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  1. Greetings Stephen,

    You say “How anyone can read [the numbers of abortions compiled by the Alan Guttmacher Institute,] and not see a bitter tragedy is vexing to me, to put it mildly.”

    Am I wrong to assume you believe legislation is the best way to deal with tragedy?

    Nathan Callahan

    Comment by Nathan Callahan — Saturday, September 13, 2003 @ 4:29 pm

  2. Steven, I think that the best alternative for conservatives right now, since it’s impossible to completely ban abortion for birth control, is to work towards the technological obsolescence of abortion through . . .

    (a) More ultrasound projects like the one you linked to, as well as new in-utero surgery methods, that further humanize the fetus and complicate (purposefully) the choice of those who commit abortion for birth control;

    (b) Artificial womb technology which could theoretically allow a fetus to be extracted from a mother who would rather abort it, and grown in a lab (or even transplanted into an infertile mother);

    and © Improved contraceptives that use biotechnology and nanotechnology to provide failsafe protection against unplanned pregnancies. This is the most readily obtainable of the technologies, and for this to become a conservative position on abortion, conservative Catholics and anti-contraception Protestants will need to do a little soul-searching.

    We’re obviously still going to have abortions in those sad cases such as John’s, and until the technological gap between what could be and what is is bridged, we’ll still have hundreds of thousands of birth control abortions each year. In the interim, I think the best policy for conservatives is to to work towards having most abortions occur in the first trimester (which is more humane for the fetus) and to improve adoption law, perhaps with provisions to help expectant mothers who would like to give their baby up for adoption cope with some of the economic cost of an unwanted pregnancy.

    Comment by Matthew — Saturday, September 13, 2003 @ 5:22 pm

  3. Steven, I agree with the goal, just not with the tactics. I know it’s a standard liberal viewpoint, but I see abortion as a symptom, not the actual problem. It’s a tragedy, but it seems to be even more compounded by a noble, but misguided solution of outlawing it.

    Add to that the resistance to sex education and contraceptives and it seems to my eyes that the system is rigged to increase the abortion rate.

    Which really freaks me out, I might add.

    Comment by JohnC — Saturday, September 13, 2003 @ 8:44 pm

  4. Abortion is a national tragedy that will only be fully realized decades from now.

    I’m all for contraceptives that prevent sperm and egg from meeting. But realize that some forms fo contraceptive (the morning after pill for one) prevents fertilzed eggs from attaching to the mother’s uterus. That’s an abortion in another name.

    Comment by Sean Hackbarth — Saturday, September 13, 2003 @ 9:20 pm

  5. In response to Nathan, Matthew, and John:

    I can’t speak for Steven, but here is how I, as a Christian who believes that abortion is no different from any other form of murder, would respond to Nathan’s question:

    Legislation is not the best way to deal with the tragedy of a nation indifferent to murder. Legislation can often help to reduce the outward ill effects of sin (the death of innocent children, for example), but it cannot on its own change hearts. That, however, is no excuse for not doing what we can. If you were witness, say, to a violent wife beating, would you stop to philosophize over whether interfering is the long-term solution to the husband’s wife-beating problem, or would you run to the aid of the victim? If the former, I would consider you a cruel and heartless person.

    It’s not a question of whether outlawing abortion is “the solution"-the silver bullet to change peoples hearts. It’s a question of a society’s moral duty to protect innocent life.

    As an alternative to Matt’s sci-fi approach to preventing pregnancy and saving unwanted babies I would offer the same old fashioned advice the Bible’s been offering for 4,000 years: a sense of moral responsibility. This means sexual purity, marital faithfulness, a high view of home and family, and a love of our fellow man (even those who aren’t born yet).

    Like John, I’d say that abortion is a symptom of a larger problem. But John and I would disagree what that larger problem is. John, I presume, would say the problem is women getting pregnant accidentally. Keep the pregnancy from happening, you won’t have to poison or tear the kid apart in the mother’s womb, and everything’s better.

