Long weekend question

weekend question.jpgRH Reality Check's Amanda Marcotte has listed her top 10 stories on "sexual and reproductive issues" for 2008. She wrote in her introduction:

But one thing I'm happy to report is that in a field where it seems we're always fighting an uphill battle, 2008 was actually packed full of good news.

Interesting that we also feel we're fighting an uphill battle, although we actually are. Pro-deathers have been kings of the hill since 1973. That said, 2008 was indeed a raucus year on the life issue. In general, do you think the pro-life movement moved the abortion issue forward or lost ground in 2008?


Comments:

good question ... for once ;-P

In no uncertain terms, prolife does in fact have the uphill battle: they must justify forced gestation. prochoice on the other hand need not justify abortion.

I would not say that you all lost ground. You simple failed to take any further ground. All the prolife ballot measures in this election cycle failed, and although there's really no change in the general publics demographics and feelings about abortion, abortion appears to have become a less compelling one issue one issue only vote.

The conservatives have used these ballot (anti-gay laws and anti-abortion laws) initiatives not so much to get the initiatives passed but as a way to encourages a stronger turn out of one issue conservative voters blind to all else, and hopefully get a republican in office as a result. This time however, it appears to have been a wash and he liberals were motivated just as much as the conservatives were by the same measures.

With the new elect majorities and president, you are all poised to loose ground in 2009, as FOCA will be realized with little opposition. This will result in a new wave of court challenges that will likely roll back some of the restrictions you've all gotten passed in this dark era known as the Bush years.

That's why Dr. New has been engaged in a glib and humorously flawed tit for tat back and forth making a case for parental involvement laws... he can read the writing on the wall.

You have also lost your crack at a royal flush on the supreme court... as it's rumored that at least two of the standing justices will likely step down now. Although even your weak government strict interpretation ideologues, curiously arriving at unprecedented and enigmatic interpretations (e.g. 2nd amendment), would also be hard pressed to make a case for the state's authority over the woman's body.

Best,
Cameron

Posted by: Cameron at December 26, 2008 11:41 AM


I think one of the biggest gains was bringing attention to the born-alive issue. Most people weren't aware of it before it became an issue in the election. Even though a lot of voters believed Obama's lies about the law protecting these babies, the good news is that the law is online and anyone interested in knowing the truth can read it for themselves.

Even though we have a huge uphill battle against the changes Obama wants to make, we also have science and truth on our side. There are a lot of people who voted for Obama who are going to get a rude wake-up call when they discover how radically pro-death he is. This could play well into the hands of pro-lifers. Smoke and mirrors only work for so long. They may have gotten him elected, but they do nothing to insure he stays popular with his supporters.

Posted by: Fed Up With Obama at December 26, 2008 12:43 PM


I would not say that you all lost ground. You simple failed to take any further ground.

I agree with that, and also that pro-lifers have the more uphill battle, generally, legally and also culturally. I know people who are basically pro-life but who definitely shy away from identifying themselves as such. I still agree with what I said in this thread: http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/2008/11/new_stanek_wnd_58.html

I think that, culturally, the pro-life movement's difficulty is also one of its strengths: that the people who are most devoted to the cause are often strongly religious. I think it's a strength because religion is a source of motivation, a source of purpose, and also a source of comfort in failure or heartbreak. But I think it's a problem because then the pro-life movement becomes inextricably intertwined with other "religious" issues like homosexual rights, birth control, etc. Issues most people would really prefer to leave untouched. The pro-life label is, in many ways, narrowly defined by its most vocal -- and often strongest -- members.

And I think that people who are pro-life but not religious see their cause being used for so long as a wedge issue to elect politicians, and they're kind of starting to think that politicians who oppose abortion lose a lot of support if they lose the ability to oppose abortion. By that I mean, opposing abortion is a platform to run on, so many pro-life politicians have more of an interest in keeping abortion legal than in re-criminalizing it. I see a lot of frustration among moderate pro-lifers who feel like they are being used every four years for a conservative vote, then sent back home and told to be quiet. I think the pro-life movement is ready to jump out of the realm of the religious, the conservative, and into something more pragmatic than ideological, something willing to cross party affiliations.

Personally I think it's a change the pro-life movement needs. They need to seem like they want to move forwards rather than backwards, like they want to change society rather than prevent society from changing any more than it already has.

Posted by: Alexandra at December 26, 2008 2:42 PM


Moved the abortion issue forward! More minds and hearts have/and are converting to the life stance everyday!

Posted by: Germaine at December 26, 2008 2:55 PM


Cameron, in the end, you will not win because you believe in DEATH. Not only do we not believe DEATH will triumph, we KNOW it will not. Your answer to life's problems is always DEATH. Death to the baby, death to a woman's God-given abilities to bear and nurture life, death to purity, death to marriage and committment, death to freedom through self-mastery, death to self-sacrifice.
Our victory maybe will not come in the next 4 years or the next 40 years, but ultimately, LIFE will win. Because we have God, the giver and author of LIFE on our side and you quite simply, do NOT.
All we have to do is continue fighting and be faithful.
When we die, we will be welcomed. When you die, you will be asked "Why?" and you won't have an answer. But God's answer to you will be eternal DEATH, because that's what you've chosen in life and what you lived for. Make sure, you know what it is you choose.

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 26, 2008 2:57 PM


But I think it's a problem because then the pro-life movement becomes inextricably intertwined with other "religious" issues like homosexual rights, birth control, etc. Issues most people would really prefer to leave untouched. The pro-life label is, in many ways, narrowly defined by its most vocal -- and often strongest -- members.

