Lunch Break: Justin Bieber’s ‘Rolling Stone’ interviewer defends his comments on abortion

If you ask a celebrity to share their view on abortion, it’s bound to create some controversy.  Poor 16-year-old Justin Bieber is now facing some backlash from his new interview with Rolling Stone for his stance on abortion.

“I really don’t believe in abortion,” Justin said when he was asked about his opinion on abortion. “It’s like killing a baby?”

He was then asked what he thought about abortion in cases of rape and said, “Um. Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don’t know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.”

And it was his “everything happens for a reason” comment that has some critics attacking the Biebs.

Email LauraLoo with your Lunch Break suggestions.

[HT: Rolling Stone’s author Nicole Eggenberger]

41 thoughts on “Lunch Break: Justin Bieber’s ‘Rolling Stone’ interviewer defends his comments on abortion”

  1. I was pro-life at the age of 16. 16 year olds can know things about the abortion issue. They also can form educated/informed stance on it, too. Now I’m not saying they aren’t influenced by their parents…that stands to reason, but that was NOT the main reason I was pro-life at that age. I’m still pro-life and I’m a wife and mother and quite a bit older now and seen more regarding the issue than I did back then and I’m still pro-life. Parents can influence, but they aren’t always the primary reason for teens to think/feel/believe what they do.

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  2. I was 16 when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973. I knew what an unborn baby looked like and I knew abortion was murder. I was pro-life then and I’m pro-life now.

    I think everyone should learn the facts of fetal development before they’re 16. I learned through my mom’s very detailed “baby book” – the one she consulted during all her pregnancies. When my brother and I wanted to know how babies came, when we were around 9 and 11, she showed us the book’s drawings of babies developing in the womb. I was fascinated by them.

    There is nothing like knowledge; parents should not be afraid to reveal it. Unfortunately, this appears to be one aspect of biology the schools have no interest in.

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  3. Again with Doug hating the hair! I’ve always had pretty much the same hairstyle as his. I toss my head to get it out of my eyes and I harumph at you!  :)
     
    The youth can turn the tide on this. I knew from the time I found out where babies come from that abortion was wrong. I didn’t need 3-D ultrasounds or bloody pictures. If I could imagine dinosaurs and trips to Mars, I only needed the basic drawings of human development to extrapolate the existence of babies.

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  4. Doug,
     
    As one of those long-haired kids from the 70’s whose curly hair was worn in a big ‘fro, I resemble your remark!! ;-)
     
    C’mon man, let the kids wear it long before it starts to fall out. Don’t be such a grump!

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  5. Apparently, that wasn’t all of the quote:

    “Um. Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don’t know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.”

    RS originally omitted the bold part and claimed an “editing error”, according to this branch of Sympatico Newshttp://eatthis.inmusic.ca/2011/02/why-is-rolling-stone-asking-16-year-old-boys-their-opinions-on-abortion-and-rape-.html

    Don’t know how reliable Sympatico & InMusic are. I assume not very. It would take a lot for me to believe them, but I just thought I’d throw this out there.

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  6. My thoughts on Justin Bieber:

    I hate Justin Bieber. I hate commercial pop- Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and the rest of the Hollywood machine crew. However, to dismiss his opinions as “he’s just sixteen” is wrong and implies that we teenagers are too stupid to come to any meaningful opinions (of course, if he had said that he was pro-choice, he would have been labeled a “wise soul”).

    I do wish that he had not sounded so idiotic. His phrasing, as well as his comments on Korea, remind us why Bieber, Perry, and Lady Gaga ought to be asked about their mansions and hair and whatnot, and not about politics or social justice. I hate to be mean- it takes guts to say what he said, namely because people are already calling for his head on a stick. It’s sad, really, that a person’s career might be threatened over such a thing as supporting human rights.

    Anyway, it must be said: the new generation is pro-life. I get excited about thinking about the awesome things that my generation will change and I get excited seeing my friends start to think for themselves. It will be up to us to fix what generations previous broke (no offence to anyone- but it’s true). I’ve noticed that as a whole we are more pro-GLBAT, pro-life, pro-rational thought (science is awesome!), and I can’t find the studies, but I’ve also read that this is the trend all over. We’re the generation of girls who grew up with the motto that we can do anything and become anything and we’re a more eco-friendly generation. We can do amazing things. I’ll find that study later, when I get back from linguistics class.

    But the point is, Justin Bieber isn’t odd for our generation. I respect him more for his deciding to voice his support (I still won’t listen to his music), and I hope that, at the very least, this will cause at least one young girl reading that article to stop and think critically and rationally about this debate.