    I’d say the problem is manifold. One aspect is sexual promiscuity; another is selfishness; another is disdain for human life. John’s solution (giving everyone a condom) might reduce the number of babies that are killed, but then so would outlawing abortion. In John’s solution, people would be no less likely to engage in promiscuous sex-in fact, they’d be more likely, because they wouldn’t have the fear of getting pregnant anymore. This would leave what I consider the real problem completely unaddressed. What’s more, if perchance a baby came along accidentally, there would still be nothing stopping a mother from murdering that child. If abortion were outlawed-and I’m not even saying this is the ultimate solution-people would be forced to consider that their actions have consequences. They couldn’t have promiscuous sex with a shrug, saying “well if anything goes wrong and nature takes its course, a few hundred bucks at the shop on the corner will get rid of the thing life will be back on track.” That’s good for two reasons: it discourages promiscuous sex (which even from a liberal standpoint is a good thing, right? Keeps AIDS down, etc.?) and it clearly labels such a casual attitude towards human life unacceptable.

    So even this incomplete solution has tremendous benefits: it saves lives, it discourages promiscuous sex with all its ugly societal side effects, and it promotes morality by calling murder murder.

    But I don’t believe it’s the silver bullet. I agree that many people won’t learn their lesson. Heck, some women may still have abortions-illegally. But a heck of a lot fewer than the 1.3 million a year we’ve got now-folks, it’s a multimillion dollar industry-and that’s a *good thing*.

    The problem is in the heart, but innocent children will die if believe that we can’t defend their lives until we’ve addressed the heart problem. It’s the government’s job to provide just laws. Outlawing abortion is just because abortion is unjust.

    The final solution isn’t one for legislation or public policy. The government isn’t the fount of every blessing. If you ask me, “what should the government do to change people’s hearts?", I will say, “Nothing.” I say leave that to Jesus Christ. If you know someone who’s considering an abortion, send them to a Bible-believing church. Jesus changes lives, and Jesus can change turn the heart of a mother to her child. Fixing the abortion problem is ultimately a job for God and no one less. But let’s do what we can and save some kids’ lives.

    Comment by Andrew V — Sunday, September 14, 2003 @ 12:22 am

  6. Pardon the typos. Proofread, Andrew, proofread.

    Comment by Andrew V — Sunday, September 14, 2003 @ 12:26 am

  7. Andrew:
    I have a very important message for you. It’s from Jesus. He told me that you shouldnt be questioning other peoples chastity or promiscuity. Or second guesing their decisions. You shouldnt judge that they need to be sent to bible camp. He told me to tell you: ‘Judge not lest ye be judged.’Finally, he told me that as soon as you’re without sin, you can start throwing stones again.

    Comment by A messenger — Sunday, September 14, 2003 @ 4:43 am

  8. “A":

    He also said, after the quotation about throwing stones, to “go and sin no more.”

    And further, could you come up with a less trite and cliched response?

    And for the record, I would note that I did not bring this up in the context of religion-not that I have a problem, per se, with it being brought up. However, before the detractors want to get off on a tangent that argues not about arbortion, but rather crude theology (as exemplified by the post by “A"), understand that it is wholly possible to extol the pro-life position without making it a religious issue specifically.

    Plus, it is a distraction just to say to someone “your position is religious, so I don’t have to take it seriously". 1.3 million abortions in a twelve month period is serious business.

    I would also add that I am not oppossed to a discussion of religion and morality concering this issue, and I think Andrew had some thoughtful things to say, however this is not my reason for bringing up this topic.

    Comment by Steven — Sunday, September 14, 2003 @ 7:29 am

  9. JohnC, Nathan and Others:

    I owe a longer response to some of the your posts, and will do so shorty.

    Comment by Steven — Sunday, September 14, 2003 @ 7:42 am

  10. Yeah, I can’t accept A’s message because I don’t think it’s a fair treatment of Jesus’ message, but I’d be happy to discuss it with anyone interested. You can email me; that way we won’t clog the blog with off-topic comments. Somewhat coincidentally, I’ve beek thinking in some depth about stoning and the John 8 story recently since I’m considering it as a topic for a Bible study I’ll be doing in a couple weeks. I’d be happy to email my current understanding of the matter.

    Comment by Andrew V — Sunday, September 14, 2003 @ 12:10 pm

  11. beek=been

    Comment by Andrew V — Sunday, September 14, 2003 @ 12:15 pm

  12. Anyone who believes ‘that abortion is no different from any other form of murder’ really has no other alternative than to stop abortion by any means.

    Especially as a self-described “Christian.”

    From both a religious, ethical, and moral viewpoint-if you *truly* believe ‘abortion is murder’-then you have no choice, even if means violating the law, to stop it.

