  152. One would hope that we all grow up someday, whether Catholic or not. By grow up, I mean live more selflessly. I'm sure we all know people who attended Catholic/Christian schools and who are no different than their secular neighbor in how they view the world, covet material things (or people), live for the fleeting moment, etc.

    And I'm sure we all know others who would put us Catholics to shame with how virtuously they live, even though they may not be Catholic or even Christian.

    The major bonus with being Catholic, and even an asleep Catholic so to speak, is that we have graces in us by baptism, confirmation, marriage and even anointing of the sick (if we receive that). We can call upon those graces anytime, anywhere, and God will be present in those, as He gave those seals to us.

    As to suffering: There is redemptive suffering that is sanctifying not just for the sufferer, but for the world. If suffering is offered up, it can be used for a great act of love for the world. Does it erase pain? No.

    But it can assign meaning to the suffering and can shift the perspective of the sufferer. Graciously suffering to the best of our ability can then shift the perspective of the people around us, inspiring people to a greater selflessness.

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  153. Also in regards to waiting until having sex basically "ruining" a woman's life and career chances. College Student - I am sorry you've gotten that impression. But:

    1. I got married at 29. I wanted to marry earlier but that didn't happen. I still strove to wait for marriage, and I am glad I did.

    2. A celibate or chaste man or woman does not (and should not) marry for sex. Instead, what we learn by waiting is how fulfilling life is whether we have sex or not. We learn to function as complete human beings who are happy with whatever circumstance we're in. Then, similar to those who don't wait, we marry because we've met the person we feel is right for us on all levels. Our best friend.

    3. Your argument doesn't make much sense based in again, reality. Are you aware that the majority of Americans below the poverty line are unwed mothers and their children? The true risk entering poverty and not finishing school or your achieving your career is getting pregnant *outside* of wedlock... NOT waiting until marriage. This is a point pro-choicers point out all the time in an attempt to justify abortion, so I am not sure how you can turn around and claim waiting is a bad thing.

    4. What's it to you if a woman, out of her own free will and desire, gives up a career to be married and have children? Isn't that the beauty of living in a free country? I would have given my right arm to do that at age 20.

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  154. Sarah, me too. I always wanted to be married and have a family. I got what "all the right people" would consider an excellent education, even began grad school. But ultimately, that is not what has fulfilled me. I barely remember college (thank goodness, considering the way I lived).

    Anonymous, great points. And Bethany, great stuff, ha ha!

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  155. Wow, Leila...I'm amazed at all of this! I was just mourning over our sick culture when I flipped on the TV last night and saw all the stuff about Congressman Weiner. It just made me sick and really sad. And then I checked your blog and felt, again, really sad (but then I was uplifted reading so many great comments in response to the sad ones). Plain and simple, we are a sex-obsessed culture. We are a feel-good obsessed culture. We want zero consequences for our actions. We want what we want and we want it now as quickly as possible without any hassles. Look at our food, our materialism, our Internet, phones, TV. Take all of these things and how we get them and then look at how we treat each other. A person is no longer to be cherished and respected-he/she can just be another thing that we want to "have", use, and then discard like our "disposable" culture tells us to (as in the case of sex). Or a baby is just a damn hassle that resulted from my pleasure-seeking activities that I can just dispose of and keep going (as in the case of abortion). What would happen if people could really stop and pay attention and be honest in their hearts and minds about how damaging this behavior is...
    Living a Christian/Catholic life may not seem glamorous, or get you kudos from "important" people, or make an exciting story for all of your friends to "like" on facebook (or whatever--I don't know all that terminology since I'm not on facebook). Living truthfully, morally, and according to God's design is not always easy, but when someone does this they find an inner joy and peace that can never be shaken, can never be argued with or questioned--I don't think you can say the same for a life lived according to the ever-changing culture, basing behavior and moral decisions on a popular belief or trend. That's just never going to bring happiness...and I guess that's why I feel sad. Not sad for myself--sad for so many people out there who will never know that happiness because they won't ever take the time to figure this out :(.

