Friday, August 10, 2012

Quick Takes: Some outrages, some triumphs, including links to read over the weekend!



1) Abby Johnson (former Planned Parenthood director, now pro-life activist) posted this on her facebook a few days back, and it left me as stunned as she was:
This is ABSURD!! I just received this response from the American Cancer Society when I messaged them about their donations to Planned Parenthood. 
"The grants given to Planned Parenthood had the potential to do much good as Planned Parenthood delivers more children than any other medical practice in the U.S." 
WHAT??? Planned Parenthood "delivers" children??? REALLY??
Please let the American Cancer Society know the truth. Planned Parenthood delivers NO babies...they are only in the business of killing them.
I just can't believe that any Americans actually think that Planned Parenthood delivers babies, much less that a respected organization like the American Cancer Society would believe it! How can this be? This is the kind of ignorance we are up against.


2) But wait! There is even more insanity. I received an email on Tuesday from CatholicVote.org. Here's an excerpt:
Moments ago the ACLU decided to jump into our lawsuit challenging the HHS mandate on behalf of a private Catholic business owner in St. Louis. Not surprisingly, they are defending Secretary Sebelius and her attack on religious freedom…
The ACLU is arguing that any business owner that opposes the HHS mandate is no different than a racist shop owner that refused to serve African Americans in the past! 
You read that correctly. If you refuse to provide unlimited birth control, sterilizations, and abortion drugs -- for free -- you are a modern day segregationist! 
In their brief filed with the court, the ACLU argues that providing free birth control and abortion drugs are necessary to allow women to fully participate in society. They conveniently don't mention that these drugs and medicines are already widely available at virtually every drugstore in America. But that's not enough. We must be forced to pay for them too!
Now, this shouldn't surprise me, as I've written previously about the ACLU's anti-Christian agenda, but it's still hard to take.

3) However! There is good news, and it comes in the form of JoAnna's post in response to the ACLU's news that women can't fully participate in society unless they are neutered and/or made to be like men. I think the title speaks for itself (some of us are getting a little ticked off), and the body of the post will make strong women everywhere cheer:


Now, that's what it means to hear women roar!


4) Two blog posts from Marc Barnes at Bad Catholic caught my attention recently. The first, called In Defense of Things, has some thoughts in response to a New Age group offering an "ever-evolving" religion:
What then, is an ever-evolving religion? An ever-evolving religion, taken at its word, is a series of beliefs forever changing into other beliefs. Now I may be wrong here, but I’ll nevertheless stake my claim: A belief forever changing negates itself. One cannot hold an ever-changing conviction that something is true, or else it is by definition not conviction. It is a non-Thing.
As a fan of things, I recommend the rest, here.

But one of the bests posts I've read in a long time is this one:


Why do I love it? Because it's an excellent treatment of the "Beauty" part of this "Truth, Goodness and Beauty" thing I'm always touting. I tend to put emphasis on the True and the Good, but I am not so eloquent when it comes to a discussion of the Beautiful. Marc Barnes blew it out of the water. An excerpt:
And so we arrive at an oddity. Man is a creature who — considered materially – receives everything — all experience, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, poetry and metaphor – from the natural world. Yet he gazes on a crafted piece of marble and experiences a thing which has utterly no place within the natural world. He experiences infinity. 
He experiences infinity as such an integral and obvious fact that he can turn to another human and say: “This marble is priceless” and that human will understand and agree — the marble has a quality that no number, no amount of money or transaction of goods could reach. It’s so obvious and innate that a blogger can sit here and run his mouth about the very same infinity, and his readers will understand him, despite having no natural frame of reference.  

Oh, please. Do yourself a favor and go read the rest, here.


5) Okay, I know I've given you a lot of links to read. I apologize. But there is another, and it's important. This man's voice deserves to be heard. We hear so much from those who would have us wave the white flag of surrender (via force and bullying) regarding the good of true marriage, but voices like the very courageous Robert Oscar Lopez:


Many have dismissed my story with four simple words: “But you are conservative.” Yes, I am. How did I get that way? I moved to the right wing because I lived in precisely the kind of anti-normative, marginalized, and oppressed identity environment that the left celebrates: I am a bisexual Latino intellectual, raised by a lesbian, who experienced poverty in the Bronx as a young adult. I’m perceptive enough to notice that liberal social policies don’t actually help people in those conditions.
Lopez not only tells his own sad story, but he addresses the left's outrage (and campaign of career ruination) that came upon researcher Mark Regnerus for his recent study which shows less than favorable outcomes for children raised in gay households.


6) Okay, I have run across statements that have made me scratch my head, but this one has me baffled. On a recent facebook exchange, a liberal woman and I were debating the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses. I made the case that in the Founders' minds, "churches were to be protected from the state, not the other way around."

Her response:

lol. I agree, that was the idea...who knew we'd be where we are today where the state needs protecting from the churches! ;)

Okay, can anyone help me out? The state has the power to fine, tax, ruin, arrest, imprison, and even execute. It has the armed forces, the police forces, the IRS and the FBI, the HHS and Department of Homeland Security, plus a number of other agencies that can persecute, oppress and destroy churches and their ministries, believers and their businesses. The state can force compliance of any mandate on whim, and it can print as much money as it needs to keep it all going.

Churches have…. Preachers? Priests? Nuns? Sacraments? Bibles and catechisms? Soup kitchens, homeless shelters, hospitals, schools and universities? Online petitions? Blog posts and email alerts? Or maybe the scariest weapon of all (outside of Christ Himself!)… voters?

But seriously, folks, "the state needs protecting from the churches"??? Can someone help me make sense of that statement? I know she's not the only American to hold this view.


7) Let's find homes for some orphans!!! Two beautiful new faces to show you today, and then some fun news at the end.

First, take a look at sweet Yana, who is just one year old, and who has Down Syndrome with no medical complications! I want to eat her up!!

Click photo for more information on Baby Girl!!


And, oh my, look at Konner, an adorable three-year-old with spina bifida (who has had surgical corrections). Wouldn't he make someone a wonderful son? Look at that smile!

Click my photo for more information!
Both Yana and Konner are available to single moms, by the way! Please share their photos, and help us find their families!


Two more exciting things on the orphan front:

1) Oliver, my sweet, precious Oliver, has a $2,000 matching grant offered by an incredible family (mom, dad and baby boy) who have dwarfism, like Oliver does. They will match every single dollar donated to Oliver's adoption fund through August 19! Please check out their blog to learn more, here. Remember, a family is more likely to step up and adopt if they feel they have some financial ability to see it through, and Oliver needs out of that orphanage badly. It's not a good situation he's in….

2) Soooooooo excited about the Auction to Save Yulia and Elaine that has been running on facebook this week! Our own Meg has hosted it, and if you are lucky, you can own my childhood glass kitty set, or buy some of the cutest sealed and hand-painted Halloween gourds/ghosts you've ever seen. Over 80 quality items, most going for a steal, and it all ends on Sunday! Get going!!




This is Booy'all; one of a kind! More listed, all different

Children's mass kit!

A football rosary that you can custom make in the colors of your team, a 100% pashmina cashmere scarf going for half its value right now, and custom made (and shipped) Star Wars or Lego cookies, among many other fun items and treasures!

I'd put up all the pictures, but my typing hands are tired.



Thanks to Jen, for hosting!!




159 comments:

  1. Thanks for the linky love!

    No idea re: #6.

    #7 - SO FREAKING CUTE!

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  2. Your #6:
    I agree, that was the idea...who knew we'd be where we are today where the state needs protecting from the churches! ;)

    Good God. I never type "LOL", but I'm forced to here, after reading that comment. LOL LOL LOL LOL

    And this from your #2:
    In their brief filed with the court, the ACLU argues that providing free birth control and abortion drugs are necessary to allow women to fully participate in society.

    So, a woman "cannot fully participate in society" by abstaining or by practicing NFP? Wow, just what type of "full participation" are we all missing out on? Last time I checked, I have the same rights as women on birth control, and they have the same rights as me in order to "fully participate in society".

    Am I living in a parallel universe or has this world truly spun off its axis?

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  3. Planned Parenthood DOES deliver more babies - to death. To dumpsters. To medical waste.

    I sure hope Mr. Lopez has tenure. Even so, he might be crap out of luck. As far a Regnerus, no surprise there. Anyone who dare posits or does any valid research that two mommies or two daddies are far superior to nature-given one mom and one dad* is going to be vilified.

    Oh, but let's not look at nature, science, or what's in front of our faces.

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  4. I cannot believe that precious Yana is still on the list!! I remember when she first showed up on the list and she was just a little baby! Praying she gets chosen soon!

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  5. #1 - saw that & ranted to poor hubby about it. He was baffled.

    #2 - Wth???

    #6 - to quote Tom Hanks, "I don't even want to think about what they're NOT teaching you in school." I mean seriously.

    Omg I want both of those babies.

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  6. I was reading some of the comments on Jen's recent post of Blogher (the one she links to in her quick takes) and it's completely mind boggling. "Keep your religion out of politics" and similar stuff. What? As one commenter put it loosely quoting~ so you expect people to not vote according to their beliefs...that's stupid. Even though I don't agree with Jen. You really can't expect people to separate the two when they enter a voting booth.~

    Really. Are they that paranoid? Are they so afraid that people who differ are actually the majority? Are we slowly becoming communist now?

    It's like you said they are afraid of religion and religious voters. I feel like people think the US should morph into the USSR.

    All I have to say is if you don't like it then vote according to your own conscience or move elsewhere.

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  7. I thought this was a good thought in the Growing up with Two Moms article: "Many gays don’t realize what a blessing it was to be reared in a traditional home." Now given, many of those traditional homes were far from perfect, but many were also pretty close to standard.

    I also liked this, from the same article: "We have no choice but to take responsibility for what we do as parents, and live with the guilt, regret, and self-criticism forever." Boy, you sure don't have to be a bisexual Latino raised by lesbians to know what that feels like! :)

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  8. OK. I am about to take another facebook sabbatical and turn to prayer because it's comments like the one you shared at #6 that drive me bonkers and make me fear for our nation. Someone posted a picture of Barack Obama on her page yesterday with the following quote under it: "No, you can't deny women their basic rights and pretend it's about your "religious freedom". If you don't like birth control, don't use it. Religious freedom doesn't mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs."-Barack Obama

    There are so many things wrong with that statement I don't know where to begin. Shall we start with birth control somehow attaining the status of a basic right? Or should we talk about who is denying those rights, somehow (?) by simply refusing to pay for them. Or maybe we should discuss who is forcing who to live by certain beliefs. OR SHOULD WE TALK ABOUT HOW DAMN SCARY IT IS THAT WOMEN ARE EATING THIS CRAP UP LINE AND SINKER?!!!!

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  9. You know what I hate most about that quote, Manda? Obama never said it: http://stfuconservatives.net/post/17721189039

    Here is something Obama actually said:

    "But what I am suggesting is this - secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Williams Jennings Bryant, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King - indeed, the majority of great reformers in American history - were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause. So to say that men and women should not inject their 'personal morality' into public policy debates is a practical absurdity. Our law is by definition a codification of morality, much of it grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition." - "Call to Renewal" Keynote Address, June 28, 2006

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  10. JoAnna, wow, I had not read that quote before. He had some speech writer back then, one who has probably since been let go. '06 was when he still had to portray himself a certain way, and maybe back then he even believed it. His base would in no way allow him to get away with a speech like that now, and by now, either he feels free to to express what he really believes, or has, in fact, changed what he believes. I suspect it is the former.

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  11. Leila, I'm so glad your back from your hiatus. I've missed the HHS political comments so much that I actually read the decision (okay, just the dissent.) And then of course I griped about it in a post (because you weren't around) so allow me to quote myself "How is it logical exactly that regulating children is now under the regulating commerce powers of Congress?" ANd now ACLU accuses the Church of being a racist? My, my they need to learn what defines racism --its based on hate for differences on race. The Church is not serving birth control based on racial differences but conscience and love! As to #3, I just heard a homily that evolution is heresy because God created man so evolving beliefs are heresy. As for #6, your comment is too funny and true...watch out State, here comes the Church! HAHAHA.

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  12. I think my favorite quote from #5 is this:

    "Sex can be hurtful not only because of infectious diseases but also because it leaves us vulnerable and more likely to cling to people who don’t love us, mourn those who leave us, and not know how to escape those who need us but whom we don’t love."

    And I think he is totally correct about the left not getting this.

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    Replies
    1. I'm on the left and I totally get this.

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    2. But Johanne, then why are progressives so clearly in favor of sexual license? If you read any of PP's materials, they even encourage children and teens to act out sexually. There really is no way around it.

      Sex is sacred. It is to be used within the context of married love. That is how hearts and bodies and souls (and children) are protected. It's the wisdom of the ages, and it is also God's design. It's for our good.

      Delete
  13. The thing I never understand about #6 is why voting according to one's religious beliefs is less valid than voting according to one's secular ideological beliefs. They are both just matters of opinion about what is true, and one can not be proven objectively to be better than the other.

    It bugs me to no end when people assume that my opinions are based solely on blind faith when really my opinions are based on extensive reading/research I have done which happened to reaffirm the teachings of the Catholic Church, sometimes much to my surprise and often without the intent of the researcher/author.

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  14. Amazing comments, and great, great points! Thank you all. Keep 'em coming.

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  15. This is out of left field, but I love your kitty collection, Leila! You could sell that for vintage on Etsy! (Don't be insulted, anything under 1980 is considered vintage.)

    But I know you, you rather give it away! So excited for Sylvia's auction!

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  16. Becky, ha ha! I am surprised it's going for as much as it is! :) And, I think it's more like '82 or '83. But know that I know that, I'll try to dig up some vintage stuff!