    The plain fact is most anti-choice-types don’t believe it is murder. They merely like the term ‘murder’ because it fires up their base of religious hooligans. It also has the effect of periodically getting doctors murdered because low-lifes and half-wits like Paul Hill take such nonsense to heart.

    Comment by JadeGold — Sunday, September 14, 2003 @ 2:53 pm

  13. Abortion Statistics
    Poliblog has some new abortion statistics from a pro-choice think tank. Poliblog It is staggering: 1.3 million abortions in the US alone just last year, and 46 million on average globally, with 88% of those in the US being in…

    Trackback by Backcountry Conservative — Sunday, September 14, 2003 @ 3:24 pm

  14. Jade,

    Good points. I’ll take them into consideration. I’d never heard of Paul Hill before, but I’ve given his site a look and he seems like an intelligent, thinking man. Surely you won’t argue that he’s been negligent in thinking through his position. What you really mean by calling him a half-wit is that you disagree with him. Interestingly, your outrage at what you consider his murder of an abortionist is exactly the outrage he is trying to communicate over abortion itself. You ask, what right did he have to take that man’s life? He asks the same about the abortionist. Christians believe that a person is a person and people don’t gain intrinsic value by getting older or bigger or being able to to dress themselves or being on one side or the other of the womb. We believe that a baby is equally precious in God’s sight as a full-grown man.

    If you choose to believe otherwise, you must select a system for assigning value to a human being’s life. To pro-lifers, the rating system “choice” advocates choose is absurd: it’s a step graph, with the value at 0 for the first 9 months, at which time it jumps to 100%. Or perhaps those who get a bit squeamish at the ultrasounds of third-trimester “fetuses” choose a graduated scale by trimester, or maybe the value is 0 at conception and then it follows a line to 100% at birth. Or maybe a quadratic. This seems quite arbitrary. It begs the question, “why 100% at birth?” Why does a baby get the full protection of the law the day it springs screaming from its mother’s womb? Why shouldn’t he or she have to earn his keep, show some potential? After all he or she is just minutes away from fetus-hood. Maybe kids should come out at 50% and scale to 100% in the prime of life, at age 18. The the protection of the law could be prorated to the person. Killing an 18-year-old would be full-out murder; killing a 9-year old would be 50% “murder” (bad), 50% “abortion” (OK). Killing a 60-year old would be one part murder and two parts euthanasia.

    Sorry if that was a bit sarcastic, but I honestly would like to know what your life value scale is, how you chose it, and how you propose to defend it against the conception-to-birth cosine.

    On a personal note, I often reflect on how little I do to campaign for the lives of the unborn. I had friends in school who were in Life Advocates and a friend now who does marches and picketing and all the rest. To my shame I’m more talk than action, and I’m embarrassingly little talk. Abortion is an easy problem to ignore because it’s done behind closed doors and life goes on for the rest of the world. Challenges like yours encourage me, at very least, to get serious in prayer over the matter.

    Comment by Andrew V — Sunday, September 14, 2003 @ 4:50 pm

  15. oops bad math in that third to last paragraph. Sorry for all these stupid correction posts.

    Comment by Andrew V — Sunday, September 14, 2003 @ 4:53 pm

  16. Jadegold’s point, however, was that mainstream pro-life groups unanimously renounced Paul Hill. I believe that they were right to do so (besides the fact that it would be political suicide to do otherwise).

    Pro-life groups, on the other hand, use the same sorts of rhetoric that Andrew uses - that there is no difference between an unborn child and a born child.

    If I truly felt that, I would feel that killing abortion doctors would be at least as justified as killing SS soldiers (and pro-life groups do use the “Holocaust” metaphor). If the government sanctioned killing five-year olds at will, I would be out protesting every day, and would feel fully justified in killing those who would carry out such a killing.

    The fact that most do not feel that killing abortion doctors is justified is an indication that most people (and certainly all major pro-life groups who have spoken on the issue) do not see abortion doctors as the equivalent of men on their way to kill “real” children, or else they would (should) actively promote killing abortion doctors.