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  7. Vannah I’m sorry to hear that you hate Justin Bieber. Just on what basis do you hate Bieber if you’ve never listened to his music? Is it a personal grudge?
    Justin Bieber is a young teen who has the chance to achieve a dream. Allow him that much.
    He and his mother are Christians. Time will tell if he remains true to his values. So please don’t say you hate him. I”ve watched his videos and I like them. They are savvy and for the most part cool. He is a young teen singing about things that are important to teens his age. If he sang about things that 30 year old adults are experiencing it would be weird.
    He may have expressed his views awkwardly but he’s young. Were you savvy and cool when you were 16? Would you have know exactly the right wording to say if someone asked you such a charged question? And the question he was asked simply doesn’t get asked in Canada. He probably not thought alot about it.
     
     

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  8. Vannah – you hate Justin Bieber, or you hate his music? I don’t know much about him, but he sort of seems too benign to hate as a person…

    This dang video refuses to load for me. I tried it this morning a few times and I just tried it now again a few more times.

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  9. I just love how when he’s for socialism, they say he makes a good point, but when he’s for life, it’s “Well, he’s just a kid; it probably just comes from his Christian mother.”
    Hilarious. 

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  10. Angel and Marauder,

    I suppose that if he were a nice person, then I would eat my words and appologize, but I dislike commercial pop. It has nothing to do with any individual- it’s just that the whole record company makes millions using great marketing. I love music; I’m a musician and it’s hard to see people with very little understanding of music (I don’t think that he even writes his own songs) making so much money on so little ability. That’s all. It’s nothing to do with his recent comments, and he’s not the only one. I’ve disliked more people than him and I’ve disliked everything that he represents- commerical takeover, I guess- for some time.

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  11. I don’t think that anyone cares about his anti-abortion stance–I certainly don’t.  I may disagree with it, but to each his own, I suppose.
     
    The offensive point of that is absolutely the “everything happens for a reason bit.”  Being able to connect that statement in any way to rape, apart from saying that it is completely offensive, demeaning and wrong, is absolutely abhorrent.  What kind of person tells someone who has just been through an incredibly traumatic experience that “everything happens for a reason” and that they should take comfort in the fact that there pain has meaning?  On Facebook, I once observed an individual trying to justify/defend rape by stating that sometimes, in his opinion, when God wanted a particular child to be born and the parents would never get together in any other way, rape was necessary in order for procreation to take place.  If I hadn’t already been an atheist by that point, that comment would surely have turned me into one.

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  12. Vannah I have a daughter who is a classical musician and I play in an orchestra. There are lots of different types of music. Bieber’s music is for teens. Who cares if Bieber writes or doesn’t write his own music? Does that make his talent any less? And he does play piano, drums and guitar. Or did you even take the time to know that much. :(
    Enigma when you consider Bieber’s background – his mom being a teenage mom perhaps this is what he was reflecting upon.
    I don’t think that he was trivializing rape but perhaps meant that a baby coming out of rape – there is a reason for that baby. This would come from his Christian viewpoint. God allowed that baby to be conceived. Why is usually not immediately apparent to the victim/mother and we’ve all heard from people who were born as a result of rape. If their mother aborted them they would not be here today. And the world would be a lesser place for it.

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  13. Vannah,
     
    It sounds to me like jealousy on your part. In one post you have simultaneously
     
    1. Accused him of making lots of money on…
    2. Very little talent (not writing his own songs) while…
    3. You yourself are a musician.
     
    You come off as covetous, which is a violation of one of the Ten Commandments:
     
    “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.”
     
    This is the sort of envy that goes beyond mere wistfulness and into such powerful resentment that it leads to such statements as: “I hate Justin Bieber. I hate commercial pop- Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and the rest of the Hollywood machine crew.”


    Hatred is strong language, and in this context it’s a clue that you’ve crossed into covetousness. “Machine crew” is rather dehumanizing language in and of itself as well. Be content with the gifts that God has given you Vannah, and don’t begrudge someone in your field their good fortune, lest you suffocate your soul with bitterness and resentment.

    Glory in your own talent, on your own, without making invidious distinctions, and in so doing you will glorify God for His gifts to you.

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  14. They attack a 16 year old for saying he doesn’t know.  Yet they let the leader of the free world get away with:  It is above my paygrade, when asked about abortion and personhood.

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  15. Angel,
     
    “Enigma when you consider Bieber’s background – his mom being a teenage mom perhaps this is what he was reflecting upon.”
     
    I freely admit that I know next to nothing about him.  I had never even heard of Justin Bieber until I saw an advert for that movie about him.
     