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  17. Wait wait wait wait... the ACLU is equating businesses refusing to provide birth control, sterilizations, and abortion to refusing to serve African Americans?!?! When, in fact, the culture that has come about from birth control, sterilzations, and abortions has led to mass killings of African American babies in the womb?

    HOW DOES THAT EVEN MAKE SENSE?!?!?! Cmon ACLU... FIGURE IT OUT!!!

    /end rant.

    Konner is adorable. That smile... melts my heart. Oh my goodness!

    I had to end on a happy note like your quick takes! :)

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  18. #5 In a secular society why should anyone be concerned about non-existing creatures (potential babies) when referring to a social and legal union between two consenting adults? Sure, have the sacrament part for only those any given religion deems worthy, but that's no concern of the state.

    Okay, if you want to argue for the children I consider that a bogus argument because I don't believe children are a right therefore gay couples have no right to children. However, just because the outcomes for children may be less good in a gay household (and why this is, if it is, might be more important) it doesn't mean it is harmful, and if it isn't harmful then it is not the business of the state to interfere.

    #6.1 - Religions should not interfere in the political arena as they are tax exempt and that is their silence on secular law making/decisions is price they pay. Pay taxes, have your say. Religious people are people and can bring religious views into the public sphere by all means, even religious language (just so long as they don't do it in their secular role if they have one).

    #6.2 - The state need protection from religious people and influence. This is to ensure all people are able to participate and no-one is ostracised. Sure, it may appear the federal government is against religion(s) with its HHS mandate etc. but it also has IGWT on the money, a National Day Of Prayer, swearing in on Bibles, grants to faith-based groups, and the wording of the Pledge.

    At a more local level things become much clearer. From prayers (almost always Christian) at the start of public meetings/council meetings, creationism challenging science in local schools, the idiocy of the TSBOE, unconstitutional bans on office for those who don't profess a belief in a supreme being etc. etc. Religion is making huge inroads in areas where it had been rightly banished. The pro-constitutional challenges (and challengers) are being publicly abused in the media (and in person).

    The religious revolution comes not from religion vs. state, but from religious people and religious agendas taking over the state at all levels. People should go back and look at where this debate was when Kennedy was standing and how hard he had to fight to reassure Protestants that he would not be bringing his religion into the public sphere and not taking orders from the Vatican.

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  19. March Hare, for #5, then I am guessing you believe in the "romance" definition of marriage? Which has only been around(the view sans any connection to children)for about two seconds, historically? This article might help, as it has no religious appeals. It deals with what marriage has always meant, in every culture, time and place. It contrasts the novel "romance" view of marriage with the historical view:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/11/most-important-question-in-gay-marriage.html

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  20. #6.1

    I believe the tax-exempt status of churches prohibits campaigning or endorsing specific candidates. (Something that the liberal churches and candidates violate routinely, with impunity, by the way.)

    It does not in any way mean that churches and pastors cannot speak out against sin and the social ills of our day! If so, then forget the '60s civil rights movement! The preachers should have had no right to speak on it! No, they definitely have a right to speak on public morality and how it plays out. That's what priests and preachers do.

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    Replies
    1. I agree with what you say here. All I meant was if something is up for a vote they cannot specifically say vote for X, or threaten people (esp. politicians) with religious sanctions for voting or acting in certain ways within their role as representative of the people, e.g. ex-communication for voting yes on pro-abortion rights.

      Delete
  21. #6.2.... "religion has made huge inroads where it had rightly been banished." ??? What? I don't know where it had been banished! Are you talking about local gov't or school boards? This is a community issue that has gone back and forth. The Establishment Clause forbade a national Church, like you Brits have. It said nothing about states and local communities having to be "secular" in all their dealings, nor even the feds having to banish all religious prayers, official statements with references to God, etc. Clearly, we have that all over our monuments, all the Presidents have prayed in official capacity, every day of Congress starts with a prayer.

    All the movement and aggression has come from the secular side. You have not shown my why the state has anything to fear? Remember that list of absolute power that the feds have? You know... jail, fines, ruin (which is what the HHS mandate is set to do to Catholic organizations), etc.

    Weird how you can't see the lopsidedness in the balance of power between government and churches. You know, America was founded on freedom of religion, to get away from the power of the state in these matters. Freedom to follow one's conscience. No one had an issue with that until Obama....

    As for Kennedy: That was about anti-Catholicism in the nation! Not anti-Christianity. What we see today is simply more intense, more rabid anti-Catholicism, this time coming in the form of gov't coercion, backed by force of fines and jail. Nice.

    Sorry for typos, I am on a different computer that doesn't spell check and I have no time...

    Hope all that makes sense, though....

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  22. Leila, I don't believe in any form of marriage. And I have no particular reverence for the history of any term, only how it is applied in the here and now.

    Your article on marriage (I didn't go as far as gay marriage as it's irrelevant) is striking in that there are a couple of obvious inaccuracies, esp. "the importance of family": cuckoos ("You don't see birds just leaving their chicks to raise themselves, or be raised by some other bird"); turtles, flies, snakes ("even amongst those that are effectively polygamous, there's a real sense of family tied to the biological parents of the animal youth").

    Marriage was historically about protecting bloodlines and property. It had nothing to do with the wishes of the participants. Indeed, women were often seen as property, or sometimes their 'attractiveness' was tied to the wealth that came with them (e.g. they were the only child of a wealthy landowner). This is not, I think, something to be revered.

    So, my position is that marriage is, in a secular society, a social and legal binding of two people. All the standard legal, financial and medical assumptions that go along with it are things I wish I could separate out, and avoid all those financial ones were non-married people are forced by the state to subsidised married people.

    Incidentally, if you want to take some moral position on marriage, I'd start by throwing out all the Old Testament, not least of which is Deuteronomy 22:21, 22:28-29 (NB. There is a huge difference between saying Jesus completes the old laws and outright denouncing this nonsense.)

    Aside: phrases like "enshrine norms" are incredibly dangerous.

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  23. "I don't know where [religion] had been banished[from the public sphere]!"
    (Public) School prayer? (Exclusively) Christian religious symbols on public property e.g. nativity scenes? Creationism in schools? Religious tests for public office? Religious (i.e. Christian) exemptions for public employees from performing their duty? Exemptions from child neglect laws due to religious belief? I'm sure there are plenty more.

    Should still remove God from the money, the Pledge and the President saying "God bless America" all the time. And many others...

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  24. March Hare, thanks for your honesty! It always starles me when people say they want to abolish marriage altogether. I am guessing then that you consider the standard claim (that marriage and family is the first and most important cell of human society) so much rot? Any thought to the children's needs?

    Do you believe that moderns have much more wisdom than humans who came before? (Not scientific knowledge, but actual wisdom; undertanding of human nature, etc.)

    Careful when you attempt to exegete the Bible as an atheist! It can be embarrassing. I will leave you with Bad Catholic's latest on that:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/2012/08/so-you-still-think-homosexuality-is-sinful.html

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  25. March Hare, thanks for proving my point! All those are recent "banishments" of religious expression, pushed aggressively by the lawsuits of atheists. Many were the result of judicial activism, not the will of the people. And, as I've said, all of that is being aggressively pushed by one side. All the movement on the Church's side has been defensive. And yet the militant atheists march on with their lawsuits and coercion.

    Thanks, that's exactly the point I was trying to show.

    Can you imagine, the Church actually saying "Hey, stop your agression and lawsuits and threats and leave us alone?"

    What a concept! Not allowing the bullying! Or at least fighting back before they put you in the ground.

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  26. "You have not shown my why the state has anything to fear?"
    Then you, like I did earlier, misjudge what the problem is. It is not that the state has to fear religion, simply that those who like the state to be secular (which should include ALL religious people) should beware the infiltration of the state by people pushing religious agendas as the state will become religious. Once it becomes religious it will become sectarian. Then the real fun begins...

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  27. It is not that the state has to fear religion, simply that those who like the state to be secular (which should include ALL religious people) should beware the infiltration of the state by people pushing religious agendas as the state will become religious. Once it becomes religious it will become sectarian. Then the real fun begins...


    March Hare, this is an odd statement since the culture is running in the opposite direction! We are becoming more secular by the minute, and all the aggression, as I've said, is coming from one side. All the coercion and persecution is coming from one side, in the form of a very calculated strategy. If you think religious folk would celebrate their "cleansing" from society, I think you may need to get out of the house more. Sorry, but that is odd to me.

    I think the "real fun" is has already begun... And it's nasty and scary and like I said, has the full power of the state to enforce it. You are young. I just don't know what kind of history you have learned there in England, but if it's as bad as the last few decades of history here, we are in trouble.

    I think you will find the next post interesting.

    And thank you for admitting that the state does not have to fear religion.

    Believe me, religion has huge reason to fear the state. I feel sick almost daily, and I never EVER felt that way until the Obama administration.

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  28. It's just so weird to me that you agree with the lady who said that yes, our nation was founded on the premise that churches need protection from the state, and now "who could have imagined" that we are in a place where the state needs protection from the Church... and then you say that actually the state does not have to fear churches today... which is it?

    Also, what religious tenet is being forced on the state? Belief in Mary's Perpetual Virginity? A requirement that all Americans be baptized and receive the sacraments? A mandate that all attend Mass on Sunday? What "creeping" doctrine is in danger of infiltrating the state? And where are those bills proposing those impositions?

    I have asked, and never get answers from atheists.

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  29. Leila, I don't want to abolish marriage. If religious people want to have a sacrament for it, then go for it. If secular people want to have a ceremony and a legal sharing of their goods and rights then I wish them well. All I ask is that by doing so they don't get greater state benefits than those who don't, that they don't get forcibly subsidised by people who don't or can't get married and that they don't get rights from the state greater than non-married people.

    If marriage is a 'good thing' then it will be incentivised by its natural(?) benefits and/or society at large, what it shouldn't need is financial or legal benefits from the state.

    The individual is the most important cell of human society. The most stable collection of individuals tends to be the family, for biological reasons.

    Children are problematic for all systems. The best I have thus far come up with is that if the state wishes to have an interest in children's welfare, and the rights of parent(s), then there must be an opportunity for the state to take the duty of the child when the child is born at the request of the parent(s). Parent(s) not accepting this offer are understood to have thus accepted a duty of care for the child. Any breach of this will be prosecuted by the state on the child's behalf up to the sanction of removing the child, whereupon the state accepts the duty of care the parent(s) was(were) unable/unwilling to provide, or transfer it to the other parent should they be not living together. It's really hard to condense my libertarian view of children into a combox...

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  30. "We are becoming more secular by the minute"
    Great!
    "and all the aggression, as I've said, is coming from one side. All the coercion and persecution is coming from one side"
    Ah, you mean the fake outrage and claims of a "War on Christmas"? No? You mean those evil secularists trying to uphold the Constitution? Grrr...
    "If you think religious folk would celebrate their "cleansing" from society"
    Yip, there's nothing more those pushing to stop religious prejudice out of the state want than religion purged from society. Or, ya know, maybe what they actually want is the state to stop getting involved in ecumenical matters.

    "And it's nasty and scary and like I said, has the full power of the state to enforce it."

    My age is not relevant, but where I come from is. When people are attacked because the school they went to begins with "St." or the colour of sports shirt they wear then localised sectarianism is bad enough. When the state starts persecuting certain areas, when jobs are only open to people from certain religions (again, due to the "St." of the school name it's easy to tell) and people start getting shot for protesting these sectarian injustices then, then you can start to understand what religious persecution is. Ask a Northern Irish Catholic from the 1970's what religious persecution looks like. Heck, ask a NY Muslim trying to legally build a community centre what it looks like when its by the people rather than the state.

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  31. Um, you mean the secularists' interpretation of the Constitution? Obviously, I believe, as do many, that the secular interpretation is all screwy. There were never problems with religious expressions earlier in the nation…. Suddenly, we've all been misunderstanding! Freedom of religion actually means freedom FROM religion, and reworked to a narrower "freedom of worship" (keep it to yourselves, Christians).

    Nope, not buying that.

    And, your secularism is as much a religion as any other…. in fact, it's less tolerant and more militant.

    If you could go back and tell me (cut and paste), which of the Supreme Court's statements was illogical? Thanks!

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  32. One more thing… You (or the state) don't get to decide what is important to me in expressing my religion, and how much persecution is okay, and how much is "too much". Not your call. Not the state's call.

    If I am put in a position by the state to actively do something (that has never been asked of me before!) that causes me directly to sin and put my soul in jeopardy, or else lose my business and be ruined…. well, I consider that unacceptable in a free country. That is persecution, and it's akin to the gov't shoving the Eucharist down your throat, and making you join the seminary.

    I wouldn't allow that to happen to you. Too bad you and your co-religionists (secularists) would sell out my freedom for $9 worth of easily accessed contraceptives.

    Pathetic state we are in.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Which ties nicely into responding to your other comment - the majority do not get to decide the rights of the minority. Hence these so-called activist judges who, evil men that they are, in upholding the Constitution are going against the will of the majority....

    You want school prayer, religious tests for state employees, exemptions for religious cruelty, punishment for blasphemy, religious discrimination in employment or any religious laws then get a Constitutional Amendment, that's the only way you can have the will of the (super) majority override the rights of the minority.

    The state does not need to fear churches, it needs protection for them lest it become a branch of them. Churches need protection from the state lest it try to destroy them or promote a single one. The only system that does this is a strong secular government and vigilant citizens. This is why the people who stand up against apparently minor religious infringements of the 1st Amendment are patriots, not pests.