    Comment by pathos — Sunday, September 14, 2003 @ 8:13 pm

  17. Ok, so what’s the dividing line? In the womb one minute before birth? 1st trimester, 2nd?

    It is a legit question-indeed, it is the

    Comment by Steven — Sunday, September 14, 2003 @ 8:43 pm

  18. but pathos, please explain the logic by which “choice” advocates arrive at the conclusion that a child on one side of the womb is a “real” child while that child two minutes and one umbellical cord earlier was not. Metaphysically speaking, what is the difference between the two? Location? That must be it, because if the child had been born a day earlier we still would have called it a child. The baby is not being classified by anything intrinsic to the baby; it is being classified by its circumstances. If it’s inside, it’s a fetus; if it’s outside, it’s a child. One you may kill; the other you may not.

    I think in the abortion issue, nomenclature has been used as a powerful weapon by those wishing to reserve the supposed right of mothers to kill children as long as they haven’t seen the light of day. This is like Orwell’s Newspeak: it appears that pro-choicers are merely assigning names-making classifications-but they are actually assigning values and thick connotations. There’s nothing inherently wrong with having two different names for a human child, one for each side of the womb. But splitting the term in two allows pro-choicers to slowly build up connotations on the terms that serve Big Brother’s purposes. So we call an unborn child a fetus. No big deal. But what’s a fetus? Definitionally, it’s “that thing on the inside of a womb that has no intrinsic value.” And a “born child” is that person of tremendous worth to be protected at all costs by law, life, and limb. Voila, what used to be a child on both sides of the womb is now an inconvenient piece of tissue on the inside and a freeborn citizen of the United States of the America on the outside.

    So if someone can explain, in rational terms, the liberal justification for this distinction, I will at least have a better understanding of the opposing view.

    What it will take to satisfy me: the explanation must not beg the question. That is, it must not insist that the fundamental difference between a born and unborn baby is that the one is “just a fetus.” I want to know what about being unborn, in a liberal’s mind, intrinsically changes the value of that thing that Christians call a human being and liberals call a sack of cells.

    I guess it’s irrelevant to me what “everyone else is doing” (re: renouncing or supporting Paul Hill). Just give me a good argument for renouncing him (again, one that doesn’t beg the question by saying “because everyone else is and it’s scary to be in the minorty and people will call you weird and make fun of your big glasses").

    I agree with your statement that most people don’t seem to equate abortion doctors with men on their way to kill born children. But I must admit it totally baffles me.

    Incidentally, while I would probably maintain that his actions were defensible (he used necessary force in the protection of human life), I wouldn’t insist that lethal force is always necessary to stop abortions. Pro-lifers could make human chains around buildings, destroy the equipment being used, appeal passionately to women entering the clinic for consultations and surgeries (as is, I believe, my friend’s practice), and in many other ways stop things before it comes to a death. But I guess, from what little I’ve read (and granted that’s mostly from Paul Hill’s site-I need to read around to make sure I’ve got the facts) that I can’t condemn the action. It doesn’t seem to have been motivated by hate or revenge, just an earnest desire to protect 32 children that man planned to murder that day at work.

    Comment by Andrew V — Sunday, September 14, 2003 @ 9:17 pm

  19. Lazy Weblogger
    I’m just not in the mood to post tonight. It’s not that there isn’t anything to comment about. There’s the

    Trackback by The American Mind — Monday, September 15, 2003 @ 2:02 am

  20. Independant life. Thats the dividing line. When a fetus functions on its own it gets to be alive. Until then its still part of the host.

    Comment by Common Sense — Monday, September 15, 2003 @ 3:53 am

  21. Egads. “Part of the host"?

    Comment by Steven — Monday, September 15, 2003 @ 6:32 am

  22. Andrew,

    The difference, for the liberal, is not at all “which side of the womb", and you can tell by the labels that apply: “pro-choice” v. “pro-life". These are not actually opposites, as they relate to different things. The entity with the “choice” at issue is not the same the entity with the “life".

    Imagine that I have to give my sister a kidney or she would die. Imagine I decide not to, and she dies. Have I “killed” her? I certainly haven’t done a “nice thing.” Should the government therefore force me to go to the hospital and give up a kidney for the benefit of my sister? Probably not.

    For a liberal, it is almost irrelevant when “life” begins or what the dividing line is, the issue is what a person is forced to do with her body. Is she forced to provide nutrition, blood, and all the other parts of a baby for up to nine months?

    It is irrelevant, therefore, to a liberal, on which side of the womb the “life” is. A person is never required to give up any part of their body for the benefit of another. Any sacrifice of that magnitude must be a independently chosen “choice". I can chose not to give a kidney to my kid sister (who is 26 years old) and let her die. I can equally chose not to give use of my body parts to an unborn fetus.