These are "life" issues though. Homosexuality is not a life-giving, life-affirming way to live, despite what it's many adherents and promoters claim. Birth control and the contraceptive mentality are also life issues because they forfeit a life open to the possibility of creating and welcoming new life. It is a life lived saying "NO" in a very personal way with your body. And when one says no to life in this manner, abortion must be a part of this declination.

Yes, and we well know people would like these issues "untouched" because they prick their consciences and make them feel defensive and uncomfortable about their "choices". But "choices" have consequences for individuals and society, something liberal thinkers try very hard to ignore.

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 26, 2008 3:10 PM


These are "life" issues though.

Do you want to tie the lives of unborn children to the success of the religious to convince the secular that being gay is an unhealthy way to live? I'm not saying that you can't have your opinions on homosexuality or birth control. You don't know my opinions on the matters, and they might surprise you. What I'm saying is, making abortion a small part of the bigger "religious issues" packages basically ensures that until the entire US is strictly religious, abortion will be legal.

But "choices" have consequences for individuals and society, something liberal thinkers try very hard to ignore.

What the pro-life movement needs to decide is if it wants the support of "liberal thinkers," if by liberal thinkers you mean people who only care about the choices whose consequences directly affect the lives of others.

I mean, it seems to me that the best way to grow the pro-life movement in this country is to open it to as many people as possible. Not to close it off by expanding the subject to include every controversial issue that could conceivably, indirectly, affect one's views on the sanctity of life. Make it about abortion, not religion. Make it about women and men and children, not God.

Posted by: Alexandra at December 26, 2008 3:44 PM


I think people who are used to getting their way, have fits when they cannot manipulate others despite their best efforts, into giving them what they want. They can't figure out why they haven't bullied us into giving in by now-therefore it's an "uphill battle" for them.

For us, it feels uphill because we cannot believe this debate still continues over murdering babies.

Posted by: Pansy Moss at December 26, 2008 4:32 PM


Make it about abortion, not religion. Make it about women and men and children, not God.

Posted by: Alexandra at December 26, 2008 3:44 PM

It IS about women and children and men. Abortion is a human problem. It is because our society no longer believes itself answerable to a higher power that the culture of death exists. We've had 40 years of doing things without God - maybe that's what we need to return to. Living life according to the 10 Commandments, starting with "Thou shalt not kill".

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 26, 2008 4:56 PM


Well said Alexandra. :)

Posted by: Rae at December 26, 2008 5:32 PM


I mean, it seems to me that the best way to grow the pro-life movement in this country is to open it to as many people as possible. Not to close it off by expanding the subject to include every controversial issue that could conceivably, indirectly, affect one's views on the sanctity of life.

Unfortunately, this narrow view ignores the fact that life issues are all interconnected.

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 26, 2008 5:41 PM


"Make it about women and men and children, not God."

But it's so much fun to tell people they're going to hell.

Nicely put!

Posted by: Cameron at December 26, 2008 5:45 PM


Hear what you want to hear, I guess.

Nobody's condemning anybody, here. Hate the sin, not the sinner. Abortion is a problem for society. A disgusting way we get rid of something we don't want.

I try not to bring religion into my conversations with pro-choice people. People like me don't choose that because we feel it is not relevant. We do so because once we talk about religion, others choose not to listen. That is not the fault of the pro-life people, but a sad selection by others who are blind to other viewpoints, that equate faith with blind allegiance to someone else's dogma.

I don't need to believe in God to know what is in front of me... that ripping a fetus apart, limb by limb is not the same as removing a kidney. That the kick of a child in the womb represents a reality we shouldn't be able to erase with a medical procedure. And finally, that love will always win in the end and hearts will be changed when people stop lying to themselves and face truth.

Posted by: Alex at December 26, 2008 7:05 PM


I don't need to believe in God to know what is in front of me... that ripping a fetus apart, limb by limb is not the same as removing a kidney.

This is NOT the point. Most pro-choice people know that it is a baby they are destroying and that is quite acceptable to them.
It is a matter of philosophy not biology. And the philosophy pro-aborts live by is that the "right" to bodily autonomy trumps everything else. This applies not only to abortion, but same-sex relationships, sex, euthanasia and so forth. It is a lifestyle that is in complete opposition to the belief that our bodies are NOT our own, that we were made for something higher and that a person cannot just do whatever they wish with their body - that there is a limit to bodily autonomy for each and every one of us. In the end, it all comes down to this.

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 26, 2008 7:51 PM


I would say we lost ground severly, with the election of a rabid pro-abort President. It will take decades to undo the damage this sociopath will do.

Posted by: Jasper at December 26, 2008 8:15 PM


Jasper, one quality of being a "sociopath" is severe anti-social behavior. So, no, Obama isn't a sociopath. He has views you don't agree with. Dun dun dunnnn.

@ Posted by: Alexandra at December 26, 2008 3:44 PM
As a couple others have said, you are so right. The way to get people to see the pro-life way definitely isn't making fun of them, telling them they're wrong in their religious beliefs, and then cramming every other believe you have down their throats.

Posted by: Josephine at December 26, 2008 8:38 PM


It's sad when all the pro-choicers don't have is partial-birth abortion and they still feel as if they have an uphill battle.

Posted by: Nathan Sheets at December 26, 2008 8:48 PM


Jasper, one quality of being a "sociopath" is severe anti-social behavior. So, no, Obama isn't a sociopath.

Actually, many sociopaths do NOT present with "severe anti-social behaviour". Most demonstrate a lack of empathy, lie, are narcissistic, manipulative etc. While Obama may have many of those characteristics I think he's primarily a liberal, secular humanist who has a distorted sense of right and wrong and who is interested in power more than anything else.