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  156. Lily- And what makes me most sad is that your comment: A person is no longer to be cherished and respected-he/she can just be another thing that we want to "have", use, and then discard like our "disposable" culture tells us to (as in the case of sex). is often justified because a relatively small group of people behaved or still behave this way toward people and the thinking is, "Well, if they do it... why shouldn't I be able to act like that."

    Leila- Thanks. And thanks for posting on my blog. I'm just getting started, but I'm honored. :) Would you believe I actually lost a 10-year friend over that post?

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  157. Lily, so well-stated! You and Bethany will be interested in my next post. Stay tuned! And Bethany, I can't believe that! What? Crazy!

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  158. It's all the consumeristic mentality of America. People go to churches b/c they like the music or the pastor or the color of new youth center. They don't go for Truth, necessarily. They go to consume the latest thing that floats their boat. How many protestant friends of mine change churches like outfits, and all based on feelings.

    Same goes for relationships. People go thru relationships and marriages until it doesn't appeal to their senses anymore and so they discard it after it's been consumed by their passions.

    Everything is superficial, and the path of least resistance is always preferred.

    This is so opposite the Catholic calling. It always has been. Think of what St Paul faced in Corinth. Poor guy had to preach to people just like us.

    -Nubby

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  159. I was at work all day so I’m just getting to this now, here goes

    Giuseppe Ambrose said

    Even if you like the idea of abstinence only in schools, you still have the father at home saying to his son "abstain, okay, but make sure you wrap it if you're going to tap it" or your mother/doctor says the equivalent about oral birth control to their daughter.

    Sarah said
    A celibate or chaste man or woman does not (and should not) marry for sex. Instead, what we learn by waiting is how fulfilling life is whether we have sex or not. We learn to function as complete human beings who are happy with whatever circumstance we're in. Then, similar to those who don't wait, we marry because we've met the person we feel is right for us on all levels.


    Giuseppe, I understand this I agree with this, but I don’t know how you expect to overcome this. This will always be the case. if you cant ‘sell your message’ in the midst of parents disagreeing with you and the MTV culture your not going to sell it…

    Sarah. I understand that a truly chaste person does not marry just so they can have sex and they must accept the fact that maybe they will be called to a single life. But are you saying teens/people should be chaste or abstinent? Its one thing to teach kids to wait until their married, another to teach them being married for the sake of marriage isn’t enough. For a message to work its got to be reachable to the lowest common denominator. I am glad that worked well for you but it wouldn’t work for lots of people ( me for one) I interpret your message as: ‘ok want to have sex? just get married. while I understand you probably don’t want people to do that, the depth that is evolved in teaching them that requires faith (problematic) and that they adapt your entire life philosophy (also problematic)

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  160. Leila said
    
Also, the world you describe is interesting in that it seems to promote a long period of adolescence and play before the sort of yuckiness and drudgery of settling down, marrying, making a home and starting a family. Do you think there has been any downfall to the prolongation of a longer adolescent phase?

    Hell yea. My friends and I joke that 22 is the new 13. Adulthood is postponed, people are less mature. People are more individualistic, they are less responsible, Sometimes by the time they want kids you cant have them because biologically they are too old. There are major downsides to this paradigm, but wonderous upsides as well…I believe the good outweighs the bad

    FYI. I see marriage and having a family as potentially wonderful ideal things in life. But I don’t delude myself into thinking these things are easy or fun all the time and should be undertaken when one is mature enough to handle them

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  161. Leila said
    If everyone lived according to the Ten Commandments and the Church's moral teachings…. well, life is pretty darn good.

    Once during my senior year in high school, I made a remark to my father about how I was such a good kid because I hadn’t had sex, hadn’t tried drugs, and didn’t drink like my friends.

    Instead of patting me on the head, my father said to me: “Your life and your goodness as a person does not depend on the things you don’t do in life, it depends on the things you do.”

    So no Leila, I really don’t think life is necessarily pretty good if everyone lives in accordance with the 10 commandments, I think it wouldn’t suck in a lot of ways, but there are still a lot of other ways it could still suck. At most the list could keep life from being bad, but it has nothing in it to make life good

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  162. I leave for a couple days and can barely catch up!