    Comment by pathos — Monday, September 15, 2003 @ 7:16 am

  23. Common Sense:

    Yes, I understand that, definitionally, that’s where the abortion crowd draws the line. What I’m interested in is metaphysically, why. Your position is one that abortion supporters defend adamantly as absolute, indisputable truth. Surely it comes from a deep-rooted belief system that is more than definitional. Surely you do not simply take as your first axiom that “independent life is of immeasurable value; dependent life is not.” I want to know what, in your worldview or religion, motivates this pronouncement. I am interested to know, not simply *that* you assign value according to this scheme, but *why*. Appeal to your underlying principles. What are your axioms? What are your assumptions about the nature of the universe by which you arrive at this conclusion?

    Perhaps you “believe these truths to be self-evident.” Then state that. State that nature abundantly reveals the absolute moral truth that a born child is of immeasurable value and an unborn child is fundamentally no different than a spleen or appendix. I would disagree, but I’d know where you’re coming from.

    If you simply take this definitional statement, “babies have value; fetuses do not,” as a front-line axiom (without even an appeal to nature), then I will call that your religion. In faith you believe that abortion is OK. Well, in faith I believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and the Bible, in its revelation that humans are created in the image of God and God knits a child together in its mother’s womb, opposes your religion. We are at an impasse.

    If you plan to appeal simply to self-evident truths of nature and “common sense,” I must strongly disagree that common sense imagines a born child to be “independent life” in any but the most pathetically semantical sense. It’s “not hooked up,” if that’s what you mean, but it’s not doing any better job of taking care of itself than it did five minutes earlier.

    I would submit that pure materialists (in the philosophical sense) are on very shaky ground for making determinations about the innate moral value of things, given that in materialism nothing has innate moral value. If you choose to insist that there is no need for an appeal to metaphysics for your assignment of value, then it is merely arbitrary and any outrage at murder is purely an unjustified, society-conditioned animal response.

    Comment by Andrew V — Monday, September 15, 2003 @ 7:36 am

  24. Pathos,

    That argument might have some force if the baby grew spontaneously in the womb-it does not. It requires purposeful action. As such, there is a responsibility that accrues to the mother once such choices are made.

    There are consequences for actions. So, this lovely line about providing blood supply and nutrition is a non-starter.

    Comment by Steven — Monday, September 15, 2003 @ 7:54 am

  25. Steven wrote:

    “That argument might have some force if the baby grew spontaneously in the womb-it does not. It requires purposeful action.”

    Well, then let’s change the example from my 26 year old sister to my 26 year old daughter. I am not legally required to give her a kidney either. I don’t even have a legal obligation to give a blood transfusion to my newborn baby. Failure to do these things are not considered murder under current laws any more than abortion.

    The question for pro-life advocates, then, is what is it about the child that changes so that it deserves more rights just because it is on the inside of the womb?

    Comment by pathos — Monday, September 15, 2003 @ 8:07 am

  26. Ok, I will spell it out: S-E-X. When two adulkts engage in sexual intercourse, there is a chance, and that chance varies wildly depending on any number of variables, that a pregnancy will occur. Almost every person who engages in such activites knows this.

    Hence, any analogies about kidneys or blood trasnfusions is nonsensical.

    And trust me, I am not anti-sex. However, it is impossible to ignore the simple fact that pregancy requires purposeful action. A baby is not a stranger who crawls into the womb and demands residency.

    And as the stats point out: the main reason for abortions, by far, is convenience.

    Comment by Steven — Monday, September 15, 2003 @ 8:22 am

  27. Greetings,

    To backtrack to the matter of the word “choice,” (in the “pro-choice” campaign) - the choice of that word was purely political. I wouldn’t read too much into it, even if you are looking to be angry or self-righteous.

    In general, people prefer to be “for” particular causes, not “against” them. The anti-abortion forces of the 1970s had chosen the words “pro-life” to define their campaign. The “anti-pro-life” campaign was now stuck in a PR dilemma, if you see what I mean. What shall we call ourselves, they asked? “Pro-choice” was the answer. As a matter of record, both of these campaigns used sound bites to define their identity. Imagine that.

    Nathan Callahan

    Comment by Nathan Callahan — Monday, September 15, 2003 @ 12:15 pm

  28. you can call me anti-abortion if you like. I prefer anti-murder, but anti-abortion gets the job done.