    “I don’t think that he was trivializing rape but perhaps meant that a baby coming out of rape – there is a reason for that baby. This would come from his Christian viewpoint. God allowed that baby to be conceived. Why is usually not immediately apparent to the victim/mother and we’ve all heard from people who were born as a result of rape. If their mother aborted them they would not be here today. And the world would be a lesser place for it.”
     
    Dressing it up in prettier language doesn’t make it better.  If there’s a reason for the baby, there’s a reason for the rape.  That is reprehensible logic.  Nothing justifies that kind of pain and suffering, or that kind of abuse at the hands of others.
     
    Everyone would like to believe that the world is better of because we are in it.  In truth, none of us matter.  The world would keep turning regardless.

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  16. If I hadn’t already been an atheist by that point, that comment would surely have turned me into one.

    That’s probably a good indicator of why you are an atheist; I think most people who believe in God don’t suddenly change their minds because of something some random person on Facebook said.

    You don’t think any of us matter, Enigma? Do you love anyone? Is there anyone who makes the world a better place for you? The thought of someone believing no one in the world matters or can make the world a better place is sad, and I don’t mean that condescendingly.

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  17. Enigma,
    Bieber said “…I don’t know how that would be a reason.” He wasn’t trying to trivialize rape, he was trying to say that he doesn’t see how rape justifies abortion, and I agree. Does being conceived in rape make someone less of a human being? Do we punish people for the crimes of their fathers? No, and no. And these aren’t just personal philosophies, they’re based on the constitution as well.

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  18. Marauder,
     
    “That’s probably a good indicator of why you are an atheist; I think most people who believe in God don’t suddenly change their minds because of something some random person on Facebook said.”
     
    You do realize that I was being a tad bit facetious there, right?  I had made my decisions long before that point.  I was merely emphasizing quite how despicable I find that line of thinking to be.
     
    “You don’t think any of us matter, Enigma? Do you love anyone? Is there anyone who makes the world a better place for you? The thought of someone believing no one in the world matters or can make the world a better place is sad, and I don’t mean that condescendingly.”
     
    Of course I love people–I’m in a wonderful relationship, and I have great parents.  But, for instance, had my current partner and I never met, each of us would have found other people who we would be just as happy with.  Barring the limits of genealogy, everyone is replaceable, and that is how it should be.

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  19. NAR,
     
    You’ve taken that quote out of context.
     
    “Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don’t know how that would be a reason.”
     
    He’s clearly referring to the rape, not to abortion.
     
     

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  20. “Everyone would like to believe that the world is better of because we are in it.  In truth, none of us matter.  The world would keep turning regardless.”


    The turning of the world is a planetary phenomenon, part of the physical universe and the laws that govern its function. The turning of the world has nothing to do with the activities of its inhabitants and the meaning of those activities.
     
    We matter, each of us. Some of us are examples of goodness and decency, improving the lives of others by our actions. Others highlight the value of goodness and decency with the contrast provided by the depravity of their lives. There are easier ways of coming to appreciate goodness than suffering depravity, but that doesn’t lessen the example.
     
    I have friends in the pro-life movement who were conceived in rape, and God uses them to great effect. Their goodness and presence among us do in no way purpose the means by which they were conceived, but that doesn’t mean that God cannot bring great goodness out of great evil, as their lives attest.
     
    You’re right that nothing justifies the pain, suffering, and dehumanizing experience of rape. Nothing. But justification is the wrong word and wrong focus here. The issue is whether the beauty of the new life can redeem that suffering, either in whole or in part. And of course the answer is yes.
     
    Aborting the child conceived in rape redeems nothing and executes the child for the crimes of its father. It turns the victim into a victimizer, and leaves a void and an ache that can never be completely relieved.
     
    So the question for you Enigma is whether or not you see your presence here as giving meaning to the lives of any of your fellow 6.5 billion inhabitants of this spinning piece of cosmic dust.

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  21. Everyone would like to believe that the world is better of because we are in it.  In truth, none of us matter.  The world would keep turning regardless.
     
    It’s not that we necessarily believe that the world is better because of one single person per se but the truth is that God created that person and they have dignity because they are a human being.
    That dignity exists regardless of how we were made.
    Bieber is aware that good (a baby – a new human life) can come from something evil (rape).

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  22. Gerald,
     
    I use the world turning comment in it’s metaphorical, not literal sense.  That type of phrase is often used to imply that it doesn’t matter that much, and that life will go.  Even humanity as a species wouldn’t be negatively effected by the substitution of  currently living members for different ones, in the sense that the former group, in this example, had never been born, and different people had been born instead.  In the grand scheme of themes, individual identify is irrelevant.
     