    "Why will you not give the designation of "personhood" to a human being from conception onward? Again, the only reason I can think of is to be able to legally harm the human whose personhood you are questioning."

    I will agree that at conception there is the potential of a human being. About 10-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. These are thought to be because of issues that prevent this potential human to survive. 30-50% of fertilized eggs are lost before implantation or during the implantation process. No one killed them, they just did not flourish. That is why I don't believe LIFE starts until you hear a heartbeat. If a human doesn't have a heartbeat, they are not ALIVE.

    My opinion has nothing to do with whether or not it's okay to "kill" them. It's just my opinion about when I think life begins. I realize that we do not agree about this and I don't assume that will change but that's the answer to the question nonetheless.

    -Chrissy

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  163. Leila
    I wonder, college student, if you do feel like control over every aspect of your life is an urgently important thing. I have been thinking (and correct me if I am wrong) that you seem to have a very great fear of pregnancy in general. I have a terrible fear of heights and of flying myself. But I recognize that those are phobias (disordered fears). Again, I may be reading you all wrong, but it seems like you are almost phobic about the idea of pregnancy (thus the urgent need for abortion), and maybe even a fear about young marriage. What do you think?

    Eh I’d like to control my life, get what I want when I want it, have things go according to plan, but who wouldn’t?

    To your point pregnancy freaks me out. It irks me on a personal level because im a pretty selfish person and I’m pretty sure devoting my body and essentially life to someone else will result in my spiritual death. I am being hyperbolic, clearly, but the sentiment is there...and while I’ll likely never need an abortion (nuns have more sex) and could afford one if I did, I do emphasize with women who are as sketched out with being knocked up as me.

    I don’t have a phobia of young marriage. I think its potentially problematic only because all the 20 year olds I know are REALLY YOUNG. I think it’s a little weird ( mostly because its atypical), makes me a little uncomfortable (why does someone want to marry you and not me!) but I don’t fear it, want to get married young go for it.

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  164. I read Jen’s post here: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2010/jan/10012801.

    I understand her general sentiment and don’t disagree for the most part but the one assumption that really really irks me, I mean rocks me to my core is the assumption that pro-life people have about sex before contraception.

    You seem to portray this world before contraception where gender equality existed, where families were happy when NO ONE ever had nor wanted to have sex without babies. Where teenagers never got pregnant, where one night stands didn’t exist, and where boys and men joyfully embraced the news of pregnancy, happily married the girl, remained faithful to them and made them blissfully happy forevermore. You seem to insist that before contraception or without contraception people didn’t/ don’t act irresponsibly en masse and just do it anyway. Like there aren’t huge sections of the country and the world where no one uses contraception (because they don’t have access to it, its stigmatized, they don’t feel like buying it, whatever) yet they still have lots and lots and lots of sex without contraception just because they feel like it

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  165. Sarah said

    “Your argument doesn't make much sense based in again, reality. Are you aware that the majority of Americans below the poverty line are unwed mothers and their children? The true risk entering poverty and not finishing school or your achieving your career is getting pregnant *outside* of wedlock... NOT waiting until marriage.”

    This is an arugment for why you shouldn’t have a baby when you aren’t married, it isn’t an arugment for why you shouldn’t have sex if you aren’t married.


    i know there are other things to address but its my beddie time....au demain and if i left something out i will address it tomorrow

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  166. my father said to me: “Your life and your goodness as a person does not depend on the things you don’t do in life, it depends on the things you do.”

    College student, I agree with your dad, but it's not either/or. It's both/and. We are good based on what we do and what we don't do.

    As for the "restrictions" of the Commandments: All children (and we are God's children) need to know what is forbidden for us, for our own good and happiness. I tell my child "Don't play with matches" and "Don't touch a hot stove" not because I only want to forbid them, or take their freedom, but because I know what they need for their own happiness and wholeness. If you think the Ten Commandments only "forbid" then you are missing 90% of the truth of the moral life.

    Saying no to adultery, for example, frees you up to truly love and be loved by another person! The restriction implies the great freedom of true love! It makes us capable of the real thing, and not some pale, unsatisfying imitation which will bring us down to baseness, selfishness and even despair.