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 26, 2008 9:00 PM


Josephine,

Other qualities of sociopaths include being incredibly manipulative, cunning, intelligent and charming. They are masters of the facade and knowing exactly what you want to see and hear.
You encounter sociopaths all the time and never know it. Most are not criminals. They're the people you were shocked to discover had lied about or to you. Its the workplace romeo who "scores" time and again. Its the master politician.

Posted by: Mary at December 26, 2008 9:02 PM


tttl, 9PM

You are certainly correct about the traits of sociopathy.
I remain convinced Obama is a sociopath. One giveaway that convinced me was his giving the "finger" to Hillary and McCain.
His superficial facade as a man of class and charm slipped. His real self came through. Sociopaths are very superficial people. The facades serve a purpose only, they are not genuine.

Posted by: Mary at December 26, 2008 9:10 PM


My religion teaches that "unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you shall not have life within you." But I am not interested in forcing anyone to partake of the Holy Eucharist, regardless of what they believe in. Why should I care?

To say that people like me are trying to "force our religion" on anyone shows a tremendous ignorance of my religion. For 150 years, science has told us that life begins at conception. That is SCIENCE, not religious dogma. In fact, my church did not say that life began at conception UNTIL science proved it!

And yet, somehow, pro-abortion maniacs are allowed to get away with claiming to be on the side of "science" and "reason" when they deny the last 150 years of science in order to justify their position.

I object to the killing of children. It also happens that my religion agrees with me that killing children is bad. So what?

My religion also tells me that I should go to Mass every Sunday and on Holy Days of Obligation, that I should go to Sacramental Confession, and as I said, that I should receive the Eucharist. That is what my religion is, for the most part. But I don't want to force more people to go to my church. On the contrary, I wish that fewer people would go to my church. I wish that the people who don't really believe what my religion teaches would go find some other religion that suits them instead of screwing up mine.

Posted by: John Lewandowski at December 26, 2008 9:27 PM


John: I hear you re: the lukewarm Catholics.

Mary: yes you are quite right. sociopaths have a smooth facade.

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 26, 2008 9:39 PM


I would say we lost ground severly, with the election of a rabid pro-abort President. It will take decades to undo the damage this sociopath will do.
Posted by: Jasper at December 26, 2008 8:15 PM

Sadly I must agree, and add not only the damage Obama will do but a very liberal congress, even more liberal in 2009.

Posted by: Joanne at December 26, 2008 10:43 PM


Pro-deathers are fighting an uphill battle according to Amanda? Well, that's a joke.

What are they still fighting for? A ONE hundred percent abortion rate? (sarcasm alert)

I don't want to force my religion on anyone either. Just don't take away my right to practice my beliefs. That's what we're up against now. My religion is practiced IN the world, not in a vacuum. Ya know?

Posted by: Janet at December 26, 2008 11:21 PM


God is in control and as Ceasar was in control at the time of the birth of Christ and issuing edicts for a census to be taken, Jospeh and Mary went to Bethlehem in obedience to Ceasar's command that a census be taken. This was all propheside years before that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem. God is not at all surprised or alarmed at any of this. (By the way, Ceaser is now in the grave and Christ is at the right hand of the Father.)

God has to be laughing at all the assertions of Libs that they are winning. They are not winning, we have not lost ground. Jesus was raised and God will make all things new. When one does right he never loses, never.

Just hope you're on the right side at the Day of Reckoning.

Posted by: HisMan at December 26, 2008 11:27 PM


Mary, I'm looking in a psychology dictionary right now. Every single definition of sociopath has "anti-social" in it. He isn't a sociopath, no matter what else you think about him. :)


"To say that people like me are trying to "force our religion" on anyone shows a tremendous ignorance of my religion. For 150 years, science has told us that life begins at conception. That is SCIENCE, not religious dogma. In fact, my church did not say that life began at conception UNTIL science proved it!"

John, I don't think you're trying to force your religion down anyone's throat because you're pro-life, or because you think others should be pro-life. I agree with that. But, to tell someone it's a sin, quote some bible passages, and then go on to talk about other topics like gay marriage... well, that is cramming religion down other people's throats.

Has anyone seen the movie Religulous by Bill Maher? I think a lot of you need to watch it to see the other side.


Posted by: Josephine at December 26, 2008 11:29 PM


Mary,

How did I know you were going to pop up and share with us your knowledge of all things psycho/social?

Josephine, this election has given me more than I EVER wanted to see of the other side.

Cameron,
Gotta say, when I saw that you were the first poster on this thread, I braced myself for the inevitable tougue-lashing that you ruthlessly unleash upon us prolifers.
Imagine my surprise when I was able to read your post and still live to tell about it!
This moderator thanks you.

Posted by: carder at December 26, 2008 11:36 PM


Whether we have lost ground or gained is for pundits to opine who have nothing better to do with their time than delight the rest of us with their wisdom. What I do know is that the stunning success of the 40 days for life campaign has brought an unprecedented grass roots involvement in pro-life activism, and that many fruits were born of that movement. We have state's attorney generals looking into charges against the here-to-fore untouchable Planned Parenthood. We have national exposure of PP's willingness to co-operate in child abuse. We have with every passing day more and more people seeing the reality of the horror of abortion, many of whom are women who are speaking out about the spiritual and emotional devastation in their lives that accompanied the emptying of their wombs.

Posted by: Jerry at December 26, 2008 11:45 PM


..although the election of Obama may enerigize the pro-life base even more. Who knows what may happen...