    Nothing can really be redeemed.  That’s just what we say to ourselves in order to pretend that we can make things better.  The fallibility of memory plays a role here as well–events, particularly painful or traumatic ones, are often dulled by time.  We also like to rationalize, and will tend to think, “well, if x hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have y, and I really like y, so maybe x wasn’t so bad after all.”  If x hadn’t happened, the person in question would have gone done some other path that they would likely have been equally happy and satisfied with.
     
    Do I give meaning?  Giving meaning to someone else’s life is a tall order, and is a responsibility that I would not want to assume.  I also think that people should create meaning for themselves.  Have I helped people, or made them happy?  Yes, but had I never existed someone else would have performed the same role.
     
     

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  23. We also like to rationalize, and will tend to think, “well, if x hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have y, and I really like y, so maybe x wasn’t so bad after all.”  If x hadn’t happened, the person in question would have gone done some other path that they would likely have been equally happy and satisfied with.

    Your opinion perhaps. You don’t know that for a fact unless you can see the future!

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  24. Janet,
     
    No, but I do know how people think.  We value comfort, and like to believe that things have turned out for the best.  Yes, it is possible to screw up your life, and also likely that not all of the possible routs you could have taken will be equally palatable.  That doesn’t matter, however, because, unless your life is truly terrible or you have made one decision that screwed everything up irreparably, you are likely to think that your choices have made you happy.

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  25. Dr. Nadal,

    Don’t worry- I would hate to be famous. :)

    It’s not covetous- it’s just that I don’t like how PR guys can take someone from nowhere, remake his image, and market him to the masses on easy, simple pop music (again- it’s not him personally- it’s the industry). He’ll be a millionaire, sure, but that won’t make him a musician. I say I’m a musician because I write music and play instruments- am I a brilliant musician? No. Not really. But I enjoy what I do. Not everyone who dislikes the fickle nature of fame (and the shallow nature of the people who chase it) is just jealous because they aren’t celebrities themselves.

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  26. Enigma Said:You’ve taken that quote out of context.

    I apologize. My intent wasn’t to take the quote out of context, but to hilight that particular part of the quote, because really it’s pretty obvious that he’s trying to say “I don’t know how that [rape] would be a reason [for abortion],” because, yes, the “Everything happens for a reason” part is rather horrible, and I wouldn’t really want to be told that after a traumatic event.

    That being said, I would like to thank you for singlehandedly crushing any hope I had for the human race, but I guess what I say doesn’t matter because my “individual identity is irrelevant.” I would love to watch you tell someone who has lost a loved one that it doesn’t matter that they died because another human being will be born and fill up their space in the population. I’m sure that would go over so well.  

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  27. Whether you love or hate his singing, it seems to me that Bieber is a nice young man who hasn’t yet let his fame corrupt him.  I can’t say the same for Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.  Perry’s infamous “Teenage Dream” music video is practically pornographic, and Lady Gaga is a Madonna wannabe.

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  28.  
    Enigma,
     
    How can you call yourself an “individualist” (as you did on another thread) but claim to know how people think and believe that each of our lives and our choices have very little individual significance? You are aptly named.  Why did you pick that moniker anyways?

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  29. “Cynical, corrupt, and putrid adults railing against uncorrupted youth. A lamb among diseased wolves.”

    Dr Nadal….right on the money as usuall…

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  30. I’m glad you love people, Enigma, but I still see you as having a very tragic mindset. The fact that you’re an atheist isn’t the issue.  Basically, you’re some form of nihilist who seems to see people as meaningless on the whole. Do your parents and your current partner know you think they’re replaceable? I can’t imagine telling someone, “You know, honey, I love you and all, but you’re replaceable and who you are doesn’t really matter.” I don’t think that would make anyone feel loved and cherished. There’s a difference between realizing you could have been happy if you were with someone else and thinking of the person you’re with as yet another meaningless human being.

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  31. Hans Johnson: Again with Doug hating the hair! I’ve always had pretty much the same hairstyle as his. I toss my head to get it out of my eyes and I harumph at you!
     
    Wow Hans….  There is just no way you could look as dorky as Bieber, though.
     
     
    Gerard:  As one of those long-haired kids from the 70′s whose curly hair was worn in a big ‘fro, I resemble your remark!!

    C’mon man, let the kids wear it long before it starts to fall out. Don’t be such a grump!
     
    ::  laughing  ::   I hear you, Gerard.  Long-haired kid in the 70’s here too, though my hair was straight.  I don’t mind an afro, but with all due respect to Hans, it’s the combing-it-forward where I think Bieber fails so badly.
     