    Comment by Andrew V — Monday, September 15, 2003 @ 6:06 pm

  29. And you guys better be careful or you just may talk me into killing an abortionist

    Comment by Andrew V — Monday, September 15, 2003 @ 6:11 pm

  30. (I suppose it would be less hypocritical to start with volunteering at the local Birthright and work up to killing an abortionist when you’d exhausted all other means of recourse. But the argument could be made that your peaceful efforts didn’t do the babies murdered today much good.)

    It should be obvious from my posts so far, but I feel compelled to clarify that I do not believe all taking of human life is murder. There are cases, such as a just war, self-defense, and the defense of the innocent and defenseless, where it is necessary to kill an adversary in defense of life. I also support civil justice that demands life for life. But it’s precisely because human life is so valuable that this is true. He who, by unjustly taking the life of another, scorns the value of life, condemns himself by his own actions and testifies that he is unworthy of life. You cannot at once scorn a precious gift and yet demand to keep it.

    (I do not believe in vigilante justice, btw, and if Hill’s defense had been that he was doing the civil magistrate’s job for him, I wouldn’t support him. His defense falls under “use of necessary force in the protection of the innocent and defenseless against a murderer.” Shame he denied due process and his right to make that defense.)

    I would define murder as the unjust taking of a human life. I say this to allow that while abortion is beyond the shadow of a doubt, in every case, killing a person, created in the image of God, loved by his or her Creator, a person with an eternal soul and innate value far beyond any material reckoning, it is conceivable to me that there may be a situation in which it is just to take the life of a child. I personally cannot imagine a situation I would consider appropriate for abortion, but I say this because a pastor I dearly love and highly respect defends abortion in the case where a full-term pregnancy will, medically speaking, certainly kill the mother. I asked him, “but isn’t there still a difference between *taking* that baby’s life and leaving things in God’s hands to let Him call home who He will?” His response was that in those cases, it is life for life, failure to choose one is merely negligence, and if you have the ability to act to preserve the life of the mother, of the two *morally* equivalent lives, her life should be given priority for her necessary societal role in the family: a man and wife can be a complete family, but a widower and a child cannot.

    But this is a life-for-life case, and though I’ll allow my pastor his position, it is about the only exception to the “abortion is murder” claim that I would tolerate. Even this exception makes me nauseous.

    And I still believe that killing the child to protect the mother is “taking a life.” To abort a baby, you don’t merely fail to offer it your kidney; you poison it or tear it apart with the surgical version of needlenose pliers.

    pathos argues that no woman should have to give her blood and food up just for some other person. After all, these are parts of her body, like a kidney. Should she be coerced into giving a child her kidney? Of course not, says pathos, and then neither must she share her blood and food! So then, should she be coerced into giving that child her milk, her love, a warm bed at night once he or she is born? Why? Why can’t a mother take her week-old baby and dump him or her in a dumpster? Sorry to turn this back around on you, but “what is it about the child that changes so that it deserves more rights just because it is on the [outside] of the womb?”

    Why can’t a mother simply neglect her week-old baby? Why do we insist on coercing her into caring for it? Why must she be burdened with feeding it, burping it, changing its diapers, waking up at all hours of the night to tend to it? Why can’t she just refuse to give it those things? Who are you to force her to do anything? On what basis do you have any right to interfere with her life in any way?

    I would point to a breach of duty in the case of a negligent mother. I would say that it is the God-ordained role of parents to care for their children. It is man’s duty in general to care for and seek the good of his fellow man, but it is specially the duty of parents to ensure the care of the children God entrusts to them. As a Christian, I do not believe that we are born and live as islands unto ourselves, nor do I believe that we have the privilege of selecting the duties to which we will feel obliged. I don’t believe it is a fundamental human right to “do whatever I want with whatever I’ve got whenever I feel like it.”