    "...what religious tenet is being forced on the state?"
    Well, a couple of states require a belief in a supreme being to serve. Others require swearing in on a Bible and will not (without a lawsuit) allow an affirmation. Army rifles with Biblical inscriptions! US Armed Forces handing out Bibles in Arabic! US service(wo)men being punished for not attending religious services. Military evaluations with a spiritual component. Exemptions for religiously-affiliated businesses (not religious organisations!) from laws that apply to all other businesses. Exemptions from various local laws for religious organisations e.g. building/planning restrictions. There used to be lots of limits on what one could do on the Sabbath. Sorry for the number of military ones, they just seem more recent and more directly dangerous.

    ReplyDelete
  34. MH, it's a little weird discussing all this with a non-American.

    But tell, me, did George Washington just not "get it"? Was he just really thick?

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/11/i-guess-george-washington-didnt-get.html

    Truly, how do you explain this?

    And, all your examples are things that have been in place and that atheists are trying to undo. So again, you have not shown any movement on the other side. All the movement is coming from the militant secularists! They are the aggressors, so what's this nonsense about our side "forcing" anything? All the movement is on your side!

    Do you know that Priests for Life was not considered "religious" enough for the magnanimous exemption? Laughable! Thankfully, Fr. Pavone is courageous enough to defy the state. Let them jail the priests and bishops and the nuns of this nation.

    And the idea that the state can tell a religious man who owns a company that he MUST PAY for a service he has never before been required to provide, in full violation of his conscience, or face ruin… the fact that you are okay with that is shocking. And mind you, this product is accessible and available to all, cheaply, right down on every corner. There is no problem with "access"! This is all about the politics of abortion, MH, and nothing more. The sexual rights crowd will force compliance to their ideology, all others be damned.

    If you answer nothing else, please, tell me how George Washington misunderstood the document of his day so badly, and the nature of the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses. Was he just a dummy?



    ReplyDelete
  35. "You (or the state) don't get to decide what is important to me in expressing my religion"

    Actually, the state very much does. Hence female circumcision is not allowed (of children at least), child sacrifice, not taking a sick child to a doctor and instead praying over them - oh wait, in some places that is allowed!, but not all. You want to sacrifice animals to your god, you have to make sure you comply with various animal welfare regulations. Want to bury a loved one in your back yard, sorry, the state doesn't allow that.

    "your secularism is as much a religion as any other"
    Not exactly. I want to limit what the state can do, so if it can do little it certainly shouldn't be deciding on religious matters. I know there are those actively pushing to use the state for what may seem like anti-religious purposes but by-and-large I'm against these measures as I don't like using the state for anything.

    But... where is this aggression you claim? Where is the 'militant'? Using the law to push an understanding of the Constitution is a patriotic act. Your congress is 90% Christian, your senate 95% and so is your President. Where do you think these laws come from?

    Why do you think there are so many tiny lawsuits looking for small changes to apparent breaches? Your Christian privilege is showing.

    In terms of the HHS and Obamacare, would you be okay if it were a single payer system?

    ReplyDelete
  36. George Washington, and for that matter Thomas Jefferson, really didn't get it.

    Do I claim to know more than both these great men? Your damn right I do, and so does any 10 year old when it comes to evolution.

    Without evolution the existence of a creator deity (Jefferson) or God (Washington) is a reasonable assumption. Humans are complex, it is almost unthinkable that such complexity could have arisen by chance so their views were not unreasonable of their time.

    Had Jefferson known of Darwin's work he would almost certainly have been an atheist, as it was he was a deist and found most religions, as practised, abhorrent, not least Christianity. Washington I know less of, but access to the knowledge that there is a process that could, and did, lead to man from simpler creatures he may have been moved towards deism.

    "And the idea that the state can tell a religious man who owns a company that he MUST PAY for a service he has never before been required to provide, in full violation of his conscience, or face ruin…"

    The real problem here (I can't be bothered getting into the minutiae of the bill and who must pay what, for who, when) is that employment and insurance are tied. Employee health benefits should, and must, be separated out from the employer and given, as salary to the employee. People can then buy insurance (and have a tax rebate when they do so to the value of the current benefit) if they desire, in any product they desire. This removes all religious problems (companies would start Islamic or Catholic schemes) and reduces the power employers have over employees (and their families!)

    ReplyDelete
  37. I don't think insurance should be removed from employment. You forget part of our ability to get the coverage at the cost we get is because our company (a large number of people) has more leverage than just a single family.

    When we have problems with the insurance companies it is often our companies which help us out. Not to mention it is best for the employers because they can make sure their employees are getting the healthcare they need.

    ReplyDelete
  38. MH, I didn't ask if you thought they got their theology right, I asked if you think they didn't understand their own Constitution? Hello? Regarding expression and exercise of religion in a man's life and in the public square.

    And gimme a break on the female circ and animal sacrifice. My refusing to cooperate in an evil (i.e., asking people to go buy their own contraception if they want it) is the same as letting someone die or mutilating them? Hello? No one has a "right" to have someone hand them contraception! No one's human rights are being violated when I don't buy them contraception. And you know it.

    Wait. But then again, you must believe that "rights" are things that the gov't creates, gives and takes away. Again, not what our Constitution says. We have a very different understanding of "rights" and where they come from. Perhaps you believe it's a human right that people be provided with cars and iPhones as well as contraceptives. After all, we can hardly function without either, eh?

    Where do rights come from, MH?

    Anyway, my five year old knows that my right to freedom of conscience and religion is greater than someone's "right" to have me pay for her IUD.

    And, I absolutely agree that insurance should not be tied to employment, but should be portable. Lots of good solutions, but the left wants single payer so that we can have more federal government control and mandates. No, thanks.



    ReplyDelete
  39. Using the law to push an understanding of the Constitution is a patriotic act. Your congress is 90% Christian, your senate 95% and so is your President. Where do you think these laws come from?

    To push an understanding? Try, "to push an agenda" and coerce others' consciences and "cleanse" the public square of Christians who actually still practice their faith.

    Many Christians in office do not actually follow Christian teaching, dontcha know? I can call myself a vegan, but if I eat meat, well, am I really a vegan? Methinks, no. Again, my five year old can see that.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hi, again, Leila! The Regnerus study doesn’t show “less than favorable outcomes for children raised in gay households.” It shows less than favorable outcomes for children who had one parent who had at least one same-sex relationship (of any duration) before they were 18. That’s a BIG difference.

    In fact, the majority of his LM and GF subjects were not raised in “gay households.” Only 2 lived with a gay parent and her partner for their entire childhood. Only a handful more lived with a gay couple for at least 13 years. That’s not a generalizable sample, but for the record, in Regnerus’ words, “these 10 fared better on more outcomes than did their less stable peers.”

    I've taken on the Regnerus study here:

    http://letterstothecatholicright.tumblr.com/post/24969629528/mark-regnerus-did-not-kill-the-dragon

    BTW, Marc Barnes is a great writer. Thanks for linking him!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Frank, you are right about one thing: That grand social experiment's effects on children won't be known for many decades at least. Let's just cross our fingers and hope everyone's okay. Because as we know, the kids of donor sperm are not okay. And the kids in the Regnerus study are not okay.

    Let me ask you: How do the stable gay couples that you envision raising children from scratch get those children? Let's start there, and then continue the conversation. Because you feel sure that the stability of an "always-married" gay couple will lead to good outcomes for the children. But, right off the bat, the children can not have been born to a mom and a dad to begin with, in your scenario, right? How are they getting these children?

    Also, would you agree that all things being equal, parenting roles can be performed well by very caring, loving orphanage workers?

    Thanks!



    ReplyDelete
  42. "You (or the state) don't get to decide what is important to me in expressing my religion"



    “Actually, the state very much does. Hence female circumcision is not allowed (of children at least), child sacrifice, not taking a sick child to a doctor and instead praying over them - oh wait, in some places that is allowed! but not all. You want to sacrifice animals to your god; you have to make sure you comply with various animal welfare regulations. Want to bury a loved one in your backyard, sorry, the state doesn't allow that.”

    Thank you March!

    Leila I don’t understand why you find this comparison offensive. The premise that the state couldn’t or should make you do something against your conscious is ridiculous. Rastafarians smoke weed as a way to worship God. Not only is their freedom of worship denied to them, they have to pay taxes that help prosecute drug criminals. Mormons are forbidden by Law from entering into polygamous marriages which help them obey God’s commandant to be fruitful and multiply. Does the persecution of the Rastafarians and Mormons disgust you?

    ~CS

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  43. Let me try to illustrate it this way, March Hare and CS:

    Imagine this is the government talking:

    To those who would female circ or offer child sacrifice:
    "You are not allowed to mutilate or kill children."

    To those who would withhold blood transfusions or lifesaving treatment for a child:
    "You are not allowed to let your child die."

    To Catholics:
    "You are not allowed to NOT provide free contraception to all your employees."

    One of these things is not like the others. Can you see which one?

    If you can't see any distinctions there (i.e., prohibiting an action vs. forcing an action; protecting someone's basic human rights vs. paying for someone's sexual choices by giving them for free what they can already go buy on their own), then we are in deep doo-doo.

    Critical thinking is so lacking. But if you look at my most recent post, which has been met by "crickets" from the atheists here so far, we might begin to see why we are so lacking in higher thought and wisdom.

    And before you accuse me of saying I have big, complicated ideas, and that I think no one can understand them, CS, it's exactly the opposite. The wisdom of the ages is quite simple and beautiful. But we have cut off half of ourselves when we become materialists and pleasure-seekers, and when we are connected to nothing that has come before.

    But I digress. That is on the latest post….

    ReplyDelete
  44. http://www.jillstanek.com/2012/08/pro-life-video-of-the-day-contraception-question-stumps-obama-fans/

    But please, CS, I would love to know how you would answer the question that these Fluke/Obama supporters could not.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Leila, your no true Christian fallacy doesn't wash. The vast, vast majority of legislators are Christians. You want to play Catholic-specific persecution then that's fine, but just remember I come from a country where it is still a thing by Protestants, so just make it important enough to raise a brow.

    "I asked if you think [Washington {and by my addition Jefferson}] didn't understand their own Constitution?"
    I think that they made the best of what they knew. I think they were horrifically wrong on some things and yet amazingly prescient on others. We should evaluate everything they said and not give undue deference or ignore anything they had to say.

    I've read Thomas Paine and he goes to great lengths to explain and praise something I am pretty sure doesn't exist, but it doesn't detract from those arguments that still make sense. Tackle the argument, not the man.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Whoa, MH, don't put words into my mouth. I never said "no true Christians", did I? I said:

    Many Christians in office do not actually follow Christian teaching, dontcha know? I can call myself a vegan, but if I eat meat, well, am I really a vegan? Methinks, no. Again, my five year old can see that.

    Very simple. Are there many Christian in Congress? Yes. And many good non-Christians who do not seek to marginalize Christians and who believe in conscience protections. Thank God. There are others who claim Christianity but…. we all get it.

    The best of what they knew? They were the authors of the Constitution… hello?

    Anyway, hopefully you have read the Federalist Papers.


    ReplyDelete
  47. Why do I believe the government should pay for what goes on inside your bedroom?

    Because Government de facto pays for what goes on inside your bedroom and we as taxpayers can pick up up the cheap bill (contraception) or the expensive bill (babies) The idea that we shouldn't pay for other people's sex lives is both insane and impossible. If a woman gives birth in a hospital without insurance the taxpayers are stuck with a 10k bill! Headstart programs, primary education social workers all exist to pay for people's sex lives.

    If I have to pay taxes for healthcare, roads, schools, pollution, ect. because people wanted to have unprotected sex, then they should pay taxes for me to have protected sex

    ~CS

    ReplyDelete
  48. Leila: "Many Christians in office do not actually follow Christian teaching, dontcha know?"

    me: "The vast, vast majority of legislators are Christians"

    Leila: "Are there many Christian in Congress? Yes. And many good non-Christians who do not seek to marginalize Christians and who believe in conscience protections. Thank God. There are others who claim Christianity but…."

    So you are saying that they're not Christian, but claim to be Christian? But you're not playing the no-good Christian card?

    It's not an issue I care for or wish to pursue, but if you're playing the Christian victim card (and you are!) then I should at least try to refute it if I believe it false.

    ReplyDelete
  49. March Hare - "Going to church doesn't make one a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes one a car." - G.K. Chesterton

    CS - Why should I have to pay for your contraception if you can keep your pants on for free?

    ReplyDelete
  50. JAW, awesome. Please tell me one thing you disagree with the Catholic Church about.

    JAW, Please tell me the strongest agreement you have with the Catholic Church (and if possible why, but that's more personal than I wanted to get so don't feel I really want to know).

    ReplyDelete
  51. PS. It's late over her so I must bid you good night and sweet dreams. It's been a pleasure and I apologise if my forthrightness has been taken as hostility, it was not my intent.

    (JoAnna, it did, I hope I didn't offend.)

    ReplyDelete
  52. No offense taken, I just wasn't sure - usually people just call me "JoAnna."

    To answer your questions - (1) Nothing, (2) Everything

    ReplyDelete
  53. MH, you said that I claimed there were "no true Christians" in Congress, or something like that. So, let me repeat:

    "Many Christians in office do not actually follow Christian teaching, dontcha know? I can call myself a vegan, but if I eat meat, well, am I really a vegan? Methinks, no. Again, my five year old can see that."

    Would it make it better if I said, "Many Christians do not know why they are Christians do not believe many of the tenets of Christianity,and in fact are embarrassed by Christianity and Christ, except when it gets them some votes. Also, there are many nominal Christians in office, but their faith is something they keep on the shelf."

    You think all self-professed Christians actually practice their faith, MH? Or know it? Or care?

    I'm guessing most people get my point. I hope you will think on it a bit. Or clarify what your beef is?

    ReplyDelete
  54. CS - Why should I have to pay for your contraception if you can keep your pants on for free?