    All this talk and news of hazing, bullying, etc., lately, and I’m wondering where these people are when we need them…..
     
     
     
     
     
     

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  32. I think the title is misleading. Or are these the journalists who interviewed him for Rolling Stone?

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  33. NAT,
     
    I realize that this has gone past the first page, so that you are unlikely to read this response, but I will respond anyone, partly because I think that my positions have been misunderstood.
     
    I concede the point on the Bieber quote–you are correct, I misunderstood it.  That said, I still find it abhorrent.
     
    “That being said, I would like to thank you for singlehandedly crushing any hope I had for the human race, but I guess what I say doesn’t matter because my “individual identity is irrelevant.” I would love to watch you tell someone who has lost a loved one that it doesn’t matter that they died because another human being will be born and fill up their space in the population. I’m sure that would go over so well.”
     
    This is my fault–I only listed the cosmic part of my beliefs.  In the grand scheme of things, none of us matter.  None of us could ever matter.  At the same time, the moment matters to the person living it.  People care when they’re hurting, they revel when they’re happy.  In that sense, both life and people matter. Our lives don’t matter to the universe, but they do matter to us. In that sense, our lives have the meaning that we give them even though to the cosmos we are as mayflies, brief creatures that dart through life and then die, devoid of cosmic significance or meaning.

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  34. Janet and Marauder,
     
    I think my last paragraph to NAR should have explained my position in such a way as to respond to most of your comments.
     
    To reiterate, I am individualist because I value the individual over community.  Society is a good only so far as it enables and protects its inhabitants.  The only meaning our lives have is the meaning that we give them.
     
    Realistically, every person is romantically compatible with a number of other individuals.  Who you end up with has, in some ways, much more to do with how and when you me, as well as what life stage each person was in, than the actual people involved.  Love is not enough to sustain a relationship.
     

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  35. To reiterate, I am individualist because I value the individual over community.  Society is a good only so far as it enables and protects its inhabitants.  The only meaning our lives have is the meaning that we give them.


    But that makes one’s life  quite arbitrary.   Maybe you don’t care to answer, but how did you happen to choose your moniker, “Enigma”?  

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  36. “But that makes one’s life  quite arbitrary.”
     
    No, actually, it makes one’s life richer.  Instead of trying to make one’s life fit the shape that others have defined, it means the person in question is able to pursue what he/she truly values/enjoys.
     
    You may be confusing arbitrary with whim.  Giving your own meaning doesn’t necessarily imply that such meaning is capricious, as ever-changing and varied.  Most people operate on a set of core principles and assumptions that, barring the indiscretions of youth and an undeveloped brain, don’t come and go solely based on convenience.  Are there people who operate that way?  Absolutely.  But they are too pitied, and are no more indicative of what it means to believe in choosing the meaning of one’s own life than the Westboro Baptists are representative of what it means to be Christian.
     
    ” Maybe you don’t care to answer, but how did you happen to choose your moniker […]?”
     
    You know, it really is quite humorous how no one answers my questions, but as soon as I leave one stone unturned when I respond to someone else it’s as though I’ve announced that the Holocaust didn’t happen (it did, btw), or that the apocalypse has begun (it hasn’t).  It’s none of your business, and happens to be a story that I chose not to share in this context.

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  37. You know, it really is quite humorous how no one answers my questions….
    Enigma,
    I haven’t a clue what you are talking about. I can’t read your mind. Good evening.

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  38. The idea that someones opinion should be written off solely on the basis of age is ridiculous. I am a 17 years old and am very much pro-life. In fact all of my views tend to lean towards the right. My parents, however, are about as liberal as it gets. I do not get my ideas and beliefs from them. I do the research and decide for myself. Just because Bieber is a celebrity doesn’t mean the same doesn’t ring true for him. His views and his parents may correlate, however to say that he is mindlessly spewing out the crap that his mother and father taught him is insulting to our entire generation. Maybe he actually believes what he is saying? I really don’t see why he would make such a controversial statement about abortion when the media is constantly pushing the idea that abortion is ok, and it’s all about what you want to do with your body (which is an entirely different topic on which I could go on forever about). The risk simply wouldn’t be worth it to make mom and dad happy. He could have at least acted neutral towards the issue if he didn’t care about it.
     
    It is sad how so many people simply write my generation off as brainwashed, impressionable and completely lost. Maybe they should actually get to know one of us.

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  39. Sorry if my last post didn’t directly deal with this exact post, it’s just what some people had to say about this particular issue really made me realize how our generation is portrayed to the public.
     
    Anyway, I think Justin is awesome for standing up for what he believes in :)

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