    To your point pregnancy freaks me out. It irks me on a personal level because im a pretty selfish person and I’m pretty sure devoting my body and essentially life to someone else will result in my spiritual death.

    This statement left me stuck, and I had to re-read it. Giving your life to someone else (i.e., true, self-donative, sacrificial love) will result in your spiritual death? I mean this in a motherly way, but somewhere you have been terribly lied to. It's a deception and the opposite of what is truth. Seriously, the only way to grow spiritually, to not kill yourself spiritually, is to love. And love is about willing the good of the other. It is about self-forgetfulness, and sacrifice for the other. It's about being willing to lay down one's own life for another. It's not about "me, me, me" but about loving and caring for others.

    I am very curious to know… What spirituality is this, which says that the way to grow spiritually is to be selfish? I just have never heard of such a thing.

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  167. College Student,

    In your response to Leila re: the topic of everyone living the 10 commandments and the moral law, you said:

    At most the list could keep life from being bad, but it has nothing in it to make life good

    What is it that DOES make life "good" for you?

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  168. OK Hi all. So much to talk about! College Student affirmed that people are acting like children for longer and longer periods of time, "Hell yea. My friends and I joke that 22 is the new 13. Adulthood is postponed, people are less mature. People are more individualistic, they are less responsible, Sometimes by the time they want kids you cant have them because biologically they are too old. There are major downsides to this paradigm, but wonderous upsides as well…I believe the good outweighs the bad"

    Well, I can imagine that perspective from where you are right now. But, can you imagine that it is totally bizarre for women to give up their fertile years to infertile sex, then go through draconian measures to have babies much later? And think about this. I didn't realize how you will want to be around and know your kids for as long as possible. They become the most important people in your life, without a doubt. I feel cheated out of not having them in my twenties.

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  169. You seem to portray this world before contraception where gender equality existed, where families were happy when NO ONE ever had nor wanted to have sex without babies. Where teenagers never got pregnant, where one night stands didn’t exist, and where boys and men joyfully embraced the news of pregnancy, happily married the girl, remained faithful to them and made them blissfully happy forevermore. You seem to insist that before contraception or without contraception people didn’t/ don’t act irresponsibly en masse and just do it anyway.

    college student, this is where I start to get really, really frustrated and perhaps need to back away a bit. Because I know we have mentioned time and time and time again: We know and everyone knows that there has always been and always will be sin. This is a fallen world. People will use and abuse each other and act selfishly from here to the end of the world, and have been doing so since the beginning. But that doesn't mean we promote it, sanction it, normalize it, and accept it as a culture!

    Just because people are sinful and just because yucky, disordered, unhealthy things happen, doesn't mean that we throw up our hands and say, "Well, it's always happened, so why does it matter if I do it or not?"

    You wouldn't say that about any other sin. You wouldn't say, "Why does your Church say that people shouldn't kill each other? People have always killed each other!"

    You wouldn't say, "Why does your Church say that people shouldn't steal? People have always stolen!!"

    Please tell me you understand this, and that you won't use that argument again, because like I said, I feel like we have gone over it and over it.

    Do you really think that because people have always, say, defrauded the poor, and raped women, etc., that the Church should stop saying those things are wrong and that you can live a better way?

    The world may not change, college student, but you can. You are only responsible for your own actions.

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  170. Dear College Student,

    I am very impressed with your fortitude in remaining on this thread to discuss your opinions, feelings and desires. You appear to have a great deal of courage and a goodly amount of brains. I imagine your parents are very proud of you.

    I am afraid that the current culture leads one to expect that everything is a choice. This is patently false. You did not choose to be. You just are. Even if your own parents had chosen abortion, you had nothing to do with that. They did not--and here you are.

    In addition, you have not chosen whether or not to die. But I assure you...you will. We will all die and we have no choice to not die. All other life on this planet has no choice in life or death.