    This is what I mean by simple wisdom!

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  55. Joanna,

    Same reason I have to pay taxes for public schools, and assistance for children whose parents should have used a condom if they couldnt afford kids

    ~CS

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  56. But CS, if the question is cost-effectiveness, instead of human dignity, then let's really save some money by putting a bullet through the heads of anyone over 70, or anyone who is sick and needs a lot of help. A bullet is much cheaper than wasting money on human beings who are a lot of trouble.

    ReplyDelete
  57. CS, doesn't it sort of embarrass you as a supposedly strong woman that someone else has to buy your contraception so that you can fornicate? Is that what it means to be a feminist now: Sniveling and whining that someone else has to take care of things for them instead of being independent women going down to Walgreens to get their own condoms with their own money (or get the loser boyfriend slacker to get a freaking job and buy his own condoms; what kind of men are these)? I find that very sad and wimpy for a woman, not strong at all.

    ReplyDelete
  58. To answer your questions - (1) Nothing, (2) Everything

    Ditto here! One questions and wrestles with things until one finds Truth. Then, one can stop and rest in that Truth, even while diving deeper in. When I finally realized what the Church was, I was totally free. Truth makes sense and I'm still pinching myself, seventeen years later. It's still like a dream. :)

    ReplyDelete
  59. Leila,

    First I don't take hormonal contraceptives

    Second, would i find it weak to have a prescription covered under my insurance that I pay premiums for?...umm noo, I don't consider it weak that my acne or allergy meds are subsidized under the insurance I bought and paid for with my own money either, so I can't imagine feeling weak about my birth control.

    Do you feel like a weak sniveling mother because you have to rely on the taxes of others to educate your children.... I sincerely doubt it...

    ~CS

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  60. False analogy, CS. We have an obligation to support the human beings who are already in existence and who do not bear any responsibility for the circumstances of their conception.

    You, however, are an adult woman fully capable of making the choice to have sex knowing full well the natural consequences of sex (babies). So I ask again, why should I pay for your contraception when you can choose to keep your pants on for free?

    If you want to purchase contraception yourself, you have the free will to do so, but I don't believe you should be able to force me to subsidize your immorality.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Ditto here! One questions and wrestles with things until one finds Truth. Then, one can stop and rest in that Truth, even while diving deeper in. When I finally realized what the Church was, I was totally free. Truth makes sense and I'm still pinching myself, seventeen years later. It's still like a dream. :)

    Nine years later for me! :)

    ReplyDelete
  62. Coupla problems, CS. First, if you have watched the debate play out, it's been constant whining by (frankly, well-off privileged) feminists that women just have to get free contraception. You know, they can't somehow get it on their own! Want some cheese with your whine, ladies?

    Actually, unlike fornication, educating children is not immoral. :) And, I have paid much more in taxes than I've used public schools. I have paid for private schools every year, multiple children, while at the same time paying my taxes to provide for public schools. Also, I have homeschooled as well, so no one was subsidizing my kids' education. When my kids do transition to public schools in the upper years, they've gone to charter schools which provide a better education than the regular public schools around here, while receiving much fewer taxpayer dollars per student, and no capital funding. So, nope, I don't feel like a weak or sniveling mother.

    Bottom line, pay for your own contraception. I should not be forced to subsidize your sins. And again, what kind of losers do these feminists date that they won't even pick up the birth control tab after they are done using the girl?

    ReplyDelete
  63. JoAnna,

    you have a personal objection to paying for people's contraception. Fine. I respect that. But some people, myself included, have a personal objection with people not using contraception and expecting us to subsidize their decisions. If you don't want to pay for my sex life with whomever, completely fine, but please don't expect me to pay for yours and your husbands.

    Like you said you are a grown woman with free will. You know (unprotected) sex makes babies so If you make that decision don't expect the taxpayers to subsidize your decision. Your kids and whatever their needs are, are on you.

    ~CS

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  64. Leila,

    if you don't want BC to be covered under insurance, thats ok.

    But for the love of God stop saying its free.

    You are too smart a woman to keep saying that women are demanding free birth control. Women are demanding that birth control and reproductive services not be excluded from health insurance. I know this is hard to believe but Catholics arent the only ones who pay health insurance, slutty young girls pay it for it too. We pay hundreds of dollars for health insurance and as 20 somethings use few other health services besides contraception.

    Working a job that provides insurance and paying hundreds of dollars in premiums when you are relatively healthy and wanting the one form of medication you take covered is not wanting a handout not even close.

    ~CS

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  65. The difference between us, CS, is that I don't expect you to pay for my sex life, nor do I think your Church should be forced to go against Her conscience to subsidize it.

    I'm more than willing to support any children who may be created due to poor choices, because it's not the kid's fault that his/her parents chose to be irresponsible. Also, many parents fell into hard times after the fact and I have no problem giving those folks a step up and a helping hand, either.

    As Leila pointed out, educating children is not immoral; in fact, educating children BENEFITS society. Contraception does not because it only encourages immorality and irresponsible behavior under the guise of an alleged safety net. But with 54% of women who claim to have contracepted getting abortions at Planned Parenthood, that safety net is an illusion.

    You also have the free will to be as irresponsible with your sex life as you choose. I can't stop you from being stupid. I do, however, refuse to subsidize your stupidity, and I resent Obama telling my Church as well as Catholic business owners and organizations that they have to subsidize immorality or face ruinous fines.

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  66. Amen, JoAnna.

    CS, let me try it this way. Of course it's a sill analogy, but let's say that there is an established world religion that has held for 2,000 years that wearing deodorant is immoral. And supplying it to others is immoral, too. Let's say I think that is bunk, and I use deodorant all the time. But let's say that one day the federal government started forcing folks of this faith, who own businesses, to start paying extra to companies to provide free deodorant to all employees. With company money. This is a complete violation of this established religion, and the business owner's (silly) belief is that supplying said deodorant will risk his soul for eternity. Now, the kicker is that there is unlimited access to deodorant on every street corner in America. No one in the nation cannot get it and get it easily. In fact, I can't think of a person I've ever known that can't easily access all types and varieties of deodorant, from the cheap to the good-quality, in every quantity and to suit every need. Only water is more prevalent in our society (and iPhones).

    I can tell you without hesitation that even as a deodorant user, who would "benefit" from the free deodorant, I would NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS side with the government on that issue. I would defend that businessman and that company and that religion, and I would expect his employees to buy their own damned deodorant and leave this man's conscience free! Even if I thought it would be super cool to get free deodorant!

    (And yes, it's free to you. That is how it's been touted by the Obamanites forever. No co-pays! No extra costs! Free!)

    I simply cannot believe how selfish this nation has become and how sniveling. That's it in a nutshell: Selfish. Seriously, it's childish that you (generic you) demand your "medication" (huh? What is the pathology that a condom cures, exactly? That's not health care.) at the expense of another person's freedom of conscience and religion. Shameful. Go buy your own damn contraception.

    Seriously.

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  67. But some people, myself included, have a personal objection with people not using contraception and expecting us to subsidize their decisions. If you don't want to pay for my sex life with whomever, completely fine, but please don't expect me to pay for yours and your husbands.

    This is a bizarre statement, because never in history has it been seen as irresponsible for two happily married, self-suffient people to conceive babies and grow a functional family. In fact, such a thing actually benefits society. Did you know that the more stable and mature and independent and functional a child is, the more productive he will be and the more he will contribute to a stable, virtuous, prosperous society? That benefits all of us.

    Sorry if I sound annoyed, but do you know how backwards this all is? That my husband and I, or other married couples, bearing and raising good, functional kids with good values, are somehow being irresponsible toward society?

    This is crazy, Alice-down-the-rabbit-hole talk, and I think on some level you know this.

    ReplyDelete
  68. "How are they getting these children?"

    The same ways infertile straight couples are getting children.

    "Also, would you agree that all things being equal, parenting roles can be performed well by very caring, loving orphanage workers?"

    Wait. Are you equating adoptive families with orphanages?

    ReplyDelete
  69. The same ways infertile straight couples are getting children.

    Name those ways if you would. (And you are right that gay couples are "infertile". 100% of the time, according to biology. Men and men (and women and women) are not meant to have children together.)

    Even some gay couples understand this, though they have selfishly gone ahead and obtained children (as commodities). As Elton John said of his son:

    “It’s going to be heartbreaking for him to grow up and realise he hasn’t got a mummy.”

    And yet, he went out of his way to make sure that the baby was manufactured that way on purpose. At least his conscience is still working.

    Wait. Are you equating adoptive families with orphanages?

    Nope, I'm equating biological families with them, too. If parenting is not about mothers and fathers, and it's merely about roles to be filled and tasks to be accomplished (remember, mothers and fathers are interchangeable, no difference there), then even an orphanage worker can do those roles, if done well, correct? Even as good as a biological family. So, I ask again:

    Would you agree that all things being equal, parenting roles can be performed well by very caring, loving orphanage workers?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I said: Nope, I'm equating biological families with them, too.

      In my question I'm equating them, that is. For purposes of discussion only. You know that I don't equate parents with orphanage workers. Just to make that clear.

      Delete
  70. Joanna and Leila,



    I really don’t want to fight but I feel your tone was pretty antagonistic so okay….

    Let me get this straight

    Married Catholic women, many of whom don’t work, and are part of that infamous 50% of Americans who pay no income taxes, who send their ten
    Kids to public school and public state and federally funded universities, are strong independent women?

    Single women who make their own damn money and you know actually pay income taxes and pay for their own insurance and want the most widely perscribed pills to their age group, covered under insurance are whiney godless whores.

    You. Err your sugar daddy aka your husband paid taxes which are enough to cover the schooling and other public costs associates with raising 5 to 10 human beings. No one else paid for your kids dammit it.

    Yet my taxes and insurance didn’t have enough buying power to buy one years worth of my birth control. I did not pay for it, you. paid for that right?

    When you don’t use contraception and get married young and have babies young (and poor) you are adding to society.

    When I use contraception and delay childbirth till after I have finished professional school and become a doctor or lawyer and serve my community as more than a diaper changer nothing is added to society?

    ReplyDelete
  71. “I can't stop you from being stupid. I do, however, refuse to subsidize your stupidity…. And again, what kind of losers do these feminists date that they won't even pick up the birth control tab after they are done using the girl?


    What is this if not intentionally antagonistic and mean spirited? Joanna, You made society subsidize your stupidity when you got pregnant and needed welfare but I would never tell you that.


    ~CS

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  72. There is no way to feasibly streamline legal conscious rights for everyone. I am sure paying their employees minimum wage is against the Koch brother’s consciousness. I am extra sure paying for the DEA is a violation of Rastafarian’s conscious., I don’t know of a way to make this work without giving every individual a personal license to break any law or avoid any tax they wanted.

    ~CS

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  73. And again, what kind of losers do these feminists date that they won't even pick up the birth control tab after they are done using the girl?

    First of all College Student, I said this part, not JoAnna. She did say the first part.

    Secondly, wow, you sure do have incredible disdain for motherhood. That is sad. Does your mother know how little value you place on what she sacrificed in raising you? Or your grandmothers?

    Thirdly, you are missing something HUUUUUUUUUUUGE. I wrote about it here:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2012/04/if-little-catholic-bubble-had-handbook.html

    Specifically, let me excerpt the part that when I read it, I thought of you. Not kidding, I thought, "I want College Student to understand this". Here it is, from Rebecca Ryskind Teti:

    "In Redeeming Economics, John Mueller points out that there are two forms of capital. Physical capital, such as production plants, machinery, and computers, which includes all of the items businesses invest in so as to be able to operate. Because businesses employ people and generate wealth, we give them incentives to keep investing in capital. There is also human capital: the minds and muscles of people who design, create, or labor in various businesses.

    Mueller performs a rough calculation and concludes that two-thirds of wealth creation is a product not of physical, but human, capital. At present we don’t incentivize investment in human capital. We don't for example, provide the same tax breaks for educating a young person that we do for buying a Mac. This means that every adult whom a stay-at-home mom sends into the workforce is an enormous gift of wealth she’s given her country….

    There was a time when each household had to provide everything for itself. Economy, in fact, comes from the Greek word for household management, and it refers to all the activity necessary for a household to have what it needs. Each family planted crops, hunted game, spun its own cloth, and so forth in a division of labor that assured that everyone in the household had what he or she needed to live well. And a household typically included not only a nuclear family, but also extended relatives and servants, because it took a lot of people to perform all the necessary tasks.

    “Business” is a form of task specialization by which the household outsources to others what it used to have to do by itself. Increasing specialization of this kind has led to massive changes in social organization, but it hasn’t changed the essential nature of the activity, which is to provide households with what they need to live well. We don’t talk about economics in these terms because we have become philosophical materialists, interested only in what and how, never concerning ourselves with the questions of origin (Why does this arise?) or purpose (To what end is it ordered?). It’s not necessary for a woman to “contribute” to the world of work. The world of work exists to be sure she has what she needs for her family."

    Okay, it's Leila again here. College Student, I am not sure how much of that you learned in your Women's Studies classes (probably none of it), but what she is saying is similar to what we are talking about in the most recent atheist post. I hope you will check that out. It's sad how little we (and I include me) have been taught, and yet we think we know so much. Really, we must never stop learning, and we should do so humbly, with some deference for the intellectual and moral giants whose shoulders we stand on. And with some respect for our mothers and grandmothers.

    Meanwhile, a question, and it's quite sincere: Instead of forcing Catholic employers to provide you with your birth control, why not just get your boyfriend to pay for it? Why does he make you pay for it?







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  74. There is no way to feasibly streamline legal conscious rights for everyone.