Posted by: Jasper at December 27, 2008 12:00 AM



Posted by: carder at December 26, 2008 11:36 PM

The movie isn't about the right vs. the left. It's about religion. It sure would help people see why the religious argument doesn't work on many. :)

Posted by: Josephine at December 27, 2008 12:00 AM


Carder,

Thanks for the acknowledgement. Seems some here would still attack me personally for as much though.

Generally... when Jill's being smarmy, she gets my smarmy. Jill was not being smarmy this time.... perhaps lightened by the seasonal spirit.

Posted by: Cameron at December 27, 2008 6:03 AM


Josephine,

I understand your point, but I think the audience you suggest see the movie are those LEAST likely to and Maher is as guilty of being inconsiderate of the religious perspective as some might say religious pro-lifers are inconsiderate of the non-religious perspective. Bill Maher is lost and immature in many ways. Many, many ex-Catholics revert back to their faith in their later years and he may very well be one of those who returns to the Church.

As an aside, see
http://www.catholicscomehome.org/
for info on "coming home".

Overall, I have hope for the anti-abortion movement, but individuals can't sit back and wait for change. Hearts will be changed "one heart at a time" and it will take hard work, dedication, and creativity on the part of pro-lifers to meet the challenges. The non-religious pro-lifers will need to step up to the plate as well.

The term "pro-life" helps and hurts us at the same time. While trying to encompass MANY issues, it clouds the MAIN issue of abortion in certain ways. Perhaps we pro-lifers could reach many of the previously "unreachable" groups of people by focussing on abortion alone in our conversations with them.
http://www.catholicscomehome.org/

God bless you.

Happy New Year to all!

P.S. I saw the movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". It makes us consider the value of one man's life. While not a five-star movie, IMO, it is very thought-provoking and enjoyable.

Posted by: Janet at December 27, 2008 6:19 AM


I'd like to stress that it wasn't my intent to imply that anyone is pushing their religion on someone else, so if that line of discussion sprang up because of something I said, I'm sorry. I just meant that even religious pro-lifers might be well-served to frame the debate in secular terms -- even if secular reasons are not the main reasons they're pro-life. My point wasn't that religious people are trying to cram more people into their churches, but that the abortion issue is one that can be agreed upon regardless of whether you go to church or not, so more support is gained by including opposing religious views than by excluding them.

And thanks Rae, Cameron, and Josephine. :)

Posted by: Alexandra at December 27, 2008 7:00 AM


I don't want to force my religion on anyone either. Just don't take away my right to practice my beliefs. That's what we're up against now. My religion is practiced IN the world, not in a vacuum. Ya know?

Posted by: Janet at December 26, 2008 11:21 PM

yes, very good!


the abortion issue is one that can be agreed upon regardless of whether you go to church or not,

agreed, but framing the debate in secular terms has never garnered us any brownie points because the debate always comes down to personal bodily autonomy and a distorted understanding of a "right" to privacy which is exclusive to women and not granted to anyone else in society.

The debate is no longer in the biological realm, it is in the philosophical realm and the other side (the purveyors of the culture of death) are not the least bit open to discussion. They want what they want, PERIOD. Even at the expense of democracy.

Hence the current approach of working towards having the Supreme Court of California overturned valid referendum results because certain behaviours are viewed as "rights".

Hence the current practice of stifling debate on college campuses because abortion is a basic human "right".

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 27, 2008 8:22 AM


Josephine,

Another definition of sociopath is anti-social personality. It does not mean these people are axe murderers or engage in criminal activity.
It means these are people void of conscience and empathy for others. Their anti-social behavior may be on a more personal level.
The person who trashes your reputation, undermines you at a job, or is determined to add you to their list of sexual conquests is displaying anti-social behavior.
These are people you can't trust any farther than you can throw them. They can also be the most charming and endearing people you ever met. You encounter these people all the time and never know it.
As I have mentioned I came to the painful realization that a longtime co-worker and friend is a sociopath. The guy would do anything to help me out, we get along fine, etc. He's also pulled some dirty stunts on me! However, I let bygones be bygones but I always keep in mind I am dealing with a sociopath, however friendly he may be.
In my opinion Obama has displayed behavior that raises red flags for me. His charisma and ability to charm and manipulate, the willingness of people to overlook his questionable associations and inexperience, the thin veneer of charm and brotherly love, his involvement with questionable characters (Ayers, Rezko)and his willingness to throw an inconvenient pastor under the bus.
Some may argue that Obama is Narcissistic, but in fact the two disorders are very closely related and share the same traits.

Posted by: Mary at December 27, 2008 8:42 AM


the biggest problem today is not sociopaths, it's narcissists.
Apparently, there are so many people with this personality disorder that psychologists are saying this is a significant factor in marriage breakdowns - one or both spouses are narcissists.
Amazing!

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 27, 2008 8:45 AM


Alexandra,

It nice to see you again. I was just thinking again the other day how I wish my mother had named me Alexandra. She almost did too!

Anyway, abortion has been played as a religious issue from day one by abortion advocates who needed a boogeyman. If you want to unify people, give them a common enemy, something to hate and blame. Ironically it was abortion supporters who made this a religious issue.
The Catholic Church fit the bill. The Evangelicals do now.
Slavery and segregation were moral issues though religious people were deeply involved in ending these evils. The civil rights movement was led by Dr.King, a minister. It was very religiously oriented. This did not make civil rights a religious issue. Quakers were a very active force in the abolitionist movement. Clergy condemned it from the pulpit. Slavery however was a moral issue.
Abortion is and always was a moral and ethical issue. People of all faiths and no faith are involved in trying to end it. Just like the movements to end slavery and segregation.