    My personal feeling on the subject at hand is that we must err on the side of life. We cannot save ANY life..sometimes we can help to extend it. Does that give us the right to end it if we will? That is a responsibility that no human person should assume. To choose abortion, is to choose death for a living human. Biology tells us that the blastocyst is alive (growing,changing, etc) and is human (DNA). I have never heard a biologist deny that a bean is alive or even deny that it is a bean.

    Human beings are different from other life forms. We have the understanding that we are alive and that we will die. We have true free will. Free will is not the ability to choose whether we live or die, but is the ability to choose HOW we will live. I do not believe that we have the right to choose death for any human, because this indicates that we could have that right for ANY human. To give that right to one, is to give it to all. It is a truly terrifying prospect that any person, or society in general, could decide that one man should die, rather than the entire people should perish.

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  171. And this is to everyone:

    Don't despair-the message of Love, chastity, and all that good stuff is reaching our young people and they are so thirsty for it! It speaks to their hearts, their human nature. They are open to it and they embrace it. They struggle with it of course, as everyone does, but there is so much hope in the coming generations. I see it each day. Just keep praying. :)

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  172. So no Leila, I really don’t think life is necessarily pretty good if everyone lives in accordance with the 10 commandments, I think it wouldn’t suck in a lot of ways, but there are still a lot of other ways it could still suck. At most the list could keep life from being bad, but it has nothing in it to make life good

    What in your opinion "makes life good" that the Ten Commandments forbids?

    Thanks!

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  173. Chrissy, it's very nice that you addressed Leila's post with your opinion. Would you mind explaining to us what biology says of a fertilized egg-is it human? Is it alive?

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  174. Complicated Life, you are so right. It's an easy sell when it's presented right. The problem is, there are so few people who have heard it these days, because all the grown-ups have abdicated their roles. And people are so confused with all the twisted and obsessive sexual messages the culture gives. But I have seen it work on so many, and it has healed so many wounds and broken hearts, and souls.

    And whoops, you had already asked the same question of college student that I did! I'm glad you thought of it, because I'm really interested in her answer!

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  175. Chrissy, thank you. Plenty of pregnancies end after heartbeats are detected, as well. Sadly, that is quite, quite common. So, before or after heartbeats occur, the life ends. There was life before the heartbeat, or the unborn child would not have grown to the point of having a heartbeat. Life is taken by natural causes from conception up to a hundred years of age or more. But abortion is not about death from natural causes. It's willfully taking a life which has already begun.

    Remind me if you are pro-life or not? Because if you are pro-life, you certainly have no malevolent motive for thinking about "personhood"; it's just an interesting philosophical exercise, in a sense.

    But, if you believe in early abortion, is it because you think the baby before a heartbeat does not have "personhood"? If not, then what is your reasoning for allowing the killing of the unborn? Thanks!

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  176. One more thought:

    If a human doesn't have a heartbeat, they are not ALIVE.

    Doesn't this depend on if we are talking about the beginning of life or the end? For example, a newly conceived child (you were conceived, right? I know I was) is not supposed to have a heartbeat right away. It doesn't need one yet, but it is most certainly alive, most certainly growing as designed, and is most certainly human (not a fish, not a monkey). So, not all humans have beating hearts. In fact, all humans at their beginning stages of life, do not have a beating heart.

    One of our readers, who posted above, did not have a beating heart for a very long time. She had complete heart failure. Her heart stopped beating and if you read her story and her miraculous recovery after a long subsequent coma, you will know that I'm not lying when I say she had cessation of a heartbeat for an extended time. However, she was still a human person at that time. Thankfully, the heart was eventually started again, and her life was able to go on.

    And what about the human embryos in a petri dish which are made for IVF implantation? Are those embryos "dead"? If they are dead, how can they attach and grow in the woman's womb when they are implanted? By your criteria, they are not alive. But then, what are they?

    Anyway, just pointing out the problems with tying human life to "a heartbeat".