    Um, actually CS, there was no clamoring for this. No one was begging for it. No one was demanding it (save for a few feminists who didn't want to go to Walgreens). Really, it's something that came up for no reason other than abortion politics, and no one had to do this. It was a shock and unnecessary. So, your premise strikes me as odd since it was a non-issue and we could have all gone along quite happily as it stood.

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  75. Leila,

    I don’t disrespect the work mothers do at all. Stay at home women do a lot of things. But pay income taxes they do not. I very much see irony with women who pay no incomes taxes chastising me for leeching the system.

    “Meanwhile, a question, and it's quite sincere: Instead of forcing Catholic employers to provide you with your birth control, why not just get your boyfriend to pay for it? Why does he make you pay for it?”

    I am not on birth control nor is my employer catholic. I do not stand to benefit from this provision of the ACA.

    But if I have health insurance that covers breast augmentation and I do, I expect it to cover pretty much everything else. If my employee health insurance will cover me being a dumb ass and getting injured while drunk driving or smoking and giving myself lung cancer, I se no reason for it to get all moralistic on my sex life.

    I imagine generally speaking women don’t have bfs pay for bc for three reasons. 1) They don’t have boyfriends 2) women pick up their own prescriptions and payment is usually rendered then. 2) Men don’t have the same incentive to not get women pregnant as women do.

    ~CS

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  76. But if I have health insurance that covers breast augmentation and I do

    Why on earth would health insurance cover this?

    And, just a quick reminder to all that contraception, sterilization and abortifacient drugs are not health care. They do not restore a body to health, they are designed to break the reproductive system.

    Lung cancer and injuries from car accidents, as stupidly as one might have acted to cause them, are actual disorders of the body and injuries of the body. Treating and fixing them are health care.

    As to your first statement, I have to assume that you did not bother to read this:


    "In Redeeming Economics, John Mueller points out that there are two forms of capital. Physical capital, such as production plants, machinery, and computers, which includes all of the items businesses invest in so as to be able to operate. Because businesses employ people and generate wealth, we give them incentives to keep investing in capital. There is also human capital: the minds and muscles of people who design, create, or labor in various businesses.

    Mueller performs a rough calculation and concludes that two-thirds of wealth creation is a product not of physical, but human, capital. At present we don’t incentivize investment in human capital. We don't for example, provide the same tax breaks for educating a young person that we do for buying a Mac. This means that every adult whom a stay-at-home mom sends into the workforce is an enormous gift of wealth she’s given her country."

    As for your answers at the end, I appreciate that. I would follow up this way. 1) Then they don't need contraception, 2) that does not preclude a man from paying her back, 3) Why do you say that? Because guys are excited to have and raise their girlfriends' kids? Or because there is easy abortion to take care of it?



    One more question that I'm asking as a mom: Have you ever dated a true gentleman?

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  77. Leila
    As aside, as you tend to cast aspersions at feminism:

    The thesis of the Mueller excerpt echos one of the basic tenets of feminism that I learned at the leftist university I attended (known for being one of the cradles of feminist theory), which is the inherent value of traditional women's work. It is impossible to support women without recognizing the integrity and actual value of the work they have traditionally done.

    Just had to share that.

    And this is a total non sequitur: what do you think of this article?

    http://ncronline.org/news/politics/which-presidential-candidate-truly-pro-life

    Are these more of those Catholics-who-aren't-really-Catholic?
    Do you see any merit in the arguments. Thanks.

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  78. Leila I don’t think men are paying women back for birth control because they a) don’t really care if birth control is used and b) know it’s a woman’s issue and they can either stick her with the baby or abortion, yes

    I don’t even believe that many men feel the need to pressure women into getting abortions. Some do for sure, but generally speaking if you’re a man and don’t want a baby, you don’t need the woman to get an abortion, and you just walk out.

    Most people come to love and enjoy their children. Women often don’t want to have babies because of the extreme sacrifices they require early on. Men don’t have to deal with that. Men know if they father a child they can leave, and come back in 5 years or so. 5 years is enough time for the man to grow up and for the child to still be a child. While the woman is probably mad as hell, what is she really going to do, stay mad or take the help? Men get to enjoy the perks of parenting without the responsibility and this appeals to them.

    But granted many men rely on abortion. Two of my three would have found a way to legitimately throw me down stairs. And the third, would have been very excited to play with a baby but would have likely led the raising up to me..... does that answer your gentleman question? ;) haha.


    ~CS

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  79. Johanne, that is good to hear, and I hope that CS understands that. Did you get from her comments that stay-at-home moms are sucking the system dry? I have no words…. But she is proud to call herself a feminist.

    As to the article, I've already seen it. Right, the National Cathlyc Distorter as we call it, has no use for the institutional Church, disrespects the Pope (I am being generous here), loves contraception, wants priestesses, is pretty gosh darn tolerant of abortion (if not outright pro-choice), and would no doubt love to see homosexuality embraced. Their whole "bent", with the exception of maybe one reporter, is to change the Church, which they truly don't like. I appreciate you asking.

    The only merit I see in the argument is that a support system is needed (as local as possible is most effective) when women have crisis pregnancies. We do that VERY well with our private CPC's and it would be so nice if people in power (such as government officials in San Fran and NYC) did not try to constantly shut us down so that Planned Parenthood gets all the "business". Do I generally think that a massive welfare system has helped reduce the number of poor people. No, I don't see any such evidence. My approach to helping the poor and reducing poverty would not be the big gov't approach. But that's a big issue, too big to discuss here, and it's an issue of prudential judgement, and one on which Catholics are free to disagree.

    See, the National Cathlyc Distorter would have you believe that it's a Catholic "non-negotiable" that Catholics vote in and support a federal welfare state, and that things like abortion and gay "marriage" are simply matters of prudential judgement. Exactly the opposite is true.

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  80. Johanne, here is what Wiki has to say about the Reporter:

    The publication is not connected to the Church itself and is independent. Promoting a progressive position, the NCR presents itself "as one of the few, if not the only truly independent, journalistic outlet for Catholics and others who struggle with the complex moral and societal issues of the day."

    Not to be confused with the National Catholic Register, which is actually completely faithful to Church teachings.

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  81. CS, you've known for a while now that your comments often make me sad, both for the state of the culture, and also for you personally, because I have come to care about you. The last comment you left does really make me sad for you personally. As I've said before, you were not made for this. You were not made to be used, you were made to be loved. You are precious and beautiful, and I am sad that you have not been treated as you should be treated. :(

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  82. Johanne, I should have answered more directly: To be pro-life means to value (and protect in law) the life of every human being from conception to natural death. The Church is particularly concerned with the public policy issue of abortion, which robs the weakest among us of their most basic right, the right upon which all other rights are dependent and subordinate, the right to life. It's actually laughable that these proudly pro-"choice" politicians, whose pockets are lined with the (blood) money of the abortion lobby, are trying to pass as "pro-life" simply because they support the unwieldy, ineffective, modern federal welfare state.

    So, no, I see no merit to that particular argument. It's a joke.

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  83. CS, I work full-time outside the home and have done so since graduating from college in 2003. I've had a job (sometimes two) since I was 15 years old. And yes, when I had my son in 2008 we qualified for Medicaid, WIC and food stamps, which we accepted for a few months to help us get by. But I was working, full-time, that whole period and thus was not on welfare. So exactly how am I a leech?

    Women - or men - who stay at home provide a valuable public service -- raising the next generation of responsible, working citizens. They do this for free. They allow their partner to work harder and better since s/he doesn't have to stay home with sick kids.

    Public school is provided so as to educate the next generation of citizens. The private sector might do a better job and you can certainly lobby your representatives to abolish public education, if you see it as such a drain on society's resources. But the government thinks that ensuing a literate, educated populace has economic benefit, so I doubt you'll get far.

    Most large Catholic families either homeschool or send their kids to private Catholic school, so dollars to doughnuts large Catholic families pay income tax without receiving the benefit of public school.

    But I'm happy to pay for education. I'm not happy to pay for immorality, especially when abstinence is free and NFP nearly so.

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  84. I would like to step in here and talk about my situation. I have a nice salary and have had one for many years. Four years ago I was married and our first son was born, so my husband quit his job and stayed home to take care of the (now two) children. I certainly appreciate that he can stay home and take care of the children, but I am a little bit shocked at how much less I pay in taxes. Not only am I in a much lower tax bracket because we're married filing jointly, we have the child exemptions. My take-home pay has SUBSTANTIALLY increased now that I am basically supporting three more people.

    So JoAnna's comment that "They do this for free" is not technically true. This is a common misconception among people who think they don't get any 'federal aid'. Have a look at your taxes.

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  85. MaiZeke, welcome back!

    It's curious though that you consider being allowed to keep more of your own money as getting "federal aid", as if that money (that you earned!) is a government handout or some kind of wealth redistribution. It's not. It's your own money that the government (magnanimously!) allows you to keep more of, because at least for now, agrees with this:

    Mueller performs a rough calculation and concludes that two-thirds of wealth creation is a product not of physical, but human, capital. At present we don’t incentivize investment in human capital. We don't for example, provide the same tax breaks for educating a young person that we do for buying a Mac. This means that every adult whom a stay-at-home mom sends into the workforce is an enormous gift of wealth she’s given her country.

    Johanne, and I woke up thinking about this. Yes, it's nice that the feminist literature gives lip service to the idea that motherhood is valuable economically, I have to be honest with you. I have never heard a conservative/religious women trash motherhood, but I have heard modern feminists disparage motherhood more times than I can count.

    So, clearly, there is still an issue there.

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  86. Oh, goodness, forgive my grammar and syntax! I need breakfast, clearly. And, my oldest daughter leaves today to go back to college for her senior year… I will miss her! Gotta go spend some time with her before she leaves.

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  87. MaiZeke, I'd love to hear your voice in the discussion we've been having on the current atheist post!

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  88. “Name those ways if you would.”

    The easiest way is when the government confiscates babies from Christian families and “redistributes” them while sending the parents to internment camps. Oh, wait! That’s not until after the election. Shoot. Well, cat’s out of the bag.

    “You know that I don’t equate parents with orphanage workers.”

    Ahh, this is interesting.

    Why don’t you equate parents with orphanage workers?

    Let’s say a very caring man and woman run a small orphanage. How are they different from adoptive parents?

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  89. Oh, Frank. Don't evade. How do the gay couples get the children? They can't make them on their own. Nature doesn't allow it, not one time. How do they get them? What are the means, and are those means moral?

    Again, another evasion on the orphanage question. I would evade if I were you, too. You see, I already stated my belief very clearly, that a mother and a father are unique in a child's life. You are the one (not me) who says that all sorts of interchangeable adults will do just as well. You've said that children don't need a mom and a dad, they just need two adults (still not sure why you settle on two? Maybe a biological imperative that we all understand, from the fact that children are born from two?), whether two women, two men, maybe two orphanage workers (someday, even two robots! Have you seen what the Japanese are doing lately?).

    You see parenting as a set of functions that any human being can perform, at least that's what I'm getting.

    I believe what I believe and you already know what that is (a crazy old idea that a child had a right to a mom and a dad) but you've expanded things. So, talk to me about orphanage workers. If two "moms" will do, then why not two really affectionate hired servants? Or even two good friends who just decided they really like kids and but never found a spouse? There is no difference to a child in these situations than if they had a mother and a father, is there?

    And one day, but only when your ready, let's talk as Christians. You talk like every secularist on this board, but I want to see your uniquely Christian side. It seems odd to me to talk to a fellow Christian the same way I would talk to Miss Gwen or March Hare.

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  90. Leila, let's say I, as an autonomous male citizen, decide that I want to sell/donate my sperm to a lesbian couple, that's how they get children. (They may also have children from previous relationships.)

    Maybe you want to deny me the right to do what I like with my body, but you're kinda tending towards self-parody here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DkqU-uWojc&feature=fvst
    (also puts a bit of a kibosh on your 'baby-making process' idea).

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  91. March Hare, I had to go back and look, but yes, I was right: I had asked that question of Frank. I had reasons for asking Frank (a Christian). So, I'd like Frank to answer.

    Of course as an atheist, I understand that you would believe in buying and selling any body parts, or selling your DNA to make children who will never know their father. As an atheist, frankly, I don't know why any action is off limits to you. If there is no God, do whatever you feel like! Ultimately, none of it matters one whit.

    Now, from my Christian perspective, you really should at least draw the line at violating others' bodies if not your own. You know, like dismembering them or something. That would be a no-no in my book. I understand that you don't draw the line there, but many secularists do. I respect them. Human dismemberment is such a yucky thing, you know?

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  92. Oh, the Monty Python song! I actually thought that was really clever and witty when I was about 12! Thanks for the memories! :)

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  93. "As an atheist, frankly, I don't know why any action is off limits to you. If there is no God, do whatever you feel like! Ultimately, none of it matters one whit."
    You know many people find this both intellectually bankrupt and really insulting, right? I couldn't care less, to me it shows your ignorance about atheists' ethical standards and your lack of faith in humanity, but it will turn others off your message.

    Human dismemberment? Like organ donation?

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  94. You know many people find this both intellectually bankrupt and really insulting, right? I couldn't care less, to me it shows your ignorance about atheists' ethical standards and your lack of faith in humanity, but it will turn others off your message.

    How nice. So you have standards. Ante up, MH.. What's your measuring stick? You know, a measuring stick is very intolerant. I'm 5'8", fully grown. How do you know how tall I am or you are without a standard? Without an objective "thing", you can just keep movin' those goal posts, brother.

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  95. Nubby, I am a moral error theorist so i have my own measuring stick that while somewhat similar to yours is not the same. I cannot claim mine is objectively better than yours (you can) only that if one has internal contradictions (it's a whole bunch of metrics aggregated) then it can be improved for that person.