Posted by: Mary at December 27, 2008 8:52 AM


TTTL,

A marriage with any kind of personality disorder is difficult at best, and likely closer to impossible. Sociopaths and Narcissists share many of the same traits. My sister is a Narcissistic PD and if she and I can have a civil conversation, its an accomplishment. There is no sisterly bond between us, not unusual with PDs. According to Dr.Martha Stout, author of "The Sociopath Next Door" 25% or 1 in 4 of the American population is sociopathic.

Posted by: Mary at December 27, 2008 9:00 AM


Carder 11:36PM

How nice to see you here again. Thank you for your kind words. I'm afraid I've spent my life surrounded by this. I only wish I knew then what I know now! But then, isn't that the ongoing lament of old age?

Posted by: Mary at December 27, 2008 9:48 AM


Mary,

Your observations on sociopathy/narcissism are always interesting!
Do you think the numbers (one in four people) have been constant through history or are they growing? More specifically, are they being passed from one generation to the next, either genetically or culturally, as you see it?

. . . . . . . .

Alexandra @ 7:00 AM,

....My point wasn't that religious people are trying to cram more people into their churches, but that the abortion issue is one that can be agreed upon regardless of whether you go to church or not, so more support is gained by including opposing religious views than by excluding them.

To take your point further, I don't believe abortion is a religious issue at all. It affects all of us as members of the human race. It's life and death issue, literally.

Posted by: Janet at December 27, 2008 11:49 AM


We lost a great deal in 2006 and 2008, losing ground in Congress twice and losing the White House.

It is actually very simple to win this struggle (not easy but simple). There are a few critical things that need to be done, but have never been done. This is baffling and distressing in the extreme. The major pro-life organizations have been doing roughly the same things for 35 or 40 years and always they end in failure. Unless something changes, they will do the same things in 2010 and 2012 and we will fail again.

This is a common problem for human beings. There are blind spots and weaknesses. People get comfortable in a certain routine and cannot break out. We get stuck in a rut and cannot really see what needs to be done to actually win a struggle or end an injustice. So we end up endlessly fighting to get parents notified about the killing of unborn children rather than trying to stop the killing. We even go so far as to fight in federal court to get "Choose Life" license plates! This while 1,000,000 children are killed every week in this world.

We do not know what we are doing and have failed to achieve any strategic victory. Until we come up with a sound strategic plan to defeat the abortionists (which can be done and should have been done long ago) we will not win in our lifetime. We must get it right in 2010 and 2012 because if things go as I expect we could be riding a tidal wave of support for Republican candidates and we must have a vast pro-life effort so that we can inflict a severe defeat on the anti-life forces and win this thing once and for all.

Posted by: Joe at December 27, 2008 12:15 PM


too stunned to laugh @ 8:22 AM

"the abortion issue is one that can be agreed upon regardless of whether you go to church or not,"

agreed, but framing the debate in secular terms has never garnered us any brownie points because the debate always comes down to personal bodily autonomy and a distorted understanding of a "right" to privacy which is exclusive to women and not granted to anyone else in society.

The debate is no longer in the biological realm, it is in the philosophical realm and the other side (the purveyors of the culture of death) are not the least bit open to discussion. They want what they want, PERIOD. Even at the expense of democracy.

Excellent points. The bodily autonomy argument is contrary to human nature. We are doomed to become extinct if we can justify a "right" to NOT reproduce. Perhaps the one-in-four sociopaths are those using the BA argument? Perhaps three-of-four people ARE pro-life. This defies statistics "society" would have us believe - that most people not pro-lifers.

IMO, we need to remove the word pro-choice from the arguments. It undermines the ability to find the truth.

Posted by: Janet at December 27, 2008 12:16 PM


Joe,

Good points, but what is this simple strategy you refer to? Did I miss something?

We even go so far as to fight in federal court to get "Choose Life" license plates! This while 1,000,000 children are killed every week in this world.

I don't feel advocating "Choose Life" license plates are a waste of time. It's a free speech issue after all. Denying the plates is a waste of time.

Posted by: Janet at December 27, 2008 12:27 PM


@ Posted by: Mary at December 27, 2008 8:42 AM


Mary, every definition of sociopath includes anti-social behavior. Anti-social behavior is also listed as KEY for "sociopathic behavior". I'm not sure where you're getting your information from, but mine is from psychiatry books and my mom.


@ Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 27, 2008 8:45 AM

One of the biggest problems in society is that everyone thinks everyone has a disorder. Not everyone needs to be diagnosed. Maybe if you take away people's excuses, they'll actually have to start working on their marriages! Ha!

Posted by: Anonymous at December 27, 2008 12:42 PM


Janet, 11:49am

Thank you. I got that statistic from Dr.Stout's book so I really don't have a clue if this has been consistent. She could give you a far more expert opinion on that. I would also recommend her book which you can get on Amazon.

Some people believe sociopaths and narcissists are made. I am personally convinced they are born. I also believe there is a genetic component, that it is passed on though the generations. I believe the same concerning mental illness. I also think that's just how the brain can wire prenatally with no family history.
Again, experts may disagree, others agree, but I remain convinced.

I read one account, and I'm sorry I don't have the source, of an expert of some sort who is convinced there is no such thing as any lack of bonding syndrome, where you see children who have been neglected and abused displaying dangerous behavior, i.e. the child killing animals. He's convinced these children were born to sociopaths, which would explain the abuse and neglect, and are displaying inherited sociopathic behavior.
Interestingly, my friend who teaches special ed. said she had a sociopathic child in her classroom. She described him as beautiful, manipulative, and totally devoid of conscience.