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  177. MaryMargaret, thank you! I like your cool head and kind, true words. Keep commenting. :)

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  178. "The truth is, of course, that the curtness of the Ten Commandments is an evidence, not of the gloom and narrowness of a religion, but, on the contrary, of its liberality and humanity. It is shorter to state the things forbidden than the things permitted: precisely because most things are permitted, and only a few things are forbidden." - G. K. Chesterton

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  179. Yes, a conceived child doesn't need a heartbeat yet; but if it NEVER gets one it shrinks and ceases to exist. Before that it needs to divide PERFECTLY in order to become a potential human being. There are, of course, stories of people who have "died" and been brought back to life, however there is generally a time period that is the end-all.

    I, personally, would never get an abortion. I just don't think there is enough scientific research to stop a woman from doing so. There will always be the argument of when life beings; including in the professional fields. I guess that makes me wishy washy on the subject. My husband is prolife in the sense that he believes it is morally wrong but doesn't think he should be the one to judge what other people choose to do.

    I realize that abortion is a touchy subject and people like focusing on it. However, people tend to focus on abortion way more than they do children that are already here. A lot more should be focused on children that are suffering from abuse or starvation. (And that's not some plug to say to abort all children who could possibly be in that situation).

    -Chrissy

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  180. Chrissy, I'm sorry, you keep saying "potential human being." Why "potential"? Does a human woman's fertilized egg not have human DNA?

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  181. Hi Chrissy,

    Human embryos can and do "shrink and cease to exist" both before and after beginning a heartbeat, so I don't get your point in all honesty.

    Also, I have to correct you: There is no scientific argument on when human life begins. There may be argument (promoted by abortion advocates) as to when "personhood" begins, but no question on the biology of human life.

    In fact, medical science answered that question long ago. Go to this website (scroll down)...

    http://www.abort73.com/abortion/medical_testimony/

    ...and see quotes from no less than nine secular teaching textbooks on human embryology/prenatal development, two National Geographic prenatal development videos, statements from medical doctors and professors from institutions such as Harvard, the Mayo Clinic, UPenn, etc.

    However, people tend to focus on abortion way more than they do children that are already here.

    This is simply not true, with all due respect. The reason you see more of a movement to help the unborn is because they have no legal protection. 50+ million dead innocents is a big deal, and they have no one advocating for them but us. And pro-lifers are constantly helping children who are already born. Please, I hope you will take time to read this post, as it is so important to debunk the lies that are currently out there in the liberal press and in the universities and Hollywood, etc. It's simply not true. Take a look:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/03/pro-lifers-love-fetus-but-they-dont.html

    One more thing. I am certain that you husband is a good man. But would this statement ever apply to him:

    "My husband is {anti-slavery} in the sense that he believes it is morally wrong but doesn't think he should be the one to judge what other people choose to do."

    I am certain that you see the moral problem with that statement. I see it, too, but it's not only a moral problem with respect to slavery, but with respect to abortion, too. I hope you can see that.

    Tell your hubs we'd love to see him in the Bubble and we will give him the courage of his convictions! ;)

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  182. One more thing. The original purpose of abortion was for "safe, legal and rare" abortions. Clearly people DID have abortions back in the day but it wasn't readily accessible. I think that is the problem with our society. We have gotten to the point where we don't need to worry about being irresponsible because there is a quick fix somewhere.

    So although I wouldn't get an abortion I do think it should be "legal" for women who are raped (which is only about 1% of abortions) and for the "me vs the baby" dilemma. I think nowadays people abuse the system (surprise) and get them far too often. Of course this is also why I believe in education and contraception (when I believe you do not). Although I don't think we should glorify being irresponsible, we cannot stop them from being irresponsible.

    -Chrissy.

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  183. And I should clarify, I suppose: Does a human woman's fertilized egg (aka, the embryo inside of her) not have it's own UNIQUE human DNA?

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  184. Chrissy, do you believe that the widespread use of contraception has lessened the number of abortions or the need for them?

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  185. A question for everyone, not just College Student (!): does selfishness bring happiness?

    It has certainly been my own experience that to remain happy I must continually become less selfish and not allow it to creep back.

    I also see so many people who look so very unhappy; screaming at their children, being rude to their spouse or co-workers, or just going about with bitter faces. It appears to me that happiness cannot be gained by doing what ever you feel like all the time.

    Isn't hook-up culture selfish by its very nature? If it is selfish, and thus cannot bring happiness, shouldn't it be rejected out of sheer practicality?