    Which isn't to say I sit idly by and think "well, they think letting kids die while they pray over them is a 'good thing', I argue my case, try to appeal to what others value to show that my views work better for them, if they do, and get things done the way I think they should be.

    Alternatively, you could go down the Sam Harris route and posit a universal measuring stick, his is conscious flourishing, or well-being. I obviously disagree, but you may find him compelling. (The Moral Landscape is his book.)

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  96. "Is it an adult's responsibility to care for his own children?"
    Assuming no-one else has offered to take on that responsibility then I guess so.

    Why? If it's just a blob of material, non important atoms joined together by chance, that, by the way, doesn't cognitively realize it exists, who gives?

    How do you logically posit "standards" in one breath, and in the next say, "oh, well, personhood is X, yet person is Y".

    Either you don't understand intrinsic value of life or you're just a mental gymnast talking thinly on pretty basic matters, MH.

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  97. "Why? If it's just a blob of material, non important atoms joined together by chance, that, by the way, doesn't cognitively realize it exists, who gives?"
    Because I value sentient life, especially human life, and if we have to chose a point to give out rights etc. then I'd rather we erred massively on the side of giving rights to things that don't deserve them as the harm caused by going the other way is massive. Hopefully society agrees as it's a collective(ish) decision about who gets what rights.

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  98. Because I value sentient life, especially human life, and if we have to chose a point to give out rights etc. then I'd rather we erred massively on the side of giving rights to things that don't deserve them as the harm caused by going the other way is massive. Hopefully society agrees as it's a collective(ish) decision about who gets what rights.

    Oh, good. So you're pro life.
    Albeit, in a very shady way. What, with this "things that don't deserve them"?

    How do you measure who "deserves" a kick in the butt vs love? Hm? And why would your measuring stick be a degree or ten higher or better or truer than mine?
    Hm?

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  99. "So there are degrees of people?"
    Absolutely. Children are lesser people, in law, than adults but they also have extra protections under law. People with severe mental issues, people in a coma, etc. are given less legal autonomy than regular adults.

    Simple. Question.
    You actually "rank" people or kids on their what ... age, location, size. Really. Wow. Standards indeed.

    Cognitive ability comes with age and education, MH. It's not a given at any particular age.

    So, what's the cut off for you? You and your generous (I would hope) standards.

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  100. You know many people find this both intellectually bankrupt and really insulting, right? I couldn't care less, to me it shows your ignorance about atheists' ethical standards and your lack of faith in humanity, but it will turn others off your message.

    I didn't know you were so sensitive and easily wounded. I apologize for hurting your feelings. But let me reword it this way, so that you might better understand:

    If there is no God, no afterlife, and if we are nothing but a bunch of chemicals that will one day go "poof" and it's done, then factually and logically nothing ultimately matters one whit, and I as a true believing atheist, would do whatever the heck I want, whenever I wanted.

    Now, if you can show me how any of us or anything we do ultimately has meaning (did you get the "ultimately"?), I am all ears!

    Using your facts and logic, of course.

    As for dismemberment, I am using the common parlance for that, MH: Tearing one limb from limb. Limbs are arms, legs, extremities. Unlike organ donation, dismemberment is designed to torture and/or kill.

    Maybe in the UK, they use "organ donation" and "dismemberment" synonymously?

    Again, please, never be my surgeon.





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  101. MaiZeke, I'd love to hear your voice in the discussion we've been having on the current atheist post!

    Nah, March Hare is doing a wonderful job. I've been through all of these things with you before, multiple times, and often in the same thread. It's really pretty stunning to watch you go through your machinations. You are so completely condescending, illogical and just plain snarky while being so unbelievably unaware it (perhaps on purpose?) that this really is a joy to watch. I don't watch reality television, this is as close as I get. Thank you for letting me tune in.

    Please, I ask that you never provide health care for me either. Really.

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  102. Leila, "...and I as a true believing atheist, would do whatever the heck I want, whenever I wanted."

    So maybe I want to help people. Maybe I want to raise the living standards and education level and health of lots of people. Even though I know it ultimately doesn't matter and only helps those people for the short while they're alive.

    Never considered that?

    Your implication that we should try to satiate our most base desires if there is no god is at once frightening and disappointing.

    "dismemberment"
    Since most abortions occur before 8 weeks this is unlikely to be possible in the majority of cases.
    [EDIT] I had previously said "virtually never happens" - I was being bombastic, hyperbolic and, most importantly, wrong. I apologise.
    Or like exactly how I said shouldn't happen when I asked for extraction and care?
    The Journal of the American Medical Association asserts that it is unlikely that the foetus feels pain prior to twenty eight weeks.
    While I feel that is too much (I'd like a nice big safety margin on this) the current state of play is that only 1% of abortions in the US happen after twenty weeks. (http://www.abortionno.org/Resources/fastfacts.html)
    Foetuses are generally not viable until 22-24 weeks.
    Sorry for just throwing facts out there, but I didn't think we were debating abortion any more...

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  103. March Hare -

    You believe that the biological purpose of sexual intercourse is pleasure, and reproduction is just a side effect? What biological evidence do you have to support your assertion?

    The best response I've ever seen to that statement is this one:

    I never fail to be amused by how sex transforms liberals from hard-headed sociobiologists into velvet-minded romantics. From a strictly biological perspective, the ultimate purpose of sex is procreation alone, and the pleasure we derive from it is simply nature’s little stick and carrot. Why, then, this irrational and adamant defense of non-procreation and anti-natalism from people who otherwise jump at any opportunity to smugly wax prosaic about man being just another animal or the Darwinian origins of everything from organized religion to the nuclear family?

    The reason, I believe, is duplicitous. To liberals, sexual hedonism is not valuable because it brings pleasure, but because it serves, Rousseau-style, to tear down the deleterious influence of civilized society. Had liberals really been friends of sexual joy and pleasure, they would have realized that sex is more valuable when it is limited or mystified by things such as pre-marital chastity or modest clothing. These things turn sex into the best it can be — a sacred ritual — rather than simply a biological act no different than defecation or sleep.


    Regarding your assertion that only 1% of abortions occur after 20 weeks - those statistics come from Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood. It's suspect information for two reasons: (1) Planned Parenthood, and therefore its research arm, have an interest in downplaying the number of abortions that occur and especially the number of abortions that occur after 20 weeks, and (2) abortion clinics aren't required to report their statistics to any entity, whether Guttmacher or the CDC. All reporting is voluntary and there's no way to verify that the numbers they report are accurate.

    Regarding dismemberment - you seem rather uninformed about the nature of abortion. The procedure used to perform surgical abortions in the first trimester (and even a few weeks into the second trimester) is the D&C. A D&C literally rips the unborn child apart in the womb. It is dismembered.

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  104. MaiZeke, you continue to make me smile!

    So, you find this compelling, when we are talking about biological processes:

    "When things work as they should"? Who are you to say how things should work when other people are involved? ….Whether things have gone right depends on what the participants wanted. If you want to get pregnant and do, it has gone right, if you didn't then it has gone wrong and vice versa.

    (Isn't that like a gunman in a suicide pact saying in their final note, "Hey, we didn't want our hearts to keep beating anymore! If they continue to beat, it would have meant something had gone wrong!")

    I love how straight biological discussions with atheists suddenly turn into subjective discussions of desire ("we don't want sexual intercourse to make babies, so that means that when sex makes babies, something has gone wrong!!) and metaphysics ("personhood") all of a sudden. Honestly, I find it weird and intellectually dishonest to the highest degree. Or at least, it shows a lack of intellectual integrity.

    And you admire statements like this: "The reason I introduced the car crash is that even seemingly benign activities can have unforeseen consequences." Again, shocking -- shocking, I say! that the biological act that makes babies might just …. MAKE BABIES! Crazy God-believers with all their superstitious voodoo! They actually believe that sexual intercourse leads to babies. Sheesh.

    And MaiZeke, I know you enjoy reading these discussions (as do the other lurkers who come to very different conclusions than you do about the logic of it all), but you never actually answered my oft-asked question from so long ago.

    You said that abortion is bad. I asked why (about a dozen times). You finally said abortion is bad because it ends a "potential life". I asked why it is bad to end a potential life? Even Catholics don't have an issue with ending a "potential" human life, only an actual human life.

    So, why is it bad to end a potential human life? If it's not a human life, there should be nothing "bad" about ending it.

    Thanks!

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  105. JoAnna, that is an incredible quote by John C. Wright! He says it so well, and I would love MH and MaiZeke to respond to it directly. Not just dismiss it or dive back into car crash analogies, but to really address it.

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  106. March Hare, you are a man who values science (to a point), so you might want to consider the Mayo Clinic's fetal development chart. At four weeks after conception of the baby (that is 6 weeks into the pregnancy, since pregnancy is measured by last menstrual period, not conception), arm buds are forming. So, that is well before the 8-week mark you mentioned.

    Also, yes, I said conception of "baby" because that is the term that the Mayo Clinic uses throughout their chart:

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/prenatal-care/pr00112/method=print

    Do you find it interesting that they use the term baby again and again, since the Mayo Clinic does not have a religious agenda, only a medical one? But a baby is a baby is a baby, and even medical folks get that.

    Anyway, yes, "dismemberment" holds. Again I ask: Do they use the term "dismemberment" and "organ donation" synonymously in the UK? Or was that just another bad analogy (like the car crash one)? ;)

    You know I'm sort of teasing you, but c'mon. You must know you are grasping at straws with some of this.




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  107. So maybe I want to help people. Maybe I want to raise the living standards and education level and health of lots of people. Even though I know it ultimately doesn't matter and only helps those people for the short while they're alive.

    Never considered that?


    Yes, as a Christian I have considered that all atheists do have a God-given conscience. But that is not the point. I do appreciate you admitting that all of it ultimately doesn't matter. I mean that sincerely. It's refreshing to hear you say it. If there is no God, then nothing ultimately matters. So while it's nice that you "want" to help people (but again, please don't be my surgeon!), it doesn't matter at all that you do.

    One other question: I have only recently understood (I think?) that atheists don't believe in free will anyway (is that right? I think I got that from Dr. Vost's book), so when you say you "want" to help and that you then "do" help, that is nothing you can freely choose anyway, right?

    Thanks!


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  108. JoAnna, the data comes from abortionno.org or, if you prefer, the CDC - In 2008, most (62.8%) abortions were performed at ≤8 weeks' gestation, and 91.4% were performed at ≤13 weeks' gestation. Few abortions (7.3%) were performed at 14--20 weeks' gestation, and even fewer (1.3%) were performed at ≥21 weeks' gestation.
    So, unless you somehow think the CDC and abortionno.org are somehow in cahoots with Planned Parenthood then I think you should accept the figures.

    As to dismemberment, Leila has defined it above as having limbs torn off - at under 8 weeks it doesn't really have limbs to be torn off.

    So on to the main course...

    "You believe that the biological purpose of sexual intercourse is pleasure, and reproduction is just a side effect? What biological evidence do you have to support your assertion?"

    Whoa... The inevitable biological effect of sexual intercourse is pleasure. That offspring are commonly produced is why species with pleasurable responses to sexual intercourse (esp. males) thrived over those that did not. I'm pretty sure I didn't go down the 'purpose' rabbit hole.

    Which is where Wright goes significantly wrong. (Before he makes a quite astounding claim about what constitutes "the best sex", which I'd like some evidence for please.)

    I really don't know what you want me to say about it, it's wrong on many levels, from the idea that there is a purpose in nature to the straw man attack on 'anti-traditional liberals seeking to destroy society' to a rather interesting take on what the best sex is.

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  109. Leila, at 8 weeks the fetus is less than an inch long, my point was that it doesn't really require dismemberment to be removed at this size. No need to make a federal case out of it.

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  110. Did I call the feds? Or did I correct your mistake about biology? (Not only in fetal development, but in comparing organ donation to human dismemberment.) You do realize that part of the abortionist's job is to piece together the limbs, torso and head of the baby after it's dismembered, to be sure that none of the child's body parts are left in the mother's womb, right? True, that wouldn't happen at the very earliest stages where the child is just easily shredded and pulverized, but it certainly happens every day, and much, much earlier than the 20-week mark.

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  111. JoAnna to MH: "You believe that the biological purpose of sexual intercourse is pleasure, and reproduction is just a side effect? What biological evidence do you have to support your assertion?"

    MH to JoAnna: "Whoa... The inevitable biological effect of sexual intercourse is pleasure. That offspring are commonly produced is why species with pleasurable responses to sexual intercourse (esp. males) thrived over those that did not. I'm pretty sure I didn't go down the 'purpose' rabbit hole."


    I am very interested in any of the other atheists' response to this exchange. MaiZeke? Gwen? Michelle? Zach?

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  112. The inevitable biological effect of sexual intercourse is pleasure.

    MH, there is many a woman (some in abusive relationships, some not) who would quibble with your assertion that pleasure in sexual intercourse is "inevitable". And that women would likely have several of her own biological children playing nearby.

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  113. You know evolution happens over long time scales on populations not individuals, right? I should also point out that I was clear that male pleasure tends to take priority in the majority of species for reasons that should be obvious.

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  114. You must have missed this portion of my comment, MH:

    Regarding your assertion that only 1% of abortions occur after 20 weeks - those statistics come from Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood. It's suspect information for two reasons: (1) Planned Parenthood, and therefore its research arm, have an interest in downplaying the number of abortions that occur and especially the number of abortions that occur after 20 weeks, and (2) abortion clinics aren't required to report their statistics to any entity, whether Guttmacher or the CDC. All reporting is voluntary and there's no way to verify that the numbers they report are accurate.

    Also, regarding this: The inevitable biological effect of sexual intercourse is pleasure.