Dr.Stout stresses the importance of learning to recognize sociopaths and how to protect yourself from them.

Speaking of sociopaths, look at Bernie Madoff.
I can promise you his only regret is getting caught. The destruction he has left behind does not cause him to lose any sleep.

Posted by: Mary at December 27, 2008 12:51 PM


Anon 12:42PM

A good point. We're a society that has to invent syndromes, disorders, and victimhood. OUr ancestors were to busy struggling to survive to indulge in such a luxury.
However, there are indeed pathologies and one needs to be on guard against them, especially sociopathy.
Again, Bernie Madoff is a perfect example.

Posted by: Mary at December 27, 2008 12:54 PM


HisMan: solid faith in the sovereignty of God is the proper context for Christian social action. I heartily second your remarks.

Niebuhr treated the question of Christ and Culture some time ago. Links abound; a casual summary may help the unacquainted here:

http://snurl.com/95ztd

It's not that there's one "correct" approach. Truth about reality requires careful thinking about ones engagement with culture.

God provides us with both general and special revelation -- nature's book as well as scripture. Secular readings in nature are sources of grace (rain falling on the just and the unjust), but in a fallen world, readings in nature are perverted no less than readings of scripture are perverted among heretical sects.

This seems especially true in matters philosophical. The postmodern world has largely abandoned reason and embraced politics, and it seems no coincidence that philosophical literacy is either lacking or in thrall to the masturbatory ruminations of identity politics.

Christian engagement in the world, with the world, will require understanding the world as it actually is. It will also require changes in how one views ones own faith. Knowing the creeds does not mean understanding their implications fully; that's the existential gift continued living offers, if we don't close our brains to how God intends to grow us through our engagement with a culture in dire need of redemption. All of us are missionaries to this culture, but the mission field also clarifies our vision of the Gospel -- or should. That's because God is always ahead of us in the world, not tagging along behind our effort.

But I yack too much.

I hope all here had a Merry Christmas.

Posted by: rasqual at December 27, 2008 1:31 PM


Welcome back, Rasqual.

Posted by: carder at December 27, 2008 1:46 PM


Yes, welcome back you Rasqual you.

Posted by: HisMan at December 27, 2008 2:32 PM


rascal The postmodern world has largely abandoned reason and embraced politics,

Amen.

I hope you had a merry Christmas as well!

Posted by: Janet at December 27, 2008 4:40 PM


Anon 12:42PM

Please refer back to my 8:42am post.

Posted by: Mary at December 27, 2008 7:39 PM


Anon was me. I was on a different computer, sorry. And I agree with you. I know there are cases, I think most people just like to believe they're much more common than they actually are.

Posted by: Josephine at December 27, 2008 11:25 PM


One of the biggest problems in society is that everyone thinks everyone has a disorder. Not everyone needs to be diagnosed. Maybe if you take away people's excuses, they'll actually have to start working on their marriages! Ha!


Posted by: Anonymous at December 27, 2008 12:42 PM

well, try being in a marriage to a narcissist! I would imagine it would be very difficult to MAKE it work.
or
being married to someone with the emotional maturity of a 7 year old.
I personally know of two such situations. These "problems" were not evident prior to the marriage but became so in the years afterward. In the latter situation, it was like the wife had another child. The husband was a functioning adult, as in, he had a very good job, but absolutely no close friends.
These things do happen, you know.

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 28, 2008 7:28 AM


TSTL,

My mother spent 20 years married to a borderline personality disorder. Talk about walking on eggshells, abuse, violence, irrational behavior,etc. I talked to an expert on BPD who was surprised my mother lasted that long and then simply said, "your mother never had a prayer".
My sister is Narcissistic PD, closely related to borderline, and my daughter is so much like my father its eerie. My mother is also convinced her mother had sociopathic tendencies. I have no doubt these disorders are hereditary.
Now, you wonder why I know something about personality disorders?!
Another interesting point about these people. They will always view themselves as the victims, never seeing what they have done to someone else.
Also, relationships, especially marriage, with these people are extremely difficult at best.

Posted by: Mary at December 28, 2008 9:19 AM


Joe,

"We do not know what we are doing and have failed to achieve any strategic victory."

The problem is that you all cannot even ask the right question. You'll never get the answer right when with every breath you do nothing more the assert the wrong question or deny the right question.

Posted by: Cameron at December 28, 2008 9:30 AM


Cameron,

Say what?

Posted by: Mary at December 28, 2008 10:02 AM



@ Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 28, 2008 7:28 AM

I didn't say no one has these problems. But far fewer people than you actually think do have real problems. It's the same with things like ADD and ADHD maybe they exist in a small percentage of people, but for the most part.. it's an excuse for bad behavior. :) It's the same case for what you're talking about.

Posted by: Josephine at December 28, 2008 11:59 AM


Another interesting point about these people. They will always view themselves as the victims, never seeing what they have done to someone else.
Also, relationships, especially marriage, with these people are extremely difficult at best.

Posted by: Mary at December 28, 2008 9:19 AM

oh boy is this EVER true! The lack of empathy with others is appalling.

Josephine, I don't think you have enough life experience yet, to quite know what you are talking about. Just my opinion.

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 28, 2008 12:46 PM


TSTL,
Maybe I don't. But my mother is a doctor of psychiatry and I called her to ask about your post, so I do know the facts. Maybe you need to do more research. :)

Life experience has nothing to do with knowing how many people suffer from illnesses, education does...