    Re the 26-year-old sister: You certainly have no right to *take* a kidney from her. This is a closer parallel to abortion, where the abortionist, with the consent of the mother, takes a limb at a time from that which we so cleverly and conveniently term a fetus. Whether you have a duty to your 26-year-old sister is a good question. It is certainly not a creation ordinance that you share kidneys with family members, nor is the kidney issue explicitly addressed by Scripture. But if you suspect it to be your duty, you’d better give her that kidney. I agree you’d be pretty heartless not to even if it’s not a “duty.” John the Baptist, when asked how to live a godly life, said, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.” Jesus will say to those who failed to offer a stranger something to drink, “Away from me; I never knew you.” So it’s a safe move in any case ;)

    Comment by Andrew V — Monday, September 15, 2003 @ 7:56 pm

  31. Andrew writes:

    “Why can’t a mother simply neglect her week-old baby? Why do we insist on coercing her into caring for it? Why must she be burdened with feeding it, burping it, changing its diapers, waking up at all hours of the night to tend to it? Why can’t she just refuse to give it those things? Who are you to force her to do anything?”

    In my home state (New Jersey), no woman is coerced into caring for anyone. She need not feed, burp,or change a diaper. Besides a generally open abortion policy, any woman can drop off her born baby anonymously at any hospital in the state and have no futher responsibility for him.

    Comment by pathos — Monday, September 15, 2003 @ 8:07 pm

  32. pathos:

    do you think this is good?

    Comment by Andrew V — Monday, September 15, 2003 @ 8:08 pm

  33. i.e. is your Utopia one where no one has any duties to anyone else for any reason ever?

    Comment by Andrew V — Monday, September 15, 2003 @ 8:13 pm

  34. additionally, does New Jersey draw a line between dropping off a baby at a hospital and, say, poisoning it or tearing its limbs off with needlenose pliers?

    Comment by Andrew V — Monday, September 15, 2003 @ 8:24 pm

  35. But I was unaware that Mr. Hill was excommunicated by his church, unaware that he nevertheless took communion with his family, unaware of the crummy theology he used to defend the Gunn murder (arguments that sound a lot more like vigilante justice than “necessary force to prevent murder"), unfamiliar with the eyewitness description of the shooting, and unaware that he ran. Perhaps as Gary North says, we only have the right before God to defend with lethal force those who are our direct and immediate responsibility due to our position in life. Perhaps, as he also suggests, the absurdity of claiming this defense-by-lethal-force as a duty is seen in the sheer number of abortionists one would be duty-bound to kill. This would be a tremendous relief because then I don’t have to kill anybody! :) In any case, I still cannot condemn but I need to repent of being so quick to support these actions until such time as I really understand all the issues. In the meantime, I will seek to promote Christ’s love in and outside the church in the hope that Jesus will change hearts so nobody has to get killed on either side. Cheers!

    Comment by Andrew V — Monday, September 15, 2003 @ 10:41 pm

  36. I think the New Jersey law is a lot better than the situations that persisted before it was enacted (obviously unstable women leaving unwanted newborn babies in public restrooms.)

    In my Utopia, all have a sense of personal responsibility and abortions become completely unnecessary and unutilized, as all pregnancies are wanted. In my Utopia, all duties to others are provided under a sense of personal moral responsibility, or else provided by the collective moral responsibility of the people (i.e., the government). They are NEVER coerced by the government onto the shoulders of solitary individuals.

    When all women are guaranteed by the government satisfactory living conditions, productive employment, safe neighborhoods, effective education, and full health benefits, THEN maybe we can talk about the state imposing other oppressive obligations on them.

    Comment by pathos — Tuesday, September 16, 2003 @ 12:54 am

  37. pathos:

    do you, then, believe that taxpayers should be coerced by the government to support your Utopia? That is, does the government have the right to take my money to support an ideal world I find both impossible and anti-Christian any more than it has the right to preserve the life of an unwanted child? You seem to think it is the government’s duty to do this. The government has both a right and a duty to coerce its citizens into building a false Utopia, but not to outlaw murder.

    Comment by Andrew V — Tuesday, September 16, 2003 @ 7:34 am

  38. In fact, it seems to me that, to be consistent, you must start campaigning to make taxes voluntary. All taxes. Only then would the citizens of your Utopia be truly free from any coercion. Then taxes become charity, and - hey - we agree on something: charity is a good thing; I’ll just take the money that would have otherwise gone to the National Endowment for the Arts and reroute it to a Christian organization that promotes the Gospel rather than attacks it. Think of how effective I could be with my own money if it weren’t spent on layer upon layer of government bureacracy and, ultimately, many causes I don’t support in principle.

    But additionally you must do away with all other laws, because the purpose of any law is to place limits on the actions of individuals. In order to free people from “coercion” (or government-imposed individual responsibility), you must become an anarchist.