    I am myself a very happy man with my beloved wife and six wonderful children. Almost every day brings more happiness, joy, and fun than I ever had as a single guy (or as a Jarhead, Giuseppe!). There are numerous members of my own family who brought incredible misery to themselves and others simply by always seeking their own pleasure without regard to others.

    So, what possible long-term benefits could selfishness bring me or anyone else?

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  186. You're reading into the use of "potential" too much. I've heard it used legally to fight the right to life as well.

    Just because someone thinks something is morally wrong doesn't mean they are going to join every movement they come across. That's best left to people born with that drive.

    I clearly don't have those statistics, I'm assuming you do. If people don't know how to properly use contraception (enter: education), it will do no good. The people I know who use it properly have never been pregnant (and I'm sure there are statistics on the other side of this).

    -Chrissy

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  187. Leila I think you are almost right regarding the rationale behind the "Sliding Scale" argument, but there's more to it than that. Prochoicers and feminists use the sliding scale not because they desire to harm someone, but more because they know they are going to in order to obtain their objective. Their objective is, as they see it, female autonomy: the ability of a woman to make her own decisions and not be chained to biology or custom. Of course those of us outside the leftist ideology can see the lie in that belief, that all people, for better or worse are chained to biology since we are embodied beings. That women already have autonomy with regards to pretty much any decision they would like to make, but autonomy doesn't mean escaping the consequences of one's actions. Inside the ideology, however, all one sees are 1. a terrible past in which women were oppressed, treated as slaves and breeding stock and denied basic human rights, and 2. that all of the rights attained by women in the present are constantly under threat by the (Christian, patriarchal, pro-life) enemy.

    The fight is so central in their minds that to concede even a small amount of ground to that enemy, to even consider, remotely the possibility that pro-lifers may have a point about what abortion is, and what it does, is to risk losing every possible freedom gained. It's as good as being a deserter. It took me one seminar with Stephanie Gray to be convinced that abortion was a bad thing, but to actually become pro-life, that took several years. I kept clinging to the old battle-mentality that sometimes abortion is necessary and I wasn't going to be considered "pro-life" since they were the bad guys. I didn't want to be a deserter, but I became one anyway. Having a baby does that.

    At the same time, though, prochoicers are human beings, with human consciences. They know that abortion ends a life, which is why they have their own tricked out system for how it should be defended (never claiming to be "pro-abortion" always framing the discussion in terms of "choice" and "reproductive freedom", telling horror stories about back-alley abortions, claiming to be "personally opposed but..") The sliding scale is part of that system. It is a kind of Pontius Pilate strategy to wash their hands of the issue and salve their conscience which is pricked every time the issue is brought up.

    The same strategies are used every time you see human atrocities committed in the name of some ideological cause. I studied the torture regimes in Latin America for years, and a consistent theme of those who supported the regimes was the belief that "torture is wrong...but we have to do it otherwise the Communists will take over the country, and anyways these people being tortured are terrorists and would destroy us". It's sometimes referred to as "dehumanizing the enemy" but I see it more as creating a discursive system by which one intellectually bypasses the moral implications of what one supports in the belief that the ultimate objective is a just one.

    Just my thoughts...

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  188. Chrissy, I did a short post showing how contraception always leads to abortion. And even the U.S. Supreme Court is on record admitting that contraception and abortion go hand in hand. Please, please, read the following. Contraception does not lessen the number of abortions. It makes abortion more prevalent, in fact. Please read:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/01/contraception-leads-to-abortion-come.html

    Your husband doesn't need to join any "movement" really. It's as simple as voting pro-life, perhaps donating to a crisis pregnancy center, and not encouraging or in any way supporting the abortion movement or legal abortion. He doesn't need to be a mover and shaker. Just do the basic things that don't even take effort.

    Did you look at the link to secular textbooks which clearly teach when life begins?

    Thanks!

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  189. Barbara, what you have said is so good that it really does deserve a post of its own!! I wish I had half your experience and insight!! If you put what you wrote on your blog, I will link it all over the place. :)

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