Posted by: Josephine at December 28, 2008 1:08 PM


yeah, but does your mom sit on a marriage tribunal Josephine, cuz my data comes from both psychiatric sources and canon lawyers....

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 28, 2008 2:27 PM


@Josephine: your mom is not the be all and end all of psychiatric knowledge you know.
just a thought :-D

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 28, 2008 2:28 PM


TSTL: About your first post: Uhm, show me some data to back up the number of people that have the particular problem you're talking about?

Second, I know. But she does know the facts. You can't just say because you think more people have a disorder than actually DO that you're right. It's a statistic. You know it or you don't. You obviously don't, because you're wrong. Way less people have REAL disorders than you'd think. Many people just like to blame their problems on factors outside themselves. :)

Posted by: Josephine at December 28, 2008 3:31 PM


Hey all. Not up for debate today, nor have I been lately, but I just wanted to drop in and wish everyone a late happy Christmas/Hanukkah/Eid/Diwali/etc.

Also, if none of you have ever been to a Diwali festival, I recommend it--I went to one at the beginning of the month and it's SO cool... plus Indian food, hello!!! Ciao, amici!

Posted by: Leah at December 28, 2008 3:53 PM


Re: Josephine--take ADD and ADHD for example. WAY too many kids are medicated for that. Lazy parenting is the real problem.

Posted by: Leah at December 28, 2008 3:55 PM


@ Posted by: Leah at December 28, 2008 3:55 PM

Exactly.

Posted by: Josephine at December 28, 2008 3:59 PM


Merry Christmas, Leah!

Posted by: Carla at December 28, 2008 4:08 PM


Hi Josephine,

I'm not up for arguing either. Have you ever taken a statistics class? Statistics can be manipulated however one wants. Please note - I'm not saying that all researchers have ulterior motives. Errors can also occur even with those who are most conscientious in their methodology. In other words - statistics are not the be all end all.

Posted by: Janet at December 28, 2008 4:23 PM


You can't just say because you think more people have a disorder than actually DO that you're right. It's a statistic. You know it or you don't. You obviously don't, because you're wrong.

Oh, like this is a really logical, scientific way to think. And you're gonna be a doctor? hmmmm

I didn't state that I thought so, I stated that people who are canon lawyers and psychiatrists and psychotherapists have stated that they are seeing more people who fit the definition of BPD's such as narcissism. Okay?

Sweetums, it might also be that there are fewer people growing up in stable families that contribute to more people having emotional and personality disfunctions. It might also be that certain disorders such as ADD and ADHD were not fully understood and therefore not diagnosed 20 and 30 years ago. These are all reasonable possibilities.
Janet's line of reasoning is also quite plausible. Stats can be manipulated in many ways.

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 28, 2008 4:32 PM


Yes, I have taken a statistics class...
And you're right, but statistics plus professional opinions are pretty hard to disprove. It's not like my mom is the only doctor that many people are far too "over-diagnosed".

Posted by: Josephine at December 28, 2008 4:33 PM


Re: Josephine--take ADD and ADHD for example. WAY too many kids are medicated for that. Lazy parenting is the real problem.

Posted by: Leah at December 28, 2008 3:55 PM

way to go to dump on parents! Have you ever met someone with an adhd kid? I'm not saying ALL the kids diagnosed are correctly diagnosed, but there is definitely something up with many of these kids and I don't think you can just go and blow it all off on the parents.
Glad you are not up for debating. Hope you had a very Merry Christmas.

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 28, 2008 4:40 PM


Yes, I have taken a statistics class...
And you're right, but statistics plus professional opinions are pretty hard to disprove. It's not like my mom is the only doctor that many people are far too "over-diagnosed".

Posted by: Josephine at December 28, 2008 4:33 PM

oh common now. It's a well known fact within the scientific and medical community that researchers work the stats to fit their results. of course, your mom is one of the "honest"ones, I know...

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 28, 2008 4:43 PM


TSTL, NO ONE ever said those were "made up" and every case is just made up by the parents. However, WAY too many kids are diagnosed with the problem, TOO many kids are medicated because parents like to believe it's not their fault. They don't want to accept that they can't control their children, or they don't want to be strict with their children... they'd rather medicate them and pretend it's a medical problem when it's not. My dad is an MD, and he doesn't believe it's a disorder that should EVER be dealt with with medicine. Ever. :)

Posted by: Josephine at December 28, 2008 4:46 PM


TSTL, NO ONE ever said those were "made up" and every case is just made up by the parents. However, WAY too many kids are diagnosed with the problem, TOO many kids are medicated because parents like to believe it's not their fault. They don't want to accept that they can't control their children, or they don't want to be strict with their children... they'd rather medicate them and pretend it's a medical problem when it's not. My dad is an MD, and he doesn't believe it's a disorder that should EVER be dealt with with medicine. Ever. :)

Posted by: Josephine at December 28, 2008 4:46 PM

whatever you say Josephine....
have a nice evening...:-D

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 28, 2008 6:59 PM


Toostunnedtolaugh, are you sure your name isn't really Patricia? You seem to have an attitude as nasty as hers.


Posted by: Barney at December 28, 2008 7:30 PM


TSTL, those sound like the words of someone who has nothing to back themselves up except their own opinion. So I will have a GREAT evening.

Posted by: Josephine at December 28, 2008 7:58 PM


I believe you were the one with your OWN opinion Jo, and I see you have NOTHING to back up your statements but mommy and daddy. Maybe you could try to find your own info the next time instead of calling mommy and daddy all the time.
nevertheless have a nice evening!