    Comment by Andrew V — Tuesday, September 16, 2003 @ 7:58 am

  39. Andrew,

    You are being ridiculous. I do not want to “coerce” anyone into my Utopia. That is not what you asked. I just vote for candidates who want to move in that direction. I am not willing to kill to create my vision of a perfect world.

    In my Utopia, taxes would be voluntary because we would all want to give enough to make things work out. The Museum of Natural History has a “recommended donations” when you walk through the door. But you don’t have to pay it. Most people who can afford too, however, do.

    My Utopian vision is made up of a lot of nice, helpful, responsible people. Those things can be taught, and in an ideal world we would all have civic virtues so that coercive force would not be necessary.

    We do not, unfortunately, live in a Utopia.

    Comment by pathos — Tuesday, September 16, 2003 @ 10:10 am

  40. My point is that, as a matter of practice, the candidates you support would happily, actively violate my supposed right to freedom from government coercion by taking my money and spending it on programs that I believe to be misguided at best, doomed to failure in a fallen world, and, more often than not, thoroughly unconscionable.

    Comment by Andrew V — Tuesday, September 16, 2003 @ 7:02 pm

  41. And yes, I must thoroughly and publicly repent of rashly condoning what may well be an unjust killing of an abortionist. If lethal force was outside Paul Hill’s jurisdiction as a third party in the defense of those children, then he was without right to kill and his action was murder. Additionally, he shot the bodyguard first, not in self-defense, but either as a precautionary measure or as an act of vigilante justice. This, I think, must be unjustified, since the bodyguard posed no immediate threat to the children.

    Anyone seriously considering the Hill case should also give fair consideration to the responses from Gary North, which can be obtained by sending an email to hill@kbot.com

    Comment by Andrew V — Tuesday, September 16, 2003 @ 9:32 pm

  42. Yes, I am now just shy of certain that Hill was a murderer. My apologies to everyone.

    Comment by Andrew V — Tuesday, September 16, 2003 @ 10:35 pm

  43. You are born think if your mother killed you becuase she made a mistake. every thing happens for a reason. people make mistake but that doesn’t mean that u have to kill. in any hard any hard condition that you are i garantee you that you will find help to raise the baby. don’t be a murderer. save. you’re here why shouldn’t your baby be. think. don’t kill.

    Comment by Edna — Saturday, January 17, 2004 @ 1:35 pm

  44. What does Jesus think of abortion?

    October 9th 2003
    Words from Jesus at www.wordsfromJesus.com

    My people of America you have been given great gifts and yet you are the leader of killing my innocent ones.

    My people you must choose leaders that are willing to standup for life, that will be the voice of the unspoken.

    You must choose a leader that will allow my innocent ones the freedom to fulfill their mission.

    September 27th 2003 7:37am
    Words from Jesus at www.wordsfromJesus.com

    My people of America, you state you are a country of opportunity and freedom, then why do you not give my little innocent ones the opportunity to come into this world, and the freedom to live and fulfill their mission?

    July 8th 2003 8:32am
    Words from Jesus at www.wordsfromJesus.com

    This world is living in such sin and the greatest sin is abortion, because it does not allow the soul to fulfill its mission and it is man’s desire to control the life that I bring forth.

    September 11th 2003 9:03am
    Words from Jesus at www.wordsfromJesus.com

    Many of my people will be mourning the loss of their loved ones yet who mourns the lost of my millions of innocent ones who are killed everyday.

    September 27th 2003 7:37am
    Words from Jesus at www.wordsfromJesus.com

    You are a country that needs to examine its morals, you are a country that will see much devastation if you do not change your sinful ways.

    December 12th 2003 7:45pm
    Words from Jesus at www.wordsfromJesus.com

    You are a culture that promotes death and you do not realize how each life, each soul is unique and created for a purpose, a mission to come to know and serve me.

    looking for more Excerpts? go to http://excerptsofinri.com/

    Jer 31:15 15 Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.

    Comment by covakid — Saturday, March 27, 2004 @ 7:57 am

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  48. It is not your descision, nor can you make a choice for someone. We are an “in favor” of personal choice society. How many of you post on the anti-firearm sites?
    I am sorry to hear you have ache in your heart about it. but realistically, can you ever rid the problem with out bigger ones insueing?

    Comment by Jay — Sunday, June 27, 2004 @ 9:50 pm

  49. Comment by Anonymous — Tuesday, August 10, 2004 @ 3:25 pm

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