    I didn't ask about the EFFECT. I asked about the biological PURPOSE. What is the biological purpose of sexual intercourse? Can you provide scientific documentation that the purpose of sexual intercourse is pleasure, and that reproduction is a convenient side effect?

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  115. "...male pleasure tends to take priority in the majority of species for reasons that should be obvious."

    Is the obvious reason so that procreation will occur?

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  116. MaiZeke, thoughts on this? Is March Hare still doing a "wonderful job" or would you like to step in as a science-minded atheists and maybe say something?

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  117. Sorry if that came off as evasive, but here’s the deal:

    Question 1: We’ve gone through this already, at least once but probably more. See the discussion on One Man’s Civil Rights post, starting Oct. 17th, 2011, 6:51 pm.

    Short summary: adoption is good, IVF raises problems for gay and straight couples.

    Question 2: You’re misunderstanding my “parenting is as parenting does” position, and if you answer my question, I think you’ll start to get it.

    Or let's try this. You said:

    “You see parenting as a set of functions that any human being can perform, at least that’s what I’m getting.”


    Okay. What you’re not getting is what those functions are.

    Let me rephrase my question. Is there something that an adoptive parent does that an orphanage worker doesn’t do?

    Question(s) 3 (about my faith and theology): Let’s clear up the above, and then if you’re still interested, we can talk about it.

    [Again, sorry for responding so slowly.]

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  118. The inevitable biological effect of sexual intercourse is pleasure. says MH.

    Pleasure is not the biological effect of sex. Pleasure is a psychological effect.
    The biological effect of sexual intercourse would = sperm joins to egg.

    Confounding, that simple terms like these get pulverized beyond recognition.

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  119. Frank, yes, IVF Is incredibly problematic no matter who does it. But you are forgetting the other ways that gay couples have to get their babies: A lesbian might have a night of sex with someone she knows, just to get pregnant (with or without his knowledge), artificial insemination with the sperm of a man she found on Craig's list (I've seen it happen) or at a sperm bank, surrogacy, etc. In fact, IVF would not be necessary for a fertile lesbian. Just finding someone's sperm would do. For gay men, buying a surrogate would be the thing to do (many outsource to the poor Indian ladies), with a mingling of their sperm (both "dads"), etc.

    I am happy if you acknowledge (as I think Zach does?) that all those ways of "getting" children are immoral and selfish. As much as we all understand the desire for children, that is never a good way to go. Children are not a commodity.

    As for the other question. No, no, no, no, no…. you see, there you go asking me about "functions" and what parents "do"… I was never the one who talked in those terms, so don't ask me about it. I'm asking YOU, because you are the one who speaks of "functions" and and "doing". I speak of being.

    You see, I am a woman in essence. It's who I am, not what I do. I am a mother to my children, I don't do functions that make me a mother. Motherhood is my essence.

    You can't see the difference between who we are and what we do, but that's not my problem. You want to see things in terms of functions only, so please, answer the question: What is the difference between a really affectionate orphanage worker and a parent? You should see absolutely no difference (and maybe you don't) if you are all about roles and functions.

    See, I would be my kid's mother even if I were bedridden and couldn't move. My essence would still be motherhood, and they would love me as a mother. Not as a father, not as the hired help. No one can take the place of one's mother, and no one can take the place of one's father. Adoption is a restoration of what is lost to a child, not just a fun way to "make" a family when two men decided to share a house and a bed.

    Anyway, I really am done with this conversation, Frank, if you keep deflecting my questions, and if you are more interested in what people do for a child than who they are to a child.

    But since you are a Christian, I am sure you want to talk about your faith anyway. Christianity has taught for 2,000 years, with no exceptions, that homosexual acts are gravely sinful and contrary to the moral law. If this is not a firm Christian teaching then nothing is. Do you reject the teaching because because it's a sexual issue? Because I never hear anyone trying to change the Church's teachings on stealing, lying, or defrauding the poor. ;)

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  120. And Frank, I don't mean this to be rude at all, but I cannot hold in my memory what people say many posts ago. Sometimes things stick with me, which is why I used your thoughts about mothers/fathers for my L.A.Times (almost) article. And, I still think of certain things that Michelle and Zach said that give me a sick feeling every time. Or, I still keep in mind that Gwen has never answered my question about porn, and MaiZeke has never answered my question about why it's "bad" to kill potential life. Oh, and I remember how Pedro said that God is definitely okay with masturbation because he made Pedro's hands land so comfortably just there in his lap. Stuff like that I may retain, but in general, I don't remember the specifics of who said what to me. Sorry! Wish I had a supernatural memory. :)

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    Replies
    1. In other words, there's one of me, and many of you. (I say this to my kids, too….)

      Delete
  121. Great guns and little pistols Leila, do you really stay up at night worrying about my opinion of pornography??? Of all the random associations to make.

    Are we going to compile a long list of all the unanswered questions around here now?

    oh, and by now you've successfully drilled into everyone's mind that the Catholic Church teachings are 2,000 years old...Hinduism has been around 4,000 years though so should we be focusing on the teachings of reincarnation too?

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  122. Hey Miss G, did you hear about the shooting at the FRC the other day?

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  123. JoAnna, I was wondering that, too.

    Gwen, first of all, I bring up that question because it was asked and ignored about a dozen times. Frankly, I can't even remember why I asked it in the first place, but I do recall that you kept acting like I'd never asked. And no, it wasn't a long list. The compilation was exactly as I wrote it above. I know there are others I've forgotten, for sure.

    I'm glad you brought up the unbroken teaching of Hinduism! If Hinduism's teaching on reincarnation has been around for 4,000 years, then I would say that it's firm Hindu teaching, wouldn't you? So, if a Hindu came around now and said that reincarnation was certainly not a valid Hindu teaching, what would your response be?

    Thanks for asking that, because you make a great point, and it makes my question of Frank that much easier to understand.

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  124. "Because I never hear anyone trying to change the Church's teachings on stealing, lying, or defrauding the poor. ;)"

    That's because those
    1) cause harm to others, and
    2) require evil intent or a lack of conscience on the part of the actor.

    Neither of these is true of homosexuality.

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  125. Johanne, it is your subjective opinion that homosexual acts and homosexual "marriage" cause no one any harm. I am of a different opinion, as are many others. I think both are harmful to the one acting, to others, to marriage and to society.

    And, no, stealing does not require evil intent. Neither does lying. The intentions of thieves and liars could be good. Defrauding the poor, not so much, it's true.


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  126. By the way, there are plenty of people who don't think stealing is wrong. And if they are an employee who steals from a huge corporation, where no one will know or be "harmed", then why is it wrong? Do you think it's still wrong to steal, if no one will know? Why or why not?

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  127. "The reason I introduced the car crash is that even seemingly benign activities can have unforeseen consequences." Again, shocking -- shocking, I say! That the biological act that makes babies might just. MAKE BABIES! Crazy God-believers with all their superstitious voodoo! They actually believe that sexual intercourse leads to babies. Sheesh"

    I am posing this question more as food for through than anything else, because I havent quite made up my mind. But can we really define the purpose of intercourse as reproduction when a prophylactic or withdrawal is used.

    Sex does not make babies, ejaculation does. If a couple continually has sex and uses the withdrawal method I don't knew that it would be honest to say that the couple actually did the biological act that makes babies, the natural end of withdrawal is not babies, through they did indeed have sex The same applies to a condom. I am curious as to your opinion.

    ~CS

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  128. CS, I would say that withdrawal, which goes against every instinct of the body at that moment, is actually a thwarting of the act. Every biological urge (since we are only talking science, right?) is to complete the act. That is even the point of foreplay… to get the body ready for the act. And the act, biologically, has the purpose of procreation, propagation of the species.

    Using a condom, same thing. It thwarts the natural purposes of the act.

    It's about biology NOT doing what it's supposed to do at that moment.

    That's strictly from a materialistic viewpoint.

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  129. my point,

    and it's more of an idea i'm toying with than a point im arguing for.

    Is that a condom or withdrawl 'changes the act and does indeed thwart it so that its natural end is different

    the natural end of sex with a condom leaves sperm and egg separate and I dont know how we could argue that the natural end is procreation

    ~CS

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  130. CS, human beings can insinuate their wills into any biological process and ruin, thwart or change it.

    I can put a finger down my throat after tasting and swallowing my food, in order to thwart the process of eating/digestion, but that does not change the fact that the purpose of eating is nutrition. I can stab a knife in my heart to change the normal rhythm's of a heart beating so that it cannot pump more blood, I can cut off my own arm, I can put a pencil in my eardrum, etc.

    But that is not the question here. Nothing we do or say can change the fact that, biologically, sexual intercourse has a purpose, and that purpose is to make more people.

    Look, if I were a biology professor and I told you that sight was not the purpose of the eyes, because some people put acid in their eyes so that they can't see anymore; therefore, the natural end of eyes is not vision.

    You would drop the class and petition for a new biology teacher. At least I hope you would!

    Or, let me do some word substitution with your last paragraph:

    "The natural end of bulimia leaves food and digestive tract separate and I don't know how we could argue that the natural end of eating is nutrition."







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  131. Gwen, do you think she has a point, regarding the FRC shooting?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/why-the-left-gets-away-with-it/2012/08/16/b4259772-e7ab-11e1-8487-64e4b2a79ba8_blog.html

    And, should the SPLC be held accountable for inciting this kind of hatred against FRC? Just curious what you think their responsibility is, if any, and if you think the mainstream media handled the shootings fairly, in the same way they would have if a religious gunman opened fire at a gay rights organization?

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  132. Let me see if this analogy works...

    There is a branch on a tree. Its 'purpose'* is to bud leaves and transport nutrients to and from them to the body of the plant.

    A monkey comes along and breaks this nice, straight branch off the tree. It then strips the leaves off. It then pokes the stick into a termite mound (which the termites then attack) and the monkey then eats the termites from the stick without being attacked. The purpose of the stick is now to feed the monkey termites.

    Because purpose requires an aim or a goal (which itself requires a mind) evolution cannot have a purpose. Only animals can give acts a purpose. (Hence the purpose of lungs appears to be to transfer gases, but in actual fact it they have no purpose, it's just what they do - it makes sense for use to talk in terms of the purpose of lungs, but it's for convenience rather than accuracy). In terms of animals there are very few that realise the causal link between sex and reproduction, and even fewer that recognise the importance/point of reproducing, and only one which realises the importance of reproducing for the species as a whole.

    For the vast, vast majority of animals the purpose of sex is sexual pleasure, or (in the case of some, mainly females) a hormonal, instinctual drive to have sex (or lay eggs, rub cloacas, whatever). The purpose to the individual is not reproduction.

    There is a real problem with people (but religious people especially) putting intentionality into things and seeing a bigger purpose. Sure, you believe that in a big picture sense, but there's no need to foist that onto the rest of nature, especially small scale things which work perfectly happy without an overarching goal or guiding hand.

    *Function is a much more accurate word to use.

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  133. No, the analogy does not work for me. I believe things do have a purpose and right order, so there is the crux of our problem. But this is maybe why atheist Michelle said earlier that she had never even heard of the concept of things being "rightly ordered" or having order. (Now, she is going to be a doctor, and it sort of scares me… esp. because she doesn't even recognize that maladies are called "disorders"?)

    Anyway, purpose or not, it seems to me rather elemental for us to say, "sexual intercourse leads to babies". Because it…does. And it seems we should teach our children (and apparently our adults) that this is a fact. Yes, shockingly, sex makes babies, even when we don't "want" them to be made. Ain't biology funny that way?

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  134. I like Jen Fulwiler's take on such things, here:

    http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=10904

    When she was an atheist, she had your view of things, MH:

    All my life, the message I had heard loud and clear was that sex was for pleasure and bonding, that its potential for creating life was purely tangential, almost to the point of being forgotten. This mind-set became the foundation of my views on abortion. Because I saw sex as being by default closed to the possibility of life, I thought of unplanned pregnancies as akin to being struck by lightning while walking down the street—something totally unpredictable and undeserved that happened to people living normal lives.

    That last line makes me laugh, but she meant it!! The idea of sex being fundamentally about procreation was just a foreign concept to her!

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  135. March Hare,

    You've just proven the late Fr. Stanley Jaki's point about the absurdity of atheistic evolution.

    You - MH - have the purpose of proving there is no purpose.

    Congratulations! :-)

    You don't think you have a mind, you don't think there is any purpose.

    So, why do you expect thinking people to take you any more seriously than a rock obeying the laws of physics and clunking down a hill?

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  136. Stacy, thank you! I am interested in his answer.

    And, MH, if nothing has a purpose or an order to it, and if life is ultimately meaningless, then why are we having this conversation?

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  137. Because purpose requires an aim or a goal (which itself requires a mind) evolution cannot have a purpose.

    Oh my. Give me a swing with the Logic Bat.

    March Hare, if evolution does not have a purpose (no mind or intelligence), then how did purpose come along? A non-purposed, purpose?? Better yet, a non-purposed entity created purpose??

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  138. How did life come along? Or intelligence? Purpose comes from minds.

    Obviously Catholics (who supposedly believe in evolution) think evolution has a purpose - god had to make humans come about somehow - hence the nonsense of guided evolution (nonsense because it guts the main ideas of evolution, random mutation and natural selection).

    I am thinking that you may be stuck behind a religious rock here. I suggest you ask your priest how religion copes with it, because the science obviously baffles your religious sensibilities.

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  139. Hence the purpose of lungs appears to be to transfer gases, but in actual fact it they have no purpose, it's just what they do.

    Since we're apparently kicking the snot outta the basic meanings of words, I had to check and re-check my elementary level dictionary.