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 28, 2008 8:02 PM


@Barney- are you related to that obnoxious purple dinosaur?

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 28, 2008 8:03 PM


TSTL,
I have two parents that both graduated from a very prestigious school. What in the world is a better first hand source than two doctors? Are you kidding?? What I'm saying isn't "my own opinion" it's the opinion of two medical professionals and several statistics.

I like that you're one of those people that when you can't back yourself up, you just pretend you won the argument and say bye.. like I'm just not going to respond..

Posted by: Josephine at December 28, 2008 8:24 PM


I don't have to back myself up! For pete's sake, girl I'm not claiming to know the truth on this. I'm simply saying my experience is different than yours but you are telling me it doesn't count because it isn't "backed up" and because I don't have relations that are medical professionals (well not that you know anyhow) who are supposed to be all knowing and correct all the time. You are the one that's come in here lining up your so called "experts".
My points are just as valid as yours. I am sure there are many people who are falsely diagnosed with adhd and so forth and improperly medicated. But there are others who have legitimate problems and these need to be addressed and treated.
I prefer to see problems like narcissism and other personality disorders treated in a Catholic way that is both physically and spiritually.
Now I really am gone for the evening.

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 28, 2008 8:32 PM


TSTL, I never claimed those problems weren't real, so why were you arguing, exactly?

And, I "came in" talking about "so-called" experts. Oh wow, way to twist things. You were wrong, and I let you know, and you got mad. No biggie. :) Have a great night.

Posted by: Josephine at December 28, 2008 8:34 PM


I am not "twisting" things Josephine:my experience is that canon lawyers AND several medical professionals that I KNOW say differently than your MOMMY and DADDY.
So bottom line: we both have people we know that have different opinions and different experiences. Capiche?

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 28, 2008 8:52 PM


Sigh. That for some reason is something you don't get. It's NOTHING to do with personal experience. It's about facts and numbers. NOT opinions and experience! And how freaking condescending can you be? Will you please stop saying my mommy and daddy? Geeze, grow up! :)

Posted by: Josephine at December 28, 2008 9:05 PM


but we ARE talking about personal experience here - the personal experience of your professional parents and the personal professional experience of canon lawyers/and other psychiatrists.


Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 28, 2008 9:21 PM


neither you nor I have brought in facts or numbers Josephine - unless my computer screen is not showing me all the posts! :-D

Posted by: toostunnedtolaugh at December 28, 2008 9:22 PM


Professional opinion of my parents, not only professional experience. There's a big difference there! :)

BTW, I'm not sure why you keep bringing up canon lawyers, like their medical experience OR opinion matters... because, well, they probably don't have any... :)

Posted by: Josephine at December 28, 2008 9:44 PM


Posted by: Leah at December 28, 2008 3:55 PM

I dunno if I completely agree Leah. I have friends who have certainly benefited from the medication and gone on to great schools etc. But I do agree it is over diagnosed and no one really seems to care, least, not yet. Glad I'm not the only one who shares that view ;)

Posted by: Dan at December 29, 2008 12:05 AM


Make it about religion and God. Anything else is futile.

Posted by: truthseeker at December 29, 2008 1:55 AM


TS-

Why is anything not related to religion and God futile?

You, in particular, may get a kick of an open letter to Obama I wrote for the website I write for. I directly ask him to deal with religion in a certain way. You'll either love it or hate it probably, but just throwing it out there :P lol

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and I wish you all a happy new year (since I've been popping in and out ;) )

Posted by: Dan at December 29, 2008 3:49 AM


BTW, I'm not sure why you keep bringing up canon lawyers, like their medical experience OR opinion matters... because, well, they probably don't have any... :)

Posted by: Josephine at December 28, 2008 9:44 PM

do you even KNOW what a canon lawyer is? A canon lawyer must look at the evidence gathered about a marriage and that includes information from physicians, psychiatrists and so forth (if there is such) in order to make a decision about the nullity of a marriage. Most canon lawyers I've met or heard about have a great deal of knowledge and are highly educated men. Ed Peters is one such man - I'm sure you've heard of Ed Peters, seeing as you're Catholic and all.


Professional opinion of my parents, not only professional experience. There's a big difference there! :)

????

Posted by: Patricia at December 29, 2008 8:09 AM


Hey There

I wrote a similar piece in the middle of the night with a bit more detail and critique.

Here's the post: http://kburchard.wordpress.com

Posted by: Kenny Burchard at December 29, 2008 1:57 PM


John L. is right when he points out that the personhood of the human embryo is a scientific fact, not a religious opinion. When someone asks why you oppose killing embryos/fetuses, all you should have to say is, "Because I oppose killing human beings...don't you?" and the science will be on your side. Don't abandon scientific fact in favor of religious argumentation.

And Alexandra is right when she points out that the pro-life movement should stick to human-life issues and stop tying itself to gay marriage, the Pledge of Allegiance, etc.. Welcoming pro-life gays and lesbians, pro-life atheists, and other "non-traditional" pro-lifers will only help the cause, not detract from it.

Posted by: Bri at December 29, 2008 3:09 PM


Patricia......

What's your point? Canon lawyers go by data they get from professionals. Professionals like my parents. By the time TSTL gets info through a canon lawyers it's third hand. I'm getting info from the source. :) There's a big difference there.

And what's with the question marks. You do know there's a difference between professional experience and professional opinion, right?

Posted by: Josephine at December 29, 2008 4:02 PM


Dan,
Wether we have not one moment or eternity to exist it is entirely God who grants it to be so.

Posted by: truthseeker at December 31, 2008 12:05 AM