    Interestingly, I came up with this:
    Purpose: The reason for which something exists, or is done, made, used, etc.
    So, super; application time:
    Why the reason for lungs? I'm guessing they serve a purpose.

    Take away lungs as land dwelling mammals, and we die. I'd say they're pretty purposeful, and reasonable. I've never seen such word contortion.

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  140. Obviously Catholics (who supposedly believe in evolution) think evolution has a purpose - god had to make humans come about somehow - hence the nonsense of guided evolution (nonsense because it guts the main ideas of evolution, random mutation and natural selection).

    I am thinking that you may be stuck behind a religious rock here. I suggest you ask your priest how religion copes with it, because the science obviously baffles your religious sensibilities.


    Well, check your facts, MH. The one stuck behind a rock is you. Its name is Darwin and it's major flaws are random mutation and natural selection. You've got one lens you're peering through and totally ignoring very valid arguments against it.

    Darwin cannot be relied up to explain large scale morphological changes. It's completely disputed to rely on mutation to bring about large scale changes! Even with artificial selection, the gene pool is already there! Mutation isn't the answer!

    Darwin's own dog breeders of his day told him this. You can only account for a limited amount of change, for any benefit. All critics of darwinism point this out. There's already a quantified range of variation there. Mutation isn't a positive change! Recurring mutation isn't the answer. This idea of strict Darwinism has been utterly smashed in any serious scientific circles. But you wouldn't fully understand that, because you're stuck in the Darwin camp who has held the agenda by the man parts for 150 yrs.

    Don't believe me? Check out what his opponents had to say before they were given the black out.

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  141. I've never seen such word contortion.

    Word contortion is one of the most disconcerting things that the left does. Language is something we use to be able to communicate, and if the meanings are fluid with no known definitions or boundaries (sort of like gender, apparently), we lose the ability to talk to one another. Tower of Babel.

    Someone said: "All social engineering begins with language engineering" and I think that is true.

    I always echo Dennis Prager's mantra: "I prefer clarity to agreement." But when even words have no meaning, then we lose the ability to have clarity on anything.

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  142. Oh, Leila. We can’t talk about essence, about form, without talking about function. I can’t believe I have to take you back to Natural Law 101, but here goes:

    “We cannot talk about what man is without specifying the human good, without showing what it is to be a good man.” (Robert Sokolowski, “What is Natural Law” page frickin’ 1)

    And what is the good of a thing? Here’s J. Budziszewski:

    “The good of a racehorse lies in racing, the good of a knife lies in cutting and the good of an eye lies in seeing; that’s easy. But do you see what we’ve done here? In each case we have defined the good of a thing as an activity; not as any old activity but as its proper work or function...” (Written on the Heart, 23)

    We’re discussing whether or not mother and a father are an essential characteristic of a family. We can’t answer that question without asking what families do. Is that clear now?

    The good of a family—its function—is to raise children. We know that this happens best when a family provides 1) stability, 2) security, 3) permanence, and 4) love. (Okay, I don’t know if any studies actually measure love, but I doubt you’ll argue with me on that.) (On second thought, you’ll argue with me on anything.)

    That’s what I’m talking about when I talk about what parents “do.” Raising kids.

    Okay. Your questions.

    Are orphanage workers and parents different? Yes.

    How? A parent commits permanently to his child, and he does it for free. In contrast, an orphanage worker agrees, for a salary, to temporarily take care of a child that he never considers his own.

    Is this an essential difference? Yes. By definition—because he’s an orphanage worker and not a parent—the orphanage worker doesn’t provide the commitment or permanence or love that a parent should.

    Or think about it this way:

    The orphanage worker can spend an hour a day looking for another home for the child; he can go home to another family at the end of his shift; he can leave his job if another orphanage pays better. He can do all of this and still be a very good orphanage worker.

    If a parent did any of that, he would be, by definition, a bad parent.

    And if an orphanage worker did the things a parent does (commits publically to raise a child as his own for free) that would be adoption, and he would be a parent.

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  143. Quick question:

    Do you consider an adoptive parent a real parent, or an approximation? Because some of your comments make it hard for me to tell.

    Okay, got to run again. Bye!

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  144. No, Frank, none of it is clear. Let's try again, and then I am done.

    First, persons are not "things". Nice try. People aren't "good" because of our "functions". Sorry, that is not what gives a person his value or essence.

    Second, we are not talking about man's (or woman's) goodness, we are talking about motherhood and fatherhood. We are not talking about the "functions" of a family, we are talking about the persons of mother and father. Being, not doing (again, we've gone over this).

    News flash: Mother and fathers don't always commit to permanence, either. Sometimes they come and go and come back again. It does not change the fact that one is a mother. It does not change the fact that one is a father. There are good fathers and bad fathers, and they will always be in essence different from good mothers and bad mothers. Being, not doing.

    Yes, I'm being so terribly argumentative, saying something that is so out of left field, and so novel in the world of human thought and wisdom: That mothers and fathers both matter to a child, and that mothers and fathers are different. I know! I'm way out of line.

    I'm certain you've clued into the fact that I am pro-adoption. Yes, adoptive parents are "real" parents, who have stepped into a situation that started out as a loss for the child (unlike non-adopted kids). But since this is a discussion of mothers and fathers (and not your generic, androgynous "parent" performing "functions"), that is way off point.

    Now, care to talk Christian to Christian yet? Because I still can't tell the difference between you and any of the atheists on the board.

    Thanks!




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  145. Frank, since you quote Professor J. Budziszewski to make your case, I decided to show him your comment and get his thoughts. Here is his reply:

    Dear Mrs. Miller,

    Your correspondent has followed up a half-truth with a faulty inference. From the fact that two beings are the same in some ways, he has mistakenly concluded that they must be the same in all ways.

    The mother and father ARE the same in being human; they are equally images of God, made to know and love God and each other.

    The mother and father ARE ALSO the same in being parents; they are equally necessary to the well-being of the child.

    But the mother and father are NOT the same in the kind of contributions that they make to the well-being of the child. A father cannot be a mother, nor can a mother be a father.

    That's the short answer. I discuss the differences between mothers and fathers in more detail in the chapter on sexual differences in On the Meaning of Sex.

    I hope this is helpful!

    Pax Christi,
    Professor Budziszewski


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  146. Leila,

    Awesome! I’m very glad you wrote him. As you know, I don’t claim that mothers and fathers are the same in all ways. But Budziszewski is a busy guy, so I understand that he can’t carefully read everything that comes across his desk.

    Still, this puts our conversation back on track. Unfortunately, it’s a well-worn track. We’re still stuck at Gwen’s analogy in the other thread: “A BMW and an Audi are undoubtedly different, but is the difference meaningful in that a person who has a BMW is sorely lacking what an Audi owner has?”

    Here’s what Budziszewski says:

    “But the mother and the father are NOT the same in the kind of contributions that they make to the well-being of the child.”

    Three things:

    First, he (like Aristotle) is using the same language of function that you resisted so violently from me. Just pointing that out.

    Second, there’s no evidence of these meaningful, different contributions. Let’s keep the record clear: we know that stability, security, and commitment affect the well-being of children. We know that kids are better off with two parents than one*, and we know that kids are best off with their biological parents**. But no study of comparable groups has shown gender to be a factor in the raising of a child.

    (And, yes, the data on the children of gay couples is limited, as Regnerus and Marks both point out.)

    Third, and most important, he doesn’t specify (here, anyway) what these different contributions are, or how they’re meaningful to the well-being of the child.

    It’s the same thing you’ve been asked dozens of times, and you’ve never provided a good answer. In the other thread, Bethany gave a thoughtful response: having a mother and a father, she says, “gives children the ability to witness and experience the fullness of the human species.”

    But that’s symbolic language. My wife and I don’t actually reflect the fullness of the human species, not even close. Nor do you and your husband. And neither of us has grounds for saying we do it better than a well-balanced gay or lesbian couple***, unless you think that the whole spectrum of humanity can be summed up as “male or female”.

    Now, as he says, Budziszewski offers more detailed answers elsewhere. And, from what I’ve seen, they follow Bethany’s argument about instincts, intuitions, and perceptions. I would LOVE to address them, and will soon. It’s not going to happen right now, though, and neither will our conversation on faith and theology (Sorry!). I’ve got a dissertation chapter due in two weeks, and my summer job is still taking me out of town four days a week.

    So for now I’ve got to drop out, but I’ll try to see you in September.

    Take care, and thanks for the conversation!

    *You’re absolutely right to keep asking why the number two is important, but I’ll have to address it some other time. This conversation is big enough already.

    **Yes, biological families are M/F, but that doesn’t resolve the question of adoption.

    ***For example, a gay couple that lives on my street flies a flag outside of their house that’s half Texas Longhorn Burnt Orange, half Aggie Maroon. You’re not from Texas, so maybe you can’t understand how diverse that couple is. But trust me: the differences between me and my wife, both Longhorns, pale in comparison. ;)

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  147. Frank, you can go on and on about the fact that there is no essential difference between men and women, mothers and fathers, etc., from September to infinity. But that mothers cannot replace fathers and vice versa is axiomatic. I have no desire to continue to discuss the obvious with you. I can see there will be no eureka moment with you here, as long as you think that everything is function (which is NOT what Professor B said, by the way….)

    Audis and BMWs might be analogous to different kinds of fathers, whether in size, shape or style, but they are not analogous to things that differ not just in degree (or style), but in kind.

    You need to go watch Field of Dreams if you can't conceptualize that a father/son relationship is like no other, and no mother could take the place of a father, no matter how loving and wonderful.

    You don't get it. I don't care to try to help you get it. You can tell your daughter one day that daddies are not important to little girls, if they have two "mommies" who can do the same things. I hope she will have the sense to see that daddies are important to a little girl, and they are NOT mommies.

    Axiomatic. If you can't see it, I am sorry.

    I am so happy to start talking Christianity with you, at any time, because that is the part that saddens me in all this. You say you are a Christian, but you won't "go there" on something so basci as marriage and family as God designed them. But as for the rest, I'm done. I have a new rule that I will try once or twice to show folks that motherhood and fatherhood are not interchangeable, and then I just leave you to your folly.

    Nothing personal, as I am sure you are a nice guy. :) If you are still interested in learning why men and women are different in the life of a child, or just in general (can't believe I am typing those words), then please read Professor B's book.

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  148. And yes, people, this is where our confused culture has left us.

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  149. And one last thought, Frank…. if all this time you are just arguing that people can be raised and be well-adjusted even without a mother or without a father, I would have conceded that (and did, as did Bethany, etc.) all along. A child can be well-adjusted coming from any number of undesirable and non-ideal situations. If that is what you are saying all along, then what was the point of this? A child raised in an orphanage can thrive! It's happened!

    But then I remember that you said that if there were a mother and father available to adopt a baby, and a gay couple also, you believe it would be an equal choice, flip a coin, where to put that child. You are okay with depriving a child, on purpose, of a mother, or depriving a child, on purpose, of a father. You are okay with designing a family that way from the beginning. And don't bring up abuse, because we are assuming both those couples are "cleared" for adoption, right?

    That is very sad to me.

    And this:

    "As you know, I don’t claim that mothers and fathers are the same in all ways." is intriguing. You mean that one has a penis and one has a vagina? Yes, we know this. Any other differences?

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  150. Nubby, if you don't think that random mutation can cause large scale or beneficial changes then I'm afraid we're done on all scientific matters.

    Leila, is that a position you also hold?

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  151. Nubby, if you don't think that random mutation can cause large scale or beneficial changes then I'm afraid we're done on all scientific matters.

    You have no proof of that through Darwinism, try as you might.

    And actually, MH, we were "done on all scientific matters" when you mentioned the following absurdities that fly in the face of the very views you claim to hold so dear (that, actually, a lot of Catholics hold dear, too); namely science and logic. This is not an exhaustive list:

    Hence the purpose of lungs appears to be to transfer gases, but in actual fact it they have no purpose, it's just what they do.

    The inevitable biological effect of sexual intercourse is pleasure. says MH.

    And you refuse to take this further with any accuracy per modern physics:

    Time in this universe is simply(?!?) a dimension in space time that began when the universe very likely began in the Big Bang.

    Hey, have you read up on what occurred at Mr. Hawking's own 70th birthday party/conference called, "State of the Universe"? Great stuff!

    I'll give you the bullet points if you want, because it's hilarious (in my view) and true, and all at once! And yes, indeed, it all has to do with the implication, no...no, make that the outright necessity of a Creator.

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  152. For anyone thinking Nubby is talking science (and are too lazy to google) here are a couple of links:
    http://www.conservapedia.com/Genetic_mutation#Beneficial_mutations
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutation#Beneficial_mutations
    http://www.gate.net/~rwms/EvoMutations.html

    Brown CJ, Todd KM, Rosenzweig RF (1998) Multiple duplications of yeast hexose transport genes in response to selection in a glucose-limited environment. Mol Biol Evol 1998 Aug;15(8):931-42 Nature 387, 708 - 713 (1997) [From the third one above, #6]
    This one seems to be a slam dunk against what Nubby is talking about.

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  153. No. Not on a large scale. And in another word or few, you're gleaning about a 30% accurate understanding of the concept at large.

    There is no new positive mutation, in strict Darwinism, that gene pool is already there, with only a certain range of variation possible. Hello. That is one of the main flaws of Darwinism.

    Further, even, and especially, when selecting for certain traits, the higher the risk of disease becomes. The more prone to death, disease, and destruction that species becomes.

    Mutations on a grand scale lean toward death. This is Darwinism in its strictest sense. Saying random mutations lead toward life is flying in face of a basic understanding of large scale evolution.

    Darwinism doesn't prove that variations become more organized! His own, The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication published in 1868 expounds on this.

    You need to make a distinction between evolution and strict Darwinism. This is old news.


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